Trump acted boldly while our senators dithered and cackled
Less than 15 hours after President Donald Trump successfully ordered the military attack on Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Connecticut's two senators held a press conference castigating the president's overly aggressive military operation — at least overly aggressive in their minds. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senator Chris Murphy took to the microphones to deliver somber warnings of potential dangers that may plague United States citizens in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Murphy, who to my knowledge still owns the dubious distinction of being the only U.S. Senator who can’t legally vote for himself – he’s admitted he doesn't actually live here — was visibly distressed and came across almost apologetic when condemning President Trump’s Middle East victory.
Murphy had asked rhetorically, "If the administration has given any thought as to how to manage the fallout that comes from such a drastic action. This is the equivalent of the Iranians assassinating the U.S. Secretary of Defense." He went on to predict the killing of Soleimani would cause more harm and that the administration had not "gamed out" how badly this could go for American citizens. “Americans in the Middle East are in much greater harm today than they were yesterday."
But as of Wednesday, all Iran had done was fire a few ineffective missiles, causing no U.S. casualties, and then declared their retaliation done.
I found it curious that Murphy repeated the word “assassinate” to drive a message and form the narrative that somehow the president's actions were criminal. Let’s not forget that Blumenthal and Murphy sat in silence when former President Barack Obama used the drone program as his own personal X-Box, overseeing more strikes in his first year than George W. Bush carried out during his entire presidency. A total of 563 strikes, largely by drones, targeted Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen during Obama’s two terms, compared to 57 strikes under Bush. About 800 civilians were killed in those countries, estimates suggest.
When the United States can eliminate dangerous threats it becomes the responsibility of administrations — regardless of political ideologies — to search out and destroy those individuals and/or entities that may attempt to harm U.S. citizens. Presidents take an oath “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
As the Commander-in-Chief, presidents make decisions on life and death.
Soleimani directed the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers during the Iraq war. He was the mastermind in destabilizing multiple relationships throughout the Middle East. The world is a better place for his death, the same statement that can be said about Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, and Al Baghdadi.
Since May, the Iranian government has been testing the waters to see how far it could push Trump who, after Iranians shot down an American surveillance drone, used discretion and reversed his earlier decision to bomb Iran, concerned there would be too much collateral damage.
Iran spent the summer attacking multiple tankers in the Gulf of Oman, stoking the fires and setting both Trump and Iranian leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei on a collision course towards conflict. Recently, an Iranian sponsored attack left an American contractor dead and several U.S. Service members injured. The final straw for Trump was the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
No sane person would advocate for another war, but when the United States is in the beginning stages of undertaking military operations against a foreign nation, partisanship and posturing border on the edge of treason. Having Connecticut’s two sitting senators proclaim the sky is falling, and we should all hide under our desks because Iran might get mad, is disruptive and dangerous. Apologizing for protecting American citizens is an embarrassment. Shame on Blumenthal and Murphy.
It went beyond just the politicians. There was silly sophistry from the Hollywood folks, like actress and former Marilyn Manson girlfriend Rose McGowan tweeting an apology to Iran hours after the strike. She tweeted: “Dear Iran, The USA has disrespected your country, your flag, your people. 52% of us humbly apologize … we are being held hostage by a terrorist regime. We do not know how to escape. Please do not kill us.”
Nike hero Colin Kaepernick tweeted, "There is nothing new about American terrorist attacks against Black and Brown people for the expansion of American imperialism.”
Americans need a leader unmoved by repentant lectures on national security from camera-hungry senators, or from an infamous shoe salesman, or a fading Hollywood star.
You wonder why Donald Trump is the president. How could he not be?
Lee Elci is the morning host for 94.9 News Now radio, a station that provides "Stimulating Talk" with a conservative bent.
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