Bullet Points: U.S. Counters Iranian Threats
Trump trades threats with Tehran after terminating Qasem Soleimani last week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is apparently trying to retain the Democrats’ control of the impeachment news cycle. She announced Sunday that the House will vote to limit President Donald Trump’s options for retaliation if Iran attacks after Thursday’s killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. Pelosi’s move came only a day after Trump gave Congress a formal defense of his decision, arguing that the strike was justified because Soleimani was responsible for hundreds of American deaths and was plotting even further. For those reasons, it was not an assassination as is the characterization in much of the media. And while more congressional involvement in military action would be welcome, Pelosi managed to find just the wrong time to assert herself.
Meanwhile, what is Iran doing?
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened, “The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.” That apparently includes placing an $80 million bounty on Trump’s head. We suppose the mullahs are using the cash Barack Obama gave them to back that up.
Speaking of Obama, Tehran announced it’s officially abandoning his 2015 Iran nuclear deal — as if the mullahs were ever truly abiding by it. Besides, President Trump kept his promise to ditch the deal in 2018.
What is the U.S. doing?
Trump issued a counter threat to Iran: “If Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets …. we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!” This sent leftists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar caterwauling about Trump’s “war crimes” instead of presenting a united front against Iran, which should be a common enemy. Trump Derangement Syndrome is incredible.
What is Iraq doing?
Iraq’s parliament, over objections by the Trump administration, passed a nonbinding resolution demanding the remaining 5,300 U.S. troops in Iraq leave the nation. President Trump doesn’t want to do so until “they pay us back” for our “very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there.” If the Iraqis don’t pay up, Trump threatened “sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever.” We suspect that’s Trumpian bluster. Parliament’s move is a political facade giving some politicians cover with Iraqi factions; material changes in actual Iraqi policy are unlikely.
Trump did the right thing by taking out a murderous terrorist ringleader who had more power and influence than Osama bin Laden or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at the time they were terminated. That doesn’t mean there won’t be reprisals, but it does mean an American president just stood up for America in an important way.
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