Regarding Wars And Other Conflicts - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Opinion

Regarding Wars And Other Conflicts

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Posted: Monday, January 20, 2020 12:50 pm

“Politics stops at the water’s edge.”

--Former Sen. Arthur Vandenberg

That once was true but not so much lately. Hardly had Americans learned of the successful targeted drone strike that rid the world of a notorious terrorist and enemy of the United States, responsible for the death and maiming of hundreds of Americans and who was actively planning more attacks, than Democrat leaders and presidential hopefuls began reflexive criticisms of the president for authorizing the strike. Practically in unison, they blamed the president for destabilizing the world, risking war and, totally without evidence, lacking a plan for how to deal with the consequences.

When American troops and civilians are at risk abroad, Americans traditionally have rallied around the commander-in-chief in a display of solidarity so that adversaries have reason, at least initially, to believe that he has the support of the people. Criticism can wait until details are sorted out but reflexive, immediate condemnation of a military action encourages an adversary to exploit domestic division and amounts to giving comfort to the enemy. And make no mistake; the Iranian regime under the ayatollahs is an enemy of the United States. The world’s leading exporter of terrorism, Iran is dedicated to the destruction of Israel, driving the U.S. out of the Middle East and killing Americans and Jews whenever convenient.

Maj. Gen. Qasam Soleimani was recognized throughout the western world as a terrorist. His very presence in Iraq was a violation of international law. He was the mastermind behind numerous attacks on Americans. The roadside bombs which caused so many casualties to our troops were part of his strategy. His proxies attacked our embassy in Baghdad, an act of war, attacked our ships in international waterways and attacked our allies in the region. He was as much of a legitimate target as Osama bin Laden was. I don’t recall hearing any public criticism from Americans of former president Barack Obama who took credit for eliminating him.

Yet, even before being briefed on the details of the strike and the intelligence leading up to it, Democrat leaders were putting politics above national unity. Many claimed that the president acted unlawfully by not consulting first with Congress. Seriously? That would be the equivalent of holding a press conference announcing a forthcoming surprise military action. This is 2020, not 1941, the last time Congress actually managed to declare war. A real war today would be over before Congress even got around to voting.

How can anyone with average intelligence read the Constitution and make such a charge? Section 8 of Article I gives Congress the authority to declare a state of war which is largely a formality. It does not contain any language that preempts the president from taking action to protect Americans or requires him to brief 100 senators and 435 representatives and get their consent before he does it. Section 2 of Article II states that the president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy and as such he is responsible for defending citizens against all dangers, foreign and domestic.

Democrat leaders warned that the president was leading us into another endless war. That is simply not going to happen on Donald Trump’s watch. The United States has the means and, under President Trump, the will to subdue a third rate military power like Iran if necessary without having to engage in sustained ground combat which Trump has already all but ruled out.

Mr. Trump showed admirable restraint in not overreacting to Iran’s feeble response to the strike on Soleimani. Its missile attack on the two Iraqi bases housing U.S. service members resulted is no casualties and little damage. In the street demonstrations in Iran that followed the strike on Soleimani, 50 Iranians were killed and hundreds injured when the demonstrators stampeded. In the hours after the revenge attack on the Iraqi bases, the Iranian military managed to shoot down a civilian airliner killing all 176 on board. After steadfastly denying and lying about it for three days, the Iranian government finally admitted the act, triggering anti-government demonstrations in Iran with demonstrators railing against their government’s incompetence and deceit. During the demonstrations, the British ambassador was arrested, a gross violation of international law and the ambassador’s diplomatic immunity. It was not a good week for Iran.

The Trump Administration has already ratcheted up sanctions on Iran which will continue to cripple its rapidly deteriorating economy. He warned Tehran that any attack resulting in the death of an American will be met by overwhelming force and the ayatollahs are now rather inclined to believe him after the Soleimani strike. He has also promised that so long as he is president, Iran will not possess a nuclear weapon which may provide voters with another pretty good reason for re-electing him.

It was, overall, a pretty good week for the USA.

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