Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
Just to be clear, one of the main reasons why I supported Donald Trump for the presidency in 2016 was his promise to scale down the U.S. military presence in the Middle East and end our military intervention in the no fewer than 8 regional conflicts in which his predecessors in office had the U.S. involved.
The President has by and large kept that promise, slowly but surely scaling down our country’s involvement in hellholes like Syria and Afghanistan. At the same time, he has largely avoided the siren song from his neocon and Obama holdover advisers to involve the U.S. military directly in additional conflicts in the region.
As a result, I’m generally in agreement with Fox prime time host Tucker Carlson’s position on international affairs. Carlson is a down-the-line non-interventionist, and that’s generally a good thing. He also spends a lot of time hilariously mocking neocon, never-Trump nitwits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol, which is another definite badge of honor on his chest.
But last night, Carlson went a bit over the line, comparing the U.S. killing of Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani to a situation in which Iran were to kill America’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling it an “act of war.” Well, it was an act of war, given that Soleimani was a leader of warriors who was killed as he was actively planning more attacks on American lives. That’s why he was killed – because he has been at war with the United States and our people throughout his entire adult life.
But the analogy Carlson draws here is not apt, because it legitimizes Soleimani and his actions. Soleimani was a terrorist, not a legitimate military leader – if we cannot draw that distinction, then we should just give up the idea of civilization in general. That having been said, Carlson did make some fine points about the neverending war lobby that is constituted and led by nitwits like Boot and Kristol and John Bolton:
“‘Threats in the region,’” he said, mimicking Mike Pompeo’s statement of the reason why Soleimani was taken out. “If you don’t live in Washington, here’s the translation. That would be in hostile middle eastern countries, places where American troops would never be in the first place, were it not for the insistent demands of non-geniuses like Max Boot and John Bolton. But never mind. No one in Washington is in the mood for big-picture questions right now, questions, the obvious ones, like: Is Iran really the greatest threat we face? And: who’s actually benefiting from this? And: why are we continuing to ignore the decline of our own country in favor of jumping into another quagmire, from which there’s no obvious exit? By the way, if we’re still in Afghanistan 19 sad years later, what makes us think there’s a quick way out of Iran?”
He continued, “Before we enter into a single new war, there’s a criterion that ought to be met. Our leaders should explain to us how that conflict will make the United States richer and more secure,” Carlson contended. “There are an awful lot of bad people in this world. We can’t kill them all. It’s not our job. Instead, our government exists to defend and promote the interests of American citizens. Period. That’s why we have a government. So, how has the killing of Soleimani done that? Maybe. No one in Washington has explained how.”
Those are all excellent points that thinking Americans – and President Trump – should keep in mind. The people in Washington DC agitating for outright war with Iran today are the very same people who got us into all these interminable quagmires in that region in the first place. They should be shunned and ignored.
But Carlson does miss the crucial point that made the retaliation against Soleimani and Iran an imperative in this case: Soleimani had just organized and led an effort to storm the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Hundreds of American lives were jeopardized in the process. That is why Soleimani was in Baghdad in the first place.
As Carlson rightly says, we can’t kill all the bad people in the world. However, we can and must kill terrorist leaders like Soleimani when the opportunity presents itself, in order to prevent their taking more American lives in the future.
As I pointed out on Thursday, our diplomatic embassies are U.S. soil, and must be defended as we would defend our homeland. The failure by the Obama White House and Pentagon to do that in Benghazi got four Americans killed by a mob similar to what we saw in Baghdad this week.
Carlson is correct to warn against being drawn into a larger, general war with Iran. That is a war we could “win” in about a week, but would then end up spending trillions of U.S. dollars and untold numbers of U.S. lives in the years to come trying to rebuild that country and keep the illusional “peace,” as we have done over the last 18 years in Afghanistan and 17 years in Iraq.
But he is wrong to condemn the killing of Soleimani: That act was not only absolutely justified, but entirely necessary. God Bless President Trump for having the wisdom to authorize it.
That is all.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.