Opinion: Trump shouldn't apologize for just action
On Tuesday, the Iranian military retaliated against President Donald Trump’s action which protected American lives by killing known terrorist, and Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani. Thankfully no one was injured in this attack.
As a military wife and mother, my prayers go out to the service members and their families who are in harm’s way. With a son currently attending the United States Naval Academy and a daughter who served in Iraq, I know what is at stake in this crisis, and no one wants peace more than I. However, it is important we remember who Soleimani was, the crimes he committed, and the crimes he was planning to commit against our nation.
Soleimani, the ringleader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was brought to justice by a U.S. military drone strike in Iraq.
The Pentagon reported the strike was a “decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel,” because the terrorist Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”
As has been widely-reported, Soleimani and Iran have ratcheted up attacks against America over the past year. Seeking to hurt America’s allies, Iran was behind the pirating of oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and bombing attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields. In the face of such provocations, Trump showed restraint, warning Iran to stop escalating hostilities.
Tehran refused to stop.
This past month, under the guidance of Soleimani, the Kataeb Hezbollah militia began unprovoked assaults on our coalition military bases in Iraq. This Iranian-backed militia’s rocket attacks killed an American citizen and injured American service personnel. Again under Soleimani’s orders, the militia then launched a two-day assault against the United States Embassy in Iraq -- which under international law is American soil.
Accustomed to the weakness of the past administrations that rewarded its aggression, Iran’s “Supreme Leader”, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, even taunted America, claiming, “There is no damn thing you can do.”
I’m sure the late terrorist Soleimani now disagrees.
Even though Soleimani has been murdering our servicemen and women and thousands of non-combatants for over a decade, many still disagree with our killing of this evil terrorist.
As a mother and an American, I am relieved that Trump acted. In 2004 and 2005, I prayed nightly that God would protect my daughter, Lindsey, a U.S. Marine, as she spent 13 months stationed in Camp Fallujah, Iraq. It was during this same time that Soleimani trained Iraqi insurgents in tactics for killing American soldiers, including, most infamously, with IEDs. Every day, Lindsey and her fellow Marines witnessed the tragic toll of Soleimani’s handiwork on their fallen and maimed comrades.
IEDs alone account for nearly half of the 2,178 U.S. troops killed in Iraq since 2006.
Killing the terrorist responsible for the deaths of more than1,000 U.S. service members is not disproportionate — it is justice.
Regrettably, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other so-called progressives view Trump’s decisive action to end a threat to American lives as a threat to their own reputations. It is sad, but not surprising, since they were silent about or supportive of the Obama administration sending billions of dollars to Iran, the world’s largest supporter of terrorism. All the while, that rogue regime in Iran used these same funds to fuel their number-one instrument of terror, Soleimani, in his efforts to kill Americans, Iraqis and other innocent people.
On April 15, 2019, the State Department designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard including the Quds Force — the unit Soleimani commanded — as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Based on past congressional authorizations of force and other precedents, Trump rightly acted to protect our nation.
No president, including Trump, should ever apologize for killing a terrorist to protect American lives. Better they follow President John F. Kennedy’s wise words: “If there is one path above all others to war, it is the path of weakness and disunity.”
Trump provided the strength. It is now up to us to provide the unity to keep America safe.
Laura Cox is chair of the Michigan Republican Party.