By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) One by one, the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders issued statements in response to news that President Donald Trump ordered a strike against Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force and chief mischief maker in the region.
Soleimani was well-known to the region. He was hated in Iraq for his brutal repressive tactics and was responsible for the deaths of scores of American servicemen and women who fought in that country for a decade.
He’s not even that well-liked in his home country of Iran. And in terms of being someone who worked against peace in the region and against U.S. foreign policy objectives, this guy was enemy No. 1.
But one by one, each Democrat running for president proved to anyone willing to seriously weigh commander-in-chief qualities that not a single one of them is up to the task.
My statement on the killing of Qassem Soleimani. pic.twitter.com/4Q9tlLAYFB
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 3, 2020
“The Administration’s statement says that its goal is to deter future attacks by Iran, but this action will almost certainly have the opposite effect,” Biden says.
Soleimani was a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. But this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict. Our priority must be to avoid another costly war.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 3, 2020
“But this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict,” notes Warren.
Trump's dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars.
Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 3, 2020
“Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one,” Bernie says.
We have a president who has no strategic plan when it comes to Iran and has only made that region less stable and less safe. More thoughts: pic.twitter.com/Cn25X4kOhQ
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 3, 2020
Cory “Sparticus” Booker says Trump’s actions “only made that region less stable and less safe.”
Point blank: These are statements of weakness, not leadership.
We won’t call these Democrats cowards because ordering the deaths of people as president is no small feat, no matter who sits in the White House. But what these candidates are advocating are positions of weakness, not strength.
Take Biden’s comment. There can be no better deterrent message Trump could send to Iran’s mullahs than, “We found your No. 2 leader and we did not hesitate to take him out…you could be next if you don’t mind your own business.”
Or Warren. Is it “reckless” to defend American interests and American personnel? Remember, an Iranian-backed militia attacked a base where American soldiers are stationed in Iraq and killed an American contractor, then attacked our embassy in Baghdad. If Trump had not responded (as Obama failed to do in Benghazi), that would have been grossly irresponsible.
Then there’s Commie Bernie, who never met a foreign policy situation America faced that he agreed with. We can think of no better way to avoid another war in the Middle East than to make it clear to our principle enemy they can’t hide from us and they can’t defeat us, that we can reach out and kill them wherever they are, with impunity, because we are a global superpower.
And Booker? Again, by standing strong and making a bold decision, President Trump comes from a position of strength, not weakness. That’s the best way to keep your enemies at bay. Plus, we’re talking about Iran, not Russia or China (and Trump just sent those two countries a message too, by the way; Iran is a Russian client state).
During the 1980s Democrats accused Ronald Reagan of building up America’s military because he was “a warmonger” who wanted to start a nuclear conflict with the USSR. In reality, Reagan’s strategy was to make America so strong no one would dare attack us.
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It worked. The USSR disintegrated and America prospered.
Trump’s foreign policy is Reaganesque and much like that of Teddy Roosevelt, who said we should “speak softly but carry a big stick.”
Weakness invites conflict. Strength prevents it. Which policy, based on their statements, do you think these 2020 Democrats would pursue?
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