One-sided support for attack on Soleimani
Many Democrats are loath to give President Trump credit for anything, as we’re seeing to their reaction to Trump’s decision last week to take out Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Soleimani for two decades led the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the State Department labeled a foreign terrorist organization in 2019. The IRGC has for years waged war against the United States in that region of the world.
According to the State Department, the IRGC was responsible for killing more than 600 U.S. soldiers during the Iraq war. In recent months, Soleimani’s proxy forces targeted U.S. troops at least 10 times, and just last week they stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
Following the embassy assault, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, to whom Soleimani reported directly, tweeted to Trump that “you can’t do anything.” The successful drone strike showed otherwise.
Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote that it’s “an excellent bet” that Soleimani’s fingerprints were on many of Tehran’s actions.
“It is fitting that the U.S. took down Soleimani,” Gerecht said. “Like many of his fellow Guardsman, he regularly mocked Washington’s staying power, not concealing his delight about American blood spilled in Mesopotamia.”
Yet good luck finding many Democrats who feel the same way.
Former Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged that Soleimani “supported terror and sowed chaos,” but called the strike “a huge escalatory move in an already dangerous region.” Likewise, Sen. Bernie Sanders called it a “dangerous escalation” that “brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East …”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren initially called Soleimani a “murderer.” But then on a Sunday news show, she referred to Soleimani only as a “high-ranking official for the government of Iran” and said it was “reasonable” to ask whether Trump had ordered the strike to deflect attention away from his pending impeachment trial in the Senate.
Many Trump critics also have questioned the legality of the strike, saying Congress should have provided its authorization. Liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz isn’t among them, declaring “there is little doubt that President Trump acted lawfully — under both domestic and international law — in ordering his death.”
Another progressive who’s on Trump’s side is former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Lieberman noted that former President Barack Obama ordered numerous drone strikes on terrorist leaders during his time in office. “He did so without specific congressional authorization, and without significant Democratic opposition,” he wrote.
It’s indisputable, Lieberman wrote, that Soleimani created and directed terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East, and had been at war with the United States for years. He called the strike “morally, constitutionally and strategically correct.”
“It deserves more bipartisan support than the begrudging or negative reactions it has received thus far from my fellow Democrats,” he wrote. That it does.