President Trump: ‘My highest and most solemn duty’
Four days ago, the United States military executed a flawless precision strike that killed the worst remaining terrorist on Earth, Qasem Soleimani. The next day, President Donald J. Trump delivered a statement on the successful operation.
“As President, my highest and most solemn duty is the defense of our nation and its citizens,” he said. “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”
President Trump: We will always protect Americans and our allies
“Under my leadership, America’s policy is unambiguous: To terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American, we will find you. We will eliminate you.”
Led by Soleimani, the ruthless Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps facilitated horrific acts of terrorism. Soleimani himself contributed to plots as far-flung as New Delhi and London—and even the United States. In 2011, he organized an attempted assassination of the Saudi ambassador to America in Washington, D.C.
During the Iraq War, Soleimani’s camps trained killers that were directly responsible for the deaths of 603 American service members. Thousands more were wounded.
In the past few weeks alone, attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq included rocket strikes that killed an American and badly injured four U.S. servicemen, as well as a violent assault on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. All were carried out at Soleimani’s direction.
Americans are safer today because the world’s worst terrorist is dead. The Iranian people are safer, too: Soleimani recently led the brutal repression of protestors in his own country. In the end, more than 1,000 innocent civilians were tortured and killed by their government in Tehran. Soleimani’s disrespect for life knew no borders or limits.
These grave facts aren’t in dispute. Every American who believes in the dignity of human life should rejoice at our military’s tremendous success last week. Partisan politics sometimes gets in the way of uniting around good news, however—certain career politicians are too worried about who will get the credit.
Real experts across the political spectrum are setting the record straight. Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic candidate for Vice President, said “President Trump’s order to take out Qasem Soleimani was 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.”
President Obama’s former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson also shot down claims from some Democrats that the Soleimani operation could be unlawful. Based on the rationale presented by our military, “the President, under his constitutional authority as Commander in Chief, had ample domestic legal authority to take him out without an additional congressional authorization,” Johnson said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained President Trump’s position in a series of television interviews yesterday. “The Iranian leadership needs to understand that attacking Americans is not cost-free,” he said. “Terrorism will not benefit them.”
In other words, the expectations are clear. There will be no appeasement. There will be no blank checks from this Administration. America has zero interest in war. But Iran must end the one it started—now.