Tehran's Terrorist Chief Dead
I am at Reagan National Airport heading to a big evangelical event in Miami, where the president is scheduled to speak later this afternoon. But as you know, it has been an eventful 24 hours for America.
Rumors began swirling last night that something huge had happened in Baghdad. I began hearing from my contacts that we had taken out a top American nemesis. Within an hour various sources began reporting that General Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran's elite Quds Force, and various associates had been killed by a drone attack at the Baghdad airport.
If you know a young veteran in your neighborhood or family who is missing a limb or two, or an eye, the odds are overwhelming that Gen. Soleimani had their blood on his hands. He was responsible for the production of super IEDs, the explosively formed penetrators that could pierce armored vehicles.
Soleimani exported that technology to the Iraqi resistance and to fighters in Afghanistan for one reason and one reason only -- to bloody the United States as much as he could. Thousands of our brave warriors are maimed because of this monster. At least 600 U.S. soldiers were killed because of him.
The United States officially designated Soleimani as a terrorist in 2005, and he was even sanctioned by the United Nations. Incredibly, those sanctions were lifted under Barack Obama's 2015 nuclear deal, with predictable results. Iran's behavior got worse after the deal as Soleimani directed Iran's war efforts throughout the Middle East in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
Last night, President Trump posted one of his greatest tweets ever. It was simply an image of an American flag.
The short answer is that Gen. Soleimani was responsible for the attack on an Iraqi base last week that killed a U.S. contractor and wounded several U.S. soldiers. He was also responsible for the assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Moreover, we had intelligence indicating that he flew to Baghdad in order to plan more attacks against U.S. interests. In other words, Soleimani posed an imminent threat to U.S. personnel.
President Trump warned Iran that it would be held "fully responsible" for its nefarious actions, and he acted accordingly.
By the way, one of those killed in the drone strike that took out Soleimani was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of the Iraqi Shiite militia that carried out the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Many people in the Middle East are celebrating today. Soleimani exported his murderous ways to numerous countries. Even in Iraq, there are demonstrations in support of the U.S. action.
But the Middle East is full of jihadists, and they are furious. The Iranian government is threatening "severe revenge." I guarantee you that Tehran is being warned through back channels not to cross any red lines.
Then there is the reaction in the U.S. It was particularly disturbing to see multiple senators suggest that the "assassination" of Soleimani was unjustified or potentially illegal. (Here, here and here.)
The president is right -- and has every right -- to respond to any imminent threat. Period.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted that the president ordered the strike to distract from impeachment. She's wrong on so many levels. But it is sad that the instinctive reaction of this member of Congress is to always side with America's enemies.
The reaction from the "experts" in Hollywood was similar. Predictably, they attacked the president and even apologized to Iran!
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich had a different take, tweeting:
"President Trump's targeted attack on the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard while he was in Baghdad was symbolically a perfect measured response to the escalating Iranian provocations. It hurt the dictatorship profoundly while avoiding wholesale combat. Well done!"
Retired Brigadier General Anthony Tata told Fox & Friends this morning:
"All this outcry about us attacking an individual. No, he was a terrorist. He was a designated terrorist leading a designated terrorist organization and he's fair game after attacking U.S. property and people and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised President Trump's decision to eliminate Soleimani, saying:
"Just as Israel has the right of self-defense, the United States has exactly the same right. Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the death of American citizens and many other innocent people. He was planning more such attacks.
"President Trump deserves all the credit for acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively. Israel stands with the United States in its just struggle for peace, security and self-defense."
Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North put it well when he said:
"The bottom line of it is Soleimani has been a purveyor of terrorism for the Iranians for better than a decade. More than any other individual since Osama Bin Laden . . . he's killed more Americans than anybody else since then."
Presidents Bush and Obama would have been more than justified in taking Soleimani out. Donald Trump did it!
It is more than likely that Iran will retaliate. They have been increasing their aggressive behavior for years now -- committing war crimes in Syria, attacking oil tankers, striking major Saudi Arabian oil facilities and even attacking Israel.
I don't think they are stupid enough to attack our homeland, but they have proxies everywhere -- even here. There could be cyberattacks or some kind of economic sabotage.
Speaking on Fox News this morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear that the United States is not seeking war with Iran, but we are prepared for every possible outcome. Pompeo said:
"I think the Iranian leadership understands President Trump will take action. . . We have now demonstrated that. I hope the Iranian leadership will see that and see American resolve and that their decision will be to de-escalate and take actions consistent with what normal nations do.
"In the event that they do not and they go in the other direction, I know that President Trump and the entire United States government is prepared to respond appropriately."
It is time to pray, and thank God that we have a president who is firm and decisive for such a time as this.