War with Iran is unavoidable, at least according to the media.
Democrats have been wringing their hands over Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani’s death, with some calling it a “war crime” and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seeking to restrict the president’s powers.
But what did Democrats say when President Obama used his executive powers to strike (and kill) U.S. citizens in Yemen in 2011, including a 16-year-old boy?
Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Mark Udall of Colorado, and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico said in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that the use of force was “legitimate use of the authority granted to the president.”
They said Obama had met the legal standard.
These three senators were part of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee. They went on to describe the killing of terror leader Anwar al-Awlaki:
Mr. al-Aulaqi [sic] clearly made a conscious decision to join an organized fighting force that was (and is) engaged in planning and carrying out attacks against the United States,” the senators wrote. “By taking on a leadership role in this organization, involving himself in ongoing operational planning against the United States, and demonstrating the capacity and intent to carry out these operations, he made himself a legitimate target for military action.
Does the same rationale apply to Soleimani? Or has it suddenly changed?
After all, Soleimani was the head of the Quds Force, recently designated a terrorist organization by the United States government. (RELATED: KASSAM: The Senate Impeachment Trial Will Become Pelosi’s Nightmare)
Additionally, a Justice Department memo released in 2014 led to this report from the New York Times:
Intelligence officials had concluded that Awlaki was an operational terrorist leader who had gone overseas, become part of Al Qaeda or an associated force, and was “engaged in continual planning and direction of attacks” on Americans. His capture was not feasible, the memo said. Working from that premise, David Barron, then the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, concluded that it would be lawful for the government to kill Awlaki, notwithstanding federal statutes against murdering Americans overseas and protections in the Constitution against unreasonable seizures and depriving someone of life without due process of law.
“We do not believe al-Awlaki’s citizenship provides a basis for concluding that he is immune from a use of force abroad” as otherwise congressionally authorized to use against Al Qaeda, Barron wrote, addressing the memo to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
Asked about the killing of Awlaki’s son a few weeks after the initial strike, Obama White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs glibly replied about the drone strike on another U.S. citizen deemed to be a threat: “I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don’t think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.”
Politico also explained how the Democrats used the killing of Bin Laden and Awlaki as part of their reelection strategy, with the headline of one story reading, “Al-Awlaki’s killing bolsters Obama.”
The story asserted:
The killing of Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki — just months after the killing of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden — appears to eliminate the war on terror as a campaign issue for Republicans in the 2012 election and could even give President Barack Obama an unlikely advantage on national security, Democrats said Friday.
It’s remarkable that the president has, in many ways, taken national security off the table as an issue altogether,” Democratic operative and former White House spokesman Bill Burton said on MSNBC. “I don’t think a lot of folks would have thought three years ago that, at this point of the presidential race, President Obama would be sort of untouchable when it comes to national security.”
“His main platform should be, ‘I protected America from terrorists,’ and he should cite the death of the two terrorists and that he was brave and determined to make it happen, and he did,” said Bill Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who, like Obama, ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. “He should run on foreign policy, easing tensions around the world, America regaining its respect abroad, and homeland security and terrorism. That’s what should be his main campaign address.”
It’s clear the media and Democrats have different standards for Obama than they do for Trump. That’s been clear for a while.
The Trump administration should seize on the words of Democrats, diplomats, and the media to provide the rationale for the killing of a man who ISN’T a U.S. citizen (Soleimani) and has been on the terror list for some time.
Soleimani’s long history of pulling together attacks such as Benghazi, hundreds of deaths of Americans and others in the region, as well as the most recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad is all the rationale President Trump needed.
End of story.
Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) co-hosts “War Room” with Stephen K. Bannon and Jason Miller. He is the author of two bestselling books: “No Go Zones” and “Enoch Was Right.” He is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and the Bow Group.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.