Opinion

WEST: Why Iran Fallout Is Proving President Trump Right

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After President Trump rid the world of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, you didn’t exactly expect Democrats and their media allies to rejoice. After all, what President Trump does must always be met with #Resistance, right?

Well, rejoice they did not. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden claimed, “Trump’s reckless policies have needlessly endangered our interests in the Middle East.” The liberal media, meanwhile, created the narrative of “Donald Trump’s Iran problem,” positioning President Trump as the aggressor and the Iranian regime as an innocent bystander. The New York Times even predicted the Soleimani strike “may cost him the 2020 election.”

Alas, polling says it ain’t so. Most Americans back President Trump’s decision to take out Soleimani. This is especially true in battleground states like Michigan, where a clear majority supports reining in the Iranian regime.

Once again, the liberal media is wrong and the American people are right. And the days following the Soleimani strike have only made President Trump look more powerful and his decision more pragmatic.

First, it’s important to understand the full extent of Soleimani’s evil, and the threat that the Iranian regime has posed for decades. Soleimani was head of the Iranian Quds Force, a designated terrorist organization. Therefore, he was a terrorist leader, no different from Osama bin Laden or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Furthermore, with the help of Soleimani, Iran was the producer and supplier of the lethal EFP (explosive force penetrator) IEDs (improvised explosive device), which were responsible for as much as 20 percent of the killing and wounding of our men and women in Iraq.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. We have been at war with Iran since 1979, when Islamist revolutionaries attacked the U.S. embassy there, holding dozens of Americans hostage. This is the same Iran that backed the Hezbollah terrorists who bombed Beirut’s Marine compound in 1983, killing over 240 Marines and other service personnel. Mere weeks ago, Iran was responsible for rocket attacks that killed an American contractor.

The bottom line is this: Iran is no friend of America’s, and its Islamic regime has been no stranger to military action targeting Americans. When he took out Soleimani, President Trump did so understanding the full extent of Iran’s deeply anti-American views and actions.

After Soleimani’s death, the Iranian regime reminded us of its evil yet again, shooting down a Ukrainian jetliner and killing all 176 people on board (including 82 Iranians). If you still underestimate Iranian aggression, simply juxtapose those two actions: President Trump killed a designated terrorist who was responsible for hundreds of American deaths, while Iran responded by murdering dozens of innocent civilians—including its own people.

In fact, there is no better demonstration of Iran’s hostile agenda. American foreign policy is synonymous with anti-terrorism efforts, on behalf of global stability; Iran is concerned with chaos and debauchery, at the expense of the civilized world.

Even the Iranian people understand the difference between our two governments. Upon learning of Iran’s attack on innocent civilians, thousands of Iranians took to the streets and protested against their government. They even targeted Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, chanting “death to the dictator.”

His regime, predictably, responded with gunfire and tear gas. Again, that’s the difference between them and us.

And therein lies the brilliance of President Trump. Not only did he rid the world of one of its most evil terrorists, but President Trump also turned the Iranian people against a government that has long stood against American values and threatened the Western world. As protests continue to consume Iran, it is becoming clearer and clearer to all Americans that the true “enemy” in this story is and has always been the Iranian government, led by the Ayatollah. The Islamic regime’s interests align neither with us nor its own people, who are now bravely demanding change.

It all happened because President Trump was not afraid to stand up to Iran, unlike his predecessor. While President Obama sought to appease the regime with the Iran deal, President Trump fought provocation after provocation with a sudden show of strength. As Alexander the Great once said, “I would not fear an army of lions if led by sheep, but I would fear an army of sheep if led by a lion.”

When it comes to Iran, President Trump is that lion. He is giving our allies comfort, and crippling our enemies with fear.

Allen West is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and former Florida congressman. He serves as senior advisor to the Committee to Defend the President and pens a daily column at TheOldSchoolPatriot.com.