In the immediate aftermath of Iranian missile attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq – apparently designed to save face rather than kill Americans – is it an overstatement to apply Orwell’s ultra-totalitarian slogans to the left in the free country of the United States of America today? “War is peace,” The Party in “1984” assured its servile proles, “freedom is slavery,” and “ignorance is strength.”
After all, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assured us that the people’s elected representatives could cast their votes for Obamacare while being entirely ignorant of the contents of the law. And the “Medicare for All” being pushed hard by top-tier Democrats running for president, such as Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, obviously means freedom of choice of health plan for no one. To have such liberty, they tell us, would make us slaves of the rich health insurers.
But national security is where the Orwellian really comes through. The reality of war is defeating the enemy, and oftentimes that necessarily means killing your adversary’s military strategists. For instance, over the course of seven months, exiled Czechoslovakian soldiers planned and successfully executed Operation Anthropoid, the 1942 killing of Reinhard Heydrich, a powerful Nazi security chief and one of the formulators of Hitler’s genocide of the Jews. A well-reviewed film of the operation was released several years ago.
To today’s Democrats, however, the war on terror apparently doesn’t mean killing terrorists – even when the terrorist mastermind taken out was actively planning mass killings of Americans and already had the blood of hundreds of Americans on his hands at the time of his demise, as with Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Quds Force.
Somehow, during World War II we never heard members of Congress say what a grinning Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat, said on Fox News Sunday about killing a top enemy military commander: “You have to look at what the consequences are” of killing Soleimani. “We don’t go around killing all the very bad people in the world.”
We never heard President Franklin Roosevelt’s political opponents complain as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut did on CBS on Sunday. He condemned the policy of executing “high-level political figures of sovereign nations” such as Soleimani, arguing that it risks U.S. officials being assassinated. Murphy’s preference would have been “more targeted strikes against other Iranian or Iranian proxy assets in the region.”
Contrary to Murphy’s characterization, “political figure” Soleimani, like Heydrich, wasn’t elected to the command of his killing force, or to anything else. But then the Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s “supreme leader,” isn’t elected either. Moreover, Iranian elections are themselves highly suspect.
To Murphy and plenty of other Democrats in Congress, killing terrorist commanders is the work of a disturbed mind. “The moment we all feared is likely upon us,” Murphy tweeted over the weekend. “An unstable president in way over his head, panicking, with all his experienced advisers having quit, and only the sycophantic amateurs remaining. Assassinating foreign leaders, announcing plans to bomb civilians. A nightmare.”
Kind of like the nightmare of Churchill bucking his experienced advisers in supporting Operation Foxley, the British special ops initiative designed to assassinate Hitler, which proved unnecessary.
To the U.S. left, bombs and bullets don’t stop terrorists; pieces of paper do. Obama speechwriter Ben Rhodes, in a beatitude appearing in The Atlantic this week, assures us that the genius of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal was preventing all-out war with the Islamofascist state.
“It is likely, of course, that Trump couldn’t even describe the Iran deal’s terms,” Rhodes couldn’t help sneering, evoking unpleasant memories of how Jimmy Carter seemed to know every appendix of most government programs while Ronald Reagan was an amiable dunce. Yet Carter insisted on micromanaging the disastrous Desert One rescue attempt in Iran in 1980, and Reagan struck out Gorbachev and walked off the mound with the lead, leaving George H.W. Bush to close out the game and bring down the Soviet Union – something for decades considered an impossibility.
The real paper in Obama’s Iran deal isn’t anything anyone signed, though; Rhodes never gets around to mentioning the tens of billions of dollars in hard cash the deal made available for Tehran, much of which was utilized by Soleimani for terrorism. Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, in other words, was essentially a multi-billion-dollar bribe.
A War On Terror That Kills Terrorists
“To take a terrorist off the battlefield does not increase the risk of terror,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CBS on Sunday, and most Americans have enough common sense to agree with him. “The risk of terror is increased by appeasement. That’s what the Obama-Biden administration did; it’s what President Trump will never do.”
As Gen. David Petraeus, architect of George W. Bush’s successful 2007 Iraq surge and later tapped to be Obama’s CIA director, said on CBS of the elimination of Soleimani:
“This is bigger than bin Laden. It’s bigger than [deceased ISIS ruler] Baghdadi. This is the equivalent in U.S. terms of the CIA director, CENTCOM commander, JSOC [Joint Special Operations] commander, and presidential envoy for the region for Iran, the most powerful figure in Iran for the solidification of the Shia crescent, and also the operational commander of the actions that they were pursuing.”
There was a time when Democrats insisted that striking down terror strategists was what mattered. “Five years after 9/11, we have still failed to capture or kill Osama bin Laden,” current House Majority Whip James Clyburn declared on the House floor in September 2006, for example. “The war in Iraq has distracted us from finding Osama bin Laden, dismantling al-Qaida and fighting the war on terrorism.”
Now, however, Democrat after Democrat hails talk and condemns military action against terrorism. Obama in June 2015 even issued “a new presidential policy directive” regarding “terrorist groups” in which “we are clarifying that our policy does not prevent communication with” such groups. The directive focused on terrorists holding American hostages, but it reversed the long-standing strong policy preference against negotiating with terrorists.
The death at American hands of Iran’s chief terrorist operative is “reckless” says Joe Biden, an “assassination” and “dangerous escalation,” in Sanders’ words, and “has taken us to the brink of war,” according to Pete Buttigieg. Warren also called it an “assassination.”
The truth is that Iran has been at war with America for more than 40 years, though much of Washington has been in denial about that reality. What Democrats offer as defense is “diplomacy” with little for Iran to fear buttressing it, and thus better described as pre-emptive surrender. It’s a principle that produces pacts such as Obama’s with Iran, which Tehran has shown in recent months amounts to kicking the nuclear terrorism can down the road – by maybe a year.
— Written by Thomas McArdle
Note to Readers: Issues & Insights is a new site launched by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to use our decades of experience to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day.
We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we think our approach to commentary is sorely lacking both in today’s mainstream media and on the internet. If you like what you see, feel free to click the Tip Jar over on the right sidebar. And be sure to tell your friends!