Issues & Insights
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

It’s Clear Now To Dems: Soleimani Strike Was A Trump Slam Dunk

I&I Editorial

In war, you know you’re winning when your enemy is retreating. In politics, you know you’re winning when your enemy’s talking points are limp, convoluted, and nitpicking.

Leading Democrats, and even Republicans who thought President Donald Trump was too swashbuckling in his slaying of Iran’s Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qassam Soleimani a week and a half ago, are grasping at straws in their complaints now that it’s clear the killing of the terrorist mastermind has tamed rather than unleashed Tehran’s Islamofascist regime.

The Trump administration officials who briefed the Gang of Eight in Congress on Soleimani’s planned attacks of Americans “didn’t have specificity,” charged one of the eight, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on CBS on Sunday. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are “fudging the intelligence,” according to Schiff – a term Schiff used three times.

Could the third article of impeachment House Speaker Nancy Pelosi comes up with end up being “fudging of Congress”?

Given the opportunity to flat out call Trump a liar on what Soleimani was scheming, Schiff declined. Then, oddly, when Schiff moved to theorizing about how killing the general in charge of organizing terrorism for the world’s preeminent terrorist state might backfire on America, he said, “those repercussions that we were briefed about were far more dangerous to this country than anything that Soleimani was plotting as far as I could tell.”

Were more dangerous. Not are more dangerous? Why past tense? Because in the aftermath of Tehran’s so-called Operation Martyr Soleimani, the face-saving missile attacks on the Ayn al-Asad U.S. airbase and another base in Erbil, which – apparently by design – killed zero Americans, it’s clear there are no repercussions for the U.S. in the foreseeable future. Trump’s taking out of Soleimani actually accomplished what Democratic administrations’ limp-wristed diplomacy absent force is supposed to do: de-escalate hostilities.

Schiff summed up his peeves this way: “The burden of showing imminence with very great specifics, I think, is very high.” Maybe we’ll see hats emblazoned with that maxim at the Democratic National Convention this year in Milwaukee.

And asked if members of the intelligence community objected to killing Soleimani, the chief of the House’s Intelligence Committee, so often in touch with them, replied, “they’re not gonna volunteer that” because they make it their practice not to criticize politicians. But that certainly didn’t seem to be the case regarding the plans for U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria announced in October.

In the meantime, Sen. Mike Lee, the Utah Republican who blew a socket after the Soleimani briefing for members of Congress and is co-sponsoring a Democrat resolution to rein in Trump’s war powers, was assuring the country on CBS Sunday, “I have great respect for President Trump for how he’s handled this situation,” and declared that Trump has shown restraint in exercising military power as commander in chief “more than any other president in my lifetime.” Great time to restrict a president’s military authority.

Terrorists Must Have ‘More Than A Plan’ To Be Killed

The best complaint Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, could offer was that “the administration says there was exquisite and detailed intelligence,” but to blow to smithereens an Iranian military leader, Kaine told CBS, it had to be “more than a plan” that Soleimani was up to.

Kaine and Lee both want “to rewrite and redo the 2001 authorization that authorized us to wage war against non-state terrorist groups that are connected to the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack,” as Kaine put it. And to “say no war against Iran unless Congress specifically votes to authorize it.”

Which begs the question: How many Americans would Tehran have to kill in a terrorist attack to get Congress to pass its first declaration of war since 1941? Hundreds? Thousands? And might that very act of terrorist carnage be the result of the Kaine-Lee resolution to tie the president’s hands?

Tehran’s admission over the weekend that it did indeed shoot down a civilian airliner, killing 176, has sparked anti-regime demonstrations that might conceivably lead to a real threat to the survival of the Ayatollah Khamenei’s regime. It’s still a long shot, but the elimination of Soleimani could ultimately mean a free Iran.

Other Democrats are responding to charges that President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran bankrolled the regime with money Soleimani used to kill Americans and others, and that Tehran used also it for the very missiles it just shot at U.S. forces, by splitting hairs. The negotiator of that deal as Obama’s secretary of state, John Kerry, now canvassing for Joe Biden, said, “We were trying to take the nuclear weapon off the table first and then negotiate Yemen, Hezbollah, threats against Israel, the regional question of trafficking of arms.” So much for good intentions.

But CBS’s Margaret Brennan – whom Kerry tried to ingratiate by repeatedly telling her “you’re an expert” – played video of Kerry in 2016 conceding that “some of it (the tens of billions of dollars of frozen Iranian assets) will end up in the hands of the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, within which Soleimani’s Quds Force is contained) or of other entities, some of which are labeled terrorist … I’m sure at some point some of it will.”

Labeled terrorist. As if there is any dispute that blowing up U.S. troops in Iraq is a terrorist activity.

Add to this Fox’s in-house voice leaning left, Juan Williams, making pains on Sunday to say that the tens of billions Iran got from Obama “was their money.”

If these talking points are the best ammo Trump’s critics have against his audacious, often-unconventional foreign policy, they’ll find they’ve lost the electoral war long before November.

— 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!

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.


I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • I believe that it was the political leadership in Tehran that betrayed Suleimani to the U.S. He was the biggest impediment to peace in the region and for the IR to survive in the 21st century, Suleimani had to be eliminated.

  • “ As if there is any dispute that blowing up U.S. troops in Iraq is a terrorist activity.”

    I’m not sure why killing enemy troops in a war zone should be called ‘terrorism’.

    I’d call it an act of war.

    Since 1979 the Iranian government has said it will destroy the US and our ally Israel. They have acted on that, if not successfully.

    Why call killing enemy troops terrorism? The only reason I can think of is that calling it war would clarify the issue and lead to the US responding.

  • The dems just keep getting more and more pathetic. How low can they go? I think before the election we’ll get to see…they are despicable.

    • I suspect we are going to see the ugliest, most dishonest, and likely the most violent election campaign season in living memory.

      • Neither the campaigns nor the election are the worries, it’s the day after Trump wins by a landslide. The left lost its sh*t the last time he won, this time will be far worse I fear. With the media along for the ride, continuing to stoke the flames of hatred and division in hopes of attracting advertising revenue.

        Above times two if Nancy looses her gavel a second time.

  • This was a VERY Smart Move, killing just these 5 People has put the Iranians in Shock, then the morons shot down a civilian plane full of citizens, now the Citizens want New Leadership

  • And yet, none here Mr. Trump, among your ex-Tea Party type supporters, can hold a cogent thought; hence, they ignore what they themselves proved is unique about the USA a decade ago: process matters in the USA.

    They proved it to the last administration with their grassroots outrage and town hall brohahas durng the ugly Obama Care fight and in the wake of the equally ugly, and of course sadly necessary, bailout and stimulus process.

    Slam dunk or no (in their opinion), the needle doesn’t move for you, oh Pompous One, anymore and ir mgrinding their teeth about it.

    So because of your lyin’ and falsifyin’, a majority of American people don’t believe you, oh Pompous One, on your impeachment defense; your blocking through the Senate stooge Majority Leader of witnesses at a valid trial; nor your explanations on the Suleimani killing.

    Once again, the Democrats aren’t damaged by

    • (cont.) their lack of organized response on the Iran issue and now inevitable cracks are beginning to show with Congressional supporters with the courageous opposition by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah to the sham “briefing”. It won’t be the last.

      (apologies from this poster for the last incomplete and mid-revision post due to accidentally striking the “submit” button.)

      • We we didn’t need to see the rest, Warren. This kind of drivel and Democrat double standards aren’t new to us. You should have left it unfinished.

        ”Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.” Mark Twain (?)

  • Obama emboldened our enemies, they knew he was a push over and they were proved right! They may hate Trump but he also scares them to death. By the way I would just love to see the democrats try to add Trump’s take out of Soleimani as another point on his worthless “impeachment”, because if you think the democrats look stupid now just imagine how they would look if they tried that to!

    • Right. Cowardice is provocative and Obama was an obvious coward in the eyes of America’s enemies.

  • What does it say about them that Iranian protesters are more respectful of the flag than the democrats.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!
%d bloggers like this: