Iran’s violent and aggressive posture towards the US has resulted in an exchange of relatively minor attacks during the past week, and a strong reaction from many in the region. Increased military action on both sides was, and is, inevitable, based upon the rhetoric emanating from both parties, and to a great extent, Iranian attempts to create instability in the Middle East.
A US strike with drones was conducted against an Iranian-backed militia group in Iraq. President Trump ordered it in response to the murder of an American contractor in the country. The drone killed 24 insurgents along with Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, an Iranian terrorist who has targeted Americans in the region.
Trump said the strike was ordered “to stop a war and to prevent future attacks on Americans.” He also said “Suliemani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”
This all raises the question of whether a US president has the authority to hunt down killers like Suleimani. The US did the same and captured Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. They were either brought to justice and executed or killed on the spot.
There was no outrage from the opposing political party in the US or from the press at the time. Why are Trump’s motivations and actions always under such negative scrutiny? Is it possible that Democrats and their liberal press allies are siding with the maniacal actions and ideology of Iran?
Although it is difficult to believe, Trump also indicated that he’s not trying to encourage regime change in Iran. Rather, he call for Iran’s “aggression in the region to end immediately.” In fact Trump should be doing everything in his power to stymie the efforts of Iran to build a nuclear bomb and to destabilize the Middle East. He cannot allow Iran Shiites to dominate the region and persecute Sunnis and other religious groups.
There is little doubt that the trajectory of the US/Iran relationship is moving towards greater conflict. Iran will continue to conduct violent operations in Iraq (which for some reason believes having Iranian militias in the country is better than having American peacekeepers), and elsewhere in the region that soon should provoke even greater and more violent responses from the US.
The real problem for Iran is the abrogation of Obama’s nuclear treaty and economic sanctions. The former makes Iran vulnerable to an all-out assault by the US when and if Trump decides that Iran is close to building a deliverable nuclear strike, thereby threatening other non-Shiite countries including Israel.
The latter, economic sanctions, are decimating Iran, especially restrictions relating to oil production and sales. In fact regime change will most likely be greatly influenced by the total economic failure of Iran.
In the meantime Iran will utilize social media and staged protests against America. The Iranians have employed high tech criminals to foment anti-American sentiment on the Internet. And it will probably attempt to employ cyber warfare tactics to disrupt our elections an/or private industry in the US.
During this time of strife, nuclear threats, cyber attacks and social media activity, it is unwise to do anything less than support Trump as he deals with our greatest enemy, Iran. In the past the press has moderated its criticism, as did Congress. They should allow Trump and his intelligence advisors to address the Iranian threat. To this point Trump has responded with restraint, which will need to change as Iran strives to create more hostility in various hot spots throughout the Middle East.