Our View | Taking the American Side in Iran Dispute

By The Signal Editorial Board

In a nation deeply divided by partisanship, few things are surprising anymore. Yet it’s still disturbing to see the reactions of some Democrats in Washington who blame the president for the latest episodes in our nation’s long-running conflict with Iran. 

In some cases, we have to wonder whose side they’re on. It should be the American side. Yet, we hear from politicians on the left and commentators in mainstream media who seem more concerned about the well-being of Iran than about Americans, particularly our service members in harm’s way. 

When President Trump authorized the airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, it was not the start of a new conflict, regardless of Democratic rhetoric saying otherwise. 

This was not the first punch. It was a counterpunch — arguably an overdue one, coming on the heels of many Iranian offenses that have cost hundreds, even thousands of lives. 

Soleimani’s rap sheet as a terrorist operating with state backing would fill a legal pad. The State Department announced last year that operations he has led in Iraq since 2003 have killed more than 600 U.S. military personnel.

That’s approximately one in six of the U.S. combat fatalities in Iraq during that time.

He was a military target, reportedly planning yet another attack on U.S. assets and personnel. The airstrike took him out, and in an instant the world was a slightly better place. 

Then, when Iran lobbed a dozen or so cruise missiles toward U.S. military installations in Iraq — thankfully, inflicting no casualties — many Democrats essentially said, “We deserved it. And it’s Trump’s fault.”

Yes, the left hates Trump so much they are siding with our enemy. In fact, Democrats in their talking points were all too eager to adopt the Iran regime’s characterization of the attack on Soleimani as an “assassination.” By actively engaging in attacks on U.S. targets, Soleimani made himself a legitimate military target. 

There is, apparently, no limit to their partisan eagerness to blame anything and everything on Trump. 

There comes a point where we should all be on the same side, regardless of party affiliation. Whose lives do you value more — those of American soldiers, or Iranian generals who wage state-sponsored terrorism? Whose interests matter more — those of the United States or those of a regime that has repeatedly flouted the rules of law and human decency?

Whose side are you on, anyway?

It should be a non-partisan issue: We should all be on the American side.

Iran has committed multiple acts of war against the U.S. through years of terrorist acts, and most recently through its surrogates attacking the American embassy in Baghdad.

Just the attack on the embassy alone — which is sovereign U.S. territory — is an act of war.

Iran has been escalating this conflict for the past year, and all along Trump showed amazing restraint. But he drew a line in the sand: Don’t kill Americans.

When they crossed it, he acted, and sent a message to Iran and the world, including nations that may be thinking about testing U.S. resolve: We mean what we say.

This stands in stark contrast to former President Obama, who drew his line in the sand several times and did nothing — most famously with Syria — leaving him with absolutely no credibility.

This time around, Iran recognized they had poked the bear one too many times. Iran’s response to the Soleimani killing was clearly designed as a face-saving measure only. No Americans were killed and damage was minimal. They knew not to cross Trump’s line in the sand.

We should all unite under a very simple doctrine: That if you kill Americans, you will be killed. 

This makes us all safer — everywhere in the world. 

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