In the meantime, here are a couple of points to consider:
Firstly, our disregard over the sovereignty of another country. Admittedly, this is a bit cloudy due to our presence in Iraq, but considering we would not stand for the killing of one of our on either our own soil or that of a third party, we need to consider the ramifications of this decision moving forward.
Furthermore, the weak argument equating this to the shooting down of Admiral Yamamato’s plane in 1943 ignores the fact that a state of war existed between the United States and Japan. If the argument is that a state of war exists with Iran as some extension of the “war on terror,” that argument needs to be made.
Secondly, the Democrat’s argument it should have been in the loop and only Congress could make the decision is hollow and disingenuous, considering the rubber stamp it gave the previous administration’s drone war. Now, did it err all those years ago in giving presidents a blank check to wage a “war on terror,” abdicating its constitutional authority? Yes. But it gave Mr. Trump this discretion, so it needs to live with it.
The fact we live in a world where golf buddies at Mar-a-Lago are more in the loop than congress is lamentable, but not at all surprising given its outright partisanship and, of course, the president’s need to boast to an audience.
Thirdly, this puts paid to any thoughts of the nuclear agreement. While I think most would admit Iran had little intention of sticking to the letter of the agreement, it did curb its nuclear ambitions to an extent. Now, with any possibility of monitoring out the window, the brakes are off. Decidedly less safe.
All that out of the way, we should be able to agree this man had a lot of our blood on his hands. This is the man behind the explosive devices that maimed and killed so many of our soldiers in Iraq. No one should be shedding a tear for him. In the grand scheme, the world is a better place without him. Yet, the fact that the previous two administrations chose not to take this route, a decision even the traditionally aggressive Benjamin Netanyahu honored, should give us pause.
The best situations are those where you are either in control, or have a good idea about the worse-case scenario. We have bolstered forces in the Middle East and curbed other operations to prepare for a retaliation in the wake of this decision, but, the simple fact is, we have no idea what the reaction is going to be.
Would it be war? Doubtful, despite absurd fears of the institution of the draft. Though Iran possesses one of the stronger militaries in the region, superior to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, it would be suicidal to try to go toe-to-toe with the military might of the United States. Iran seems far more pragmatic.
Will Iran then decide to roll over and take it? Impossible. Aside from the obvious, that “this can not stand,” the killing has unified a populace that just last month was protesting, iprotests that were quelled, ironically, by none other than Qassem Soleimani. Revenge, now promised, must be extracted.
That leaves an attack — either on a military target or a civilian one. And that’s where the cost of the president’s comes to play.
How many lives will be exchanged for eliminating this man? Will it be our men and women of the armed forces who will once again be asked to pay that cost? Or perhaps it will be civilians? Hopefully, we’ll be surprised and find there was no cost to it, and it will be well worth it to have him off the field. But were I a betting man, I wouldn’t take that bet. There will be a price to pay.
It’s a simple equation. How many lives will it cost? How many potentially would have been at risk had we not pulled the trigger? When we know those answers, then we can make the determination whether the action was justified.
All this waving the flag for polarized, partisan political gain and braggadocio is unbecoming. We need to be better than that. One day, we will all have to look people dead in the eye and say, “I’m sorry, but your was worth it to kill this man.”