On the Brink of Peace

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Many of the previous foreign policy makers of our country have turned a blind-eye to the evil that has emanated from Iran over the years. A glance back helps to explain where we are now, how we got here, and what we need to do moving forward.

The year was 1979. Fifty-two of our people were being held hostage in a U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Our own would be forced to endure captivity for over a year.

The Iranian regime had claimed that Americans were being held by a group of “students.” This would be the first of many falsehoods to come. The truth was the real hostage takers were actually armed personnel who reported to dictator Ayatollah Khomeini.

Iran adopted a strategy of attacking the United States and her allies in an indirect manner, thereby making things appear to be something other than what they actually were. Plotting continued over the years via the application of a deceitful formula that used proxies, militias, terrorist organizations, and the like as covers behind which the country could slyly hide.

The scheme ultimately expanded into an enterprise of indirect warfare led by international war criminal and terrorist Qasem Soleimani. It would tragically remain in place. But thanks to action taken by President Donald Trump, which culminated in a precision drone strike, Soleimani’s sinister reign came to an end.

For those who dispassionately examine the facts, the take-down of Soleimani is good news, not only for the Middle East, but for the world. As the architect of the Iranian effort to exert influence outside of the country’s borders, under his diabolical direction roadside bombs were provided to Sunni terrorists, support was supplied and advice was given to the terrorist group Hezbollah, a civil war in Yemen was fomented, and Shiite militias were used to attack U.S. personnel and interests.

Soleimani planned and implemented almost all of the terrorist attacks of the Iranian regime and its proxy groups across the globe. The Shiite terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East were under his control. He and his proxy groups were behind the flow of IEDs to Iraq and Afghanistan, he used rooftop snipers in both Iran and Iraq to kill protesters who were demonstrating, and on and on it went.

Much as it did with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in labeling him an “austere religious scholar,” The Washington Post called international terrorist Soleimani a “most revered military leader.” Rather than revered, the overwhelming majority of Iranians viewed him as a brutal participant of an oppressive regime.

Mere days before Soleimani was removed by the American military, he appeared to be trying to conjure up a sequel to the above referenced hostage crisis of 1979. But this time around, instead of “students” Soleimani used “protesters” to attack a U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

President Trump’s action in removing Soleimani stands in stark contrast to the feeble policies of past administrations toward Iran. This, in part, may explain why Democrat lawmakers and former Obama administration officials displayed such inexplicable and over-the-top public reactions to President Trump’s Iranian action.

Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi used language that implied a war crime had been committed. She additionally used a legislative session to pass an unconstitutional resolution to place restraints on presidential power.

Former Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, who was instrumental in the promotion of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, came forward to claim that President Trump’s action would lead to war. He wrote via his Twitter account that the drone strike on a terrorist leader “is a really frightening moment…”

Former Obama Defense Department official Kelly Magsamen tweeted that she was “honestly terrified” and sent up an additional prayer petition of “God help us.”

While at a recent campaign event for Democrat 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, former Obama secretary of state John Kerry weighed in with his assessment of President Trump’s decision, characterizing it as a “tragedy” and stating the following: “If this develops into a tit for tat increased effort, it will become a war that is needless, it didn’t have to happen, and it will be a reckless war of choice by the president of the United States.”

Interestingly, in a recent appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Kerry was asked about his role in releasing billions of dollars to Iran while serving in the Obama administration. He responded to the question with a non-responsive reference to the president’s tweet on the subject.

He had admitted to CNBC back in 2016 that “some” of the money would end up in the hands of “entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.”

Fast forward to 2020. When asked in the above referenced CBS appearance why he believed the release of the money was a risk worth taking, Kerry failed to respond, choosing to attack the president instead. He never did explain why he authorized giving a lawless regime an extraordinary amount of money without knowing where the funds would end up.

President Trump has been remarkably consistent. He has shown a great deal of restraint in his use of limited targeted action, while still displaying strength and resolve. It is clear from Iran’s failed missile attack against U.S. forces in Iraq that the regime has a healthy fear of the Trump administration. And so it should.

In the aftermath of the Soleimani saga, a healthy fear is precisely what is needed to keep our country and the world solidly on the brink of peace.

The Trump Doctrine in Real Time

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The mainstream news and entertainment media are once again in a frenzy trying to figure out what just happened on the world stage and how they can make the latest Trump victory look like a loss.

The president does not expect to receive accolades for his successes from those who have hated from the start. No credit given for the safe return of hostages, no singing his praises for facilitating the meet-up between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, no congrats for making changes in trade policy that resulted in better deals for average working folks, and on and on.

But prominent among President Trump’s many accomplishments is the re-building of the United States military and the re-shaping of our foreign policy. The president’s approach to national security issues has at times been referred to as the “Trump Doctrine.” With the recent turn of events, however, it has become enshrined.

A brief explanation of terminology. The sum and substance of an administration’s foreign policy carries the label given by analysts and experts of “presidential doctrine.”

A presidential doctrine serves an important purpose; that being, to inform the public and signal to the world the manner in which foreign affairs will be conducted in accordance with a president’s worldview. It is essentially a summarization of the distinctive approach taken by the president to the nation’s relations with other nations.

The U.S. air strike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and Kataib Hezbollah leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes has spelled out the Trump Doctrine in a way that the president’s detractors, and thankfully America’s enemies, did not expect.

It may have come as a surprise to Bret Stephens, who wrote a biting critique of President Trump in the New York Times back in September of 2019. In his piece, he catalogued the ever increasing attacks purportedly made by Iran against the U.S. and its allies. The attacks included six on tankers, a shoot-down of a U.S. surveillance drone, the seizure of a British ship and its crew, and strikes on oil processing facilities that halted half of the Saudi’s critical oil production.

Stephens claimed in his article that the Trump administration was “bluffing” in its condemnation of Iran and characterized the administration’s position as “weakness masked in bluster.” His critique was written prior to the time Iran committed an act of war by attacking a U.S. embassy.

Two simple phrases have been used to describe President Trump’s foreign policy: “principled realism” and “America First.” The president himself has articulated these concepts in formal speeches, press conferences, verbal statements, campaign rallies, and the like. Half the country understands exactly what he is saying and enthusiastically supports him in his efforts.

The Trump Doctrine is simple and honest in its content and end goal. It embodies the notion that our country is best served by putting the interests of our own people first.

It also brings to a screeching halt a worldview that seeks multilateralism, celebrates the demise of sovereignty, and embraces the practice of appeasement.

After Iran committed an act of war by orchestrating the attack on our embassy, the targeted limited action in which the Trump administration engaged was the correct approach in dealing with the rogue state. The administration sought real deterrence yet did not seek an escalation of military conflict. It was, and remains, the only option with which we could defend ourselves while simultaneously sending the necessary message.

There is another thread that quietly winds its way through the Trump Doctrine.

The president built his field of dreams before stepping on that escalator. With fame and fortune already in hand, unlike others before him, he views his options with clearer eyes. Unclouded by concerns that produce weakness, he projects a strength that springs from a genuine love of the country.

That’s the Trump Doctrine in real time.