Americans were once known to have a high degree of respect for the office of the presidency, irrespective of who was the current incumbent. In particular, there was a bipartisan understanding that ‘like him or not,’ he is the elected commander in chief. When Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu was asked by Congress to address them in March 2005 to discuss the topic of the imminent Iranian nuclear threat, many democrats decried the invitation, and the speech, as an affront to the presidency. Today, no more. The New York Times is of course no fan of Mr. Trump, but these days they appear to be very tame when compared to the vitriol coming out of CNN, whose journalists and anchors can’t literally go an hour without attacking, criticising, ridiculing, and disparaging their sitting president. Of course, Trump is no saint and he has faults of his own for discrediting his credibility, for which he should be appropriately criticised. The problem is that when the discredit came from a democratic president who violates the ‘sanctity’ of the Oval Office, or the other one who drew red lines and then forgot about them, we didn’t hear the respective voices or the pens of Wolf Blitzer, Roger Cohen and Thomas Friedman scolding them in anything close to the same way they daily abuse the 45th President.
Until not so long ago, it was considered bad practice to in any way criticise a President during a war or even a foreign military operation. Right or wrong it’s my country. No more.
Despite the fact that the repercussions of the bringing to justice arch terrorist Suleimani have so far been much better that one could expect (see about it below), the usual liberals can’t help themselves in trying to find ways to criticise the Administration. The Democrats and the media are excruciating to cross examine administration officials to look for the ‘real’ reason, or lack thereof, behind the decision to take out the Iranian general at large. Where was the evidence that American lives were at imminent risk? Which embassies were being targeted? How credible was the intelligence?
This is the macro equivalent of today’s practice in many western countries to prosecute householders who hit back at thieves and criminals who break into their property: why did the shoot? Was the intruder really dangerous? Wasn’t there another way to stop him?
The same back seat drivers will then spill hypocritical tears after terrorist attacks happen and innocent victims die: imagine if 9/11 could have been avoided by taking out the terrorists before they acted, based on compelling but perhaps not ‘liberal-proof’ evidence.
The world is a dangerous place, there are many bad players and bad states around. Ignoring evil or turning the other cheek is not going to stop tomorrow’s mass murderers, armed with lethal weapons. On the contrary, teaching them a lesson, making them think twice about moving freely, and showing terrorists and rogue countries that there are going to be consequences for foul play, will act as a deterrent. Consider the aftermath of Suleiman’s death:
- Iran probably had to beg the Americans, via swiss channels, to let them strike at an empty airbase to pretend it was taking vengeance
- Scores of Iranians died in the funeral processions
- Iran downs a civilian jet, denies it did it for days and then has to admit responsibility after overwhelming evidence shows it lied through its teeth
- The real Iranian street is furious and calls for death to its dictators
- And counting…
Not bad for what an American Senator had the guile to call ‘the act that made America impotent!’