Soleimani

Poll: Majority of Americans Support Trump Decision to Eliminate Qasem Soleimani

A majority of Americans approve of President Donald Trump’s decision to eliminate Iran terror commander Qasem Soleimani, according to a ABC News/Washington Post poll. Fifty-three percent of Americans approved of Trump ordering a drone strike that killed Soleimani while 41 percent did not approve. The results mark a stunning defeat for Democrats running for president, all of whom denounced the decision as the establishment media flamed fears of World War III. “President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox,” former Vice President Joe Biden said after the strike. “We could be on the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East.” “Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars,” Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote in response. Trump won approval from 86 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 24 percent of Democrats. Forty-seven percent of voters said Trump was handling Iran “about right” while only 42 percent said the president was “too aggressive.” Five percent said Trump was “too cautious” with the rogue nation. When asked how they felt about Trump’s handling of Iran overall, voters were more mixed. Forty-five percent supported the president and 47 percent disapproved. It’s still a sharp contrast from voters’ view of former President Barack Obama’s handling of Iran. In a July 2015 poll, only 35 percent supported his policy with Iran while 52 percent disapproved. The poll surveyed 1,004 American adults with a 3.5 points percent margin of error.

And keep in mind that poll was conducted by two very liberal news media; ABC News and the Washington Post.

Analysis: Enemy Combatant Terror Commanders Are Fair Game

Last week, Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a targeted strike by U.S. forces authorized by President Trump. This preemptive attack has spawned a curious debate over whether Soleimani posed an imminent threat at the time he was taken out. The suggestion, mainly by partisan Democrats, is that it was illegitimate for the president to use lethal force without congressional authorization absent proof that Soleimani was on the cusp of killing Americans — or, better, killing even more Americans. The debate puts me in mind of the early-to-mid 1990s, when our counterterrorism laws were dangerously flawed. Back then, sensible Democrats — as most of them were — knew that these defects had to be addressed. Rather than sound like apologists for anti-American jihadists, they took admirably expeditious action. The problem emerged in the investigation of the proto-Qaeda terror network guided by the so-called Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman. I was then a federal prosecutor and took over that investigation in Spring 1993. At the time, having just bombed the World Trade Center, the jihadists were actively plotting something even more monstrous: simultaneous attacks on the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels and the United Nations complex on Manhattan’s east side. The jihadists were also scouting additional landmarks in the city, including U.S. military facilities and the FBI’s downtown headquarters. We knew about the plot — and were in a position to thwart it — because we had a confidential informant. (Back then, neither he nor anyone else got the sniffles over the media’s labeling him a “spy.”) Emad Salem, a former Egyptian military officer, had infiltrated the cell and covertly recorded discussions with the Blind Sheikh about the desirability of bombing U.S. armed forces. Like the Shiite Iranian regime (longtime supporters of Sunni al-Qaeda and Hamas, as well as Shiite Hezbollah), Abdel Rahman, a renowned Sunni sharia scholar, recommended that Muslims put aside their internecine conflicts when it came to fighting America, “the Great Satan.” In the early-to-mid 90s, the United States thankfully did not have extensive experience with international terrorist attacks on the homeland, certainly not the systematic use of mass-murder attacks as a method of prosecuting war that we’ve seen in the last quarter-century. This meant that our legal architecture was sorely lacking. That was a significant defect, given that the government was determined to treat this national-security challenge as if it were a mere crime problem. There were anomalies. If, for example, terrorists successfully detonated an explosive, as they did in the 1993 WTC attack (killing six, including a woman about to give birth, injuring hundreds, and causing massive property damage), we had a bombing statute that prescribed an appropriately severe penalty: life imprisonment. But there was no federal bombing-conspiracy statute. Consequently, any bombing plot had to be charged under the catch-all federal conspiracy statute. Generally applicable to less serious offenses, it makes sundry conspiracies punishable by no more than five years, and as little as no imprisonment. In other words, if jihadists killed a few people, you could put them away forever; but if they were stopped while plotting to kill 10,000 people, the penalty was illusory. In effect, our investigators were penalized for doing their jobs well. There was something of a fall-back position, though it further illuminated the flaws in our criminal code — and, analogously, the foolishness of today’s debate over whether a suspected attack is sufficiently imminent to warrant responding with force. Terrorists who’d been stopped could be charged with attempted bombing, which carried a possible penalty of up to ten years’ imprisonment — still inadequate, but better than zero to five years. Yet there was a catch. Court decisions, even in the bombing context, made proving the crime of attempt much harder than it should have been. Evidence was deemed insufficient unless prosecutors could establish that the suspects had taken enough actions in furtherance of a bombing to meet the legal threshold of a “substantial step.” So . . . what was a substantial step? Was discussing a bombing enough? How about conducting surveillance of a target? Purchasing bomb components? Did it matter whether the plotters had done bombings in the past? No one could really be sure. In effect, the question became: Did it seem, under the circumstances, that the bombing was imminent? On this calculus, even evidence of implacable terrorist hostility and a commitment to use force would not be sufficient to prove an attempted bombing. Investigators would need, in addition, evidence that the plotters were so far along in their planning that we could conclude an attack would have happened if the police had not interrupted it. Consider the perverse incentive this legal framework created. If investigators were fortunate enough to be in a position to stop a mass-murder attack and round up the jihadists, the law nevertheless encouraged them to let the plot continue, right up to the moment before detonation if possible, to ensure that a “substantial step” had been proved. Of course, even if they have an inside cooperator, investigators are never in complete control of a criminal enterprise. The last stage of a plot is the time when plotters may speed up matters to avoid getting caught in possession of incriminating evidence. The higher-ups are apt to flee before the strike, so they’ll be beyond capture when the lower-ranking plotters set off the explosion. The chance that a bombing will happen increases immensely if investigators are discouraged from taking decisive preemptive action that a court may later second-guess as premature. This is one reason (of many) that international terrorism is best regarded as a military threat rather than a criminal prosecution issue. It is one thing to agitate about whether the proof of an attempt is good enough when, if the agents lose control of the situation, the only danger is that a few victims will be defrauded or robbed. It is quite another thing when jihadists are projecting power on the scale of a national military force. That risk is unacceptable. It is interesting to contrast the mid Nineties to today. Back then, most Democrats were committed to the law-enforcement approach to counterterrorism. While you can debate the wisdom of that, those Democrats were at least serious about making sure that court prosecution was as effective as it could possibly be. In the 1996 overhaul of counterterrorism law, the Clinton White House and Justice Department worked closely with a Republican-controlled Congress. They not only addressed the flaws that made uncompleted bombing plots so challenging to prosecute. They also defined new crimes tailored to how modern international terrorism actually works. These improvements enabled investigators to thwart plots in their infancy; we were also empowered to starve jihadist organizations of funding, personnel, and materiel. The bipartisan message was loud and clear: We want terrorists aggressively prosecuted but, even more, we want our agents to have the tools to prevent plots and attacks from taking shape in the first place. Where is that message today? In neutralizing terrorists and their state sponsors, the venerable law of war is, to my mind, a necessary complement, if not a preferable alternative, to the criminal law. One of many reasons is that, when an enemy is making war on the United States, there is no need to wait for an attack to be imminent in order to justify a defensive, preemptive strike. General Soleimani was an enemy combatant commander for the Iranian regime and the jihadist terror networks it uses in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere. For more than 40 years, Iran has unabashedly pronounced itself as at war with the United States. It has conducted major attacks that have killed hundreds of Americans. In just the past few weeks, Iran’s jihadist militias attacked American bases in and around Baghdad eleven times. Reports of intelligence indicating that Soleimani was planning more attacks in the near term are surely credible. Legally, though, they are beside the point. Soleimani was a proper target regardless of the evidence that any new attack was imminent. The real question is: Why is imminence even an issue? This is not a close call. We are talking about one of the most notorious mass-murderers of Americans on the planet, the top combatant commander of the regime that proudly tells the world its motto is “Death to America.” Why would we want to raise an abstruse question that would make eliminating such a monster more difficult? In the Obama years, Democrats were happy to line up in support of unprovoked U.S. attacks on Libya. The use of lethal force was not authorized by Congress, and Americans were not being threatened. Now, because the president at the helm is Donald Trump, they want to quibble over whether the latest Iranian atrocities and U.S. intelligence were a sufficiently flashing neon sign that more atrocities were imminent? That is irresponsible. In the 1990s, Democrats understood that we needed to fix our laws to make it easier to eliminate threats to attack the United States, regardless of whether they were about to occur or hadn’t even gotten beyond the recruitment-and-training phase. Maybe those Democrats make themselves heard only when one of their own is in the White House. Right now, though, we need to pull together as a united front against an Iranian enemy that could not be clearer about its murderous intentions. Yes, we’re in a period of extreme partisanship. That is no excuse for playing politics with our security.

Agreed!!  And well said, Andrew.  Attorney and former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy is the author of that well thought out, and at times tedious, legal analysis.  Bottom line…  President Trump had every legal authority to take out Soleimani.  So, don’t believe a single thing you hear to the contrary by posturing Democrats and the hypocritical anti-Trump idiots suffering from non-stop Trump Derangement Syndrome over at CNN and MSNBC.  Had Obama ordered that strike they would have said it was “bold;” not reckless, etc.  Anyway, we also posted another legal article by attorney Gregg Jarrett.  Scroll down about 13 articles or so for that one to get his input as well.  Thanks Andrew!!    🙂

Opinion/Analysis: Colin Kaepernick’s Stupid Lie About America

In the torrent of idiotic commentary unleashed by the killing of Qasem Soleimani, Colin Kaepernick’s deserves a place of honor. The NFL washout and Nike persona who makes sure the company doesn’t produce any overly patriotic sneakers tweeted, “There is nothing new about American terrorist attacks against Black and Brown people for the expansion of American imperialism.” For Kaepernick, Soleimani is just another dark-skinned man brutalized by the United States. The Iranian terror master was, in effect, driving while nonwhite and paid the ultimate price. For all we know, the operator of the MQ-9 Reaper drone that took him out was making a white-supremacy hand signal while unleashing this racist attack. This interpretation of events takes identity politics to a whole new level, defining the blood-drenched hit man for a terrorist, profoundly anti-Semitic, deeply intolerant theocracy as a victim, based on his skin color alone. Obviously, no one will mistake Colin Kaepernick for an original thinker; he’s only repeating things he’s read or been told, in a slightly more lurid form. His worldview is disproportionately represented in academia and on the left, which objects to calling Soleimani a monster (hence, Elizabeth Warren’s pathetic backtracking after forthrightly condemning Soleimani in her initial statement). It is certainly true that racism has had a large hand in U.S. foreign policy through much of our history. We drove Native Americans from their lands, in part based on racial animus. Thomas Jefferson refused to recognize an independent Haiti after a successful slave revolt, for fear it would fuel insurrections here. The American South coveted lands in Latin America prior to the Civil War, seeking more territory for slavery. After World War I, Woodrow Wilson opposed a racial-equality proposal made by Japan at the Paris Peace Conference. All of this, and more, is a stain on our nation’s history, but to consider racism the chief principle of a rapacious U.S. foreign policy is reductive, malicious, dishonest, and incredibly stupid. The fact is, and counter to the Left’s typical narrative, racism acted more as a brake on American expansion rather than an accelerant. Anti-imperialists didn’t want to incorporate more nonwhite people into the United States. This is a reason that we didn’t acquire more territory after the Mexican-American War, and the land we took control of tended to be lightly populated by native Mexicans. In his study of the aggressively expansionist period at the end of the 19th century, the historian Eric T. Love writes that “race ideas were used most openly, aggressively, and effectively by the enemies of imperialism.” More to the point, the U.S. engaged in titanic struggles in the 20th century against Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union, none of which were brown or black. Enormous resources of blood and treasure were poured into stopping these truly imperialist powers from subjecting foreign peoples to their rule. The United States opposed European colonialism, and its biggest wars since World War II were fought shoulder to shoulder with Asian people in Korea and Vietnam who didn’t want to be overrun by rival Asians allied with totalitarian powers. In the more immediate, post-9/11 period, we toppled the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. These were interventions motivated by national interest, but also optimistic and idealistic to a fault. Viewing these conflicts through a racial prism requires ignoring that the Taliban and Saddam overwhelmingly killed, tortured, and repressed other nonwhite people. The same is obviously true of Qasem Soleimani. He has prodigious amounts of American blood on his hands (of Americans of all races and creeds), but he mainly killed other people in the Middle East — Syrians opposed to Bashar al-Assad, Iraqis protesting Iranian influence, anyone who got in the way of the Iranian imperial project. His end is a boon to humanity, which should be obvious to anyone who’s not drunk on ideology or racial obsessions.

Agreed..  Thanks to Rich Lowry for that piece.  Rich kinda went off into a bit of a rabbit hole toward the end of that piece.  But, the first part was spot-on.  Colin is another spectacular idiot that gets far too much press..  He’s one of those types, kinda like Hillary, we all wish would just go away.

Trump gives Congress justification for strike, shields document from public

President Trump officially notified Congress on Saturday of the drone missile strike that killed a top Iranian general in Iraq, in a move that checks off a key legal box but left Democrats with even more questions about the president’s motives. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the notification is classified, so the details can’t be made public. She called that a “highly unusual” move that shields an important conversation from public view. “This document prompts serious and urgent questions about the timing, manner and justification of the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran,” the California Democrat said. The missile strike assassinated Qassem Soleimani, who as head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is blamed for orchestrating terrorist attacks and insurgencies that have cost American lives. Few Americans defend the general. But Mrs. Pelosi called killing him “provocative, escalatory and disproportionate.” “This initiation of hostilities was taken without an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran, without the consultation of the Congress and without the articulation of a clear and legitimate strategy to either the Congress or the public,” she said. The administration says it had the power to conduct the strikes under the 2002 AUMF approved by Congress to permit then-President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. White House and Defense Department officials say Soleimani was actively plotting more attacks that could have killed Americans. No specifics have been revealed. Saturday’s notification came under the War Powers Resolution, a 1970s-era law that governs how presidents are to conduct military operations short of a declaration of war by the Congress.

Opinion/Analysis: In ordering Soleimani killing, Trump acting correctly, decisively and constitutionally

President Trump ordered an airstrike that killed the notorious Iranian terrorist, Qassem Soleimani, who murdered hundreds of Americans. The President was constitutionally empowered to do so. Democrats, of course, reflexively whined that Trump abused his powers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s predictable, Pavlovian response was to complain that the president acted without authorization from Congress. He did, indeed, because he needs no such authorization. Article II of the Constitution vests “executive power” in the president of the United States. As commander in chief of our armed forces, the president is granted broad and substantive authority to deploy military forces overseas to ensure U.S. national security and protect American lives. This is implicit within the vesting clause of the Constitution. On the president’s orders and without congressional permission, our military can engage hostile forces for these purposes. Exigent circumstances often demand immediate action. The delay caused by protracted congressional approval is both unworkable and dangerous. Express consent from Congress is required only “to declare war.” This is derived from Article I of the Constitution – which, unlike presidential powers, confines legislative powers to those “herein granted.” It serves as the basic framework that has enabled all past presidents to act unilaterally and swiftly when serious threats arise, but where a formal declaration of war is not merited. Trump’s action was entirely consistent with decisions made by his predecessors. Presidents have a fundamental duty to act quickly in the face of foreign aggression that jeopardizes both lives and U.S. national security interests. Until his hand was forced, Trump showed remarkable restraint. He did not retaliate with military action months ago when Iran shot down a U.S. drone or attacked oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman or fired rockets into an installation housing American military personnel. One can argue that his forbearance only emboldened Iran’s belligerence. The equation changed when Soleimani directed his terrorist militias to lay siege to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, threatening American lives. This was preceded by a militia attack on a military base that wounded U.S. troops and killed an American contractor – again, orchestrated by the terror leader. Soleimani, who was there in Baghdad commanding these terror operations, was poised to murder more. According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump’s decision to take out the terror leader disrupted another “imminent attack” and “saved American lives.” Soleimani “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq,” the Pentagon revealed. The risk of doing nothing was enormous, Pompeo added. Ordering a military attack without congressional permission is not without considerable historical precedent. President Ronald Reagan launched air strikes against Libya in 1986, as did President Barack Obama in 2011. President Bill Clinton undertook a bombing campaign in Yugoslavia in 1999. In each of these actions, the War Powers Act of 1973 was disregarded or otherwise violated. Meant as a congressional check on the president’s military authority by imposing some restrictions, its constitutionality remains unresolved and it has never been consistently enforced. More relevant, however, is the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress in 2001. It gave then-President George W. Bush expansive authority to wage military campaigns against enemies connected to the 9/11 attacks. The opaque language of the AUMF has empowered every president since then to continue the war against terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Given that Soleimani was head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force that was designated by the U.S. in 2007 as a foreign terrorist organization, and given that he was operating in Iraq directing terror attacks against Americans, President Trump would be on firm legal ground to assert justification for his killing under the AUMF. Democrats like Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut are stricken with a combination of schizophrenia and hysteria. While admitting Soleimani “was an enemy of the United States,” Murphy suggested Trump was “knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war.” Murphy’s dire prediction (or pessimism) is far from certain. Does Murphy prefer that the terrorist leader, who is estimated by the Pentagon to have killed 608 American troops, remain at large to continue his murder spree? Does the senator have no confidence that American military might is capable of deterring any retaliatory aggression by Iran and defending against future attacks? Apparently not. He fails to comprehend that Tehran will continue its reign of terror until a strong leader and nation stands up to the malignant regime. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who served combat tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq, knows better. He adopted a more sensible view when he observed that Soleimani “got what he richly deserved, and all those American soldiers who died by his hand also got what they deserved – justice.” President Trump should be commended for acting correctly, decisively and well within his constitutional authority.

Agreed!!  And well said, Gregg.  Attorney and legal scholar Gregg Jarrett is the author of that spot-on legal op-ed.  Gregg is now a Fox News legal analyst and commentator, and formerly worked as a defense attorney and adjunct law professor. He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book “The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump.” His latest book is the New York Times bestseller “Witch Hunt: The Story of the Greatest Mass Delusion in American Political History”   Outstanding!!    🙂