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The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

It’s odd how the political left cheers America’s shortcomings and mourns its victories.

The United States killed the top terrorist on the planet Thursday, and Democrats were…upset. Perhaps “upset” is too vague, they were a combination of angry and scared. 

They were angry that President Trump ordered an air strike on Qassem Soleimani, a man responsible for the deaths of more than 600 American soldiers and thousands more wounded. They tried to pretend they were glad he was dead, that he deserved to die, but their quick condemnation of the action that took him out exposed what they were really thinking. Any statement on the death of a terrorist leader containing the word “but” is not a good statement.

Weirdly, the people who use the word “justice” most often saw no justice in the death of a man who’s been killing innocent people for their whole lives. Ilhan Omar reacted the way someone would when their childhood hero passes away, then tried to fundraise off of it because anti-Americanism translates into cash on the left. 

Rashida Tlaib warned about a “lawless President recklessly moves us closer to yet another unnecessary war that puts innocent lives at risk.” She expressed no concerns for the innocent lives Soleimani had taken over his career. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez whined that “the President engaged in what is widely being recognized as an act of war against Iran, one that now risks the lives of millions of innocent people.” The girl who saw “concentration camps” on our southern border has her head so far up where last night’s dinner resides that she can’t see the death right in front of her.

While all of these people, and all of their fellow travelers in Congress and the media, lament that the killing of a man actively murdering people will only lead to more murder, what do they think leaving him alive would’ve done? Did they think he was getting bored of killing and was about to take up knitting? 

Nancy Pelosi seems to think so, saying the killing “risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence.” That implies that to her and Democrats there is an acceptable level of killing Americans by foreign powers. “Fine, you can kill 50-75 Americans per year, but don’t go too far beyond that or we might issue a scathing statement and start a hashtag against you, depending on who the president is” is not a foreign policy strategy.

It’s hard to tell if they, and every Democrat running for president (all of whom issued “It’s good he’s dead, but…” statements of their own) actually believe what they’re saying, or if they simply oppose the action because President Trump did it. Neither option is good for the country.

If they oppose it because Trump did it, they’re worse people than we thought. Those who were on the national stage at the time the Obama administration decided to attack Libya were hypocritically silent then (with the possible exception of Sanders, who tried to have his cake and eat it too on the issue). Muammar Gaddafi was no longer a threat to the US or our interest, having abandoned his weapons of mass destruction program after the invasion of Iraq. But Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton needed something to show they were in support of the so-called “Arab Spring.” Rather than stand with the people of Iran in opposition of the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world, Obama and Clinton decided to stand against Gaddafi under the guise of “he might use his air force to bomb civilians.”

Never mind the fact that Iran was using their military to kill their civilians (while also killing Americans in Iraq), Obama wanted a “deal” with Iran on nuclear weapons, so he ignored the uprising there until it was all but squashed. 

They bombed the hell out of Libya instead, for months, until Gaddafi was captured and killed. Then they walked away, claiming some kind of moral victory while leaving a failed state in their wake which became a bastion for more radicalism. 

Obama got his deal with Iran (ensuring they wouldn’t develop a nuke until enough time had passed that he wouldn’t get the blame when they did), a deal that included the lifting of sanctions against Soleimani personally, making his life infinitely better while he continued to mastermind the murder of more Americans and innocent people in the region. 

It was a deal with the devil for a foreign policy legacy and to shore up his shortcomings in the area and a failed stint as Secretary of State for his chosen successor. It was purely and nakedly political, and the people fretting now were cheering then. 

The death of Soleimani is a victory for the world, and Donald Trump did it. All Barack Obama did was give Iran enough cash to fund their terror chief’s actions. Donald Trump put him out of business.

All the pearl-clutching over the idea that this could lead to war with Iran is ridiculous. Leftists like to pretend Iran is a serious military power, but outside their weak neighbors, they are not. 

In 1990, and again in 2003, we were inundated with stories of how strong the Iraqi military was; how both impending fights were going too long and protracted, and could go either way. We rolled over them, both times. Politicians lost the aftermath, but the fighting was a decisive victory. That Iraqi military, particularly the 1990 version, had fought the Iranian military to a draw for nearly a decade. Being the strongest military in the region means little against the strongest military in the history of the planet. 

We should be weary of pushing regime change in Iran for the simple reason that the politicians here would screw it up the way they always have, but have no doubt that our military could wipe the sand with the Iranian military, if they had to. Iran knows this. 

They’ll strike back, or at least try, by continuing to support terrorism. Thanks to Obama and Clinton, they have plenty of cash with which to do it. But you don’t refuse to take out the man organizing attacks against Americans because it could lead to attacks against Americans; that makes no sense.  You kill him, and if his successor picks up where he left off, you kill him too. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary. Everyone who holds that job should live in fear of what is in the air above them.

Inaction hasn’t worked, appeasement hasn’t worked, giving them hundreds of billions of dollars didn’t buy any good will. Maybe killing their leader will have an impact. It certainly can’t hurt.

As for regime change, that has to come from within. The people of Iran have been standing up, maybe this will embolden them further. When they do stand up, we should stand with them, even give them aid. But any fighting inside Iran to overthrow their government should be done by Iranians – earning freedom is the only true way to appreciate it to the point that you’re willing to protect it. 

But if Iran wants to fight elsewhere, if Iran wants to continue to kill Americans, they’re now on notice that there will be a price to pay for it. Not a price paid by anonymous soldiers or by the bombing of oil fields or barracks emptied after being warned that a missile is coming. The price is to be paid by those making the decisions – the sudden separation of their body parts from each other of the people who inflicted the same on innocent people. In other words: justice. 

We’re the United States of America, our enemies should fear how we’ll react if they attack us, not the other way around. Iran won’t like it, but it may change their behavior. Democrats don’t like it and nothing will change their behavior, which tells you all you need to know about them. There is something fundamentally wrong with that.

Derek is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the massesFollow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.

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