For some, you could hear the sound of war drums. It was coming. Iran had shot down a surveillance drone in international waters. President Trump did not mince words, saying Iran made a huge mistake, though was cagey about military action. He told the press “you’ll find out” when asked. President Trump has taken action before, firing cruise missiles at an airfield in Syria in 2017 after a horrible chemical weapons attack struck the town of Khan Shaykhun. The airfield was the staging ground. Reports trickled in last night that air strikes were ordered against Iran but were halted by Trump. We didn’t know why, but earlier this morning the president tweeted that he aborted the mission because the retaliatory strikes were not proportionate (via WaPo):
EXCLUSIVE: Iran received message from U.S. President Trump via Oman overnight warning of imminent attack on Iran - Iranian government officials pic.twitter.com/kzV1S1MCHC— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 21, 2019
....On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019
....proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019
President Trump ordered an attack on Iran on Thursday in retaliation for the downing of a surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz but called the operation off just before it was due to occur because it would have caused extensive casualties, he said Friday.
In a series of morning tweets, Trump said he called off strikes on three Iranian sites minutes before they were to be launched because he was informed of the likely loss of life among Iranians.
“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,” Trump tweeted. “150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it.”
Such a death toll was “not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone,” Trump wrote, adding: “I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world.
Now, here’s the thing that is underscored by supporters of the president, but ignored by the anti-Trump masses out there. Isn’t this a sign that Trump is—gasp! — not a madman who has nuclear weapons at his disposal? I mean this is something that most of us knew already. There’s a difference between not liking one's style, which I can see why some people find off-putting, and being legitimately unbalanced. Remember how everyone was freaking out that nuclear Armageddon was upon us when Trump told North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that “fire and fury” would come down upon him if they mess with the U.S. guys! His tweeting could start a nuclear war because…'orange man, bad.’
Trump halted these airstrikes because the loss of life among Iranians was not proportional to the destruction of the U.S. drone. Some would argue that’s responsible. That’s how a superpower should act. It’s pretty much everything that was discussed in this episode of The West Wing if we want a popular culture example when the fictional president asks what's the virtue of a proportional response.
The point is, I think even the most rabid anti-Trump Democrat probably thought that the president would lay waste to Iran over a drone. Like with North Korea, it didn't happen. Overall, they still call him dangerous. They still think he’s unstable. And yet, he nixed a military operation because the results, the action was not proportional. Now, just you wait; Democrats will soon be hitting him for acting too weak.