Speaker Pelosi, how many Americans must die before killing one terrorist is proportionate?

Following is a Maine Examiner editorial, not to be confused with a news article.

Qasem Soleimani will take no more American lives. His reign of terror ended last week. Soleimani was a terrorist leading the world’s most powerful terrorist organization. Credible sources say he was responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of Americans. General David Petraeus recently said Soleimani was the “architect” of the Iranian terror regime.

Soleimani’s organization, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and specifically QUDS, the special terrorism division of the IRGC, were officially labeled a terrorist organization.

Qasem Soleimani himself was designated an international terrorist by the Obama administration in 2011 for his role in an attempted assassination on U.S. soil.

Soleimani was, according to U.S. intelligence, behind the recent attack on the United States Embassy in Baghdad. We have since learned that U.S. intelligence learned he was also working on a “big attack” which might have claimed hundreds more American lives.

When news of Soleimani’s death at the hands of the United States military broke, Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement calling the attack that took Soleimani’s life “provocative and disproportionate.”

Provocative? Possibly.

As General David Petraeus so eloquently put it, perhaps leaders in Washington were seeking to “reestablish deterrence” in the Middle East.

Terrorists, dictators and thugs only understand force and strength in the matter of conflict. It is one of precious few deterrents to the violence they wish to inflict upon their innocent victims. The shame of public defeat is another deterrent.

President Obama never understood that.

President Trump always has.

The death of Qasem Soleimani at a Baghdad airport provided both a clear show of force and the shame of a public defeat at the cost of one airstrike.

Neither Obama or Trump are the type that relish taking their country to war. President Obama’s aversion to war led him to make some terrible foreign policy decisions and, unfortunately, still found him leading a nation at war.

President Trump has shown restraint beyond the expectation of many – enough so even some who were dubious of his foreign policy on the campaign trail have given him credit for speaking out against our “endless wars.” He has even sought peace in unexpected places.

But, Madame Speaker, you say this response was disproportionate? Really?

It’s not even close.

That comment is an insult to those who paid the ultimate price at the hands of Soleimani.

Killing the architect of an attack on American soil against American citizens, an attack that scorched part of our embassy and saw the President send in the Marines to defend American lives, was not “disproportionate” at all.

Saying so, Madame Speaker, is to suggest that the life of Soleimani outweighed the hundreds of American lives that Soleimani has taken and the hundreds, or thousands more American lives he planned to take.

There will be no Benghazi on President Trump’s watch. By reestablishing deterrence in the Middle East, we may be able to avert other attacks and loss of American lives as well.

If you worry, Madame Speaker, that the President’s actions may ‘start a war’, rest assured that what President Trump understands, but many of your allies do not, is that this war has been ongoing since the 1980’s. It is just that for more than thirty years, the war was being fought by the Iranian side while American leaders mostly denied or “contained” it. See President Obama’s delivery of $1.7 billion in cash to Iran in 2017.

So here we are. We are all still Americans.

Madame Speaker, you and all members of Congress should stand with President Trump against the Iranian reign of terror. You should support a  doctrine of strength and deterrence. If you oppose President Trump’s approach, do so honestly and directly, but never devalue American lives by calling this action disproportionate.

Anyone can stand as an ally with President Trump against endless wars in the Middle East. Anyone can support a peace through strength doctrine that will make terrorists, thugs and dictators think twice before launching attacks on American soil and taking American lives. Members of Congress would be correct to do both and put partisan rancor aside for a safer world.

If killing Soleimani was an act of war, then Iran’s role in attacking our embassy in Baghdad was one as well. As have been many other Iranian provocations over these many years.

Peace through strength.

And at the risk of sounding sanctimonious and redundant, Madame Speaker, the life of an evil terrorist is worth far less than the life of a single American soldier.

Soleimani’s life certainly wasn’t worth the more than 600 Americans it took for someone to finally decide to end him for good.

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