Informed by years of intelligence agencies' lies and blunders, the libertarian in me says it was not a good idea to kill Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Given the costly mistakes of: Bay of Pigs, propping up the shah of Iran, Cambodia meddling creating Pol Pot, Vietnam, Saddam Hussein/Libya, yellowcake and WMDs, that we'd be "met as liberators" in Iraq, and most recently FISA warrants/Mueller investigation based on the known-to-be-fake "Steele Dossier," I'd demur. If U.S. "intelligence" got this one right in Iran, it will be one in a row. The way Clapper, Brennan and Comey politically weaponized "intelligence" leads to total distrust.
Sanctions work pretty well. After reversing the "good cop" attempt of our Iranian nuke deal, Trump directly sanctioned Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei. Trump personally humiliated him by suddenly cutting off his bank account, credit access, debit cards, etc. Trump perfected this effective tactic after years of breaking it off with his younger kept women.
Then-Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated the pallets of cash to be shipped in the dead of night to terrorists as part of the Iran nuclear "deal." It's not clear what we got in return. But let's agree: As a diplomat, John Kerry is no Dennis Rodman.
At his core, Trump knows better than to get us into another indefinite entanglement in the Middle East with no stated outcome. He fired John Bolton, a hawk who goaded us into past wars. Trump firing Bolton for being too combative is like Johnny Depp telling a man he wears too many scarves.
Trump rightfully warned Iran not to shoot protesters again after the government shot 200 in November. Killing opponents to keep order only works in ruthless regimes if the press doesn't cover it.
That said, it is cool to watch all this drone technology we have paid for demolish a bad actor like Soleimani. The people of Iran, which was once a prosperous, Western-style country in the 1970s, have been encouraged to overthrow the brutal theocracy that rules them. Our government meddled in Iran and propped up the shah of Iran, which led to a revolution in Iran that made things worse. Fifty-two U.S. hostages were taken in 1979 while the revolutionaries chanted "Death to America" and killed Americans all around the world.
An internal Iranian protest for freedom, set in motion by recent events, is what is needed for change. Iran, whose people have been hurt by economic sanctions, needs to get back into the world's economic good graces. Two of my favorite sayings apply: When goods cross borders between nations, troops do not. And two countries with McDonald's restaurants have never gone to war with each other.
Rightfully, Trump has minimally involved the Democrat-led house. Adam Schiff would have leaked plans to the Iranians. And Nancy Pelosi has acted all worried about what she called "war crimes." She went to her plastic surgeon to have him put her mad look back on her face. The Democratic Party worried that drone strikes would damage historical monuments of cultural significance in Iran — the same Democratic Party that wants to tear down all of our Confederate and Revolutionary War monuments.
Somehow, Dems think Trump killing the terrorist Soleimani in 2020 has caused Iran to hate us since 1979. Even Obama's pallets of hundreds of millions in cash didn't make them like us; they just funded Hezbollah and this theocracy longer.
If Trump had gone back in time and killed Hitler, Dems would have said he murdered a promising art student, nondrinker and vegetarian who was leading a socialist revolution in Germany.
Apparently, Trump's calculations have been good so far. Iran ineptly shot down a Ukrainian plane by mistake and lied about it at first. Then 14 missiles missed U.S. troops in Iraq. Iran's supreme leader will lie about that too. He can say they kept their receipts from the U.S. and were just returning merchandise bought with our dollars.
Contact Ron Hart at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.