Let me make one thing crystal clear. I support President Trump, but I’m not a sycophant who blindly supports everything he does or believes he’s above reproach. I call it how I see it, which is why I have no problem criticizing some of his biggest moves. The bump stock ban and the gargantuan budgets he’s been signing come to mind.
With that said, I believe his handling of the Middle East in general and Iran in particular have been unexpectedly brilliant. He’s proven me (and other conservatives along with every progressive) wrong on multiple occasions. Syria isn’t a Turkish state after the President pulled back troops. Withdrawing from Afghanistan is finally looking like it’s going to happen. The Islamic State is essentially gone, at least militarily. And Iran has been humbled, at least as much as the egotistical authoritarian leadership in Tehran can be humbled in the eyes of the world.
There are still tremendous risks. One of the biggest is coming not from foreign soil but from Capitol Hill as two symbolic Iran War Powers resolutions are in play in the House and Senate. Even though they are not designed to put the weight of the law behind them, they send the wrong message to Iran that could embolden them to resume their violent actions against Americans. On top of that, the press outside of Iran has not been flattering. If there’s one way to enrage a proud nation’s leadership, it’s to make them look bad. It’s not out of the question that despite President Trump’s gestures towards deescalation, they may go in the other direction.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last three years, it’s that the President has been more right than wrong when it comes to the Middle East. His moves have worked despite objections from pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle. He was heavily denounced for moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Breathless journalists, unhinged Democrats, and pro-Palestinian groups around the world said the move would so destabilize the region, Israel would be ushered into a state of complete turmoil within weeks. Then it was months. Now, over two years after the announcement, not much has changed in Israel. Those who hated them still hate them and those who love them still love them.
Killing Qasem Soleimani is quickly turning into an action more consequential than the killing of former ISIS leader Alu Bakr al-Baghdadi or even Osama bin Laden. It’s not that Soleimani was more prolific than the other two, but by the time American forces took the two leaders down, their organizations were already in shambles. They were important symbolic killings and nothing more. But Soleimani was running things. In fact, rumors from Iran seem to indicate he may have been the linchpin in Iran’s Middle East domination plan.
A.Khamenei has invited the commanders of all proxies to Tehran today.He wants to organise them under the command of his son&new commander of Quds force. However,highly unlikely groups’d listen to Khamenei because they were loyal to Soleimani. Shia crescent is unofficially dead. https://t.co/Tg3K3dT3nm
— Raman Ghavami (@Raman_Ghavami) January 9, 2020
It's even better.. pic.twitter.com/HAHaJS84R0
— Patchfarmstead, Sus Scrofa is Latin for yum. 🐖 (@patchfarmstead) January 9, 2020
If Iran doesn’t do anything stupid, then the series of events following the rocket attack that killed an American contractor on December 27, 2019, until the President’s press conference yesterday will go down in history as a masterclass for statesmen on foreign affairs. It was the type of scenario that would have been handled very differently by others. President Obama may have paid Iran to stop bullying us. President Cheney (I mean Bush) may have invaded them in search of figments of mass destructive imagination. President Clinton would likely have paid them, then bombed them, then paid them again. And I’m partially joking about all three hypothetical presidential reactions.
President Kennedy stopped a nuclear war. President Reagan caused the Soviet Union to collapse. President Trump won’t get the same accolades today for his Middle East maneuvers because we’re seeing it unfold slowly, but history will look back in awe.