Looking and sounding presidential, surrounded by the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, President Donald Trump on Wednesday assured the world the United States will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. Not on his watch. Given events of the past week, it comes as a peace-through-strength message that instills more assurance than the capitulation of the Iranian-American nuclear deal of 2015.
Iranian theocrats have never minced words in their visions for Israel. They hope to someday obliterate the country to serve their religious belief that Jews, like Christians, are infidels unloyal to Allah. A nuclear Iran means worldwide danger and chaos.
Trump spoke after sending Tehran an unmistakable message of action with the stealth bombing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In taking out the country's top terrorist and military leader, Trump put Iran on notice the United States will do whatever necessary to protect Americans and their allies from attacks by Iran or rogue organizations supported by the country's oppressive regime.
The president's address came on the heels of Iran launching ballistic missiles against two Iraqi military bases hosting American troops. The missiles caused no civilian casualties, in large part thanks to Colorado Springs-based U.S. Space Command and Fort Carson's First Space Brigade for early warnings to U.S. troops at the targeted Al Asad and Irbil bases. Airmen in the Springs did their jobs with precision, detecting the launches by monitoring images from infrared satellite cameras. We thank them for saving American and Iranian lives.
Trump wisely spoke in a manner that respected the people of Iran and left room for Ayatollah Khamenei to save face. He spoke of Iran's potential as a free and prosperous country the United States could befriend.
No one can predict Iran's aggression in potential retaliation for the death of Soleimani and several of his compatriots. We only know the country's government leaders respond better to actions of strength than attempts at appeasement through rhetorical diplomacy.
We tried that approach, and it failed. Rational individuals take no joy in the deaths of fellow human beings — most Americans prefer diplomacy — but nothing short of extreme had stopped Soleimani from killing American service personnel and civilians from all walks of life.
President Ronald Reagan's peace-through-strength policies ended the Cold War, breaking the morale and finances of the Soviet Union's vicious and deadly politburo and military. People around the globe should hope and pray this strategy works against Iran, a smaller and less sophisticated foe.
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