Who said that?
1. “This is Rose. Won’t you give to help her and people life her who suffer from crippling hatred of the President of the United States? Just a few dollars a month...”
A more vivid example of where anti-Trump hysteria can lead than these two tweets can hardly be found. The author is #MeToo activist Rose McGowan, Harvey Weinstein victim, conventional Hollywood progressive. These were her reactions to the unequivocally welcome news that General Qassim Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds force and the architect of terrorism all over the Middle East, was killed by a U.S. airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport:
When a social media critic correctly pointed out the lunacy of that one, the former “Charmed” actress responded,
Would it be unfair to say that “Please do not kill us” was the message conveyed by President Obama’s craven and dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, giving the rogue state billions of dollars in exchange for a (worthless) promise not to pursue nuclear arms capability until later, at which time there would be nothing the U.S. could do about it?
I heard these kinds of sniveling, “Better Red than Dead” protests many times in my youth. They come often from people so young, inexperienced and ignorant that their confusion can be forgiven—a little–but also from older Americans—more frequently women, unfortunately, and make of that what you will—who have somehow reached maturity without learning that everyone, but especially this unique country, has to be ready to defend their values, and just as important, has to be able to communicate clearly that we will defend those values, with terrible force if necessary.
Over the last couple of decades, a large and influential segment of the progressive community has forgotten that. Fortunately, the majority of Americans have not.
2. How it works: The fact that President Trump is at the dead bottom of the cognitive dissonance scale for most Democrats means that anything he does and any result that would normally and objectively be regarded as positive if another President, especially a Democrat and particularly Barack Obama, were responsible drags that event or decision down below the midpoint into negative territory, unless someone recognizes that their opinion is being warped by psychological forces and biases beyond their control, and adjusts appropriately. Apparently none of the Democrats who have shot off their mouths since Soleimani‘s demise have such wisdom and self-control. Thus they are beginning critical comments with statements like this tweet by Rep. Andy Levin, which was typical:
“There is no question that Qasem Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. I feel no sadness at the news of his death. But I have serious concerns about this President’s execution of a potential act of war without authorization of Congress.”
“He was a terrible, murderous enemy of our nation and we’re fortunate he’s dead BUT” is just not a smart message.
The President gave the order that resulted in the death of the Quds Force leader after multiple attacks against Americans and American facilities in Iraq that could be traced back to Soleimani. The Iran-backed Iraqi militia Kata’ib Hezbollah began the exchange with a rocket attack on a U.S.-led coalition base on December 27. A U.S. contractor was killed andmany Americans and Iraqis were wounded. The Pentagon concluded that Soleimani ordered the attack. In response, the U.S. launched airstrikes against the militia, killing 25 militiamen. Members of the militiamen stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, an invasion of American soil. Again, the Pentagon concluded that Soleimani “approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.” After U.S. troops forced the attackers to retreat, the President made it clear that there would be harsh consequences for the episode. There was.
Iran’s leader had tweeted that there was “nothing” the U.S. could do. What kind of American does not take satisfaction in what occurred next? My view: only those in the powerful grip of the Cognitive Dissonance Scale.
Here’s Joe Biden:
Americans prefer strong Presidents (unless they are Barack Obama), and they are wise and correct to do so. The argument that we should avoid antagonizing those who have made it clear that they want to destroy us because maybe if we’re nice to them they’ll leave us alone is demonstrably false as well as dangerous and irresponsible.
The caterwauling from Democrats that the Presidents should have informed Pelosi et al. before acting is rebutted by the fact that the Democratic Congress is not trustworthy. Members leak for political gain and to sabotage the President. It was in the interest of the nation and American lives not to inform the Democrats, but by all means, let them impeach him over this, too.
3. As President Trump unapologetically described the successful attack as exactly what it was, here’s an Ethics Alarms Obama flashback from 2011:
[W]e shouldn’t be surprised, only nauseated, when[the Obama White House] tells Congress, as it did this week, that U.S. participation in the Libyan uprising doesn’t fall under the War Powers Resolution.
The Resolution requires presidents to get approval from Congress for armed interventions within 60 days of their initiation and to begin ending hostilities within thirty days from the deadline without such approval. Obama needed to obtain congressional approval by May 19 to keep U.S. forces in the Libyan campaign, but didn’t; now the thirty days is up.
Confronted by Congress, the Administration argued this week that it didn’t require approval under the War Powers Act because the operations in Libya “are distinct from the kind of ‘hostilities’ contemplated… U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof, or any significant chance of escalation into a conflict characterized by those factors.”
But as the Washington Post correctly pointed out in an editorial, the Act doesn’t define “hostilities,” so such Clintonian word-parsing is particularly disingenuous. Our planes and weapons are bombing the headquarters and abodes of the leader of Libya; the U.S. Air Force is killing Libyans. That sure sounds hostile to me. I bet the Libyans think that it is hostile:
1. Unfriendly; antagonistic.
2. Of or belonging to a military enemy.
The Post is fair and direct:
“We believe that an honest appraisal of the activities that the United States continues to engage in would put the administration squarely within the purview of the War Powers Resolution. By the administration’s own account, these include airstrikes aimed at “suppress[ing] enemy air defense,” “occasional strikes by unmanned Predator” drones, and intelligence and logistical support that aid other NATO members in carrying out their strikes.”
Obama doesn’t even have the dodge available to him that Bush did in the torture debate, claiming then and now that he approved waterboarding based on the opinion of the Justice Department. The New York Time’s Charlie Savage has confirmed that the President overruled the opinion of both the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel and the Defense Department general counsel regarding what constitutes “hostilities” under the War Powers Resolution, preferring instead the contrary (that is to say, dishonest) conclusion reached by the White House Counsel’s office and the State Department.
As Savage reports, presidents have the legal authority to override the legal conclusions of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and to act against its advice, but it happens rarely, perhaps because when it happens, we end up with positions like this one, arguing that the United States military bombing another sovereign nation doesn’t qualify as hostilities.
Philosophically, I think the War Powers Resolution is an unwise Congressional infringement on the President’s powers as Commander-in-Chief, but the law is the law. I am also in favor of the U.S. action with NATO in Libya, if not Obama’s halting, half-hearted, equivocal prosecution of it. (Why Libya and not Syria? Alas, an ethics site cannot discuss such mysteries….) Nevertheless, the Administration’s argument that the Resolution doesn’t apply isn’t even legalistic nonsense—it’s just dishonest nonsense of the kind that the President of the United Sates should not indulge in, to Congress, to the media, to the public, to anyone.
Nothing came of this direct violation of the Act, of course, because Obama Good: he was high on the cognitive dissonance scale, and yanked an illegal and deadly act UP into positive territory.
4. And one more Obama note: The Obama administration kept a list of approximately 500 American soldiers who were killed by by Iranian IEDs. The Quds Force, headed by Soleimani, was believed to be responsible for those deaths. Nonetheless, a report released in 2018 says that when Israel was ‘on the verge’ of assassinating Soleimani in 2015 near Damascus, the United States warned the Iranian leadership of the plan. The incident, the report says, “sparked a sharp disagreement between the Israeli and American security and intelligence apparatuses regarding the issue.” The Trump administration, however, reversed the Obama policy, and gave Israel leave to target Soleimani. The report quoted a source in Jerusalem as saying that “there is an American-Israeli agreement” that Soleimani is a “threat to the two countries’ interests in the region.”
5. Conclusion: if Democrats were not so hypnotized by the Cognitive Dissonance Scale, they would know that attacking the President for a great success, just as the Obama administration led killing of Bin Laden was a success, looks petty, foolish, hypocritical, craven, and hyper-partisan to the majority of citizens not in the Trump Derangement red zone.
But they just can’t see it.