On the evening of May 2, 2011, rumors started percolating on Twitter that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. Special Forces. Where, we still weren’t sure, but when then-President Obama announced he would be making a statement from the White House just after 9 p.m., we knew it was confirmed.
I remember the night vividly. When I heard the news I was alone in my one-bedroom apartment in Virginia. In my tiny living room, I jumped up and down with excitement and gratitude, becoming overwhelmed with emotion. Hundreds of people in Washington, D.C., took to the streets and celebrated the American victory. The most infamous terrorist of my generation had been brought to justice and we had all been waiting patiently for that day. It was a brief moment of American unity that made all of us proud.
In the media, Obama was praised for the courage of making the call to carry out a raid on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. Republicans and Democrats alike were glad he was finally gone.
It’s too bad this wasn’t the same reaction when President Trump made the call to take out Iranian terrorist Qassem Soleimani. After all, according to General David Petreaus, Soleimani’s death is bigger than bin Laden or ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“It is impossible to overstate the importance of this particular action. It is more significant than the killing of Osama bin Laden or even the death of al-Baghdadi. Soleimani was the architect and operational commander of the Iranian effort to solidify control of the so-called Shia crescent, stretching from Iran to Iraq through Syria into southern Lebanon,” Petreaus told Foreign Policy. “He is responsible for providing explosives, projectiles, and arms and other munitions that killed well over 600 American soldiers and many more of our coalition and Iraqi partners just in Iraq, as well as in many other countries such as Syria. So his death is of enormous significance.”
After decades of wreaking havoc throughout the Middle East, Soleimani was reportedly planning imminent attacks on Americans in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. He had just attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and killed an American contractor in December. The U.S. airstrike against him was a defensive action taken to save lives.
“The Revolutionary Guards commander instructed his top ally in Iraq, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and other powerful militia leaders to step up attacks on U.S. targets in the country using sophisticated new weapons provided by Iran,” Reuters recently reported. “Among the weapons that Soleimani’s forces supplied to its Iraqi militia allies last fall was a drone Iran had developed that could elude radar systems.”
But instead of celebration or words of praise from most in media and Democrats in Washington, Trump and his administration have been met with criticism, disdain, disgust and condemnation.
Democrats running against Trump for the White House have taken things even farther, equating Trump’s legal action against Soleimani to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assassination of dissidents.
“Russia has been implicated under Putin with assassinating dissidents. So once you’re in the business of assassination, you unleash some very, very terrible forces. And what I’m seeing now in this world, as a result of Trump’s actions, more and more chaos, more and more instability,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told CNN.
“Donald Trump has ordered the killing of a government official of Iran, a high military leader in Iran and in doing so, has escalated an attack on Iran and increase the likelihood that we will end up in another war,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said, refusing to call Soleimani a terrorist, on the same network. “He has ordered the assassination of a high-ranking government official in the government of Iran.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who was against the bin Laden raid, blamed Iran’s continuing violent behavior on Trump.
“President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox,” Biden said in a statement.
Soleimani murdered and maimed hundreds of Americans. He had no plans to stop and the world, especially America, is better off with him dead. His removal from the battlefield should be a unified, American celebration.
Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.