After President Donald Trump ordered a surprise drone attack against a top Iranian military commander in Iraq, the Democrats and parts of mainstream media have sharply criticized the president for escalating the conflict in the Middle East towards a war with Iran. However, history has demonstrated that a legitimate display of strength usually creates peace, not war. It is the internal opposition that creates an impression of weakness and often encourages the enemy.
When so-called “protesters” amassed at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and attacked it, Trump was quick to vow that “this will not be a Benghazi,” where Islamists were allowed to relentlessly attack the U.S. embassy in Libya for 13 hours without military assistance.
Trump blamed the Iranian regime for “orchestrating” the Iraqi Shiite militia attack in Baghdad. Iran quickly responded that they had nothing to do with it, and not long after, the U.S. military humiliated Iran by killing the renowned military commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at the Baghdad international airport.
Soleimani is known as the Shadow Commander and has been an essential player in the Middle East, leading and coordinating paramilitary operations in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. His presence in Baghdad is proof that Iran was militarily involved in Iraq.
Peace through Strength
Military historian Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, whom Liberty Nation interviewed in 2018 and 2019, has argued for the “peace through strength” military doctrine based on historical evidence. Lasting peace between enemies only comes when one party wins total military and psychological victory. The most recent example of this doctrine is Japan and Germany, which, after being militarily destroyed in World War II, became peaceful nations and developed positive relationships with the U.S. and other allied nations – the former foes that overpowered them decades ago.
A recent political example is Brexit in the U.K. In 2015, the Remainers lost by a tiny margin and therefore did not accept the result. They got their desired rematch in 2019, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Tories won a crushing victory. The result was to blow away nearly all resistance to Brexit. The Remainers in Parliament accepted defeat and changed their focus from opposition to cooperation. The doctrine predicts a similar peaceful consolidation if Trump wins overwhelmingly and decisively in 2020.
By the same token, “peace through strength” predicts “war through weakness.” It means that when leading Democrats and parts of the mainstream media starkly criticize the president for a legitimate military action, they increase the likelihood of war because the perception of weakness emboldens the Iranian regime to think that they can retaliate without consequences.
Trump Wins First Round
Unlike previous presidents, Trump is maximizing his image as unpredictable. Will he negotiate, or will he order a military attack? No-one knows. This works heavily to his advantage and allows him to achieve more with less military action. He did not retaliate against Iran when the regime shot down a U.S. drone near its border in June 2019. Hawks heavily criticized him for being weak, but by countering firmly in Baghdad – as he did in Syria in 2018 – he forces the enemy to consider every confrontation a potential for full-blown retribution.
Trump is, thereby, in the unique situation that he can nullify the unpatriotic behavior of the Democrats by publicly demonstrating that he does not care about their opinion, which strengthens his image as unpredictable.
In practice, Trump and the U.S. come out of this round as the winner. The Iranian leadership knows that if they attack, the retribution will be swift, targeted, and merciless. Some world leaders, such as North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un, are also watching Trump’s aggressive actions with intense interest – and may end up recalculating their strategies.
Despite the Democrats’ warnings of escalation to a full-blown war, do not be surprised if the exact opposite happens.
Read more from Onar Åm.
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