A recent deadly incident at the international airport in Baghdad is, perhaps, being used to influence the still-pending Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. That is the story being peddled around Washington by certain politicians and supported, to varying degrees, by the media. There is something to such a theory, though the details of who is attempting to distract or deflect – and why – could be quite different from what one side of the political divide is alleging.
Trump ordered the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Qassem Suleimani, according to some, in order to distract the American people, who a little more than two weeks earlier had witnessed the president’s impeachment in the House of Representatives. It is a curious theory in many respects. Why such a distraction would be needed has not been explained by the conspiracy theorists.
The Distraction Distraction
The president’s fate is now entirely in the hands of the Senate. Nothing Trump says or does, at this point, is likely to have any bearing on the outcome of his trial. Not a single Democrat in the chamber is likely to be swayed to acquit him by the taking out of the Iranian terror mastermind, so how, exactly, is this “distraction” supposed to work?
As for the rest of the nation, a good many on the left believe Trump is no longer president, now that he has been impeached. This fact was made evident by the rejoicing on social media, where a startling number of people expressed their glee at Trump’s removal from office following the House vote. The remainder of Americans – who are more well-informed but who still don’t get a vote in the Senate – are already firmly in one camp or another. In their eyes, the president already deserves to be kicked out of the White House, or he is doing a fine job and is the victim of a vengeful Democrat witch hunt.
The timing of the furor over Suleimani’s killing is suspicious for another reason, though. Having expended all their ammunition during a series of farcical impeachment hearings – to no avail – the president’s political enemies may feel deflated, hence their sudden reluctance to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, even after insisting that Trump’s impeachment and removal were so vital to the nation’s well-being that there was not a moment to waste.
Why did Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) hold on to the articles? Many have said that she is attempting to leverage them to ensure a fair Senate trial, but the theory does not hold water. As the leader of the House of Representatives, Pelosi has absolutely no power over how the Senate chooses to run the trial, and, frankly, Pelosi is smart enough to know this.
What is the reason for the delay then? Could it be that the Democrats know very well how weak their case against Trump is? Is it, perhaps, that they are the ones trying now to distract the nation from questioning their impeachment effort? Maybe they were waiting for something else to drop, another issue to bolster their calls for Trump’s removal. If an impeachment trial were not pending, the elimination of one of America’s most implacable and dangerous foes would have been greeted – even by Trump’s detractors – with grudging approval or, at worst, a minor rebuke over the potentially dangerous consequences of such a decision. Instead, though, Democrats attempt to portray the Suleimani killing as a scandal, just as they did with the phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Obama’s Body Count Ignored by Democrats
Trump’s predecessor authorized more than 190 drone strikes during his first 16 months as president, according to the New America Foundation, a public policy institute based in Washington, D.C. During his eight years in office, Obama was never questioned by Democrats in Congress over any of the thousands of deadly drone attacks sanctioned by himself personally or by other administration officials. In 2011, he ordered the bombing of Libya. This operation led to the disintegration of that country and the murder of Muammar Gaddafi – a dictator, for sure, but a man who posed far less danger to the United States at that time than Suleimani did at the time of his death.
Now, though – desperate to shore up their impeachment case – Democrats have blown up (no pun intended) the Suleimani operation into some reckless and nefarious plot: a scheme both to start a war with Iran, even though that country has been essentially at war with the United States for decades, and to somehow make everyone forget that President Trump was impeached.
The timing of the whole brouhaha, then, is indeed not coincidental. It is not the timing of the attack that killed the Iranian commander that is suspicious, however, but the timing of the Democrats’ entirely unfounded outrage over it.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.