Did Trump 'Start' a War that Began 40 Years Ago?
In recent weeks, President Trump has been accused of starting a war with Iran. Democratic media activists — and even some never-war, "America First" isolationists among the Trump base on the right — have reacted with a bit of hysteria over his major punch back at the Islamic regime. In a remarkably surgical strike, Trump took out the hostile Islamic Republic's "beloved hero," General Qassem Soleimani. So Trump has now been branded a "neocon" who committed a "war crime" and started a third world war. But if we look back at the Iranian regime's past behavior, it is clear that Trump's missile strike was a rare act of defensive retaliation against four decades of Islamic jihad.
On November 4, 1979, a terrorist gang of the Muslim Students of the Imam Khomeini Line stormed the United States embassy in Tehran. They kidnapped 52 American diplomats and civilians. By definition, an embassy is the sovereign territory of one nation on the soil of a host nation. When the host regime allows — or actually plots — invasion of an embassy, that is an act of war.
In that case, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, as first "supreme leader" of Iran, had brought the country under rule by Islamic law that past January. So sanctity of the embassy simply no longer mattered to the Muslims who seized that power. As the Quran commands them by verse 47:35, "[s]o do not weaken and call for peace while you are superior; and Allah is with you and will never deprive you of [the reward of] your deeds."
By the Islamic supremacism of Allah's law, Khomeini's embassy invasion was a righteous act of war. Such warfare intent even became codified in the newly imposed Islamic constitution. As it declares for itself, "the constitution prepares the ground for continuing this revolution at home and abroad." To be clear, "abroad" means the entirety of the non-Islamic world — and especially America. That is why when I grew up there, I was trained to chant "Death to America!" in school.
That Islamic constitution spells out for the Muslims of Iran their "ideological mission, i.e. striving ( jehād) on the path of God and struggle on the path of expanding the sovereignty of the law of God in the world; in accordance with the Qur'anic verse: 'Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies' (8:60)."
As one of Iran's first acts of Islamic war, the embassy attack was triggered by President Carter's refusal to hand over the Shah — Mohammed Reza Pahlavi — who had sought treatment in the U.S for stomach cancer. Khomeini's war hostages remained captive for 444 days, until release on Ronald Reagan's inauguration on January 20, 1981.
Over the past forty years, Islamic Iran has maimed and killed many hundreds of Americans, and others, in endless acts of warfare and terror. Some people might think to explain those casualties as the folly of American interventionism abroad — if only America would stay out of Islamic lands, then Muslims would not fight us, is their hope. But repeatedly, the Quran proves them wrong, as commanded in verse 2:216: "[f]ighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not."
Even if we put all of that aside, it remains fact that over the past forty years, there has never been any peace treaty or ceasefire declared between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States. The two countries have been effectively at war ever since the embassy invasion. We have no indication that Iran will ever stop, as long as the regime remains in power.
On December 31, 2019, in echoes of the 1979 invasion, a mob organized by Soleimani's terrorist army, the Quds Force, attacked the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. It also seemed to be a replay of attacks on America's compounds in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
But President Trump's resolve to defend Americans in the war zone proved to be the weakness of neither 1979's Jimmy Carter nor 2012's Barack Obama. By Trump's leadership, on January 3, 2020, both Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, leader of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Iraqi allies of the Quds Force, were killed in a U.S. drone strike.
President Trump did not start this war, either forty years ago or last year. He has no intent to perpetuate it for another forty years. In fact, President Trump's strong actions have moved the region farther away from devastating war. The sanctions he has put in place have crippled the Islamic Republic's ability to scale up any war it might fuel. Trump negated the $150-billion bribery deal Obama paid in hopes to pacify the regime's nuclear ambitions. The 2019 embassy attack — like the oil tanker attacks that summer — was a loser's gamble by the regime.
By standing strong against the Islamic regime, President Trump has won the hearts of the Iranian people, most of whom detest their own oppressive and warmongering government. Iranians celebrated Soleimani's death. In fact, the tweet President Trump sent out in Farsi in support of the Iranian protesters became the most "liked" Persian-language tweet in the history of Twitter.
President Trump's moral clarity and support are indispensable to the protesters in Iran, who are being murdered in the streets because they hate being ruled by Islamic law while they show love of America's flag.
Khomeini was fond of saying, "America can't do a damn thing." However Trump proved that America can. Strong American leadership could result in a new Iranian Revolution for freedom, rather than the "World War III" of the doomsayers. They consistently fail to understand why Iran's Muslim soldiers have kept making war upon us non-Muslims in the world for the past forty years — and for the past fourteen centuries.