No, Mr. President, It Does Really Matter

Trump has no clear rationale for killing Iran’s top general, or for much of his foreign policy.

Comments: 167

  1. He only makes plans that can be written in 280 characters or less on Twitter. He epitomizes the “shoot first ask questions later” approach and thankfully Iran moderated their response and then someone convinced Trump to back off and avoid escalating the conflict. The new evidence for the impeachment trial is encouraging and all that matters now is making sure he’s not re-elected.

  2. @Bronx Jon Not to mention this policy: It's easier to ask for apology afterward then permission before.

  3. It is funny that anything you consider bad that comes out of the Trump administration, you blame solely on him (as if he sent a spontaneous text, without counsel, directly to the drone-flyers, advising them to fire at Soleimani), but anything that you approve of (de-escalation), you credit one of his advisors (“someone convinced him”). I believe that you are experiencing tunnel vision and that your opinions are being formed solely by emotion; that your thoughts on Trump are already in stone, and anything that occurs henceforth you will twist and shape in order to keep your opinion protected. The truth of the matter is that that Soleimani, who seems to be unanimously regarded as murderous and dangerous, has been eliminated and that no American lives (yet, at least) were lost in Iranian retaliation. All in all, it would appear that the move went quite well. The hysteria about WW3 and about how Trump was leading us to the brink of abyss, all, as expected, simmered out quite quickly. It would be my guess that Trump wins handily in 2020. The echo-chambers that are the NYT and Washington Post are very misleading of the views of the general, common-sensical public.

  4. @Bronx Jon Yes, I'm grateful that Iran had a measured response to an irresponsible act by our irresponsible (p)resident.

  5. "Assassination is illegal in international law and taboo American foreign policy ..." Such assassinations aren't simply "taboo" here. Standing executive orders expressly forbid such assassinations. 11905 prohibits the military and the intelligence agencies from assassinating an official leader of a sovereign nation with whom we are not at war. Ⲓ quote: "No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination." 12036 closed loopholes: "No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination." These orders have never been rescinded though some administrations have attempted to reinterpret these orders to include exceptions for terrorism.

  6. @Robert Those executive orders only mean something if they are enforced. For an outsider they only represent hypocrisy.

  7. @Robert Evidently Presidents Bush and Obama never learned of that order. Maybe if Obama had known he would not have conducted his Terror Tuesdays.

  8. If Trump's scatterbrained ideas weren't so easily formed into foreign policy-US would fare much better. But no one says "NO" Mr. President, you are wrong. MLK holiday in two days--celebrating the strength, courage, conviction of an honorable man--who heard "NO" alot more than"YES". Kinda wish it were true of Trump.

  9. @TWShe Said Sad, given the nature of the present occupant of the White House, but that's how our specific system of democracy works. However, the Constitution does not, for example, give the president the power to declare war. I quote: "The Executive Branch conducts diplomacy with other nations, and the President has the power to negotiate and sign treaties, which also must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate." As for MLK Day: It is even more sad that the pro-Trump gun nuts and white supremacists are planning pro-gun rallies for the MLK weekend in Charlottesville and Richmond. I don't think the timing is accidental.

  10. The Trump foreign agenda is not only incontestably wrongheaded but nefariously oligarchical and an existential threat to American democracy. For Republican senators the best course may be to convict on the impeachment charges and end the travesty that has been inflicted on us.

  11. This Opinion by The Editorial Board is a review of President Trump's incoherent foreign policy, spotlighting his killing of Iran's General Suleimani. It's a familiar story because shotgun- rage is Trump's way. When referring to some Iranian students, it states, 'Their anger was a welcome sign that there are Iranians who remain opposed to the dictatorship of the mullahs and want to let the world know.' That, I think, this the highlight of this Opinion. What is going on here in the USA? Perhaps, we don't have a dictatorship yet, but what would you call it? What are the people of this country experiencing? What is Donald J. Trump, and what are we, The People, allowing to happen? Look at the Republican Party. Look at about 42% of our voters. It feels like Climate Change in the sense of wondering is it too late to stop the catastrophes?

  12. " 'To put it simply', as Senator Tom Cotton, the hawkish Republican from Arkansas, wrote in the Times, 'the ayatollahs are once again afraid of the United States because of this bold action, which is forcing them to recalculate their odds,' " Let's examine this. Iran had allowed international inspectors in their country to verify they were not pursuing imminent nuclear weapons. Tensions in the Middle East and gulf region had been lessened somewhat and Iran was being nudged toward integration with the global economy and away from theocratic radicalism. Now, tensions in the area have been ratcheted up exponentially, Iran is provided new excuses for radicalism due to their economic isolation and the world (particularly America) nervously waits to see what form the extended fallout from the Trump provocations take. It does indeed sound pretty simple, Mr. Cotton. Now we all are forced to observe what happens when simple-minded people bring their solutions to bear upon complex problems.

  13. @Alan R Brock And let's not forget his "bold action" in abandoning the Kurds in Syria. A dangerous man.

  14. @Alan R Brock That would be Tom Cotton who signed the letter to Iran urging the leaders to ignore President Obama. He's a disgrace to his service in uniform

  15. Trump's rash action led to the death of 176 people including 57 Canadians, collateral damage in his effort to divert attention from the impeachment proceedings. The DoD reportedly was aghast at his decision, though we still need to hear why it was even on his list of options. Meanwhile, the general was replaced by someone equally bad. Trump then bullied the Europeans with threats of auto tariffs into triggering the nuclear deal's dispute mechanism. An announcement that is likely to go nowhere, because the Europeans don't want it to. But Trump does love "announcements" doesn't he, like that Ukrainian announcement he sought against the Bidens. The author tries to salvage some rationality out of Trump's actions, but there isn't any to be found. The man is unhinged, unfit, and needs to be removed from office.

  16. @Thomas It's been said here before, many times; those who support trump do so because he continues to turn the traditional ways of governing upside down. His reckless, thoughtless lack of strategy and insight is exactly what his supporters want...to tear down the traditional methods of statesmanship and governance. Their response to "the man is unhinged, unfit..." is "Precisely! Deal with it!"

  17. But his instincts about pretty much every policy seem wrongheaded. His disregard for foreign policy is no better nor worse than his disregard for health policy. We are nearly always left with the impression that contradictions, lying and loyalty rule his thought process and never a substantive analysis of costs and benefits.

  18. @JayGee The last 3 years prove he won't sit still to listen to any information about anything. He won't tolerate anyone around him that might actually have information bearing on a problem. No-one that might say "think," or "no" to him can be tolerated. Anyone telling him something is illegal has to go. Look at the people he's run off; look at who is now in his orbit! What we have is a perfect example of who & what is unfit for office. tRump and his thugs have to go. The next president, Repub or Democrat will spend their whole 4 years trying to right the ship of state, rebuild our government and rebuild our bridges to our allies - BEFORE they address N Korea, China, Russia, etc.

  19. Spot on for the most. However, one thing stands out, this sentence, “That’s something that the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, couldn’t seem to distinguish when, on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, she would not say whether the downfall of the regime would be a good thing.” I would have to agree with her on this. We have seen the effects of the downfall of the Saddam Hussein regime, and replicating them in the country next door could be a world wide catastrophe. It might help end the fighting in Yemen, but would the resulting Saudi hegemony be good for the world? Disrupting support for Assad and Hezbollah would be good, but a resultant reaction by them to the cutting off of support from Iran might lead them to take desperate measures, like an all out strike against Israel. As we have seen, Assad still seems to have chemical weapons. Their use in Tel Aviv would be devastating. This is what was so wrong about Trump deciding to assassinate the General, the lack of analysis of all the responses and results that might occur.

  20. It is as if all the media are deliberately avoiding mention of the most fearsome prospect to which Trump's blundering has exposed the nation. Iran will shortly have enough fissionable uranium to build multiple nuclear devices. Even if it did not, Iran has potential to get complete bombs from either Pakistan or North Korea. To do so would take no longer than an international cargo plane flight from either nation. In short, Iran must be considered a nuclear-armed, terrorist adversary, right now. How can the NYT editorial board write on the subject of war with Iran without explicitly saying so?

  21. Having read the first half of the article, I now want to thank you for wise expression. This is one of the reasons I subscribe to the newspaper. I am sickened that demonstrators got killed somewhere by the IRG. I read of a recording the US had examined and then released to newspapers on a news site in the country I live in. Though a relativist many ways, I was incredibly indignant that that occurred – as evidence can readily prove. I also want this regime to end its rule. Down with Khamenei.

  22. The now cliched ''Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it' might as well have been written for Trump. As we have learned, he has not even the most basic understanding of history, including the events that tore the world apart in the mid-20th century. Yet, perversely, Trump by his actions and in his uniquely powerful position, is now writing the history not just of the nation and the globe, but quite possibly of the planet itself. But this time no one may be around after to learn it.

  23. Let's just say that Trump doesn't overthink his decisions. He is happy with a very rudimentary understanding and a simplistic approach. That rudimentary simplicity is almost the definition of how you come up with unintended results is outside of the Trump Decision Model. Good news? Sometimes the unexpected consequences will be good. Bad news? More often they won't.

  24. “Is there a plan for when Iran retaliates . . . ? [For bringing] Iran to the negotiating table on a new nuclear deal? Or is the Trump administration actually prepared to go to war with Iran?” Those questions presuppose Donald Trump knows how to play chess and appreciates the necessity of a play-after-the-next-play-after-the-next-play strategy when it comes to the Middle East game board. But there is nothing we have seen of this man to lead us to believe he has any appreciation whatsoever of that, much less any understanding of the nuances, currents and crosscurrents of power in the Middle East or how one play in one country can affect the next play of another or set off next plays throughout entire region. What we have seen instead is a man too impatient to listen, too insecure even to think he needs to learn, too reactionary to do anything but upend the table. I cannot help but think the rest of the world knows all that and knows it portends potential disaster not just in the region but around the globe, and that the other major players—unlike our president—are planning their next moves accordingly. Chief among them must be Vladimir Putin—who is no doubt already plotting how to pick up all the pieces if and when Trump gets mad and turns the table over and already positioning himself to replace United States as the major power broker in the Middle East.

  25. Since Trump's whole thrust of Iran policy is determined by his personal animosity, and the dictates of Saudi Arabia, it is futile to search for any rationale in Trump's Middle East policy, forget Iran. The killing of the Iranian General is a criminal act that warrants accountability both at the US and also at the international level. Equally questionable is the Iranian action of shooting down of the Ukrainian passenger airliner. As about the anti-regime public protests in Iran, it is its internal matter, better left to Iran to be handled by its people.

  26. @Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma I agree wholly except the killing of protestors ought to be a line that when crossed causes foreign intervention – discursively and perhaps militarily if there were no mitigating reasons why the deaths occurred. I do not appreciate the killing of dissidents!

  27. @Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma Mark C Major, I fully agree with you. Thanks.

  28. "Trump has no clear rationale for killing Iran's top general or for much of his foreign policy." Trump has no clear rationale for any of his decisions or ideas. His "rationale" is based on emotion, anger, hate, appealing to his base, power, and money. That is the way trump decides everything. And the only thing that matters for trump is that he gets what he wants, which again, to keep his base, to make more money for himself, to support his non-existent ego, and act on his hate and anger. All of those make for a very dangerous man much less as president of the "United" States. But it also does not matter to his base or the Republicans in congress. They love it because they are of the same model as trump.

  29. @esp You forgot to mention Trumps need to dominate the media headlines. Impeachment was getting too much air play, so he had to change the topic. Thats the only thing that influences his decisions...that and what will make money for him or his cronies.

  30. I think your criticism of Pelosi here is wrong. The Iranian regime is one of the vilest in the world but America's problem is that the Trump Presidency is not much better, and possibly worse. Americans who understand this are understandably terrified. The country is in real and immediate danger. Pelosi is the only national leader who is attempting to address this, and nothing else. That is her job, on behalf, not of the Democratic Party, but of the United States of America.

  31. And to think how Trump used to call President Obama a weak leader who made the United States a joke before the world. Meanwhile, Trump’s foreign policy is a mixture of his deep ignorance, gross irresponsibility, self-serving mentality, and erratic impulses. Trump would be a laughingstock if the stakes weren’t so deadly.

  32. @NM "And to think how Trump used to call President Obama a weak leader who made the United States a joke before the world." Deservedly. Not being able to destroy a primitive caliphate, letting Putin interfere in 2016 unstopped, paying almost all the bill for NATO, creating chaos in Libya. How much worse than Obama and his secretary Clinton could one get? The worst in modern history, likely.

  33. It is important to note that neither the family of President Trump, nor those of his cronies and associates are likely to be sending any sons or daughters into a war with Iran... So the risk is non existent. Yes, it would cause American casualties, but not anyone they know. Much like the too easily forgotten wars Bush started. Which leading GOP-family has made anything resembling a sacrifice in these? For the rest, I agree that Iran will probably retaliate in some way. It seems un-useful, however, to live in dread because of this. This assumes namely that if Soleimani had not been killed, Iran would refrain from acting against US interests and assets. And that is demonstrably wrong. Of course, underlying all of this is the 1 gazillion dollar question. What is the US trying to achieve with its Middle Eastern adventures? And that this question goes unanswered is not only Trump's fault.

  34. The Republican Senate holds the key to the future for our government. They can stop this President cold in his steps, and reign his insanity in, but will they? Donald Trump has become a danger to the world. His foreign "policy" is nothing but bragging, bullying and grabbing goodies for himself, his family, and his friends. With those he has cowed some nations (Japan and Canada), offended others (most of Western Europe), and made many of our enemies more strong (Russia, China, Iran, North Korea) in their opposition to America and the values we used to promote internationally. He needs to be stopped. He will talk us into a major, damaging conflict in the very near future if they don't. Donald Trump is a danger to the world.

  35. I like the way this essay goes back and forth regarding the justification of the assassination. And then there is your PC on the probability of Iran getting at American interests in Iraq. Most definitely this will happen! If you were the ayatollah, wouldn't you be biding your time and wait for the almost perfect opportunity? Wouldn't you be reaching out to anyone who can help you provide information and logistics to accomplish one or more coordinated incidents? So, as you say in the last few lines, what happens next, that is next after Iran strikes again. The intelligence will likely give a certain probability of Iran as the actor, but nothing will be publicized risking sources. So what would hurt the most, material damage? number of lives? In my opinion if Iran wanted to get back at the US, the best way would be through hitting Saudi Arabia, next the undersea internet cables would be a nice target. Which ones? When? A third option would be American oil rigs or infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico or Alaska. To add a cover or some layer of deception for a strike outside of Iraq they should consult with Russia. Russia could set up a fake situation to shift blame another agent As far as the timing goes, probably as close to the election as possible, and secondly send out feelers to POTUS that a deal can be made , a further attack or even the first attack would be held off until after the election for some Political ROI. What do you think?

  36. @KomaGawa The essay does no such thing. You are going back and forth to justify.

  37. Mr. Trump's unilateral decision to end the nuclear deal with Iran was simultaneously a unilateral decision to end the deal with Britain, France, China, Germany and Russia who were a part of that deal. The decision to assassinate Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was also unilateral. Threatening to impose 25 percent tariffs on automobiles from Germany, France and Britain is also a Trump unilateral decision. But what really matters is the unilateral decision of so many Americans not to care. It's their right, of course, to not care, but unilateral decisions aren't what democracy is about. Ask the Iranian theocracy. They are champions as much as Trump is of the unilateral decision making process.

  38. @Charles Democracy is a certain kind of value that presumes that people who listen to their conscience and to others are better at making decisions for the greater good. The US participates in decision making with other nations in places like the UN, and in global markets. The issue with Trump and his unilateral stance is that he is not including other decision makers as a part of his process. He stands alone but dishonestly because democracy gave him the authority to implement his decisions, yet, he is making decisions that are fundamentally in contradiction to democratic values. Monarchs and theocrats can engage in unilateral decision making, but a conscience based society cannot. The US is a conscience based society because the Declaration of Independence documents the role of conscience and the Constitution places restraints on what the collective will of a nation can do. Trump has broken the social contract that we all live by, that conscience and self-restraint matter.

  39. @Max "Ask the Iranian theocracy" They are not in good shape now. Not at all...

  40. @novoad Quite! Nor, from the Americans and world's view is the Trumpocracy! The question that boggles my mind is why so few in the US care to notice that it matters so much. That decision, not to care, seems to lack the dignity of even just folly.

  41. Mike Pompeo is another in a long line of Trump agency heads who seem to want to tear apart their own agency. Pompeo should be leading our diplomatic efforts in Iran, but he is too busy clinging to Trump's side.

  42. @JDW113 In addition it took him 6 weeks, the release of Parnas documents, and Ukraine's announcement of investigations of surveillance on Yovanovitch for him to announce his own investigation into the dangers faced by one of his own ambassadors. Of course, the danger came from Trump's own henchman.

  43. I have not observed any clear foreign policy strategy from any of the Presidents since Reagan. The press never raised this issue with any of the previous presidents because they did nothing. At least Trump brought the matter to the headlines of the news agencies.

  44. @clayton How was Trump's Suleimani assassination a US foreign policy strategy? The general's killing was Trump's big bang for a buck, that at its core was a false, untrue pretense that Soleimani was an "imminent" threat to the US. Trump's directive was a single reckless decision, an assassination not a strategy.

  45. Importantly, will the new military leadership obey trump when he orders them to commit war crimes, such as attacking Iranian cultural sites, or civilians? I’d suggest that they will, having seen trump already pardon military members for war crimes, he’s signaled that the US no longer abides by the Geneva convention or international law.

  46. 40 years of a troubled relation between Iran and the USA will come to a peaceful end. From brink of war with Iran to brink of peace with Iran, a possible end to the hostage taking, hostility and appeasement between Iran and the West. Trump has a clear intention of no new regime change war and no war with the Iranian people. A crystal clear rationale for a simple future engagement with a nuclear war heads-free Iran.

  47. @Girish Kotwal I am sorry to advise you that Trump's only clear intention is to cling to power for as long as possible. And then to negotiate an amnesty for his high crimes, as the price of leaving office without creating a civil war.

  48. @Philip Brown from Australia. You are entitled to you opinion. Don't spread bush fires of falsehood. Your wishful thinking of a civil war in the USA will never happen in your life time. The dollar unites everyone in America and the lowest average unemployment in the fist 35 months of a US president since 1980 is during the first 35 months of Trump. So if you don't think 3.9% will not ensure the reelection of Trump you are not living down under but under a rock on the moon.

  49. If I had an office or an apartment in a building showing the name of Trump, I would not feel safer after these events. I might look around for another address.

  50. Trump and his mob are the latest manifestation of the U.S. practice of interfering with Iran since we put the Shah in place in the 1950s. This practice has persisted across decades of different Presidencies and Congresses. It remains a mystery as to why this is, especially since we have embraced Saudi Arabia during this time despite its known history of domestic repression and attacks on the U.S. Without understanding this relentless drive, it is impossible to assess the likelihood of war, except to recognize that Trump acts on urges and impulses, not facts.

  51. In regard to this observation, there is good reason to be cautious: "...(Pelosi) would not say whether the downfall of the regime would be a good thing. Democrats would do well to distinguish good results from ill-conceived policies." Someone high in our government, as Pelosi is, would have good reason not to comment on that issue because it could be interpreted as an endorsement by America for a coup or other such action. Isn't this how the U.S. got into trouble in Iran long ago, with the CIA backed coup that put the Shah in power? Are we not tiptoeing through landmines here? In addition, we have seen in case after case that when a "strong man" or an authoritarian regime goes down, utter chaos often follows and then spreads to neighboring nations. Revolutions are messy. When there is no clear power after decades of having "order" imposed, the ensuing struggle between factions usually means that blood flows deep and many innocents are caught in the battle. Who endorses that? Democrats might indeed be too timid in this situation but it does not follow that missile borne drone boldness from the sky is the answer. We have a temporary military advantage with drones in many parts of the world but it will not last forever.

  52. There is a simple answer to the questions posed at the end of this editorial: whatever suits Trump's political and egotistical needs at the moment. Trump is in the middle of an impeachment and facing a tough reelection campaign. He's already shown he is thoroughly unrestrained by any moral or ethical limitations in getting what he wants. Based on his repeated suggestions in 2012 that Obama would start a war with Iran in order to gain reelection, it's abundantly clear how his mind works. These are the calculations that drive Trump's foreign policy: not what's good for long term American interests, not what is part of a cohesive, long term foreign policy objective and logical considerations - none of that trivial stuff. For an egomaniac like Trump. there is one simple goal: what's good for Trump. When we understand his motivations, we can better predict his next move. There is no point discussing how his decisions affect traditional concerns like ultimate objectives or coordination with allies; these matters simply do not factor into Trump's decisions. And while this theory sounds outrageously cynical, I guarantee it will be the best possible predictor of his behavior. Haven't we seen enough of his chicanery to confirm this?

  53. “Trump has no clear rationale...” Trump fears any rationale that could hamper the expression of ego.

  54. Holding Ukraine money was a part of his policy. What was that policy again? When we have a crisis, may his supporters be on station. We have no friends anymore. Iran is rightfully upset with us, as are countless other countries. And if we have to rely on his supporters? We are in trouble. Is this by design? The minority of this country getting the best of us? I think not.

  55. Asking Ms. Pelosi to comment on the value of a not even remotely likely collapse of the Iranian regime is an unfair question. Were she to answer honestly as the third most powerful politician of the United States, which would provide little benefit to the people of the United States other than a passing feel good moment, she would cause serious implications on the international stage. To even suggest the downfall of the Iranian regime is to incite their fear, cut chances of diplomacy and negotiation, and promote them to rash violence. To them, it would confirm their suspicions that we’re promoting said overthrow and supporting the protesters. It would legitimize their claims that the evil US is causing the unrest. The number one goal of any regime is its own survival. The theocracy is no different. It was irresponsible reporting to ask a “gotcha” question to which the interviewer knew a responsible statesman could not voice the answer she may actually think. Better would be “Which do you value more, effort at overthrow or containment?” That is the actual question heard abroad to which any answer Ms. Pelosi gave.

  56. This is so last week on the timeline of Trump's crime spree. Trump has "no clear rationale" for anything he says or does. why demand it of him when he kills someone. One expects he will do so again as he seemed to think it enhanced his weak masculinity.

  57. This chaos begins with Trump's obsessive desire to overturn any accomplishment of Obama, putting the country and world at risk. This mess begins with his pulling out of the Iran Deal. He flaunts international laws and norms as he flaunts laws and norms at home (case in point: Impeachment articles). Chaos at home; chaos abroad. People suffer due the ignorant impulses of a narcissitic man unfit for the presidency.

  58. "“Bad person, killed a lot of Americans, killed a lot of people. We killed him,” was the president’s typical sledgehammer response to dealing with the outside world." Perfect description. Let's call this what it was: preemptive assassination. Now if that's a policy, can imagine if the entire world functioned this way? Anyone could attack us on the theory that someday we might attack them. As more and more comes out about the president's proud and defiant ignorance of history (Pearl Harbor, anyone?) what hits me is not so much how little he knows, but how much he thinks he does. Now that's a dangerous combination. The reason for experts is that one person can't know everything. But thinking he does when he doesn't leads to impulsive actions like preemptive assassination.

  59. The answer to the last three questions is a resounding NO!...maybe probably...Donald Trump in his own mind believes he is a stable genius with military skills far better than our best generals. He prefers using divining rods and the seat of his pants to fight everything from banging the head of a suspected criminal on the police car roof to assassinating the second in command from a sovereign nation on an allies soil without warning them. Here's the obligatory statement made by all. Suleimani was a bad man with American blood on his hands so no one should shed a tear...it says so right in the Bible? Is it possible some high ranking US military personnel also killed some civilians as collateral damage during an attack in an intentionally crowed region where citizens are used as human shields? Is it ok for Iran to assassinate one of our leaders? John Wayne Trump called the strike and announced gleefully "We got'em!" (a famous Jesus quote no doubt "We got'em!" Though I would imagine Jesus was referring to converted sinners and not Roman leaders he just assassinated.) Even if the killing was justified in the course of war, is it not wise to respect the heartfelt grief of millions of Iranians rather than boasting and being flip about his death? I certainly wouldn't boast that the airliner probably would never have been shot down if Trump had not violated a treaty signed by the United States. I can still see the picture on CNN of a wife and daughter who won't make it home.

  60. Although this assassination is definitely earmark-able it is just a page in the extensive saga of Trump/GOP's hot-war on the procedures, processes, and structures that really make America great. Once again openly and brazenly the GOP collectively spits in the face of institutional responsibilities, truth, and our overall proper objectives. Once again the GOP opts to ignore their oath of office to defend this lack of rigor and obvious political selfishness by this infantile President. Couple this with the GOP defense of the existentially indefensible in the saga's unfolding Impeachment chapter and the following could not be clearer. The GOP is waging vicious no-holds-barred existential war against modern secular liberal democracy. Their actions and appointments make the objective obvious: Theocratic Authoritarian Plutocracy (TAP). Their base makes the ramifications inevitable: demagoguery, bigotry, regression. The GOP's power circle is almost complete. An Executive egotistically committed to his amoral elitism and instinctively at war with any modicum of egalitarianism, a Legislature that honors their commitment to TAP above all other obligations, and a Judiciary ideologically heavily predisposed to TAP. If we don't take out GOP in 2020 we'll be sunk for decades! D Party not always technically right but NOT an existential threat!

  61. As sad as it is to say, the Iranian leadership is outsmarting the US each and every day I every way. Don’t expect them to strike any time soon while Lev Parnas is singing like Bruce Springsteen and uncovering the ill-planned and executed bully tactics crimes and abuses of power of Donald John Trump. Iran won’t give Trump another excuse to distract from his political problems. Instead they will wait to strike us back and hard until the sham trial is over and the ejection heats up, then alienating the Trumpsters who wish to avoid “endless wars” and others in the GOP while giving the Dems something to use against Trump. Iran understand the US better than we understand them, and we will pay for our ignorance and uninformed policies.

  62. "Trump has no clear rationale for killing Iran’s top general, or for much of his foreign policy." He doesn't have a rationale for anything except for greed and personal survival, and I mean survival at any cost to his nation and humanity in general. The United States, the "shining light on the hill," has managed to elect a Mafia boss to the presidency, and now cannot get rid of him. But let's step back a minute and ask ourselves why: Trump is merely a symptom of a much larger disease, be it decadence, arrogance or the convulsions of an ageing empire. Trump was not responsible for Vietnam, the invasion of Iraq or, even more recently, the bombings of Libya and Syria, or the creation of the Taleban, Al Qaeda and ISIS. He was not responsible for the unprecedented Wealth Gap, or for racism and 'blood and soil' anti-semitism: He merely exploited these existing phenomena to his own advantage. And herein lies the difference between out two nations: I will never live down the humiliation of having Mr. Mahmoud "we don't have homosexuals in Iran" Ahmadinejad as my President. But his election was purely a reaction to the U.S. betrayal of Iran after 9/11, followed by U.S. blackmailing of the world's largest banks and corporations to exit the country. What is your excuse for Trump? 40 years of Sanctions? Foreign threats? Surrounded by 30 military bases?

  63. You quote the Ayatollah as if he is now credible after years of ridiculous threats of “death to America.” Since the strike on Soleimani, you have been saying we are on the verge of war, of which there is no evidence. Please, while Trump has enormous issues, why overplay the hand against him?

  64. I often feel as if this guy is driving us the wrong way down a highway, we're shouting at the top of our lungs, and a few of our fellow passengers are telling us to calm down because this has been going on for a while and we haven't all died yet... ...this is not normal. don't let it become so common it's invisible when our leader is reckless.

  65. Impeaching or defeating Trump is paramount for our national safety and world peace. Our allies no longer feel like partners as we have shown we will run off and leave allies in the desert surrounded by enemies if we believe that is in our best interest. Then there are these assassinations complete with made up excuses which show the disrespect this administration has for the American people. The made up reason wasn’t holding water so Trump finally said it. “It doesn’t matter why we killed him, he was bad, we killed him, end of story”. Apparently our President can assassinate people around the world without accountability. That’s a new job perk. The question remains, what are we afraid of? Why is he still there?

  66. Please stop reporting the opinions of the junior Senator from my state, the honorable Senator Cotton, until he begins to engage his own, in my opinion, pretty good intellect, and think for himself rather than parrot those that have bought and paid for him. If he ever matures intellectually he may turn out to be more than a stooge.

  67. “Nancy Pelosi, couldn’t seem to distinguish...whether the downfall of the regime would be a good thing.“ Can we say Iraq or the world is definitely better off for the downfall of Saddam’s horrible regime? Even this article, which is critical of Trump, seems to try to establish legitimacy by first criticizing Democrats. The result is the impression that “nobody’s perfect,” when the real story is the unprecedented ineptitude of our President.

  68. But trump won't be going to war, Americans will. This amoral person has no compassion, no empathy, no love of anything but self. he literally has nothing to lose since he values nothing. The horrors and heartaches of war will never touch him. he is a sociopath, has loyalties to none. When his bidding is done he will move on to the next victim leaving destruction in his wake. How many lives will he be allowed to destroy, how much damage will he inflict to the soul of our nation, the lives of the many, damage to the world, the environment, our children's future, before he is stopped? And what does this say about those who still support and defend this demagogue? Is the selling of their soul worth the price of admission?

  69. You chastise Speaker Pelosi for not saying "whether the downfall of the regime would be a good thing." How short is your memory? How blind your eyes to reality? Did not George W. Bush bring down a notoriously evil regime in Iraq? How well has that worked out? Not just for America but the entire Middle East and Western World. According to Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bolton, we would be welcomed in the streets, the Iraqi oil would pay all our costs, democracy would flourish in Iraq and spread through the Middle East. Is that what you see happening if the Iranian regime is brought down? And do you think it wise to in any way say something which Trump will intentionally misinterpret as endorsement and a greenlight for his chaos? Ms. Pelosi made it clear that Soleimani was a bad person who no American should mourn. The Iranian regime is oppressive to its people and responsible for spreading terrorism. If the Iranian people take it down we should watch closely to see who fills the power vacuum. And then decide if it is a good thing.

  70. The assassination was clearly a misguided idea. However, Iran was quite busy seizing oil tankers, downing a US drone and attacking Saudi oil processing facilities in 2019. The left will say these are the results of pulling out of the nuclear treaty, but if Iran was genuine, it would have stopped being a regional menace. Furthermore, had Trump retaliated last year with a naval blockade or a conventional attack, what spin would Democrats be using to say Trump was be a bellicose president unfit for office? This vindictive attitude is fueling Trump's campaign. It's pushing independent voters towards Trump. God save us all!

  71. @Nick R Why should Iran not shoot down a drone? What justification is there for an American drone to be flying over another sovereign country? Who is harmed by shooting down a piece of spy machinery? Would we not do the same?

  72. Iran shares boarders with both Iraq and Afghanistan. Having witnessed first hand our wars and occupation of both adjacent countries wouldn't you be alarmed? Regardless of our justifications (for the three wars, two ongoing). It's not unlike sitting on a bench at a bus stop and surviving the gun shot murders of two people sitting on the right and one on the left of you, at different times, by the same person each time. Wouldn't you arm yourself? Then of course, we accepted the Shaw of Iran after the revolution, refusing to return him for trial for the atrocities his secret police committed upon his citizens (the Shaw was a Cold War ally, remember?). Then the American hostages (52) were taken and held for 444 days. Later, America supported Saddam Hussain (trade credits, surveillance intelligence, and food stuffs) during the Iran/Iraq war. Yes, we have reasons; a theocracy foreign to our understanding, terrorism, hatred targeting America. On their part; our hostility, military encirclement, arming of Sunni states and monarchies, and now the economic strangulation of their economy. And then, there is the oil both Europe and Asia needs, Russia's foothold and all the rest. Somehow, someway, the grievance driven, violent tit or tat reciprocity needs to STOP. (By the way, I met many of the American hostages while they initially recovered at the USAF Medical Center., Wiesbaden, Germany. The late night barbecue and barracks party we arranged for them was epic.)

  73. Yes, the killing of General Soleimani Qassim ordered by Trump's drone strike in Iraq does matter. There is no legal justification for our simple-minded president assassinating an Iranian general in Baghdad. We're still reeling from the fallout of president Trump's brainless foreign policy, and hoping his vastly corrupt American foreign policy in Ukraine, and his impending Impeachment Trial in the Senate next week will remove him from office. Will this seminal trial in American history slap our unfit president on the wrist? Or will Donald Trump, who's been ruling America daily by Tweets, be relegated to the White House ash heap? Will Trump's base and enablers respond to his gas-lighting dogwhistles and come to his rescue soon?

  74. A baseball analogy, if I may.....Trump is a .170 hitter who wants the world to believe he is a superstar. So he hits 1 home run in a game to win against the despised rival. And everyone goes wild. And Pelosi is the sportswriter who is hated for saying it's a long season and one win does not make a world series victory. She is maligned. Then it's discovered that Trump hired a bunch of goofballs to steal the signs from the opposing team. And all his fans refuse to say that helped him and he should not be punished. But make no mistake... a .170 hitter is not a .350 hitter. And eventually he will hurt the team's chances. So don't be surprised when the underdog sweeps Trump's team in the playoffs. And don't blame Pelosi for writing 'I told you so". The day will come when there will be 'No Joy in Trumpville'.

  75. Here's the one thing I can guarantee: the Iranians won't be launching any full frontal attacks on any U.S. embassies any time soon. You mess with an American embassy, you pay the price. The only thing worse than being loved in the Middle East is NOT being feared.

  76. How dare you insult a president Trump by implying he has no well thought out Iran Policy. Pay close attention; Trump made it clear, “Who knows, we will see” is the Trump administration Iran policy. The depth and scope of the policy are so well defined, they make the tedious, Iran Nuclear pact seem so darn cumbersome and well, verifiable.

  77. No, it really does not matter if Trump had any cogent thought process behind Solaimani's assassination. And as we now know, he didn't. Nor does it matter that this time it was the US with the unhinged foreign policy and Iran with a measured but deliberate response to Trump's ordered assassination. I'm in my 60's and I never thought I would see the day when it was the US that was the international pariah and Iran an exemplar of disciplined foreign policy. But this is exactly what we saw. Trump ordered a reckless action that clearly violated international law. He then threatened to destroy cultural sites thousands of years old. And he did this without any "policy" whatsoever about our relations with Iran. Let's look at Iran's response. Swift, but measured. And the weapons they used and the manner in which they used them demonstrated restraint. The US is now an international pariah. And we have a mad man in the White House. It should matter. But it doesn't. His voters are poised to re-elect him for a second term. He's giving them the America they want. So sadly, it does not matter that we are now isolated. His voters love his white nationalist regime, and any time he can kill brown skinned people (here or in the Middle East) is a win for them. This is all they want. But understand that our nation is now destined to be nothing more than an ignorant, racist backwater among nations. And we are not "winners", but simply more casualties of his reckless actions.

  78. Would the downfall of the Iranian regime be a good thing? Nancy Pelosi doesn't know. Neither do I, nor does anyone else without a working crystal ball. Bad guys were brought down in Iraq and Libya. How has that worked out so far. For that matter, how did it work out bringing down an Iranian government in the 1950s, or Lumumba in the Congo, or Allende in Chile? We need to get our own house in order.

  79. The Republicans got what they always wanted, an Emperor to lead the American Empire. Like the empires of old any action is allowed, killing included, without need for justification. The Emperor Rules and answers to no one. And thus dies democracy.

  80. @Marc Trump reminds me of Nero, a narcissist who loved to be the center of attention and had similar pretensions to being an actor. Both loved splendor and gaudiness and spent excessively on enhancements to bolster their displays of power. Nero had his palace of gold, and Trump is building his wall. It did not end well for Nero; it will not end well for Trump.

  81. The attack on Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani is not unprecedented. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the architect of the attack on Pearl Harbor, flew from Rabaul to an airfield in the Solomon Islands on April 18, 1943. His flight was intercepted by US fighters in a well planned, long distance intercept attack targeting Admiral Yamamoto. The attack was based on information gained from decoding encrypted, electronically transmitted messages. There is no documentary evidence that President Roosevelt directly ordered the attack but that attack is otherwise similar to the attack on Suleimani. The attack that killed Yamamoto clearly served US strategic interests in WWII. The Editorial Board is correct. The attack that killed Suleimani is likely to prejudice US strategic interests in the Middle East.

  82. @OldBoatMan A big difference is that Yamamoto was killed during a declared war in which we were not the aggressors.

  83. Yes, It really does matter. Trump's disrupt and blow up approach to life is simply effect and cause instead of cause and effect. Trump creates an effect: launch another lawsuit, cheat on his temporary current wife, lock up children, or kill another nations leader. The people he has wronged and hurt then are left to put the pieces back together again, while he has moved on. This part he never sees due to ignorance, and his "I really don't care" - well, WE DO! Excellant Editorial, Times! As his IMPOTUS lurches and stumbles through the next 290 days wreaking havoc, we the People will be acting, giving, and voting towards a General Election Landslide Popular and Electoral Democratic Victory. He won't ask, "What happened?" he will scream, "What caused this?" as he looks around to blame others and unfortunately, instructs his minnons to defend him.

  84. "It’s also an indication that the Trump administration may have scored a blow against the ayatollahs, something worth applauding, even if military action to overthrow the Iranian regime would be unwise." What good is "scoring one" if in the end you start a war that tragically kills tens of thousands of people or more? Some of us remember that an assassination triggered World War I. Secondly, anyone is plum crazy who thinks that Iran's missiles constituted the only retribution, or that the student protest means that Iranians all love us. The immediate impact of the assassination would have to be intensifying and spreading the hatred that many in the mideast feel for the US. When will governments learn that inciting hatred matters in a very, very big way. The consequences could percolate for another 5 years or more before emerging into the open. You have to be a real fool to so blaringly provoke hatred and then gloat because you think you have the power to deter any consequences.

  85. Actually, the rationale is quite clear, and shared with the GOP: Pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran. Insult their top leaders. Destabilize their economy with heavy sanctions. Then, go to war. All those hundreds of billions in military appropriations aren’t just for show. The military industrial complex needs to clean out its old inventory again, to facilitate more new production. This is what the US economy lives on, massive military arms production. We need a big enough war every few years to consume this production, or making more starts to reveal itself as the horrible insanity it truly is. And wars are great spectacles to distract during an election season. It’s all clear as day; no need to obfuscate with any other explanation. This is what keeps the bribes and money flowing into the pockets of Republican “senators” (not a one of whom is keeping the oath they have solemnly sworn to; liars and traitors all). Clear as the sky on a sunny day. What is that I see in the distance? Looks like a mushroom cloud. Guess I don’t have to worry about climate change any more.

  86. Trump himself abides by no rules: no laws, no protocols, no politesse. what is terrifying to me is the GOP's willing ness to follow him to the end because he both feeds them with major policy changes - the tax cuts for those who didn't need them; and proposals to cut off assistance - whether cash, food, or medical - to those who do need this, as pretend tax saving measures. And apparently, his verbal squalls reduce them to shivering pools of jello. He did not have a "clear rationale" for murdering Suleimani in the way this was carried out ( with him representing Iran while in Iraq). There was no declaration of war against Iran. Then again there is no clear connecting rationale to anything he does - - and the possible predisposing reasons for his actions and verbiage seem to be about his beliefs that HE is the US; that HE can demand payment ( tribute) from countries the US engages with; that he never owes anything in return, and that HE can punish erring countries in anyway he decides, without consent ot consultaiton from the other elected bodies. In a sense, there is NEVER anything new to be said about Trump's behavior and incoherent reasoning. Is there anything to learn? He's a robot programmed for random chaos and destruction. Analysts may to try to predict new extremes to which he might go, until he is out of office. No one now exerts control over his impulses. There're no secret guardians, loyal to the people, in the Situation Room: only bootlickers remain.

  87. There is no foreign affairs policy that would survive any negative comment on Fox News - even if it would make sense. The only goal appears to be scoring headlines that “the base” can relate to. It was quite interesting to follow the comments of average Trump supporters - voters and not professional politicians - after Soleimani was killed and the rockets had rained down on the airbase. Those folks who claimed that they elected Mr.Trump because he promised to end the wars and bring the soldiers home were the ones who “screamed” through their keyboards “nuke them”. That’s not a strategy - but the reaction is not different from those of the President and he is continuing to act exactly the same - although his grandstanding did not work with North Korea. In fact - it failed miserable and demonstrated to everyone that Mr.Trump and his team do not have real strategic plans. The third world dictator Kim Jon-un was bold enough to accelerate his nuclear weapons program - while enjoying the limelight dining with the President. Iran’s leadership is doing exactly the same thing: the killing of Soleimani emboldened them even more to pursue their nuclear weapon ambitions. I doubt that the Trump administration has developed a “plan B” for this issue that does not include the use of massive military force...which brings it back to the primitive “nuke them” demand of “the base”.

  88. In three weeks, the entire American position in the Middle East has completely collapsed. The war on ISIS is now dead. Iran will have nuclear weapons before the end of the year. And after almost 17 years, the American war in Iraq has ended in a total defeat for the US. American forces will be driven out of the country entirely, not with guns and bombs but with public sentiment and law. We are the pariah. In 2000, who in Iran would have believed in their wildest dreams that, 20 years later, Iran would completely dominate the region as fully as it does today, with enemies left and right conveniently removed and an upcoming nuclear arsenal to defend their gains? America's gift to them. It is astonishing to see the mortal blow Soleimani’s death has dealt to the US. Even dead, this general has managed to outwit, outthink, outplan, and completely outclass the entire rotten leadership of the United States. It's pathetic to watch.

  89. Its been reported that Mike Pompeo has been actively lobbying for the killing of Suleimani for the last seven months. First Trump withdraws for the Iran Nuclear Accord and imposes severe financial sanctions (economic war!) then hears he needs to step things up and approve a highly provocative killing. Gee, you'd almost think people around Trump WANT a war with Iran. One that we provoke, and then can blame them for. Gee ...

  90. "....And the targeted killing of General Suleimani was not only dubious in legal and moral terms, but also an act that may well backfire..." Wait. President Obama killed an American preacher in a foreign country when he had barely killed any Americans. His crime was to incite hatred thru sermons. Where was the outrage then? Or for that matter when Clinton gave his Attorney General permission for a disastrous action in Waco? This Iranian had been declared a terrorist by Obama. His so called Revolutionary Guards were declared a terrorist entity - first ever a government entity to be so designated. While sure not quite the same - we killed and not captured Osama because we did not want to make him a living prisoner. Ditto with the ISIS terrorist. No one would call these killings immoral or illegal. So, I fail to understand why this man's killing requires a justification or a policy guideline. In this asymmetrical war we are engaged in - I, for one am proud that we are getting good at "hit and run" that terrorists have so brazenly employed. There needs to be no policy except when time is right - we need to hit Iran when they least expect it.

  91. In three weeks, the entire American position in the Middle East has completely collapsed. The war on ISIS is now dead. Iran will have nuclear weapons before the end of the year. And after almost 17 years, the American war in Iraq has ended in a total defeat for the US. American forces will be driven out of the country entirely, not with guns and bombs but with public sentiment and law. We are the pariah. In 2000, who in Iran would have believed in their wildest dreams that, 20 years later, Iran would completely dominate the region as fully as it does today, with enemies left and right conveniently removed and an upcoming nuclear arsenal to defend their gains? America's gift to them. It is astonishing to see the mortal blow Soleimani’s death has dealt to the US. Even dead, this general has managed to outwit, outthink, outplan, and completely outclass the entire rotten leadership of the United States. It's pathetic to watch.

  92. It is just appalling that Trump assumes his "sledgehammer" approach should be unquestioned. Questions are so unpatriotic as if thinking is treason. But another President thought different “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

  93. "The end will justify the means." I, Donald Trump, will say. "It all is not quite what it seems, there is no disarray!" "I don't need policies or reason or diplomats or laws! "Shoot from the hip!" It is in season. You're asking "Why?" - "Because!" "Trust me alone. My generals don't know how to win wars. My wisdom, though ephemeral, will do to settle scores. All you have to do is win. You hit me. I hit back. And if I acting on a whim. it's 'cause I am a hack!

  94. "it was surprising, and heartening, to see Iranian students bravely protesting their government’s accidental downing of a Ukrainian jetliner." Yes, indeed, and at great personal risk, possibly fatal. So where are the U.S. protesters in the face of endless war and rampant inequality? Nobody will shoot directly at you (Kent State was an aberration of Nixonian proportions). I am often amazed at how loudly the Western media cheer protests and protesters abroad (Iran, Venezuela, Hong Kong) while ignoring conscious, not accidental, corruption and demagoguery at home. Trump claimed to be an isolationist. I just wish Americans would hold him to the task of calmly withdrawing from the Middle East and spending the $trillions on domestic infrastructure. It would be beneficial for both the U.S. and the Middle East. Instead he acts like a one man elephant parade, leaving an even bigger mess than his lobby-infected predecessors. You tell us to get out on the streets. Maybe you would like to demonstrate how. If you cannot peacefully overthrow a (sort of) democratically elected demagogue, how can you overthrow a dictatorship that shoots first and asks questions later? You implore foreigners to protest. Maybe you would like to show us how.

  95. @Hamid Varzi It is equally amazing to me. During the Vietnam war, we did protest and police did beat and arrest the protesters. We marched for peace and nuclear disarmament as well. Now I look to see the next generations take up the mantle, but they don't in any numbers. The Women's March of 2017 was large and noteworthy as were the airport demonstrations that followed; the march being held today is a shadow of it. What is wrong with us? Many of the issues that face us as a nation would change if we would only get off social media and take to the streets en masse. Protesting IS patriotic.

  96. You might want to keep these famous two quotes in mind when discussing anything related either to Trump, or his henchmen. William Jennings Bryan: "It is useless to argue with a man whose opinion is based upon a personal or pecuniary interest; the only way to deal with him is to outvote him." Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

  97. In America we’re more focused on punishing baseball managers who steal signs. Politicians can commit whatever crimes they choose.

  98. No, it doesn’t matter, not for someone whose own opinion is the only guidance sought and followed. Of course Iran isn’t finished it’s retaliation. More will likely come. But such analysis and deliberation is unimportant to someone whose mind is merely mantra, slogan, and idiopathic impulse.

  99. Good analysis except its assumption that the Islamic Republic is planning retaliation. Iran is isolated by Trump's vicious economic war against them in which the EU has been extorted into participating. Trump's abuse of Iraqi sovereignty is another major aspect of the situation. In Iraq there is a strong non alignment mov't that has sparked protests. Which Iran has encouraged the Iraqi gov't to respond with a murderous crack down. After an attack by Shia militia killed an American Trump lashed out blindly and killed 25 Iraqis which spawned a united Iraqi storming the US embassy. Then the senseless attack on Suleimani while travelling in Iraq. Now the Iraqi Shia populace want the US to get out of Iraq. Which Trump will not do. So the US is openly in Iraq against the will of the Iraqis. Bush's war in 2003 has left Iraq weak and defenseless against the Iranians and the US.

  100. “That’s something that the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, couldn’t seem to distinguish when, on ABC’s ‘This Week’ on Sunday, she would not say whether the downfall of the regime would be a good thing.” I stand with the Speaker on this one. Remember when everyone in power agreed that the downfall of Saddam Hussein would be a good thing, and when many people in power agreed that the fall of the Shah of Iran would also be a good thing? As it turned out, the correctness of those answers hinged on what would come after. Just as with the attorney’s adage “Don’t ask the question if you don’t know the answer,” I suggest that you don’t advocate for the overthrow of a government if you have no clue as to what will take its place.

  101. People -- including a chest-thumping Trump -- are confusing the Suleimani assassination with the targeted killings of bin Laden and el-Baghdadi. But they're not the same. The two terrorists were stateless, homeless and beloved only by other terrorists. Suleimani was Iran's top general. He was also viewed as a top-tier national leader. He was an integral part of Iran's military and its government. No U.S. citizen is singing the man's praises or mourning his loss. But that is not the point. (I also think Pelosi did well by refusing to mix the two issues of the sanity of the general's killing and Iran's downfall.) Internationally, we have had some pretty well disliked and feared American leaders. We have started baseless wars, like Iraq, overthrown elected foreign governments. But would we ever tolerate the assassination of such a leader by any other nation? Never. And you can be sure we'd react militarily in a far less restrained manner than Iran has, at least thus far.

  102. Wisely written. Fair and true. But, it remains unlikely that Suleimani was “on a joy trip” to Iraq. He had and likely was continuing to put Americans and others in danger. The results so far, as you kinda admit, are good. While Trump is nutty, those in the chain of command are certainly less so and would not likely have let the operation move forward without appropriate thought. And Trump himself has showed surprising restrain on these matters, prior to this operation. Even one the the Editorial Board’s heroes - Barak Obama - who’s Middle East policy was beyond lacking - took out foes by drone strike with, well, with “striking” regularity. You did not question his actions and lack of actions.

  103. @BB I believe the editors were in error to link the Iranian protests to Trump's actions. The protests were going on before Trump's assassination of Suleimani. A wise leader would not have gotten in the way of that and united Iranians against us, which was the immediate result in that country. The Iranians were continuing a resistance to protest an error by their government in downing a plane they may have mistaken for our response to their counterattack on our base. That protest is not a positive response on their part to our action. They were showing that they can unite against us and display anger at their own government at the same time. Attack them again and they will turn in a nanosecond to a united front against us. One does not cancel the other.

  104. Re. the question of whether Trump is actually prepared for war with Iran, an excerpt from Carol Leonnig's and Philip Rucker's new book about Trump, published in the Washington Post, clearly suggests the answer is "Yes"... provided he can make money off of it.

  105. @REF "provided he can make money off of it." Trump lost $1 billion net worth since he took office. How much of all you have got do you lose every year for the privilege of working?

  106. He placed American lives at risk. Period....Did not consult Congress, did not protect our troops or diplomatic corps. He made a dangerous decision and failed to protect our own people, which is his primary duty as President. HIs erratic and ignorant behavior is nothing to celebrate. If the standard for assassination by our government is because someone is a "bad man", then Mr. Trump needs to be placed inside a impenetrable bubble for his own safety. This is a moment that our media needs to not walk away from. Who we are and what we stand for is under siege. Those who applaud this decision are not our friends and frankly, need to remember that sometimes the "Land of the Brave" does not mean the murder of someone because we can does NOT endorse that we should.

  107. Placed American lives at risk?! What about the 176 people who died, needlessly, as a result of this escalation?! Are their lives worth less because they are not American?

  108. @Margot LeRoy "Those who applaud this decision are not our friends" How many members of your family were killed or maimed by the very sophisticated devices made in Iraq by Suleimani, devices which could dart hot copper slugs through vehicles? Just curious.

  109. The editorial states, "And the targeted killing of General Suleimani was not only dubious in legal and moral terms, but also an act that may well backfire before long with some vicious retaliatory strike by Iran or one of its proxies." That backfire has already happened for a whole plane full of victims, including 57 Canadians and 29 permanent residents to Canada (and their families).

  110. Also, what is interesting is to see how the United States has responded, or rather not responded, to this tragedy visited on Canada. Compare this none response with 9/11 and how Canadians answered when Americans were experiencing such a heartbreaking event.

  111. @Doug Welsh You are misleading to identify all of the 57 merely as "Canadians". In fact, many of them, perhaps most of them were also Iranians holding dual citizenship. Similarly many, perhaps most of the 29 permanent residents were Iranian citizens.

  112. @Doug Welsh You are incorrect. That was NOT backfire at all. That was forward fire exclusively by the unilateral arbitrary choice of the neo-fascist dictators of Iran.

  113. The present climate in my humble opinion is proof that the U.S. Is now cursed for much of the bloodshed and mayhem we've sown throughout the rest of the world in the name of country, patriotism and national security interest. At no time have we shown any sympathy for the countless Iraqi lives that were lost in the dubious rush to war over weapons of mass destruction. Even the deaths of our own citizens through gun violence has done nothing to create a climate for regulation. The election of Mr Trump whose lies and shame seem so unbound is symptomatic of a country that can no longer discern truth or virtue. Only until there is an internal reckoning or cleansing will justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

  114. @Leander Might we start that internal reckoning with the end of the electoral college? Mr. Trump was NOT elected by a majority of the American people. Nor was G. W. Bush, who lied and brought us the Iraq war. You can fool some of the people, some of the time, but give the vote to ALL of the people and see what happens. "Justice may then roll down like waters and righteousness like a might stream"...or at least we might get a better choice.

  115. @Leander Our failure to prosecute the Bush/Cheney gang for the fraud based criminal wars they started has had tragic consequences. So far we have let them get away with those wars, hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions displaced from their homes and trillions of dollars utterly wasted. The ensuing chaos in the Middle East is directly attributable to Bush/Cheney. There will be no moral redemption of our country until they are brought to justice.

  116. @Leander Our great country, like every country, has made mistakes. But the good we have done and, still do, far outweighs anything else.

  117. My greatest disappointment in my life is that at least 42% of American voters admire Trump's ideas and actions and will vote for him. One simply cannot be even modestly proud of the USA or optimistic about its future, given Trump's popularity.

  118. @SPQR “One simply cannot be even modestly proud of the USA or optimistic about its future, given Trump’s popularity.” Now replace Trump’s name with Bernie’s, Warren’s or any Socialist/so-called Progressive/Leftist and that’s what the rest of us believe.

  119. Our current president has never shown an appreciation for cause and effect. He has shown his true colors as a landlord to the poor in New York, a casino "magnate", a real estate developer, a "university" chancellor, a husband (at least twice), the titular head of a foundation and now a president. Why are we surprised? "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." - Maya Angelou

  120. Iran is truly between a rock and a hard place: They're practically on a war footing there now economically; the natives are impatient for freedom and change; they can't win a war against America, yet they've beaten the war drums for 40 years maintaining that America and Israel are insufferable and must be crushed. It can't wait, yet it must. If they go to war, they lose; if they don't go to war, they look weak and contradict their own diatribes against the Great Satan. Yet they can't move: Either direction is a bad choice. So they must remain in their self-imposed political limbo. Stubbornness, pride, and strict religions put a nation in dire straits, a political straitjacket, and keeps them there. The only way Iran's dilemma can change is for the old guard to die off. All that remains for us is to wait and watch, unless the Iranian government desperately and recklessly acts on impulse. Death before dishonor. Besides, heaven awaits them anyway, right? To the many good people of Iran: We feel your pain, wish you the best, and will help if we can to restore your great Persian culture. (China and Persia are the world's two greatest cultures, yet both are at low points now; thankfully, what goes down must eventually rebound, or so I like to believe.)

  121. To the Editorial Board: would you please write a Op-Ed about Trump secretly threatening to impose 25% tarifs on goods imported from Europe? Isn’t that called political blackmail, and should it not be more widely known?

  122. My own view is that this is still related to Trump’s morbid and self-destructive fixation on Obama. The Obama Administration finally delivered justice to bin Laden, with pictures that included not only Obama in charge but Clinton involved. Trump—with all the rationale of the playground—is looking for a bigger “hit job”, to use his lovely presidential phrase. He will keep trying until the public, the world, the universe, acknowledges that Donald Trump is better than Barack Obama. Which of course will never happen. Which only means that he will keep attempting illegal assassinations, yet one more reason to redouble efforts to defeat him in 2020.

  123. Trump said that he could kill someone (on Fifth Ave.) and get away with it. He is now testing that principle.

  124. If the US hadn't orchestrated the coup that ousted Democraticatically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh almost 70 years ago, we might not have theocracy and the resulting brutality of the Ayatollahs now. Whydid we do it? Oil/money of course. The blowback is on us. There is no moral highground for the US when it comes to Iranian policy, and it's the Iranians who suffer.

  125. @Judith Dasovich - In my comment, 3 above yours, I ask anyone who may read that comment to perhaps provide one or more examples of the USA as the true root of the Middle Eastern axis of evil. I note that I have made so many lists of our (USAs) harmful actons that I just cannot do that again. I do know that perhaps the most common example that informed comment writers (maybe older like me) give is the 1953 overthrow of democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh, an action that is the subject of an importan book by a former NY Times columnist - The book: All The Shah's men. The Iranians, including the many I know here in Linköping who fled, are the people who suffered. US citizens safe at home in America have never suffered and have never been hurt by Iran. The military personnel that the US government has put in harm's way in Iraq certainly have suffered as have their families, and their children. All to no good effect. Thanks Judith Dasovich Only-NeverInSweden.blogspot.com Citizen US SE

  126. Is the Trump administration prepared to go to war with Iran? The Trump administration is not prepared to shovel this morning's snowfall, let alone for global armed conflict. We are at the mercy of a desperate dope who will do anything to deflect the impeachment fallout. The WH has devolved into a bunker, and its occupants are capable of doing great harm to the world before biting down on the capsules.

  127. The ends do not justify the means... or rather the motivation. We assassinated a mass murderer. Why now? Imminent threat? Yes, oops no, but it doesn't matter? The ONLY motive was to divert the media and make the president look heroic. So U.S foreign policy now is at the mercy of a self-indulgent reckless egotist whose moral compass is looking in the mirror. .......He got lucky. A bad guy is dead. The means? He ignored Congress and his Constitutional obligation to inform and lied to justify it. And the GOP Senators say nothing. He and they alone are responsible for putting troops in harm's way.... and his next reckless move.... and the next.

  128. “Trump has no clear rationale for killing Iran’s top general, or for much of his foreign policy”....he actually has a foreign policy? Could have fooled me.

  129. As concerns the Middle East, the simple and bitter truth is that it is not Iran that represents The Axis of Evil but rather my country of birth, the United States of America. The list of American interventions and non interventions is long and on more than one occasion I have suggested that the Times should have an instantly accessible such list to save us comment writers the trouble of providing samples. Instead of providing the same samples I and others have provided, I pose this question to anyone who reads this. How many items can you name that show that the USA has supported the evil side in the Middle East or has acted - or looked the other way - to insure that the deaths of Middle Eastern civilians were caused or facilitated by us? Only-NeverInSweden.blogspot.com Citizen US SE

  130. Trump considers himself a stable genius, so if he wakes up one day and decides to kill some Iranians, it’s just another brilliant move. He is brimming with confidence that he can threaten and steamroll former allies into providing tepid support. Voila! He exaggerates all his achievements. Proclaiming astonishing victories and sweeping reforms. What can go wrong? I’m sure we will find out.

  131. After 3 years, the responsible media still treat Trump as if there is something more to him, hiding somewhere or another...that he has plans and agendas. We would be so much better off if the responsible media acknowledged the reality: Trump has no agenda, no thought out (never mind read) plan or strategy, just reflexive action toward self-aggrandizement, self-enrichment and revenge against anyone who he feels has ever slighted him, primarily Barack Obama. And today self-preservation must be added. Armed with this acknowledgement, the responsible media has the simplest of tasks assessing and predicting Trump’s actions.

  132. Is there a plan for anything? Affordable health insurance, no. Middle class tax relief, no. Balanced budget, no. National debt reduction, no. Middle East peace, no. Child protection from gun mayhem, no. Clean energy jobs, no. Infrastructure jobs, no. Immigration reform, no. Minimum wage adjustment, no. Climate change, no. Western Alliance repair, no.

  133. "While the Europeans were considering the action, the Trump administration had secretly threatened to impose a 25 percent tariff on their automobiles if they didn’t take the action, The Washington Post reported." That is called "an offer they can't refuse". Trump undoubtedly learned that from his years of working with Roy Cohn and mob dominated construction unions in NYC and NJ and from repeated viewings of The Godfather.

  134. Mr. Carey, please add truth and honor in politics to your list.

  135. If you break it, you will own it, and you had better be able to fix it or it might spring back to life and hurt you. In 1945 the United States, out of necessity broke two powerful regimes in populous countries. In 1945 the U.S. had a plan and both the wisdom and the generosity of spirit to carry out that plan. In 2003, the U.S. under Mr. Bush and Mr.Cheney had no such plan and also lacked the wisdom and generosity to avoid the destructive chaos which followed the downfall of an admittedly brutal regime. Compare the two results and ask yourself if you think Mr. Trump has either a viable plan or the wisdom and generosity to carry one out in Iran. The authors of this article are not correct when they question why Nancy Pelosi will not commit to supporting regime change in Iran. She has the wisdom, at least, to know what would follow. Please give her credit for that before you make any more snide comments about her in this regard.

  136. The question of whether or not Donald Trump shares in the blame of the downing of flight Ukraine International Flight PS 172, has been swirling around for the past week or so. So, is he responsible for the death or 176 people? The answer is, I find, an uneasy and frustrating yes and no. No, Donald Trump is not directly responsible for this tragedy. That blame goes solely to Iran. But, yes, he is guilty of having created the environment in which something like this could ocurr. The assassination of General Suleimani, warranted or not (increasingly the administration seems either unable or unwilling to provide proof as justification for its action, culminating in President Trump basically saying that "it doesn't matter" if there is any), precipitated an unwanted and needless escalation between Iran and the US. In such an atmosphere of anger, frustration, the desire for revenge and retaliation, confusion, things like miscommunication and the fog of war can lead to such catastrophic outcomes. One hundred and seventy six people perished needlessly, human collateral damage resulting from two foes playing basically a deadly game of chicken. This tragedy is borne out by a lack of a cohesive foreign policy, a failure to understand the basics of diplomacy and international relations and the skilled and qualified individuals able to lead such actions. As it is depressingly customary, innocent people paid with their lives for this completely avoidable and futile episode.

  137. @loco73 I find the reasoning you express fundamentally flawed. Use of what you call "indirect causation" is misleading and muddled thinking. The problem with using your "indirect causation" criterion is that nearly everything that occurs can be traced back to find that if any of a vast number of people had merely done just one thing differently (or not done one thing), then the event would never have occurred or would have occurred with a different result. For example, you could blame the airline for taking off during such heightened tensions in the area. Or you could blame the pilot for taking off. Or you could blame the investors who financed the airline....if they would not have invested, then the plane would never have been in Tehran to take off. And on, and on, ad infinitum. That is why hundreds of years ago English common law established the use of "proximate cause" as a criterion when assessing the responsibility of a person for a result. In any conflict, each side is solely responsible for their own errors. Furthermore, people who accuse Trump of responsibility for the airliner shot down are applying a double standard. Every error that the US makes in anything over which Trump has influence, they blame on Trump. But they excuse or exonerate leaders of other nations with whom we are in conflict for their errors.

  138. By the actions of the Trump administration I would say that they are at war with Iran. And Iran surely recognizes it. Maybe Iran will wait to see if a more friendly administration will be formed in a year or so. They may fear Trump and his apparent recklessness. There is no doubt that Iran’s regional foreign policy is very aggressive and war-like, and successful so far. Soleimani was largely responsible for this by his intelligent execution of the ayatollahs’ directives. Our former step-by-step approach of trying to treat Iran as equals while attempting to change their regional meddling has been replaced by Trump’s extreme maximum pressure campaign. But who will keep up the pressure if we experience a regime change?

  139. If Iran wants to retaliate, the best way to accomplish this, without causing the start of a war, is simply to find and release Trump's tax returns.

  140. Let’s remember that we are in this situation due to the “wave the white flag” foreign policies of the Carter and Obama administrations. Tehran should have long ago been wiped off the face of the earth. A reminder to all who would think about threatening our citizens and our way of life. President Trump is simply cleaning up the mess that other Presidents left him. Let the President do his job and please stop the handwringing. Remember we live in the greatest country that has ever existed. However, we still have work to do to make it great again.

  141. Trump was afraid of being associated with a Carteresque embassy crisis and struck back at the person he thought responsible. No more complicated than that.

  142. This is an excellent editorial. Yes, Mr. Trump, it does matter what foreign policy or lack thereof, you are implementing. I am thinking there is none. Since the GOP Senate is shirking its duty, I see them as increasingly responsible for the folly of this administration. GOP Senators, be true to your oaths of office and do your duty to uphold the Constitution. We Americans and indeed the rest of the world, are depending on you.

  143. Why would you take anything Trump says seriously? Of course the bombing matters. It just doesn't matter in the way you think. Trump disrupted a news cycle profoundly dominated by impeachment without suffering a Benghazi style military retaliation. For now at least, that's good enough for him. Mission accomplished. If troops or diplomats die as a result, that's fine. Not his problem. Provided the attack occurs after the 2020 election. You need to recognize you're dealing with an infinitely selfish man. If I were Iran though, government or citizen, I would be looking to settle the score. If I were Iran, I would be planning a massive foreign policy crisis timed directly at Trump's general election season. Trump brought up hostages. Iran might just take him at his word. A similar episode undid Carter. Why not Trump?

  144. You should not underestimate how the shooting down of the Ukrainian civilian passenger jet by the Iranians, altered the optics of the assassination. It became an example of what Trump argued was the reason for the assassination. Yet while Trump benefited from this tragedy, it is inexplicable to me as to how he has escaped condemnation for the disaster being a repercussion of the assassination he ordered.

  145. Once again, the NYT is discussing the accidental flight downing as a clinical, distant event. Please remember that everytime this is done without an acknowledgement that so many innocent lives were lost in the crossfire between Trump and Iran that the key and urgent point is lost; that you have a President willing to do anything to save his reputation, including illegal assassinations. He will sacrifice allies' lives and more. In my view, the GOP must be forced to keep their focus riveted on that fact before it is too late. Meanwhile, we here in Canada continue to mourn our 57.

  146. That America forced Europe, its main ally in the world, to leave the Iran nuclear agreement, which it strongly supports, by threatening to attack it with an economical war, shows how utterly crazy this president and the GOP who supports him have become. The peace after WWII was based on mutual economical collaboration, and diplomatic resolution of conflicts. The GOP is doing the exact opposite, and for two decades already. This will not end well. I am tempted to move to the US for the next step in my career, but this, combined with the threat of climate change, turns the US into a potentially dangerous country to live in, during the decades to come. And the only way to end this downward spiral is to finally recognize that "there is method in this madness", and stop claiming that it's just Trump. It isn't. Against the will of the entire world, including Europe, the previous GOP administration launched a war that killed more than 100,000 innocent civilians and totally messed up the Middle East - based on lies. It's now part of the DNA of the GOP to do things like that, once they control DC. Trump is merely a clown translating this ideology into entertaining tweets. But it's not about him. He would be powerless if it weren't for massive support by his own political party. Does someone still remember how G.W. Bush went into Iraq without ANY plan to deal with the aftermath, once Bagdad was taken? Strongly empowering Iran and the creation of ISIS were the result. What now?

  147. The Times comments that assassination of a top leader is a violation of international law. I think I have a little trouble with that law, also with the terminology. When a leader is killed its an assassination, but when a soldier (or a civilian bystander) is killed it's just a plain killing - perfectly legal. Now, in business we see the top executives receiving inordinately high compensation for their work. Is this because these same executives (or their hacks on the board) are determining such compensation ? And, it seems the first things the leaders directing international mayhem do is to pass a law protecting themselves from the very violence they have initiated and perpetrated. I realize that President Trump has shown no more than a micron of ethical behavior, but I have difficulty condemning him for violating such a self-serving international law.

  148. This is another action in a long line by this administration in all spheres of foreign policy and toward all of it allies that has contributed to the erosion of America’s standing in the world. Canada, who is also on the ground with the USA in Iraq, and was not warned about the attack (and is now the world leader in human loss because of it), who was brow beaten into a trade negotiation under completely false accusations, who respected the rule of law by arresting a Chinese national at America’s request and has been abandoned to China’s wrath by America, does not trust America anymore. What was once an honest broker who’s name and signature meant something has all the hallmarks of becoming a rogue state itself - albeit a super powerful one. This was nothing more than a state sponsored assassination ( of a bad man) featuring DJ Trump as judge jury and executioner with no consideration of the international consequences. If Americans are ok with that then we know where the moral bar has been reset. It’s sad, it’s a new world order, we don’t trust America anymore and by her abandoning her global leadership we have no way of knowing what will happen next nor do we have any incentive to stand by her with any genuine solidarity....

  149. Yes. It really does matter! "Assassination is illegal in international law and taboo American foreign policy," This man, a very evil man, was not a stateless terrorist. He was a high ranking official of the country of Iran. Just because the US declared him a "terrorist," does not remove his Iranian rank and citizenship. By this logic, Iran could declare 45 a terrorist. Allowing this illegality and taboo out of the box endangers every single official of any country in the world! Yes! It matters. And to the level that 45's immorality is sown, so shall innocent people be reaped.

  150. No one in the “administration”, including Trump, has any coherent Iranian policy. Trump broke the successful multilateral Iranian nuclear arms control pact because of his raging jealousy and hatred of President Obama. What came after was due to that mistake. What will happen next? No one knows.

  151. Ok, I get it: bad Trump for taking out a very,very bad man without the highest moral high ground; but lest we forget, George W took us to war with Iraq because Saddam Hussein went after W’s daddy. I loath the Trump regime, but in the arc of recent American history, is the death of a monster like Suleimani really akin to going to war and plunging your country into a 20 year war which will never win?

  152. When it comes to evidence of impeachable offenses, we're long past needing a smoking gun. If Republican senators don't rid us of a president who would start a war to help him get re-elected, we may have to deal with what those who sold us the big lie about Iraq's WMD called a mushroom cloud.

  153. Why is Donald strong-arming our allies with threats of tariffs if they don't bow to his will? Did we spend 75 years building a secure post-war environment only to have a single ignorant man undo all that progress? The biggest failure of the Republican Party is not that they suffer Trump, but that they have withdrawn from governance.

  154. Trump is bringing Mafia values to our government. Apparently a lot of Americans are happy with that. Trump is a problem. American culture, though, is the bigger problem. Trump remains in power and largely unchecked because 40% of Americans love him and another 20% or 30%, while they may not like Trump's style, are okay with much of what he does. The assassination is a good example. How many Americans are truly morally outraged by the President deciding on his own to murder a foreign official without any due process or any declaration of war? At most, maybe 20% or 30%. The rest of America either loves it or thinks it's maybe acceptable in some cases.

  155. "Trump has no clear rationale for killing Iran’s top general, or for much of his foreign policy." I respectfully disagree. Indeed Mr. Trump does have a very clear rationale for assassinating the top Iranian general. He figures that the killing, sooner or later, will lead to a major war between the two countries and being a " war president" will guarantee his re-election; hence, his staying out of prison!

  156. Simply very, very tired of seeing getting away with criminal activity.

  157. Incredible. No clear rational??? Suleimani should have been gone long before Trump. He was behind the killing of hundreds and the wounding and maiming of thousands of our military. Two presidents traded his life for those lives and limbs as well as the mental anguish of those who experienced the carnage caused by him. What excuse did those presidents and their advisers use. It might start a war. Well it didn't and Trump made sure Suleimani would be not be behind killing and wounding of any more of our military. The nuclear pack with Iran was a sham. 15 years later they would be able to make all the bombs they wanted. In the meantime the increase in their economy from the agreement allowed them to finance more surrogate conflicts. He wants a permanent ban. Fifteen years is nothing to Iran. Recently a NYT "Opinion" predicted they could have a bomb in five months. If true,they have never stopped working on one. Before Trump, ISIS ran though much of Iraq and Syria. The previous administration talked about degrading or containing them. It took Trump to defeat the ISIS Islamic State. Even the NYT gave him credit for that. Iran is unstable. There have been the killing and imprisonment of many protesters. Their economy is tanking and inflation has taken over. They may have huge crowds in the streets to protest the killing but how many of their citizens are willing to give themselves to avenge Suleimani.

  158. So here you are, New York Times, agreeing with Trump and the Republicans that the downfall of the Iranian government (or “regime”, in media-speak) is a worthy goal and moreover one which should be shared by the Democrats. Pelosi’s refusal to explicitly endorse that goal was wrong-headed, you believe. Would you mind explaining to us exactly why you believe Iran is such a threat to the United States that we should prioritize looking for ways to topple its government? You state that Iran “is brutal and has sown death and disruption in the Middle East.” Is that your reason why we should overthrow them? I rather doubt it, because one could use the same grounds for toppling Saudi Arabia, a brutal nation which has sown death and disruption in Yemen and Syria, to say nothing of its decades-old policy of exporting Wahabism throughout the region, the main inspiration of ISIS and Al-Qaeda and all their offshoots. Yet I don’t recall you endorsing the overthrow of Saudi Arabia. Or even worse, one could use the same grounds for toppling the US government which has sown grievous death and disruption by invading Afghanistan and then Iraq in 2003 and remaining there ever since. Surely you would not agree with such a conclusion. So then there must be other reasons you have which lead you to believe that seeking the downfall of the Iranian “regime” is such a great idea and worthy of bipartisan buy-in. Would you mind sharing them?

  159. Our founding fathers would impeach and remove this president. Trump supporters who claim to know what the founding fathers want and think are ignorant of history if they support Trump. Thomas Jefferson was a Deist and said the most important attribute of a leader was to be a moral person and to know what is moral. Trump is an amoral person who commits daily immoral acts. Breaking international law to kill a commissioned military leader of a country with which we are not officially at war is murder regardless if the outcome was positive for our nation. The WAY we achieved a positive outcome is what is most important to good leadership in the world. Moral leadership sets us apart from lesser nations. We are not moral leaders when we break international law. This is the argument of Jefferson. As for Christians who endorse this President, when they support this person who does evil to benefit them, they have done evil themselves. Christ is the WAY, the truth, and the life. Christians in good standing with God know the WAY of achieving something is much more important than what was achieved. That was our forefathers and Christ’s example; Trump’s daily behavior is the complete opposite of any founding father or Christ. When people support Trump, they are not following Christ’s example nor our founding fathers.

  160. The horse is already out of the barn New York Times Editorial Board. It is way too late to close that proverbial barn door. Trump has been given plenty of room to make the decisions he makes at home and abroad by almost half of American voters, a completely complicit Republican Party, and a media in which too many fail to do their jobs time and time again. We are pretty much to the point that we have no recourse against the decisions that Trump and his Administration make. Even impeachment is probably going to come down to a whitewash of presidential abuse of power, obstruction of Congress, and a ticket to a 2nd term for Trump. With Iran, Soleimani is dead. A weak retaliatory strike on an Iraqi base or two produces some head injuries for eleven of our soldiers(lied about by Trump) and death for an entire planeload of innocent people(Irani incompetence). And of course, real retaliation to come at a time and place of Iran's choosing. It's not over. And now Trump will have plenty of time to continue his whack-a-mole game with the world.

  161. Soleimani was commander of the Quds Force, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States and other nations. The Quds Force is a state-sponsored terrorist organization, but that did not provide Soleimani immunity. The Quds Force is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers. As its commander, Soleimani was a combatant and a legitimate target. Soleimani traveled to Iraq to coordinate future terror attacks with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the commander of the Kataib Hezbollah militia, which also is designated as a terrorist group. The two met at the Baghdad Airport and both died in the Drone attack.

  162. The likelihood that Trump through his ignorance and ego will lead us into another Mideast war is as high as ever. He may not want war, but his ego leads him around from one stumble into another. He's been able to get away with his foreign blunders with his base up to now, but an outright war with Iran is another matter. How will Trump react to the next Iranian aggression, this time through a thinly veiled proxy attack? If the Senate impeachment trial makes Trump look bad, its predictable, in defense of his pride he'll divert attention. Is there any doubt who he'll blame?

  163. Trump believes that he doesn’t have to explain himself to you or to anyone

  164. Last night on Bill Maher: "Impeached for LIFE!" shouted Speaker Pelosi. I need that as a ring tone! Going forward may our military do the right thing. Killing Iran's top general wasn't doing the right thing.

  165. You know what else really matters? All those Canadians killed in the airplane that went down. It has barely rated a mention in the American media, by the American people or the American government. Now just imagine if they had been Americans.

  166. Soleimani was a top terrorist. He was personally responsible for thousands of deaths, nationality not important. He was an equal opportunity killer. Obama gave Soleimani a free ride with the bogus Iran deal. Trump targeted him 6 months ago. America killed him. Soleimani was the reason why Iran and America were in a recent proxy war. People in the a Middle East are rejoicing.

  167. Donald Trump, megalomaniac, is not only power-hungry, he has no idea that the President is not the head of Government of the US, one of very few nations that has no real “head of government”. He’s head of state, a position with slightly more power than Queen Elizabeth II. He is specifically prohibited, as is every other US official from using assassination as a tool of statecraft - in fact both US and International Law prohibit the murder of high-ranking government officials. They may be incidental casualties if they are in a theater of war during an ongoing battle - which was not the case here. The Times reports Trump ordered the bear-simultaneous murder of a second foe of ... mainly the House of Saud, which we apparently serve as mercenaries. It dies not matter what a high-ranking member of a foreign government may have done in the past or is planning to do in the future. That’s why we have an International Court of Justice. Sorry Donald, you cannot go out and murder random leaders of other governments. First of all, you have endangered the lives of every high-ranking US official- including yourself. Secondly, you have made the US out to be the opposite of a beacon of freedom under law, but a nation run on the sane policies as Russia or Saudi Arabia. I just hope enough GOP Senators will realize what a danger you are to this nation and take you from office fir your crimes - before they cone back to haunt us. And that the US will bring criminal charges against you afterwards.