First off, we had President Barack Obama spending months and more months on a deal that shoved all kinds of obstacles out of the way. Then we had President Donald Trump yanking the United States out of the deal and actually fighting back with deadly force against a general specializing in terrorism who had killed 600 Americans.
Democrats have been outraged, worrying about a war that's not exactly likely while, with some qualifications, presidential candidates say they will get us back in the Obama deal if Trump is defeated in this year's election.
That promise might not tell the Iranians they will get all of Obama's gifts again, but it certainly sends hints to the dictators that they need not worry too much, that they can get rid of sanctions wrecking their economy and maybe still grin their way to mushroom clouds.
In the interim, the horror of the left at what Trump did is itself close to a horror, a message to Iranians that they have cheerleaders across the Atlantic. Their tale has been that Trump acted recklessly, that he may have cheated the Constitution, that war is a done deal with him in office and that Congress must rise up by way of rescue.
Such concerns were hushed to the degree of applause when Obama and five other powers started dropping sanctions after Iranians agreed to talk because of them. With the United States leading the way, these negotiators amazingly agreed that Iran could keep the means of producing enriched uranium crucial for nuclear weaponry. Iran did agree to turn over its most highly enriched uranium to Russia, which has returned some of it. Without consequence, Iran has violated the treaty 32 times by trying to buy nuclear technology from Germany. We agreed not to inspect military bases just maybe involved in nuclear trickery.
An Obama aide later admitted he fed naÃ¯ve reporters hooey as a way of selling the deal, and, look, Iran has since gotten away with tests of ballistic missiles ever expanding in numbers. It has joyfully sent out terrorists to kill and wound and destroy. It has rather obviously been aiming to revolutionize a Middle East that it will direct with nuclear weaponry facing down objections. There's a problem, though, because we have this Trump guy who thinks deterrence outdoes appeasement as a strategic model. He has let all kinds of things go, such as Iranians shooting down a U.S. drone, but the story is not over.
Major General Qassem Soleimani, a genocidal madman with a gentlemanly demeanor, crossed a Trumpian red line by killing an American, following that up with violence encircling an American embassy. Trump relied on another U.S. drone to in effect return fire, eliminating a cause of hellish effects. This was not a violation of the Constitution, as some Democrats have said, although it would be if Trump went to war without getting a declaration from Congress, something no president has done since World War II.
Iran threatened retaliation, Democrats in our homeland sounded as if they themselves had a revolution in mind and then there were the Iranian missiles and something remarkable: Almost certainly as a matter of intention, they did not kill anyone and did precious little damage. Trump did vow more sanctions, but repeated his often-stated offer of negotiation without preconditions. He made it clear he would not hit back.
We may now really, truly be on the way to victory, of restoring Iran to economic health and affording it a respected place among nations as Iran quits hiding anything and rids itself of the means of developing nuclear weaponry, terrorism, bullying the Middle East in every way it can and testing missiles.
That's not for sure, of course, but it could happen if the Democrats would quit holding out hope that it can return to evil. We will see.
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