Under the direction of President Donald Trump, U.S. military forces killed the top military general of Iran. News of this has created a firestorm of speculation about what this means and whether it was the right decision. There is little debate that Qasem Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. The Trump Administration’s official position is that U.S. intelligence believed Baghdad and Soleimani were plotting an attack that would have killed hundreds of Americans, and killing Soleimani would prevent, not start, a war. Others have questioned this and there are literally thousands of posts on the internet of Trump prior to running for president saying that Obama would almost certainly start a war with Iran to prop himself up politically. Here is the bottom line: War with Iran would be devastating. Thousands of lives would be lost and trillions of dollars would be spent. Nineteen years later we are still in Afghanistan, so how long could a war with Iran last? We will never see the intelligence reports that prompted this military action so we have no idea whether it was the right call. We are left with the word of our leaders and the hope that we made the right choice in electing a commander-in-chief with the judgement, temperament, and skill to navigate our country and the world through one of the most complex and treacherous geopolitical scenarios on the planet.
It should not be a surprise to anyone that I have my doubts. Admittedly, I was not a fan of the President since the first time he referred to Mexicans as criminals and rapists, but most of the people I know who support the President, support his economic policies, his appointment of conservative judges, and some of his social policies. I know they have doubts when it comes to his character, knowledge, and maturity because they tell me so. They say things like: I don’t like his tweets and I agree that he may not be a very good person, but he’s a fighter and he gets the job done. Would they trust the safety and physical well-being of their own families in his hands? My guess is most of them will pledge their undying support and confidence in the President, but many will have their doubts.
A great movie to watch is Thirteen Days, a Kevin Costner film about the Cuban missile crisis. Movies are movies, but this one captured the pressure and the complexity of one of the most dangerous times in our history. One thing for sure is that this will be Trump’s biggest test. Only the fate of the free world is at stake.