Trump Blundered By Not Retaliating on Iran Missile Strikes, May Encourage More Iranian Aggression

Editor’s Note: Dr. Nicholas Waddy has published numerous articles in Artvoice and other notable publications. He also publishes on his own website

He is anything but a Democrat. In this post, he presents a curious dilemma. He has criticized Trump and usually anything critical of Trump, regardless of merit, is warmly supported by Democrats. We often see criticism of Trump for doing things that other presidents did without bothering to note this inconvenient fact, and sometimes there is consistent criticism – on the same topic – first when he doesn’t do something – for not doing it – and then when he does it – criticism for doing it.  So this, in a sense, is an experiment. It is written by a right-leaning college professor –  and t criticizes Trump. I wonder how Democrats feel about this. Was Trump right not to retaliate against Iran or did he show American weakness as Dr. Waddy posits?

Waddy describes himself as “political commentator, historian, patriot, novelist, and wise man extraordinaire!”   He is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred.  He specializes in 20th century European and African history.  He is the author of a novel, Jewel of the East, set in 18th century India, as well as a European history textbook, The Essential Guide to Western Civilization, published by Routledge.  

Can A Direct Attack on American Servicemen Really Go Unanswered?

Waddy Is Right

 By Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy

President Trump shocked the world — and mortified Democrats — when he authorized a lethal drone strike against Iranian General and super-terrorist Qassem Soleimani. The real surprise, however, wasn’t that Trump suddenly found the gumption to target a high-profile Iranian — it was that it took America so long to rid the world of a man with so much American blood on his hands. Previous U.S. administrations, afraid of “escalation,” allowed the agents of Iran free rein in their murderous plots. Sooner or later, America had to push back.

What’s odd, though, is that the entirely justifiable U.S. strike on Soleimani produced, in turn, a direct Iranian missile strike on two U.S. bases in Iraq. President Trump warned before these strikes occurred that America would not tolerate aggression against our servicemen and assets in the region — and a broad list of targets in Iran had been identified for potential retaliatory action.

The Iranians chose to avenge Soleimani in a particularly bold and provocative way. They launched ballistic missiles from Iran itself, targeting bases in Iraq where large numbers of U.S. servicemen are stationed. Iran could have used Iraqi proxies to do its dirty work; it could have attacked Israel or our allies in Iraq instead of U.S. soldiers. Instead, it decided to go all out by mounting a direct assault on American personnel that left no doubt about who was responsible.

The missile strikes against two U.S. bases, as it happened, killed no U.S. servicemen. That is largely because Americans were able to take shelter as the missiles rained down. As recent reporting has shown, however, some soldiers were lightly injured by the concussive effects of the blasts.

President Trump chose to let sleeping dogs lie after the Iranian attack. He declared the cycle of retaliation complete, and he cheered the fact that Iran appeared to be “standing down”.

Given the apocalyptic reporting in the news media in the preceding days about an imminent “war” with Iran, Trump’s restraint must have come as a surprise to Democrats and Trump haters. That Trump eschews involvement in foreign conflicts, however, has been obvious for a long time. Trump is willing to break the rules of diplomacy, yes, and even to use military force in unconventional ways, but he seemingly has no appetite for major military confrontations, and in fact, he has been trying, with limited success, to disengage the United States from the grinding conflicts to which it is already committed, like the Syrian Civil War and the War in Afghanistan.

What ought to give the American people pause, however, is the strange precedent that President Trump has now set vis-a-vis foreign aggression. He punished Iran with lethal force for, as the administration described it, formulating plans to attack U.S. assets. When the Iranians directly assaulted U.S. bases, however, he demurred from retaliation.

What is the lesson here that Iran is supposed to learn? That the contemplation of terrorist acts against Americans may provoke us to violence, but the actual lobbing of sophisticated missiles at our bases, with the potential to kill dozens or hundreds of Americans, will only yield a yawn and a shrug?

If anything, it would seem that Iran’s missile strikes were what demanded a resolute response. Our failure to deliver it could embolden Iran, and other hostile actors around the world, to target U.S. military personnel and bases directly. The results could be tragic, on a human level, and deeply destabilizing on a political and strategic level, since a successful assault on American personnel would presumably produce a whirlwind of violent consequences.

The time for retaliation in the wake of Iran’s dastardly missile strikes has now passed. Unfortunately, that means that President Trump missed a crucial opportunity to demonstrate his seriousness about fulfilling his number one responsibility as Commander-in-Chief: the protection of U.S. lives from foreign aggression.

We can only hope that this oversight does not put more of our servicemen in harm’s way.


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  • If Iran’s missle attack on US bases was really an all out response, there would have been far more death and destruction – which there could have been, but there wasn’t. What it really was was straddling the fence by Iranian leaders who felt desperately pressured to make a military response to the killing of General Soleimani lest they appear afraid to their people, but had to respond in such a weak way as not to draw the full brunt of a US military attack which for all their loud rhetoric they obviously feared. It was simply a stage show put on by Iranian leaders so they could say “Look! We did something! You can’t say we aren’t standing up to the Great Satan US, or that we’re weak leaders!” At the same time, their response had to be as minimal as possible because they were afraid of US military forces all along. It was simply a face saving gesture.

  • The problem is not defeating the Islamic Republic of Iran. A war with Iran would last less than 48 hours as U.S. Troops and aircraft would easily defeat Iran’s military.

    The problem is the occupation which would require the U.S. Forces to deal with insurgents/guerrillas and conduct nation-building operations.

    That’s an area where we are clearly lacking.

    I think Trump made the right choice.

  • If you believe, “some soldiers were lightly injured by the concussive effects of the blasts”, you are a sucker. Have you ever served in the military? Military personnel are not flown out if they have “light” concussions or if their eardrums are temporarily blown out.
    Medical personnel are at all military bases i.e., doctors.

    The administration had to cover up the injuries or escalate the current conflict.

    Trump blundered, you are right, he should have retaliated with overwhelming force.

  • President Trump knows what he is doing. He does NOT answer to threats. Trump has aides, legal representation, prayer warriors, etc. He is doing what he needs to be doing. He deserves accolades for what he has done. He is trying to keep us out of war – and keep criminals from coming into the US illegally. My advice is run for president if you can do better!

    • Prayer Warriors? My false pride will not allow me to Google the term. Prayer Warrior sounds like a character class of NPC in, the MMORPG game, World of Warcraft. Do you have any enchanted items you are willing to barter?

      • Just Google Paula White and you will see a “warrior” in action. Its an amazing performance, and pairs well with a Journey tune, so you can hear her current hubby on the keyboards.

    • “He[Trump] does NOT answer to threats.” —Kim

      There are two problems with Kim’s logic:

      1. Then why did we kill the general in the first place?
      2. Iran attacked a US military base with over a dozen missiles. The attack was an attack not a threat.

    • Kim, if he is trying to keep the US out of war, why did he order the assassination, knowing full well what would happen afterwards? Trump’s hands are stained with the blood of all those killed in the plane crash.

      • Stained?

        …Kinda like how your college-aged daughter is now ‘stained’ with the memory of a gaslighted, cat loving mother who thinks that fictitious criminals are following her around the Internet?

        Your daughter is obviously ashamed of her paranoid mom. I can see why the baby bird finally left the nest.

        As for the plane crash, Trudeau has more responsibility than Trump for the plane crash, since why would his government not issue a worldwide alert to urge Canadians not to fly out of an airport run by a government that recently promised to start a war by attacking a bigger country that is poised to incinerate it?

        Regardless of whether you think Trump or Iran started this dispute, it’s not wise to fly out of such an airport for basic safety reasons.

        What was Ottawa’s response? Crickets.

        Yet those Canadian citizens flew anyway, which doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

        Trudeau doesn’t seem to mind his own government’s lackluster preparedness, nor does he mind playing blackface.

        Have a nice day, Flower girl. 🙂

      • You ignorant bitch,, the fucking Iranians shot their own plane down because someone was on that plane they did not want leaving. Too bad you were not on of the Canadians on that plane.

    • Kim-
      Paula White runs a prosperity ministry. She is a heretic, charlatan and an abomination to the teachings of Jesus Christ and our Lord. Why Trump chose her I have no idea.

  • Sorry asshole, but your conclusions are just too aggressive for even a democrat-hating guy like me.

    Let’s look at facts:

    1) Iran’s missile strikes were NOT intended to KILL or SERIOUSLY INJURE American soldiers, as they did not target the actual barracks where Americans were sleeping. Iran’s missiles also ignored the military base which houses the most Americans in Iraq, as that military base was left alone (even though it’s located much closer to Iran’s borders than the bases they targeted).

    2) Iran launched a dozen missiles and yet not ONE of them actually hit an American barracks? Yet we’re supposed to believe this was just faulty targeting or random luck? Nope. It was a CALCULATED MOVE to ensure that Trump would not be required to respond with overwhelming force and incinerate their own country. If they had killed Americans, they knew that Trump would have had no choice but to incinerate their military infrastructure.

    3) Iran gave the Iraqi military a warning about the attack before it happened, which they KNEW would be leaked to American military leaders (which in fact DID happen, since Iraqi soldiers did leak this info to American leaders ahead of time). This indicates that Iran did NOT want to TRULY surprise and kill Americans, otherwise they’d have never given Iraqi soldiers a warning about the attack.

    4) Iran’s missile strike was merely a FACE SAVING response which allowed them to save face a little bit without killing anybody (by avenging the death of their most sacred military leader). It was a CLEVER response because it gave Trump an excuse not to launch an all out war against Iran, as nobody was killed. It was actually a rather intelligent response by Iran, as it shows they’re scared of Trump and not as suicidal as they like to portray.

    5) If Iran TRULY wanted to SERIOUSLY INJURE or KILL Americans with that missile strike, they could have EASILY launched a second wave of missiles after early media reports mentioned that no deaths or serious injuries had taken place. Yet Iran did NOT launch any more waves of attacks. In fact, after learning that nobody died, Iran declared that they’d be ‘de-escalating’ (standing down) as long as no further strikes were launched by Trump. That’s not the behavior of a country that wanted American blood from those missile strikes.

    6) Iran lost their most sacred military leader of all time, yet in their own missile response, they launched a dozen missiles that didn’t cause a SINGLE fatality or SERIOUS injury. Iran lost their senior military leader but didn’t even kill a LOW LEVEL American Army Private in response, yet they still ‘stood down’. This should tell you that they fear Trump.

    7) Iran is scared of Trump since they’d never trade the life of their most sacred military leader for a few empty missile strikes that killed nobody — unless they truly feared that Trump would indeed carry out a serious attack on Iran’s home soil and endanger their regime.

    8) If Iran truly didn’t fear Trump, they’d continue launching missiles until dozens of Americans were dead or seriously injured. They wouldn’t just stop and stand down, especially after Trump is ahead on the scoreboard. Trump killed their highest military commander, while Iran didn’t even kill a single Army Private who cleans the toilets.

    10) This is an election year and going to war over a few missiles that purposely missed any serious targets is not a wise decision. Trump can easily wait until the election is over before clobbering Iran the next time they choose to be foolish.

    11) I doubt that Iran will strike again at Americans directly, seeing that Trump already killed their senior military leader and will likely raze their military infrastructure to the ground if they begin killing Americans.

    Trump handled it perfectly. Iran got the message. If you kill Americans or take them hostage, he will not just sit back and pay bribes like Obama and John Kerry did.

    Have a nice day! 🙂

  • For all of the Democrats’ bellyaching about Trump’s killing of the Iranian terrorist General Qassem Soleimeni, it actually turns out that it has long been the policy of the US government to kill people it regards as a threat to America, its citizens and its global interests. The US government planned to kill undesirable foreign political figures as early as 1954.

    During the Eisenhower administration, the CIA created the “Health Alteration Committee”.
    By Presidential order, often given orally, the President could authorize the killing of undesirable foreign political leaders.
    President Eisenhower authorized the killing of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba in 1960.
    Around the same time, the CIA plotted to kill the then-leader of Iraq, General Abdul Karim Kassem, with a poisoned handkerchief.

    Under the Kennedy administration, the Health Alteration Committee changed its name to the more James Bondish “Executive Action.”
    Executive Action plotted to kill Cuba’s Fidel Castro for years and in 1967 actually captured and killed Castro’s Number Two man, Che Guevara, in Bolivia.

    While Watergate caused the program to be suspended for several years, the 1984 torture and killing of CIA agent William Buckley caused the US to revive it.
    President Ronald Reagan called it by a new name “Preemptive Neutralization”.
    The policy of preemptive neutralization continued under Presidents Clinton, both Bush Presidents and even President Obama.
    And now it continues under President Donald J. Trump.

    This is no secret to anyone who follows the news.
    The CIA — licensed to kill for decades
    JULY 22, 2009 12 AM

    So to all you Snowflakes upset about President Trump killing a terrorist, get used to the US government’s policy of “Live and Let Die.”

  • Dr. Waddy is correct in his assessment we should have sent a very strong military response to Iran’s attacking US interests in the region, particularly our military personnel. However, I disagree it is now too late to deliver a strong and meaningful response. A strong effective response to this rogue regime can certainly be initiated. It should be well planned to deliver a serious blow to Iran’s future abilities to attack US forces and our allies and perhaps most importantly have an element of surprise. Don’t let our enemies think this impeachment nonsense will prevent the US from defending our people, assets, and interests

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