The logic that if a terrorist like Qassem Soleimani has an official title with a state that they are off-limits even as they actively seek to attack us is ludicrous.
Trump’s detractors are basically making the argument that if Osama Bin Laden was an official with the Afghan government, he would have been off-limits.
They are also making the argument that taking down murderous criminals is ill-advised because of the possibility of retaliation.
So if you are a member of a drug cartel or MS-13, please feel free to come here and kill us because we are too scared that you might get more violent and kill more of us if we confront you.
We know we must confront evil in this world, and killing Qassem Soleimani was a good thing, but we must also be careful and calculating if and when Iran strikes again.
President Trump Tweeted:
Now is this a smart or a dangerous strategy? I believe it is both.
The show of overwhelming force and warning of targeting of sites to warn the Iran government is strategically smart and an excellent example of utilizing game-theory in international relations.
The dangerous part is considering striking sites that are important to Iranian culture.
The reason this is dangerous is that these sites are most likely of religious importance. You not only want the Iranians that want regime change on your side, but you do not want to have blowback by other countries in the region.
Excluding Israel, the population of Middle Eastern countries is predominately Muslim. The Islamic Republic of Iran would want nothing else than to garner sympathy in the region and cast this as a war on Islam.
Iran wants a religious war narrative, and we cannot give it to them.
What we need to do is wisely choose targets that would deliver a crushing blow on the Iranian government from conducting further attacks against the US and its allies.
Targeting of their radar sites, naval capabilities from attempting to block the Straits of Hormuz, and so forth.
We must make it clear to the region and to the Iranian people that we are not against them or Islam. Therefore, we will not target facilities like power plants that serve a civil function. We are focusing on Irans ability to start a war.
The United States must make it clear we do not wish the Iranian people to suffer, and we do not want war. We will do all we can to limit their suffering, and it is up to the Iranian people to demand and stand up against their oppressors, the leadership of Iran.
I would warn caution to President Trump and our leadership. Do not strike Iranian cultural sites, but do not back off. Demonstrate resolve and strength in confronting the enemies of America and of the civilized world.
If we do this, we will not only win but could bring much-needed stability to the region.
Konstantinos Roditis studied Political Science International Relations from the University of California, San Diego, and 2018 nominated candidate for California State Controller. You can follow him on Twitter & Facebook.