At The American Conservative, Pat Buchanan lauds President Trump’s decision not to take the bait by responding to Iran’s attack on an American drone with death. Despite Trump’s smart decision, the pro-war factions in Washington D.C., including many who hold positions in Congress and the Senate, are berating him for his decision. Pat correctly suggests that if Congress is so eager to go to war with Iran, they should muster their own courage and do their constitutional duty by passing a Declaration of War. That seems unlikely though. They’d rather attempt to bully Trump into an unconstitutional showdown with another Middle Eastern oil state. Pat writes (abridged):
Visualizing 150 Iranians dead from a missile strike that he had ordered, President Donald Trump recoiled and canceled the attack, a brave decision and defining moment for his presidency.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and Vice President Mike Pence had signed off on the strike on Iran as the right response to Tehran’s shootdown of a U.S. Global Hawk spy plane over the Gulf of Oman.
The U.S. claims that the drone was over international waters. Tehran says it was in Iranian territory. But while the loss of a $100 million drone is no small matter, no American pilot was aboard, and retaliating by killing 150 Iranians would appear to be a disproportionate response.
Good for Trump. Yet all weekend, he was berated for chickening out.
Monday, the president tweeted: “The U.S. request for Iran is very simple—No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!”
But Iran has no nuclear weapons, has never had nuclear weapons, and has never even produced bomb-grade uranium.
According to our own intelligence agencies in 2007 and 2011, Tehran did not even have a nuclear weapons program.
Iran, pushed to the wall, its economy shrinking as inflation and unemployment rise, is approaching the limits of its tolerance.
And as Iran suffers pain, it is saying that other nations in the Gulf will endure similar pain, as will the USA. At some point, collisions will produce casualties and we will be on the up escalator to war.
Yet what vital interest of ours does Iran today threaten?
Trump, with his order to stand down on the missile strike, signaled that he wanted a pause in the confrontation.
We appear to be at a turning point in the Trump presidency.
Does he want to run in 2020 as the president who led us into war with Iran, or as the anti-interventionist who began to bring U.S. troops home?
Perhaps Congress, the branch of government designated by the Constitution to decide on war, should instruct President Trump as to the conditions under which he is authorized to take us to war with Iran.
Read more here.