- - Sunday, January 12, 2020

Victor Davis Hanson and Andrew P. Napolitano provide almost conflicting views in recent Commentary pieces dealing with the ramifications of the targeted killing of Iranian terrorist Qassem Soleimani (“Iran’s options in all-out war with America are all bad” and “Can President Trump legally kill a person not engaged in an act of violence?” Web, Jan. 8). To the Iranians, Soleimani was a respected, even loved general, despite having been sanctioned as a terrorist and killer by the European Union, the United Nations and numerous governments.

Mr. Napolitano quotes the U.S. Constitution to illustrate his point that the killing was illegal because at the time of the killing, the U.S. was not “formally” at war with Iran and Soleimani had not been properly charged and convicted of capital crimes. It is correct that Congress has not issued a declaration of war against Iran, but that has not stopped Iran from waging a constant war against the U.S. since 1979. The recent attack against the U.S. embassy in Iraq was merely the most recent example, no doubt organized by the now-deceased Soleimani.

Mr. Hanson, in contrast, points out that having taken the initiative by targeting this Iranian killer, President Trump has left Iran with no good options for responding. For far too long, Iran has been allowed to attack U.S. allies and facilities without any real payback. Now it finds itself opposed, with a president who is prepared to abide by his word and put America first.

With all due respect to retired Judge Napolitano, for far too long previous administrations have allowed the rigidity of our law to dictate American responses to foreign intervention. At last, we have a leader willing to operate within the spirit of the law and take the necessary actions to safeguard Americans and their property.


Rockville, Md.

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