- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a sit-down with Chris Wallace of Fox News, laid out in precise terms exactly why America is in the right, Iran is in the wrong, and Gen. Qaddem Soleimani, head of the dastardly Quds force, had it coming when President Donald Trump’s drone strike took him out and killed him.

And then he gave the Best. Line. Ever.

When Wallace said, “[S]ome analysts suggest that the impeachment of President Trump has emboldened enemies like Iran and North Korea to think that they can confront him. Do you think that, as misguided as it may be, that some of our enemies think that this president is more vulnerable because of the impeachment effort?”

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Pompeo answered: “You should ask Mr. Soleimani.”

Bam. Classic. Classic American fare. Clint Eastwood and Arnold Schwarzenegger are at home right now trying to think how to slide that line into an upcoming movie.

Only this is real-world, not entertainment — and on that, thank goodness the pro-America adults are in the house.

Other Pompeo truisms: “Endless wars are the direct result of weakness.”

Precisely. If the enemy has no fear of final attack, the enemy will keep nipping at the heels — which is what Iran has been doing to America and American allies for years now.

But there’s another truth here and it’s one that has simply begged to be fixed for a very, very long time: If America’s politicians had stayed on the constitutional line and insisted on declarations of war — rather than ceding to the executive a power to engage in military operations without having to go through Congress — then honestly, the whole “America is weak” argument wouldn’t be a factor. After all, nothing says strength like declaring war; conversely, nothing says opportunity to exploit like the War Powers Act.

America simply needs to get back to a time when military engagements come at the declaration of Congress — or not at all. That would not only clarify the U.S. mission. But it would guarantee a U.S. exit.

But as Pompeo also said: “The Obama administration created enormous risks to the American people in Iran.”

The Trump administration inherited those risky realities — including the shocking cash-flow of Team Obama to Iranian partners that has resulted in further spread of anti-American rhetoric and attacks in various regions of the world.

Now is not the time to roll back the president’s commander-in-chief role.

Now is the time, however, to set Iran on notice, to set the world on notice, that the time of Tehran’s sneaky terror hits at American citizens has come to an end. And in a quick, brief quip, that’s just what Pompeo did. 

“Ask Soleimani.” Well, dead men don’t talk. Their dead bodies, on the other hand, can speak volumes.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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