When news broke last night that the United States had killed Iran’s top intelligence and military commander, celebrations ensued in the right-wing pundit-sphere.
The U.S. military conducted a drone strike in Iraq that killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, and “several officials from Iraqi militias backed by Tehran,” The New York Times reported. In response, Iran’s supreme leader issued a statement calling for three days of mourning before the country retaliates. The Times reported that former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had declined to kill Soleimani during their administrations, “fearing it would lead to war between the United States and Iran.”
Critics of the move fear that the escalation could lead to further conflict in the region, but right-wing commentators roundly lauded the president’s authorization of Soleimani’s killing.
Ben Shapiro wrote that the airstrike that killed Soleimani was “utterly righteous.”
No one wants more — least of all Trump. But the best way to prevent war with Iran is to stop them from regional aggression through restored deterrence — not paying off the terrorists who are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans so they can pursue more terror.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 3, 2020
The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh said that being anti-war is a “stupid, unserious position for children and idiots.”
“Anti-war” is a stupid, unserious position for children and idiots. Obviously there are times when military strikes are necessary and appropriate. I believe this is one of those times. The other option is, what, to cower in the corner while our embassies are under siege? Absurd. https://t.co/vTbZy9Reny
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) January 3, 2020
Senior Trump campaign advisor Katrina Pierson recirculated President Donald Trump’s caps-locked threat to the president of Iran in July 2018 and captioned it “Promises made – promises kept!”
Promises made – promises kept! 🇺🇸 https://t.co/HNHtZpnGyX
— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) January 3, 2020
Conservative author Noah Rothman wrote in an opinion column for Commentary magazine that the strike on Soleimani was “a long time coming.” From the article, titled “Soleimani Deserved His Fate”:
This was a long time coming.
The strike President Donald Trump authorized on Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Qasem Soleimani neutralized a bad actor with American blood on his hands. According to a Pentagon estimate, roughly one in six U.S. casualties sustained in the effort to subdue the insurgency during the Iraq war was attributable to Iranian actions. Soleimani took an active part in that campaign, establishing training camps and setting up factories to produce the explosive charges that penetrated American armored vehicles.
Townhall senior columnist Kurt Schlichter lauded that “Donald Trump certainly gave those sons of bitches something to mourn about…”
Well, Donald Trump certainly gave those sons of bitches something to mourn about…
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) January 3, 2020
Newsbusters managing editor Curtis Houck suggested that news outlets that reported on the killing as an “assassination” had “similar goals” to the country of Iran, because Iranians are also using the same terminology.
Not surprising that journalists are now using the word “assassination” to describe the U.S. strike on Soleimani, which is the term being used by….the Iranians.
It’s like they have similar goals or something.
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 3, 2020
The Daily Wire’s Jessica Fletcher echoed the sentiment, writing: “Don’t mess with our embassy, buttholes.”
Don’t mess with our embassy, buttholes. https://t.co/xlTpn1OaN1
— Jessica Fletcher (@heckyessica) January 3, 2020
Townhall editor Katie Pavlich lauded a CNBC op-ed’s headline, which originally read: “America just took out the world’s no. 1 bad guy.” The headline was later updated to clarify that it was an opinion piece: “Op-Ed: America just took out a man many consider the world’s No. 1 bad guy”
Good headline https://t.co/dQNZVAfjc6
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) January 3, 2020
Eric Bolling, a host for Sinclair and BlazeTV, wrote that Trump “put this aggression down HARD and [got the fuck out] of that God forsaken land.”
#IranianMullahs don’t know what an olive branch is.
They know economic sanctions and what- crushing their oil processing facilities will do you them.@realDonaldTrump put this aggression down HARD and GTFO of that God forsaken land.#RadicalIslam does not = Peace <- NOT SORRY🇺🇸
— Eric Bolling🇺🇸 (@ericbolling) January 3, 2020
Host of YourVoice America Bill Mitchell posted a list of things he believed Iran learned from the military action, including “Don’t f*** with President Trump”:
What did Iran learn today?
1) That President Trump doesn’t care about their threats.
2) That President Trump doesn’t care what the American Media thinks.
3) That President Trump doesn’t care what the Democrats think.
4) Don’t f*** with President Trump.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) January 3, 2020
You want to know what else was risky?
Thank God Eisenhower was in charge and not Biden.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) January 3, 2020
Right-wing radio host Buck Sexton wrote, “2020 is definitely starting off with a bang.”
2020 is definitely starting off with a bang
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) January 3, 2020
And radical right-wing commentator Josh Bernstein posted a video boasting that the world fears Trump “because he, unlike Bambi Obama—the mom-jean-wearing-little-pissant that we had for eight years—President Trump puts his money here his mouth is.”