(CNSNews.com) – At a rally in Ohio Thursday night, President Trump once again explained his Iran policy in simple terms.
So we’re using this great power, not to pursue conflict, but to really preserve – and I mean in the truest sense of the word -- preserve peace.
We have this tremendous military, and you know what that is? That’s really a great fighting force, and I hope we never have to use it. I really do.
You saw an example of that a couple of days ago. So we seek friends, not enemies. But if you dare to threaten our citizens, you do so at your own grave peril.
Trump talked about his three-year effort to strengthen the U.S. military; and his success in killing “the bloodthirsty founder and leader of ISIS, Al-Baghdadi" as well as thousands of ISIS warriors. "Nobody has ever done what we’ve done in three years,” Trump said in Trump fashion.
Then the president turned to the targeted killing of Iranian General (and designated terrorist) Qassem Soleimani, which has so angered congressional Democrats.
“Last week, the United States once again took the bold and decisive action to save American lives and deliver American justice,” Trump said.
“For years, the sadistic mass murderer Qassem Soleimani planned and executed attacks against American targets, killing and wounding thousands of U.S. service members and many, many thousands and even hundreds of thousands of other people.
Almost another Benghazi
"As the leader of Iran’s Quds Force, Soleimani spread death, destruction and mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond," Trump said. "He ordered the violent assault on the American Embassy in Baghdad, and you saw this was the anti-Benghazi. We got there very quickly,” he said, “the exact opposite” of what happened in Libya when Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed during the Obama administration.
Trump said Soleimani’s attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad “was going to be another Benghazi had they broken through the final panels of glass…Had they gotten through, we would’ve had either hundreds of dead people or hundreds of hostages, and that was not going to happen.”
Trump said he called his military generals and told them to get U.S. troops there “immediately.”
According to Trump, Soleimani was “actively planning new attacks” on American embassies, and not just the one in Baghdad. “But we stopped him, and we stopped him quickly, and we stopped him cold. So at my direction, the United States military eliminated Qassem Soleimani and ended his rampage through not only that part of the world but a much bigger part of the world…"
Then Trump turned to Democrats who on Thursday passed a nonbinding resolution attempting to limit his ability to strike at Iran without authorization from Congress:
“And yet now I see the radical left Democrats have expressed outrage over the termination of this horrible terrorist,” Trump continued. “You know, instead, they should be outraged by Soleimani’s savage crimes and his countless victims who were denied justice for so long. You know he was the king of roadside bombs…"
Trump mentioned America’s wounded warriors, saying Soleimani “most likely” caused the damage.
Then he criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for condemning the military strike that Trump ordered:
“Bernie Sanders, crazy Bernie, has condemned the U.S. military strike on Soleimani, the world’s top terrorist,” Trump said. “Think about the world’s top terrorist, and we have people from Nancy Pelosi – do you believe that one? Nancy, nervous Nancy.
"But here's a guy who slaughtered and butchered civilians all over, and the military, whoever was in his way..."
Bernie Sanders described Trump’s strike on Soleimani as an “assassination.” House Speaker Pelosi called it “provocative and disproportionate” – an action that “endangered our servicemembers, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran.”
Trump went to explain why he didn't give Congress advance notice. (See: Trump Says, ‘We Didn’t Have Time to Call Up Nancy, Who Is Not Operating With a Full Deck’)