The goofy fantasy of anti-war Trump

The killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani is just more proof that Trump was never going to end endless war

President Trump.
(Image credit: Illustrated | ambassador806/iStock, NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images, Aerial3/iStock)

For three years, President Trump's supporters have insisted that whatever his other flaws, he is at least no warmonger, unlike his more establishment alternatives in thrall of "the blob," the foreign policy establishment whose consensus rules Washington regardless of public opinion. That was never true. But the assassination last night of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the elite Quds Force, has put America on the precipice of a major new conflict, proving that Trump was at best a fickle warrior against "endless war."

Soleimani, along with other Iran-backed militia figures, was killed at Iraq's Baghdad International airport in a strike ordered by President Trump. There is no question that Soleimani was a bad guy. He was the head of an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and second in command behind Iran's leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. Soleimani was also a shadow puppet master who got his minions — militia groups and regimes from Teheran to the Mediterranean — to run proxy wars against his enemies. He propped up the brutal regime of Bashar Assad in Syria to crush Iran's Sunni enemies; he trained and funded Hezbollah in Lebanon to counter Israel; he stirred up a civil war in Yemen by backing the Houthis to make trouble for Saudi Arabia.

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Shikha Dalmia

Shikha Dalmia is a visiting fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University studying the rise of populist authoritarianism.  She is a Bloomberg View contributor and a columnist at the Washington Examiner, and she also writes regularly for The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications. She considers herself to be a progressive libertarian and an agnostic with Buddhist longings and a Sufi soul.