It may be too soon to say whether Iran is standing down from its attack on our military bases, as President Trump suggested yesterday appears to be the case. All Americans are hoping that turns out to be true. It’s not too soon, though, to observe that the Democrats’ strategy of American appeasement lies in shambles.
The way Mr. Trump marked this was by focusing on the agreement that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry struck with the Ayatollahs. Mr. Trump couldn’t have been more blunt. Iran’s hostilities, he said, increased after the Iran deal was inked in 2015. Under the pact, he noted, Iran was given $150 billion, “not to mention $1.8 billion in cash.”
“Instead of saying ‘thank you’ to the United States,” the President said, “they chanted ‘death to America.’ In fact, they chanted ‘death to America’ the day the agreement was signed.” Iran then went on a terror spree that was, Mr. Trump disclosed, “funded by the money from the deal.” The result was that they “created hell” in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
Mr. Trump also alleged that the missiles fired at us “were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.” Plus, he said, Iran’s leaders “greatly tightened the reins on their own country, even recently killing 1,500 people at the many protests that are taking place all throughout Iran.” The Iran deal, he added, left Iran “a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout.”
What gets us about all this is the total unwillingness of the Democrats to take any responsibility for the catastrophe of the appeasement they pursued so ardently. On the contrary, with the stench of battle still over the bases in Iraq where Iran tried to rocket our GIs, Mr. Kerry issued an op-ed piece casting blame for any war that might result on — wait for it — the Americans.
Here’s how Mr. Kerry put it Tuesday, speaking at a Biden event in Iowa: “It’s a tragedy for the world that instead of diplomacy, this administration has rushed to confrontation. If this develops into a tit for tat increased effort, it will become a war that is needless, it didn't have to happen. And it will be a reckless war of choice by the president of the United States.”
Whose side is Secretary Kerry on? The fact is that our GIs have been dying for years in low-grade war with Iran and its proxies. Yet since the day Mr. Trump was elected, not a single leading Democrat has offered to help us win it, though some of them have voted for our military budgets. They seek to appease an Iranian regime against which Iran’s own people seek to rise up.
The Sun doesn’t want a war any more than do conservative libertarians. Yet History has taught the folly of appeasement. American voters — collectively wiser than any one of us — are ahead of the Democrats. In one of the most dramatic presidential elections, they rejected Mr. Kerry in 2004 precisely for his appeasement of the communists during Vietnam.
Democrats in the Congress may seek as early as today to curb the President’s war powers. That strikes us as dangerous. We may yet get to a point where Congress will be asked to declare a war. And we’ve long since, as we’ve written, reached the point where we think any president would be wise to secure a proper war declaration before plunging into a proper war.
Mr. Trump, though, has cast his own maneuvering as an effort not to start a war but to stop one. The current crisis wasn’t created on his watch. The idea that America can halt the Iranians by paying them money while they hold out for an A-bomb was rejected in 2016. Do the Democrats really want to go to the polls on a Kerryite platform again?
Correction: 2015 is the year the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was inked; the year was misstated in an earlier edition of this editorial.