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March Mania

Shaw: Forgive me for not feeling safer

Jim Shaw

FARGO -- The Trump administration claims the world is a safer place after the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, but it sure doesn’t feel that way. I am not sorry Soleimani is gone. He’s responsible for the murders of many American soldiers. However, it’s the consequences of the killing of Soleimani that scare me.

Despite Trump’s claims, Soleimani was not working on an imminent attack against the U.S. There were no plans to attack four of our embassies. Trump and his aides stumbled miserably in their attempts to justify the killing to Congress and the public. They couldn’t come up with any specifics about a planned attack. If Soleimani was planning an imminent attack, why did Trump reportedly order his killing seven months ago?

Trump’s lies remind us of the war in Iraq. At that time, the Bush administration lied to us about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction to justify that war. If we’re going to commit an act of war, which the assassination of Soleimani was, we better be sure of the situation.

Moreover, Trump ignored his constitutional duty to notify Congress about the killing. Members of both parties spoke out about the administration’s failure to provide specific information to justify the murder, and for slighting Congress. The House rightfully passed a resolution limiting Trump’s ability to take further military action against Iran.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, North Dakota Republican Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, along with Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong, were not among those criticizing Trump. Also, Armstrong shamefully voted against the resolution, while Cramer and Hoeven are expected to do the same. Apparently, it’s more important to worship Trump 100% of the time than to speak out on matters of war and peace.

Iran’s response to the assassination was hardly nothing. The missiles they fired at our bases in Iraq injured 11 and could have caused many deaths. Who knows where would be now if American troops had died?

This much we do know. A plane heading to Ukraine was shot down, killing 176 innocent people. The victims included students, medical professionals, professors, newlyweds and young children. Iran’s military, which mistakenly thought the plane was an American missile, was responsible for this inexcusable tragedy. However, if Trump hadn’t increased tensions with the killing of Soleimani, those 176 people would be alive today.

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If Trump really wanted to make things safer, he would keep the U.S. in the 2015 nuclear agreement. That agreement was working. However, Trump apparently had to get out of it because it was negotiated by the Obama administration.

So now, just months after Trump abandoned our Kurdish allies by claiming he wants to stop endless wars, we have sent 3,500 more troops to the Middle East, the Iraqi parliament wants our troops out of that country, another ruthless general will replace Soleimani, Trump is still commander in chief, the brutal Iranian regime remains in place, and Iran is resuming its nuclear weapons program. So, please forgive me for not feeling safer.

Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director. He can be heard Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., on WDAY AM radio. Email jimshawtv@gmail.com

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