Why Can’t Elites Celebrate Our Victory Over Iran?

Let’s give Iran credit where it’s due.

It took an extraordinary level of technical skill for them to launch 22 missiles at two military bases filled with U.S. and Iraqi soldiers and manage to not kill a single person—especially after the Iranians unintentionally killed at least 56 of their own people in stampedes during the funeral for Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force who was blasted to pieces last week by a U.S. Hellfire missile.

And it took considerable courage to claim, with a straight face, that such an attack constitutes a “proportionate” response to our elimination of their most revered general—because no one in his right mind would believe that some minor infrastructure damage is equivalent to the elimination of the top general in their military.

But Iran did precisely what it had to do.

The attacks allowed Iran to deescalate the situation while saving as much face as possible—which, considering the aforementioned absurdities, isn’t much. And President Trump was magnanimous enough to let them do so.

Consider what Trump has been able to do in the course of a couple of weeks through a targeted strike and some fiery rhetoric on Twitter. Iran effectively has been brought to heel and looks far smaller than before. Trump succinctly reminded the world that the United States is still on top. And he managed this all without losing a single American life. Amazing.

The handwringing from Democrats in Congress and in the mainstream media now looks pathetic and weak. All of the talk of “World War III” has been exposed as overhyped garbage. Trump was even able to turn some of his opponents into apologists for Iran—the top opinion piece in the New York Times on Wednesday actually had the headline “Iranian Blood Is on Our Hands, Too.” Amazing.

Perhaps the funniest moment in this whole saga came when Soleimani’s eulogist suggested at the general’s funeral that Iran should place an $80 million bounty on President Trump’s head. We’re not sure if he realized that he was placing that puny bounty on a man who is a multibillionaire. Seriously. Trump’s plane alone is worth more than that bounty. Amazing.

But even with all of this amazingness, the elite remains unhappy. A brief perusal of the New York Times’ opinion section demonstrates just as much.

It’s salient that many mainstream pundits are taking issue with the fact that we killed an Iranian general. Chris Matthews, for his part, said that we shouldn’t have killed Soleimani because he was not “operational” and “was a leader.” “Is there a new deviancy in the American culture that we now support murder killing of political leaders?” he asked.

Well. Yes. Especially if that “leader” is behind the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers and may have been planning more. How is that even a question?

Increasingly, we are forced to ask exactly whose side are these people on?

Perhaps Matthews and those in his cohort identify far more with Soleimani than they would with some random “operational” soldier in the Quds Force. Perhaps they would prefer some meaningless tit-for-tat where low-level soldiers are traded off while generals and political leaders, who play so cavalierly with human lives, are considered off-limits.

After all, former Secretary of State John Kerry had no objection to the prospect that some of the $150 billion dollars that we gave Iran as part of President Obama’s much-hyped nuclear deal would end up funding terrorism. You know . . . the kind that hurts people. It was just part of the price someone else would have to pay for his masterful and statesmanlike negotiations meant to improve the global solidarity and human flourishing.

Increasingly, we are forced to ask a painful question—exactly whose side are these people on?

We get that they are enamored with “Star Trek” and “The West Wing,” where smart-sounding people wax eloquent on utilitarianism and the greater good and political conflicts are addressed through supposedly rational and carefully scripted debates. We get that they wish they could teach the world to sing in perfect harmony and build it a home furnished with love. We know they all imagine John Lennon’s happy horseshit.

But it strains credulity that they are stupid enough to believe that all conflict can be resolved peacefully. That if all the people of the world came together and just talked about their differences like the rational humans we are, we would come to a happy settlement. They’ve been trying it for a long time and it hasn’t worked yet—it has only added kindling to the fire.

What if they have realized that their social engineering does not work but are simply too invested to ever admit it? What if they like traveling and seeing themselves as part of an elite that gets to influence global policy, the common folk be damned? What if they’ve realized that they can funnel considerable amounts of money from the global middle class into supporting the global upper class, all in the name of humanitarianism?

If every profession is a conspiracy against the laity, the sheer scale of the political and foreign policy establishment’s conspiracy is difficult to comprehend.

Each year, countries pay lobbyists hundreds of millions of dollars to influence United States foreign policy—and that’s just the amount that lobbyists disclose. Outside of overt political lobbying, the scale and opulence of the influence campaign are unimaginable. Just ask Hunter Biden.

If I flew you out first-class to Jordan, gave you a few hundred thousand dollars, and took you to the king’s private camel racing compound, you’d probably like Jordan, too.

Mix this constant lobbying effort with a woke self-hating elite who absolutely despises the very people they are supposed to lead while viewing themselves as policy wonks and you’ll soon end up with very wonky policy.

The elites have spent the past few days fearmongering the prospects of an impending world war while demonstrating a shocking lack of self-awareness that their failed policies over the past few decades got us into this mess in the first place. But masterfully, Trump has avoided war while reasserting American dominance, demonstrating just how weak Iran truly is, and making it clear that we will no longer tolerate Iranian mischief.

If the elites truly care about the country, they will be happy with the outcome. Over the coming days, we will see if they do.

About Karl Notturno

Karl Notturno is a Mount Vernon Fellow of the Center for American Greatness in addition to being an entrepreneur, musician, and writer. He recently graduated from Yale University with degrees in philosophy and history. He can be found on Twitter @karlnotturno.

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