Something grotesque is unfolding on the left, particularly about Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752, which domestic and foreign governments indicate was likely shot down by an Iranian antiaircraft missile. One-hundred and seventy-six individuals perished as the airplane caught fire and came crashing to the ground in Iran early Wednesday morning.
Those on the left have opted to blame President Trump for the Iranians’ error, searching desperately for any way in which to transform President Trump’s controlled and tactical maneuvers in Iran into a policy quagmire. The crash of Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 is indeed a tragedy, the culpability for which lies unequivocally with the Iranian regime. To suggest otherwise is to cheapen the deaths of hundreds for the sake of scoring political points against the “bad orange man.”
But the Democrats have shown no compunction about engaging in such an ethically reprehensible endeavor. Trump “broke” the left, and they are doggedly indicating to us that the term “broke” also included snapping their moral compass in half.
On Thursday evening, Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier of California appeared on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” declaring that if Iran did shoot down Flight 752, then “this is yet another example of collateral damage from the actions that have been taken in a provocative way by the President of the United States.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a prominent 2020 Democratic contender, hinted at a similar tack, stating on Twitter “Innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat.” But as Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy noted, Buttigieg misstates the series of events in order to imply that both President Trump and the Iranian regime are equally culpable when they are most certainly not.
Dunleavy tweeted, “If these reports are true, it means this airliner filled with hundreds of people was shot down by Iran just after Iran fired upon bases housing U.S. soldiers in Iraq. The U.S. did not fire back that night or since. There was no ‘in the middle.’ It was Iran. Iran did this. Period.”
The prominent leftist lawyer Laurence Tribe indicated that Flight 752 never would have been shot down by a “trigger-happy Iranian missile” if it weren’t for Trump’s ordered “assassination” of Soleimani. CNN national security reporter Susan Hennessey mourned the loss of life “killed in the crossfire of reckless escalation.”
But again, there was no “crossfire.” Iran shot down a civilian passenger jet after firing directly at two U.S. bases in Iraq. There was no response from the United States during that period. Iran is the only force that fired any projectile of any kind that evening. It was likely a tragic error by Iran, but not one for which blame should be assigned to President Trump or the United States, despite the left’s most concerted efforts. It was Iran who chose to attack the U.S. embassy in Iraq that prompted the current hostilities, and Iran that has historically been the aggressor against innocent civilians through decades of ongoing support for terrorism worldwide.
These facts didn’t stop the Associated Press from tweeting, “What began with a drone attack on a top Iranian general rippled outward until dozens of Iranian-Canadians, and dozens of Iranian students studying in Canada, were dead.” Rippled outwards. That’s the verbiage the press is using now to connect two events whose perpetrators are decidedly different but some on the left desperately equivocate. The tweet forces a logical leap that removes the bad actor entirely, evincing an approach to reporting that is not only reductionist but also morally bankrupt.
Furthermore, the Associated Press’ tweet makes a clownish attempt to portray the United States’s targeted strike on Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani as something almost haphazard – a mere “drone strike” on a “top general.” Soleimani wasn’t merely a “top Iranian general” – he was the leader of an organization formally designated a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) by the U.S. State Department.
As the tactical mastermind behind the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, the Quds Force leader was designated a terrorist by the United States and responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers. In short, the targeted killing of Soleimani was morally justifiable, unlike his promotion of terror.
The media and Democrats’ relentless attempts to spread Tehran-like propaganda evince a deep ailment on the left in analyzing any event in which Trump may be even remotely involved. Indeed, the left is so eager to find fault with President Trump that their ability to cognitively assess a problem has virtually dissipated. What we’re left with is a shell of hyperbolic nonsense, disseminated by the media and cloaked in deliberately manipulative wording.
Conservative commentators are rightfully labeling such suspended logic as indicative of a larger “Blame America First” mentality that has seized the American left. It’s becoming painfully obvious that the left has serious doubts about the American project as a whole, the latest response to a terrorist’s death being just one data point in the larger mosaic of questioning American exceptionalism, which includes pushback against celebrated notions such as individual liberty, religious freedom, and free markets.
In many ways, Trump has become the ultimate vessel for the left to express its distrust of the American project in a socially and politically acceptable manner. Indeed, given the way the above statements were authored, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish whether the left rejects Trump or the larger endeavor that is the United States. I have a feeling many voters will be wondering the same thing.