President Trump did not get elected to spark a war with Iran.
Nor was he elected to use American blood, sweat, and treasure to fix the hopelessly broken Middle East. Not since 9/11 has a nominee from either party run a campaign with such a clear, forceful and credible promise to roll up America’s far-flung foreign entanglements. It is one of the chief reasons Mr. Trump won the 2016 election.
That said, watching the full-blown hysterics out of Washington over the past few days reveals just how wildly delusional the Trump-haters have become.
Their hatred of Mr. Trump has always been all-consuming. From the start, they hated Mr. Trump more than they ever loved America. In fact, that is precisely why he is such a threat to them: his practical, common sense, “America First” agenda reveals how rotten so many politicians and pundits in both parties have become in Washington.
The notion that America should spend billions of dollars and sacrifice thousands of soldiers to protect and enforce the borders of a bunch of barbaric countries halfway across the globe — while ignoring our own borders — is absurd in the extreme.
The idea that a festering theocratic dump in the sand of the Middle East poses greater immediate threat to regular Americans than the blood cartels and human body traffickers next door in Mexico is mind-boggling.
And this obsession with nation-building in countries no decent American could locate on a world map while utterly ignoring the Byzantine federal bureaucracy that has held back our own economy for decades is downright immoral.
Mr. Trump is the first president since Ronald Reagan to come along and realize all this. And he is unapologetic about it, which really drives his opponents in both parties completely out of their minds.
But none of these “America First” principles that make up the Trump Doctrine have anything to do with Mr. Trump’s decision last week to order the drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the powerful military leader of Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism around the world.
One of the big problems with getting deeply entangled all around the world is that it is very hard to withdraw — especially after you have just finished killing a bunch of them. You never want to turn your back on these people, even if your intent is peace.
So we are deeply entangled in Iraq, a place Mr. Trump and many Americans would dearly like to depart. Along comes Iran, which launches an attack on our embassy compound in Baghdad, ordered by this thug Soleimani.
What on God’s green Earth is Mr. Trump supposed to do in response to such an attack?
Write a check for more than $1 billion and give it to the mullahs? Send a plane under the cover of darkness carrying pallets of $400 million in unmarked cash for the ayatollah? Wipeout effective sanctions so that Soleimani might sow even more terrorism around the world?
Well, that is precisely what the previous administration did. But not Mr. Trump. Instead, he killed the thug.
And good riddance.
Now, let’s get back to the business of disentangling ourselves from Iraq and the rest of that God-forsaken, barren land.
But don’t forget: Never turn your back to them while you’re walking out and never take your finger off the trigger.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter on @charleshurt.