Democrats, celebrities, and left-wing commentators blamed President Donald Trump for Iran’s missile attack on bases hosting U.S. soldiers in Iraq on Tuesday evening.
Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic surface-to-surface missiles from its own territory that hit at least two bases in Iraq, in retaliation for a U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, leader of the terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC) Quds Force, last week.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) set the tone when she accused Trump of “needless provocations” — as news of the attacks was still pouring in — and suggested the U.S. lacked the will and ability to fight.
CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta also blamed Trump, telling Don Lemon: “Yeah, ‘All is well,’ is the message from the president. I doubt that there are very many people in the nation’s capital who agree with that assessment. All is not well tonight, Don. And I think the president understands that as well. I think he’s trying to turn down the temperature that, frankly, he cranked all the way up, and he’ been doing this for several days now.”
Comedian and commentator Dean Obeidallah had a similar analysis, blaming Republicans in general:
Republican Presidents give us wars
Democratic Presidents give us Medicare, ACA And Social Security
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) January 8, 2020
Left-wing film director Michael Moore blamed Trump for starting a war that Iran began with repeated attacks:
Trump will use any form of attack to escalate the war he has started. The war is meant as an episode of his unReality Show, a distraction from impeachment.
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 8, 2020
Rob Reiner agreed:
We’re being led into another disastrous war by a Lying Ignorant Fool. God help US.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) January 8, 2020
Novelist Stephen King was characteristically concise:
Trump did this.
It’s all on Donald Trump.
Retweet if you agree.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) January 8, 2020
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted that Trump had “failed”:
It will require great energy for this Administration to admit their strategy of escalation has badly failed, put aside pride and ego, and change course.
Tonight, at this hinge moment in our history, all I am doing is just desperately rooting for them to make the right choice.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 8, 2020
Ben Rhodes, former national security aide to President Barack Obama, and one of the chief promoters of the Iran nuclear deal — which allowed Iran to continue developing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles — tweeted that “this didn’t need to happen,” implying that Trump was responsible for the attack because of the airstrike on Soleimani:
This didn’t need to happen.
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) January 8, 2020
Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the defunct Iran nuclear deal, blamed Trump for using what he called “confrontation” rather than diplomacy:
Former Sec. of State @JohnKerry – who negotiated the Iran nuclear deal – on confirmed attacks on Iraqi military bases following the killing of General Soleimani: "I think it's a tragedy for the world that instead of diplomacy, this administration has rushed to confrontation." pic.twitter.com/TVX1ChG8mW
— Maura Barrett (@MauraBarrettNBC) January 8, 2020
Most leading Democratic presidential candidates were more circumspect:
I’m going to hold off on commenting on the news tonight until we know more, but there is one thing I will say: Jill and I are keeping our troops and Americans overseas in our prayers. We hope you’ll keep them in yours.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 8, 2020
Tonight, my prayers are with our service members, our diplomats and personnel serving in Iraq, and their families—and all the people in the region.
This is a reminder why we need to de-escalate tension in the Middle East. The American people do not want a war with Iran. pic.twitter.com/Uqybp89u7n
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 8, 2020
Others were less so. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) sent a fundraising email with the subject, “Tulsi saw this coming.” It asked: “Will you stand with Tulsi against Trump’s unconstitutional war? For every donation of $35 or more to this email today, we will send you a ‘No War With Iran’ t-shirt, the proceeds of which will go towards spreading Tulsi’s critical anti-war message in the early states.” It was not clear whether the email was composed before or after the attacks.
This is a developing story.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.