Lee Smith: Best Way to Hurt Iran Is to Leave Iraq

A convoy of US military vehicles arrives near the Iraqi Kurdish town of Bardarash in the Dohuk governorate after withdrawing from northern Syria on October 21, 2019. (Photo by SAFIN HAMED / AFP) (Photo by SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images)
SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images

Removing American forces from Iraq would likely damage Tehran’s interests, assessed Lee Smith, author of The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History, in a Thursday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host John Hayward.

The killing of Qasem Soleimani, Smith argued, offered the United States an opportunity to extricate itself from Iraq while demonstrating America’s capacity to project military power in Iraq from outside the state’s territory.

Smith said, “We’ve reached the end of the road [in Iraq]. There’s not much left to do. President Trump has been pretty clear about this, saying we defeated ISIS. That was the main reason that President Obama redeployed troops in Iraq in 2014. When there are actions taken that affect the United States, we’ve shown that we don’t need to be there to do something about it. The drone that killed Soleimani was dispatched from Qatar.”

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Smith added, “It’s an enormous win for President Trump. It’s a huge strategic victory. For the first time in 40 years, an American president made the Iranians responsible for the terror proxies they fund to kill in their name. It’s really a big deal. It’s an opportune moment for a number of different reasons to use this as a platform to leave Iraq once and for all.”

A continued American presence in Iraq leaves U.S. forces more vulnerable to Iranian attacks, explained Smith.

Smith said, “The United States has been bizarrely carrying a very heavy burden, which, ultimately is on behalf of the Iranians. So it’s not clear to me the Iranians will be happy if we go. One of the main reasons they’ve been firing at U.S. troops and targeting American facilities — it’s not to make us go — they’re negotiating the Iran deal. They want money. They want Trump to relieve sanctions. President Trump has reimposed sanctions on the Iranians, that’s why they’re targeting American troops, American allies, and American facilities, not to make us go. They’re negotiating to get us to relieve sanctions. They want the money.”

Mansour said, “It’s an amazingly stupid way to do it, by the way.”

Smith concurred, “You and I agree on that. President Donald Trump agrees, it’s a really stupid thing. You know who doesn’t agree? Forty years of American policy makers who thought that made sense. That’s what the Iran deal is all about. It’s an enormous bribe, right? To keep a bad group of actors from firing on us. So everyone has thought that that’s a reasonable thing to do, to pay the Iranians to not shoot at us. We agree it’s dumb. Thank goodness Donald Trump thinks it’s dumb, too, and he stopped paying them.”

Smith continued, “President Obama did it. President Bush did it. President Clinton did it. This goes back to President Carter. It’s six administrations of people paying off these thugs.”

Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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