Ten seconds. That's all the time he had to make a decision: fire on the target or not. The officer on duty fired. And the entire world, as we know it, changed. When the Ukrainian plane fell out of the sky that day, killing 176 innocent men, women, and children, the wreckage didn't end at the crash site. Iran itself was in ruins. Days later, people still march on Tehran's streets -- their fury, sources say, only growing.
"It's getting more and more intense," Hormoz Shariat of Iran Alive Ministries says after constant contact with people on the ground. "The shooting down by mistake of this airplane... [people] are disgusted with the government." The years of anger over the lies, the oppression, and violence, it's all erupting now. "People want to change the government," Hormoz explains, "but they don't have the power. So... all they can do is come out on the streets and get killed." In Azadi Square, bloodstains darken the pavement, marking the spots where protestors have been mowed down.
Six thousand miles away on Capitol Hill, Democrats aren't just ignoring the outcry -- they're siding with the Ayatollah! "The president is escalating things," Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed. No, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) fired back, "The president is responding to 40 years of dereliction of duty by policymakers... who've been in appeasement mode." And it's not just liberals, he points out, but Republicans too. Until Trump, he told me on "Washington Watch," "We would do anything to placate Iran, hoping that they wouldn't increase their [hostility]." Sometimes, we'd even outright disregard their activities, "even when it meant the deaths of literally hundreds and hundreds of Americans -- and the maimings for life of literally thousands more than that."
Perry ought to know. As a brigadier general, he flew 44 missions in the Middle East and understands better than anyone the steep price of these policies on the battlefield. "The hard Left," Scott shook his head, "[is] literally defending terrorists and quibbling over these little issues that are of no consequence." And of course, he went on, these same politicians criticizing Trump for taking out General Qassem Soleimani "weren't the people that were sent to war to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, who were dealing with the malign activities of Iran and losing their lives, their legs, their arms, and their good night's sleep... as a result of their time in combat [thanks to] these known combatants [like Soleimani] who were left on the battlefield."
It might help people to know, he pointed out, that even former Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, a Democrat (and no fan of Donald Trump) agrees with the Justice Department and has defended the action as legal "in every context." "It's a combat zone," Perry argued, "with a known designated terrorist who is not supposed to be traveling [there and] where we are congressionally authorized to conduct combat operations. I mean... any of these assertions that they're making are absurd."
"... I know that [Democrats] are immune to hypocrisy, but your listeners need to know that [there were] about 526 drone strikes under the Obama administration. Most of them outside of the combat zone where they have no authorization whatsoever... None of the Democrats complaining now had a thing to say during 526 separate drone strikes -- [where] literally thousands of people [were] killed by the Obama administration. And suddenly, they're consulting the Constitution and crying foul when this president is keeping Americans safe? These are [politicians who] are willing to send your sons and daughters to war knowing that this [enemy] combatant, Soleimani, is out on the battlefield killing Americans -- but [they are] unwilling to do anything about it. It's disgusting."
If liberals want to cloak their attacks on Trump as "concern" for the Iranian people, good luck. Anyone with an internet connection can see that this country doesn't hate America. In a sign of respect, they refused to even walk on our flag when it was painted on the street -- but had no problem trampling the picture of their supreme leader. "Most people do not know [that] Iranians love Americans," Hormoz told me. "America is for them is an ideal society. They want if they have freedom, they would have a democracy, American-style."
But to him, what makes this uprising so important, is that the Iranian people aren't just rejecting the regime -- they're rejecting Islam. "One thing about Iran," Hormoz explains, "is that Islam and government are one." So the backlash against Iran is actually turning into an historic opportunity for Christianity. That's why Iran has the fastest growing evangelical population in the world. That's why millions of Iranian Muslims are open to the gospel -- because they're done with Islam." That's why believers around the world must pray, he urged. This is an open window. "Sometimes I feel the Christians that the West are missing the opportunity to impact the nation for Christ. Pray for Christians in Iran to be bold. I know there are political things and they need to pray for that. But on this spiritual side, this is the time for the gospel to go forth."