With it now practically established beyond a reasonable doubt that Iran “accidentally” shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet earlier this week, thus killing 176 people from all across the globe, some on the left have taken to suggesting President Donald Trump deserves culpability for the rogue regime’s egregious error.
First up is 2020 contender Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He posted the following tweet Thursday afternoon, not long after domestic and foreign officials alike began confirming to the media that Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was “highly likely” downed by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile system:
Innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat.
My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all 176 souls lost aboard this flight. https://t.co/zWaVgWxfdL
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 9, 2020
The tweet provoked an immediate backlash from those troubled by the Democrat candidate’s rush to impugn America for an act committed by Iran.
While some responded with explainers highlighting why such thinking is faulty, others chose to keep their criticism more pithy and visceral.
In fact, the most oft-heard reproach was these three words: “Go to hell!”
Go to hell
— Peter Gaudiuso (@PeterNY15) January 9, 2020
Go to hell
— SportsRLife (@llcrowder) January 9, 2020
Go to hell.
— Sike Leriously (@SikeLeriously) January 10, 2020
Horse manure Mayor Pete, go to hell
— Gerald McMorrow (@GeraldMcMorrow) January 10, 2020
Democrats never protect Americans. Supporting terrorist is your motto, blaming America is your game. Go to Hell
— Lance Harper (@LanceHarper7) January 10, 2020
So cynical, Mayor. So cynical. I hope your political fortunes go to hell. You deserve it.
— Raquel Estrella (@RaquelE58962212) January 9, 2020
Anyone blaming America or POTUS for Iran’s dangerous & reckless actions in shooting down the airliner should be ashamed. Nearly 200 people are dead & all they can think about it how much they hate our president. It’s not hard to tell the good guys from the bad on this one, people https://t.co/mxtdFRESBa
— Martha McSally (@SenMcSallyAZ) January 10, 2020
You thoughts are obviously NOT with the souls lost. It’s clear from this tweet that your thoughts are with how you can capitalize on this tragedy and attempt to frame President Trump as being responsible for it. https://t.co/C0osIRLsBv
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) January 10, 2020
A “tit for tat”?
There was zero response from the U.S.
Iran shot down a plane. That’s what happened. https://t.co/OWZJoEi8Rm
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) January 10, 2020
absolutely despicable implications. I thought much better of you, whether I agree with your policies or not https://t.co/tKp9wSfNsx
— Joe Bastardi (@BigJoeBastardi) January 10, 2020
Clearing the fucking air space for ordnance is like war 101. The level of stupid necessary to “mistakingly” shoot down an airliner pushes so far beyond American liability, even in a general sense.
The shrieking of the hysterically anti-Trump twitterati is totally irrational
— Geoffrey Ingersoll (@GPIngersoll) January 9, 2020
Speaking a couple of hours later on CNN, California Rep. Jackie Speier echoed Buttigieg’s sentiment but went further by specifically naming the president.
“If what is being projected is true, 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,” she said to network host Wolf Blitzer.
In response to rapidly increasing aggression by Iran, last week the president ordered U.S. military forces to eliminate top Iranian general and terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani.
The rogue regime tried to “save face” afterward by conducting a lackluster missile strike against two Iraqi bases housing U.S. military houses.
In the aftermath of those strikes, Iran switched on its anti-missile systems for defensive purposes. Those systems wound up mistaking Flight 752 as a threat as it took off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport early Wednesday morning.
The rest is sadly history, RIP …
The @globeandmail published bios for each of the Iranian-Canadian passengers today. Couldn’t stop reading about all of them. I’m sharing to honour their lives. Please be warned before you open that it’s an emotional read. https://t.co/sLjZR8YkPa
— Saadia Sediq (@Saadia_Sediq) January 10, 2020
Speier continued her diatribe on CNN late Thursday by arguing that Soleimani shouldn’t have even been eliminated in the first place, never mind his history of terrorism.
“I would say that the continued saber-rattling by the president doesn’t help us,” she said. “I also feel strongly that by taking out General Soleimani, that did not somehow rid us of any of the planning that the Iranians would be doing or that the Shia militia throughout the region is also engaged in doing.”
A cursory glance through Twitter shows that this belief appears to be more widespread than it probably ought to be, with a plethora of “journalists,” activists and other notable individuals expressing a similar viewpoint. Other congressional Democrats have as well.
The tragic crash of a civilian aircraft shows everyone in the world how war leads to heart wrenching unintended consequences. We need a president who understands this. Dump Trump 2020. https://t.co/azGQHub3q9
— Barbara Boxer (@BarbaraBoxer) January 9, 2020
176 completely innocent lives, killed in the crossfire of reckless escalation. Just an unbelievable tragedy. https://t.co/LTI0kfHPrx
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) January 9, 2020
I don’t have any problem believing #Iran pulled the trigger on Flight 752. But we need to take the road less traveled. It’s called context. I will go to my grave believing the innocents shot down over #Tehran would be alive today had #Trump not decided to kill the general. pic.twitter.com/H7HfrYAFOQ
— Charles Adler (@charlesadler) January 10, 2020
Amidst all the debate about the killing of Qasem Soleimani, what now seems obvious is that had Trump not ordered the assassination, the 176 people on board Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 would still be alive. A chilling thought.
— Matthew Stadlen (@MatthewStadlen) January 10, 2020
The craziest thing about this is that over 200 people are dead (including stampede). Why? Because the Pentagon gave Trump a menu with the option to kill Soleimani. This on them.
Iranian missile system shot down Ukraine flight, sources say https://t.co/CWgHFG4KpR
— Imad (@Imad) January 9, 2020
Libertarian Robby Soave of Reason magazine has offered a more nuanced take, arguing that while attributing direct blame to the president is “completely insane,” the Trump administration nevertheless “bears some moral blame for deaths that occur as a result of continuing regional instability fomented partly by American military intervention.”
Don’t cancel me, but! If it’s true that Iran accidentally shot down the Ukraine jet, then yes, the U.S.’s decision to suddenly escalate hostilities (without the consent of Congress!) bears *some* moral blame https://t.co/YwSjCSvXdQ
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) January 9, 2020
Like, obviously the “TRUMP DID THIS! HE MURDERED THEM ALL!” take is completely insane. It’s also wrong to say this is exclusively Iran’s fault. https://t.co/YwSjCSvXdQ
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) January 9, 2020
As of Friday morning, however, a piece he published at Reason about this stance boasted over 400 scathing comments such as this:
“It was shot down in Tehran. The US had no planes there and did not attack Iranian soil. So, no, the US deserves no blame. So to say that it does is despicable and a low point even for Soave.”
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