Peace Candidate Donald Trump Threatens Massive Retaliation Against Iran in Response to Rumored Assassination Plot

The president promised that any attack by Iran against the United States would be met with a response "1,000 times greater in magnitude!"


President Donald Trump threatened massive retaliation against Iran for an attack that country's government is allegedly planning as retaliation for the United States' drone-strike slaying of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January.

"According to press reports, Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani," Trump said in a late-night tweet on Monday. "Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!"

The press reports cited by the president appear to be a reference to a Sunday Politico article which reported Iran was weighing the assassination of a U.S. diplomat in South Africa. That article in turn cited two unnamed intelligence officials who said Lana Marks, America's ambassador to that country, could be the target.

The president repeated his warning to Iran during an interview on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning, saying "We're all set…They'll be hit a thousand times harder."

Intelligence officials claim they've been aware of the alleged Iranian plot to kill Marks since Spring, but have recently discovered more specific information about it, reports Politico.

The Trump administration's decision to kill Soleimani in January prompted the Iranian government to respond with a missile strike against bases in Iraq that injured several U.S. service members.

"We hope that they do not make a new strategic mistake," said an Iranian government spokesperson on Tuesday in response to Trump's tweet, reports Al Jazeera, adding that any such mistake "will witness Iran's decisive response."

Trump's threats against Iran continue the president's oscillation, in word and deed, between a peacemaker who says he wants to wrap up America's endless wars and a bellicose leader willing to ratchet up international tensions.

Last week, U.S. Gen. Frank McKenzie confirmed prior reports that the U.S. plans to cut its troop presence in Iraq from 5,000 to 3,200. The Wall Street Journal reports that would reduce our military footprint in the country to where it was in 2015. The Trump administration also plans to reduce the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan to 4,500 by late October, about half the number that was in the country when Trump took office.

Also last week, the president renewed the national emergency first issued by President George W. Bush in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001. That move received a sharp rebuke from Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.).

Trump has also fended off efforts to limit his power in other Middle Eastern engagements, including vetoing a resolution that would have cut off U.S. support to Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen last year. His administration has also ramped up America's drone war in Somalia, conducting 40 strikes there compared to Obama and Bush's combined 41, according to Airwars.

On Tuesday, news also broke that Trump had wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but had been talked out of it by his military advisors. The president has twice before attacked Syrian government facilities in response to that country's alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people.

The disjointed nature of Trump's first term—bringing troops home from some conflicts, continuing or even increasing our involvement in others, all while playing a dangerous game of brinksmanship with Iran—allows the president and his defenders to sell whatever narrative they want about his foreign policy.

At the Republican National Convention (RNC) earlier this month Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.) celebrated Trump for being willing to kill terrorists abroad and tear up the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. In contrast, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–Fla.) used his convention speech to praise Trump for knowing "we are strongest when we fight hardest, not in distant deserts, but for our fellow Americans."

Trump's own RNC remarks embody that same dissonance. In the space of three sentences, the president bragged about killing Soleimani and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, keeping America out of new wars, and increasing military spending.

The president's constant molting—from dove to hawk and back again—still ultimately leaves him less inclined toward intervention than his immediate predecessors. His mixed record on war, and willingness to tweet out serious threats against Iran, disqualify him from being anything close to a peace candidate.

NEXT: Pennsylvania Reminds Parents That Learning Pods Must Have an Evacuation Plan

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. How is saying "we'll fuck you up if you attack us" a hawkish position?

    Is Reason really saying the President has no reason to defend the United States and it's citizens?

    1. http://www.emersonkent.com/speeches/peace_in_our_time.htm

      This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. Some of you, perhaps, have already heard what it contains but I would just like to read it to you...

      1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I'm working online! My work didn't exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…CMs after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn't be happier.

        Here’s what I do…>> CashApp

    2. As compared to saying, say "kill our ambassador, and we'll blame a YouTube video"?

      1. BOOM!!!!!!!!!

    3. Of course not silly. As true libertarians they’re just looking for more bluster and hyperbole befitting a man of President Camacho Mountain Due Trump’s divinely granted character. Something along the likes of
      “If the Persian Heathens cross swords with the Mighty USA they’ll die in the fires of 1000 SUNS as we bask in the glorious victory of the MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES!!!!”
      Now that would be fuckin kick-ass, right?

      1. You know what's hyperbole? Thinking that killing Soleimani was going to lead to your son getting drafted for World War III.

  2. "Peace Candidate Donald Trump"

    Someone writing for Reason is maaaaad!

  3. Peace Candidate Donald Trump

    Desperation is a stinky cologne.

  4. Last I looked assassinating the President was an act of war. If Iran ever did that, there would and should be massive retaliation in response. It doesn't surprise me that reason thinks that the US has no right to self defense and that the beloved Iran should be able to assassinate an American President without giving the US any right to retaliate. I guess I am surprised that they would be so blunt about it.

    Reason loves Iran almost as much as it loves China.

    1. Don't forget, if you charge a cop with a knife, the cop has to let you stab him.

      1. And if a mob chases you, you should let them beat you instead of defending yourself.

    2. Last I looked assassinating the President was an act of war.

      Looks like someone didn't read the article.

    3. Your clearly didn't read the article. The Iranians are planning to assassinate a diplomat, not POTUS.

      1. Hush. John's triggered and on a rageposting binge.

        1. Don't feed Jeff.

          1. Jeff is so stupid though it is hard to resist. It is not that he stupid so much as that he seems to take pride in it. We probably should just ignore him. But that kind of stupid just begs to be abused.

            1. I have previously compared baby Jeffy to a retarded kid that keeps headbutting you. You hate to do it, but if you don't knock him down, he will never learn to change his behavior.

              1. I am now making extra $19k or more every month from home by doing very simple and easy job online from home.FSd I have received exactly $20845 last month from this home job. Join now this job and start making extra cash online by follow instruction on the given website.

                This is what I do....................... CashApp

        2. so assassinating a diplomat is fine in your mind. That explains so much about the Democrat response to Bengazi.

          Did you really think this was a good thing to post?

      2. While true, the point stands. If you threaten to assassinate Americans you should expect some promises in response.

        1. Nothing this article says is dissonance is dissonance. The writer simply doesn't understand. Battles aren't won and wars aren't avoided by scaling back military capacity, cutting and running, or proportional response. Your enemy must know that if he throws a rock, you'll hit him with a Mack Truck, that you actually own a Mack Truck, and that you're not fucking around. And sometimes you have to make an example of a rock thrower.

          As for troop levels in Iraq, when the writer compares troop levels to 2015, he conveniently forgets to include that, but this time there is no ISIS, which Obama left to run the country. Sometimes the path to peace isn't by quitting, it's by finishing.

      3. Assassinating a diplomat is also an act of war. And also deserving of a retaliation.

          1. What activity is the general engaged in at the time, and has previously committed?

            1. General stuff. Is it an act of war to kill him?

              1. Do generals normally go to foreign countries, meet with terror cells, and help fund their attacks on a foreign government?

                1. Yes. US general have and do.

                  1. Citations?

                    1. He has been asked for a lot of citations today. Not one yet.

              2. It's a gray area, what with the War on Terror rules and all, but I'm ok with considering it an act of war.
                And it makes it pretty clear that the country whose general just got waxed better carefully consider how it responds.

      4. Well, if it's just a diplomat, that makes it alright!

        Obama would have sent them another billion dollars in cash for their troubles and to secure peace!

    4. The target was a US ambassador in South Africa. Still an act of war, though.

    5. The US can never retaliate for anything based on tbe premises of Reason. Not in trade, not in war, nothing.

      Retaliation is worse than the original aggression apparently.

    6. The article is about assainating a US diplomat in South Africa. I know it's hard for you inbreds to read, but try harder.

      1. Missed that it had already been addressed.

        1. You miss a LOT.

          1. If it's not about Mormon genocide, it doesn't get his full attention

        2. You couldn't read inbred?

    7. Hey everyone. Look here! It’s someone who didn’t read the article and doesn’t have any idea what this is all about!

    8. Retaliate, yes. Even though the target is not the President. But 1,000 times over? No. That reminds me of the kind of threats the Nazis made against villagers in France after the Normandy invasion. Some proportionality is still required.

  5. Reason is just so damned determined to remind everyone how ignorant of basic human psychology their writers are, and how their opinion on just about anything is consequently worthless.

    1. He's a jumped up intern

      Christian Britschgi is an associate editor at Reason.

      After graduating from Portland State University with a degree in political science, Christian worked in public relations before moving into journalism by way of an internship at Reason’s D.C. office.

      He has since written for a number of news outlets, including The College Fix, The Lens, Watchdog.org, The Orange County Register, The New York Daily News, and Jacobite.

      Look at that list of "credentials," Hell I have no public profile as a writer and I have a more impressive writing CV.

      1. Surprised he survived all the SJWs at PSU.

        1. Did he?

        2. His time at Portland State was "mostly" peaceful.

      2. Reason comment threads don't count.

      3. Seeing as there's no publication I can find named 'Jacobite', I have to assume they mean Jacobin -- which just makes perfect sense for a writer at Reason these days.

      4. Never Forget:

        Britches killed AM/PM Linques.

  6. words> deeds

    What is so hard for this clownshoes Bitchski to understand?

  7. Si vis pacem, para bellum.
    Jesus Fucking Christ Britschgi, they knew back in Roman times that being ready to destroy other states acted as a deterrent against those states wanting to attack you. Saber rattling against a foreign power who says they want to attack you is not the same as escalating conflict. FFS.

    1. No no no... you see, ensuring peace through credible threats of retaliation against our adversaries who might otherwise be tempted to attack is the SAME THING as attacking them preemptively without cause. Words are violence. Trump has started at least five hundred new wars via his Twitter feed alone.

      The only peace that actually counts is the kind that happens when everyone spontaneously decides to hold hands and sing songs together. The next best thing is the US simply taking it on the chin and groveling at the feet of the globalist establishment, while shoveling money at whomever decides to threaten us on any given day. It ain't peace if we didn't have to debase ourselves on the world stage and send pallets of unmarked cash to get it.

      Peace isn't measured in lack of armed conflict between our nation and others, it's measured in how much the New York Times likes what the President has to say.

  8. This is the most ridiculous article.

    In related news, President Trump, Israel, the U.A.E., and Bahrain signed a peace accord about an hour ago.


    In other related news, formal peace talks between the Taliban and the U.S. backed government of Afghanistan (at the insistence of President Trump) have begun in Qatar.

    1. When Trump pulls out of Afghanistan in the next month or so, reason will suddenly become pro war. You watch.

      1. See my comment below!

      2. It only takes Trump two minutes to pull out.

    2. Local news.

    3. Sure he's got all these peace things going on.... but he says mean things that scare the snowflakes.

  9. It will be a big, beautiful attack, the most fantastic attack. Bigly, yuge, like you'd never believe. Iran's not going to know what hit them. Pay no attention to the rumors that it was a false flag operation designed to make it look like an attempt had been made on an American target although no one was actually hurt in the attack.

  10. The only two candidates from the two major political parties in the past decade who were peace candidates both had the same last name: Paul.

  11. Peace Candidate Donald Trump Threatens Massive Retaliation Against Iran in Response to Rumored Assassination Plot

    And Mutually Assured Destruction kept the US/USSR from incinerating the planet.

  12. Oh Christian now you've done it. You've triggered the resident peanuts.

    You're supposed to lick the boots of power, not hold them accountable!

    1. .0000000017/10

      1. Hush. Johneff’s triggered and on a rageposting binge

    2. Do all pedophiles used the epitaph peanuts?

    3. lick the boots of power
      You mean Brennan, Comey, the Vindmans, Schumer, Mueller, Strzok and Weissman's boots, or are you talking about Max Boot himself?

  13. It's kind of striking that Reason has avoided discussing President Trump's efforts to get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq--after writing about that subject more than anything else for years before Trump was elected. It's been really embarrassing for Trump's critics, I'm sure.

    For those of you not keeping score, President Trump inked a deal with the Taliban to get us out of Afghanistan entirely back in February, and we'll be out of Afghanistan completely by the end of April--if President Trump is reelected. If Biden is elected, all bets are off.

    The Democrat response to President Trump's peace plan in Afghanistan was a rider in the House that prohibits President Trump from reducing troop levels in Afghanistan unless the Democrat House committee says it's okay.


    I'm not sure that's even constitutional. Congress has the authority to declare war, but President Trump is the Commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and if the Commander-in-chief orders our troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, I'm not sure the Democrats in the House can do anything to stop it from a constitutional perspective.

    Per the terms of President Trump's agreement with the Taliban, he reduced troop levels in Afghanistan below the statutory amount the Democrats in the House said needed to remain--when the Taliban showed up for the peace talks in Qatar. Maybe the Democrats should impeach President Trump for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan! If they did, I'm not sure Reason wouldn't take their side.

    In the meantime, President Trump has also ordered 2,200 U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of September--leaving only about 3,000 troops there.

    Won't someone please stop this warmonger!!!

  14. Threatening people not to attack us actually promotes peace.

    Explanation for young ignorant children and Trump haters:

    - If they hear the threat and decide not to attack us, peace is achieved.
    - If they attack anyway, nothing changes — of course we were going to respond if we are attacked. When someone is attacking you, that's not peace.
    - If they were never going to attack us, nothing changes. Peace endures.

    Hope that explanation helps young ignorant children and Trump haters understand the world a little better.

    1. Confronting Iran (rather than appeasing them) helped make all the states around Iran rally behind the U.S.--to the point of allying themselves with Israel (some of them even officially).

      We should note that appeasing the USSR didn't lead to its dissolution either. When we appeased the USSR, we ended up with things like the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. The peaceful collapse of the USSR came about because of things like Pershing missile deployments in western Europe.

      1. Still angling for that op-ed job at the Washington post, huh Ken. Lots of competition among warmongering lunatics, but as the shame of the Trump administration continues to make the shame of the Bush administration pale in comparison, the same way the shame of the Bush administration did to the shame of the Reagan administration, there will be room for more and more bigoted warmongering fascists among our opinionmaking elite. You’ll be as serious as Hugh Hewitt someday, I know it.

        1. Wow, Tony! Just when I thought you could not get any more stupid, you post this and prove me wrong. Well done.

        2. Ken: "Appeasing dictatorships isn't a solution either"
          Tony: "Herp derp bigoted warmongering fascist"

          Tony, how can you stand even being in the same room as yourself, you bloviating piece of shit. Your gibbering retort doesn't even vaguely make sense. It's just the lunatic rantings of an impotent demagogue.

          1. Oh but do explain the libertarian case for endless welfare for defense contractors as a means of telling other countries what to do.

  15. This was why Darth Cheney's daughter worked with Dems to keep us there - this lie:

    2 months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian gov't bribed Taliban to kill US service members, the commander in the region says a review of the intel has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program

  16. Apparently we're now supposedly to roll over for China, Iran, and any other totalitarian state. Weak sauce, reason.

    1. It's not even rolling over. We have to say "please go ahead and assassinate our diplomats, they're evil and we never liked them to begin with".

      Anything else is hawkish.

      1. Roll over? More like reach around.

    2. Ahh, you simply don't like the way they decide to kill people.

      Such as, by making certain consentual behavior between consenting adults in bed into national offense executed by some method resembling the guillotine: Deadly.

  17. Will trump deserve a Nobel prize if he has us citizens extra judiciously killed?

    1. 'extra judiciously' made me LOL.

  18. Apparently, Reason’s take on the zero aggression principle is that you can make zero response to aggression.

  19. He is the peace candidate though.
    Trump backed away from war with Iran when other Presidents may not have.
    When he talks with bluster and threats, he's speaking the language of the tinpot dictators. It's worked (so far) with North Korea.

  20. Our last President won the Nobel Peace prize and then started conflicts all over the world. Why should Trump be judged differently? Racism?

    1. If I learned anything from our anti-racist progressive friends, black people have to be judged by a different standard because they don't care about quality of work, ethics, loyalty, or performance.

  21. Trump helps forge peace deal with Israel and other region, Reason ignores and shouts "Trump threatens Iran!"

    Did you guys hear how the FBI systematically lied to obtain surveillance visas, pressed on with a nonsensical Logan Act charge against Flynn despite the interviewing agents finding that no crime was committed, and several phone records were mysteriously wiped away? Not if you only read this site.

  22. We sure are lucky the rest of the world is willing to sit nervous and embarrassed as they wait for Trump to leave office instead of taking his insane ranting seriously.

    1. Shitstain, there might just be enough slack-jawed, drooling lefty shits like you to elect that other slack-jawed, drooling shit.
      I certainly hope not, but hey, FDR lied his way into four terms.

      1. I can understand why a Trump supporter would have a problem with the guy who saved us from the Nazis.

    2. What the hell does this even mean?

    3. Tony, were you born this stupid or did you work really hard at it?

  23. So yuo'd rather Mr. Trump lay down and say "OUCH that felt GOOD.. Hit me again!!!!

    I am SOOOOOO tired of presidents who walk safly and carry a limp piece of lasagna, no sauce.

    Kieth Ellison lied to us when he spun that fairy tale about WHY Thomas Jefferson got and read the copy of the quran that Ellison used to "swear" his oath of offic,e which he has not kept. Jefferson wanted to learn "what makes those musselman pirates tick. He found out. And blew them out of the water, ending a decade of harrassment, kidnapping, sunken ships, lost cargoes, murdered and enslaved crew, and commandeered ships.

    Trump is cut of the same cloth as Jefferson. And I am glad he is.

  24. So, the Reason position is that defending yourself is not peaceful, therefore it isn't allowed under libertarian ideology. Interesting position to take.

  25. Donald J. Trump
    Peace deals: 3
    Wars: 0

    Hey, Britschgi. What president has ever made more than three major peace deals and not started any wars?
    Carter didn't start wars, but he didn't make peace either.
    Do you ever get tired of being so mendacious?

  26. Now, at the present time, Iran has been considering assassinating Fred F. and Barney R. of Bedrock, since they obviously have no other course to take ... at this time.

    For this plan to be enacted would be seriously vengeful in response to previously known acts of various leaders in Iran being blasted after being allotted a border with Syria in the aftermath of breaking with the Ottoman Empire and becoming known as Iran, rather than ancient Persia, its former namesake.

    Iran has not fired any nuclear weapons lately but would definitely consider it if Fred & Barney put up a serious fight.

    Some puppet regimes exist in reality, other puppet regimes exist on paper.

    But our President addressed the projected scenario regardless of whether the CIA has actively validated the claims made in the article cited above.

  27. Where are the legit journalists at Reason?

    1. Since contemporary American journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn't know because they might reflect badly on Democrats, I'd say that they're all as legit as you can get.

  28. "No endless wars" does not mean "no wars" or "non-interventionist policy" or "pacifism." There is a wide range of policy between House Bolton and House Rothbard. Whether you like Trump's policy or hate it, stop accusing of him of breaking a promise he never made.

    Heck, "no endless wars" doesn't even mean "fewer deaths." Blowing Iran off the map would end our war with them pretty quickly. Note: am not saying that would be a good idea, just pointing out that Trump never promised a Reason Magazine foreign policy.

  29. I guess this article is supposed to fill the place of the historic peace treaty that has been announced. Reason is a sad place these days.

  30. Peace Candidate Donald Trump Threatens Massive Retaliation Against Iran in Response to Rumored Assassination Plot
    The president promised that any attack by Iran against the United States would be met with a response "1,000 times greater in magnitude!"

    Peace through deterrence: seems to have worked well in the past. When other nations believed that attacks would not be met by retaliation, that's when we have ended up with wars.

  31. ✔✔✔✔ Start your home business right now. Spend more time with your family and earn. Start bringing 78$/hr just on a c0mputer. Very easy way to make your life happy and earning continuously. Start here….

    ============➤➤Earn thousands of dollars

  32. It will be a major, wonderful assault, the most awesome assault. Bigly, yuge, similar to you'd never accept. Iran won't recognize what hit them. Give no consideration to the bits of gossip that it was a bogus banner activity intended to make it seem as though an endeavor had been made on an American objective albeit nobody was really harmed in the assault.

  33. LMAO.

    Trump is the first American president in forty years to not involve the US in a new war.

    Trump has been talking about pulling us out of Afghanistan and the Middle East from before he was even elected.

    Trump has been taking active steps to bring our troops home since day one of his administration, and has largely succeeded despite powerful interests in both parties and the media giving him absolute hell for it.

    Trump has begun bringing home our troops from Europe and has pressured NATO members tremendously to take responsibility for their own continental defense, also to the absolute horror of war interests in both parties and the media.

    Trump has met unconditionally with North Korean leadership in a diplomatic gambit that no other president would have attempted, likely averting a conflict and unquestionably bringing North and South closer together.

    Trump has offered to meet with Iranian officials unconditionally to help cool tensions in the area, despite their repeated refusals.

    Trump has repeatedly resisted efforts to engage in conflict with Iran despite their shooting down of our drone in international airspace AND their missile attack on our base, going so far as to call off a massive airstrike that was already in the process of being launched.

    Trump has brokered unprecedented peace accords in the Middle East, leading to the recognition of Israel by historic regional adversaries, as well as travel and trade normalization.

    Trump brokered equally historic accords between Kosovo and Serbia, two nations which plunged Europe (and America) into a war during the Clinton Administration.

    But yeah, Trump isn't the 'peace president' according to dumbass snarky Reason writers, because he said that the US won't be a pushover for Iran if they continue to press their luck. Mean words are far more important than concrete actions.

  34. Actions count more than words, especially when they contradict the words. All politicians are notorious for lying, exaggerating, covering up, e.g., 911, Roswell, JFK assassination, "Remember the Maine", "The Tonkin Gulf Resolution", weapons of mass destruction, the "surprise attack" at Pearl Harbor, the "accidental" attack on the USS Liberty, the invasion of Vietnam and a dozen other countries. The list goes on and on, the politicians/bureaucrats keep getting away with it, thanks to a willfully blind populace who apologize for tyrants. It happens in all countries, all societies. Violence is valued over reason. Superstition trumps science. Freedom is sacrificed to so-called security, creating chaos. And pundits keep arguing over minor "branches on the tree of evil" rather than striking at the root, i.e., authoritarianism.

  35. my mother makes a huge amount on internet just working for a few hour because she was unemployed last one year.job were not availiable for her,so then join this job and started work on internet only for one hour regularly . Her earning capacity this month $56522 only work feww hour,plz read this site more time……Click For Full Detail.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.