On Thursday, Iran shot down a United States drone, allegedly in international waters.
The downing of the unmanned surveillance plane, worth $110 million, brought the two countries dangerously close to war. In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Trump said that there were no planes in the air for a retaliatory strike “but they would have been pretty soon, and things would have happened to a point where you would not turn back, you could not turn back.”
“Nothing was green-lighted until the very end because things change,” Trump said. “I didn’t think it was proportionate.”
Later on the same day that interview aired, Rep. Maxine Waters decided she was going to take Iran’s side in the matter.
Trump, you get no credit for so-called stopping the strike against Iran. Why was the unmanned drone in Iran’s airspace? Why the surveillance? Don’t provoke and then pretend innocence.
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) June 23, 2019
“Trump, you get no credit for so-called stopping the strike against Iran,” the California Democrat tweeted.
“Why was the unmanned drone in Iran’s airspace? Why the surveillance? Don’t provoke and then pretend innocence.”
So, let’s start with the facts: The Pentagon says the drone wasn’t over Iran’s territorial waters. Here’s the path that it was apparently taking:
The Pentagon has just released the flight path fro the RQ-4A drone shot down by Iran pic.twitter.com/8q3dSsEXKx
— Fergal Gallagher (@gallagherfergal) June 20, 2019
Iran’s National Guard has claimed that the drone was over its airspace. A top aide to Vladimir Putin has also claimed Russia had intelligence backing that up. The Putin aide had also said, Reuters reported, that “evidence presented by the United States alleging Iran was behind attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman was poor quality and unprofessional.” That’s basically the only two voices backing up Iran’s side of the story.
Waters is telling us, essentially, that she believes Iran and Russia more than she believes the Pentagon. This certainly says something.
Also speaking volumes: The fact that Waters believes surveillance against Iran is unnecessary.
As the Middle East and North Africa editor at Jane’s Defence Weekly told CNN after the attacks, Iran’s military prowess has increased considerably in recent years. “They work,” Jeremy Binnie said of Iran’s air defense system, saying that the shoot down “highlights that when the Iranians really make investment, it can really count.”
“We knew that with ballistic missiles, but it appears the case with air defenses too.”
Beyond building up their military capabilities, Iran is also poised in a matter of days to break through limits set by the nuclear deal on how much low-enriched uranium it was allowed to stockpile. Tehran has essentially used this projected breach of the agreement to force the European countries still in the compact to give the country a better deal and provide relief from American sanctions.
Is this not a nation that Maxine Waters believes needs to be surveilled?
When it comes to provocations, those are both pretty significant. Thus, a chant of “Death to America” that Iranian parliamentarians struck up after the national body’s speaker called President Trump the “real world terrorist” during a Sunday session, as Reuters reported. This is the side that Rep. Waters believes is more believable than our own Pentagon?
No, probably not. What she wants is material to condemn the president with. Anything will do — including, it seems, the shooting down of an American drone.
Thankfully, responses to this tweet showed just how ridiculous it was:
It was international airspace Einstein. You as a US Congresswoman who took an oath to protect America chooses to believe Iran propaganda over US intelligence? It’s a sad day when Democrats choose getting votes in their district over defending America!
— Travis Wines (@TWines4congress) June 24, 2019
And this is why we need term limits! pic.twitter.com/ZlwkDaLdcI
— Rhiannon Richards (@rhi_richards) June 24, 2019
— Chad Stafford (@chad_stafford) June 26, 2019
Wondering if this also qualifies as provocation, Maxine. https://t.co/5P3o2AY8nW
— קאל רייזור (@Kell_Razor) June 25, 2019
When she comes up with evidence that it was over Iranian waters, that the president knew about the flight and that it was deliberately done to provoke the Iranians, fine.
Until then, this is wild speculation aimlessly engaged in to smear the other side. In other words, par for the course when it comes to Maxine Waters.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.