While Rep. Ben Ray Luján arrived in Washington for his first term in 2009, he was elected to succeed Sen. Tom Udall. He was a young, naïve politician, who, thanks to his father’s connections as then-New Mexico House of Representatives Speaker, had strings pulled to win him the seat.
Luján took office the same January that President Barack Hussein Obama did, and he had absolutely nothing but good things to say about the president. And absolutely nothing to say about Obama’s foreign policy.
However, he did offer comments on the $150 billion Iran deal that directly funded terrorism in the Middle East. At the time, in 2015, Luján called the Iran Deal “absolutely critical to the safety and security of our allies in the Middle East.” Mind you, Luján came into office, with absolutely no foreign policy experience to speak of.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the failed deal as “proving to be a failed strategic bet that fell short of protecting the American people or our allies from the potential of an Iranian nuclear weapon.”
But Luján continued to praise the deal years later after it had been revealed as a massive sham. In 2018, the Congressman said, “Preventing a nuclear-armed Iran is critical to our national security and the safety of our allies in the Middle East. Make no mistake: the President’s decision today cedes U.S. leadership on the international stage. #IranDeal”
In the same Twitter chain, Luján wrote, “Iran remains a threat to our allies and interests. It continues to advance its ballistic missile program, support terrorism, and imprison political dissidents. Addressing these threats requires working with our partners. Instead, President Trump has walked away. #IranDeal”
Ironically, President Trump’s January 2020 action to take out the terrorist leader and Iranian General Qasem Soleimani didn’t fulfill Luján’s definition of taking out a “threat to our allies and interests,” despite Soleimani leading an attack on our American embassy in Baghdad.
Instead, Lujan wrote to his followers on Twitter, “It is the responsibility of our commander-in-chief to act strategically when deploying our nation’s military and to consult with Congress before engaging in warfare.” He insisted that somehow Congress should be the sole authority to authorize airstrikes and military to the Middle East.
But Luján didn’t make a peep when Obama authorized 563 airstrikes, largely by drones, mostly targeting Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, roughly ten times more strikes than President Bush. At least 2-5 innocent civilians were killed alongside aggressors in the regions through the airstrikes, with 380 to 801 fatalities.
Ben Ray Luján’s hypocrisy and selective outrage at President Trump’s vital actions to take out the ruthless killer General Soleimani, who was responsible for over 600 American deaths, and countless others’ in the region is not only irresponsible, but shows his hyper-partisan leanings, and inexperience in the realm of foreign policy.