It is worth bearing in mind that an attack on another nation’s embassy is, by itself, an act of war. Of course, Iran has done far worse, and Soleimani has been at the center of it all for decades. Our government estimates that he was responsible for the killing of more than 600 U.S. troops during the fighting in Iraq — and that represents just some of his anti-American operations, coordinating the networks that target Americans and our interests throughout the region.

Trump critics predictably hand-wring that an undisciplined president is careening us into war. Put aside that Trump has tried to avoid military confrontation with Iran (even as close advisers encouraged more aggressive responses to such provocations as the IRGC’s shooting down of a U.S. surveillance drone in June). The president is trying to avoid a more drawn-out, costly war, not start one.

The inconvenient fact is that the revolutionary jihadist regime in Iran has considered itself at war with the United States for 40 years, however, and has prosecuted it throughout.