Last night, President Trump ordered an attack on a Baghdad airport, killing Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani — Iran’s top security and intelligence commander — in a drone strike. Most of us have never heard of Suleimani until the attack, though the media certainly makes him out to be a very bad dude. From the NYTimes:
General Suleimani was the architect of nearly every significant operation by Iranian intelligence and military forces over the past two decades, and his death was a staggering blow for Iran at a time of sweeping geopolitical conflict.
It's genuinely just mind boggling to see how many people are going with the "he was a bad guy, the world is better off without him" reaction here, two decades into the forever war. If that was your take on killing Saddam Hussein you were naive, but 16 years later??— Tom Gara (@tomgara) January 3, 2020
The attack, for obvious reasons, will escalate tensions with Iran and bring the United States to the brink of war, if we have not already crossed that line. Iran’s leadership called an emergency meeting and vowed that they would retaliate after three days of mourning. The government has already told American personnel to get the hell out of Iraq. Retaliation could take a number of forms, including cyberattacks, terrorism, or strikes on Israel.
Trump did what Bush and Obama apparently declined to do, in killing Suleimani, because they feared it would lead to war. The problem with Trump is the same problem we’ve had for three years with Trump, namely that we have no fucking idea what his motivations are. This all seems fairly out of the blue to me. But then again, so was canceling military aid to Ukraine; pulling our troops out of Syria and allowing Turkey to massacre Kurds; and allowing Saudi Arabia to get away with the murder of a The Washington Post journalist, among other things. When it comes to Trump’s foreign policy, nothing makes sense.
We have no idea whose interests Trump is serving, and there is a slim to no chance that he’s not serving his own interests, either political or financial. Did he suddenly decide to kill Suleimani in the fourth year of his Presidency because of the cloud of impeachment? Is he trying to distract us from something else? Is he trying to silence John Bolton, who has long wanted a war with Iran, but who could have damning information on Trump at a potential impeachment hearing?
We have no idea. At this point, the government isn’t even clear about why Trump ordered the attack. The Pentagon said it was to deter Iranian aggression, while Mike Pompeo is out there this morning saying that it was to stop an imminent attack, evidence of which he hasn’t provided. He also says on Fox News that there are Iranian sleeper cells in America, evidence of which he has not provided. It’s all bullshit. We don’t fucking know — the only thing we know is that everyone in this goddamn administration will lie with impunity. This could be Iraq all over again. It probably is Iraq all over again. It’s bullshit politics. It’s always bullshit politics.
I’m with Rob Delaney on this and, honestly, Bernie, too, but mostly, I just want leaders we can fucking trust.
>80 million people live in Iran. I know many wonderful people from Iran. I don’t want 20 yr olds from Indiana to go there & kill civilians & kids & then get killed themselves. Imperial war is the darkest evil.— rob delaney (@robdelaney) January 3, 2020
One point to stress, though: Iran gets talked about in the US primarily as a nefarious adversary, but it is also a country of 80-plus million. Regular people, families, already suffering under sanctions. The greatest costs of war always fall on civilians. Worth keeping in mind.— Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) January 3, 2020
The same people that got us into Iraq are now trying to start a war with Iran. #NoMiddleGround on ending endless wars.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 2, 2019
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