It’s time to Break It Down!
Last week Mr. Trump crowed that he authorized a drone strike at a Baghdad Airport Thursday night that resulted in the death of Iran’s top General, Qasem Soleimani, as well as Abu Mahdi Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which is backed by Iran. The action has drawn global attention, deepened partisan divisions in the U.S. where the Senate is waiting for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to forward Articles of Impeachment, and as of early this morning, Iraqi time, prompted the firing of more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two bases housing American troops.
Trump made the announcement in a statement Friday from his Mar-a-Lago resort. He said, “We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.
Later at a Miami church for an Evangelicals for Trump event, Trump said Soleimani “was planning a major attack and we got him.” He claimed that the General was in Iran planning sinister and imminent attacks that would kill Americans.
Back in Washington, Democrats groused that Trump took this action without advising members of Congress, particularly the Gang of 8, a group of Democrats and Republicans who typically expect to be consulted in advance of such major military attacks. Meanwhile, most Republicans, at least on camera, took a wait and see attitude, and professed their belief that Trump had received sufficient intelligence intel to justify the attack.
The humongous irony in that assertion, by both Trump and many of his supporters is that he and they have for years now consistently decried the accuracy and effectiveness of American intelligence agencies. All of them! Any number of critics have presaged this moment with warnings of, “What will happen when something happens and we need to believe not Trump, or, the intelligence community, but Trump, echoing the findings of the intelligence committee.
Not surprisingly, those who always believe Trump barely noticed the intelligence community played any role (which frankly the exact nature of is still not fully determined) in ascertaining the nature of the threat level, and whether it was in fact imminent. It’s what they do.
As for Trump, remember, from November 2011 to September 2013, he tweeted at least half dozen times warning about President Obama initiating some armed aggression against Iran, first to get re-elected, then to show how tough he was…after he got re-elected without any such acts. Now it’s time to wonder if Trump’s ramblings on the subject of attacking Iran were simply the relentless echoes of his incessant musings about what he would do, if he were in the Oval. OK, some of us see no need to wonder.
While Mar-a-Lago guests and Miami church-goers were getting preferred intel ahead of at least Democrats in Congress, Mr. Trump eventually Tweeted Sunday afternoon, “These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!”
So, for nearly a week now, as the ebb and flow of the internal (American) discourse has vacillated across our airways and our individual consciousness, Iran did what was anticipated; they responded. Preliminary information is that the U.S. had prior knowledge the attack was coming and took necessary precautions. As a result, early reports from both American and Iraqi sources say there were no known casualties due to the strikes. Trump, who has not publicly addressed the nation did tweet, “all is well!”
After nearly a week, Congress is set to officially receive an update today. As an aside, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham boasted that he received a prequel from Trump during a golfing outing.
Over the past several days, Trump, practicing his usual bombast, has threatened to attack Iran forcefully, perhaps even disproportionally in the event they responded to Soleimani’s death with attacks on Americans or American targets.
Today, the ball is in Trump’s court. Hope your vehicles are sitting on Full. The price of gas just went up. “Iran Attacks Two Iraqi Bases Housing U.S. Troops: Back to You Donald!”
I’m done; holla back!
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