A short new year and we’re up to our asses in dangerous shit in a hurry.
Despite acting DHS honcho Chad Wolf declaring this morning there’s ‘currently no specific, credible threats against our homeland,’ the fallout from the T-Rump’s command to take-out Qasem Soleimani is still creating diarrhea for just about everybody that’s has walking-around sense.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
The biggest fear is the T-Rump — Republican and former war-monger Max Boot in the Washington Post this morning touches upon reality:
Soleimani’s death has been compared to that of terrorist leaders such as Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Soleimani was as evil as those men — he has the blood of hundreds of Americans and thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of Arabs on his hands — but the comparison is misleading.
Soleimani was not the leader of a stateless terrorist organization.
He was one of the most powerful figures in the Iranian government.
His death makes him the highest-ranking foreign military commander assassinated by the United States since the shoot-down in 1943 of an airplane carrying Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack.
This is a major, unexpected development whose full import no one can predict.
In the near term, Soleimani’s death provides a political boost to Trump by allowing him to change the subject from his impeachment.
In 2012, Trump tweeted, “Don’t let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected.”
Is this another case of Trumpian projection?
But the death of Soleimani, contrary to a Pentagon news release, was a hardly a “decisive” action — and, contrary to what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN on Friday, it will not necessarily make Americans safer.
Indeed, the fact that the State Department is telling all Americans to evacuate Iraq suggests otherwise.
One would hope that at this moment of peril the United States would be led by sober, experienced leaders presiding over a well-oiled national security decision-making process.
But that is clearly not what we have.
Many experts have long feared how Trump would react in a genuine, no-kidding crisis.
We are now about to find out.
And that statement about Americans getting the shit out of Dodge (Reuters): ‘“Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, the U.S. Embassy urges American citizens to heed the January 2020 Travel Advisory and depart Iraq immediately. U.S. citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land.”‘
Even with the war-shit hitting the fan, bullshit continues:
The State Dept alert below sends a much different message than this one from the leader of the State Dept, Secretary Pompeo: “The world is a much safer place today. I can assure you that Americans in the region are much safer.”
Which is it? (Answer: more dangerous, not less) https://t.co/bw7Py2y5WH
— David Lapan (@DaveLapanDC) January 3, 2020
Doesn’t really sound all that safe to me.
Robin Wright at The New Yorker, also from this morning, concluded:
Iran’s revolutionary regime often makes boastful threats, but the murder of Suleimani alarmed veteran U.S. military and diplomatic officials who have served in the Middle East.
“It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of this,” the retired general David Petraeus, who led U.S. forces in Iraq and later served as the director of the C.I.A., told me.
Suleimani was Petraeus’s nemesis during the eight-year U.S. war in Iraq.
“Iran has to be in shock right now. Its version of the National Security Council will be on overdrive,” he said.
“But there’s a whole universe of possibilities now, everything from proxy retaliation, kidnappings of American citizens, actions against coalition partners, even an attempt to do something in the U.S.
We certainly have large force concentrations in the region, too.”
Was the U.S. attack an act of war?
Douglas Silliman, who was the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq until last winter and is now the president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, told me that the death of Suleimani was the equivalent of Iran killing the commander of U.S. military operations in the Middle East and South Asia.
“If Iran had killed the commander of U.S. Central Command, what would we consider it to be?” he said.
John Limbert, one of fifty-two Americans who were taken hostage in Iran in 1979, told me that he was happy Suleimani was gone, but quickly added,
“This is not going to end well.”
And if the T-Rump is really after a war distraction from domestic troubles, then we be fucked deeply, and yeah, this won’t ‘end well’…