Planes Were In The Air To Strike Iran When Trump Called It Off
Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images
June 20, 2019

Earlier today, Trump approved air strikes against Iran to retaliate for the downing of a military drone, but at the last minute reversed course on Thursday night, according to a report in The New York Times.

Congressional leaders had been briefed in the afternoon on the rapidly-escalating situation with Iran and officials fully expected that the approved attacks on Iranian radar and missile batteries would take place.

Planes were in the air on their way to their designated targets, ships had been positioned, and missiles were ready to fire when they received a stand-down order from the White House, the Times reported.

I'm relieved that he called off the attack, but at a loss to understand why. Is it because, as Steve M. suggests, war is just too much work for him? Or did he get a call on the red phone from Vladimir Putin?

It's hard to imagine John Bolton or Mike Pompeo taking this well. Bolton has prepared for this moment for over 20 years. It is his raison d'être.

Steve M observes: "This must be incredibly frustrating for John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. If they're as bloodthirsty as they seem, they'll slip smoking-gun evidence of impeachable offenses to the Democrats just so they can get rid of Trump and have all the wars they want. (Mike Pence is an old-school Republican -- he wouldn't balk at an Iran war, a Venezuela war, or both.)"

I'm not sure that's a tradeoff that I could fully support, but I do agree with his take on Pence.

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