Earlier Thursday, Iranian militia members ended their two-day siege at the U.S. embassy. Earlier in the week, they threw molotov cocktails, stormed the reception area, and camped out. In response, Donald Trump tweeted out a threat that promised retaliation.
Tonight he is crowing about his retaliatory measures. Washington Post:
Pentagon launched airstrike that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, Defense Sec. Mark Esper says.
Esper said Thursday night that Soleimani was "actively developing plans" to attack US troops and diplomats.The killing of a senior figure linked to Tehran’s support for foreign proxy groups is certain to heighten tensions between the United States and Iran. This breaking story will be updated.
An airstrike near the Baghdad airport has killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and another senior Iranian-linked figure in Baghdad, Iraqi state television reported Thursday.
That's right. The impeached man-baby in the White House ordered a drone strike that killed the second highest-profile leader in Iran. Thus begins Trump's War of Distraction. To be sure, Soleimani was a danger and a threat, but he was a regional threat. Now Iran will present a global threat.
Fox News dialed up Karl Rove, Ollie North and Ari Fleischer to reassure their viewers, while the sane folks try to balance the claim that this was done to protect diplomatic and military personnel with the fact that said personnel were not withdrawn from the region or otherwise protected from what will surely be an escalation. We will review that video for later.
Here's one theory about why Trump did this:
"Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He's weak and he's ineffective. So the only way he figures that he's going to get reelected and is sure as you're sitting there is to start a war with Iran." pic.twitter.com/Ad6IPLhOWg
— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) January 3, 2020
Lindsey Graham is ecstatic:
If Iranian aggression continues and I worked at an Iranian oil refinery, I would think about a new career.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 3, 2020
There's a whole thread there to read, but this tweet accurately depicts his joy.
The rest of us look on in horror, because ordering the assassination of Iranian officials after pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement and isolating the United States from our allies just seems like a bad idea. A bad, impulsive, self-centered idea.
Here are some reactions:
The airstrike that killed Iran's General Soleimani at the Baghdad Airport is a BIG deal.
Retaliation is certain.
American lives are at risk.
And the guy who bragged about being against the Iraq War is wagging the dog to dodge his own non-stop scandals.https://t.co/GdZuDuN3Qi
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) January 3, 2020
What is the strategy? We have no explanation about what happens now and what we are trying to achieve in a very serious international crisis. https://t.co/eCvn1yCXxc
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) January 3, 2020
The recent Ukraine aid/Pentagon revelations were persuading Senate moderates to consider supporting a full impeachment trial, with witnesses -- which terrifies Trump.
So tonight, Trump just started a war with Iran.
Next up: "but you can't impeach a President in wartime!"
— M.S. Bellows, Jr. (@msbellows) January 3, 2020
Lots of hot takes on Twitter tonight post this confirmation of the Soleimani assassination. Here’s one from me: the ‘Hillary the Hawk, Donald the Dove’ line from 2016 - endorsed even by some on the left! - was effing insane then and even more insane now.
God help us all.
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) January 3, 2020
Don't be shocked if Mitch McConnell next week says: "We're not going to put the the commander in chief on trial during a middle east national security crisis."
— David Solimini (@CommsDirector) January 3, 2020
Yeah, that dog is being wagged hard.
Here's the hard question:
Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question.
The question is this - as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 3, 2020
And the bottom line:
There’s no plan. There’s no strategy. More than likely this was carried out like every other action by Trump: irresponsibly, without traveling through the necessary channels, and with absolutely no regard as to its consequences.
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) January 3, 2020
Trump just martyred Soleimani and Iran will certainly play that card for everything it's worth. If only we had a well-functioning national security apparatus with a calm leader at the helm right now. We don't, so hang on for the ride.