January 5, 2020

The Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan dispensed with the niceties on AM Joy Sunday morning and cut right to the chase on Trump's motivation for assassinating General Soleimani and continuing to increase tensions with Iran: It works to bury his impeachment problems.

During a discussion of Trump's threats to destroy Iran's cultural sites, Ambassador Michael McFaul observed, "You're not going to win the hearts and minds of the Iranian people by threatening to attack those cultural sites. It's illegal and also really, really stupid policy."

"The cultural sites in this country or any country, that's the people's legacy," Joy agreed, as she turned to Mehdi Hasan for his thoughts. "The idea that you would think that it's okay to even tweet the idea that you would level those things -- to punish who? There are people living there."

"He's united Iranians from across the political spectrum behind the government with this kind of rhetoric. It's the greatest PR job the Iranian government could wish for," Hasan replied.

He continued, "You have Trump saying, well, we're going to attack 52 sites to mark the 52 hostages that were taken. That's a legitimate American grievance, but you know what? The United States shot down an Iranian airliner in 1988 killing 290 civilians. Should the Iranians target 290 sites? Is that where this goes when you have this man-child in the Oval office making threats?"

He went on to point out that Trump claimed to call off an airstrike on Iran because he was concerned about civilian casualties, which Hasan dismissed as "nonsense."

"What changed in six months? Why is he so keen on attacking Iran now?" Hasan wondered aloud. "There's an impeachment trial coming up."

And then he dropped the hammer. "This is a president on record saying that Barack Obama will attack Iran in order to get re-elected," he said. "With Trump everything is projection."

It certainly is. Every day, I'm constantly gobsmacked by how media ascribes a measure of rationality to an utterly irrational man. There is no evidence that there was any motive other than Trump's own self-interest involved in the decision to assassinate Qasem Soleimani. None.

Let's not forget that it was done on the very day that new emails came to light pinning the decision to withhold aid right on Trump's chest. It was Trump, and Trump alone who made the decision to withhold aid, and with that evidence he should be removed from office. What better time to instigate a war with Iran? What media outlet is going to report on his impeachment when the country hovers on the brink of war, after all?

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