To nobody’s surprise, Iran fired at least twelve ballistic missiles last night at two Iraqi airbases housing American troops. Afterward Trump was apparently considering “speaking to the nation” but when US sources announced that there had been no casualties, Trump canceled his speech and wrote on Twitter, “All is well!”
Late last night cable news seemed to breath a sigh of relief that the Iranian attack appeared designed to produce no casualties, but rather to appease an angry Iran with a show of force and defiance. Many pundits were claiming “catastrophe averted.” And it remains to be seen if Trump will take any military action in response.
But don’t believe for a minute that the Iranian attack was the sole reprisal for the killing of General Suleimani. Iran has a plentiful and sordid history of getting revenge long after an injury, often in ways and places that the targets least expect. Suleimani was a national hero in Iran, which has operatives and proxy soldiers around the world who can do their dirty work, so the risks from his assassination are far from over. We could be under this cloud for years.
Yesterday, before the missile strike, Trump was asked by a reporter if there was “an imminent threat” that provoked the hit on Suleimani, and Trump replied, “Well, I knew the past.” In other words, there was no imminent threat but the hit was justified based on past misdeeds by Suleimani. And let’s be clear–Suleimani was responsible for a lot of death and suffering over the years. But there are a lot of “bad actors” in the world, especially in the Middle East. Trump rightly called Suleimani a “monster” but Putin, Kim, Duterte, Erdogan and MBS are also monsters, so why does Trump suck up to them while dropping a bomb on Suleimani? What was Trump trying to distract from? Was Trump’s initial lie about an “imminent threat” meant to shield his regime from a possible war crime? Does Trump constantly need to reinforce to his cult that he’s brutal and cruel because he’s really a coward and a wimp?
The fact remains that the current escalation with Iran can be traced directly back to the tragic moment Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran Nuclear Treaty and resumed draconian sanctions upon their nation. He simply couldn’t allow a triumph of diplomacy from the Obama administration to continue–because he’s a racist, and many of his supporters are racists. If it weren’t for Trump’s withdrawal, none of this would be happening and our republic would likely be a whole lot safer and more secure.
Imagine, if you can, how much worse things could get if Trump is elected to a second term. The horror of that possibility is where we must find our motivation to continue resisting Trump, to continue organizing, to continue fighting, to continue working to “vote his ass out of office.”