Last night, the United States launched a drone strike that killed Iran’s leading commando in international guerilla and proxy war, intelligence, and terrorist tactics, Qaasim Suleimani.
It also resulted in the death of the leader of the radical Iraqi branch of the Popular Mobilization Forces.
Iran has, of course, vowed revenge.
Tears should not be shed for these two men. They were terrorists and murderers who have caused the deaths of many innocent people, including hundreds of Americans.
That said, what has Trump done with this action?
The Bush II and Obama Administrations had opportunities, along with apparently the Israelis, to target assassinate Sulemani several times over the last 20 years. They did not for fear of a major Middle East War.
People have to wonder if Mr. Trump and his people have thought through all the potential repercussions and have planned for them.
This is not the first time the Trumpists (or others in history like the Eisenhower Administration’s restoration of the Shah in the 1950s) have taken ill-advised unilateral action with respect to Iran.
In 2018, the Administration launched a massive pressure campaign on Iran following Mr. Trump’s widely condemned pulling out of the Iranian fully complying Iran Nuclear Agreement.
The move, designed to economically cripple Iran, did accomplish that but instead of bringing them to the negotiating table, helped escalate regional tensions including attacks on oil tankers and drones as well as the intensification of regional divisions between Shia and Shitte communities.
Only time will tell if Trump made another miscalculation, without consulting the Congressional Gang of Eight (sorry, Lindsey Graham does not count,) with regards to Iran.
Commenting on last night’s action, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that people would be dancing in the streets now that Suleimani was dead.
That comment was eerily reminiscent of when Vice President Dick Cheney said that we would be greeted as liberators following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
Everyone knows how well that turned out.
Featured Image from Foreign Policy