It is customary for underlings who do the hard work of analysis of any situation to condense them into a series of options to present to the boss. In the case of the US president and his advisors, they tend to give him a wide range of options that include extreme measures that are included for completeness but are not really seen as desirable. The problem with Trump is that his ignorance and reckless impulsivity make that kind of advice-giving dangerous. He will seize on any option that catches his fancy and that he thinks will make him look good in the moment, irrespective of the long-term damage.
That seems to be the case with his decision to kill Iranian general Qassem Suleimani. As should surprise no one, reports are now coming out that the much vaunted ‘intelligence’ that the deaths of ‘hundreds of Americans’ were ‘imminent’ were based on evidence that was ‘razor thin’ and a ‘highly illogical leap’, according to this series of 17 tweets from New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi. Killing Suleimani was the ‘far out option’ but of course that was the one Trump chose.
1. I’ve had a chance to check in with sources, including two US officials who had intelligence briefings after the strike on Suleimani. Here is what I’ve learned. According to them, the evidence suggesting there was to be an imminent attack on American targets is “razor thin”.
— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) January 4, 2020
So we are back where we always seem to end up, with the US starting a war under false pretenses.
I find myself curiously free from surprise…
file thirteen says
Simultaneously to you posting this article, I just added my take on things to your last post.
Who believes anything this administration says by now???
No one but the willfully ignorant.
That they are telling the truth is an extraordinary statement requiring extraordinary proof.
Reginald Selkirk says
There is more than one problem with Trump. Another problem is that for the last 3 years he has been hiring people who are amenable to his narcissism. With every passing day there is less and less likelihood that a “deep state” professional will stand up to him and explain to him why he can or cannot do certain things.
Trump has called Suleimani a “bad buy” and a “terrorist.” Which may or may not be true, but meanwhile Trump supporters are whining about the supposed lack of due process afforded to the president in the impeachment proceedings.
We just watched “Official Secrets” (2019) last night. It’s a dramatization of the lead up to BushW’s invasion of Iraq as told from the perspective of a British analyst who struggles to reveal the truth under threat of the Official Secrets Act.
Who Cares says
The sad thing is that the people who made this decision or decided not to oppose it are not the ones who are going to suffer.
The Iranians aren’t crazy enough to goad the US into starting WW3 by counter assassinating for example the the (vice) admiral in command of the 5th fleet (the one stationed in the Persian Gulf). But what they are quite capable of, and most likely willing to do, is go after the common soldier the US has stationed throughout the Middle East.
This is the same boneheaded stupidity by the people in charge of the US military that interpreted the Iraqis not liking the meddling of the most influential foreign state (Iran) thinking they can capitalize on that sentiment by attacking an Iraqi militia sponsored by Iran without consent of the Iraq government. Only to have that anti foreign intervention sentiment go after the idiots who hit said militia since they performed a much mover overt form of foreign intervention. And then compound their misunderstanding of what happened by accusing Iran of inciting the storming of the US embassy, which Iran didn’t need to do seeing that the people in Iraq are at this point just fed up with interventions by foreign powers.
Frederic Bourgault-Christie says
We shouldn’t even be assessing the evidence. If there were some legitimate threat, the UN or Congress or someone else could have been notified. The American military tries to pretend that it is constantly extinguishing threats that all are imminent dangers (and not even trying to assess whether the actions are legitimate military responses to US aggression). That is laughable and indicates total incompetence. We should be demanding that they comply with the basics of international and domestic law. Actually declare wars, actually reach out to the UN when there is a predictable long-term threat (you know, *like the Iranians*). You don’t get to keep running around with your sixshooters and provoking fights and then keep claiming it’s all in self-defense.
Who Cares says
Even IF there was a credible threat (there wasn’t) then it sure as hell wouldn’t be countered by the cartoon logic of killing the CEO will result in the entire organization they run from stopping carrying out day to day operations which include said operation threatening US interest.
That said this action by Trump is also impressive in it’s hypocrisy. Last month the US government was hounding the Saudis for putting up a show trial to keep the real masterminds of the khashoggi murder out of harms way. So instead of the US government acting as they demand others do they’ll go exactly the same way.