That’s a fairly standard role for a soldier, really. But, I’ve been surprised at how little press this incident received.
In every sense it’s worse than Benghazi! – US soldiers told to “shelter in place” with a 5 hour warning of inbound ballistic missiles. Then, the government says “it’s OK nobody was hurt” for the television cameras and media.
A week later, it turns out 11 of the soldiers were sent to medical centers in Germany because they were exhibiting concussion-effects from the massive explosions they were ordered to sit and wait for. [bi] They could have loaded up and been 200 miles from the impact zone, with that much warning.
The American Way of War entails dropping massive amounts of high explosive on people who cower, unable to respond, hoping merely to survive. In this situation, perhaps, the government has decided to wave it off as “acceptable retaliation” from Iran, because they realize that if they pushed things further in that direction, it would be every US base in the Middle East, and every port, getting hit 10 times harder, with follow-up. I would like to imagine that the US leaders had a momentary flash of clarity in which they realized that this is what it feels like, and their humanity re-asserted itself. It’s that, or cowardice. And I think I know which it is.
The ‘conservative’ media, whose official stance is near-worship of the military, has been surprisingly quiet about the way this whole thing went down – which is interesting since it actually mirrors the Benghazi! hearings pretty closely: Americans killed or injured in a foreign land; why weren’t they protected better? I suppose if there is any good to be found in 2020, some of that is the absence of Trey Gowdy.
What do I think the US should have done? Well, obviously, ‘”not being in the Middle East” is too big a strategic move. Assuming that the situation is much as it is, I think they should apologize profusely for killing Solemani, say that there would be an investigation, and then (months later) say it was all a big mistake. You know, the old “we thought it was a medcins sans frontieres hospital” argument.