Because What 2020 Really Needs Is A Good War

UPDATE: As the Denver Post reports, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado is not mincing words:

“I think this was a terribly reckless and provocative act,” said Sen. Michael Bennet, [Pols emphasis] a Denver Democrat and presidential candidate, on WGBH Radio in Boston. “It’s the latest in a long string of nonstrategic choices that Donald Trump has made in the Middle East, that has weakened our position in the Middle East, that has strengthened Iran’s position in the Middle East.

“And I think you couldn’t be more naive to believe that this was going to result somehow in Iran coming to the negotiating table, rather than creating the potential for another war — which is the last thing we need in the Middle East,” Bennet added. He called Trump “the weakest foreign policy president we’ve had in my lifetime,” which began in 1964.

—–

CNN reports on the news everyone on the planet with access to news is talking about:

President Donald Trump’s targeted killing of Iran’s ruthless intelligence chief adds up to his most dangerous gamble yet with other peoples’ lives and his own political fate.

By killing Qasem Soleimani in Iraq, Trump committed the United States to a risky open conflict that at best could stop short of all-out war with Iran that could cause national security and economic shocks in the United States and across the globe.

Starting right now, and given Iran’s easy access to soft targets, the Middle East and even Europe suddenly look a lot less safe for Americans, including US troops Trump may be even more tempted to haul home.

Caption: Iran is really pissed off now.

Al Jazeera reports from Tehran that the killing of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s second most-powerful leader has a nation already given over to bellicose rhetoric talking flat-out war:

The assassination of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in air raids by the United States has triggered a wave of emotions and garnered a response of solidarity and retribution across the otherwise divided Iranian political spectrum…

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani echoed the threat of revenge and vowed that there would be consequences. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif condemned the killing as an “act of state terrorism” in a statement.

“The pure blood of Qassem Soleimani will surely strengthen the tree of resistance, unite the Iranian people, and make US policies in the region less effective by the day,” he said.

Iran’s National Security Council has convened an emergency meeting to decide Iran’s reaction to the killing. Reports say Khamenei has participated in the meeting for the first time ever, denoting the gravity of the situation.

One of the first reactions one can count on following a high-profile military action taken by the President without the prior approval of Congress is a protest, well-founded but routinely ignored, that at least top congressional leadership should be consulted before committing the nation to military action. Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado’s statement:

Only Congress has the power to declare war. The President’s unilateral decision to launch this airstrike, yet again, comes without consultation or caution and signals the need for clarification of the Authorization of Military Force. That is precisely why I voted in support of a bipartisan amendment earlier this year that would have avoided a dangerous escalation with Iran by preventing federal funds from being used for any military force in or against Iran without congressional authorization.

Congress must reassert its constitutional obligations under Article I without further delay. And the Administration must consult Congress, as required by law, on both the airstrike and the next steps necessary to keep our country and service members safe.

That’s consistent with the concerns expressed by members of Congress in both parties in response to unilateral military actions taken by President Barack Obama such as the 2011 military intervention in Libya, including Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver who had “significant questions” about committing American forces in that country even after Obama went on national television to explain.

But if you were hoping from similar candor from Colorado’s highest-ranked Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, you’ll be disappointed by his statement in response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani:

I commend the Administration for taking this decisive action today in Baghdad against Tehran-backed terrorists. The world should not mourn Qassem Soleimani, a man whose name is synonymous with murder in the Middle East and who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American service members. I now urge the Administration to be prepared for possible retaliation, including against U.S. troops stationed in the region, and to consult closely with Congress on any next steps should the situation escalate. I hope Iran will realize its future depends on stopping its support of terrorism.

The question of course is not whether an avowed enemy of the United States like Soleimani should be “mourned,” but whether this action results in a wider conflict in the Middle East that could result in many more deaths, and plunge the nation into a full-scale war just as the 2020 election year gets underway. At this moment, there’s a lot we don’t know–what exactly prompted the decision to strike now instead of another time and place, the nature of the “additional attacks” it has been suggested were imminent had Soleimani not been killed, and whether the Trump administration has a plan for the aftermath of this action at all.

Three U.S. Presidents have been successfully impeached. Trump could become the first President who starts a war between his impeachment and the Senate trial. Politically this is all uncharted territory, which isn’t a new experience under Donald Trump. For the good of the country and the whole world, everyone should hope that this action was taken for legitimate and urgent national security reasons, and not to distract attention from Trump’s domestic political problems.

If the latter is true, the judgment of history will be very harsh.

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51 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Pseudonymous says:

    “I think this was a terribly reckless and provocative act,” said Sen. Michael Bennet, [Pols emphasis] a Denver Democrat and presidential candidate, on WGBH Radio in Boston. “It’s the latest in a long string of nonstrategic choices that Donald Trump has made in the Middle East, that has weakened our position in the Middle East, that has strengthened Iran’s position in the Middle East.

    This assassination was insufficiently strategic for Mike.

    Killing your way to peace in the Middle East just takes the right plan, y’all.

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    Wow — something grand enough to displace news coverage of a couple of appellate court arguments about Congress' power to get information, added details on the events leading to impeachment, a decline in the manufacturing sector, news of a record year of lay-offs due to bankruptcies, and Sad!-ministration moves to get people off SNAP benefits and reduce requirements for cities to work on fair housing (ending discrimination).

    Not bad for a snap decision without notice or consultation with Congress and (apparently) most allies in the region.

  3. Early Worm says:

    I am not necessarily in favor of reinstituting the draft, but how much different would the average citizen's reaction be to this event if there was one? Most of us are completely shielded from any serious consequences as a result of this type of reckless foreign policy in the middle ease. The stock market may go down, gas prices may go up, but we do not need to worry about dying in "the war to re-elect Trump™."

  4. Moderatus says:

    Exactly the mealy mouthed mildly treasonous crap I expected from Colorado Pols. At least Michael Bennet has the guts to oppose America outright. Colorado Pols dishonors the victims of Qassem Soleimani and won’t even admit he was a bad man.

    This man killed Americans. If you mourn his death you should find another country.

    • Mike W. says:

      Perhaps it is you who needs to find a different country being that you seem so involved with the internal affairs of our's, товарищ.

    • Pseudonymous says:

      When do you ship out?  Obviously this fight is critical to you and you've enlisted.

    • Genghis says:

      lol

      Let's try Informal Fallacies for $400, Alex.

      "If you mourn the death of Qassem Soleimani, you should find another country."

      What is a laughably ham-fisted example of the straw man fallacy?

      *ding ding ding ding*

       

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Can you identify any of the Americans 'this man' killed or is this just more parroting by you of Republican not-impeachment talking points as you sit in your filthy underwear scratching your immense belly?

      • Wong21fr says:

        Soleimani was the architect for Iranian material support of anti-coalition forces during the Iraqi occupation.  Such support consisted of weapons and supplies (including explosive formed penetrators), training and military advisors.  He did directly contribute to the deaths of hundred of US servicemembers.  For these reasons his death is acceptable.

        But that totally disregards the second and third order effects that his death will bring.  The two previous administrations considered taking out Soleimani but chose not to likely because the felt that such an action was too destabilizing for the status quo.  He was a known known, his death will result in a shit-ton of unknown unknowns.

        • itlduso says:

          The same could be said of any American general.   Assassinating this general because of an "imminent threat to America" makes no sense and hasn't been supported by briefings to Congress. 

          The "shit-ton of unknown unknowns" will be exacerbated because of the illegal way he was killed.

          The potential for a cyber attack on US businesses and/or infrastructure has significantly increased.

          • notaskinnycook says:

            That's what I expect, itlduso. Cybersecurity teams are on high alert for such attacks. They know a well-educated handful of state-sponsored hackers can do more damage in the modern world than dropping even a couple of large bombs on American cities. Screw up a couple of power grids, mess with airline routing maps, phreak a phone system and watch the chaos ensue.

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          If the stories about the pardoned SEAL including the one about him chopping off a teenagers head and posing with it like he was a Borneo headhunter are true than there is the possibility that Soleimani troops believe they are defending all Arabs from genocidal murderers.  Gallagher bragged when he shot Arab women in the head that the "Burqa's were flying".  If Trump pardon's war criminals then are we really being honest when we say that Arabs killing Americans are pure evil and it is always acceptable to assassinate them?

    • Arvadonian1 says:

      I don't mourn the death of Soleimani.  I mourn the death of the separation of powers that had served our country so well.  

    • unnamed says:

      This from the guy who is totally cool with Russian interference if it furthers your fascist goals.  Thinking this was a bad idea isn't mourning his death.  Just like if  the US carried out an airstrike that killed Putin: I would think that's a bad idea, but I definitely wouldn't mourn his death. I know you would, though.

      So, are you actually going to make use of yourself and instead of posting insipid shit while getting paid with my higher tax dollars (courtesy of your party) and go fight in Trump's war to win reelection?

      • Duke Cox says:

        He and PPear should enlist together. They can help him destroy the U.S. and hundreds of years of progress. Given 4 more years, this country will be fully in the grasp of the T***p crime syndicate. 

        I hope everyone can see what is going on here. Everything he does is motivated by his ego. The stupidity will continue as long as he lives.

        • kwtree says:

          Pear pretends to be against foreign intervention now. But 3500 people have been deployed already for $rump’s posturing and desire to “take the oil”. How many of them will lose their lives, health or sanity in this latest war? 
           

          Yet still Pear does not waver in his support. 

    • unnamed says:

      Nutlid, this man would like to meet with you:

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Trump defends Putin: 'You think our country's so innocent?'

      "There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?"

      Trump made the remark during an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, saying he respected his Russian counterpart.

      "But he's a killer," O'Reilly said to Trump.

      "There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?" Trump replied.

    • Duke Cox says:

      "won't even admit he was a bad man".

      Show me, you lying sack of excrement, where anyone on this site said anything of the sort. I would insult you, but you ARE an insult, so it seems redundant.

      note: referring to Fluffy as a lying sack of excrement is not an insult…except, of course, to excrement.

  5. Pseudonymous says:

    After reading about how the actually competent liars of the Obama and Bush administrations gaslighted the country about Afghanistan, seeing these rank fucking amateurs prevaricate so utterly incompetently is hilarious.

    [Soleimani]:

    Assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

    — Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 3, 2020

    Right, Mike, the dozen terrorists, of which 15 were Saudi.  Absolute fucking imbeciles.

    Forgetting, of course, that the 9/11 Commission found no reason to believe Iran or Hizbullah knew anything about 9/11.

    • kwtree says:

      They assume that their loyalists are ignorant, paranoid, don’t pay attention, and don’t remember. Unfortunately, this is an accurate assessment. 

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Pence also overlooked the Sunni/Shia divide — As WAPO points out "the idea that Soleimani would assist in 9/11 — knowingly or otherwise — doesn’t add up, given he was Shiite and the hijackers were Sunnis."

      • ParkHill says:

        Is it true that the hijackers were Sunni? 

        Saudi Arabia is Wahhabi, a radically conservative and well-funded sect which opposes many Sunni ideas. Saudi Arabian Wahhabi clergy were instrumental in setting up religious schools on the Afghan-Pakistani border where they trained the Taliban. Wahhabi schools are also feeding radical ideas into countries around the world. Isis is closer to Wahhabi than anything else.

        It is true that there is a Sunni-Shia conflict in the Middle East. The US is ignorantly stoking civil war rather than solving problems.

  6. Pseudonymous says:

    Get you a membership to Mar-a-Lago for real-time access to US military planning!

    In the five days prior to launching a strike that killed Iran’s most important military leader, Donald Trump roamed the halls of Mar-a-Lago, his private resort in Florida, and started dropping hints to close associates and club-goers that something huge was coming.

    According to three people who’ve been at the president’s Palm Beach club over the past several days, Trump began telling friends and allies hanging at his perennial vacation getaway that he was working on a “big” response to the Iranian regime that they would be hearing or reading about very “soon.” His comments went beyond the New Year’s Eve tweet he sent out warning of the “big price” Iran would pay for damage to U.S. facilities. Two of these sources tell The Daily Beast that the president specifically mentioned he’d been in close contact with his top national security and military advisers on gaming out options for an aggressive action that could quickly materialize.

    “He kept saying, ‘You’ll see,’” one of the sources recalled, describing a conversation with Trump days before Thursday’s strike.

  7. Pseudonymous says:

    Hahahaha.

    WASHINGTON — In the chaotic days leading to the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, top American military officials put the option of killing him — which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq — on the menu they presented to President Trump.

    They didn’t think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.

    So, the "adults in the room" gave the craziest motherfucker ever to sit in the White House the "doomsday" option thinking it would reign him in.

    Reminds me of the Democrats who want to let Republicans "come to their senses" because they're sure Rs will be willing to work with Dems once they realize what they've been doing.

  8. Pseudonymous says:

    This is all so depressing.

  9. NPR and other sources: Iraqi PM says Trump lured Suleimani to Iraq as part of a supposed Iraqi brokering of de-escalation between Saudi arabia and Iran. The General had been scheduled to meet with the PM the following morning.

     

  10. DaftPunk says:

    R.I.P. JCPOA

     

    Iran said Sunday it would no longer abide by any of the limits of its unraveling 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after a U.S. airstrike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, abandoning the accord’s key provisions that block Tehran from having enough material to build an atomic weapon.

  11. The realist says:

    I just want to know how to prepare for the "end times" the religious wackos and their ignorant followers are bringing upon us . . . .

  12. davebarnes says:

    Why won’t the Iranians just star killing US generals?

    Thousands. Of targets.

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