The madman in the White House has been sulking and raging for weeks about his impeachment proceedings, tweeting manically on some days more than 100 times. With the release by JustSecurity.org of unredacted emails on the Ukraine scandal showing that Trump personally (and illegally) withheld congressionally mandated military aid to an ally, the Republican defense of the president is collapsing. Some GOP senators such as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski seem to be weakening on calling witnesses and subpoenaing records for the Senate trial, and the Democrats only need four Republican senators to ensure a proper proceeding, which would certainly put Trump’s presidency in peril.
It is extremely suspicious that Trump has abruptly begun trafficking in the sanguinary merchandise of all-out war just at this moment when his throne is on the brink of toppling.
Now, by murdering Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Jerusalem (Qods) Brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, Trump has brought the United States to the brink of war with Iran. Mind you, Iran’s leadership is too shrewd to rush to the battlements at this moment, and will be prepared to play the long game. My guess is that they will encourage their allies among Iraqi Shiites to get up a massive protest at the US embassy and at bases housing US troops.
They will be aided in this task of mobilizing Iraqis by the simultaneous US assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces. Al-Muhandis is a senior military figure in the Iraqi armed forces, not just a civilian militia figure. Moreover, the Kata’ib Hizbullah that he headed is part of a strong political bloc, al-Fath, which has 48 members in parliament and forms a key coalition partner for the current, caretaker prime minister, Adil Abdulmahdi. Parliament won’t easily be able to let this outrage pass.
Soleimani was a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. But this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict. Our priority must be to avoid another costly war.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 3, 2020
I keep coming back to this. The focus on Suleimani obscures what's really happened here:
We've gone to war with Iran.
There's been no congressional debate. No effort to secure allies, public support, or UN or NATO-backing. No discussion of trade-offs. https://t.co/rdUv4dIudH
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) January 3, 2020
Reminder: The Democratic-controlled House last month passed a compromise $738 billion defense bill that excluded earlier language requiring congressional approval for any military action against Iran, among other provisions. https://t.co/73dB6WEMx0
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) January 3, 2020
deja vu all over again?#WW3
I only trust @SenSanders
— RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) January 3, 2020
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders denounced President Donald Trump late Thursday night for giving the order to assassinate Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force—calling the move a “dangerous escalation” that brings the United States “closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars.”
“War with Iran would be disastrous and wholly unnecessary. Military and diplomatic leaders have warned it could bring costs, in both blood and treasure, greater than the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan combined.” —Stephen Miles, Win Without WarIn a statement responding to what other critics decried as an “explicit act of war” by the sitting U.S. president, Sanders said, “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”
Sanders invoked his vote against the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2002 when he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the Bush administration’s push for war. “I feared it would lead to greater destabilization of the country and the region,” Sanders explained. “Today, 17 years later, that fear has unfortunately turned out to be true. The United States has lost approximately 4,500 brave troops, tens of thousands have been wounded, and we’ve spent trillions on this war.”
Sanders was hardly alone in his condemnation of what Trump has done by targeting and killing the powerful Iranian military leader—a figure many consider to be the second-most powerful person in the Iranian government behind supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sanders’ rival in the 2020 Democratic primary, also railed against what she called a “reckless move” by the president—even as she deployed the widely derided “he was a bad guy, but…” construction.
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