And the World Exhales
Last week I praised President Trump for the killing of Iranian General Qasam Soleimani. It's been a week since the strike so where are we now? The world held it's breath for the fear of war between the United States and Iran which would swamp other countries into the conflict.
Iran responded with an attack on two Iraqi bases that house American soldiers. The only lives that were lost during the bombing were the 176 passengers of the Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 that departed from Tehran. As of now it appears it was accidentally taken down by a surface to air missile originating from Iran.
Last week I ended the praise of President Trump by saying, "good luck". Well, for now it appears the luck is with the president. Iran says it did not intend to kill any American soldiers during their response and they do not desire any further escalation. It looked like his gambit was a good one. So what is to happen now?
The Trump Administration is announcing a new round of sanctions against Iran. This doesn't really help to either deescalate things nor does it encourage Iran to come back to the negotiating table. Sanctions are already maxed out for effect. Iran doesn't want escalation but they certainly will continue their path of harassment to the United States Government. Iran does not have the military capabilities to stand against the U.S., but they certainly have the capabilities to disrupt our standing in the Middle East.
Iran will continue to build mistrust of the United States. They will hurt us where it hurts most. Our image of Democracy is disappearing. It's only protected by the thinnest of veils. Our budget is hurting. This continual tit-for-tat will get tiresome and costly. And Donald Trump cares more about his image than anything else. When he sees attacks against him he hits back twice as hard. At what point does a country say enough? Either Iran or the United States.
In hindsight, I don't believe there was an imminent threat against the United States to justify an United Nations Article 51 response to kill Soleimani. Yet the world is better without him there are probably other ways in which to either kill him or thwart his activities.
Short term win, long term loss.