The Trump administration is absolutely refusing to budge from their claim that the president’s recent abruptly ordered airstrike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was actually perfectly orderly and has, supposedly, made America safer. In reality, Iran is already threatening harsh retaliation, and some in the federal government apparently take this seriously, considering recent advice for all Americans to leave Iraq and the newly announced deployment of thousands more U.S. troops to the region. Still, this weekend on Meet the Press, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo grossly downplayed the threat to American lives, even while his own administration is simultaneously putting thousands more Americans in harm’s way.
Host Chuck Todd pointed out a list of danger-suggesting developments like the Department of Homeland Security’s preparation for serious cyberattacks from Iran, but Pompeo insisted:
‘We’re definitely safer today. One hundred percent certainty that America is safer today.’
He went on to just about mock the host for his concern about the Americans threatened by possibilities of Iranian retaliation!
Pompeo melodramatically asserted:
‘Chuck, you’re focused on the second, and the moment. President Trump is focused deeply on keeping America safe over the long haul. Preserving, protecting, and defending America is the mission that we have. It may be that there’s a little noise here in the interim, That the Iranians make the choice to respond. I hope that they don’t. President Trump has made clear how we will respond if they do, that our response will be decisive and vigorous, just as it has been so far.’
"We do expect retaliation on American citizens, correct?"
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 5, 2020
Pompeo went to insist that the Trump administration would take all actions necessary to protect Americans in Iraq and around the region, but underscoring the desperate hollowness of all of the administration’s arguments surrounding this situation, while Pompeo toured the Sunday morning shows circuit, the Iraqi parliament actually voted to expel all American troops from the country. The outgoing Iraqi prime minister also revealed that when Soleimani was killed in Baghdad, he was carrying a response to Saudi mediation efforts for peace in the region that the Trump administration had specifically asked the Iraqis to be a part of. In other words — no matter Pompeo’s tough guy stance, Trump literally blew up peace negotiations.
This is stunning – #Iraq prime minister tells parliament US troops should leave. Says @realDonaldTrump called him to ask him to mediate with #Iran and then ordered drone strike on Soleimani. Says Soleimani carrying response to Saudi initiative to defuse tension when he was hit.
— jane arraf (@janearraf) January 5, 2020
The families of those who have been recently deployed overseas in case of conflict with the Iranians beyond the present level should take note of Pompeo’s assertion that the possibility of injury to or death of their loved ones is just “a little noise.” Those in major American cities where security measures have been heightened and those who rely on any of the major pieces of infrastructure vulnerable to Iranian cyberattacks should also note that Pompeo thinks that the dangers they face are just “a little noise.”
The tough guy response that Pompeo says the Trump administration has ready to go in the case of further Iranian escalation includes apparent war crimes.
Although Pompeo refused to confirm specifics on Sunday TV, in a recent string of tweets, Trump insisted that the U.S. was prepared to bomb civilian cultural sites in a punitive escalation of conflict that puts people at risk just to prove a point for Trump’s ego. In other words, this administration is a wreck.
This is a war crime.
Threatening to target and kill innocent families, women and children – which is what you’re doing by targeting cultural sites – does not make you a “tough guy.”
It does not make you “strategic.”
It makes you a monster. https://t.co/IjkNO8BD07
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 5, 2020