Potentially further violent tension between the United States and Iran is continuing to escalate. As this week dawned, just days after an abrupt U.S. strike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the Trump administration abruptly kickstarted a deployment of half a dozen bomber jets to the Middle East region, where they are set to be stationed to be ready for potential operations against Iranian targets. President Donald Trump has repeatedly indicated that he wants to hit civilian cultural sites in potential further strikes against Iran, which would be an apparent war crime, at least in the perception of many observers — although Defense Secretary Mark Esper has since insisted that cultural site strikes supposedly will not happen.
In the meantime, the newly deployed bombers will be stationed on a small island in the Indian Ocean, CNN explains, reporting:
‘The Pentagon is planning to begin the deployment of six B-52 aircraft to the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean on Monday, according to a US official. The B-52s will be available for operations against Iran if ordered, the official said… Diego Garcia was chosen to keep the aircraft out of the range of Iranian missiles, the official said.’
During a previous deployment of bombers that were meant as a show of strength against Iran, the aircraft were stationed in Qatar — but that’s within the range of Iranian missiles, and the dramatic change in venue that the Defense Department has chosen seems to indicate just how seriously that the seasoned, experienced, and competent voices are taking the mess that Trump has dragged the United States into.
According to The New York Times, Trump apparently ordered the strike against Soleimani when presented with a list of options that included that one only as a reportedly last ditch measure. Trump, of course, has not proven himself to be at all interested in restraint when it comes to proving a point in favor of his ego — just look at his Twitter feed and nearly frothing at the mouth public appearances. Thus, the strike was ordered, against the better judgment of Pentagon officials but with the avid public support of some of the president’s most fervent shills.
Now, Americans and the rest of the world have to deal with the consequences. Although there was apparently no Congressional consultation before the strike was actually carried out, on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed some Senators about the situation ahead of a consultation with the so-called “Gang of Eight” Congressional leaders on Tuesday and an all-Senators briefing on Wednesday.
Trump and his allies have been chomping at the bit for more bloodshed.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has now repeatedly threatened Iranian oil facilities and the people who work there, while over the weekend, Trump complained to reporters:
‘They’re allowed to kill our people, they’re allowed to torture and maim our people, they’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people, and we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn’t work that way.’
The thing is: what is and isn’t a war crime is not dependent on the feelings of a narcissistic egomaniac.