On Tuesday night U.S. time, Iran fired a barrage of missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq — and in response, President Donald Trump has claimed that everything is fine. In other words, he’d apparently like us all to simply ignore the reality that’s in front of us. He tweeted a message along those lines shortly after the attack, and in a Wednesday address to the nation delivered with a number of top officials at his side, he continued that argument while also revealing that his team would hit Iran with new sanctions.
In a time when Americans are facing fear over further violence sparked by his own recklessness, Trump began his remarks with yet another barely veiled threat. He railed:
‘As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon… I’m pleased to inform you, the American people should be extremely grateful and happy. No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime… Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.’
There was a deal restraining Iran from getting a nuclear weapon! Trump metaphorically ripped it up. He jumped at the chance to undo an Obama accomplishment and abruptly withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which Iran has recently announced it was completely abandoning as well, no matter the European countries still signed on.
Completely ignoring the deal, Trump went on to claim that “nations have tolerated Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the middle east and beyond,” but now, apparently, “those days are over.” Again, this constitutes tough guy talk that completely ignores the years of diplomatic work that he trampled. Adding insult to injury, he went on to claim that a new deal with Iran should be pursued, which would constitute a trip down the same path that he claimed is so terrible.
This Wednesday, Trump also defended his assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, which sparked the retaliatory strikes from Iran. Trump derided him as the “world’s top terrorist” who’s “personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities.”
In closing, he pompously pronounced to the Iranians:
‘We want you to have a future, and a great future, one that you deserve — one with prosperity at home and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.’
His Wednesday address followed chatter the previous night about a possible presidential talk that ended up not actually happening. He’s directly addressed the nation in this form only a handful of times while in office, including once to advocate for his draconian border policies and another occasion when he announced the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The fight against ISIS is actually itself one of many things that have been jeopardized by Trump’s reckless behavior. Following his assassination of Soleimani, U.S. forces in the region “suspended operations against the terrorist group so its forces can concentrate on protecting US, UK and other troops” from threats like those Iranian missiles, in the description of the Guardian.
Watch Trump’s remarks: