Introduction: Trump tells us no one was killed. If someone was, the US would lie about it but after hearing the deafening explosions at al Asad, thundering from 5 miles away, it must have been magic.
One report from Israel claims they received 224 wounded, flown to that country for treatment. That story is not confirmed.
Iran claims 80 Americans were killed. That is possible, even likely considering the size of the attack but also not confirmed. Trump could be telling the truth, there is no reason to not believe him other than than this would be the first time we have caught him not lying.
Iran is clearly capable of ending US involvement in the Middle East and can destroy Saudi Arabia, all US bases in the region except Diego Garcia and any US ships.
They can do much more than this and simply told Trump they were ready to do exactly that.
Then again, the US was unable to shoot down a single missile where Syria gets by US standards, about 30% and the Russians claim about 80%. We accept half, maybe more.
America can’t match that.
Worse still, if these Iranian missiles all hit the runway, meaning they are accurate to with less than 10 meters, what we guessed is true, Iran’s thousands of missiles represent the pinnacle of conventional response, especially considering their new cruise type missiles.
As for range, Iran’s longest range large scale deployments reach all of Saudi Arabia, all of Egypt, can reach Rome or Austria and almost to Diego Garcia.
America’s huge air base in Qatar is with the range of thousands of Iranian missiles.
Any of their missiles can hit Israel and, as Israel tell us continually, 6,000 are located in Lebanon already, aimed at key Israeli industries.
We wait for Trump to speak but this from the Washington Post:
Washington Post: There’s confusion over Trump’s rationale for assassinating Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Confusion over Trump’s broader strategic goals. Confusion over whether Trump wants to appear militarily unhinged and threatening or restrained. And confusion over whether Trump is betraying his promise to avoid foreign entanglements or honoring it.
All this confusion traces back to one of Trump’s biggest lies: The idea that the Iran nuclear agreement constituted a wretched display of elite failure and American weakness, and that Trump has replaced it with an approach that’s “strong.”
That tone contrasts sharply with Trump’s bellicose but toddler-like pounding of his toy war drums (his Twitter feed), which has included threats of “disproportionate” force and even war crimes. But the guy with the toy war drums also controls the U.S. military, so let’s hope Trump is looking for an off-ramp.
Iran may have given Trump that off-ramp by launching a strike that apparently didn’t kill Americans. If he de-escalates — perhaps by declaring that Iran blinked in the face of his show of strength — that will be great, as far as it goes.
But the larger point here remains this: None of this has to be happening at all.
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