Tonight We Almost Started A War With Iran

My analysis skills lag at this time of night, but we might as well get it out there: The New York Times, and now ABC News, say that a strike was ordered on a number of Iranian military targets, and the President called it off when the planes were in the air.

This is the action of a deeply incompetent person, surrounded by those seeking their own agendas by toadying up to him. He is operating in a vacuum of advice, having downgraded his initially worthless cabinet to a bunch of people desperate for power and willing to abase themselves in acting position.

Some tweets:






88 replies
  1. 1
    Royston Vasey says:

    Wow. Just wow.
    Scary shit, indeed,

    RV in NZ

  2. 2
    Jerzy Russian says:

    I did not need to see that last tweet. It looks like I picked the wrong week to stop smoking, drinking, sniffing glue, dropping acid, etc.

  3. 3
    HumboldtBlue says:

    We’re fucked.

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jerzy Russian: If it helps, Beinart is often wrong. Ah, but in which direction, you ask….

  5. 5
    Another Scott says:

    Call me crazy, but I can’t help but feel that there is much more to the story than is being presented at the moment. How much push-back from the Pentagon was there? How much inside the White House? Was it a “last person who talks to Donnie wins” situation, or what?

    The impeachment charges just keep piling up…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  6. 6
    Mandalay says:

    @Cheryl Rofer Just curious, but had the repeal of AUMF which just passed in the House already been law, would that have changed anything about what Trump would or could have done today? I’m hoping so, but guessing not….

    The House voted Wednesday to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which was passed in the days after 9/11, and gave President George W. Bush the authority to go to war with al-Qaeda and any related organization. For the past 18 years, presidents of both parties have used this same 2001 congressional war authorization as justification for wars all over the Middle East.

  7. 7

    @Another Scott: Yes – it has seemed to me over the past several days that the military has been pushing back. Too late at night for me to gather up the evidence.

    Also, who leaked the story? Haberman is one of the reporters on the Times story, and from certain angles it makes Trump look good. Angles that Trump might see. So – John Barron?

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’m just going to leave this here. You all can click across. I don’t have it in me to write anything more about this tonight.

  9. 9

    Headed to bed now. Might have more to say on this tomorrow. Also I should have the next post in the Mueller Report series.

  10. 10

    @Mandalay: I’ve thought this is an exercise in futility. Trump will do what Trump will do. We can litigate it in the ashes of civilization.

  11. 11
    oatler. says:

    Mein Fuhrer! I can valk!

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Someone also gave it to Jim LaPorta at Newsweek. He got scooped by NY Times.

  13. 13
    guachi says:

    Saudi Arabia murders a journalist working for an American newspaper – sell them weapons.

    Iran shoots down a drone – WAR, WAR, WAR!!!!!

  14. 14
    guachi says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I’m in the Navy but I’m on leave until this weekend. I can only imagine how messed up things are at work right now.

  15. 15
    NotMax says:

    Once someone whispered in his ear it was to be called Operation Shortfingers, he pulled the plug. //

  16. 16
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    The reason Trump called off the Iran airstrike?

    Vlad told him to.

  17. 17
    Redshift says:

    @Another Scott: Or was it another round of “everyone should call me a genius for ‘solving’ a disaster entirely of my own making?”

  18. 18
    PeakVT says:

    We need a lot more information on this event. Was it a pre-planned operation that was waiting on an event like the downed drone? Was it planned and activated by one set of advisors, and then another set came in and talked everyone down? Who was in on the planning? What regional countries, if any, were providing operational support? Have we even sorted out the facts for the “mining” incident?

  19. 19
    Bill Arnold says:

    I’m actually a bit curious about when exactly he called it off. The reporting so far doesn’t give a time, except after 7 p.m.

  20. 20
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    War as a reality show, lovely.

  21. 21
    Mike in DC says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Good read. I wonder about Iran’s capability to strike ports, airfields, refineries, pipelines and military bases on the other side of the Persian Gulf. Ras Tanura is within range of the longest range unguided rockets, let alone Iran’s arsenal of SRBMs. Shutting down KSA and the Straits of Hormuz means taking maybe 10-20% of the global oil supply offline, potentially for months. I’m not sure President Ten Dollar Gas would be fondly remembered.

  22. 22
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Bill Arnold: he hasn’t tweeted about it yet, but he’s probably still talking to Hannity this early in Executive Time

  23. 23
    Redshift says:

    @Mandalay: Sadly, no. Under the War Powers Act, he still could commit forces for up to 90 days before getting authorization.

    And I’d be willing to bet the warmongers would also call the drone shoot down an “attack on our armed forces” creating a “national emergency” which would also be exempt, I believe.

  24. 24
    Mandalay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: From the video, Trump says

    Unfortunately that drone was unarmed…it was not…there was no….man in it…it was over international waters…clearly over international waters…but we didn’t have a man or woman in the drone…we had nobody in the drone…it would have made a big difference…

    Exactly the kind of word salad that we need from our president in these dangerous times. Having a manned drone will surely confuse them pesky Iranians.

  25. 25
    cmorenc says:

    Scariest thought of the week:
    We didn’t go to war tonight because –

    DONALD TRUMP is the grownup in the room

    We are fucked if we’re counting on this to be true more often than a stopped clock is right about the time.

  26. 26

    @Another Scott:

    Was it a “last person who talks to Donnie wins” situation…

    Yeah, his boss Vlad called and told him to call it off.

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in DC: They can hit all of it. Either directly or through proxies.

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mandalay: As I wrote in AL’s post about this earlier, I’d be a lot more comfortable if I could be sure he actually understands that drones are always unmanned.

  29. 29
    Redshift says:

    @PeakVT:

    Have we even sorted out the facts for the “mining” incident?

    Of course not, but the “facts are being fixed around the policy,” to quote a much more articulate government.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: @Redshift: @Another Scott: @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: It may have been that Ivanka reminded him that Jared is in Bahrain right now on his economic workshop that is no longer really about resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. And she didn’t want him to be in harm’s way.

  31. 31
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Of course dumb ass Donny chose the worst possible choice, by pulling up short, he both blinks and temps the Iranians into a use it or lose counter strike.

  32. 32
    JGabriel says:

    via Cheryl Rofer @ Top:

    John Santucci:

    @ABC confirms – President Trump ordered a military strike on Iran but reversed decision tonight after a plan already underway according to sources familiar. The sources tell ABC the president’s decision to change course was unclear – more to come via me @JoshMargolin @KFaulders https://twitter.com/peterbakernyt/status/1141904252702461953

    What’s unclear about it, Santucci? Putin announced that an attack on Iran would be catastrophic – as it would have been, which Trump should have known without a veiled threat from Putin – and Trump didn’t want to offend his patron / overseer.

    Trump is not subtle. He responded to a threat from Putin by backing down.

  33. 33
    JGabriel says:

    cmorenc:

    Scariest thought of the week:
    We didn’t go to war tonight because –

    DONALD TRUMP is the grownup in the room

    Assuming that Trump pulled back because of Putin’s comments, then the reason we didn’t go to war tonight isn’t because Trump was the adult in the room – it’s because Traitor Donald was the coward in the room.

    Personally, I find that to be somewhat of a relief, because expecting Combover Caligula to be a coward seems like a much more reliable expectation we can count on for preventing war, than expecting him to behave like an adult.

  34. 34
    Mandalay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Jared is in Bahrain right now on his economic workshop…

    Heh. I thought that was an example of your dry humor, but apparently not:

    The White House is hosting a workshop in Bahrain next week to launch the economic components of the administration’s Middle East peace plan but Palestinians are boycotting it and Israeli officials haven’t been invited, according to a report on Monday.

    An interesting approach to resolving Israel/Palestine conflict: throw a $$$ workshop with nobody from Israel or Palestine attending.

    Hanan Ashrawi does a nice job of pointing out that Kushner’s Plan is pure bunk.

  35. 35
    hervevillechaizelounge says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    his boss Vlad called and told him to call it off

    When I read Putin’s statement cautioning us against war I assumed he was privately goading Trump into Operation Bomb Iran. Vlad always lies and he always plays both sides.

    Putin is now the person in charge of deciding whether or not we’re going to war—hope Susan Sarandon and Rosario Dawson are happy.

    Off topic: do any Florida jackals know anything about the mysterious death of Rep Matt Gaetz’s college roommate? I’ve been digging in newspaper archives and I can’t find any student deaths at FSU between 1999-2004.

    The gossip on the web seems to link back to an anonymous source and I’m trying to find the real story—although since he’s a republican I know Gaetz is guilty of murder and gay sex is somehow involved.

    Thanks in advance!

  36. 36
    Balconesfault says:

    I suspect it’s all who’s the last person he’s talked to phenomenon.

    this morning he had his presser with Trudeau, and clearly Trudeau had been talking some sense to him because he came out with the position that was giving Iran some wiggle room.

    Then I assume later in the day he’s isolated with Pompeo and Bolton, in after listening to them make their pitch for an hour or two he goes ahead and orders the strikes.

    my guess is that right after that he decided to call one or two of our allies to let them know what we were about to do, and fortunately someone across the pond had enough influence to get him to step back from the brink again.

    WTF, this is not a good place for the US or the world as a whole right now. The madness of King George on steroids.

  37. 37
    Nwerner says:

    Pretty hard to believe that this actually happened when leaking that it happened accomplishes all the same ends without burning any fuel.

  38. 38

    @hervevillechaizelounge: Remember, Russia shares a border with Iran on the Caspian Sea; I don’t think Vlad was lying.

  39. 39
    Aleta says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: And after that he called Tucker Carlson, then decisively called off the response and asked for ice cream.

  40. 40
    Jay says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge:

    Iran is a Russian “client” and a partner with Russia in their regional security operations in the Middle East.

    Treason Tribble launching an attack on Iran once again proves to US Global Allies and Regional Moderate Partners that the US is insane and unstable.

    Treason Tribble calling off the attack proves to Sawdi Arsbia, the UAE, Israel and other Kushner BFF’s in the Region that Mango Musollini is gutless and a coward, that the billions they spent to get him elected were wasted, and they should look for new partners.

    Either way it’s a win-win for Putin, all because of Treason Tribble.

  41. 41

    @Nwerner:

    Pretty hard to believe that this actually happened when leaking that it happened accomplishes all the same ends without burning any fuel.

    You’re forgetting Trump’s Razor*: assume the stupidest possible explanation that fits the available facts.

    *credit to idk Josh Marshall?

  42. 42
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge:

    When I read Putin’s statement cautioning us against war I assumed he was privately goading Trump into Operation Bomb Iran. Vlad always lies and he always plays both sides.

    Putin should read up on how the Ribbentrop pact turned out for Stalin then.

  43. 43
    Mandalay says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge:

    Vlad always lies and he always plays both sides.

    I don’t think this was a lie from Putin:

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday he wanted President Donald Trump to win the 2016 election because he believed Trump’s policies would be more friendly to the Kremlin.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    patrick II says:

    A war with Iran would not be easy. When Cheney was VP he was asked and did not rule out the role of nukes to get at underground Iranian nuclear facilities. So, if things aren’t going well generally, is anyone as crazy as Cheney? No one seems to mention the nuclear option if things don’t go well, but I am not comfortable that Bolton is any saner than Cheney. So, is Trump as smart as Bush who did not let Cheney lead him into a war with Iran during that administration?

  46. 46
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Hadn’t heard of Trump’s Razor before. Query for you (and any other NYC area jackals around tonight): how many people do you think would attend a meetup in Brooklyn on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Would you consider it?

  47. 47
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Yep. It was Josh Marshall.

  48. 48
    Jay says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    The Molotov-Ribbontrop Pact worked about as well for the Soviet Union as the Munich Agreement worked for Britain, but not for Poland and France*.

    The Soviet Union got a free hand in Finland, ( not a win, really), got “defence in depth” form the Baltics and Eastern Poland, but mostly bought time to rearm and reorganize.

    The same thing Britain got by betraying Czechoslovakia.

    *France and Poland scred themselves by screwing over Czechoslovakia because Czech armaments, most famously, the T-38 tank, was the main weapon that overran their armies.

    Stalin much preferred an alliance with France, Britain and Poland, and had been pursuing it for years before finally allying with Germany, because France and Britain wern’t interested and Poland was adamantly opposed.

  49. 49
    Kent says:

    @Mike in DC:

    v@Adam L Silverman: Good read. I wonder about Iran’s capability to strike ports, airfields, refineries, pipelines and military bases on the other side of the Persian Gulf. Ras Tanura is within range of the longest range unguided rockets, let alone Iran’s arsenal of SRBMs. Shutting down KSA and the Straits of Hormuz means taking maybe 10-20% of the global oil supply offline, potentially for months. I’m not sure President Ten Dollar Gas would be fondly remembered.

    This would wipe out every farmer in the midwest who is not a mega corporate farm. They have already been devastated by the fariffs which have destroyed their markets. The recent floods have wiped out this year’s planting season for much of the upper midwest. A doubling or tripling of the price of fuel with be the trifecta that would end family farms as we know them in much of the farm belt. Agriculture is highly mechanized and uses extraordinary amounts of fuel. I used to drive combines and wheat trucks during summer in college. The amount of fuel burned to farm and harvest large tracts of wheat, corn, and soybeans is extraordinary. We hauled fuel into the fields daily with a big fuel truck, just to get through the day.

  50. 50
    Jay says:

    @patrick II:

    Guess you missed the quickly released, then retracted Pentagon Paper this week that stated along the lines that “early use of nukes could create an environment more amiable to winning a war”.

  51. 51
    Brachiator says:

    @JGabriel:

    Assuming that Trump pulled back because of Putin’s comments, then the reason we didn’t go to war tonight isn’t because Trump was the adult in the room – it’s because Traitor Donald was the coward in the room.

    Personally, I find that to be somewhat of a relief, because expecting Combover Caligula to be a coward seems like a much more reliable expectation we can count on for preventing war, than expecting him to behave like an adult.

    I think that you are right about this.

    I just hope that Trump continues to do nothing, or at least doesn’t do anything stupid.

    I heard military analyst on CBS news radio insist that the US had to do a proportionate military response, as though this is a game that must be played.

  52. 52
    Aleta says:

    His formula is talk tough, threaten even more, count on the opponent folding. With his people pulling him in three directions, Israel and the Saudis to think of, Iran reacting to provocation, Putin stepping in for whatever his purpose, Trump’s tank is empty. But I think he’ll play with it some more back and forth for the headlines, to center himself while campaigning. Because his incarceration of sick children and babies is blowing up, a lot of those stories are still hidden, and Republicans can’t show their faces for all the lies.

    We have to focus on being angrier than ever before. Talk about the things they don’t want mentioned.

  53. 53
    AnotherBruce says:

    “Talk about the things they don’t want mentioned.”
    Such as Kiddy concentration camps.

  54. 54
    Jay says:

    @Mike in DC:

    The Persian Gulf, through oil and gas exports, provides roughly 7.78% of all the energy consumed in the world.

    Roughly 16% of all oil and gas consumed in the world.

  55. 55
    Jay says:

    @Brachiator:

    I heard military analyst on CBS news radio insist that the US had to do a proportionate military response, as though this is a game that must be played.

    It’s just a show to them.

  56. 56
    James E Powell says:

    @Aleta:

    His formula is to have no formula, no plan, no thought. He just says and does whatever the F he wants and doesn’t care about the consequences because there is a massive propaganda apparatus that will work 24/7 telling everyone that whatever he said or did was genius, the greatest America’s ever seen, and the only people who are complaining are losers. 40 – 45% percent of the country will agree immediately and another 20% will stare at their TVs like zombies and if they bother to respond at all it will be to say they’re not sure then quickly forget the question.

  57. 57
    Jay says:

    @Aleta:

    @AnotherBruce:

    There’s a lot they dont want mentioned,

    Seconded.

  58. 58
    patrick II says:

    @Jay:

    Yes I did miss that. I don’t trust the military generally, their job is to win wars and they consider many unthinkable scenarios. But there is no civilian leadership that we can trust to have a broader view now, and Bolton and Pompeo are nuts. If there is a war and when things start going bad those two and Trump might do the unthinkable. It’s crazy to say, but Trump may actually be the best of them.

  59. 59
    Jay says:

    @James E Powell:

    Drumph got 46.1% of the vote,

    55.7% of the electorate, voted.

    So it’s actually a lot closer to 25.6% are batshit crazy.

  60. 60
    JGabriel says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Remember, Russia shares a border with Iran on the Caspian Sea; I don’t think Vlad was lying.

    Iran and Russia are also allies.

  61. 61
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    “I believe in a way she is more dangerous,” Susan Sarandon told The Young Turks on Thursday. “I don’t know if she is overcompensating or what her trip is. That scares me. I think we’ll be in Iran in two seconds.”

    The former “Thelma and Louise” star said voters are being “fed” a message that Mr. Trump is “so dangerous” – “I don’t know what his policy is. I do know what her policies are.”

  62. 62
    JGabriel says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    You’re forgetting Trump’s Razor*: assume the stupidest possible explanation that fits the available facts.

    *credit to idk Josh Marshall?

    Yep, Josh came up with Trump’s Razor, but John Scalzi named it.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Jay says:

    NEW: A Pentagon official tells Newsweek that regional U.S. military assets, including the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf, have been put on 72-hour standby for possible strikes on Iran. https://t.co/W7P2SsDLk8— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) June 21, 2019

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    We’re on the verge of another potentially catastrophic war and DONALD TRUMP is the grownup in the room

    It’s worse. In any situation, Trump is invariably the one being manipulated. He is never the adult in the room.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    smike says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    We’re on the verge of another potentially catastrophic war and DONALD TRUMP is the grownup in the room

    Yeah. That does not compute.

  68. 68
    Mandalay says:

    @Brachiator:

    I heard military analyst on CBS news radio insist that the US had to do a proportionate military response

    An excellent proposal.

    The US should shoot down an Iranian drone flying twelve miles off the coast from Galveston which came from the Iranian naval fleet which is swarming in the Gulf of Mexico.

    That should be fairly proportional based on what has happened so far.

  69. 69
    scott (the other one) says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    That Feud: Bette and Joan show looked interesting but I wouldn’t watch one second of it. I’d always really liked her as an actress but there’s no chance I’ll see anything new she does.

  70. 70
    Fair Economist says:

    @Kent:

    This would wipe out every farmer in the midwest who is not a mega corporate farm. They have already been devastated by the fariffs which have destroyed their markets. The recent floods have wiped out this year’s planting season for much of the upper midwest. A doubling or tripling of the price of fuel with be the trifecta that would end family farms as we know them in much of the farm belt.

    Trump would view this as a buying opportunity. Ruin family farming to enrich himself? Almost nothing would appeal to him more.

    He’s said that’s how he thought of the housing crash – an opportunity to get rich on other’s misfortunes.

  71. 71
    plato says:

    Who is this Beinart idiot?

    The puppet is being pulled in every which way by every which one and it is the adult?

  72. 72
    Mandalay says:

    An excellent point was raised in a comment in the NYT:

    International airspace is defined as the airspace within a country’s borders and extending to its territorial waters, per the UN Law of the Sea, signed by Iran and Oman and most of the world but not the US.

    Therefore, Iran’s airspace extends 12 nautical miles into the 21 mile wide strait which overlaps with Oman’s similar airspace. That is, there is no international airspace over the Straits.

    I don’t know US or Iranian versions of the exact location of the drone when it was shot down, or the accuracy of the claim in the comment, but it seems possible that the drone could only have been in either Iranian or Omani airspace since there was no international airspace available.

    But regardless of the specific details, it rings a bit hollow for the Trump Administration to be crowing that the drone was in “international airspace” when the US has not signed up to the UN Law of the Sea. They appear to be invoking a law that the US refused to accept.

  73. 73
    rikyrah says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:
    Yep. Vladd told him too🤔

  74. 74
    PPCLI says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Putin should read up on how the Ribbentrop pact turned out for Stalin then.

    Well, in the end he did get all of eastern Europe. Some nervous moments along the way, of course.

  75. 75
    tobie says:

    @rikyrah: that’s my best guess too. Putin told Trump to back down in Venezuela and he did. Ditto for Iran. The payback for pulling back is clandestine help with his and other Republucan reelectionn campaigns.

  76. 76
    Shalimar says:

    So Bolton ordered strikes on Iran, he had to brief Trump because the President has final authority, and Trump said no after the planes were in the air. The lesson Bolton is going to learn from this is to start the war while Trump is asleep and only brief him after the first strikes are already over.

  77. 77
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @guachi:

    I’d go camping in an area without cell reception…

  78. 78
    Mary G says:

    I take one fucking day off the internet, wake up in the middle of the night to this?

  79. 79
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Jay:

    Cool – I’m getting ready to hop onto flights to the Aegean today just as the entire Middle East is ready to go into a giant conflagration over Twitler’s idiot bumbles.

  80. 80
    J R in WV says:

    @guachi:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I’m in the Navy but I’m on leave until this weekend. I can only imagine how messed up things are at work right now.

    Holy shit, man, be careful out there. Scary Times. ex-Navy long ago days, 70-73, AS-16. Good Luck~!!~

  81. 81
    A Ghost To Most says:

    It would seem that my extensive preparations are not the work of pure paranoia, but rather of well-founded fear. This will get out of hand quickly.

  82. 82
    artem1s says:

    a strike was ordered on a number of Iranian military targets, and the President called it off when the planes were in the air.

    The GOP has been using the military as props in their macho posturing games for so long, we’ve forgotten what this kind of BS costs the real men and women and their families who are part of this Kabuki theatre. You don’t put planes in the air unless you are ready to use them. If the regular military isn’t outraged at this misuse of the Commander in Chief powers, they should be. This alone should be cause for 25ing his ass.

  83. 83
    chopper says:

    this is…unsettling.

  84. 84
    Procopius says:

    @Another Scott: I agree with you. Bolton is terrifying, but the underlying problem is that the National Security Council has gone rogue since 1950. They have gradually accumulated more power to give orders and the only control over them is a Presidential appointee who is not vetted by the Senate. We saw this in the run-up to the Iraq War. Obama did nothing to rein them in. Under Trump Bolton has seized the authority to communicate directly with individual officers at the Pentagon, some of whom will “accommodate his requests.” I believe it’s going to get worse until nuclear holocaust or we find some way to return the NSC to its intended function of rationalizing the decision process. NSC staff are far too independent and unaccountable.

  85. 85
    Another Scott says:

    @Amir Khalid: +1

    Indeed.

    :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  86. 86
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Think back to Trump’s campaign.

    He vacillated between being a tough-guy against Muslim adversaries and promising to stay out of stupid wars.

    As President, Trump has still not resolved this tension in his Mideast policy.

    But the conflict with #Iran is forcing him to choose.

    This tweet is giving Trump far too much credit. He doesn’t give a damn what he promised, to the extent that he even remembers. He’s got a demagogue’s feel for what gets an audience riled up at The Other, but once he’s away from that guideline, he’s lost. My WAG is that he’s got a vague fear that going from verbal to military toughness with Iran might turn around and bite him on the ass, and that’s about as sophisticated as his thought gets here.

  87. 87
    low-tech cyclist says:

    I’d add this extremely dangerous clown show to the list of impeachable offenses. Going to war, or not, with a foreign country basically on a whim is well beyond what should be tolerable.

    This Administration seems to be using Duck Soup as a model, from “If you think this country’s bad off now, just wait ’til I get through with it” to going to war on ridiculous pretexts. It’s funny when it happens in a Marx Brothers movie. Not so funny when it’s happening in real life, in your own country.

  88. 88
    Procopius says:

    @Shalimar: I think you’re right about Bolton ordering the strike. With the Shanahan resignation I think there is a lot of confusion about the chain of command. There have been reports already that Bolton and members of the National Security Council Staff contact officials at the Pentagon directly, bypassing the chain of command. But I think Bolton is far too smart to have told Trump what he did. I bet somebody at the Pentagon called Hannity, told him what was happening, and Hannity told Trump. Why Trump keeps Bolton on is a mystery, but probably has to do with what Trump thinks is negotiating strategy. Bully and bluster and hope your opponent offers concessions, and if they don’t, pretend you forced concessions anyway. Remember, Bolton is insane, he isn’t dumb.

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