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Qassem Soleimani plagued the U.S. for 20 years. Trump wanted to do something about it. Regardless of the propriety of his decision, Trump apparently acted swiftly. From Bloomberg:
The president’s decision to target the powerful head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force came together swiftly, following the death of an American contractor in a Dec. 27 rocket attack by an Iranian-backed militia against a U.S. base in Iraq. Soon after the attack, Trump ordered a handful of his most senior aides to begin planning a strike on the Iranian general, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The Trump administration had recently asked France and other allies to warn Tehran against killing Americans, according to one of the people. For the president, a red line had been crossed.
Trump’s close circle of national security advisers was scattered across the country for the holidays -- Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was in Key West; National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien was in California; and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was in Washington, after canceling planned travel to Ukraine and other countries on Jan. 1.
Vice President Mike Pence was in Annapolis, Maryland, for his daughter Charlotte’s wedding on Saturday, then at Sanibel Island in Florida.
The team used secure communications lines to repeatedly discuss the strike. On Thursday, a plane from the White House fleet was sent to California to ferry O’Brien to Palm Beach to be with Trump as the attack unfolded.
A small number of lawyers on the National Security Council were involved. Secrecy was paramount, as aides worried that one of Trump’s most fraught and consequential decisions wasn’t leaked ahead of the strike.
Then there is this after the strike...
The president offered a partial explanation of his decision on Twitter on Friday, writing that Soleimani “killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans” and “was plotting to kill many more.”
He did not elaborate or provide any substantiation for the claim. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo later said in a CNN interview that Soleimani’s killing thwarted an “imminent attack,” again without providing further details.
Only on Friday, the day after the strike, did the State Department order American citizens to depart Iraq. Key members of Congress still hadn’t been briefed as of Friday morning, and the White House instead forwarded the Defense Department’s public statement to the offices of lawmakers who asked, according to three lawmakers.
In a brief address from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump said Qassem Soleimani was plotting “imminent and sinister attacks” against American diplomats and military personnel.
“We took action last night to stop a war,” Trump said. “We did not take action to start a war.”
The question remains: Is Trump right? Will his actions stop a war or have they started one?
Click here to read the rest of the story from Bloomberg. Click here to find out if Trump is starting WWIII.
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
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