Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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A narrative collapses as Trump tweets: ‘It doesn’t really matter’

The New York Times reports:

In the 10 days since it carried out the drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the Trump administration has been struggling to draft an after-the-fact narrative to justify it. On Monday, President Trump put an end to that hash of explanations. “It doesn’t really matter,” he tweeted, “because of his horrible past.”

Until that message on Twitter, the administration had insisted in various ways that General Suleimani, Iran’s most important military official, was planning myriad “imminent” attacks. The unraveling of the explanations accelerated over the weekend after Mr. Trump said four embassies were under immediate threat, a charge that his own administration could not back.

With the president’s latest utterance, he bolstered critics of a strike that had raised fears of an all-out war with Iran and had led Iraq to call on the United States to leave the country. And, the critics wondered, was it reckless and irresponsible for the United States to kill Iran’s second most important leader if the reason did not “really matter”?

“Trump has finally admitted the true motivation for the killing of Suleimani who had American blood on his hands: retaliation,” said Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, who is sponsoring legislation to prevent the administration from spending federal funds on unauthorized military action in Iran. [Continue reading…]

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