Unintentional Consequences: Trump's Iranian Gambit
Wars in history always begin with miscalculations, over confidence, bravado, and underestimating the adversary. Look at Vietnam from 1945-75, two nations could not win, look at Afghanistan from 1980-now, two nations were unable to win the hearts and minds of the locals, look at Iraq, once conquered by the US and freed from a tyrant, has fallen into a mess from within and outside.
While Iranian people are among the best, smartest, and friendly to other cultures, its government is hostile to most Western societies. Way back in 1953 or so, it was the US CIA that was behind the coup that overthrew the existing leader then. The US then installed their man, the Shah, which was pro-American and Iran's oil industry was developed with many foreign companies. But, the Shah's regime, which was corrupt and brutal, lasted until 1979 when the radical Islamic rebels began their own coup and seized the US embassy and the Shah fled to the US.
Fast forward to now. Now, Trump has been convinced by his inner circle that Iran, in its weakened state from years of sanctions, could have a regime change with a major hit on them. This hit was Soleimani, Iran's top terrorist general, responsible for hundreds of deaths: American, Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian. Israeli. European. But like taking Osama Bin Laden out, Soleimani,was easily replaced to continue to plans made. The fight goes on.
If anything, the assassination made the discontented Iranian people forget their anger towards their government that had caused riots and now fully support them. So, Trump must be dismayed that things are much worse now as the Iranian people did not try to overthrow their leaders. They hate Trump even more now and have put a target on his back by offering $80 million to anyone who can kill Trump.
Pompeo and others that make up Trump's inner circle have always wanted a face-off with Iran. Despite Trump stating that he ordered the murder to prevent a war, Trump is so ignorant of how WW1 began: with an assassination!
Like all monumental decisions, unintended consequences happen that must be dealt with. So far, here is a list of them:
- Iraq votes to have American troops leave the country
- Iranian ballistic missiles are made ready to hit any US base or embassy within range
- Trump will demand repayment from Iraq for facilities built by America
- Trump will issue sanctions on Iraq if America is kicked out
- NATO troops in the Mideast stopped training local troops to defend their bases
- NATO troops in Iraq announce they will leave the country
- The US refuses to leave Iraq unless on extremely friendly terms
- Some US troops will leave Iraq
- Iran threatens to close the Hormuz Straits if US attacks again and vows to retaliate on US soil
- Trump states that over 50 targets have been selected for US attacks if Iran retaliates
- Trump has changed the US news cycle from impeachment trial for abuse of power and obstruction, to war with Iran. No longer is the impeachment the only thing being "Headline News". It is a tactic that both Nixon and Clinton did during their impeachment proceedings
The world awaits Iran's retaliation. Trump has acted, took out a top general hoping it would be enough for the population to overthrow the government and had quite the opposite impact. The world is a better place without Soleimani, but far from safe. Americans are far from safe outside the US homeland. If the US leaves Iraq, Iran is the huge winner for sure as to influencing Iraqi politics and being present there, despite what Iraqis want. ISIS, likewise, is a winner. Russia could easily begin to have a presence there, as well.
To think that Trump really thought that taking out one man would change the existing equation with Iran is just plain stupid. Even if a threat was found out that Soleimani had planned an attack on some US embassy, how would killing him change that?
Maybe that is how Iran will retaliate. Whatever happens, Trump's desire to get out of far off wars is now wishful thinking.