Foreign Policy

‘We Don’t Know When And Where’

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Regime officials have defended Trump's decision to order the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by saying he was planning to order an attack on American targets within days, but was he really?

It's possible that he coincidentally was, but it could also be true that the regime did not have specific knowledge of an attack they claimed was imminent.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox News last night where he said they don't actually know when or where an attack was coming.

“There is no doubt that there were a series of imminent attacks that were being plotted by Qassem Soleimani,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a Fox News interview that aired Thursday. “We don’t know precisely when, and we don’t know precisely where, but it was real.

National security adviser Robert O’Brien similarly had to admit during an interview on National Public Radio that aired Friday morning that he too didn’t know any more details about the alleged coming attacks.

To say that Soleimani was plotting something is nebulous enough to be true but it also doesn't mean an attack was imminent. Our own military officials draw up plans as a matter of course, but they aren't carried out until the order is given.

To be skeptical of the regime's actions and Trump's own motives is not a defense of Soleimani; a man who was undoubtedly responsible for many bad things, but the world is a bit more complicated than separating the good guys from the bad guys especially when a bad guy sits in our own White House.

Trump placed the lives of millions of people including innocents civilians and American military service members in jeopardy by ordering an assassination that, that the moment, looks poorly justified if not illegal.

If Trump had never ordered the assassination, over 170 people killed in an accidental fog-of-war attack on an airliner above Iran would probably still be alive.

  • Draxiar

    Red meat for the Base Beast.

  • muselet

    To expand just a bit on what gescove wrote:

    im·mi·nent
    /ˈimənənt/
    adjective
    1. about to happen.
    ”they were in imminent danger of being swept away”

    Mike Pompeo’s statement, “We don’t know precisely when, and we don’t know precisely where, but it was real,” is, at best, inconsistent with that definition.

    The other explanations for the assassination of Qasem Soleimani the administration has coughed up are equally unbelievable.

    No matter. Donald Trump has his distraction from impeachment news for at least a couple of days, which is all that matters.

    –alopecia

  • gescove

    If you don’t know when, then you cannot say imminent. Just lies upon lies upon lies from these warhawks, trying to excuse the inexcusable and defend the indefensible. I didn’t think we could do worse than Donald Rumsfeld’s lies about knowing where WMD’s were in Iraq: “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” But here we are.