Trump doubles down on striking Iran’s cultural sites even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. would not violate the law.
“They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites. It doesn’t work that way.”-Donald J. Trump
Speaking with reporters, Trump also said the following:
Asked about fears Iran might retaliate, the president told reporters: “If it happens it happens. If they do anything there will be major retaliation.”
Trump told reporters the U.S. had surveillance on Soleimani going back 18 months. “He was leading his country down a very bad dangerous path,” Trump said.NBC:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went all over the ‘Sunday Shows’ selling Trump’s war on Iran and trying to get public support for it. According to The Washington Post, Pompeo and Pence played key roles in convincing Trump to assassinate Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
The secretary also spoke to President Trump multiple times every day last week, culminating in Trump’s decision to approve the killing of Iran’s top military commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, at the urging of Pompeo and Vice President Pence, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
The greenlighting of the airstrike near Baghdad airport represents a bureaucratic victory for Pompeo, but it also carries multiple serious risks: another protracted regional war in the Middle East; retaliatory assassinations of U.S. personnel stationed around the world; an interruption in the battle against the Islamic State; the closure of diplomatic pathways to containing Iran’s nuclear program; and a major backlash in Iraq, whose parliament voted on Sunday to expel all U.S. troops from the country.
On Sunday, Iran withdrew completely nuclear deal with world powers following the U.S. strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Apparently, officials in the Trump administration tried to persuade top Iraqi officials to kill a parliamentary effort to force the U.S. military out of Iraq, according to two U.S. officials and an Iraqi government official familiar with the situation.
Trump administration officials have warned senior Iraqi officials that Iraq would suffer dangerous consequences if the U.S. withdrew its military and its funding of the Iraqi security apparatus, according to sources familiar with the outreach.Axios:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her colleagues in the House of Representatives stating that “they will soon vote on a war powers resolution to limit Trump’s military actions after he ordered the killing of a top Iranian general last week, escalating tensions in the fraught relationship.”
Read letter here:
Trump has decided to notify Congress of his actions or plans via Twitter:
Of course, the mental midgets at Fox and Friends offered up some astute reasoning as to why Trump decided not to notify Congress about pretty much everything:
Reality check on the Trump administration’s claims about the conflict with Iran.
Mark Esper reports inaccurate letter mistakenly sent to Iraq re: Troop Withdrawals
DOD Letter Sent to Iraqi Government is reportedly a mistake.
UN Secretary: Iran Must Not Get Nukes
Better Late Than Never; Esper to Brief Congress
Joe Biden speaks on Iran:
Former Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday that Iran is now in “the driver’s seat” in the Middle East.
“This is a crisis totally of Donald Trump’s making.
Iran now is going to be the person occupying and influencing Iraq, which is clearly not very much in our interest,” Biden said during a campaign stop.
“We have to face this alone, without our allies. The [Trump] administration didn’t consult or warn them, even though their interests are at stake, too — even though NATO countries have forces in the region as well,” he added. “NATO countries now are telling both — our allies, NATO — are telling both the United States and Iran, treating us both as part of the problem. Not Iran. Not us. Both of us.”