I spent a couple of weeks slacking off on my news reading, so the airstriking of an Iranian general took me by surprise. In hindsight, though, my only surprise should have been how long it took Trump to do something like this.
I’ve talked to a couple of righties who described the airstrike as Trump “not just talking the talk, but walking the walk” and saying it was a justifiable, responsible, even noble response to that embassy attack, and I understand what they’re thinking. The airstrike was something President Jack Ryan would have done, and hawkish righties heartily approve.
Donald Trump is no Jack Ryan, though. Donald Trump is an assclown, who’s survived a series of failures and scandals through the power of sheer shameless bullshit. More to the point, he’s entirely self-interested, so what does he get out of a dead Iranian general? Why now, not months earlier? And why go for a high-level official directly, instead of the series of dirty little proxy conflicts that the US government seems to prefer lately?
Well, there’s this, for example:
The day after the airstrike, the NYT’s front page was dominated by approving headlines. Apparently, the only thing the NYT likes better than a long, drawn-out political disintegration is a bloody-handed foreign policy.
It didn’t last long, of course – that would have taken further escalations, and Trump has a short attention span – but it still gave Trump and his fans a breather from the “victimization” of relentless impeachment coverage.
I’m old enough to remember the righty outrage when Bill Clinton did this.