Patterico's Pontifications

1/8/2020

Iran Fires Missiles At US Forces In Iraq, President Trump Says “All Is Well!”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:03 am



[guest post by Dana]

Because everything is in a state of flux with regard to Iran, and there is a tremendous amount of speculation and disinformation going around, I’m just going to stick to the basics of what is being reported this morning. With that, President Trump will deliver a statement on Iran later this morning.

First:

Iran launched missile strikes late Tuesday against two Iraqi military bases housing U.S. forces in retaliation for the airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last week. More than a dozen ballistic missiles targeted the Al Asad and Erbil military bases, the Pentagon said, and U.S. officials were assessing the damage.

[…]

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif defended Iran’s attack, tweeting that Tehran “took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense.” He added that “we do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”

President Trump responded on Twitter:

The Pentagon is reportedly considering the possibility that Iran was careful in their attack and that they “deliberately aimed to miss U.S. troops on the ground.” Additionally:

It appears Iran launched a “carefully calibrated” attack on the Iraqi bases, said retired Admiral Sandy Winnefeld, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff…He said… that the ballistic missiles Iran used appear to have been fairly accurate weapons, suggesting that if they had wanted to inflict severe casualties, they could have.

Also, the report notes that there was enough of a warning given that American troops had time to take cover before the missile launch.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke about the attacks:

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, said on Wednesday that his military had dealt the United States a “slap in the face” when it unleashed missiles at American forces stationed in Iraq.

In a televised address from the holy city of Qom, Ayatollah Khamenei said incremental military actions against the United States alone were “not sufficient.”

[…]

“What matters is that the presence of America, which is a source of corruption in this region, should come to an end,” he said to a hall filled with imams and others.

“Death to America!,” the crowd chanted. “Death to Israel!”

Ayatollah Khamenei said that “sitting at the negotiating table” with American envoys would open the door to greater American intervention in the region and that such negotiations therefore must “come to an end.”

“This region,” he said, “does not accept the U.S. presence.”

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani also discussed the attacks with ministers:

[He] detailed his country’s larger regional goal in comments directed at the Americans. “You cut off the hand of Qassim Suleimani from his body and we will cut off your feet from the region.”

There have been no reported casualties as a result of the missile strike.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

53 Responses to “Iran Fires Missiles At US Forces In Iraq, President Trump Says “All Is Well!””

  1. It will be interesting to see what tactic Trump takes later this morning.

    Dana (643cd6)

  2. If Trump were Bush, he’d be invading Turkey right about now.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  3. 2. But since he’s not Bush, nobody really knows WTF is going on.

    Gryph (08c844)

  4. If Trump were Bush, he’d be invading Turkey right about now.

    I also wish that Trump was Bush, but what’s the point of dreaming? Let’s just see if Kellyanne washed his face, combed his hair neatly, put his tie on straight, and made sure his pants were zipped.

    nk (dbc370)

  5. Maybe we will get back to the days when a “Middle East plan” had a chance of working. I think they call it the Bronze Age.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  6. “we do not seek an escalation” said the guy launching missiles at American bases in another country. The Iranian government is run by idiots.

    Of course Trump’s fans are unwilling to say what they think should happen when Iran fires on American bases. They only care about defending Trump, so they need to know what he does so they can announce that was ‘clearly’ the right thing to do and anybody who didn’t know that was a ‘cuck’ or something. But Trump fans also spent all day yesterday defending Trump promising to blow up 52 Iranian sites if Iran happened to attack… when they attacked. Looks like my guess that Trump would revert back to Jimmy Carter mode was pretty accurate.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  7. Neither of the Bushes nor Obama would have cowardly backstabbed the Kurds for a Trump hotel in Ankara and a weekend in a Turkish prison.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. Iran sent missiles that missed, basically to save face. Nothing else has really changed since we took out Suleimani, so I call this a win.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  9. The Chicken Hawk outfit looks good on you, Dustin. Flaunt it.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  10. Totally agree with Montagu. What?? Did I just say that?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  11. President Trump is going to deliver an address at 11 AM well maybe a bit later. (8 AM Pacific time)

    Dustin (d9d65a) — 1/8/2020 @ 8:01 am EST

    we do not seek an escalation” said the guy launching missiles at American bases in another country. The Iranian government is run by idiots.

    Not necessarily.

    There were no (U.S. anyway) casualties reported in the two attacks yesterday. I think this may have been on purpose. But maybe not what the Ayatollah wanted, but on purpose by the people planning the attack. They had to know it had very little chance of harming any Americans. They fired missiles at lightly occupied bases far away where they could get a lot of warning – and for of them were duds. I I also heard secndhand that the United States was informed through Spain that some response was coming.

    The Iranian non-idiots would know that the sites from which the missiles were fired – and similar sites – would be a top target of any U.S. response (as well as air defenses) And maybe some military headquarters. They don’t want to get killed.

    Iran sounds a little like the Trump Administration. It’s just crazily run, dysfunctional, with people trying to get around the chief of state.

    Looks like my guess that Trump would revert back to Jimmy Carter mode was pretty accurate.

    He’s like that most of the time.

    The only problem is that missile attack may not be the last of it.

    In the meantime, a Ukrainian passenger jetliner taking off from Tehran crashed, killing 107 aboard.

    Some people have speculated it could have been hit by Iranian fire, but we don;t need that to explain a crash by a pane flown by a airline from the former Soviet Union.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  12. 8. Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/8/2020 @ 8:06 am

    Iran sent missiles that missed, basically to save face.

    No, I think it was deliberate sabotage of the Ayatollah’s orders.
    Let’s hope he doesn’t figure it out, or loses interest.

    Trump is running very late.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  13. Trump is running very late.

    Trump won’t sit down so Kellyanne can put his shoes on. My mother had the same trouble with me and my brothers when we were little and she was getting us ready for church, too.

    nk (dbc370)

  14. Interesting speculation, Sammy. I agree it would be less insane to miss our bases than to kill a bunch of American personnel, and Trump probably will surrender again if there’s any excuse to do so, which there seems to be.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  15. Trump is expected to speak very soon.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  16. The Iranians seem to have a more compliant group of ministers than Trump does since no one seems to have raised their hand and said “ummm, actually, no feet, we blew up some desert… all this chanting Death to America and we get a few scared lizards?”

    Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani also discussed the attacks with ministers:

    [He] detailed his country’s larger regional goal in comments directed at the Americans. “You cut off the hand of Qassim Suleimani from his body and we will cut off your feet from the region.”

    steveg (354706)

  17. steveg: That’s for public consumption.

    Nobody takes the “Death to America” chants very seriously.

    Openly, they can be compliant, but privately, it’s something else

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  18. The Iranian bluster on twitter indeed makes their entire military look ridiculous, and doesn’t impress anybody but maybe some of the dumber people in Iran.

    There’s a lesson to be learned here.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  19. Trump declared that Iran had stood down. (and he hopes that lie will become true because he said it.) There were a number of other mild inaccuracies in the speech. Reporters were asssembled there, but he took no questions.

    Trump also mentioned that no Iraqi lives had been lost, but didn’t make any other mention of Iraq except as a place where Suleimani had wreaked havoc.

    He attributed the lack of casualties to precautions, an early warning system that worked etc.

    He said he wants to get NATO more involved in Iraq.

    He went trough a long litany of what General Suleimani had done, and what Iraq had done in the last year, and partially blamed Obama. He said Iran had been given $150 billion (?) and also cash, and instead of thanking America for the money, what they did got worse.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  20. Trump addressed some of his words to the people and government of Iran. He said they could, and should, be prosperous. If they would…

    By the way, Iran has been suffering an increase in poverty in the last few years.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  21. to summarize:

    ISIL is “re-grouping”, Oil prices are still in the not profitable to frack range, the US took out Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, no Iranian cultural sites have been damaged by the US, Iran needs to buy some more rockets, and we aren’t in WW3.

    Can anyone argue that Iran isn’t in a worse position now than a month ago? They’ve got to recruit a new Quds Force commander and that can’t look like a cherry position right now. They need a new leader of Iranian militants in Iraq. They’ve launched missiles into Iraq which can’t improve their position with non-Shia factions. There’s the expected operational impact on Iranian backed terror groups and I expect the Israelis and Saudis might take advantage of that. The price of oil not blipping also indicates that not only is Iran weaker now but them being weaker was already baked in. The narrative that the world quakes when Iran gets upset because Strait of Hormuz so far has taken a hit.

    So, we’re going with Trump sucks and he really screwed the pooch on this one?

    frosty (f27e97)

  22. Ever heard of a practice run? That’s what this was.

    Say what you will about Soleimani, but he was a general and he did have lieutenants. They will follow in his footsteps, so the overall strategy for Iran will not change.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  23. Can anyone argue that Iran isn’t in a worse position now than a month ago?

    I appreciate your effort to be a non-Trump supporter but we need to see how this shakes out.

    Worse than what? Iran was borderline in economic collapse. Granted, they probably shot down that 737 which is going to be a PR disaster for them. Your claims that they will have a hard time replacing Soleimani appear to be wrong. He’s already replaced. The new guy has been doing it for decades and won’t change much.

    Iran shot at our base and we are acting like Jimmy Carter, turning the other cheek. We stabbed our allies in the back a few months ago.

    They’ve launched missiles into Iraq which can’t improve their position with non-Shia factions.

    They fired them at an American base, which is probably giving every terrorist on the planet a huge smile. What are you talking about?

    So, we’re going with Trump sucks and he really screwed the pooch on this one?

    Trump is begging NATO to save him in Iraq, after stabbing our allies in the back. The world thinks Trump and the Ayatollah are on the same level now, bickering and boasting and lying on twitter, while hundreds of civilians die, both in a charade to change the subject from domestic issues. You can’t talk about Iran fairly without pointing out this is an effort to manage impeachment.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  24. I do agree with Frosty that Iran is losing. They do look worse.

    I just disagree that beating Iran is the standard of success for American presidents. Trump looks ridiculous and the pressure of impeachment has compromised his ability to command.

    Pelosi is playing games, but that costs nothing. She has no where to go in her career. I predict surprises meant to continue forcing Trump to make these mistakes and give Americans a lot of pause about reelecting him. I mean, do you think Biden is sad about the way this week has gone?

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  25. The new guy has been doing it for decades and won’t change much.

    Say what you will about Soleimani, but he was a general and he did have lieutenants. They will follow in his footsteps

    How soon before this narrative becomes the replacement is better? You’re already at this really won’t change anything. Please elaborate on the most excellent organizational skills of the Iranian military and wax poetic about their ability to recover from this. This is starting to sound like Alabama fans explaining how they’ve got a deep bench and losing their quarterback won’t change much.

    They fired them at an American base, which is probably giving every terrorist on the planet a huge smile. What are you talking about?

    Who really cares about them smiling. Every terrorist in the region might also buy into the idea that this show of force is a strong response. They are idiots if this gives them any sense of security and confidence and they can smile all the way to Jahannam.

    The point is about what this says to every other faction in the ME. The factions w/in Iraq now know that the Iraqi Shias are ok with Iran launching missiles into Iraq. That could undercut the issue the Iraqi Shias are making about the US launching missiles in Iraq and killing a member of the Iraqi government. You can bet the Kurds, and other groups, understand that those missiles could have landed on them and the Iraqi Shia are fine with that, might encourage it even.

    I just disagree that beating Iran is the standard of success for American presidents.

    Containing Iran is an important strategic issue. Your comment about Jimmy Carter mode and being Iran’s b!@#$ undercuts your argument here.

    frosty (f27e97)

  26. We’ve gone from WWIII to “bolsasos a diez metros”.

    Its a soccer “fight”. Handbags at ten meters.

    I don’t think its over, because Iranians seem good at holding grudges and they also seem good at serving revenge ice cold. I expect it to burp along like a dyspeptic volcano… like its been since 1979 and would be happy to be wrong.

    steveg (354706)

  27. Dustin
    I saw the speech today and did not hear any begging of NATO.
    He was real nice about telling them that we are energy independent and implying that the protection of the oil flow out of the gulf is best handled between Europe, China and Russia.
    Baffled as how we got begging out of that

    steveg (354706)

  28. @21/@23./@27. Bottom line: Americans are not safer today than they were a week ago.

    If you weren’t listening, “begging for NATO” was a loud and clear plea to the same ‘allies’ whose tea and coffee he has been pissing in for three years. His ‘it’s all on Obama’ ramble was more sad than pathetic. Just because Iran chose on their own to target by shoot around the cowboy’s boots to make their point, disengage and give Trump an off ramp doesn’t mean any proxies, which they have less/limited control over now, aren’t primed to snatc, gab or go cyber for months or years.

    They tweeted it again: “Get the hell out of our region.” How many times do you have to get smacked across the forehead w/a 4X4 to discover it hurts.

    Funny how some myopic neocons, obsessed w/Iran and clueless about Anglo-American/Iranian history before 1979 believe winning battles yet ultimately losing the war is a victory. Because in the end, when resources and will are depleted, America will leave. Iraq, Iran and all he other towelhead countries know it, and the dirty little secret is, smart Americans know it, too.

    It simply a matter of when– not if. Trump blustered. Trump blinked. Iran won. End of story.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  29. I don’t think Iran won… if anything it’s a headfake.

    Iran knows they cannot win in a conventional war with the US. What they want is to go back to the status quo that allowed Iran to engage in asymmetrical warfare.

    However, this event will give Trump/US the pretext to apply additional sanctions to an already weakened Iranian economy which will likely include the EU.

    So, in that regard, Iran definitely lost…bigly.

    whembly (51f28e)

  30. @29. They lost a guy in a fit-of-pique, idiotic, neocon-fueled assassination droning then maintain their policy and replaced him within a day; they solidified their national resolve; restarted nuclear development; demonstrated no fear in launching a successful, targeted ballistic missile attack from their homeland directly at bases of The Great Satan in Iraq, forced America to expend re$ource$ to redeploy military assets to the region, forced Americans to urge civilian nationals to leave Iraq and in the region for their own safety; forced raised security levels at American installations overseas– and at home, even around the WH and the frigging Smithsonian in Washington; forced Iraq to unify in street rallies against the U.S. and actually take a vote to request U.S. troops to leave– and made Trump a chump by choking on his own bluster w/hi toy soldiers lined up behind him. Yeah,Iran won.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  31. @30

    @29. They lost a guy in a fit-of-pique, idiotic, neocon-fueled assassination droning

    He was an enemy combatant on Iraqi soil…No different than going after other militia’s commander on the battlefield.

    then maintain their policy and replaced him within a day;

    The guy they replaced was given the same rank. It remains to be seen that this new general would be as effective as Soleimini…many folks who pay attention to this region expressed serious doubt on this front.

    they solidified their national resolve;

    Makes it easier to close the workday and force folks to protest under pains of fines and/or jail.

    restarted nuclear development;

    That’s old news. They never abided by the JPOCA agreement.

    demonstrated no fear in launching a successful, targeted ballistic missile attack from their homeland directly at bases of The Great Satan in Iraq,

    The fact that they didn’t target more sensitive targets says otherwise.

    forced America to expend re$ource$ to redeploy military assets to the region,

    Military assets are not static chess pieces my dude…forced

    Americans to urge civilian nationals to leave Iraq and in the region for their own safety;

    This is after having bases and embassy being attacked.

    forced raised security levels at American installations overseas– and at home, even around the WH and the frigging Smithsonian in Washington; forced Iraq to unify in street rallies against the U.S.

    Are you arguing that this should not have had happened? If anything these actions are prudent.

    and actually take a vote to request U.S. troops to leave

    The Sunni/Kurds PMs didn’t even vote, and the Shia PMs didn’t have qorum. Not a big deal.

    – and made Trump a chump by choking on his own bluster w/hi toy soldiers lined up behind him. Yeah,Iran won.

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/8/2020 @ 1:00 pm

    Strongly disagree.

    Hate Trump all you want… but he was measured in his responses here.

    whembly (51f28e)

  32. DCSCA @30

    @29. They lost a guy in a fit-of-pique, idiotic, neocon-fueled assassination droning then maintain their policy and replaced him within a day;

    They replaced him with his deputy, which is no replacement at all. As some said in the first thread, with this Trump took a queen off the board. Soleimani had special skills.

    He wasn’t educated as a cleric. I think I read he dropped out of school at age 13 to help his family earn money. He volunteered for the Revolutionary Guards in 1979, at about age 22. He fought against against Baluchis who were smuggling drugs (and not paying off anybody anyway) against Kurds in West Azerbaijan Province, and in the Iran Iraq war of 1980-88, where he showed immense tactical skill and eventually commanded the 41st Division.

    he specialized in relations with foreign militia, starting during the Iran Iraq war and became head of the Quds Force sometime in 1997-98.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  33. text of trump’s statement today:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/read-full-transcript-trump-s-iran-speech-n1112456

    …Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.

    No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well. I salute the incredible skill and courage of America’s men and women in uniform….

    …Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash. Instead of saying “thank you” to the United States, they chanted “death to America.” In fact, they chanted “death to America” the day the agreement was signed.

    Then, Iran went on a terror spree, funded by the money from the deal, and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration. The regime also greatly tightened the reins on their own country, even recently killing 1,500 people at the many protests that are taking place all throughout Iran.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  34. @31.

    “Hate Trump?”

    Nice try. You can ‘strongly disagree’ with reality all you want but– Helsinki.

    Americans are less safe this week than last.

    1+1= 2, not 11. The ma’s a boob. Trump is totally out of his element internationally; the sovereign state of Iran is not Merv Griffin Enterprises.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  35. @6. Trump may have had a list of ’52’ [or is it 57–he has ketchup w/his meatloaf– see ‘Manchurian Candidate’ for details] but Iran likely has a list of ’53’– for 1953. But brain dead neocons and Trump know nothing about that.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  36. #28
    How do you know?
    I realize you might be able to read Soleimani’s mind along with the rest of the Iranian leadership, how do you read the future?

    I have this micro cap biotech stock portfolio and would love to know which ones are going to come out of their phase III trials with FDA approval, and/or know which ones are going to be bought by Big Pharma at a huge premium. I’d feel safer knowing my money is in sure things. As it sits now, I have to study a lot and interpret a great deal of information and could use your short cut.

    steveg (354706)

  37. @36 He’s just working through some confusion and disappointment. It’s probably best to stand clear and let it play itself out.

    frosty (f27e97)

  38. Apparenly you weren’ listning to our Captain’s presentation. Are you even aware of the increased security, the troop movements [and the unbudgeted costs]; State urging of nationals to flee Iraq… guess not. But might wanna postpone that vacation to Baghdad.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  39. I’m more interested in the pivot by the Dems toward being the party of thoughtful prayer.
    Some of the same people who mock people for praying for victims of guns violence are now praying for the would be victims of Trump’s reckless provocation of Iran. They can take a victory lap too because their prayers were answered, by the Iranians shooting off the last of their old rocket inventory, but with God (and they are now the party with God) you take a win whenever or however you get one.

    steveg (354706)

  40. @37. Yes, Trump losing face at American expense is disappointing.

    But entertaining.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  41. “Help me, NATO!”

    Sad.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  42. @37. =yawn= See #30. Yeah. Helsinki.

    ‘disappointing.’ LOL

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  43. I did listen.

    So far the body count before Soleimani was shipped back in a bag is way higher than after.
    If you don’t count Iranians caught up in stampedes at funerals, today the count is still thousands of dead before, after, zero.

    steveg (354706)

  44. Are you afraid?
    Did this move cement your vote for Marianne?

    steveg (354706)

  45. @43.‘I did listen.’

    Per your 27: ‘I saw the speech today and did not see any begging of NATO.’

    On mute, perhaps. As he clearly did.

    See #30. ‘Nuff said.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  46. This is what he said about NATO:

    oday, I am going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process. Over the last three years, under my leadership, our economy is stronger than ever before and America has achieved energy independence.

    And from that point he goes on. We don’t need Middle East oil. Our military is good, and it cost $2.5 trillion. But

    The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent.

    We destroyed 100% of ISIS, and, after destroying 100%, we destroyed more by killing its leader who was going to rebuild the caliphate. ISIS is an enemy of Iran and we should work together to destroy what remains after 100%

    Finally, to the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future — one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  47. Umm… words have meanings?
    Begging?

    You felt safer before Trump pulled the trigger on Soleimani, but were you really safer?
    How do you know? I think its about feelings with you, which is why I still recommend you vote for the unicorn and rainbow lady

    steveg (354706)

  48. =yawn= Two rockets fired at Green Zone tonight. Only a matter of target and time…

    Helsinki.

    Land-locked Trump-chumps and suckers always have to learn the hard way.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  49. @48. Again, redux: see #30.

    A winner doesn’t have to keep crying ‘Obama.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  50. So far the body count before Soleimani was shipped back in a bag is way higher than after.
    If you don’t count Iranians caught up in stampedes at funerals, today the count is still thousands of dead before, after, zero.

    You’re comparing several years (perhaps decades) to the 2 days since he was killed. By the same logic I can say that Millions of people died from the Black Plauge before I ate a bagel this morning, but after? None. Magic Bagel? I think so.

    Manatour (83ca09)

  51. Obama is “code” for tarnished Democrat policy. For you I’ll call it a “dogwhistle” because your hearing is that good.
    Marianne for SecDef. A more soothing America. Plus she could run the Space Force

    steveg (354706)

  52. #51

    I get your point, but Soleimani was a person not a virus. Think of him as a serial killer with a body of work that goes back decades yet he had killed every month of every year.
    The serial killer cannot kill anyone else so eliminating him stopped his body count and everyday I wake up and eat a bagel (appropriate choice) is another day he kills no one… because he was eliminated.

    steveg (354706)


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