US military claims they were ‘stunned’ that Trump chose ‘most extreme’ option: killing Soleimani. I don’t buy it.

We won’t know the chain of decision making in the assassination. But we do know that the decision is perfectly in line with US imperialist military policy.

Christian Patterson
2020-01-10
Underground Mall

In the aftermath of US’s assassination of Soleimani, New York Times reported on what led up to it, and the decision-making process.

In this reporting, they claim that Trump was offered several options, and the ‘assassinate Soleimani’ option was the most extreme option. The implication is that they presented that option to make the other options look better.

However, in this post, I will go over elements of the US military, military industrial complex, and US’s relationship with Iran. These elements indicate that the US military is more culpable than they’re trying to imply.

We can’t know exactly how true New York Times’s claims are, but it’s likely the US military had more of an impact than they say. And it ultimately doesn’t matter because Trump relishes in this type of attention, portraying him as a brash warmonger.

New York Times writes:

“In the chaotic days leading to the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, top American military officials put the option of killing him — which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq — on the menu they presented to President Trump.

“They didn’t think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.

“After initially rejecting the Suleimani option on Dec. 28 and authorizing airstrikes on an Iranian-backed Shiite militia group instead, a few days later Mr. Trump watched, fuming, as television reports showed Iranian-backed attacks on the American Embassy in Baghdad, according to Defense Department and administration officials.

“By late Thursday, the president had gone for the extreme option. Top Pentagon officials were stunned.”

They were ‘stunned’? Really?

The way I imagine it happening is generals approached Donald Trump while he was golfing and said “Mr. President, we can do option 1, option 2, or the biggest, strongest, most extreme option that will make Iran look like haters and losers”.

Would anyone, especially people who know Trump personally, expect him to choose option 1 or 2 over option 3?

Of course Trump picked the option that would hurt Iran ‘big-league’.

If you take a step back, it’s clear that the US military has had an agenda against Iran since 1979, after they toppled a US-backed authoritarian monarchy of the Shah of Iran. This cut the US out of Iran’s supply of oil.

When the Shah was in power, Nixon called the US’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and Iran a ‘twin pillar’ policy. The US had close relations to both, and both relationships revolved around oil.

The US’s predatory and war-seeking relationship to Iran has gone in fits and starts, but never actually stopped. The United States sided with Iraq in the Iraq-Iran War. But then Saddam Hussein became the target of the US War machine, after the war ended.

This put Iran on the backburner, as the US was preoccupied with the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. However, the US made sure Iran knew they should still watch out, with David Frum’s emphasis “axis of evil” speech, which George W Bush read at the 2002 State of the Union, and constantly egging on Iran throughout his presidency.

At the very end of Obama’s presidency, the US started fighting ISIS in the middle east. However, ISIS, now, is mostly defeated. This allows the US to refocus on Iran.

This makes it feel like Iran is America’s “final boss” of the Middle East”. Whenever the US doesn’t have a more pressing issue, they refocus on antagonizing Iran.

If you step back, and provide even the most minor context about the Iran-US relationship, it becomes abundantly clear that the assassination of Soleimani is not out of the blue. It’s a historically coherent event.

Of course, assassinating him was one of the most egregious imperialist provocations the US has ever done against another state government. And because of the fact that Trump is deranged, it’s easy to make the connection that Trump, solely, ordered the assassination.

But we know that’s not how the military industrial complex works. We don’t know exactly how the decision process went down, but we do know that the assassination is perfectly in line with US foreign policy, and that many people were involved in the chain of this decision.

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