Donald J. Trump had every reason on Earth to soak up the good vibes from the events of the past few hours.
Iran had vowed a deadly response to the killing of Revolutionary Guard chieftain Qassem Solemaini. It then launched a couple dozen ballistic missiles at two air bases in Iraq; they inflicted zero U.S. casualties and minimal damage.
The president had threatened Iran with destruction if it chose to go to war with the United States. It appears to me that Iran heeded the president’s threat, peeling back its response that well might have been meant only for show.
Right there is reason for Donald Trump to declare that his threats worked well for the national interest.
But then came the following.
The president just had to declare, with zero evidence to buttress his contention, that Iran paid for the missiles it launched with cash delivered by the United States as part of the international deal struck to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
There he went, blaming President Barack Obama for consummating a deal that Trump has called one of the worst in human history.
I should note here that international observers have said Iran was complying with the terms of the agreement. Iran has now decided to abandon all the principles laid out in that deal and it now will resume seeking a nuclear weapon.
It’s the president’s incessant, ongoing pre-disposition to attack a policy enacted by his immediate predecessor that I find annoying, distracting and so totally gratuitous.
My goodness! Donald Trump had all the reason in the world to declare a significant diplomatic victory over Iran, a potentially deadly hostile state. Then he stepped all over himself by declaring something that has no evidentiary basis in fact.
I am cautiously hopeful at this moment that we might have averted a serious and deadly conflict against Iran. Let us just count our blessings for the moment.