I don’t know for certain why Donald Trump chose this particular moment to kill an Iranian terrorist leader, but it certainly has yanked the nation’s attention away from the other big story on a lot of Americans’ minds.
That would be the pending impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. Yeah, we still have that matter to settle, too, but back to the crisis of the moment.
The president ordered the air strike that killed Qassem Sulemaini, head of the Revolutionary Guard. The Iranian government is angry. As in fiercely angry, you know? Who can blame ’em? Imagine some hostile power launching an air strike that killed, say, our chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sulemaini was, I suppose, the equivalent in Iran. Except that he was a hostile enemy combatant. He was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. service personnel and thousands of others. Therefore, his death is nothing approaching an “assassination.”
However, it has steered our attention away from impeachment. I suppose that’s — politically speaking — good for Trump. He is now dealing with the potential after effects of this surprise hit.
I’ll be candid on this point: Given the stakes involved with a potential Iranian response to Sulemaini’s killing, public discussion about impeachment juxtaposed with the dire peril that might be lurking will seem even more like a partisan exercise than it is already.
I guess my sincere hope at this moment is that the Donald Trump administration is pulling out all the diplomatic stops in an effort to prevent war with Iran. Trump says such an event would be over quickly, and that Iran wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of firepower from the world’s pre-eminent military power. Remember, though, the Bush administration said as much about going to war with Iraq; it didn’t work out that way.
The president did say the other evening that he prefers peace over war. Uh, so do the rest of us, Mr. President. The sooner we can resolve this Iran crisis the sooner we turn our attention to pondering that impeachment trial.