14 January 2020

Four Embassies and a Liar

In recent days, Donald Trump has repeatedly said that part of the reason he ordered a drone strike on Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was because the latter planned to attack four embassies — not some or a few or three or six but specifically four.

But as Aaron Blake wrote in the Washington Post yesterday (link here), that claim appears to be nothing more than the standard bundle of Trump lies that his underlings have failed to defend. His piece is titled "Trump's 'four embassies' claim utterly falls apart."

The wisdom of striking Soleimani aside, if Trump had any sense, he could have sold the attack to the American people with a succinct statement immediately thereafter and made sure his administration stayed completely on a tight message thereafter.

But, of course, he didn't do that. He played his typical childish Twitter games and retweeted memes and made a whole host of conflicting claims, long after the fact, in an attempt to justify the strike. Rather than appear on national television the night of the attack with a tight statement, he waited days to make a public appearance that was nothing short of a sniffing, slurring, babbling disaster.

As someone who closely followed the action against Osama bin Laden, particularly the public messaging after the fact, it's sobering to watch how badly Trump has bungled what could have been a victory for him. He snatched disaster from the jaws of victory. The whole episode has ably demonstrated Trump's gross incompetence and unfitness for the presidency.

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