Well, this is inconvenient for the narrative: On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Chuck Todd tried to get former Obama DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to endorse the claim that President Trump needed to get Congressional approval to take out Iranian’s chief terrorist military boss, Gen. Qassem Suleimani. Johnson’s reply: No, he was a "lawful military objective" and the President had "ample domestic legal authority to take him out." Umm…time for a commercial!
Over the weekend, President Trump continued reminding Iran that if it dares to try to make good on its threats to target Americans, the US just spent $2 trillion on military equipment, and it will be coming their way.
Sad to say, much of the reporting on the situation between the US and Iran is being presented through the “Orange Man Bad” filter, compounded by a lack of understanding of what’s actually happening in the Middle East. The punditry is even worse, with a lot of Ivy League leftists, NeverTrumpers and political hacks expounding on the Middle East when they’ve never been closer to it than a vacation in Paris. In other words, we’re getting “news” through two layers of ignorance and distortion.
A perfect example was the claim from sources such as the New York Times and Washington Post that Iraq is so angry at Trump for killing Iranian terrorism chief Suliemani that its parliament voted to eject US troops from Iraq. Well, that’s…kinda…sorta…what happened. But not really the full story.
At this link is a Twitter thread explaining what actually happened, by Hassan Abdul-Hussein, columnist for the Kuwaiti Daily.
In short, Iran supporters barely had a quorum because Sunni and Kurdish members who support America boycotted the vote. They had barely enough votes to pass a non-binding resolution calling on US troops to leave. The Prime Minister replied that US troops are in Iraq due to a UN agreement and the parliament has no say in it. But he tried to mollify Iran and its supporters by declaring that US troops would leave Iraq “according to timetable.” Abdul-Hussein explains that in the Middle East, “according to timetable” means “indefinitely.” For instance, Syria repeatedly claimed it would leave Lebanon on a timetable. They were there for 29 years.
Abdul-Hussein writes: “Bottom line is, Iraqi parliament vote was an Iranian face-saving measure. Iran is in a bind: If it retaliates without claiming its attack, it does not count as revenge for Soleimani. If Iran claims the attack, regime risks further wrath, in a country whose economy is in free fall…The most probable outcome of #Soleimani's killing is more of the same: Low-intensity Iranian warfare against America, Iran never engaging in direct war, but maintaining her proxy war, fighting America to the last Arab. But with Soleimani out, Iranian proxy war will be much weaker.”
In other words, the man who actually knows the Middle East says that killing Suleimani weakened Iran and made full-scale war less likely, not more likely.
No wonder the American media couldn’t tell us that. Either because they simply don’t understand it, or because it’s exactly what President Trump said, and the one unchanging subtext of every mainstream media story involving Trump must be that “Orange Man Bad…and never right.”