It’s always unfortunate when an incompetent malignant narcissist is in charge of a powerful country. Even a remarkably stupid and transparently corrupt leader can cause incalculable damage at home and abroad when backed by a pack of sniveling, careerist cowards.
But while Trump’s penchant for embracing tyrants and stiff-arming allies and general bumbling idiocy on the international stage has calamitously degraded U.S. prestige and endangered and/or killed vulnerable populations in the regrettable position of depending on U.S. protection, we’ve been lucky enough to avoid a major, organized and direct violent attack on the U.S. itself or its properties abroad.
Events like that are fraught no matter who’s in the White House, as the pressure toward bellicosity too often proves irresistible, even to ostensibly reasonable presidents. But it’s potentially catastrophic when the person making military decisions has the intellect and impulse control of a concussed cane toad licking its way out of an exploded meth trailer. Our luck in avoiding such a scenario may be running out:
BAGHDAD — Hundreds of angry supporters of an Iranian-backed militia shouting “Death to America” attempted to storm the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, trapping diplomats inside in response to U.S. airstrikes that killed or wounded scores of militia fighters.
President Trump responded angrily Tuesday to the protesters’ action, charging that Iran was behind a deadly militia attack that led to the airstrikes and blaming Tehran for the embassy siege.
“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many,” Trump tweeted from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. “We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!”
The ill-fated misadventures of W. Bush and his cadre of foreign policy geniuses empowered the very Iranian-backed militias that are threatening the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. According to a WaPo phone alert I just received, the embassy has been breached, and U.S. diplomats are hiding in a safe room.
Let’s hope cooler heads prevail for their sakes — and ours. Because if anyone could out-do the ruinous stupidity and hubris of W. Bush, it’s Donald J. Trump.
Wouldn’t be surprised if Trump sends additional troops and we end up with Part Two of Bush’s unnecessary war on Iraq. Will end the same.
Wonder how much ‘rally round the flag, boys’ effect the human shitstain will get? I’m a natural pessimist…
This is good news for Putin.
Boy, this was crap news to wake up to. Trump’s incompetence has managed to bring even Iran and Iraq together in common opposition to the U.S. There’s nothing he can’t do to fuck this nation over.
I’ve got a library worker who’s a Reservist currently deployed over in the Iraq/Kuwait area. The likelihood he’s going to get caught up in a shooting fight just went up big time. This is not good.
And I’m still waiting for Li’l Kim to deliver Trump’s “Christmas Present”. Last day to do it in 2019!
Those poor diplomats!
I don’t know what else to say. I’m not particularly optimistic.
James E Powell
Absolutely true. But only a very small percentage of Americans will see it that way. I predict that whatever bad things happen, Obama will be blamed.
I’m sure Trump is consulting with his typical consultants like Putin, Netanyahu, and Hannity.
@Ohio Mom: IIRC, Bush-Cheney poured billions into building a fortress of an embassy, so hopefully it can withstand the assault.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@James E Powell:
I believe HRC is responsible for any embassy storming.
@Betty Cracker: Christopher Stevens was in the safe room so hopefully this one is better equipped.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
Right. According to the spreadsheet, Hillary gets embassy storming, while Obama is responsible for ebola and other infectious diseases.
@The Dangerman: He spoke with Putin last Sunday.
So we get to see how Benghazi would have played out with a bellicose idiot in charge. This is not going to be good.
Mrs. Japa always gets great enjoyment when I read her Betty Cracker quotes. This was no exception.
@Spanky: North Korea can only afford one Christmas a decade. He means next year.
Greetings from 2020 to all the Jackaltariat.
May the New Year bring happiness and prosperity to everybody except Trump and his lackeys.
May the next election clean out the white house stables. An augean task if ever there was one.
Give a little thought to those of us suffering our first real Climate Change summer.
Remember, in less than six months it will be your summer. Brace yourselves, it’s quite surprising how much of a country is flammable.
This is a genuinely alarming and serious situation, and I have no business laughing, but JFC, Betty, you don’t make it easy:
@Viva BrisVegas: I’ve seen some horrifying images of the fires in Australia on Twitter — y’all are in my thoughts.
This sounds exactly like what happened in the late ’70s.
Jimmy Carter is still around, if anyone sensible wants to ask him what he learned about his experiences…
Just for those keeping score at home:
We now conflate all Shia Militia with the phrase “Iran Aligned” or “Iran Supported.” That is the successful? result of our relationship with Saudi Arabia.
TS (the original)
So all best wishes for the New Year from down under – it seems they will be needed.
Meanwhile, I will never understand politicians spending millions around the country for 10 minutes of fireworks displays when most of our country is going up in flames. Surely just once, they could give the money to the victims of the fires, rather than watch it go up in smoke.
Oh, no. Hillary only got the congressional investigations on the embassy storming. It was about Obama, and that’s certainly how the base viewed it. She was the stepping stone to get proof Obama deliberately allowed the ambassador to be killed because Obama is an America-hating Muslim. When that didn’t happen, they branched off into Emails, which took hold much better because the NYT hates Hillary and was willing to push the story endlessly no matter how boring and unsubstantiated it was.
Democrats are too professional to immediately politicize an international issue, like Republicans did with Rice’s comments a day or two after the Benghazi attack, as facts were still being gathered
Downside of being the good guys
I’m listening to a BBC interview. Apparently, the U.S. ambassador was never at the embassy. Also, the interviewee insists the protestors haven’t gotten past the reception area and that this was not a spontaneous demonstration.
Quick, find Jared’s body amour and get him on a plane!
Thought Trump said we’re withdrawing from the area.
Russia gets to be the voice of reason.
While we carry out Likud’s dirty work
True that. We’ll have to wait for Trump to blurt out a confession while bragging how well his phone call with Putin went.
@debbie: It sounds like there has been a strategic response by the Iraqi government, to appease people who are angry that US is using Iraq as a staging ground for military actions. Apparently, the entire “green” zone is normally heavily secured, but protesters entered the area with no security in sight. Only a few hours later did Iraqi police or security show up, perhaps because protesters didn’t heed calls to stay out of the embassy. Responding to a protest in Iraq is infinitely trickier than responding to actions in Syria. Other people think a lot more strategically than Trump does, an obvious understatement.
@gene108: The Israeli connection is not helping our position in Iraq.
@Barbara: Thank you both for the updates.
tokyocali (formerly tokyo expat)
As this is an open thread, Happy New Year from Japan. May 2020 prove brighter for us all!
Many thanks to all the BJ jackals. As a mostly lurker, I want to delurk to say how much I appreciate this community.
Does Trump even realize that Iraq is pretty much “Iran Aligned”?
Dorothy A. Winsor
@tokyocali (formerly tokyo expat):
Happy New Year to you too!
@japa21: I’m pretty sure Pompeo and whoever are currently pretending to be Sec Def and Nat Sec Dir are aware of it.
@OzarkHillbilly: Well, that’s not very reassuring.
Mike in NC
Fat Bastard is probably cackling about going in to steal all the oil. What could go wrong?
Who else could have reconciled two such longterm bitter enemies? Only the Great Orange Peacemaker! //
Yes, I didn’t need to look up to the header to know where this gem came from.
@japa21: No it’s not. In fact I suspect they were the ones pushing for the bombing raids to begin with.
Hold on. Trump is expecting Iraq to protect the embassy? Didn’t we learn from Benghazi that the proper response to such a situation is to scramble troops from hundreds of miles away who have no hope of reaching the location in a timely fashion? When do the hearings begin? I want to see Pompeo grilled for 12 hours.
Dorothy A. Winsor
I just saw a headline that says US will send additional marines to Baghdad.
@Jager: Seconded, just airdrop him, no need for a parachute…..
@debbie: One can blame trump for a lot of things but in this case it was all W’s doing. Iraq has always been predominantly Shiite and it was completely foreseeable that any elections would be dominated by Shiite candidates who would be all too likely to align with Iran and that is exactly what happened.
Remember the Surge? That was in response to attacks from Sunni militias against the by then Shiite Iraqi govt. We bribed the Sunni leaders to not attack and they didn’t. Until the money ran out anyway. I suspect most of them are now under the umbrella of Islamic State.
@MJS: About his unsecured emails.
Actually, it seems Trump’s quotes about the Baghdad embassy situation have been to simply blame “Iran” for everything: it’s obviously the Admin’s one-boogeyman-fits-all response…..
@Jay C: In this case it’s a fair bet that Iran had more than a little to do with it. The bombings were on Iran backed militias.
What little I’ve heard from Iraqi journalists indicates this event is an Iranian production and I suspect is their attempt at spinning up a proxy war v the US on Iraqi soil.
We’re too smart to fall for that!
I’m quite sure Iran has more than just a hand in this. The question is whether the situation gets completely out of hand and the Shitgibbon decides the New Year is a good time to declare war on Iran. He will have Israel and Saudi Arabia egging him on. Plus the added bonus of a distraction from his impeachment trial.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
As I see it, this was all basically foreordained when Trump blew up the Obama nuclear deal with Iran.
I bet you the Republicans will take a page out of the NRA’s playbook and warn that “we must not politicize this horrible event” because they are as shameless as they are corrupt.
All true, but even so, there were a number of Iraqis who wouldn’t have countenanced working with the Iranians. Bet there are a whole lot fewer of them now.
Yes, they poured billions from our treasury. Who knows where it landed, though. Recall, the contractors built showers that weren’t safe to shower in due to risk of shocks from poor electrician work.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: The 12 Days of Trumpmas.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Does Dale follow him around every day? A nauseating thought, but I’d have thought Trump would have banned him or something similar.
Gin & Tonic
@debbie: Yes. That’s his job.
@debbie: Are you kidding? For Trump, the only thing worse than CNN talking about him, is CNN not talking about him.
I didn’t realize he had left the Star.
nope. as much as he talks tough, trump is deathly afraid of an actual shooting war, because he’s afraid that if it goes badly he comes off as a loser.
if anything he’ll launch a few cruise missiles at some bullshit target (after letting russia know, who will inform iran to clear the area out) and strut around like he’s fucking john rambo. maybe he’ll invite what’s his fuck face the murdering navy seal to hold his hand when he gives the official order.
Iran has interests in the region and isn’t going to go away. Donnie can’t bully and bluster his way into some great victory over them.
If he keeps trying, Iran will make things increasingly difficult for the region and the US. Their blowing up KSA’s oil facilities was just a warning…
And after Donnie’s blowing up the JCPOA, what rational state would put any faith in any “deal” with him? What’s to stop him blowing that up, also too??
Comrade Colette Collaboratrice
Late to the thread, but my brother is in the Baghdad embassy. We’ve been getting brief updates, along the lines of “been under attack for 8 hrs now” and “still in safe room, no word on evac.”
@Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: :-( Hang in there, both of you.
@Frankensteinbeck: I read a crazy-pants theory posted by a Trump-loving friend on FB that Obama and Hillary sent the ambassador to recover some kind of missiles that they had sold to Libyan rebels that had subsequently been used in an attack on American soldiers in Afghanistan, and that’s why they let him die and said stand down and then kept General Petraeus from telling the truth to Congress, and well it got even crazier from there. I posted that what the post said didn’t make any sense at all, and wasn’t logical, and wondered how they gagged Petraeus from talking to the Republican Congress, and then wondered how it was that all the different Republican investigations didn’t uncover any of this. I never got a reply back. LOL I think that’s what the craziest right-wingers actually believe, that’s why they scream about Hillary and Obama committing crimes in Libya.
Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]
@tokyocali (formerly tokyo expat):
Happy new year! Did you visit a shrine? (I know on the new year the crowds are insane)
Jim, Foolish Literalist
who do you think had to tell him, or did he see the tweets on his phone?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: Yikes! I hope he and all his colleagues come through this safe and sound
Jfc what a maroon.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Haha. He got caught.
ETA: I bet he threw a real hissy fit in the locker room when it was suggested that golfing today might appear unseemly.
@Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: I am sorry to hear that.
I don’t have words to express how angry it makes me that Trump puts people’s lives at risk every single day with far less thought than he gives to which golf club to use for which swing.
@SiubhanDuinne: I put the quote starting with “the intellect…” on my FB page & invited people to guess to whom Betty was referring. Oddly enough, they all guessed right.
No One You Know
@WaterGirl: There was a cartoon that went “too far” and yet it’s ageing very well…
…I may be the only person I know, other than my husband, who thought it was pitch-perfect.
”National Security” Democrats dicks are getting positively hard over this – absolutely salivating at the chance to have Trump start a hot war & run their boy Biden as the experienced old man who can come in & prevent it from all getting cocked up.