CBS' David Martin reports a Pentagon spokesman says 34 U.S. troops in Iraqi base attacks have been treated for TBI/concussion symptoms. Half have returned to active duty, half are still receiving treatment.
In Davos, the president dismissed concerns.https://t.co/bInfXyVGwW
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) January 24, 2020
David Roth, in the New Republic, “The Windbag of War”:
In the two weeks since Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, it’s both true enough and obviously, howlingly inaccurate to say that things have returned to “normal.” That just cannot possibly be the right word for the government’s ongoing state of clammy resting breakdown—and yet, as the situation seems to have stepped back from the briefly imminent prospect of an actual hot war, Trump has seemed more and more like himself. A day after the drone strike, when House pedant Dan Crenshaw insisted that Trump had a strategy and was following it, Trump wasted little time in contradicting the Texas congressman. On Twitter, naturally, he framed the conflict he’d created as A Hitting Contest that he could not be seen to lose. Trump continued to perform a series of panicky pivots from one unconvincing justification to another; various advisers and factotums gamely mirrored his erratic choreography, in the vein of Katy Perry’s Left Shark Super Bowl dancing companion—a beat late and reliably a bit off…
Because everything about Trump operates from the opening position that he has never been wrong, changed his mind, or contradicted himself; and because he is always wrong and never really knows what he’s saying and is constantly trying to wrench past stridencies into line with his befuddled present, this created a lot of work for everyone. There was a brief effort to spin the assassination of Soleimani as an act of diplomacy through kinetic operations—“an attempt to empower the country’s moderate voices,” as “several administration officials” told The Wall Street Journal. The ungainly human megaphone that exists to amplify and protect the president seemed happiest and most comfortable when claiming that Democrats loved Soleimani and in fact cried when he died because they wanted to hug and kiss him—both because that type of retro smear is a more natural movement for the megaphone operators and because it didn’t require any frantic trips to the memory hole. None of it was very convincing.
Trump really only regained his footing when he decided that the war he had nearly started was now over and won. Various discordant facts about what happened before, during, and after the assassination continued to emerge over time. The Journal reported that Trump pulled the trigger at least in part to appease senators whose loyalty he would need in his impeachment trial; 11 American soldiers were being treated for what Defense One termed “traumatic brain injuries” after the Iranian counterstrike that supposedly left U.S. troops unscathed; in place of the talk about imminent threat(s), Trump now told supporters that Soleimani had been “saying bad things about our country” and so the U.S. president used his maximal geopolitical power to decide “How much of this shit do we have to listen to?” …
2/ Status of service members:
8 service members were flown to the US from Germany for treatment;
9 are still being treated in Germany;
16 have been treated in Iraq and have returned to duty;
1 was treated in Kuwait and has returned to duty in Iraq.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 24, 2020
Specifically in an attack where soldiers lacked any sort of missile defense protection such as a Patriot battery. Even as such units are sent to Saudi Arabia because the President says they paid a billion dollars to an account nobody else in government seems to know about. https://t.co/4Y8cf4AYbp
— YYZedd (@Zeddary) January 22, 2020
Oh, and the attack was in retaliation for a brazen escalation he authorized on a whim, and bragged would help in his impeachment trial.
— YYZedd (@Zeddary) January 22, 2020
Trump provoked a conflict with Iran, then concealed and diminished the injuries our troops suffered as a result. It's appalling. I worked in the Senate to improve treatment of traumatic brain injuries—and as president I'll end the wars that cause them. https://t.co/cAeaV3ZmcI
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 25, 2020