It took less than 48 hours for President Donald Trump’s euphoria over assassinating Iran’s premiere security official to become contempt at the Iranian refusal to accept defeat. Trump and his administration had insisted in the wake of killing Qassem Soleimani that they wanted an immediate “deescalation” of tensions. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the administration’s premiere Iran hawk, has made that assurance to at least 10 foreign dignitaries, according to department call readouts. But watching Iran opt against submission, Trump threatened not only Iran, but Iranian civilization. “As a WARNING,” Trump tweeted on Saturday, he had compiled a list of “52 sites,” payback for each of the hostages Iran took after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, “some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture.” Those culturally resonant places “WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD” should Iran attempt to avenge Soleimani. It was a declaration of intent to commit what is by definition a war crime. It was also an expression of an impulse that has consumed America since 9/11 and that Trump has championed in its rawest form. Trump may declare his antipathy to endless wars, but the Soleimani assassination and its aftermath… Read full this story
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