It would be quite possible to believe that Donald Trump has serious issues around object permanence, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has an issue with something even more basic—the arrow of time. In a press appearance on Tuesday morning, Pompeo was pressed repeatedly about the idea that there was an imminent threat against Americans—a claim which both Pompeo and Trump made in defending the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. In his first response, Pompeo let loose with the kind of rambling discourse that filled his Sunday morning appearances. But when he revisited the issue, Pompeo declared that Soleimani had died because, “We know what happened at the end of last year and ultimately led to the death of an American. If you are looking for imminence, look no further than the days that led up to the strike.”
So the attack was imminent … in the past. Which means that either Mike Pompeo does not know how time works, or the intelligence actually failed to anticipate the actual attack and is now operating on the basis of vengeance. The one thing it doesn’t mean is that the action was made to stop a genuinely imminent threat.
Pompeo also swatted back questions concerning Donald Trump’s threat to put civilian and cultural sites in the crosshairs should Iran make any response to the assassination of Soleimani. After at first simply laughing off the idea, Pompeo circled back to say, “Let me tell you who has done damage to the Persian culture … it’s the Ayatollah … the real risk to Persian culture does not come from the United States of America.” Which seems somewhat at odds with Trump not only directly threatening to blow up cultural sites, but doubling down on those threats. Not to worry. As soon as Fox News gets the base aligned behind blowing things up with its steady campaign for war crimes, Pompeo can always come back to explain how he always supported blowing up ancient cities and sacred sites. In the future past.
A good deal of the press event was dedicated to simply lying about the Iran nuclear deal by saying that when Trump came into office, Iran was “on a pathway that had been provided by the nuclear deal, that clearly gave them the opportunity to have those nuclear weapons.” That pathway was marked by sign posts for constant IAEA inspections, shuttering enrichment facilities, an unprecedented program of international oversight, and a pledge to never develop nuclear weapons.
The truth is that the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was one of the great diplomatic achievements of the last 50 years. It not only blocked any path for Iran to seek a nuclear weapon, but it also presented a pattern for use with other nations. To believe that Barack Obama got it wrong means also to believe that the U.K., European Union, France, Germany, and China got it wrong. Because none of them had any reason to favor Iran getting a nuclear bomb, and every one of them signed on to the agreement. In truth, Donald Trump walking out on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was not just a diplomatic disaster—it was a bigger blow to international peace, by far, than killing Soleimani was.
Source: Daily Kos