Iran: This Isn’t Over.

January 8, 2020 at 6:16 pm (By Amba) (, , )

“President Trump said in a White House address Iranian strikes resulted in no casualties and Iran now ‘appears to be standing down.'” ~ Axios

Just a guess:

Iran, unlike Trump, is focused on results, not optics. And they can wait. They announced that they would take the high road and retaliate proportionately and lawfully on an appropriate, military target. They then immediately launched a strike that proved ineffectual.

That was way too easy. It looked phony, diversionary, like a decoy.

Looking humbled now is good cover if you’re dealing with a fool like Trump plus a whole lot of Americans indulging in wishful thinking about American invincibility. It isn’t even that wily.

Watch them strike hard just pre-election and cut him off at the legs. (Despite the tingle of Schadenfreude, this is not something to look forward to or exult in. Many people will die. So I hope I’m wrong.)

And with that: off to the laundromat. Life goes on, until it doesn’t.


  1. amba said,

    The Economist makes a more informed and measured version of this prediction.

  2. wj said,

    I wonder if Iran might get creative here. They have to be aware that the cause of their hurt is far more Trump personally than America generally. Furious as they doubtless are, when they reach the point of plotting serious vengeance, that point will likely surface. So how might they make their counterattack personal as well?

    Hitting Trump where he lives means hitting his finances and his ego. Suppose their cyber warriors could hack in and get copies of his financial statements and dump them into the public Internet. Maybe demonstrate that he is nowhere near as wealthy as he says. Maybe show that he has been making money by criminal means (e.g. money laundering). There has to be lots of opportunities there, for someone willing and able to act outside the law.

    Suppose further they try making him one of the rare Presidents to fail reelection? Make him explicitly rejected by the American public. It doesn’t necessarily take a military-type attack; election hacking could work as well or better — less chance of him getting rally-round-the-flag type support. The Iranians probably are as good at something like that as the Russians were in 2016. And they would be starting from a far better position, popularity-wise. Some of the stuff on his finances could help there, too.

    And, if they really want to kill someone by way of vengeance, doing so when he’s out of office would be a lot easier than assassinating a sitting President.

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