On Friday, Donald Trump spent four tweets regaling America with the dramatic play-by-play account of what happened on Thursday evening when the US came within minutes of launching strikes against radar and missile batteries in Iran.
“We were cocked and loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die”, Trump said. When a general told him the death toll was likely to be around 150, Trump called off the strikes. Or at least that’s the way @realDonaldTrump tells the story.
Fast forward a few hours and Donald Trump the person (as opposed to Donald Trump the Twitter personality) granted an interview with Chuck Todd, which is an odd choice considering how many times the president has publicly maligned him and his network.
In any event, Trump now says there were no planes in the air (which runs counter the New York Times’s reporting and also to the whole “cocked and loaded” story) and that he hadn’t approved anything. Here is the clip:
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Ok, so Trump never gave a final order, but “they came in about a half hour before and they said ‘Sir we’re about ready to go'”. Planes weren’t in the air but “they would have been pretty soon” and according to Trump’s assessment, “things would have happened to a point where you couldn’t turn back”, where that presumably means you can’t un-shoot missiles or un-kill soldiers once they’re shot and dead, respectively.
After asking the “generals” (everybody in a military uniform is a “general” in Trump’s mind) how many people would likely be killed, Trump’s “large brain” did some quick math as follows:
And I thought about it for a second and I said ‘You know what? They shot down an unmanned drone, and here we are sitting with 150 dead people.’
Trump, being the “stable genius” that he is, concluded that zero casualties on the US side versus 150 casualties on the Iranian side, works out to a net 150 casualty disparity, which he determined wasn’t proportionate.
And that, folks, is why you need people with high IQs in the Oval Office.
Jokes aside, there are dozens of Iranians alive today who wouldn’t otherwise be alive, so that’s the good news. The bad news is, Trump will almost assuredly be forced to make this decision again sometime in the very near future and there is no guarantee the outcome will be the same.
Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham did his best to keep tensions running high. “I know Israel cannot tolerate the Ayatollah enriching uranium that would put them on a pathway to a nuclear bomb”, he said in a tweet. “Big decisions to be made. I hope the United States and the world get this right.”
Of course, one way to ensure that Iran isn’t pursuing a nuclear bomb is to stick to a landmark agreement designed specifically to prevent that outcome, but that ship has sailed, hasn’t it Lindsey?