Normally, the public doesn’t get the play-by-play details of military operations until after the fact, if ever.
When it comes to aborted military operations, the public is lucky to find out anything at all.
But, Donald Trump is a different kind of president and this is a different kind of administration, so, on Friday morning, America learned exactly what transpired on Thursday evening as the US war machine geared up for strikes on 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 dramatically recounted, misspelling “sites”.
According to the president “a general” (presumably one who wasn’t “loose and stupid“) said “150 people, sir”.
That was a bridge too far for Trump, who apparently hadn’t considered the possibility that when you hit another country with a barrage of missiles, some folks will probably be killed.
“10 minutes before the strike I stopped it”, Trump said, explaining that the death of 150 Iranians probably wasn’t “proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”
To Trump’s credit, this was the correct decision and it underscores the notion that, for once in his presidency, he actually is the adult in the room. It sounds as though he took a moment to take seriously the concerns of the Pentagon, rather than simply listening to John Bolton and Mike Pompeo.
The president went on to explain that he’s not particular keen on driving full speed down the warpath. “I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world”, he tweeted. He then cited “biting sanctions” as enough of a deterrent for now and revealed that “more” sanctions were “added last night”.
He wrapped up his account of Thursday evening’s drama by insisting that Iran can “never” be a nuclear power.
Whether this is just Trump being wary of plunging the nation into what, in all likelihood, would end up being a quagmire far worse than the Iraq war he’s spent years lambasting, or a rare example of this president thinking ahead and exercising prudent restraint in the interest of saving lives, is debatable, but regardless, he’s to be commended.
Or maybe not, because had it not been for his disastrous decision to pull the US out of the nuclear accord, this would have never escalated to a “cocked and loaded” situation in the first place.