Late last night, Iran crossed a line. The regime sent approximately a dozen ballistic missiles careening through the skies of the Middle East, traveling from Persian nation to Iraqi military bases where US soldiers were slumbering.
Curiously, not a single missile struck any occupied building, and no casualties were reported whatsoever. This exorbitant luck was soon attributed to Iran both warning the Iraqis and Americans of the coming attack, and also missing on purpose. You see, Iran only wanted to show their own people that they could look tough in the face of American aggression. They didn’t really want the US to feel obligated to respond.
In response to these missile strikes, President Trump appears to be taking the high road by eschewing a military response in favor of a financial slap on the wrist.
“As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime,” Trump said in an address to the nation.
Sanctions, however punishing, would represent a marked de-escalation of the current tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which began Thursday when an American drone killed top Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
In response to the extrajudicial killing of Soleimani, Iran on Tuesday fired 15 missiles at several Iraqi military bases housing U.S. and coalition forces involved in the fight against ISIS.
But instead of announcing a stepped-up military offensive, Trump used his prepared remarks on Wednesday to strike an uncharacteristically positive note.
“I’m pleased to inform you, the American people should be extremely grateful and happy,” Trump said. “No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. Our great American forces are prepared for anything.”
While the sanctions will certainly be met with some stick from the Iranians, there is little doubt that this is the path of least resistance when it comes to the entanglement that the US and Iran have found themselves in.
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