And, if the path to room temperature is via a drone strike, a special forces action, or even a small bomb, I’m okay with variations in that temperature before they assume room temperature.
Let me talk specifically about the very late Sulemani. Now, for those of you who don’t want to live in the real world, you may want to skip this blog today and instead grab your coloring books and draw a nice picture of Nancy Pelosi, or Adam Schiff.
First, a little primer on classified information for those without experience. Many in the press, and congress, were whining that the administration didn’t tell us all of the reasons for the strike, or what embassies were going to be hit. Yeah, get used to it. It’s called need-to-know.
An example? I’ve been out for over 30 years, and I will not discuss certain things. If you start talking about them, the collection method can be blown and never used, or trusted, again. I was often sent off to do things elsewhere, and when I got back to my home command, I would not discuss my activities with those above me in the chain of command. They did not need to know. The wise ones didn’t ask, the foolish ones were rebuked.
But, you say, Congress has oversight! Yeah, that’s true. But the specifics are not part of that deal. I cringe when I listen to members of Congress talk to the press. I know what they shouldn’t say based on my experience. Even three decades later I can detect “sources and methods” disclosing information. Politicians love to talk. And, if you give them the information it will eventually leak out. If I can spot it 30 years later, our adversaries can spot it as well. The difference is that I know it is wrong. They can figure out how we got the information and put it to use to tighten up their system – or kill the person who is spying for us.
On occasion you have to accept the fact that people in the field know more than you do, and accept it. Is it open to abuse? Yes. But the cost of questioning it and pushing for answers to things you do not need to know is very high.
Sulemani (and I really don’t care how it’s spelled) was responsible for deaths of Americans going back to at least 1983. He earned a spot on the hit list for his role in taking over the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979. That, coincidentally, is the year that Iran declared war on the United States. We just haven’t formally extended the courtesy to them, but they have considered themselves at war with us for over 40 years.
His 1983 run included blowing up the embassy in Beirut. Followed by the massacre of our Marines at the Beirut airport. He moved on over the years to killing people in other countries. This list includes the attack in Buenos Aires against jews, roadside bombs designed to maim and kill Americans in the Middle East, and countless dollars funneled to assorted terrorists around the world.
He was one of those guys who would show up in nifty places like Venezuela to chat with Hugo, or North Korea. We don’t always get pictures of these events, but he was in touch with all sorts of creepy bad people over the years.
He iced his own cake when he attacked the embassy in Baghdad a short time ago, and then had the hubris to fly in and get ready to direct the next phase of his asymmetric war.
You see, he should have been dead a very long time ago. But he kept upping the game because nobody had the huevos to swat him down like a cockroach found on the breakfast table.
Enter President Trump (whom I lovingly think of as “Donnie Two-Scoops”) – a man known for not wanting war. He’d ignored previous Iranian bad actions on a military level and instead imposed financial sanctions. None of the earlier actions had resulted in deaths. But when Iran, and it’s proxies, attacked an American base in Iraq, and killed an American, fun time was over. Couple this with Iranian backed forces attacking the United States embassy – well, nice was out.
Enter Sulemani – a guy who wasn’t supposed to leave Iran according to the United Nations. A guy who was in Iraq to direct further attacks. I mean, he wasn’t in Stockholm chasing blondes, or on the Riveria having an ice cream. He flew to Baghdad from Beirut to kill people, and direct others in killing people.
So, we know where he is, and how many he’s killed – let’s call triple digits just to keep the numbers verifiable – and now it’s show time. We use a drone that only blows him up. Not the airplane he was on, not the terminal, not the home where he was headed, but a single vehicle outside the walls of the airport.
What does Iran do? They launch a ballistic missile attack on Iraq, targeting American forces. They miss. Was it on purpose or by accident? I don’t know. Don’t know the brand of missile, the circular error probability of the warheads used, etc. But that war-mongering maniac Trump strikes back swiftly with …. Well, he imposes more financial sanctions, offers them a chance at diplomacy, and is very statesmanlike – not a toffee-nosed twit like some would like, but more of a real-guy who is saying “knock it off or it gets worse.”
I fail to find any fault here. I think it was a prudent course of action. Frankly, Sulemani should have been room temp in 1983, but a number of presidents let it slide. That time is over.
You see, letting someone slap you in the face does a couple of things. First, it makes your face hurt. Second, it makes them happy. Third, it makes others wonder what it would be like to slap you in the face. Fourth, it eventually leaves a mark that won’t go away.
On the other hand, when they slap you in the face, and you knock them down, it gives them a chance – once they wake up – to ponder their mistake. They may make it again, but they’ll think about what comes after the knock-down punch. It works. In real life. I’ve seen it proven with individuals and nation states.
People who say “But it keeps the cycle of violence going” have not reviewed history very well. It goes all the way back to Cain and Abel. I’m all in favor of diplomacy and negotiation, but unless there is a goal, and both sides pursue it, it’s just an act. Iran has been acting like they want peace for over 40 years. Slapping time is in session.