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I'm surprised, too

Reader comment on item: Predicting the Fall-out from Qasem Soleimani's Death

Submitted by Daniel Gold (United States), Jan 6, 2020 at 15:45

Dear Professor,

I was surprised that you were "entirely" surprised by the elimination of Soleimani, in that you held that it was, "...completely inconsistent with the policy of Donald Trump". Through Pompei or Bolton or other spokesmen, Trump had made it clear that any action against US interests would be met with a response. After Iran downed the drone, I think it was Bolton who warned Iran not to mistake Trump's prudence for weakness (or something to that effect). His reluctance to respond was entirely consistent with his desire to disengage from the Middle East, to the extent that would be possible. When an American was killed in the attack on the US installation, and the Embassy in Baghdad was stormed, he finally made good on his promise to defend American people and interests despite his reluctance to possibly take the US into another war in the Middle East. Whatever you may think of Trump, he does do what he says he'll do. Why the surprise?

Also, I disagree with your downplaying of the importance of this event. An article in the Jerusalem Post pointed out that for the first time in decades, Iran is now not determining the when, where and how of confrontation. Trump has taken that away from them and left them in waters they're not used to navigating. Furthermore, the symbolic significance of eliminating Iran's top general can't be underestimated.

Personally I think that the Mullahs will do something stupid and fail to take Trump at his word regarding retaliation, not only because Evil always ends up shooting itself in the foot (Hitler, Saddam Hussein, etc.), but because of their apocalyptic vision of the necessity of a final confrontation with the infidels, thus enabling the coming of the 12th Imam. I hope I'm wrong.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

So far as I know, not a single person predicted the execution of Solaimani. That's a surprise. I know I sure did not expect it. You did?

As for its importance: come back to me in a year.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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