Dear Commons Community,
As the smoke settles after Donald Trump approved an airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the news media had non-stop coverage of what Iran will do in retaliation. While we await its action, Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday announced that the slain Soleimani will be replaced by Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, who served as Soleimani’s deputy commander since 1997. Qaani will take over the helm as head of the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force.
Khamenei said in a statement that the program tasked with carrying on Iran’s influence via proxies across the Middle East “will be unchanged from the time of his predecessor.”
Iranian state media reported that Qaani previously warned Trump in 2017 that “threats against Iran will damage America.
“We are not a war-mongering country. But any military action against Iran will be regretted,” he reportedly said, according to Newsweek. “We have buried many … like Trump and know how to fight against America.”
Now what? Does Trump order another airstrike to kill Qaani while awaiting retaliation? I am also concerned that this is beginning to look a little like the Wag the Dog movie in which government operatives try to fabricate a war to distract the American people from presidential scandals (or maybe an impeachment).