On the night of January 5, when the world slept peacefully, the US airbase Al-Asad was hit by a series of ballistic missiles. According to sources, the strike took place at the same time that the USA assassinated General Qasem Soleimani.
Some time after the missile attack, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei took to Twitter to call it a “slap on the face.” Trump, after he was briefed, took to Twitter to write “all is well.”
Few days after the attack, upon assessment of the situation in and out of the States, we can conclude that certainly all is not well for the USA, especially for Trump.
CNN reporter, Arwa Damon, reported after seeing the base that the missiles were precise and did not miss their mark as it was being suggested and assumed. The missile hit the barracks and sleeping chambers of the soldiers.
Although, no US-based media house or channel, has said that there were any casualty but Al-Jazeera and some other international news agencies did report about the casualties. Some of these reports were, although, later deleted. The Iraqi state news agencies and the Iranian state news agencies said that 80-120 casualties have taken place.
The report from CNN said that the base was hit at 01:34 AM, which signals that the troops were either in the bunkers (which is less probable considering the time of attack and uncertainty over which base would have been attacked), in the sleeping chamber, which were directly hit, or on guard outside the bunkers and the chambers, which certainly means casualties as the base was hit, not by one but more than a dozen missiles.
It has also raised questions over the iron dome defense technology which the US has not only boasted about but also sold to various countries. Considering that the Al-Asad was the biggest and most heavily guarded base in Iraq, this lack or failure of defense technology is worrisome beyond measure for USA and its allies.
Inside USA, the situation is as unwell as it is ‘well’ in the tweet. Defense officials, ex-senate members and current parliamentarians have all been accusing Trump of two things.
First, Trump is being heavily condemned on the assassination of General Qasim Sulaimani, which is not only an international war crime as it violates the sovereignty of Iraq, but also an act opposed to Trump’s own policy of non-intervention and pull-out of Middle East. It was lately that Iraqi Parliament had passed a bill asking the American forces to withdraw from Iraq which the USA has paid no heed.
Now, after the missile attack the same suggestion comes in form of a warning from Iran, which says that it will attack Israel and other American bases in the Middle East in case the American forces don’t withdraw.
The second charge that heavily lies on the US President is of being an inefficient planner and of having a diabolical attitude towards the US military. His morning address also, seemed to highlight the same aspects when he said that it was a happy moment for the USA that there were no casualties, while he didn’t mention the failure of the defence system or what was the decision that he was going to take with regard to the American presence in Iraq.
He went on to boast about the military equipment and how he would be merciful to Iran and not use them for war. He is still being accused of high class hypocrisy for his statement that he wishes for a “great future for Iran” because minutes later he declared that he is imposing new sanctions on Iran. If everything is well and if he really wishes peace and prosperity for Iran, then his move certainly worries the world, and moreover infuriates Iran.
The European Union and its decision to salvage the Nuclear Deal, marks the third failure of the United States.
Richard Johnson, senior director, Nuclear Threat Initiative, said, while speaking to CNN, that the new sanctions which the Trump administration is looking forward to apply on Iran are most likely to fail due to multiple reasons, biggest being the lack of international support from European Union and the United Nations.
The belief of Trump that it was the sanctions that brought Iran to the table are misleading. The Obama administration first began an international discussion with countries and also gave a huge sum to Iran for domestic developmental projects. The allegations by US President regarding the sum being 150 Billion is as false as his claim of this sum being spent by Iran on warfare in Middle East.
The sum was much more smaller and it was spent purely on domestic infrastructural developmental projects as the expenditure of the sum was closely monitored by the US agencies. The cacodaemoniacal move of assassination and the ballistic response from Iran has shook the world and has aided in clearing away the cloud of confusion from the head of European Union.
The call to Zarif, is another news that might cause sleeplessness to Trump. The Iranian patience has, it seems, paid off. With the beginning of betterment of economic conditions, the public which has developed a sense of dissatisfaction, will regain its trust in the government in Iran which again will weaken the agenda of Trump to being about a change of power in Iran.
The Ukrainian flight accident, that the US based media houses are trying to tap on, has certainly failed to put Iran under a darker shadow than the USA. Iran has admitted the mistake and is willing to recompense for the loss to Iranians as well as to the families of passengers of other countries that were aboard.
The call to experts from Boeing was almost immediately sent and the black boxes were sent for inspection. The comments from the President, Military General and the Foreign Minister have all been about acceptance and repentance which is earning them respect at its best and forgiveness at its least.
Considering the full picture in wide angle, the situation seems to favour Iran and certainly has made things difficult for the Trump administration to handle. General Qasem Soleimani has turned from a living nightmare to an invisible spectre for Trump that will haunt him for long long time.