Looks like Round 1 is over. Let’s begin with a small recap of events:
- Iran fired a relatively small number of short range missiles at one, possibly two, US bases
- The IRGC indicated that if Iran is attacked, then so will Israel
- Trump tweeted “so far, so good”
- The US reported no casualties
In plain English this means that the strike was intended to be both highly visible AND symbolic (Iran has MANY more missiles, including longer ranged ones, which, if Iran wanted to, could strike every single US base in the Middle-East simultaneously.
So what happened?
I think that Iran wanted to humiliate the US but in a manner which would be under the threshold which would guarantee a US/Israeli counter-strike.
Next, I forced myself to listen to Esper and the Idiot-in-Chief. Here are the salient points:
- Esper reiterated that the US does not want war with Iran
- The US does not want to leave Iraq because, unlike the Iraq MPs, many/most Iraqis want the US to stay
- The US armed forces are THE BEST in the history of the galaxy
- Trump will never allow Iran to have nukes
- Iran appears to be “standing down”
- Europe needs to ditch the JPCOA
- NATO needs to get further involved in the Middle-East
- Iran bad bad bad, USA good good good
- The US armed forces are THE BEST in this history of the galaxy
- USA! USA! USA! (etc.)
Okay, to these idiots apparently think that’s it is over. Or maybe they hope it is?
I can tell you for sure that it ain’t. The goal of Iran and its allies is to get the USA out of the Middle-East.
Thus these symbolic strikes appear to have given the US/Israeli a sense of relief which might bring them to let their guard down, making it much easier for Iran and its allies to strike again.
It is rather funny to see how the Iranian PR machine “packaged” this one: if you dare hit us, we will hit you in your most holy and sacred, i.e. Israel. So far this “we get to shoot at you but you don’t get to shoot back” has worked, but only because the Iranian strike was so symbolic.
Conclusion: this is far, FAR veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrry far from over.
Still, I have to downgrade the likelihood of a massive and imminent war back from 90% to 80%.
Finally, Putin traveled to Damascus to attend a Nativity celebration with Bashar al-Assad. Then he visited a mosque (I can imagine how pissed Alt-Righters are at Putin’s care for Muslims, both in Russia and abroad).