A credible threat would have been, indeed should have been, reason enough to take out Qasem Soliemani. Trading the pernicious life of a red-handed murderer to spare the innocent lives he planned to destroy is human calculus at its most obvious. It serves a dual purpose, the first being that it sends the message that the United States, as should be true of any nation that pretends to call itself civilized, will not tolerate the state-sponsored murder of innocent people, and will without hesitation answer the call of the moral imperative that impels us to stop it by any means. The second is, in the twenty-first century, existence itself ought to be a moment by moment terror for anyone who dares to contemplate such murders in the name of terrorism.
But it’s another matter when there is no credible threat and the inept administration of the Trump-thing cannot even get its story straight. Without a credible threat it is then that the state becomes the murderer. That moral imperative to kill one bad man to spare the lives of others evaporates without a credible threat.
“I can reveal that I believe it would have been four embassies,” the rapist Trump-thing dithered to Fox News hypocrite Laura Ingraham, “and I think that probably Baghdad had already started.” To restate, it “believes” that “probably” four embassies were targeted by Qasem Soliemani. No doubt a “lot of people” were saying as much. “But members of Congress who attended a 75 minute briefing …,” Chris Wallace of Fox News said to National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, “say there was not a single mention … of imminent threats to US embassies. So why is he saying it on television but top officials didn’t tell members of Congress?”
O’Brien responded with the usual Trump-thing defense. O’Brien wasn’t at the briefing of the members of Congress so he cannot comment. Well, I wasn’t in Washington, D.C. on Sunday either, but I can tell you with complete confidence that it was unseasonably warm despite the fact that the White House, for reasons understood only by the insane, there celebrated the “first snow of 2020.”
This, again, is the doublethink world created by the Trump-thing. Anyone who has ever visited the grave of George Orwell at All Saints’ Church in Sutton Courtenay knows that it comes equipped with its own apparent doublethink. Orwell is buried under a marker that says “Eric Arthur Blair.” Of course, there’s a simple explanation. George Orwell is Blair’s pen name. There is, however, no rational explanation for the Trump-thing’s kind of doublethink outside the pages of Orwell’s most celebrated classic, “1984.” Trump-thing doublethink, like Orwell’s fictional doublethink, derives from fear. No one wants to admit that it’s a lie, there is too much at stake. Their careers could abruptly end, their lives could be imperiled by a tweet. They therefore must agree with everything that the Trump-thing says, no matter how absurd. And for any of them to get together beforehand and get their stories straight would be a tacit admission that it is all a lie after all. No, better to bareface it in the light of public scrutiny than to run the risk of acknowledging that the whole thing has been invented from whole cloth.
Wikipedia defines doublethink as “the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct.” Thus we are expected to believe the two mutually contradictory beliefs that there is strong evidence that Qasem Soliemani represented an imminent threat without a shred of evidence that Qasem Soliemani represented an imminent threat. As in Orwell’s book, anyone who says otherwise is subject to immediate punishment. The rapist Trump-thing has thus enthralled its administration and one third of the population of the United States of America.