While the Iraqi airstrikes may have helped Donald Trump with at least one of his goals – taking impeachment out of the national conversation as they watch the Middle Eastern region with uncertainty about what’s yet to come – they’ve hurt him just about everywhere else. At best, he’s only looking at a temporary distraction, since he has no control over when his trial begins and this reckless move is already costing him the allies his presidency needs to survive – with Tucker Carlson, usually one of his most ardent defenders in media, now lashing out at him on Fox News.
Now it’s not just Americans who are concerned about Trump inciting another costly and pointless war in the region, it’s also someone he has no control over. Among the many people unhappy with the way Trump conducted the air raid, Vladimir Putin is probably the last person Trump needs to have against him right now.
While American media outlets may be quick to point out that the world is better off without Soleimani in it, it turns out that Putin wanted the Iranian general to stay alive. He’s gone so far as to voice his displeasure through Russia’s foreign ministry, with a stern warning that Soleimani’s death could seriously destabilize the region. They even used language that Trump can understand, saying “Washington’s step could have grave consequences” – the type of mob-style threats we’ve come to expect from Trump and his goons. The statement by Sergei Lavrov even went so far as to urge American citizens to vote against him – meaning he may not be able to count on the Kremlin this year.
We know that Soleimani was heavily involved in Syria, even playing a key role in Putin’s intervention. While Syria in chaos plays to Putin’s advantage – the Kremlin knows that a war erupting in Iran is detrimental to their own plans to dominate the Middle East – and it may not be worth propping up Donald Trump for much longer.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making