Ian Bremmer, Time magazine’s at-large editor, is no fan of the Trump administration, but his take on how the president has handled the Iran situation should anger liberals. He called it a win for the White House. Last week, President Trump killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasam Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport. He was BBQ’d by a drone strike. Soleimani was a top terrorist. As the head of Quds Force, he was the region’s grim reaper. It’s a good thing that he’s dead, but liberals went nuts, saying how this move could lead to World War III. That nonsense was amplified when Iran launched a missile attack against our forces last night in Iraq. Early detection allowed our troops to take cover. There were no casualties, and this move was seen as a way for Iran to save face. They’re standing down. There is no war. And Soleimani is still dead. Trump won. Bremmer noted that Iran is weaker than it was when Trump assumed office. He also said that the Soleimani strike allowed for red lines and deterrence to be reestablished, adding that the window for diplomacy is open again.
That part seems to be flying way over the Left's head. Isn't that what everyone wants in this situation, including Trump?
I’m far from a Trump supporter.— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) January 8, 2020
But impossible not to call Iran outcome a win for US president and a big opportunity going forward.
Trump’s two notable foreign policy wins: Massive escalation vs much weaker countries.— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) January 8, 2020
Threatening Mexico with economic catastrophe if they didn’t tighten their border. They did.
Military decapitation of Iran after strike against US base and embassy. Virtually no retaliation.
This will, of course, not work vs China. As they have the capacity and will to say no to the Americans.— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) January 8, 2020
Expect US-China relations to get significantly worse this year accordingly.
This doesn’t mean it’s the end of US-Iran conflict; there’s no “mission accomplished.”— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) January 8, 2020
But for everyone who thought killing Soleimani was going to lead to war, no...it established red-lines and deterrence.
If US now wants to engage in diplomacy, there’s a real window.
He elaborated on this on CNN earlier this morning. Real Clear Politics has the clip and the transcript. Here’s part of it:
IAN BREMMER: We're obviously in a de-escalating mode, for two reasons. The first is for the last year as the Americans were destroying the Iranian economy, Iran was responding and didn't know what the red lines were. Didn't know what would get Trump to react or not. They hit tankers, they hit American drones, big ones. They took out 50% of Saudi oil and the U.S. didn't react. So much so that the Saudis ended up having to negotiate with Iran on the sidelines because, "The Americans aren't helping us. What do we do?"
So finally they go and they attack a U.S. base in Kirkuk in northern Iraq. They go after the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and the supreme leader of Iran has the temerity to tweet and say the U.S. can't do anything. And, you know, the United States, President Trump, responded. Responded very significantly and has shown what the red lines are. And has shown that he'll escalate. And, frankly, that at some point needed to be done. Did it need to be done by actually killing Soleimani? I think you could have done it very modestly, but it sent a strong message and the Iranians are vastly weaker than the United States. They're not suicidal. So their response has been the minimum possible military engagement against the Americans.
That is wildly de-escalatory. It's also been supported by a statement by the foreign minister saying we're going to escalate. If you do anything about this. In other words, "Please, let's now stop. We don't want war." There's a real opportunity for diplomacy if Trump wants it and is capable of taking it. But for now, let's be clear, this is a much more powerful United States showing the Iranians that you are not going to come after the U.S. directly.
CNN HOST, JOHN BERMAN: Those are two big ifs. If the president wants to take it and if he chooses to take it. You read the Iranian action overnight as intentional de-escalation, as them saying we're not going to attack U.S. troops.
IAN BREMMER: Overwhelmingly so.
JOHN BERMAN: And so, President Trump will address the nation shortly. What do you think he will say?
IAN BREMMER: I'm sure he's going to take a victory lap. That's what he does anyway. But in this case, specifically, he's going to say, I hit him. The head of the beast. Literally, the United States has killed the head of Iran's military in the cabinet and the response has been, you know, virtually nothing.
Take a bow, Mr. President. You face down Iran and unlike Obama—you won.