An Iranian politician accidentally trolled himself late Tuesday evening EST while trying to troll U.S. President Donald Trump.
As reports began to emerge of Iranian-launched missiles raining down on at least two Iraqi bases containing U.S. military forces, former Iranian secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (2007-2013) and chief nuclear negotiator (2007-2013) Saeed Jalili tweeted a photo of the Iranian flag in what appeared to be a mock imitation of Trump.
— Saeed Jalili (@DrSaeedJalili) January 7, 2020
Now recall the American flag that the president tweeted shortly before the Pentagon confirmed that it had eliminated Iranian military general and terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani via a drone strike late last week.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
Jalili’s imitation tweet may have packed more of a punch had the attacks committed late Tuesday proven to be successful. As it stands, they proved to be quite unsuccessful, though Iranian officials have tried to claim otherwise.
“There are have been no U.S. reports of casualties yet, but Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard is claiming dozens of U.S. soldiers were killed in revenge for the U.S. airstrike that killed prominent commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani,” The Washington Post confirmed early Wednesday morning.
Others have reported similarly:
Nato confirms no casualties from missile strikes last night among forces serving with the alliance in Iraq.
Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary general, has condemned Iranian attack and called for Tehran to refrain from further violence.
— Lucy Fisher (@LOS_Fisher) January 8, 2020
BREAKING: There were no American casualties from last night’s Iranian missile strikes that targeted two airbases in Iraq that host U.S. troops, sources tell me.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 8, 2020
Boris Johnson said he opposed any further escalation of violence:
“As far as we can tell there were no casualties last night sustained by the US and no British personnel were injured in the attacks…
— Evening Standard (@EveningStandard) January 8, 2020
There were no American casualties in Iranian missile strikes targeting bases in Iraq.
Markets recover on bets of deescalation.https://t.co/ReD8NvUyVB
— Fercan Yalinkilic (@FercanY) January 8, 2020
Well there were zero casualties, Iraqi or US and Iran warned Iraq beforehand. This was a face saving performance designed to minimize as much as humanly possible a Trump response. The Iranian regime barks loudly but when smacked hard knows its place. It wants to survive.
— Ali Shihabi (@aliShihabi) January 8, 2020
Reports have also emerged suggesting Iraqi officials were warned beforehand of the attacks and that Iran had purposefully avoided causing any real harm — that the attack had been “symbolic” in nature and designed to deescalate tensions while saving face.
That theory aside, Jalili’s attempt to seemingly mock the president while celebrating what he appeared to think was his country’s successful attacks inadvertently wound up making him the target of intense, scathing mockery.
LOL. Zero casualties. ZERO. Weak.
— Johnny Paycheck (@JohnnyPaychec13) January 8, 2020
LMAO shot 10 missiles & no casualties, sad
— 1Shot (@zMonoShot) January 8, 2020
Weak response Iran. No casualties, blowing up Iraqi sand. Revenge strike is a joke. Your country is a joke.
— Mark (@jmark5150) January 8, 2020
“A US official told CNN that the attacks did not inflict any US casualties”
imagine shooting at the broadside of a barn, missing, and then boasting about your marksmanship.
— kushypoo (@kushinshin) January 8, 2020
Pathetic. That’s all you got?? pic.twitter.com/1RcJxEVXSl
— Stefan Long (@Californianinja) January 8, 2020
More like this. pic.twitter.com/pypYYQ00aj
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) January 8, 2020
— Jessica Fletcher (@heckyessica) January 8, 2020
You’re gonna need one of these pic.twitter.com/1l4TtKjeAD
— schu (@Schu64) January 8, 2020
This is OURS pic.twitter.com/cyNS2PZdJ7
— Johnny Bear (@Bear61679) January 8, 2020
America came out on top again Tuesday, though as noted earlier, some suspect that Iran had designed their strikes to fail. The theory is based on the premise that one, Iran knows that it cannot win any conflict with the United States, and two, Iran must nevertheless save face by taking actions that would make it appear tough.
And so Iran launched multiple strikes that, despite their deceivingly frightful appearances, were equivalent to mosquito bites. They were flashy enough to captivate the Iranian people’s minds but not damaging enough to cause the U.S. real harm.
As Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks put it, “Iran is trying to save face and praying we don’t respond. The Iranian military is no match for the American armed forces. Iran knows better than to push the U.S. towards full escalation. Our annual defense budget is 37 times larger than Iran’s. We enjoy incomparable advantages.”
Other congressional Republican have noted similar points:
Iran is trying to save face and praying we don’t respond. The Iranian military is no match for the American armed forces. Iran knows better than to push the U.S. towards full escalation. Our annual defense budget is 37 times larger than Iran’s. We enjoy incomparable advantages.
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) January 8, 2020
Tonight Iran did as expected: attempt to save face and continue their attacks. No known casualties at this time.
Make no mistake, if needed, we will hit back. They know that.
This is a time for national fortitude and unity for the sake of our men and women in harm’s way.
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) January 8, 2020
The consensus, therefore, is that the president should use this opportunity to permanently deescalate the conflict. But not everybody shares this perspective.
Fox News host Sean Hannity said Tuesday evening that “there is a massive price to pay” for the strikes and suggested the president may soon respond “with the full force” of the U.S. military.
“There is a massive price to pay,” he said. “You don’t get to do what they did tonight. They have now been begging — the president wanted to talk and wants peace — and they are going to get hit hard.”
“Their hostility will now be met with the full force of the greatest, most advanced, most sophisticated military this world has ever seen. As a former CIA station chief Dan Hoffman pointed out: any hostile action by Iran would be regime suicide.”
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