Jonathan Kraut | Trump Rolls the Dice in Iran Actions

Last week, President Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. 

Without question, Soleimani orchestrated the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers and his strategies have created instability among many of our Middle East allies. Few would argue that Soleimani’s death was undeserving. 

Soleimani, with full approval of the Iranian government, had created a network of terrorism pitted primarily against the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel, and against our other allied interests in countries such as in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. 

To view Soleimani’s death in context, this is like Iran putting a hit on one of our top generals. We would consider the assassination of any of our military commanders as an act of war and Iran is reacting as would we.

We have been essentially in a war with Iran since the Iranian revolution in 1979 that ousted the Shah in favor of rule by Islamic law. Until Trump, our handling of this conflict has been somewhat measured and mature.

There are four essential items to better view Iranian influence over world affairs. 

First, for a thousand years, Islam has been divided into Shi’a and Sunni factions that have been in an ideological wrestling match for control of Islam. This struggle is right now led by the Sunni Saudis versus the Iranians, and to some extent the Iraqis, supporting Shi’a perspectives.

Second, Iran uses proxies and for years has been funding, training and aiding in battle terror groups in countries to include Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Denmark, Albania, Kenya, Thailand, France, India, and especially in Palestinian-controlled areas. 

Third, Iran has influence over the world’s oil market. Iran directly supplies about 10% of the world’s petroleum and is geographically positioned to halt about a fifth of the world’s oil supply that passes through the 21-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz. 

Finally, it is believed that Iran already has nuclear capabilities, perhaps via North Korea, and will never cease to create its own nuclear arsenal regardless of sanctions, accords and agreements to the contrary.

Clearly Trump has rolled the dice of fate by having Soleimani blasted into a cloud of vapor. It would appear, however, that the dice are loaded against our favor.

I propose we will experience the wrath of an irate and taunted Iranian regime over the next perhaps year or two and that this conflict will not end well.

Despite Trump’s threat of pre-targeting “52 key Iranian installations,” so long as Trump is president, nothing on heaven and earth will curb Iran from exacting a thoughtful and comprehensive reign of deadly revenge. 

I predict that Iranian hackers are going to disrupt American banking, air travel and utility networks, plunging our economy and even our personal safety into an unstable climate of chaos.  

We certainly will experience the deaths of dozens if not hundreds of American service members by Iranian-backed rocket attacks and IEDs globally over the next few years.

Iranian-funded terror groups, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, and Houthi rebels in Yemen, are about to go on a rampage and innocents will die.

The price of crude oil will skyrocket if Saudi oil facilities will come under drone attack and oil moving through the Strait of Hormuz will be choked off.

And finally, the U.S., already in an undeclared war with Iran, will be forced to overtly declare a state of hostility or humbly back out as a coward.

The best remedy to avoiding ongoing turmoil and death for an unknown number of years is electing a new national leader. We need a president who is willing to use diplomacy, good will, and a thoughtful approach to come to fair terms with a nuclear power that has been insulted and dishonored.

Soleimani was by no means innocent. And Soleimani was likely planning the murder of many and continued attacks on our embassies, soldiers and interests in order to taunt us into a full outright conflict. Soleimani’s death has created the very scenario the Iranians have envisioned.

It is no secret that Trump’s impulsive and emotional outbursts are often unreasoned reactions that make things worse than need be. Blindfolded by irrational thinking and ego, Trump will likely continue to blunder now that conflict is at our doorstep.

Trump’s assassination of Soleimani is the perfect excuse for Iran, now the victim, to draw us in to ongoing conflict. With Trump at the helm, this conflict we will not win.

Jonathan Kraut directs a private investigations firm, is the CFO of a private security firm, is the COO of an acting conservatory, is a published author, and Democratic Party activist. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal or other organizations. 

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