Iran tossed a few missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq yesterday, ostensibly in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Soleimani. The regime gave warning of the strikes, which injured no one and did little property damage, likely on purpose. Iran promptly announced that it was done retaliating. In other words, please don’t hit us again!
It is revealing that the regime thought it necessary to lie about its counterstrikes. FARS News reported:
“Early estimates indicate heavy US casualties in Iran’s missile attack,” an informed IRGC Intelligence Department told FNA Wednesday morning.
“According to the reports sent by our sources in the region to this moment, at least 80 US arm personnel have been killed and around 200 others wounded,” he said, adding that the wounded have been evacuated from Ein Al-Assad on choppers.
Iran’s government also made this rather silly threat:
The IRGC source further cautioned that “a sum of 104 sensitive US positions in the region have been identified to immediately come under raid as soon as the Americans make the first mistake”.
One hundred four being, of course, twice the 52 Iranian sites that President Trump said could be targeted.
The significance of the regime’s false report, intended for domestic consumption, is obvious. The mullahs knew that they would be seen as humiliated if they made no meaningful response to the Soleimani killing. On the other hand, they knew that if they did attempt a meaningful response, President Trump would reply in kind–or, as he said, disproportionately–and they themselves might not be safe. So they did the prudent thing: they launched a harmless attack and lied about it to their own people. As many predicted, Iran’s regime has chosen to de-escalate.
Of course, we can’t rule out the possibility that Iran may in the future try to do us harm in a spirit of vengeance. But Iran has been trying to harm the U.S. and our allies for a long time; this is nothing new. And Trump’s strong response to Iran’s attack on our embassy in Baghdad makes future adventurism by the mullahs less likely, not more likely.
STEVE adds: Back during the 1973 Israeli-Arab War, when the Syrian and Egyptian governments were claiming every day to have destroyed dozens and dozens of Israeli aircraft and battle tanks (when the actual number was close to zero), then-Governor Ronald Reagan called up Henry Kissinger and suggested that we supply Israel with exactly as many warplanes and tanks as the Arabs claimed publicly to have destroyed. Kissinger liked the idea. I imagine Trump might like it too: We’ll kill one Iranian military official for very American they claim to have killed in their rocket strikes.