Over the weekend, Donald Trump gave the world a preview91联盟彩票开户 of what his leadership would look like during a theoretical war with Iran and, not surprisingly, the look was “even more unhinged and belligerent than usual.” The president threatened to commit war crimes against Iran, lashed out at allies, and declared that if and when he wages a new war in the Middle East, he’ll do so via 91联盟彩票开户 and without Congressional approval. And just in case you were still clinging to a tiny shred of hope that there was anyone left in the administration who knew his or her ass from his or her elbow, and could serve as a proverbial “adult in the room” during a conflict with Iran, the Department of Defense laid that question rest Monday, when it accidentally told Iraq it was pulling out of the region—a position they reversed within minutes.
In a letter sent to Iraqi Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir, Marine Brig. Gen. William Seely wrote: “Sir, in due deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi Parliament and the Prime Minister, [the Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve] will be repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement.” The letter, which came one day after the the Iraqi Parliament called for the U.S. removal, concluded: “We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure.”
The problem, of course, is that apparently the letter was a draft that was never meant to be sent. In an extremely vague statement, Defense Secretary Mark Esper that “We are re-positioning forces throughout the region number one. Beyond that with regard to the letter which I’ve read once, I can’t tell you the veracity of that letter and I can tell you what I’ve read. That letter is inconsistent of where we are right now.” Later, during an impromptu question-and-answer session with reporters, Army Gen. Mark Milley the missive “was a draft, it was a mistake, it was unsigned, it should not have been released.” Milley added that he had just spoken with Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, about it, and that McKenzie had “used other words that were a little more colorful than mistake.” (“Colossal fuckup” comes to mind, as does “the kind of shit I’d expect from the president’s dumbass sons.”)
The “oops, our bad” comes after Trump ranted to reporters aboard Air Force One that if Iraq thought the U.S. was going to leave it alone, it had another thing coming. “We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s [in Iraq],” Trump explained, Sunday night, presumably foaming at the mouth. “It cost billions of dollars to build—long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it…. If they do ask us to leave,” he added, we won’t do it on “a very friendly basis. We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
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