MSNBC Distraught U.S. Strike Killed Head of Iranian Quds Force

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As news broke that President Trump had ordered a targeted strike in Iraq against Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Quds Forces, the liberal media where aghast Trump would take action against a killer of American troops and innocence. During the primetime pearl-clutching on MSNBC’s The Last Word, a panel of journalists and former Obama administration officials were busy suggesting there was no plan and “if” Soleimani deserved what he got, Trump was the “wrong” president to dish it out.

Towards the end of the show, host Lawrence O’Donnell basically went around the room and had his panel of lefties quickly reiterate their gripes about the strike that they made throughout the show.

Referencing a “hotline” between the Obama administration and the radical Iran regime, O’Donnell turned to NBC international correspondent Cal Perry and lamented how “it seems like there’s no hotline to anyone in Iran now.” Perry worried about the people in Iran waking up scared:

No. And I think it's worth mentioning we are, of course, mindful of U.S. troops in the field. But as the sun comes up in Iran and it is 7:00 a.m. there now, it is worth mentioning and it is worth remembering that millions of people in Iran and in Syria and in Lebanon and in Israel are waking up this morning, very, very scared in a region that seems to be one step closer to another war, Lawrence.

I think you'll see Qasem Soleimani treated as a martyr and treated as a hero of his country, which is not how we Americans see him. But you can certainly expect the Iranian regime to use this for all the propaganda value they can,” explained former Obama Middle East advisor Daniel Benaim.

 

 

From there, O’Donnell went to Daily Beast columnist Jonathan Alter, who was skeptical that Soleimani needed to be dealt with. So, he posed this supposed thought experiment:

Let's assume for a minute that he was at the Baghdad airport and deserved this, okay. Let's just stipulate that. Let's just say maybe it was the right decision to take him out. But you have in that case right decision, wrong commander in chief.

And I personally have no confidence that this particular commander-in-chief can do that,” Alter bitterly declared. “So we have a guy who is driving down the highway at 100 miles an hour going through the guardrails. He was going through guardrails here in the United States. Now he's going through guardrails internationally. And we do not know what the wreckage is going to be.

Speaking on what “the next stage of this story” will be (as posed by O’Donnell), NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell was fearful that the President and the military didn’t have a plan to deal with the fallout from the strike in terms of retaliation:

Interestingly, Israel had many opportunities to take Soleimani out and did not for fear of retaliation, for fear of what a cultural figure he was throughout the Middle East. So, I fear retaliation. And as others have suggested, at the time and place of Iran's choosing, which could even reach over the waters to the United States. Grave concerns that there is no plan, that there is no policy, that this is another one-off act, perhaps, well, justified by Soleimani's career of murder and terrorism, but one that has not been well thought and well planned.

O’Donnell gave the last word to former Obama State Department official Wendy Sherman, asking her to make the case “against taking out this general this way.” “The case against taking him out is because of the retaliation, because of how he is seen in the Middle East,” she warned. “So, this will increase the nationalism and it will increase the retaliation.”

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

MSNBC’s The Last Word
January 2, 2020
10:56:15 p.m. Eastern

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Cal Perry, it seems like there’s no hotline to anyone in Iran now.

CAL PERRY: No. And I think it's worth mentioning we are, of course, mindful of U.S. troops in the field. But as the sun comes up in Iran and it is 7:00 a.m. there now, it is worth mentioning and it is worth remembering that millions of people in Iran and in Syria and in Lebanon and in Israel are waking up this morning, very, very scared in a region that seems to be one step closer to another war, Lawrence.

O’DONNELL: Daniel, what do you expect to see in news coverage what we will see, literally see in Iran tomorrow?

DANIEL BENAIM (Obama ME policy adviser): I think you'll see Qasem Soleimani treated as a martyr and treated as a hero of his country, which is not how we Americans see him. But you can certainly expect the Iranian regime to use this for all the propaganda value they can. Inside Iran, across the region, and in Iraq, where the Iraqis are just caught in between America and Iran and feeling trampled under these big dogs at the moment. As you can expect Iran to try to use this for propaganda value everywhere.

O’DONNELL: And Jonathan Alter, one thing we are sure of is that this President won't be handling the aftermath of this publicly the way any other president would.

JONATHAN ALTER: Right. I think that's what's maybe most frightening about it. Let's assume for a minute that he was at the Baghdad airport and deserved this, okay. Let's just stipulate that. Let's just say maybe it was the right decision to take him out. But you have in that case right decision, wrong commander in chief. So you need somebody at the helm who can navigate skillfully an extraordinarily complex set of events that he has now set in motion.

And I personally have no confidence that this particular commander-in-chief can do that. So we have a guy who is driving down the highway at 100 miles an hour going through the guardrails. He was going through guardrails here in the United States. Now he's going through guardrails internationally. And we do not know what the wreckage is going to be.

O’DONNELL: Andrea Mitchell, what are you looking at as the next stage of this story?

ANDREA MITCHELL: Well, there is going to be a lot of claiming of credit for this. The President with his flag tweet has certainly made this a U.S. versus Iran event, if it weren't already from the claim of responsibility for this as a defensive act, they say.

Interestingly, Israel had many opportunities to take Soleimani out and did not for fear of retaliation, for fear of what a cultural figure he was throughout the Middle East. So, I fear retaliation. And as others have suggested, at the time and place of Iran's choosing, which could even reach over the waters to the United States. Grave concerns that there is no plan, that there is no policy, that this is another one off act, perhaps, well, justified by Soleimani's career of murder and terrorism, but one that has not been well thought and well planned.

O’DONNELL: Wendy, on that point that Andrea just mentioned. Israel certainly had the capacity to do this, they chose not to. Israel is a bold actor in the region. They're not timid about making the decisions that may make. Review for us quickly the case they make against taking out this general this way.

WENDY SHERMAN: The case against taking him out is because of the retaliation, because of how he is seen in the Middle East. He is not loved by all the Iranian people, but among the politicians in Iran, he is a cult figure and he’s used to really pull the country together. So, this will increase the nationalism and it will increase the retaliation.

NB Daily Foreign Policy Middle East Iran Iraq Conspiracy Theories Labeling Cable Television MSNBC The Last Word Video Cal Perry Lawrence O'Donnell Andrea Mitchell Donald Trump Qasem Soleimani

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