- Donald Trump has been accused of using the US-Iran conflict to draw attention away from his impeachment.
- His behavior after the strikes has drawn a lot of criticism.
- But that may be exactly what he wants.
After Iran admitted to accidentally shooting down a Ukranian passenger jet on its way out of Tehran, some Iranians turned on their own government – with the full support of Donald Trump.
Over the weekend, protestors reportedly chanted,
“They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here” and called for the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down.
Meanwhile, President Trump tweeted in support of the protests, warning Iranian leaders that “the World is watching.”
Donald Trump Takes Heat for Iran Plane Crash
Not everyone blames Iran, though.
On Monday morning, McCain said Donald Trump was ultimately to blame for the tragedy. He said Trump has destroyed world accomplishments and escalated tension in the region.
McCain isn’t alone in speculating that the airstrike was ordered in vain. The Wall Street Journal reported that “associates” of the president and his security team said Trump admitted his upcoming impeachment trial played a role in his decision to order the airstrikes.
Mr. Trump, after the strike, told associates he was under pressure to deal with Gen. Soleimani from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate, associates said.
Trump’s Behavior Prompts Outrage
On top of criticism for the airstrikes, Trump is also taking heat for threatening to violate international humanitarian law.
To scare Iran away from retaliating, he threatened to attack Iranian cultural sites, something that the international community’s accepted rules of engagement might label a war crime.
He also noted on Twitter that his tweets would serve as official notification of strikes, a snub to his duty to advise Congress before taking military action.
Trump’s behavior in the aftermath of the airstrikes has drawn a lot of criticism. But it’s worth noting that his bravado and impossibly cavalier attitude toward the situation in the Middle East has indeed redirected attention away from his impeachment.
Maybe even by design.
Although threatening to commit war crimes isn’t great for his image, it’s easier to explain away than some of the details from his impeachment case.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.