Even though I can be prone to magical thinking at times, I haven't gone down that rabbit hole deep enough to really believe that if I'd written a blog post with the above title a day or two ago, Iran wouldn't have fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at a U.S. base in Iraq today.
But since I spent some time this afternoon prior to the attack thinking about what I wanted to say in an Iran, if you're listening... post, I might as well start off by summarizing my advice to Iran -- some of which still makes sense even after the missile attack.
I realize you're deeply pissed off at President Trump. Which puts you in the company of a heck of a lot of Americans, including me. It makes sense that Trump's order to kill Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani fills you with rage.
But that's what Trump does all the time. Talk crazy and act crazy. He loves to get reactions from both people and nations. So I'm hoping you'll avoid the temptation to respond to Suleimani's death with your own killings. You can't win a Crazy War with Trump.
So think clearly and strategically.
My advice to you, Iran, is to focus on something that is attainable, doesn't require bloodshed, and is guaranteed to make Trump exceedingly angry. Best of all, perhaps, it would meet with the approval of most Americans. It is:
Help orchestrate the complete withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq. This is a dream of yours. Go for it.
The Iraqi parliament already has called for the withdrawal of American forces. The acting prime minister of Iraq wants this to happen. And the US Command in Baghdad sent the prime minister a letter indicating that the withdrawal was happening (though now the letter is being called a mistake, which is as believable as all the other lies the Trump administration engages in).
Getting the United States out of Iraq would be a big victory for Iran. Consider this as payback for Suleimani's killing. Thanks for listening, Iran.
Well, the breaking news on CNN and MSNBC is that the ballistic missiles landed in an unoccupied part of the base, so apparently there were no casualties. And maybe even no damage, except to the desert.
It seems to me, as well as others I've been listening to, that this was intentional by Iran. Iran wanted to retaliate for Suleimani's killing in a way that didn't escalate the conflict between Iran and the United States into all-out war.
Trump has responded in what is, for him, an unusually measured way.
“All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq,” Trump tweeted. “Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”
Reports are that Iranian leaders have said that if the United States doesn't conduct further attacks against Iran, they will consider that this immediate conflict is over. Hopefully Trump will understand that the best thing is to deescalate this crisis, not inflame the situation by bombing Iranian targets.
This is what a wise president of the United States would do. Unfortunately, "wise" doesn't describe Donald Trump. So we'll just have to wait and see what Trump says in his statement tomorrow morning.
Since Trump has vowed to get our country out of foreign entanglements, and Iran hasn't done anything to justify an attack against them, Trump should realize that he's got nothing to gain and a lot to lose by dragging the United States into a war with Iran.
We might be able to destroy a lot of Iran's traditional military capability. However, almost certainly Iran still would be able to conduct massive cyberwarfare against our minimally prepared computer systems that control infrastructure, financial institutions, electrical grids, and such.
Thus there's lots of ways Iran could bring a war to our shores. Which wouldn't be great for Trump's re-election chances. This is a moment for wise minds to prevail. Which I'd be a lot more confident of if Donald Trump didn't occupy the Oval Office.