Monday January 06, 2020
The Great Unravelling
“‘We took a bad guy off the battlefield,’ [Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] said, on CNN's State of the Union. ‘There is less risk today to American forces in the region as a result of that attack.’ Yet nothing seems further from the truth. Some form of conflict between the United States and the Islamic Republic, overt or covert, seems more possible now than it has at any time since the 1979 Revolution. The U.S. investment in neighboring Iraq—thousands of American lives, hundreds of billions of dollars in American treasure, decades of American diplomacy—appears to be unravelling, with rippling effects across the Middle East. Diplomatic missions in other Middle Eastern and South Asian countries are on virtual lockdown, with American citizens urged to evacuate Iraq and Iran and lie low elsewhere in the region.
”Instead of being a dead bad guy, Suleimani appears almost as potent in his ‘martyrdom’ as he was in life. His death has already spurred anti-American sentiment across the Middle East. It has unified Iran's divided society. And it has also precipitated the first action to wind down or end the American military presence in the region—Suleimani's primary mission since he took over the Quds Force, in 1998.“
Robin Wright, ”The Breathtaking Unravelling of the Middle East After Qassem Suleimani's Death," in The New Yorker