Trump's Iranian Justification Eroding by the Minute

Talking congressional oversight, the Bernie resurgence, and the death of Neil Peart on the Reason Roundtable podcast


This week's Reason Roundtable podcast picks up where last week's left off: Iran. Peter Suderman, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, and Matt Welch discuss the administration's ever-shifting storyline, flickers of principled opposition/oversight in Congress, and playground-style argumentation for war.

Then, straight oughtta this morning's headline, the gang assesses the import of Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) leaving of the presidential race and the possible meanings of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) continuing to rise in the polls ahead of Tuesday night's debate. There are also mentions of the Academy Award nominations, "hand-wavy pay-fors," and the passing of Rush drummer/lyricist Neil Peart.

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music credit: "Lurking," by Silent Partner

Relevant links from the show:

"More Holes in the 'Imminent Threat' Story on Soleimani," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Escalation Breeds Escalation, in Iran and Beyond," by Bonnie Kristian

"No War With Iran, House Tells Trump. Next Up: Finally Forbidding Military Force in Iraq?" by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Republican Rep. Thomas Massie Signs On to House Bill Ending War in Iraq," by Scott Shackford

"Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, and Lindsey Graham Try to War-Demagogue Like It's 2004," by Matt Welch

"Cory Booker, Who Urged Democratic Unity, Drops Out of Presidential Race," by Billy Binion

"Curb Your Enthusiasm's Gavin Polone on Hollywood Hypocrites, Bad Film Subsidies, and the Future of the Industry," by Zach Weissmueller

"Neil Peart, Champion of Individualism," by Christian Britschgi

"Future Nobel Laureate Warns: The Antichrist Is Coming!" by Jesse Walker

NEXT: Is Trump Winning the Middle East or Doubling Down on Previous Failures?

Iran War Donald Trump Rand Paul Mike Lee Cory Booker Bernie Sanders Election 2020 The Reason Roundtable Reason Podcast

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35 responses to “Trump's Iranian Justification Eroding by the Minute

  1. Keep covering this, Reason. #TrumpIran just might surpass #TrumpUkraine as the biggest scandal in world history, like #TrumpUkraine surpassed #TrumpRussia.


    1. TDS is a eye-roller, but TIS (Trump Idolization Syndrome) is just embarrassing to watch.

      1. It’s like your comments

  2. “Look, Admiral Yamamoto wasn’t planning any imminent offensive operations against US forces; he was just flying down to inspect Japanese defenses and coordinate strategy. There was no reason to target him specifically.”

    1. I didn’t realize we are at war with Iran. I must have missed that.

      1. We weren’t at war with Japan until they bombed Pearl Harbor

        1. Presumably, had we killed Yamamoto prior to Pearl Harbor we wouldn’t have been at war with Japan either.

          *Starts furiously scribbling out plot lines to ‘The Man In The High Shiro’ to sell to Amazon.*

          1. i’m *really* enjoying that series.

          2. I’m pretty sure you know this, but Yamamoto was strongly opposed to the Pearl Harbor strike. But, it wasn’t his call to make, and instead of resigning or falling on his sword (literally) he decided to be a good sailor and plan the best possible strike.

            War was going to happen with Japan the moment the US stopped selling them oil and scrap metal.

            1. He did threaten to resign. But only if they didn’t follow his plan.

            2. “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

      2. The 600 dead American servicemen and women from Iranian supplied IEDs didn’t miss it.

        I am delighted that the American Left has decided to make this dead Iranian general their personal martyr. Please, keep telling the public how much you disapprove of the US killing a guy who oversaw the effort to kill hundreds of US soldiers.

      3. I didn’t realize we are at war with Iran. I must have missed that.

        So, which of these did you miss:

        A) That Soleimani was an Iranian general?
        B) That Soleimani was the commander of military forces that killed Americans and attacked a US Embassy?

  3. The sad part is Reason isn’t embarrassed by this angle yet.

    1. It’s Welch and Suderman.
      Trump could cure cancer and those two dishonest fucks would accuse him of stealing jobs.
      Lately the Jacket hasn’t been much better either.

      1. They’re just doing what the Kochs told them to do…trash Trump at any cost because he’s not for open borders and letting China do whatever they want.

        Let’s face it, if you’re a journalist these days your career options aren’t exactly limitless. So when the guy who pays your salary tells you what he wants you to write, you write it. And if you want a job at any other news outlet down the road besides Fox (and want to get invited to the cool kid cocktail parties), those articles had better be anti-Trump.

        Basically Reason is just another establishment voice these days because these guys are too old to try and start a new career,

  4. All journalistic institutions (except Breitbart) eventually get taken over by America-hating Leftists.

    Reason is no exception.

    1. If you wanted the probability of the inclusion of your organization in every discussion to approach 1 as the discussion went on, Godwin’s Law becomes a guide.

    2. Robert Conquest’s 2nd Law of Politics:
      2) Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

      The Left is after power and they mean it. The Long March Through the Institutions is a conscious strategy of the Left, whether recognized by name or not.

      The Left took over US institutions by practicing relentless in group preference and out group attack. The Right will continue to get rolled until they start fighting back *in kind*.

  5. the chair-to-chair shot looks ridiculous.

  6. The use of the word “imminent” is either a show of ignorance or mendacity. The War Powers Resolution in no way requires there be an “imminent” threat for POTUS to use military force. There are 3 cases where POTUS may use military force:
    1) after a declaration of war by Congress,
    2) specific statutory authority (an AUMF)
    3) a national emergency created by attack on the US, its possessions or territories, or its armed forces.

    Attacks on US embassies absolutely falls under #3.

    1. As a matter of fact, the real importance of the War Powers Resolution isn’t in constraining POTUS from a single action. It is to prevent an extended military involvement without Congressional approval.

    2. When you don’t have a *real* argument, you gnaw on a red herring.

      Soleimani’s job for a couple of decades has been to kill Americans, our allies, and anyone else who thwarts the power of the Iranian mullahs in the Middle East.

      Don’t care what was imminent and what wasn’t. Don’t care if he was on vacation from murder. Don’t care if he was mulling retirement. All irrelevant. His continued pattern of murder and attempted murder of Americans justified offing him.

      We’ve let Iran get away with proxy attacks for decades. We should have hit them, and hit them *harder*, long ago.

      Another great addition to the Trump Doctrine. No more simply taking proxy attacks on the chin. You hit us with your proxies, we hit *you* back 10 times as hard.


      1. Trump’s a counterpuncher. He’s nice to you until you’re not nice to him, and when you take a swing at him, he looks to break your ribs and give you a concussion.

        And that’s how politics is fought by the winners.

        1. Deterrence creates peace.
          Appeasement invites war.
          Pacifism invites slavery.

  7. Trump put out (and deleted) a tweet that said “Eminent” instead of imminent. I am sure next week’s podcast will cover this.

    1. I’m Slim Shady, yes I’m the real Shady
      All you other Slim Shadys are just imitating
      So won’t the real Slim Shady please stand up
      Please stand up, please stand up?
      ‘Cause I’m Slim Shady, yes I’m the real Shady
      All you other Slim Shadys are just imitating
      So won’t the real Slim Shady please stand up
      Please stand up, please stand up?

  8. Ringing your hands over an Iranian terrorist who has been on a murderous rampage across the middle east for the last twenty years seems a little bit stupid, actually a lot stupid. Killing him should have been done about 18 years ago.

    He was an enemy combatant in Iraq (not Iran). He was a legitimate military target.

    1. Heading an officially designated terrorist group. As soon as he walked into any country where the U.S. was cleared for military action (e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria) he was a legal go for targeting. The President was fully within his legitimate authority to issue a kill order, imminent danger or not.

      And it’s not like the guy was on a diplomatic mission meeting with Iraqi officials. The other guys in the convoy were also IRGC officers with a history of terrorist activities.

  9. Last week you claimed it was a knee jerk reaction. This week you claim it was planned 7 months ago but never revisit your original assertion.

    I guess that’s the level of analysis we get here. I wonder what the excuse will be next week, and what will be forgotten.

  10. What the ACTUAL fuck, Reason.
    Just embarrassing.

  11. Situation would be different from what we are shown and Iran might suffer further. Oil from Waterways could make it different

  12. The only negative side to the downfall of cable television is that too many of the people who used to watch County Music Television are now posting comments on Reason. Buy these folks a Roku so that these Trump zealots will have something to do with their free time other than leader-worship.