Pundits and politicians this week have been holding their breaths and trying to guess what will happen next, after the assassination of Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian elite Quds forces and a national icon.
Questions abound in the world media: how could Iraq’s sovereignty be compromised by a strike on its territory? Will the tensions escalate further or is there a diplomatic solution? How and when will the revenge strikes from Iran come? There are many other questions circulating in the diplomatic circles and the media.
As the three-day mourning period ends, the Iranian leadership is exploiting the funeral procession of their national icon.
There are no easy — or accurate — answers to any of those questions as the situation remains fluid.
To begin with, the US and in particular, in Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has taken over the White House. Crossing the Rubicon is not in President Trump’s style and strategy. Thus far, he has kept politicians and the media guessing while he teases his enemies with the illusion of brinksmanship.
It was not a Freudian slip when Pompeo answered in public that the president was in it [the decision] “reluctantly.” Today, Pompeo is replicating the role of Vice President Dick Cheney in the George W. Bush administration, who thirsted for the invasion of Iraq.