The assassination of Iranian hit man Qassem Soleimani has -- despite initial expectations -- become that very moment.
Iran, which has absolutely nothing to gain from open war with the US, wisely lobbed a volley of missiles in the vicinity US troops. Not *at* the troops, but in their vicinity.
This was a public-relations master stroke on the part of the Iranians. It gave them cover with their own war hawks ("see, we did *something*") and sent the message that they had the capability to hit us if they so desired BUT DIDN'T, and it made the next aggressive move by the US far more difficult for the world to accept.
Then, they made a serious mistake in accidentally shooting down an airliner full of innocents.
The next few hours are an opening for another master stroke, this time by President Trump, if he only grabs it. All he has to do is get up to the podium and propose a reconciliation:
Look, we have our differences with Iran. But the tragic loss of so many innocents on board Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 offers Iranians and Americans alike the possibility of taking this in a different direction.
First, I wish to apologize to the Iraqi people for the killing of Iraqi officials who were in the vicinity of our attack on Qassem Soleimani. We will study ways to more tightly target those who have committed atrocities, so that there is less chance of injury or death to those who should not pay the price for the sins of others.
Second, we are taking other measures also, that hopefully will allow our people to finally stop fighting each other.
I have ordered the full withdrawal of American forces from all of southern Iraq, and the dismantling and removal of all of our bases. There will remain a few soldiers as requested by the Kurdish government, but otherwise, the request of the Iraqi government will be honored.
Third, I am offering a complete end to all US-government sanctions on Iran, if the Iranian government will likewise de-escalate their activities against Americans and citizens of other nations:
-- Full normalization of relations between the US and Iran, and the reintroduction of embassies and consulates on each others' soil -- with full protection of our respective personnel.
-- Immediately release and end prosecution of any and all prisoners -- American or otherwise -- who have not committed any crimes of violence against any other individuals, and aggressively protect the rights of foreign visitors in Iran.
-- Repeal all barriers to trade with American citizens.
-- End all state harassment of religious and ethnic minorities and missionaries.
-- Cooperate with efforts to clear Arabian Sea and other regional waters of mines and sunken ships.
-- Cooperate with international police agencies to bring violent criminals to justice, wherever they may be found.
No Iranian should regard any American as an enemy. And no American should regard an Iranian as an enemy. The natural condition of people is to be friends and to do business with one another. It is time to let the quarrels of the past go. I am willing to try. If I fail, my successor will probably not extend this olive branch. There are many in both the United States and Iran, as well as in other countries, who profit handsomely from continued hostility between America and Iran. You and I have an opportunity to tell them "no!".
What say you, President Khamenei? The tragic loss of those on Flight 752 -- because of the fog of war -- has us staring into the abyss. Will Iran and American step back from the edge and once again become the friends we always should have been?
It's worth a try. And it could only succeed while the Iranian government is reeling from the blowback from their own mistake. That blowback will not last.
Unfortunately, it is likely neither Trump nor anyone else in the US government, including all of the Mickey Mouse Democrats who are only anti-war when it's not their gorilla in the hot seat, have the spine to do any such thing.
So as soon as the Iranians have the blowback under control, the window will close, the opportunity will be gone, and escalation will likely continue.
Vote Libertarian * 800-ELECT-US * http://www.LP.org
Written by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@gmail.com>, November, 2019. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.