Trump’s decision today to not immediately strike back at Iran does not end the war threat whatsoever. Trump’s bellicose, threatening and offensive speech will keep tensions in the region boiling hot.
By framing his decision to not militarily escalate at this moment because of the lack of American casualties, Trump has created his own 'red line' — the deaths of U.S. soldiers — which if crossed could send the U.S. and the whole region hurtling towards war. That remains a very distinct possibility given that many thousands of U.S. troops remain in Iraq against the will of the people and government.
We cannot forget that Trump assassinated, alongside Qasim Soleimani, the leader of a powerful militia integrated into the Iraqi state, which has also promised retaliation.
The anti-war movement that came into the streets in nearly 90 cities on less than two days notice last weekend is a reflection of the broad sentiment of the American people. The endless wars in the Middle East have caused massive death and destruction in the region, the deaths of thousands of U.S. service members wasted trillions of dollars that could have gone to meeting basic needs and necessary infrastructure. The wars have benefited no one but corporate profiteers and military contractors, and along the way led to the deaths of thousands of U.S. service members sent to kill and die in Iraq and Afghanistan. The continued U.S. occupation of Iraq makes that country, the region and the world — including the United States — less safe.