In the space of four hours yesterday, the Medes and the Persians took Dire Revenge™ for the death of Qassem Soleimani. Anyone who has ever been involved in actual military operations is laughing their asses off today.
The Experts® who had been on the teevee telling us that nothing was going to happen because blah blah blah, whatever it was, were left not really red-faced, since there's no shame among them, but maybe a little less sure in their convictions. I don't think the news networks stop payment on their checks, but they probably should think about it. I know those Expert® opinions don't come cheap.
It all started out scary enough. A senior US source told Fox News, who presumably told everybody else, that they were under missile attack "all over the country!" That turned out to be Ain al-Asad Airbase, Taiji, and Irbil. No Kirkuk, Mosul, Baghdad, not even Basra or al-Kut.
The IRGC said they were going to attack any regional state that became a platform for US aggression, which meant pretty well everybody in the region with the possible exception of Oman. I think they had fantasies of showering Dubai with missiles, since they mentioned them by name. That's assuming they could hit Dubai, of course. They did hit Saudi Aramco a while back, but the missile came in from the north. Maybe they were in sight of the place when they launched. They haven't really hit much else.
They did hit Ain al-Abas Airbase, which is about the size of Vermont, and two missiles did hit Irbil, which is even bigger. Khamenei was right there in the bunker, directing operations. If I'm ever in a military operation again, I sure hope the Pope or maybe the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Dalai Lama is running things.
The Persians, or maybe it was the Medes (who can tell these days?) crowed that they had launched "tens" of missiles. Actually it was about fifteen, which would be 1.5 tens, according to the CENTCOM guy. Four were duds. Of the remainder, one hit an open field in the middle of nowhere, one landed in an open field in Irbil and gave up the ghost without going kaboom.
The US and presumably the Iraqi commands were in heightened readiness after Soleimani departed this Vale of Tears for a Warmer Place. We can assume the intel people were hard at work. The sirens went off in plenty of time. Everybody headed for the bunkers and counted the 500kg explosions. One tweet did say there was a plane or two damaged. Guess the Iraqis will have to buy replacements. They're the ones who reported the damage, so I'm guessing they were theirs.
Nobody was hurt in “Operation Martyr Soleimani.” Or maybe it was "Operation Fierce Revenge." I'm sure the grimaces were fearsome, whatever they decided to call it. They announced both.
There were two waves of attacks, not that the guys playing pinochle in the bunkers really noticed. The waves weren't really well-defined. The IRGC did announce that if there was any retaliation, any at all, they would launch the third wave and destroy Haifa and Dubai, and maybe Copenhagen or someplace like that. Someplace with a Jewish Community Center anyway. We'd really be sorry.
The White House said that President Trump was going to address the nation, then changed its mind so the Iranians could stew until tomorrow, which would be today. Robert De Niro suggested Twitter should suspend Trump's account for getting us into another war. Tucker Carlson was in high dudgeon on the teevee, I'm not too sure over what. I lost interest pretty quick and changed the channel to CNN, where Fredo Cuomo sounded more reasonable, almost respectful of the Commander-in-Chief.
IRGC claimed thirty American casualties to none of theirs. Since they were back in Iran pushing buttons, nowhere near the impact zone, it's not surprising none of them were hurt. Everybody else said there were no American casualties, which is why they still have Qom.
Singapore Airlines was first, but they were followed by a bunch of others, diverting from Iranian airspace. Ukraine didn't get the memo, and one of their planes with 180 souls on board crashed in an enormous fireball on takeoff from Tehran International. The Boeing 737 had "technical problems," stemming from an antiaircraft missile in the starboard engine.
On social media, whatever they use, IRGC said they took out "command and control infrastructure, detection, radar, electronic warfare and, more so, the American brains, eyes, and ears in the region." These consisted of dirt and maybe some concrete when they damaged the Iraqi planes. Their own planes, a collection of F4's, F5's, F14's, biplanes, triplanes, blimps, and dirigibles, took to the skies. A half dozen American F35's took off from Dubai. The pilots probably waved to the antiques as they flew rings around them.
After that... Nothing happened. The war was over. At 9:37 pm, four hours after the whole thing started, Iran surrendered to the UN Security Council. Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, tweeted:
Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched. As I wended my weary way up the stairs to go to bed, I could hear the Experts® on the teevee stating with certainty that the missiles had missed intentionally and our guys were just lucky to be alive.
We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.
And Trump is dumb.