'So far, so good!': Trump tweets out baffling message after Iranian attack
President Donald Trump sent out a disturbingly cheerful tweet Tuesday night after Iran's attacks targeting U.S. troops in Iraq.
"All is well!" he wrote. "Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning."
The tweet followed multiple reports indicating that the missiles launched at the Iraqi bases resulted in few if any American casualties. It was not clear if there were Iraqi casualties or if other members of the coalition forces were harmed.
It was a bizarre and disturbing response to a dramatic escalation of the ongoing U.S.-Iran conflict. In recent weeks, the attacks and counterattacks have already killed at least 28 people. But there might be an upside to Trump's baffling optimism. If Trump believes that the attacks, which were explicitly retaliation for the president's killing of top Iranian military leader Qassim Suleimani, were not that bad, he may not feel much need to escalate further. That may be all it takes to avoid a full-on war.
On the other hand, if he downplays the attacks too much, the Iranians might fear that their salvos weren't taken seriously.
"After Trump’s allies and members of Congress spent all night issuing somber statements and dire warnings, Trump starts with 'All is well!' and 'So far, so good!'" noted Politico's Kyle Cheney. "It’s the completely discordant tone from just about everyone else in Washington, Democrat or Republican, that is most jarring about this."
Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of Iran, put out a statement shortly before Trump's tweet announcing the end of the attacks.
"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," he wrote. "We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."