Aside from the million or so
people at his funeral yesterday,
everyone else agrees that Soleimani was a bad guy, responsible for death and
destruction around the world. He oversaw attacks
on U.S. soldiers in Iraq, he helped prop up
Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and he was
the executive producer of Cats, all horrible things. (laughter) But as bad as Soleimani was, not everyone agrees
that killing him like this was a good idea. The same way
things only got worse when America got rid
of Saddam Hussein, or when America got rid
of Mu’ammar Gaddhafi, or when America got rid
of gluten. Because I don’t know
what it actually is. All I know is, once it was gone,
everything tasted like shit. So there are a lot of people. There are a lot of people
questioning Trump’s decision, and even some Republicans
are lashing out. MAN: Republican senator
Rand Paul said, “The killing of Soleimani
is the death of diplomacy with Iran.” You would have
to be brain-dead to believe that we tear up the agreement, we put an embargo on you,
and we kill your major general, and they’re just gonna crawl
back to the table and say, “What do you want, America?” Excuse me, Senator? How dare you suggest that America’s president
is brain-dead! -(laughter)
-That is so insulting! Mr. President, why don’t you
go ahead and educate this fool? MAN: President Trump
defended himself on Monday, saying the United States
is a lot safer now. (laughter, groaning) Okay, Rand Paul, I, like your barber,
owe you an apology. (laughter) Now, look, the truth is,
it’s not that surprising that Trump’s response is
so muddled and confusing because he’s Trump. What is interesting is how
the entire administration seems to be just as confused about
every aspect of this situation. For instance,
starting with the rationale for why they killed Soleimani
in the first place. The Trump administration
is scrambling to explain the two words
that led to all of this– “imminent threat.” Was the justification
this imminent threat? Chuck,
it’s-it’s never one thing. You-You’ve been at this
a long time. The American people are smart,
too. It’s never one moment,
it’s never one instance. It’s a collective. It’s a… It’s a full
situational awareness of risk. If you’re looking for imminence,
you needn’t look no further than the days that led up
to the strike that was taken
against Soleimani. When you say
the attacks were imminent, how imminent were they? Are we talking about days?
We talking about weeks? If you’re an American
in the region, days and weeks– this is not something
that’s relevant. (laughter) Okay, like, hold up, man. You can’t say
the threat is imminent, then when people ask
“How imminent?,” you’re like,
“Well, time is irrelevant.” (laughter) No, because that’s specifically
what “imminent” means. Like, he’s acting like we’re
crazy for asking a question. “An attack was imminent, okay?” It’s like, “Really, Pompeo?
How imminent?” “Geez, you guys are obsessed
with numbers! Get off my back, Rain Man!” So America is
on the cusp of war, and already,
the most basic question– Why are we doing it?–
has been unclear at best. But the fallout has been handled
just as clumsily, because remember,
Iraq’s government was so mad about this drone strike
happening on their soil that they asked America
to leave the country for good. Well, yesterday, the U.S. government made
two stunning announcements in the span
of a couple of hours. First, they were withdrawing
its troops from Iraq, and, second, forget that thing
that we first just said. MAN:
Adding to the confusion Monday, the Pentagon circulated
a letter announcing a withdrawal
of U.S. forces from Iraq. But the Pentagon later said there is no decision to leave
Iraq, and it was just a draft. Yeah, that’s right. The Pentagon
released an announcement saying they were pulling out
the troops, and then, they were like,
“Backsies!” I didn’t take my hand
off the piece. I didn’t take
my hand off the piece. That’s not the move. Like, how do you send out a draft military announcement
by mistake? They people control
nuclear weapons, and they can’t even handle
Microsoft Outlook. How do you do this, huh? It’s like, “All right,
it’s time to bomb Iran. “Oh, shit! I sent them
a referral code to Grubhub. Sorry, guys. Sorry, guys.” So it’s not clear
why the administration chose to kill Soleimani now,
and it’s not clear if the troops are leaving Iraq
or not. One thing’s for sure. They also don’t seem to know
what they would bomb next. The Trump administration
struggles to put out a cohesive message about how
the United States plans to respond
to Iran’s latest threat. MAN 2: The president is
threatening to strike 52 sites in Iran,
including cultural ones, which would violate
international law. Senior administration officials either publicly contradicted
Mr. Trump, or said that he had not said
what he said. The American people should know
that every target that we strike will be
a lawful target, and it will be a target designed
at the singular mission of protecting
and defending America. WOMAN: President Trump vowing
he’s prepared to strike back,
though he’s now backing down from threats to target
Iran’s cultural sites. We are,
according to various laws, uh, supposed to, uh, be very careful
with their cultural heritage. And you know what, if that’s
what the law is, I will– I like to obey the law. (laughter) What? “I like to obey the law”? No, you have to obey the law. Trump makes the law sound like it’s an optional topping
at Chipotle. Bitch, it’s the Geneva
Convention, not pico de gallo. -(laughter)
-“I like to obey the law.” But, like, come on,
how does this administration never seem to be
on the same page? Trump says
they’ll bomb cultural sites. His administration says
they won’t. Trump says he will.
They say he won’t. Now he says he won’t. It’s almost like
they have a group chat, but Trump never gets the message
because he’s on Android. -(laughter)
-That’s what it seems like. So, you know, the truth is, as much as we insult
the Trump administration, at least they’re learning from
America’s previous mistakes. Because in 2003,
the Bush administration had a plan to go into Iraq
but no exit strategy. So now the Trump administration
is like, “Ah, I see where we went wrong. This time, no entrance strategy.
Lesson learned.”