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The dust is settling somewhat over the latest and strangest act of imperial hubris in the Middle East, and a few things are becoming clearer though no less strange.
Trump held a slightly bizarre presser at his vacation resort in Florida, wherein he tried to assure the media he had no wish to provoke either war with or regime change in Iran, saying
We took action last night to stop a war. We do not take action to start a war."
Even the slavering warhound, Pompeo was taking a more conciliatory tone, and the word 'de-escalation' began featuring prominently in his Twitter feed.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and I discussed the decisive defensive action @ realDonaldTrump employed in Baghdad to protect American lives. I emphasized that de-escalation is the United States' principal goal.