Two weeks ago, President Trump ordered the U.S. military to fire a war shot without Congressional authorization or any imminent threat, assassinating Iran’s second-highest government official and leading to their retaliatory rocket attack on American troops in Iraq.
After the rockets landed, Trump said that “no Americans were harmed” by the Iranian volley aimed at Ayn Al Asad Air Base where 1,500 soldiers are stationed just over a hundred miles from Baghdad, and at one other base.
However, we now know that Donald Trump’s claim was far from the truth.
In fact, there were 11 U.S. casualties of war from the retaliatory strike which President Trump falsely described as “So far, so good” in a tweet as American soldiers were under heavy fire. Defense One broke the news that there were numerous casualties:
Nearly one dozen American troops were wounded in Iran’s Jan. 8 missile attack on Iraq’s al-Asad air base.
This week, they were medically evacuated to U.S. military hospitals in Kuwait and Landstuhl, Germany, to be treated for traumatic brain injury and to undergo further evaluation, several U.S. defense and military officials have confirmed to Defense One.
In a front-page story on Fox News website, they reported that a Central Command spokesman said the 11 servicemembers were suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from exposure to the missile impacts.
“A traumatic brain injury caused by an explosion or blast can be more complex compared with a TBI from other causes,” says Brainline, a website from WETA-TV which is the flagship station of PBS, located in Washington, D.C. “In fact, explosive devices can produce multi-trauma injuries in an individual rarely seen outside combat… Blast injuries result from the complex pressure wave generated by an explosion, an instantaneous rise in atmospheric pressure that is much higher than normal for humans to withstand. This is called a blast over-pressurization wave”
Military officials were aware that some troops were suffering from concussion-symptoms by as early as this Monday when the New York Times reported their description of the Iranian attack as “like a scene from an action movie.”
For unexplained reasons, American military spokesmen, nor Donald Trump bothered telling anyone about the injuries which ultimately required specialty hospitalization outside of Iraq.
“Out of an abundance of caution,” said Col. Myles Caggins, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, to Defense One, “Some service members were transported from Al Asad Air Base, Iraq to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, others were sent to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, for follow-on screening.”
The entire sequence of events began with a single Iraqi-American defense contractor killed in Iraq. Trump responded from Mar-a-Lago with maximum force, launching a rocket attack inside Iraq against Iranian-backed militias without consulting with that nation’s government in what they deemed a violation of their sovereignty. In response, those militias assaulted the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad’s heavily guarded Green Zone after Iraqi soldiers essentially let them pass, although no Americans were injured or killed in the siege, which lasted a little over a day while troops poured into the compound.
Again from Mar-a-Lago and not the White House situation room, President Trump took the fateful step of firing shots in anger at both the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force leader Qasem Suleimani who died in a drone attack at Baghdad International Airport while traveling there with diplomatic permission from Iraq and in a failed attack on a top Iranian commander in Yemen.
Iran retaliated promptly with the attack that injured 11 Americans and also shot down a Ukrainian civilian airliner in an accidental takedown with a pair of missiles, reminiscent of the U.S. Vincennes shootdown of an Iranian civilian airliner in 1988. Both Iran’s Foreign Minister and Canada’s Prime Minister, whose nation suffered grievous civilian casualties, placed some of the blame for the downing of Ukraine Airlines flight 752 from Tehran to Kyiv which took 176 lives, including two newlywed Iranian-Canadian couples.
President Trump materially failed to disclose a significant number of American casualties in the hostilities with Iran that he started without justification or Congressional notification or approval.
Now, almost a dozen U.S. servicemen are in hospitals for possible complex brain injuries caused by the Iranian retaliation which they lawfully launched under the Geneva Convention of war.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition