The Iranian missile attack on the al-Asad airbase that the United States shares with the Iraqi army thankfully left nobody dead, but it appears the early casualty reports from the Trump administration were misleadingly optimistic.
While Trump bragged that ”we suffered no casualties — all of our soldiers are safe — and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases” shortly after the attack, the Pentagon has now admitted that 34 U.S. troops have suffered concussions or traumatic brain injuries from the missile barrage provoked by the murder of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by the United States.
.@ChiefPentSpox on Iraq injuries:
– 34 US troops diagnosed with concussions or TBIs;
– 8 sent to Germany now in the US for more treatment;
– 9 sent to Germany still being treated there;
– 1 sent to Kuwait and then back to Iraq;
– 16 diagnosed in Iraq, returned to duty there.
— Abbie Bennett (@AbbieRBennett) January 24, 2020
Earlier this week, President Trump callously downplayed the severity of these injuries, saying that “No, I heard that they had headaches, and a couple of other things, but I would say, and I can report, it’s not very serious.”
UPDATE: The Pentagon now reports that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries from the Iranian missile strike on U.S. forces in Iraq. Earlier this week, Trump dismissed TBIs as 'headaches.' Trump originally claimed that no U.S. troops had suffered injuries. pic.twitter.com/qv54WJOTnH
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 24, 2020
From complaining that the NFL is now “too soft” from all the player safety rules to suggesting that only “weak” veterans get PTSD, Donald Trump has a notable track record of insensitivity to head injuries, apparently seeing them as unmanly and a sign of weakness.
But anyone with a basic understanding of human physiology can tell you how damaging the effects of head trauma can be, and it’s deeply disturbing to see the President of the United States apparently lying about the injuries suffered by our soldiers and then downplaying the severity of their injuries.
Once again, our cowardly president refuses to take responsibility for the harm that he directly caused with his reckless and unnecessary decision to provoke a rival power for what appears to have been an elaborate effort to distract the nation from his impeachment trial.
The troops that put their lives on the line to defend America’s interests overseas deserve better than this.