Why did Donald Trump authorize the assassination of General Qassem Suleimani? Originally we heard was that Trump had been offered several alternatives for responding to an attack on an American Iraqi base where an American contractor had been killed. The most extreme alternative was the assassination – so extreme advisors thought it would drive Trump back to something more reasonable.

We don’t know. Maybe that’s not the real story.  Maybe Trump didn’t consult with Congress because attacks on one or four American embassies were imminent and needed to be stopped. Maybe Trump was waiting for an opportunity; it turns out, he had previously authorized targeting Suleimani six months earlier. Maybe the reasons were frivolous. Trump told an informal group that Suleimani had been saying bad things about the United States.

Whatever the story, the immediate cause was the attack on an Iraqi base and the killing of an American contractor – Nawres Waleed Hamid. From Sacramento, California. A naturalized American citizen. Born in Iraq. Someone who, if he and his family had sought to immigrate to the United States in 2019, say, would have been rejected based on Trump’s ban of immigrants from certain countries (informally known as his Muslim ban), a ban now approved by the US Supreme Court.

What we do know.  Finally. Trump is defending a Muslim immigrant. No exactly defending him. Avenging his death.