Iran After Suleimani: 7 Ways to View The Crisis

The U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Suleimani sparked immediate fears of war. The risks of a disastrous miscalculation are obvious, from goading Iran into speeding up its nuclear weapons program, to a forced withdrawal of American forces from Iraq and the re-emergence of ISIS.

But the audacious attack against Iran's most experienced military strategist may weaken the regime and force Iranian leaders to curb their aggression. Both may viewed as significant achievements. "Iran appears to be standing down," said President Trump, five days after the killing. 

In this episode, Jim and Richard discuss seven tools that help us understand the significance of what happened. They include: Watch out for scare tactics by both sides of the debate; Don't take mass protests at face value; Read a broad range of opinions from different sources; Beware of simple answers; Understand the wisdom of "I don't know", and just because Trump acted doesn't mean he was wrong.

Neither Richard nor Jim are experts on the Middle East, and they can't predict how this crisis will change the world. But as longtime journalists, they are experts at how to organize information and do research. 

This week's recommendations: Both Jim and Richard often read editorials and opinion pieces by writers they disagree with. Jim pays attention to the left-wing magazine, Mother Jones and the progressive writer Matt Taibbi, while Richard's daily read includes the editorials in The Wall Street Journal. 

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