The Angle

The Angle: The Forever War Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on the killing of Qassem Soleimani, war with Iran, and the perils of universal health care.

We’ve learned nothing: With the assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s second-most-important leader and the most powerful military figure in the Middle East, there’s no longer any ambiguity about our position with Iran. We are at war, and even though there doesn’t seem to have been any strategy behind this move, we shouldn’t underestimate its devastating consequences in any way, as Fred Kaplan writes. And in case you were wondering how this decision is resonating with the right, Aaron Mak looks at how conservative media from the Daily Wire to Fox News is reacting to the decision.

Impunity: Meanwhile, Joshua Keating examines how Soleimani’s killing, which was conducted under President Donald Trump’s orders, follows in the line of Dubya and Obama, both of whom used the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force to carry out multiple aggressive military campaigns over the years against forces only somewhat related to al-Qaida. The question now worth asking: Does this mean the U.S. president has the right to kill anybody he would like to?

Covering all bases: Health care reform remains one of the top priorities of the 2020 election cycle, but no one can seem to agree on the right approach. For one, Pete Buttigieg’s plan works with private insurers but also offers a public option with forced enrollment, making for policy that some say is politically poisonous and others say will be too costly for the average citizen. Jordan Weissmann explains the controversy as well as why there may never be a universal health care plan that will satisfy all voters.

For fun: The deliciously petty note T.S. Eliot left for future readers of his private letters.

Just imagine: If Eliot hadn’t married his second wife, we would never have gotten Cats,