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Saturday, February 4, 2017

"The coming clash with Iran"

A friend sent this Pat Buchanan article yesterday. Buchanan, peacenik, is not the way he's generally perceived, but in the past couple decades he has in fact become one of the leading voices for America's withdrawal from the never-ending Middle East conflict.

In the article he outlines perfectly why a war with Iran would be unjustified, and gain us nothing but more enmity in the Muslim world. 

And, as Buchanan points out, one of the best things about Trump was that he didn't feel obliged to kowtow to Republican orthodoxy. And one of the most appealing ways he differed was to acknowledge that the Iraq War was a mistake from the start.

In fact, just a few days ago he said he wished Senators McCain and Graham would stop constantly trying to drag us into World War Three.

(It's a lot easier to tolerate a man of ego if he's also a man of peace.)

So why the recent saber rattling against Iran?

Is some of this tough talk an outgrowth of Trump's annoyance at the nuclear deal with Iran, where Obama and Kerry basically gave away everything in return for pretty much nothing? That "deal," and the subsequent $400 million ransom paid for those four Americans last August, obviously offended the businessman in Trump.

Is Trump somehow being unduly swayed by Israel? It's no secret they consider Iran their biggest threat.

And how much of this might be a matter of the generals on Trump's staff spoiling for hostilities simply because they are more militarily inclined?

In fairness to Trump, he did criticize the recent deal with Iran on several occasions during his campaign. So it's not as if he's completely changing his stance here. But the only outright military action he advocated had to do with ISIS.

Trump may succeed in protecting our borders, in bringing the crime rate down, and in helping the middle class. But if he gets us into an extended war with Iran, that will be his legacy. And it won't be a good one.


Steven said...

One of the things I liked about Trump was his more friendly attitude to Russia at a time when the media and political establishment in the west seemed to be becoming increasingly belligerent and confrontational. However, I don't really trust him to keep his cool with a country like Iran. Maybe Iran and others will sense that and so not ignore his red lines like they did with Obama.

High Arka said...

If (((his administration))) doesn't start a war with Iran, it won't be for lack of trying.

The U.S. wanted a war with Iran in the 1980s also. Because they were unable to get one, they built up Iraq and used it as a proxy to attack Iran. Maybe we'll see a similar version this time, where some black or Muslim proxy is employed. Keep an eye out for subtle news memes warning about Iran's diplomatic fracas with TBD.

As another throwback to the 1980s, Iraq's weakness compared to Iran led to the U.S. transferring chemical weapons to Iraq to make that decade's war more damaging. Unless a regional power other than Israel can be developed to be a suitable competitor to Iran, Trump may have to pull a Reagan and get some kind of nasty WMD in the hands of a suitable pawn. Hopefully whatever Arab tinpot dictator it is will remember how well those gifts to Saddam turned out for Saddam in the long run.

John Craig said...

High Arka --
Maybe I'm naive, but I've never seen Trump's administration as being ((((his administration)))). In fact, the primary reason the media has gone into such hysterics over him is because they sense that he represents the faintest stirrings of a white consciousness, something they want to destroy at all costs.

I know, his three older children all married Jewish, which would make it seem that he doesn't dislike them. But I've never gotten the sense that those feelings are reciprocated, in fact I've gotten the opposite impression. i'd never rule out that Israel is exercising it influence in some way the public doesn't see; but I sure don't see it with Trump.

That said, I can't explain the immediate escalation of hostilities with Iran.

High Arka said...

A good indication--not a complete one, because of how much "military aid" is not formally acknowledged--will be Trump's first budget. If he takes billions of dollars from American taxpayers, and transfers that money to Israel, we'll know that he's not some noble man who destroyed his own family in order to save us.

Like I've said before, I hope and pray that I find out later on you were right to have faith in him. Here's to you being correct!

John Craig said...

High Arka --
I don't think that number will change, it's sort of a "fixed cost" that all Presidents have to accept; to do otherwise is political suicide. Obama had a reputation for being the most Israel-unfriendly President in a while, but I don't think even he tried to eliminate that item from the budget either. (Although I have to say, I don't know.)

Yeah, I sure hope I'm right too. War with Iran would be a disaster. I got chills when I first heard of the saber rattling a couple days ago.

High Arka said...

That's an interesting way to put it. Do you feel that a nation which can't control who enters it, or who becomes a citizen, is still a nation? Similarly, do you feel that a nation whose (theoretical) leaders can't control who gets its money is still a nation?

Here's James Madison: "It is a settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute. The United States, while they wish for war with no nation, will buy peace with none."

How shameful that half a century of so-called "presidents," including the so-called "Israel-unfriendly" Obama (who bombed multiple countries for Israel while paying Israel billions of American dollars--how in the hell is that "unfriendly"?), have paid massive yearly tribute to that comparatively tiny little leech?

Since Trump has already been called a Nazi, and since he won the election, and since every single thing he does makes him get called a super-Hitler anyway, how could cutting aid to Israel and letting American taxpayers keep their own money be "political suicide"? The only explanation is that Trump, as he's said explicitly for years, is pro-Jewish and pro-Israel.

John Craig said...

High Arka --
Yes, still a nation, just a nation under duress, that's all. But yeah, we are a bit less of a nation for having little control over our borders, and also for having to pay tribute.

Well, that's why I phrased it that way: "Obama had a reputation for being the most Israel-unfriendly President in a while." A reputation is not necessarily the same thing as reality, and "the most Israel-unfriendly President in a while" is a relative term. I honestly think that in his heart of hearts Obama did dislike Israel, just as he despised Netanyahu (and as Netanyahu despised him). But Obama knew that he'd be committing political suicide -- and maybe even personal suicide -- if he tried to shut off that spigot. And bombing other countries for Israel? I'd say Obama did their bidding by coming out against Bashar Assad, since Israel has always seen Syria as a threat, as they have a modern military. But what Obama did against Syria was incredibly ineffectual, and supposedly arming and training those anti-Assad forces which were in fact al Qaeda- and ISIS-connected was pathetic. He "led from behind" on Libya, he withdrew from Iraq and let it fall to ISIS (which Israel doesn't seem to regard as much of a threat). And Obama instituted that surge against Afghanistan, but they were no threat to Israel at all. And for the most part, Obama didn't really care about the Middle East; I think he had an instinctive sympathy for Muslims dating back to his childhood in Indonesia, but other than that, he just didn't care that much. His raison d'ĂȘtre as President was to transfer as much money from whites to blacks in this country as possible; that's what he was passionate about. That, and gay rights. He mostly tried to stay uninvolved in foreign affairs, considered them a pain. He was uncomfortable with military types (they tend to be pretty macho) and I always got the sense he was just sort of along for the ride in the various foreign adventures the US found itself in, and he "led from behind" within the White House as well as vis-a-vis other countries. So, I'm being long-winded here, but I don't think he was particularly Israel's lackey. (Israel never really considered Libya a threat, either.)

Yeah, good point about Trump being called a Nazi, but I think the anti-Trump hysteria in the media -- and even within his own party -- would ramp up even further if he tried to shut down the aid to Israel.

europeasant said...

"That said, I can't explain the immediate escalation of hostilities with Iran"

I just read somewhere that Elliot Abrams will/was selected for some state department job. Yes that Elliot Abrams well known high ranking NEOCON.If this is true than indeed the camel has stuck his nose into the tent.
You can search all about this famous NEOCON on Google. For example
"On February 2, 2005, President George W. Bush appointed Abrams deputy national security adviser for Global Democracy Strategy,[32] where he served until the end of his administration on January 20, 2009. In his new position, Abrams became responsible for overseeing the National Security Council's directorate of Democracy, Human Rights, and International Organization Affairs and its directorate of Near East and North African Affairs."

I mean WTF unless the new Elliot is now reformed but I doubt it.
What would PEPE say. Or maybe PEPE just had a heart attack.

John Craig said...

Europeasant --
I was relieved when Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton didn't get positions in the State Department, as they're two of the more hawkish politicos out there. But you're right, Abrams is bad news. All it takes is a few people to push us into war, witness the outsize influence of Perle and Feith and Wolfowitz in the George W. Bush administration.