After weeks of drama perpetuating assorted Iranian ‘threats’ and after having conducted classified briefings with Congress on Tuesday, acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by his side, informed a press briefing that:
there will be no war with Iran”
And the US had,
deterred an Iranian attack based on our reposturing of assets, deterred attacks against American forces”
And that now:
[The] focus is to prevent an Iranian miscalculation. We do not want the situation to escalate. This is about deterrence; not about war. We’re not about going to war.”
Shanahan’s words could not have been more clear and definitive and yet, they have been met with silence by the Democrats and the MSM as if peace is less desirable, less profitable commodity than war. At the same press briefing Sen. Lindsay Graham, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, added his own pirouette as if there had been verifiable evidence of an Iranian threat:
We are ready to respond if we have to. The best thing would be for everyone to calm down and Iran to back off. I am hoping that this show of force will result in de-escalating.”
In other words, the US was selling the notion to anyone who would buy that the Iranians would have launched an attack if not for an increased US military build up that forced the Iranians to backpedal. It makes little difference who or what takes credit in the final analysis since peace is of the essence.
Donald Trump very likely won the 2016 election with pronouncement such as:
Obviously the war in Iraq was a big fat mistake.”
“We should have never been in Iraq.”
“We have destabilized the middle east.”
“We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about.”
In view of the recent escalation of threats to Venezuela and collapse of the summit with North Korea, it has been unclear exactly who is administering US foreign policy given the President’s consistently inconsistent views and with the B Team filling a prominent role in what appears to be a presidential vacuum.
As unconfirmed, undefined “Iranian threats” first surfaced and the President’s closest national security advisors fanned the flames, he told White House reporters
It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens, I can tell you that. They’re not going to be happy.”
And later tweeting:
If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”
Declaring “heightened tensions” as if Iran was out-of-their-minds crazy enough to imminently launch an attack on a US facility, the Trump Administration evacuated non essential US Embassy personnel from Baghdad after two Saudi oil tankers were ‘attacked’ off the UAE coast, a low grade rocket exploded near the Embassy, three mortar shells landed within Baghdad’s Green Zone and a Yemeni drone ‘attacked’ a Saudi pipeline.
Combining an alarming sense of panic with an overly zealous response, all of that confluence of confusion was sufficient for the US to react with its usual belligerence dispatching a B52 bomber task force, an aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln aimed for the Strait of Hormuz (where one third of all oil passes through) and the release of a Pentagon “just in case” contingency for 120,000 troops in preparation for Armageddon.
History has its irony as it was the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln where President GW Bush grandstanded with his Mission Accomplished strut in May, 2003 announcing the end of major combat operations in Iraq, six weeks after the US invasion.
With no moderating voice on the President’s national security team, National Security Advisor John Bolton, also known as the “devil incarnate,” has been aided and abetted by ‘bull in a china shop’ Pompeo to create a neocon foreign policy strategy that was not what Trump campaigned on.
While the combative trio is equally obsessive regarding Iran, Bolton and Pompeo organized the recent military buildup in the Persian Gulf in anticipation of a rapid response deployment when the next Iranian ‘threat’ occurred. While Bolton holds dual citizenship with Israel and the US, both Israel and Saudi Arabia have long targeted Iran for a direct military confrontation and would relish the opportunity.
Not surprisingly, there was push back from some of the usual coalition allies with British deputy commander Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika daring to suggest “There’s been no increased threat from Iranian backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” and Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas that he made it clear to Pompeo that a unilateral strategy of increasing pressure against Iran was ‘ill-advised.’
Pompeo’s hastily arranged ‘drop in’ on a European foreign ministers meeting in Brussels did little to instill confidence in sloppy US intel or the administration’s Iran agenda as Pompeo related the details.
The Pentagon helpfully pointed out that 120,000 troops would be insufficient if a ground mission was ordered which led Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to remark that war in Iran would make the Iraq war look like a “cake walk” referring to the fact that Iran is a cohesive country, four times larger than Iraq and has more than double the population of Iraq.
In other words, a recipe for an environmental, humanitarian and military disaster of epic proportions – in addition it should be expected that Russia and China would not be content to sit on the sidelines.
Many will recall the 2003 prediction that the Iraqi people would welcome American troops as liberators, strewing roses in their path, just prior to the war descending into unthinkable carnage.
As a result of all the uncertainty, Trump gave up the trash-talk and told Shanahan during a military briefing last week that he does not want to go to war with Iran letting his hawkish aides know that he did not want the “intensifying American pressure campaign against the Iranians to explode into open conflict.” It is worth knowing whether the President directly ordered Bolton and Pompeo to back off.
Trump’s assertion that “I make the final decision” is as if to reassure himself that he is in charge belies a reputation for vacillating and a weak-will that continues to plague his Administration especially on foreign policy.
While Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei has refused to negotiate with the US, explaining that “negotiating with the current US Government is toxic,” the Iranians have no interest in bargaining away their ballistic missiles which could reach Tel Aviv or putting limits on their operational range. As with North Korea, Iran is well aware of Libya’s Mummar Quaddafi fate as he laid down his weapons only to have HRC organize a revolt and order his untimely demise.
A recent FoxNews interview added some clarity and further confusion as Trump totally buys the neocon view that:
Iran has been a problem for so many years, look at all the conflicts they have caused.” Further explaining “I want to invade if I have to economically” to provide jobs. While Trump agreed that “there is a Military Industrial Complex” and “they do like war” and yet complaining that “I wipe out 100% of the caliphate and people here in DC, they never want to leave.”
When asked about his campaign pledges in 2016, Trump responded “I’m not somebody that wants to go into war” offering the assurance that “I have not changed” and yet the belligerent talk comes too easily as if Bolton was the last person he spoke with.
As he has expressed little public reaction to the administration’s ineptitude with North Korea at the Vietnam summit or the fiasco in Venezuela, Trump allows himself to be played like a fiddle, complicit with the neocon’s latest nefarious schemes that reveal him as a second-rate player; deteriorating before the public with a history of clumsy international gaffes. There is no question that neither Bolton nor Pompeo are to be trusted and that Bolton’s over reach of authority is the key driver pushing for confrontation and divisiveness while Pompeo is a more personally shrewd team player and somewhat less of a loose cannon.
Thanks to the high level of public awareness that nailed down the faulty details of this latest kerfuffle and its excessive harangues, Trump needs to relieve Bolton of his keys to the office before the next ‘threats’ take the US to the brink and find someone who better reflects his 2016 campaign promises.
Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist for Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31
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I’ll say it again till I’m blue in the face. Everyone knows the answer……and still nothing. Release the Butterfly…..
Man has the ability to hold SpartUSA to account. It’s a couch potatoes dream and it would also make MLK and Ghandi proud.
Change your web browser search setting to DuckDuckGo; they’ll hear you loud and clear.
Still think Israel is not bothered by the BDS movement?
America is too degenerate these days and the middle east a hellhole, Sweden kill themselves with kindness the only ones doing anything really these days are China and India..
But then again all of humanity sucks, big news..
Try as I might, I have been attempting to find news articles on all these conflicts which Iran has caused over the years, and I have come up with – zilch, nada, none.
However, during my research, based on the last 70 years, one country stood out as the major sponsor of terrorism, coups, regime change, wars, chaos death and destruction, a country which has military bases in 70 to 80 countries around the World and spends more on “defence”, than the next 6 countries combined.
That country is the USA.
A week or two ago the FAA issued a notice warning aircrew about the heightened danger of flying in the region. They obviously issued this with the Vincennes incident in mind but forgot that this isn’t the 1980s, the Gulf is now a major air transportation hub. Since the Vincennes shot down an Iranian airliner on prime time TV — there was a news crew on board and they filmed the entire incident — we know how easy to see how such an incident could occur. Since the entire purpose of the carrier group is to provoke Iran into doing something rash, thus providing an excuse to attack them, other nations may be annoyed that the safety of their commercial traffic should be jeopardized by this aggressive posture. The Iranians themselves have called the US on this; they claim to have a way of damaging these ships, ships that are bottled up in a space that’s too small to safely accommodate such a large group, but have also said that they will not be pushed or tricked into initiating any conflict.
The problem the US then has is that having swaggered into the Gulf they’ve got to come up with a line that allows them to quietly leave without losing face.
“This is about deterrence not about war”. Yes of course it is. Don’t you just love those Americans “deterring” all those evil countries of the world and keeping you safe in bed at night. ? God bless you Donald ! Isn’t democracy wonderful ? Goodnight.
The U.S.Department of State is offering a grant of $75,000,000 to non-government-organizations to help it to further meddle in Syria.
The purpose of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is to advance the following U.S. Government policy objectives in Syria:
Advance a political solution to the Syrian conflict under the auspices of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2254
I assume the ‘advancement’ will be under the same ‘auspices’ as UNSCR 1244 (acknowledging Kosovo as part of Serbia) and UNSCR 2202 (acknowledging the MINSK agreement)
In other words, USDA certified baloney.
Fake NGOs like Amnesty International will be putting in for a chunk of the loot. They have been going into overdrive over the past few days, “20 hospitals bombed by Assad”, “3 million people fleeing”, “war crimes” etc., going into full panic mode as the US proxy cannibal headchoppers and throatslitters are finally cleaned out of Idlib. These cockroaches are running back to their western paymasters at a rate of knots.
AI was behind the “black Africans given Viagra to rape women” fairy stories that were used to justify bombing Libya back to the Stone Age. A lot of black African workers were lynched from lamp posts as a result, the rest sold in the new slave markets. I reminded a chugger of this who was trying to sign people up for donations to AI.
No words can describe my loathing for such dishonesty from these self-anointed people. Only Edvard Munch’s Scream can do my sentiments justice.
NGOs are only accountable to the people who pay them.
If they are unpaid/volunteers who work them – that’s the hobby organisation part of it.
Do not trust an NGO even if they say who funds them and what their agenda is. They usually have a hidden agenda, manipulating and influencing. Konrad Adenauer Foundation, German Marshall Fund, Open Society, Government in exile (Iranian, Iraqi, Libyan etc)
They should be renamed GONGOs, Government Orchestrated Non Government Organisations. All of them are as bent as a nine bob note. The Red Cross got $500 million to provide housing after the Haiti earthquake. All there was to show for the money was seven scruffy prefabs. Most of it seems to have ended up in the Clinton Foundation Slush Fund. Oxfam seems to spend most of its time organising orgies where destitute black kids are forced to have sex with animals. The World Wildlife Fund is extremely bent. It’s the same story with ALL major charities. Save The Children ran bogus vaccination campaigns in Pakistan where they were actually collecting DNA samples for the CIA to help target drone strikes. As a result, when genuine health workers turn up in a village, the locals tend to shoot first and ask questions later. Polio, which was nearly eradicated, has been making a comeback. If we get cases here (and it doesn’t stop at borders) the NHS will have to go back to universal vaccination campaigns costing billions. And that’s when they weren’t giving Tony Blair their “Humanitarian Of The Year” Award.
Not that that’s an excuse for never putting your hand in your pocket. A lot of charities, like our Food Bank, do great work with no hidden agendas and nobody leeching of it and getting rich.
Here’s an idea, reposition US military assets out of Syria and Iraq.
Allow Syria and its allies to destroy ISIS/L and the other spook terrorist groups that are in zones protected by US military assets.
That would be the sensible way forward Igor, but unfortunately the USD doesn’t do sensible.
Trump uses the same MO on all the chickenshithawk dinosaurs.
Give them plenty of rope …
This latest hoax was just a pretext to sell another $8 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia in the face of increasing opposition.
Whatever happened to Elliot Abrahams? Is he surplus to requirements now?!
They dispatched him to Guatemala again, to suppress with extreme prejudice (does he know any other?), the current uprising against Clinton’s installed government.
I take your word for it. Not sure which Clinton installed the government there, but they just don’t last, do they.
Grafting another regime on a country never works longer than the payments last. Want something gringo? It’s not for free!
Sorry, I meant HClinton’s role in the Honduras coup.
America used to be the arsenal of democracy. Now it’s just the arse.
I beg to differ with Michael McNulty opinion, that the USA could ever be simply described as a ‘ genuine democracy ‘ ?
However, to revert to Renee Parson’s foregoing observation of the ” Donald’s ” control or lack of control of his most senior White House advisors, currently the Mr Bolton and Mr Pompeo, both of whom are at the end of the day qute simply that, presidential advisors!
Because, as evidenced by all of the ‘ Donalds ‘ previous White House selection of a motley assortment of advisors; is their combined shared of lack of actual backbone!!
And, to the present situation of the President and his own ‘ modus operandi ‘ with the two current advisors where it is more than obviously clear that the President is manipulating these advisors and for their inevitable downfall – as he has achieved with all such appointees since the start of his own Presidency.
In his self-acclaimed strategy of setting up false and misleading statements of intent, to then twist the inevitable public concerns, to his own earlier mission statemements and goals.
Damn – should have read down to your comment before posting mine.
Some kind of expert on Planet America (AUS ABC-TV) said that the foundation fathers did not want to establish a democracy, only a republic.
A two-party-state with both parties singing from the same song sheet is not a democracy. When freedom and democracy broke out in East Berlin, they forgot justice. The Kohl-Regime stole our land. I used to believe in democracy but it brings people to the top who lie and steal. (Prenzlauer Promenade 191)
Iran has not fought a war of aggression for over two hundred years, since the inception of warmongering yankee land 342 years ago? it’s been at war for 224 of those years with some country, not a bad record is it
Trump wanted to “Drain the Swamp”……now he’s drowning in it……The Military Industrial Complex MUST be OBEYED……..successive American Presidents, since Ronald(Brain Dead)Reagan, have just been “Useful Idiots”……The USA is in deep, DEEP trouble……..AIPAC pull the strings, and the President does the dance…..
Bill Hicks once said that when a president is elected, they are taken to a small room where a screen comes down, and they are shown film of the JFK assassination from an angle never seen before.
The screen goes up, and the newly elected president is asked “any questions?”
“Iran has been a problem for so many years, look at all the conflicts they have caused”. Pardon? What drugs are these people on? When was the actual last time Iran, or in fact Persia attacked anyone? We know the Neocons are literally deranged. Power and greed and sheer hubris has snuffed out any semblance of humanity in these creatures. They want full spectrum dominance of the planet, they crave it, like an addict craves his next fix, and the more things fall apart at the seams, the more desperate they become. Which puts us all in great peril.
No, Iran has been a terrible problem for years. It invaded Iraq for no reason at all, causing millions of dead and refugees. It did the same thing in Libya and Syria. Before that it invaded Vietnam, and killed millions. It did the same thing in Latin America loads of times. Complete bounders, these Iranians.
Love your posts. Just wondered if you are CJ Hopkins. If not, why not write a few articles for this site?
Afraid not, GP and L. Can’t claim any such distinction. Just a boring old fart who regrettably served the empire in a small way for quite a number of years and only finally woke up after Iraq. OffG gives the opportunity to think out loud occasionally and try to make some sense of the Clown World we live in.
No sense, no rationale can be made of it. Once you’ve doubted even one thread of the fabric woven for your dubious pleasure – that’s it. The House of Illusions is shattered forever. It’s a heavy burden to bear but bear it we must.
Aaahh…. Loverat beat me to it! Was about to ask if you were CJ Hopkins in disguise. I was thinking of Harold Pinter’s speech where he pulled back the curtain on what the Americans are really about. Such is the poisonous power of the MSM presstitutes. Oh, yeah, I second Loverats suggestion also.
Well, for some reason, they didn’t like the Shah and gall darn it, we just can’t have such insolence in our own back yard.
It is far worse than that. We, the UK/US facilitated the removal of the Shah, because we realised how unpopular he was, and wished to replace him with a temporary alternative – friendly ayatollahs, would you believe? – before re-installing the Shah’s son on the Peacock throne at a later date, in order to safeguard our interests in Iran.
Of course, what happened next was the inevitable “Law of unintended consequences”, which always happens when we meddle in other countries affairs.
I remember walking down Fifth Avenue in the heart of Manhattan many years ago, seeing protesters lining the sidewalk in striped prison garb with buckets over their heads, protesting the Shah’s Savak torture methods.
These days, they’d have been rounded up in short order and sent to Guantanamo.