BrianBM

A forthcoming Iran War?

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I wonder if the President isn't starting to see the good side of a war with Iran. 

 

President Trump is said to be genuinely wary of yet another war, especially in the Middle East. I credit that; I wish George W. Bush had been similarly leery of the potential of any war to expand beyond the intended scope, and of the endless unforeseen consequences that any war brings. Military force is always a tricky thing, and the bigger it gets, the greater the potential for unwanted blowback.  The President has joked that he has to keep pulling Bolton and Pompeo back from military confrontation.

 

So why are they in the positions they hold?

 

Bolton's an especially interesting figure, a long-time Iran hawk who has written about the need for regime change. He was an enthusiastic booster of the Iraq War. During periods out of government, he wrote about regime change in Iran. I've criticized President Bush for learning nothing about the limitations of war as a policy tool from Vietnam; but Bolton has surpassed his former mentor. He's learned nothing from Vietnam, and he's learned nothing from Iraq either. He is National Security Advisor, of course, because President Trump got sick of being cautioned by Adm. McMaster. (We need somebody who isn't afraid of action!)

 

Pompeo's harder to read (at least for me.) I think his major claim to his job is his loyalty to President Trump, the only coin the President really values. He does have a good CV, so to speak; some time with the CIA, and is said to be respected within the State Department.  

 

I used to think that Bolton's chief value to the President was his sheer belligerence. He talks tough, the President likes tough talk, and the President's base just wriggles with pleasure at each quarrel with the rest of the world that President Trump and his staff initiate. Now, I'm not so sure. I think the President is becoming more sensitive to the personal benefits of a war.

 

There's another thread currently posted in this Forum about the President's firing his internal pollsters because they keep telling him that he polls behind Biden or some other Democrat in this-or-that state. I think this is silly, but he is a deeply insecure man.  H has to be on the attack at all times. It doesn't matter whether it's some washed-up comedian or the Lord Mayor of London or some interviewer who asked him a question he resents; he's insecure, insecure, insecure. He is frightened. 

 

Consider the example of George W. Bush. By the time he ran for a second term, the American people knew things that they didn't know previously. Saddam had no WOMD.  Saddam had no involvement in 9/11/01. The war against the Taliban and al-Queda in Afghanistan wasn't going well. There was no Nigerienne yellowcake. The generals who President Bush had fired for not seeing the war his way, like Gen. Shinseki, had been right in their estimates of the force level required.  And yet, President Bush won his second term, because there was still a war on, well chosen or not, and people cling to the incumbent in times of war.   

 

I think President Trump is increasingly aware of this.

 

The repudiation of JCPOA was wildly popular with President Trump's Obama-hating base. I don't know how much thought President Trump actually invested in that decision. Obama had done it, he hates Obama, his base hates Obama, win win win. Winning!  And by repudiating JCPOA, the President has achieved the following: we have a major split with our allies, as well as countries like Russia and China that cooperated with us on JCPOA without being allies. Iran is now free of any legal restraint on its' ability to enrich uranium. They have announced that they will do so, in the near future, and may be doing so already.  Neither India nor China is going to cooperate further, by refusing to buy Iranian crude. Iran can be squeezed, but not subdued, by excluding them from the world's banking system. What is left to do but to go to  war? And if the American public is leery of another war, maybe we can sort of ... help?  Push military force into Iran's face until someone, some lieutenant, some Revolutionary Guard captain, takes a shot? LBJ got a Gulf of Tonkin resolution, why not a Persian Gulf resolution?

 

There are lots of actors here who might help supply an incident too. I don't think Putin would mind seeing the US jump into another war at all. Russia exports crude, after all, and every time a mine goes off in the Persian Gulf, the futures market has a spasm. I think the Saudis would love to see the US attack Iran broadly. And I doubt that the President has a handle on how fast the economy would shrink with just one or two tankers sinking in the Persian Gulf. If a war causes a stock market crash, or a new recession, he'll blame Obama, the Federal Reserve, liberals ... anyone but himself. 

 

There's an existential problem here, and the President has boxed himself into a corner with it. Donald Trump is the anti-Obama, he who undoes whatever Obama did, whenever and however he can. He has undone JCPOA for zero gain. Iran was and is aggressive, finances proxy wars, sees itself as the protector of Shia Muslims everywhere that they're persecuted (and Shias are in fact persecuted all over the Sunni world). All they did was agree to free their nuclear program, which they did, as far as anyone can tell. Now they can resume their nuclear program (probably with covert Russian help.) If President Trump can't get more out of them then Obama did, that means that Obama was right all along.  The thought is unthinkable.  The base will not accept it. He can't accept it; he is the bigly, stable, very stable genius. 

 

What is left to do, except have a war? 

 

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I'll be happy to be wrong on this one. If this just shakes down to John Bolton blowing his trumpet and waving his sabre, if it's just entertainment for the President's base, that'll be fine.

 

Except for renewed Iranian nuclear efforts, of course.

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When you guys say "war with Iran," do you mean we're going to blow up a bunch of their stuff to make them feel some pain, or do you actually believe we're going to invade them with tens of thousands of boots on the ground?

 

Seriously, there's no one who believes that Trump is going to put boots on the ground in Iran, is there?  Come on now.

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Brian, I don't see his base as looking for war...at least the folks that I talk, and listen, to.

Heck, we are fat, and happy. relatively low gas prices, plenty of jobs, competition for workers.

Who wants to screw that up.

Hopefully, Trump can calm the warmongers among his sphere of influence.

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Trump should send the mullahs another pallet load of cash, then tighten sanctions so they can't spend it outside their country.

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1 hour ago, BrianBM said:

I'll be happy to be wrong on this one. If this just shakes down to John Bolton blowing his trumpet and waving his sabre, if it's just entertainment for the President's base, that'll be fine.

 

Except for renewed Iranian nuclear efforts, of course.

Brian, are you taking the Iranians at their word, that they ever intended to cease developing a nuclear weapon?

 

Theres no entertainment here.  Nor is there anything new about trying to intimidate a bad actor into stopping what he's doing.  It may not work, but It can't really hurt.  Running from all confrontation with these SOBs only empowers them.

 

Do you believe the Iranians are not bad actors?  Do you believe the cash delivered to them by the last administration did not end up financing their foreign activities adversarial to our interests?

 

The Iranians could have mined a US flagged tanker.  They didn't.  Their selection was deliberate.  Trump could have sunk an Iranian boat.  He didn't.  This is a game of economies.  Direct manipulation by us, and indirect by the Iranians.

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13 mins ago, zybathegeek said:

Trump should send the mullahs another pallet load of cash, then tighten sanctions so they can't spend it outside their country.

 

To this day I can barely believe a US president did such a stupid, stupid thing.  And the left can't stop fretting about Trump's language.   It's insane.

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Iran shouldnt even have nuclear power.

2 good reasons: Chernobyl and Fukushima 

 

2 accidents in countries with far better expertise than a Hornets nest like Iran.

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9 hours ago, BrianBM said:

I'll be happy to be wrong on this one.

Yeah, I dont know.  I am not so sure about that.  

 

9 hours ago, Lagerhead said:

War talk is the left trying anything to erode Trump. I do see a strike. 

 

8 hours ago, Nessmuk said:

 

To this day I can barely believe a US president did such a stupid, stupid thing.  And the left can't stop fretting about Trump's language.   It's insane.

 

7 hours ago, Harf said:

Dem war hawks:kook:  Anything for affect...

 

I can hear the excitement between the lines.  A little giddy maybe.  

 

For war.

 

Because Trump.

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