Trump’s Persian-Gulf Car Crash

Trump has taken an insane U.S. policy towards Iran and make it even crazier, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

Traffic accidents normally take just a second or two.  But the coming collision in the Persian Gulf, the equivalent of a hundred-vehicle pile-up on a fog-bound interstate, has been in the works for years.  Much of it is President Donald Trump’s fault, but not all.  His contribution has been to take an insane policy and make it even crazier.

The situation is explosive for two reasons. First, the Iranian economy is in a free fall with oil exports down as much as 90 percent from mid-2018 levels.  As far as Iran is concerned, this means that it’s already at war with the United States and has less and less to lose the longer the U.S. embargo goes on. 

Second, after Trump denounced the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord from the moment he began his presidential run, it’s all but impossible at this point for him to back down.  The result is a classic collision between the immovable and the unstoppable with no apparent way out.

How did the world bring itself to the brink of war?  The answer, ironically, is by bidding for peace.

The process began in early 2015 just as the nuclear talks were entering their final stages.  Despite last-minute hand-wringing, it was clear that success was in sight simply because the participants – China, France, Russia, Germany, Britain, the European Union, Iran and the U.S. – all wanted it. 

Saudi Proxy War

But other regional players felt differently, Saudi Arabia first and foremost.  The kingdom’s survival strategy depends on its special relationship with America, its patron since the 1940s.  Hence, it was panic-stricken by anything smacking of a U.S. rapprochement with its long-standing arch-enemy Iran.  The upshot was a proxy war in which the Saudis set out to roll back Iranian power by striking out at pro-Iranian forces.

The offensive began after a new Saudi monarch ascended the throne in January 2015.  King Salman, a doddering 79-year-old reportedly suffering from Alzheimer’s, immediately handed over the reins to his favorite son, 29-year-old Muhammad bin Salman, whom he named deputy crown prince and minister of defense.  MBS, as he’s known, celebrated by launching an air war in neighboring Yemen two months later – and then disappearing on a week-long vacation in the Maldives – and by funneling hundreds of U.S.-made TOWs (anti-tank guided missiles) to Syrian rebels under the command of Al-Nusra, the local Al-Qaeda affiliate, for use in an offensive in that country’s northwest province of Idlib. 

For the Saudis, it was a neo-medieval crusade whose goal was to topple two religio-political allies of Iran, the Alawite-dominated government in Damascus and Yemen’s Houthis, who adhere to a non-Iranian form of Shi’ism that is no less anathema to the Sunni Wahhabist theocracy in Riyadh.

President Barack Obama went along.  With regard to Syria, an unidentified “senior administration official” told The Washington Post that while the White House was “concerned that Nusra has taken the lead,” all he would say in response to U.S.-made missiles winding up in Al-Qaeda hands was that it was “not something we would refrain from raising with our partners.”  (See Climbing into Bed with Al-Qaeda,” May 2, 2015.) 

Just two days after the start of the Saudi air assault in Yemen, Obama meanwhile telephoned Salman to assure him of U.S. support.  When asked why America would back a war by one of the Middle East’s richest countries against the very poorest, another anonymous U.S. official told The New York Times (April 2, 2015):

 “If you ask why we’re backing this, beyond the fact that the Saudis are allies and have been allies for a long time, the answer you’re going to get from most people – if they were being honest – is that we weren’t going to be able to stop it.” But plainly the nuclear negotations were key.  The Obama administration was so anxious to smooth ruffled Saudi feathers and tone down criticism of the impending Iranian accord that it felt it had no choice but say yes to Saudi aggression.  

The upshot has been Saudi wars claiming hundreds of thousands of lives in Syria and another 100,000 or so in Yemen while triggering a surge of international terrorism and the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. While reducing tensions in some respects, Obama’s efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, paradoxically, caused them to explode in others.

Over-Extended Empire 

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with King Salman bin Abdulaziz at Erga Palace in Riyadh, Jan. 27, 2015. (White House/Pete Souza/Flickr)

The American empire was possibly so over-extended that it was at the mercy of its ostensible clients.  Even while making peace with Iran, Obama thus green-lit Saudi wars that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Syria and another 100,000 or so in Yemen while triggering a surge of international terrorism and the greatest refugee crisis since World War II.  While reducing tensions in some respects, the 2015 nuclear negotiations, paradoxically, caused them to explode in others.

The results were so devastating in a region torn by war, sectarianism, and economic collapse that Trump could not possibly make them any worse – except that he did. 

Announcing his presidential bid in June 2015, he launched into a typical Trumpian rant against China, Japan, Mexico – and Obama’s nuclear talks.  “Take a look at the deal he’s making with Iran,” he said.  “He makes that deal, Israel maybe won’t exist very long.”  A month later, he tweeted that the agreement, just inked in Vienna, “poses a direct national security threat.”  Two months after that, he told a Tea Party rally in Washington:

“Never, ever, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as our deal with Iran….  They rip us off, they take our money, they make us look like fools, and now they’re back to being who they really are.  They don’t want Israel to survive, they will not let Israel survive, [and] with incompetent leadership like we have right now, Israel will not survive.”

Iran’s Landmark Concession

It was all nonsense.  Rather than threatening the Jewish state, the treaty represented a landmark concession on Iran’s part, since Israel, with an estimated 80 to 90 nuclear warheads in its arsenal and enough fissile material for a hundred more, would maintain its nuclear monopoly in the Middle East indefinitely.  As for “our money,” the $150 billion in various foreign accounts were actually Iranian assets that had been frozen for years – a sum, moreover, that was closer to $56 billion once Iran settled its foreign debts.  Once sanctions were lifted, it was hardly unreasonable that such assets be restored.

Still there was hope.  While railing against Iran, Trump also taunted the Saudis for their role in 9/11: “Who blew up the World Trade Center?” he told Fox & Friends.  “It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi [Arabia].”  He repeatedly assailed the 2003 invasion of Iraq – even if he exaggerated his own role in opposing it – and criticized Obama for supporting Saudi-backed jihadis seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

 “Assad is bad,” he said in an October 2015 interview.  “Maybe these people could be worse.”

Trumpian isolationism was fleeting, if it ever existed at all.  Under intense pressure from neoconservatives, the Zionist lobby, and pro-Israel Democrats such as Russiagate attack dog Rep. Adam Schiff demanding stepped-up opposition with Iran, Trump did an about-face.  In May 2017, he flew to Riyadh, announced an unprecedented $110-billion arms deal, and proclaimed himself the kingdom’s newest BFF – best friend forever. 

He echoed the Saudis by accusing Iran of funding “terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region” and backed a Saudi blockade of neighboring Qatar.  When ISIS launched a bloody assault on central Tehran in early June that killed 12 people and injured 42, the only White House response was to declare that “states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.” 

But back in September 2001, some 60,000 Iranian soccer fans had observed a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the World Trade Center while then-President Mohammad Khatami declared on nationwide TV:

 “My deep sympathy goes out to the American nation, particularly those who have suffered from the attacks and also the families of the victims.  Terrorism is doomed, and the international community should stem it and take effective measures in a bid to eradicate it.”

Yet all the Trump administration could say was that Iran had it coming. 

It was Democrats who, in a typical attempt to outflank Trump on the right, introduced legislation in June 2017 by forcing him to impose penalties on Russia, North Korea, and Iran as well.  But after repudiating the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal) in May 2018, Trump upped sanctions even more in November – not only against the Iranian government but against some 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels.  After Iran shot down a $130-million U.S. surveillance drone last month, Trump imposed sanctions on “supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his office, and his closest associates.  Two weeks ago, he imposed penalties on Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s U.S.-educated foreign minister.

Crowd at Tea Party rally listening to Donald Trump denounce the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Sept. 9, 2015. (YouTube)

It was a gesture of contempt for the very idea of diplomacy.  So what happens next?  The problem is that re-starting negotiations would not be enough.  Instead, Iran has demanded that the U.S. remove all sanctions and apologize before agreeing to a new round of talks.  Since this would be tantamount to re-authorizing the JCPOA, it’s unlikely in the extreme.  While Trump is known for changing his mind in a flash, a course correction of this magnitude is hard to imagine. 

Thus, the confrontation is set to continue.  Iran may respond by seizing more oil tankers or downing more drones, but the problem is that the U.S. will undoubtedly engage in tit-for-tat escalation in response until, eventually, some kind of line is crossed.

If so, the consequences are unpredictable.  U.S. firepower is overwhelming, but Iran is not without resources of its own, among them anti-ship ballistic missiles, mobile short-range rockets that can hit naval targets, plus heavily-armed high-speed boats, mini-subs, and even ekranoplans,” floating planes designed to skim the waves at 115 miles per hour.  Such weaponry could prove highly effective in the 35-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz.  Iran also has allies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has an estimated 130,000 missiles and rockets in its own arsenal, Assad’s battle-hardened military in Syria, Yemen’s Houthis, and pro-Iranian forces in Shi’ite-majority Iraq.

The upshot could be a war drawing in half a dozen countries or more.  A confrontation on that scale may seem inconceivable.  But, then, war seemed inconceivable in the wake of Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in June 1914.

Daniel Lazare is the author of “The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy” (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics.  He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nationto Le Monde Diplomatiqueand blogs about the Constitution and related matters at Daniellazare.com.

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31 comments for “Trump’s Persian-Gulf Car Crash

  1. SteveK9
    August 25, 2019 at 15:23

    The brief discussion about a conflict makes it seem as if it will be US vs. Iran. That will not be the case. Iran will attack Saudi Arabia, in particular the oil infrastructure, and the other gulf states, with the exception of Qatar. That will be the end of Saudi Arabia as a country. Israel will also be attacked. The effect on the global economy will be enormous.

  2. Igor Bundy
    August 23, 2019 at 08:11

    Syria was negotiating a peace treaty using a businessman and Israel in Jordan when all off a sudden in 2009 they stopped. Around the same time the UK told the french. So this has been a operation long in the making by many countries and not just israel who might have planned it all. But the US and UK were the ones implementing it in turning various gangs into ISIS the next gen Al Queda because Al queda only liked boys and although they killed christians and women, rarely used them as sex slaves. While ISIS in every instance would kill the men and take females no matter the age as sex slaves. These guys dont even know which way to kneel to pray.. Let alone what God wants.. And their imperial masters are even more ignorant than these morons high on captgaeon.

  3. Dieter Heymann
    August 20, 2019 at 19:43

    Baku.

  4. August 20, 2019 at 13:32

    “Trump has taken an insane U.S. policy towards Iran and make it even crazier”

    Perfect summary of Trump’s chaotic efforts.

    It is pathetic that this kind of thing happens with a powerful nation like the United States.

    It reflects Trump’s catering to the lobby for another country, one with a population the size of Ecuador.

    Why does he do that?

    Because he very much suffered intense fear about losing his office and approached some American oligarchs for support. They happen to be oligarchs whose greatest focus is Israel.

    So, we get men like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo appointed to powerful offices. We get Trump violating international law giving away what is not his to give, Jerusalem and part of Syria.

    And we get the total mess of policy towards Iran. Ripping up a valid, working treaty. Hurling insults and threats. Engaging in serious economic warfare. Trying to intimidate with warships and bombers.

    All for what? This is a country which has kept its obligations. This is a peaceful country. And this is a country with which America could and should build a solid relationship for the long-term.

    But America doesn’t even try.

    Israel simply hates Iran because it is a competitor for influence and importance in the Middle East, not because it in any way fears Iran. Nuclear states don’t get attacked by non-nuclear ones.

    Israel also was concerned that Iran’s keeping to its obligations and building relations with the EU and others was something to which it needed to put a halt. Now, there’s quite a reason for generating hostilities, preventing improved relations for others. Just destructive.

    And modern Iran is a state with a record of starting no hostilities, quite in contrast to both Israel and the United States.

    This is a country with the population of Germany and a land mass several times that of France. It has important resources, important modern achievements despite efforts to hold it back. It has industrious, creative people. And it has a fascinating ancient history.

    There is no lucid reason for America to treat it as an enemy.

    Iran has demonstrated conclusively its regard for rule of law, scrupulously carrying out its treaty obligations.

    Only Israel and someone like John Bolton say otherwise. Every single expert and major power say they are wrong.

    Israel’s record for dishonesty in trying to get what it wants has become almost legendary. So many dark operations and violent activities, always covered with words not to be trusted.

    We had two Presidents, Obama and Sarkozy, in live-mic incidents, tell us what we rarely hear about such matters, that the long-term Prime Minister of Israel was someone who simply could not be trusted, who never told the truth. That’s pretty powerful testimony.

    Yet, here is the United States blindly following that politician’s narrow interests to the point of harming its own long-term ones. Good relations with a state like Iran are in America’s long-term interest.

    Economic warfare in a time of world economic fragility is not in the interests of the United States.

    Threats of war with the risk of really starting one are not in the interests of the United States.

    Humiliating and hurting Iran’s more than eighty million people are not in the interests of the United States.

    Ignoring allies like France and Germany and the EU, just trampling on their interests as treaty signatories of the Iran nuclear agreement is absolutely not in the interests of the United States.

    I should have thought the number-one priority of a President of the United States would be doing what’s in the best interests of the United States, but that is not at all what we see.

  5. Jeff Davis
    August 20, 2019 at 12:42

    America is Israel’s b*tch.

    The American experiment is over. A variety of corporate/neoliberal interests and foreign interests have hollowed it out, and soon, when every last bit of loot has been extracted, the dried up husk of the Empire will collapse. There is no saving it because the looters are still in control. Their control is unbreakable because buying Congress is such a minor and manageable expense for them, and the Congressmen/women are simply incapable of setting aside personal interest and personal ambition for the good of the country. Incapable, because if they ever chose country over their own careers , the “owners” — ie donors/looters — would find someone to replace them. There is no way out … until it comes crashing down.

  6. Don Bacon
    August 20, 2019 at 11:33

    Iran whipped the US in Syria, cementing the ‘Shia crescent’ from Tehran to Beirut, which gives Iran the mantle of ME leadership. Washington had to respond to that fact because it threatens the US and its Carter-Doctrine position as the predominate ME power. So don’t blame Israel.

    • August 20, 2019 at 19:29

      The US is Israel’s bitch. That’s a reality you can’t seem to grasp.

    • Zman
      August 22, 2019 at 11:39

      Boy, you sure left out a lot of history there. This all started long before Syria…Israel has been attacking Iran in various ways for years. Remember when Israel and the US used Iran in the Iran/Contra fiasco?…all the while supplying Iraq with the means to war on Iran ad infinitum. Why did we start selling US equipment (F-15s et al) to KSA in the early 80s? It would never have happened if Israel hadn’t approved of it. Who was it so opposed to JCPOA? Trumps little rant on KSA being behind 9/11 was a joke as well, as there never were any ‘dancing Muslims’ as Trumpstein claimed, only dancing Israelis. The only reason for tension and confrontation is the US adherence to Israeli wishes of Greater Israel. Next you’ll be telling us that our trusted ally Israel never attacked the Liberty or that Pollard wasn’t an Israeli spy. If Trump was any more pro-Israel, he’d have to move there. Now I wonder if he has that valued piece of paper stating he is a dual US/Israeli citizen, like half of our traitorous CONgress. Don’t blame Israel? You’ve got to be kidding. We’ve been on our knees before terrorist ISrael for quite some time.

    • JimT
      August 23, 2019 at 16:02

      well, predominant, perhaps.

    • SteveK9
      August 25, 2019 at 15:24

      ??? There would be no conflict involving the US in the Middle East but for one fact … the existence of Israel, and Jewish power in America.

  7. Zhu
    August 20, 2019 at 05:44

    You forgot to mention pressure from Religious Right Republicans, eager for the Rapture, the Return of Jesus, etv., etc. Christism Zionists in short.

  8. Broompilot
    August 20, 2019 at 01:19

    I find it interesting that there is no mention of Netanyahu appearing before Congress or the U.N. drawing silly looking pictures of bombs. Or Netanyahu claiming he had jacked some new documents from Iran proving they had a nuclear weapons program. Or Netanyahu disrespecting Obama with his appearance in Congress. Or Bibi’s landing in L.A. with a motorcade that screwed up traffic all over town to demonstrate who is really important in this country. Reading this piece you would think this is 95% about Saudis and has very little to do with Israel. There is no doubt that the gulf monarchies do not want successful representative governments breaking out on their borders and giving their citizens ideas, but I doubt they have anything resembling the Israeli lobbies and their influence operating in the U.S. with the power to influence Iran policy.

    • AnneR
      August 20, 2019 at 08:23

      True, Broompilot. And I too awaited throughout the article for Mr Lazare to discuss the really existing and marked part that Israel has played and is playing in all of the more recent destruction in neighboring countries, and that illegitimate state’s huge influence on this country’s politics, military actions (in the MENA countries when those actions might benefit Israel), administration decisions (not to mention the cooperation among US and Israeli secret services *and* electronic-internet companies which anyway themselves both derive from the military and remain closely entwined with it).

      Most US presidents – and seemingly all US Congresses – since WWII have aided and abetted Israel and its appalling human rights record which never ends and continues with impunity. But Trump is perhaps more so than most if only because his daughter, a convert to Judaism, is married to an ardent Zionist, and buddy-buddy to Netanyahu. Lazare hints at Trump’s pro-Zionism (whatever its basis) but leaves it there.

    • John Scrivener
      August 20, 2019 at 23:18

      Exactly right, Broompilot. As soon as I read “It was clear that success was in sight simply because the participants – China, France, Russia, Germany, Britain, the European Union, Iran and the U.S. – all wanted it. But other regional players felt differently, Saudi Arabia first and foremost”, I knew this author was neither objective nor credible in his analysis. Did he provide any evidence of Saudi opposition to the JCPOA, or of Saudi attempts to influence US policy on the matter? Yet there is plenty of evidence of Israeli opposition and influence, as you have noted in your comment.

  9. Marko
    August 19, 2019 at 22:50

    “Trump’s Persian-Gulf Car Crash”

    When you view foreign policy as a Demolition Derby competition , as Trump and the neocons do , this is called “Winning !”

  10. Gregory Herr
    August 19, 2019 at 20:44

    The war of terrorism waged upon the people of Syria didn’t come about because the U.S. was “possibly so over-extended that it was at the mercy of its ostensible clients”, or because the “Obama administration was so anxious to smooth ruffled Saudi feathers and tone down criticism of the impending Iranian accord that it felt it had no choice but say yes to Saudi aggression.”

    Washington’s Long War on Syria (Stephen Gowans) began well before Obama, Yahoo, Erdogan, and Petraeus set up rat lines of weaponry and training for terrorists in Jordan and Turkey. The current iteration of “topple thru terror” was in the offing, with or without Saudi “impetus”.

    Syria stands in the way of Greater Israel and Wall Street/central bank dominance.

    Obama “went along” alright. But it wasn’t the Saudis he was “appeasing”.

    Obama should have normalised relations with Iran and disavowed all the b.s. rhetoric about them. His “deal” had “made to be broken” written all over it because of his rhetoric. All done in bad faith with the Path to Persia kept open.

    • Gregory Herr
      August 22, 2019 at 20:03

      Who set up shop in Syria’s oil fields? Saudi aggressors?

  11. Jeff Harrison
    August 19, 2019 at 18:30

    The big problem is that the US is convinced that it knows what it’s doing when, in fact, it is clueless. The US also is perpetually optimistic when it has nothing upon which to base said optimism. It’s not as if we’ve actually defeated anybody in the Middle East. Revoltin’ Bolton may think he’s scaring people with aircraft carriers and B52s but you’ll notice that Iran snatched the British tanker and the Iraqi tanker after the US moved it’s carrier and bombers into the Gulf. They also shot down our drone in the same time frame.

    We’re playing a losing strategy.

    • Jeff Davis
      August 20, 2019 at 12:11

      We’re playing a losing strategy because America is Israel’s bitch.

      The American experiment is over. A variety of corporate/neoliberal interests and foreign interests have hollowed it out, and soon, when every last bit of loot has been extracted, the dried up husk of the Empire will collapse. There is no saving it because the looters are still in control. Their control is unbreakable because buying Congress is such a minor and manageable expense for them, and the Congressmen/women are simply incapable of setting aside personal interest and personal ambition for the good of the country. Incapable, because if they ever chose country over their own careers , the “owners” — ie donors/looters — would find someone to replace them. There is no way out … until it comes crashing down.

  12. Don Bacon
    August 19, 2019 at 18:29

    “It was all nonsense. Rather than threatening the Jewish state, the treaty represented a landmark concession on Iran’s part,. . .”

    Calling the Obama agreement a treaty is nonsense, rather it was an agreement involving only the executive branch and not the Senate as required by the Constitution for treaties. Obama needed an achievement for his presidential library, so he waited until his term was almost over to do what he could have done, with Brazil and Turkey, in 2010. Therefore Trump had every right to overturn an agreement made by his hated predecessor, with the knowledge that the Senate never would have approved it since they are all corrupted.

    This is another example (Bush-43 on Iraq withdrawal was another) of what the US has come to. This so-called “rules-based democracy” has become a stomping ground for the “commander-in-chief” to display his executive privilege and do any damned thing he takes a mind to, including war, with nary a peep from the so-called “checks and balance” folks who are supposed to be looking after US democracy, but aren’t.

    • Bianca
      August 20, 2019 at 00:57

      Very interesting perspective. I agree, large part of our problem is ignorance.
      This article, as much as it makes some excellent points, is choke full of errors, too many to deal with in comments format. Timeline of events in Saudi Arabia being one example.

      But let us not assume we know the real motivation for signing the Iranian deal. I felt it was akin to famous Indian treaties that were merely tactical.

      As for the Obama deal not being a treaty, I do not know what is the real answer. The deal was approved by UN Security Council, making it a binding resolution. UN SC resolutions need not be ratified by Senate to be binding.

      Whether Obama deal was good or not — depends on one’s understanding of its flaws, AND the likelihood of coming up with a better deal after violating Security Council resolution.

      Or more practically, what do we want from Iran? Obama deal could have been better on economic side of things, but nuclear angle was not bad.
      When it comes to claiming “Saudis made us do it”, it is absurd. All the nonsense in Saudi policies were result not of King Salman — but the Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Nayaf, the head if Government until June 2017. We hand picked him, and then ridiculed King for suffering from dementia, in order to hasten MBN rise to King, and then selecting a Crown Prince to his liking. It all came crashing down June 2017 when in a Palace Coup, Saudi Allegiance Council removed MBN and appointed MBS, King’s own son. But it is explicitly not a move into hereditary monarchy.
      After that, things changed rapidly. MBS smoothed Qatar crisis, inherited Yemen war, had to put up with US arming UAE to take over South Yemen, and facing budgetary issues due to funding all kinds of militancies around region. MBS cut Wahhabi budgets and militants today — what was left of them, are funded by Western intelligence. King led 2000 strong delegation to Russia, and signed over 40 deals. Naturally, MBS is a target — but trying to topple him via Kashoggi murder was a mistake. Saudi compliance with US and Israeli policies in the Middle East came to an end.
      What will happen now? Who knows. But one thing is sure — region is not behind it. It will have to be US/Israeli business.
      Trump did not start the problem, but was HASTY, and probably poorly informed.

  13. robert e williamson jr
    August 19, 2019 at 16:18

    I found this a Jeff Morely’s Deep State Blog https://deepstateblog.org/2019/08/19/iraq-curbs-uk-s-flights-after-reported-israeli-attacks/#comment-1308

    These actions by Israel should be expected as well as the Iranian response, which could very easily be war.

    All the result of having an idiot at the wheel of the ship of state. Trump and his supporter will own it if it happens.

    The Israeli government know no limits or no shame, a very dangerous group for the rest of the world to have to deal with.

    Trump needs to be impeached no earlier than one month before the next presidential election and exiled to Israel like the turn coat he is.

  14. Abe
    August 19, 2019 at 15:45

    “Trumpian isolationism was fleeting, if it ever existed at all.”

    It never existed.

    A clueless Lazare has been repeatedly informed of the fact in the comments of his CN articles.

    Now he’s feebly wondering “if”.

    “Under intense pressure from neoconservatives, the Zionist lobby, and pro-Israel Democrats such as Russiagate attack dog Rep. Adam Schiff demanding stepped-up opposition with Iran, Trump did an about-face.”

    The pro-Israel Lobby owns both Republican and Democrat Russiagate enthusiasts and is the source of near hysterical demands for opposition with Iran.

    Trump has never been under “intense pressure” and has not done “an about-face” because he has always been avowedly “1000 percent” pro-Israel.

    A worse than clueless Lazare has been repeatedly informed of the fact in the comments of his CN articles.

    Lazare apparently finds lots of things “hard to imagine”, even “inconceivable”.

    But in June 1914, clearly there were multiple political and military leaders in Europe for whom war was far from inconceivable. War was simply a question of timing and so it would be better to have a war when the circumstances were most propitious. “I consider a war inevitable”, declared senior German generals such as Helmuth von Moltke the Younger in 1912. “The sooner the better”.

    Current Israeli leadership holds such a view.

    The Trump administration foreign policy purchased by the pro-Israel Lobby reflects this view.

    But for the obviously very well informed but perpetually clueless Lazare, it all somehow remains “inconceivable”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIP6EwqMEoE

    • Abe
      August 19, 2019 at 16:56

      Vigorous efforts by the pro-Israel Lobby keep the US committed to a succession of classic blunders:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmT0_hKSUrw

    • Jeff Harrison
      August 19, 2019 at 18:38

      Sorry, Abe, Thump is an isolationist. He has walked away from a few too many treaties and refused to abide by them and a few others as well. I think you’re confusing Thump’s arrogant aggression for not isolationism.

    • Abe
      August 20, 2019 at 00:24

      Trump has walked away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and has performed numerous other services, including threatening war on Iran, precisely because the Israelis wanted them done.

      Don’t confuse Trump’s servility to the pro-Israel Lobby for “isolationism”.

      The arrogant aggression of the Trump-Bolton-Pompeo troika is bought and paid for by Israel.

    • Zman
      August 22, 2019 at 12:07

      You are absolutely correct. Most have little to no idea why Trump ditched JCPOA. It has nothing whatever to do with being weak on nukes, period. It’s Irans missiles. Trumpstein and Israel used the claim that they can deliver nukes, which everyone admits they do not have. The truth is they don’t need them at all. Israel knew from the git-go there was no Iranian threat of building nukes…but they knew that Iran was making missiles by the thousands and acquiring the tech to make them reliable, accurate and with ever increasing range…in other words, a real defensive deterrent force. This is a threat to Israels monopoly of fearless attacks on it’s neighbors. The whole nuke thing is a smoke screen, as they knew crying over missile systems without nukes wouldn’t fly. Israel will not be happy until Iran (indeed, the entire ME) is defenseless. Now Iran, Syria and Iraq have much better capabilities than they’ve ever had… and Israel can thank themselves for this. Peace is not an Israeli value… subjugation, terrorism and fiscal rape is.

  15. August 19, 2019 at 14:39

    Depressing. Having defended Trump because attacks were directed at the President of the United States, any president, it is hard to support a man whose every move is a political calculation. That such blatant and reprehensible behavior carries risks for everyone but mostly the targets of our barbaric behavior seems never to enter the President, his neocon handlers’ and his rabid supporters’ minds.

    One comment in this depressing article caught my eye.

    “If you ask why we’re backing this, beyond the fact that the Saudis are allies and have been allies for a long time, the answer you’re going to get from most people – if they were being honest – is that we weren’t going to be able to stop it.”

    That is unmitigated nonsense. Why not be honest. We don’t want to stop it. The We, of course, being our decision makers and a too large segment of our brainwashed electorate.

    • Gregory Herr
      August 19, 2019 at 19:52

      To “stop it”, Uncle Sam would have to first cease being a part of it. The bombing of Yemen came courtesy of U.S. mid-air refueling efforts, targeting “intelligence”, and “made in America” weaponry. The blockade (starvation) of Yemen is also a duel accompaniment. It’s supposed to look like a Saudi “thing”, but in actuality, it’s just more Uncle Sam doing his thing. Obama called it “leading from behind”.

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