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13 October 2017

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The Porkchop Express

It should be added that one can also draw a direct line from Kermit Roosevelt and British instigating in Mossadegh's overthrow in '53 and the excessive lavishing of military aid and support of the Shah to what happened in '79 and Iranian actions post '79. Particularly during the backdrop of decolonization throughout the 3rd world. There are many in this country who won't forgive Iran for what they did in '79 and there are likewise many Iranians who won't forgive us for what we did in '53; they blame us and we blame them for the acrimonious relationship. Israel and the Gulf states are aware of this dynamic and continue to leverage it for fear of preventing at least some form of regional cooperation or detente between the US and Iran.

Walrus

Congress will now try to outdo Trumps hyperbole.

Oilman2

The interesting thing here is that first sentence of your final paragraph, "prominent people and groups". As things exist today in the world, everybody has a government and most of them are really bad at governing. Most of them live in echo chambers, and most of what is put out in media is false, a limited hangout op or a skewed perspective on reality.

Within all of this, both Iranians and Americans are ill served by these groups and figureheads you speak of. Whatever the reason for the conflicts, the only way to solve the issues is to sit down and talk, and let history be where it belongs, in the past. It doesn't mean you cannot take a lesson from history, but while it may rhyme, it only very rarely repeats.

It is always amazing to me that in business circles if the subject turns to politics, there is near universal agreement that governments are very stupid and all are corrupt. And this I have seen from Indonesia to Ghana to Brazil to China - I have never heard anyone sing praises to their government, not ever.

How is it that the ROW sees that things are different now, yet American leaders seem stuck in either the Cold War era or else the Reagan years? I am thinking that maybe it is because a huge chunk of our politicians are taking Alzheimer meds maybe? And AIPAC is paying each of them, and if not AIPAC, then OpenSecrets can show you who is, and that is usually big finance in one form or another.

I have no idea where Trump got this stinking stew of a speech, but it truly shows how ignorant he is of both history and foreign policy. Yet what was one to expect from his background - I doubt he knows who Tamerlane was...

It's tragic that people can get along just fine, but their governments cannot. Yet it is the taxes on the people that government lives on. So the way to strangle your government is patently obvious.

If we were to remove every conflict that the US has been involved in since the Civil War, how many wholly non-US conflicts have there been?? That alone should speak volumes to every American.

Richardstevenhack

"They were directly involved in the taking of U.S. hostages in Lebanon and the bombings of the US Embassy in Beirut and the Marine barracks."

I prefer to regard those attacks as "asymmetric warfare" rather than terrorism. And most of the "terrorism" since then has been unproven, such as the Argentina bombings.

If you look at this Wikipedia list of "Iran terrorism", you find almost nothing which could really be attributed to "terrorism" in the same sense as Al Qaeda or directly connected to Iran. It's a list of charges, not evidence. Dig deeper and the evidence becomes supposition. For example, almost everything related to Lebanon refers to Hizballah, not Iran. Iran is lumped in because of its support for Hizballah. But Hizballah's goals were not "terrorism" in conducting its actions, but war against the US and Israel.

Iran and state-sponsored terrorism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_and_state-sponsored_terrorism

But it is true that everything Iran has done recently which has caused it to be charged with "terrorism" is primarily support for Hizballah in Lebanon which is considered a "terrorist organization" by the US, even though it is not. Hizballah is a national resistance organization.

The important thing today is that Trump's withdrawal from the Iran Deal inevitably means war with Iran. All the "measures" that Trump's proposal talks about will have zero effect on Iran, which has withstood and evaded sanctions for the past thirty-five years.

This will leave the US with only one "option" - which is not an "option" at all, but a GOAL. The US elites have intended war with Iran for the last seventeen years and have hated Iran since the Iranian revolution. Israel has intended it for the last who knows how long.

I've been predicting war with Iran since around the time of the Iraq war. It hasn't happened yet in my opinion because of two reasons: 1) the 2007 NIE on Iran which stated that Iran does NOT have a nuclear weapons program; and 2) Israel doesn't want one until Syria and Hizballah have been neutralized as effective actors in such a war - the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 had that as its primary goal.

The latter continues to be the main stumbling block to a war with Iran. Syria is not going anywhere and will likely emerge stronger than it was from the current crisis. So now the rhetoric turns against Hizballah in recent weeks. The question now is will Israel unilaterally attack Hizballah or will it continue to be in a holding pattern until some other means can be found to get either the US and/or NATO to justify an attack on Lebanon. Or will it find some way to get Trump to unilaterally attack Iran.

Based on Trump's actions, it will not be that hard for Israel to get him to attack - or support an Israeli attack on - Lebanon and then a war with Iran. Can anyone doubt that if Israel unilaterally attacks Lebanon that Trump will support Israel totally? Perhaps even deploy US military assets - already available due to the Syria crisis - directly against Hizballah?

The consequences of an Iran war will be enormous. The cost will be four times the size of the Afghan and Iraq wars, it will go on for a decade or more because Iran will never surrender, and it will cost scores of thousands of US lives rather than a mere 5,000 over six years like Iraq. The oil price increase will beggar the US economy despite shale oil. And if Iran truly does employ terrorism, it will bring that terrorism home to US soil.

In my view, this outcome is almost inevitable.

Kooshy

PT with all due respect, if I was going to write a speech promoting my decision, to convince my constituencies that I am making a good decision in thier behalf to protect thier influence I wouldn’t have done it much different propaganda misinformation than what was written for him. The problem is IMO this was not in the interest of US, and American people don’t know that.

Kooshy

IMO, The western world problem with Iran in ME is, that the American ( or any other country/power) plan for a hegemonic control of the wetern Asian region will
not suceed (it never did) without Iran being capitulated or worst if Iran acts and decide independently.
This is the issue and not the nuclear case and point is Syria, Iraq, Bahrain Yemen etc.

Croesus

They've already staged a warm-up act
notice the audience
https://www.c-span.org/video/?435561-1/foreign-affairs-panel-reviews-us-policy-toward-iran

sid_finster

https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/intense-fighting-breaks-pro-govt-pro-kurdish-forces-northern-iraq/

Right on cue.

Henshaw

Not necessarily, see http://www.smh.com.au/comment/peter-hartcher-blame-shame-and-party-lines-20171013-gz0gza.html

This article is interesting- it cites Pew research to describe how people in USA are willing to consciously vote for Trump against their own interests. Once there is this degree of irrationality in voter behavior, we're in very dangerous territory.

Michael Smith

Thank you for a lucid summary of US-Iranian relations which so clearly illuminates the rank stupidity of American diplomacy.

The Porkchop Express

Unfortunately, Western hegemonic control of the region is pretty much out of the question at this point. Iran will not capitulate AND it will act independently--or in conjunction with regional neighbors.

ME regional hegemony, at least since WW2, has mostly been a duel between Iran, Iraq, and Israel. Iraq is out of the game. It's mostly down to Iran and Israel--Turkey and Saudi to a lesser degree. Iran was already once a US proxy, particularly while we were busy with the VN war. The Iranian ethos post '79, however, was "neither East nor West." Our attitude/policies towards Iran since 79, however, have resulted in Iran developing itself as its own country, free of a guiding hand. Iran learned the hard way that to be independent it had to make decisions that were independent of a powerful benefactor (US or Soviets at that point). I can't see Iran giving up, for any reason, any independence or regional influence it feels it has rightly earned especially since Iranians consider it a point of national pride.

Whatever Trump is doing, or thinks he is doing, is beyond ridiculous besides suiting the interests of the Israelites, the Khaleejis, and, to a lesser extent, the evangelicals--if not himself personally setting up a political win in the future whereby Congress either: acquiesces to his "strategic genius" (a la the NFL) or they behave responsibly and salvage the JCPOA which he can then hammer them with for being "soft" or "appeasing the enemy" in 2018/2020. All provided this doesn't kick off a major shitstorm beforehand.

sid_finster

I so am stealing this m

Bandolero

Walrus

Yes, I think so, too. But Congress will also have to assess what action it would take. Whatever Congress decides on sanctions regarding US companies is not effective. Congress efforts to forbid Boeing to deliver aircraft to Iran, would just have the effect that Iran would fly Airbus. The loser with that would just be Boeing and noone else.

The only interesting thing are secondary sanctions in the style: either you do business with us or Iran. It means EU companies had to decide: either do business with the US or with Iran. The main problem here may become the US-EU relationship. The current mood in the EU seems to be more and more to retaliate US punishment on EU companies for doing business with Iran quid pro quo. It means if the US Congress would punish Airbus, VW or Total for doing business with Iran the EU would retaliate in kind against the US. So, in effect, instead of punishing Iran the US Congress would just start a trade war with the EU. Trump's speech today may have increased the chances that this scenario happens even in the case US Congress doesn't relate new anti Iran sanctions to the nuclear file, because in the EU may grow suspicions that new sanctions are borne out of anger about the nuclear deal.

I think the US Congress is in a difficult situation here if it wants to impose effective sanctions on Iran. The only realistic way to do it is convincing one from the western signatories France, Britain, EU or Germany, that Iran violated the UN security resolution, which made the deal part of international law.

But I doubt that the opponents of the deal will manage to do this.

mike

Publius Tacitus -

We finally agree on something.

The question now is how to stop the drift towards the bombing of another country? Iran needs some of those Russian influence bots (SNARK alert, I realize that would make it even worse once known or suspicioned). Perhaps the neo-conservatives are already starting a campaign to label you as an Iran bot.

mike

Kooshy - "...was not in the interest of US, and American people don’t know that. "

I know it. The majority of Americans know it, they voted against Trump (53.9% of the electorate). And it seems from the comments here that some Trump voters know it now also.

Kooshy

I think I said the same thing. I don’t know what and where DT’ plans with regard to Iran are and come from. But there is one thing due strictly to geography, demography and history that I have read I am sure of that you s nothing in Western Asia can suceed if Iran as A nation doesn’t wish so as I wrote case and point is various US plans as the region’ hegemon in the ME ever since the Iranian revolution.( Iranian independence from western security system), Case and point are plenty, starting with Lebanon in 80’ to Yemen in 2017, one just should count the US success in policy implementations in ME ever since the revolution, that number amounts to zero including Israel wars and KSA’.

Walrus

Congress can stop Airbus dead in its tracks. Airbus aircraft contain mountains of American owned technology in the avionics and engines. All the supply contracts, at least for sensitive technology (ie cutting edge stuff like turbine blades, ring laser gyros, accelerometers, etc.) contain clauses forbidding sale or disposal to third parties without U.S. permission.

If Congress stops Boeing, it will also stop Airbus.

Kooshy

Mike with due respect I don’t see a war nor I see US getting in any direct war with any country capable of hurting US interests or allies.
Proxy stuff sure both sides will do plenty but direct war in someone else’s turf where you US and her allies are more vanurable I don’t see coming actually I never did even when Chaney had his arms at his waste facing Iran on a deck of US ship. I believe you know geography and history and culture of Iran, IMO a war with Iran is not as easy as is being told to Americans.

Bandolero

Walrus

"If Congress stops Boeing, it will also stop Airbus."

The problem for Congress here is that the EU just retaliates in kind and instead of punishing Iran the result of Congress' action may just be a lose-lose EU-US trade war.

All

I made in my previous commantry a serious and substantial mistake: of course, JCPOA can only be reversed it ALL of the US-EU partners do that together. One EU partner is not enough for the US, it needs to be ALL.

Babak Makkinejad

Trump has soothed Arabs, Israelis, Shoah Cultists, discomfited Republicans, and shown EU who calls the shots.
He has not done anything against JCPOA and Iran - yet. Nor has he presented any Sttategy for dealing with Iran, Arabs, and others.

LeaNder

Agree, Kooshy.

Iran: is were he can most easily deliver on his campaign promises. He clearly showed his intentions. Obviously most prominently in his speech at AIPAC, but also in his foreign policy speech.

No camouflage, concealment or deception in this case, not that I would put that past him generally. This is straightforward, Trumpism. OK, maybe by passing it on to congress. He is the boss, they will do it for him. His crowds must love that.

Yes, his claqueurs are in awe. Let's see Google: site:** Trump + Iran. Let me pick the conservative tree house, since I am sure sundance delivers dutifully:

https://tinyurl.com/ConTree-Trump-Iran

first comment post speech report:

Orygun says:
October 13, 2017 at 1:46 am

We are so fortunate to have President Trump to represent us. The seemingly invisible Americans that are just trying to raise a family and survive.

People in the Breitbart comment section must be heavily pleased too, let's check. Speech:

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/10/13/trump-decertifies-iran-nuclear-deal-threatens-terminate/

first comment:

Da Trumpstah • 9 hours ago

Cue the soros bots disguised as disgruntled trump supporters to be outraged in 3....2....

first of 118 responses:

Obamas Iran deal was a betrayal and infused over 100 billion dollars into the terrorist regime. Nothing can be done to get that money back, they already have it. Trump is giving Congress the chance to salvage, remedy and rectify what we still can. Just one example of for instance, the terrible nuke "deal" in place allows Iran to inspect the Parchin military site themselves -
unacceptable. Bottom line, the deal in place does nothing to prevent Iran from getting nukes. Remember BJ Clintons "deal" with N Korea that would prevent them from getting nukes? Lies Lies Lies. If Congress can't get the measures that needs to be in place, Trump will withdraw completely. Might as well. Iran is gonna try to go nuclear with or without the current deal in place. We need to box them in where we have full transparency and more controls. I believe Trump put us on a path to do just that. Only time will tell of course

I suppose, everyone remembers how Trump used this meme.

LeaNder

The irony may well be, that in this case he very, very much relies on the Iran threat tradition established by his hated "fake news". They surely established the topic on the average American's mind.

SC

According to Politico, Trump has been listening to Nikki Haley talk about Iran for some time:

"Two weeks after her return from [a July IAEA visit in] Vienna, in remarks at AEI, Haley floated what one NSC official described as the “initial trial balloon” for the path the administration laid out on Friday. “The purpose of the AEI speech was to figure out, ‘Is this gonna work? Does this thread that needle?’” the official said, describing a strategy by which the president would decertify the deal but remain a party to it."

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/13/nikki-haley-trump-iran-whisperer-243772

And that IAEA speech that's mentioned, well, yup, Trumps speech reads like muddled shortened version of it:
http://www.aei.org/publication/nikki-haley-address-on-iran-and-the-jcpoa/

dog ear

trump is ignorant because he is reflectthe right wing israelis....who have no clue about iranians.except the pistachios

J

Are we to now conclude that Trump is another Nixon part deaux?

It appears that in the backdrop, Kissinger has been advising Trump regarding U.S. furn policy. Kissinger is a big time NWO (some also spell him deep state as well) advocate.

There are a lot of old heads who intensely, intensely dislike and distrust Kissinger for various reasons, and for Trump to have Kissinger whispering into his right ear, find this very unnerving and disturbing.

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