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On War With Iran, It’s Trump Versus the Founding Fathers

May 23, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

War between the United States and Iran looms, even though the
latter poses no threat to the former. President Donald Trump says
he doesn’t want war but for the Iranians to call him. Perhaps his
entire campaign is an elaborate effort to scare Tehran to the
negotiating table. Or perhaps he hopes to win political support by
fomenting a foreign crisis. How ironic that would be: in 2011,
Trump warned via tweet that “Barack Obama will attack Iran in the
not too distant future because it will help him win the
election.”

However, the president already ran against the Islamic Republic,
in 2016. Moreover, his words have been incendiary, threatening “the
official end of Iran.” Although U.S. intelligence officials admit
that Tehran’s confrontational rhetoric is largely a response to
Washington’s aggression, the administration’s military moves are
sharply increasing tensions as well as the possibility of a costly
mistake or misjudgment.

The War Party is active again in the Imperial City. Before
joining the administration, National Security Advisor John Bolton
forthrightly called for an attack on the Islamic Republic.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also demanded regime change in Iran.
More recently, he admitted that sanctions were intended to induce
the Iranian people to “change the government.” While claiming not
to seek war, he threatened retaliation for any attack by Iranian
“proxy forces” and on “American interests.”

Tehran has long been a favorite target of influential
neoconservatives and ultra-hawks. The invasion of Iraq almost
immediately led to calls for a turn to Tehran. Several years ago,
Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute of Near East Policy
suggested staging a false flag operation: if “the Iranians aren’t
going to compromise,” he said, “it would be best if somebody else
started the war.” Today, Senator Tom Cotton predicts an easy
American victory.

The Saudis also openly favor an American war against Iran.
(Defense Secretary Robert Gates once quipped that Riyadh would
fight Iran “to the last American.”) A newspaper owned by the royal
family last week called on Washington to “hit hard.” Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has worked tirelessly to inflate
the Iranian “threat” and told a TV interviewer that he’d convinced
Trump to abandon the nuclear deal.

Yet conflict with Iran would be a disaster, far worse than with
Iraq. Even the Council on Foreign Relations’ Max Boot, a vocal
neoconservative and uber-hawk, has warned against this. And
Americans would not be the only casualties. Jason Rezaian, The
Washington Post
reporter who spent more than a year in an
Iranian prison, observed: “those who will suffer most have little
say in the matter. It’s the Iranian people who have borne the brunt
of 40 years of enmity …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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