Monday, 6 February 2017

The Trump White House threatens Iran

The Empty Threat Against Iran - National Security Advisor Flynn Embarrasses Himself

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4 february, 2017


Trump's National Security Advisor Flynn keeps demonstrating the limits of is strategic-intellectual capacity. He went in front of the cameras and issued this empty threat:
The international community has been too tolerant of Iran’s bad behavior. The ritual of convening a United Nations Security Council in an emergency meeting and issuing a strong statement is not enough. The Trump Administration will no longer tolerate Iran’s provocations that threaten our interests.
The days of turning a blind eye to Iran’s hostile and belligerent actions toward the United States and the world community are over.
What is such bluster supposed to achieve?

Interestingly the statement came out just an hour after Donald Rumsfeld left the White Housewhere he had talked about "process" with Flynn and NSC staff.
The neo-conservatives are of course very happy about such nonsense talk. Obama Should Thank Trump for Putting Iran on Notice writes Eli Lake. 

James Rubin intones: Finally, the president made a smart move on foreign policy. For the very first time the neoconned Washington Post editors are lauding Trump and highlight Flynn's juvenile outburst.

But the U.S. has no way to coerce the 80 million Iranians into anything. The Bush administration learned that (it was one reason why Rumsfeld was fired), the Obama administration acknowledged it and the Trump administration will have to accept that too.

Iran has been under U.S. sanction since 1979. A few more years of unilateral U.S. sanctions will not change its positions one iota. The "international community" supports the nuclear deal and encouraged the lifting of international sanctions. It will not agree to new ones just because some Trump flunky says so.
Iran is needed to achieve peace and to fight Islamic terrorism in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. To even try such without Iranian involvement would require hundred-thousands of U.S. troops. They would fail should Iran decide to not support them. Indeed there is nothing that can be achieved in the Middle East without Iran. While it has only limited capabilities to actively interfere in other countries it can throw up hurdles everywhere and block U.S. controlled solutions.

Smaller direct U.S. attacks on Iran would be responded to with attacks by Iranian proxies elsewhere. U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially their resupplies, would be in imminent danger. A large attack on Iran itself would lead to the destruction of U.S. military bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Every U.S. ship passing through the Street of Hormuz would come under fire.

There will be no significant international support for any U.S. move against Iran. Sending the USS Cole to the Yemeni coast while fantasizing about Houthi mining the waters is a just too obvious setup for a "Gulf of Tonkin" replay.

Any significant military move against Iran would be a strategic foreign policy disaster just like the Bush administration attack on Iraq was one. That attack strengthened Iran's long term position. An attack on the country itself would achieve the same on a much larger scale.

The more grown ups in the Trump administration know all this. Secretary of Defense Mattis, no friend of Iran at all, pulled the rug out from under Flynn's empty threat:
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday that the threat from Iran’s missile program does not currently require the realignment of U.S. forces in the Middle East, striking a note of restraint shortly after the White House issued a strong warning to Tehran.
The U.S. Central Command on the Middle East was not even informed about the Flynn threat towards Iran. The move is obviously no a thought through administration policy.

Is Flynn freelancing with such threats trying to prove his worthiness for the administration? Or was he set up by others to embarrass himself?


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