Will Donald get his signature war?

Tom Camfield
Posted 6/21/19

As he continues to poke Iran with a stick, Donald Trump says he doesn’t want to go to war. But considering his military build-up, his insistent trash-talking of IRAN, his sanctions, his …

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Will Donald get his signature war?


As he continues to poke Iran with a stick, Donald Trump says he doesn’t want to go to war. But considering his military build-up, his insistent trash-talking of IRAN, his sanctions, his cuddling with Saudi Arabia (and Israel), his otherwise disdain for Muslims, is Donald looking to do something that he might feel would appear “heroic” in the minds of his white-supremacist nationalists where self-anointed machismo reigns? Is he trying to time things carefully in accord with the 2020 election? Does he want a signature “Trump War” to win him a place in history books (as I suspect)?

Just the other day, a twin attack on tankers (of other nations than ours) in the Persian Gulf (between Saudi Arabia and Iran on map) was blamed by Trump on Iran. Also, Iraq had to get Trump’s permission for a 90-day waiver to continue with vital energy imports from neighboring Iran. Trump reimposed crippling unilateral sanctions on Iran’s energy and finance sectors in November.

On the map will be seen looming SAUDI ARABIA, where Donald seems to worship the splendor of royal hedonism, dictatorial (and sometimes deadly) deprivation of human rights, ongoing misogyny. He sells a lot of arms and munitions there in an attempt to disguise as an economic benefit his affection for those such as the dominant prince responsible for the murder of an American journalist. Journalists, of course, are continuously described as “enemies of the people” by Donald, here in our own country.

Also on the map is YEMEN where the Saudis are making use of American missiles and other weapons to kill thousands (also slowly starving millions via an embargo on humanitarian aid). Coincidentally, the target of this assault is an Iranian political faction.

Regarding Iran et al: 1,500 additional U.S. troops were deployed to the Middle East in May. An additional 1,000 were ordered to the region in mid-June after Iran said it would exceed the limits of uranium stockpiles unless European countries helped it circumvent American sanctions. lran has been continuing to abide by terms of a 2015 Obama-era nuclear pact, from which Trump withdrew—then reinstated heavy uni-lateral sanctions.

Donald arbitrarily withdrew the U.S. with dramatic much-publicized flourish In May 2018 from the nuclear agreement (with which other countries involved continued to honor), saying the deal wasn’t tough enough. Since then the administration has steadily imposed ever harsher sanctions on Iran’s economy, which has sharply declined. Until recently, Iran has held up its side of the original bargain, still in force with five other countries: freezing much of its nuclear activity in return for relief from harsh sanctions.

Iran now is essentially threatening to shorten its timeline to develop a nuclear weapon, which Donald has said he would take military action to prevent. He took office vowing to solve nuclear crises in both Iran and North Korea. But he has done little regarding North Korea, other than occasionally praising the character of dictator Kim Jong Un.

I picture Trump dreaming of domineering a war room by over-riding the advice of military advisors who actually read and understand critical information—pointing to his own “stable genius” and fabulous “gut instinct.” Undoubtedly simultaneously holding pep rallies to brag about his “bold decisions” and denigrate his critics.

The above map also includes ISRAEL, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu June 16 announced naming a new settlement in the controversial Golan Heights after his "great friend" Donald Trump. Donald beams in that sort of spotlight. A huge sign including “Trump Heights” was ceremoniously unveiled. The Golan Heights, which was seized by Israel from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967 and annexed in 1981, is regarded as illegally occupied territory by the global community. The UN Security Council has deemed Israel's administration of the area "null and void and without legal effect," and the UN special envoy for Syria recently reiterated that position.

Not on the map is PALESTINE, not yet generally recognized as a nation separate from Israel by various governments and cartographers. It’s a mystery whatever happened to the supposed Israel-Palestine peace accord supposedly being formulated by one of Donald’s advisors, his son-in-law Jared Kuschner. The situation sort of blows away justification for Jared’s hanging around, in this particular glaring example of Trump-family nepotism.

On the map here also is IRAQ where we’re still involved militarily since 2003 when George W. Bush initiated his personal grandstand war there.

And then there’s SYRIA, where we continue to be outplayed by Russia and bloody dictatorial President Bashar Hafez al-Assad, who has reigned for 19 years.


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Justin Hale

More half truths and fake news from the partisan Trump haters.

Let me get this straight Tom, President Trump has disdain for Muslims( according to you ), and yet he cuddles up to the Saudis, hmmm OK.

Iran has been under sanctions of one sort or another since 1979, so saying "his sanctions" is just more partisan Trump hating myopia.

"Just the other day, a twin attack on tankers (of other nations than ours) in the Persian Gulf (between Saudi Arabia and Iran on map) was blamed by Trump on Iran. "....."On Sunday, House Intelligence Committee chair and fierce Trump critic Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said on CBS News’ Face the Nation “[t]here’s no question that Iran is behind the attacks. I think the evidence is very strong and compelling.” Two days later, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who doesn’t get along with Trump at all, said there was “strong evidence” Iran committed the two strikes.".(https://www.vox.com/world/2019/6/19/18691750/iran-oil-tanker-attack-trump-merkel-schiff)

Trump sent our military into the Persian Gulf because there was intel that warned of such attacks, and they happened. But hey, any excuse to dump on Trump, right Tom.

Iran supports Hezbollah, Syrian leader Assad, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and you want to bad mouth America and our President ?

"Donald arbitrarily withdrew the U.S. with dramatic much-publicized flourish In May 2018 from the nuclear agreement (with which other countries involved continued to honor), saying the deal wasn’t tough enough." Trump did not, could not, certify that Iran was in compliance because Iran would not allow the IAEA inspectors onto their military bases. But what the heck, details ,details, just keep dumping your partisan BS on Trump.

"I picture Trump dreaming of domineering a war room by over-riding the advice of military advisors". You mean like he did this morning by halting the strikes against Iranian bases when he learned that over a hundred people could be killed.

Friday, June 21
Tom Camfield

Things began moving right along shortly after the time I submitted the foregoing blog on Thursday.

The Saudi-led military coalition inflicts 60% of Yemen deaths and injuries, according to a United Nations briefing. “The month of April was the deadliest month for civilians in Yemen so far this year, with a sharp increase in casualties. At least 236 civilians were killed and 238 injured in Yemen in April – a total of 474 civilian casualties, well over double the 180 civilian casualties documented in March this year.”

The U.S. is complicit in these ongoing deaths from bombings, etc. Starvation also continues among millions due to a Saudi embargo on any incoming humanitarian aid. In Congress recently, both houses recently have moved, under the 1973 War Powers Act, to cut off military assistance, the sales of billions of dollars of weaponry, to the Saudis.

Trump has vetoed all such votes, the latest in the very same April in which 474 Yemen civilian casualties were reported. Thursday, lawmakers filed 22 resolutions of disapproval of the arms sales. The Senate also voted 53-45 to block two of the sales which Trump included in his “emergency” declaration (under the Arms Export Control Act) he came up with to justify the sale of $8.1 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Donald is expected to veto the Senate vote.

Yet Donald would have us believe that he rode in on a white horse Thursday to effect a heroic last-minute nullification of a planned retaliatory attack on Iran for the shooting down on American spy drone. Tanking in the election polls, he milked the Iran standoff by announcing he’d called off the attack just 10 minutes before launch on suddenly discovering it would involve loss of life for an estimated 150 Muslims.

Give me a break! Even though he insists on demonstrating that he’s running a one-man show (presently even without a Secretary of Defense), this is really a push too far of the believability envelope. Obviously a military attack is going to kill people.

This all is way beyond mere hypocrisy. It is a mixture of egomania and sociopathy.

Friday, June 21
Justin Hale

Saudi Arabia lead a coalition of nine countries from the Middle East and Africa, all allies of the Internationally recognized Hadi government while Obama was President, and any arms that the Saudis had were amassed way before Trump was in office. I'd like to see your blog dumping on the Obama administration for getting US involved in that mess.

I think the President made a wise choice in stopping the mission to strike back on Iran, outside of the Trump haters I think most sane people believe it was a good move.

And No, not all military attacks involve killing people. The Iranians shot down an unmanned drone, that was a military attack.

Saturday, June 22
Tom Camfield

Well, Justin,, I suppose we could nit-pick things. I, for instance, do not rate shooting down an unmanned done as a "military attack." And I don't want to go back to the Obama years scratching about for justifiable precedent when discussing auch things as Donald's abetting the internecine slaughter by Saudi Sunnis of Muslim Shiites in Yemen—without a care for collateral suffering and death of innocents.

As for Donald's "decision" re: attacking Iran, I think that's so much hogwash. An administration with half a collective mind would be looking to negotiations about now. Iranians are not a bunch off non-white savages. They are a civilization much older than our own; they are intelligent and technologically advanced; any superiority on the racial side is all in Donald's mind. A little more respect for the benevolent side oF Islam wouldn't hurt, both here at home and abroad.

We're tromping around a bit too arrogantly in some areas of the Middle East. It's sort of like the mindless religious Crusdaes of the 12- and 1300s. Some of the battles today are a bit of our own making, some inspired by oil resources, something that should have no real value in looking to the future.

We have to get rid of the narcissistic, bigoted plutocrat running our government.

Saturday, June 22
Justin Hale

I notice that every time I catch you in a half truth or distortion of reality you say I'm "nit-picking". If the Iranian military shooting down a US military surveillance drone isn't a military attack I don't know what is. There need not be bodies in a military attack, techno wars can cripple a nation without shedding one drop of blood.

"An administration with half a collective mind would be looking to negotiations about now."..... So Toms advice to the POTUS after receiving credible intel of a threat to ships in the Persian Gulf is to sit down and talk ? Negotiate what? The Iranian government would lie, "no we're not going to attack ships in the gulf" and then go ahead and do it.

I know a few Iranian immigrants, some prefer to be known as Persian, lived here since the fall of Shah Reza Pahlavi, they are fine people, it's a shame their government is so messed up.

"We have to get rid of the narcissistic, bigoted plutocratS running our government." Right!, we need a fresh batch of narcissistic, bigoted plutocrats, there are plenty on both sides to choose from.

Saturday, June 22

Perhaps you're right about negotiations. Donald is bull-headed about winning big on things to the point that he can label others as "losers." And the way he has been tossing aside existing agreements—trade, environment, the nuclear agreement with iran itself—how could anyone trust him anyway. Same with any regulations with Obama's fingerprints on them—like the limits on emissions by coal-burning power plants that Dpma; cirruong is tossing out.

One way or another, "the enemy gets a vote," as historic war strategisets have been fond of saying—also former Secretary of Defense James Mattis as recently as a year go. Basically that just means that

however masterful a maneuver the United States executes, the impact depends on how the adversary responds, and not just on what the United States has done.

Sunday, June 23
Justin Hale

"he can label others as "losers." .... You mean like Hillary called Trump supporters a "basket of deplorables"?

The nuclear agreement with Iran was pretty much voided when Iran restricted the IAEA from their military bases, Trump could not certify that Iran was in compliance with the terms of the agreement. Do you trust Iran more than your own government?

Sunday, June 23
Tom Camfield

When it comes to trust, Donald is at the very bottom of my list.

And I'll happily comment more about him. He talks a big game whee the military is concerned, but if the fates had ever put him in a foxhole in a war zone, who on earth would want to be in there with him depending on him to be concerned with anyone but himself. He's definitely not the sort of person one would choose to ride the river with.

i"m moving on here, girding my mental loins to survrve his hijacking of the Fourth of July, And yes, I"m a veteran, 1951-'53.

Monday, June 24
Justin Hale

Donald Trump is not the entirety of the U.S. Government, I know you don't trust him, but I asked if you trust Iran more than your own government.

Monday, June 24
Tom Camfield

There's no off-hand short answer to this, Justin. And when you talk about my "own government" you're taking about a one-man rule I seem to be stuck with at the moment You may be the only one reading this response, but nonetheless . . .

The Iran nuclear deal framework was a preliminary framework agreement reached in 2015 between the Islamic Republic of Iran and a group of world powers: the P5+1 (the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China—plus Germany) and the European Union.

On May 8, 2018, Donald Trump announced the United States was withdrawing from the deal, then went on to Impose still more punishing economic sanctions against Tehran. (This unilateral style of his also was illustrated in his personal withdrawal from the Paris accord on Global Warming.)

His motivation, beyond the fact that the original pact was negotiated by Barack Obama and abetted by Hillary Clinton? Who can say?

Meanwhile, Iran has continued to live up to the requirements of the original agreement, despite Donald’s continuing assault against their Islamic republic. Presumably, I suppose, because he doesn’t like their attitude toward his chosen allies such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. In any case, it all boils down to:

June 27, 2019 (today, as I write this): Iran is still short of the maximum amount of enriched uranium it is allowed to have under its deal with major powers but it is on course to reach that limit at the weekend, the latest data from U.N. nuclear inspectors shows, diplomats say. This makes it unlikely Iran will follow through on its threat to violate one of the nuclear deal’s central restrictions on Thursday, which could have unravelled the pact altogether.

It also sets up a meeting with other signatories on Friday aimed at saving the accord, which is straining under U.S. pressure. Will we be involved there, or will we be forced to just follow the petulant egomania of Donald, whose aim in life seems to be just getting the better of everyone else?

Whom do I trust? It could be none of the above eventually. But I’m not going to become some simple-minded “death to Iran” type. I’m still holding out for big-picture negations and diplomacy, despite the U.S. spy drone incident. Beats the hell out of war.

Here’s one current link I’ve drawn on today: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-iran-usa-nuclear-exclusive-idUSKCN1TS0S

Thursday, June 27
Justin Hale

The deal with Iran included IAEA's unfettered access to Irans nuclear facilities, the Iranians did not allow access to their military bases. It's like saying " sure you cops can search my house for drugs, except the basement." Is that the kind of deal you would agree to?

Saturday, June 29
Tom Camfield

With the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China—plus Germany) and the European Union also involved in the original agreement, it seems it would have been appropriate to seek some new multi-lateral accord. But Donald doesn't believe in that sort of thing. The world has to do everything HIS way and right this minute!

He seems to have no patience for reading military briefings (or anything else) or for actually shutting up long enough to listen to other people.

What was it Donald raised the military defense budget last time around—50-some billion? That's a 20th of a trillion dollars right there. I hope that Americans with empty bellies all will make it to the polls in 2020 to object to this costly saber-rattling by pompous Donald. I can't wait to hear whatever nonsense he will be spouting over the 4th of July.

Sunday, June 30
Justin Hale

I don't think our foreign policies should be dependent on the acquiescence of other nations, so far I agree with everything President Trump has done regarding the nuclear deal with Iran, but then I don't share your visceral hatred towards our POTUS .

I'm not a big fan of our bloated military budget either, but remember, the Congress approved it. Did Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell approve that budget?

"I can't wait to hear whatever nonsense he will be spouting over the 4th of July." You've already pre-judged whatever Trump has to say on the 4th, no matter what he says you will find fault with it.

Sunday, June 30
Tom Camfield

We'll soon see what Mr. Tough Guy with bone spurs has to say on the 4th. I expect his occasional feckless photo-op drop-ins with Kim will somehow be overblown in any reference to American freedom—along with, perhaps his threatening posture on Iran. But I probably won't gag unless he gets down to the bottom of his barrel and starts telling us about an all-time low unemployment rate among blacks.

Monday, July 1