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No to War with Iran! The Wounded Beast Syndrome…U.S. Assassinates Iranian General Qassim Suleimani in a Heliocopter Attack: The Day After – The Iranian missile attacks on two U.S. bases in Iraq

January 8, 2020

Two US military bases targeted by Iranian missile attack – January 7, 2020

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Still, a bit of a retreat “from the brink”… temporarily.

What is missing is a turn in policy which would shift Washington’s emphasis from regime change in Iran to the normalizing of relations a la joint comprehensive plan of action… but then…we’re far from that. And then there is the question of an Iraqi response to the killing of one of its leading politicians, Abdul Mahdi al Muhandis.

That said from a broader perspective, the future of U.S. bases throughout the Middle East has just become increasingly precarious…

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Again, in the spirit of not-too-long responses to the day’s events but some main points to help folk understand what is unfolding.

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Did NOT have a very good night’s sleep worried about whether we’re headed for a major regional conflagration in the Middle East but decided it was useless to stay up all night getting updates and resisted the temptation to do so.

Will post on the consequences over the next few days. Am getting the sense that Trump greatly understated how damaging this Iranian missile attack was both militarily to the bases…and to U.S. political prestige. Let’s see what shakes out.

Bottom line: Trump blinked.

Last night – in response to a number of inquiries from friends and several others, I wrote the following on social media:

And we are committed to work for PEACE which now seems so far away. And in the end, that is what we have always done and will continue to do. But sometimes when it seems the furthest away, it is right around the corner. Maybe, maybe not.

Is it that “peace” is right around the corner? No, but…

But rather than a ratcheting up of tensions, both the Iranians and the Trump Administration are trying to cool down the situation.

  • As if to bring the point home, this morning, Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, whom the Trump Administration has denied entry into the country to address the UN General Assemby , was quick to announce that “Iran says it has concluded its response to the U.S. strike and does not seek escalation.”
  • The more we learn about the missile strike, the more likely it was big on symbolism (ie – see, we can hit your military bases hundreds of miles away) but light on firepower. There are already initial reports that the actual bombs in the missiles purposely had no explosive power to minimize damage. Some of the missiles landed near and not in the U.S. bases. Consider that in September Iranian missile technology was accurate enough to bring down a major U.S. communication drone while avoiding a plane full of high level U.S. officers.

Considered what the Iranians could have done…this was from a military viewpoint a mild response, but  a highly political one.

It underlines the beginning of a political campaign to remove U.S. bases and military personnel from the Middle East. It focuses the world’s attention on the network of bases, the U.S. naval fleet in the region and makes it very clear that all this forward basing in the Middle East has a flip side to it as the bases and U.S. military personnel become easy targets not just for Iranian missiles but for the growing complex of anti-American movements throughout the region.

As for the Trump Administration response:

Surprisingly to me – President Trump did not turn to the air waves and issue some kind of bombastic statement. To the contrary, like his Iranian counterpart, Zarif, Trump simply tweeted “All is well.”

Then, surrounded by gang of Christian-Zionist, Neo-cons and Pentagon folks – add Netanyahu types and there, in a nutshell is his base – this morning Trump delivered disconnected response to the Iranian missile attack the main points of which were – after the usual chest beating and distortions of Iranian intentions:

– Well… it appears – no escalation. of course positive; maybe I’ll sleep better tonight

–  Trump intends to increase sanctions (what is left? has he found a way to cut off the air Iranians are breathing?) …

–  Through the bombast, or in spite of it, it appears that rather escalate the U.S. military role in the region that Trump is at least suggesting (at the same time he’s sending more troops and jet bombers to the region) that he wants to extricate the U.S. from Middle East – turn the mess – mostly U.S. manufactured – over to the Europeans (while still making the strategic decisions) through NATO… which as you know he’s kicked around quite a bit.

– Still, a bit of a retreat “from the brink”… temporarily.

What is missing is a turn in policy which would shift Washington’s emphasis from regime change in Iran to the normalizing of relations a la joint comprehensive plan of action… but then…we’re far from that. And then there is the question of an Iraqi response to the killing of one of its leading politicians, Abdul Mahdi al Muhandis.

That said from a broader perspective, the future of U.S. bases throughout the Middle East has just become increasingly precarious…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2020 11:22 am

    Is the Pentagon really so clearly a bedfellow with Trump and Bibi? Thanks for the update. John

    • January 8, 2020 12:17 pm

      Sort answer- yes for a more detailed discussion suggest coffee some time

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