#016 – A Cycle of Stupidity

 

A Cycle of Stupidity

“We are officially putting Iran on notice,” with that Gen. Michael Flynn drew the line in the sand. Translation: “Iran we are looking for reasons to bomb you!” The cycle of stupidity continues.

Is it a crime for Iran to test ballistic missiles within its borders? No! Is it a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (the Iran Nuclear Treaty)?  No! So, why are we threatening Iran? Maybe history can shed some light.

Like other U.S. Presidents, Donald Trump and his “boys” are cherry picking historical events to support further hostilities, most recently Iran. The Saudi’s and Israelis understand this and take full advantage of our historical amnesia.

Israel with a “never let a good crisis go to waste” policy and the Saudi’s with the US petro-dollar connection are the first to push us into open conflict with the Iranians. After all, “Iran is the principal source for world terrorism and regional disorder.”

Our relationships with Israel and Saudi Arabis is amplified by the fact that President Trump choose to surround himself with Israeli-Saudi cheerleaders. Both Flynn and “Mad Dog” Mattis, are full pledged belligerents towards Iran.

General Flynn keeps repeating that Iran’s clerical regime cannot be reformed and that the only way to deal with it is to bring about a regime change.

Meanwhile Mattis calls Iran the “most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East,” and “the single most belligerent actor in the Middle East”. Mattis also has described Iran as “not a nation state (but) a revolutionary cause devoted to mayhem.”

Can Flynn’s and Mattis’ hatred be trace back to the he 1983 Beirut Barracks Bombings that killed 241 of Mattis’ fellow US Marines? After all the suicide driver of that explosive laden truck was an Iranian national.  It is believed that the “newly formed” Islamic Republic of Iran (1979) was heavily involved in this bomb attack.

Many believe that this attack was “blowback” orchestrated from Iran for two reasons. First, Iran suffered greatly from America’s support of Iraq in the 1980 Iran–Iraq War.  Thats right, back in the day we aided and abetted Saddam Hussein against Iran. Secondly, during that war the U.S. extended a $2.5 billion trade credit to Iraq while halting the shipments of supplies, arms and other needed exports to Iran.

In the 1980’s the US’s policy was heavily influenced by the 1979 Iranian revolution when Iranian students protested that the US allowed the  “Shah” to enter the US for medical treatment.

The students protests culminated with the taking of more than 60 US hostages for 444 day. The students demanded that the leader of the tyrannical Pahlavi (Shah) Regime be extradited to stand trial for crimes committed against the people of Iran.

This demand put the US in a dilemma, a “Catch-22″,  after all, the Shah was installed into power after a 1953 US/CIA backed coup that overthrew the very popular Prime Minister Mosaddegh’s government.

In 1951, Mosaddegh was overwhelmingly elected prime minister in a fair democratic process. However, he quickly fell out of favor when he proposed to nationalize the Iranian oil industry. So, in 1953 he was out. History, you cannot ignore it.

Examining the 3 reasons for Flynn putting “Iran on Notice.”

Reason #1 “Recent Iranian actions, including a provocative ballistic missile launch.” The reference here is that Iran is in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Resolution 2231 was the result of the negotiations between six world powers – (the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany) and Iran. There was never any linkage between Iran’s nuclear program and its ballistic missile programs.

The limiting of Iran’s missiles was discussed early in the proceedings but after Iran balked at the proposed restriction of domestic ballistic testing the United States dropped the matter. It did not seem to be a problem, since the United Nations and other international organizations already had some missile restrictions in place.

However, Resolution 2231 rescinded six previous resolutions aimed at Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. It negated Resolution 1929, which instructed that “Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that States shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency—the organization responsible for monitoring Resolution 2231—has confirmed this. The Iranian foreign ministry statement indicates that missile tests “are an integral component” of Iran’s self-defense.”

The Security Council resolution enacted after negotiation of the nuclear agreement did include a hortatory clause “calling” on Iran to lay off the missile tests.  This is at best a stretch to call the latest test a “violation” of this resolution, and it certainly is not a violation of the nuclear agreement or any other agreement that Iran has signed.

Logically, it makes sense that country should be allowed to develop their ballistic missile defensive capabilities. I do believe that Iran has one or two enemies in the Middle East and beyond.

Besides, if the nuclear agreement is upheld and Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, the Iranian ballistic missiles are of minor importance because they do not pose a threat to U.S. interests. All indications support the fact that Iran has, to date, complied with Resolution 2231.

Iran has a large missile arsenal with no long-range ballistic missiles; three of its regional neighbors do. Iran has no nuclear warheads for its missiles; two of its regional neighbors do. Iran does not have a large and modern air force as an alternative means of projecting force as do Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Reason #2 “an attack against a Saudi naval vessel conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants

The Saudis have been bombing the Houthi rebels and Yemen since March of 2015, when a coalition of Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia, supported by the United States, began an aggressive campaign, known as Operation Decisive Storm, aimed at restoring their “guy” back into power.

The Saudi’s blockades and bombings have devastated the Yemeni people. The Saudi’s bombing campaign destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure. They have destroyed bridges, roads, schools, hospitals, water wells and reports indicate that even farms and orchards have all been targeted.

The Saudi Arabian coalition enforcement of a naval blockade on Yemen has shut down its imports. Ninety percent of food and medicine required by the Yemeni has virtually disappeared. The United Nations estimates that more than 80 percent of Yemen’s population of 23 million are in immediate need of humanitarian assistance.

By the way Gen. Flynn, we are right there behind the Saudi’s operation. We supply the bombs, the intelligence and the maintenance that allow their aircraft to wreak havoc on Yemen. * Recent history of Yemen

The Houthi and the Saudis are at war. In war the combatants attack each other. A US General knows this, why use “miss-information”. In this war, the Saudis are not immune from any of Yemen’s or Houthi retaliation. In fact, I would be more surprised if the Houthis did not try to go after Saudi forces at sea as well as on land.

Is there evidence that Iran had a role in the Red Sea attack on the Saudi ship?                  

Did Flynn disregard the fact that whatever aid Iran gives to the Houthis pales in comparison to the direct military intervention by the Saudis and Emiratis, which is responsible for most of the civilian casualties in Yemen.

Gen. Flynn you can not disregard that the Houthis are not obedient clients of Iran. In the past the Houthis have ignored Iran when they advised them to restraint their operations and ignored them when they suggested not to attack Sana.

There has not been any evidence whatever, at least not among what is publicly known, that Iran had anything to do the attack on the Saudi ship. Even if Iran supplied the hardware or even the intelligence for the attempted bombing of the Saudi vessel how does this pose a threat to U.S. assets in the area?

Nor was anything said that the major U.S. terrorist concern in Yemen, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is also an enemy of the Houthi.  Nor is there any mention that the former president and longtime U.S. counterterrorist partner Ali Abdullah Salih is allied with the Houthis. Does Flynn understand this quagmire?

Come on man! Pulling the Houthi-Iran card out is ridiculous. Don’t beat around the bush just come out and say it. You can even quote General Curtis LeMay, “they’ve got to draw in their horns and stop their aggression, or we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.”

Reason #3 “Iran’s destabilizing behavior across the Middle East.”

What destabilization? Hezbollah, Hamas, supporting Assad in Syria or is it the Houthi connection? All I can say Israel, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who bitterly opposed the 2015 nuclear agreement, immediately condemned the Iranian missile test on last Monday. He said he would press the Trump administration to renew economic sanctions on Tehran when he visits Washington this month.

Bibi Netanyahu hailed Flynn’s statement, calling Iran’s missile test a flagrant violation of the U.N. resolution and declaring, “Iranian aggression must not go unanswered.” What aggression? Never let a good crisis go to waste, may have been a more appropriate response from Netanyahu.

The Saudi king spoke with Trump last Sunday. Did he persuade the president to get America more engaged against Iran? After all Riyadh and the United States are unquestioningly sided in their rivalry with Iran.

Our relationship has endorsed “A four-decade long, $100 billion global Saudi effort to box in and undermine, a post-1979 revolution Iranian system of government. The Saudi’s see the Islamic Rule of Iran as an existential threat to the autocratic rule of the Al Saud family. The Saud family in turn has funded ultra-conservative political and religious groups has contributed to the rise of supremacism, intolerance and anti-pluralism across the Muslim world and created potential breeding grounds of extremism.”

Meanwhile many of the US neo-cons in Congress like Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and Paul Ryan are delighted with the White House tough talk. How can US Congressmen fail to realize that it is not good diplomacy to back a country into a corner?

A public threat against  Iran, “putting them on notice”, makes it almost impossible for Iran, or Trump, to put the toothpaste back into the tube. Tehran is almost obliged to defy it. Sovereignty allows for nations to test conventional missiles for their defense within their borders.

In 1983, after the Beirut Barracks Bombing, President Reagan realized that we did not belong and he withdrew our troops. He did not submit to escalation, he prudently allowed for extrication. Please review the very brief history of non-intervention and ignore the voice of General LeMay.

Please just step off the cycle of stupidity.

 

* Recent history of Yemen: The country that we have been droning since the 2002; the country that just last week we lost a Navy seal in Trump’s first boots on the ground attack: the country that just last week we killed civilian women and children: the country that we have executed US citizens ranging from ages 40 years old to 8 years old: the country where we bomb the AQAP (al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula) while supporting al Qaeda in Syria.

 

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