- Trump and Bolton Are Putting War With Iran on a Hair Trigger
by Bob Dreyfuss, https://www.thenation.com/
The announcement that the Pentagon is sending a strike force to the Middle East caps a yearlong campaign of threats and intimidation.
Is it Iraq all over again? Is President Donald Trump, egged on by two ultra-hawkish advisers in National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, seeking to launch an illegal, unauthorized war against a country in the Middle East after demonizing its leaders and making bogus charges about weapons of mass destruction? Just as President George W. Bush, led on by Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, invaded Iraq using false charges that Baghdad had a secret stash of nuclear and chemical arms, over the past few weeks the White House has taken a series of provocative, unwarranted steps that have brought the United States and Iran to the brink of war.
That’s the conclusion of two Democratic senators, Tom Udall of New Mexico and Dick Durbin of Illinois, who were alarmed enough to write an op-ed in The Washington Post, in which they warned, “Sixteen years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we are again barreling toward another unnecessary conflict in the Middle East based on faulty and misleading logic.”
And as Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, Tehran is convinced that what he calls “the B Team”—Bolton, Bibi, bin Salman, and bin Zayed, the last three being Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and effective ruler of the United Arab Emirates—are determined to force regime change in Iran. “President Trump says that the pressure will bring Iran to its knees,” said Zarif.
“The other day, Secretary Pompeo was asked if he was planning a coup d’état in Iran. And you know what he said? Any diplomat, even if they’re planning a coup, would deny it! But he said, if I were planning a coup, I wouldn’t tell you. Sometimes people say what’s in the back of their mind,” Zarif added. (The exact quote, according to Axios, came in a speech by Pompeo to an Iranian-American group, in which he said, “Even if we [were], would I be telling you guys about it?”)