How to Start an Unnecessary War

Philip Giraldi – The Unz Review June 25, 2019

Global Hawk drone. Click to enlarge

I confess to being mystified by those Americans who lean conservative, like myself, who continue to think that President Donald J. Trump is somehow doing a good job. To be sure, the economy continues to add mostly low paying jobs but claims that the new tax law benefits the middle class are a bit hard to swallow as the elimination of a whole category of deductions for state and local taxes means that I and many other middle-income types will be paying more. And there are whole policy-categories where the Trump record is appalling, to include the federal deficit, trade disputes that are alienating friends and allies, and sheer obstinate idiocy regarding the environment and climate change. Meanwhile, the president’s unrelenting moronic tweets and ridicule of critics have demeaned the office that he holds and made him look like a buffoon.

But Trump was not elected necessarily to create jobs or provide clean water, to make international trade more fair, or to pay attention to the weather. He was elected on two issues. The first was immigration, which energized folks in working class communities who were watching the America they grew up and the jobs that sustained it disappear in a confrontation with an unassimilable wave of mostly Latin American illegal immigrants. Trump promised to put a stop to the flow of immigrants across the border by building a wall if necessary while also catching and deporting illegals currently in the country.

The second issue was foreign policy, and more specifically the termination of the never-ending war legacy that Trump inherited from George W. Bush and Barack Obama, which motivated people like myself to vote for him. He exploited legitimate concerns over “Hillary the Hawk” and promised to disengage from existing conflicts in Afghanistan and Syria while more-or-less pledging not to get involved in further democracy promotion or regime change.

To no one’s surprise, perhaps, after more than two years in office the border wall is not built and the United States is confronting an increased flow of refugees coming from Mexico, inclusive of Central Americans and even Africans who are now into the game of claiming asylum in the U.S. To be sure, much of the problem rests with Congress, which refuses to authorize money for increased border security or pass sensible legislation to change America’s awful immigration system. Indeed, Trump is in fact deporting more illegals, but the deportations cannot keep up with the numbers of new arrivals.

Regarding foreign policy, Trump has not started any new wars though he has twice attacked Syria and he came very close to a serious escalation last Thursday when, for reasons that remain obscure, he stopped a planned attack on Iran at the last minute. And he is still in Syria-Iraq and Afghanistan in spite of somewhat confused assertions that he would be drawing down the number of troops in both theaters. And the absence of new wars is demonstrably not for lack of trying, witness the constant belligerence expressed towards all competitor nations as well as the comic opera coup attempt orchestrated in Venezuela.

Whatever Trump’s better angels might be, if he has any, the appointments of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State and John Bolton as his National Security Advisor would seem to confirm that the president is disdainful of diplomacy and inclined to threats of military responses to “contain” or change the behavior of countries counted as adversaries. But, at the same time, the president is painfully aware that another indecisive war in the Middle East could cost him re-election, so he is hesitant to pull the trigger.

Most disappointing of all, the relationship with Russia, which Trump pledged to improve, is worse than it was during the Cold War due to a complete failure to engage President Vladimir Putin in an adult and serious fashion. But if there is one area of foreign policy where Trump has been unwavering, it is his expressed hatred for Iran, which was hinted at during his presidential campaign when he kept referring to the “terrible” nuclear agreement entered into in 2015 by President Obama with that country. Pundits have blamed his subsequent repudiation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on hostility for Obama and all his works, but the real reason more likely has to do with money. Israeli-American casino multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson pumped tens of millions of dollars into the Republican Party in 2016, effectively buying it for Israel.

Donald Trump, his most generous backer Sheldon Adelson and Adelson’s wife Miriam. Click to enlarge

Adelson is the most despicable type of Israel-firster, barely concealing his singular loyalty to the Jewish state. He served in the U.S. Army but has said that he is ashamed of that service and would have preferred to be in the Israeli Army. He has also advocated dropping a nuclear weapon on Iran to send a message. Adelson, unfortunately, has Trump’s ear as well as his wallet, the two men reportedly exchanging telephone calls on a weekly basis.

Trump’s argument for the withdrawal from the JCPOA adhered closely to the Adelson/neoconservative line that Iran has been cheating on production of a weapon and would, in any event, be “guaranteed” to develop one as soon as the agreement expires in 2030. Trump also opposed returning Iran’s own money, which had been frozen in U.S. accounts under sanctions, claiming that it would be a “windfall” used to buy and upgrade weapons. The new president insisted that he would be able to negotiate a “better deal,” but the White House walked away from the agreement even though nearly every high official at the Pentagon and State Department argued that it was beneficial to U.S. interests to continue. At the time of the withdrawal and still to this day, Iran was and is subject to an invasive inspection regime and has been reported to be fully compliant with the terms of the JCPOA.

The JCPOA withdrawal chiefly benefited Israel, and it is just possible that it actually was planned there, as a naïve Trump was consistently outmaneuvered and manipulated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Adelson. Once out of the nuclear agreement, the march towards a real, shooting war began and has been deliberately escalated ever since, particularly after Mike Pompeo and John Bolton became major players in the cabinet.

No one in the White House has ever made the effort to explain exactly how Iran threatens the United States, apart from repeated offhand comments about having to protect Israel or “send a message.” Urged on by Israel and Saudi Arabia, the United States has been playing the unwitting fool in its willingness to take the lead in denying Iran any legitimate role in the Middle East region. After pulling out of the JCPOA, the U.S. re-instituted punitive sanctions and then punished other countries for dealing with Iran or abiding by the JCPOA agreement. The Administration, including the president, boasted how the severe sanctions would cause the Iranian economy to collapse. Trump has also several times threatened to completely destroy Iran. As the punishment being meted out has increased, the Administration has also heated up its own rhetoric, claiming that it was Iran and not the U.S. that had become more aggressive and threatening.

Last month, the White House initiated a complete blockade on Iranian energy exports, also threatening secondary sanctions on anyone seeking to ignore the restrictions being unilaterally declared and coming out of Washington. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was also declared to be a foreign terrorist organization, leading to still more sanctions and the dispatch of an aircraft carrier and strategic bombers to the Middle East followed by still more troops last week to defend against Iranian “hostile behavior.”

The Administration has accused Iran of several recent attacks on tankers, but the lack of evidence has even made it difficult for media friends and many Iran-hating congressmen to believe the claims. But make no mistake, the situation is approaching the boiling point with Pompeo and Bolton reportedly driving the process behind the back of a largely disengaged Trump. Meanwhile, the Iranian shoot-down of a U.S. drone on Wednesday produced even more calls for a military response. The New York Times’ leading Zionist columnist Bret Stephens called for an attack by U.S. forces to sink the Iranian navy. Senator Tom Cotton, a Trump ally, urged a retaliatory military strike,” while Pompeo warned that any killing of an American soldier or sailor in Syria or Iraq will be blamed on Iran and a U.S. military response will follow.

Those calling for action almost got what they wanted last week, but perhaps the most dangerous moves being made by the Administration relate to how the United States goes to war. The War Powers Act of 1973, passed after the fraudulent Gulf of Tonkin incident of 1964 which led to escalation in Vietnam, permits the president to respond with armed force against an imminent threat or an actual act of war by an adversary. But he must inform congress within 48 hours, detailing why he acted as he did, and between 60 and 90 days afterwards he must remove the troops or obtain a declaration of war by Congress to continue the conflict.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, obviously representing the Administration viewpoint, is now claiming that the War Powers Act is not relevant as Iran is covered under the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF). Pompeo sought to convince a group of congressmen that the AUMF, which contains a blanket approval to use force against al-Qaeda and associated groups, also includes Iran because it has connections to al-Qaeda. This is an argument that has been made in the past, but the congressmen and even the media covering the story were not convinced by it.

If the White House has its way in this instance, it will be able to start wars anywhere at any time just by citing the AUMF no matter how implausible the argument being made is. And worse still would follow even if Congress then does the right thing and impeaches Trump. That would make Mike Pence president.

And, of course, no one in the White House has any idea what comes next after the bombs begin to fall.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

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6 responses to “How to Start an Unnecessary War”

  1. Unnecessary war? The war is very necessary for the Zionists. The war is essential for Israeli hegemony of the Middle East and for the long held dream of world domination. Iran is enemy #1 for Bibi Netanyahu – who holds tremendous sway over the Orange Orangutan Clown President and the United States Congress who all clap like penguins high on crack when he comes to town.

    Sure Trump called off the last attack, but how much longer can he hold out? It’s not like Trump likes Iran (Trump loves everything Israel), he is also trying to be the greatest president ever, maybe get his own bust carve on Mount Trumpmore. What the readers don’t know is that the war is still on, just delayed.

    In fact the war is red hot. Trump has made totally damning statements painting himself into a corner – all that is needed is a false flag that frames Iran for the deaths of many American servicemen or citizens. Watch for a plane load of soccer players going down in flames at JFK or LAX airports – any airport that the Jews control.

    Another scenario that is unfolding is that Trump tries to cut Iran off further, so that the desperate Iranians start sabotaging the oil pipelines, storage facilities, ships that line the Persian Gulf area. Basically a good plan for the warmongers is put the pressure cooker on Iran until something blows.

    The news cycle is like a wave – heat on then heat off. Right now the heat seems to be turned off. It is not turned off, the Zio criminals will never relent, just look at the track record of Bibi, he never stops, he never gives up, if one plan is thwarted then he tries another. So what I am saying is watch carefully for the news cycle demonizing Iran to heat up again – and when it reaches fever pitch, watch something “out of the blue” happen that frames Iran.

  2. (Disassociated Press) – Pumped-up Pumpeo sought to convince a group of congress-critters and swamp-dwellers that the WAA, which contains a blanket approval to use force against al-Qaeda and associated groups, also includes Iran because it has connections to al-Qatraz and al Qapone. This is an absurd argument that has been attempted in the past, but even the corrupt congresscritters and the ignorant shitstream media covering the story couldn’t find a way to spin it into something half-way believable.

    Scary Secretary of State Large-Mouth Pike Pompedo, obviously representing the US junta viewpoint, is now claiming that the Warmonger Authorization Act (WAA) allows the US to use military force, terrorism , sanctions, threats, intimidation, blackmail, lies, deceit, false-flags, and other classified, covert dirty tricks on Iran because the Trumpenstein junta declared the Iranian Republican Guard to be the biggest terrorist organization in the world. {Insert laugh track}

    For Donull Tramp, Qanon Ball Adelson is the most desirable type of Israel-firster, not even concealing his singular loyalty to the zewish snake. Qanon Ball Adelson served sandwiches in the Moronican Army but has said that he is ashamed of that service and would have preferred to be in the Israeli Army where “we can have Moronicans finance
    and fight israeli wars of agression as well as make those stinking sandwiches.”

    He has also advocated dropping a nuclear weapon on Iran to send a message. Qanon Ball, unfortunately, has Trump’s ear as well as his wallet, the two terrorists reportedly exchanging prostitute telephone numbers on a weekly basis.

    I think it’s time Iran dropped a FOAB on israhell, just to send a message, of course…

    The Father Of All Bombs

  3. No need to build the wall. Just cut all “benefits” for illegals. Take the bird feeders down, and the birds will stop coming.

    Free TVs, free smartphones, free accommodation, free money and one can only guess at what else is handed to illegals on arrival, whether in the US or in European countries. Most immigrants in Britain seem to have cars. Are they issued free as well?

    Stop the freebies and they’d all go back where they came from.

  4. Trump “calling off” the attack on Iran is meant to make him look like he is resistant to bombing Iran. It is pandering to his base who doesn’t want him starting another middle east war because he promised to put “America First”. There will be a false flag which will make his base demand that he nuke Iran, and he will comply. He is itching to use nukes and Nutty-yahoo is drooling at the thought of scaring off Israel’s enemies with American nukes. It isn’t a question of if, but when.

    It will trigger WW3 because that is the plan. America will not win because we have already lost. We were infiltrated by a (((group))) that has no loyalty other than to its tribe. We have reached the end of our usefulness to them and it is time to move on. We are broke. The people are bitterly divided. We are wallowing in a cesspool of perversion designed by them to keep us entertained and distracted while the SOBs steal everything that isn’t nailed down. The world hates us and will cheer our demise. And the parasites responsible for it will scurry off to China looking for fresh blood.

    And no one in Washington DC or the news media has the guts to tell the truth and try to save the US from going down in flames. They are so afraid of losing their cushy jobs that they instead are choosing to lose their country.

  5. Ain’t Going To Happen Guys: Nope Trump Will Not Go Hot (War) Over Iran

    To reply those above me, especially to you Yukon, go to my other comment here, Who Really Has Power, And My Prediction For 2100: In short, USA will be kaput, and Israel will not exist!, for a parallel discussion in a parallel story.

    But I will add a few more alternative thoughts on what is going on right now.

    First of all, things ain’t what they used to be. Remember lying Powell and how he fabricated that phony story about Iraq? Well how many times do you think the world is going to fall for that? Look what happened with the latest false story about the Japanese ships. No guys, the USA is losing support around the world. More and more states know full well what the US is up to. And they aren’t buying it. If the US attacks unilaterally say good-bye to EU support. What is going on now with the US putting all that wet-water hardware in the Persian Gulf, is just a ploy to put pressure on Iran so they make a mistake. Then the US will have their excuse to attack. That’s it! The Persians aren’t buying it!

    All that is going on right now is a game of chicken. Iran just needs to sit tight, play the long game, as they have been doing, since the fall of the Shah (i.e. the US puppet), and just watch the US go bonkers with frustration.

    Hey any Iranians out there? Just keep cool! What you’re seeing now is a desperate act of the US. All because they failed in Venezuela to get the NUMBER 1 OIL RESOURCE in the world today, they are now prepared to try on you guys, the NUMBER 2 OIL RESOURCE in the world today. So sweat it out. You have A BIG, NO, SERIOUSLY HUGE PAY DAY COMING TO YOU. You guys have the 2nd, READ THAT AGAIN, THE SECOND LARGEST OIL RESERVES IN THE WORLD TODAY! That’s right kids! Saudi Arabia IS RUNNING DRY! So keep your cool, and when Saudi Arabia oil wells start spurting water, you can start rubbing your hands!

    That’s what all this is about. You know that Yukon Jack! And I am sure the “big boys” do too in Iran. You think they are stupid? Just take a good look at the US, they are running (or should I say sailing) around like blind-seals! They have no plan, just to bully. Ah, don’t you guys love Trump, he is true to form! The man is half crack-pot, and half-Narcissus (I’m referring to the Greek god here), which side is going to win? I say the Narcisuss-side.

    So my prediction to the US elections, Trump talks bigger and bigger, more threats more hardware in the Middle-East, more game-manship! Result: nothing is going to happen!

    After the elections! If Trump losses, Iran gets squashed like a bug. But Trump will win! And then what, I think there is going to a group of guys, all of them Neocons and cowards that need to leave their personal humiliations behind them like Bolton, will come to Trump and spin him a story why they should move onto Iran. Trump, will huff and puff and agree and so on, like he always does, and at the last second he will put it out, like he always does (for he will be remembering, he doesn’t want to be on the same history page as Obama!). This will drag on, with everyone getting more desperate, because then the Saudis are going to call, “that certain someone (like a Bolton or a like)”, to explain you better get a move on, its more water than oil now!

    So the pressure will build up, upon Trump. But as he gets closer the end of his term, he’s now eying a big story! What is that story? Trump will think, “I am the first President to not have started a military campaign!” Is that true, you may be thinking? Well read here for
    The Only US President That Didn’t Wage War.
    But Carter failed terribly as a President for he dithered and didn’t do anything.

    I bet you big bucks, that Trump has got that right on his mind! That is, the only SUCCESSFUL PRESIDENT TO NOT START A WAR. Can you imagine how TRUMP will spin that! You all want to call Trump a fool, so be it. But this fool, has got the cash and the vanity to think about his legacy for the next 1,000 years. That’s how Trump thinks, why do you think he went into politics so late in life? You think he really cares about the US? You think he really cares about Americans? The man for God’s sake lives in hyper-isolated and detached bubble of luxury, and I am not talking about Washington DC! When do you think this man has ever understood any Joe Schmo’s mundane life. Nah, Trump is going Pharaoh! He’s looking for his name to be up on some sort of Trump pyramid for the next 1,000 years!

    Anyway, I’ve stuck my neck out. So let’s see. I know, I know, if I’m wrong, I’ll get pillared to nothing. Fair enough!

    But you know what? I think I’m right about Trump.

    Food for thought for everyone. Trump wins next election, its 99% certainty I do believe. Then there is 4 years to go. What if the undeclared oil crisis we are now in, goes declared? Meaning, that Saudis can’t hide anymore the oil wells spurting up big water? It becomes clear to the whole world, that Saudi Arabia is running dry.

    Will the regular US supporters go for a US invasion of Iran to procure oil?
    What kind of panic will arise in Israel, when these so called smart Jews finally understand that you can’t run the US Fleet without oil?
    What kind of chaos/rebellion will ensue when the Arabian people figure out their royal Saudi family, is now going broke?

    Just some questions to think about. What say you Yukon? You still think the Americans are just going to waltz into a country of 70 million people and take their only treasure away from them? You do know the history of the Persian people, they are not easy to deal with!

    So far its all been bluster, and military pantomimes. Just as Trump likes it! All show, no go!

  6. Scars, they wont scurry off to China – they are already there and have been for a long time.
    It has all obviously been planned. They hate America for her independence and freedom and Kissinger long ago arranged for China to be their new favorite.
    Besides, it seems to me that they have been doing this for five thousand years – over and over again.
    If you have not read it “The Babylonian Woe.” by David Astle is illuminating. So is
    “From Yahweh to Zion. by Laurent Guyenot. VERY frightening when you see into their weird and vindictive mind. Of course, Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil by Gerard Menuhin is essential reading. And The Controversy of Zion. by Douglas Reed.
    Just in case you do not know thee books.
    Maurice Strong, that ,vile man, died in Beijing about two years ago, and actually had Chinese family. His cousin was the woman who inspired Stalin to destroy the Kulaks of the Ukraine – and then went on to live in Beijing and inspire Mao Tse Tung.