Moon of Alabama – July 8, 2019
On June 20 Iran shot down a U.S. spy drone. U.S. President Trump decided not to retaliate. The White House and the media claimed that Trump had ordered a strike on Iran but pulled it back at the last minute. We said that this was likely bullshit:
The whole storyline of “a strike was ordered but Trump held back and saved the day” might well be fake.
A strike in retaliation for the downed drone may have never been on the table. An alternative interpretation is that the U.S. sought agreement for a symbolic ‘strike’ from Iran. It would hit some empty desert place to allow Trump to save face. Iran would have disagreed with that plan.
The British ambassador to the U.S., who’s briefings to London leaked yesterday, agrees with that take:
[Sir Kim Darroch] questioned Trump’s recent claim that he aborted a missile strike on Iran because it would have caused a predicted 150 casualties, saying it ‘doesn’t stand up’.
‘It’s more likely that he was never fully on board and that he was worried about how this apparent reversal of his 2016 campaign promises would look come 2020′ – at the next Presidential election.
Elijah Magnier reported that Trump had asked Iran to allow him to strike back, but was rebuffed:
According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf.
A senior Iranian general has revealed that Washington, through diplomatic channels, recently asked Tehran to allow it to conduct a small-scale operation in the Iranian airspace in order to save its face following the IRGC’s shoot-down of a US spy drone.
Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, the Head of Iran’s Civil Defence Organization, said Iran vehemently rejected the US request, saying that it will respond to any act of aggression.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran responded that it views any operation as a war and will give a crushing response to it. You may initiate a war but this is Iran which will finish it,” he said Sunday.
The idea that the U.S. would ask Iran to allow it, “pretty please”, to bomb some targets without hitting back sounds crazy. But this is the Trump White House and the only thing Trump really seems to care for is his own rating.