Your favorite Republican retread and mine, John Bolton, has decided to rattle his saber at Iran, for some, very likely manufactured, offense. The public should make clear its strong opposition to any war with Iran.
It seems the Iranian navy has conducted exercises in the Persian Gulf, very near to Iran and very far from the United States. That is “troubling and escalatory” only to bloody minded Republicans who are hell bent on invading Iran, as they have been for years.
We Started This
Hostility between the United States and Iran at the moment is originally the result of U.S. participation in the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953 in support of the British. In 1979, Iranian dissidents famously overthrew the government of the Shah, whom the U.S. and Britain had installed, in favor of an Islamic Republic under the ultimate leadership of the Aytollah Khomeini.
The United States, which overthrew a royal government, fought a war, then instituted its own Constitution, always looks pretty foolish when it interferes in the domestic politics of other nations, especially when it helps perform coups. In the long run, these actions pretty much never turn out well.
On top of this foolishness, we now have the ultimate foolish president, who likely has no opinion of his own about Iran, but is more than happy to adopt the position of his enablers in the Republican Party. John Bolton is the ultimate Republican retread, a marginally competent Republican hack who has worked in multiple Republican administrations, always taking the worst, most bellicose line on any issue.
Iraq: Huge Mistake
Bolton is one of the few people who refuses to admit that invading Iraq was a huge mistake. Some have called the invasion of Iraq the biggest mistake in U.S. history. In what was a Republican tradition even before compulsive liar Donald Trump took over the Party, George W. Bush, Trump Lite, and his lackeys lied to gin up support for the invasion of Iraq. The destabilization of Iraq that resulted from the U.S. invasion was a major factor in creating ISIS, the major bogeyman du jour in the “war on terror.”
It is only fitting that the policy free, error prone Donald Trump would choose the policy heavy, error prone John Bolton as his national security adviser and that Bolton would take steps, with what input or support from Trump is not currently clear — Trump has taken weird steps to make Iran out as an enemy, but it is not clear what he really thinks about the issue, if he thinks about it at all — that potentially move the U.S. closer to war with Iran.
Remember the Tonkin Gulf Incident?
We’ve seen this play before. Now the second biggest mistake in U.S. history, the Vietnam War, started under suspiciously similar circumstances. It was the Democratic President, Lyndon Johnson, in cooperation with military officials and under the heady sway of Cold War drunkenness, who lied to the public about an alleged incident between U.S. Navy vessels and North Vietnamese vessels at the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, a key moment in the escalation of what would become the Vietnam War.
Bolton’s cheap excuse of the alleged provocation by Iran in the Persian Gulf looks as contrived and specious as we now know the Tonkin Gulf incident was as an excuse for starting a war. It is true that Iran is notably less harmless than Vietnam was in 1964, but all the more reason why we should not start a war with Iran.
“They are gonna welcome us as liberators.” Remember that? Republicans have no hesitation about pursuing foreign policy on the basis of complete fantasies.
Iran has seen some overt conflict domestically because of political struggles, but the Iranian regime is far more legitimate in the eyes of the general population than was the dictatorship in Iraq at the time of the invasion there. Some authorities expect any action against Iran to take the form of air attacks, at least initially. Certainly there is no preparation underway at the moment for a ground invasion of Iran, so that’s some good news.
But even air attacks on Iran would be grotesque and entirely indefensible at the moment. There is no good reason to see Iran as any threat to the United States. A large part of the rationale for attacking Iran is its supposed threat to Israel. Reports have emerged that one reason for Bolton’s decision to send a U.S. Navy carrier group to the Persian Gulf resulted from intelligence he received from the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad.
Air attacks on Iran would almost certainly kill civilians and would clearly constitute an act of war. Some have suggested that Trump wants to start a war to improve his chances at reelection. Such a move hardly seems farfetched.
Any invasion of Iran would certainly meet with far more effective resistance than did the invasion of Iraq. Then what? Why would we want to take responsibility for trying to institute a new government in Iran? Not our job. Doing so would only cost Iranian and U.S. lives and waste U.S. money.
Make noise. Shout it from the rooftops. Make clear that war with Iran is a really bad idea that U.S. policy makers should not even consider.