Undermining Trump-Bolton War Narrative, British General Says No Evidence of 'Increased Threat' From Iran

  
Via:  don-overton  •  2 months ago  •  18 comments

Undermining Trump-Bolton War Narrative, British General Says No Evidence of 'Increased Threat' From Iran
"Intelligence and military officials in Europe as well as in the United States said that over the past year, most aggressive moves have originated not in Tehran, but in Washington."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T






A British general threw a wrench into the Trump administration's narrative that Iran is plotting attacks on American troops in the Middle East by telling reporters gathered at the Pentagon Tuesday that "there's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces" in the region.

"We monitor them along with a whole range of others because that's the environment we're in," said Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, speaking via video from Baghdad. "If the threat level seems to go up then we'll raise our force protection measures accordingly."

Apparently eager to squash the general's remarks, the U.S. Central Command issued a statement just hours later disputing Ghika's comments and repeating national security adviser John Bolton's unsubstantiated claim that American intelligence has "identified credible threats" from "Iranian-backed forces" in Iraq and Syria.

The public dispute came as anti-war voices and foreign policy analysts warned that the United States, led by Bolton, may be attempting to manufacture a false pretext to justify launching a war with Iran.

As Common Dreams reported on Tuesday, U.S. officials are—without any concrete evidence—attempting to blame Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz over the weekend.

The effort to pin the tanker attacks on Iran came just over a week after Bolton used the planned deployment of an American aircraft carrier and bomber task force to the Persian Gulf to threaten Iran with military action and warn—again, without evidence—of "escalatory indications" from Iran.

According to the New York Times—which reported Monday that President Donald Trump has reviewed a Bolton-crafted plan to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East to threaten Iran—Trump administration officials are having a difficult time convincing America's European allies to join them on their march to war.

As the Times reported Tuesday:


Intelligence and military officials in Europe as well as in the United States said that over the past year, most aggressive moves have originated not in Tehran, but in Washington—where John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, has prodded President Trump into backing Iran into a corner.
One American official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential internal planning, said the new intelligence of an increased Iranian threat was "small stuff" and did not merit the military planning being driven by Mr. Bolton. The official also said the ultimate goal of the yearlong economic sanctions campaign by the Trump administration was to draw Iran into an armed conflict with the United States.

The anonymous American official's assessment aligns with that of foreign policy observers, who have urgently warned in recent days that the Trump administration is escalating tensions with Iran in an effort to provoke an attack and spark an all-out war.

"John Bolton is methodically setting the stage for war with Iran—forcing Iran into a corner and then readying war plans for when Iran takes the bait," Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council, said in a statement on Monday.

Iran has thus far acted with restraint in the face of U.S. belligerence, urging diplomacy and attempting to restart negotiations with Europe over the terms of the Iran nuclear accord.

With tensions between the two nations reaching dangerous levels, U.S. Democratic presidential candidates have joined progressive anti-war groups in vowing to oppose the Trump administration's efforts to start a military conflict with Iran.

In a speech streamed online Tuesday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said "a war with Iran would be an absolute disaster."

"The United States Congress must do everything it can," said Sanders, "to prevent the Trump administration's attempts to put us on the brink of a catastrophic and unconstitutional war with Iran that could lead to even more deaths than the Iraq War."


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) echoed Sanders in a tweet Tuesday night, announcing her decision to co-sponsor a bill aimed at stopping a war with Iran.

"We cannot let the Trump admin drag us into yet another war in the Middle East," Warren wrote. "This is exactly why the president doesn't have the constitutional authority to declare war. That's Congress's job—and that's why I'm supporting this legislation to prevent a war with Iran."




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Don Overton
1  seeder  Don Overton    2 months ago

The British have been in that area far longer than the U.S.  I would believe this guy more than I would Trump lackies

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Don Overton @1    2 months ago

As Common Dreams reported on Tuesday, U.S. officials are—without any concrete evidence—attempting to blame Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz over the weekend.

How does Common Dreams, whatever that is, know if there is, or is not, any concrete evidence. I would leave that to our experts.

Military people have only been trained to kill people and break things, and of course want to go to war. Trump will have to restrain them and Bolton, to make the point without going to war.  

 
 
 
It Is ME
1.2  It Is ME  replied to  Don Overton @1    2 months ago
The British have been in that area far longer than the U.S., I would believe this guy more than I would Trump lackies

The Neville Chamberlain tactic ?

It's like the Brits know more than we do. Help from Christopher Steele again ?

Last Time I remember England going into a conflict alone, was the simple and easy Falkland islands. They got an ever flowing bloody nose over that one then.

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
2  Dean Moriarty    2 months ago

This article tells a different story. 

The Trump administration has been on high alert in response to what military and intelligence officials have deemed specific and credible threats from Iran against U.S. personnel in the Middle East.

But President Trump is frustrated with some of his top advisers, who he thinks could rush the United States into a military confrontation with Iran and shatter his long-standing pledge to withdraw from costly foreign wars, according to several U.S. officials. Trump prefers a diplomatic approach to resolving tensions and wants to speak directly with Iran’s leaders.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-frustrated-by-advisers-is-not-convinced-the-time-is-right-to-attack-iran/2019/05/15/bbf5835e-1fbf-4035-a744-12799213e824_story.html?utm_term=.a59ed92638fb

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Dean Moriarty @2    2 months ago
The Trump administration has been on high alert in response to what military and intelligence officials have deemed specific and credible threats from Iran against U.S. personnel in the Middle East.

Specific and credible threats that they refuse to specify.  What next?  We have to invade because they have WMD's???

 
 
 
Greg Jones
2.1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1    2 months ago

That's classified information.

 
 
 
Kavika
3  Kavika     2 months ago

With John Bolton leading the way (refer to his Iraq playbook) we do seem to be heading in that direction (military confrontation). Hopefully someone without need for a war will prevail.

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
3.1  Dean Moriarty  replied to  Kavika @3    2 months ago

That’s why calm, cool, level headed Trump is holding him back and skeptical of the military and intelligence officers claims. He prefers a diplomatic approach to easing the tensions. 

 
 
 
Kavika
3.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Dean Moriarty @3.1    2 months ago

Trump could start by toning down his and others in the administration's rhetoric.  

 
 
 
Split Personality
3.1.2  Split Personality  replied to  Dean Moriarty @3.1    2 months ago
That’s why calm, cool, level headed Trump is holding him back

That's very humorous Dean. If he was a cool level headed diplomat, you would think

A  Bolton was a very poor hire for any position and

B maybe we could actually fill some of the empty diplomatic positions open all around the globe.  38?  That's a cluster fuck.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/04/09/mapped-38-u-s-ambassadorships-remain-empty-diplomacy/

The majority are in the ME and North Africa Muslim dominated countries, color me shocked...

800

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.1.3  Tessylo  replied to  Dean Moriarty @3.1    2 months ago
'That’s why calm, cool, level headed Trump'  

jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

'He prefers a diplomatic approach'

jrSmiley_88_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Ronin2
3.1.4  Ronin2  replied to  Tessylo @3.1.3    2 months ago

Trump has started or expanded how many wars again?

Are you sorry he isn't the war monger that Obama was?

 
 
 
Ozzwald
3.1.5  Ozzwald  replied to  Ronin2 @3.1.4    2 months ago
Trump has started or expanded how many wars again?

Yet.

Are you sorry he isn't the war monger that Obama was?

You don't count bombing Syria?  Of course his bombing of Syria accomplished nothing since all runways were missed and the airport was functioning normally just a few hours later.

 
 
 
Ronin2
3.1.6  Ronin2  replied to  Ozzwald @3.1.5    2 months ago
Yet.

Two plus years of saying that and still nothing. Can't same the same about Bush Jr or Obama during the same time period in either their terms.

You don't count bombing Syria?

Obama was bombing Syria long before that.  Or did you forget which POTUS started the Syrian debacle?  As for bombing the airport, maybe you need a refresher on what the war monger Hillary the left wanted to be POTUS wanted to do in Syria.

https://www.nbcnews.com/video/hillary-clinton-called-for-attack-on-syrian-airfields-hours-before-attack-on-syrian-airfield-915867203736

https://www.cnn.com/2017/04/06/politics/hillary-clinton-syria-assad/index.html

Hillary Clinton called on the United States to take out Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's Air Force on Thursday, days after a chemical attack killed more than 70 people in the war-torn country.

"Assad has an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of these civilian deaths as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days," Clinton said in a speech at the "Women in the World" summit in New York City. "And I really believe that we should have and still should take out his air fields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them."
The former secretary of state and Democratic presidential nominee against Trump in 2016 reiterated her support for a no-fly zone over Syria and more direct support for protesters.
"I still believe we should have done a no-fly zone," she said, in a slight knock against former President Barack Obama, whose Cabinet she served in. "We should have been more willing to confront Assad."
Hillary never met a military engagement she wouldn't support; or didn't think went far enough. Thankfully she is not POTUS. I am sure Russia, China, and Iran wouldn't support her no fly zone; nor the bombing of Syrian air fields they had their troops stationed at.
I know, I know, but Ttrrruuuuummmmmmppppppp!!!!!!!!
 
 
 
Split Personality
3.2  Split Personality  replied to  Kavika @3    2 months ago

Like VN, Grenada, Panama, Iraq and countless South American adventures?

 
 
 
bbl-1
4  bbl-1    2 months ago

Trump and Iran?  Is this just more of ( like ) Trump and the wall?  Or?  Trump and Roe?

Or this?  Trump has about sixteen guys with fingers in the dike trying to stop the revealing of dirty-dirty money that will drown them all and Iran is the most convenient diversion of all?  Especially since lil' Kim still sends 'love letters' taped to the nose of every missile he tests.

This too.  Trumps track record with truth and honesty are---somewhat spotty.

 
 
 
 
Split Personality
5.1  Split Personality  replied to  Sean Treacy @5    2 months ago

Seems more like he said she said than anything else.

Are you going to believe the politicians and their spokes people

or one of the guys in charge of US and British forces on the ground in Syria and Iraq?

Your article basically acknowledges the disagreement, nothing more.

The U.S. military has sent forces, including an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers, to the Middle East in a move that U.S. officials said was made to counter “clear indications” of threats from Iran to American forces in the region.

However, Chris Ghika, the deputy commander of the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, said that there had been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces.

His remarks contradicted the U.S. claims and prompted a rare public rebuttal from the Pentagon.

Navy Captain Bill Urban, lead spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said the remarks by the British general, ran counter to U.S. intelligence.
 
 
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