The Observer view on heightened US tensions with Iran

  
Via:  bob-nelson  •  4 weeks ago  •  4 comments

The Observer view on heightened US tensions with Iran
Donald Trump’s White House farce once again takes the world to the brink of war

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


512Donald Trump was repeatedly warned that his aggressive policy of escalating military and economic “maximum pressure” on Iran risked triggering war by accident. Last week, the long-predicted miscalculations duly occurred and, for a few scary hours, the world tottered on the brink. Both sides in the Gulf made mistakes, although US commanders appear more at fault. But the biggest mistake of all was made in 2016, when Americans picked a dangerous fool for president.

The sequence of events that led Trump to order airstrikes on Thursday evening, then pull back with minutes to spare, began with the shooting down by Iran of an unmanned US surveillance drone. Threats and insults had been flying back and forth for months. In the preceding week, Washington accused Tehran of attacking oil tankers – and sent more troops to squat around its borders. But it was the drone incident that brought matters to a head.

The Pentagon said the drone was flying in international airspace when hit by a missile. Iran hotly denied that, saying its sovereign airspace was being violated. The US produced maps. So, too, did Iran, which was so sure of its case that it vowed to take it to the UN security council. Yet, as the White House struggled to explain why the strikes were called off, questions emerged about its account.

The Pentagon’s images of the drone’s route initially included an incorrect description of its flight path. On Friday, US officials belatedly confirmed Iran’s assertion that a second, manned plane – a US navy P-8A Poseidon – was present during the incident, a fact they had previously failed to mention. Iran, meanwhile, published photographs of wreckage allegedly retrieved from its territorial waters.

In tweets and interviews on Friday, Trump and his backers claimed, variously, that he halted the strikes to save human life, that a local Iranian commander opened fire without authorisation, even that the on-off strikes were a cunning ploy. But a senior administration official, speaking anonymously, seems to have come closer to the truth when he said the strikes were halted due to “concerns” that the drone, or another US drone, or the navy P-8A, had indeed strayed into Iranian airspace “at some point”.

512‘A senior official said the strikes
were halted due to “concerns”
that the drone, or another US
drone, or the navy P-8A, pictured,
had strayed into Iranian airspace.’
US Navy

This degree of confusion and incompetence in US military operations should not come as a total surprise. In Afghanistan and Iraq, systemic blunders, notably by the US airforce, have cost thousands of civilian lives, as UN figures show. The US record in the Gulf is little better. In 1988, a US navy missile cruiser shot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people. The Pentagon initially denied responsibility, then claimed the plane posed a threat. In 1996, the US finally paid compensation.

What is more surprising, even shocking, is how chaotic was last week’s Oval Office decision-making process. Why on earth was Trump not informed earlier of the likely death toll? (Perhaps he was.) What did his hawkish advisers think the strikes would achieve? How did Trump plan to respond to inevitable Iranian retaliation against US and allied forces in the Gulf or in the Iraq, Syria-Israel or Saudi-Yemen theatres? Is it really true that a Fox News host, reportedly a presidential confidant, persuaded Trump to press pause?

This Carry On up the White House would be comical if it were not so deadly serious. The latest episode of Trump buffoonery was a desperately unfunny near-miss for the Middle East and global stability. It underscores the urgent need for a return to honest diplomacy, and the reaffirmation of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. It is a wake-up call for Congress, which must accelerate current efforts to curb presidential war-making powers. And it shines new light on Trump’s unique unfitness for office.

Trump says he doesn’t want a war. The way he is behaving, war may become unavoidable.

Initial image: Donald Trump says he doesn’t want a war, but he may trigger one by accident.    Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images 

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Bob Nelson
1  seeder  Bob Nelson    4 weeks ago
... a senior administration official, speaking anonymously, seems to have come closer to the truth when he said the strikes were halted due to “concerns” that the drone, or another US drone, or the navy P-8A, had indeed strayed into Iranian airspace “at some point”.

...

This degree of confusion and incompetence in US military operations should not come as a total surprise. In Afghanistan and Iraq, systemic blunders, notably by the US airforce, have cost thousands of civilian lives, as UN figures show. The US record in the Gulf is little better. In 1988, a US navy missile cruiser shot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people. The Pentagon initially denied responsibility, then claimed the plane posed a threat. In 1996, the US finally paid compensation.

When will we learn to NOT BELIEVE anything the US government says about itself? Everybody tries to show themselves to be in the right. Of course!

We don't have to be gullible, though.

 
 
 
Ronin2
2  Ronin2    4 weeks ago

Where was this moron for the two surges in Afghanistan, reentering Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen?  Or was he taking an 8 year vacation for the Obama administration?

Funny how the left believes unidentified unverified sources. There are more leaks in the Trump administration than there are people employed.

So, too, didIran, which was so sure of its case that it vowed to take it to the UN security council.

First, fuck Iran, any POS that believes anything they say hasn't learned shit from history.  I don't care if the drone was ever in Iranian air space or not.  Anyone that thinks that spying on Iran started with Trump are forgetting this Obama gem.  Nor will the the spying stop with the downing of this one.

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/1209/Downed-US-drone-How-Iran-caught-the-beast

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/8944248/Iran-shows-off-captured-US-drone.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-16095823

https://phys.org/news/2011-12-rq-drone-ambush-facts-iranian.html

Unconfirmed source #1

But a senior administration official, speaking anonymously, seems to have come closer to the truth when he said the strikes were halted due to “concerns” that the drone, or another US drone, or the navy P-8A, had indeed strayed into Iranian airspace “at some point”.

Unconfirmed source #2

Is it really true that a Fox News host, reportedly a presidential confidant,persuaded Trump to press pause?

I am still not in favor of war with Iran, but ratcheting up sanctions against Iran and those countries that still are stupid enough to trade with them; no problem. If the Iranians are moronic enough to lash out militarily bomb them into oblivion.  That includes their POS militias in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and where ever else. No occupation, no nation building, just the promise of complete an total annihilation of the Iranian military, government, mullahs, and anyone associated with them.

As for the people on the left that are coming out of the wood work against Trump now; I will ask again, "Where the hell were you for the last 8 years?"

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3  seeder  Bob Nelson    4 weeks ago

What is your logic here?

Are you saying that your criteria for what is acceptable from Trump is the worst ever done by Obama (or any other predecessor)?

That's setting the bar pretty low.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Bob Nelson @3    4 weeks ago

No, Obama set the bar as low as he could, and left a mess for someone else to clean up. Since he got the Peace Prize, he should have used his diplomacy skills to make peace with Iran.

 
 
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