By Eric Margolis
April 30, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - Maybe the president believes he’s won a great victory over the wicked Syrians by lobbing cruise missiles at one of their underused air bases. Maybe Trump believes that he’s scared the evil Russians and the too big for their sampans Chinese into obedience.
His 22,000 lb MOAB terror bomb on Afghanistan should keep those pesky Taliban quiet for a while even though the Pentagon claimed the intended target was a group- Khorosan – that may not actually exist.
Those major malefactors, the crazy North Koreans, could be about to feel America’s full military might if they so much as twitch.
Not content with nearly stirring up a new war with North Korea, President Donald Trump is now waving the big stick at another of Washington’s favorite bogeymen, Iran. For the Trumps, Iran is poison.
In recent days, President Trump has threatened to renounce the six-power nuclear agreement to freeze or shrink Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. This sensible pact was signed during the Obama administration by the great powers: US, Britain, France, Russia, Germany and China. Trump appears willing to abrogate the treaty and outrage the other great powers just because he hates Iran for some reason and, it appears, Muslims in general.
The Trump administration seems increasingly influenced by Israel’s far right Netanyahu government. In fact, PM Netanyahu often appears the most moderate member of his rightist coalition which is dominated by militant West Bank settlers.
Trump has surrounded himself with ardent supporters of Israel’s right. One of his major bankrollers is casino mogul Sheldon Adelson who is a key supporter of Jewish expansion on the illegally occupied West Bank.
Israel’s right has made a hate fetish of Iran and incessantly calls for war against the Islamic Republic. However, the mighty US Israel lobby twice failed to push the Obama administration to attack Iran. The US Congress, by contrast, is totally under the thumb of Israel’s American lobby and pays more respect to PM Netanyahu than the president. He who pays the piper….
In fact, Congress sought to block sales of Boeing civilian airliners to Iran worth $16.6 billion even though it would have cost thousands of American jobs. Congress has been trying to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal ever since it was signed, putting American national interests on a collision course with those of Israel’s right.
But now President Trump says he’s found a new reason to sabotage the six-power deal: Iran, insists Trump, supports ‘terrorism’ and has bad intentions. This charge has been around for decades, cited by Israel as a compelling reason to attack Iran because Tehran supports the ‘terrorist’ Lebanese movement Hezbollah and the Palestinian movement Hamas.
The ‘terrorist’ label is slapped onto all enemies of Israel and the United States. It’s a handy, meaningless sobriquet that automatically denies those so named political or moral justice.
I was with the Israel army when it invaded Lebanon in 1982 and saw first-hand how its arrogance turned formerly pro-Israel Shia Lebanese in the south into anti-Israel fighters. Israel actually encouraged and may have secretly financed the growth of Hezbollah and Hamas hoping they would drain support from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Lebanon’s Amal militia.
Israel hates Hamas and Hezbollah and is determined to eradicate them. The principal supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah has long been Syria. Large parts of Syria have now been destroyed by a US-engineered uprising and bands of Saudi-financed mercenaries. That has left Iran as the main supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, and a principal backer of Syria’s Assad government. The PLO has become a puppet of Israel and the US.
So Israel is now determined to destroy Hezbollah in its strongholds in Lebanon and then crush Hamas with Trump’s blessing, so ending any dreams of a Palestinian state. Iran is now being blamed for all Washington’s problems in the Mideast. So war fever against Iran is again mounting.
Interestingly, Iran, which has 79.1 million people, is not cowering before this threat. Like North Korea, Iran’s air force and navy are sitting ducks. But Iran has strong infantry, some 500,000 men including Revolutionary Guards. They are armed with outdated weapons but showed redoubtable fighting spirit in the Iran-Iraq War. Any US invasion would be met by fierce resistance.
An Iranian commander told me, ‘let the Americans come and invade. They will break their teeth on Iran. Then we will drive them out of the Mideast.”
Boastful, yes, but not impossible. Iran could prove more than the US can handle. President Trump does not know this yet and is still having fun with his new military toys. Problem is, he just can’t decide where to attack first.
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia.
Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2017