22 September, 2020

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Israel, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi & Dubai Pushing America To Military Action: Donald Blinked!

By Kumar David –

Prof. Kumar David

It is clear that for the time being at least, hawks Hugh Bolton and Mike Pompeo have been relegated to the B-team but it is not clear who makes up the A-team; probably the military brass, certainly not the Democrats pitiful in their inability to say boo to Trump’s rush to brinkmanship. Let us get it straight, the US did not withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPA), it violated it. Four cosignatories (France, Germany, Russia and China) are pathetic in their capitulation to American bullying, the fifth UK has been the bully’s henchman. Having started off with all the bombast typical of a narcissistic showman as in the North Korean case (“fire and fury”) the question remains why he climbed down and blinked when Iran shot down a RQ-4 Global Hawk drone valued at $130 million. After maximal show of force Trump backed down when Kim Jong Un called his bluff in 2017, then agreed to the 2018 Singapore love-in, but went on to snub Kim in Hanoi Feb. 2019. No doubt both the Iran and N Korean flip-flops have much to do with Trump’s erratic even bizarre personality. Though the White House is stewing in crisis there must be strategic calculations as well. I am interested in reflecting on the latter in respect of Iran.

Broadly speaking there are two facets; US foreign policy objectives and the 2020 presidential elections; the first has misfired and the second is endangered. Policy vis-à-vis Iran is guided by a desire to compel it to accept political and economic rearrangement in the Middle East with the US as its central focus and showing less hostility to Israel and America’s regional Arab allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The US crucially, also wants to cut Europe and China out of resurrection contracts after sanctions are lifted. Yes, America prefers to avoid war; it wants to push Iran into a new mould, imposing regime change is a last resort if all else fails. Sanctions are hurting, Iran is bleeding, people are hit and life has become hard. It is economic terrorism pure and simple but we are allowed to use the T-word only when jihadists do it; when great powers do it, they call it “making the world safe”. War and sanctions are but two sides of the same coin and the US was certain that it could bring Iran to its knees quickly, but that calculation went awry.

It backfired: Despite 14 months of relentless bullying the Ayatollahs have not caved in, the anger of people has hardened and Iranians living in the West, despite dislike of the regime in Teheran are outraged with America. Iran has become more intransigent. European leaders are whorish in appeasing Trump, chillingly reminiscent of the appeasement of Hitler by Britain and France in the 1930s. Global public opinion has swung against the thug. Trump, all in a muddle, makes one gaff after another and flip-flops from day to day. 

Military action against Iran could be catastrophic unlike the solo bombing of Syrian positions last year. This is for two reasons; Iran has response capability; its missiles can reach US and allies (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh and Israel) civilian, economic (oil, electricity and water) and military targets (basses and naval units). Saddam’s Iraq or Syria never could. Second, Iran’s proxies are many with reach across the Middle East – vide military deadlock in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. The upshot of a strike on Iran would be chaos in the Gulf region and a rise in Islamic terrorism elsewhere including the American heartland. In all-out war Iran would be obliterated but it would have lasting degenerative effects on America. Trump’s legacy would be fouler than the younger Bush; America’s global standing would be irreparably damaged. The US never thought this through as is clear from its bumbling; it never expected this degree of defiance. A-team and B-team are at cross purposes; Donald goes this way and that; White House, Pentagon and State Department are stewing in bedlam.

The second fundamental thread in Trump’s behaviour is the 2020 election. One of the blasts in his Make America Great Again rhetoric was a promise to end foreign wars. “Foreign adventure is pointless expenditure of good dollars, why throw away resources to bring democracy to Timbuctoo?” “I will bring our boys home again, Bush and Obama brought body bags”. If Trump gets into a Middle East imbroglio his chances of re-election will be diminished for breaking this promise. If ground troops are committed the first body bag to come home will contain his second-term.  War mongering, then flunking, exposes bombast (“Obliteration like you’ve never seen before”); already the US looks a shabby paper tiger. The man who poked fun at Obama for not crossing the “thin red line” is mired and muddled by a fat red bar of his own making. Do-or-don’t, either way he is losing ground in opinion polls. Visions of electoral gain by beating Iran into submission have receded. This is the second big reason why Trump and his B-team blinked.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard (RG) for its part is also talking big. “US regional bases are in range of our weapons”; “US aircraft carriers in the Gulf are within reach of our precision-guided missiles”, etc. say RG spokesmen. “US forces in the region were a threat, now they are an opportunity. They do not talk about war because they know they are susceptible” boasts Amir Ali Hajizadeh head of the RG’s aerospace division on state television. Hardliners on both sides grab headlines and trade ugly insults (Iran’s President: “Trump is mentally retarded”). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urges Trump to obtain congressional authorisation to use any kind of military force. Whatever Trump does Democrats in both House and Senate will seize every opportunity to pile misery upon him.

Trump discussed Iran with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Gulf States are split on US-Israeli military intervention. Abu Dhabi and Dubai urge action while Oman, Kuwait and Kuwait urge restraint. It all depends on which states fear a threat to themselves from radicalisation in the region. A lone rocket struck the Green Zone in Iraq’s capital Baghdad near the US Embassy in May; Iran is repositioning air defence systems to the west to intercept strikes; in the hours before the attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman the Iranians spotted a US drone overhead and launched a surface-to-air missile which missed its target, and so on. Israel is itching to go after Iran’s nuclear facilities before they go into full production again. Tension is building and one error by either side may unleash Armageddon. Time to buy gold?

Teheran surely is thinking that it makes no sense to refrain from full-scale refinement and nuclear weaponisation and that only a Trump could dream up the absurdity of withdrawing from a treaty and then insisting that the counter-party abides by it! Surely in the Ayatollahs’ view this must seem irrational and in this insane world Iran can protect itself by developing its own bomb and missile.  The lesson North Korea has learned is that any deal Kim reaches with Trump will be written on water, like the JCPA. Kim will reckon that if he dismantles his bomb and launch-pad NK is dead meat to be badgered and bullied. The hubris and nonchalance with which the US trashed JCPA renders the next treaty Iran may reach with the US read like Aesop’s Fables. In the Ayatollah’ interpretations if they felt they could retaliate in kind Iran could feel safe. I have no idea if they have the savvy to pull it off before Israel and the America bomb their facilities back into the stone age.

One last matter is the concern domestic readers may have about spill over of Gulf conflicts into the Indian Ocean and this country. Markets seem to think a shooting war is unlikely – oil hovers around $60 a barrel and gold is barely over $1400 an ounce. But if the Middle East does go up in flames, there will be consequences in Lanka and I see local dynamics as more real than the Seventh Fleet docking in Trinco or Iranian missiles overhead. Two things are unavoidable. Enraged jihadist clusters will hit out anywhere in the world, and more to the point, Moor-hating chauvinists, on the rampage just weeks ago, will seize the opportunity to run amok again. There is another hidden factor. What does the pact Ranil has negotiated with the US say? Has it been tabled in Parliament? I have not seen the text. There is reason to be wary; we must not be drawn into America’s military sphere as it withdraws from other parts of the Indian Ocean; we need be no part of a US war effort. “Publish the Pact” is a timely demand!

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Latest comments

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    In my opinion, the US will probably attack Iran (full invasion) after the 2020 election, which Trump will win. This attack has been planned for some time. There are at least 40 US military bases surrounding Iran, so logistics is not an issue. The author is correct that the results will be catastrophic, at least temporarily. Hezbollah will fire thousands of missiles at Israel, forcing Israel to invade Lebanon again. The Houthis in Yemen will fire missiles at Saudi Arabia. If the Hezbollah missiles can hit the nuclear reactor in Dimona, there will be a crisis 10x worse than Chernobyl or Fukushima. While the war is ongoing, there may be energy shortages, significantly increasing oil prices. If the war is prolonged, it can cause a global recession. Iran must choose its targets well and hit them the first time, because the US will use all its resources, starting with air power. The US objectives in such a conflict are clear: (1) to weaken all Iranian proxies, especially Hezbollah and the Houthis. (2) to allow Saudi Arabia and Israel to dominate the region unopposed (3) to ensure the hegemony of the dollar remains intact (4) to once again install a puppet regime in Iran.

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      Lester the great strategist,
      Shouldn’t you look up the difference between a rocket and a missile before you pontificate on Hisbullah attacking Dimona?

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        Fiction writer Raman,

        A rocket has no guidance system. Use Eelamist logic to explain how a rocket will hit Dimona.

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          Lester the jester,
          You could explain how even a Scud could crack the reactor. Hisbullah doesn’t have even those.
          Again, Hisbullah has 40,000 rockets, not missiles . You are the one who wrote “Hezbollah will fire thousands of missiles at Israel,” Is it Sinhala Buddhist logic to deny what yo wrote?

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            Lester is not a Sinhala Buddhist, but an Islamic imbecile writing under a false name. Naturally a believer of Koran which says earth is flat cannot be intelligent. Anything aimed at a target is a missile eg arrow, dart, bolt. Also tomatoes, eggs or even paper balls when thrown at others become missiles. Hand bomb (grenade) is a missile and what is called rocket is RPG (rocket propelled grenade) is also a missile. What he is thinking is Surface-to-air missile (SAM) which is heat seeking.

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        Bottom line is that both US puppets Bondscam Ranil and Managala S, the neoliberal butterflies who have been empowered by LGBTQ identity politics, meant to distract the Colombo NGO ladies, must be Impeached for treason.
        US has used ethno-religious, gender and LGBTQ identity politics to DIvide, distract and get its agenda done but dodo Kumar David cannot see the connection between the US agenda and the local political crisis.

        https://www.mintpressnews.com/u-s-special-operations-the-new-face-of-americas-war-machine/256431/

    • 2
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      According to the Old Testament, Al Aqsa mosque will be destroyed by the action of God, and not by Jews. Will one of the missiles fired by Hisbollah on Israel go off target and land on the mosque fulfilling Biblical prophesy.

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        Al Aqsa is being destroyed by the Devil’s own, who are digging and excavating deliberately under it so that it will collapse. They are evil.

    • 1
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      Trump will NOT win the next election unless Russia interferes again.

      He lost the mid term elections, and the people overwhelmingly voted for the Democrats in the House, so that he can be reined in, since the Republicans are enablers. That is one sign the country is fed up of an unethical and morally corrupt leader.

      He has always been below the required number in the polls, which would prevent him from winning. Most top Democrats are higher than him in the polls. The majority in the country prefer any Democrat.

      By the time next year comes, there will be more negatives, including the economy.

      Nah, not going to win.

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    DO you Know why? Saudi, isreal, and Dubail are so sacred of Iranian influence in ME. soon, all these countries will be in trouble with Iran and its alliances in ME.

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    It took a big effort on Obama and John Kerry’s part to finally get Iran and 5 other nations, to agree to the Iran Nuclear Deal. The fact is, the DEAL WAS WORKING , and UN monitors were able to access Iran’s programs, and confirmed Iran was complying with it’s part of the agreement. It was a vindictive Trump, who has a record of destroying all what Obama has achieved, who tore this working agreement, AND HE REPLACED IT WITH PUNITIVE SANCTIONS, and NO other plan.

    He was urged to do so by Netanyahu, who has been provoking the US to attack Iran from 2002, just like he lied to the US Congress about Iraq having WMD’s. Israel is joined by it’s new Arab pals, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, Sunni nations who are doing their utmost to topple the Shiite Iranian regime. John Bolton, is a notorious war hawk, who also pushed for the war with Iraq, but it seems he has not learnt a lesson from that mistakes. Millions of innocent civilians have been killed, injured, and now refugees, and Iraq is in shambles, and it seems Saddam Hussein was right when he denied he had no WMD’s, and Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack either.

    Yet, America, has yet not shown remorse, nor apologized for the massacre of innocent Muslims, and the destruction of a sovereign nation. Together with the casualties in Afghanistan, and Syria, that Israel and the US interfered with, the numbers of Muslims killed has been staggering, and estimates are 2-4 million people.

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      Contd.
      Trump has embraced ruthless killers like Bin Salman, tyrants like Putin, and Kim Jong-Un, and isolated the US from nations that are democracies, and allies. These wars gave extremists the excuse to recruit youth, who were enraged by the US invasion of their countries.

      Would Christians, Jews, Hindus, or Buddhists, accept the massacre of their people, and the refugees that flee the violence, because of wars based on LIES? We are talking millions of innocent people here, the victims.

      Trump’s foreign policies are run mostly by his son in law, an inexperienced man, who failed in his business ventures, and who gets his loans repaid by rich Arabs, like Bin Salman and Qatar. The Trump White House is like a dictatorship, with family members who have NO clue about military, security, or diplomacy, in charge of many important and vital decisions pertaining to national security. They are also enriching their many, many private business, all against the protocol, and ethics, of any White House.

      Now they want to decimate Iran as well, and bomb it into rubble?

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      Tara.
      And in case you missed it $15o billion and $1.8 billion in cash in ransom paid by Obama to peaceful Iranians. What a humanitarian.
      After all that good work ungrateful US voters refused to elect his prodigy Honest Hillary to White House and voted for Donald.
      This is daymare stuff for intellectual ideates and Hollywood and liberal hypocrites. likes of Professor Kumar.
      Even strong women Angela Merkel starting to show the strain and starting to shake in public.

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        Oh Leonard, stop getting your information from conspiracy websites, and spreading fake news.
        “The major issue between the two governments was a $400 million payment for military equipment made by the government of the Shah of Iran, prior to the 1979 uprising that topped him. The U.S. banned delivery of the jets and other weapons amid the hostage crisis, but froze the $400 million advance payment. “The Pentagon handled arms purchases from foreign countries,” says Gary Sick, a former National Security Council official who served as the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis. “Defense took care of the details. So the $400 million scheduled purchase was a government-to-government transaction. The U.S. government was holding the money. That’s why it was so difficult to resolve.”

        By 2015, the issue stood before a panel of nine judges, including three independent jurists, who were reportedly near a decision on binding arbitration. According to Obama administration officials, the U.S. was concerned that the tribunal would mandate an award in the multiple billions of dollars. “The Iranians wanted $10 billion,” says Sick.”I estimate that the tribunal would have awarded them $4 billion. That’s what the lawyers were saying. It’s not as much as they wanted, but a lot more than we paid.”

        So instead, the U.S. negotiators convinced Iran to move the dispute from arbitration to a private settlement. The two sides reached an agreement in mid-2015, at the same time as the U.S. and Iran reached a comprehensive pact on curtailing Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. The financial deal called for the U.S. to refund $1.7 billion to Tehran, consisting of the original $400 million contract for military equipment, plus $1.3 billion in interest.” Fortune.com

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          Tara
          No sorry Tara I definitely dont get my information by via CNN ( Clinton News Network) NBC, CBS and ABC, proven Fake News broadcasters. But I’m so happy you are using Fake news the word coined by Trump.
          You definitely have forgotten 8 years of Obama doctrine and his kind respect he showed Saudi King by almost kneeling in front of him this is the same mane who megaphones the claim ” Not even a smidgen of Corruption”
          He is absolutely correct in the seance there was not a smidgen of corruption his administration is corrupted to the core.
          But enough of that Obama have to live with his prediction that he could see “Trump as the president in Saturday night skit” what a joker he was in good company with prediction Tom Hank’s still looking for little green men, George Clueless Cluney ” “Trump will not be the president” . And Aunty Pelosi .
          Be prepared it could very well be one more term of Trump. I know imagine how many more will their be with ‘Trump derange syndrome”.
          Can leave out Professor Kumar he will be ok cant get any worse oh could it be a stage two?

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            The first thing a crook and a dictator does, is call the main stream media “fake news” so that when the truth is reported, brainless dolts will dismiss it, without doing intelligent research.
            If you dismiss the main stream media, that is not always right, but get your information from conspiracy websites, that could be easily disproved if you cared to learn how to research, and cannot link it here, you are one of those dolts.

    • 1
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      Tara,
      “Millions of innocent civilians have been killed, injured, and now refugees”
      True . But many people are so blinded by the bigoted media. They blame the victims but not the perpetrators.

      • 0
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        You have a point. I don’t see sympathy or remorse from the war criminals who started these wars, the media, (some who sold the wars for the Bush/Cheney administration), and the Muslim haters, who ignore the deaths of millions of Muslims, and their shattered lives, but attack ALL Muslims unfairly when extremists blow themselves up.
        The anti Muslim campaign was started in those nations, that also push for these massacres.

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          Tara

          Calling people names don’t make you any more intelligent or your argument better. And it proves that you have lost the argument. Sorry Trump derange syndrome is has become intrenched among pseudo liberals’ and lefties.
          I read a solution for this ailment is send them to Venezuela and Iran for some medicine of reality.

          Some more fake news for you from the Guardian 3 hour ago

          “Iran breaks nuclear deal and puts pressure on EU over sanctions”

          European leaders urged Iran not to breach the deal, including at a meeting on Friday. They will watch to see whether Tehran makes further breaches of the deal on 7 July, as it has threatened.

          By the way do some more name calling if that make you feel superior to people you disagree with your intolerance.

          I’m glade if that help you to get over Trump Derange sickness.

  • 2
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    Hugh Bolton? Wasn’t aware ‘John Robert Bolton (the bottle brush warmonger) also had a brother called ‘Hugh’ advising the Trumfool!
    /
    David should learn to read, shouldn’t he?

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    KD: Good on you!
    “The US was certain it could bring Iran on its knees” quickly, just as it was certain that it could bring Sri Lanka on its knees quickly with the Easter Sunday massacre organized with the US Special Operations Forces (SOF) and Saudi Arabian funds in order to sign SOFA and turn Lanka into a US colony and military base to — block Iranian Oil going to China.

    Things are back-firing massively these days for Trumpland.

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      Trump has brought nothing but embarrassment and shame to America. He is running the country like a reality show. He has destroyed many things that were working, and replaced it with nothing. he has cut many programs benefitting the poor, and given a huge tax cut for himself and his wealthy buddies, he is an uncouth man, who spends more time watching television, and playing golf. He fashions his policies based on what right wing Faux News announcers say, in fact it is known that Faux News is the propaganda arm of the Trump White House, he has many investigations against him, his family members, and campaign officials going on, and many in his campaign, including his campaign manager are in jail, have pleaded guilty, and have been sentenced.
      His Iran policies are disastrous, because he took something that was working, and turned it into a crisis, and they may be on the brink of war.
      It is still hard to believe that those who judged Obama, criticized him, and showed hatred for his family, including questioning his birth, have accepted such a morally and ethically corrupt man, who fact checkers have found has lied over 10,000 times since becoming president.

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    Kumar David knows that we, layLankans, are not interested whether or not Donald blinked, winked or wore that stony stupid look. We do not want to know whether or not Israel, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi & Dubai pushed or pulled.
    We are in a precarious situation and we know that you know what it is.
    You want to be win-win
    “Have written an article this week”. Win.
    “Did not write one on that”. Win.
    .
    There is a hint of local issues in {“..Enraged jihadist clusters will hit out anywhere in the world, …”}

    The recent ‘Terrorist’ acts by some radicalised Lankan Muslims has been contained. Moderate Muslims cooperated. Will if excessive force is used to eradicate fully alienate the moderates?
    Food for thought Kumar.
    .
    BBS-Buddhism is a dark cloud soon to be a tempest. The founder of this sect is Gnanasara Thero. Judging his deeds/misdeeds past/present, ‘Justice for all’ Activists the world over say that Gnanasara fits the accepted portrayal of ‘Terrorist’.
    Please Kumar: Investigate this man.
    PS: GR is a patron of BBS.

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      K. Pillai: do not become a Viper. You are writing with Hatred. IF there is a ISIS attack the next time, it won’t be by Bearded males carrying heavy back packs without saying All Hu akbar. It will be by males or mostly Females who are wearing ABHAYA, Niquab, Burka and other similar body covering attire. They may be wearing Suicide jackets instead of Carrying back backs, electrical generators, Dynamites, C4, etc., in side the back Pack.

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    I heard some one is trying low rate nuclear bombs and US introduced dirty Nuclear bombs to the middle east. So, IRan knows IRan has nucllear mateirla eventhough it is not weapon’s grade. Besides, they say, they will obstruct the Oil traffic via Homus Strait. Recently, some from Trump’s tam had said, we do not want a war with Iran.
    So, it is simply Drama for the election . Otherwise, USA is making troubles all over the world.

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