What happens when you let a temperamental madman make uninformed and uneducated foreign policy decisions is that you end up with a heap of trouble on your plate. We have all been so caught up in the day-to-day detritus surrounding Trump, his corruption, the Mueller report, ongoing obstruction of justice, and Mitch McConnell’s attempt to help the rise of a dictator that we may be ignoring some critical issues. Our blogging friend Keith has recently noted that Donald Trump poses a “clear and present danger” to not only our own country, but to every nation on the globe. He is quite right.
The Americans are currently escalating the conflict with Tehran — with unpredictable consequences for their allies in Europe. In Berlin political circles, worries are growing about the potential threat of war.
Donald Trump is doing everything possible to provoke a conflict with Iran while making it look like Iran’s fault. A year ago, Trump withdrew the US from the deal that has successfully stopped Iran from getting nuclear weapons – despite the IAEA and even the Trump administration confirming Iran was abiding by the agreement. The day Trump took the US out of the deal, he lit the fuse of a potential crisis.
Before matters spin out of control, it would be wise for the administration to dial back the rhetoric, open high-level channels with Tehran, and signal a willingness to reenter the nuclear deal as a starting point for new negotiations. But there is zero prospect the administration will take this course. It is doubling down on a strategy of maximum tension, and there is growing evidence it is on a path toward war—whether Trump realizes it or not.
Just four years ago America and Iran were on a different path. After Barack Obama offered to extend a hand if Iran’s leaders “unclenched their fist”, the two sides came together, leading to the nuclear deal. That promised to set back the Iranian nuclear programme by more than a decade, a prize in itself, and just possibly to break the cycle of threat and counter-threat that have dogged relations since the Iranian revolution 40 years ago.
Foreign policy experts from all around the globe see Trump’s taunting of Iran as trouble. Except, of course, our own National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Bolton has, in the past, advocated bombings, wars and regime change and is, in my book, a warmonger. For two decades, he has called for military action in both Iran and North Korea. Pompeo is a bigoted Islamophobe who made it clear that he would do everything in his power to undermine the Iran nuclear agreement even before he was nominated for Secretary of State.
Just as he did with the Paris Accord, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear agreement in May 2018. The excuse was that Iran had not upheld their end of the bargain, though Trump’s own administration, as well as international sources, claimed that Iran was in full compliance with the agreement. But that was only the beginning …
After pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement, he immediately re-imposed economic and trade sanctions on Iran, including an embargo on dealings with the country by the U.S., and a ban on selling aircraft and repair parts to Iranian aviation companies. The U.S. has also been responsible for targeting the country with fake news and disinformation about its past nuclear activities and present-day links to terrorism. Iran has faced cyber-attacks, its scientists have been assassinated, its ballistic missile program sabotaged – all by the United States. Is it any wonder, then, that Iranian revolutionary leader Ali Khamenei announced on May 1st that he was placing Iranian forces on high alert and that he views Washington’s actions as “total war”?
The Trump regime responded by sending a carrier strike group and bomber taskforce to the region, further escalating the already high tensions. Earlier this week, Secretary of State Pompeo canceled a trip to Germany to travel to Baghdad with the goal of bringing the Iraqi regime on board with the Trump’s strategy against Iran.
And now, Iran has declared that it will not abide by some of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This is a blow to our allies, and to add insult to injury, Iran has given our European allies who are trying to hold the deal together just 60 days to find a way to protect Iranian oil exports and financial activity from U.S. sanctions. If they are unable to do so, which is likely, Iran says it may back out of the agreement altogether and basically resume their nuclear program.
I leave off where I began … ignorance in foreign policy is dangerous, it is stupid, and in today’s world of nuclear warfare, it could lead to a level of destruction never before seen. General James Mattis was the last prevailing ‘cooler head’ in the Trump administration, and now that he has left, it seems that the little boys with their war toys know no limits. Donald Trump, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are trying to start a war that knows no bounds … and for what? That is a question for which I can see no answer other than … power? People will die to stroke the egos of these “men”. Think about it.