QUICKIES ON IRAN
Submitted by Michael Brenner
I hate Twitter in concept and in practice – will never use it. There are occasions, though, when the temptation is irresistible to distribute some thoughts on a ‘breaking story’ – especially a consequential one that is receiving the predictably poor coverage from the media and their tame ‘experts.’ So, a few points in blunt language without the appropriate nuance. As for my sources, I vouch for them as being at least as experienced, far more perceptive and possessing a record of both accuracy and honesty lacking in the adulterated pablum in general circulation
- The Iranians and friends have administered a powerful defeat to Trump and friends. It’s a body blow. He has been exposed (for the still unwitting) as the windbag/bully/coward he manifestly is – surrounded by sycophants (Pompeo, for one), ignoramuses (people who know nothing about Iranians or anyone else in the region except the Israelis), and senior officials as lacking in the capacity to think logically as he is. If there are any who don’t have the last two qualities, they hide the fact for fear of losing their jobs.
- The devastating assault on the Saudi petroleum complex puts FINIS to any idea of the U.S. using military force against Iran. The damage that they can do to invaluable assets of us and our friends is intolerable. The damage that they might be able to do to our own military assets in the Gulf is not something that anyone in the Pentagon wants to find the answer to through experimentation.
- The crackpot Crown Prince in Riyadh is doubtless scared out of whatever wits he has. Not only because he has been humiliated, and placed the Kingdom’s future in danger, but also because he now might be hung out to dry by the legions of enemies he has made. His buddies elsewhere in the Gulf are running as fast as they can from the danger.
- The Europeans have finally realized that temporizing with the psychopath in the White House is not the path of least resistance. Their cowardice has been a major factor in bringing us to the brink a regional meltdown that could send their economies spiraling into recession – with dire domestic political consequences. Even the Japanese, inherently reticent, have issued a public statement saying: they see no evidence of Iran launching the attack, and offer their good offices to mediate between Washington and Teheran.
- Everybody in the world sees that we have been humiliated – that is everybody but we Americans living in our bubble of fantasy and make-believe. In Ankara, Putin send Rouhani and Erdogan into bursts of laughter by rubbing it in – offering Trump defensive weapons better than ours that might actually work.
- The Pentagon ($750 billion), and our Intelligence wunderkind (85 billion), have once again fallen down on the job. They totally missed the highly sophisticated array of weapons that Putin’s Russia has developed (some superior to ours). They totally missed the progress that the Iranians have made. They greatly overestimated our own capabilities – and what we sold to the Saudis.
7. We supposedly had a superspy at Putin’s elbow. We have overwhelmed Iran with electronic surveillance. Yet, we learn nothing of importance, e.g. Crimea, Russia’s move into Syria, or even the military capabilities of our self-designated primary enemies (now that we’ve relegated al-Qaeda to the category of ally of convenience in Syria, and have shifted attention from ISIS in Afghanistan to the Taliban). Putin’s preference in Pizza toppings? Ask Ms Haspel for a briefing; that probably she knows. Overall, a performance of remarkable incompetence in the service of hare-brained policies.
8. We have no Middle East strategy – and haven’t had one since the Bush administration. (Yes – they did have a strategy, albeit one with unachievable goals and disastrous consequences). Our disjointed actions only make sense from the warped perspectives of the current Israeli government and Mohammed bin-Salman.
9. Trump has disgraced the United States by leaving to the Saudis the question of war-or-peace in the Gulf – it’s Riyadh’s assessment, he says, that will determine whether the “locked-and-loaded” gun is pointed at Iran with his unsteady finger on the trigger. Only Tulsi Gabbard calls this pimping of the American armed forces by its name. Her remarks are ignored by the NYT, and presumably by the rest of the MSM.