The Biden Team has an early opportunity to do something stupid in Iran.
It’ s an American tradition. Caused, in large part, by a school of thought that holds that there should never be any “daylight” between American policy in the Middle East and Israeli policy in the same region.
Huh? What’s up with that? What’s the point of being a “sovereign” country if we have to adjust our strategic aspirations anywhere to accommodate a country that we generously support, who has spied on us to our severe detriment and has never put a soldier, of their own, at risk with us to fight in any of the wars they’ve advocated. They prefer to hold our coat.
If Israel is our partner, they are a very Peculiar Partner.
Harp on this subject very much and you’ll find yourself the guy with vacant seats on both sides when attending one of those silly assed meetings about “Strategic Imperatives in a Changing World.” It’s considered bad form to bring these matters up. It embarrasses folks who want to think of themselves as warriors for what is right and true, but who know our policy vis-a-vis Israel is indefensible but don’t want to lose their job or welcome in polite company by making a big stink about it. At least they haven’t been willing to do so, so far.
But, let me make a prediction. (Disregarding Yogi Berra‘s advice that “one shouldn’t make predictions, especially about the future.”) My prediction is that Israel has one last misadventure to urge upon us before it hits the fan big time. Which is the working man’s way of saying “sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”
The Biden Team has already done one stupid thing to Iran. On June 22 of this year they seized an Iranian website that many folks curious about the world would consult. I mean you can’t watch Wolf Blitzer 24/7. The site, www.presstv.com came out of Teheran and I’m sure the Iranian Government dictated its content.
So what? What a juvenile counterproductive thing to do. It was an interesting source on how the Iranians looked at the world. I checked it out occasionally. Does our deeply unimpressive Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, have such a low opinion of American citizens that he doesn’t trust our ability to discern sense from nonsense without his very Israel-Centric guidance? Is Blinken, less in favor of the free flow of speech, than Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who never shut the site down?
C’mon Mr. Blinken. People are starting to talk. Is there any there there with you? Or are you one of those guys hovering with the briefing book, conscious of being deferential to your betters. Please, not a Uriah Heep. Step up and be an American Secretary of State. If the Israelis are not mad at you half the time you’re not doing your job for the United States of America.
Blinken has another more consequential matter involving Iran coming around the bend. The Israelis claim an Iranian drone hit a Japanese ship managed by a company owned by an Israeli Billionaire. The incident happened August 1 in the Gulf of Oman just south of the Persian Gulf. The following video by an Indian source tells the story fairly:
I can say this about Israeli tendencies. They have an uncanny ability to “discover” Iranian misbehavior when, in their opinion, Iran is on the verge of lessening tensions with the US. If Israel itself, “manufactures” the misbehavior, it’s called a “False Flag Operation.” Do something bad so someone else gets blamed for it. They’re not the only country that does it but I’d bet any self-respecting Israeli would tell you, off the record, that they do it better than anybody, plus assassinations but only when “desirable.”
They think its funny. The sad part is they’ve gotten us to think its funny too, which is sick.
Like the Israelis, the Iranians don’t have a reputation for being stupid. They’ve been around a long time, like about 4,000 years. They’ve shown they can “send a message” without crossing the threshold that would require retaliation.
Iran retaliated for the US assassination of Soleimani by hitting a US base with some sort of vibration causing devices that inflicted severe pain on American service personnel for months BUT did not kill anybody. They knew American fatalities would result in retaliation. Likewise, whoever knocked out the huge Saudi refinery, September 15, 2019 (many think it was Iran) did it without killing anybody or leaving proof of culpability. That took skill. The people who pulled it off had to cause maximum damage to an immense complex and do it at a precise time so nobody got hurt. Very Professional.
The incident in the Gulf of Oman was sloppy work. Iran doesn’t do sloppy work. Plus, Iran had nothing to gain by giving a new Israeli Prime Minister and a new American President an excuse to join together slapping them around.
C’mon Mr. Blinken, we’re not children.
If there is anything left of a peace movement in the American body politic it should demand that the Biden Government produce clear and convincing proof of Iranian involvement in the incident in the Gulf of Oman before taking part in any life threatening “retaliatory” action. After all if they didn’t do it its not retaliation its just plain killing.
In the lead up to the Iran Deal in 2015, Roger Cohen of the New York Times, wrote a column supporting the deal. I can quote it from memory.
Cohen said: “Do the Iran Deal. Iran is a youthful hopeful society. Embrace the hope do not imprison it.”
Think of the countries that do well in the world. That aren’t looking to preemptively attack other countries. They are following the principles inherent in Roger Cohen’s reasoning for doing the Iran Deal. Give respect and respect flows back to you.
Most people learn that on the playground before they are ten years old.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.