Trump Wanted to Attack Iran, They Talked Him Out of It…for Now
This is rich. This is terrifying. For over a decade Israel and the U.S. have tussled about whether to attack Iran. Usually the Israelis wanted to do it and Presidents like Bush and Obama said No. But it wasn’t easy. They had to send the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, national security advisor and defense secretary to Israel to read Bibi the Riot Act. Not to mention tempting him with goodies like $38-billion over ten years for Israeli military aid. But at least they acted like the adults in the room. As a result, we did do lots of terrible things to Iran. But at least we didn’t drop The Big One on them.
Then along comes Donald Trump in his Big Boy pants, watches a FoxNews segment report on an IAEA study saying Iran now has twelve times more enriched uranium than it did under Pres. Obama. The study also alleges that Iran has refused to permit inspectors to visit sites which might have housed nuclear facilities. Liberals start making the point that under Trump Iran has run rampant in enriching uranium. So what does Big Boy Don do? He calls together his Defense Secretary, Secretary of State, Vice-President and says: “I want to bomb Iran.”
A range of senior advisers dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike. The advisers — including Vice President Mike Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary; and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — warned that a strike against Iran’s facilities could easily escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency.
Mr. Trump asked his top national security aides what options were available and how to respond, officials said.
After Mr. Pompeo and General Milley described the potential risks of military escalation, officials left the meeting believing a missile attack inside Iran was off the table, according to administration officials with knowledge of the meeting.
I imagine there were a long few beats of silence till some poor shlub got the nerve to pipe up from the back: “But Mr. President, that might not be such a good idea.” Then gradually a few more brave souls who’ve probably been circulating their resumes, raised their voices timidly to suggest that this might cause a regional war or provoke major retaliatory attacks on U.S. targets. Gradually, Big Boy gets tired of the shiny new toy (or idea) he was playing with and moves on to another. The assembled staff leave the room believing that Trump has tossed the idea aside. But has he? And will he come back to it? And how do they deter him next time?
The point being that we are in a dangerous, unstable period of flux. Trump has dismissed almost all the senior national security officials in his administration (some positions many times over). Those jobs are now filled not just by interim figures, but by junior figures who’ve never held these portfolios before. Their level of expertise and nuance is almost non-existent.
Not only are we transitioning from one administration to another, we are in the midst of absolute chaos deliberately provoked by the outgoing president. A figure with almost no impulse control and prone to fits of rage and jealousy. Not to mention spitefulness. In order to take revenge on Obama and poke his finger in Biden’s eye, would he attack Iran?
Since Mr. Trump dismissed Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other top Pentagon aides last week, Defense Department and other national security officials have privately expressed worries that the president might initiate operations, whether overt or secret, against Iran or other adversaries at the end of his term.
Even if Trump ultimately decides against such an attack, what’s to stop Bibi Netanyahu from sending his own forces to assault Iran’s nuclear facilities? According to Israeli media accounts, at least twice in the past decade Netanyahu was on the verge of ordering such an operation, only to be dissuaded by a joint phalanx of his intelligence and military chiefs who opposed it. With the prime minister now facing a divided government, a COVID pandemic raging out of control, and three corruption counts which will be tried in court, an Iran adventure would be just the ticket to distract the public from his predicament.
Nor would the Israeli leader have to worry about a U.S. president applying the brakes. In fact, Trump would probably delight in Israel making Joe Biden’s life miserable as he tried to pick up the pieces after such an attack. How would Biden be able to resume negotiations for a return to the JCPOA? Why would Iran have any interest after being pummeled by Israeli bombs? Trump loves wreckage. This would be just the ticket.
Consider as well, my post of earlier today in which I referred to an Israeli report that the timing of the leak about the assassination of Al Qaeda’s number two official in Tehran was deliberate: it was intended to remind Biden only a few days after his election, that if he’s tinkering with the idea of making nice to Iran, Israel will be waiting in the wings to remind him and the world that the Islamic Republic is a nest of terrorists.
15 thoughts on “Trump Wanted to Attack Iran, They Talked Him Out of It…for Now – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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This along with all of the other chaos that Trump is making like not cooperating with President-Elect Biden on the transition, the pandemic, etc., is why I wish that General Mark Milley and the Joint Chiefs don’t have the military enter the White House, remove Trump from office and arrest him. There’s plenty to arrest him for and to put him in prison. Biden can then be properly given the customary briefings that a president-elect gets and then sworn into office earlier. Most of the military people don’t like Trump anyway. This action can be justified as Trump is a danger to our national security, and he shouldn’t be there until January 20th.
What better way to deter AQ from attacking Iranian assets, than to let AQ’s #2, reside in peace in an upscale section of Teheran?
I wonder if Teheran is also behind this second plot to bomb Jewish targets in Argentina?
@ Wunsch: First, this is not a “second plot to bomb Jewish targets in Argentina.” This is an anonymous tip offered to an embassy in a foreign country that someone may be making a bomb whose target would be Jewish in Argentina. That’s an incredibly vague claim. We don’t know who made the claim, if they have bona fides, or what their motive was in conveying the “tip.”
Second, I’ll get concerned about this once you express any concern at all for the victims of scores, if not hundreds of Israeli terror attacks against Palestinian, Syrian, Lebanese and Iranian victims. Till then, you know what you can do….
I detest your gotcha approach. This isn’t a soccer game you win by scoring points. By now, you should know that nothing you say in this vein has any staying power. And I am growing ever more tired of it.
Your flight is approaching Ben Gurion. Prepare for landing.
not gonna happen. trump may have kicked the ball rolling to see how far he could go.
bibi aint gonna touch that one with a ten foot pole. he’s sunk in polls like a lead sink,
any attack on iran will only bring a counter worth thousands of rockets on the homeland
who’s gonna eat the blame for the billions in destructions and thousands of deaths.
not the ayatolla, if indeed israel drops the first one. bibi’s head will be on a spike forever.
and second he cant givethe order if gantz is the defense minister in any case gantz would have
to give the finalok to get the planes flying, i think
dear mr walter
no reason to get hyper on don’s silly remarks
further you are shaking a hornets nest, dont you know that had israel been a part ofthe u.s.
during the last election don would have won. there isnt a jew in israel who doesnt light a candle
every nite to protect the trump
this country is more republican than the republican country
please stay safe by not publicizing such comments you’re liable to get the whole hasbara mishpochah to wake up and reach for your jugular
i read a headline y’day that a study has found that all 3 monotheistic religions are more racist
than the actual racist people without a religion.
nessim dayan, I don’t know where you’re writing from, but most Jews in the US like I believe around 78% of them, did not vote for Trump. They don’t vote Republican. Most Jews here don’t vote based upon Israel. They are concerned about important issues in our country, like a lot of other people.
i once read a few years ago about an Indian[east] discussing the 3 monotheistic religions. he said he could not understand the them because everybody in his city in India has their own god/statue and nobody fights.
Dear Richard .. I’m shocked you posted a photo of these three thugs on your front page. The Iranians are people too, most likely the main stream are intelligent, well educated and put in a box by wars of attrition and inhumane sanctions for far too long. Started with poisonous gassing used by ally Saddam Hussein. There is hope after January 20th … the 79 million Blue Americans have spoken.
Netanyahu has no authority to order such a strike on his own; he is not the “commander-in-chief.” And it’s doubtful that he would have enough support for this action.
MR walter 78% is the number of israeli jews would have voted for trump. sad to say but that is 100% true. the dutch got manhattan for baubles so has trump brainwashed israelis with empty 7 days vacations in gilded dubai and secret ugly software. the empty word peace with sudan of all places was good enough to toss 6000 black refugees out of racist israel.
I suppose every US president has asked at some stage his “experts” (military etc) what will the scenarios be if we attack some country (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, Russia, China, Grenada, Panama etc). So have done Obama, Bush I and Bush II, Clinton, Cater etc. What is different with the present leader of the free world, Trump, is that his question is at once leaked to the media and transformed to “Trump was attacking Iran”. Considering, that there are numerous very influential groups and individuals demanding Trump to order the attack against Iran, Trump (or any other president) would be crazy if he would not ask about what would be the real price of such a large military attack. With such knowledge of the “real price” Trump can answer Netanyahu and the crown princes that US is not going to attack and can explain the “boys” why not.
It makes little military sense that Trump has ordered US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to be minimised and on the same time anonymous sources say that he is planing “attacking” Iran. Even Trump knows that attacking Iran will have really bad consequences to USA and the whole world. Iran after this long economical war (sanctions) would certainly after such an attack by USA and Israel use all assets it has.
With all due respect, I don’t think you understand just how nuts the guy is. He doesn’t care about consequences. He doesn’t care about what comes after he leaves office. War with Iran? Attacks against U.S. targets by Iran? Who cares? He’ll be long gone. The only thing that matters is gratifying his needs in the moment. If he’s pissed that Iran is making him look bad by having 12 times the enriched uranium as it had under Obama, then by God he’s gonna give Iran a whipping (if he can). He is vain, impetuous, impulsive and megalomaniacal. He will do anything he wants when he wants as long as it satisifes some internal need or interest.
Even Trump knows that attacking Iran will have really bad consequences to USA and the whole world.
That’s not within his range if intelligence. Troop withdrawal goes against advice of his military staff and NATO leadership and partners. National security is mot an issue, only perceived campaign promises. “Where is the Wall Mexico paid for?”
The strike on Iran is another fib of his imagination … the strike on Baghdad to assassinate Soleimani was equally stupid. He was in a competition with Obama … utterly criminal.
Trump defends ‘war crime’ threat to target cultural sites in Iran
How the IRGC recently destabilized the hot Nagoro Karabhak region.
“Most of the trucks sent to Armenia and the occupied Karabakh territory belong to the Nasr Novin Mishu Company, located in Sufian and Tabriz, Iran’s northwestern cities. The Nasr Novin Mishu Company is one of the subsidiaries of Nasr Company, a company operating under the auspices of IRGC in the northwestern part of Iran.”
@ Wunsch: Oh please, Israel provided $5-billion in arms sales to Azerbaijan, all of it used to kill Armenians and civilians in Nagorno Karabakh. THe IRG sent TRUCKS to NK? Really? Stop peddling BS. It stinks.