Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 03:13:32 PM EST
The cowboy diplomacy that has been part of the Republican foreign policy "strategy" will put a strain on the US-EU relations and all other alliances with America. There is really no surprise in the events culminating in war talk and military attacks just short of a declaration of war between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. After shredding the JCPOA treaty, the US has returned to its 40 years of war on Iran with the harshest of economic sanctions.
Where President George W. Bush was moderated by just a few wiser guys than he himself was, although VP Dick Cheney, surrounded by a Neocon cabal, took the reins more than once. The invasion and occupation of Iraq was a ugly turning point for the well being in ME and a tricky balance between Sunni and Shia in the region. Two autocrats with great influence in the region, Egypt's president Mubarak and the Saudi Wahhabist ruler King Abdullah both strongly opposed the impending war. They clearly warned it would open a Pandora's Box with an uncertain outcome. They were right, the Shia majority would lead in the aftermath and once democratisering would gain a foothold, would be linked to its powerful neighbor Iran.
The Neocons had always set their sight on neighbouring states of Israel, so Lebanon, Libya and Syria would follow.
More below the fold ...
The greatest nemesis is of course the Islamic Republic of Iran after the Western puppet the Shah was purged in 1979. For all 40 years, the US have fought Iran through proxy warfare. See my earlier comment - here.
Some historical events from the end of WWII.
Trump is wrong over Iran, but Europe can't afford to divorce the US | The Guardian - May 2018 |
In 2003 a US-led war in the Middle East fractured western unity and divided the European family. It was a trauma of historic proportions, a watershed in some ways comparable to the 1956 Suez crisis. With Donald Trump's decision on Iran, we may be on the verge of another such moment. On the surface, things may not look as bad as they did in early 2003. At this point, US military action against Iran is a worst-case hypothesis - not a plan. No 180,000-strong force is being built up near Iranian territory. Nor are Europeans split into two camps. In this current crisis, and despite Brexit, Europeans look like they're sticking together.
Trump's decision is not only extraordinarily brutal, it affects a project whose origins are found in a European initiative taken in the autumn of 2003, when the UK, France and Germany sent their foreign ministers to Tehran for talks: that project was aimed at limiting and controlling Iran's nuclear programme through peaceful means. It took 12 years of international diplomacy, in which Europe played an important role, to reach the nuclear deal that Trump has now decided to tear up.
The MEMRI source is one I seldom use ...
Brexit, the EU and the Iran nuclear deal | MEMRI - April 2019 |
The multilateral deal, signed in July 2015 between the Islamic Republic of Iran on the one hand and the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia on the other after marathon negotiations, took a severe blow in May last year, when US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the accord and subsequently reinstated comprehensive nuclear sanctions against Iran. Unless Article 50 is revoked, Brexit will probably affect Britain's commitment to the JCPOA and hurt European efforts, spearheaded by Germany, France and Britain (E3), to save the deal from collapsing. This is for political and economic factors, lying inside and outside of the UK.
Internally, an all-out execution of Brexit, including a "no deal" or hard divorce, that would satisfy "leave" campaigners, will likely push British politics to the right and empower the more hard-line Conservatives in parliament -- not least those from the so-called European Research Group (ERG) -- who are sympathetic to the Trump administration. This would spell trouble for Tehran and might encourage London to toe Washington's line on the JCPOA, especially if British Eurosceptics in power anticipate another victory for Trump in the 2020 US presidential elections, a scenario that has gained traction in the wake of the largely exonerating Mueller Report.
The Iranian Effect on Europe and Brexit | Carnegie Europe - July 2019 |
The recent standoff between the UK and Iran is a case in point. London was immersed in the contest to succeed Theresa May as Conservative leader and UK prime minister when, much to the delight of U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, British forces on July 4 seized an Iranian tanker that was allegedly carrying oil to Syria in breach of U.S. sanctions. In retaliation, two weeks later, Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.
This is not a simple bilateral spat between London and Tehran. It is a dispute that has exposed three weaknesses in British, European, and transatlantic policies. It is hard to see the UK's new prime minister, Boris Johnson, or the new European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, capable of overcoming these weaknesses.
The first is Britain's delusions about Brexit. Too often, Johnson has said his country would be far better off outside the EU. Yet on July 22, outgoing UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt asked the Europeans (not the Americans or NATO) to lead a new maritime alliance to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. How ironic--and a day before Johnson, who has promised to take Britain out of the EU with or without a deal, was elected by Conservative Party members to succeed May. The British plea betrayed panic and a lack of strategic planning ...
After enjoying his millionaires holiday in the Caribbean ...
Johnson Expresses Support for Trump's America
Boris Johnson: Qassem Suleimani was threat to all our interests | The Guardian |
Boris Johnson has said that assassinated Iranian general Qassem Suleimani was "a threat to all our interests", and that while "we will not lament his death" he called for de-escalation from all sides.
The prime minister spoke to the US president, Donald Trump, on Sunday after the US drone strike on Iran's top military leader on Friday.
Johnson said he would be speaking to Iraq "to support peace and stability" after its parliament called for the expulsion of foreign troops, including British soldiers working against Islamic State (Isis).
"General Qassem Suleimani posed a threat to all our interests and was responsible for a pattern of disruptive, destabilising behaviour in the region," Johnson said.
"Given the leading role he has played in actions that have led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and western personnel, we will not lament his death.
"It is clear however that all calls for retaliation or reprisals will simply lead to more violence in the region and they are in no one's interest."
No Sir! Bush and Blair are responsible for one million deaths by the invasion and occupation of Iraq, framed through lies and propaganda about WMDs. The Iraq population resisted your soldiers, American troops, torture and detention.
○ Rouhani tells Salih: Blood of commanders will strengthen Iran-Iraq bonds
Does Soleimani's Death Matter? Findings from a 2019 Workshop | Washington Institute |
The Qods Force has not stood idly by while Khamenei placed so many of his eggs in Soleimani's basket. The force's new, less-charismatic leader--former deputy commander Esmail Ghaani--intimately knows Soleimani's vision and will likely try to continue it. Similarly, foreign relationships can be picked up to some extent by deputies in each country.
Yet something unique may have been lost with Soleimani's death. The unity of command he was able to achieve might degrade going forward. Operations conducted by the IRGC, Artesh, and Intelligence Ministry could be less well-coordinated, and rivalries may resurface.
Perhaps more significant, the IRGC will likely lose some of the prestige that was over-invested in Soleimani. The face of IRGC expansion in the Middle East is dead, killed as he hurried around the region trying to correct a spiraling sequence of errors. In combination with recent mass protests in Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran itself, the death of Soleimani could be a momentum-breaker for the IRGC's expansionist policies.
My error, I first thought this would be a reasonable analysis, I was fooled by the name "Washington Institute". Wrong! Michael Knights is a fellow at WINEP!! That of course rings a bell ... Washington Institute for Near East Peace (WINEP), the think-tank affiliate of AIPAC.
○ WINEP @EuroTrib
○ WINEP @Tikun Olam
○ NY Mayor Blasio: 'A Lobby Is A Night Flower'
○ House of Saud - US Alliance Has Broken the Middle East
Someone pointed me to an opinion piece in the NYT authored by Tom Friedman ... I didn't expect much from his "analysis" and he didn't let me down.
One group gives Soleimani a hero status as the feared IRCG commander, now I we have two pieces where it's written Soleimani erred and made wrong judgements. If the latter was the case, there would be no reason to take the gamble and assassinate him on Iraq sovereign soil. All in all, it was quite a stupid action and the repercussions will be seen and felt in the new decade of the 20s. Just insane and quite illegal.
The US assassination of the top Iranian commander along with Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq's anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units, and eight others has sent shock waves across the world.
It has forged greater unity in the region against US interventionism, with insistent calls for revenge being echoed across the Muslim world. Both Soleimani and Muhandis played a key role in defeating Daesh which at its peak, threatened a complete take-over of Iraq and Syria.
Gen. Soleimani's popularity transcends geographical boundaries, and many people across the Middle East and beyond regard him as the figurehead in defeating Daesh and other Takfiri groups.
Related reading ...
○ Imminent: Trump's War In Persian Gulf Region by Oui @EuroTrib on May 15, 2019
○ Syria Expendable In Joint US-Israel ME Power Schemes by Oui @EuroTrib on Dec. 28, 2013
○ The US is gearing up for an attack on Iran by Alexander @EuroTrib on Jan. 12, 2007
○ NSC Chief Hadley asked Italy for Syria Replacement Name by susanhu @EuroTrib on Oct. 23, 2005