2020-01-11

Did the Saudis Talk Trump Out of War with Iran? — or am I just dreaming?

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by Neil Godfrey

It sure looked like Trump was going all out to provoke a war with Iran — or maybe he was too stupid to think through the consequences of assassinating Qassem Soleimani [link is to Vridar post on QS’s bio] that far in advance. Then came this tweet:

And that tweet seems to have been forced out of him only after the Saudi’s themselves announced the meeting: see White House Press Association Rebukes Trump Administration for Secret Saudi Meeting in Oval Office.

The Saudis are having a hard enough time with the Iranian backed Houthis in Yemen and they recently saw how vulnerable their oil depots were to drone strikes. Anyway, Trump suddenly started talking of de-escalation and allowed the Iranians to respond so long as they gave warning so that no lives would be lost.

U.S. and Israeli hawks have long been itching for war with Iran, and that war would have been a perfect deflection from the impeachment mess. One can’t help but wonder what was discussed at that meeting with Trump and the Saudis.

Or am I just being alt-conspiratorial?

One thing is for sure, though. Obama managed with international support to “guarantee” Iran’s security if they gave up on a nuclear weapons program. I somehow find it inconceivable that Iran won’t have a nuclear weapon relatively soon. Trump’s action seems to have made that almost inevitable — so it seems when I read Dana Kennedy’s article in DCReport.org: The Suleimani Assassination May Set Back U.S. Intelligence Gathering: Striking the General Revealed NSA Capability to Spy on Top Iranians and Their Nuclear Weapons Program. After all, Trump does have a history of letting little secrets slip. Terrorists have learned not to use cell phones when they communicate; no doubt (given Dana Kennedy’s article) Iranians have now learned a similar lesson with respect to a (surely revamped) nuclear weapons program.

Iranian leadership would surely be even more madly insane than Trump if they don’t go all out to get a nuclear weapon now. How else could they “guarantee” their security from invasion or “shock and awe” bombing?

Meanwhile, the U.S. troops who continue to occupy the country they “liberated” have been obliged to turn away from their stated goal of “mopping up the remnants” of ISIS and standing guard against Iranian proxy attacks.

A nuclear-armed Iran (may not be such a bad thing for the immediate future), a resurgent ISIS — even a restored caliphate?, an inevitable eventual withdrawal of the U.S. from Afghanistan and Iraq — unless, perhaps, the Saudis change their minds and offer to flatter Trump if he changes his mind once more on Iran.

But I’m only musing. I have no idea. A mere citizen who tries to keep on top of the news and what’s happening, or seems to be happening.

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Neil Godfrey

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9 Comments

  • Bob Jase
    2020-01-11 13:34:09 GMT+0000 - 13:34 | Permalink

    Prolly promised another hotel & golf course if he backed down. Trump can’t be talked out of anything but he can be bought.

  • 2020-01-11 15:10:23 GMT+0000 - 15:10 | Permalink

    The impeachment of POTUS Trump is rather ho-hum though, no?
    It’s not like the US Senate will vote for removal.
    It’s increasingly likely that the Senate won’t even hold a trial.
    They might vote to dismiss the Articles of Impeachment as their first order of business after receiving them.
    Why would the Senate care about Trump’s contempt of Congress? Why would the Senate care about Trump abusing the office of the Presidency?
    This is just more partisan politics more than it’s about an actual crime like obstruction of justice.
    Or maybe I’m not seeing things very clearly as someone who’s contemptuous of both the American Republicans and the American (establishment neoliberal) Democrats.

    • Neil Godfrey
      2020-01-14 01:25:22 GMT+0000 - 01:25 | Permalink

      Yes, and AOC is right when she says that in any other country she and Sanders would not even be in the same party as Biden. Even if Sanders were elected President how much of his ideals could he possibly get through?

  • Steven C Watson
    2020-02-17 23:15:14 GMT+0000 - 23:15 | Permalink

    Don’t know how much good The Bomb would do Iran, it certainly hasn’t done much for Pakistan, whose territory is regularly violated by the American military.

    https://theintercept.com/2020/02/16/ralph-nader-interview-bernie-sanders-bloomberg-pelosi-democrats/

    Worth a read. If Sanders WERE elected it would be a massive sea-change and he would have a massive mandate. In the UK the People have seen off a three year filibuster by a legislature that got too big for its boots; I don’t see why the American People shouldn’t be able to do the same. It’s a big ask for Sanders and he will have to orientate himself to an acceptable American narrative, much as Nader describes here, but IF he were to succeed he would have the mandate to actually clean house. A significant part of this is who he has for Veep. I think Gabbard rather than Warren; and certainly not anyone from ‘The Squad’. There is no way any of them can be dressed up as anything other than dangerous loons – no matter whether they are or not.

    • Neil Godfrey
      2020-02-18 11:18:40 GMT+0000 - 11:18 | Permalink

      I may have missed something but I was not aware Pakistan has been declared a “rogue” or “enemy” state by the U.S. or been threatened with invasion and overthrow of government by the U.S.

      • Steven C Watson
        2020-02-21 01:03:18 GMT+0000 - 01:03 | Permalink

        Do you not recall the previous Global Village Idiot, George W? He threatened to burn Pakistan to the ground if they didn’t get on board with invading Afghanistan and overthrowing the Taliban, whose major shareholders have always been the Pakistani security services. The reason victory in Afghanistan has been so elusive is the Taliban originated in the madrassas on the otherside of the Curzon line and can always retire into Pakistan if things get too hot. Where was Public Enemy No. 1 when the SEALs killed him, and which state declared itself an Islamic Republic a fortnight before Khomenii’s Iran? My point wasn’t that Pakistan has been declared a “rogue” or “enemy” state by the U.S. or been threatened with invasion and overthrow of government by the U.S: it has been, but that The Bomb does them no good and it wouldn’t do Iran any good either. Who would they use it on and what would happen if they did?

        • Neil Godfrey
          2020-02-21 03:17:24 GMT+0000 - 03:17 | Permalink

          Pakistan has never had the capability to threaten the U.S. mainland — unlike what North Korea has been working on for some time now, the ability to deliver a nuclear bomb on the U.S. itself. But Iran is different, as I understand things. Currently Israel is able to threaten any Mid-East country with a nuclear strike, but if Iran were to acquire the ability to threaten Israel with a nuclear weapon in retaliation, then Israel loses its advantage. Hence the concern that Iran not develop the bomb and ability to deliver it on Israel, let alone the U.S.

          • Steven C Watson
            2020-02-22 21:51:26 GMT+0000 - 21:51 | Permalink

            I raise you the Samson Option. Before the Assyrian fell like a wolf on the fold, they had to be physically in possesion of Hollow Syria. Before Cyrus could end the Babylonian Exile, he had to be in possesion of Mesopotamia. These two powers were the US of their day, they had virtually no rivals. The neccessities of Iran being an actual threat to Israel don’t exist. Even with The Bomb they would not exist. If Iran were to aquire The Bomb that would just “cancel” Israel’s bomb according to MAD.

            Israel has been under permanent existential threat from before it was an actual nation. Their enemies only have to succeed once; Israel has to succeed every time. How do you nuke Tel Aviv without killing everyone in Jaffa at the same time? I don’t think there is a target in Israel that wouldn’t see the same consequences. Israel also has the full Triad: it has nukes at sea in subs.

            Leave all that aside and say it isn’t true. Iran attacks Israel with The Bomb. What then? There is an elephant in the room and its’ mahout is, to a significant probability, Jewish. The Iranians are, near as damnit, rational actors. The Israelis will call any bluff and with the level of existential threat would carry through with Samson. The Iranians KNOW all this. They also must know they will just be playing whack-a-mole: the majority of Jews haven’t made aliyah.

            All that aside, there is a lot of confused and hysterical thinking. The Iranian reactor design isn’t capable of producing anything more than 5% enriched uranium; a looong way from bomb grade. The Saudis are planning on 15 reactors. 90% of the terror threat is Sunni. Deobandi-Salafi-Wahhabi Sunni. Paki and Saudi Sunni. As I recall the Osirak reactor wasn’t capable of producing bomb grade uranium either. I don’t know what is going on here; I can understand the Israelis but what is going on in everyone else on “our” side’s heads?

            I don’t expect the President to know what he is doing here; I doubt he has ever looked at the matter in any depth. I doubt he expected or intended to be President. Everyone else? They are ostensibly supposed to know what they are doing; but the daft seems to have reigned in this matter since the beginning.

            • Neil Godfrey
              2020-02-24 19:51:16 GMT+0000 - 19:51 | Permalink

              If Iran were to aquire The Bomb that would just “cancel” Israel’s bomb according to MAD.

              Is not that a “rational actor’s” justification for acquiring the bomb?

              Israel has been under permanent existential threat from before it was an actual nation.

              This myth still has life in it? 🙂

              Their enemies only have to succeed once; Israel has to succeed every time.

              Succeed at what, exactly?

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