This War Being Ginned Up With Iran Must Be Stopped Now

ENOUGH. With the shooting down of a US drone by Iran, the Trump administration needs to take steps now to de-escalate this situation.

Parts of this administration — most stridently National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — have made it obvious that they want war with Iran and no other option. And that alone should make us suspicious of any event that pushes us further in that direction.

Going to war would be a stupid mistake on par with our the disastrous decision to invade Iraq. It’s no surprise that it’s the same people promoting this war as that one. Whom, by the way, wouldn’t go when their country “called”.

By the way, this is not even something the Pentagon wants. I’m old enough to remember with the Republican Party supposedly listened to its generals. Nah, war is too good.

Frankly, I remain baffled by how we’ve been unable to find a lasting peace with Iran. Don’t talk to me about the Iranian Revolution and holding the embassy employees hostage. I live in Southeast Asia. I have visited Vietnam as a tourist with my family. If we can reach that kind of accommodation with Vietnam, we can certainly do so with Iran.

So what’s it all about? Israel. As with all things US policy in the Middle East, it begins and ends with Israel. (See #3.) Even more than oil, I believe.

While I’m on oil, wasn’t fracking supposed to be about energy independence so that we could avoid these kind of conflicts over oil? Nah, instead we’ve become a net exporter of oil. Money to be made.

But I digress. We need a more balanced policy in the Middle East. We need to de-escalate now. The American public cannot fall for this again. For that matter, the elite mainstream press better not fall for it, either, like they did with Iraq.

And for what it’s worth, this is personal. I have extended family that serve in the military, and closer to home, I have two teenage boys. They will be the ones asked to fight this forever war. If not for them, for other teenagers just like them, this needs to stop. A war is unthinkable. ENOUGH.

Israel-Palestine

The carnage on the border between Gaza and Israel is horrific. I get it that, after decades of conflict, no one in the Mideast has clean hands (including, or especially, the US), but the deaths in this conflict are completely lopsided:

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The US should be working to restrain Israel and seek a just peace. But we’re not. Why?

Because of American evangelicals.

I knew this is where US and Israeli right-wingers are coming from, but it’s still shocking that we’re even remotely expected to accept this as a serious argument:

Well first of all, I would take issue with beginning the history lesson in 1947. Go back another 3,500 years. Go back to the Bible.

Read the full quote in the article.

I accept that Israel’s existence as a sovereign nation state is a “fact on the ground” that just can’t be reversed at this point, but this argument is ludicrous. If the US is to accept it, then the time has come to give America back to Native Americans.

Unless, of course, what really matters isn’t history or reasons, but raw power. Lasting peace should require justice. Instead, in modern Israel, it means oppressing, displacing, and wiping out your opponents.

Trump’s foreign policy is built on doing what others haven’t done before, period – shake things up and make sure everyone stays tuned. He agreed to meet with Kim Jong-un, no strings attached, even though that was held out as the prize for cooperation by previous presidents.

With Israel/Palestine, he had two choices along this line: Seriously press Israel to stop the settlement expansions and start negotiating, or move the embassy to Jerusalem. He chose the embassy. Why? Because evangelicals were willing to flatter him:

“I told him that the moment that you do that, I believe that you will step into political immortality,” the news site quoted (Pastor John) Hagee as saying. “Because you are having the courage to do what other presidents did not have the courage to do.”

And of course, support him in huge percentages with their votes.

For what it’s worth, as a member of the non-religious community, let me say that I think religious people really have a hard time grasping how much their speech sounds like incoherent babbling to us. Bigoted, divisive, irrational incoherent babbling at that.