(Above: Cartoon by Brazilian Artist Carlos Latuff)
Whether bluffing to win concessions from Iran, to distract from the plethora of growing scandals threatening to engulf his Residency, or to throw red meat to his rabid base, drumpf and his minions Pompeo and Bolton are playing a dangerous game with Iran and they seem to be acknowledging that fact:
“BEIRUT — The State Department ordered all “non-emergency U.S. government employees” to leave Iraq Wednesday amid soaring tensions with Iran, which backs a network of proxies there.
It said in a statement that the announcement affected both the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Baghdad, and a consulate in the northern city of Erbil.
“Normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended,” it said. “The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq.”
The Trump administration has accused Iran of supporting “imminent attacks” on U.S. personnel in the region and spotlighted recent decisions to deploy an aircraft carrier, strategic bombers and other military assets to reinforce troops across the Middle East. Officials also say the White House is discussing a range of options for using military force against Iran.”
Yesterday, the U.K.’s number two man in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, disputed the admin’s characterization of conditions on the ground in the region saying: “there has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.”
The Pentagon and U.S. Central Command pushed back on Ghika, and U.S. News National Security reporter Paul D. Shrinkman thinks he knows why the military is allowing it’s doggie to be wagged:
I have no idea whether this is the case here, but I've spoken with multiple sources in recent months who disclosed how incensed senior White House officials become behind closed doors when it appears an element of gov't doesn't perfectly align w/ the president or his top advisers
— Paul D. Shinkman (@PDShinkman) May 14, 2019
Despite what Arkansas’s Republican war-hawk Senator Tom Cotton says, conflict with Iran would not be a matter of lobbing a couple of missiles their way.
Unlike Iraq, Iran has significant sea and air defenses, allied forces in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon and a close alliance with Russia, as well as the ability to choke off a significant portion of the world’s oil supply from reaching market.
The State Department should be looking for ways to avoid conflict with Iran instead of shaking its fist at them at the behest of Bolton and drumpf.
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