If you liked the most recent Iraq war, you’ll absolutely love war with Iran.
Make no mistake, war with Iran will be an epic disaster. A Napoleon invading Russia in 1812 level of catastrophe.
But facts and reality has never been enough to change Donald Trump’s mind.
Trump has loaded his cabinet of trusted advisers with anti-Iran warhawks.
According to The Washington Post, active or retired military officials hold at least 10 of the 25 senior policy and leadership spots on Trump’s National Security Council — five times more than under Obama…
Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national-security adviser, believes Iran was behind attacks on US troops in Iraq. The NSC’s senior director for the Middle East, Derek Harvey, is seen as an Iran hawk. And the NSC senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, has said he wants to use US spies to depose the Iranian government.
Across the Potomac River, Trump’s top man at the Pentagon is of similar extraction.
As a general, Secretary of Defense James Mattis commanded the 1st Marine Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and held other commands during operations there afterward.
While in Iraq and looking to retaliate for Iran-backed attacks on US personnel, Mattis devised plans for strikes in Iranian territory…
In late 2010, after taking over as chief of US Central Command, Mattis was asked by Obama what his priorities were.
“Iran, Iran, and Iran,” Mattis replied.
Then yesterday this happened.
He is known as the Dark Prince or Ayatollah Mike, nicknames he earned as the Central Intelligence Agency officer who oversaw the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the American drone strike campaign that killed thousands of Islamist militants and hundreds of civilians.
Now the official, Michael D’Andrea, has a new job. He is running the C.I.A.’s Iran operations, according to current and former intelligence officials, an appointment that is the first major sign that the Trump administration is invoking the hard line the president took against Iran during his campaign.
Trump had already ratcheted up the anti-Iran rhetoric. During his recent overseas trip he demanded Iran to stop its nuclear weapons program, a program that the U.N. has certified doesn’t exist.
Furthermore, Trump accused Iran of “funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias, and it must cease immediately.”
Forget the irony of us denouncing Iran’s support of terrorists, while Saudi Arabia and the Pentagon back jihadists in Syria.
Instead the key words in that statement is “and militias”.
Iran will never, ever, ever stop supporting the Shia militias in Iraq and Syria that are defeating ISIS and al-Qaeda. Not in a million years. Not even under the threat of war with the United States.
Even more important, a proxy war with Iranian-backed militias in Syria now appears unavoidable.
Iran also wants its allied forces to take care of the Iraqi-Syrian border issue because it still wants to open a land crossing linking Iraqi-Iranian borders in eastern Iraq to the Iraqi-Syrian border in western Iraq. This issue that Washington and Tehran have been fighting over will place Abadi in an embarrassing position…
A military conflict over the Iraqi-Syrian border between the allies of Tehran and those of Washington is on hold now because of the ongoing military operations in Mosul.
However, it seems this conflict is inevitable and likely to erupt after the liberation of the district of Tal Afar in the Ninevah governorate.
While a Tehran-Damascus land bridge seems threatening to Israel, it shouldn’t make a bit of difference to Washington…unless regime change in Syria and war with Iran are on the agenda.
The U.S. military said on Thursday it had bolstered its “combat power” in southern Syria, warning that it viewed Iran-backed fighters in the area as a threat to nearby coalition troops fighting Islamic State…
“We have increased our presence and our footprint and prepared for any threat that is presented by the pro-regime forces,” said the spokesman, U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, referring to Iran-backed forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Why would pro-regime forces fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda be considered our enemies? Reuter answers that a few sentences further down.
The coalition’s presence in Tanf, on the Damascus-Baghdad highway, was also meant to stop Iran-backed groups from opening an overland route between Iraq and Syria, the sources say.
If Trump thinks Iran is unable to fight back, he is sadly mistaken.
If Trump thinks that Iran will simply back down, he is sadly mistaken.
Iran is twice the size, with three times the population, of Iraq circa 2003.
More importantly, unlike Saddam’s Iraq, Iran isn’t politically and economically isolated. It has allies in Russia and China.
More importantly, thanks to President Bush, Iraq is not just a close ally of Iran, it’s practically a client state.
Those Shia militias we are preparing to bomb in Syria are the very same Shia militias our forces in Iraq are working with. Those militias in Iraq number over 100,000, and killed hundreds of our soldiers during the occupation.
Do you think they might care when we start killing their comrades in Syria? I do.
How long would it take before a proxy war in Syria spreads to Iraq and engulfs the entire region?