For Trump, a Twelver Gun Salute

WAS it really as basic as that? At every phase of the US-Iran ‘relationship’ since 1979, Tehran’s Shiite overlords had the world believing they were capable of any atrocity – however apocalyptic – to resist the Great Satan. The world believed them. Their terrorist reach was long and their interventions in Iraq caused devastating carnage. During the Bush era, Tehran was regarded by locker-room alphas as the ultimate foe. “Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran.” So boasted an unnamed “British official close to the Bush team” in 2003. The remark came to be regarded as the quintessence of a larger ‘neo-con’ project. Given an inch by the post-9/11 Bush Doctrine insistence that state sponsors of terrorism were licit targets, a small group of hawks took a mile instead. Their ambitions were best encapsulated (on the record) by moustachioed Teddy Roosevelt impersonator John Bolton. He told Israeli officials in February of the same year that after defeating Iraq the US would “deal with” Iran, Syria and North Korea. This assumed an insatiable public appetite for war; plus, more importantly, an unlimited supply of young warriors. Donald Trump’s execution of Iran’s phony-soldier terrorist mastermind, Qassem Soleimani, was not what these “real men” had in mind at all. That reflects poorly on them. Iran, it turns out, was hiding behind Madman Theory all along.

The madness was authentic enough. Unlike Richard Nixon, however, the mullahs’ capacity for nation-on-nation war with a hyper-power was non-existent and always was. By the standards of America’s arsenal, a drone is akin to a toy – albeit of a deadly variety – but a single drone and a single missile were enough to expose Iran for what it truly is: a mouthy blowhard whose leaders are terrified of a systemic pounding by its arch-enemy – or, better still, a remote-control clean-out of big names. No need for Boltonian boots on the ground, as it happens. The woeful theatrical response to the Soleimani killing was akin to the bloodied bully hiding behind an onlooker screeching ‘let me at him!’ It was a noisy cordite tribute to the President’s uncomplicated victory. Whether the downed Ukrainian airliner was taken down by accident or as a spiteful tactical reminder to the United States of what Iran is capable of – and all it is genuinely good at – remains to be seen. Either way, that too is a revelation of insipidity.

Trump has been on the national political stage for only three years but continues to shatter orthodoxies of left and right. A Twitter meme doing the rounds this week contrasts an amateur (in the best sense) president who will run for re-election on substantial accomplishments versus a likely contender in Joe Biden with 40 years in Washington but nothing to show for it. On Iran, that opening question again: was the crisis really as basic as it now seems? Militarily, yes it was. Politically, no it wasn’t. The longstanding kowtowing to Iran – or, at least, the respect afforded its will-to-suzerainty – was standard operating procedure for everyone from Ronald Reagan’s Iran-Contra team to Bush Doctrine ultraists. They all conflated deadly sniping with here-to-stay hemispheric muscle. The latter did so doctrinally: to reorder a world via a remodelled Pax Americana of hubristic design and Roman scope. In Iran and North Korea, the President has ended their reign.

Accordingly, the Obama Administration cannot be indicted by history for the unfounded indulgence of the cat Trump so breezily belled. True, Barack Obama’s shameful appeasement has no real equal in the history of that bilateral entanglement or possibly any other pas de deux in the annals of US diplomacy. His nuclear deal and crates of cash best the good Mr Chamberlain’s error of judgment as infamies of appeasement. But we cannot lose sight of the sorry fact that his policy on Iran was an over-correction of already faulty conventions. Trump’s missile cut through the accumulated blubber and boilerplate and struck at the heart of the matter. The only thing that survived was Soleimani’s never upper hand. That Democrats are lining up to kiss the gaudy ring on one of its fingers – crying over the engagement it could be said to symbolise; one they were unwilling to break off – points to the only weakness of Trump’s Iran policy: it will not survive the return to power of an Obama revanchist. Only the incumbent’s re-election this year will lock in the revolution.

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27 Responses to For Trump, a Twelver Gun Salute

  1. stackja

    USA voters have the decision to make, only DT election is the best thing.

  2. mh

    I’m not convinced that Trumpism can survive Trump after January 2025.

    I hope it does, and it must be attempted. The problem is Trump is just so brilliant.

  3. Gab

    I don’t hold out too much hope for Trump 2020 given all the reports I’m seeing about how easy it is to carry out voter fraud.

  4. Fair shake of the sauce

    So where is this WWIII MSM claimed we were getting this week?
    It was interesting to see all the chicken littles at work this week. The sky is falling cos Trump caused WWIII…
    We’re they wrong again? So much losing in so little time.

  5. Bruce of Newcastle

    CL – I think you are as much in error as Bush/Rumsfeld.

    1. Bush and co weren’t after endless war, instead they wanted to stop endless war. The problem is their hypothesis was wrong. The hypothesis was that since democracies don’t go to war with other democracies they should make Iraq a democracy, then encourage the other MENA countries to follow suit. Their hypothesis, whilst admirable, was utterly naive. Unfortunately mu slim majority countries cannot do democracy because of the nature of Is lam. Bush and Rumsfeld didn’t understand that.

    2. Trump does understand it. Hence his attempted restriction of travel from a number of countries in MENA. Hence his swatting of Soleimani. He is close to Israel and appears to comprehend Israeli policy towards their mu slim neighbours, which is dominance, retribution, vigilance and quarantine. Trump is following the Israeli Wall policy for example.

    3. Obama wasn’t practising appeasement, he was fostering the Mu slim Brotherhood and the Shi’ite mullahs as his preferred models of governance in MENA. Whether he did this with another wrong hypothesis or not I don’t know, but the MB took a mile when offered an inch and so did the mullahs. But Obama was clearly fostering them not appeasing them. His speech in Cairo supports that view.

    Trump seems to be working towards the pre-Napoleon era historical model of dealing with Is lam, which is quarantine. Have nothing to do with them. Separate from them. And every time they do something nasty carry out an overwhelming retribution so they learn to stay on their side of the barrier. That is a practical strategy which has worked for centuries, and leads to fewer bodybags all round.

  6. Ubique

    After President Trump completes his second term in January 2025, perhaps he could ensure his peerless contribution for good continues by then serving the following two terms as Vice-President.

  7. I found the past few days quite an eye opener. Pres. Trump usually says what he means and does what he says. To take out a long term, high ranking terrorist with as many scalps on his belt as the Iranian who met his sudden end was quite a feat. However what amazed me was the Democrats response to his demise, some of them behaved like they had lost a friend. Wow, considering the death and destruction that man had responsible for, one would have thought that they could supported the President just once!

  8. His second term target is the UN, another straw filled scarecrow.

  9. OldOzzie

    Gab
    #3289265, posted on January 11, 2020 at 3:23 pm
    I don’t hold out too much hope for Trump 2020 given all the reports I’m seeing about how easy it is to carry out voter fraud.

    New York Democrats Move to Let Illegal Aliens Register to Vote

    State pushes American driver’s licenses plan, allowing non-citizens voter registration

    New York State Senate Democrats have introduced a new plan that would automatically register illegal aliens and non-citizens to vote in US elections, according to reports.

    The proposal will register to vote every New York state resident who applies for a driver’s license, automatically, unless they “opt-out.”

    The move would enroll all residents who apply, regardless of immigration status, including non-citizens and illegal immigrants.

    NY Senate Democrats passed legislation on Thursday that will “opt-in” all residents who obtain driver’s licenses through the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    As of this year, illegal aliens are legally able to obtain US driver’s licenses in New York.

    The new legislation indicates that non-citizens and illegal aliens will only be excluded from the state voter rolls if they check the optional “opt-out” box while applying for a license.

    New York Democrats pitched the legislation as an effort to “reduce the incidence of voter registration fraud and voting fraud,” according to Breitbart.

    Democratic state officials also seek to “prevent erroneous disfranchisement of eligible citizens, promote greater participation of eligible voters in elections…”

  10. mh

    However what amazed me was the Democrats response to his demise, some of them behaved like they had lost a friend.

    Democrat campaigner and film maker Michael Moore even wrote a letter apologising to the Mullahs for taking out their top terrorist.

  11. FelixKruell

    The woeful theatrical response to the Soleimani killing was akin to the bloodied bully hiding behind an onlooker screeching ‘let me at him!’

    The woeful theatrical response…so far.

    Let’s give this time before we call this (not so) new strategy a master stroke.

  12. Muddy

    I think we’re knitting the kangaroo. Who says it’s over?

  13. herodotus

    No need for Boltonian boots on the ground, as it happens.
    There has been a need for something, and I need to be reminded whether Bolton was arguing for “boots on the ground” or fiery things from above, or some other deterrent.
    Iran has been allowed to strut its stuff for way too long. I don’t care whether it is shocked into a more sensible state of mind by one doctrine or another. It just has to be done.
    The theocracy has been and remains an anomaly which strays way beyond what’s reasonable in international relations. That its citizens are so cowed as to be ineffective in getting rid of them is in itself a condemnation of a tyrannical state which has disarmed its people while arming its own thugs.
    Let that remain as a warning of what the western anti-gun leftists have as their end game.

  14. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    I am happy to be inquisitive still:

    Suzerainty (/ˈsjuːzərənti, -rɛnti/) is any relationship in which one region or polity controls the foreign policy and relations of a tributary state, while allowing the tributary state to have internal autonomy.

    Revanchism (French: Revanchisme, from revanche, “revenge”) is the political manifestation of the will to reverse territorial losses incurred by a country, often following a war or social movement.

    I appreciate the reasoned summary and I agree:

    “the only weakness of Trump’s Iran policy: it will not survive the return to power of an Obama revanchist. Only the incumbent’s re-election this year will lock in the revolution.”

    I never properly understood what Colonel Oliver North and the US spooks were up to in the Iran Contra affair. They were busy times family and career wise. My eldest sister’s husband was a spook who would be sent off to unfamiliar overseas destinations for extended visits and unexpectedly reappear – I simply trusted the US people as I trusted him and ignored it all.

    Since that time I have come to witness why Eisenhower warned in 1961 of the potential influence of the military–industrial complex and, racing forward, I am now simply astonished at the United States hypocrisy over election interference, stunned at what the security agencies permit themselves to do and disgusted at the grubs who waddle into Washington and behave like gypsy pickpockets – pikeys, absent any sense of honour.

    Churchill in 1961:

    “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”

    The US interpretation of representative democracy only gets there by a short half head.

    There is little to distinguish the corruption at senior level from that in Russia – the exclusive clubs posing as branches of government, the media, the lobbyists, the military and so on are populated by charlatans who have profited grandly from deceiving the people.

    “Given an inch by the post-9/11 Bush Doctrine insistence that state sponsors of terrorism were licit targets, a small group of hawks took a mile instead; their ambitions were best encapsulated (on the record) by moustachioed Teddy Roosevelt impersonator John Bolton. He told Israeli officials in February of the same year that after defeating Iraq the US would “deal with” Iran, Syria and North Korea. This assumed an insatiable public appetite for war; plus, more importantly, an unlimited supply of young warriors.”

    From what I have recently learned of Bolton (“an unlimited supply of young warriors”) he ought to be called into the front desk, told to step in to see the duty judge to have his papers stamped “guilty”, frogmarched out and shot. They could keep the firing squad busy for a month dealing with the other worthies.

    Multi millionaire Pelosi, mol*ster Biden the other octogenarians in Congress deserve beating to death in public, in Times Square. Lindsey Graham and Trey Gowdy need to have their mouths taped up for talking big and doing nothing.

    Donald Trump (God bless him) will continue to stride like a colossus, serve another term and be gone. The US will fall into the hands of the university students, now playing with their iPad kindy pals during Chemistry and Biology lectures, who will by then know nothing more than they know today. The Deep State will re-establish and a new lot of time servers will settle into their comfortable new Washington digs, to re-emerge and visit their electorates in three years or so. Corporations and individuals with any wisdom will have negotiated accommodation somewhere else overseas, probably with a Chinese (Government) landlord.

    I’d say the USA is on the skids and the locals seem quite content with that.

  15. jupes

    The woeful theatrical response to the Soleimani killing was akin to the bloodied bully hiding behind an onlooker screeching ‘let me at him!’

    Absolutely astonishing. We had been constantly told how formidable the Iranians were, yet they folded like a cheap suit after the Soleimani hit. Their retaliation was so pathetic as to be almost unbelievable. They told the Iraqis (who they knew would warn the US) and then launched their missile strike to “save face”.

    Save face?! FMD even the most gullible Iranian must be embarrassed at that impotent effort. And now to add further embarrassment, the Iranian president has admitted their mistake in shooting down the Ukrainian airliner. In one week they’ve gone from the Terminator to the Keystone Cops.

    That being said, they are still a major danger to the ME and Israel. Their forte is raising, training and arming proxy terrorist armies such as Hezbollah, but it is quite clear they cannot respond quickly against the US. They can plan terrorist attacks but these take time and they would want to make sure any attack is totally deniable or they know Trump will start on his “52 targets”.

    And so, just like that, Trump has changed the dynamics of the Middle East.

  16. mh

    Funny stuff from the Tulster

    Tulsi Gabbard: Trump ‘Has Gone to War with Iran’, ‘Undermined Our National Security’

    https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2020/01/10/tulsi-gabbard-trump-gone-war-iran/

  17. C.L.

    Thanks for brilliant comments Bruce, Mick, Jupes, Dave, Hero – everyone.
    Mick, I never thought I’d come to believe the best of America was over but, like you, it really does seem as though an entire class of permanent officials in the US now luxuriate in their privileges, financial ties to corporates and invulnerability to accountability. It is like an immovable junta at the heart of American democracy and, yes, you have to wonder if even Trump can end their cancerous presence. It’s really sad. Whatever happens, they are now exposed as never before. That is down to Trump; he fought back against them like nobody else..

  18. jupes

    Tulsi Gabbard: Trump ‘Has Gone to War with Iran’, ‘Undermined Our National Security’

    Tulsi is one of the best examples of why women should be kept as far away from the military as possible.

    Apart from being a liability on the battlefield they are clueless.

  19. Professor Fred Lenin

    Trump has put the wind up the islamofascists , proving that not one of them is safe from US retribution , nothing like a bit of fear to make crazies calm down , the strike proves Iran is a paper tiger , a minor league gangster , who goes to water when threatened with personal violence . Typical muslim , bottle out when they havent got women or kids to use as shields . Well done Mr President .

  20. Crossie

    but a single drone and a single missile were enough to expose Iran for what it truly is: a mouthy blowhard whose leaders are terrified of a systemic pounding by its arch-enemy – or, better still, a remote-control clean-out of big names.

    I don’t understand this supposed agreement among politicians not to assassinate the dictators who not only monster their own people but any others they can reach. It seems Trump didn’t know about the unwritten rule either and good for him.

  21. Crossie

    [email protected]
    #3289396, posted on January 11, 2020 at 5:29 pm
    His second term target is the UN, another straw filled scarecrow.

    Please God let it be so. The UN has become the greatest threat to freedom and peoples everywhere, only the the UN officials and their clients win as things stand now. They are the international version of the Deep State.

  22. Iampeter

    A Twitter meme doing the rounds this week contrasts an amateur (in the best sense) president who will run for re-election on substantial accomplishments versus a likely contender in Joe Biden with 40 years in Washington but nothing to show for it.

    If you can say the first part about Trump, then you must love Biden. These statements are just glaring contradictions. As usual.

    On Iran, that opening question again: was the crisis really as basic as it now seems? Militarily, yes it was. Politically, no it wasn’t.

    Not sure that you’re clear on what the issue with Iran even is.
    All that Trump has done is signaled America’s surrender to Iran and guaranteed they will do nothing to stop them from getting the bomb.
    It might take longer to prove this point than it did with all the dummies who thought Trump brought peace to the Korean peninsula with his grovelling appeasement, but the end result is going to be lots of dead Westerners.

  23. Docket62

    If you can say the first part about Trump, then you must love Biden. These statements are just glaring contradictions. As usual.

    WTF?

  24. mh

    Sen. Tom Cotton: ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ Fueling Criticism of Qasem Soleimani Elimination

    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, told Breitbart News on Saturday that he thinks “Trump Derangement Syndrome” is fueling the fervor among Democrats and the establishment media who are criticizing President Trump’s decision to eliminate Iranian Quds Force terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani.

    “First and regrettably, the Democrats and the media really do suffer from something like Trump Derangement Syndrome,” Cotton said when asked why the media and left are so upset about this. “They can look at something that is unequivocally good, like removing a terrorist mastermind from the battlefield, and if Donald Trump did it, it must be bad. That’s true in domestic policy for sure, but regrettably it appears to be true in foreign policy and national security matters as well.”…

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/01/11/exclusive-sen-tom-cotton-trump-derangement-syndrome-fueling-criticism-of-qasem-soleimani-elimination/

  25. Glad to read other Cats agree that Trump says what he means and means what he says. He also does what he says he will do.
    Listen to the man tell at every opportunity, to anyone listening that he has spent trillions on modernizing and strengthening his military.
    But this bigger better military isn’t all about more tanks and ships. Lets look at what it’s all about.

    In Syria, a few hundred Russian mercenaries (Russian soldiers pretending to be mercenaries actually) planned to capture an oil field under US control. They attacked the complex only to find hell rained down on them from nowhere and most were killed and others wounded. Hardly a single Russian was unscathed.
    Putin learned a big lesson there. He’s not so brazen now.

    In Afghanistan (where the biggest problem was the Pakistan Intelligence Service), Trump dropped a MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) onto a large cave system where over 50 Pakistan Intelligence Officers were meeting with Afghani Taliban. They all perished.
    Pakistan Intel not so brazen now. Most of the Taliban want to talk now.

    Al Baghdadi? Killed without much ado, along with his number two.
    ISIS not so brazen now.

    Qaseem Soleimani? Killed without much ado, along with other senior terrorists.
    Mullahs won’t be so brazen now.

    Due to technology, the US military capabilities are nothing like they were even 15 years ago. It is light years ahead of the rest.
    Bad guys and bad state actors are learning very quickly about Trumps military capabilities, coupled with his willingness to use crippling sanctions.
    At this stage, the biggest obstacle for Trump is international laws and agreements on military engagements.

    I expect many we consider to be bad actors will keep their heads down or come to the negotiation table in the near future.
    The 2020 Presidential election is critical. Those anti-American Democrats (who almost “fundamentally” changed America) know this. That’s why they are behaving the way they are.

  26. Andre Lewis

    If Biden becomes the chosen candidate to go up against Trump good luck. As noted in the article he has a long career in politics but no run s on the board just like his comrades in the Democrat swamp. Its not surprising he did very little apart from shilling for his son to get dodgy directorships though. In US federal politics the vice president is only appointed because he or she is seen as not being any threat to the authority or popularity of the president. If through premature death of the president while in office the dud VC gets the gig temporarily most of Washington goes to defcon 1 to shut off anything really dangerous or stupid they might do.

  27. Archivist

    That’s one hell of an op-ed, Currencylad.

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