• Does the Back-and-Forth Between President Trump and Iranian Leaders Mean War Is on the Way?

    Disturbing events are presently percolating in the Middle East — especially, among other places, between the United States and the troublesome Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Further to this, Michael Snyder opines:

    Negotiations with Iran are over before they could even take place.  After President Trump and Iranian leadership exchanged more insults on Tuesday, the Iranians declared that the “channel of diplomacy” is now closed “forever”. …  [F]or now it appears that any possibility of a diplomatic solution is completely dead, and the clock is ticking because two exceedingly important deadlines are coming up within the next two weeks.  President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have both made it incredibly clear that they do not want Iran to possess nuclear weapons, and Iran’s nuclear program is about to pass a critical threshold. … [N]ow it seems that military action is the only option left on the table.  That means that we could literally be counting down the days before missiles start flying back and forth …

    Prospects truly may be hopeless on the diplomatic front, still I’m reminded of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s well-known statement: “Jaw, jaw is better than war, war.” That assertion is certainly true – until it isn’t. Sometimes “war, war” really does become the only option.

    The Trump administration seems to believe that the new economic sanctions that they just hit Iran with will alter the situation, but the truth is that they aren’t going to really add much of anything to the economic sanctions that were previously imposed …

    In response to these new sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused President Trump of suffering from “mental retardation” …

    (Tacky and shabby language to be sure. Of course, our president can’t complain too much about a world leader who hurls insults at his opponents, can he? He’s been known, in the past, to toss around a name or two or three or four against those who challenge him or his policies. Apparently, some of his adversaries will chose to respond in kind.)

    Needless to say, President Trump was not amused by this.  He subsequently went on Twitter and threatened that any sort of attack “on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force”

    That is quite a vague red line that President Trump has now established, and it means that it isn’t going to take very much at all to start a war between the United States and Iran. …

    When the press later asked Trump about a potential exit strategy if war with Iran does erupt, Trump responded by saying “I don’t need exit strategies”

    The murky implications of that declaration are disturbing. No exit strategy? Does that mean the annihilation of Iran is what the President is forecasting? Or that he has no plans to “enter” so no plans to “exit” are necessary?

    [I]f you are seeking to negotiate with someone, it is probably not a good idea to slap the foreign minister from the other country with personal economic sanctions.  For the Iranians, this was apparently the final straw

    “You say you really want to hold talks with us but at the same time you’re saying that you want to boycott and sanction our foreign minister, so you’re lying,” Rouhani said. 

    Then again, it’s not like the mullahs have shown themselves the soul of comity and reasonableness or trustworthiness over the last forty years.

    Not that negotiations with the Iranians would have yielded anything anyway.  But we must find some way to avoid World War III, because a war with Iran would unleash global chaos that the United States is simply not prepared to handle. …

    During a portion of an interview with Hill.TV released on Monday, President Trump said he doesn’t need approval from Congress before launching strikes against Iran.

    Trump said, “I like the idea of keeping Congress abreast, but I wouldn’t have to do that.”

    Actually, the U.S. Constitution is very clear on the matter.

    Just because the Constitution has been ignored by previous presidents does not mean that it is not binding.

    In any case, the War Powers Resolution permits the Commander in Chief to only go so far in activating America’s military might against foreign powers. The 1973 federal law

    provides that the U.S. President can send the Armed Forces into action abroad only by declaration of war by Congress, “statutory authorization,” or in case of “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”

    The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30-day withdrawal period, without a Congressional authorization for use of military force (AUMF) or a declaration of war by the United States.

    (Wikipedia )

    Our founders clearly never envisioned and the Constitution transparently denies the President’s having undiminished authority to dispatch America’s troops into long-term military operations minus Congressional authorization.

     [T]he clock is ticking.  As Haaretz has noted, two exceedingly important deadlines are coming up within the next two weeks…

    “Iran announced in mid-June that by the 27th of the month it will exceed the uranium stockpile limit set by Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, pushing tensions with the U.S. into uncharted and potentially dangerous territory.”

    “The June 27 deadline comes ahead of another, July 7, the deadline for Europe to come up with better terms for Iran to stay in the accord. If that second deadline passes without any action, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic likely will resume higher uranium enrichment, a move that would breach the terms of a nuclear pact with world powers.”

    Snyder concludes: I have never been more concerned about a war with Iran than I am right now.  The Iranians have restarted their nuclear program, and the U.S. and Israel have both made it abundantly clear that they will take military action before the Iranians get too much farther.

    No doubt, prayers are needed that the President and Congress will conduct themselves with prudence and restraint; and that the powers-that-be-in-Iran respond with uncharacteristic reason, as well, in the face of these growing tensions.

    “Jaw, Jaw” is always the preferred choice — when workable. “War, War” is always a grim option — that said, occasionally it’s the only viable one.

    Image: Modified from: Gage Skidmore; https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/


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