The warmongers on Trump’s national security team apparently convinced him to set in motion an aerial strike against Iran on Thursday in retaliation for the downing of a US drone over waters claimed by Iran.
Then at the last minute – according to reporting by Michael D Shear, Eric Schmitt, Michael Crowley and Maggie Haberman at the New York Times – Trump seems to have listened to generals who warned him that things could spiral out of control, even into war. He issued a stand down order. At least for now.
It isn’t even clear that there was a casus belli. On domestic issues, the US press is locked into an one-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand disastrous story-telling mode that has enormously benefited those pushing falsehoods such as that cigarettes don’t cause cancer or putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere does not cause global heating.
Yet, when it comes to reporting on international security affairs, most US reporting does not fall more than an inch from the Pentagon line of the day (often this dishonesty is the work of editors and publisher-owners rather than the fault of news-gathering reporters, as we saw at McClatchy during the Iraq War).
We heard all about the way Trump attempted to walk back his tough talk, saying that he was sure that Iran shot down the US drone by accident. The statement, like his later stand down order, is a clear sign of the division between him and his warmongering appointees, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton.
Trump created this crisis by breaching the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Having pocketed Iran’s mothballing of 80 percent of its uranium enrichment program, Trump slapped the harshest sanctions ever seen against any country on Iran, unilaterally and in the teeth of opposition from NATO allies and the permanent members of the UN Security Council. In other words, he screwed Iran over. Europe cannot stop the U.S. sanctions, since they are third-party sanctions and European firms who do business both in the US and in Iran will be fined billions of dollars for their dealings with Tehran.
So Trump’s attempts to back pedal from his hard liners are useless as long as the US has a financial blockade on Iran preventing it from selling its petroleum. A naval blockade preventing a country from exporting a key commodity is considered an act of war in international law. It is hard to see the difference between that and an effective financial blockade. Same outcome.
The US press almost never interviews non-US world leaders, especially those to whom Washington is hostile. It is almost as though when it comes to national security reporting, American news outlets go into war propaganda mode. Warmongers in high office know all about this phenomenon and use it to get the wars they crave.
So with regard to the shooting down of the US drone by Iran, I think it is important to hear the Iranian side of the story. It may be false, it may be Iranian war propaganda. We can decide that once we’ve heard it.
BBC Monitoring translated from a Persian website the statement from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps:
“The Global Hawk surveillance drone took off from one the US bases in the south of the Persian Gulf at 0014 [1944 gmt] and disabled its identification system in a move contravening aviation regulations. It secretly flew from the Strait of Hormuz to Chabahar and on its way back travelling westward, the unmanned aerial vehicle violated the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region of Strait of Hormuz and started collecting information and spying,” IRGC’s statement read . At 0405 [2335 gmt] and while the intrusive plane was inside our territories, the Guard’s aerospace defence unit shot it down.”
Excerpted from: ‘Trump Brings US and Iran to Brink of War With Crisis He Created’.