Of all the “mistakes” that Donald Trump has made since being selected president (not elected – see articles, books and films by Greg Palast, Harvey Wasserman and myself on how the Republican Party, Robert Mercer and others stole the 2016 election for Trump – not any Russians), the withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was working to prevent both an Iranian nuclear arsenal and US sanctions on that country, was the blooper of all bloopers – and I’m not being funny.
This is a very dangerous development. The “populist” president who pulled out of the 120 nation Paris Climate Agreement did so, of course, to allow giant corporations and their CEOs who are of his lofty class to make even more money by evading anti-pollution and anti-emissions measures, aided by the continuous stream of polluting deregulation moves by corrupt EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. That was bad, but with national and global unity, we can join people and groups from all over to try to work around that lapse.
But for Trump to kowtow to fanatical military superhawks and former neocon lawyers and liars is perilous for the entire world.
Imagine this scenario (which I fervently pray will never happen): After pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal – which Trump says is a “terrible deal, the worst,” – Israeli Crime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Secretary of Hate Mike Pompeo and National Insecurity Adviser John Bolton (sorry – just a little levity to help keep my sanity) convince the “stable genius” that Iran is the worst purveyor of terrorism in the Middle East (leaving out the worst terrorist in the East, N. Korea for the moment). Israel is already flying airstrikes on Syria regularly, especially targeting Iranian positions. These three “advisers” – over the objections of a flood of warnings from disparate directions, including many present and past Republican diplomats – whisper in both his ears that it is best, and legal (John Bolton’s supposition about initiating a “bloody nose” attack on N. Korea), to attack the Islamic Republic.
Before a stunned world can catch its breath, the American airstrikes on Iran induce a response. Russia, followed by its ally China, along with Iran, shoot down as many jets and missiles as they can from the US offensive (in spite of the fact that Netanyahu, after meeting with Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin, assures everyone that there is no basis for Russia to limit Israel’s freedom of action). Israel and Saudi Arabia – unlikely allies, yet shaping up to be, from similar objectives – now attack Iranian positions and targets. Russia, with its ally China, practically destroy several important US military bases – in the NE of Al-Hasakah province and the newer one at Harab Isk village in southern Kobani, Syria, Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, and a few unconfirmed air bases ringing Iran – of which there are many.
Some renegade, “patriotic” airmen stationed in Okinawa drop bombs on a less-than-vigilant Vladivostok for good measure.
Russian Pres. Putin makes good his promise that if his nation is ever attacked by the US, he will not hesitate to counterattack.
Some Russian warplanes and missiles coming from Siberia evade NORAD – the North American Aerospace Defense Command that is supposed to protect the US mainland and all of N. America from attack from the west. That becomes the first instance of foreign attack on the American homeland since 1812. It also becomes the first largely civilian casualties in the supposedly world’s only superpower in what is beginning to shape up as World War III, having struck Juneau, AK, Seattle, WA and San Francisco, CA – but not with nuclear weapons.
Pres. Trump is holding an emergency meeting with his advisers on determining if a nuclear attack against Russia is advisable.
Let’s stop here.
Of course, this is one wildly imagined and feared possibility – and yet it is a possibility.
In a Russiagate-like maneuver, Binyamin Netanyahu has put in his two agorot (or shekelim, what have you). He tried to put one over on the American “leaders” and the world with a cache of documents purporting that Iran is secretly working on nuclear weapons – documents from 2003 – that the certifying inspectors of the JCPOA, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced that they saw years ago.
But it worked, or Trump and Pompeo are acting convinced by the Israeli Prime Sinister.
Pres. Trump seems to be chafing at the bit to undo former Pres. Obomber’s legacy (a legacy of bombing seven countries during his eight years, so not so easy to undo or outdo); and, perhaps to assert his power, chafing to reinstate sanctions on Iran. He reluctantly waived sanctions on the Islamic Republic in Jan. 2018, as required every 120 days by Congress. He stated at that time that it was the “last chance.”
The only “flaw” in the ointment my research has found, after reading and hearing Trump’s inimitable and repetitious pronouncements on the “bad deal, the worst” ad nauseam, is that the allegedly very rigorous inspections, authorized by a unanimous vote of the entire Security Council of 15 in July 2015 after two years of difficult negotiations, is that the nuclear deal is only guaranteed for 10 years so far – hopefully until Pres. Trump is long out of office.
The other requirement, that Trump added (in a policy paper issued on Jan. 12 of this year that he surely had much help to write – unlike his Dr. Bornstein’s “bill of health”), is that he wants to limit or eliminate Iran’s long-range missile development and testing: “…that long-range missile and nuclear weapons programs are inseparable, and that Iran’s development and testing of missiles should be subject to severe sanctions.”
After five tedious paragraphs of untrue propaganda about Iran, including blaming the monumental tragedy in Yemen on that nation, the Statement by the President on the Iran Nuclear Deal – which never calls it by its proper name in any of its 15 paragraphs – calls on Congress to pass “bipartisan legislation regarding Iran.” “The President” then states four “critical components” the legislation must include. But Iran is already complying with all of Trump’s demands – or whoever behind the scenes is driving this disastrous piece of foreign policy – except the abandonment of all long-range missile testing.
Since in this Statement he bookends both ends of his requirements, above and below, with statements of the foolishness of the Obama administration in being bad at the art of the deal, his underlying reasoning for this whole potential debacle is suspect. Though candidate and President Trump has been talking about how bad this deal is for several years.
No readers of this article will need to be reminded that Iran has complied with all inspections and requirements of the JCPOA. But Trump said, “This will send a message to N. Korea,” implying that that country has alsobroken its treaties – when the reverse is indubitably true.
Now we come to the crux: What can we the people do about this situation?
I would like to propose an expansion on an article the Sonoma County, CA Peace Press published on Feb. 1 of this year, in which I explained how HR1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,” was improperly voted on for two reasons: because on Nov. 8, 2017, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a revised estimate of a $1.7 trillion deficit, requiring a 60% aye vote to pass – and because of the one night the Republican House gave the Democrats to read the 1000 page document when approval of the Senate version and that of the House were a fait accompli – after writing the bill behind closed doors.
The article is entitled: The Only Solution Now is Tax Revolt.
We the people – and our various organizations – need to send a message to the executive branch of “our” government stating that we will refuse to give any funds, any taxes, any contributions of any kind, and will shut down the federal government from a lack of any future operating funds – if the government and the military take the disastrous step of declaring war on Iran.
Or, as is more likely, no war will be declared – just warplane and missile strikes.
So we need to also get messages to our constituents in our corrupt Congress that the War Powers Resolution of 1973, passed over Pres. “Tricky Dick” Nixon’s veto, needs to be implemented. Or else. We will take a play from the playbook of brave and traumatized youth who are vocally calling for the voting out of office of non-compliant representatives – and making it national policy.
The limp Senate, after 45 years (Bush Sr. in ‘90-91 asked permission to invade Iraq and Kuwait and got it), finally initiated trying to vote on using the War Powers Act to stop the ugly, inhumane participation of the US in the Yemeni “Civil War” with a tripartisan bill – Republican, Democrat, and Independent – with Bernie Sanders (I-VT) one of the three sponsors. Unfortunately, on Mar. 20 of this year, by a vote of 55-44, the Senate was swayed in the wrong direction by the Trump Administration and “G”OP “leaders,” who said that the “listed military support did not require Congressional signoff.” Also the “threat from Iran” needed to be countered.
Iran has not invaded another country for over 250 years, when it was called Persia – and the invasions of the American Empire are legion. And by cutting off the ports of Aden and Hodeidah and all land, air and seaports much of the time, and indiscriminate, criminal bombing of infrastructure and even weddings and funerals, the Saudi-led coalition has caused one million cases of cholera, the worst cholera epidemic in human history, and mass starvation.
Compliant media like Cable News Network (CNN) played a video on their website the day of the failed Senate vote, basically blaming Iran for the Yemeni catastrophe, adding fuel to a fire that may conflagrate into World War III if people do not protest with all we have got…
Or an invasion of Iran by the US may be worse than we can imagine.
Barry Barnett is a writer, political/environmental activist, health professional and musician living in Santa Rosa, CA. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and please check out more of my writing at Patreon.com/BarryBarnett – mostly free – and at Medium.com.