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The Surge in Tensions with Iran and What Happens Next?

Message to Iran
Our friend Fred Fleitz, President and CEO, Center for Security Policy and former chief of staff of the Trump National Security Council, has just published an excellent article in National Review explaining why tensions with Iran have suddenly risen.

Fleitz noted that press reports differed on the nature of the planned Iranian attacks. There were reports that Iranian officials gave a green light to its terrorist proxies to attack U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Syria. Other reports said Iran planned to orchestrate drone attacks in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. There also was a report that Iran had moved short-range ballistic missiles by boat in waters off its shores.

There has been speculation that Iran was planning these attacks in retaliation for damage done to the Iranian economy by sanctions the U.S. re-imposed after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) wrote Mr. Fleitz. These attacks may also have been planned in response to the Trump administration’s recent designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.

The Obama administration told the American people that the JCPOA would improve relations with Iran and bring it into the international community. However, noted Fleitz, Iran’s behavior actually worsened after the JCPOA, especially with its decision to send troops to Syria. President Trump decided not to rely on the weak nuclear deal to restrain Iranian behavior and protect American interests in the region. Reminiscent of President Reagan’s “Peace through Strength” dictum, the deployment of military forces is a show of U.S. force to prevent hostilities, not to start a war with Iran.

In addition, although European governments still oppose President Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA and new U.S. sanctions against Iran, European corporations are honoring U.S. sanctions and have left Iran in droves, including Air France, British Airways, KLM, Total, Siemens, and Volkswagen.

President Trump’s critics are claiming that a surge in tensions with Iran in response to his withdrawal from the JCPOA prove the U.S. withdrawal from this agreement was a mistake and increased the threat from Iran. But the facts suggest otherwise concludes Fleitz. Iran is desperately trying to reverse the effects of President Trump’s successful Iran policy, known as the maximum-pressure strategy, because the strategy is working.

The United States has been fighting proxy wars with Iran for 35 years, with Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the periphery of Israel all being hot battlefields right now.

Our non-interventionist friends and President Trump’s political enemies would love to see the United States pull out of the Middle East completely, obviously for entirely different reasons.

However, there is a deeper truth that both the President and the opponents of the confrontation with Iran are ignoring, because those who advocate keeping American troops endlessly engaged in the intramural Muslim conflicts that have animated much of the U.S. intervention in the Middle East refuse to acknowledge it exits, let alone that it should be confronted and defeated.

And that truth is that behind all the arguments about borders, self-determination and democratic principles in the Middle East lurks the dark shadow of Iranian-inspired political Islam and its drive for world domination.

The truth is that our most dangerous enemy is political Islam, and the only way to defeat it is to drop the fiction that “Islam is a religion of peace” and use all our national power to present an alternative worldview that undermines and eventually destroys Sharia-supremacism and Iranian “Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih” (Guardianship of the Jurist).

And this includes destroying Iran’s proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. As David Daoud of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy noted, the terrorist army Hezbollah remains the most successful and most prominent Iranian revolutionary export. And Mr. Daoud is not the only one to hold that view.

Gilbert Achcar of the University of London has called Hezbollah “the most prestigious member of the regional family of Khomeinism.” The Lebanon-based terrorist group is cut from the same ideological cloth as the Islamic Republic, which, according to former CIA intelligence analyst Kenneth Pollack, is Hezbollah’s model and inspiration. Eitan Azani, the deputy executive director of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at IDC Herzliya, has said that Khomeini and his successors serve as Hezbollah’s ultimate source of religious, political, and ideological guidance and authority. Hezbollah fully accepts the concept of Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih, and openly acknowledges Khomeini as its faqih, leading Augustus Richard Norton of Boston University to call Khomeini Hezbollah’s “undisputed, authoritative leader.”

Yet, when the Iranian people have protested the failures of Khomeinism and Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih the United States has done little or nothing concrete to use that popular discontent to undermine the regime, instead substituting holding worthless real estate in the Middle East and killing a few thousand ignorant jihadis for fighting and winning the real war – which is the defeat of Sharia-supremacism and Iranian Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih.

None of the generals who have been tasked with fighting and winning the wars in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, and certainly none of the politicians who have advocated United States involvement in them, have been willing to accept and confront that truth.

What’s more, while neocons and Obama apologists made getting rid of brutal Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a central casus belli, it is clear that Senators Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and the interventionists on the Left did not think through who would govern Syria if he’s gone, or what America would have to do to prevent that alternative from being even more odious – and dangerous.

And therein lies another thread in the tangled skein that is the American confrontation with Iran – who and what are the alternatives we could present to the people of the region now being dominated by Iran?

As Fred Fleitz pointed out, President Trump’s maximum-pressure strategy is working and his decision to move more military assets to the region is the correct one considering Iranian threats to the United States and Israel. However, the question remains, what are we going to do should the long-term strategy succeed, and regime change in Iran becomes a possibility? The current situation in Venezuela suggests that economic sanctions and encouraging rhetoric will not be enough when that time comes.

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US carries water for UK empire

George,
Really?
You conclude your war drum propaganda with: “ The current situation in Venezuela suggests that economic sanctions and encouraging rhetoric will not be enough when that time comes.”
Ergo, George, sanctions and rhetoric are no substitute for kinetic war?

IF the US was really concerned with the chief financier, organizers, and exporter of Islamist revolution using terrorism, then Saudi Arabia would be retaliated against.

The interests of our American nation (people) does not lie in the Middle East. Nation states playing the European balance of power game (and needing to import Saudi oil) are wagging the US dog to do their bidding. Hint-1: It’s not Russia; energy sufficient. Hint-2: It’s not Iran; energy sufficient; willing to negotiate (JCPOA with 5 UN Security Council members plus Germany); willing to assist fight against Wahhabi/Sunnis (such as post 9/11 assist of US ops pursuit of OBL in Afghanistan).

Those who want the US bogged down in a non strategic Middle East take the actions necessary to prevent good Russo-American relations. Perhaps, even having their intelligence assets fabricate “dossiers”?