Submitted by Steve Brown…
Trump is well known as the ‘twitter president’ for good reason… and his cabinet members have been instructed to use twitter too; Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, as well as the US State Department, US Treasury, and White House all post on twitter. These cabinet members and federal departments post news items and comments on their twitter pages, supportive of the president’s agenda.
But subsequent to last night’s much-vaunted “aborted attack” on Iran of June 21st, we have a twitter anomaly. Rather than the usual daily twitter chat from the National Security Advisor, from the Secretary of State, from Morgan Ortagus or even from the White House — purportedly on whatever the regime considers to be the news agenda of the day — on the subject of Iran we see, well, precisely nothing. The only exception to the official twitter silence on Trump’s Iran strike, is Trump’s own statement.
Trump writes on twitter: “On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in international waters. We were cocked & loaded last night to retaliate on 3 different sights (ed: sites*) when I asked how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it.. ‘ Trump continues, “Sanctions are biting and more added last night.”
Besides the suspicious time element — where Trump claims the attack was called off just ten minutes prior, then later informs Chuck Todd that the attack was called off thirty minutes prior — suspicions abound on why Trump would publicly reveal such sensitive information regarding the function of a US situation room, planning military action. The number of estimated dead alone is a US national security violation, leaking information that is either secret… or false.
The only other president to publicly reveal operations from the situation room was Barak Obama, when he released details about the killing of Osama bin Laden by Seal team 6 in 2011, just as Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign began. Trump too, has just kicked off his re-election campaign. And that election is absolutely essential for him to win. Even so, there must be something more to prove that Trump’s Iran climb down was a phony news event. There is.
In December, 2018, Trump announced that US troops would be withdrawn from Syria. But the US military is present in Manbij and al Tanf – both terrorist strongholds – and the US military protects terrorist militias there. US “ally” Saudi Arabia – and Turkey – both arm and support terrorist militias in Idlib under the US military’s protection. So, under what circumstances would the US withdraw from Syria? Of course there are none, and Trump’s announcement on Syria was rendered to be another lie, more fake news.
Trump lied about Afghanistan as well. On December 21st, 2018, Trump ordered a major troop withdrawal from Afghanistan – a withdrawal that never occurred.
So why the lies? Why the fake news? Reason is, Trump knows that the true basis upon which he was elected in 2016 fully relates to his promise to draw down on US foreign wars. The electorate was willing to overlook his bizarre ideology relating to the JCPOA, to Israel, and to trade, in the promise that new US infrastructure will be built (a campaign promise lie) and that a peace dividend in the form of withdrawal from US pointless provocations and military interventions will occur. But as we have seen, that never happened.
After all, it is the United States that proved itself to be a duplicitous bad actor and treacherous negotiator subsequent to its withdrawal from the JCPOA. That was Trump’s doing. He promised that. And in the face of surrounding himself with war hawks and Neoconservatives, Trump can now say after the Iran climb down that he is not really a “war president” at all, like his predecessors were.
It can be shown that Trump used brinksmanship on attacking Iran to establish his street cred with the voters most important to him – his base. Again, by provoking Iran and then backing down, Trump can show that he is not really a ‘war president’ like those who preceded him, and thus fool the electorate, indicating that he is somehow a rogue and free spirit.
But in the end, Trump’s Iran climb down smells all too fishy. As with all things trumpian, none of it makes any sense, and lends weight to our theory pertaining to his deliberate policy of political ambiguity:
‘A policy of deliberate ambiguity (also known as a policy of strategic ambiguity, strategic uncertainty) is the practice by a country (or individual leader) of being intentionally ambiguous on certain aspects of its foreign policy. It may be useful if the country has contrary foreign and domestic policy goals or if it wants to take advantage of risk aversion to abet a deterrence strategy.’
Trump just played a master card in maintaining his political ambiguity, essential to electability in US politics. Obama knew it. And Bush before him knew it. Unfortunately, a deliberate policy of political ambiguity is accompanied by much attendant risk, that eventually a candidate’s true intent and alliance will eventually be exposed.
The central question however, to whit none have addressed, is why Trump should have such singular command of this decision anyway, ie to initiate a new war. That is, to initiate a new war over a matter that is not of any interest to US national security. And therein lies the real tragedy.
* The proposed site for attack was to be one of three, an Iranian oil refinery installation at Arak, Kermanshah, or Esfahan
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.