t’s very difficult to appreciate President Trump’s actions without taking a good hard look at his history. He’s a show man. He’s filed bankruptcy 4 times in the past. He produces mass media television shows. He rents out high priced hotels, commercial buildings, membership to golf courses … and sells high priced real estate. You can ONLY do that if you can manipulate buyers’ minds with clever branding, and positioning. He’s a master of all that. Along the way, he’s screwed bankers, partners, vendors etc. employing intense negotiating tactics and played with their minds too.
Right now, as President, he has established a very clear foreign policy goal to topple the regime in Tehran. Per his calculation, he desperately needs to persuade Putin to partner with him – so he can go after Iran without Russia to protect it. So, to entice Putin, what does he really need to do?
Well, Russians have been bogged down in Syria fighting off ISIS. In Trump’s first phone conversation with Putin, he vowed to support the fight against ISIS!! It was a positive gesture considering America’s true role in Syria. Why?
U.S. involvement in fighting ISIS has been (at best) lackluster. Russians, Syrians, Iranians and Iraqis all claim that America’s ‘lackluster’ performance, was deliberate. ISIS, they declare, was after all an American creation (via American Allies – Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel). ISIS was created to topple the “Assad regime” and kick out the Russians from the Middle East, and cut Iranian connectivity to Lebanon … and help American Allies (Saudis and Qataris) set up direct oil and gas pipelines to Turkey to export to Europe (and undermine Russia’s monopoly). ISIS was a by-proxy army, deliberately supported by the U.S.
Many claim, it was only after widespread videos of ISIS’s brutality that turned Obama (along with Hillary) around, and decided to fight ISIS (ever so lightly), as a public relations stunt. But, let me stress again, it is widely believed that ISIS was (and is) an American creation. Don’t believe the press? Well follow the money trail – who funded ISIS? Where did those vehicles with American signage come from that ISIS fighters ride (no, I am not talking about American military vehicles, but pickup trucks with Texan plumber’s sign on the door …who bought them and delivered it to ISIS in Syria?). Or how about the ship in Benghazi harbor that was being filled with Libyan arms delivered down the road (or sea) if you will to ISIS fighters (check out transcripts of the Benghazi hearings)? Who freed Saddam’s men from Iraqi jails? Who provided medical treatment to ISIS fighters (check out hospital pictures of ISIS wounded being treated)? Who transported and bought oil from ISIS fighters?
So how is it that the new President of America, signs an executive order to defeat ISIS? (Doesn’t this mean that there was no such order in the past?)
Well, Donald Trump wants to be ‘seen as’ a new man in the Whitehouse and a man of his word. He is building his Presidential brand. This is very important. (Read on).
Mr. Trump campaigned hard on a ‘Muslim ban’ from entering the U.S. As always, he has created his own facts, claiming that refugees were poorly vetted? As if Muslim terrorists were coming here in hoards to harm Americans! So, again, he wanted to be ‘seen as’ a man of his word, and signed an executive order to ban visitors from 7 Muslim majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen). This by the way is same list as “W” invasion plan revealed after the Iraq invasion. i.e. the countries Bush wanted to invade after Iraq!
One problem with this action though …. There is NO record of any terrorists coming to the U.S. from these countries EVER! Iran is a Shiite Muslim state, governed by a Shiite theocracy. There has never been a Shiite terrorist in the West – nada, none …ever!! The 9/11 terrorists were all Sunni Muslims from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt! None of these countries are even part of the ban. It is important to note that much of the ‘terrorist’ activities in the U.S. have been from home-grown radicals…i.e. terrorists born in the U.S. All refugees must undergo many years of vetting. Almost 50% of the refugees admitted in the U.S. have been Christians from Iraq and Syria!! How do they ‘fit’ into Donald Trump’s narrative?
Obviously, Donald Trump is not implementing this ban to stop terrorism. He has other objectives.
He is sending out a message to the leaders of these countries – especially Iran. That he is willing and capable of taking ‘erratic’ but firm ‘actions’ – and they need to take notice of his statements. In other words, when he threatens them (around a negotiating table) they need to believe he will follow through with his ‘words’. To translate this further, he is likely to threaten them with a nuclear bomb … and they need to believe he will follow through with it!! It’s all a pre-war mind game.
America’s core problem is that they really can’t afford to fight Iran directly. Like Iraq, the cost would be prohibitive. They need to ‘beat the mullahs’ without drawing a sword. So, like a game of poker, they need the mullahs to believe that he will follow through with his threats.
Now, the Mullahs are shrewd too. They understand the game being played here. But what are their options really – at the end of the day?
Trump’s plan is to first draw Putin into America’s lap. The U.S. will assist Russia in developing massive new oil fields in Siberia and the Arctic circle, and bring in over $300 Billion dollars in annual income for a badly bruised Russian economy (that has been under sanctions). Then, the U.S. will come into the Middle East with an unprecedented ‘campaign’ against ISIS … ONLY about 5 years too late, but never-the-less, this campaign against ISIS will be used as a means of bringing new soldiers, and arms into the theater. And the idea is, that the Russians will welcome this too. Then, Trump and Putin will have a summit meeting somewhere cool in the Summer – maybe at one of Trump’s hotels in the region – and trade … you take Iran, I’ll take Ukraine; you take North Korea, I’ll take Lithuania, Latvia … If Putin trusts Trump and feels he can do business with him, then why not? They’ll negotiate.
But a big part of the negotiation per Trump, will be his brand before walking into the room.
I believe, if Putin negotiates hard, he will stop short of promising Iran to Trump. He might say, if the Iranians ask Russia for assistance during a U.S. invasion, the Russians won’t help, and they will also make sure North Koreans don’t assist the Iranians too (with nuclear war heads). Likely, Putin will ask for some specific performance first! (If he negotiates at all).
Then, and only in about 1 to 2 years, after oil fields are being mined, and ISIS is cleared out…. Trump will be able to send a message to Tehran (who by then will likely have a new ‘Supreme’ Leader – Khamenei is near death and will be replaced). His message will be very simple, transfer the government to Maryam Rajavi or else!! And right then, the Mullahs will have to decide if he’s for real or bluffing? Will the Donald press the button??
You see all these executive orders are not about combatting terrorism, but about toppling the Mullahs without a sword.
Obviously to accomplish all this, the Trump camp has been putting in place a pro-American Iranian mercenary force. So, for years, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich (Trump’s ‘consultants’) have been going to Maryam Rajavi’s rallies, and secretly telling her what their plans are. And she for sure has been providing her mercenaries for the cause. The great irony of all this is, that while the RAJAVISTS/MEK/MKO/NCRI/MONKEYS American mercenaries have been caught in Syria assisting ISIS in toppling Assad; they will now be back in the region nominally to fight ISIS … but also getting ready for an Iran invasion!
So, with Russia neutralized, and an American force in the Region … will the Mullahs believe Trump’s threat or not? Will the Mullahs cave in, or will there be open ‘warfare’ between Iran and U.S. allies…? Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel, Britain, France … etc.? Will the Mullahs just walk away and move on… and do what the Shah’s men did … move to Canada or Syria … and start new lives? Trump needs to persuade them to give in without a bullet fired. Otherwise it will be world war III.
So, remember, again, these executive orders are not about fighting terrorism. They are all about Trump’s calculations and mind games he is playing with the Mullahs.
By the way, he’s not just playing mind games with Putin and the Mullahs, but also with the American people. He needs them to get ready for war … remember, in the end, if none of these games work, he must persuade American mothers to let their sons die in a war! Americans need to be taught to hate Iranians… even though Iranians haven’t invaded a neighboring country in over 200 years. In fact, it has been British, Russians and American allies that have invaded Iranian territory and taken huge portions of Iran! Don’t believe me? Well what language do they speak in Tajikistan? Or Azerbaijan? Where are some of Iran’s greatest poets born? Even under the Mullahs, Iran’s actions have been defensive. Iran has been threatened, and Iranians have responded.
And before anyone mentions the Tehran embassy crisis as an act of terrorism, please take the time to read books on Ronald Reagan’s October Surprise. The Embassy crisis was stage managed in America – not Iran.
The big problem with Trump’s calculation is that he has totally forgotten China’s role in all this. And by the way, European’s interests too. (No, I am not talking about Britain, but France, Germany, Italy etc.). Will the Europeans sit still while Trump trades away the farm? Give up Ukraine and Latvia for Iran?? Will the Chinese let North Korea go? Will the Chinese let Iran go?
Trumps plan is naïve and illusory. It’s a mistake to think that Putin can play without Chinese ‘approval’? Remember, it was China that bailed Russia out last time U.S. sanctioned Russia – and tried to undermine Russia’s economy! Will Putin forgo China for the U.S.? Will Putin forgo Iran for Russian oil and gas?
Then, consider how the Mullahs feel and think for a second! Let’s not forget that they had a gun put to their heads 30 years ago, by Saddam Hussein – who was fully backed by the U.S. and U.S. allies. And they did not cave in then. They have been threatened numerous times. And, by the way, they are significantly more powerful today than they were 30 years ago, they have missiles. They have literally hundreds of thousands of Shiite militias across 4 countries and can create havoc regionally. These militias are battle hardened. They know how to fight. They produce arms independently. They have found ways around U.S. and Western sanctions for over 30 years. They have purchased nuclear war heads on the black market, and could do so again. Iran is not impotent.
Then another major flaw in Trump’s calculation is the damage that reciprocal policies could do to his long-term interests. For example, Iraq could also place a ban on Americans coming to the country. If his goal is to attack Iran, how can he do so, without bases in Iraq? How can he do so without Iraqi cooperation? In effect, he is providing a basis for Syria, Iraq and Iran to further unify – against a common ‘humiliation and attack’ from the U.S. (which is how the people and their politicians see this executive order). They feel like they are being unfairly branded as terrorists. When in fact they are fighting terrorists every day … with bombing in their markets and streets. They, not Americans, are fighting terrorism – largely financed and supported by the U.S. and its allies! That is how they see it.
The unfortunate truth is that in fact America’s strategic position is very poor. Without Russia, it has no leverage in the region at all. Syria has been a massive strategic defeat for the U.S. The regional destabilization that Syria has caused, have undermined Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia to name a few. The refugee crisis from Syria has created havoc in Europe is no joke. There is now a civil war in play in Turkey.
And even if Trump draws in Putin, there is a massive risk that the Mullahs won’t budge. That these mind games don’t work.
More importantly, Iran will soon be a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which is essentially a defense treaty involving Russia, China, Iran, and many other states. An attack on one, will be considered an attack on all. Trump doesn’t realize that Putin’s hands will be tied. Neither Russia nor China can (or will) sit back if the Mullahs are threatened. The Chinese for sure, see Iran as a major partner in their regional ambitions and expansion plans. This isn’t 1972 … neither China nor Russia will act independently of each other and freeze the other party out…
Unfortunately, Trump is listening to the wrong idiot: a 92-year-old, Kissinger, who is completely out of touch with reality. This is a poor strategic play. Dumb! This is likely to undermine America in the balance of this century!
If you were Putin, would you bet on a resurging U.S. or a rising China? If you were Putin, would you hand over Iran to the U.S. (let Iran get splintered, which by the way would also undermine Russian relations with India, since Iran is a transit route for Indian commodities to Russia)? If you were Putin, would you create conditions that would enable the Saudis and Qataris to put pipelines to Europe to compete with Russia’s oil and gas sales (monopoly)? If you were Putin – would you trust Americans? Will Trump be able to guarantee an extended (multi-termed) alliance, while the Democrats are furious about Russian meddling in the Elections? Trusting Trump, is not enough.
These mind games are pointless.
In fact, Putin may be better off making a separate deal directly with the Europeans and the Chinese … who would relish the opportunity to help him with extracting oil and gas for their use without the intervention of U.S. multinational oil companies. Unfortunately, Exxon-Mobil or Chevron or … do not have a monopoly on oil and gas extraction technology. Putin has other options. It is worthy of note that Trump’s new ambassador to the E.U., has come out publicly stating that splintering the E.U. is the new U.S. policy! He has compared the E.U. to the former Soviet Union. The Europeans are basically being told that Brexit was good by the new president of the U.S. In effect, a united Europe has become another ‘U.S. enemy’ or ‘competitor’ to U.S. interests! The Russians and Europeans could make a deal on their own without the U.S. – or American oil companies involved!
And the Russians are fully allied with the Shiites … from Iran through to Lebanon. Shiites have the upper hand in the region now. Toppling the Saudi regime is a definite possibility. Let’s not forget that there is now an energized Shiite minority population inside Saudi Arabia, and the Houthis in Yemen fighting hard against Saudi backed opposition.
Trump’s strategic thinking is flawed. And so are his executive orders. There must be deeper strategic thinking. He is creating more polarization, and ultimately undermining goodwill towards the U.S. He doesn’t need to play mind games. Everyone knows what is going on. The leaders in these countries are living in the 21st century … the people in Mississippi may still be in the 20th century and be susceptible to Trump’s prejudices and mind games, but there are a lot of enlightened people who get what is going on!
The U.S. must advance its interests with decency, good will, good faith and above else by staying true to the founder’s vision of America as a leading beacon of freedom. Splintering Iran, banning Iranians, starting new wars, playing mind games … will NOT advance U.S. interests and will ultimately undermine the U.S. itself. Trump can be an asshole, without alienating ordinary Iranians or Iraqis or Syrians ….
How does locking up a military interpreter for U.S. forces in Iraq at JFK airport with a valid entry visa, help garner cooperation by Iraqis for U.S. troops? (How f’ing idiotic?) Why should Trump make a deal with Putin anyway, who is a tyrant and guarantee Putin’s regime more tenure? Why sell out the freedom of ordinary Russians? If he wants the Mullahs toppled, he needs to appeal to the people of Iran directly, who need the confidence of American support (that they did not enjoy in 2009). Obama was evasive, and unsettling in his support for free and fair elections in Iran. Ordinary Iranians are reminded every day that the Mullahs were brought in by the West anyway. There are pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini landing in Tehran walking down the steps of an Air France Jumbo jet paid for by the government of France all over Tehran. Iranians too, will thwart any attempt to put Maryam Rajavi and her monkeys in power – they are traitors to Iran. All Iranians feel this way.
This is all a mistake. And it will be mistake upon mistake. First mistake toppling the Shah and putting Khomeini in power, second mistake a series of Iraq wars – that ultimately bankrupted the U.S.; and now its Trump’s turn to be an idiot. The people of America have made a big mistake allowing Trump into the Whitehouse. Big mistake.
One last point. Not only is this strategic thinking flawed, but there will be one very serious consequence of this mistake. One key U.S. ally, Israel, will be undermined, and its national security compromised. The U.S. not Russia will be pushed out of the region for good, and this will result in the creation of a new and potent threat against Israel. And if these forces defeat the U.S. in the region, will they be confident enough to go after Israel next?
From where I sit, I see Saudi Arabia gone already. It’s a matter of time. But this sort of strategic thinking will also undermine Israel. Iranians and Jews have been aligned for several millennia. How ironic now, that the U.S. is essentially positioning Iran (and its regional allies) to eventually take on Israel. An American defeat in the region will become an Israeli defeat too. Let’s not mince words, America has already lost Iraq to Iran., and now lost out in Syria too. Having lost two small battles … how can Trump even imagine a fight with Iran which is 5 times their size and population?
Trump needs a completely new plan… cause this plan is not a winner! America has once again shot itself in the foot. This is a self-inflicted wound.
One final note to my fellow Americans. If Trump gets away with this, there will be no limit to what he can do to other ethnicities. My point is, he could very well put a ban on Israeli-Americans (4 million of them) if he wants to, and change the electoral map in the U.S. for ever. This move is far more profound than people realize. Hitler started this way, by singling out one group … and eventually went after his real target(s). Americans beware. This ban is not about terrorism, but there is a much deeper agenda here.