Trump’s Singular Focus: Iran; And Why?

Global Sovereign debt has hit $217,000,000,000! Yes, 217 Trillion dollars. This is a very serious. We’re in a crisis. The world is on the verge of bankruptcy! Here is some dialogue Trump had on the subject with his trusted British butler Anthony, retrieved from a Russian bug in the Whitehouse:

Trump: So, my dear Anthony, how do you deal with this problem – before it deals with you?
Anthony: The same way governments have always dealt with debt burdens: Inflation.
Trump: How do you create a massive bout of inflation and not have it cripple the world?
Anthony: Easiest, fastest way … find a way to hike the price of oil up – very quickly!
Trump: So how do we get a fast rise, and not get blamed for it?
Anthony: Easiest way to get there is to choke off the supply out of the Persian Gulf, and we could get a massive hike within days… and then just release the choke point after some time, and voila, we’ll have a huge bout of inflation, but quickly stabilize afterwards! We did this back in the ’70s and ’80s when we needed a big oil price increase to explore Alaska and North Sea oil… we choked off Iran and Iraq’s oil … by starting a war. We’ve done it before.
Trump: You’re a genius Anthony. A genius. But how can we choke it off and then unchoke it – quickly?
Anthony: Get a pissing match between Iran and Saudi Arabia; and the Saudi’s can just shut off the Straits of Hormuz and boom … oil will spike.
Trump: But won’t that affect Saudi Arabia too?
Anthony: No, because they have built pipelines to ship their oil across to the red sea, and therefore can continue to ship out their oil. But Iranian oil, Iraqi Oil, Kuwaiti Oil … roughly 30% of the world’s oil shipments would be affected. And in the process countries like China too – could be crippled!
Trump: Great so our allies will be fine and all our enemies – this Shiites in Iran, Iraq etc. and the Chinese would be seriously impacted!
Anthony: Yes, the key is Iran. Iran will be bankrupted! You must focus on Iran. And by the way, the Chinese will be undermined. And we can just walk in and grab Iran’s oil too, and change the government. We’ll solve the debt problem and grab the world second largest natural gas reserves and third largest oil reserves. And shut off China’s strategic links to Central Asia in the process. Iran is the key.
Trump: Yes, I see, Iran is the key. We need to focus on a war with Iran that we can win. And we’ll create a bout of inflation, which will make our debt issues go away, and at the same time put us in a very strong position vis-à-vis China!
Anthony: And one more thing, China is the one lending money to everyone. So. this inflation will destroy the value of the paper they hold. China will be a big loser out of all this.

Yes, my dear readers. Iran is now the focus, and the remedy to the West’s economic ailments. We live in interesting times. But for those a little older, these times are somewhat reminiscent of 1980’s… Yes, Trump is emulating Reagan.

Reagan, we are told, made life very simple for his administration. He said there was one – and only one goal – to defeat the Soviet Union. And he did that. Trump too, is making it very simple – he wants to topple the Mullahs in Iran.

Despite the rhetoric, he couldn’t care less about North Korea or anywhere else … No, it’s all about Iran. When he says he wants to denuclearize North Korea, he is really targeting a war with Iran … Not North Korea. You see, the North Koreans have agreed to provide Nukes to Iran – in the event of an emergency. And they are assisting Iran in developing long range missiles.

And when he speaks to Chinese leaders, he has only one goal – to undermine their support for North Korea and Iran! Right now, he is pressuring China, to put pressure on North Korea… so that North Korea abandons its nuclear and missile programs… so that Iran won’t have nukes in the event of an invasion.

This, by the way, has been U.S. policy for many decades. U.S. has now established bases all around Iran, and with the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, has set the stage for a multipronged attack on Iran from all sides. Obama’s retreat was tactical. It was all designed around making Iranians feel ‘secure’ enough to abandon their own nuclear program.

Obama was supposed to play nice guy! And Trump now, is poised for a major attack. He’s the bad guy. U.S. has been playing good cop, bad cop with Iran!

The Brits too, are poised to jump in with Trump.

Even Brexit, has an Iranian dimension. The Brits know too well, that an attack on Iran will mean massive streams of Iranian refugees into Europe, and with Brexit will have total control of their borders so Iranians won’t seek refuge in Britain. You see, the Brits hate Iranians. They always have. They have never forgotten what Mossadegh did. It marked the end of the British empire!

And Trump too, is now imposing his own lock on Iranians entering the U.S. (Check out the travel ban, just ‘approved’ by the supreme court).

Britain’s new $3Bn aircraft carrier is also poised for war with Iran … and will soon set sail for the Persian Gulf… packed with planes to bomb Iran.

Trump is slowly but surely trying to put together a coalition of forces including the Saudis to provide ‘local’ support for an Iran invasion, and is quickly arming them – so they too can participate in the war.

Yes, Iran is in their cross hairs. My own, calculation is that we are on a two-year time clock before it all goes to hell in Iran. I am predicting spring or summer 2019, but it could happen as early as fall 2018. By then Brexit negotiations should be over, Qatar will have been placated, Erdogan will be out of power in Turkey, and an Arab “Nato” will have formed with plenty of weapons delivered by the U.S. And, it will be mid-term for Trump, the political fallout will be manageable, in fact it could even help his re-election. North Korea must be denuclearized. Putin must sign on the dotted line… and agree to back off.

But what will Russia and China do? Don’t they get the ‘plan’?
Well, In the background, the U.S. is slowly but surely trying to woo in Putin! In fact, the U.S. may have already put together a back room deal with him, to hand over Iran in exchange for Ukraine and possibly many of its former “Soviet” states… along with generous gas and oil exploration deals. Rex Tillerson, is no dummy! His job, basically (fundamentally) is to use his past relationship with Putin to neutralize Russia in the event of an Iran invasion. Russia could be a huge winner here, if oil and gas prices rise. After all, Russia is a major global producer and exporter of oil and gas. And if Middle east exports to China are constrained, it will Russia that will fill in the gap, and ramp up exports to China.

China, unfortunately is in a different situation all together. Will they too sell out? Don’t they have the most to lose strategically if Iran is sucked up and spat out into pieces? Won’t an Iran invasion completely undermine China’s OBOR (one belt, one road) plans to integrate their economy with Central Asia, Africa and Europe? Won’t huge spikes in oil and gas prices really hurt them?

One thing you learn in life, is that if something depends on many other successful steps … then the chances of it happening become very slim.

What is the probability that North Korea will cave in and denuclearize?

What is the probability that U.S. will topple Erdogan?
Will Qatar cave in?
Will Iraq be a reliable base for an Iranian invasion?
Will a deal with Putin happen?
Can the Arabs put together a decent fighting force?

Even if you assign a 90% probability, the compound chance of a successful invasion of Iran becomes a 50-50 proposition. (.9x.9x.9x.9x.9x.9=.53 i.e. 53%) Every piece must fall in place! Will it?

I say, two things. 1) The Chinese are not that stupid, and 2) Iranian Mullahs are not that stupid.

First, both Iran and China have almost no sovereign debt, and appear to have similar interests Neither want to see the straits of Hormuz shut off. That is why they held joint naval exercises in the region last month.

Second, China too has a military force and just launched its own aircraft carrier. It will not be a by-stander in this whole game. And has already garnered a reputation as a nation that will defend its interests.

Third, China (and Iran) are already investing in alternate ways to deliver oil (and gas) to China via routes in Central Asia. And two years is a long-time, long-enough for these alternate routes to become real options.

Fourth, Pan-Arabism has been a massive failure historically. Saudis could do nothing about Israel in the ‘60s and ‘70s; do they really think they can take on Iran … a nation 8x its population. You also must think that the rulers and people of Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq … even Oman and Yemen will be looking at these plans and vomiting. Would you really put your country and region’s future in the hands of an upstart, usurping 31-year-old Saudi prince (MBS, now peddling Saudi Arabia’s impetuous, whimsical policies). This is the same prince who has placed Qatar now in the hands of Iranians – fully dependent on Iranian food supplies? Will/Can Qatar now turn against its ‘savior’?

Fifth. What price is Putin going to extract to co—operate with Trump? Remember years of sanctions against Russia, has put much of Russia’s economy in the hands of China. Without Chinese trade, Russia would be bankrupt. Would he dare put Russia’s future in the hands of a shifting Western agenda? Trump may be gone in 4 years? Will his Iran invasion succeed? Why put all your eggs in one basket? Even if Russia ends up selling massive quantities of oil and gas to China during a middle east war, will China not understand Russia’s role in all this?

My simple point is, that Iran today, is not the Soviet Union of the ‘80s.

While Reagan could singularly focus on the Soviets, it wasn’t Reagan alone that toppled the Soviet Union. The Soviet communists had been delegitimized philosophically, domestically, economically, bogged down in Afghanistan, with serious internal divisions. Iran on the other hand, has remained an oasis of stability in a rough neighborhood. Internal dissent has been managed by Iran’s Mullahs – with most of its opposition outside Iran. And strangely, the U.S. itself has legitimized the Mullahs with massive debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. presence in the region has not been value added. Saudi’s role in creating ISIS etc. has delegitimized them too. The alternatives painted for ordinary Iranians is bleak. Do Iranians want to turn into Syrian refugees? Or Afghan opium traders? Or at war like Iraqis for decades? U.S. foreign policy has legitimized the Mullahs, because above else they have provided stability to Iran. They have withstood sanctions, found ways around American meddling. And moreover, they have stood by their allies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. They have shown loyalty to their friends and allies.

The U.S. on the other hand has undermined all its friends and allies – in Egypt (Mubarak), Iraq (Saddam Hussein) and Iran (The Shah). The U.S. itself has legitimized the Mullahs in Iran. Elections (be they rigged) in Iran, contrast with Saudi rulers; and don’t appear too different in nature with rigged elections in the U.S. (with counting chads in Florida during Bush’s run, or Russian hacks changing voting machine outcomes in 4 states during Trumps election). And some of Iran’s opposition (abroad) appear much worse than the regime itself (MEK/MKO/NCRI/PMOI/MONKEYS). The recent history of Iran and Iranians is, that given an external threat, Iranians will rally in support of their government. The Iran-Iraq war proved it. The more pressure the U.S. exerts, the more the Mullahs will find domestic support. The more the U.S. legitimizes the regime.

Secondly, Iran’s military has been unbelievably creative and resourceful. Iran has succeeded against formidable and well-resourced foes like Iraq. Iran today is not fighting alone, it has swaths of militia – literally hundreds of thousands from Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, even Pakistan and Yemen. No amount of air superiority can supplant boots on the ground. And Iran has the boots. And, these fighters are battle hardened, and experienced. It’s unlikely that a spoilt brat Saudi fighter, with no real fighting experience (who by the way, can’t even win in Yemen) can take on a much larger, well organized and experienced fighting force on Iranian soil.

Bottom line, Trump’s focus is a bankrupt one. It’s too risky and cannot succeed. Much like the war in Iraq, the net impact of this will be a blowback and another economic crisis in the United States. We could have 2008 and 2009 come back to haunt Americans. This would not be good. It’s not a good investment for the U.S. There are too many moving parts for this ‘strategy’ to succeed. U.S. must go back to the drawing board. I don’t care what Trump’s British butler is telling him to do.

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