Yes, we know the BS that Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, the Saudis and the Netanyahu government have been slinging in the news media. Accusations of tanker bombings and other acts of terrorism, all backed by as many facts as supported Lyndon Johnson’s version of what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin. Backed by as many facts as substantiated why Bush II gave for the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq—weapons of mass destruction and support of Al Qaida. In other words, nothing but lies and false assumptions.
We now know that LBJ felt himself in a bind—he did not want to be the first American president to “lose” a war, even a war that his experts had already decided was unwinnable.
We may never know why Bush II wanted to go to war in Iraq, but my best guess is that the war was a product of the desire of military contractors to make more money. It’s likely that the past 16 years have given these contractors a taste of the largess of perpetual war and that they are pushing for a conflagration with Iran. A hot war has always lined the pockets of armament makers and suppliers of all kinds of materiel, e.g., blankets, batteries, food rations, boots, backpacks, and other gear. The Iraq War added armed soldiers to the list of goods that private contractors provide. Let me substitute a few words in that last sentence to give the full nuance: The Iraq War added mercenaries to the list of goods political cronies could mark up exorbitantly and sell to the military, despite the lessons of American history that mercenaries lose wars (see the American Revolution).
In Trump, military contractors have a cat’s-paw easy to manipulate. Trump has all the traits a military contractor wants: 1. A lack of empathy with any perceived enemy, which translates to a willingness to inflict pain and suffering on innocent bystanders, especially those not of European background. 2. An emotional need to always project power and never appear wrong, a basic flaw of American foreign policy since the time of Teddy Roosevelt and Elihu Root, only elevated to a psychopathic extreme by Trump.
- A losing hand in the next presidential election, which history strongly suggests would quickly change to a popular mandate merely by declaring war and sending troops to fight on foreign lands.
The profit motive behind waging perpetual war makes more sense to me than other explanations, such as the nefarious influence of Saudi Arabia, which sees Iran as its regional rival. While it is clear that our decision to aggressively support the Saudis in the Middle East has contributed much to our bad relations with Iran, selling out the United States to achieve a Saudi objective would not occur to Trump. He is only interested in selling out his country of residence for his own selfish interests. Thus, unless the Saudi princes have been bolstering the finances of Trump, the Trump organization and the Trump family to the degree that they make all the real decisions, I don’t see Trumpty-Dumpty going to war to help them out.
I also reject the influence of the Netanyahu government as a deciding factor. True enough, Netanyahu pretty much needs perpetual war for very much the same reasons as Trump does: to sidetrack the citizenry from his corruption and incompetence and to satisfy the voracious appetite of Israel’s (and the U.S.’s) military contracting industry. But Israel is more of a client state than even Saudi Arabia is. We funnel billions a year into the Israeli economy and military. If anything, the decision-making flows from the United States to Israel, and not the other way around.
Certainly the idea that war with Iran would be necessary and justified because of Iran’s acts of hostility towards the United States is complete nonsense. It was Trump who walked away from the Iran Nuclear agreement. Since then, Trump has been adding more sanctions on Iran, which has hurt the Iranian economy and its people. No one in their right mind should want Iran to have nuclear weapons, just as no one in their right mind should want the United States, Russia, France, Great Britain or any of the other 195 odd countries of Earth to have a nuclear capability. It is disappointing that Iran has started producing nuclear fuel again, but what do you expect them to do in light of the shredded agreement? Developing weapons is one of the few trump cards Iran can play in negotiations to drop economic sanctions against it. Iran, however, has pledged not to fight a war, and really why would they want to? They have seen what war did to Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran is an inherently rich country with lots of natural resources beyond oil, an educated population and a fairly large middle class. Their leadership has not and is not going to commit any aggressive act of war against the United States or Saudi Arabia.
My conclusion: The most logical reason for instigating a full-scale war with Iran must be to continue to support the business objectives of military contractors.
I fear that we are in the age of perpetual warfare.