Monday, September 16, 2019


CNN reports:
The US has told at least one US ally in the Middle East, that they have intelligence showing that the launch was “likely” coming from staging grounds in Iran, but they have not shared that intelligence yet....

A US official separately tells CNN that the US has assessed that the attack originated from inside Iran. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.
So it's war then? Hard to tell:
President Trump said Monday that he wants to avoid war with Iran, a day after warning that the United States was "locked and loaded" in response to attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

“Do I want war? I don’t want war with anybody,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Monday afternoon during a meeting with the crown prince of Bahrain, later adding: “We have the strongest military in the world.”
Trump might back down, or possibly he'll launch one strike for show and then get bored. Or he might go for it. There's reason to be concerned.

To get us out of this, we may have to rely on -- God help us -- Trump's buddy and adviser Tucker Carlson. Carlson said this on his show back in June:
Since 9/11, the U.S. has spent trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives trying to remake the Middle East in our image. It's sad to say it out loud, but we have to, it hasn't worked. Many of us thought it would, but it hasn't.

By every measure, our foreign wars have ended in dismal failure for the United States, however noble their intentions and some did have noble intentions.

Donald Trump was one of the rare Republican politicians honest enough to admit this. He said it out loud three years ago, and promised not to repeat the same mistakes if elected President and partly because he said that he was elected President.

Now something fascinating is happening. The very people, in some cases, literally the same people who lured us into the Iraq quagmire 16 years ago, are demanding a new war, this one with Iran. The President, to his great credit appears to be skeptical of this -- very skeptical.

... in Washington, there are no real consequences for being wrong. And as a result policymakers are. They make the same mistakes again and again, and it's certainly not just Lindsey Graham.

At "The New York Times" left-wing warmonger Bret Stevens is also calling on America to sink the Iranian Navy. Many on the left are for it. John Bolton cheers him on from within the White House. Bill Kristol nods with approval from outside the White House.

None of these people will admit their actual intentions.
(Yes, he called Bret Stephens a "left-wing warmonger," and said "the left" wants war with Iran.)

Around the same time, the Daily Beast reported this:
A source familiar with the conversations told The Daily Beast that, in recent weeks, [Carlson] has privately advised Trump against taking military action against Iran. And a senior administration official said that during the president’s recent conversations with the Fox primetime host, Carlson has bashed the more “hawkish members” of his administration.

... In recent weeks, he has questioned whether war with Iran would be “in anyone’s interest.”

... During a Monday night segment devoted to the recent attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Carlson invoked the faulty intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Fox News host compared Pompeo’s “misplaced certainty” that Iran attacked the tankers to former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s now-discredited claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

“We’re still paying a price for that,” Carlson said.
This could pose a serious dilemma for Trump, considering what he's hearing from the other people he trusts the most:
... his advisers on Fox & Friends, the Fox News morning show that shapes his worldview, are urging him to take military action against Iran....

“I think this cannot go without retribution,” said Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade on Monday.

“They have provoked us before,” co-host Steve Doocy chimed in. “Think about the tankers they have seized, they shot one of our drones out of the sky, and now it looks like this, even though the Houthi rebels are saying, ‘Oh we did it, 100%.’ Yeah, right.”

“The drone attacks, extremely disturbing from a security standpoint: What stops it from happening here?” Kilmeade added. “We have to keep the Strait of Hormuz open, and we’ve got to protect the world’s oil supply.”
Who'll win this battle for Trump's heart and mind? It's horrible to be rooting for Carlson, who, unlike the other two, is not just a right-wing hack, he's a white supremacist right-wing hack. But alas, he may be our best hope.

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