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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 7/18/21

Did Netanyahu Try to get Trump to Wag the Dog with Strike on Iran after Biden Won?

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Susan B. Glasser reports at The New Yorker that after it became clear that Joe Biden had won the presidency, from November 7, lame duck Donald Trump desperately wanted to hold on to his office and contemplated a strike on Iran to bolster his position.

Glasser writes that "the subject of Iran was repeatedly raised in White House meetings with the President, and [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark] Milley repeatedly argued against a strike."

She says then Vice President Mike Pence was asked why there was such an insistence on firing missiles at Iran, and he replied "Because they are evil."

Milley, she writes, saw Trump as vulnerable and surrounded by Iran hawks, including then Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu, she says, "was also urging the Administration to act against Iran after it was clear that Trump had lost the election."

This reporting has not gotten the attention it deserves. Glasser is saying that Netanyahu was attempting to manipulate Trump into launching an action that could well have escalated into a full-blown US war against Iran. Since Trump was thinking of strikes on Iran as a way to stay in office, Netanyahu's advice takes on an extremely sinister overtone. Was he colluding with Trump in trying to prevent Biden from taking office, and in destroying the foundations of American democracy?

Netanyahu supported Mitt Romney against Obama in 2012, and had strongly identified with the Republican Party.

Glasser says Milley did not believe Trump wanted a big war, but he appears to have felt that Trump had no appreciation for how military action can spin out of control and escalate unexpectedly, adding that Milley told Trump regarding the missile attack on Iran that Netanyahu was pressing on the lame duck president, "If you do this, you're gonna have a f*cking war."

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was also working the phones in the Pentagon insisting that safeguards be put in place to prevent the unhinged Trump from launching a war in his last months in office.

Remember that Netanyahu was in something close to a panic about Biden becoming president, even though Biden throughout his career had been a strong Christian Zionist and was close to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the powerful Israel lobby. Biden, however, backs a two-state solution, contrary to Netanyahu's desire to gobble up the whole Palestinian West Bank. And Biden was committed to resurrecting the Joint Plan of Comprehensive Action, the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Netanyahu hated the way the devil hates holy water.

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Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia.  He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (more...)
 

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7 people are discussing this page, with 16 comments  Post Comment


John Zwiebel

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Netanyahu wanted Trump to strike Iran so that he (Netanyahu) would remain Prime Minister and avoid his corruption trial. (That trial appears to be falling apart just like Trump's impeachments did.)

Iran's reputation as the "boogyman" America must be afraid of, must be maintained or demands to withdraw troops from the Middle East will become too loud to ignore.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 19, 2021 at 2:56:36 PM

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Yes. Israel has always had reason to be wary of Trump, because Trump's corruption is too personal to trust he would stay bought by somebody else. Biden is just another "...one nation, under Israel..." politician within USA. Netanyahu was desperate enough to take the gamble.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 19, 2021 at 7:38:32 PM

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Abbas Sadeghian, Ph.D.

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Playing The Iran Card

We have been looking to American presidents for help to bring down the Iranian government for years. However no one wants a war with the U.S. Neither country is fool enough to engage in such an adventure. The hero of Republicans (Ronald Regan) sent a cake, a bible and a large load of weapons to Khomeini in exchange for hostages (Iran-Contra affaire). Bush senior made a similar deal with Iran's Ayatollah Rafsanjani for hostages in Lebanon . George W. Bush , wanted to bomb Iran during his last year in office , when he was stuck in Iraq , but the generals persuaded him not to do that.

During Iranian Green Movement of last decade when we almost kick the whole damn group of Ayatollahs out of Iran. Obama sided with the Ayatollahs and we lost our best chance . When Trump got tough with Iran a lot of my countrymen where excited but I knew that he is not going to start another war in the Middle East.

After forty three years of living under this Ayatollah crap oppression , we all know that Iranian government can only be toppled by Iranian people. A little smart help from outside would be appreciated , but no one in Iran wants Iran to become another disaster like Iraq or Afghanistan.

As far as Israel is concerned , Iran has been their best asset. They look like the under dog against Iran , while they have 200 nuclear bombs . Most countries in the west are extremely generous with them . Their military and economy is much better than any country in the Middle East . The Ayatollahs use Israel & U.S. as an excuse for their corruption and incompetence . Netanyahu's interest for dragging Americans into a war with Iran was solely self serving,

Submitted on Monday, Jul 19, 2021 at 4:00:00 PM

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Reply to Abbas Sadeghian, Ph.D.:   New Content

we all know that Iranian government can only be toppled by Iranian people.

FWIW: "toppled" infers violence. I hope you can avoid that. OTOH, perhaps that's the only way to change governments. But then you just exchange one group of violent overlords for another.

The Ayatollahs use Israel & U.S. as an excuse for their corruption and incompetence .

And visa versa. We'd be better off trying to emphasize the qualities that hold us together rather than tear us apart. Somehow, those are never discussed.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 19, 2021 at 5:25:28 PM

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Dear John

This is the problem with almost all revolutions in human history . The out going government is replaced by a government which is worse than the previous one. In Iran's recent history the only democratically elected Prime Minister was Mossadegh who was replaced with the Shah by the 1953 MI6/CIA coup. There was a very brief period in our history that we had actual freedom . The rest of it is either dictatorship or lawlessness , and it has always been because of our oil.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 19, 2021 at 9:30:54 PM

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Reply to Abbas Sadeghian, Ph.D.:   New Content

Military extremism by USA and its associates is the primary reason the ayatollohs reached, and still hold, power in Iran. This applies to al-Qaeda, DAESH (ISIS), and the Taliban also.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 19, 2021 at 7:51:35 PM

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Dear Richard

In The case of Iran I have to agree with you . Although , Eisenhower , complained of military industry complex. During his presidency fear of Stalin and WW2 mind set were used to militarize the country . The combination of Ike , Nixon and Dulles created a bunch of nasty dictatorships in the Middle East and South America.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 19, 2021 at 9:46:43 PM

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Reply to Abbas Sadeghian, Ph.D.:   New Content

"We have been looking to American presidents for help to bring down the Iranian government for years."

Who is "we"? Unilaterally overthrowing governments and regime change are against international law and the UN Charter. That makes you part of an international criminal conspiracy.

If you really wanted to help Iranian people, you would be lobbying for the U.S. to stop the illegal economic sanctions (warfare)--- are you against the sanctions?

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021 at 10:29:02 AM

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Abbas Sadeghian, Ph.D.

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Dear David

I think I have the right to refer to myself and all antigovernment forces in Iran as we.

The issue of the sanctions has several angels to it. My personal preference is that both sides shake hands and let go of all animosities all together. The problem between Iran and the U.S is not worse than the problems between the U.S and Vietnam . Because of international interventions and honest work of people like John McCain , there is a real peace between two countries and Vietnam is one of the exporters of textile to the U.S.

I was happy that because of JCPOA all of the sanctions were removed from Iran and Iran's nuclear ambitions were not stopped , they were just delayed. But Trump messed up the whole thing with inducing these horrible new sanctions on Iran. Trump did not do that because JCPOA was a bad deal for the world , he just hated anything that Obama had achieved.

Trump's assassination of General Soleimani has caused the Iraqi militia groups not to have a coordinated leadership , so although Iran has asked them to cease fire , they do not listen to orders from Iran and keep on fighting with Americans in Iraq , causing a serious hinderance in negotiations in Vienna.

If we want to analyze the issue of sanctions we have to go through all events beginning with hostage crisis of forty years ago through the continuous problems since then.

Of course I want the sanctions to be lifted , but the Iranian leaders use the sanctions to justify their own corruption and incompetence . Whenever you complain of anything including problems with water , electricity, agriculture or not being able to provide vaccines , right away they change the topic and focus on the sanctions .

At the beginning of Covid problem , Khamenei came up with a religious decree prohibiting importation of vaccines from U.S and U.K . This kind of behavior from Iran's side is madness .

At the same time Republican hawks continue their irresponsible behaviors, asking for more problems to fill up their pockets.

P.S. We never requested American military intervention in Iran. I have written many times that the Iranian government has to be toppled by Iranian people. No one in Iran desires to turn Iran to another Iraq or Afghanistan

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021 at 11:52:38 AM

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Juan Cole is likely correct about Netanyahu and Trump. But, he totally ignores the true nature of the nuclear weapon situation with Iran by paying attention to the words of liars, and not to the actions of those with power. "Actions speak louder than words." Most know this old proverb is true.

USA and allies have threatened massive conventional war against Iran for decades. USA participated as a co-combatant of Iraq against Iran in the 1980s, although it did very little as a shooter. USA and Israel have specifically threatened Iran with nuclear attack for decades. These actions cannot reasonably be interpreted as a deterrent, but only as a demand that Iran obtain nuclear weapons. The generals and admirals know this, but think (or at least hope) they can get away with it.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 19, 2021 at 8:30:12 PM

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The hawks on each side benefits from this conflict. Each one have their own reasons . The conflict between Iran and Israel is the most ignorant one. These two countries do not have any borders with each other.

Iran's pursuit of the Bomb is because of internal consumption and hopes of being the leader of Islamic world, while majority of Moslems hate Iranian Shiites.

Israel wants to be the only country in the Middle East which has the bomb. The Bomb is a defensive weapon . If Iran makes the bomb and drops it on Israel there would be guaranties that hundreds of bombs are going to go to Iran. Just like the situation between U,S and Russia.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 19, 2021 at 10:44:49 PM

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Ms Nan

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Reply to Abbas Sadeghian, Ph.D.:   New Content

I agree with your first paragraph. There are bad actors on both sides. 'Follow the money', 'who benefits', would apply here. Propaganda on both sides.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 2:57:51 PM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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I wouldn't put it past him. I was a nervous wreck after the Iranian scientist got killed in Iran, just as when US killed a General beginning of year.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 19, 2021 at 8:54:35 PM

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Dear Michael

There has been a few close calls. But killing that general (Ghasem Soleimani) was truly stupid. Every American president has had that choice before trump. But because of the unintended consequences no body made an attempt to his life , not even strong Sunny groups who hated him did not attempted such a thing . That general was directly responsible for death of a lot of people but he was not worse bringing the two countries into the verge of an all out war.

Also, he was able to keep all of the little groups of militia under control. At this time when ever there is a glimpse hope for agreement between the U.S and Iran , one of these little groups shoot a bunch of rockets into American installations which forces the U.S to retaliate and the negotiation goes down the tube.

Since Soleimani was killed these little groups do not listen to Iran anymore.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 19, 2021 at 10:16:49 PM

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Reply to Abbas Sadeghian, Ph.D.:   New Content

All of our so called "Leaders" are directly or indirectly responsible for massive death, hunger & suffering on a global scale. All the old proverbs are true. When we're pointing our fingers at them, how many are pointing back at us? All power to all the people. RIP Fred Hampton.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021 at 1:02:02 PM

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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Reply to Abbas Sadeghian, Ph.D.:   New Content

Knowing the bad name and damage that "the established church" has done to these times, this can sound nuts. But in this year 2021 of the 21st century, I'm gonna stand with whoever that his who has been left standing with the Prince of Persia for 21 days in Daniel 10. (But them numbers could just be a coincidence.) Probably be long after am dead that my wish for year of jubilee party of Isaiah 25 comes, when veil is lifted from all nations' eyes. World sure looks to need a huge break to me. Woodstocks held at 800 overseas future MASH kind of local needs Units could help bring down some walls. Bet the Rock and Rollers would sign up in a heart beat. I got too much time on my hands to dream.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 6:10:25 PM

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