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General News    H4'ed 1/14/21

Pardons for Rioters? Attack on Iran, its Interests or Proxies? An Expat American in the Middle East Discusses Concerns

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"Jason Meursault" is an American citizen who has spent most of the past 44 plus years in various countries in the Middle East and North Africa. He identifies himself as being "very much red, white, and blue," having spent 20 years in two different countries on three different U.S. defense-related contracts (Iran and Saudi Arabia). He has lived and worked in a country with whom we have been allies and then enemies (Iran), in a country that has been an adversary since 1969 (Libya), in countries that are pure allies (Bahrain and Saudi Arabia), in a partitioned country that has been somewhat of an international outcast since 1974 (Cyprus), and in a country of fair-weather friends (Turkey). Meursault has very much been the outsider looking in and has some unique perspectives as an American abroad.

He adds, "I have worked variously as an Academic/Lecturer in foreign national universities, as an independent overseas international educational advisor on U.S. educational opportunities, a defense military contractor, and as a tennis professional."

Meursault agreed to answer questions I posed about actions President Trump has taken as his administration winds down. His answers appear in bold.

'Think it over': Trump sends warning to Iran after 'several rockets' hit US Embassy in Baghdad (

What are the pluses and minuses of conducting defense, national security and foreign policy via Twitter?

The same as a bully puffing his chest and blustering behind a closed door. Communication via social media is the coward's way and is as effective as shots in the dark -- scary in not quite a real way, YET.

Iran monitors and uses social media as well and to their own ends, so Trump feels secure in knowing what he says, via whatever medium, will get someone's attention.

Is President Trump just making a last minute splash for headlines?

YEP. He does like to be in the forefront and limelight, no matter how banal. Trump is a pure narcissist.

What should Americans make of his Twitter statement? You are not far away from Iran. How do you feel about what is happening in public view?

In fact, Trump is just difficult enough to predict that he has Iran very worried, which is fine by me. What DOES worry me is that Trump will make an 11th hour move to stay in office beyond 20 January by declaring war powers and launching an offensive against Iran on a pretext -- I talked about this yesterday. People may laugh at this, but until he moves out of the White House and Biden moves in it is a very real possibility.

Ex-Defense secretaries say military must stay out of election battles (

Sounds reasonable? What do you think?

Absolutely. To do so would smack of a strategy and move that characterizes "Banana Republics." However, that does not mean that Trump would not, as Commander-in-Chief, give it a go, under fabricated false "facts" ("alternate realities," as former Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer once put it) and see how it all falls out. Recall that President George W. Bush had "his people" build a case to go to war against Iraq on the basis of WMD that in fact never existed and that Saddam was working in league with Bin Laden. Both were untrue and cases had to be built, established de facto to support an invasion and war, and then acted upon. WMD aside, Saddam was an incredible egomaniac who would never share anything of a plan with any other thug in the region or world. So we have already had a case whereby a President launched an invasion and a war under a pretext that he was able to "sell." Trump is by nature a far better salesman than W; he gambled hard with a strong arm, gave the sell a go, and lost.

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Steve Schneider lives in Florida. He writes articles for Humor Times, Democracy Chronicles, The Satirist and OpEd News.

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