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Trumping Up Wars: A Venerable American Tradition

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The US has had an expansionist agenda for 200 years. Every US war in the past has begun with a story of someone's aggression against us. Every war is presented as "defense", even as the pretenses have become more ludicrous and transparent over the years.

So now we are the world's lone superpower with hundreds of military bases around the world, spending more on defense than our next 10 nearest competitors. (And that doesn't count the black budget, which might be 5 to 10 times larger than the Pentagon budget that is passed by Congress. link to Forbes; link to TheNation; video of Mich State Prof Mark Skidmore). We have been threatening Iran verbally and diplomatically for at least 20 years. We have a history of having overthrown (1953) the only democratically elected government in Iran's history because they were unfriendly to US and British oil interests. Trump unilaterally abrogates a treaty to which our country is bound by international law. We fly our fighter jets and spy drones over Iran, and then when they shoot down the unmanned drone as a warning to the manned fighter, Iran is the "aggressor." The Administration, D's and R's alike and our mainstream press on the left and the right are all "shocked, shocked" by Iran's audacity!

In last night's Democratic candidates' forum, Tulsi Gabbard, the only candidate to actively oppose the American militarist/imperialist project, was taunted about Iranian "aggression", "Where would you draw the red line?" Her response was wise and measured, focusing on ways that belligerence makes us much less safe. In her allotted 30 seconds, she didn't try to tell the whole, sordid history of American tactics to taunt other countries into war when we wanted a new conquest.

  • The Mexican-American war was started when Pres. Polk sent troops to Texas, then used the Thornton Affair as an excuse to attack Mexico.

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  • The Spanish-American war was started when our government falsely accused Spain of sinking the Battleship Maine

  • The US justified entry into WW I by taunting the Germans with the Lusitania, a munitions cargo for England disguised as a cruise ship.

  • FDR goaded the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor (David Swanson explains) after promising America that he was committed to keeping our country out of WW II.

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  • LBJ fabricated the Gulf of Tonkins incident as an excuse for war against Vietnam. (recounted by FAIR)

  • The first Bush Administration in 1992 sent diplomatic signals to Iraq that we wouldn't mind if they annexed Kuwait, then used their incursion into Kuwait as an excuse for a brutal attack. (Full text of exchange released by Wikileaks in 2011: WSWS article)

The whole world has our number. "Adversaries" Iran and Russia and China, our allies in Europe, all know exactly what the US is up to. Only in America have so many people been convinced by our corporate-controlled media that America's power is a force for good in the world.

Jimmy Dore talks about US planning war on Iran for 20 years

Wes Clark tells Amy Goodman that the Pentagon planned 7 regime change wars in 5 years

"Crisis initiation is really tough"
Patrick Clawson speaking to the Washington Inst for Near East Policy

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"Throughout its history, America has attacked countries that did not threaten it. To carry out such wars, American leaders have contrived pretexts to justify American aggression. That's what Donald Trump's administration-and especially its national security adviser, John Bolton-is doing now with Iran."
Peter Beinart in The Atlantic: Bolton is Goading Iran into War

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Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at http://JoshMitteldorf.ScienceBlog.com. Read how to stay young at http://AgingAdvice.org.
Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical (more...)
 

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Josh Mitteldorf

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To his credit, Trump resisted pressure from the military and from both political parties to bomb Iran last week, because the response would be out of proportion to the offense. watch

Submitted on Friday, Jun 28, 2019 at 1:47:03 AM

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lila york

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Thank you for compiling this background. The Wes Clark speech should be a permanent quote on the home page.

Submitted on Friday, Jun 28, 2019 at 6:27:12 PM

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Devil's Advocate

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If only Iran didn't plant itself in the center of all those American bases. Talk about brazen instigation, huh?

Submitted on Friday, Jun 28, 2019 at 7:22:03 PM

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nelswight

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Stupid Persians ought to know better, like choosing to move into a hornet nest.

Submitted on Friday, Jun 28, 2019 at 8:47:56 PM

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My state representative in D.C. doesn't know this and thinks

we should attack Iran. His staff advises him badly.

I've emailed him twice, unknown if he sees it or has time.

Submitted on Friday, Jun 28, 2019 at 8:45:33 PM

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lila york

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This is a great tucker carlson show on how the US lies its way into wars. I am going to quicklink it.

click here

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 6:54:29 PM

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I just noticed that Lance already posted the article I linked. It is here

click here

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 9:22:28 PM

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Josh, I find it unusual that the list of false flags doesn't include the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, a lightly armed intelligence gathering ship, during the 6-day war between Israel and Egypt. It was Pres. Johnson's effort to join the war on day six in order to bring Jewish voters into his camp in his upcoming run for President. Unfortunately for him the men of the Liberty fought off an hour and half attack by Israeli airplanes and then managed to bring the badly damaged ship all the way across the Mediterranean without dying for Johnson's Presidential campaign.

However lost in history the Liberty is, the most egregious example of a false flag in at least a half century and clearly a prime example of why the US shouldn't be fooled into another war of aggression is also missing from your list, the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Perhaps the reason it's not in the list is that facing the irony that if we had properly labelled it as a war crime eighteen years ago (or any time since) is too great a task for anyone with a public persona. Unfortunately that means we are now faced with the distinct possibility of doing the same damn thing again.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 30, 2019 at 12:29:21 AM

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