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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 1/5/20

Tump's Iran Aggression Deserves Full-Throated Opposition

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Trump is betraying his voters and threatening millions of lives. Call him on it before it's too late.

Donald Trump warmonger
Donald Trump warmonger
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In a full-blown U.S. war with Iran, up to a million people could die initially.

Hundreds of thousands more could die in the vacuum to follow. Millions would be made refugees. That's the conclusion of experts surveyed by Vox reporter Alex Ward. "The worst-case scenarios here are quite serious," Middle East scholar Michael Hanna warned.

With the brazen assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq, President Trump has brought us leaps and bounds closer to that conflagration -- a decision Trump appears to have made while golfing at Mar-a-Lago.

Lawmakers need to move before it's too late.

The Iranians may respond cautiously, perhaps forestalling a full-blown conflict. But there can be no doubt the White House has been driving in that direction from day one.

In a few short years, Trump has blown up the Iran nuclear deal, put a horrific economic stranglehold on the country, and sent a stunning 14,000 new troops to the Middle East since just last spring. Some 3,500 more are now on their way.

"Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran," John Bolton tweeted about the assassination. Bolton may have left the White House, but clearly his spirit lives on.

What next? Get ready to hear a lot about what a "bad guy" Soleimani was, and how Iran is a "state sponsor" of terrorism.

No doubt, Soleimani had blood on his hands -- he was a general. Yet after two decades of U.S. wars in the Middle East, that's the pot calling the kettle black. It was the U.S. who invaded Iraq, started a civil war, and paved the way for a literal terrorist state, ISIS, to occupy the country afterward (a force Soleimani himself was instrumental in dismantling).

That senseless war caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, exploded the terrorist threat, and is destabilizing the region to this day. Yet somehow, war hawks like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo can go on TV and with a straight face predict ordinary Iranians will essentially thank the U.S. for murdering their general.

"People not only in Iraq but in Iran will view the American action last night as giving them freedom," Pompeo said the morning after the assassination. You couldn't caricature a better call-back to Dick Cheney's infamous prediction that Iraqis would "greet us as liberators" if you tried.

This war-mongering should be as toxic politically as it is morally. Trump rode into office promising to end America's wars, winning him crucial votes in swing states with large military and veteran populations. Huge bipartisan majorities, including 58 percent of Republicans, say they want U.S. troops out of the Middle East.

Trump is betraying them spectacularly.

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Peter Certo is the acting editor of Foreign Policy in Focus (fpif.org) and the associate editor of Right Web (rightweb.irc-online.org). Both publications are projects of the Institute for Policy Studies.
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