US versus Iran

Is Iran taking advantage of a chaotic transition to a Trump led White House? Is Trump diving into a snake pit that they are nowhere near prepared to assess properly? Both?

With Trump being so gung ho and super sensitive to being challenged, and without coming close to a fully staffed and well advised administration, the US is very vulnerable to being sucked into something that could be very difficult to extricate itself.

Diplomacy by Twitter continues (if you can call it diplomacy):

This is potentially very scary stuff.

As is this:Press Secretary Sean Spicer Falsely Accuses Iran of Attacking U.S. Navy Vessel, an Act of War

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday said he was  “officially putting Iran on notice” following the country’s ballistic missile test and an attack on a Saudi naval vessel by Houthi rebels in Yemen (the Houthis are tenuously aligned with Iran’s government but are distinct from it).

The White House press corps wanted to know what being put “on notice” entailed, and Spicer responded by claiming that Iran’s government took actions against a U.S. naval vessel, which would be an act of war. “I think General Flynn was really clear yesterday that Iran has violated the Joint Resolution, that Iran’s additional hostile actions that it took against our Navy vessel are ones that we are very clear are not going to sit by and take,” he said. “I think that we will have further updates for you on those additional actions.”

Major Garrett of CBS News quietly corrected him, saying “a Saudi vessel,” and Spicer then responded almost inaudibly: “Sorry, thank you, yes a Saudi vessel. Yes, that’s right.” He did not in any way address his false claim that it was an Iranian attack, however.

Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood confirmed to The Intercept that the attack was in fact conducted against a Saudi warship, and that the Pentagon suspects Houthi rebels. “It was a Saudi ship – it was actually a frigate” said Sherwood. “It was [conducted by] suspected Houthi rebels off the coast of Yemen.”

Fox News initially misreported that a U.S. ship was somehow the target — which is perhaps where some of the confusion in the White House originated.

Spicer is being informed by Fox News? Next thing he will start believing Breitbart – actually it could be Stephen Bannon pulling his strings anyway.

Inaccurate news, false news, false claims, tweeting from the hip, a very inexperienced and disorganised White House, countries in the Middle East with histories of escalating provocations.

What could go wrong?

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11 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  February 4, 2017

    Absolutely – in my opinion Iran deliberately launched that missile, which appears not to breach any requirements imposed on them – to set off the DOTUS into a fit of belligerent threats.

    No easier way to garner support among the Muslim & non-aligned world than to start the orange one rattling his sabre & threatening to attack them for making sure they can defend themselves against the likelihood of an attack by Israel, whose stealing of Palestinian land has ramped up (another 3000 more homes in a new illegal settlement just announced in the last couple of days) as Netanyahu ruthlessly exploits Trump’s apparent gung ho backing for it.

    Iran can see that what’s governing Amerika is ego, testosterone, jingoism, ignorance & hubris just at the moment & that the US is currently looking like the biggest actual threat to world & regional peace anywhere. In my view anyway. There’s no other reason for them to poke the wasp’s nest with a missile launch they knew would start a bully snarling.

    Spicer appears to be the real deal – a genuine idiot.

    Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 4, 2017

      Spicer has another contender for the crown – Kellyanne Conway and her fantasist’s alternative facts about a ‘massacre’ that never happened…

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  February 4, 2017

        I’m totally with you and G on this. How these wackos can go around spreading “alternative facts” which are just plain bulls**t is beyond me. How others can just lap it up like obedient poodles also boggles the mind.

        Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 4, 2017

    In the alternate reality even CNN seems to present a more balanced assessment than any of the above:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/03/politics/treasury-department-announcing-sanctions-against-iran-friday-morning/index.html

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  February 4, 2017

      The rest of the world is not watching or reading CNN, & anyway you have already clearly established that the US msm is unreliable.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 4, 2017

        I know. But sometimes I can suspend disbelief. At any rate the CNN article seems to have a better ratio of fact to scaremongering than yours and PB’s.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  February 4, 2017

          My point is really that the Iranian Foreign Minister is a slick performer & a smarter man that Trump’s macho friends realise. The Muslim Middle East want the West & especially America out of Muslim countries. American attacks & collateral damage create more jihadis – motivated less by their religion than by revenge & resistance to the ‘crusaders’.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  February 4, 2017

            There is no lack of targets and history for revenge and resistance in the Muslim Middle East as the list of terrorist attacks in January I previously linked makes clear. I doubt a few strong words from Trump or weak ones from Spicer will make a blind bit of difference to that.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  February 4, 2017

              Utimately Alan I think the best thing the West could do is just get their all their troops out of the area, they’re never going to put enough in there to control this lot, let them have their Muslim idea of theocratic democracy, & just ring fence it until they have sorted out in their various cleansings who’s going to live in what part of it, and just keep buying oil off whoever controls that particular country.

              Muslims should live in Muslim lands until they grow out of it. All the West is ever going to get from interfering in there is grief.

              Anyway, the LF has made me breakfast & done the dishes & is busy singing & happily doing my washing & hanging it out, while I’m busy on here – it’s so neat being spoiled rotten & actually getting rewarded for laziness. But I’d better do the decent thing & get involved in the chores & then we’re off to the park. Cya later.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 4, 2017

              “All the West is ever going to get from interfering in there is grief.”

              You forgot the oil.

              Anyway, have a great time and enjoy your treasures. I’m about to hit the laundry again.

  3. I am wondering if the strategy is to provoke an attack on Israel by upping US support for resettlement and occupation of Jerusalem? This would then give the US an excuse to destroy Iran’s nuclear and missile defences. It would probably require a wink and a nod to Putin about Ukraine and Crimea and agreement with China to stop the confrontation within the South China Sea or accepting the One Road One Belt Chinese concept. Just musing about some of the big things Trump may want deals for.

    Reply

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