A report from The New York Times that said President Trump considered attacking an Iranian nuclear facility raised fears of a possible US strike on Iran before January 20th. An official familiar with the meeting told The Washington Post that while a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear program was off the table, President Trump is ready to respond to attacks in the region that can be tied to Iran.
According to the official, Trump emphasized that any killing of an American that can be “tied back to instructions from Iran” will spark an immediate US response. The official said the president was “very forceful” and that if Iranians kill Americans, the US response will be swift and painful.
The Post story came after rockets fell inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, where the US embassy is located. No casualties were reported near the US embassy, but the Iraqi Army said rockets landed outside of the Green Zone, killing a child and injuring five civilians. The Post said the rockets were “apparently fired by an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia,” although it is not yet clear who is responsible.
President Trump’s comments suggest if a similar rocket attack kills an American, it means the US would retaliate against Iran. The series of events that led to the assassination of top Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani was sparked by a rocket attack on a US base in Kirkuk, Iraq.
In December 2019, the attack in Kirkuk killed an American contractor, and the US retaliated against Kataib Hezbollah, a Shia militia. US airstrikes against Kataib Hezbollah killed 25 of its fighters and sparked protests at the US embassy in Baghdad, which led to the US killing Soleimani. But the US never presented proof that Kataib Hezbollah was responsible for the Kirkuk attack, and Iraqi intelligence later revealed that they believed it was more likely that ISIS killed the US contractor.
Abu Ali al-Basri, Iraq’s head of intelligence and counterterrorism, told The New York Times that the US did not share any information about the Kirkuk attack. “They did not ask for my analysis of what happened in Kirkuk and neither did they share any of their information,” he said. “Usually, they would do both.”
The US drone strike that killed Soleimani also killed Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the leader of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Force, a group of militias formed in 2014 to fight ISIS. Iraq’s parliament voted unanimously to kick US troops out of their country after the killing of Soleimani and al-Mohandes. The assassinations also sparked more rocket attacks on bases housing US troops in Iraq.
In October, Iraqi militias vowed not to attack US targets, a ceasefire that hinges on a full US withdrawal from the country. Tuesday’s rocket attack could have been sparked by the US announcement of only a partial withdrawal from Iraq, but it is still not clear who the perpetrators are.
While the Trump administration will label any groups that attack US targets in Iraq “Iranian-backed,” there are plenty of forces in the country that have their own reasons to fire on the US. Whether it’s militias that want revenge for the killing of al-Mohandes, other groups that just want the US to leave, or a group like ISIS, who would benefit from a conflict between the US and Iran and welcomed the killing of Soleimani.
Others fear Israel and Saudi Arabia could take advantage of the tensions between Iran and the US in the coming weeks. European officials spoke with Business Insider and expressed their concern over the situation. Some officials fear Israel or Saudi Arabia might see the end of the Trump administration as their last chance for a war with Iran. Another fear is that the US will go through with a unilateral action to force a military confrontation with Iran.
The Trump administration is expected to ratchet up pressure on Iran as much as possible before January 20th through sanctions. The goal is to make it difficult for a Biden administration to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal.
29 thoughts on “President Trump Sets Tripwire For Attack on Iran”
Pray for our military to reject their orders from this man.
……………and every other warmonger for the past 50 years.
And for the next fifty.
No, they’ll run out of money.
Free stuff for everyone until they’re broke!
You want the military to stand between warmongers and war? Good luck with that.
Isn’t it our military who refuses to get out of Syria?
I guess the soldiers doing the actual fighting don’t like it. Often I hear complaints about how the Afghan war has no objective, or I did when I’d talk with those who served there, haven’t recently.
All our military wants is more money for more weapons. It is its raison d’etre.
US leaders are just afraid of retaliation for all their assassinations.
Trump might just as well have given orders to Israeli operatives to launch rockets at U.S. bases himself. There’s also a remote possibility that ISIS will take his invitation to start a war.
Hopefully these recent stories by the NYTimes and WAPO are not true. But if they’re true, then good riddance to Trump. It would only be an accident we haven’t stumbled into war.
It’seems that it will feel like a very long time to 01/20/21…
Perhaps. Once Trump is gone, though, no new wars as foreign policy is over.
There’s no reason to think Biden changes any of this for the better. But, hopefully he does.
You know, Kristol has been freaking out over Trump, alleging that Trump is drawing down from all over. It’s well when Kristol despairs over something.
Kind of true, but Kristol’s perpetual wailing is somewhat akin to the fight over US “defense” spending early in the last decade, when the Republicans wanted an 18% increase over five years, while Obama only wanted a 10% increase.
The Republicans referred to Obama’s position as “draconian cuts.” Kristol refers to anything short of the Hiroshima treatment for everyone who looks sideways at Washington as “appeasement.”
Kristol is a perfect symbol of the US clownocracy, because he looks and acts the part.
It’s amazing how they fail repeatedly, disaster after disaster, but act like the opposite occurred. Kristol likely views Libya, Yemen, Syria etc as great successes.
It’s amazing the CIA brought LSD and drug culture to the US. What a disaster. Failure after failure.
…. I guess no-one traced Iraqi Shia militias back to Iran. Of course, they haven’t killed any Americans in a while either.
doing bibi’s bidding is treason
Since when has US foreign policy served US interests?
We would be *vastly* better off if our military were unable to leave our shores.
A number of things strike me as odd.
First — the media in question WANTS war with Iran. No surprises there.
Second, is this pressure to go to war with Iran
really a condition laid out to Trump — sort of get out of jail card. A guarantee that he and his family and business are safe from prosecution.
Third. Why is it assumed that “starting a war with Iran” is for us a risk free proposition? Almost as if not starting a war is really our option, our birth right, over which Iran or anybody else has no say?
Fourth. Why is it assumed Saudis want it? The last thing on earth Saudis want is war. They will issue appropriate noises, to please us — but will never attack Iran. Iran can destroy their above the ground water system, desalinization plants and electric grid. Saudis do not have geography for war.
Fifth. Israel. What makes anyone think that Israel is not vulnerable? If it gets into war -/ as opposed to letting US fight it — it will become a combatant with a number of potential enemies in the neighborhood.
Sixth. What makes us think that such a “limited” war may not turn into “accidentally” destroying our fleet in Bahrain or Qatar —- and we may not retaliate out of fear for our homeland? Why assume no risk? Or is the risk baked into the financial meltdown cake?
This may be far fetched — but once some things make no sense, nothing else does.
Not at all far-fetched.
“if Iranians kill Americans, the US response will be swift and painful.”
If it is Americans who kill Iranians, that is perfectly normal, even assassinating a top general who was in Iraq (where the USA has no right to be) and who is blamed for “terrorism” which Iran has been fighting much more actively than the USA has.
An attack on Iran (besides the multiple sanctions leading to Iranian deaths, and the US/Israeli killing of scientists in Iran) would be far worse than the US expert perpetrators of violence can imagine, for them as well as Iran.
US MidEast strategy: Attack all sides at once…
Outgoing Loser Dream…! Trump is digging his grave with or without attacking Iran…!
without imperialism the empire would have collapsed 5 years ago–now a few years away from collapse
Trump belongs in a small room with padded walls and barred windows under 24/7 observation. He is a “Clear and Present Danger”. Treat him accordingly.
Most likely empty talk as usual. They wouldn’t dare, the stakes are too high as it will all boomerang.
You know folks, when you look at the assortment of idiots with the democrats, perhaps making you think Trump is the better evil in the white house; out comes Trump and Pompeo dripping with militancy against Iran. A third party with an ability to get along with the world is badly needed.
Trump says all kinds of nonsense about Iran, NK, China, Russia and Democrats. He makes all kinds of threats, but does nothing.
He is a prisoner of the military, of the bureaucracy, of the GOP and for all I know of Kushner.
However, he has reduced the military overseas, he has not initiated any wars, he has got Israel to agree to stopping expansion (yeah, right) and he has sort of kept the US from imploding economically (so far).
If I was Donny-baby I would pray that sleazy-sleepy Joe wins so that I could retire to a Caribbean Island with my incredibly sexy wife and spend my time divided between playing golf and lying down to recover.
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