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Would War with Iran Doom Trump?
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A war with Iran would define, consume and potentially destroy the Trump presidency, but exhilarate the neocon never-Trumpers who most despise the man.

Why, then, is President Donald Trump toying with such an idea?

Looking back at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, wars we began or plunged into, what was gained to justify the cost in American blood and treasure, and the death and destruction we visited upon that region? How has our great rival China suffered by not getting involved?

Oil is the vital strategic Western interest in the Persian Gulf. Yet a war with Iran would imperil, not secure, that interest.

Mass migration from the Islamic world, seeded with terrorist cells, is the greatest threat to Europe from the Middle East. But would not a U.S. war with Iran increase rather than diminish that threat?

Would the millions of Iranians who oppose the mullahs’ rule welcome U.S. air and naval attacks on their country? Or would they rally behind the regime and the armed forces dying to defend their country?

“Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail,” warned President Hassan Rouhani in July: “War with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

But he added, “Peace with Iran is the mother of all peace.”

Rouhani left wide open the possibility of peaceful settlement.

Trump’s all-caps retort virtually invoked Hiroshima: “Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the like of which few throughout history have suffered before.”

When Trump shifted and blurted out that he was open to talks — “No preconditions. They want to meet? I’ll meet.” — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo contradicted him: Before any meeting, Iran must change the way they treat their people and “reduce their malign behavior.”

We thus appear to be steering into a head-on collision.

For now that Trump has trashed the nuclear deal and is reimposing sanctions, Iran’s economy has taken a marked turn for the worse.

Its currency has lost half its value. Inflation is surging toward Venezuelan levels. New U.S. sanctions will be imposed this week and again in November. Major foreign investments are being canceled. U.S. allies are looking at secondary sanctions if they do not join the strangulation of Iran.

Tehran’s oil exports are plummeting along with national revenue.

Demonstrations and riots are increasingly common.

Rouhani and his allies who bet their futures on a deal to forego nuclear weapons in return for an opening to the West look like fools to their people. And the Revolutionary Guard Corps that warned against trusting the Americans appears vindicated.

Iran’s leaders have now threatened that when their oil is no longer flowing freely and abundantly, Arab oil may be blocked from passing through the Strait of Hormuz out to Asia and the West.

Any such action would ignite an explosion in oil prices worldwide and force a U.S. naval response to reopen the strait. A war would be on.

Yet the correlation of political forces is heavily weighted in favor of driving Tehran to the wall. In the U.S., Iran has countless adversaries and almost no advocates. In the Middle East, Israelis, Saudis and the UAE would relish having us smash Iran.

Among the four who will decide on war, Trump, Pompeo and John Bolton have spoken of regime change, while Defense Secretary James Mattis has lately renounced any such strategic goal.

With Israel launching attacks against Iranian-backed militia in Syria, U.S. ships and Iranian speedboats constantly at close quarters in the Gulf, and Houthi rebels in Yemen firing at Saudi tankers in the Bab el-Mandeb entrance to the Red Sea, a military clash seems inevitable.

While America no longer has the ground forces to invade and occupy an Iran four times the size of Iraq, in any such war, the U.S., with its vastly superior air, naval and missile forces, would swiftly prevail.


But if Iran called into play Hezbollah, the Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq, and sectarian allies inside the Arab states, U.S. casualties would mount and the Middle East could descend into the kind of civil-sectarian war we have seen in Syria these last six years.

Any shooting war in the Persian Gulf could see insurance rates for tankers soar, a constriction of oil exports, and surging prices, plunging us into a worldwide recession for which one man would be held responsible: Donald Trump.

How good would that be for the GOP or President Trump in 2020?

And when the shooting stopped, would there be installed in Iran a liberal democracy, or would it be as it was in Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt, with first the religious zealots taking power, and then the men with guns.

If we start a war with Iran, on top of the five in which we are engaged still, then the party that offers to extricate us will be listened to, as Trump was listened to, when he promised to extricate us from the forever wars of the Middle East.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2018

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Donald Trump, Iran 
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  1. Anonymous[132] • Disclaimer says:

    Kushner is one of the (((neocohen))) never-Trumpers who most despise the man.

    • Replies: @Avery
  2. Renoman says:

    War with Iran? I can not imagine a more foolish thing to do.
    Of course they will rally with their own Countrymen, everyone hates the USA.
    The World economy will be in a complete tailspin, the US will likely finally go broke over it and chances are pretty good that Israel will be flattened and paved [one positive thing].
    You fight Iran you fight China, you don’t go messing with their road. Likely not bombs and guns either most likely money, something America has not much of.

    The faster America dumps this crazy fascination with the Jews the faster it will get it’s act together and become a Country again.

    • Agree: Mike P, RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Realist
  3. As shown in this article, the U.S. Secretary of State is trying to manipulate Iranian Americans into supporting regime change in Iran:

    Washington is working overtime to lay the groundwork for a war in Iran.

  4. bob sykes says:

    “ultimately prevail”

    What can that possibly mean? We can bomb Iran back into the Stone Age, but Iran does not need a modern economy or military to close Hormuz. All they need do is fire a few land-based artillery and anti-ship missiles at a defenseless freighter or tanker. The insurance companies would do the rest–remove all commercial shipping from the Persian and Oman Gulf regions. That eliminates 20% of the World’s oil supply, and it would collapse the World’s economy, including our own.

    Asymmetric warfare would engulf the entire Middle East, including Israel, with its large native Arab population and its occupation of large Arab populations in Gaza and the West Bank.

    Iran has the upper hand here. We need to be very careful.

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @Mr Darcy
  5. nickels says:

    Let’s face it-when we impose sanctions on Iran, we are already at war with them.
    Just like we are already at war with Russia.
    Imbeciles, all who run this country.

  6. Paranoid thug Bibi to Trump:
    Destroy Iran for me or I will feed you to your domestic enemies.

  7. Oil is the vital strategic Western interest in the Persian Gulf. Yet a war with Iran would imperil, not secure, that interest.

    The American Empire’s only strategic three letter word interest in the Middle East is O — I –L.

    The WASP/JEW ruling class of the American Empire and the Jew-controlled Neo-Conservative faction in the Republican Party wants to elevate the three letter word J — E –W to paramount importance in the Middle East.

    OIL and only OIL should guide the policy making considerations of the American Empire in the Middle East.

  8. Avery says:


    Pretty clever.
    Looks like you coined a new word.

    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
  9. Miro23 says:

    The quick way to fix this would be to close down Washington (and New York) for a day, and use the opportunity to round up the Neo-Cons from the Think Tanks, government departments, lobbies and media offices.

    Once they are out of the way, the US people can make friends with the Russians and the Iranians, do the world a favour and save a few trillion dollars.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  10. Uncle Sam says:

    Trump is obviously engaging Iran to please his Jewish-in-law, who probably is laughing behind his back. During the presidential political campaign, Trump made clear that he was against regime change and that is why many people voted for him. He has gone back on that pledge, once again, to please his Jewish son-in-law. Beyond that, Iran is no threat to America and has nothing whatsoever to do with “making America great again”.

    Pat Buchanan vastly overestimates American military capabilities. Is he not aware of a war game with Iran conducted by the Pentagon back in 2002 wherein the American navy lost 16 ships including an aircraft carrier and 8 cruisers? The war game was even rigged to favor America, and we still lost. Moreover, the military equipment the Iranians have today is far more advanced than what they had in 2002. Wake up and smell the coffee Pat.

    There is no doubt in my mind that if there is a war with Iran the American Fifth Fleet would be decimated, as it would be hit by barrages of both subsonic and supersonic antiship cruise missiles along with the supercavitating 225 mph Hoot torpedoes (based on Russian technology). Not only that, American bases in that general area would be hit by numerous surface to surface missiles. And of course Israel would be attacked and destroyed.

    Since a land invasion of Iran is out of the question, because it would require at least a 2 million man army to even have a chance of being successful, that leaves the only option of an air/naval military campaign. Since the Fifth Fleet would be destroyed within a few days of that war, there would be no carrier launched aircraft. They would have to use land based aircraft which would have to go up against the S-300, TOR and other air defense systems. The losses would be enormous. The attacking aircraft that survive the air raids would have to fly back to bases under rocket attack by the Iranians. The attacking aircraft, both manned and unmanned, obviously would damage some of Iran’s military assets but not to the point that Iran would throw in the towel.

    If any of you recall that several years ago the Iranians downed a highly sophisticated American spy aircraft thru electronic means (It wasn’t shot down.). They took it apart, analyzed it and probably used its technology in their military equipment. This gives one an insight into their capabilities.

    If any of you think that a war with Iran would result in an American victory, you are living in a fool’s paradise.

    • Replies: @Aren Haich
    , @Realist
    , @Momus
  11. Avery says:
    @bob sykes

    Buchanan wrote “U.S., … would swiftly prevail.”, but your point is valid.

    Iran fought a desperate 8-year war with Iraq, and never surrendered.
    Iraq was supplied and assisted (e.g. satellite intelligence) by US, UK, etc. Iran basically had no air-force or any modern (for the time) military equipment. Iranian teenage boys volunteered by the 1,000s to walk over mine fields and clear them, so that valuable, experienced soldiers could be spared to fight Iraqi military. As a side note, Iraq is now Shia controlled and is allied with Iran.

    {Iran has the upper hand here. We need to be very careful.}

    Exactly. Unfortunately, neocons who run the WH and US foreign policy are not only evil, but are also recklessly stupid. One cannot underestimate their arrogant stupidity to plunge US and the region into another bloodbath.

  12. As it stands now, Trump has already lost. The people that won him the election, the independents and democrats that voted for him will not show up if he keeps on the path he is on.
    Unless he brings the troops home, all of them, makes peace with Russia, Iran, stops trying to push other nations around like in Venezuela, letting Wall St-Zionists use our military to make themselves richer while Americans that are already broke as fuk pay for it, droning and assassinating people who pose no threat to Americans, repeal Patriot act and all of the other anti-American laws that have been passed since the false flag of 9-11, those voters are not gonna show up to vote for another Bush-0bama puppet. Stop funding and arming Christian murdering terrorists for Israels benefit!
    People voted for him cause they thought he would be a fighter, he bends over every time the establishment and media starts throwing their fits, more sanctions, more MIC spending, going back on everything he said. We’re still stuck with crappy unaffordable “healthcare” that is bankrupting people left and right, while we give Israel and the MIC billions.
    If he pulls his nose out of Netanyahus, Wall st, and MIC’s ass and does the above he will win. If not he will lose.
    Yeah, I doubt it too.

    • Replies: @bluedog
    , @Blackdawg
  13. @Uncle Sam

    You make some very good points. The US military decision makers are also well aware of the perils of attacking Iran. They would resist risking a war with Iran on behalf of the neocons.
    The US administration’s war ploy is to intimidate Iran into an agreement to boost Trump’s standing with the voters in the Midterms2018.

  14. bluedog says:

    Trump won’t do a thing for Trumps a neocon himself,Trump was put in office by Jewish money in fact he is still taking it, and the fools who voted him in office are still waiting for the clown to keep his word on anything he promised…

    • Replies: @Harold Smith
  15. @Avery

    Eh, it was coined years ago.

  16. Realist says:

    War with Iran? I can not imagine a more foolish thing to do.

    War with Russia or China….or both.

  17. Realist says:
    @Uncle Sam

    Trump is obviously engaging Iran to please his Jewish-in-law, who probably is laughing behind his back.

    He is doing it to please his handlers the Deep State.

  18. Iran will be another one of those easy to get into, hard to get out of wars. I’m sure the US military will defeat the Iranian one within weeks at most. But then what?

    Iran is a huge, mountainous country. Israel doesn’t want it merely beaten, they want it to be smashed to pieces because of something or other the Persians did to the Jews millennia ago. So once again, the US will have to completely destroy a functioning, relatively modern country and then rebuild it and occupy it for decades to come.

    I doubt that many American soldiers would die but it will cost the US another couple of trillion dollars in debt to the Rothschilds. So the Jews win twice; another ancient enemy defeated at no cost to them AND the stupid, filthy goyim are even further in debt to them.

    Win/win for the Jews, lose/lose for America.

  19. Anon[350] • Disclaimer says:

    “The faster America dumps this crazy fascination with the Jews the faster it will get it’s act together and become a Country again.”

    We can only do that by seizing control of the media and redistributing it to ourselves and our supporters. It’s not right that two Jewish strong holds – NY and LA – get to control the entirety of the country’s media and entertainment industry.

    Why the hell is prime time CNN in NY instead of Atlanta (hint: to more easily control the narrative by staffing positions from a pool of people more likely to share certain beliefs). The NYT, The New Yorker, Hollywood, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, a host of think tanks and magazines, prominent websites…and basically everything else is in just two or three cities.

    We erred very badly in letting the enemy control the narrative machine. Instead of supporting corporate merges, we should be breaking them up. Instead of defunding public broadcasting, we should fund it and make it more appealing than the propaganda outlets like CNN, hurting our enemies by driving down their ratings and helping our cause in the process.

    We can follow this up by banning Israeli control organizations like the SPLC and the ADL.

    But unless we are willing to organize a viable opposition and take control away from the vermin who originally seized it from our people in the first place, nothing will change. Things will only get worse.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  20. Anon[350] • Disclaimer says:

    “War with Iran? I can not imagine a more foolish thing to do.”

    The entire left wing of the US has foamed at the mouth over the prospect of attacking the Russians at various points since 2012 or so, back when Putin was schooling their boy Obama (they still haven’t gotten over it). There is worse that could happen.

  21. @bluedog

    I don’t think “Jewish money” was much of a factor in getting Orange Clown elected. I think it may have actually tainted him and lowered his odds.

    What put Orange Clown in office was Obama’s attack on the Syrian Army at Deir Ezzor in Sept. 2016, and the escalation of tension with Russia, IMO. I believe it was the prospect of war with Russia that caused some antiwar democrats/Sanders supporters to hold their noses and vote for Orange Clown that swung the election to him.

  22. Trump should fire the warmongers.

  23. Virgile says:

    Jared Kushner is blowing up Trump’s chances. It is time Ivanka asks for divorce!

  24. nebulafox says:

    Hm… let’s think.

    1) An electorate that has soured on Wilsonian interventionism to the point that they managed to shut down talk of regime change in Syria back in 2013 unilaterally, despite being supported by both the White House and the opposition dominated Congress, to say nothing of mainstream media outlets high on the Arab Spring. And a President that was both nominated and elected not least because voters figured he’d be less likely than his opponents to go on military crusades abroad.

    2) A treasury that is trillions of dollars in debt. News flash to the GOP: wars be expensive, way more expensive than welfare programs.

    3) A country with a cohesive basis in culture/ethnicity that nobody else in the Middle East except for Israel has, three times Iraq’s population, and a far more functional/competent governmental apparatus, military, and special forces. Not to mention that this time around, there’s not going to be an oppressed majority sect fantasizing about toppling the regime and getting revenge, a la the Shi’a in Iraq.

    4) A military who hasn’t faced a serious opponent in a long time.

    5) Further confirming for the world-especially the people in Moscow and Beijing-that the Americans are a bunch of trigger-happy kids hell-bent on spreading their decidedly not-looking-very-good-from-a-distance political system around the world, and who should never, ever be taken at their word. Not to mention sending a message to Pyongyang to make sure we’re aware of the nuclear bomb so that we don’t decide KOREAN FREEDOM is next, and advertising to Muslims in general that the stereotypes of spoiled Saud princes and the Jews truly controlling things in Washington are all too true.

    Yeah, what could possibly go wrong?

  25. Rich says:

    First let me state that I’m opposed to war with Iran, but there is an argument, and it may be a neocon argument, but there is a legitimate argument for war with them.
    1. The Iranian army, navy and air force could probably be destroyed within a couple of weeks with air power alone.
    2. Iranian infrastructure, bridges, communications, transportation, could also probably be, at the least, severely damaged in an air attack. The US military could defang the Iranians and put them in a vulnerable position for years to come.
    3. Regime change, boots on the ground would be a grave mistake, although I believe the US would eventually prevail, the cost in lives wouldn’t be worth the fight.
    4. Because the US petrodollar is the world’s reserve currency, the US can keep printing to pay for all the replacement costs of military hardware, and even take other steps, like raising interest rates, to control inflation.
    5. Finally, a 20% increase in the cost of oil would make shale oil look cheap and would add millions of jobs to the US payrolls, making plenty of money for investors.

    I’m a vet myself, and opposed to sending more of our guys to a foreign country to die, but I could definitely see the chicken-hawks in DC win this argument.

  26. @18 > I’m sure the US military will defeat the Iranian one within weeks at most.

    True dat. And when, the US military defeats the Iranian one within weeks, then, the war will begin.

  27. WJ says:

    PJB is one of the best but it is simply amazing to recall how many people have written so many stories about how an Iran attack is imminent. Those stories have been out there since at least 2005 when GWB was about to launch an air campaign against Iran and the dire concern then was that US troops were vulnerable to retaliation in Iraq. Take a breath. It’s not going to happen. Trump knows it would be the end of his presidency. There are not enough neocons to offset the loss of deplorable support. And in fact, the neocons are still going to hate him. He sucks up to Israel, moves the Embassy and pulls out of the Iran deal and it gets him no where with them.

  28. Blackdawg says:

    I believe you underestimated the main reason Independents voted for Trump. Militant Marxists taking over the MSM, and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. If anything the attacks on Trump and ‘anybody but Hillary’ voters have gotten more and more pointed and aggressive. Do those voters care about Iran? No. Not to any significant degree when confronted by aggressive enemies of what remains of their culture right here in the US trying to take over the House in order to impeach Trump and to criminalize free speech (when it doesn’t favor their agendas). No ‘blue wave’ will materialize IMO. But even if it does, it’s going to get squashed by more of the same that it experienced in 2016. Can’t wait to watch them blame the Russians again while the wheels fall off of their little red wagons carrying their dreams of the fourth coming of Hillary.

  29. Dannyboy says:

    How is Iran a threat to the US again?

    Is it the same sort of “imminent” threat that Iraq posed?

    Ok, play the “fool me once” Dubya youtube here.

  30. Dannyboy says:

    Yes, if Trump attacks Iran, he will show himself as just another Jew Globalist tool, who could care less about the good of the American people.

  31. Momus says:
    @Uncle Sam

    And of course Israel would be attacked and destroyed


    How and by who? More likely Israel, which has the capability and motivation would do the destroying. They’ve been flying their F35’s around Iran undetected.

    • Replies: @Avery
  32. anastasia says:

    He will have his war during his second term, and then, he could not care less. They are gearing up now – economic sanctions that are imploding the economy, and protests in the street.

  33. Mr Darcy says:
    @bob sykes

    Agree with you in general, but am just wondering why people think that asymmetrical warfare by Iran would be confined to the Middle East? Suppose their sleeper cells in the US decided to shut down our power grid–something that can be done with few resources and little manpower. We already know that destroying fewer than ten electrical power substations would do the trick, and those are alongside rural roads everywhere in the country–“guarded” by modest chain-link fences and in plain view of the roads.

    But suppose that the critical substations have been hardened by our efficient and ever-forward-looking government bureaucrats. Simply knocking out substations “here and there” could shut down entire cities–no water, no banking, no payments system, no distribution system, no food in stores, etc., etc. That could be done quite easily in one night by a very small number of men. Shut off Chicago’s water supply. And Denver’s. Bring down a bridge at Baton Rouge and close the Mississippi to all traffic for months or even years. Etc. Does anybody really believe that the Iranians are not prepared to do these very things?

    I can’t think why people seem to think that Iran’s reaction would be confined to “the Middle East.” These are not stupid people.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  34. Avery says:

    {They’ve been flying their F35′s around Iran undetected.}

    How could _you_ possibly know that?
    You think Iranians would announce they had detected an F-35?
    Only Iranians know if they had detected F-35s or not.

    Remember the “stealth” US drone RQ-170 that Iran captured intact?
    How were they able to detect a stealth drone?
    And certainly a stealth drone is a lot harder to detect than a stealth fighter jet.

    • Replies: @Aren Haich
  35. @Avery

    Thank you.
    You make a very good point and argue convincingly for it.

  36. @Miro23

    Please include Los Angeles in the housecleaning. Please.

  37. @Anon

    Excellent point. My late father remarked that if FoxNews were smart and really wanted to BE independent and be SEEN as independent, they’d have their headquarters in the middle of the country, with no more staff than necessary in arrogant-traitor clusters like NY, DC, and LA.

  38. Bill Jones says: • Website
    @Mr Darcy

    One panel van of propane bottles exploding in the Lincoln tunnel would shut down the North Eastern us. That it hasn’t yet been done gives the lie to the Islamic terrorism myth.

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