Helen of Troy was apparently pretty hot, so while I’m not condoning it, you can at least sympathize with King Menelaus for launching a war on Troy when he lost her. But launching a war over a drone?
I know these war drones are expensive, and who knows, perhaps it is easy to get attached to one, but I really question whether there is any need to set the Middle East alight just because you’ve lost one.
It’s been reported that Donald Trump actually ordered military strikes in retaliation for Iran shooting one of its drones out of the sky, but then apparently changed his mind despite warplanes and ships having already been moved into position to strike.
First, put your administration’s hawks front and centre to start building the case, real or not, against your chosen foe which could be Iraq, or Iran, or anyone really.It’s clear that the US is concocting the conditions in which it can justify whatever it’s got planned for Tehran, it’s such a transparent and familiar process that it actually beggars belief that Washington still has the front to go through with it.
Trump is extremely lucky in this regard to have Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton at his beck and call. These guys are so hawkish they’ve got feathers. Unfortunately, you need a little bit more than this because Bolton, for example, would be launching airstrikes from Albania to Zimbabwe if he had the chance, so his word is not getting the public onside.
So, next increase the pressure by sending more warships and troops to surround Iran, making it almost impossible for it not to act in some way, out of self-respect if nothing else. Trump has sent an aircraft carrier group and more troops to the Gulf region which means it’s time to start changing the meaning of language to suit your purposes, such as deploying your forces thousands of miles, and calling it a ‘defensive move’.
And this is where we are. Pressure increased, accusations made, and dodgy evidence produced, all that’s needed now is a war-starting provocation and it’s good to go.Follow this by making a string of accusations, backed up by evidence so flimsy that even staunch allies find it a little hard to stomach. In this case the US accused Iran of bombing oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, which again has generally failed to convince, not least because it looks to be straight out of the Gulf of Tonkin playbook. That was the incident that led to Washington becoming more directly involved in Vietnam back in 1964, before history later taught us that it was used and manipulated to justify war. Still, it worked before, so there’s no reason to believe it won’t work again.
The shooting down of an American drone reportedly by Iran could have been just the moment Trump was waiting for. Or could it?
I think it’s fair to speculate that even with Pompeo and Bolton squawking in his ear, it would be a major stretch for a president to justify conflict and the loss of actual human life over a drone.
I would even suggest that pretending to launch a strike then pulling back, or at least telling the world that’s what happened, is just another ingredient in the recipe for war.
Wherever the truth lies, the scene is set and sometimes, the show must go on.
By Simon Rite