American Presidents love going to war. Outside of Jimmy Carter, it would be impossible to find an American President who didn’t start or expand a war in some fashion since World War II. While the reasons and lies behind them may change, war is assured. The Military Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned everyone about has fallen into the lap of Donald Trump. It is looking more and more that Trump will harness its might to go to war with Iran and its people.
Last Friday President Trump took the first step toward war by not re-certifying the multi-national deal that effectively prevents Iran from perusing nuclear weapons. Although Iran is complying with all aspects of the deal so far, Trump passed the responsibility down to Congress with an ultimatum.
Either change the deal to his own liking or he will kill the deal himself. Even if a miracle happens and Congress passes something in Trump’s taste, Iran, not to mention the co-signees of the deal, are sure to refuse any alterations. Either way, on the American side at least, the deal will die.
“In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated,” Trump said. “It is under continuous review and our participation can be cancelled by me, as president, at any time.”
Meanwhile, the president also announced he had ordered the US Treasury to impose new sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Trump has labelled the IRGC as a backer of terrorist groups in the region. However, the state department did not designate the IRGC as a terrorist group itself… Yet.
Talk of designating the IRGC as a terrorist group has been circulating within the Trump Administration for months. While it looks like it has been put on hold for the moment, I would bet we see it once again when the United States cancels the Iran Deal.
Labelling the military branch of a sovereign nation as a terrorist organization has never been done before. After all, there are few active armies in the world that don’t terrorize innocent people. When it comes to funding terror, there is little difference for example, between providing arms to resistance fighters and providing billions of dollars in military aid to a government occupying foreign land.
Nevertheless, branding the IRGC a terrorist group in this case may allow Trump to invade or at least attack Iran as he chooses. He may not even need congress’ backing. Following the September 11 attacks, Congress declared “war on terror” by passing The Authorization for Use of Military Force Act (AUMF). It states:
“The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons.”
Under this broad declaration of war, if the President decides that military action is desired, simply designating a country’s military as a terrorist organization may be all that is required. President Bush may have gotten congressional approval for invading Iraq, but neither him, nor Obama or Trump have done the same for drone strikes in seven sovereign countries. Obama used this same declaration of war bill to justify the bombing campaign in Libya. It can be said that Trump also used it for his rocket strike on Syria, but I don’t recall him saying as much.
Unfortunately, the path to war with Iran is right in front of us. Pay no mind to North Korea, American Presidents tend to pick on the easier targets. It may take a little time but it’s coming. Trump may even time it to coincide with the 2018 or 2020 elections. Who knows.
Hopefully, unlike Iraq, Trump will receive less help from the American Media and less support from the international community. In fact, nothing short of international condemnation of the mere though of another conflict in the Middle East will do.
For better or worse, Iran is living up to their end of the deal. There is no doubt that their people suffer at the hands of their religious rulers and deserve the freedom the United States once took from them. Bombing them back to the stone age, Trump style, won’t bring that freedom, only more death, destruction and a more destabilized region.