TAKE ON TRUMP'S WITHDRAWAL FROM THE NUCLEAR DEAL
This is now a fact: Trump withdrew
from the Iran Nuclear Agreement. The question is why. The reasons he gave in
his speech don't make any sense. They all have to do with Iranian's behavior in
the region, which is irrelevant to the nuclear agreement. Even when he gave
reasons relevant to the agreement like "the deal allowed Iran to continue
enriching uranium" or "the deal's inspection provisions lack adequate
mechanism" they were at best misleading or at worse totally false.
The real question is two-fold.
1. WHO pushed Trump to withdraw from
Remember Netanyahu's presentation on
April 30 in which he recycled old information! As Robert Malley (President and CEO at the International Crisis Group
in Washington, DC) said: “There is nothing new in Bibi's presentation." In my opinion,
Netanyahu's aim was to push Trump to leave the nuclear agreement with Iran.
2. WHY does Netanyahu want Trump to
pull out of the agreement?
To answer this question, we have to go
back to Iraq's
war. This is what I wrote about Iraq
back in 1995 when I was a UN resident translator/interpreter in Baghdad with UNSCOM (United
Nations Special Commission).
Unlike all the countries of the Arab
enjoys a unique situation: it has the three main ingredients that can transform
any country into a paradise. It has water, money, and manpower, and plenty of
all three. That makes Iraq's
potential unmatched in the Arab World. If we take Egypt, for instance, it has
manpower; it has water, with a caveat, however, since the water is unevenly
distributed; but it does not have money. If we look at Saudi Arabia, it (still) has money
and practically nothing else.
Having all three elements is necessary
for "making it": (1) the water from the two great rivers, the Tigris
and Euphrates, in addition to hundreds of canals dug between the two rivers and
beyond, as well other smaller rivers; (2) the manpower since it has a
population of 20 million with high level of education; and finally (3) the
money in the billions from its oil resources. Having all this, Iraq
can be a regional power, and more importantly, it can have an independent
political will and an independent foreign policy.
I might add that because of that, Iraq was able to develop a military
infrastructure that was considered a threat, mainly to Israel. Neo-conservatives in the W
Bush administration like Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy
Defense Secretary, Richard Perle, Assistant
Secretary of Defense and lobbyist, James Woolsey, former director of the CIA,
and Scooter Libby, Chief–of–Staff to Dick Cheney were all committed
Their main concern was to eliminate this threat. They invented the threat of
Weapons of Mass Destruction or WMD to justify an attack on Iraq. Now we know that WMD threat was
bogus but W bought into it and in 2003 did the dirty work for Israel by attacking Iraq.
Today, the history is repeating itself
The pro-Israel crowd that didn't like the Iran Nuclear Agreement strongly
criticized it and Netanyahu with the mic. in his hand like the baton of a conductor orchestrated the
whole thing. Dumb Trump, like W before him, bought his phony arguments.
Netanyahu's aim, like the neo-conservatives before him, is to have the U.S. do the dirty work for him and attack Iran.
The problem is that Iran today is not like Iraq in 2003. It is much bigger (80
million people), much stronger (it has developed weapons that Iraq did not have then) and it is
not a flat desert but has a difficult terrain. The attack on Iraq will look like a picnic compared to an
attack on Iran.
I would like to add that I am not the
only one who reached this conclusion. Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired army
colonel, wrote back in February 5 a column in the New York Times entitled: "I Helped Sell
the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again." The colonel did not
make the connection with Israel,
for Netanyahu's presentation came late, in April. While it is worth reading the
whole article, let me just quote the most relevant part to our discussion https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/05/opinion/trump-iran-war.html:
"As I look back at our lock-step
march toward war with Iraq, I realize that it didn’t seem to matter to us that
we used shoddy or cherry-picked intelligence; that it was unrealistic to argue
that the war would 'pay for itself,' rather than cost trillions of dollars;
that we might be hopelessly naďve in thinking that the war would lead to
democracy instead of pushing the region into a downward spiral.
"The sole purpose of our actions
was to sell the American people on the case for war with Iraq. Polls show that we did. Mr.
Trump and his team are trying to do it again. If we’re not careful, they’ll
On May 8, Colonel Wilkerson was the
guest on Chris Hayes All In show and this time he made the connection with Israel.
This is what he said:
"We're marching down the same
route we took in 2002 and 2003 with regard to Iraq,
but this time it's Iran.
I say it because I think that's what Mr. Netanyahu and his defense minister Avigdor Lieberman want.
"And I can understand the strategic
concern on the part of Israel.
but they don't want to do it themselves. They know
they would get mired like they did in '82 when they invaded Lebanon. They want us to bail them
out. And they see us as the only power that has the ability to affect a quick regime
change in Iran,
whether it's through bombing or invasion or the two together. And that's what
It is my hope that the adults around
the impulsive Trump will dissuade him from recklessly making the same mistake W
Bush made some fifteen years ago, resulting in killing a million Iraqi, more
than four thousands American soldiers and totally ruining a rich country like Iraq, let alone costing the U.S. treasury a trillion dollar.