War Drums: Trump’s National Security Advisor Threatens Iran

It wasn’t hard to see this coming. President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, delivered a clear threat to the government of Iran today, ominously stating that “as of this day, we are officially putting Iran on notice.” What is less clear is the the General’s rationale for issuing the threat.

Flynn cites two justifications for bringing the US on war footing against Iran. Both are dubious. First, he blames Iran for a recent attack on a Saudi naval vessel carried out by Houthi forces in Yemen. According to Flynn, because the Houthis are backed by Iran – itself a specious claim – it is Iran that is actually responsible for the attack.

Even if it were true that the Houthis are Iranian proxies, this kind of guilt-by-association reasoning gets quite awkward when considering what some US-backed rebels in Syria have done with US-provided weapons and training. Like beheading young boys.

What Flynn fails to mention is that Saudi Arabia has been attacking neighboring Yemen since 2015, with US assistance, leaving tens of thousands killed and injured and the Middle East’s poorest country in the midst of devastating famine. Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen was unprovoked, initiated only to force Riyadh’s preferred leader onto its southern neighbor. Under Flynn’s logic, it is perfectly fine for Saudi Arabia to initiate a genocidal war of aggression against another country. But the victim of the attack had better not fight back or the United States will blame yet a third country that has nothing to do with it.

And these are the experts?

The second reason for putting Iran at the top of Flynn’s hit list: Over the weekend Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile which Flynn claims violates the P5+1 negotiated and UN-backed Iran nuclear deal. UN Security Council Resolution 2231 “calls on” Iran to not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, but this section has been interpreted as a request rather than a prohibition. There are no specific provisions in the nuclear deal that explicitly prevent Iran from testing a missile.

In fact, Iran has tested several ballistic missiles since the nuclear agreement was signed but this time the US reaction is far different. Iran has been “emboldened,” said General Flynn, by an Obama Administration that was “weak and ineffective” in its dealings with Iran. He went on to lament that Iran has not been “thankful to the United States for these agreements.”

Flynn’s subordinates have long complained of his aggressive style, including a demand after the 2012 Benghazi attack on a CIA facility that analysts find some link to Iran. This pressure to “stove-pipe” intelligence to suit a predetermined policy is eerily reminiscent of the methods used to push the 2003 Iraq war. He was fired from his previous job as Defense Intelligence Agency chief for, reportedly, his extremely hostile views toward Iran.

Adding together President Trump’s call to the Saudi king, where they discussed Iran’s “destabilizing” actions, and a preemptive war authorization bill languishing in the US House, the current danger of a US strike on Iran is just an accident – or a false flag – away.

Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

  • im cotton

    That didn’t take long.

  • “as of this day, we are officially putting Iran on notice.”

    What does that even mean?

    • esolesek

      It’s a ten-day notice. Either turn down your stereo, stop smoking crack, or you get evicted. He’s giving notice of what an idiot he is.

  • dieter heymann

    Until now it has been only Netanyahu who used threatening language against Iran. He has now been joined by our President. A marriage of convenience.

    • Rob Grune

      sad, but likely true.

  • Don

    “Such actions, if they took place, do not breach the resolution,” Sergei Ryabkov, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, told Interfax news agency, saying demands for UN talks were aimed at “heating up the situation”.

    Quoted from the story that is up on RT.

    Maybe Russia/Putin will give us their position on this US sabre rattling tomorrow?

    Judging from What Russia has said about the talks between Putin and Trump, there is really no likelihood of this being a trade-off for concessions to Russia. Although there’s always the possibility that Trump’s propagandists may try to spin it that way.

    One thing for sure, the American people are hugely in favour of war with Iran.

    • wbilct

      “One thing for sure, the American people are hugely in favour of war with Iran.”
      I, for one, am not!!!
      I’m for a nuremberg type trial with Bush and Cheney in the docket. Maybe that will change U. S. behavior.

      • Mr. Sandman

        Add Obama and Clintons and Bush 41 to that docket. Let’s get them all.

      • Don

        I’m not either but I’m not so naive to believe that I’m in the small minority, even in my own country!

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  • Karsten V. Johansen

    The practical difference between the two halfs of the US two-in-one-party-dictatorship is once again shown to be none-existent.

  • armdkny

    More fear mongering. Anyone who believes the US will attack Iran without serious blow back from the the Russians needs to get their heads examined. Meanwhile, in Eastern Ukraine…

    • Don

      That’s so true and it’s the premise we are going to have to build upon.
      I feel it’s without a doubt that tough talk will start coming from Trump. It will then be the time for the antiwar side to start using their tactics and to begin installing fear into the minds of Americans who are so gung-ho with their support of Trump.

      That time comes when Russia (Putin) starts to talk back a bit. It’s coming soon, starting with mild suggestions on Iran.

      • BrotherJonah

        Trump has a way of “intestinal penetration” on his friends. comrades. Business partners. Customers of course, but if Putin is friendly now, he probably isn’t going to be used and abused and casually cast aside. He’s not stupid nor ill-educated. Let the Fake News conundrum settle itself out, but without any moral judgment for or against Putin, the practical effect is: Trump should not cheat him, but probably will.

        I should mention that the Project for the New American Century did have exactly the plan as shaping up now, in two years the children who were born after 9/11 will be eligible to enlist or be drafted, and all their education past baby-talk has been directed by the Neos. Who gleefully promised, long before 9/11, that they would use any terrorist attack on the US would be blamed on Iraq, they would make sure of it, the civil rights Americans like to speak about them being inviolate would be violated.

        And they would be able to raise up two generations of Americans who had never actually possessed constitutional rights. They promised to encircle Russia and China militarily and economical. They might not succeed. But they sure will make an unholy rowdy mess trying.

        And Trump is deep in bed with the Neos. I don’t see “outsider” beyond his propaganda networks mythology.

        • Don

          Wise words. Stay safe. Maybe we’ll exchange ideas another time and another place. Right now, I’m outta here as a commenter.
          Don

  • oceancrossing@sbcglobal.net

    Thank God for Donald Trump. BUT he is make a fatal error in not making peace with Iran, and pursuing commerce, trade, and tourism with this powerful nation.
    It may well be his Achilles’ heel. The origin of this stupidity is the idea that the opposition of Israel to Iran is an American national interest. It is not. Pray that we will come to our senses before Israel causes great harm to come to us.

    • wbilct

      A great comment except for this, “Thank God for Donald Trump”.

    • wars r u.s.

      Was that first sentence sarcasm?

      • doodaa

        Better “Thank God” it wasn’t Hillary. The whole world would be her toilet. That means me and you.

  • Well, you can “demand” anything you like. “Demanding” something and getting it are two different things entirely.

    • Don

      Very true Thomas but together we would have the force to make it happen. I think that would also require your support though, as you have the control it would take to make it succeed. Or to kill it.

      It’s most likely that Raimondo is feeling like he’s on very shaky grounds now, and while he’s never going to be likely to make an apology and admit he’s been wrong, it’s possible that he will stop it if pressured to do so.

      • I have precisely zero authority or influence over Raimondo, nor do I want either.

        • Don

          I know you have no influence over Raimondo. But you have influence over what is discussed on the rest of these boards.

          You’ve got three choices the way I see it. You can remain silent, you can work to put down any protesting against Raimondo’s support of Trump, or you can aid in the cause to silence him on that issue alone.

          Take a couple of days to decide. Or don’t decide and let us figure it out ourselves by the tone of your posts.

          • In order to remain silent, I would have had to be silent in the first place. When I disagree with Raimondo or anyone else, I feel free to say so.

            I’m closer to being the person who runs Antiwar.com than you are or ever will be, but unlike you I’m not nuts enough to convince myself that I do run it or am going to run it. If your input is discussed by the people who DO run it, it will go something like this:

            “The editorial director who’s been our main columnist for 20 years says X. Some guy who showed up a few months ago and has so far been completely wrong about pretty much everything says Y. Who should we go with here?”

          • Don

            Thank you for stating your position of support for Raimondo.

            From: The only guy who voiced an opinion that Raimondo was wrong 6 months ago. And got banned from commenting on his posts for saying that he supported Trump. And also got banned by you a few times for saying so. That would be, before you started to get it right, you as-hole. (damn, there I go again) (trusting too much in a libertarian’s bullsh-t claims on freedom of expression)

          • No, you weren’t banned for saying Raimondo supported Trump. Your ban had nothing whatsoever to do with Raimondo. It had to do with your over-the-top expression of personal disrespect to another commenter here. Like I said, I didn’t think the offense was ban-worthy, but I was overruled.

            I’m not sure where you think I made any claims on “freedom of expression.”

            If you think the site “no longer serves any useful purpose,” then leave. If you continue to act as if you need assistance finding the door, you’ll get it.

          • Don

            I came back looking for the door but just wanted to tell you to go fuck yourself before I leave. I would say, that my leaving is your loss, but I don’t believe you’re here to serve any antiwar purpose. Your sense of self-importance and your vanity will only continue to alienate and chase away anyone who voices sincerity toward the antiwar cause. You need the spotlight shining on yourself and that makes you incapable of any concerted effort in cooperatin with others.

            (fwiw, your supposed libertarian agenda is all about freedoms but you choose to live with that lie)

          • Bye! Have a nice life!

    • Douglas Bonham

      I’ve been on this site for 17 years, and never heard anybody dump on Justin Raimondo like that. Wonder who the heck this demander is? Pretty doctrinaire fer sure, and likely not fit to tie Justin’s shoes etc etc. Maybe an “Ignore” button is indicated…..

  • Ahmed Asgher

    You’d think on week one, Trump admin would want to get a handle on running US affairs, instead of making threats to foreign countries. So, what has changed? And is this how to make America great, yet again??

  • Rob Grune

    nothing to do with missiles, but everything to do with Iran’s desire to dump the petrodollar.

  • Ray_Gordon

    This is all part of the ” Israelization ” of U.S. foreign policy, that caused us to be attacked on 9/11. caused us to start a disastrous war in Iraq, and has us one provocation away from a more insane war in Iran, a country that does not threaten U.S. national interests but is unfriendly to Israel. We should be trading and talking to Iran, not threatening them.

  • Mr. Sandman

    How stupid can this country be? Haven’t we already killed enough middle easterners? How’s that working out for U.S.? Even though I voted for and support Trump, he did campaign as one who would keep us out of senseless foreign conflict.

    Yeah, let’s kill millions more people we don’t know for reasons no one will truthfully explain, create another 5 million refugees and teach our children to speak Persian.
    I give up.

  • esolesek

    I can’t blame Raimondo for dumping on Hillary, but his support of Trump is typical libertarian delusion. Trump is as much an insider as the Clintons. Fact is, he’s an empty suit anyway. This Flynn guy is a typical right-wing warmonger, prob knows some neocons, who have been quite invisible lately. Libertarians live in a dream world anyway. Such a clueless philosophy.

    • Don

      I hear you but I tend to lean toward not alienating the libertarians here on this site. They’re harmless to the antiwar cause as long as they don’t try to take the place of the antiwar agenda.

      As an example, I think Ron Paul is a very valuable ally, regardless of his politics.

    • It’s delusion, sure. But not libertarian delusion.

      • Don

        All libertarians are delusional and running around expecting a pie falling from the sky, but they usually grow out of it in adulthood. Others stick around smelling up the place for our entertainment.

        A pox (tax) on your head!

        luv from Canada.

  • CJ

    Wow, I am so glad I didn’t vote for that warmongering Hillary Clinton…

    • doodaa

      LOL…same shit, different head……

  • Bastiat

    Donald Trump better rein in his national security advisor. It does America no good to be puppets of the Saudi regime, and to engage in warmongering rhetoric against Iran.

  • Yoto Dau

    Stupid americans starting wars all over the world, on behalf of the jews.

    • Don

      It’s not on behalf of the Jews. That’s only an excuse because no other excuse will sell to the American people as well.

      Having said that, I would also add that nearly anything the US wants to sell to the people for justifying another war is likely to work.

      The ‘stupid’ in it is the people buying into the facade of it being to protect Israel. Getting over that would most likely yield some real progress.

  • Flynn’s a tit.

  • BrotherJonah

    This was discussed 15 years ago and it was noted that Iraq only had 20 million citizens and roughly 1/5th the land mass. There are, by UN count, in Tehran province there’s 25 million people. Make that a quick third of the country’s population.
    2,266,883 or 1% minus a few hundred thousand of the population of the US in the “our” military. Terrain really damned mountainous. Borders include India, Russia, Turkey, Afghanistan and India. India has more Muslim citizens than Iraq.

    India has nukes.
    Pakistan has nukes.
    China and Russia, don’t have to mention it. Oh, and China is real close as well. Also Turkey, which is NATO. I remember that quite pointedly because when the Cyprus war was hot the Greek and Turkish soldiers stationed at Ft Bliss El Paso Texas had to be restrained from fighting their war on an American Military Installation.

    Iran could be defeated IF nuclear hell-fire is poured upon them.

    But who seriously believes the Neighbors who might consider themselves to be under attack simply by being near enough to catch fallout, literally, would just give the U.S. a big grin and a thumbs up?

    My take on it is anybody even considering opening that particular 55 gallon drum of Whoopass and pouring it all over himself is a nut job. Or has a 200 ft deep bunker in which he believes he’ll survive. Which is really an extension of the immediately prior sentence

    Dr Strangelove was a parody, brilliant and not even reached the level of Crazy involved in the MAD deterrent. We need to have a real dialog with our “leaders” and if they don’t agree voluntarily we can actually do it the involuntary way. Like the way the Revolutionary Guard negotiated with the Shah.

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  • aarky

    Does Flynn even realize that Russia will back Iran in a pissing contest with the US. Flynn should be reminded that Iran has lost 1000 soldiers in it’s mutual fight against ISIS and he should tell the Israelis to shut the H up with their BS.

  • Oscar Madison

    I just happened by accidentally. As soon as I realized this is a “Libertarian” shithole I’m banning myself. Fuck off you poor ass Republicans with a bong.

  • doodaa

    Oh shit. Now Donald Trump is Netnyagoos bitch? Looks like it.