Saturday, July 6, 2019

The solution to Trump’s Iran mayhem

  Undoubtedly, President Trump is fantasizing about the possibility of being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for deciding at the last minute to not bomb Iran in retaliation for Iran’s shoot-down of a Pentagon drone. Apparently experiencing a crisis of conscience, Trump called off the strike when he learned that it would kill an estimated 150 people, which he decided would be disproportionate to the downing of an unmanned drone.

  Meanwhile, Trump is not only continuing his brutal system of sanctions on Iran but actually ratcheting them up even more. His goal? To kill more Iranians through economic deprivation, either through starvation, illness, or domestic plane crashes arising from an inability to secure needed parts for maintenance and repair.

  Should the Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to a man who resolves his own crises and then chooses to kill innocent people with sanctions rather than bombs as a way to achieve a political end? Even a blind man can see that Trump’s actions toward Iran have been entirely belligerent, all with the aim of squeezing the Iranian citizenry and bullying their government officials into complying with his dictates or else face a “defensive” U.S. bombing attack.

  It’s helpful to remind ourselves of what happened here.

  Iran entered into a deal with the U.S. government under the presidency of Barack Obama. Pursuant to the deal, Iran would agree not to acquire nuclear weapons and the U.S. government would lift the brutal sanctions that were impoverishing and even killing the Iranian citizenry.

  Complying with the agreement, Iran gave up its nuclear weapons programs, fully expecting the U.S. government to comply with its end of the bargain by lifting its sanctions.

  Then Donald Trump entered the presidency and proceeded to immediately tear up the deal, knowing full well that Iran had complied with it with the expectation that the U.S. government would fulfill its end of the bargain. Not only did Trump not lift the sanctions; he doubled down and began enforcing them even more brutally than Obama had. In other words, Iran was double-crossed by the U.S. government operating under Trump. (I wonder if North Korean officials are noticing this.)

  Throughout this ordeal, Trump has presented himself as a good guy, saying that he’s ready to “negotiate” and calling on the Iranians to just sit down and talk. In the process of “persuading” Iranian officials to “negotiate,” Trump has played the classic role of the bully — doubling down on sanctions against the citizenry of a poor Third World country with the aim of forcing its government to sit down and submit to any terms that Trump dictates.

  Why would any regime want to sit down and “negotiate” under those circumstances, especially with a man who can’t be trusted to keep agreements entered into by U.S. presidents who have preceded him?

  To ratchet up the pressure, Trump has, at the same time, been doing everything he can to provoke an “incident” to justify a U.S. military attack on Iran, one that would enable him to exclaim, “We’ve been attacked! We’re innocent! We were just minding our own business! We are now just defending ourselves with our bombings of this impoverished, Third World country.”

  After all, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, those two tankers that got hit with explosives were over there in the Gulf of Oman, not over here in the Gulf of Mexico. What business is that of the U.S. military? Why, they weren’t even U.S.-owned tankers. Who died and made Trump and the Pentagon the policemen of the world?

  Moreover, regardless of whether that shot-down drone was in international airspace or Iranian airspace, the fact is that it was way over there, not over here along the Atlantic coast or in the Gulf of Mexico. What business does the U.S. government have flying military drones over there?

  The Iran mayhem goes far beyond Donald Trump. It should cause Americans to question the entire foreign policy/military paradigm under which the United States has been operating for more than a century, a paradigm based on empire, world policing, foreign interventionism, and national-security statism.

  America was founded as a limited-government republic and its founding foreign policy was non-interventionism in the affairs of other nations. In fact, if the American people had been told after the Constitutional Convention that the Constitution was bringing into existence a national-security state and a foreign policy based on foreign interventionism and world policing, they would have thought it was a joke. They would have summarily rejected the Constitution and just continued operating under the Articles of Confederation, a type of governmental system that they'd had for 13 years, one in which the federal government’s powers were so weak that it didn’t even have the power to tax.

  The problems began when the U.S. government abandoned its founding policies of a limited-government republic and non-interventionism and instead became a national-security state and embraced a foreign policy of empire and interventionism. This is what gave the country a huge, permanent military establishment, both domestically and in foreign countries. It also gave the nation assassinations, torture, coups, regime-change operations, alliances with dictatorial regimes, installation of dictatorial regimes, sanctions, embargoes, illegal invasions and occupations, undeclared wars, wars of aggression, terrorism, a war on terrorism, out-of-control spending and debt, and, of course, the destruction of American liberty and privacy.

  Therefore, a satisfactory resolution of the Iran crisis that Trump had initiated is just a short-term fix, just as the apparent resolution of the Korean crisis that he initiated is a short-term fix. Around the corner, there will be more crises, whether in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Vietnam, or somewhere else around the world. Empires and national-security states thrive on crises and mayhem.

  Moreover, it won’t make any difference if Trump is impeached or replaced in 2020 by a Democrat. That’s because all of these people subscribe to the same paradigm, one that is based on a national-security state and foreign empire, policing, and interventionism.

  There is but one solution to all this mayhem: Restore America’s founding principles of a limited-government republic and its founding foreign policy of non-interventionism. That’s the way to restore peace, prosperity, morality, harmony, normality, fiscal responsibility, and freedom to our land.

  About the author: Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

  This article was published by The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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