Trump for Shah.
Because assassinating Suliemani is just not provocative enough, Trump is following a “strategy” intended to achieve a consequence-free objective by goading Iran into some major retaliatory attack against the US. An aerial bombing campaign is the current threat, however empty.
The US is good at air superiority and bombing campaigns, even if no-fly zones like those in Libya and Iraq have had deleterious effects on populations while softening up countries for invasion or diplomatic negotiations.
Like one of his fascist heroes, Trump now threatens Iran with a version of the Baedeker Blitz of WWII.
Presumably the number of 52 was chosen because he thinks that if he pretends to bomb one cultural site a week, that Iran will capitulate with regime change resulting in secular revolution. That wet dream of the MeK taking over Iran is no different than the “welcomed as liberators” invasion of Iraq.
Trump thinks that because the target list is cultural sites rather than nuclear or military facilities, that this continues a strategy of “maximum pressure” even if such destruction constitutes war crimes.
Since Trump is a philistine and not King Cyrus, no one will care if “cultural” sites get destroyed, especially since this fits in the End Times plan of the Trump evangelical base. Never mind the risk of WWIII,or that threatening cultural sites makes Trump no different than Daesh or the Taliban.
The Trumpian bet is that as long as the GOP controls most of the government, all those libtards will be too busy hand-wringing over whatever Iranian proxy terror strike occurs. The bet is that Americans will fall in line behind US military retaliation, because Trump is advancing the American Enterprise Institute’s plan for a New Middle East Order.
To the ignorant Trumpian base, destruction of such Iranian sites means nothing unless it yields a casus belli – a major terror attack at the scale of 9/11. They’ll claim it’s not related to the dominance of Western Civilization so who cares about Persia or whatever. More complicated will be the role of Saudi Arabia among others if Trump pretends that there’s a “coalition of the willing” to ensure pacification of Iran.
Trump is just serving his many masters including John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani and their benefactors the MeK cult, aka National Council of Resistance of Iran. And assuming Trump proceeds with this war plan Trump will have proven himself to be a Cultural Tankie for the MeK.
Remember how well that’s worked out using external dissident groups to rationalize invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan and their subsequent provisional governments. Except in this case Trump’s destruction of culture will be a goal sought no different than the Crusades or the Taliban in claiming some perverse hegemony.
In the Trumpian mindset, Iranians should just vacate their cultural sites to reduce casualties in the forthcoming air raids. This ignores Iran’s advanced air defenses in place as well as a doctrine that still requires bombing communications infrastructure before bombing culturally strategic targets. Trump would be stupid to do any of this but he has proven that he is just that stupid.
The State Department is apparently eager to broadcast President Trump’s threat to bomb Iran’s cultural sites to Iranians as quickly as possible: https://t.co/sJ7gM33pTb
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) January 5, 2020
The RWNJ pipedream continues and Donald Trump is their vessel for what seems to be an oncoming opportunity to wreak revenge for the Islamic Revolution’s removal of the Shah. Because the American Enterprise Institute thinks it’ll work, never mind what Iranians want. This could be the right’s last chance to bring back the Shah or something, something. Just like all that winning in Iraq because of WMDs. And then there’s that “taking the oil” favored by Trump.
(2018) Change is coming to Iran, but it has nothing to do with either the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also called the Iran Deal) or the Trump administration’s sanctions regime. Indeed, while U.S. policymakers debate cooption and coercion at the best strategies to change Iran’s behavior, neither the Trump administration nor its opposition is prepared for the regime change Iran faces: The death of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The supreme leader is the ultimate power in Iran. Constitutionally, he is the commander-in-chief of the Iranian armed forces. Theologically, he is alsonayeb-e Imam (deputy of the Messiah). While diplomats focus on Iran’s elected leaders and their appointees—President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, for example—the supreme leader monopolizes all substantive decisions. He rules for life.
Khamenei’s life is nearing an end. In 2014, Khamenei had surgery for prostate cancer. Authorities used Khamenei’s account to tweet out a photo of the supreme leader in the hospital, likely an attempt to begin preparing the Iranian public for the inevitable. Khamenei recovered, but today he is 79 years old, and old age is taking its toll. So too is the legacy of a 1981 assassination attempt. When Khamenei dies—whether in a month, a year, or five years, the Islamic Republic will face an unprecedented crisis.
After nearly forty years of life in an Islamic Republic, most Iranians are tired. Protests which erupted last December continue intermittently, and labor unrest is growing. If Khamenei’s death takes protests to the next level and makes regime change inevitable, what would be the U.S. position? Is Washington prepared to advocate that the Islamic Republic’s civil service will remain, to ensure them that change would not undermine their financial security and perhaps even catalyze positive regime change?
The United States is home to the freest and most prosperous Iranian community on earth. Iranian-Americans are human capital, capable of helping Iran transition even if they must first give up their dreams of governing or supplanting those Iranian civil servants who have arisen under the Islamic Republic. But what has the White House or State Department done to organize and rally them? A referendum ushered in the Islamic Republic. Would Washington support a referendum to restore a constitutional democracy such as Iran briefly enjoyed at the beginning of the twentieth century? What would the wording of that referendum question be? Would the United States support a constitutional convention for Iran? If so, under what parameters?
Let’s not forget. Democrats had Iran at the negotiating table. They had negotiated JPCOA which prevented Iran nuclear miniturization. They had UN inspectors access. Republicans screwed it all up. Pulled out of JPCOA and Syria. Donald Trump’s inept foreign policy is now to blame
— 😷💉♻️🇺🇸 Christopher Zullo (@ChrisJZullo) January 4, 2020