Friday 10 January 2020


'We want to own Iran like we owned it when we had the Shah in power, and nobody’s going to be happy until that happens.' Ron Paul, in an interview on Wednesday.

'You like Donald Trump and why do you like him? Because he's a game changer. He’s a once in a century kind of leader.' Greg Gutfeld, American TV personality.

'Love or hate him, Trump has used military force less than any other president since Jimmy Carter.' New York Times today.

'The elimination of Soleimani was not a prelude to deeper US involvement in the Middle East. It was a farewell letter. Always admitting the fickleness of contingency, it
nonetheless looks as though Donald Trump will go down as the man who catalyzed the United States economy, who brought unemployment down to historic lows, who goosed real wages, especially at the lower levels, who made important inroads against the stultifying miasma of the the regulatory state while also resuscitating the US military, curbing illegal immigration, and — just now — extricating the United States from foreign involvements that help no one but our enemies.' Roger Kimball in The Spectator yesterday. 

[I hope very much that he is right but am by no means sure.]

I’m far from a Trump supporter.

But impossible not to call Iran outcome a win for US president and a big opportunity going forward. 2:17 PM - Jan 8, 2020

'Trump does gain from his willingness to order the killing of Soleimani, the senior Iranian security official orchestrating the Iranian campaign of limited attacks on US allies that escalated dramatically last summer. While seeking to retain deniability, Iran was clearly behind the harassment of shipping in the Gulf and, above all, the drone and missile strikes on Saudi oil facilities in September. The US had been weakened in the Middle East by Trump’s lack of response to these attacks and unwillingness to defend allies. The conviction had grown that he would never risk a war. The killing of Soleimani shows that he is. The Iranian ballistic missile strikes on two US bases in Iraq, Erbil in Kurdistan and al-Asad in the western desert, were clearly symbolic, pre-announced and geared not to hurt anybody. Significantly, the US did not, so far as it is known, try to shoot the missiles down or retaliate. Iran sent multiple messages through third parties that this was the beginning and end of their military retaliation for the death of Soleimani.'
Patrick Cockburn in The Independent last night. 

[This makes sense. Mr Cockburn is right that what matters is what Iraqi and Iranian public opinion feel about the killing. We shall see. I do not agree with him elsewhere in the article from which I quote that it will be difficult for the USA and Iran to avoid war, as it's the last thing either wants.]

No comments:

Post a Comment