Skip to comments.Contain Iran? Trump Should Copy Reagan.
Posted on 05/16/2018 7:27:26 AM PDT by ChicagoConservative27
ABU DHABI -- Arab leaders love the idea that President Trump is ready to give Iran a punch in the nose. But is this White House truly serious about challenging Iranian power in the Middle East? The evidence is mixed, at best.
I heard passionate enthusiasm for Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal from prominent Arabs gathered here last weekend for a conference sponsored by the Beirut Institute. They know that scuttling the nuclear deal could be dangerous, and that the region is already a powder keg. But many Arab leaders don't seem to care.
To put it bluntly, they like the idea that Trump is willing to stick it to Tehran. Though they expect an Iranian counterpunch, they're not as worried about it as you might expect. Several prominent Arabs predicted that Tehran will eventually bend to pressure, if there's a united front.
Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and hardly a shoot-from-the-hip hothead, argued that maybe the Iranians will react like North Korea's Kim Jong Un, "who seems to have accepted Trump's 'bigger button.'" Facing Trump's demand for concessions on the duration of the nuclear agreement, Iranian missile programs and regional meddling, "Iran might change its mind," he told the conference.
(Excerpt) Read more at realclearpolitics.com ...
If I wanted a Sunni Muslim in the White House I would have voted for Lindsey Graham or Jeb Bush.
Reagan sent weapons to Iran. I don’t think Trump should do that.
Basically, if you continue the economic boycott idea (forcing the EU to play), then the Iranian banks will go through a merger process by the end of 2018, to survive. Getting out of 2019? I think they’d have to approach the IMF to find enough cash before the merger results prove lacking enough for success. In other words, all the stuff that Greece and the Greek banks went through in 2015...will occur in Iran.
Money-laundering-wise, go browse around....dozens of banks have been caught, and it all leads to charges and fines.
Go look at efforts by the upper-class and wealthy in Iran, to hustle money out of the country...avoiding the internal banks (public and state-run). UAE got pushed around to stop smuggling fund operations last week.
Whether the Mullahs can grasp that or not....there’s probably only going to be ten-odd banking groups running the money-business by the end of this year. If the EU do not restructure this deal or get the US back to the table...there will be a Greek-like fall (like in 2015) and someone will have to come in to save them (IMF-like).
Reagan had the Navy sink an Iranian frigate, a gunboat, and assorted small craft when they got out of line and threatened safe passage of merchant ships.
Let them either murder one another or find a way to co-exist peacefully - on their own dime.
We know the answer
Play the tapes of the Red Carpet gilt laden Trump visit to Riyadh.
That visit told the tale. There is an American effort to strengthen the alliance with the Arabs to eliminate Iran.
How that will be done is secret
He also sent weapons to Iraq. They were at war with each other and the unofficial policy was to give them wahtever they needed to degrade each other's warfighting capabilities.
Plus, they were Hawk AAA missiles and TOW antitank missiles selected from lots that had high defect rates and were rejected as unsuitable for US use. In return for the trade, the US orchestrated a peaceful regime change in Nicaragua, replacing communist dictator Daniel Ortega with democratically-elected Violeta Chamorro.
To: drop 50 and fire for effect
"Reagan had the Navy sink an Iranian frigate, a gunboat, and assorted small craft when they got out of line and threatened safe passage of merchant ships.
There were several such operations under the rubric of Operation Earnest Will.
“In other words, all the stuff that Greece and the Greek banks went through in 2015...will occur in Iran.”
You are right to point to the banking system as a center of gravity in the conflict with the Iranian regime.
Unlike Greece though, I don’t see anyone with deep pockets willing to throw good billions after bad, at an Iranian regime completely configured to pilfer the banks dry.
Venezuela is a better model of what happens when the money supply runs dry without bailout.
Unlike Venezuela however, Iran’s banks are already hollow zombies, long since gutted of assets by the mullahs, regime cronies and Revolutionary Guards officers. So collapse will likely be more sudden.
The likely only way to avoid that fate, or worse, will be to string those mullahs up with their own well-worn hangmen’s ropes, and cut a new deal.
When King Salman had that early grand meeting with President Trump, they inaugurated a new coalition planning and coordination center. Another US Israeli center was established a few months later.
Also a key player in the Riyadh meeting, was the Egyptian President - commander of the largest Sunni Arab Army. Egypt could play a role in countering Iran in Yemen, or Syria (where Egyptian troops could be acceptable to both Syrian and Russian Governments, based on long relations).
What were they planning?
I'd rather see Al-Sisi's Egypt as the main power broker representing Sunni Arabs. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Egypt's de facto military dictatorship is secular to the core and not beholden to radical clerics. Unfortunately, Egypt doesn't have the oil wealth necessary to be the region's main power broker, although as you note Egypt has the Arab world's largest standing army.
“I’d rather see Al-Sisi’s Egypt as the main power broker representing Sunni Arabs.”
Unfortunately for now, money talks, and the Gulf Arabs have the money.
Egypt’s economy suffered terribly during the Obama years. The political turmoil of the Muslim Brotherhood takeover and coup got a lot of press. It is less well known that Egypt’s previously above average GDP growth rate totally tanked. It was kind of a lost decade for most Egyptians. Tourism tanked - Sharm el Sheik traffic dropped 90% after terrorists dropped a Russian plane full of tourists.
Strategically, it does seem to make sense to cultivate growth in the Egyptian economy, if only to prevent unrest.
——Another US Israeli center was established a few months later——
I think that the level of colonels, there has been GCC/Israeli military alliance for several years. That is now at the working level of the Generals on a day to day basis. Where? God only knows. It’s very very secret.
Recall if you will, that years ago, Saudi Arabia allowed Israeli over flights to attack Iran. That never happened but there was a cooperative effort.
Regarding Egypt...... you are of course absolutely correct.
Here’s the deal.
Iran has attacked Israel with missiles from Syria. Direct Iranian assault
Iran is now attacking Israel from Gaza via Hamas as a surrogate
Iran has attacked Riyadh with missiles from Yemen with the Houthis as transparent surrogates.
It is past time for Israel and Saudi Arabia to directly attck the Iranian mainland.
I don’t think Iran has the military wherewithall to come out ahead
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