Aides Got Trump to Approve Iran Strikes Once and They Can Do so Again

"Planes were in the air and ships were in position" — Bolton, Pompeo and Haspel all pushed for blood

Over a flying spy machine

The New York Times reports that the Trump administration very nearly launched an attack on Iran tonight before the president changed his mind:

As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.

It is good that the president called off the insane plan to attack Iran, but there should never have been anything to call off. It is better that the president reversed himself at the last minute, but why was the reversal necessary?

said earlier that we would remain on the knife’s edge as long as Trump was committed to his bankrupt Iran policy, and tonight we can see just how thin the blade of that knife is. We very narrowly dodged the bullet of starting a war with Iran tonight, and it would have been a war started for the stupidest of reasons.

We happened to get lucky that Trump’s changeable nature worked in favor of stopping an illegal attack on Iran for the moment, but there is no telling if that will hold for more than a few days.

The fact that Trump had previously signed off on an unauthorized and unnecessary military operation is a damning indictment of his judgment and proof of his contempt for the Constitution and Congress. For all of his claims that he didn’t want war with Iran, he was initially willing to endorse unjustified military action against Iran without Congressional authorization and without any other legal justification.

It is not up to the president to launch an attack against another state. Trump had no authority to order an attack. This episode is a good example of why the decision on when and where the U.S. goes to war is not entrusted to the arbitrary whims of a single man. The Constitution gives Congress the authority to decide such things, and only they can make that decision.

This near-miss gives new urgency to the effort in Congress to repeal the 2001 AUMF and to block any funds for U.S. military action against Iran. The president’s advisers evidently prevailed on him to order an attack, and if they can do it once they can presumably do it again. The reversal tonight is at best temporary, and we would be extremely foolish to think that Trump has the fortitude or desire to withstand the pressure to escalate that the rest of his administration is putting on him.

Source: The American Conservative

The New York Times:

Mr. Trump’s national security advisers split about whether to respond militarily. Senior administration officials said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; John R. Bolton, the national security adviser; and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, had favored a military response. But top Pentagon officials cautioned that such an action could result in a spiraling escalation with risks for American forces in the region.

  1. David Bedford says

    When Donald Trump is the smartest in the situation room that is a very scary situation.

  2. JustPassingThrough says

    interesting news:

    “According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected
    a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be
    allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by
    Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and
    Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent
    its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf

  3. John C Carleton says

    The decision to do further war crimes by attacking Iran or not, is not within the authority of Trump.

    On paper it is, sort of if one ignores the constitutional requirement for a Commander in Chief to have to get a declaration of war from congress before starting hostilities, and the fact of Mossad attacking oil tankers half way around the world from America, which were not American flagged ships, is not an attack on America.

    Attacking America is what Israhell did at New York, 11 September, 2001.
    So when is Trump ordering the bombing of Tel Aviv?

    In reality the decision it is not up to the Anti-America, Israhell Firster Trickster Trumpster.
    That decision comes from the puppeteer who’s arm is up Trumps backside, making his lips move.

    Trump is a really bad reality star of cheap production shows, who has bankrupted so many business the RothsRats had to bail him out, and therefore own his rather large and saggy behind, Lock, Stock, and Barrel.

  4. Séamus Ó Néill says

    The New York Times, isn’t that one of those irrelevant MSM “newspapers” that doesn’t use any journalistic endeavour but just invents stories and prints anyway ?

    1. Marko Marjanović says

      Yupp that’s the one but even a broken clock is right twice a day

  5. mijj says

    or maybe Iran is being stressed.
    The theatre to be replayed until Iran breaks.

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