July 28, 2018

President Donald Trump and his neocon advisors have been trying to provoke a war with Iran and Syria for many months.

The neocons are echoing Cato the Elder’s cry, ‘delenda est Carthago!’.  Iran must be destroyed.

So far, Tehran and its ally Damascus have refused to respond to US naval and air incursions or Israel’s growing air attacks in Syria. But the war of words between the US and Iran has now reached a critical phase. 

Last week, Trump, who evaded military service during the Vietnam War, made his loudest threats yet against Iran, bringing the danger of war to the boiling point.  On 21 May, the hard-line US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a thunderous ultimatum to Iran during an address to the US Heritage Foundation, a rich, influential arm of America’s Israel lobby. 

Pompeo made 12 totally unacceptable demands on Iran that were clearly designed to be rejected by Tehran.  Not since Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum against Serbia in 1914 have we seen such a clear effort to bring about war. Tehran quickly dismissed Pompeo as ‘a gangster.’

We are by now used to blood and thunder rhetoric between Washington and Tehran.  But this time White House policy is clearly being directed by pro-Israel American neocons who want the US military to crush Iran as it did Iraq. 

Crushing Iran will leave Israel with unfettered control of the Mideast and its oil – unless Russia or Turkey intervene against Israel, which is most unlikely.  Some think Russia and Israel – and the US – have already made a deal to divvy up the central Mideast.

‘Let the Americans come,’ one Iranian militant told me, ‘they will break their teeth on Iran.’  Very colorful but hardly accurate. The US and Israel will surely avoid a massive, costly land campaign again Iran, a vast, mountainous nation that was willing to suffer a million battle casualties in its eight-year war with Iraq that started in 1980 . This gruesome war was instigated by the US, Britain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to overthrow Iran’s new popular Islamic government.

The Pentagon has planned a high-intensity air war against Iran that Israel and the Saudis might very well join.  The plan calls for over 2,300 air strikes against Iranian strategic targets:  airfields and naval bases, arms and petroleum, oil and lubricant depots, telecommunication nodes, radar, factories, military headquarters, ports, water works, airports, missile bases and units of the Revolutionary Guards. 

Iran’s air defenses range from feeble to non-existent.  Decades of US-led military and commercial embargos against Iran have left it as decrepit and enfeebled as was Iraq when the US invaded in 2003.  The gun barrels of Iran’s 70’s vintage tanks are warped and can’t shoot straight, its old British and Soviet AA missiles are mostly unusable, and its ancient MiG and Chinese fighters ready for the museum, notably its antique US-built F-14 Tomcats, Chinese copies of obsolete MiG-21’s, and a handful of barely working F-4 Phantoms of Vietnam War vintage.

Air combat command is no better.  Everything electronic that Iran has will be fried or blown up in the first hours of a US attack.  Iran’s little navy will be sunk in the opening attacks.  Its oil industry may be destroyed or partially preserved depending on US post-war plans for Iran.

The only way Tehran can riposte is by staging isolated commando attacks on US installations in the Mideast of no decisive value, and, of course, blocking the narrow Strait of Hormuz that carries two thirds of Mideast oil exports.  The US Navy, based nearby in Bahrain, has been practicing for decades to combat this threat.

China vows to keep buying Iranian oil in spite of the US blockade to be imposed this fall.  This could put the US and China on a collision course.

While Iran may be able to interdict some oil exports from the Arab states, and cause maritime insurance rates to skyrocket, it’s unlikely to be able to block the bulk of oil exports unless it attacks the main oil terminals in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf with ground troops.  During the Iran-Iraq war, neither side was able to fully interdict the other’s oil exports.

Direct western intervention in a major ground campaign seems unlikely.  But the US and Israeli war plan would aim to totally destroy Iran’s infrastructure, communications and transport (including oil) crippling this important nation of 80 million and taking it back to the pre-revolutionary era.  That was the plan for Iraq, the Arab world’s most industrialized nation. Today Iraq still lies in ruins. 

One recalls the words of the great Roman historian, Tacitus: ‘they make a desert and call it peace.’

Copyright  Eric S. Margolis 2018


This post is in: Iran, USA


  1. Because of this personal History, I see the unfolding details reported by the MSM these Days GENERALLY confirming this Vision of the Future recorded by THE KANSAS CITY TIMES September 13, 1976.

    “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November TO DO GOD’S BIDDING: To tell the world, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon,” he said.” […] He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.”

    That 1976 FUTURE is NOW with the Revelation of the details GENERALLY unfolding in the spirit of the letter. The World is waking up to see Trump may hasten “its days are numbered” part of the 1976 Vision.

    Trump and the Republican Congress rescinded the few Regulations put in place to prevent another Global Financial Collapse as happened in 2008. Withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal and Trump’s “easy to win’ Trade War will hasten the Day. The US is waging more Economic Warfare against more Nations than ever before. What could possibly go wrong? It’s not a question of IF but WHEN?

    The Kansas City Times did a follow up on ALL SOULS DAY, November 2, 1976. The TV movie ‘THE DAY AFTER’ Kansas City was incinerated in a Nuclear Holocaust appeared in 1983.
    Most likely, I was the only Human on Earth, including the newspaper reporters, to note at THE END, the movie pauses at the very same picture frame The Kansas City Times chose for the ALL SOULS DAY record 7 years earlier, except I had nothing to do with the movie.

    Any way you look at it, that HISTORICAL FACT is a confirming SIGN for our Generations, the World has finally arrived at this point of Decision, of an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.” The constant US anti-Russia/Putin Propaganda in the media 24/7 for the last year, confirms that part of the preparation in the 1976 Vision is well under way.

    Few will recognize, “this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered” as the 1st two parts, of the 3 part “Writing on the Wall” from Daniel 5 and the Captivity of Babylon some 2600 years ago.

    The whole world saw “The Writing on the Wall” for the 1st TIME at the same TIME, with the Global Financial Meltdown-Economic Pearl Harbour in September of 2008, even if the world does not recognize it as such,
    “They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.” In other words, “It’s the Economy, Stupid!”

    The 3rd part of the Writing on the Wall tells of the decline of Babylon, the 1st Biblical model of the Nation reaching Imperial Military-Economic Superpower Status, and the rise of Persia.

    Ancient Babylon is now Iraq, and ancient Persia is now Iran.

    The US is the latest, greatest, of all the Nations reaching Imperial Military-Economic Superpower Status in the 2600 year old Biblical Babylonian superstructure. As it sees Empire slipping from it’s grasp it is lashing out with threats of War, Military & Economic, in place of Diplomacy

    The TAIL struck the HEAD, invading Iraq in violation of International Law, causing the unravelling of the Earthly Babylonian superstructure/infrastructure, undermining the Global Order as represented by the United Nations since WWII, and ushering in the Law of the Jungle to the Middle East and this World.
    It also paved the way for increased Iranian influence in their own region of this world where the US is the interloper.

    The Iranian Revolution happened in 1979, 2-1/2 years after the Public Historical Record in the 1976 Kansas City Times Timeline.
    All the chaos in the Middle East since then, including the WORLD WAR in Syria, is the consequence of the vain attempt to reverse that God ordained, repeat of History, as a SIGN of The Times for our Generations.

    The 2 original 1976 newspaper records, clips from ‘THE DAY AFTER’ Kansas City was incinerated in a Nuclear Holocaust, and much more not included in this comment can be examined following the link below.


  2. The Iraq attack and the issues with Iran clearly show how ineffective and useless the United Nations are. They are long past their ‘best by’ date. Time for them to go or become something useful.


  3. Zeeshan7 says:

    Iran stands no chance in a military confrontation with the US and Israel, but will opt for a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) scenario that will imperil the entire region and much of the Western world. The mad mullahs and mad neocons want to escalate the second coming like high-speed internet.

  4. Raj Sathya says:

    Iran’s air defenses range from feeble to non- existent, really?
    Ahmad Karimpour, the senior adviser for the Revolutionary Guards, claims Iran military has the capacity to destroy Israel within 8 minutes, according to Fars News Agency on 22nd May 2016.
    We test – fired a missile with a range of 2000 kilometers and a margin of error of eight meters,Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi was quoted saying at a Tehran science conference.
    Khamenei has repeatedly threatened to annihilate Israel and in September 2015 suggested Israel would not be around in 25 years.
    If at all the equipments and the weapons are ready for the museum, what is this satanic regime is trying to tell the world.
    Israel, never called for war,it is merely defending its borders.It is Iran, provoking Israel,stationing its army in Syria, supporting terrorism in middle east.

  5. Mike Smith says:

    The only answer to the overwhelming military power and technology of the Americans will be a global guerrilla campaign… Billions in missiles, aircraft and bombs will be answered with mortar attacks on embassies around the world, grenades thrown at tourists and businessmen alike, snipers in US cities popping off a few rounds and disappearing into the crowd ( so easy to buy arms there ) Just a few successes in these endeavors will draw others into making their own attacks for their own reasons… against both the US and those wanting to take down the Saudi royalty. or the other way out… suddenly come up with a dozen plus nukes… some to threaten the Saudis & Co… some to simply disappear with the implied threat they could show up and detonate in US ports. Because what the Americans really need is another quagmire… Still better that Trump is in charge and may decide to not go there… if Hillary had of been elected the war would have already started.

  6. Steve_M. says:

    Trump wants a war with Iran, partly as a diversion from the Mueller investigation and bad press on the home front, as well as to have it take place just in time for the mid-term Congressional elections in November so as to help his compliant Republican candidates. Unless Putin has firmly warned Trump not to attack Iran – and the last thing the US wants is a military confrontation with Russia – then the war scenario that Eric paints seems quite likely. I just hope that Canada would have enough sense to stay out of this mess and not take sides, because it has no important commercial or other interests in Iran.

  7. Alister says:

    Dear Eric,
    Thank you for your thoughtful Blogs, I really enjoy reading them every Saturday morning.

    Your analysis of the Iranian situation is mostly based on conventional assumptions of typical U.S reactions, but there is nothing conventional about the new Middle East today; where the old foes are new friends and where unholy alliances have been forming in a new multipolar world of strategic interests led by president Putin of Russia and supported by China.

    The future of Middle East heavily depends on the level of rapprochement between Moscow and Washington; President Putin certainly knows where he’s heading, Moscow has a clear and long-term strategy for the Middle East, but the same cannot be said for Washington; though Republicans are in charge of all the branches of the U.S. Government but they’re also deeply divided, and clearly have no long-term direction as to where the country is heading. Trump’s foreign policy of befriending Russia and demonizing China is getting nowhere, and as to the U.S’s Trade Wars; American business communities are uncertain about Trump’s ability to carry on with his course of “Economic Nationalism”; Trump’s trade wars are poorly conceived and badly executed; and considering the fact that China alone holds US$ 1.4 Trillions of the U.S. treasuries, effectively supporting the US$ Dollar for the ease of access to the U.S. internal market; a trade war with China and the E.U will put the future value of the U.S. Dollar in uncharted territories, never seen since 1945 – that would be the end of the FIAT money and the end of the U.S military deficit spending with impunity – with ever looming risk of direct military confrontation between major superpowers, i.e. China vs USA, and certainly more proxy wars around the world as result of it.

    The Iranians are aware of the new world dynamic and will certainly capitalize on that; thus far, president Rouhani’s approach to the illegal U.S. sanctions were rather “Diplomatic”, they were far from being “Revolutionary” – they were a sort of “Wait and Watch strategies”; Rouhani is doing everything by the book and tries to stay within the international legal framework; but the status quo cannot be maintained; inflation ravages the iranian working class, local currency, Rial is effectively dead; soon enough the time for diplomacy runs its course and Rouhani’s moderate government will be pushed aside by the Iranian “Deep State”; the “IRGC” will take over the country, as they did during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980’s.

    The IRGC approach will not be conventional, they will deal with the U.S. sanctions in their own unorthodox ways; they will certainly adapt a much aggressive and a more assertive posture in the Persian Gulf and “Beyond”, and in case of an existential threat to the Islamic Republic, the conflict will be extended and expended and much beyond the Persian Gulf; the Iranian IRGC and its proxies will not be fighting a conventional war against the U.S. but a multipolar conflict at the global level with unpredictable consequences that follow.

    We should all remember that after 17 years of heavy U.S military engagement against Talibans – merely a tribe of illiterate shepherds and farmers in the mountains of Afghanistan – the U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has this to say to the Congress, “ The United States is “not winning” the war against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan”- and this is the fact. As such, a war against the Iranian IRGC will probably looks lot like the one in Afghanistan but at the global scale and much more sophisticated; e.g. like the 1994 IRGC bombing of the Jewish Community Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina; these style of attacks around the world will be IRGC routine strategy which will be sustained over the very long-term.

    As to Israel; the Iranian strategy vis-a-vis the jewish state is quite simple, Israel is the top U.S interest in the region, and much like America’s overseas territories of Hawaii or Alaska. The IRGC lump up the global Zionist and the U.S.Interests as one single entity, and in case of War they will probably be treated as “One Single Entity” –
    Nevertheless, all depends on the level of rapprochement between Moscow and Washington, and how far China would be willing to go along with the U.S’s erratic behavior under Trump Administration.

    However, one thing is certain, there will not be a conventional conflict with the Islamic Republic but a multipolar conflict at the global level with unpredictable consequences; and if that’s where we’re heading, then Israel will get what they always wished for; an American Military Intervention against the Islamic Republic but they also get what comes with that “the Perpetual Insecurity for the Jewish-Zionist Interests around the world“ !!!

  8. Joe from Canada says:

    What is the significance of August?
    The warmongers in Israel and their sponsors in America work themselves into a mouth-foaming hate frenzy each year at this time.
    I started to notice this pattern back in the Bush II era.

    The neocons of Israel and USA are a fascist bunch. Even normally wise and reputable news sources succumb to their lies and deceptions from time to time.

    The one salient, increasingly obvious fact is that this group wants world domination. Human rights be damned. Respect for other nations be damned. Let them know and serve their masters.

    I see a moment of truth coming very soon for the leaders of Canada, France and UK. They will have to stand firm against this, singly, and in UN.

    Jeremy, in UK, and Pope Francis on the world stage, may soon be key players on finding an exit to sanity.

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