Iran Defiles Trump Warnings, Launch Missile Attack On US - EazyFeeds

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Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Iran Defiles Trump Warnings, Launch Missile Attack On US

Iran's defiant volley of ballistic missile attacks on Iraqi bases hosting American forces significantly quickened a cycle of escalation that threatens to erupt into a full blown war with the United States.

In effect, Iran called President Donald Trump's  bluff, dismissing his warnings that it should not respond to his own massively provocative move of killing the Islamic Republic's top general.

Iran's attack appeared to shatter the talking points of Trump's political allies that his targeted strike against Qasem Soleimani had reestablished deterrence. Far from stopping a war as Trump promised, last week's attack may have started one.

While the missile strikes represented rare direct fire between Iran and the US, they were not as potent as they might have been given Soleimani's talismanic importance to the Iranian regime. If Trump interprets them that way, it could open an avenue to limit the escalation of the current crisis.

The question now, is how the President, torn between a hatred of looking weak and a new Middle Eastern war he vowed to avoid but seems to have blustered his way into, will react?

If neither side blinks, America could be on the brink of its first hot war with revolutionary Iran after 40 simmering years of proxy conflicts, bitter rhetoric and short-lived diplomatic thaws.

Or each of the foes could consider their honor preserved after several days of inflammatory exchanges and step back from the cusp of a confrontation that is threatening to spin out of control. Such a step back would not quell tension. It would likely see Iran seek to oust the US from the region and Washington redouble political, economic and diplomatic pressure on Tehran. But it might stop short of the shooting war both sides insist that they don't want.

If it is to be war, it would be one of Trump's own making, and a product of a brash, threatening leadership style carved from an "America First" disdain for traditional US diplomacy by an emotional President who acts on instinct rather than strategy.

It would match Trump -- and his hollowed out national security team, purged of moderating forces who might have stopped him short of this point -- against Iran's theocratic rulers.

It now seems as though Trump's hardline policy towards America's 40-year foe -- triggered by his withdrawal from an Obama-era nuclear deal -- is close to reaching an inevitable result.
The administration says that its "maximum pressure" policy and punishing economic warfare is designed to force Iran back to nuclear talks and to quit its regional misbehavior. It seems to have had the opposite effect.

A war with Iran could further tear the fabric of American political life, amid Trump's impeachment battle, and rebound on the President as he seeks a second term in November's election.

It could set the Middle East ablaze even more so than the Iraq War, unleash assaults by Iranian proxies on American targets and allies and halt the fight against ISIS. Given opposition to Trump's harsh Iran policy among traditional allies, America could find it fighting such a battle alone.

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