This may be the most frightening thing Trump has said yet:
President Trump said Wednesday that if the United States goes to war with Iran, the conflict “would not last very long” and would not involve ground troops.
He’s talking himself into starting something. It will not end well.
One of the most consistent themes of history is that before every really horrible war there was some moron calling for aggression who yapped that war is a piece of cake. For example, in August 1914, on the eve of World War I, German Emperor Wilhelm II famously promised to his departing troops that they would return before the autumn leaves fell. More “realistic” hawks in Europe thought it would be over in 18 months, max.
And, of course, the Great War lasted four years and caused an estimated 15 to 19 million deaths.
Remember our little invasion of Iraq that never really ended? Remember “we will be greeted as liberators” and “the war will pay for itself”? Remember Mission Accomplished?
The great military blunders of history were all, it appears, rooted in arrogance. Napoleon marched his 650,000 troops into Russia thinking no one could stop him. The Russian military had to do little more than to lure the French deeper and deeper into their territory and then let winter, disease and starvation do their work.
Japan’s aggressions that caused the Pacific War were a study in irrational exuberance. I have found that study, actually. Here’s a quote from it:
The Japanese confused honor with interest by permitting their imperial ambitions to run far ahead of their military capacity to achieve them. Indeed, the Japanese, like the Germans (and later, the Israelis), displayed a remarkable incapacity for sound strategic thinking; they were simultaneously mesmerized by short-term operational opportunities and blind to their likely disastrous long-term strategic consequences.
That would describe Bolton, Pompeo and Trump, also, except that they are even dumber and apparently completely distinterested in long-term strategic consequences. We keep seeing that in the Middle East, military solutions have nothing but disastrous long-term strategic consequences. For everybody involved. And saber-rattling isn’t helping, either.
And do we want to talk about Vietnam?
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas is a leading hawk about Iran. He is an Iraq War veteran, I understand, so one would think he would know better. Even the right-wing Washington Examiner published an op ed calling Tom Cotton a maniac. “Headcase Cotton is raring for war with no questions asked, apparently, and seemingly little concern for what it might do to the country,” it says. More recently, he said on a PBS talking head program that the U. S. would win a war with Iran in two strikes — the first strike and the last strike.
So the question is, how stupid does one have to be to actually believe that?
Although he has called himself a “student of history” — one suspects he failed — Trump has less understanding of history than anyone who has held the office of the presidency. He has no comprehension of strategy or, apparently, thinks about long term goals other than him “winning,” whatever that means in his warped fat head. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from a war with Iran, for either country, but there is a lot to lose. The only thing that might save us is Trump’s incessant dithering and cowardice, and his fear that a military blunder might cost him the 2020 election.