By Patrick Buchanan
Dec. 19, 2017
President Trump has had some surprisingly good news and glad tidings. Sunday, Vladimir Putin called to thank him and the CIA for providing information that helped abort an ISIS plot targeting Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Monday, polls showed Trump at his highest in months. Stocks soared 200 points at opening in anticipation of passage of the Republican tax bill. The Dow has added a record 5,000 points in Trump's first year.
And though unproven, charges are being made that Robert Mueller's Russiagate sleuths accessed Trump transition emails illicitly. This could imperil prosecutions by Mueller's team.
With things going Trump's way, what was U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley doing last week at what looked like a pre-war briefing at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in D.C.? Behind her was part of what was said to be an Iranian missile fired at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. It had Iranian markings but was not launched from Iran or by Iranians. Yemen's Houthi rebels say they fired it in retaliation for what the Saudis have done to their people and country. If so, it was a legitimate act of war.
What was Haley's motive in indicting Iran? Was this part of a new propaganda campaign to drum up support for America's next big Mideast war? There are reasons to think so.
Haley went on: “It's hard to find a conflict or a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran's fingerprints all over it.” But Iran is Shiite; al-Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and Islamic Jihad are Sunni, as are most Mideast terrorist groups. As for these Mideast “conflicts,” which did Iran start?
We started the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. NATO started the war in Libya. The U.S. helped trigger the Syrian civil war by arming “rebels.” Only when President Bashar Assad looked like he was about to fall did Russia and Iran intervene on his side.
As for the “Shiite crescent” from Tehran to Beirut, who created it? Saddam Hussein's Iraq was Sunni-dominated. Americans overthrew him and brought Shiite power to Baghdad. In Syria, it was U.S.- and Sunni-backed “rebels,” allied at times with al-Qaida, who drew in Iran and the Shiite militias to save Assad.
Are we now to fight a new Mideast war against a larger enemy than any we have fought, to clean up our previous military interventions' bloody mess in the region? Trump should consider the likely consequences. A war in the Persian Gulf would send oil prices soaring and stocks plummeting, and would split us from our major European and Asian allies.
While the U.S. would prevail in an air, naval and missile war, where would the troops come from to march to Tehran to “democratize” Iran? Would Hezbollah go after U.S. soft targets in Beirut? Would Iraqi Shiite militias go after Americans in the Green Zone? And who would our great fighting Arab ally be? Jared Kushner's new friend: a 32-year-old Saudi prince famous for putting down $500 million each for a chateau near Versailles, a yacht on the Riviera and a painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
Pat Buchanan is the author of “Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”