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The “Logic” of War in Central Asia

By David Stockman  |  May 10, 2018

“He’s suffering from Politician’s Logic. Something must be done, this is something, therefore we must do it.”  – Antony Jay, The Complete Yes Minister

The Donald just couldn’t wait.

Monday evening he tweeted that today’s the day: “I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House.”

Terms of the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” that restricts Iran’s nuclear program require the U.S. to waive sanctions against the Islamic Republic on May 12.

Failure to waive those sanctions means the U.S. is out of the deal.

It also means Iran is out from under it too. The stage is set for a cycle of escalation that seems to be the goal of Trump’s War Cabinet.

The former reality TV show host now running the American Empire knows drama – certainly better than he knows geopolitics.

In this sense, he is the Deep State’s very best salesman.

He knows how to ratchet up tension. And he has a penchant for “bullshit,” distinct from outright lying in that he neither knows nor cares for the truth.

He uses his massive platform – Twitter, this particular bully’s chosen pulpit – to sling stories that color the long-term narrative about Iran.

That is, it’s evil on Earth.

The Donald’s oft-tweeted aspersions about the Iran deal include the troubling factoid that “we gave them $150 billion.”

Well, the number was more like $100 billion. And it was their money!

It seems like such a minor matter. But a pile of minor matters eventually makes for pretty effective propaganda.

And the story of that money is absolutely critical. Knowing it helps us understand Imperial Washington’s relationship with Tehran.

It is a quintessential tale of the Deep State.

As we illustrated in detail yesterday, Shiite Iran is under threat.

Its Sunni rival, Saudi Arabia, has the biggest stockpile of advanced American weaponry in the world.

Logic of the post-September 11, 2001, world dictates that an American military presence in the Desert Kingdom is no longer sustainable.

The political systems of the United States and Saudi Arabia effectively “ban” bases and soldiers. Mere weapons, however, are a lot easier to conceal.

And Imperial Washington has armed the House of Saud to the turban. It is both “kingdom” and “protectorate.”

That same “logic” insists that Saudi Arabia remain the stabilizing force in that bad neighborhood.

The U.S., meanwhile, has been undermining Iran’s sovereignty since 1953.

That’s when Kermit Roosevelt Jr., grandson of Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, led a CIA-sponsored coup that took out democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.

We propped up Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who we now know as the last Shah of Iran.

The $1.7 billion of cash famously delivered on pallets by airfreight at the time of the 2015 deal had actually been seized from Iran nearly four decades ago.

It was money Iran deposited to buy military equipment from the U.S. during the 1970s. Prevailing Cold War “logic” said it was the right thing to do.

But Iran’s Islamic revolution climaxed in February 1979. Washington and Tehran agreed to a deal that halted any further Iranian advances and voided most pending purchases.

That deal also called for Tehran’s money to be placed in an interest-bearing account until it could be returned.

But the Shah was overthrown, and Washington declared the deal dead. Its lawyers spent decades in court arguing against Iran’s claims on the cash.

Tehran’s money gathered interest for 36 years. The mullahs got it back after they agreed to the onerous conditions of the Obama nuclear deal.

And now agents of the Warfare State use it like Hitchcock’s famous MacGuffins to thrill and stoke “patriots” and “patriotism.”

Contrary to his bombast, the cause of world peace got a big boost with the Iran nuclear deal.

But that’s not the Donald’s cause.

The Donald’s cause is the Donald.

The Warfare State knows this.

And it’s using that knowledge to get what it wants in Central Asia.

David Stockman

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David Stockman

David Stockman is the ultimate Washington insider turned iconoclast. He began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.MORE FROM AUTHOR