There’s “Dumb,” There’s “Neocon,” and There’s the Donald

By David Stockman  |  January 8, 2020

“…that old Beach Boys song, ‘Bomb Iran,’… ‘Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb…’ anyway, ah…”

– Senator John McCain, responding to an audience question about military action against Iran during an April 17, 2007, campaign appearance in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

During more than a half-century of Washington watching, I’ve seen stupidity rise from one height to yet another.

But nothing – just plain nothing – compares to the Tweeter-in-Chief’s Iran “policy.”

As we noted on Monday, that “policy” culminated in the mindless assassination of top military leader and hero of the so-called Islamic Revolution Major General Qassem Soleimani.

I don’t give a flying f*ck about the dead man himself. Like most generals of whatever army, he was a cold-blooded, professional killer.

Indeed, in this age of urban and irregular warfare and drone-based annihilation delivered by remote joystick, generals tend to kill more civilians than combatants.

Then again, even the outright belligerents Soleimani did battle with over the decades were not exactly alms-bearing devotees of Mother Theresa.

In sequential order, they were the lethally armed combatants mustered by Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush, the Sunni jihadists of ISIS, and the Israeli and Saudi air forces.

The latter, at this very moment, are raining high-tech bombs and missiles on Iranian allies and proxies in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.

The only reason these years of combat are described by the mainstream media as evidence of Iranian terrorism propagated by its Quds forces is that the neocons have declared it so.

By Imperial Washington’s lights, Iran is not allowed to have a foreign policy. And its alliances with mainly Shiite co-religionists in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen are alleged per se to be schemes of aggression and terror. Thus, they warrant any and all retaliations, including assassination of its highest officials.

But that’s just colossal nonsense and imperialistic arrogance.

The Assad government in Syria, the largest political party in Lebanon (Hezbollah), the dominant population of northern Yemen (Houthis), and a significant portion of the Iraqi armed forces represented by the Shiite militias (the PMF, or Popular Mobilization Forces) are no less civilized and no more prone to sectarian violence than anybody else in this woebegone region.

And the real head-choppers of ISIS and its imitators and rivals have all been Sunni jihadist insurrectionists, not Shiite-based governments and political parties.

The truth is, America has no dog in the Shiite versus Sunni hunt. It’s been going on for 1,300 years in the region.

And, when it comes to spillover of those benighted forces into Europe or America, recent history is absolutely clear: 100% of Islamic terrorist incidents in the U.S. since they began in the 1990s were perpetrated or inspired by Sunni jihadists, not Iran or its Shiite allies and proxies in the region.

Let’s be direct: The aggression in the Persian Gulf region during the last three decades has originated in Imperial Washington’s nest of neocon vipers and among Bibi Netanyahu’s proxies, collaborators, and assigns who rule the roost in the Imperial City and among both political parties.

And the motivating force has all along been the malicious quest for regime change—first in Iraq and then in Syria and Iran.

Needless to say, Washington instigated “regime change” tends to provoke a determined self-defense and a usually violent counter-reaction among the changees.

The truth is, the so-called Shiite Crescent is not an alliance of terrorists inflicting wanton violence on the region.

It’s a league of regime-change resisters and armed combatants who have elected to say “no” to Imperial Washington’s schemes for remaking Middle Eastern maps.

The larger point here is that Imperial Washington and its mainstream media megaphones have so egregiously and relentlessly vilified Iran and falsified the Middle East narrative that the Iranian side of the story has been completely lost.

It’s Stalinesque, the way it’s airbrushed out of contemporary history.

Not that the benighted, mullah-controlled Iranian regime is comprised of anything that resembles white hats.

One of the great misfortunes of the last four decades is that the long-suffering people of Iran haven’t been able to throw off the cultural and religious shackles imposed by these theocrats or to escape the economic incompetence of what is essentially rule by authoritarian clerics.

But that’s exactly the crime of Imperial Washington’s neocon-inspired hostility. It merely rekindles Iranian nationalism and causes the public to rally to the support of the regime, as is so evident at the current moment.

Worse still, the underlying patriotic foundation of this pro-regime sentiment is completely lost on Imperial Washington owing to its false narrative about post-1979 history.

Yet, the fact is, in the eyes of the Iranian people, the Quds forces and Soleimani have plausible claims to having been valiant defenders of the nation.

The Donald has now crushed his own oft-repeated intent to withdraw American forces from the middle east and get out of the regime change business—the very platform upon which he campaigned in 2016.

There are now upwards of 50,000 U.S. military personnel in the immediate Persian Gulf region. And there are tens of thousands of more contractors, proxies, and mercenaries augmenting them.

After Friday’s reckless maneuver, that number can now only go up, possibly dramatically.

In taking out Soleimani, the usually befuddled and increasingly belligerent occupant of the Oval Office was not striking a blow against “terrorism.”

He was just dramatically escalating longstanding regime-change aggression in the region. And he’s upped the risk of an outbreak of even greater violence and possibly a catastrophic conflagration.

In taking out Soleimani while lounging in his plush digs at Mar-a-Lago, the Donald was not avenging innocent casualties of Iranian aggression, Americans or otherwise. He was jamming another regime-change stick in the hornet’s nest of anti-Americanism that Imperial Washington’s bloody interventions have spawned over the decades.

And it’s now bound to intensify by orders of magnitude.

I’ve long believed there’s nothing stupider in Imperial Washington than the neocon policy mafia that’s wrecked such unspeakable havoc on the Middle East – as well as upon American servicemen and taxpayers who have been marched time and again into the jaws of their folly.

But, now, the Donald has single-handedly given even them more than a run for the money.

Smart, Smarter, Smartest

This is the most politicized market in history. And the Tweeter-in-Chief is still in charge. So, the situation is changing almost by the minute.

It’s “Impeachment!” in Imperial Washington and all over the Mainstream Media. It’s “Easy Money!” on Wall Street and across Bubblevision.

And it seems as if the whole world has, indeed, gone mad.

Amid this chaos, prices will continue to rise and fall, trends will continue to develop and dissipate.

Well, The Stockman Letter is made for times like these. And we’ve updated our design to help us better navigate to not only the safest harbors but also the most promising opportunities.

The stakes are as high as they can be heading into 2020. Markets appear to be straining, catching up to an economy that’s been weak and getting weaker for years.

The Donald is tied up in the day-to-day movements of the major stock indexes like no president before him. The increasingly desperate incumbent will do anything he must to hold the White House.

It’s a major tipping point. And there’s no telling what the Donald’s great disruptions could do to your wealth.

You’ve got to be nimble to win in this market, and that’s something we strive to help you with, in The Stockman letter.

To common sense.

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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