May 5, 2018

With the May 12 deadline for Trump to make his royal pronouncement on the state of the Iran nuclear deal, it has been brought to light that the Trump administration, in concert with an Israeli private intelligence agency, sought to further undermine the agreement by attempting to discredit the original Obama era framers of the accord.  Reporting by the Guardian suggests Trump was seeking to find dirt on former national security adviser Ben Rhoades, and former deputy assistant Colin Kohl.

“Jack Straw, who as foreign secretary was involved in earlier efforts to restrict Iranian weapons, said: ‘These are extraordinary and appalling allegations but which also illustrate a high level of desperation by Trump and [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, not so much to discredit the deal but to undermine those around it.'”

It’s really hard to try to understand what endgame the Trump administration and Netanyahu foresee by bringing more unrest to the region.  Between Netanyahu’s little publicity piece, earlier this week, in which he outlined what everyone already knew, as somehow representing proof that the agreement should be dismantled, and Trump’s no fact understanding about what the accord even is, we have to wonder how much of this is Trump arm-twisting to put himself in the spotlight and Netanyahu desire to order a couple airstrikes on Iranian targets while the bombing is good.  Bombings which would dovetail nicely with Netanyahu’s desire to distract from his own problems at home.

Trump, in his supreme benevolence, may allow the accord to continue, depending on what his brain-trust of Sean Hannity, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and “Fox and Friends” suggest on that day.  He may not.  Who the fuck knows?  Trump doesn’t.

“Let’s see what happens.”

If he elects to remove the US from our commitment to the agreement, then several things will happen.  The US will have, once again, removed itself.  Marginalized itself.  Iran would be free to decide if the entire agreement was now void.  The other parties to the agreement will not join the US in dropping the agreement or in demanding a new one.  If Iran declares the agreement void, then Israel would consider itself free to target Iranian facilities with airstrikes.  No one will join Israel in that endeavor.

North Korea would not consider the word of the US as particularly trustworthy in any agreement they might sign with the US…and does that really matter?  North Korea probably won’t much care.  Sure they’ll sign an agreement.  So far, the odds of North Korea keeping their word to an agreement is exactly 0 out of 100.  Trump can bluster and congratulate himself in Korea and demand a Noble Peace prize.  Who cares?

Who wins?

Trump can feel like he’s actively in charge of the situation, even if he has no understanding of what he is doing.  Smells like power.

Netanyahu can beat the war-drum at home while attempting to avoid an actual war.  Nice distraction.  Let’s be honest, Iran is a major major problem for Israel, but is it really a good idea to go for the direct confrontation option?  There’s no turning back once that happens.

Trump and Netanyahu need each other….desperately.  Trump, to fill his ego’s bottomless thirst and distract from his impending legal issues, and Netanyahu for his similar legal difficulties and the Iran situation.

Russia.  Russia Russia Russia.  If a barrel of oil could get back up to the $100 dollar range, Russia would be sitting pretty.  Bring on the instability.


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