US President Donald Trump is engaged in a good cop, bad cop charade with Iran and “the only response to Trump and his henchmen is to remain firm and resolute,” says Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.
Hawkish Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Friday suggested that the United States should take military action against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro so countries opposing the US are intimidated and surrender to Washington's demands.
To handle foreign conflicts “we need points on the board,” Graham said. He said that the US needs to resolve its issues with other countries using military force.
Trump however said on Thursday that he wants Iran to get back at the table, following attacks on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman which Washington has blamed on Tehran.
In an interview on Fox News on Friday, Trump blamed Iran for the attack on oil tankers without providing any solid evidence, as did his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, a day before.
A day after the incident, Iran warned the US to stop playing a blame game through "suspicious" attacks on oil tankers in the Middle East, describing the American behavior as "worrying".
In an interview with Press TV on Saturday, Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, said, “It says something about the nature of US Imperialism that the President, who said while campaigning for office, ‘I would say I'm the most militaristic person on the stage, but I would also say that I know when to do it,’ is now a voice of moderation within his own administration.”
“Trump for all his rhetoric of wanting to avoid foreign interventions seems to have a penchant for hiring the most virulent war-mongers on the face of the planet to do his bidding,” he stated.
“Take for instance John R. Bolton, National Security Advisor to Trump, he who ordered the deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group and B-52s to the Persian Gulf and told the Pentagon to draw up plans to send 120,000 US troops to the region. Is it any surprise that he is charging Iran with using mines to sabotage four oil tankers outside the Strait of Hormuz? There needs to be some excuse for US war preparations against Iran other than his vague pronouncements condemning its leader’s intents to destabilize the region. Problem solved, create an incident to justify them,” he stated.
War mania grips Trump's henchmen
“Then there is Vice President Mike Pence. To quote from his recent bombastic Sturm and Drang (storm and drive) commencement address given to the graduating class at West Point, ‘It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life. You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen,’ … ‘and when that day comes, I know you will move to the sound of the guns and do your duty, and you will fight, and you will win. The American people expect nothing less,’” the analyst noted.
“Last but not least is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who recently said that the US was founded on the principle that ‘peace wasn’t the norm’ and ‘conflict is the normative experience for nations.’ The time is now, according to Pompeo, to ‘confront regimes squarely opposed to our interests and our values.’ Like his predecessors in the past administrations Pompeo reiterated that Trump, ‘believes America is exceptional — a place and history apart from normal human experience,’ and ‘American exceptionalism ... will remain alive and well in the 21st century. What’s good for the United States is good for the world,’” he noted.
“It is little wonder then that ardent Trump supporter and erstwhile friend of the late Senator John McCain, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, is also on the warpath, stating that, ‘We need points on the board. Start with your own backyard… Fix Venezuela and everybody else will know you’re serious,’ an obvious reference to North Korea and Iran. And how to do that? According to Graham, ‘When Cuba got involved in Grenada, what did Ronald Reagan do? He kicked them out. That is what I'd do with Venezuela,’” he noted.
“Well, Venezuela is no Grenada, and the sheer idiocy of comparing the two stretches the bounds of credulity and has the sound of a hyena howling at the moon,” he stated.
“In the context of the above paeans to war and militarism, Trump comes across as a voice of moderation, calling for Iran to get back to the negotiating table. This good cop, bad cop charade however has fallen on deaf ears, as no one in their right mind can believe a word Trump says. The only response to Trump and his henchmen is to remain firm and resolute. It is the only thing they understand,” he concluded.