Trump decides to use Dick Cheney's playbook for starting a war with Iran
This might be the most ominous essay that I've ever written.
It appears that the Trump Administration has decided to use the most ridiculous and transparent lie imaginable to justify a war of regime change with Iran.
Iran is providing high-level al Qaeda operatives with a clandestine sanctuary to funnel fighters, money and weapons across the Middle East, according to Trump administration officials who warn that the long-elusive, complex relationship between two avowed enemies of America has evolved into an unacceptable global security threat.
With the once-prominent Islamic State receding from the spotlight, The Washington Times has learned that the administration is focusing increasingly on the unlikely alliance between Iran and al Qaeda, with what some sources say is an eye toward establishing a potential legal justification for military strikes against Iran or its proxies.
Al-Qaeda launched a massive suicide attack on Iran just last week.
Iran has spent billions of dollars and sacrificed thousands of lives to defeat al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda related groups in the past eight years, so this accusation is laughable at face value. At least it would be laughable if the implications of what the Trump Administration wants to do weren't so serious.
Just like with Iraq in 2002, Washington is accusing Iran of working with al-Qaeda and having a WMD program. Both accusations is obvious lies.
Why recycle this particular lie?
There are two reasons. The first one is because it's the only AUMF available to the Trump Administration.
The second reason is more disturbing - because Saudi Arabia said so the day before.
..."Iran has been harboring virtually the board of directors of al-Qaida, including Osama bin Laden's son since the events of 9/11," Saudi Foreign Minister Al-Jubeir told a joint news conference in Islamabad along with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi. He declared Iran as "the world's chief sponsor of terrorism."
The very next day Saudi Arabia doubled down on this bald-faced lie.
The Saudi Coalition has accused the Islamic Republican of Iran of supplying the Al-Qaeda terrorist group with weapons in Yemen.
...While it is not clear if Iran, in fact, supplied Al-Qaeda with weapons in Yemen, but the latter has been fighting the anti-government Houthi forces (var. Ansarallah Movement) inside the Al-Bayda Governorate recently.
So the reality is that the Houthis are the sworn enemies of al-Qaeda in Yemen, which makes this charge ridiculous. But it gets even more stupid when you factor in this CNN report from just a few weeks ago.
Saudi Arabia and its coalition partner in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) transferred US-made weapons to al-Qaeda-linked groups and a Salafi militia whose commander who once "served with" the Yemeni branch of ISIL, a CNN investigation has found.
Even worse, there is this Associated Press report from last year.
However, an investigation by The Associated Press found the coalition has been paying some al-Qaeda commanders to leave key cities and towns while letting others retreat with weapons, equipment, and wads of looted cash.
Hundreds of al-Qaeda members were recruited to join the coalition as soldiers, the report said.
Key figures in the deal-making said the United States was aware of the arrangements and held off on drone attacks against the armed group, which was created by Osama bin Laden in 1988.
So the reality of the situation is the exact opposite.
Our Saudi allies are working directly with al-Qaeda to fight against Iran and it's allies, and we are fully aware of it. But Washington is going to say black-is-white and up-is-down in order to justify the most pointless war imaginable.