Iran’s Intentions Are Growing Even “Fishier”

The Iran debacle has gotten even “fishier” overnight. The plot has thickened as talking heads and “Iranian experts” try to explain Iran’s role in the apparent attack on a commercial airplane. It was taking off from Tehran’s airport at the same time that Iran was launching missiles at military bases in Iraq.

Did Iran actually shoot down a commercial airplane? For what reason? There were no Americans on board the flight. Will the ayatollahs fess up and take responsibility, or will the regime somehow attribute the tragedy to the US?

It’s conceivable that Iranians manning a mobile rocket launcher thought that the commercial plane was an American fighter jet. The plane took off around the time that Iran was launching missiles at US locations. But it was only one aircraft, not a barrage of attack jets zeroing in on Iran’s capital city.

Did Iran decide to delay or minimize retaliation against the US in light of a terrible mistake by members of a missile team on the ground? Every day more questions arise about the actions of Iran’s leadership.

There are several things that are disconcerting about recent events. Why were Iran’s missiles so inaccurate and ineffective? Was it because the Iranians did not want to kick-start a major conflict by killing more Americans? In fact, the Iranians supposedly warned the US about incoming missiles.

And why were missiles launched from Iran, several hundred miles away rather than by friendly Iran militia missile batteries close to US troops?

It should be noted that Iran was probably responsible for a pinpoint missile attack against a major Saudi oil facility. Why would that attack be so successful and the one against the US so ineffective?

Many analysts are attributing much of this to an Iranian government that does not want to engage the US at this time. Rather they would prefer to chip away at US interests in the region, the end game being no major response from the US and its departure from the region.

Trump quashed this notion by publicly stating that the US is not disengaging because the US is intent on preventing Iran from building a nuke, and will fight Iran’s continuing efforts to destabilize non-Shiite regimes.

The speculation about Iran’s intentions is creating great angst for many Iran watchers. Let’s hope that the real reason for Iran’ meek response to the assassination of Soleimani was domestic turmoil resulting from economic sanctions and not an impending all-out military response by Iran that includes a weapon of mass destruction, which has already been secretly built by the rogue regime.

There’s Something Fishy Going On With Iran

Is anyone suspicious about the circumstances surrounding the latest confrontation with Iran? Surprisingly, a very dangerous situation petered out with no US casualties. Both sides exhibited great restraint avoiding an all out clash.

Let’s consider the facts, as we know them. Iran conducted an operation in Iraq that left an American contractor dead. President Trump was outraged by the death and unleashed drones that killed one of the most notorious and renown generals in the Iran military. How the precise whereabouts of Soleimani were ascertained is a mystery.

Supposedly the general was a close confidante of the ayatollahs. And so, Iran protested the assassination and vowed to avenge his death. Fifteen, or so, ballistic missiles were launched from Iran, and they struck military targets in Iraq where US soldiers were stationed. A few of the missiles were duds, and the rest failed to kill or injure any Americans.

For some reason the US was given a heads up about the missiles, enabling them to protect its soldiers. In spite of the benign results of the missile attack, the ayatollahs proclaimed that Soliemani’s death had been avenged, and there would be no further ramifications. Even the marching and protesting in Iran has ceased. Pretty strange, don’t you think?

Did anyone believe that our president and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, were capable of acting in such a restrained manner? The two men have indicated repeatedly that the other side is a mortal enemy, and that military conflict is virtually assured. Well both men had the opportunity to make this premonition a reality, and then they walked away. Don’t get me wrong, diplomacy is a much better way to settle disputes, but I, for one, didn’t think these men had it in them.

Perhaps Trump’s strategy and unpredictability spooked the ayatollah. The latter must know that an all out conflict would result in the death of the Iran state and regime change. So maybe Khamenei is a pragmatist deep down under. As far as Trump is concerned, he missed an opportunity to justify a fight that may have to take place sometime in the future. But, he acted with great poise in this instance.

So what’s fishy about the turn of events? Somebody blabbed about the whereabouts of Soleimani. Was it good intelligence generated by US sources, or maybe Khamenei wanted to get rid of his primo general because of his notoriety? Usually these types of manhunts are long and drawn out. This was a quick hit.

Why didn’t Trump respond to the missiles launched by Iran at our soldiers? It was an opportunity to teach the ayatollahs a lesson. Did Trump want to give Iran an opportunity to save face and avoid a bigger confrontation? Or maybe American forces were not prepared for a larger conflict at this moment. The president promised to hit back, hard, if Iran targeted US troops.

Is Trump conducting secret conversations through intermediaries? Is Iran caving because of crushing economic sanctions? Is Iran willing to agree to end its policy of destabilizing the region? Are we close to a new deal with Iran?

Why didn’t Iran use third parties to attack the US? Was the ploy too sensitive to use militia groups in Iraq?

As you can see, there are many unanswered questions.

The events during the past week could have been really damaging and led to a more extensive conflict between the US and Iran. Thankfully, it did not go down that path and no Americans were killed or injured. And, the US seemed to have gotten the best press out of what did transpired.

Iran Inches Towards Self Destruction

[This post was written before Iraq retaliated against US missile attacks last night.]

The response in Iran to the assassination, or “targeted killing,” of an Iranian general is predictably overstated. The ayatollahs are saying they will avenge the US missile attack, and Iranians are marching in the streets mourning their dear departed murderer and terrorist, Soleimani.

The US and President Trump should not be intimidated by the ayatollahs, the American press or the liberal left, for that matter. Any act of aggression against the US or any citizens must be responded to with an appropriate amount of firepower. Iran should pay dearly if it decides to ramp up this tit for tat exchange with the US.

Iranian people have been incited by their leaders. They are trying to convince their citizens that the US has bad intentions in the Middle East. The people are suffering from punishing sanctions by the US, so it’s not surprising to see them expressing their outrage against America.

The US has been on a collision course with Iran since the US Embassy was overrun during the Carter administration. More conflict is inevitable, the severity of which is dependent upon the reaction of the Iran government in the coming days.

Yet, Iran will be wise to tread carefully, and not push the US into a full-scale military response. Iran would surely suffer devastating casualties and destruction that will bring down its current regime. All the current static from Iran is bluster that cannot be supported with military might.

President Trump should not back down. A sign of weakness will only increase Iranian resolve. The decision to take cultural targets off the table was a no-brainer. But all military targets are fair game if Iran confronts our troops in the region.

It’s about time that Iran is taken down a few notches by the US. It is a nasty and unreasonable theocracy. The leaders hate every group that does not bow to Allah and some that do, including Sunni Arabs. The decision to give such a country a road map to nuclear armaments was one of the worst in history. How can Iran be trusted with a weapon of mass destruction? What was Obama thinking?

Moreover, the military power of Iran is inconsequential when compared to the US, just like the “elite” forces of Saddam Hussein. Iran’s military will be obliterated in hours in an all out struggle.

The time has come, before Iran develops a nuke, to draw a line in the sand. Iran may be in a position to bully weak regimes in the region, but it is no match for the US military.

Trump Should Be More Aggressive With Iran

Iran’s violent and aggressive posture towards the US has resulted in an exchange of relatively minor attacks during the past week, and a strong reaction from many in the region. Increased military action on both sides was, and is, inevitable, based upon the rhetoric emanating from both parties, and to a great extent, Iranian attempts to create instability in the Middle East.

A US strike with drones was conducted against an Iranian-backed militia group in Iraq. President Trump ordered it in response to the murder of an American contractor in the country. The drone killed 24 insurgents along with Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, an Iranian terrorist who has targeted Americans in the region.

Trump said the strike was ordered “to stop a war and to prevent future attacks on Americans.” He also said “Suliemani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”

This all raises the question of whether a US president has the authority to hunt down killers like Suleimani. The US did the same and captured Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. They were either brought to justice and executed or killed on the spot.

There was no outrage from the opposing political party in the US or from the press at the time. Why are Trump’s motivations and actions always under such negative scrutiny? Is it possible that Democrats and their liberal press allies are siding with the maniacal actions and ideology of Iran?

Although it is difficult to believe, Trump also indicated that he’s not trying to encourage regime change in Iran. Rather, he call for Iran’s “aggression in the region to end immediately.” In fact Trump should be doing everything in his power to stymie the efforts of Iran to build a nuclear bomb and to destabilize the Middle East. He cannot allow Iran Shiites to dominate the region and persecute Sunnis and other religious groups.

There is little doubt that the trajectory of the US/Iran relationship is moving towards greater conflict. Iran will continue to conduct violent operations in Iraq (which for some reason believes having Iranian militias in the country is better than having American peacekeepers), and elsewhere in the region that soon should provoke even greater and more violent responses from the US.

The real problem for Iran is the abrogation of Obama’s nuclear treaty and economic sanctions. The former makes Iran vulnerable to an all-out assault by the US when and if Trump decides that Iran is close to building a deliverable nuclear strike, thereby threatening other non-Shiite countries including Israel.

The latter, economic sanctions, are decimating Iran, especially restrictions relating to oil production and sales. In fact regime change will most likely be greatly influenced by the total economic failure of Iran.

In the meantime Iran will utilize social media and staged protests against America. The Iranians have employed high tech criminals to foment anti-American sentiment on the Internet. And it will probably attempt to employ cyber warfare tactics to disrupt our elections an/or private industry in the US.

During this time of strife, nuclear threats, cyber attacks and social media activity, it is unwise to do anything less than support Trump as he deals with our greatest enemy, Iran. In the past the press has moderated its criticism, as did Congress. They should allow Trump and his intelligence advisors to address the Iranian threat. To this point Trump has responded with restraint, which will need to change as Iran strives to create more hostility in various hot spots throughout the Middle East.

 

Military vs. Economic Persuasion

The US and its leaders are in a unique position to influence world events. They have the ability to use either economic or military persuasion. The question is which one should be used in specific circumstances. It’s often a life and death decision.

Donald Trump favors economic sanctions over military force for the most part. In fact he’s actively trying to decrease the presence of our military around the world and take our soldiers out of harm’s way. It was a campaign promise he made in 2016.

Currently he’s wielding sanctions against the largest and most powerful opponents of America, Russia and China. Since outright military aggression is not an option against the aforementioned countries, because it could possibly lead to a nuclear showdown, the president is wise to eschew the use of any violent strategy.

Ronald Reagan brilliantly out maneuvered the Soviet Union in the late 20th century. He artfully combined economic pressure and military threats that ultimately resulted in the bankruptcy of the Soviets. The communist regime could not compete with the US’s ability to build both nuclear and conventional arsenals at a break neck speed. By attempting to match our weapons development, the Soviet Union crumbled financially.

Today the US must contend with a megalomaniac-governed empire that dreams of the days when it had much more influence throughout the world.

Because military confrontation is out of the question, Trump has exerted economic sanctions against Russia and attacked the powerful class of oligarchs, the country’s business leaders, many of its largest companies and most importantly its banking system. Slowly, the US is once again bankrupting Russia. The result is shortages of food and other basic needs and curtailed government services as Russian leaders spend more and more on armaments and foolish military expeditions into remote parts of the world, such as Syria.

China is a similar story except its economy is much stronger. Trump reacted to Chinese misbehavior with extraordinary economic sanctions that have stopped China in its tracks and markedly reduced its industrial growth.

China sells over $350 billion of goods to the US annually, while the US sells about $100 billion to China. Tit for tat tariffs have hurt China far worse than tariffs on US goods. The leadership of China will be in jeopardy if the sanctions are not rescinded soon. This is why Trump is making progress in his negotiations with China to end unfair trade practices and the theft of US technologies.

Unemployment lines in China will begin to grow if the US sanctions do not end. Xi is under pressure to make the turmoil end in the short term. The expectation that China will “eat the US’s lunch” economically is misleading and untrue, especially because our economy is so much larger than China’s.

Sanctions have also been effective against North Korea and its nuclear aspirations. Kim cannot continue to spend so much of his country’s cash flow on nuclear and conventional weapons. He will ultimately accede to US demands or face regime change.

Similarly the aggression of Iran will end as sanctions are tightened. Iran will have to accept much tougher restrictions on its nuclear arsenal or face regime issues that will follow food shortages and civil unrest.

The shrewd use of economic sanctions rather than military engagement is wise. However some dysfunctional regimes throughout the world only understand military might. The US should be prepared to use its power exclusively when all other avenues have been exhausted.

America must act decisively in situations that threaten US security and our allies. Additionally, crimes against humanity, genocide and actions by nations that result in famine and displacement of groups of people, need to be dealt with apace.

Trump’s perspective on the strategy to use military and economic force has been effective to this point.

Is A War With Iran Inevitable?

As a matter of policy the US does not preemptively attack its enemies. It resorts to violence only after being provoked by antagonists that threaten America and its allies. The behavior of Iran during the course of the last year does in fact justify a military response.

Military action can take many forms ranging from an outright invasion to limited strikes against strategic targets. It could also mean establishing embargoes and conducting cyber warfare that disrupts the enemy’s economy and infrastructure.

After President Trump abrogated an inane and highly ineffective nuclear arrangement with the Iranians (designed by President Obama), Iran began to ramp up its nuclear development. Much of this relates to enriching uranium for creating weapons of mass destruction. The country is moving ahead with its plans to build a deliverable bomb.

Iran is participating in a number of horrific adventures throughout the Middle East, that includes arming terrorists in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Syria. This has resulted in a huge number of casualties and refugees, along with famine and disease.

The ayatollahs have also sanctioned action against oil tankers operating in international waters. And most recently, Iran launched cruise missiles that destroyed critical oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are mortal enemies of the Iranians. Together they have created a very dangerous standoff that pits Sunnis against Shiites, the two major Islamic sects.

President Trump has been restrained in his reactions to Iranian aggression, which has emboldened the rogue state and the religions zealots that govern Iran’s theocracy.

Trump’s restraint is interpreted as weakness in some circles. Does the American leader have the courage to do what’s necessary to control Iran? Constant US threats that are not supported by action could lead to another situation similar to Syria, where Obama drew a line in the sand relating to genocide conducted by Assad. The Syrian leader stepped across the line and Obama did nothing. Inaction led to Syrian cooperation with Russia and Iran.

What actions by Iran justify military action? If Iran maliciously kills one American or attacks any locations occupied by Americans, deadly force would be in order. After 9/11 the US responded by launching military attacks against Afghanistan.

The destruction of US property by Iran (such as the US drones that Iran shot down) would justify retaliation, but in a much less severe manner. This could be the destruction of Iranian military equipment and long-range armaments that were used in an attack.

If Iran assaults our allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel being the obvious choices, the US must be prepared to respond in kind. The recent attack on Saudi oil fields falls into this category. An aggressive US response is called for, and the president is making a mistake by not responding to it.

Massive attacks that endanger innocents must be avoided at almost all costs. But Iran’s armies, missile launch sites, radar equipment, artillery batteries and command and control centers should be priority targets.

A confrontation with Iran is inevitable unless sanctions bring down the current regime. Trump may be depending upon this outcome. It would be a misstep to do so. The US should be preparing to attack this enemy with or without concurrence of other nations. The peril the world faces by waiting any longer is unacceptable.

Iran Has Committed An Act Of War. Now What?

If any Americans don’t believe Iran poses an existential threat to the Middle East, they should immediately reconsider their perspective in light of current actions by the rogue state.

What other country in the region would destroy a critical oil facility? What other country would be so brazen to create an oil crisis by physically attacking oil assets of the largest producer in the world?

If you still think that Iran would be a responsible nation if it possessed a nuclear weapon, you are misguided. The ayatollahs would be that much more aggressive if they were able to threaten Israel and Sunni regimes with nuclear holocaust.

Trump’s decision to end Iran’s dream of Middle Eastern domination was a wise one. And aligning the US with Saudi Arabia was a brilliant diplomatic gambit. It forced Iran’s hand, and it has now proven that the country is bellicose, dangerous, radical and firmly driven by religious fanaticism. Now the US and its allies must rethink their current strategy to bring Iran to its knees economically. Military action is becoming a more viable alternative, as Iran becomes more desperate.

What are the US options at this time? Trump has repeatedly stated that another Middle East war is the least favorite path. Once an outsider becomes involved in a conflagration in the region, it’s difficult to escape. Hard times are a way of life for the residents of Islamic countries. Afghanistan and Iraq have taught us this lesson.

If we attack militarily we must consider the costs of rebuilding what we destroy. It’s the latter eventuality that is the nightmare of an American president. This in no way minimizes the carnage that would accompany a massive attack in which many thousands of innocents will be killed or displaced.

An actual conflict with bombs and missiles will be brief. It always is in this part of the world where despots overstate the fighting strength of their armies. America has the power and intelligence capabilities, not to mention the support of Israel, to end a war with any Middle East country in a few days, if not hours. Leaders will die instantly, military installations will be obliterated and command and control will end with the first wave of cruise missiles.

There will be no country of Iran after a very short time. But then the hard work begins as even more radical players, dangerous terrorists, swoop down on the devastation like vultures. Refugees, starving people and unsanitary conditions will abound.

Is there a possibility that diplomatic action can bring peace without violence? It seems doubtful if Iran continues to attack oil facilities and foments even greater unrest in the region.

Can significantly more economic sanctions bring the country down before the ayatollahs initiate a suicide mission to destroy as much of the Middle East as possible? Maybe, but it would be a risky plan. And it would need to happen swiftly to encourage regime change. Of course, who would take over after the ayatollahs is another important consideration.

And finally, how do Iran’s actions affect our presidential election? For one thing every candidate must state publicly how he or she would deal with Iran as president. Voters should disqualify any candidates that say they would reinstate the farcical Obama nuclear deal. It’s too late to rehash that inane possibility.

We need a strong person in the White House to manage this growing existential problem. The good news is that there are no nuclear weapons aimed at Israel or Sunni countries, yet.

Four Things That Will Hurt Democrats In 2020

Democrat candidates for president are saying quite a few things that are alienating voters. As discussed many times, presidential aspirants, in the primaries, must personify progressive ideologies to win. The theory goes that when the nomination is won, the candidate must then pivot to a more tolerant perspective to lure independents and moderate voters.

I’m going to give Democrats some free advice and outline four areas that will help Donald Trump win in 2020. Rest assured the most radical elements in the party will not listen. They certainly will try to win votes by denigrating Trump, calling him names and saying he is bad for America. These strategies will fail.

The four issues to be discussed are:

 

  • Russian collusion and obstruction of justice involving Donald Trump
  • The US relationship with Saudi Arabia
  • The US relationship with Israel
  • Trump’s terrible persona

 

  1. Russia and collusion. Nobody wants to rehash these issues any further except the liberal chairmen of several congressional committees in the House. The charges have been investigated by far too many politicians and investigators hired by them.

Mueller’s two-year odyssey was a colossal waste of time and money. The Special Counsel worked very hard along with his sycophants to dig up dirt that would be grounds to impeach, but he and his soldiers were unable to do so. Mueller even admitted this fact.

Notwithstanding the costs involved, Democrats investigate onward. My favorite comment was that Democrats stipulated that none of Trump’s specific actions, behavior and rhetoric were sufficient alone to justify impeachment, but taken as a whole, they do provide a path to oust the president. I didn’t know that you could add up crimes to make one big one.

I sincerely hope their constituencies will punish the diehards who are unable to give up their fruitless crusade, in 2020. Their sanctimonious attitude has resulted in very little action taken by Congress to “fix” the country. I’m referring to bridges and tunnels, schools, veteran affairs, bad treaties, health care, immigration, gun control and so on.

  1. The US relationship with Saudi Arabia. It was inevitable that a president would at some point choose to take the side of Saudi Arabia or Iran. Wisely, Trump selected the Saudis in spite of the unfortunate murder of a dissident that was allegedly orchestrated by the Crowned Prince.

Over the years Sunni radicals in Saudi Arabia have created havoc in the Middle East. These terrorists are blinded by their religious fervor. They have paid for and encouraged terrorism that has resulted in many deaths. Moreover, their country, notwithstanding its great wealth, is not interested in encouraging religious and personal freedom.

But Saudi Arabia is the sworn enemy of Iran and all states and groups that are Shiite. Iran is the most vicious member of this group and a fomenter of senseless, religious-driven, violence.

For some reason the Obama administration believed it could negotiate with Iran, make a deal to stem the tide of nuclear proliferation in the area and become buddies with the ayatollahs. All Obama accomplished was a delay in Iran’s dream to have nukes. It was an inane and dangerous legacy ploy by the former president. And, along with Obamacare, the deal fell flat on its face.

Most importantly, Obama disregarded the US policy of no nuclear armaments for Iran that was in place since the early 1980s. He thought Iran would act responsibly with a nuclear bomb in their arsenal. Iran does not act diplomatically without a WMD, why would anyone think it would do otherwise with much greater military power?

The world is safer, although tensions between Iran the US have escalated. Trump is trying to renegotiate the nuke deal by imposing greater sanctions on the Iran regime. It seems to be having great effect.

Democrats have turned against the regime in Saudi Arabia. For the stability of the region, Trump must continue to look away from the distasteful actions by the Saudis. American voters are beginning to understand the importance of Saudi Arabia as a close ally of the US, in spite of recent unfortunate events.

  1. The relationship with Israel. The State of Israel is the most important ally of the US. Israel serves as a watchdog and outpost for the US, as the region becomes more dangerous every day. Since the establishment of the nation, the US has unequivocally supported and protected Israel’s right to exist. This has become a more difficult endeavor every year.

Most Jews in the US, even those that believe the current regime is too aggressive towards Palestine, want Israel to persevere and be available to those that are persecuted. Democratic antagonism towards the Israelis will hurt their chances in the national election. In the end, many Jews will support Trump because of this issue alone.

  1. Trump’s lousy attitude. Many Americans detest Trump’s personality. Yet he’s been getting results. Perhaps this aggressive demeanor is what America needed to stop the unfair arrangements that past president agreed to for diplomatic reasons. Trade deals, nuclear pacts, etc. need renegotiation even if we hurt some feelings along the way. Our determination to protect others is recognized sooner or later when nations are under distress and need a friend. Democrats are wasting their time criticizing Trump personally because a. he doesn’t care what they say, b. Trump’s base is with him to the bitter end and c. criticizing Trump’s personality is not going to turn the election.

Democrats, I know you won’t heed my warnings. After the 2020 elections you will be licking your wounds and wondering why you lost the presidency and so many congressional seats.

 

Dealing With Immigration, Iran And Health Care

Our country is facing a plethora of problems. Dealing with issues has become increasingly more difficult because our government is so divided, as are our citizens.

There are a few situations that are causing great consternation across the country. They include immigration policy, nuclear proliferation and health care.

Immigration to the US emanating from Mexico and Central America has torn our country apart. The immigration dilemma and its effect on our society should not have come as a great surprise. Developed countries throughout the world are experiencing similar demands from large groups of people that have been persecuted and are seeking a better place to live.

So many are trying to escape horrible circumstances that are exacerbated by authoritarian rule, genocide and religious intolerance. The number of refugees stacked up in terrible conditions has reached epic proportions. Food, shelter and medicine are scarce.

Some nations are threatened by the demands of people seeking a better life. Why is this so? Resources in most countries are becoming more coveted every day. Even in the US accommodations for illegal immigrants are impacting American citizens in need. By giving to the people waiting on our doorsteps, the government is depriving services to people who were born in this country and living in poverty.

Further, the migration of many people of different cultures creates an array of societal, financial and political issues. Immigrants must be cared for. Who is going to provide services? Where will immigrants be transported once in the country? In the US they cannot all settle in Texas, Arizona and California. How many people can be assimilated in a short period of time?

Americans have always been sensitive to suffering and agony of the downtrodden. It’s in our DNA to come to the rescue of forsaken people. But how many can we help? Should we open our borders and accept everyone? Is the US able to care for all immigrants that want entry and permanent status in the country? How much of our limited resources can we afford to give to these people? How will another 1,2,3 or 10 million immigrants affect our country? There are more questions than answers. Tough decisions must be made to rein in the immigration problem. Can the US be the destination of persecuted people from all over the world? Not likely.

A nuclear event is the greatest existential threat to our world. The use of a WMD even in a far off places such as the Middle East and the Far East would have dire consequences for millions of people.

Note: The most volatile situation at this moment is North Korea. It appears that its leader is amenable to negotiating a disarmament treaty. Since NOKO has deliverable weapons, it should be the highest priority of US diplomacy.

The most dangerous country in the world is Iran. The reason for this designation is that the country is the leading provocateur of terror in the Middle East. And it is committed to owning nuclear weapons. The Obama nuclear deal with Iran did not ban Iran from developing a nuclear capability. It only deferred this eventuality.

Trump, rightly so, pointed out this radical possibility and abrogated they treaty. Now the US is committed to isolating Iran politically and economically until it agrees to never build a nuclear bomb.

What might the ayatollahs do if they had a deliverable bomb? Under duress they could use it against Israel. This would be a foolish and deadly decision because Israel would retaliate in kind with a much greater counter punch. But if it did occur, the Middle East would be in turmoil for an extended period. And worse, the US might be drawn into the fray.

The US is committed to Israel, and it is likely that we would respond mightily to an Iranian nuclear attack, a contingency that can only be eliminated by preventing Iran from developing a bomb.

As an afterthought, it should be noted that Iran could also direct its venom towards its Sunni opponents. In a large-scale brouhaha, Saudi Arabia and others on the peninsula could also be attacked with WMDs.

Health care is always front and center politically in the US. Obama created a huge conundrum that has tortured Americans and the country’s medical system ever since it was rammed down our throats several years ago. It has cost the country trillions and has made it difficult for any one in this country to feel secure about their ability to pay for a medial emergency.

The latest rage of Democrat liberals is universal, one payer insurance. Private insurance would not be permitted. Millions of people who are happy with their health care would be subjected to an entirely new arrangement that would impact the quality of service, the doctors they might want to use and how much they pay.

Instead of trying to herd millions of Americans into an expensive one size fits all policy, Obama health care reform should have only focused on those who were unable to pay for care. A large Medicaid service available to the needy was all that had to be done. However, Obama wanted to enact a large legacy initiative, and he ultimately screwed up the entire medical system. Now most of the 20 Democrats running for president want a health care mulligan that will further screw up health care.

The solution to the heath care Rubik’s Cube is evasive, but it should not be a one-payer system, and it should not take away private insurance already in effect. If redone incorrectly, the health care system could bankrupt our country.

 

How’s Trump Doing?

It’s going to drive liberal Trump haters insane to hear that the president is scoring huge victories in spite of his frightful attitude and undiplomatic demeanor. The biggest issue, relating to the election, is the surging US economy.

The stock market hit new highs on Friday. There are competing influences impacting the markets, but generally there’s a lot of positive momentum. However, Federal Reserve Chief, Jerome Powell, said the following “. . . trade tension and a weaker global economy [are] weighing on the outlook and [he] said the Fed was prepared to act.”

Some economists think Powell is intentionally ignoring the strong jobs report and the potential ‘trade truce’ with China. Currently most are expecting a move by the Fed at its next meeting. Critics of such an action say it is an accommodation to Trump. Others point out that problems in Europe, including Brexit, and an economic slowdown in China justify some loosening by the Fed. Who says the Fed is apolitical?

In the meantime inflation is not a pressing problem and consumers are spending at a rapid clip. The former gives license to the Fed to keep interest rates down.

The old adage, “It’s the economy, stupid” is apropos. Trump is going to get a boost in the election if the economy continues to improve, unemployment stays under control and wages for the middle class increase.

Making it more disheartening for Trump naysayers is the possibility that the president may actually negotiate a favorable trade deal with the Chinese. I’ve been saying all along that the US can have a great impact on the Chinese economy. Tariffs are one way to exert this advantage. The US buys far more products from China than China from the US. Tariffs will decrease the current trade imbalance, and this will increase worker furloughs and bankruptcies in China.

One of the most important issues for Xi Jinping is keeping Chinese industry running at full speed and keeping workers on the job. Frankly it’s more important for Xi, personally, to smooth relations with the US regarding trade than any other area of disagreement between the countries.

What can the US gain from negotiations with the Chinese? One thing is respect. US economic strength is far more influential than military might, although America is still, by far, the most powerful nation in the world. China needs favorable economic conditions. Many of its industries are highly leveraged, especially banks, which cannot deal with large credit losses.

Moving to other areas, Trump is going to make a deal with Kim Jung-un. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if a nuclear disarmament treaty is indirectly a part of a US trade deal with China. If I were Trump I would make a NOKO accommodation a required element of the trade negotiations.

Kim is in a position to solidify his regime for decades but he needs desperately to end economic sanctions and to have US become a trading partner. This can only happen if Kim gives up the nukes. If he walks away, economic sanctions will eventually be his downfall. Once again the US’s economic might can ultimately be more powerful and be less expensive than going to war.

The ayatollahs of Iran are on a road to oblivion. By continuing to threaten commerce in the Straits of Hormuz and stoking terror elsewhere in the Middle East, Iran is losing support of the European Union, especially Great Britain. Attacking oil tankers is a stupid and unproductive strategy that my earn Iran a few hundred cruise missiles as a warning. Similar to other countries mentioned above, US economic sanctions are disseminating Iran.

Trump was absolutely justified in abrogating the Iran nuclear deal. Most importantly it gave Iran a pathway to nuclear arms in about a decade.

Domestically, the majority of Americans are not enamored by the actions of Trump. In fact so many despise him that they will not give him credit for his successes. And further, too many Americans would be happy to see the president fail even if the country suffers. This group includes the liberal press.

But Trump presses forward with aggressive comments and distortion of the truth. He seems to relish opportunities to slam his opponents in fiery rallies and on social media. These are unproductive, but Trump says he must defend himself from fake news and unfair treatment by his opponents.

All this is a sideshow to the main attraction, the 2020 elections. Trump looks like a winner mostly because Democrats have moved too far left. A socialist will not be elected in America, at least not yet. Also, Americas will grow to understand that every entitlement can’t be free. The country cannot provide new entitlements without cutting critical services elsewhere, no matter how much they increase taxes. American voters will understand this problem as the debates and the political rhetoric continues to ramp up.