Many American presidents have blundered in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, but Donald Trump’s personal involvement in the region has been particularly disastrous. President Eisenhower introduced the CIA to the world of covert action, when he ordered the overthrow of the legitimate government of Iran in 1953. President Reagan endorsed a U.S. troop presence in Lebanon in 1982 in order to pull Israeli chestnuts out of the fire there due to their war crimes in Beirut, offering proof to the Arab nations of Washington’s one-sided support for Israel. President George H.W. Bush went ahead with Desert Storm in 1991 although Soviet President Gorbachev had gained a commitment from Saddam Hussein to withdraw his forces from Kuwait. Worst of all, President George W. Bush used phony intelligence to justify an invasion of Iraq in 2003 that has created sixteen years of disarray throughout the region.
Will It Survive John Bolton?
The Trump administration is looking askance at what may be a legitimate Russian effort to break the current disarmament deadlock between the United States and North Korea. According to The Washington Post, Russia made a secret proposal to North Korea last fall to advance negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang regarding North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
My latest piece published on conterpunch.org.
Early in Richard Nixon’s presidency, he told his chief of staff Bob Haldeman that his secret strategy for ending the Vietnam War was to threaten the use of nuclear weapons. Nixon opined that President Eisenhower’s nuclear threats in 1953 brought a quick end to the Korean War, and that he planned to use the same principle of threatening maximum force. Nixon called it the “madman theory,” getting the North Vietnamese to “believe…I might do anything to stop the war.”