Sunset over ancient city of Yazd, Iran

I was only 17-years-old when George W. Bush and his neocon gang of idiots decided to invade Iraq. I wasn’t surprised it actually happened. It had been clear for months that Hans Blix, the weapons inspection farce, and the United Nations posturing  was merely designed to make it look like all options had been exhausted and we simply had to go take Saddam Hussein out. I never took any of that seriously, since it was clearly bullshit from the start (this is leaving out all the lies told on television by the likes of Condoleezza Rice and Dick Cheney).

But one reason also had to do with what Pat Buchanan said during the late summer of 2002, months before we ended up going to war.

At the time, as a young liberal, I kinda hated Mr. Buchanan, to be honest. Still, I watched him almost daily on a MSNBC program called Buchanan & Press. One day I was watching the show, back when the Iraq War was first being floated by people like Andy Card (George W. Bush’s first chief of staff) in the media. Buchanan said matter-of-factly that we were certain to go to war, Democrats would roll over and concede to Bush, and that any discussion otherwise was a joke. The way he said this always stuck out to me, especially in light of future events.

He was against the war, mind you, as was his co-host Bill Press. That ended up costing them their show, by the way. MSNBC didn’t want to have prominent anti-war voices on air during the middle of a war. Even Keith Olbermann was anchoring coverage during the “shock and awe” phase that pretty much gave glowing coverage to the entire war effort. The whole network was turned into a propaganda outlet, as was CNN and Fox News (this process has been documented). But I never forgot what Buchanan said, how right he was. Ever since then, I’ve held him up as one of the most prescient political commentators that we have.

Well, he’s sounded the alarm once again, this time about the recent Iran saber-rattling coming from the Trump administration.

When Gen. Michael Flynn marched into the White House Briefing Room to declare that “we are officially putting Iran on notice,” he drew a red line for President Trump. In tweeting the threat, Trump agreed.

His credibility is now on the line.

And what triggered this virtual ultimatum?

Iran-backed Houthi rebels, said Flynn, attacked a Saudi warship and Tehran tested a missile, undermining “security, prosperity, and stability throughout the Middle East,” placing “American lives at risk.”

But how so?

The Saudis have been bombing the Houthi rebels and ravaging their country, Yemen, for two years. Are the Saudis entitled to immunity from retaliation in wars that they start?

Where is the evidence Iran had a role in the Red Sea attack on the Saudi ship? And why would President Trump make this war his war?

I don’t know where Trump and his associates are headed with this. I deeply hope that this is some kind of negotiating tactic. But when I see Pat Buchanan speaking out in such a blunt way, I take notice. His warnings in this area in the past have been so spot-on that you would have to be a fool not to.

As for the Iranian missile test, a 2015 U.N. resolution “called upon” Iran not to test nuclear-capable missiles. It did not forbid Iran from testing conventional missiles, which Tehran insists this was.

Is the United States making new demands on Iran not written into the nuclear treaty or international law — to provoke a confrontation?

Did Flynn coordinate with our allies about this warning of possible military action against Iran? Is NATO obligated to join any action we might take?

Or are we going to carry out any retaliation alone, as our NATO allies observe, while the Israelis, Gulf Arabs, Saudis and the Beltway War Party, which wishes to be rid of Trump, cheer him on?…

This U.S. threat will surely strengthen those Iranians opposed to the nuclear deal and who wish to see its architects, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, thrown out in this year’s elections…

Wednesday’s White House statement makes a collision with Iran almost unavoidable, and a war with Iran quite possible…

I will say this unequivocally. Unless Iran launches an attack on United States military personnel or our homeland, I am against any kind of military action against either their country or their regime. It wold not serve our national interests and it’s almost certain to cost a ton of American blood and treasure. Anyone, Trump administration or not, who supports a war with Iran without the conditions above being met, is wrong. I will have to part with them on this political and moral issue.

Not only that, a military action against Iran is almost certain to sink Trump’s presidency.

High among the reasons that many supported Trump was his understanding that George W. Bush blundered horribly in launching an unprovoked and unnecessary war on Iraq.

Along with the 15-year war in Afghanistan and our wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen, our 21st-century U.S. Mideast wars have cost us trillions of dollars and thousands of dead. And they have produced a harvest of hatred of America that was exploited by al-Qaida and ISIS to recruit jihadists to murder and massacre Westerners.

Osama’s bin Laden’s greatest achievement was not to bring down the twin towers and kill 3,000 Americans, but to goad America into plunging headlong into the Middle East, a reckless and ruinous adventure that ended her post-Cold War global primacy.

Unlike the other candidates, Trump seemed to recognize this.

It was thought he would disengage us from these wars, not rattle a saber at an Iran that is three times the size of Iraq and has as its primary weapons supplier and partner Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

When Barack Obama drew his red line against Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war, and Assad appeared to cross it, Obama discovered that his countrymen wanted no part of the war that his military action might bring on.

President Obama backed down — in humiliation…

It’s fun to talk trash online. I make jokes about President Trump cleaning up and “taking it to our enemies.” But this is no joking matter. A war with Iran would be devastating for them. Yes, we might even kill some of the scum in charge of their country, maybe even prop up some puppet regime. I don’t give a shit about Iran, though. I care about the United States. A war with Iran, which is much bigger and stronger than Iraq ever was, would cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. It’s a loser for our nation and for President Trump. I’m hoping he doesn’t go down that perilous path.