I sincerely hope that all my American visitors had a great Memorial Day……
Back to work, Professor!
I’ll bet that if you are not an old fart then you have no idea what I mean by the title…..for you ‘younguns’…..
This was an attack by North Vietnam on two naval vessels cruising off their shores….and this incident lead to the mash up that cost 50,000+ American lives……
More information on the incident…..
That is enough history for you….I bring this up because I said that the attacks on the tankers in the Persian Gulf smelled like a new “Tonkin Incident”…..
But to refresh your memory…..
With the US having signed off on another 1,500 ground troops being sent to the Middle East, some justification is needed. A top Pentagon official is relying on previous speculation to make this all look very official.
Vice Admiral Michael Gilday told reporters that the US has “very high confidence” that recent sabotage of oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates was done by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. He also claimed rockets recent fired ib Baghdad were fired by “Iranian proxies.“
Then the president order more troops to the region….and now he, Trump, is using an unclear threat to help sell weapons, that the Congress has said no to, to the Saudis and their lackeys…..
In a move predicted earlier this week by members of Congress, President Trump has declared a “national emergency” for the sole reason of circumventing Congressional restrictions on arms sales, and using it to rush shipments of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Under the Arms Export Control Act, Congress is supposed to get a 30 day notice ahead of any sales, and can then block shipments. Concerns about war crimes in Yemen mean Saudi arms would be likely to face some effort to block them.
But the law has a loophole in it, which allows the president to declare an “emergency” of any sort he wants, with no oversight on that declaration, and then send the arms over without Congressional notification.
This is a notoriously cheap way to circumvent Congress on arms exports, but several Senators said they expected Trump to make such a move as soon as next week. It appears he decided to get out in front of that move with a declaration on Friday going into the holiday weekend.
Officially, the “national emergency” is tensions with Iran, though several in Congress have pointed out that the US has had nonstop tensions with Iran for decades, and that’s not a reason to suddenly declare a new emergency.
We have an emergency according to Trump…..The Trump administration on Friday invoked a rarely used provision in federal law to bypass congressional review of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing threats the kingdom faces from Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified Congress of the decision to use an emergency loophole in the Arms Export Control Act to move ahead with sales of $7 billion in precision guided munitions, other bombs and ammunition and aircraft maintenance support to Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, without lawmakers’ approval. Pompeo said, the AP reports, “that an emergency exists which requires the immediate sale” of the weapons “to deter further the malign influence of the government of Iran throughout the Middle East region.” He said the transfers “must occur as quickly as possible in order to deter further Iranian adventurism.” (If anybody can recognize “adventurism” it is the American war machine….we have been committing it for over 5 decades)…….
So the weapons could be sold….the State Department withheld info from Congress……
The US State Department missed a deadline today to explain to the heads of multiple Congressional committees why the Iran section of their arms control report contradicted all available information from US intelligence agencies.
The report came out in mid-April, and was immediately contested by a number of officials. Intelligence officials said the report was “skewed” in such a way as to justify military action against Iran. They also said that the text indicated that the State Department had totally ignored all intelligence assessments on Iran, and just wrote the report in a way that would fit the narrative.
At the time, the State Department refused to address the allegations from other officials, and claimed the report included “all relevant information,” suggesting they didn’t consider intelligence reports that didn’t agree with the conclusion they were supposed to come up with relevant enough to mention.
Ignoring Congressional calls for clarification is a growing problem throughout the administration. Repeatedly, the administration has been given direct questions by Congress, or members thereof, with specific deadlines, and just let those deadlines go with neither a response, nor an explanation as to why they didn’t respond.
Could it be missed because the intel will not confirm that lie being sold?
A piece of evidence in the Trump administration’s case against Iran may be less than it seems.
The Trump administration announced Friday that it is sending 1,500 new troops to the Persian Gulf and authorizing new arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in order to counter a rising Iranian threat in the region. But satellite images provided exclusively to The Daily Beast by the company Planet Labs show that a component of the administration’s description of Iran’s aggressive behavior—an apparent positioning of Iranian missiles onto boats—may not be as clear in commercial imagery as anonymous administration officials claimed it to be in statements to other publications.
Sorry, but I have heard all this before….and it did not end well for 50,000+ Americans…..we cannot let it happen yet again!