For far too long the United States has effectively used deception, false pretexts, and manufactured consent along with obfuscated justifications to wage costly wars against sovereign nations. Costly not only in the millions of human lives lost, but also the destruction of infrastructure, including historical monuments and the breaking down of societal norms within those very unfortunate nations.
When people talk about the US’s history of destructive interventionism the conversation turns to statistics. This leads to the dehumanization of those who have suffered the most, their entire representation is minimized to numbers, dollars and cents. A path of death and destruction (rather than democracy and liberation) are what’s left behind whenever the United States places its target on a new (un)suspecting victim.
The role of corporate and mainstream media in creating manufactured consent
Are we on the brink of a new full-fledged military confrontation with Iran? Well, that depends on who you ask. Corporate media thrives on spewing juicy propaganda and keeping the American public in a constant state of fear, doubt, and chaos. It also specializes in distracting us with domestic issues (sometimes fabricated) when our tax dollars are being used abroad to fuel wars, insurrections, and dismantle entire political systems. Using false pretexts to garner support for wars and invasions, is a tried and true strategy and part of psychological warfare used by the United States.
You’ll notice that promoting regime change in places like Syria and Venezuela gain favorable coverage, much like promoting the illusion of an increased Iranian threat. But topics such as the US being complicit in the death and starvation of Yemeni civilians, by selling weapons and providing intelligence to Saudi Arabia are not discussed. Providing weapons, training, and salaries to armed terrorist groups in Syria, is another unpopular topic in mainstream media.
Thankfully, there are other options i.e. international and alternative media sources that exist to counter the disinformation beast and serve as an essential tool in reporting on issues that are purposely distorted or withheld from the general public, to manufacture consent for more wars.
Washington and Tehran do not want war
The consensus is that most of the important players involved are not on board with the idea of a new devastating war, especially since we are still entangled in several that were started by previous administrations.
Washington and Tehran have both expressed their disinterest in engaging in a military confrontation. For the most part, it seems that for now cooler heads are prevailing in the White House, with President Donald Trump also saying that he does not want to go to war with Iran. All of this is good news, and contrary to the saber-rattling that’s being broadcast over the airwaves. Even Saudi Arabia has stated that they are not in favor of the US going to war with Iran, but would respond with full force, if Iran initiates.
Some will speculate that with the increased sanctions against Iran, and the build-up of US military presence that we are on the brink of war, but that’s unlikely. Even with this controversial tweet coming from Trump ““If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again,” Iran will not take the bait.
Tehran has referred to the US’s moves, as psychological warfare and stated that “there will be no war” and downplayed their plan to deploy a joint strike group to the Persian Gulf, they have said that having a large US military presence in the region is something they have grown accustomed to.
Pompeo vs. Bolton’s foreign policy tensions escalate
There seems to be a strain between Trump’s top foreign policy advisers: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security advisor Bolton, who are in favor of two different approaches and outcomes when it comes to Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran. It’s common knowledge that Bolton has advocated for “regime change” in Iran in the past, he is not shy when it comes to stating unpopular hawkish opinions and was one of the architects of the invasion of Iraq (along with Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice etc.).
Some have stated that Bolton is manipulating Trump to attack Iran. Bolton doesn’t believe in negotiating with an adversary and would love to see the entire Iranian government implode and brought to its knees, whereas Pompeo is closer aligned with Trump’s foreign policy and in favor of renewed negotiations with Iran.
There have been rumors that Trump was thinking of firing Bolton, which would be a smart move to win favor with his voters ahead of the 2020 election. There really isn’t a good reason to keep a war hawk of his caliber around.
Trump supporters want him to keep his 2016 anti-interventionist promises
Promises by Trump to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan and Syria have still not been carried out, many would say that Bolton threw a wrench into Trump’s plans. Also, some have argued that the US’s failed “regime change” attempts to unseat President Maduro in Venezuela have made things a bit uncomfortable between Bolton and Trump.
Trump won favor among many anti-war voters by making some notable non-interventionist statements during his campaign. He made it clear that he not only wanted to end the wars we are currently in but that he isn’t interested in starting new ones. He even stated, “We seek harmony and good will among the nations of the world, and we believe that respect for mutual sovereignty helps form the basis of trust and understanding.”
A few more of his famous 2016 quotes that brought hope to many anti-war activists and veterans included, “Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big fat mistake” and “We should have never been in Iraq; we have destabilized the Middle East”. As well as, “We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes, that we know nothing about”. These were just three of the statements made in 2016 by the leading Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, while he was campaigning to become the new leader of the “free world”.
Some have stated that Trump has reneged on his anti-interventionist foreign policy, while others believe that despite being surrounded by war-hawks (namely John Bolton) and numerous steps in the wrong direction, Trump will bring an end to the US’s dark history of going to war under false pretexts, brutally toppling foreign governments, and installing puppet leaders, all while leaving countries in ruins.
One thing that almost everyone can agree on, is that we have serious domestic issues and concerns that require the appropriate focus and funds within our borders, our tax dollars are better spent here, rather than destroying countries abroad.