Friday, January 3, 2020

Trump & context: Tonkin Gulf, WMD and earlier impeachment/missile attacks

As the world holds its breath - - and waits for Trump's evidence that backs up his assassination order-by-drone (perhaps like this one) - - 
RQ-1 / MQ-1 Predator
MQ-1 Predator, armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.jpg
US Air Force MQ-1 armed with AGM-114 Hellfiremissiles

let's take a few minutes and review why it feels like we've seen this story before:

Gulf of Tonkin, deception and the War in Vietnam:
It was 1964, an election year, and the Republicans had just nominated Barry Goldwater, a former jet fighter pilot, and hardcore hawk, to run against Johnson in November.
Through the evening of Aug. 4, while no new information arrived to clarify the event in the Gulf, the White House narrative was firmly in place. “We're going to retaliate and we’ll make an announcement a little later in the evening, in the next hour or so and we’ll ask Congress for a resolution of war the next day to support us,” Johnson told an old friend.
That night, on national television, Johnson addressed the American people, saying, “Renewed hostile actions against United States ships on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin have today required me to take action and reply. Our response, for the present, will be limited and fitting. We still seek no wider war.”
And so, in the course of a single day, and operating on imperfect information, Johnson changed the trajectory of the Vietnam War.
Two days later, the Gulf of Tonkin resolution sailed through both houses of Congress by a vote of 504 to 2.
“LBJ was looking for a pretext to go to Congress to ask for a resolution that would give him the authority to do basically whatever the hell he wanted to do in Vietnam, without the intense public debate that a declaration of war would have required,” says historian Chris Oppe.
“But, to me, the more pernicious deception was this idea that American ships were sailing innocently in the Gulf of Tonkin and were attacked without provocation,” he continues. “In fact, the United States had been waging a small, secret war against North Vietnam since 1961. In the days leading up to the first incident of August 2nd, those secret operations had intensified.”
Weapons of mass destruction, Dick Cheney and the Iraq War: 
Members of the Bush administration were dead set on invading Iraq, regardless of the facts. Their arrogance, their incompetence and their lies to the public and the president—all of it led to the greatest strategic disaster in American history, one that will damage this country for decades to come.
 WMD, sources and Iraq war: 
The Iraqi defector whose claims that Saddam Hussein’s government had biological weapons became part of the Bush administration’s justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq has admitted that he fabricated his story.
The defector, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, who was code-named “Curveball” by the Central Intelligence Agency and German intelligence officials, told the British newspaper The Guardian on Tuesday that he had concocted his tale that Iraq was hiding mobile bioweapons laboratories. He did so, he said, in hopes that his lies would lead to the eventual overthrow of the Iraqi ruler.
Clinton impeachment, missile attacks on Iraq: 
There there is all this: 
Trump’s tweets about Obama using war with Iran to win reelection are very awkward now 

In 2011, ‘12, and ‘13, Trump repeatedly predicted that Obama would start a war with Iran to shore up his political support at home.
“In order to get elected, @BarackObama will start a war with Iran,” Trump tweeted in November 2011.

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