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Little Appetite for U.S. War against Iran

Sept. 18, 2019 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump announced today that he has ordered additional “very significant sanctions” on Iran, which he said will be announced in the next 48 hours. But while keeping the option of a military strike on the table, the President’s rebukes of Sen. Lindsey Graham for his campaign for immediate U.S. strikes against Iran indicate the British and their neoconservatives may not get the war they are itching for.

In a tweet yesterday, Graham blamed the bombing of the Saudi oil refinery on the President’s failure to strike Iran last June, whining that the Iranians read Trump’s “restraint as weakness.” Trump quickly re-tweeted Graham’s complaint, with his response: “No Lindsey, it was a sign of strength that some people just don’t understand!”

Asked today by reporters about Graham’s pressures, Trump repeated that message, and then referenced the disasters created by the military interventions of previous U.S. administrations. Trump suggested the reporters “ask Lindsey: How did going into the Middle East—how did that work out?  And how did going in Iraq work out? So, we have a disagreement on that.”

We have “plenty of time” to act, he added. “We’ll see what happens.”

Similarly, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters yesterday that Trump has not yet requested military action, only planning in response to Iran, and Central Command commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie has not asked for additional forces in the region, Dunford told media yesterday.

Sen. Rand Paul continues to warn against a military response. “This is a regional conflict. There’s no reason the superpower, the United States, needs to be getting into bombing mainland Iran. It would be a needless escalation of this,” he told Fox News last night.

Cautions against action from other leading Republican Senators against plunging into military action have been noted by military-oriented media, such as Defense News. One such caution came from Oklahoma’s Sen. Jim Lankford, who argued that “military is always last—always, always. Our beef is not with the people of Iran but the regime of Iran. Why would we take aggressive action against people who mean us no harm?”

Even Democrats Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Elliot Engel spoke of Constitutional requirement for Congress to declare war.

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