U.S. Orders Partial Evacuation of Embassy in Baghdad

The decision came after the Trump administration warned of an increased threat linked to Iran. Officials in Iraq and elsewhere doubted that such a threat existed.

Comments: 190

  1. It’s plainly obvious that the Trump administration and Republican Party is attempting to create a pretext in order to distract the US voting public away from its abominable behavior and record of the past two and one-half years. We’ve been here before during the Bush/Cheney years. This time we need the Democrats in Congress, the mainstream press, and the conscientious public to resist the lies and mendacity being promulgated by Trump, Bolton, Pompeo and the warmongering cabal of Republicans regarding Iran.

  2. @Ben I Couldn’t disagree more with you that this is a distraction. At the heart of this conflict is Israel and Saudi Arabia, and the military industrial complex working towards Iran’s annihilation. The American people will be fooled again, and millions of people will be displaced and hundreds of thousands will die. The Neocons are still in power, now more than ever. The democrats will vote for war again as they did in Iraq. The conscientious public you mention is a minority, easily overrun by the likes of Fox and the ABC/Disney empire.

  3. @Dan And I’ll disagree with you. At the heart of this faux conflict is Donald Trump. He wants a war. He appointed people who want a war too. Any sane Israeli knows that a war involving Iran can blowback in their direction. Any sane American leader knows a war with Iran will cause death and destruction with no benefit. Donald Trump is not sane. He really really wants a war. The generals will have to stop him.

  4. @Dan Have you learned nothing in the past 2 years? You seriously think that Trump is going to bother getting congressional approval?

  5. Now that Boeing May find it difficult to sell their products around the world when other countries impose tariffs making the Airbus plane a better choice. Trump and company can just gin up yet again another Middle East war to transfer massive amounts of tax payer money to the military industrial complex.

  6. Given the track record of lies and deceit of the current administration, one wonders if this is yet another manufactured "alternate reality" with the sole purpose of starting a war, any war, or is it an emerging pattern of the GOP in general? Remember the Bush claims of WMDs in Iraq, which were found to be totally baseless and used an an excuse to get the U.S. into a war.

  7. @Ellwood Nonnemacher Anyone who has been paying attention knows regime change in Iran has been on the agenda for years. This is for the benefit of Israel and Saudi Arabia and likely not for any benefit to the US

  8. A government run on propaganda for fuel, paying lip service hypocritically to the now-dead Constitution - while the sheep graze stupidly - that's America!

  9. @Max duPont Or, at the very least, a substantial subset of it?

  10. Whatever happens with Iran - I hope POTUS pays attention to all 64 plus slides that the Pentagon may show him as part of a PowerPoint on Iran war preparations. I say this because the 43rd was similarly briefed with 64 slides on Iraq which itself is hard to believe. I worked in the oil patch for 43 years - I don't ever remember anyone putting such a stack together for a presentation to a boss. Buried on the 45th or so slide, risks to invasion and war preparations were listed. One bullet point among ten or so on that slide alone was lack of post war preparations. The 43rd obviously missed that bullet point - no one can blame him after having sat thru 64 slides. And the 45th is known for even less patience. But I hope, someone on his staff asks that important question before they jump into the expected fire.

  11. The dog is being wagged before our eyes.

  12. @Gary Schnakenberg The Wag the Dog war was a fake war. This war will be all too real.

  13. @James D BUt the reasons for the war are all fake.

  14. “Mission accomplished!” That was almost two decades ago. Now, one of the key players responsible for “securing” Baghdad is National Security Advisor. God help us all.

  15. @Bradford Neil "Mission accomplished".... I shudder every time I think of those words. I had just a big of a shudder when I saw John Bolton being appointed as the National "Security" Advisor - what a misnomer of a title that is.

  16. Dan, the democrats (sic) didn’t vote for war. No one has voted for war since World War II. For a while (Korea, Vietnam), we called them “police actions”. Now we call them “wars”. Of course our current president, by his own admission knows more about all things military than the generals. He went to military school after all (and dodged the draft). And Bolton did 18 weeks of active duty (to also dodge the draft). We'll be fine. With those two military experts at the helm, what could go wrong?

  17. How does the evacuation order square with Pompeo saying that the "United States does not seek a war with Iran"? We're either moving purposefully towards another unnecessary war in the Middle East or we're witnessing the Trump administration's ridiculous theatrics. What happens if there's a skirmish between American and Iranian forces while tensions are high? Alternatively, could our allies in the region (especially Saudi Arabia and Israel) misread our bluster for serious intent and initiate their own anti-Iranian actions? It's highly unlikely that any good will come from our saber rattling whereas the potential for adverse consequences is rising quickly.

  18. Iran will need an embassy in Iraq when the dust settles. Or the Embassy may become a monument to and reminder of the outrageous excesses of a formerly great world power.

  19. Without any Iranian provocation, the U.S. is moving towards starting a war against Iran. They have done nothing to start such a war. Rather, it’s the U.S. who is the outlaw regime. It’s the U.S. who unilaterally breached the successful Iranian nuclear arms control pact. It’s the U.S. who imposes crippling sanctions on Iran. It’s the U.S. engaging in provocative military actions (such as moving our fleet to the region to saber rattle), among other things. We have no allies (except the repugnant Saudi regime and Israeli crook Netanyahu) in this quest to start an unnecessary war. There is no reason to fight the war. The only way to stop this march of war is to impeach and remove Trump. He has to go. Now.

  20. @Demosthenes I know we've all heard the jokes about the current administration starting a war to increase their chances of re-election, but this is starting to look frighteningly real. My first concern is that if the current occupant of the White House want to go to war, he will bypass all oversight and unilaterally declare war (probably via Twitter). However, my primary concern is that this administration is drastically underestimating the human cost of any action against Iran. Don't get me wrong, the US military is incredibly powerful, but Iran isn't Afghanistan or Iraq. The US will be facing a far larger, more organized, and better equipped opposition than they have in a very long time. I'm certain the losses will be much heavier for Iran, but there will be sizable American losses. This won't be fighting a guerrilla force, planting IED's and scampering away. This will be an entrenched (and experienced) military with a wide range of anti-vehicle and anti-air equipment.

  21. @Demosthenes Or, we choke Iran off from the rest of the world. They give up trying to erase Israel off the face of the earth and can't send more rockets to Hezbollah in Syria?

  22. @Charles Segal ~ SO causing tens of millions of innocent civilians suffer and die is a good idea? With a government that is likely to attack us in ways that cannot be prevented. No wonder why so many countries don't like the US.

  23. Are we being played??? “No, there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, speaking from Baghdad, told reporters at the Pentagon by video link. There were dangers in the region that were constantly assessed, he said, referring to “noncompliant actors” among the militias, but those have not changed.

  24. @Claudia Jones: This comes from a country that is definitely not friends of Iran. It shows clearly that our Government AKA Trump is continually lying to us.

  25. How I wish Mathis were still Secretary of Defense— Instead of a Trump-sycophant Boeing executive.

  26. @srwdm But going to war will help Boeing recover from their greed-caused engineering debacle of the 737 Max. Gotta keep those multi-million dollar bonuses coming in for Boeing execs and the Secretary of Defense's own retirement.

  27. @srwdm How I wish Obama was still President of The United States...

  28. Designation of Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a 'terrorist' organization is ominous. Can the 'terrorist' designation be used to side-step Congressional war declaration and instead use the AUMF against Iran?

  29. @John B: "to side-step Congressional war declaration" Since the last US declaration of war was June 5, 1942, against Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, and since we've done plenty of war-fighting in the intervening decades, I don't think that the 'side-step' will be hard to execute.

  30. So either the credible threat isn't real or we don't waste our time sharing our intelligence with coalition partners. With friends like us, who needs enemies? Or is it that we only share intelligence with those who are gullible enough to believe it? Let's see is there anyone around the world who would believe anything that comes out of Trump's mouth? Hmmmm. Let me think for a.......millisecond. Yup, There are people like that. But it ain't the Brits.

  31. @Walking Man oops, the UK went off-script "The Pentagon’s Central Command released a statement saying that General Ghika’s comments “run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S."

  32. Trump has apparently read one document. It’s the playbook written by W and Cheney for the Middle East. He’ll soon be screaming No Collusion and Mission Accomplished.

  33. I think trump has evacuated more embassies than Obama now! Another win!

  34. Well, that may have something to do with their heightened feelings of fear. Fear of Iran. Fear of mothers. Fear of children. Fear of women. Fear of science. Fear of facts. Fear of loss. Fear of the real world. Fear and a lack of respect others.

  35. meaningless show to promote the lies of the US being threatened. Bolton's problem is that we KNOW he is lying. Same with Pompeo. We KNOW he is lying. We KNOW they want war and will use every trick (AGAIN) to get there. Trump's problem is that he hasn't fired these 2. The UK military leaders say there is no sign of any Irranian activity.

  36. We have sat through this noir movie before. And what did it get us? Dead or wounded soldiers, parentless children, childless parents, widows and widowers. All for what, and why? At some point Congress MUST intervene. It was complicit, Democrats included, before our preemptive strike against Iraq. Now Bush has become Trump; Cheney, Bolton; Powell, Pompeo. We Americans MUST stand up to Congress and an unhinged Mr. Trump. If we go to war again, we are no better than this deceitful, lying, exploitive administration. We are perpetuating the violation of human rights from our borders to the Middle East.

  37. I think I know what was in John Bolton's letter to Santa.

  38. The coalition of pro-Israeli American wealthy donors and the evangelical Christians has driven Trump - in his quest for votes in 2020 - to allow Bolton and Pompeo to come up with this contrived intelligence on Iranian "activity" and lead to war. Another set of voters for 2020 supporting a war are the military industrial complex corporations and their Congressional representatives who push for jobs in their districts. This is what it's all about - 2020.

  39. This story has a familiar ring to it. A Republican president, himself a chicken-hawk), surrounded by chicken-hawk advisors (Bolton) eager to gin up a war for totally dubious reasons. Reminiscent of Bush, ringed around by Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Rice. Trump, of course, has the additional motive of wanting to deflect attention from his many actions that should land him in jail and destitute. Contemptibly enough, he wants to undermine the sane balance of power his fine predecessor had achieved -- but then, as we all know, he wants to undermine all things Obama.

  40. Trump and more importantly Bolton are whipping up hysteria about Iran to justify military action. They need to be stopped now.

  41. Is anyone surprised that this is happening? From the moment Trump brought Bolton on as NSA we knew war with Iran was the endgame. Bolton has been pushing this war for decades. Trump just wants an easy enemy and distant war he can use to galvanize the conservatives and please the hard liners in Israel. With Netanyahu’s re-election the deal was sealed.

  42. "We won't get fooled again." Care to bet on that? Fooled or not, looks like we're going in. And no matter who you voted for, WE elected him. We let that happen. He's doing this in our name.

  43. I am exhausted and am trying to rally myself yet again to protest war. I am 72 years old. Many 18-year-olds have never lived in a society free of United States' engagement in violence in multiple countries. We demonstrate bogus outrage at the nuclear weapons of others, and remain the only country that has rained nukes down on ordinary citizens, Whom can we blame? The military industrial complex? The cowardly Republicans who relish war as long as there are surrogates to fight? The Democrats who vote for war and then compose "mea culpa" memoirs "regretting" their decision? Maybe even Obama, whom I voted for because of his antiwar stance and who then selected a war hawk as his Secretary of State, vigorously promoted her ultimately failed presidential run, and thus inadvertently unleashed on the world a vile and nihilistic Trump? I am furious with all of them! They have betrayed us time and time again and we return for more. Whom will we hold accountable and when? I watch and listen to the outrage of the young people over the death and psychological destruction of their generation, and fervently hope that their resolve will carry them through to an eventual victory over this cancer of endless war. But I myself am beyond weary.

  44. @TM Excellent post. Sadly, the people of this country do not matter to them. So our elected officials really do not represent us, it appears. Seems they are only interested in being re-elected and raising money and support for that purpose.

  45. I’m old enough to remember the Gulf Resolution that started us on the road in Vietnam!

  46. We have 2.5 years and more's worth of extremely strong reasons to suspect that this is going to be a wholly cooked up military campaign, the ultimate expression of all that makes Mr. Trump horrifically, nightmarishly unfit for the office. Either it was always just a matter of when or he has just recently crossed the mental threshold to "yes, I really can do it and nobody can stop me." I think it's probably the latter - first he had to aggressively churn the ranks of senior staff members until he felt snug within a coterie of likeminded lackeys. I'd add to that the observation that Benjamin Netanyahu, for whom this would appear to be a gift, now has the confidence (provided by Israel's recent elections) to push his White House associates in this direction.

  47. Yesterday, in the cold and rain of a fine Maine spring, I and five others held signs up to the evening rush hour. I’m 79 and the youngest was over 60. It was a sad attempt to say no to the Trump administration and the continuing war on our citizenry, if there is hope it is not to be found in the shaky legs of old folks. We need the youth. With all respect for the energy and reason of likes of Ocasio, Omar, Presley, we need the youth of the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War protestors. We need people to take to the streets. We need to, at the least, jam the machinery of oppression. And we need the youth for that; young legs that can outrun arrest to protest again. We need Black, Brown, White, Asian and Indigenous to act in unity for their future. Old legs can hold the ground for a moment, but we need the youth and we need disruption, Please.

  48. @Jeremy Chapman Well said Mr. Chapman!

  49. @Jeremy Chapman, your comment moved me. Non-violent, respectful disruption ... we can do that.

  50. @Jeremy Chapman Thank You. We did this in the 60's & 70's and now we're in our 60's & 70's... your comment/action is motivating. I will pass this message along with much more urgency to every millennial I encounter. When the feet hit the ground is when everything changes.

  51. The Trump Administration and its billionaire backers are out to convert “alternative facts” to reality, just a few more steps toward the chaos these folks are building to assist the demise of democracy and install their Oligarchy.

  52. How obvious is it that the threat of impending impeachment necessitates a war of distraction?

  53. Oh boy, a war with Iran. That would really rile the stock market, but the price of oil would sky rocket. That’s good, right? All Trump needs to do is weaken the dollar and that will help push oil to new highs. These Republicans really know how to make money.

  54. I work in Iraq with a humanitarian organization. I am a woman, and I carry an American passport. Even with Iran-backed Shiite militias, (Hashd al Shabi, etc) I rarely face trouble at checkpoints here related to my passport, and I have done in-the-field distributions of relief supplies in areas that still experience attacks by IS insurgents despite their effective defeat. Today I am sitting in my office, and it is just another day. Except that the U.S. Embassy has apparently evacuated. But please trust that it is not based on any apparent escalations here.

  55. @T.S. Thank you - we need to hear from more of you. Your voices need to be irrefutably loud to drown out the D.C. scammers.

  56. @T.S. Seems it is the US that told them to evacuate, apparently due to threarening action or rhetoric against Iran and they may fear retaliation by Iran. Iran is not going to start a war they know they likely will not win.

  57. @T.S. Escalations are unpredictable and affect primarily the first victims. Anyone can be their own data point if they wish.

  58. The embassy is a huge fortress, the safest place you could be in over there. Are they going to evacuate to the Holiday Inn?

  59. It’s Duck Soup come to life.

  60. Hunker-down this embassy and blame Iran. Move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Any further orders for Trump, Bibi Netanyahu, as you prepare to push the United States against Iran on behalf of Israel?

  61. Whatever happened to the war criminals who invaded Iraq in 2002? Oh, right. They got book deals, professorships, and seats in boardrooms. There never is a Nuremburg Trial for the victors.

  62. @CgatesMD " They got book deals, professorships, and seats in boardrooms." Not to say positions in this administration.

  63. Well, without Veep around at least Trump and Co. are decent enough to leave us with a laughable scripted comedy in its place. Selena has better timing too.

  64. You mean the President and his administration lied? How could that be? They're usually so honest.

  65. We are living treacherous times, but not necessarily because of Iran's expansionary role in the Middle East; by the unscrupulous and irresponsible warmongering appetite by Trump and Bolton instead. Have we learned nothing from the past, as Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld drove us to invade Irak under false pretenses, with untold suffering and killings and waste of resources, for which we are still paying? Are we this stupid? Where is Congress, to clip Trump's wings towards a fabricated disaster in the offing? Unless we moderate our worst instincts, we may be at the brink of an institutionalized violence, where an unhinged president divorced himself from Congress' oversight, the rule of law and the constitution. This is abhorrent!

  66. Surely Iran has no greater ally in DC than John Bolton. By arguing for war against Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11, he helped unleash a catastrophic invasion and occupation that strengthened Iran’s hand in the region, and in Iraq specifically, not to mention the hand of radical clerics and jihadist troublemakers. And by arguing for war again now, using the same playbook of provocation and manufactured intel, he will isolate America diplomatically from allies, further weaken us financially as we engage in another unwinnable war, and sustain losses to life and military hardware, and expose our assets to blowback all over the world, in addition to dividing and further weakening our nation on partisan fault lines.

  67. Donald Trump running a war with Iran. Can we even imagine anything worse?

  68. @MIMA Yes, Tr*mp being re-elected with a Republican majority in the Senate.

  69. Pompeo, Trump's pit-bull, is hawking alternative facts about Iran being the boogeyman in the Middle East today. He'll say or do anything to distract Americans from the realization that their president is bound for impeachment sooner or later. "Iranian activity" -- Mike Pompeo's words --harks back to Saddam's fake WMD in 2002. The Honorable Gen. Colin Powell bartered his well-earned high office, our Secretary of State, for the mess of pottage that was G.W. Bush's demented war in Iraq (and Afghanistan). Keep an eye out for the way Donald Trump will say or do anything to help him win a second term next year. The Pentagon is again crying wolf --- that Iraq is now on "a high level of alert". Iran is the next "regime change" target for President Trump and his war hawks in the White House. Don't forget that John Bolton, now Trump's National Security Advisor of the U.S., was the guy who asserted in 2002 that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction. Enuf said.

  70. The administration plans on placing 120,000 human targets in the Gulf, to instigate another misbegotten war. Republicans, you have already sacrificed your reputations on Trump’s altar. Redeem yourselves. Don’t throw our soldiers on the pyre.

  71. All of the proven liars from the Bush administration are back in power. Why do they falsify data to embroil America in another middle east quagmire? It appears that we have no strategy other than chicken-hawks strutting about sending other people to play out their macho war fantasies. We did not punish the liars last time, so they are back! If I were in the military I'd report to sick bay with bone spurs.

  72. This intelligence comes from a reliable, highly placed informant code-named Curveball. John Bolton has personally verified it.

  73. @Jack I read "Our Man in Havana" years before the Iraq sequel. I thought at the time Greene's story was meant as an intellegence parody--amusing but hardly "real life". And then...life almost exactly replicated what happened in the book! I don't consider myself an intellectual becuase I've read Graham Greene, however there is a cost to having a society that never reads or studies any history and prefers talking about and watching pro-sports. Chomsky marvels at this. I'm disgusted: does John Bolton (a hypocrite coward in my book) get to decide about our next invasion?

  74. Weapons of mass destruction anyone? This administration is an abomination. I’ve been saying they will drag our nation into a war. Have we learned nothing from the past?

  75. @Aejlex You hit the nail right on the head. Has Congress been advised of these threats and don't the American public have a right to know as it is our military in harms way. But Trump and Bolton the draft dodgers have no problem starting a movement that could lead to war.

  76. this is a religious war. we are fighting for the sunni mohammeddans against the shiite mohammeddans.

  77. @snark magic: ... religion has NOTHING to do with it. it's about ECONOMIC POWER. resources. dollars revolving ...

  78. Where's the " yellow cake " ??? Sad.

  79. It all sounds so Russian!

  80. @Lily: to me, things never sounded more non-russian. it has the echo of "WMD in iraq!" ringing LOUD. another "bush-fire" spreading ... fire-fighting planes operating anywhere?

  81. The EU and especially Germany better be paying more attention or they will have several million Persian refugees in their laps. At least these refugees will be much better educated than the last wave from Obama. Trump will unleash Israel to take out the Iranian nuclear program once and for all if he is provoked by more drone attacks.

  82. @Charlie I am an American living overseas. You obviously have no idea of the character of the Iranian people. 1. They are a country of over 100 million people. They are not Iraq or Afghanistan or even Saudi Arabia.They have a proud and long history that goes back 2,000 years. They have been themselves an empire several times before. 2. It doesn’t matter how many dissenting voices you might have Iran, and how cruel and oppressive their government can be, nothing compels unity among Iranians as fighting a foreign enemy. The way that this is going down on the part of the US, its media and elected officials is total madness.

  83. The Trump administration is proud to willingly lie its way back into yet another war by creating conflict out of thin air. While they try to take away your healthcare by actively sabotaging Obamacare, they’ll justify another trillion dollar war and blame the Democrats for fiscal irresponsibility.

  84. Stop them please. Senators please no more blood and treasure for Bolton and Bannon. Cheney is certainly involved. This is an openly clandestine operation if that is possible. It is with precedent in 2003. Only much worse. We are now a dictatorship out on the open and a theocracy in the making and our leadership is full of false prophets and Nephilem. There isn’t a light shining anywhere for Americans as a nation united anymore. Florida was usurped in the election twice. 2016/2018. And DeSantis won’t say which counties. It’s a mess on every level.

  85. Obvious provocation and escalation. This administration really wants a war with Iran, and is trying to drum up any pretense for invasion

  86. And the drumbeat grows louder, a bit at a time. The analogy of the boiling frog comes to mind, as Americans are slowly lured into invading yet another country, creating chaos and tragedy on all sides, just so one small man can hold on to his job. (Hey, it worked for Bush...)

  87. What intelligence? Could this be intelligence from the same people that the president called inept, an intelligence agency that he wouldn't listen to? I am confused now he listens to some type of chatter that says the Iranians may or may not be planning to attack our Embassy? Why is that because it changes the narrative? Where is the Senate in all of this?

  88. Everything we seem to have been fighting in the Middle East seems to have Iran hiding in the shadows of it. Perhaps it's time we spent our time fighting in the light to actually see the real enemy there. War of the Worlds meets Allegory of the Cave, if you will.

  89. @John Doe Don't kid yourself, John. First shot fired and the Gulf becomes impassable to shipping. Instant oil crisis.

  90. On one hand, we have Republicans all in to protect any American life with a heartbeat, no matter the cost to the mother. On the other hand, we have many of the same Republicans falling in line to casually snuff out as many Iranian heartbeats their President says are necessary to advance his evil political agenda. No matter the cost to their Iranian mothers.

  91. @Brucer Republicans only care about money and power. They don't care about the lives of others, otherwise, they would demand the prosecution of the members of the terrorist group, MEK/MKO/NCRI, murderers of American military officers and civilian contractors, and hostage takers of American diplomats in Iran especially when there is no statute of limitation for murder.

  92. Has anyone in congress seen this information? What is its source. Can the source be trusted. Does the source have an interest in provoking a US/Iran incident. We American do not know. Is this another WMD story? Bolton will provoke a war and no one will know why.

  93. No, tensions are not rising between the U.S. and Iran. Tensions are rising between Pres. Trump and the U.S. electorate.

  94. @Joe Ryan One can only hope that there is a growing chasm.

  95. @Joe Ryan If only...

  96. Trillions of dollars wasted and thousands of American lives lost and they still hate us. The worst US blunder in our history. Why even have such a large embassy.

  97. If there "really" is a threat, then let the Saudis deal with it. It's in their back yard, not ours.

  98. If there is a "threat," it's really likely that the Saudis are participating in cooking it up.

  99. @NM Slim The Saudis are the threat.

  100. @NM Slim What happened to plain old MAGA?

  101. The looming dangerous actor is Fox News. If Fox takes up Bolton's agenda and continues the drumbeat to war, it is on.

  102. @John Adams The buck stops with Trump!

  103. Bibi and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia are cheering Trump on since they want the US to attack Iran. No thought given to loss of American lives. Who could believe ONE word coming out of the Trump administration of gaslighters.

  104. Is this similar kind of international drama optics, that Bush-Rumsfeld-Cheney trifecta staged before going for Iraq incursion? WH and Bolton reek of war-mongering.

  105. Fool me once ..., fool me twice ... Sounds like a Weapon of Mass Deception.

  106. Wagging the dog, folks.

  107. Wag the dog.

  108. @EMiller. Exactly! Also a side effect of their lying 24/7/365 is that if ever there were a real wolf, would anyone pay attention?

  109. Having watched the Iraq war from the sidelines, the Iranians know full well that if the US want to destroy Iran they will make up a reason and then do it. An unfortunate consequence of this is that they (the Iranians) have very little reason to think that they have any choice but to act preemptively. They cannot hope for intervention from the UN, other countries, or common decency to intervene on their behalf. Having seen the Iraq war, and now looking at an administration lead by the likes of McConnell/Trump/Bolton what is a country to do but defend itself in any way possible? American, I fear that we are putting ourselves in a very bad position

  110. No, Iran is not going to act preemptively, because nothing they can do will successfully preempt US military action, if that's what our reckless "leaders' have decided on. Iran's leaders absolutely understand that reality. On the other hand, and as usual, our senior warmongers do *not* understand that Iran is more than capable of making the US (along with much of the region and the world) pay dearly and for a very long time for any attack. What Bonkers Bolton imagines as a cakewalk would almost certainly become a nightmare in short order. Again. Of course, our "defense" contractors and the other sectors of our economy who make out like bandits on every military misadventure, successful or not, would . . . make out like bandits. Again.

  111. Ridiculous but worrisome move. Reminds me of the evacuations of U.S. embassy staffs from virtually all "Muslim countries" in the month before the Gulf War broke out, which was supposed to "send a message to Saddam Hussein." As a former foreign service diplomat, I was living at that moment, the first week of January 1991, in Morocco with my family and we were evacuated back to Washington. Believe me, there was zero security need to evacuate from Morocco except for the "signal sending" that the U.S. was engaged in. Conclusions: The U.S. did put together a large coalition to invade Iraq a month or so later to retake Kuwait from Saddam, and after the short war we all were able to return to our Embassy posts. Fast forwarding to today, it looks like the same "message sending" with the difference that there is no rationale for starting an armed conflict with Iran.

  112. @C.L.S. Unfortunately, there is a rational reason; To create a diversion from Trump's failures back at home and to get the military-industrial complex back into action. Make America Great Again, War is Peace.

  113. "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the administration had received intelligence related to “Iranian activity” that put American facilities and service personnel at “substantial risk.” I wonder if this is the same "intelligence source" that informed Trump that he had destroyed ISIS. This administration is as deceptive as the Iraq days of Bush and Chaney. It's a scary and ominous atmosphere when one tends to lean towards Iran's claims over that of the U.S. President. My lack of faith and trust in this administration is growing exponentially.

  114. @Marge Keller -These same people who refer to our intelligence agencies as "fake news" and "deep state"? I don't believe a word from Pompeo or Bolton. They lie as easily as trump.

  115. @Deb I agree. They all feed from the same slop trough.

  116. @Marge Keller an "intelligence source" for trump is a dream he had, something he read in a conspiracy tweet or some Russian note passed to him through the line of lunatics he takes advice from. No rational person should believe ANYTHING he says especially when he refers to "information" he has "been given" (ie: things he has made up to make his position palatable to his base)

  117. Number 45 aches for a war, which in his antiquated thinking will make him a hero. He "reasons" only traitors will vote against a war-time president. He wants re-election more than he wants to protect peace, bah-lieve me. Follow the money. He is backed by Big Oil and the Military-Industrial complex (arms manufacturers), who all profit from a Middle East war. And incidentally, where does #45 get off re-directing billions of budget dollars approved by Congress for the military "needs," to build miles of wall at the southern US border???

  118. Wars, in literal terms or against trading partners or against migrants, appear to be what's left for this White House to do, in order to please the GOP base. The country is going to pay, with rotten soybeans, with military spending, and ultimately with our soldiers' lives. This is shameful.

  119. “Americans may be upset by my scandal, but I am doing such important things in foreign policy that you should think twice before wanting to throw me out." ---Richard M. Nixon War with Iran? This is Trump trying to create a reason to keep him in office. Deplorable.

  120. Trump's plan for an Iranian invasion: 1. Tweet about sending more than 120,000 troops if he has to. 2. Praise Bolton. 3. TBD sometime, or reverse course tomorrow.

  121. I guess our president has determined the only way to get re-elected is to start a war. Right from the failing GOP’s playbook, party over country.

  122. The only threat related to Iran is the cheap sabre rattling by the loathsome Trump administration. Why the US can never change an aggressive position once taken is beyond me. Cuba has been an enemy for 60 years. Obama was on the right track but has been derailed by Trump. Vietnam was a disaster. The US learned nothing from the defeat of the French. Iraq was a lie told to the world by Bush and Rumsfeld who have the blood on their hands of not only the 3,500 Americans who dies but that of hundreds of thousands of iraqis. In a perfect world both would be in prison for war crimes. And the disaster that is Afghanistan after 18 years and a near complete military defeat shows no sign of ending. The world will condemn military action against Iran. What has the US to gain except the usual misplaced support for a government at war that Trump likely thinks will give him a 2020 win?

  123. Wonder how many of our young soldiers will be returning in flag draped coffins as a result of Trump declaring war on Iran.

  124. @Alex Vine. Before you get there, how about the coffins of the diplomats you risk first? You know, the ones without the guns? The whole point of the article is the Embassy drawdown.

  125. @Alex Vine Many thousands more than those killed in Iraq.

  126. @Isavelives First, there is no threat from Iran. It is a fabricated lie. Second, our embassy in Baghdad is like a fortress. It is very difficult to approach it. Regarding the threats to our troops and diplomats in Iraq, Iraqis have never given up fighting the US occupation of their country. They despise the US for destroying their country and as a result, want the US out. No need for Iran to tell them what to do.

  127. Here we go again. It’s the second coming of the GWB administration. Bolton, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz planned to march to Tehran after toppling Saddam. They were foiled only by the disastrous occupation and civil war in Iraq. Now Bolton has his chance one again, and he’s taking it. This is very very bad.

  128. The Saudis just had two of their oil tankers attacked and their oil pipelines were attacked by drones deep inside the country. Iran is the alleged culprit. These are neither imaginary or ordinary events.

  129. @AVR Alleged culprit - alleges by whom? Lot's of groups in the mid-east have it in for the Saudis and the Emirates - Al Queda, ISIS, Houthis, any number of groups. And with a Crown Prince who ordered the murder and dismemberment of a journalist (for being mildly critical of the regime) who are you going to belive?

  130. @AVR So where is the threat to the US? Or are we going to go to war for the Saudi's? The ones responsible for the 911 attacks.

  131. How much damage is this so-called President going to do to distract us from his corruption?

  132. Gulf of Tonkin. WMDs. Lies. And more lies. The war machine is at it again, socializing costs, privatizing gain.

  133. Sounds like complete insanity. I thought Trump rejected the complete waste of people, time, resources, credibility these adventures of the past incurred. No good, only bad comes of follies like this. Makes Bush's Iraq foray look benevolent. Forget about learning the lessons of the past, Trump is keen to make even bigger blunders. Why even think along these lines, because his war mongering NSA fancies it? All this does is make friends enemies, enemies more so and accomplish nothing except body bags. Total madness.

  134. Wow! I can't believe the rumors after the invasion into Afghanistan turned out to be true - the master plan of the United States is to slowly but surely capture and capitalize on the Middle East. Let's start with a solid base in Afghanistan, and slowly make our way into Iraq, and now Iran. If Iran fails, no US opposition remains and the Middle East is in full control of the United States. This is horrific!

  135. @PC And Dan Bilzerian is the King of the world! USA has not been able to contain Taliban, made a mess of Iraq and Syria, and if we truly interfere with Iran... this will destabilize ME. And who knows what consequences? I don’t need even want to imagine.

  136. Fox may convince its viewers there's a threat, but the consequence of all the administration's lying is that it lacks any credibility with more than half the American people or with any of our allies. If we try to attack Iran, only Israel and the Saudis will be at our side, and the world will know why we're doing it. Let's hope that our generals start resigning rather than carry out attack orders.

  137. Are we seriously going to let this happen? Blood n' Guts Bolton has been transparent for decades about his desire to wage war on Iran. This is as predictable as it is Trumped-up. Where is Congress? Where are the Americans who care about the world becoming far more dangerous, and about putting our overtaxed, undersupported troops in harm's way to serve the fringe agenda of the oddballs and misfits who make up this administration? Hello?

  138. Bolton and Pompeo are so transparently creating the fiction of an aggressive Iran, which I think is a harder sell to the American public than the previous case for war against Iraq. Unfortunately, Congress seems too dysfunctional to step in and put a halt to it. Trump, who doesn't seem to pay attention to what his cabinet secretaries do until it hits the headlines, probably has no idea what's going on. And although he is the worst president we have ever had (see the previous sentence), he does seem averse to this kind of foreign entanglement. He would likely put a stop to full scale war. But I could see Pompeo and Bolton being wily enough to begin provocations with air strikes. Once we lose pilots to Iran's air defense, then they make a case for a ground invasion. To avoid this mess, we should all be writing our Congressional representatives asking them to halt Pompeo and Bolton. Tie them up with unceasing Congressional grilling.

  139. First in contempt; first in deceit; and last in upholding the Constitution.

  140. The Democrats are eerily silent. Why are they cowed to this threat of another war being led by the Neocons? I would not be surprised if Trump already knows the Democrats will say very little about this threat of war against Iran.

  141. Where are the voices in Congress opposing these aggressive moves by Bolton and the re surging neo-cons in an effort to start a war with Iran? Come to think of it where are the questioning voices in the media?

  142. Glad to hear the Brits so quickly pushing back against the misinformation/propaganda being proferred by Bolton and Trump. Adds new meaning to the phrase "Trumped Up." Hopefully, our allies, if they are still such, won't put up with what are obvious lies from the White House to start a war to bolster Trump's flagging poll numbers.

  143. If there is a threat from Iran (there might be), it has been created by Trump & Company where there was previously no threat. Trump is beating the drums for a war with Iran that is completely avoidable and unnecessary. American service men and women will die in this war just to help get Trump reelected. Many more will receive physical and mental injuries that will alter the course of their lives and their families lives just to get Trump reelected. America will be bled by this war just to get Trump reelected. If you support Trump and the Republicans in 2020, you will be partially to blame for this war, and the consequences to the Americans that will suffer as a result of a war designed to get Trump reelected.

  144. Myself and others started commenting a year ago that when the walls started closing in on trump that he would not hesitate to send troops to die for his political life. Here we are.

  145. Our intelligence indicated that Russia tried to affect the 2016 election, and now its indicating that Iran is posturing for some sort of attack. People like to doubt intelligence reports as it suits them, just like our allies who wish to do business with Iran and balk at the Trump administration.

  146. @Don Q We only have Trump, Pompeo & Bolton's word that there is intelligence that Iran or its' proxies are planning to attack us (just why Iran would do something to invite war with us is a good question). Given that Trump is the most blatant and shameless liar I've ever seen in US politics, his word isn't good enough, and his flunkies are no better.

  147. A few (not entirely rhetorical) questions: How many lives will be sacrificed at the altar of Trump's ego? We've seen this before, haven't we? Where are the Howard Bakers or the Lowell Weickers? Where are any Republicans with a modicum of integrity or common sense? What have we come to in this country?

  148. @rlc If Trump listens to Bolton and Pompeo, and the US unjustly attacks Iran, other than thousands of innocent Iranians losing their lives, thousands of American soldiers will be killed and many more will be severely wounded.

  149. None of this should come as a surprise. Not the war (if there is one), not the runaway deficits (which there are), not the callous sinister treatment of children, not the dishonesty and deciet...none of it. DJT if anything is consistent.

  150. A wartime president is unlikely to be voted out of office. Low information citizens will buy the official claim that the U.S. was attacked by Iran and that Iran acted first. Yes, there will be casualties. No, the administration doesn't care. Tax cuts for the wealthy will remain in place until 2025.

  151. @Fishkill Please remember Nixon.

  152. The Trump tragedy continues. Trump thinks he's going to be different, he's going to be America's hero, but just like everyone else whose inhabited the oval office he is forced to fall into line with the party that brought him to the dance. He's done next to nothing to stem illegal migration, he's not drained the swamp, he's not made abortion illegal, he's not tamed our military, and he's not making the American economy the colossus it once was. He's accomplished remarkably little and what he has instituted is basic Republican boilerplate, tax cuts for business interests, deregulation on behalf of the same interests, business friendly Supreme Court rulings, and, finally, enrichment of the military industrial complex, including large increases in warfare-welfare. I don't think Trump wants to take America to war but the choice is not up to him. His only success so far, such as it is, is to institute high import tariffs against China. We'll see if he is able to maintain that stance. Sadly, men may write their own history, but they do not write it as they please.

  153. All for show, to give the illusion that Iran is moving against the US so we can once again justify a war. Only this time, since this administration has alienated all other allies, there will be absolutely nobody standing shoulder to shoulder with America except for Israel and Saudi Arabia. Let's see how much treasure they commit to the cause.

  154. @confounded Not to mention how much unnecessary blood will be spilled.

  155. As John McCain liked to sing, “Bomb, bomb, bomb . . . Bomb bomb Iran . . . “

  156. Here it comes. Dubya came close to relegating us to Third World status. Trump is determined to make it stick this time. A literal “Ship of Fools.”

  157. Is the dog wagging yet?

  158. John Bolton. Yale educated, so he's not stupid. Why in the devil's name does he think invading Iran is a good idea? But what do they teach them there, at Yale? He has a law degree. Does that qualify one as an advocate for mayhem? Is he another skull and bones guy? Are there underlying financial considerations?

  159. “In order to get elected, Barack Obama will start a war with Iran.” Donald J. Trump, November 29, 2011 Is there anything Trump wouldn’t do to serve his own interests?

  160. Dear Patrician, what did the people of New York City truly think of Donald Trump back in the 80s 90s?

  161. @Jack M B Selway We knew him as a liar, a blowhard and a con man whose endless self promotion (like buying up copies of his book to make it a best seller) went from mildly amusing to odious. Despite all that, we didn't think much about him, as he wasn't a threat to human life, American principles and the Constitution. That was then.

  162. No. Clearly not.

  163. If we do go to war in Iran, I think Mexico should pay for it.

  164. @Larry This is a very serious article but I cherish your comment for making me laugh out loud. Thank you so much Larry.

  165. @Larry Oh, that's rich! Thanks for the chuckle, we need it.

  166. Is that the USS Maddox I see floating in the Gulf?

  167. Can we please get back to what the Mueller report really said before this faux president gets us in a major war to divert attention from his criminal self???

  168. And here we go. War with Iran. Trump supporters will find a way to blame it on Nancy Pelosi and socialism somehow. My brother is a US marine and this is a disgrace.

  169. For sure, anyone against war will be labeled un- American and will be targeted by the deplorable base.

  170. America definitely doesn’t love its children.

  171. WMD redux. Bolton and Pompeo instead of Chaney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.

  172. @ML Sweet Totally correct, but why doesn't the american people ever wisen up? Are they living in a vacuum?

  173. @ML Sweet All Republicans. Has to be our blood for their money.

  174. This is likely a ploy to get Putin to call Trump. Once Putin calls and strokes Trumps ego all will be forgotten. What’s new in Venezuela?

  175. A war designed to distract the American people.

  176. @James A From all the other distractions?!?

  177. Given the current White House crew’s record on veracity, it seems more likely our allies are not in the mood to spin the yarn of a dangerous Iran. The lack of historical perspective is astounding: - More than a thousand uniformed US and, depending on your source, 150,000 to 1,000,000 Iraqis lost their lives due to our misguided efforts to uproot Saddam and his henchmen (who still are out there stirring up trouble) - Estimates vary, but the US sank $2 trillion dollars in Operation Iraqi Freedom, which after all interest is tallied, will be $6 trillion Surely there is a better path forward than the one being contemplated.

  178. John Bolton is trying so hard to start WW3. He and Trump would love nothing better than to send thousands of U.S. servicemen/women to their deaths. For Trump, this is a diversionary tactic. For Bolton - I think he just has mental issues and wants to start a war. Where is the opposition in Congress to this insanity? I am tired of winning.

  179. This is it right here. The consequences of advisors with their own agenda who are able to manipulate an incurious president with the information they feed him. The consequences of a president who gets his policies from Fox And Friends and acquaintances with dubious judgement who pander to his ego.The consequences of not having a Secretary of Defense who really understands of what the heck is going on and gives considered advise. The consequences of not treating congress as a co-equal branch entitled to the facts of this situation. And most of all the consequences of a President who cannot be trusted to tell the truth about anything to the American people. This is how the world will end, not with a bang but a Twitter.

  180. Bolton still nurses a grudge over the hostage crisis of almost 40 years ago. Trump can’t remember why Iran sends him into a sputtering rage.

  181. America is only one war away from the bankruptcy. This war is nothing more than Trump and republicans’ way of distracting Americans including his own base and putting our men and women in harm’s way.

  182. So when the entire intelligence community comes out and says Russia manipulated the elections in favor of Trump, he denies it with bald-faced lies, but when an unknown intelligence source — one that is not verified by a single Ally in the area — says there’s a threat of attack in Iran, he’s all over it, pulling out the state department? Right. Now the real crises is here and it’s name is Trump. Every single alarm bell in Washington should go off. This President needs to be removed from office. He is starting an illegal and unjustified war. There can be no other explanation.

  183. Face it, Trump's intelligence source is Fox News.

  184. Sounds like Russia is trying to provoke the US into another Middle East quagmire. Nothing would tear this country apart more than an un-necessary, un-winnable Middle East war...

  185. Very worrisome. Re-occupation of Iraq by a large U.S. army seems to indicate that Bolton/Pompeo - now in full control in the Trump WH - intend a land invasion, not just air and missile attacks, on Iran. This may be part of Trump's 2020 election strategy; start a war with Iran, then accuse the Democrats of treason for opposing it.

  186. “But officials in Iraq and elsewhere have voiced skepticism about the threat described by the Americans.” “Intelligence and military officials in Europe said that over the past year, the aggressive moves have originated in Washington, not Tehran.” Bolton and Pompeo are determined to force the US wage war against Iran in order to overthrow the Iranian government and replace it with the terrorist group, MEK/MKO/NCRI even though the terrorist group is despised by an overwhelming majority of the Iranians inside and outside Iran. In this context, they will falsify and fabricate reports in order to justify the war against Iran. What is despicable and unpatriotic is the fact that Bolton is a paid spokesman for the terrorist group whose members have murdered top American military officers, top US civilian contractors, attempted to kidnap the US ambassador in Iran, took part in holding American diplomats as hostages, and bombed American companies in Iran. Not only that, instead of arresting the members of MEK/MKO/NCRI and prosecuting them for murders, kidnapping, hostage taking, and bombing American companies, Bolton, Pompeo, and many US lawmakers, and former officials speak on their behalf and host them. How can the US administration, lawmakers, and former officials ignore the cold blooded murders of the American military officers and civilian contractors, and hostage taking of American diplomats in Iran? Why is the media not demanding the prosecution of the terrorist group?

  187. I think it should be clear that Trump is not a reasonable man. His continual misrepresentations of reality to conform with his efforts to manipulate a political base that is poorly informed and mistrustful of anyone who tells them truths which they don’t want to believe is becoming dangerous. Trump does not appreciate real risks and he does not study issues about which he makes decisions with reason and care. He makes gut decisions based upon no experience. He accounts for no consequences beside his immediate objective. Reasonable people do not believe anything he says without independent confirmation. This man is dangerous, not because of his nasty behavior but because he is reckless.

  188. How convenient. This is starting to feel like the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Trump preparing for the election?

  189. Does anybody believe this? After the non-stop barrage of lies throughout this Administration? The slow death of the USA is accelerating more and more. I had some hope after the 2018 elections, but it's fading as we witness the cowardly silence of Democrats on this matter. If the Republicans are not soundly defeated in 2020, I will reluctantly conclude that the death of the USA is sadly deserved.

  190. Listen to BBC News and France 24. Our traditional allies UK, France and Germany are not with us. The British commanders in Iraq have been quoted "there has not been any Iranian engagement in the area". The UK is dealing with an unpopular government because of BREXIT, Trump has alienated Germany and France for a variety of reasons including his trashing of NATO. If Trump wanted to start a war with Iran we will be alone. Bolton, Pompeo and Trump doesn't know that we rely on our European allies not only in boots on the ground but in logistics. Trump trashes out NATO allies for not paying up, meanwhile they paid for it in blood during the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I highly doubt they're going to get tangled into Iran because President Dumpster Fire needs a distraction.