“14,000 more troops to mideast” seems to have become ‘fake news’

Pindostan prepares to deploy thousands more troops against Iran
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Dec 6 2019

The Pentagon Thursday provided a series of conflicting responses to a WSJ report, citing unnamed Pindo boxtops, that the Trump admin is considering the deployment of 14,000 more troops to the Persian Gulf along with dozens more warships. This would effectively double the number of additional personnel sent into the region since Faschingstein launched a major military buildup against Iran in May. Initially, a Pentagon spox sent out a tweet declaring that “the reporting is wrong. Pindostan is not considering sending 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East.” On Thursday, however, John Rood, the third-ranking civilian official in the Pentagon, told a Senate panel that the administration is indeed discussing a major new deployment of troops in the region, but declined to give any numbers. Rood told the Senate Armed Services Committee:

We haven’t made a decision yet. Based on what we are seeing, it is possible we would need to adjust our force posture. I think that would be a prudent step, depending on what we observe, because our objective is to deter Iranian aggression.

While saying that no decision has been made to deploy 14,000 more troops to the region, he acknowledged that an increase was under consideration that could include fewer than 14,000. he said:

We are evaluating the threat situations. We will need to make dynamic adjustments to our posture.

The discussion of a major Pindo military escalation in the Persian Gulf has been accompanied by a steady drumbeat of reports leaked by unnamed Pindo military and intelligence officials to the major media alleging Iranian “threats” to Pindostan & its vassals in the region: Israel, the Toads and the other Gulf oil sheikdoms. This includes claims that Iran has stockpiled an arsenal of hidden SRBMs in Iraq, which, reports have stressed, could reach Jerusalem from the outskirts of Baghdad. The claim has also been made that these missiles could be targeted at Pindo military bases in the region. Underscoring the bipartisan character of the Pindo war drive against Iran, one of the major sources for a NYT article on Wednesday promoting this unsubstantiated charge was first-term Demagog Congress crittur Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, who served three tours as a CIA operative in Baghdad, under both Bush 43 and Obama 44 administrations. The told the NYT:

People are not paying enough attention to the fact that ballistic missiles have been placed in Iraq by Iran in the last year, with the ability to project violence on the region.

This followed a CNN story on Tuesday citing unnamed Pentagon and Trump admin boxtops claiming that there existed “fresh intelligence of a potential Iranian threat against Pindo forces and interests in the Middle East,” while failing to provide any details about this supposed intelligence. The television news network reported:

The boxtops would not say in what format the intelligence exists, but in the last several weeks there has been movement of Iranian forces and weapons that the Pindo worries could be put in place for a potential attack, if one is ordered by the Iranian regime.

This has been combined with claims that the Pindo navy intercepted a ship carrying ballistic missile parts to the Houthi rebels fighting Pindo-backed Toad forces in Yemen, along with repeated statements by CENTCOM chief Gen McKenzie that an Iranian attack is imminent and Pindostan needs more forces in the region. This concerted propaganda campaign, aided and abetted by the corporate media, points to a growing danger that Faschingstein is preparing to launch a war of aggression against Iran under conditions in which it believes its government has been weakened by a series of violent protests triggered by a hike in gas prices that shook the country last month. The conditions for this unrest have been created in the main by the unrelenting attempt of Pindo imperialism to drive Iranian oil exports down to zero, depriving the country of the overwhelming source of its wealth. There is also no doubt that agents of Pindo imperialism and its allies have been active in stoking up violence. These conditions have been exacerbated, however, by the policies of Iran’s capitalist government, which has sought to shift the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the working class, while seeking to maneuver for some kind of a deal with the major powers. Pindostan already has between 60,000 and 80,000 troops deployed in the region, ringing Iran with military bases. Just last month, the Pentagon sent the Lincoln carrier strike group into the Persian Gulf from the Arabian Sea, docking the warships in Bahrain, just opposite central Iran. A month earlier, the Trump admin announced the deployment of an additional 3,000 Pindo troops to Toad Arabia, which the White House claimed were being paid for by the Toads, along with two jet fighter squadrons and additional missile defense batteries. The pretext for the deployment was the destruction of Toad oil infrastructure by missiles that Yemen’s Houthis claimed to have fired. For all of Trump’s demagogy about ending Faschingstein’s “endless wars,” there are now more troops deployed in the Middle East and Afghanistan than before he took office, and the threat of a far wider conflagration is steadily mounting. Sec Def Esper clarified Wednesday that the permanent Pindo presence in Syria has been set at 600, ust 40% less than the 1,000 deployed there when Trump announced that he was pulling all Pindo forces out of the country. Esper told Reuters that he had the authority to “dial up a little bit” in terms of troop numbers. While Trump has claimed that he has left the troops there to “take the oil,” their strategic purpose is to counter both Iranian and Russian influence in the country.

Meanwhile, the major Euro vassals which claimed to oppose the Trump admin’s unilateral abrogation of the JCPoA, followed by the imposition of “maximum pressure” sanctions that are tantamount to a state of war, have also piled on. The ambassadors of France, Germany and the UK to the UN submitted a joint letter to the UN Sec-Gen on Wednesday charging, Iran with developing “nuclear-capable ballistic missiles” that were “inconsistent” with the JCPoA, which in fact made no mention of Iran’s ballistic program. The UNSCR endorsing the deal cautioned only against Iran developing missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Iran has always denied any intention of obtaining a nuclear weapon. Since tearing up the agreement in May of last year, the Trump admin has demanded that Iran scrap its ballistic missile program along with all of its nuclear facilities as part of a general submission to Pindo domination of the country and the entire energy-rich and strategically vital region. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif issued a sharp response to the three Euro vassals, declaring that their focus on the country’s ballistic missile program represented a “desperate falsehood” designed to “cover up their miserable incompetence in fulfilling bare minimum of their own #JCPOA obligations.” The Euro vassals have failed to meet their obligations under the agreement to normalize economic and trade relations with Iran, the main incentive for Tehran to enter the agreement. Instead, they have bowed to the Pindo sanctions regime that is strangling the country and driving ever larger sections of the population into desperate poverty. While setting up the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, ostensibly to bypass Pindo sanctions on Iran’s sale of oil and buying of products by avoiding exchange in dollars, the system has yet to facilitate any transactions. No less predatory than Faschingstein, the Euro vassals also smell blood with the deepening economic crisis and social unrest confronting Iran’s bourgeois-clerical regime, and are trying to position themselves to participate in any imperialist carve-up of Iran and the entire oil-producing region of the Middle East. Such a redivision of the spoils, however, poses the threat of a region-wide and even world war.

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