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President Trump response to Iran drone shooting: Stay calm, carry on

Written By | Jun 21, 2019
Iran, Drone, Trump, Middle East, JCPOA, Jacquie Kubin

WASHINGTON:  There are many a saying about staying calm and carrying on.  C.J. Redwine writes “Losing your head in a crisis is a good way to become the crisis.”  President Trump has offered yet another truth about himself. Life is precious. And a cool head can carry on. As is evidenced by President Trump and his response to Iran.

On Thursday, Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone over the Persian Gulf region. The Global Hawk-style drone was flying near Iran’s Hormozgan province. This area is next to the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow chokepoint separating the Persian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman.  The waterway separates Iran and Oman, linking the Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea. The Strait is 21 miles (33 km) wide at its narrowest point. However, the shipping lane is just two miles wide.

The US maintains the drone was over international waters.  Iran counters that the drone has wandered into their airspace,  making it a legitimate target. The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division claims that a manned U.S. spy plane was near the downed drone but Iran chose not to target it. No confirmation of this is available.




The immediate ongoing fear was that that attack would escalate tensions that already were running high after the U.S. and allied governments accused Iran of orchestrating recent attacks on merchant ships. Even after those attacks, President Trump did attempt to step back tough talk on Iran, reiterating that the administration does not seek war with Tehran.

Bull run continues on Wall Street. Iranian war drums beat in the distance

The attacks on the tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, were, according to the President,  “very minor.” Meaning there is no loss of life. Our steady Commander in Chief took the same position on the shooting down of the drone.  The loss was a drone.  A drone can be replaced.

In the meantime, the President warns Iran that he will not tolerate the loss of any life, particularly an American life.

The president is less hawkish than some of his advisers.

The president ordered strikes against Iran, and then moments before launch, he stood them down. Do not take this as a sign of weakness, but as a sign of strength.

Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength, and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own. – Henry Ward Beecher,

The President went straight to the America people, via Twitter, to explain his decision:

To a reasonable person, to President Trump, those 150 lives, Iranian lives, had more value than $1.5 million, the cost of the drone Iran blew out of the air. Every American, and Iranian, who values life has to appreciate that the President had the resolve to not attack.

The U.S. was ready to launch a limited strike against Iranian surface-to-air missile sites on Thursday evening.

President Trump did order the military to stand down at the 11th hour. Sources said the plan was already underway.  Navy warships were ready with Tomahawk Missiles aimed when the operation was halted with just ten minutes before engagement.

We don’t know 100% why the President called the strike off.  Reports are that upon learning some 150 people could be killed, he felt the response was not proportional.  We also do not know who those 150 people were. It is not unheard of for these bad actors to use civilians, including women, children and the elderly, as shields.

History of Iran Tensions

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased since Trump backed out of the Obama-era nuclear deal. According to the European Union, sanctions against Iran are causing its currency to drop by about 60 percent while food and drug prices are rising up to 40 and 60 percent respectively.

But the history of tensions goes back more than 50 years,

Mohammad Reza Shah, the last Shah of Iran, saw his regime collapse in January of 1979.  Losing the support of a feckless Carter Administration, the Shah fled the country. The mullahs were triumphant.  After 15 years in exile, Ayatollah Khomeini returned and took control of Iran. A totalitarian bloodbath has ensued ever since.

Sanctions are now beginning to seriously cripple the Iranian economy, which is maybe why Iran is provoking the President and US.  The administration will shore up the shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz, working with allies to make sure that the flow of oil out of the Persian Gulf and to ensure a stable and secure the Middle East as half the worlds economy is based on that oil.

About one-fifth of the oil consumed globally passes through The Strait of Hormuz. Ergo, the strait has been at the center of regional tensions for decades because.  It is a vital shipping route linking Middle East oil producers to markets in Asia, Europe, and North America.  And the Strait of Hormuz has been at the heart of regional tensions for decades.

If barred from access to the Strait of Hormuz, Iran says it will block all access which could tank, at a minimum, the economies in Russia and China as some 17.2 million bpd of crude and condensates shipped through the Strait in 2017. For the first half of 2018, that number is approximately 17.4 million bpd in the first half of 2018, The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates  18.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of seaborne oil went through the waterway in 2016.  All of which means almost a fifth of all oil passes through the Strait.

Reversing Obama era policies

President Trump’s Iran and the Middle East policies have the Beltway Insiders apocalyptic. Last year, Trump made good on a campaign promise by withdrawing the U.S. from the Obama led Iran nuclear deal. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action lifted economic sanctions on the country in return for Iran suspending its uranium enrichment program.

The JCPOA also oversaw the delivery of more than $400 million to Iran and the release of four hostages being held by the hostile state (The JCPOA also oversaw the delivery of more than $400 million to Iran).

 

 

Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, Germany, and the European Union agreed to ease sanctions, if Iran halted its nuclear program.

President Trump pulled out of the pact in 2018 as indications are that Iran is developing continuing to develop materials to create nuclear arms. (IRAN HAS INCREASED URANIUM ENRICHMENT SINCE DONALD TRUMP ABANDONED NUCLEAR DEAL, U.N. WATCHDOG WARNS– Newsweek)

In as much as Obama recently met with Germany’s P.M. Merkel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the former secretary of state John Kerry violated the Logan Act in speaking to the Iranian leadership.

“It’s true. I was there in Munich … I saw not only Kerry … [others] met with the Iranian leadership,” Pompeo said during an appearance on “Fox and Friends.” “It’s unusual, but more importantly, it’s wrong.”

The secretary was commenting on the assertion from Trump earlier this month that Kerry committed a treasonous action by allegedly engaging in secret talks with Iranian diplomats. The goal?  Salvage yet another Obama era policy that President Trump has overthrown.

 

Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin is an award-winning writer and wanderer. She turns her thoughts to an eclectic mix of stories - from politics to sports. Restless by nature and anxious to experience new things, both in the real world and online, Jacquie mostly shares travel and culinary highlights, introduces readers to the chefs and creative people she meets and shares the tips, life and travel information people want to read.