28,524. 9/18/2019

IRAN/IRAQ/MIDDLE EAST/MIKE POMPEO/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “It took less than a day after major Saudi oil facilities came under attack this weekend for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to blame Iran directly. The swiftness of the judgment raised eyebrows in Washington and around the world, triggering immediate comparisons to the run-up to the Iraq War in 2002 and 2003, when the George W. Bush administration evoked the specter of a ‘mushroom cloud’ to make the case for intervention in the Middle East. It took until Wednesday morning for Saudi Arabia to back up Pompeo’s claim, with the Saudi defense ministry explicitly pointing to Iran and ruling out Yemen as the source of the drones and cruise missiles. In a dramatic news conference in Riyadh, Saudi officials displayed wrecked pieces of several recovered weapons and said the attack had come from the north, though they hadn’t pinpointed the launch site. In the interim, skepticism of the U.S.’ credibility started to pour in.”

Eli Okun, “Ghosts of Iraq hang over Trump’s chest-thumping on Iran,” Politico, September 18, 2019 4:22 pm

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