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Trump’s slouching toward war with Iran is a disgrace

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President Donald Trump has been all over the place on Iran, which is what happens when you take a serious subject, treat it with farcical superficiality, believe braggadocio will sway a proud and ancient civilisation, approach foreign policy like a real-estate deal, defer to advisers with Iran Derangement Syndrome, refuse to read any briefing papers and confuse the American national interest with the Saudi or Israeli.

A series of attacks on oil tankers near the Persian Gulf has ratcheted up tensions between the US and Iran.Credit:ISNA

This American slouching toward another Middle East war has been a disgrace, shot through with the twisting of truth or outright lies. Now Trump has approved, only to reverse, a retaliatory strike for the Iranian downing of a US drone, an aptly chaotic culmination to the drift the President has allowed.

The eleventh-hour calling-off of military action was the one wise decision Trump has taken on Iran since he took office. Dazzled by Saudi blandishments, Israeli veneration, the opportunity to trash Barack Obama's diplomacy and the lure of evangelicals' votes, Trump determined from day one that the Islamic Republic was the enemy from Central Casting. His view was unburdened by any serious assessment of how to balance toughness and engagement in the long-traumatised American-Iranian relationship.

The US does not need the war with Iran that John Bolton, the national security adviser, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seem determined to deliver. It would be a war of choice, illusion and irresponsibility. It would place Americans at risk across the Middle East, with no benefit to the United States or its allies.

The Trump........

© Brisbane Times