|The Emperor is Displeased. From Warhammer 40,00, by Games Workshop, via.|
Jordan asks, in comments:
Hey, anyone remember the days when the United States couldn't go to war without a congressional declaration?My reply:
As far as I can tell they aren't exactly any more over than they were in 1964, and this should have been made a lot clearer in the news coverage. The issuing of "plans" doesn't mean anybody is expecting to do anything; just that the military is prepared to do this stupid thing should the "need" arise. The aircraft carrier was going there anyway.
What Bolton-Pompeo would really like is to ratchet up tension to the point where Iran forces will make some kind of actual attack on US interests which would allow US to start up some kind of "emergency" operation, and Congress would find it very hard to deny permission to the ongoing action. This won't in fact happen, I think, because Iran understands the danger very well and will continue to resist temptation. Except for the danger of an accident of some kind, which is certainly real (or of a fake attack, which would be a crazy risk for the fakers).
Second Bolton-Pompeo choice is the Iraq scenario, to gather enough evidence of Iran behaving in a terrifying way that Congress can be persuaded to issue an AUMF. It seems to me that they have really been working to make this happen, but it won't likely happen either, I think, in spite of the best efforts of Lindsey Graham or whoever takes it up, because the evidence is clearly cooked, they're just not credible, and people remember the last time this was done, and the House leadership is Democratic and very sharp.
With either of these, though, Trump still can change the calculus, if he gets really excited about the prospect and talks it up and the press has to pretend he knows what he's talking about and so forth. I think it really does make a difference that he seems so unenthusiastic or personally put out with Bolton and Pompeo or whatever it is. But in the imperial court things devolve into squabbles on protocol and rank anyway, and the latest is that the secretary of state is in a snit because people are acting like he's as much of a worm as the national security adviser and the partnership is getting shaky—
Pompeo was insulted by “being lumped in” by a warmonger Bolton. Lol— President “I Believe Putin” (@realworldrj) May 17, 2019
distinction: He’s a rapture enthusiast not a warmonger pic.twitter.com/85iAaRvl2X
Meaning, more precisely, Pompeo's sniffed the imperial wind and decided warmongerhood isn't very stylish at the moment.