May 14, 2019

According to the New York Times, Mika said this morning, the Trump administration is "potentially entertaining a plan that would involve sending tens of thousands of troops to the Middle East amid growing tensions with Iran."

"To the New York Times, citing administration officials during a meeting on Thursday with President Trump's top national security aides, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that included sending up to 120,000 troops to the region. The Times says the move would hinge on an Iranian attack on American forces or work on nuclear weapons," she said.

(Yellowcake, anyone? Gulf of Tonkin? Wag the dog?)

The plan doesn't call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require a large number of troops, she said. "According to the Times, the changes to that plan were ordered by national security adviser John Bolton, reflecting his influence as one of the Trump administration's most severe Iran hawks. Bolton had previously pushed for a military confrontation with Iran more than a decade ago, while serving under President George W. Bush. The Times says, it's unclear if President Trump, who has sought to pull the U.S. out of military operations in Afghanistan and Syria, has been briefed on the details of the plan.

"So, Elise, I mean, with your experience and your knowledge on this topic and having worked in the State department, this seems to me to be escalating tensions unnecessarily. You see John Bolton's fingerprints all over this. This is what we were worried about when he was chosen for the job," Mika said.

Elise Jordan said we "shouldn't be surprised" that someone with John Bolton's reputation is pushing Trump along this path.

"And I think that we should be incredibly concerned anytime that we're discussing moving over 100,000 troops into position because of escalating tensions. And I think, I really cannot believe that we failed to learn anything from the first decade of this century. And we are actually considering escalating with Iran in a war that would further destabilize the region and unleash God knows what in terms of chaos in a very troubled region already," Jordan said.

"Yeah, Gene, that was the first thing I thought when I saw this headline was, 'Dear God, here we go again,' Willie Geist said.

"Again, the piece says that nothing is imminent. At this point, they don't have this plan. They're just developing a contingency if something should happen in the Gulf. But we're talking about a number of troops that approaches the number that went into Iraq at about 120,000."

"When you talk about 120,000 troops, everybody should be deeply concerned that this is even being talked about. This policy is clearly being driven by John Bolton," Eugene Robinson said.

"To call him a hawk on Iran is to understate dramatically what John Bolton is. He has been -- he wants regime change in iran. He doesn't want a change in the regime's behavior. He apparently doesn't think that's possible. We already got that, by the way, with the Iran nuclear deal, which the president, thanks to John Bolton, has abrogated and tossed out and refuses to follow. But Bolton wants the regime gone.

"That's a very, very dangerous position to take. Iran is a big, powerful nation. It's not the United States, obviously, but when you talk about sending 120,000 troops to the region, that creates a trip wire. That makes it much more likely that we blunder or bluster our way into some sort of conflict, and it gets totally out of hand," he said.

All it takes is a little fake provocation to distract people from that fake Mueller hearing, amiright?

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