News Release

“U.S. Beats War Drums in Middle East”

The New York Times reports: “Pentagon Order to Plan for Escalation in Iraq Meets Warning From Top Commander.”

Mehdi Hasan just wrote the piece in The Intercept: “Beware of Trump Using the Coronavirus as a Cover for War With Iran.”

REESE ERLICH, reeseerlich at yahoo.com, @ReeseErlich
Erlich‘s syndicated column “Foreign Correspondent” appears in 48 Hills. He just wrote the piece “U.S. Beats War Drums in Middle East” in The Progressive which states: “While the world focuses on the coronavirus pandemic, tensions between the United States and Iran are heating up.

“The two countries are engaging in tit-for-tat military attacks that threaten a wider war. In mid-March, Washington officials accused an Iran-allied militia of launching rockets at a U.S. military base in Iraq, killing two American soldiers and one British soldier. The Pentagon retaliated with a missile strike against the group Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq, killing militiamen, five Iraqi servicemen, and a civilian who were also at the base. On March 26 rockets once again hit near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

“The Pentagon sent two aircraft carriers to the region, claiming in a March 19 Navy statement that the United States is protecting ‘freedom of navigation and [the] free flow of commerce.’ Threatening a possible military attack on Iran, the Navy said the carriers ‘provide the combatant commander significant striking power for contingency operations.’

“Leaders in Washington and Tehran say they don’t want a full-scale war, but they are playing a dangerous game. And the people of Iraq will suffer the consequences. …

“So the ball is in the United States’ court. Trump can continue his ‘maximum pressure campaign’ against Iran and face continued Iraqi attacks on U.S. troops. Or he can back off to focus on domestic concerns and avoid a wider war.”