Oh you didn't know? Well I guess it hasn't officially started just yet but it's been on it's way. The US can't just push a false narrative real quick and then jump on in like with Iraq. The false narrative needs to be slowly dripped out over time. People, believe it or not, are a bit wiser to these things now than they were in 2003.
Also Iran is far more powerful than Iraq, with much more powerful allies. This needs to be a slow burn. Iran is the final boss of the middle east, after all. Washington and the media has had to grind out the propaganda experience before taking a crack at them.
So lets go back to Trump abandoning the JCPOA in May of 2018. Why? Well it was a bad deal. It did little to curb their ballistic missile capabilities. Of course this could not have been smoothed over without the sudden withdraw from the accord and launching a 'Maximum Pressure' campaign of sanctions that aimed at reducing their oil exports to 0. Of course not! Iran isn't a reasonable county with a reasonable government. Ruthless dictators only speak one langue, force. So Trump was showing them force.
So as Iran began to bleed out, Washington and the media got to their old old tricks. Does Iran have enriched uranium? Well, considering that from 2015 to 2018 they indeed began to enrich uranium with the US's blessing (that's what the JCPOA was). So the answer is yes. Yes they did. But the media was shocked. Heavens! So they are building nuclear weapons!! (you see what they did there)?
So the same old routine of speculation on Iran's nuclear weapons building began to pop in and out of the media, planting seeds in the heads of the media consumers that something is happening with Iran.
But the tricks didn't end there. As the months passed more and more sanctions were placed onto Iran to float their name into the public consciousness, continuing to reinforce their villainy.
So in April 2019 when Trump labeled one of their military divisions, the IRGC, a terrorist organization, it kinda made sense. The IRGC sounds like a terrorist group, right? But that is an unprecedented move. The IRGC is like Iran's marines. Never before has a countries military division been designated as terrorist. That's means there's more than 20,000 terrorist running wild in Iran! It's almost like Iran has become a terrorist state then, right? Welp, just wait for it.
So now back to the sanctions. Iran needs to sell oil. It's what they do. It is what drives their entire economy. But nope. The US can't have that, it would violate their sanctions. And not only that, but any country looking to buy Iran't Oil, well they are now supporting terrorism and can face sanction of their own.
That brings us to the 'Tanker War'. The Iranian tankers Grace 1 was seized by the UK and held in Gibraltar because it was accused of bringing oil to Syria, something Iran denied. This set off a tit for tat bout of tanker seizures, with Iran detaining the Stena Impero, halting and boarding a few other ships before releasing them, and a handful of stand offs between Iranian navel ships and the British.
This went on throughout the summer until finally the Grace 1 was release, against Washington's request to continue it's detention, and it's name changed to Adrian Darya 1, (cause Iran was Daring Ya to seize it).
From there is had a slew of destination like Turkey and Lebanon(both of which Trump threatened to sanction if they allowed it to port), it's transponder would turn off from time to time. Washington even offered a cash reward to the captain if he would dock in a US friendly port. Washington also put out cash bounties for anyone who could destabilize Iran's oil shipments.
But ultimately the Adrian Darya 1 did dock off Mediterranean coast and sold it's cargo to an unnamed buyer. But the entire saga accomplished it's mission, to keep Iran in the news as some type of bad actor.
Now while all of this was going on a the 'Drone Saga' was taking place. On June 20th 2019, while flying in Iranian airspace, an unmanned US drone was shot by Iran. Kind of makes scene. US shouldn't be flying in their airspace, especially low enough for Iran to not only notice but to actually hit the target. It was almost like it was a ploy.
It is important to note that there was also a manned aircraft along side the unmanned drone that Iran did not shoot down, but could have. Goading Iran into sticking US targets appears to be Trumps military strategy. It looks like Iran was willing to play ball but thankfully they knew not to hit the manned aircraft. They would take some of the bait but not all of it. They are not stupid.
This level headed approach of not killing anyone was stolen by Trump and spun to show his compassion and value for human life. The next day Trump called off an Airstrike that he ordered in response to the downed drone claiming it could have killed 150 people. Crisis averted for now, but the news got to keep talking about the evil Iran and the righteous Trump.
Somewhere in all this the US shot down an unmanned Iranian drone. Or at least they said they did. Iran denied loosing any drones and even questioned whether of not the US shot down it's own drone.
So as this Straight of Hormuz drama and drone downings played out over the months a lot of tough talk was swapped between the US and Iran. It was all a lot of he said, she said about who was being irresponsible and preventing any new JCPOA related negotiations from taking place. Their were also a lot of new sanctions.
The media called all of this play by play, again just floating 'Iran Bad' to the passive listeners in elevators and in airports.
Then on September 14th Saudi Armco was struck by drones bring down some of their oil production. This caused a mass hysteria world wide about the price of oil.
Trump began the process of tapping into the US Strategic Reserves, analysts called for triple digit oil prices, and the Houthis in Yemen claimed responsibility.
Oddly enough that last fact was largely ignored, as Mike Pompeo dashed over to Saudi Arabia (well, he went to Twitter first to declare Iran's involvement) to work with them on how to link Iran to this attack.
Iran had denied being behind it but Pompeo claimed it was such a sophisticated strike, it could be no one else. I guess he missed the UN Security Council memo stating the attack was not very sophisticated and was indeed within the abilities of the Houthis in Yemen to carry out. But why in the world would the Houthis attack Saudi Arabia? Oh wait, yeah, they are currently at war with each other and have been for the last 4 years.
But that means nothing to Pompeo. He knows it was Iran. Knows it! And has proof in the forum of a 'pristine' circuit board that was recovered in the wreckage. Yes, a 'pristine' circuit board was found from one of the missiles that exploded and it is the proof that Iran was behind the attack. But wait I thought it was drones strapped with explosives flown into key area's of the facilities with the help of insiders, that was what the initial reports said. That is what the Houthis claimed. What's this missile? Its a load of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction is what it is.
And unfortunately that is good enough of Pompeo and Trump to send more troops into Saudi Arabia to protect against further maybe-could-happen attacks from Iran, because that's what they did. 1,000 troops and plenty of weapons had been sent to Saudi Arabia immediately following the attacks, with 2,000 more just announced to be sent with additional weapons this week.
By now it should be clear what is happening. And this is without mentioning the protest in Iraq, which have a lot to do with Iranian influence in the their government, something the US was quick to support once it was clear the protesters had problems with Iran. Also this is without getting into the protest in Lebanon, again having a lot to do with Iranian influence.
This is also without bringing up the current on going protest in Iran itself, which are a direct result of the sanctions and Trump's 'Maximum Pressure' campaign.
The stage has been set for a war with Iran. The slow burn of the build up has been underway for almost 2 years now. Drip by drip the media has been filling the glass and it's almost spilling over.
It even seems like there is no stopping at this point, that this course is set and even if they wanted to, it too late to turn it around. The damage has been done and their is no quick fixes. The protest in Iran as example of this.
We are dangerously close from the war Washington and the Military Industrial Complex has longed for since September 11th, 2001. The war with Iran.
Am I just one of those doom guys with a jaded perspective on US foreign policy? I am I just making a mountain out of a mole hill and this will all be peacefully resolved once the sanctions and protest forces Iran back to the negotiations table with the US to work out a new nuclear deal? I truly hope so.