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Make Israel Great Again: US Is Laying Groundwork for War With Iran

By designating the 120,000-man Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organization, Trump is undermining US interests and risking American lives, all for the sake of Israel.

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Monday, Donald Trump announced that he was designating the 120,000-man Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a 'terrorist organization.'

While Iran has a large regular army as well, the IRGC is Iran's main military force in the Persian Gulf, the area where Iranian and US interests are most likely to clash. This significantly ups the stakes in any future 'incident' in the Gulf. 

Now that the US officially regards soldiers of the IRGC as terrorists, it is no longer obliged to treat them according to the rules of war. So any IRGC soldier who falls into US hands can expect to live out his life in a cell at Gitmo.

This also endangers US military personnel in the Persian Gulf. It is safe to assume that the Iranians will retaliate by announcing that they will not treat captured US personnel according to the Geneva Conventions.

10 US sailors strayed into Iranian waters in January, 2016. After a tense 15 hours, they were released unharmed.

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So who could possibly benefit from all this? Two weeks ago, Philip Giraldi predicted that the US would force an incident with Iran to boost Netanyahu's chances at the polls. While Trump's move didn't result in a catastrophe (yet), it was definitely a win for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

And America will suffer other fall-out from the move. From Daniel Larison of The American Conservative:

Trump’s irresponsible decision doesn’t serve U.S. interests in the least, but it will make it more difficult for a future administration to enter into negotiations with Iran or lift sanctions. Iran hawks have been very open about their desire to tie the hands of the next president, and with this designation they are hoping to lock the U.S. on a collision course with Iran.

Your typical rag-tag Middle Eastern terrorists

The Iranian government has been trying to wait until Trump is no longer in office, and our hard-liners want to make it seem as if there is no point in doing that. Their goal as always remains Iran’s isolation in the vain belief that this will lead to regime change. Many regional governments that have and need to preserve good relations with Iran aren’t going to participate in this effort, and by putting them on the spot this designation is likely to hurt U.S. relations with Iraq and Lebanon. Worse than that, it lays the groundwork for war. Benjamin Friedman warned against this yesterday:

Designating a part of Iran’s government as a terrorist organization is a step toward saying, ‘we cannot live with them and have to bomb them.’

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The designation is an overly broad and ideological one, and it is driven by the same obsessive hostility that is warping the rest of U.S. policy towards Iran. Jason Rezaian, who has more reason than most to loathe the IRGC, questioned the decision: “I worry that this is another instance in which the U.S. government is guilty of criminalizing people simply for being Iranian.” Trump has called Iran a “terrorist nation” on many different occasions, and the phrasing tells us that he sees the country and its people in only the most simplistic and negative terms. His hard-line advisers and allies have exploited that to get him to do whatever they want against Iran, and it isn’t hard to imagine how they would likewise talk him into further escalations in the future.

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