Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, one of the world's largest battleships, will remain in the Persian Gulf, the Pentagon announced on Sunday, January 3, 2021. (Photo: Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, one of the world's largest battleships, will remain in the Persian Gulf, the Pentagon announced on Sunday, January 3, 2021. (Photo: Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

'His Biggest—And Likely Most Disastrous—Stunt Yet'? Experts Warn a Desperate Trump May Attack Iran

"It may be the case that his most erratic, most reckless lashing out is yet to come."

Kenny Stancil

Foreign policy experts are sounding the alarm that U.S. President Donald Trump could launch an assault on Iran in the final weeks of his administration, potentially provoking a full-blown war just days before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Fears of a military confrontation are mounting in the wake of the Pentagon's announcement Sunday that the USS Nimitz would remain in the Middle East—a reversal of Friday's decision to signal a de-escalation of hostility toward Tehran by redeploying the aircraft carrier out of the region prior to this past weekend's one-year anniversary of the Trump-ordered assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

"There is no reason to believe such a gambit would work, yet the insanity of the idea is not a convincing reason as to why a desperate Trump wouldn't try it."
—Trita Parsi, Quincy Institute

The intensification of tensions between the U.S. and Iran also coincides with Trump's efforts to retain power despite losing his reelection bid in November 2020.

The right-wing coup attempt has grown increasingly desperate ahead of Wednesday's expected certification of Biden's victory by Congress, with many observers calling for Trump to be criminally prosecuted following the emergence of evidence that the president on Saturday tried to intimidate Georgia's top election official into overturning the results.

"Trump may be planning his biggest—and likely most disastrous—stunt yet," Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, wrote late last week. "Whatever his calculation may be, there is clearly a risk that the last three weeks of Trump's presidency may be the most perilous."

Parsi's concerns are shared by Danny Postel, assistant director of the Center for International and Area Studies at Northwestern University. "Trump is a very wounded and very cornered animal in an end-game scenario. He's got a few weeks left, and we know that he is capable of extremely erratic behavior," Postel told Al Jazeera in an interview this past weekend. "It may be the case that his most erratic, most reckless lashing out is yet to come."

Parsi said Sunday night that a former U.S. military official told him that Trump starting a war with Iran is "probable."

According to what the former official told Parsi, "It will relieve the pressure from the Georgia recording leaks." Trump's aggression also comes amid what Parsi called "a showdown in the Senate on Jan. 6 with demonstrations and potential for violence in Washington, D.C."

In his attempted justification of the Pentagon's about-face on redeploying the warship Nimitz, Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller cited alleged "threats issued by Iranian leaders against President Trump and other U.S. government officials."

"No one should doubt the resolve of the United States of America," Miller added ominously.

As Parsi explained last week, "Trump has made more threats of war against Iran than any other country during his four years as President."

"As late as last month, he ordered the military to prepare options against Iranian nuclear facilities," Parsi wrote. "Though the New York Times reported that Trump's aides derailed those plans, U.S. troop movements in the past few weeks may suggest otherwise." He continued: 

Since October, the Pentagon has deployed 2,000 additional troops as well as an extra squadron of fighter planes to Saudi Arabia. It has also sent B-52 bombers on missions in the Persian Gulf three times, kept the USS Nimitz close to Iran, and announced that it is sending a Tomahawk-firing submarine just outside of Iranian waters. Moreover, Israel—whose officials have confirmed to several U.S. newspapers that it was behind the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last month—has sent a nuclear-equipped submarine to the Persian Gulf.

Officially, all of these military maneuvers are aimed at "deterring" Iran, even though Israel assassinated an Iranian official in Iran and not the other way around... Not surprisingly, Tehran has interpreted the measures as threats and provocations, similar to how the United States would perceive Iranian warships posturing off Florida's coast.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed Thursday that he is aware of intelligence suggesting the Trump administration is engaged in a "plot to fabricate a pretext for war" during its final days in power, as Common Dreams reported last week.

In an apparent reflection of the seriousness of the president's threats to democracy in the U.S. as well as to diplomacy with Iran, all 10 living former defense secretaries—including former Trump officials James Mattis and Mark Esper, along with Iraq War architects Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld—on Sunday penned an op-ed rebuking Trump.

"Could Trump seek to start a military confrontation with Iran in hopes of creating enough chaos as to prevent Joe Biden from taking office in January?" asked Parsi. "There is no reason to believe such a gambit would work, yet the insanity of the idea is not a convincing reason as to why a desperate Trump wouldn't try it."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'It's Not Coming Out': Bernie Sanders Stands Firm on Medicare Expansion

"It's what the American people want and, after waiting over 50 years, what they are going to get."

Julia Conley ·

'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·

Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo