Some thoughts on Iran

Some take-aways:

1. No one has any idea what is going to happen, and anyone who claims to have some sort of special foresight as to the matter is probably full of it. Unlike economies and finance, predicting foreign policy is very difficult, if not impossible. Things can change suddenly and unpredictably. How many predicted Suleimani would die? Zero. How many predicted the Iraq war would take so long? Maybe three people. How about 911? Zero. At this point, it’s a coin-toss.

From Vox, “…Eurasia Group, a prominent international consulting firm, now puts the chance of “a limited or major military confrontation” at 40 percent.” So in other words, who the hell knows knows.

Although Trump, rightfully, wants to avoid war if he can, it would not take much to provoke Trump into further escalation, which can include war.

2. There is more information than ever. A common criticism by liberals and libertarian-types is that there is not enough transparency or information, but in the days following Suleimani’s death, probably, by my estimate, hundreds or even thousands of opinion and analysis pieces have been written by sources as diverse as the The Atlantic, The Independent, New York Times, and the Wall St. Journal. Short of classified info, someone who who reads up on all this stuff probably would know as much as most government officials. In the ’30s or ’40s how many civilian Americans knew or had access to information about the possible ramifications of attacking Nazi Germany? Probably very few, or else possibly many would have opposed it.

3. Public sentiment does not matter. Polls today may show that the majority of Americans oppose war, but if and when it happens, sentiment will reverse, at least if things are perceived as going well.

4.If Trump goes to war, he wins 2020, hands down. I know the dissent-right opposes war, but they don’t have much of a say in this matter, both in terms of votes and influence on Trump’s foreign policy. Iran is a universally disliked target, and Trump declaring war on Iran will drive-up high voter turnout in his favor. The stock market will also respond favorably to war with Iran. The S&P 500 posted huge gains in 2003-2004 during the Iraq war, so this should be similar for 2020.