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  #201  
Old 06-21-2019, 09:04 PM
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Trump expects us to believe that he:

Monitored the situation as it developed
Felt concern about the lives of Iranian military personnel
Weighed the consequences of a disproportionate response
Called the strikes off in a display of mercy

No way. Trump was probably in the White House shouting "death to the goddamn A-rabs!" (I know Iranians are not Arabs but I bet Trump doesn't) and some advisor pointed out that if there is a war, all the news coverage will switch to that rather than Trump's latest tantrum. That's why the strikes were called off.
  #202  
Old 06-21-2019, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DWMarch View Post
Trump expects us to believe that he:

Monitored the situation as it developed
Felt concern about the lives of Iranian military personnel
Weighed the consequences of a disproportionate response
Called the strikes off in a display of mercy

No way. Trump was probably in the White House shouting "death to the goddamn A-rabs!" (I know Iranians are not Arabs but I bet Trump doesn't) and some advisor pointed out that if there is a war, all the news coverage will switch to that rather than Trump's latest tantrum. That's why the strikes were called off.
I doubt this is true. I think Trump talks a lot of shit but doesn't want to get his hands dirty. He can grope women half his size and talk shit about an old (and now dead) John McCain. But this is the guy who got repeated deferment for bone spurs. Sure, Bush was a draft dodger too, but his daddy wasn't and by the time he got to be president, war was pretty much a family enterprise. Trump isn't a killer. But John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are reptiles. They masturbate to videos of nuclear explosions.

There is no plan to invade and occupy Iran. Moreover, if there is a war, Trump *must* win it. If he doesn't, he gets impeached and he spends the rest of his life in exile and/or prison. What does that tell you? It tells me the only plan we have is to bomb the ever living shit out of Iran, and to make an example out of them for the rest of the world. John Bolton isn't just a neo-con; he's a neo-con on roids. He's one of those who sits in a bar and says "America stopped fighting real wars, stopped fighting to win 'back in '45" - that kind of shit.
  #203  
Old 06-22-2019, 10:27 AM
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AP News: Iranian hackers wage cyber campaign amid tensions with US
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In recent weeks, hackers believed to be working for the Iranian government have targeted U.S. government agencies, as well as sectors of the economy, including oil and gas, sending waves of spear-phishing emails, according to representatives of cybersecurity companies CrowdStrike and FireEye, which regularly track such activity.
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CrowdStrike shared images of the spear-phishing emails with The AP.

One such email that was confirmed by FireEye appeared to come from the Executive Office of the President and seemed to be trying to recruit people for an economic adviser position. Another email was more generic and appeared to include details on updating Microsoft Outlook’s global address book.

The Iranian actor involved in the cyberattack, dubbed “Refined Kitten” by CrowdStrike, has for years targeted the U.S. energy and defense sectors, as well as allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, said Adam Meyers, vice president of intelligence at CrowdStrike.
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“This is not a remote war (anymore),” said Sergio Caltagirone, vice president of threat intelligence at Dragos, Inc. “This is one where Iranians could quote unquote bring the war home to the United States.”

Caltagirone said as nations increase their abilities to engage offensively in cyberspace, the ability of the United States to pick a fight internationally and have that fight stay out of the United States physically is increasingly reduced.

The U.S. has had a contentious cyber history with Iran.

In 2010, the so-called Stuxnet virus disrupted the operation of thousands of centrifuges at a uranium enrichment facility in Iran. Iran accused the U.S. and Israel of trying to undermine its nuclear program through covert operations.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-22-2019 at 10:29 AM.
  #204  
Old 06-22-2019, 01:11 PM
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Isn't that a shame? If Trump had made friends with Iran they could help him find Hillary's emails!
  #205  
Old 06-23-2019, 01:45 AM
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The comments in the thread are all very interesting. Thanks!

I do have one question: Why would Russia want to keep the Strait of Hormuz open? Sure, they'd love it if they could somehow get credit for defusing a crisis; and sure, they're happy if Trump's stupidity causes some to look up to Russia as the saner power. But wouldn't they be secretly delighted, both geopolitically and economically, if petroleum exports from the Gulf became more expensive?
  #206  
Old 06-23-2019, 03:10 AM
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The comments in the thread are all very interesting. Thanks!

I do have one question: Why would Russia want to keep the Strait of Hormuz open? Sure, they'd love it if they could somehow get credit for defusing a crisis; and sure, they're happy if Trump's stupidity causes some to look up to Russia as the saner power. But wouldn't they be secretly delighted, both geopolitically and economically, if petroleum exports from the Gulf became more expensive?
Not to mention how delighted Putin would be if the US rushes in alone without Europe's support thereby further alienating us from our allies.
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  #207  
Old 06-23-2019, 08:26 AM
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I think Putin looks at this as something he doesn't have to waste any resources on except to monitor things because no matter what happens, it's all good for Russia.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-23-2019 at 08:26 AM.
  #208  
Old 06-23-2019, 08:34 AM
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Checking the AP: US struck Iranian military computers this week:
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Two officials told The Associated Press that the strikes were conducted with approval from Trump. A third official confirmed the broad outlines of the strike. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the operation.

The cyberattacks — a contingency plan developed over weeks amid escalating tensions — disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, the officials said. Two of the officials said the attacks, which specifically targeted Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps computer system, were provided as options after Iranian forces blew up two oil tankers earlier this month.

The IRGC, which was designated a foreign terrorist group by the Trump administration earlier this year, is a branch of the Iranian military.
And John Bolton opened his furry maw today too:
Quote:
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday that Iran should not “mistake U.S. prudence and discretion for weakness,” after the U.S. abruptly called off military strikes against Iran in response to the shooting down of an unmanned American surveillance drone.

Bolton’s tough message seemed to be aimed not only at Tehran, but also at reassuring key U.S. allies that the White House remains committed to maintaining pressure on Iran. Israel, along with Arab countries in the Gulf, considers Iran to be their greatest threat, and Trump’s last-minute about face appears to have raised questions about U.S. willingness to use force against the Islamic Republic.
Quote:
“No one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East. As President Trump said on Friday our military is rebuilt, new and ready to go,” Bolton said in Jerusalem alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, himself a vocal critic of Iran over the years.

“And as he made clear yesterday, referring to his earlier remarks, the president said, ‘I just stopped the strike from going forward at this time,’” Bolton added.
  #209  
Old 06-23-2019, 08:53 AM
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Putin, like Iran, wants to limit US influence in the region. On one hand, Russia doesn't want to encourage more American adventurism and nation-building in the Middle East, particularly since the US would likely encourage the overthrow of the authoritarian regime of the Ayotallah and replacing it with a regime that is more pro-democracy and sympathetic to Western values (or at least willing to consider more Western influence).

But as most of us have already opined, the likelihood of blow-back and failure is rather high. If the US initiates a war which ends up resulting in the closure of Hormuz, then that would be critically disruptive to markets worldwide. There are all kinds of moderately bad scenarios, but a really bad one would would be especially punishing for countries like Japan, which is heavily populated and relies a lot on the importation of global oil. Another outcome of a worst-case scenario is that it would also hurt the US, the Americas, and Europe. Europe would potentially lean more on Russia for its energy -- like a lot more, thereby threatening the existence of NATO and the EU. You'd also have a world that's mad as fuck at the United States for crashing their economies without any real security justification for doing so. Our economic, political, and security alliances would be badly strained, with the possibility of street demonstrations putting intense pressure on governments to put distance between their governments and the US.

In the long term, Russia and China benefit; the US loses bigly.
  #210  
Old 06-23-2019, 08:58 AM
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I meant to address it earlier, but the apparent confusion and dissonance from within the WH that's spilling into public view is what makes this situation particularly dangerous. As has been pointed out before, when you're dealing with a potential conflict, you want lines to be clear. You want to avoid ambiguity. You want adversaries to know that if you do A, then B will follow. Trump may view this as a card game at one of his failed casinos, but this kind of bullshit poker is lethal in the real world.

Right now, Trump's dithering between Bolton and Pompeo, who are telling him he looks like a 'cuck' and a pussy for not attacking Iran, and being told in no uncertain terms that a war with Iran would be the end of his presidency and probably mean jail time after his exit.

Last edited by asahi; 06-23-2019 at 08:59 AM.
  #211  
Old 06-23-2019, 09:16 AM
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How would it mean jail time?
  #212  
Old 06-23-2019, 09:51 AM
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How would it mean jail time?
Once he's out, he can be indicted before the various statutes of limitation run out. On the other hand, if stays in for another 5+ years, they'll expire before he does.
  #213  
Old 06-23-2019, 09:55 AM
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Uness he gives himself a pardon. But the statement was that war ith Iran could mean jail time.
  #214  
Old 06-23-2019, 10:06 AM
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Uness he gives himself a pardon. But the statement was that war ith Iran could mean jail time.
In the sense that he would be out of office and could be prosecuted. He wouldn't be prosecuted for the war itself
  #215  
Old 06-23-2019, 10:14 AM
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So you think Pompeo is telling him that war with Iran will bring impeachment? I don't know bout that.
  #216  
Old 06-23-2019, 10:19 AM
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So you think Pompeo is telling him that war with Iran will bring impeachment? I don't know bout that.
No, not Pompeo - he and Bolton are hardliners to the bitter end, and would probably advocate expanding presidential power domestically. I tend to believe that not everyone in the WH or in GOP circles believes that this is going to be a viable plan, though. Exactly who the naysayers are, I couldn't tell you.
  #217  
Old 06-23-2019, 12:09 PM
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The Atlantic: The Iranian Hedgehog vs. the American Fox
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Among world leaders today, few hedgehogs are more implacable than Ayatollah Khamenei. Hedgehogs, Berlin argued, “relate everything to a single central vision … a single, universal, organizing principle in terms of which alone all that they are and say has significance.” In this spirit, Khamenei’s organizing principle throughout his 30-year rule as supreme leader has been “resistance” against America.
...
For Khamenei, “resistance” against “global arrogance”—his moniker for American imperialism— is both an ideology and a strategic doctrine. “Resistance,” he said, “unlike surrender, leads to the retreat of the enemy. When the enemy bullies you, if you take a step back, he will undoubtedly advance. The way to stop him from advancing is to resist.” Consistent with Khamenei’s philosophy, Iran has not responded to Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign with concessions, but rather by sowing chaos in the region and threatening to restart its nuclear program.
...
Reaching a deal—or at least averting a conflict—will require Khamenei to acquire the flexibility of a fox, and Trump to adopt the strategic patience and resolve of a hedgehog.

Last edited by Walken After Midnight; 06-23-2019 at 12:09 PM.
  #218  
Old 06-23-2019, 07:15 PM
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Pompeo is busy warmongering in the Middle East:
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he wants to build a global coalition against Iran during urgent consultations in the Middle East, following a week of crisis that saw the United States pull back from the brink of a military strike on Iran.

Pompeo spoke as he left Washington for Saudi Arabia, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Sunni Arab allies that are alarmed by Shiite Iran’s increasing assertiveness and are working to its influence in the region. His stops in Jeddah and Abu Dhabi were hastily arranged late last week as additions to a trip to India from where he will join President Donald Trump in Japan and South Korea. But they were not announced until immediately before his departure in a sign of fast-moving and unpredictable developments.

“We’ll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned, and how we can build out a global coalition, a coalition not only throughout the Gulf states, but in Asia and in Europe, that understands this challenge as it is prepared to push back against the world’s largest state sponsor of terror,” Pompeo said about Iran.
  #219  
Old 06-23-2019, 09:36 PM
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I wrote it somewhere else, but I'll write it again:

Usually, it's the advisers who are brought in to rein in the president's impulses and who provide more realistic assessments of how his policies would play out in reality. In this administration, it's the president who is checking the fanaticism of his advisers. And that "check" is only as strong as his mood on any given day.
  #220  
Old 06-23-2019, 09:39 PM
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Understand the reason why the Ayatollah came to power in the first place: to resist American meddling and intervention in Iranian affairs.
  #221  
Old 06-23-2019, 11:20 PM
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I think that the easiest exit-ramp for both Trump and the Ayatollah is to make a deal that's basically the same as the previous nuclear deal, with only minor and insubstantial cosmetic differences. I believe that the main reason Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal is because it was Obama's deal and therefore one of Obama's foreign policy legacy achievements. Trump doesn't seem to have any deep-seated opinions about Iran, and he'd probably be happy for the problem to just go away. So I think he might consider signing a deal that's only facially different from the previous one. He could pretend to his base that he'd solved the problem and got a great new deal - and they'd believe him, of course - and he could claim the nuclear deal as one of his own foreign policy legacy "achievements". If it's basically the same deal, then the Iranians would surely accept it as they wouldn't really have lost anything, including not losing face.
  #222  
Old 06-23-2019, 11:42 PM
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Pompeo is busy warmongering in the Middle East:
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he wants to build a global coalition against Iran


Jesus, is he really that tone-deaf? Does he really not know how pissed off the other countries that signed the Iran Deal are about the US pulling out of the deal, and spending all this effort to demonize Iran again?
  #223  
Old 06-23-2019, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
I think that the easiest exit-ramp for both Trump and the Ayatollah is to make a deal that's basically the same as the previous nuclear deal, with only minor and insubstantial cosmetic differences. I believe that the main reason Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal is because it was Obama's deal and therefore one of Obama's foreign policy legacy achievements. Trump doesn't seem to have any deep-seated opinions about Iran, and he'd probably be happy for the problem to just go away. So I think he might consider signing a deal that's only facially different from the previous one. He could pretend to his base that he'd solved the problem and got a great new deal - and they'd believe him, of course - and he could claim the nuclear deal as one of his own foreign policy legacy "achievements". If it's basically the same deal, then the Iranians would surely accept it as they wouldn't really have lost anything, including not losing face.
I beg to differ: IMO they would reject this utterly. Their position will be "no, you come back to what you walked away from" and they won't budge. They cannot have face and take a new deal, IMO.
  #224  
Old 06-24-2019, 12:23 AM
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I beg to differ: IMO they would reject this utterly. Their position will be "no, you come back to what you walked away from" and they won't budge. They cannot have face and take a new deal, IMO.
I think the Iranians could sign a new deal if it's basically the same as the old deal, with nothing substantially different. They could claim that as a victory - that the U.S. backed off due to Iranian resistance, lifted sanctions, and that they've essentially gone back to the old agreement. The key is to make it appear to Trump, or make it possible for him to make it appear, as a victory. For Trump, the appearance is always far more important than the substance. The best solution to this confrontation is one in which both sides can portray themselves to their people as the winner, even if it's actually a stalemate between them.
  #225  
Old 06-24-2019, 12:51 AM
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Look at North Korea:
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Originally Posted by Donald Trump
Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer - sleep well tonight!
Trump repeatedly declares his handling of the North Korea situation as a great victory, but after two summits, nothing at all has really changed or advanced. So Iran could try and follow a similar playbook - give Trump something of no substantive value that he can pretend is the greatest deal ever.
  #226  
Old 06-24-2019, 01:29 AM
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I think the Iranians could sign a new deal if it's basically the same as the old deal, with nothing substantially different. They could claim that as a victory - that the U.S. backed off due to Iranian resistance, lifted sanctions, and that they've essentially gone back to the old agreement. The key is to make it appear to Trump, or make it possible for him to make it appear, as a victory. For Trump, the appearance is always far more important than the substance. The best solution to this confrontation is one in which both sides can portray themselves to their people as the winner, even if it's actually a stalemate between them.
I think the depth of "resist America" in their culture and their resolve to forge their own path, of their own volition, is far stronger than you seem to. Iran knows they have, for once, on this one issue (the JCPOA), the world aligned with Iran and against the US. They will not give Trump even a symbolic victory, if they can help it, because that symbol would also be, to Iranians, a sign of capitulation to America and they prolly don't feel they need to do that. I mean, why trust America to keep their word on a new agreement? We didn't keep our word on the first one. And they did. That doesn't look good, not even to this American.

Face is important enough that people die for it, kill for it. Iran has based a large part of their national & cultural identity on "resist America"; I don't expect them to change that any time soon.
  #227  
Old 06-24-2019, 03:42 AM
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Look at North Korea:

Trump repeatedly declares his handling of the North Korea situation as a great victory, but after two summits, nothing at all has really changed or advanced. So Iran could try and follow a similar playbook - give Trump something of no substantive value that he can pretend is the greatest deal ever.
That possibility crossed my mind, too, but Iran knows that Trump has a history of changing his mind, and they also know full well that there are people in the administration who have long advocated regime change. They have proof just across the border that when an American administration discusses regime change, it's a threat to be taken seriously.

The Iran nuclear deal was a rare multi-lateral framework that offered transparency and a possible way forward in terms of negotiating a broader peace. The Trump team took a wrecking ball to that framework with the intention of taking advantage of a pause in Iran's nuclear development in order to weaken Iran's regime to a breaking point. Iran knows that, so going back to what existed before just so Trump can call it a deal would probably be only a very small first step from Iran's point of view because they had put themselves in a vulnerable position only to be taken advantage of. From their vantage point, it doesn't make sense to return to that place and pretend that it was all just a misunderstanding and we can return back to our regularly scheduled programming. They know that Trump could change his mind at any time.

Another problem for Iran is that, outside of regime change, it's not really clear what Trump's White House wants. With North Korea, that part was at least somewhat clear: scrap your nuclear weapons and we'll talk. With Iran, they were already suspending their nuclear weapons program. There was already an agreed-to framework for international cooperation that was much stronger than what existed with North Korea, and Trump's team came in and completely trashed it without offering any explanation other than making vague and unsubstantiated claims that Iran wasn't acting in good faith.

The worst part of this is that Trump and his hawks have discredited the political moderates in Iran, who tried to make the case that there existed the possibility of a future peace with the US, albeit an imperfect one. The hardliners have had their positions validated. Thus, I think it's going to be harder to negotiate with Iran going forward. As with North Korea, they are going to want concessions that this administration is unlikely to agree to, which in turn will strengthen the hard-line position of people like Bolton and Pompeo.
  #228  
Old 06-24-2019, 04:17 PM
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The US squeezes again:
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President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday targeting Iran’s supreme leader and his associates with financial sanctions, the latest action the U.S. has taken to discourage Tehran from developing nuclear weapons and supporting militant groups.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trump
These measures represent a strong and proportionate response to Iran’s increasingly provocative actions.

We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its aspirations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, increased enrichment of uranium, development of ballistic missiles, engagement and support for terrorism, fueling of foreign conflicts and belligerent acts directed against the United States and its allies.
  #229  
Old 06-24-2019, 04:23 PM
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Intelligencer (article limit/paywall):
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What seems to be going on here is that Trump just assumed he could cut a better deal with Iran than Obama did, just as he assumed he could design a better health-care-reform law than Obama did. Just as Trump didn’t realize the actual Republican health-care plan was to take insurance away from people who couldn’t afford it on their own, he also didn’t realize the actual Republican Iran policy is a conflict ratchet that requires him to at least be willing to start a massive war.

So he’s trying to get out of his own mess with the strategy he used with NAFTA. Step one is to call the existing deal the worst agreement of all time and cancel it. Step two is to negotiate small tweaks. Step three is to declare the tweaked/rebranded deal to be the greatest treaty of all time.
  #230  
Old 06-24-2019, 05:07 PM
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Intelligencer (article limit/paywall):
The problem here is that Iran has absolutely no reason to give Trump anything. And IMO, as I've written, their "resist America"-ness is strong enough that they will not capitulate easily.

They cannot be seen as losing face(and control) to the US and especially not to Trump; this will be one of the top motivators for the Iranians IMO.
  #231  
Old 06-24-2019, 05:35 PM
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From today's WaPo article on the new sanctions:
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He complained that a 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six worlds powers, including the United States, “wasn’t properly done.” He added that Khamenei, the supreme leader, has said “he doesn’t want nuclear weapons,” which Trump called “a great thing to say.” Referring to the prospect of new nuclear negotiations, Trump went on: “If that’s the case, we can do something very quickly.”

In fact, Khamenei has asserted for years that Iran neither needs nor wants nuclear weapons, and he has declared such arms forbidden by Islam. Reflecting that position, the nuclear accord negotiated under the Obama administration says in its first paragraph: “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.” (emphasis added)
It's important to keep calling him out for what he is - an utterly uninformed incurious liar - but how many people will read or hear about this, his most recent prevarication? No more than 55 percent? It must be especially tiring/trying/terrifying for you in the US.
  #232  
Old 06-24-2019, 05:47 PM
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Intelligencer (article limit/paywall):
Mexico was being bullied but the US wasn't threatening their sovereignty; Iran, OTOH, believes they are fighting to defend their sovereignty and for their country's survival. The only way that increasing sanctions will work is by forcing Iran into a humiliating retreat, which doesn't seem like the sort of thing that a country that just attacked oil tankers and shot down a drone would be likely to do.

If you think there's a strategy that Trump is employing here, keep in mind that we are using absolutely ZERO diplomacy. We essentially have no state department right now. We don't even have a confirmed secretary of defense. We have a president who binge-watches Fox News, and two guys who have written editorials and given PowerPoints on why we should topple Iran's regime.

What could go wrong? LOL
  #233  
Old 06-24-2019, 07:07 PM
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The Hill-HarrisX survey:
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What best describes your opinion about the appropriate response to recent hostilities by Iran in the Middle East? The U.S. should...

Do nothing 9%
Seek a negotiated solution: 49%
Respond with a limited military strike: 19%
Declare war on Iran: 5%

Unsure: 19%
So, no to military action: 58%
Yes to military action: 24%
  #234  
Old 06-24-2019, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
The Iran nuclear deal was a rare multi-lateral framework that offered transparency and a possible way forward in terms of negotiating a broader peace. The Trump team took a wrecking ball to that framework with the intention of taking advantage of a pause in Iran's nuclear development in order to weaken Iran's regime to a breaking point. Iran knows that, so going back to what existed before just so Trump can call it a deal would probably be only a very small first step from Iran's point of view because they had put themselves in a vulnerable position only to be taken advantage of. From their vantage point, it doesn't make sense to return to that place and pretend that it was all just a misunderstanding and we can return back to our regularly scheduled programming. They know that Trump could change his mind at any time.
It's possible that the Ayatollah/Iranians could - reasonably - decide that a signature of the President of the United States cannot be trusted. If Trump reneged on the previous deal, who is to say that a future U.S. President will not do the same and withdraw from any deal they make with Trump now?

The Iranians might even conclude that Trump's withdrawal from a signed treaty and subsequent aggression against them means that they actually do need nuclear weapons. To adopt such a strategy would probably mean the Iranians having to weather years of hard sanctions. Saddam's Iraq suffered years of sanctions and survived, albeit while enduring much hardship.
  #235  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
It's possible that the Ayatollah/Iranians could - reasonably - decide that a signature of the President of the United States cannot be trusted. . .
This is an interesting point.

Imagine if you will that Sanders or Buttigeig wins in 2020. Do you think they wouldn't be trusted . . . a little bit?

Some say that Trump is playing the Nixon Madman role. Even if he's not (and he's not!), I bet that even the Ayatollah gets that Trump is an anomaly.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 06-24-2019 at 08:03 PM.
  #236  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
This is an interesting point.

Imagine if you will that Sanders or Buttigeig wins in 2020. Do you think they wouldn't be trusted . . . a little bit?

Some say that Trump is playing the Nixon Madman role. Even if he's not (and he's not!), I bet that even the Ayatollah gets that Trump is an anomaly.
It's not that Sanders or Buttigieg won't be trusted; it's that the Iranians won't trust the American political system to provide enough reasonable stability to ensure that whoever comes in behind them won't just reverse all of their gains.

That's what the optimists who believe "Well we can just elect a Democrat and make the world right again" -- nuh uh, it doesn't work like that. To some extent, the damage that Trump is inflicting to our reputation and prestige is permanent and irreversible - at least in the short-term. It's a question of how much.
  #237  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
This is an interesting point.

Imagine if you will that Sanders or Buttigeig wins in 2020. Do you think they wouldn't be trusted . . . a little bit?

Some say that Trump is playing the Nixon Madman role. Even if he's not (and he's not!), I bet that even the Ayatollah gets that Trump is an anomaly.
Of course, I think Sanders and Buttigieg could be trusted. The JCPOA nuclear treaty was intended to last until 2030, though, so there could be two more presidencies after Trump's second term/Democrats' victory still within the treaty's active lifespan.
  #238  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
Of course, I think Sanders and Buttigieg could be trusted. The JCPOA nuclear treaty was intended to last until 2030, though, so there could be two more presidencies after Trump's second term/Democrats' victory still within the treaty's active lifespan.
Iran will trust them more if they can develop a credible nuclear threat, particularly a long-range threat that can attack the mainland, which is ironically something that both the US and Israel are probably not going to tolerate. The nuclear deal was good in that it froze Iran's capacity in place and allowed time for the possibility of developing a dialog later. From the US and Israel's point of view, however, it was "bad" in that Iran had already achieved great progress in terms of enrichment and weapons delivery. The fact that they're that close is problematic from Israel's perspective because they're already well within range of Iran's missiles and Iran would effectively offset Israel's nuclear superiority in the region. Israel's fear is that Iran would be emboldened to use Hizbollah in the future, which isn't an entirely irrational fear, I would concede. But it's the US that also doesn't want to give up its status of having undisputed military supremacy in the region.
  #239  
Old 06-24-2019, 09:54 PM
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I recommend listening to interviews made a couple of months ago with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif to hear the Iranian side of things, such as here on Fox with Chris Wallace, and here on Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan.

I think that Javad Zarif has excellent diplomatic skills and is a persuasive speaker. Having lived in the U.S. for a decade, his English is impeccable, and he has great depth of knowledge about U.S. politics. According to his Wikipedia page, he came top in a poll for the most popular political figure in Iran, with 76% approval.

Zarif has repeatedly been blaming what he calls the #B_Team for trying to foment a war with Iran - the four "B's" of John Bolton (U.S.), Bibi Netanyahu (Israel), bin Zayed (U.A.E.), and bin Salman (Saudi Arabia).
  #240  
Old 06-24-2019, 10:50 PM
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the last minute or so is pretty compelling IMO
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohammad Javad Zarif
…and people of Iran started to feel and started to see that engagement does not have dividends. That’s a very bad message, not only that you are sending to the people of Iran, but that you are sending to the rest of the world: that they cannot rely on the signature of a President of the United States.
  #241  
Old 06-25-2019, 01:14 AM
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I think I see part of the problem here:
Quote:
Iran’s U.N. ambassador warned Monday that the situation in the Persian Gulf is “very dangerous” and called talks with the U.S. impossible in the face of escalating sanctions and intimidation, while the U.S. envoy said the Trump administration’s aim is to get Tehran back to negotiations.
Quote:
Iranian Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi called the new sanctions another indication of “U.S. hostility” toward the Iranian people. He said the Trump administration should de-escalate tensions by stopping “its military adventurism” in the region, withdrawing its “naval armada” and moving away from “economic warfare against the Iranian people.”

Acting U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen outlined the U.S. case for blaming Iran for tanker attacks May 12 and June 13 and for shooting down a $100 million U.S. drone in international airspace June 20. Iran denies it attacked the tankers and says the drone was in its airspace.

“Iran must understand that these attacks are unacceptable,” Cohen said. “It’s time for the world to join us in saying so.”

Cohen reiterated that U.S. policy “remains an economic and diplomatic effort to bring Iran back to the negotiating table.” He repeated his call to meet diplomacy with diplomacy, noting that Iran dismissed it two weeks ago as “inflammatory.”
Who the fuck do they think they're fooling?



Oh, right: I live in America.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-25-2019 at 01:17 AM.
  #242  
Old 06-25-2019, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
...which is exactly what I said in post #236. No, Iran is not going to just trust the US when a Democrat gets elected, and he's right: neither will North Korea or anyone else. The world has come to understand what it means when Americans elect Republicans: regime change and neo-imperialism or neo-hegemony. The world will simply get out the stopwatch and wait until we idiotically vote for another Republican president. I don't live outside the US, but I would imagine that, frankly, this shit gets old. And this is how America loses its alliances, and its edge, forever.
  #243  
Old 06-25-2019, 09:31 AM
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Iran calls new US sanctions ‘outrageous and idiotic’.
Quote:
“You sanction the foreign minister simultaneously with a request for talks,” an exasperated Rouhani said and called the sanctions “outrageous and idiotic.”

“The White House is afflicted by mental retardation and does not know what to do,” Rouhani added.
This backs up my perception of Iran's position:
Quote:
However, in Iran’s case, there are no signs Iranian leadership would welcome talks.
Here's the really, really stupid part:
Quote:
Meanwhile, the U.S. envoy at the United Nations, Jonathan Cohen, said the Trump administration’s aim is to get Tehran back to negotiations.
"Your methods are failing. You are accomplishing the opposite of your stated goals with your preferred methods. Stop before people get killed." The US is saying this to Iran but the world is saying the same thing to the US. If the US expects Iran to listen to their demands, why shouldn't the world think the US should listen to the world's demands? And why should anyone listen to the US, since we can't be trusted to keep our word?

Good job, Team Trump! You've backed us into a corner; now start digging that hole!

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-25-2019 at 09:31 AM.
  #244  
Old 06-25-2019, 09:53 AM
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Oh! They're digging!
Quote:
Meanwhile, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Trump was open to real negotiations to eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons program and “all that Iran needs to do is walk through that open door.”
Quote:
“As we speak, American diplomatic representatives are surging across the Middle East, seeking a path to peace. In response, Iran’s silence has been deafening,” he said. “There is simply no evidence that Iran has made the strategic decision to renounce nuclear weapons and open realistic discussions to demonstrate that decision.”

But only hours later, Bolton told a news conference that “all options remain on the table” if Iran goes over the limit for its low-enriched uranium stockpile as planned by Thursday.

“It would not be in their interest to do it but they have done a lot of things recently that are not in their interest,” Bolton said.
Translation: "They aren't doing what we want them to do. Even tho we keep hitting them, they aren't doing what we want them to. Why do they keep making us hit them???"
  #245  
Old 06-25-2019, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
Zarif has repeatedly been blaming what he calls the #B_Team for trying to foment a war with Iran - the four "B's" of John Bolton (U.S.), Bibi Netanyahu (Israel), bin Zayed (U.A.E.), and bin Salman (Saudi Arabia).
Well, he's wrong about the second one. The last thing Netanyahu wants is an actual war with Iran, for obvious reasons.
  #246  
Old 06-25-2019, 10:28 AM
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Well, he's wrong about the second one. The last thing Netanyahu wants is an actual war with Iran, for obvious reasons.
Would he welcome a US war with Iran?
  #247  
Old 06-25-2019, 10:45 AM
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Would he welcome a US war with Iran?
God no. What if the U.S. wins? How can he keep getting re-elected if he can't act tough on Iran? Bibi Netanyahu has never met a status quo he didn't want to maintain. It's in his nature.

Besides, the Iranians already have over 130,000 rockets positioned in Lebanon and Syria, all aimed at Israel. If the U.S. attacks, they won't hesitate to give the order to launch.
  #248  
Old 06-25-2019, 11:29 AM
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God no. What if the U.S. wins? How can he keep getting re-elected if he can't act tough on Iran? Bibi Netanyahu has never met a status quo he didn't want to maintain. It's in his nature.

Besides, the Iranians already have over 130,000 rockets positioned in Lebanon and Syria, all aimed at Israel. If the U.S. attacks, they won't hesitate to give the order to launch.
Israeli Haaretz newspaper:
Quote:
In this conflict, Israel is hoping to have its cake and eat it too. Ever since Trump was elected president two and a half years ago, Netanyahu has been urging him to take a more aggressive line toward Iran, in order to force it to make additional concessions on its nuclear program and disrupt its support for militant organizations.
Haaretz again:
Quote:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the only world leader to openly express support for the escalating U.S. campaign against Iran.
...
But even without his damning testimony from the past, and even if Netanyahu doesn’t say another word, if war breaks out between the U.S. and Iran, he will be named as the prime suspect as far as its opponents are concerned. Netanyahu, with the assistance of like-minded allies in the U.S. and the Middle East, persuaded Donald Trump to abandon Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu convinced Trump that a combination of crippling economic sanctions and a credible military threat will force Tehran to beg for a new and improved nuclear deal, which will include its malevolent regional activities which were not addressed in “Obama’s deal”. And given that countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are far more belligerent towards Iran in private than they are in public, Netanyahu became a one-man cheerleading squad for Trump’s latest moves.
...
Netanyahu, one must note, is hardly looking forward to an imminent outbreak of hostilities, even if its participants are the B-52’s and Lincoln aircraft carrier that Trump seemingly dispatched to the Gulf. The immense loss of life, damage to Israel’s economy and potential war with Lebanon that would ensue from an Iranian diktat to Hezbollah to unleash hundreds if not thousands of precision-guided rockets on Israeli population centers in retaliation for a U.S. attack are enough to curb any Israeli enthusiasm for an American clash with Iran – though Netanyahu might nonetheless believe it’s a price worth paying.

Netanyahu believes that the Iranian leadership, like much of the Arab, understands only force. He is convinced that intense economic pressure coupled with the nightmarish specter of American bombers laying waste to their country will compel Tehran to come back to the negotiating table on all fours in order to carve out the fabled “better agreement” that both Trump and Netanyahu claim, with no evidence, is eminently achievable.
  #249  
Old 06-25-2019, 04:57 PM
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Senior Russian official says:

- Iran is still an ally and partner of Russia

"Iran has always been and remains our ally and partner, with which we are consistently developing relations both on bilateral basis and within multilateral formats."

- Iran is not the major threat to regional security

"This is why we believe that it is inadmissible to describe Iran as the major threat to the regional security and, moreover, to put it on par with the Islamic State or any other terrorist organization."

- U.S. drone was in Iranian airspace

[He has] "information from the Russian Defense Ministry that this drone was in Iranian airspace."
  #250  
Old 06-25-2019, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
Senior Russian official says:

- Iran is still an ally and partner of Russia

"Iran has always been and remains our ally and partner, with which we are consistently developing relations both on bilateral basis and within multilateral formats."

- Iran is not the major threat to regional security

"This is why we believe that it is inadmissible to describe Iran as the major threat to the regional security and, moreover, to put it on par with the Islamic State or any other terrorist organization."

- U.S. drone was in Iranian airspace

[He has] "information from the Russian Defense Ministry that this drone was in Iranian airspace."
I have trouble keeping track: Are we believing what Russia says this week or not?
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