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Old 05-10-2019, 12:28 PM
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Iran declines invitation to call Trump about Trump's concerns: Trump the statesman, part 2?


Or maybe that should be "Trump the statesman? (Part 2)".

Anyway, here's the sitch:
Quote:
A top commander in Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard said Friday that Tehran will not talk with the United States, an Iranian news agency reported — a day after President Donald Trump said he’d like Iranian leaders to “call me.”

The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Gen. Yadollah Javani as saying that “there will be no negotiations with America.”

The Iranian commander also claimed the U.S. would not dare take military action against Iran but did not elaborate.
It all started last week, with the US announcing that it was moving naval resources to the area in response to a claimed missile shipment that supposedly threatened American interests.

Then on Wednesday, Iran made noise about resuming nuclear enrichment operations.
Quote:
And on Wednesday, Iran threatened to renew some nuclear enrichment that had been halted under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers — a year after Trump pulled America from the accord, saying it does nothing to stop Iran from developing missiles or destabilizing the Middle East.

But in a softer approach, Trump told reporters on Thursday at the White House: “What I would like to see with Iran, I would like to see them call me.”
The whole "call me" thing is a serious mis-step, IMO. It is a position that conveys both the attitude of superiority and a weakness of will. It's just not how things work: if you want to talk to them, you call them. They don't want to talk to you, or they'd have called already, IMO.

Also, Trump enabled the whole thing by pulling the US from the Iran nuclear accord (INA).

I've got a bad feeling about this.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 05-10-2019 at 12:30 PM.
  #2  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:41 PM
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The whole "call me" thing is a serious mis-step, IMO.
It's the same bullshit he tried to pull off with North Korea. He thinks that suddenly Iran is going to be so honored by his invitation that it will submit to his demands, because he's such a great "deal maker." He's a self-deluded one-trick pony. Or maybe just an old dog that can't learn anything.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:51 PM
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Abandoning the Iran nuclear deal was IMO the most catastrophic foreign policy blunder since the invasion of Iraq, and with the potential to be even worse. Just incredibly stupid policy.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:01 PM
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Abandoning the Iran nuclear deal was IMO the most catastrophic foreign policy blunder since the invasion of Iraq, and with the potential to be even worse. Just incredibly stupid policy.
Yep. The fact that we even got them to agree to that deal was nothing short of a miracle.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:55 PM
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I don't disagree with anything you're saying or (what I think) you're implying. The nuclear deal was a good thing and Trump and the Republicans are idiots for putting politics over peace.

On the other hand, Iran does seem to be meddling in a most sinister way with respect to the 'Israeli-Palestinian conflict'TM. They are increasingly involved with sponsoring proxies to destabilize things and inflame that conflict as well as, more generally, in the Middle East, e.g. in Syria and Iraq.

Iran is, ultimately, the Shiite power in a region where, in its opinion, Sunnis are too often calling the shots. And that is intolerable to Iran.

The US could choose to be in a position where they commit to neither Sunni Saudi Arabia nor Shia Iran. But by unreservedly supporting the Saudis, America guarantees an aggressive Iran and makes perpetual conflict in the region inevitable.

So, it's not so much that the US should try to honor the Iran nuclear deal as it is that it should tell Saudi Arabia to get fucked.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 05-10-2019 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:53 PM
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So, it's not so much that the US should try to honor the Iran nuclear deal as it is that it should tell Saudi Arabia to get fucked.
Trump tries to be very chummy with the House of Saud, especially since the Crown Prince murdered a journalist in cold blood — something Trump would like to have the guts to do. Is this why Trump is so hateful against the Saudi's strategic enemy, Iran? Despite that Iran is stategic ally of Trump's best pal, Vladimir Putin?
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:40 PM
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Abandoning the Iran nuclear deal was IMO the most catastrophic foreign policy blunder since the invasion of Iraq, and with the potential to be even worse. Just incredibly stupid policy.
I think it was a bigger blunder if you weight it for obviousness. At least there was a possibility of a gain from the Iraq war. Leaving the Iran deal was a pretty obvious net loss to the US.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:57 AM
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I think it was a bigger blunder if you weight it for obviousness. At least there was a possibility of a gain from the Iraq war. Leaving the Iran deal was a pretty obvious net loss to the US.
I don't necessarily think the Iran deal pullout is worse, but I'd agree to that statement with regards to an armed conflict with Iran: it would be bigger when you weight for obviousness, since the strength of the Iraqi insurgency was not inevitable or knowable: even though Iraq was obviously an own goal due to its pointlessness, the size of the blunder was not known until later.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:04 PM
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I don't necessarily think the Iran deal pullout is worse, but I'd agree to that statement with regards to an armed conflict with Iran: it would be bigger when you weight for obviousness, since the strength of the Iraqi insurgency was not inevitable or knowable: even though Iraq was obviously an own goal due to its pointlessness, the size of the blunder was not known until later.
I respectfully disagree. Everyone knew that invading and occupying Iraq would destabilize the entire region, which it did.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Or maybe that should be "Trump the statesman? (Part 2)".

Anyway, here's the sitch:
It all started last week, with the US announcing that it was moving naval resources to the area in response to a claimed missile shipment that supposedly threatened American interests.

Then on Wednesday, Iran made noise about resuming nuclear enrichment operations.The whole "call me" thing is a serious mis-step, IMO. It is a position that conveys both the attitude of superiority and a weakness of will. It's just not how things work: if you want to talk to them, you call them. They don't want to talk to you, or they'd have called already, IMO.

Also, Trump enabled the whole thing by pulling the US from the Iran nuclear accord (INA).

I've got a bad feeling about this.
Why do you have a bad feeling about it? The other signatories are fighting the US on this, and are still honoring the commitments by and large. If Iran breaches the 300 KG limit they signed on to honor then that will change, and everyone will reimpose sanctions back to where they were. So, it's in Iran's hands at this point. I think the benefits, even with the US reimposing our own sanctions outweigh the cons for them to continue to honor the thing. I also think it would be smart for them to talk to the US, even if I agree Trump saying to call him is idiotic. But I think there were valid reasons for the US to reassess our stance wrt Iran (their continued support of terrorist groups in the region being the primary one) on this, though I disagreed at the time that this was the best way to do this.

ETA: Of course, what's really going on in all of this is it's a struggle between the 'moderates' (for Iran) and the hardliners, and we've undercut the 'moderates'.
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Last edited by XT; 05-10-2019 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:56 PM
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Why do you have a bad feeling about it? The other signatories are fighting the US on this, and are still honoring the commitments by and large. If Iran breaches the 300 KG limit they signed on to honor then that will change, and everyone will reimpose sanctions back to where they were. So, it's in Iran's hands at this point. I think the benefits, even with the US reimposing our own sanctions outweigh the cons for them to continue to honor the thing. I also think it would be smart for them to talk to the US, even if I agree Trump saying to call him is idiotic. But I think there were valid reasons for the US to reassess our stance wrt Iran (their continued support of terrorist groups in the region being the primary one) on this, though I disagreed at the time that this was the best way to do this.

ETA: Of course, what's really going on in all of this is it's a struggle between the 'moderates' (for Iran) and the hardliners, and we've undercut the 'moderates'.
US sanctions affect more than US trade. The US is threatening to go after any company and country that is continuing business with Iran, refusing to extend waivers to countries that have, up unto now, continued buying Iranian oil, with the declared intent to "shut down Iranian oil exports completely".

The EU is trying countermeasures to this, but US sanctions are still continuing to severely reduce the activity of EU companies in Iran, so the situation is already fast moving towards a state where the deal might as well be completely dead as far as the Iranians are concerned.
  #12  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:13 PM
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Pre-lims & posturing have already started!
Quote:
President Donald Trump is warning Iran, saying that if Tehran does “anything” in the form of an attack “they will suffer greatly.”

Trump was asked Monday about two Saudi oil tankers and a Norwegian-flagged vessel being damaged in what Gulf officials described as a “sabotage” attack off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Details of the incident remain unclear. But it raised risks for shippers in a region vital to global energy supplies at a time of increasing tensions between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

Trump was asked about the sabotage, and responded: “It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens.”
  #13  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:33 PM
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Thank heaven there's a level headed genius in the oval office who can address all of the issues created by the level headed genius in the oval office!
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:40 PM
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Britain speaks up:
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Britain warned Monday that armed conflict might be sparked “by accident” amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran, as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks with officials from European powers that are racing to salvage a nuclear deal with the Islamic republic.

Britain’s foreign secretary offered the warning as Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were sabotaged and received “significant damage” Sunday off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, one of the vessels as it was heading to pick up Saudi oil to take to the United States.

Washington has warned shipping companies that “Iran or its proxies” could be targeting maritime traffic in the Persian Gulf region and said it was deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter alleged threats from Tehran.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:47 PM
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This is a pretty thorough analysis of the initial shipment of missiles that sparked the increased tension.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:49 PM
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And here was some sabre-rattling by the IRGC:

Quote:
“An aircraft carrier that has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and 6,000 forces gathered within it was a serious threat for us in the past but now it is a target and the threats have switched to opportunities,” said Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guards’ aerospace division.

“If (the Americans) make a move, we will hit them in the head,” he added, according to ISNA.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:35 PM
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Setting the table now:
Quote:
An American military team’s initial assessment is that Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies used explosives Sunday to blow large holes in four ships anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a U.S. official said Monday.

The official said each ship has a 5- to 10-foot hole in it, near or just below the water line, and the team’s early belief is that the holes were caused by explosive charges. The team of U.S. military experts was sent to investigate the damages at the request of the UAE, but American officials have not provided any details about what exactly happened or any proof as yet about the possible Iranian involvement in the explosions.

The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Gulf officials have characterized the damage to the tankers as sabotage. Two Saudi oil tankers, a Norwegian-flagged vessel, and a bunkering tanker flagged in Sharjah, one of the UAE’s seven emirates, all suffered similar damage Sunday.

The U.S. has warned ships that “Iran or its proxies” could be targeting maritime traffic in the region, and America has moved additional ships and aircraft into the region.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:41 PM
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I hope this will be thoroughly investigated by both journalists and hopefully third party investigators. The Iranian government can't be trusted, and unfortunately, neither can the current administration, for the most part.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:43 PM
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UAE asked the Americans for help investigating. Do you think they're interested in a war breaking out between the USA and Iran? Do you think if the USA was trying to frame Iran for it, they'd say something, or help?
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:13 PM
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UAE asked the Americans for help investigating. Do you think they're interested in a war breaking out between the USA and Iran? Do you think if the USA was trying to frame Iran for it, they'd say something, or help?
At this point, there is not enough information, to know. Asking the U.S. to assist investigations just means that the U.S. has the most resources to conduct investigations and anyone not directly allied to Iran wants to keep favorable relations with the U.S. regardless of what ultimate goal they desire. How many experts in sabotage investigations does the UAE have to keep an eye on the U.S. And, as GWB demonstrated with his Office of Special Plans, the U.S. cannot be trusted to provide objective analysis. (Bolton strikes me as the sort who would create his own OSP if he felt he could gt away with it.)
North Korea, Iran, and the U.S. are all currently being led by excitable leaders of limited control or sanity and whether it is "the other guys" or the Trump/Bolton team, there are too many torches being juggled near piles of munitions.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:20 AM
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NEW: Iran or Iranian-backed proxies used explosives to blow holes in four ships -- two Saudi oil tankers and two others -- near the Strait of Hormuz, according to an initial assessment of the U.S. team sent to investigate, @CBSDavidMartin confirms.
source
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:49 AM
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Could so easily be a false flag, and I don't think it's possible to draw any conclusions about who the perpetrators were.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:00 AM
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Could so easily be a false flag, and I don't think it's possible to draw any conclusions about who the perpetrators were.
I agree that some rumored attribution, without compelling evidence provided, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of confidence in the initial conclusion.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:00 AM
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Could so easily be a false flag, and I don't think it's possible to draw any conclusions about who the perpetrators were.
While it is of course necessary to determine who exactly did the attack, especially before lives are risked, let's not kid ourselves that a 9/11 Truther-type thermite inside job conspiracy is plausible.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:25 PM
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While it is of course necessary to determine who exactly did the attack, especially before lives are risked, let's not kid ourselves that a 9/11 Truther-type thermite inside job conspiracy is plausible.
It seems unlikely, certainly. That said, it's not like Iran is the only party in the region who would like to blow a few holes in US warships.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:44 PM
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It seems unlikely, certainly. That said, it's not like Iran is the only party in the region who would like to blow a few holes in US warships.
Well, now I question whether you're following the news. US warships were not involved.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:14 PM
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...let's not kid ourselves that a 9/11 Truther-type thermite inside job conspiracy is plausible.
You trust Saudi Arabia that much to rule them out completely?
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:35 PM
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You trust Saudi Arabia that much to rule them out completely?
This isn't about trust. It's about tin-foil hats that some people want to wear when the topic of war comes up.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:21 PM
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While it is of course necessary to determine who exactly did the attack, especially before lives are risked, let's not kid ourselves that a 9/11 Truther-type thermite inside job conspiracy is plausible.
He didn’t say anything about a conspiracy theory. He said it could be a false flag. These have occurred several times. There is no reason to associate them with a conspiracy theory.

Even in Iran attacked the Saudis, it would be foolish for the US to continue its provocations against Iran and its nuclear-armed allies.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 05-14-2019 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:15 AM
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"Iran or Iranian-backed proxies". So - it was either Iran or someone else. And we don't know who the someone else is, but despite not knowing who they are or even whether they're from Iran or somewhere else we somehow know that they were doing it in on behalf of Iran. Sorry - I mean "could be" doing it on behalf of Iran.

It probably was Iran but given our other various recent screw-ups in the region based on lies, false intelligence, nefarious political machinations and general incompetence, perhaps some more solid intel would be good before doing anything precipitous.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:59 AM
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And it was a piece of cake to get to this point. All we had to do was cancel the nuclear agreement, and then send in our navy! MAGA!
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:26 PM
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Well, I'm sure this is reassuring: Trump says US not ramping up for military conflict with Iran
Quote:
Trump was responding to Tuesday’s report in The New York Times that the White House is reviewing military plans against Iran that could result in sending 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks American forces or steps up work on nuclear weapons.

Trump says it’s “fake news.” He says he would “absolutely” be willing to send troops, but that he’s not planned for that and hopefully won’t have to plan for that.

He says if the U.S. was going to get into a military conflict with Iran, “we’d send a hell of a lot more” troops.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:32 PM
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Marco Rubio eggs it on:
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Originally Posted by Marco Rubio
It’s all on them, and it’s a grave risk. I don’t want a war, we don’t want a war, but that’s up to them.
Sure, Marco. <slap> I ain't looking' for a fight here, Marco. <slap> It's up to you if this is a fight or not. <slap> Entirely up to you. <slap>

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 05-14-2019 at 05:32 PM.
  #34  
Old 05-14-2019, 06:08 PM
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Marco Rubio eggs it on:

Sure, Marco. <slap> I ain't looking' for a fight here, Marco. <slap> It's up to you if this is a fight or not. <slap> Entirely up to you. <slap>
What do you think Senator Rubio is doing that is the geopolitical equivalent of slapping Iran in the face?
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:48 PM
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"They made me do it!"
Party of personal responsibility, my ass.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:45 PM
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:56 AM
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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/14/w...gtype=Homepage

Quote:
One American official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential internal planning, said the new intelligence of an increased Iranian threat was “small stuff” and did not merit the military planning being driven by Mr. Bolton. The official also said the ultimate goal of the yearlong economic sanctions campaign by the Trump administration was to draw Iran into an armed conflict with the United States.
Uggh. And not a little uggh -- this is stomach churning stuff. War with Iran would be the dumbest of all the dumb decisions Trump has made, and likely result in hundreds or even thousands of dead Americans for no good reason at all.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:31 PM
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Prep work continues:
Quote:
The U.S. on Wednesday ordered all nonessential government staff to leave Iraq, and Germany and the Netherlands both suspended their military assistance programs in the country in the latest sign of tensions sweeping the Persian Gulf region over still-unspecified threats that the Trump administration says are linked to Iran.
Quote:
The movement of diplomatic personnel is often done in times of conflict, but what is driving the decisions from the White House remains unclear. A high-ranking British general said there was no new threat from Iran or its regional proxies, something immediately rebutted by the U.S. military’s Central Command, which said its troops were on high alert, without elaborating.

Last week, U.S. officials said they had detected signs of Iranian preparations for potential attacks on U.S. forces and interests in the Middle East, but Washington has not spelled out that threat, and an alert on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said that all nonessential, nonemergency U.S. government staff were ordered to leave Iraq right away under State Department orders.

The U.S. in recent days has ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group to the Gulf region, plus four B-52 bombers.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:59 PM
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Saudi Arabia eggs us on now too:
Quote:
Saudi Arabia on Thursday blamed Tehran for a drone attack by Yemen’s rebels that knocked out a key oil pipeline and a newspaper close to the palace called for the U.S. to carry out “surgical” strikes on Iran, adding a new layer of tension to the standoff in the Persian Gulf.
Quote:
Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman, tweeted that the drone attack on two Saudi Aramco pumping stations “proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran’s regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda in the region.”

A state-aligned Saudi newspaper went further, running an editorial calling for “surgical” U.S. strikes on Iran in retaliation. Iran has been accused by the U.S. and the U.N. of supplying ballistic missile technology and arms to the Houthis, which Tehran denies.

The Arab News editorial, published in English, said it’s “clear that (U.S.) sanctions are not sending the right message” and that “they must be hit hard,” without elaborating on what specific targets should be struck.
ETA: Hey, how's Kushner's Middle East Peace plan working out?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 05-16-2019 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:03 PM
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Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman, tweeted that the drone attack on two Saudi Aramco pumping stations “proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran’s regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda in the region.”
How much are those pumping stations worth? A pittance for the House of Saud, right?

I won't rule out that Saudi might be the False Flag operator. They're certainly evil enough. I think they may be watching Putin and feeling jealous: "Hey, we saw Trump the Chump first. Let us have some of that!"
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:59 PM
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I just realized that i have not read or heard of even one Republican saying that "we shouldn't be the world's policeman" about this. In fact, I can't find anyone saying it, from either side of the aisle.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:18 PM
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I just realized that i have not read or heard of even one Republican saying that "we shouldn't be the world's policeman" about this. In fact, I can't find anyone saying it, from either side of the aisle.
President Trump said it last year. That wasn't "about this" Iranian escalation, but it does serve to highlight his generally non-interventionist / isolationist / anti-globalist attitude.

This opinion piece by James Carafano is now ten days old, but said (about Iran):

Quote:
The U.S. is not the world’s policeman or its babysitter, but it doesn’t want to be blindsided by bad actors who think Washington is so preoccupied elsewhere that they can take advantage of the situation. Thus, the U.S. has to demonstrate it is present and capable of acting where it needs to.
Tucker Carlson didn't use the "world policeman" phrase, but he was forcefully advocating against a military intervention against Iran. The Young Turks host tweeted:

  #43  
Old 05-16-2019, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Hurricane Ditka
The U.S. is not the world’s policeman or its babysitter, but it doesn’t want to be blindsided by bad actors who think Washington is so preoccupied elsewhere that they can take advantage of the situation. Thus, the U.S. has to demonstrate it is present and capable of acting where it needs to.
Great idea.

Next step is to be sure to leave enough of your troops in harm's way around the world so that the US can demonstrate its might anywhere, for any reason, just by claiming its soldiers are threatened.

And if claims of threats aren't enough, well, false-flags can be waved and not just by the bad guys.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 05-16-2019 at 06:36 PM.
  #44  
Old 05-16-2019, 07:34 PM
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This should relieve everyone: Trump tries to tamp down talk of war with Iran.
Quote:
President Donald Trump said Thursday that he hopes the U.S. is not on a path to war with Iran amid fears that his two most hawkish advisers could be angling for such a conflict with the Islamic Republic.

Asked if the U.S. was going to war with Iran, the president replied, “I hope not” — a day after he repeated a desire for dialogue, tweeting, “I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.”

The tone contrasted with a series of moves by the U.S. and Iran that have sharply escalated tensions in the Middle East in recent days. For the past year, national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been the public face of the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.
"We're squeezing really hard right now and we hope they cry "uncle" before we start dropping bombs" is how I read that.
  #45  
Old 05-16-2019, 07:35 PM
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I read it more like: "I don't know what the fuck I'm doing, do I sound tough?"

Last edited by bobot; 05-16-2019 at 07:36 PM.
  #46  
Old 05-16-2019, 07:51 PM
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It's good cop, bad cop. Things are so fucked up that Donald Trump is the "good cop".

On top of that, there's Madman theory going on. Plus general craziness etc.
  #47  
Old 05-16-2019, 08:53 PM
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Trump's a bunch of things. Rude on Twitter, opens mouth and inserts both feet, grabs 'em by the pussy, etc... But running for office, he was fairly alone among Republicans (other than Rand and Ron Paul) by asking what the point of OIF was, why do we still have troops there, why are we in NATO and where are they going to start paying us for the privilege, etc... Contra Mr "Bring em on!", I don't see Trump spinning up a conflict for shits and giggles. He has other things to occupy his time, like the ever skyrocketing federal debt, and whether we're headed to another recession.

I do see all of this as a reaction to increased sanctions against Iran, and those were inspired by the perception the Iranians were cheating their asses off on how much nuclear weaponizeable material they could generate. A deal isn't any good if only one side is following it. I guess your opinion about this depends on whether you think the Iranians were cheating, and if so, does it matter if the Iranian government gains possession of nuclear weapons. If you don't really care about either point, then it's not worth starting sanctions, and having to fade the temper tantrum of the Straits of Hormuz being interdicted.

If you do care, then what's the exit strategy? Iran isn't going to stop enrichment unless they're forced to. Sanctions don't look like they're enough force, as troubling as they threaten to the Iranian regime.. The Sunni nations won't be satisfied, or defer their own special weapons programs, unless the Iranians stop. And clearly these sanctions are enough of a PITA, that Iran is allegedly engaging in overt military action Understandably so: what else have they to sell besides oil/gas, really?

The tanker strikes were a warning. If caused by limpet mines, they were small ones, estimated to not be able to crack a double hulled VLCC. They could easily be larger ones. No one saw the little ones being placed; odds are people won't notice big ones being applied either. The Houthi drone strikes against the cross Arabia pipelines are another attempt to demonstrate that an attempt to bypass a Hormuz blockade will be costly.

Costs are the point. How much is it worth, to continue sanctions, suffer an Iranian oil interdiction campaign, and maybe have Shia sympathizers commit terrorist acts in one's country?
  #48  
Old 05-16-2019, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
Trump's a bunch of things. Rude on Twitter, opens mouth and inserts both feet, grabs 'em by the pussy, etc... But running for office, he was fairly alone among Republicans (other than Rand and Ron Paul) by asking what the point of OIF was, why do we still have troops there, why are we in NATO and where are they going to start paying us for the privilege, etc... Contra Mr "Bring em on!", I don't see Trump spinning up a conflict for shits and giggles. He has other things to occupy his time, like the ever skyrocketing federal debt, and whether we're headed to another recession.
. . .
How about as a distraction, plain and simple? Whether it comes to military action is just a secondary concern, if it all, to Trump. He just needs to 'rally the nation' except in his case the nation is red.
  #49  
Old 05-16-2019, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
Costs are the point. How much is it worth, to continue sanctions, suffer an Iranian oil interdiction campaign, and maybe have Shia sympathizers commit terrorist acts in one's country?
Aye: costs are a point. Another is goals. And the value placed on those goals.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 05-16-2019 at 10:02 PM.
  #50  
Old 05-16-2019, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
I do see all of this as a reaction to increased sanctions against Iran, and those were inspired by the perception the Iranians were cheating their asses off on how much nuclear weaponizeable material they could generate. A deal isn't any good if only one side is following it. I guess your opinion about this depends on whether you think the Iranians were cheating, and if so, does it matter if the Iranian government gains possession of nuclear weapons. If you don't really care about either point, then it's not worth starting sanctions, and having to fade the temper tantrum of the Straits of Hormuz being interdicted.

If you do care, then what's the exit strategy? Iran isn't going to stop enrichment unless they're forced to. Sanctions don't look like they're enough force, as troubling as they threaten to the Iranian regime.. The Sunni nations won't be satisfied, or defer their own special weapons programs, unless the Iranians stop. And clearly these sanctions are enough of a PITA, that Iran is allegedly engaging in overt military action Understandably so: what else have they to sell besides oil/gas, really?


It should be noted that essentially nothing you've said here about Iran's nuclear program in anywhere close to accurate. Essentially everyone but Trump and his supporters are of the opinion that Iran is, even now, abiding by the terms of the deal that Trump trashed.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/02/12...-nuclear-deal/

https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...-years/533556/

https://news.yahoo.com/iran-still-ho...161005676.html
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