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-   -   Iran declines invitation to call Trump about Trump's concerns: Trump the statesman, part 2? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=875343)

Snowboarder Bo 05-10-2019 12:28 PM

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.

guizot 05-10-2019 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21635315)
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.

iiandyiiii 05-10-2019 12:51 PM

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.

XT 05-10-2019 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21635315)
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'.

Grrr! 05-10-2019 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21635361)
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.

KarlGauss 05-10-2019 01:55 PM

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.

septimus 05-10-2019 10:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KarlGauss (Post 21635519)
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?

Snowboarder Bo 05-13-2019 03:13 PM

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.”

bobot 05-13-2019 03:33 PM

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!

Snowboarder Bo 05-13-2019 03:40 PM

Britain speaks up:
Quote:

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.

HurricaneDitka 05-13-2019 03:47 PM

This is a pretty thorough analysis of the initial shipment of missiles that sparked the increased tension.

HurricaneDitka 05-13-2019 03:49 PM

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.

Snowboarder Bo 05-13-2019 07:35 PM

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.

iiandyiiii 05-13-2019 07:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21640716)

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.

HurricaneDitka 05-13-2019 07:43 PM

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?

tomndebb 05-13-2019 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21640735)
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.

HurricaneDitka 05-14-2019 12:20 AM

Quote:

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

Walken After Midnight 05-14-2019 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21641107)

Could so easily be a false flag, and I don't think it's possible to draw any conclusions about who the perpetrators were.

HurricaneDitka 05-14-2019 01:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight (Post 21641129)
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.

Gyrate 05-14-2019 09:15 AM

"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.

bobot 05-14-2019 09:59 AM

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!

Ravenman 05-14-2019 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight (Post 21641129)
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.

Gyrate 05-14-2019 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21641614)
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.

Ravenman 05-14-2019 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 21641779)
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.

Walken After Midnight 05-14-2019 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21641614)
...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?

WillFarnaby 05-14-2019 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21641614)
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.

Snowboarder Bo 05-14-2019 01:26 PM

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.

Ravenman 05-14-2019 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight (Post 21641923)
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.

Walken After Midnight 05-14-2019 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21641978)
This isn't about trust. It's about tin-foil hats that some people want to wear when the topic of war comes up.

I suggest you write to news outlets, like the BBC, and ask them to remove the inverted commas around the word "sabotaged" and other words and phrases.

WillFarnaby 05-14-2019 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21641978)
This isn't about trust. It's about tin-foil hats that some people want to wear when the topic of war comes up.

It is more so about embarrassing credulity amongst the public that has led to real consequences for the victims of the US military.

Ravenman 05-14-2019 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight (Post 21642069)
I suggest you write to news outlets, like the BBC, and ask them to remove the inverted commas around the word "sabotaged" and other words and phrases.

They use a ton of odd quotes in that article. I'm not fixated on one use more than any other. if you want to be the punctuation-marm, have a "blast."

Walken After Midnight 05-14-2019 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21642187)
They use a ton of odd quotes in that article. I'm not fixated on one use more than any other. if you want to be the punctuation-marm, have a "blast."

Wikipedia provides several examples of false flag operations used as pretexts to start wars, so it really is a thing.

Saudi Arabia's bin Salman would love to go to war with Iran with the active participation of the United States, and possibly Israel. Bin Salman has already shown boldness and recklessness in his foreign adventures, such as the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and the kidnapping and forced resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister. These Saudi actions were so outrageous and brazen that they were described in commentary as "dumb" and "crazy".

So I have an open mind about who perpetrated whatever happened, until presented with some evidence one way or the other. I would be inclined to put the Iranians as the prime suspects, at this early stage, but would not rule out any of the principal regional actors who have vested interests in provoking conflict.

You, however, are proposing a closed-mind analysis, ruling out one possibility for reasons you have not yet outlined, before even seeing any evidence. Why do you rule out the possibility that this could be a false flag operation?

Ravenman 05-14-2019 04:02 PM

I said the cause should be investigated. I'm not in favor of throwing out conspiracy theories in the absence of facts, as you have done.

Walken After Midnight 05-14-2019 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21642342)
I said the cause should be investigated. I'm not in favor of throwing out conspiracy theories in the absence of facts, as you have done.

The Iranians have been accused of sabotaging the ships, and they have denied it and called for an independent investigation, while hinting that "a third country" could be to blame. How can that be a conspiracy theory to present their version of events?

My post raising the possibility of a false flag operation was in response to a post reporting of news that a U.S. team had concluded that "Iran or Iranian-backed proxies used explosives to blow holes in four ships." Surely both sides in a conflict situation should be heard, and one side's argument should not be ignored?

Each side should then present the evidence of their claims for us to pass judgement on.

Ravenman 05-14-2019 04:35 PM

Oh, well if Iran denied it, then we've got a stone cold whodunnit on our hands.

Maybe Trump can make a call to Rouhani and then tell the media that Rouhani swears it wasn't him.

naita 05-14-2019 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21635381)
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.

Snowboarder Bo 05-14-2019 05:32 PM

Marco Rubio eggs it on:
Quote:

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>

Buck Godot 05-14-2019 05:45 PM

Remember the Maine!

HurricaneDitka 05-14-2019 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21642529)
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?

bobot 05-14-2019 07:48 PM

"They made me do it!"
Party of personal responsibility, my ass.

Horatius 05-14-2019 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21642342)
I said the cause should be investigated. I'm not in favor of throwing out conspiracy theories in the absence of facts, as you have done.



You do realize that at this point, any speculation about who did it could be considered a "conspiracy theory", right? No matter who did it, they would have had to conspire in some way to pull it off, and that includes the "Iran did it" theory.

Planing minor sabotage against a small number of civilian vessels is well within the capabilities of any state-level actor, and quite a few non-state actors. Calling one supposition that State A did it a "conspiracy theory" while accepting the supposition that State B did it as being a reasonable speculation is just plain bias.

iiandyiiii 05-15-2019 09:56 AM

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.

Ravenman 05-15-2019 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horatius (Post 21643042)
You do realize that at this point, any speculation about who did it could be considered a "conspiracy theory", right? No matter who did it, they would have had to conspire in some way to pull it off, and that includes the "Iran did it" theory.

Planing minor sabotage against a small number of civilian vessels is well within the capabilities of any state-level actor, and quite a few non-state actors. Calling one supposition that State A did it a "conspiracy theory" while accepting the supposition that State B did it as being a reasonable speculation is just plain bias.

Oh no, I don't have a bias. If Norway finds out that Saudi Arabia bombed its tanker, I'd fully support a Norwegian airstrike on Saudi Arabia.

Snowboarder Bo 05-15-2019 02:31 PM

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.

HurricaneDitka 05-15-2019 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21643880)
Oh no, I don't have a bias. If Norway finds out that Saudi Arabia bombed its tanker, I'd fully support a Norwegian airstrike on Saudi Arabia.

This piqued my curiousity: Is Norway capable of launching airstrikes on Saudi Arabia by themselves? Wikipedia says the Royal Norwegian Air Force operates a few dozen F-16s, 16 F-35s, 6 P-3s, and 4 C-130s. I don't think any of those have the range to hit Saudi Arabia, at least if they're flying from Norway.

septimus 05-16-2019 03:14 AM

A big danger now was foreseen in the parable about the shepherd boy brat named Donald who cried 'Wolf.' I, for one, won't believe anything the oaf says — and he's surrounded himself with sycophants who are all also liars.

This doesn't just go for me and a majority of rational Americans. Our traditional allies have no faith in the veracity of tweets and farts from this Administration. (Our new "ally," Russia, is of course delighted with most disinformation.)
Quote:

European foreign ministers did not offer Pompeo a group meeting during his sudden visit to Brussels this week, perhaps fearing a photo-op would be seen as an endorsement of the US approach.
This was always the big danger of a Trump Presidency: the possibility of a foreign crisis requiring an adult leader. With Trump and Bolton in charge, the correct default assumption is that everything they think or say is stupid, mistaken or a deliberate lie (despite that even broken clocks can show the correct time by chance).

Snowboarder Bo 05-16-2019 02:59 PM

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?

septimus 05-16-2019 04:03 PM

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.”
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!"

Snowboarder Bo 05-16-2019 04:59 PM

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.

HurricaneDitka 05-16-2019 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21646505)
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:


KarlGauss 05-16-2019 06:34 PM

Quote:

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.

KidCharlemagne 05-16-2019 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21635361)
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.

Snowboarder Bo 05-16-2019 07:34 PM

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.

bobot 05-16-2019 07:35 PM

I read it more like: "I don't know what the fuck I'm doing, do I sound tough?"

Walken After Midnight 05-16-2019 07:51 PM

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.

Gray Ghost 05-16-2019 08:53 PM

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?

KarlGauss 05-16-2019 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost (Post 21646883)
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.

Snowboarder Bo 05-16-2019 10:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost (Post 21646883)
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.

Horatius 05-16-2019 11:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost (Post 21646883)
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

Snowboarder Bo 05-19-2019 07:17 PM

Trump, ever the statesman...
Quote:

If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!
"Again?" :dubious:

bobot 05-19-2019 07:23 PM

Oh no, it's easy. Just ask any Republican. All you do is just turn the place into glass, see? Just like we did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Piece of cake. All that is required is a Republican level of stupidity.

Walken After Midnight 05-19-2019 08:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21651276)

Top of the replies to Trump's tweet are some of his own tweets from the past:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Donald Trump
2011: In order to get elected, @Barack Obama will start a war with Iran.

2012: Now that Obama's poll numbers are in a tailspin - watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.

2012: Don't let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected--be careful Republicans!

2013: Remember what I previously said--Obama will someday attack Iran in order to show how tough he is.

Literally every decision Donald Trump has to make is decided by him asking himself: "How can I benefit personally from this?" I believe that issues of ethics or morality have absolutely zero weight in his thinking, and his actions are only ever tempered by what he feels he can get away with.

It's clear that the idea of an opinion poll boost from going to war will be in Trump's mind, and that is the most dangerous factor in this Iran affair.

XT 05-20-2019 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight (Post 21651379)
Top of the replies to Trump's tweet are some of his own tweets from the past:

Literally every decision Donald Trump has to make is decided by him asking himself: "How can I benefit personally from this?" I believe that issues of ethics or morality have absolutely zero weight in his thinking, and his actions are only ever tempered by what he feels he can get away with.

It's clear that the idea of an opinion poll boost from going to war will be in Trump's mind, and that is the most dangerous factor in this Iran affair.

I disagree with the conclusions here. Basically, to me, Trump is an isolationist, and I think most of Trump's base is too. On the other hand, however, he's essentially clueless about foreign policy, and allows (or has allowed) himself to be guided by the war hawks in his administration. A lot of folks accused W of this, but I think in the case of Trump it really is him being lead by the nose wrt foreign policy, especially the confrontational policy. Some of it is Trump trying to do a good cop/bad cop thing, with himself as the supposed good cop holding back from folks like Bolton. I honestly don't think Trump wants war, and that a war would hurt him. What he DOES want is to pressure the other country's into doing things his way. The problem, however, is that his cluelessness wrt foreign policy means that folks like Bolton have a huge impact on our stance and what we are doing...and I think they are moving us closer to confrontations that only they want. This is the problem with electing a president who doesn't know what he's doing and has to rely so heavily on others who can use his ignorance to move him and the country where they want him to be.

guizot 05-20-2019 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21652573)
Basically, to me, Trump is an isolationist, . . .

Trump doesn't have any principles. Everything he says or does is an act. He only talks like an isolationist because he thinks in general that will sound good to his base. If he thinks attacking Iran will be an appealing show for his base, he'll do it.

bobot 05-20-2019 02:21 PM

Trump thinks that America's coffer is being padded with "tariff money" that we wouldn't otherwise have.

KarlGauss 05-20-2019 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21652573)
. . . This is the problem with electing a president who doesn't know what he's doing and has to rely so heavily on others who can use his ignorance to move him and the country where they want him to be.

But Trump is a genius! That's part of his plan . . . 'to be seen to rely so heavily on others who can use his ignorance to move him and the country where they want him to be'. And all the while it's really him who's directing things. It's pure genius!

Oh ye of little faith.

Snowboarder Bo 05-20-2019 05:35 PM

Iran has confirmed that it has quadrupled production of enriched uranium.
Quote:

The Iranian enrichment announcement came after local journalists traveled to Natanz in central Iran, the country’s underground enrichment facility. There, an unidentified nuclear scientist gave a statement with a surgical cap and a mask covering most of his face. No one explained his choice of outfit, although Israel is suspected of carrying out a campaign targeting Iranian nuclear scientists.

The state-run IRNA news agency later quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as acknowledging that capacity had been quadrupled. He said Iran took this step because the U.S. had ended a program allowing it to exchange enriched uranium to Russia for unprocessed yellowcake uranium, as well as ending the sale of heavy water to Oman. Heavy water helps cool reactors producing plutonium that can be used in nuclear weapons.

Kamalvandi said Iran had informed the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, of the development. The Vienna-based agency did not respond to a request for comment.
Quote:

Iranian officials made a point to stress that the uranium would be enriched only to the 3.67% limit set under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, making it usable for a power plant but far below what’s needed for an atomic weapon.

But by increasing production, Iran soon will go beyond the stockpile limitations set by the accord. Tehran has set a July 7 deadline for Europe to come up with new terms for the deal, or it will enrich closer to weapons-grade levels in a Middle East already on edge.

Snowboarder Bo 05-20-2019 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight (Post 21646790)
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.

Trump says this is his strategy, too:
Quote:

He described his approach in a speech Friday, saying, “It’s probably a good thing because they’re saying, ‘Man, I don’t know where these people are coming from,’ right?”

Buck Godot 05-20-2019 09:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21652573)
I disagree with the conclusions here. Basically, to me, Trump is an isolationist, and I think most of Trump's base is too. On the other hand, however, he's essentially clueless about foreign policy, and allows (or has allowed) himself to be guided by the war hawks in his administration. A lot of folks accused W of this, but I think in the case of Trump it really is him being lead by the nose wrt foreign policy, especially the confrontational policy. Some of it is Trump trying to do a good cop/bad cop thing, with himself as the supposed good cop holding back from folks like Bolton. I honestly don't think Trump wants war, and that a war would hurt him. What he DOES want is to pressure the other country's into doing things his way. The problem, however, is that his cluelessness wrt foreign policy means that folks like Bolton have a huge impact on our stance and what we are doing...and I think they are moving us closer to confrontations that only they want. This is the problem with electing a president who doesn't know what he's doing and has to rely so heavily on others who can use his ignorance to move him and the country where they want him to be.

Trump may not actually want to go to war, but I also don't think that Trump is being led by Bolton to do anything he wouldn't be doing himself. Even back in the campaign Trump boasted that the as president his primary negotiating tactic would be to leverage the military and economic power of the United States to bully any country that disagreed with him into submission. That has been his tactic with Korea, (I have a bigger button than you), and with regard to trade negotiations (I'll tariff you to death), or with the immigration crisis in Mexico (stop immigrants or I'll invade). So this isn't just Bolton.

Lemur866 05-21-2019 12:28 AM

Trump is against war, sure. He doesn't actually want war with Iran, I actually believe that.

The only problem is that he also believes that if you're a tough guy, you can just threaten the weaker guy, and the weaker guy will always back down. Then you win easily without having to fight.

It's the exact same strategy he uses on the Chinese trade deal, it's the exact same strategy he uses on the NAFTA negotiations, Korea, Europe, and on and on.

But the problem here is that everyone knows that he's all talk. He doesn't actually want to pull the trigger, he's just bluffing because he doesn't want war. Which means he's not the tough guy in this movie. What happens when you threaten the other guy and he doesn't back down? Now you either have to follow through on your threats, or humiliatingly back down yourself.

So which course of action is Trump going to choose? Following through on a chancy and avoidable military action, or look like a fucking chump? Your guess is as good as mine, it depends on what they say that day on Fox News.

septimus 05-21-2019 03:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horatius (Post 21647106)
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.

And even if they weren't, Trump's abrogation relieves Iran of any legal or moral responsibility.

It is the stench of Trump's defecations which have extinguished hopes for peace. Only an American jingoist would blame Iran.

Ludovic 05-21-2019 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KidCharlemagne (Post 21646688)
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.

asahi 05-21-2019 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ludovic (Post 21654216)
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.

Horatius 05-22-2019 12:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horatius (Post 21647106)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21653112)

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21653776)
And even if they weren't, Trump's abrogation relieves Iran of any legal or moral responsibility.

It is the stench of Trump's defecations which have extinguished hopes for peace. Only an American jingoist would blame Iran.


So, interesting developments this weekend. But the key point is, even though Iran has decided to increase their production of enriched uranium, they're still (for now, at least) abiding by some of the terms of the Iran Deal, and they're being forthright in informing the relevant international authorities of what they're doing, and exactly why they're doing it.

Iran comes out of this looking far more mature and reasonable that Trump et al. do. Good job, US. :rolleyes:

Gyrate 05-22-2019 05:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horatius (Post 21655894)
Iran comes out of this looking far more mature and reasonable that Trump et al. do. Good job, US. :rolleyes:

Which, sadly, is a very low bar to clear.

Budget Player Cadet 05-22-2019 07:00 AM

Have we mentioned that Tom Cotton went on the news to fearmonger about Iran, and democratic senators with access to the same information accused him of exaggerating the evidence?

https://www.vox.com/world/2019/5/21/...murphy-gallego

Gyrate 05-22-2019 07:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet (Post 21656116)
Have we mentioned that Tom Cotton went on the news to fearmonger about Iran, and democratic senators with access to the same information accused him of exaggerating the evidence?

https://www.vox.com/world/2019/5/21/...murphy-gallego

That'll be the same Tom Cotton who, with 46 fellow Republicans, tried to undermine Obama's Iran negotiations with a letter and got his ass handed back to him, gift-wrapped, by the Iranians who demonstrated a greater knowledge of US and international law than Cotton and company had.

Budget Player Cadet 05-22-2019 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 21656119)
That'll be the same Tom Cotton who, with 46 fellow Republicans, tried to undermine Obama's Iran negotiations with a letter and got his ass handed back to him, gift-wrapped, by the Iranians who demonstrated a greater knowledge of US and international law than Cotton and company had.

Joke's on Iran (and everyone else who signed the treaty assuming that the word of the US was worth a damn), Cotton was 100% right. Republicans did blow up the deal!

Grrr! 05-22-2019 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet (Post 21656127)
Joke's on Iran (and everyone else who signed the treaty assuming that the word of the US was worth a damn), Cotton was 100% right. Republicans did blow up the deal!

Aaand guess who's back to enriching uranium?

Oh, the irony!

bobot 05-22-2019 07:56 AM

A cynic might think that TrumpCo has achieved the desired outcome. Step 1 of it, anyway.

Nava 05-22-2019 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost (Post 21646883)
why are we in NATO and where are they going to start paying us for the privilege,

Now he's threatening the EU with throwing a tantrum if there's any kind of common defense policy. Make up your what-passes-for-a-mind: do you want Europe to pull more weight, or do you want to keep on being the biggest toddler in the room? I mean, we actually do know: you want to be the biggest toddler in the room and be paid for being the biggest toddler in the room, but…


being the biggest toddler in the room isn't a job.

Snowboarder Bo 05-22-2019 06:42 PM

10k plan:
Quote:

U.S. officials say the Pentagon will present plans to the White House to send up to 10,000 more American troops to the Middle East to beef up defenses against potential Iranian threats.

The officials say no decision has been made and it’s not clear if the White House will approve sending all or just some of the requested forces. Officials say the troops will be defensive forces, and the discussions include additional Patriot missile batteries and more ships.

Snowboarder Bo 05-24-2019 03:01 PM

1.5k plan, apparently.
Quote:

The U.S. will bolster its military presence in the Middle East with an additional 1,500 troops, President Donald Trump said Friday amid heightened tensions with Iran.

Trump said the troops would have a “mostly protective” role as part of a build-up that began this month in response to what the U.S said was a threat from Iran without providing details or evidence.

“We are going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective,” the president told reporters at the White House before setting off on a trip to Japan. “Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now and we’ll see what happens.”

XT 05-24-2019 03:24 PM

Well, as you'd need a lot more than either 10K or 1.5K troops for any sort of offensive operations, it probably is defensive. We seem to have backed off of any sort of first strike at this point (though Trump being a total idiot, who knows?), and at least on the US side have calmed things down...to a degree anyway. For a while there it looked like we were working ourselves up to a strike, but that seems unlikely now, at least that's my read on this.

This whole thing has been a cluster fuck, really on both sides but the lions share is definitely on the US IMHO. I'm not sure what was going on in the Administration wrt the nearly frantic tone that Iran was about to attack or strike or do...something...but at least it SEEMS to have toned down.

bobot 05-24-2019 03:53 PM

“Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now and we’ll see what happens.”

This is intended solely to provoke Iran.

Steken 05-25-2019 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21661014)
This whole thing has been a cluster fuck, really on both sides but the lions share is definitely on the US IMHO.

How has it been a clusterfuck on Iran's part?

Seems to me they've acted honourably throughout the whole ordeal...?

bobot 05-25-2019 08:11 AM

This stupidity is as obvious as a bad orange combover.

“The U.S. move to increase its military presence in our region is highly dangerous and a threat against international peace and security,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told state news agency IRNA.
The new deployment will consist of surveillance aircraft, a fighter jet squadron and engineers to fortify buildings and other facilities. The military is also extending the deployment of a 600-person Patriot missile battalion in the region, defense officials said."


Ok, looks like the latest in a series of US provocations is landing as hoped by the so-called president.


https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u...-iran-n1010276

elucidator 05-25-2019 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steken (Post 21661855)
How has it been a clusterfuck on Iran's part?

Seems to me they've acted honourably throughout the whole ordeal...?

Behold! A nation in the grip of deranged religious fanatics behaving more sensibly than us. Da fuq?

HurricaneDitka 05-25-2019 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steken (Post 21661855)
How has it been a clusterfuck on Iran's part?

Seems to me they've acted honourably throughout the whole ordeal...?

They very likely blew some holes in ships, their proxies have been firing missiles at various states, etc.

elucidator 05-25-2019 12:15 PM

Perhaps you could expand a bit on your "very likely" with some solid evidence? By chance, were any torpedo boats involved?

XT 05-25-2019 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steken (Post 21661855)
How has it been a clusterfuck on Iran's part?

Seems to me they've acted honourably throughout the whole ordeal...?

Um...no. Trump didn't just make shit up out of whole clothe for why the US pulled out of the agreement, and it wasn't just because Obama was part of the original deal. Iran has been funding and supplying several terrorist groups in the region who are basically Iranian proxies. This is not acting 'honourably' by any stretch. And this isn't like a big secret either. Most of the folks who were signatories on the deal know that Iran is doing some shady shit. They (well, those who don't have a direct stake in supporting Iran like Russia, China etc) just feel that having the deal outweighs dealing with the other shit Iran does.


Personally, I agree. I think it did outweigh it, which is why I supported Obama and the deal, even though I could see there were a lot of issues with it, and even though I knew the other shady shit Iran was doing. But to hold them blameless and acting honorably, the victim in all this is basically saying you haven't been keeping even nominally informed on this subject. It's about like saying China is the victim in the trade war, and that all of that comes from Trump. It doesn't.

XT 05-25-2019 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elucidator (Post 21662133)
Perhaps you could expand a bit on your "very likely" with some solid evidence? By chance, were any torpedo boats involved?

No, it was explosives. And no, there isn't (as far as I know) any evidence it was Iran. But it's plausible it was Iran...VERY plausible. It was only a few miles from their coast, after all, and the ships targeted kind of point at likely suspects in and of themselves. Is it conclusive? Nope. Hell, it COULD actually be a false flag operation done by, say, Saudi, to try and bring us in all the way into a shooting war with Iran. But my own Occam's razor says that it probably was Iran, or an Iranian proxy, though we might not ever know definitively. Which is why I didn't mention it, and instead brought up their support of terrorist groups and proxies they support.

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662171)
Um...no. Trump didn't just make shit up out of whole clothe for why the US pulled out of the agreement, and it wasn't just because Obama was part of the original deal. Iran has been funding and supplying several terrorist groups in the region who are basically Iranian proxies. This is not acting 'honourably' by any stretch. And this isn't like a big secret either. Most of the folks who were signatories on the deal know that Iran is doing some shady shit. They (well, those who don't have a direct stake in supporting Iran like Russia, China etc) just feel that having the deal outweighs dealing with the other shit Iran does.





Personally, I agree. I think it did outweigh it, which is why I supported Obama and the deal, even though I could see there were a lot of issues with it, and even though I knew the other shady shit Iran was doing. But to hold them blameless and acting honorably, the victim in all this is basically saying you haven't been keeping even nominally informed on this subject. It's about like saying China is the victim in the trade war, and that all of that comes from Trump. It doesn't.

With regards to the terms of the deal, I've seen no evidence that Iran was acting other than "honorably". They do all kinds of other awful shit, but they were sticking to the terms of the deal, and Trump's decision to walk away is catastrophically damaging to US national security. Trump just helped the Iranian extremists who want nukes and got absolutely nothing in return.

asahi 05-25-2019 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21662182)
With regards to the terms of the deal, I've seen no evidence that Iran was acting other than "honorably". They do all kinds of other awful shit, but they were sticking to the terms of the deal, and Trump's decision to walk away is catastrophically damaging to US national security. Trump just helped the Iranian extremists who want nukes and got absolutely nothing in return.

It was the one time we've actually succeeded in getting Iran to cooperate with the entire international community, including the United States. The Iranians were working on nuclear weapons technology during much of the Bush administration, and Obama actually got them to not only stop but agree to international inspections. The danger is that even if we successfully crush Iran in some confrontation, the lesson that others take away is that it's critical to build nukes before the US stops them. Nukes are the way to get America's respect. Without them, they're prey.

Snowboarder Bo 05-25-2019 01:13 PM

"Holy Shit! The Kims were right!"

Chisquirrel 05-25-2019 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662171)
Um...no. Trump didn't just make shit up out of whole clothe for why the US pulled out of the agreement, and it wasn't just because Obama was part of the original deal. Iran has been funding and supplying several terrorist groups in the region who are basically Iranian proxies. This is not acting 'honourably' by any stretch. And this isn't like a big secret either. Most of the folks who were signatories on the deal know that Iran is doing some shady shit. They (well, those who don't have a direct stake in supporting Iran like Russia, China etc) just feel that having the deal outweighs dealing with the other shit Iran does.


Personally, I agree. I think it did outweigh it, which is why I supported Obama and the deal, even though I could see there were a lot of issues with it, and even though I knew the other shady shit Iran was doing. But to hold them blameless and acting honorably, the victim in all this is basically saying you haven't been keeping even nominally informed on this subject. It's about like saying China is the victim in the trade war, and that all of that comes from Trump. It doesn't.

And all that could be handled through normal channels. The reasoning given for leaving the Iran deal was because Iran wasn't holding up their end of the bargain. We've yet to see absolutely any evidence of that.

Iran isn't entirely blameless, and I doubt anyone's making them out to be. In the confines of the deal made by Obama, there has been no evidence they had done anything wrong prior to Trump pulling out.

XT 05-25-2019 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21662182)
With regards to the terms of the deal, I've seen no evidence that Iran was acting other than "honorably". They do all kinds of other awful shit, but they were sticking to the terms of the deal, and Trump's decision to walk away is catastrophically damaging to US national security. Trump just helped the Iranian extremists who want nukes and got absolutely nothing in return.

Well, the thing is, we don't have to continue to honor it if they are doing that other stuff. We can CHOOSE to, but since it wasn't ratified by the Congress then we aren't bound by it. As I said, I think we should have stuck with the deal. But Iran isn't the innocent victim here either. Sort of like North Korea...or China.

I agree that Trump helped the extremist faction while hurting the, well, moderate (for Iranians) faction, but the thing is, they were already doing their shady shit despite the 'moderate'(s). My point is that this isn't coming completely out of Trump's ass with zero justification, just as what we are doing wrt China and the trade war has real world reasons. As does what we are doing with North Korea. And it's not JUST Trump who had issues in the US with any of those groups. Like I said, he's not making this up. He's just, IMHO, mismanaging because he's an ignorant fool who doesn't know what he's doing and doesn't understand anything...and he's surrounded himself with either equally clueless people or with people who do know the score and are using his ignorance to guide him to do things they want...such as hammer Iran.

Snowboarder Bo 05-25-2019 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662207)
Well, the thing is, we don't have to continue to honor it if they are doing that other stuff.

What other things that are not part of a contract agreed upon do you think are valid reasons for not honoring said contract? And why should anyone enter into any agreement with you, given that kind of reasoning?

ETA: Can I stop paying my mortgage because of Wells Fargo's transgressions? :dubious:

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662207)
Well, the thing is, we don't have to continue to honor it if they are doing that other stuff. We can CHOOSE to, but since it wasn't ratified by the Congress then we aren't bound by it. As I said, I think we should have stuck with the deal. But Iran isn't the innocent victim here either. Sort of like North Korea...or China.



I agree that Trump helped the extremist faction while hurting the, well, moderate (for Iranians) faction, but the thing is, they were already doing their shady shit despite the 'moderate'(s). My point is that this isn't coming completely out of Trump's ass with zero justification, just as what we are doing wrt China and the trade war has real world reasons. As does what we are doing with North Korea. And it's not JUST Trump who had issues in the US with any of those groups. Like I said, he's not making this up. He's just, IMHO, mismanaging because he's an ignorant fool who doesn't know what he's doing and doesn't understand anything...and he's surrounded himself with either equally clueless people or with people who do know the score and are using his ignorance to guide him to do things they want...such as hammer Iran.

I think your point is wrong. Getting out of the deal helped no one except those in Iran who want nukes and those in both countries who want war. It doesn't matter the justification when the move is so colossally self damaging - it's like debating the justification for stabbing one's self in the hand.

asahi 05-25-2019 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662207)
Well, the thing is, we don't have to continue to honor it if they are doing that other stuff. We can CHOOSE to, but since it wasn't ratified by the Congress then we aren't bound by it. As I said, I think we should have stuck with the deal. But Iran isn't the innocent victim here either. Sort of like North Korea...or China.

It's best to avoid use of words like "innocent," as they are loaded with bias and highly subjective. No, Iran and North Korea aren't innocent, but neither is the US. All countries have interests. The great responsibility that we all have is to do what we reasonably can to avoid armed conflict. The framework clearly reduced that risk and Trump's confrontational foreign policy dramatically escalates the risk.

elucidator 05-25-2019 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elucidator (Post 21662133)
Perhaps you could expand a bit on your "very likely" with some solid evidence? By chance, were any torpedo boats involved?

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662177)
No, it was explosives......

Ask your parents about Tonkin Bay.

XT 05-25-2019 06:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elucidator (Post 21662329)
Ask your parents about Tonkin Bay.

Why would I? I was alive then myself. Did you have a point?

XT 05-25-2019 06:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21662212)
What other things that are not part of a contract agreed upon do you think are valid reasons for not honoring said contract? And why should anyone enter into any agreement with you, given that kind of reasoning?

ETA: Can I stop paying my mortgage because of Wells Fargo's transgressions? :dubious:

You don't seem to get the difference between a treaty and an agreement. So, to answer this (again), basically if it's not ratified by Congress the US isn't bound to it or to honor it. In fact, it's NOT a contract. And it's not legally binding.

Now, if you can convince Wells Fargo that your mortgage isn't a legally binding contract, well, more power too you. Personally, I would make sure you have a backup plan that doesn't send you to jail, but let me know how it works out for you.

XT 05-25-2019 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21662214)
I think your point is wrong. Getting out of the deal helped no one except those in Iran who want nukes and those in both countries who want war. It doesn't matter the justification when the move is so colossally self damaging - it's like debating the justification for stabbing one's self in the hand.

Where did I say that getting out of the deal was a good thing? If that's what you got out of my post, I'm unsure how you can say my 'point' (whatever that means to you) was or is 'wrong'. :confused:

XT 05-25-2019 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asahi (Post 21662308)
It's best to avoid use of words like "innocent," as they are loaded with bias and highly subjective. No, Iran and North Korea aren't innocent, but neither is the US. All countries have interests. The great responsibility that we all have is to do what we reasonably can to avoid armed conflict. The framework clearly reduced that risk and Trump's confrontational foreign policy dramatically escalates the risk.

Good grief. Seriously guys...read what I write. I SAID the US gets the lions share of the blame. Not sure how to be clearer on this.

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662554)
Where did I say that getting out of the deal was a good thing? If that's what you got out of my post, I'm unsure how you can say my 'point' (whatever that means to you) was or is 'wrong'. :confused:

You implied that there was some sort of legitimacy or justification to Trump's move to abandon the deal. You even said that there wasn't "zero justification". When abandoning the deal hurts America and helps no one but extremists, there is no such legitimacy or justification, not even the littlest bit. There is indeed "zero justification" for abandoning the deal. There's no defense of Trump's actions, not even the littlest bit.

Snowboarder Bo 05-25-2019 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662552)
You don't seem to get the difference between a treaty and an agreement. So, to answer this (again), basically if it's not ratified by Congress the US isn't bound to it or to honor it. In fact, it's NOT a contract. And it's not legally binding.

And yet, there we were abiding by the agreement... until we saw an unrelated reason to stop? That's your position: it's okay to stop doing something you've agreed to do, for any reason whatsoever?

That's not likely to prove a popular position for potential agreements or those who would make them.

XT 05-25-2019 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21662556)
You implied that there was some sort of legitimacy or justification to Trump's move to abandon the deal. When abandoning the deal hurts America and helps no one but extremists, there is no such legitimacy or justification, not even the littlest bit. There's no defense of Trump's actions, not even the littlest bit.

These are two different things. I SAID I thought it was a bad idea for us to back out. But there are also legitimate points that the US could use to justify backing out...also, we don't actually need any at all, as we can see wrt Trump. That's the thing with non-binding agreements...they aren't binding. The next President down the road can just reverse course if that's what he chooses to do. And that's what he chose to do.

Again...I've said, multiple times, I think it was a mistake. I think on this as on many things, Trump was wrong...and was an idiot. I would have stuck with the agreement and applied pressure in other ways. But I would have applied that pressure, as what Iran was and is doing is not in the US's best interest in the region. They have and are supporting proxy terrorist groups and actions all through the region and that needs to stop.


Of course, here is some free advice since apparently 'dopers as well as perhaps these countries are confused...get a treaty ratified by Congress if you are making a big concession. If North Korea is smart they will actually give up their nukes...but they will only do so with a ratified treaty, not on the say so of the idiot in the White House.

XT 05-25-2019 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21662559)
And yet, there we were abiding by the agreement... until we saw an unrelated reason to stop? That's your position: it's okay to stop doing something you've agreed to do, for any reason whatsoever?

That's not likely to prove a popular position for potential agreements or those who would make them.

*sigh* Again, you are talking about several different things. What difference if they were abiding by it wrt legally binding? It wasn't legally binding. The next president down the line, or the one after that could do exactly what Trump did for reasons....or no reason at all.

MY position is not that it's OK. I think that folks are incapable of understanding that what my opinion on this can be different than the reality of the situation. I'll say it again...I disagreed and disagree with what Trump did. That doesn't mean that what he did was illegal or that any president couldn't have done it. As to popularity, I don't give a flying fuck if it's popular...again, it's reality. If you are a country negotiating with the US and it's vitally important, then hold out for a ratified treaty. Or take your chances. This has always been the case throughout history.

Let me ask you a question. If Trump made some agreement with some country that every Democrat disagreed with, would you feel that the next Democratic president to be elected should be bound by it? Disconnect yourself from this specific instance and THINK about what that implies. Should the next Democrat elected go along with it, even if that president and the party feel it was bad and not in the US's interest? Your answer will be telling...can you decouple yourself from a partisan mindset and from emotion on this specific issue to understand the reality...or not.

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662561)
These are two different things. I SAID I thought it was a bad idea for us to back out. But there are also legitimate points that the US could use to justify backing out...also, we don't actually need any at all, as we can see wrt Trump. That's the thing with non-binding agreements...they aren't binding. The next President down the road can just reverse course if that's what he chooses to do. And that's what he chose to do.

With zero justification, zero legitimacy, zero good reasons. Why defend such an awful and harmful decision? That's what you're doing -- providing some defense, even along with your criticism. There's no reason for such a defense. This was total dereliction of duty, at the expense of US national security. A colossally stupid decision, and worthy of no defense at all. It doesn't matter if the next president can change it -- this is always true. Every president can choose to do catastrophically stupid things... that doesn't justify it in any way at all.

Quote:

Again...I've said, multiple times, I think it was a mistake. I think on this as on many things, Trump was wrong...and was an idiot. I would have stuck with the agreement and applied pressure in other ways. But I would have applied that pressure, as what Iran was and is doing is not in the US's best interest in the region. They have and are supporting proxy terrorist groups and actions all through the region and that needs to stop.

Of course, here is some free advice since apparently 'dopers as well as perhaps these countries are confused...get a treaty ratified by Congress if you are making a big concession. If North Korea is smart they will actually give up their nukes...but they will only do so with a ratified treaty, not on the say so of the idiot in the White House.
There was no chance of Obama getting the deal ratified by the Congress he was dealing with. That's no defense of abandoning the deal, which helps no one but extremists, and does great harm to the US.

I don't understand why you'd want to lend Trump this bullshit bit of justification. There is zero justification for his actions. This hurts America and helps extremists. There's no justification for purposefully hurting America and helping extremists, even if it's through ignorance and incompetence.

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662565)
*sigh* Again, you are talking about several different things. What difference if they were abiding by it wrt legally binding? It wasn't legally binding. The next president down the line, or the one after that could do exactly what Trump did for reasons....or no reason at all.

MY position is not that it's OK. I think that folks are incapable of understanding that what my opinion on this can be different than the reality of the situation. I'll say it again...I disagreed and disagree with what Trump did. That doesn't mean that what he did was illegal or that any president couldn't have done it. As to popularity, I don't give a flying fuck if it's popular...again, it's reality. If you are a country negotiating with the US and it's vitally important, then hold out for a ratified treaty. Or take your chances. This has always been the case throughout history.

Who said it was illegal? It was colossally stupid, and you're partially defending this colossal stupidity.

Quote:

Let me ask you a question. If Trump made some agreement with some country that every Democrat disagreed with, would you feel that the next Democratic president to be elected should be bound by it? Disconnect yourself from this specific instance and THINK about what that implies. Should the next Democrat elected go along with it, even if that president and the party feel it was bad and not in the US's interest? Your answer will be telling...can you decouple yourself from a partisan mindset and from emotion on this specific issue to understand the reality...or not.
Depends on whether abandoning the deal would greatly hurt America and help extremists. The only principle here is not doing things that hurt America and help extremists. There's no defense for such decisions.

XT 05-25-2019 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21662570)
With zero justification, zero legitimacy, zero good reasons. Why defend such an awful and harmful decision? That's what you're doing -- providing some defense, even along with your criticism. There's no reason for such a defense. This was total dereliction of duty, at the expense of US national security. A colossally stupid decision, and worthy of no defense at all. It doesn't matter if the next president can change it -- this is always true. Every president can choose to do catastrophically stupid things... that doesn't justify it in any way at all.



There was no chance of Obama getting the deal ratified by the Congress he was dealing with. That's no defense of abandoning the deal, which helps no one but extremists, and does great harm to the US.

I don't understand why you'd want to lend Trump this bullshit bit of justification. There is zero justification for his actions. This hurts America and helps extremists. There's no justification for purposefully hurting America and helping extremists, even if it's through ignorance and incompetence.

Because you can't seem to grasp that he didn't need justification, and that pointing out reality doesn't mean I endorse the decision. I agree, it hurt the US.

See, this is what happens when folks allow their idiotic emotions to rule them and vote for....OR DON'T FUCKING VOTE...a populist idiot, instead of gritting their teeth and picking the less bad choice.

k9bfriender 05-25-2019 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662561)
These are two different things. I SAID I thought it was a bad idea for us to back out. But there are also legitimate points that the US could use to justify backing out...also, we don't actually need any at all, as we can see wrt Trump. That's the thing with non-binding agreements...they aren't binding. The next President down the road can just reverse course if that's what he chooses to do. And that's what he chose to do.

Again...I've said, multiple times, I think it was a mistake. I think on this as on many things, Trump was wrong...and was an idiot. I would have stuck with the agreement and applied pressure in other ways. But I would have applied that pressure, as what Iran was and is doing is not in the US's best interest in the region. They have and are supporting proxy terrorist groups and actions all through the region and that needs to stop.


Of course, here is some free advice since apparently 'dopers as well as perhaps these countries are confused...get a treaty ratified by Congress if you are making a big concession. If North Korea is smart they will actually give up their nukes...but they will only do so with a ratified treaty, not on the say so of the idiot in the White House.

It sounds like you are blaming the GOP led congress who refused to ratify the agreement as a treaty to make it binding, is this correct?

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662576)
Because you can't seem to grasp that he didn't need justification, and that pointing out reality doesn't mean I endorse the decision. I agree, it hurt the US.

See, this is what happens when folks allow their idiotic emotions to rule them and vote for....OR DON'T FUCKING VOTE...a populist idiot, instead of gritting their teeth and picking the less bad choice.

Of course he needs justification for his actions! He's the fucking President. If he does something stupid for a stupid reason, it shouldn't be defended in any way. Are you saying the President can do anything he's legally allowed to do and he shouldn't be criticized for it? If not, what the hell are you saying? None of us are saying that it was against the law, just that the President did a colossally stupid thing, with zero justification, and that you shouldn't provide even the slightest bit of defense for it.

XT 05-25-2019 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k9bfriender (Post 21662578)
It sounds like you are blaming the GOP led congress who refused to ratify the agreement as a treaty to make it binding, is this correct?

Yeah, or I suppose the Iranian's for not holding out for a treaty. Basically, if it were me and I was the leader of a country negotiating with the US I wouldn't settle for anything short of a full Congressional ratification...assuming I was in a position TOO hold out, of course.

XT 05-25-2019 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21662580)
Of course he needs justification for his actions! He's the fucking President. If he does something stupid for a stupid reason, it shouldn't be defended in any way. Are you saying the President can do anything he's legally allowed to do and he shouldn't be criticized for it? If not, what the hell are you saying? None of us are saying that it was against the law, just that the President did a colossally stupid thing, with zero justification, and that you shouldn't provide even the slightest bit of defense for it.

Really? What justification did he have? Are you saying he wasn't legally 'allowed' to do what he did?? If so...well, he's in jail then, right? Or being or been impeached???? I must have missed that...do you have a link? I actually have a bottle of VERY good tequila I set aside (this is a MAJOR sacrifice for me btw) for when the guy is impeached and going to jail, so please, post that link!

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662608)
Really? What justification did he have? Are you saying he wasn't legally 'allowed' to do what he did?? If so...well, he's in jail then, right? Or being or been impeached???? I must have missed that...do you have a link? I actually have a bottle of VERY good tequila I set aside (this is a MAJOR sacrifice for me btw) for when the guy is impeached and going to jail, so please, post that link!

What? I just said he was legally allowed to do it! He needs justification because he's the President and he has to justify every single major fucking decision he makes. It's a big job and every damn decision needs justification. Not "legally" needs, but needs because that's the standard we should demand. And you shouldn't be providing a defense in any way.

XT 05-25-2019 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21662612)
What? I just said he was legally allowed to do it! He needs justification because he's the President and he has to justify every single major fucking decision he makes. It's a big job and every damn decision needs justification. Not "legally" needs, but needs because that's the standard we should demand. And you shouldn't be providing a defense in any way.

I don't understand your point then I guess. Obviously, he could do it. That's kind of it. I'm not sure why you think he needs some elaborate justification to do what he did...you just admitted it's within his abilities.

I believe the fairly weak justification he used was some vague bullshit about how Iran wasn't doing...something. That seems to have been good enough. I am, again, not defending anything. Reality IS. It's what it is. He could do it, and he did it. Hell, he said he was going to do this in several of his campaign speeches and his ridiculous tweets during the Obama administration about it being a bad deal, blah blah blah. It was militantly unsurprising that he did this in fact, or that his 'justification' was basically some horseshit that no one bought.

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 07:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662619)
I don't understand your point then I guess. Obviously, he could do it. That's kind of it. I'm not sure why you think he needs some elaborate justification to do what he did...you just admitted it's within his abilities.

I believe the fairly weak justification he used was some vague bullshit about how Iran wasn't doing...something. That seems to have been good enough. I am, again, not defending anything. Reality IS. It's what it is. He could do it, and he did it. Hell, he said he was going to do this in several of his campaign speeches and his ridiculous tweets during the Obama administration about it being a bad deal, blah blah blah. It was militantly unsurprising that he did this in fact, or that his 'justification' was basically some horseshit that no one bought.

Then why are you defending him? He did a colossally stupid and harmful thing, hurting America and helping extremists. He should be criticized harshly every day for it, as should his supporters and enablers. It doesn't matter that he could do it -- there's plenty of things that he could do but shouldn't.

XT 05-25-2019 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21662621)
Then why are you defending him? He did a colossally stupid and harmful thing, hurting America and helping extremists. He should be criticized harshly every day for it, as should his supporters and enablers. It doesn't matter that he could do it -- there's plenty of things that he could do but shouldn't.

Well, I'm defending him because he's a great American and a great President, and he's got huge, enormous hands!! At least, that seems to be what the XT in your head is saying. You don't seem to be listening to the one posting in this thread, so hopefully the one in your head is drunker than I am at the moment. Man, what I REALLY hope is the one in your head is drinking that really excellent tequila and smoking a fine Cuban cigar while Trump is being lead off to jail in an orange jumper! Now that would be really good...

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662631)
Well, I'm defending him because he's a great American and a great President, and he's got huge, enormous hands!! At least, that seems to be what the XT in your head is saying. You don't seem to be listening to the one posting in this thread, so hopefully the one in your head is drunker than I am at the moment. Man, what I REALLY hope is the one in your head is drinking that really excellent tequila and smoking a fine Cuban cigar while Trump is being lead off to jail in an orange jumper! Now that would be really good...

No, the XT in my head is providing a minimal defense that there's somehow more than "zero justification" for abandoning the deal, and somehow the fact that he's legally allowed to do this is relevant or important even though no one implied that he wasn't. And you shouldn't be providing even this minimal defense, since there is zero justification for helping extremists and hurting America.

XT 05-25-2019 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21662639)
No, the XT in my head is providing a minimal defense that there's somehow more than "zero justification" for abandoning the deal, and somehow the fact that he's legally allowed to do this is relevant or important even though no one implied that he wasn't. And you shouldn't be providing even this minimal defense, since there is zero justification for helping extremists and hurting America.

Seriously man, one last time. I'm not defending him. I disagree with the decision. It's one of many things that, to me, indicate the guys is clueless and an idiot and completely out of his depth. I'm not defending him. I'm not defending him. I'm not defending the decision.

I could write that again 20 more times if it will sink in, but I'm not sanguine it will.

This all has dick all to do with whether he could do this or not. Pretty obviously, he could. He DID do it. And his justication, such as it was, was weak and pretty much just pro-forma. Iran wasn't, at least as far as I've read, breaking any of their agreements wrt the limits set on their nuclear program. They were doing other things, of course, but as the eagle eyed up thread noted, they weren't part of the agreement. Trump chose, probably because he felt he could force them to renegotiate a deal (hell, it might have even been EXACTLY the same deal...look at his NAFTA deals with Canada and Mexico) so that he looked strong and in charge. And he could legally do it because it wasn't a ratified treaty and it was within his power to do...just like it was within Obama's to do it in the first place, despite not having Congressional support.

It would be nice if you could see my point...hell, I'm so drunk atm I'm not sure I see it anymore. But I'm fairly sure you are going to come back with something about me defending Trump on this again, so I'll just wander off unless something more interesting than me having to say for the...well, not sure how many times now, but more than I can count on both hands...that I disagreed and disagree with the decision and think it was the wrong move.

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662653)
Seriously man, one last time. I'm not defending him. I disagree with the decision. It's one of many things that, to me, indicate the guys is clueless and an idiot and completely out of his depth. I'm not defending him. I'm not defending him. I'm not defending the decision.

I could write that again 20 more times if it will sink in, but I'm not sanguine it will.

This all has dick all to do with whether he could do this or not. Pretty obviously, he could. He DID do it. And his justication, such as it was, was weak and pretty much just pro-forma. Iran wasn't, at least as far as I've read, breaking any of their agreements wrt the limits set on their nuclear program. They were doing other things, of course, but as the eagle eyed up thread noted, they weren't part of the agreement. Trump chose, probably because he felt he could force them to renegotiate a deal (hell, it might have even been EXACTLY the same deal...look at his NAFTA deals with Canada and Mexico) so that he looked strong and in charge. And he could legally do it because it wasn't a ratified treaty and it was within his power to do...just like it was within Obama's to do it in the first place, despite not having Congressional support.

It would be nice if you could see my point...hell, I'm so drunk atm I'm not sure I see it anymore. But I'm fairly sure you are going to come back with something about me defending Trump on this again, so I'll just wander off unless something more interesting than me having to say for the...well, not sure how many times now, but more than I can count on both hands...that I disagreed and disagree with the decision and think it was the wrong move.

What's your point? That he was legally allowed to do this? Why is that relevant? Who cares? Trump is legally allowed to do plenty of things that would be greatly harmful to America. That's no justification, and once again, you said that there was more than "zero justification". You are incorrect about that.

XT 05-25-2019 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21662654)
What's your point? That he was legally allowed to do this? Why is that relevant? Who cares? Trump is legally allowed to do plenty of things that would be greatly harmful to America. That's no justification, and once again, you said that there was more than "zero justification". You are incorrect about that.

Ah, I see the disconnect...I think. There is more than 'zero justification' because he only has to justify it to himself, really. Or his advisors to justify it to him and then he makes the decision. So, his 'justification' was, basically, that Iran is doing other bad shit, and despite the fact that none of that stuff was covered under the agreement he chose to take the US out of that agreement. Because he could. And because he could do so on that weak ass shit.

So, I'm doing this drinking game, and every time you repeat the same stuff and force me to repeat shit I've already said I have to take a drink and a puff of this cigar. At this stage, I'm actually hoping we can go over this a few more times, to be honest. So, tell me how I'm defending him again and how I'm incorrect about reality being real. Tell me something I've already acknowledged such as that Trump has done plenty to harm the US, and that this is but one of the things...sort of a death by a thousand John Wick's thingy (better than that old 1000 cuts).

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662667)
Ah, I see the disconnect...I think. There is more than 'zero justification' because he only has to justify it to himself, really. Or his advisors to justify it to him and then he makes the decision. So, his 'justification' was, basically, that Iran is doing other bad shit, and despite the fact that none of that stuff was covered under the agreement he chose to take the US out of that agreement. Because he could. And because he could do so on that weak ass shit.

So, I'm doing this drinking game, and every time you repeat the same stuff and force me to repeat shit I've already said I have to take a drink and a puff of this cigar. At this stage, I'm actually hoping we can go over this a few more times, to be honest. So, tell me how I'm defending him again and how I'm incorrect about reality being real. Tell me something I've already acknowledged such as that Trump has done plenty to harm the US, and that this is but one of the things...sort of a death by a thousand John Wick's thingy (better than that old 1000 cuts).

As far as I can tell you're bringing up irrelevancies (that he's legally allowed to do this, or that Iran has done other bad things), for no discernible reasons as if this is somehow some sort of justification for this dumb decision.

XT 05-25-2019 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21662675)
As far as I can tell you're bringing up irrelevancies (that he's legally allowed to do this, or that Iran has done other bad things), for no discernible reasons as if this is somehow some sort of justification for this dumb decision.

Another drink!

The point you are missing is he doesn't need a justification. It's not irrelevant...in fact, it's directly relevant. Or revenant. Something like that. You seem to want to discount that this has already happened. He did it. It's done. The US has pulled out of the agreement. Others in the thread seem confused that the US can legally do this stuff, but you are hung up on justification for some reason, as if that is relevant. It's not of course, since if it was we wouldn't have pulled out. Trump wouldn't have been able to pull us out if he had to justify our reasons for doing so with any sort of evidence. Pretty clearly, he didn't do that and didn't need to because, again, reality...it's real.

I feel like I need to bring up ratification again and how our system works, but I'm losing my train of thought on what we are arguing about. Do I need to bring this up? Hopefully, as I still have about a 1/3 of a bottle left, so let me know.

iiandyiiii 05-25-2019 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662685)
Another drink!

The point you are missing is he doesn't need a justification. It's not irrelevant...in fact, it's directly relevant. Or revenant. Something like that. You seem to want to discount that this has already happened. He did it. It's done. The US has pulled out of the agreement. Others in the thread seem confused that the US can legally do this stuff, but you are hung up on justification for some reason, as if that is relevant. It's not of course, since if it was we wouldn't have pulled out. Trump wouldn't have been able to pull us out if he had to justify our reasons for doing so with any sort of evidence. Pretty clearly, he didn't do that and didn't need to because, again, reality...it's real.

I feel like I need to bring up ratification again and how our system works, but I'm losing my train of thought on what we are arguing about. Do I need to bring this up? Hopefully, as I still have about a 1/3 of a bottle left, so let me know.

Enjoy your drinks and your irrelevancies (like the more you brought up in this post)! You said earlier "this isn't coming completely out of Trump's ass with zero justification", when in fact this is coming completely out of Trump's ass with zero justifications. Which is and has been my entire point.

elucidator 05-26-2019 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662544)
Why would I? I was alive then myself. Did you have a point?

Sorry, had no idea you required me to be more explicit. Tonkin Bay, Saddam's WMD, "Remember the Maine!". Our glorious military adventure into Grenada? Any of that bringing it into focus? Let me know if you need further clarification, I'm here to help.

k9bfriender 05-26-2019 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21662605)
Yeah, or I suppose the Iranian's for not holding out for a treaty. Basically, if it were me and I was the leader of a country negotiating with the US I wouldn't settle for anything short of a full Congressional ratification...assuming I was in a position TOO hold out, of course.

How would Iran hold out for a treaty? Every other country that was a signatory to the accords made it binding. They had no room to "hold out". They trusted that we would hold to our word, and we betrayed that trust.

You are correct that in the future, no country will consider the US to be negotiating in good faith due to Trump's actions here, but I don't see that as Iran's fault, I do not see that as the fault of those in past administrations that did negotiate in good faith. I only see it as the fault of those who unilaterally abrogated the agreement.

This is why the other countries that signed the Iran deal are having problems at this point. They have biding agreements that say that as long as Iran holds to their deal, they must as well. Their binding agreements say that they cannot reimpose sanctions, but we are demanding that they do anyway.

We not only destroy our credibility with negotiation by this move, but also destroy our chances of getting allies to sign onto agreements as well, as they may be left hanging.

Trump did quite a bit of damage to our credibility as a nation, and made us untrustworthy to both our opponents and our allies. "Because he could" is not a good enough reason.

XT 05-26-2019 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k9bfriender
How would Iran hold out for a treaty? Every other country that was a signatory to the accords made it binding. They had no room to "hold out". They trusted that we would hold to our word, and we betrayed that trust.

Then they took the best deal they could. Trust? If they did, then they were desperate or foolish. We didn't betray any 'trust'....this is how our system works. If Obama told them that this was binding and they could 'trust' that the next president down the line would continue to honor it...and the next one after that...and the next one after that...they he mislead them. If their own US experts didn't point out how this was possible, then those guys should be fired because they gave bad advice.

Not sure what ever other country making it binding according to their laws has to do with it. It's like you and others want us to play by other rules, regardless of if it works in our system. In OUR system, if you want a binding treaty then it needs to be ratified by Congress. If the president can't get that (which Obama couldn't with the treaty that was proposed) then your options are to take the agreement and hope the next president doesn't change it or don't take the deal. Sign with the other countries. Perhaps put in clauses dealing with the US not signing, and take whatever repercussions that entails wrt US displeasure.

Quote:

This is why the other countries that signed the Iran deal are having problems at this point. They have biding agreements that say that as long as Iran holds to their deal, they must as well. Their binding agreements say that they cannot reimpose sanctions, but we are demanding that they do anyway.

So, what you are saying is that none of them know how our system works? Allies, enemies, unfriendly powers, none of them know how our system works?? :dubious: I can't help that their binding agreements tie them to the deal. Ours do too. Sadly, this wasn't a binding agreement. Everyone knew that. Everyone knew Obama couldn't get the deal through Congress because a majority of Congress was opposed to it for political reasons. It should be pretty unsurprising that when the party that opposed the agreement came into power after Obama, that said party would overturn the agreement made against their will, regardless of the 'justification'. The Republicans WERE going to change this...it was just a matter of timing. It's how our system works.

iiandyiiii 05-26-2019 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21663566)
Then they took the best deal they could. Trust? If they did, then they were desperate or foolish. We didn't betray any 'trust'....this is how our system works. If Obama told them that this was binding and they could 'trust' that the next president down the line would continue to honor it...and the next one after that...and the next one after that...they he mislead them. If their own US experts didn't point out how this was possible, then those guys should be fired because they gave bad advice.



Not sure what ever other country making it binding according to their laws has to do with it. It's like you and others want us to play by other rules, regardless of if it works in our system. In OUR system, if you want a binding treaty then it needs to be ratified by Congress. If the president can't get that (which Obama couldn't with the treaty that was proposed) then your options are to take the agreement and hope the next president doesn't change it or don't take the deal. Sign with the other countries. Perhaps put in clauses dealing with the US not signing, and take whatever repercussions that entails wrt US displeasure.









So, what you are saying is that none of them know how our system works? Allies, enemies, unfriendly powers, none of them know how our system works?? :dubious: I can't help that their binding agreements tie them to the deal. Ours do too. Sadly, this wasn't a binding agreement. Everyone knew that. Everyone knew Obama couldn't get the deal through Congress because a majority of Congress was opposed to it for political reasons. It should be pretty unsurprising that when the party that opposed the agreement came into power after Obama, that said party would overturn the agreement made against their will, regardless of the 'justification'. The Republicans WERE going to change this...it was just a matter of timing. It's how our system works.

I still don't understand why any of this is relevant. That a stupid and harmful policy was expected doesn't make it any less stupid, harmful, or worth criticizing.

XT 05-26-2019 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iiandyiiii (Post 21663579)
I still don't understand why any of this is relevant. That a stupid and harmful policy was expected doesn't make it any less stupid, harmful, or worth criticizing.

I know you don't. I could see that in last nights drunken exchange (well, for my part). Not sure how to say it differently now that I'm sober though. It DOESN'T make it less stupid or harmful or give him a pass from being criticized. Go bananas...call him an idiot, call him stupid, call the policy harmful. I've done all those things and more.

But it's relevant because this is exactly what the Republicans said they would do. It's why Obama couldn't get a treaty through Congress, and the Republicans were pissed that the US put this all in place when THEY thought it was stupid, harmful and all the rest, or that if they had the chance, they were going to change it. This is exactly the same thing with the healthcare reform situation. The Democrats pushed it through over the objections of many Republicans, so it should be unsurprising that when the Republicans get power back they do all they can to gut the thing.

k9bfriender 05-26-2019 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21663566)
Then they took the best deal they could. Trust? If they did, then they were desperate or foolish. We didn't betray any 'trust'....this is how our system works. If Obama told them that this was binding and they could 'trust' that the next president down the line would continue to honor it...and the next one after that...and the next one after that...they he mislead them. If their own US experts didn't point out how this was possible, then those guys should be fired because they gave bad advice.

As that has been the case with previous administrations. Yes, such agreements have generally been honored. You are saying that they should have known that a few years later, and idiot would get into the white house and tear up such agreements for no reason other than a temper tantrum.

Maybe they should not have thought well of us, maybe they should have not trusted that we would do what we said.

In the future, few will make that mistake again.
Quote:

Not sure what ever other country making it binding according to their laws has to do with it. It's like you and others want us to play by other rules, regardless of if it works in our system. In OUR system, if you want a binding treaty then it needs to be ratified by Congress. If the president can't get that (which Obama couldn't with the treaty that was proposed) then your options are to take the agreement and hope the next president doesn't change it or don't take the deal. Sign with the other countries. Perhaps put in clauses dealing with the US not signing, and take whatever repercussions that entails wrt US displeasure.
It's not like that at all. Not sure why you would make such an outrageous claim as to what it is that I want. I am just pointing out that others went into the negotiations in good faith with the belief that we were as well. We fucked them, and they won't trust us again.
Quote:




So, what you are saying is that none of them know how our system works? Allies, enemies, unfriendly powers, none of them know how our system works?? :dubious: I can't help that their binding agreements tie them to the deal. Ours do too. Sadly, this wasn't a binding agreement. Everyone knew that. Everyone knew Obama couldn't get the deal through Congress because a majority of Congress was opposed to it for political reasons. It should be pretty unsurprising that when the party that opposed the agreement came into power after Obama, that said party would overturn the agreement made against their will, regardless of the 'justification'. The Republicans WERE going to change this...it was just a matter of timing. It's how our system works.
No, that is not what I am saying at all, and it would require some pretty ridiculous and malicious interpretation of my words to come to that conclusion.

But in any case, they certainly do know how it works now. And they will never trust us to negotiate in good faith again.

You don't seem to be understanding that we do understand that Trump *could* do this. That it was within the powers of the presidency to simply unilaterally dump a deal that had been forged with a great deal of national support. Yeah, we get that he had the power to do so.

We are just pointing out that it was a stupid thing to do that harms our reputation with the world, and will end up getting many people, our own people included, killed.

If you are still going on and on about the fact that he had the power to do this, then we are talking past each other, as we already know this. So, unless you are actually defending the stupidity of his act, then I do not see what the point of your contributions have been to this thread.

Euphonious Polemic 05-26-2019 12:52 PM

So... Trump is justified in doing any stupid and harmful thing he wants because he can, and it's actually Iran's fault for trusting the USA. "Ha ha stupids, you should not have trusted us! We had our fingers crossed!"

Where have I heard this one before - "If it's legal then it's perfectly acceptable"

iiandyiiii 05-26-2019 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21663588)
I know you don't. I could see that in last nights drunken exchange (well, for my part). Not sure how to say it differently now that I'm sober though. It DOESN'T make it less stupid or harmful or give him a pass from being criticized. Go bananas...call him an idiot, call him stupid, call the policy harmful. I've done all those things and more.

So then why do you keep bringing up things that no one denies and that don't conflict with any of my points (or those of others', I'm pretty sure)?

Quote:

But it's relevant because this is exactly what the Republicans said they would do. It's why Obama couldn't get a treaty through Congress, and the Republicans were pissed that the US put this all in place when THEY thought it was stupid, harmful and all the rest, or that if they had the chance, they were going to change it. This is exactly the same thing with the healthcare reform situation. The Democrats pushed it through over the objections of many Republicans, so it should be unsurprising that when the Republicans get power back they do all they can to gut the thing.
And grass is green and the sky is blue.

k9bfriender 05-26-2019 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k9bfriender (Post 21663597)
You don't seem to be understanding that we do understand that Trump *could* do this. That it was within the powers of the presidency to simply unilaterally dump a deal that had been forged with a great deal of national support. Yeah, we get that he had the power to do so.

Missed edit, that should be "international support"

elucidator 05-26-2019 01:05 PM

So, Obama gave peace a chance. And now Il Douche would prefer a situation of tension and threat, a situation where a simple human error or miscalculation means its harvest time for the Grim Reaper. It may be legal and Constitutional. Still fucking stupid, and unworthy of being defended.

Snowboarder Bo 05-29-2019 09:31 AM

John Bolton rattles his saber in the UAE today:
Quote:

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser warned Iran on Wednesday that any attacks in the Persian Gulf will draw a “very strong response” from the U.S., taking a hard-line approach with Tehran after his boss only two days earlier said America wasn’t “looking to hurt Iran at all.”
Quote:

On Wednesday, Bolton told journalists that there had been a previously unknown attempt to attack the Saudi oil port of Yanbu as well, which he also blamed on Iran. He described Tehran’s decision to back away from its 2015 atomic deal with world powers as evidence it sought nuclear weapons, even though it came a year after America unilaterally withdrew from the unraveling agreement.

Bolton stressed the U.S. had not seen any further Iranian attacks in the time since, something he attributed to the recent military deployments — America recently sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf. But he warned the U.S. would strike back if again attacked.

“The point is to make it very clear to Iran and its surrogates that these kinds of action risk a very strong response from the United States,” Bolton threatened, without elaborating.
These crazy idiots are certainly doing there best to cultivate a war-ready situation eh.

bobot 05-29-2019 10:12 AM

Apparently Iran is not responding to "our" current provocations the way our so-called administration would like.

XT 05-29-2019 06:08 PM

So, I wanted to post this link to a YouTube video that, IMHO, does a good job of showing the real reasons why the US is pursuing this (stupid, IMHO) policy towards Iran, what Trump et al (actually, I think Bolton and other hawks in the administration) hopes to achieve, and why it probably won't work.

Snowboarder Bo 05-29-2019 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Euphonious Polemic (Post 21663606)
Where have I heard this one before - "If it's legal then it's perfectly acceptable"

Aye; as I was reading XT's posts, I kept thinking of another poster who makes that same "argument" all the time (or used to, when he posted here).

Snowboarder Bo 05-29-2019 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XT (Post 21669801)
So, I wanted to post this link to a YouTube video that, IMHO, does a good job of showing the real reasons why the US is pursuing this (stupid, IMHO) policy towards Iran, what Trump et al (actually, I think Bolton and other hawks in the administration) hopes to achieve, and why it probably won't work.

I agree that this is an excellent summation of the situation; thanks for bringing it into the thread.

Snowboarder Bo 05-30-2019 02:06 AM

I saw this just as I was shutting things down for the night: The Latest: Khamenei says Iran won't negotiate on military
Quote:

11 p.m.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says his country will not negotiate on issues related to its military capabilities.

During a meeting with university professors on Wednesday, Khamenei said “Negotiations on defensive issues means that we give up our defensive capabilities.” He said negotiating with the U.S. would bring nothing but harm.

Khamenei also said Iran is not looking to acquire nuclear weapons “not because of the sanctions or America,” but because nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islamic Sharia law.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran soared recently over America deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf over a still-unexplained threat it perceives from Tehran.

septimus 05-30-2019 07:22 AM

In the old days, an embargo required a powerful navy; and for Iran paratroopers would need to be sent in to lay siege at its borders. Starvation would force Iranis to lick the boots of their American masters.

But in today's world, navies and armies are unnecessary. Financial centers in the U.S. control the world economy; and continue to do Trump's bidding. Iran can be ruined just by pushing buttons in New York.

It is the United States which is starting war with Iran, by abandoning its covenant and, more importantly, by imposing a strict embargo on the struggling country. Iran's economy is plunging, its people suffering, ... for what? So it will agree to the agreement it has already made? ... and is still largely keeping despite U.S. attempts to provoke war? If Iran fires the first shot, do not blame them for a war. The U.S. is completely responsible for whatever tragedy befalls.

There WAS a solution to the "Iran problem." A solution which was carefully negotiated by the best President of the past 50 years, was approved UNANIMOUSLY by the U.N. Security Council and, reluctantly, by Iran's factions. (That solution may no longer be available: Iranis have learned that the solemn promise of the U.S.A. has no more value than the turds or vomit of a diseased dotard.)

If Trump's goal is bloodshed to appease or lull his base, his strategy may make sense, but let's take him at his word. WHY then is adopting such a stupid policy and provoking war?

Because it is NOT a stupid policy for top U.S. "allies" — or rather the evil countries with their tongues stuck up Trump's a***o**. MBS of Saudi is delighted to have the Irani Shi'ites starve, as is the despotic Netanyahu. What about the top U.S. "ally", Putin's Russia? Yes, Iran is Russia's de facto ally in the Middle East but a U.S.-Iran war would be very good news for Putin, and he has probably found clever ways to niggle Trump in that direction. Iran occupies a strategic position near Russia's border; Iran's dependence on Russia will be very good for Putin. And any war involving America serves Russian interests.

What a stupid mess.

Snowboarder Bo 05-30-2019 02:44 PM

Relevant story about the OIC meeting in Mecca yesterday:
Quote:

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Thursday urged Muslim nations to confront with “all means of force and firmness” recent attacks in the Persian Gulf that U.S. and some Arab officials have blamed on Iran.

Ibrahim al-Assaf made the comments at a preparatory meeting of foreign ministers of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, ahead of a trio of summits in the kingdom’s holy city of Mecca.

Saudi Arabia hastily called for the meetings in response to the spike in tensions with its key rival, Iran. That King Salman could quickly bring regional leaders and heads of state to Mecca so rapidly reflects the kingdom’s weight in the region and its desire to project a unified position on Iran.
Quote:

In his opening remarks, al-Assaf said the alleged sabotage of oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and a drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in recent weeks threaten the global economy and endanger regional and international security.

“We should confront it with all means of force and firmness,” he said.

Upon their arrival at the airport, each leader was shown Houthi military items, such as a destroyed drone, missiles and mortar shells used in the conflict with the Saudis. The leaders were given a brief explanation of the weapons on display by Col. Turki al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition at war in Yemen.
They're doing their prep work.

Snowboarder Bo 05-30-2019 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21670612)
... and is still largely keeping despite U.S. attempts to provoke war? If Iran fires the first shot, do not blame them for a war. The U.S. is completely responsible for whatever tragedy befalls.

Just a quibble here: it's pretty obvious to me that the US (by which I mean Trump) is doing the bidding of Saudi Arabia (by which I mean, the House of Saud), using the canard of "global economic stability" (by which they mean, "our means of obtaining money") as part of their excuse for taking action. I'm not saying the US doesn't have some self-interest here, but really, this is Saudia Arabia getting the US to do their grunt work, because they have tons of money. And money is what rules the world. If you have money, as Saudi Arabia is demonstrating, you can rent the best military might on the planet whenever you want.

septimus 05-30-2019 03:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21671667)
Just a quibble here: it's pretty obvious to me that the US (by which I mean Trump) is doing the bidding of Saudi Arabia (by which I mean, the House of Saud), using the canard of "global economic stability" (by which they mean, "our means of obtaining money") as part of their excuse for taking action. I'm not saying the US doesn't have some self-interest here, but really, this is Saudia Arabia getting the US to do their grunt work, because they have tons of money. And money is what rules the world. If you have money, as Saudi Arabia is demonstrating, you can rent the best military might on the planet whenever you want.

I'm not 100% sure what you're saying here. Might I paraphrase it as follows?
MBS al-Saudi is a very powerful but evil murderous man, much like the late Saddam once was. With Arabia and Persia both major oil producers, sanctions and war are win-win for him. Trump is merely a frothing-at-the-mouth puppet, strings yanked. (MBS, Yetanyahu and especially Putin are all delighted with the Bolton appointment.)
If so, color me in agreement ... with the stipulation that there other evil actors involved. I assume the CFR (or Illuminati, whatever it is) understand all this far better than I — yet are unable to act. Our democracy has literally been turned over to Alexjones, Hannity, and other crooks and clowns. I only wish there were a "New World Order" able to exert some influence.

KarlGauss 05-30-2019 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21671667)
. . . you can rent the best military might on the planet whenever you want.

Maybe not the best, but you can definitely rent Erik Prince's band of merry mercenaries.

Snowboarder Bo 05-30-2019 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KarlGauss (Post 21671751)
Maybe not the best, but you can definitely rent Erik Prince's band of merry mercenaries.

I really dislike that jackass (and everything he stands for).

Snowboarder Bo 05-31-2019 05:50 PM

Here's some news:
Quote:

In a confidential quarterly report distributed to member states and seen by The Associated Press, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has stayed within key limitations set in the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, for uranium and heavy water stockpiles.

But while in past reports the IAEA said Iran’s research and development on enrichment “has been conducted using centrifuges within the limits defined in the JCPOA,” the Friday report instead changed the wording to say it “has been conducted using centrifuges specified in the JCPOA.”
No explanation or speculation on what the change in wording means or why it happened, tho.
Quote:

In a footnote, the agency said that “up to 33” more advanced IR-6 centrifuges have been installed and that “technical discussions in relation to the IR-6 centrifuges are ongoing.”

Under terms of the nuclear deal, Iran is allowed to test no more than 30 of the IR-6s once the deal has been in place for 8 1/2 years. The deal is murky about limits before that point, which will arrive in 2023.

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, said last month that Iran had begun installing a chain of 20 IR-6 centrifuges at its underground Natanz enrichment facility. Iranian officials say the IR-6 can enrich 10 times faster than an IR-1.
Quote:

Iran maintains that it is allowed to install the centrifuges, regardless of the agreement’s limit on their use for testing. A senior diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t officially allowed to comment on the report said the faster centrifuges were not yet being fed with uranium.

The diplomat said the technical discussions on the centrifuges were between the deal’s signatories and Iran, but would not elaborate. “It is being discussed, and we report the facts that we see,” the diplomat said.

“The feed line is under agency seal,” the diplomat said, adding it was up to partner countries in the deal to determine whether the installation was a violation of the accord.

Snowboarder Bo 06-02-2019 09:42 AM

So the tune has now changed from
Quote:

Originally Posted by Trump
If they want to talk, I’m available.

to "if they want to talk, Mike Pompeo is available", a notion that I'm sure will further endear our shithead president to them.

I'm sure this news is going to calm everything down :rolleyes::
Quote:

“We’re prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions,” Pompeo told reporters at a news conference with his Swiss counterpart. “We’re ready to sit down with them, but the American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of this Islamic Republic, this revolutionary force, is going to continue.”
No preconditions, except that the US has no intention of stopping what the US is doing.

That's some awesome negotiating tactics there, eh.

iiandyiiii 06-05-2019 12:15 PM

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckra...l-media-attack

The State Dept funded social media attacks on Iranian-American anti-war advocates. They stopped at some point, presumably when the details of what they were funding were publicized (or about to be publicized), by my reading.

Not surprising, but still disgusting.

Snowboarder Bo 06-06-2019 01:09 PM

There's an excellent article on Lawfare published yesterday called One Year Into Trump’s Iran Strategy: Where Do Things Stand?

It's fairly comprehensive, detailing the 12 points that Trumpompeo (sorry; I couldn't resist) demanded of Iran, the 3 areas/types of pressures applied and then tries to assess whether or not the desired results are being achieved.
Quote:

One year out, America’s maximum pressure campaign has certainly succeeded in straining Iran’s economy and undercutting European efforts to preserve the JCPOA. Still, it has failed to curb Iran’s ballistic program, spur the release of American detainees or end Iran’s support for proxy groups in the region. Meanwhile, tensions between the U.S. and Iran are running hot, amplifying the risk of miscalculation by both sides. With Iran now on the brink of abandoning the JCPOA, it’s unclear where maximum pressure will lead. Though the Trump administration has been quick to downplay the risk of conflict, the lack of an overarching strategy leaves cause for real concern.
I highly recommend this article if you are at all concerned or are simply trying to educate yourself on the situation.

Snowboarder Bo 06-07-2019 02:22 PM

BAM!
 
New sanctions:
Quote:

The Trump administration on Friday hit Iran with new sanctions that target its largest petrochemical company for providing support to the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company and 39 of its subsidiaries and foreign sales agents. It said the company holds 40% of Iran’s petrochemical production capacity and is responsible for 50% of the country’s petrochemical exports. It said the sanctions were the result of the company doing billions of dollars of business with the Guard Corps.

The administration designated the corps a “foreign terrorist organization” last month, the first time it has ever done so for a foreign governmental agency. That means the U.S. can impose sanctions on any company or individual that provides a designated entity with material support.

“By targeting this network we intend to deny funding to key elements of Iran’s petrochemical sector that provide support to the IRGC,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “This action is a warning that we will continue to target holding groups and companies in the petrochemical sector and elsewhere that provide financial lifelines to the IRGC.”
Quote:

"Maximum pressure on Iran’s regime continues today,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, adding that U.S. will continue to act to “deny the regime the money it needs to destabilize the Middle East.”

Snowboarder Bo 06-07-2019 02:33 PM

Iran replies:
Quote:

“The United States’ unilateral nuclear as well as economic sanctions in defiance of Security Council resolution 2231 and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action have reached an unprecedented level during the past few months,” Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations said in the letter, which was dated May 23.

“The United States shall bear full responsibility for the consequences of those wrongful acts,” Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi. “The international community should uphold its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations and consider and react proportionately to the unlawful conduct of the United States that has endangered international peace and security.”

asahi 06-07-2019 02:44 PM

You cannot expect peace while applying maximum pressure. Maximum pressure is intended to undermine a regime's economic stability. There is nothing "peaceful" about crippling another country's economy. It's a direct threat to their ability to govern. So let's just call this what it is and call it a pretext to war.

Snowboarder Bo 06-07-2019 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asahi (Post 21686271)
So let's just call this what it is and call it a pretext to war.

Aye; that's been my point in creating this thread all along: to watch as the current administration manufactures & prosecutes a war with Iran. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. ;)

Snowboarder Bo 06-10-2019 03:08 PM

Iran posturing:
Quote:

Iran’s foreign minister warned the U.S. on Monday that it “cannot expect to stay safe” after launching what he described as an economic war against Tehran, taking a hard-line stance amid a visit by Germany’s top diplomat seeking to defuse tensions.

A stern-faced Mohammad Javad Zarif offered a series of threats over the ongoing tensions gripping the Persian Gulf. The crisis takes root in President Donald Trump’s decision over a year ago to withdraw America from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Trump also reinstated tough sanctions on Iran, targeting its oil sector.

“Mr. Trump himself has announced that the U.S. has launched an economic war against Iran,” Zarif said. “The only solution for reducing tensions in this region is stopping that economic war.”

Zarif also warned: “Whoever starts a war with us will not be the one who finishes it.”

Snowboarder Bo 06-13-2019 08:48 AM

There was some posturing yesterday in Iran because Japanese PM Abe was there for trade talks. Abe cautioned that violence could erupt because of "an accident" and Iran again wagged their finger at the US to back off.

TODAY, however, we have this: Tankers targeted near Strait of Hormuz amid Iran-US tensions
Quote:

Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were damaged in suspected attacks on Thursday, an assault that left one ablaze and adrift as sailors were evacuated from both vessels and the U.S. Navy rushed to assist amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The Navy and the ship’s owners offered no immediate explanation on what weapon caused the damage to the MT Front Altair and the Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of Iran, though all believed the ships had been targeted in an attack.
The Ayatollah appears not to understand violence or the concept that the winners get to write the history books:
Quote:

Khamenei also said Iran remained opposed to building atomic weapons, but offered a challenge to Trump.

“You should know that if we planned to produce nuclear weapons, America could not do anything,” said Khamenei, who has final say on all matters of state in Iran’s Shiite theocracy.
:dubious::rolleyes:

bobot 06-13-2019 09:00 AM

"All 21 of its crew members were forced to abandon ship and were picked up by a nearby Dutch-flagged tugboat, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement said in a statement.





One person suffered minor injuries, but the ship's cargo of methanol was intact and the Kokuka Courageous was not in danger of sinking, according to vessel's management firm.
Thursday's incident came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was wrapping up a two-day trip to Iran on a mission to ease tensions between Washington and Tehran.
Noting that Abe's visit coincided with attacks on "Japan-related tankers," Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted that "suspicious doesn't begin to describe what likely transpired this morning."
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/n...-oman-n1017066

Jasmine 06-13-2019 09:13 AM

Donald Trump: A legend in his own mind.

Snowboarder Bo 06-13-2019 09:47 AM

A "legend" who is trying to give Iran's main rival in the region, Saudi Arabia, US$8 billion worth of armaments and, at no extra charge, nuclear weapons.

HurricaneDitka 06-13-2019 10:19 AM

There was a report that at least one of the tankers was damaged by a torpedo:

Quote:

An oil tanker owned by Norway's Frontline has been struck by a torpedo off the coast of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, shipping newspaper Tradewinds reported on Thursday, citing unnamed industry sources. ...
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-m...-idUSKCN1TE0PI

That's not good.

HurricaneDitka 06-13-2019 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21695897)
A "legend" who is trying to give Iran's main rival in the region, Saudi Arabia, US$8 billion worth of armaments and, at no extra charge, nuclear weapons.

Regarding "nuclear weapons", your link says:

Quote:

These authorizations, known as Part 810s, are required for U.S. companies to export nuclear technology or to help develop nuclear facilities or material in foreign countries.
It seems a good bit more likely that the USA is assisting Saudi Arabia with a civilian nuclear energy program rather than giving them nuclear warheads, doesn't it?

asahi 06-13-2019 10:36 AM

It's hard to know exactly what's on Iran's mind, but they clearly feel squeezed and cornered.

I'm thinking the attacks on oil tankers represents one of two things (or maybe both):

1) Try to use economics to discourage an attack. Try to rattle markets. If that's really a strategy, it probably won't work as oil prices seem to be in yet another decline.

2) If a war is inevitable, then they'd probably rather bait the US into it before they're completely prepared.

Ludovic 06-13-2019 10:38 AM

That wouldn't work if they were baiting Turkey, because they're always prepared.

Snowboarder Bo 06-13-2019 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asahi (Post 21695981)
It's hard to know exactly what's on Iran's mind, but they clearly feel squeezed and cornered.

I'm thinking the attacks on oil tankers represents one of two things (or maybe both):

1) Try to use economics to discourage an attack. Try to rattle markets. If that's really a strategy, it probably won't work as oil prices seem to be in yet another decline.

2) If a war is inevitable, then they'd probably rather bait the US into it before they're completely prepared.

Wait: who do you think attacked those tankers? :dubious:

Inbred Mm domesticus 06-13-2019 11:56 AM

The simple answer to who is perpetrating the tanker attacks:

Either it's Iran or one of their proxies at Iran's request, or it's the USA or one of their proxies at the USA's request.

Snowboarder Bo 06-13-2019 02:39 PM

Gettin' ready now!
 
Quote:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. believes that Iran is responsible for attacks that damaged two oil tankers near the Persian Gulf.

Pompeo said at a news conference Thursday in Washington that the attacks on the ships are part of a “campaign” of “escalating tension” by Iran and a threat to international peace and security.

He said the United States will defend its forces and interests in the region but gave no specifics about any plans and he took no questions.
https://apnews.com/80621909604c4d9890326107caf300c2

iiandyiiii 06-13-2019 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inbred Mm domesticus (Post 21696164)
The simple answer to who is perpetrating the tanker attacks:

Either it's Iran or one of their proxies at Iran's request, or it's the USA or one of their proxies at the USA's request.

Also could be a Saudi proxy. Maybe there are other possibilities as well. Much too early to be making any judgments based on information available.

KarlGauss 06-13-2019 06:03 PM

This would be a perfect time for Iran to have planted the explosive but let Trump and his Republican guard weather the storm of accusations that it was actually a US action.

I wouldn't blame them. On the other hand if Trump responds militarily he'll have his cause for 2020. All he needs to do is convince a few more percent. The 40-something of his base are already locked.

Snowboarder Bo 06-14-2019 10:07 AM

POTUS, Sec of State and Acting Sec of Defense all publicly blame Iran.
Quote:

In an interview with "Fox & Friends" Friday, President Trump said of Iran's alleged involvement: "We don't take it lightly".

“Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat,” he said, before pointing to video that showed an Iranian vessel removing an unexploded mine attached to a Japanese-owned oil tanker, the Kokuka Courageous.

Trump said the limpet mine had “Iran written all over it.”

"They're a nation of terror and they've changed a lot since I've been president, I can tell you."
Quote:

In a series of tweets, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan praised Navy efforts to rescue those on the Panamanian vessel and called Iran's "unprovoked attacks" a threat to international security and peace.

"Iran’s continued unprovoked attacks in the region are a threat to international security and peace and an assault against freedom of navigation on the open seas," Shanahan posted.
It's a mystery why Iran would feel it counterproductive to talk with the US; a complete mystery. :rolleyes:

asahi 06-14-2019 10:15 AM

I don't think Trump wants a war with Iran, but Bolton and Pompeo are probably telling him "We look like pussies if we don't do anything." I think the US will pull out all the stops in a war with Iran. Bolton will try to obliterate the place. It'll be a message to the rest of the world. The question is, how would Iran respond to that. What do they have in place to defend themselves?

Snowboarder Bo 06-14-2019 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asahi (Post 21697706)
I don't think Trump wants a war with Iran, but Bolton and Pompeo are probably telling him "We look like pussies if we don't do anything." I think the US will pull out all the stops in a war with Iran. Bolton will try to obliterate the place. It'll be a message to the rest of the world. The question is, how would Iran respond to that. What do they have in place to defend themselves?

HoS wants the US to "help" them take care of their Iran "problem". That's it. That's the kernel of truth at the heart of this mess that we're about to get in.

We'll prolly win the coming war with ease, but I predict that long term, we will lose the peace.

asahi 06-14-2019 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21697714)
HoS wants the US to "help" them take care of their Iran "problem". That's it. That's the kernel of truth at the heart of this mess that we're about to get in.

We'll prolly win the coming war with ease, but I predict that long term, we will lose the peace.

Yeppirs to the above.

NDP 06-14-2019 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21697714)
HoS wants the US to "help" them take care of their Iran "problem". That's it. That's the kernel of truth at the heart of this mess that we're about to get in.

We'll prolly win the coming war with ease, but I predict that long term, we will lose the peace.

Unless Trump does something truly deranged like resort to using nuclear weapons, I doubt we'd even win the first stage of the war (i.e., topping the government) with ease. Waging war in Iran would be at least five times as difficult as Iraq and we'd likely go at it without any of our European allies assisting.

asahi 06-14-2019 09:58 PM

Considering who's in the White House, I think that if war breaks out, Iran will get obliterated. There will probably be international condemnation from traditional allies, but the Trump administration won't care - one of the benefits of breaking off relationships and acting unilaterally and according to America's own rules. Conservatives have complained for decades that America doesn't "fight to win" or fight "real wars" anymore, which is what Bolton and Pompeo will give them.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Trump could use this domestically in two ways: one is that if he is viewed as successful, Iran could be part of his re-election strategy; and two, he could use it as a pretext to declare another emergency and make a real power grab. Yes, people will protest, and he will probably put them in jail for doing so.

KarlGauss 06-14-2019 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asahi (Post 21698621)
. . . he could use it as a pretext to declare another emergency and make a real power grab. Yes, people will protest, and he will probably put them in jail for doing so.

Like so much else he might do, his success would depend on the actions of Republican senators and the opinions of John Roberts.

asahi 06-14-2019 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KarlGauss (Post 21698642)
Like so much else he might do, his success would depend on the actions of Republican senators and the opinions of John Roberts.

His success depends on how much people are willing to tolerate, and how much risk they're willing to take on to push back against his authoritarianism.

Yes, much of what I'm saying here seems like alarmism, until you realize that this administration is filing court briefs and legal opinions that declare the executive branch superior to congress, and why would it not then declare itself superior to the judiciary if it rendered an opposing opinion. What can a judiciary (viewed through the prism of 5-4 partisanship I might add) do to stop a president that congress cannot? Do you really think the president and the GOP are going to ignore the congress but comply with a split SCOTUS decision? They'll just ever-so slightly modify what they're doing and then compel more legal challenges, just as they did with the Muslim Ban, just as conservatives are doing with their extreme abortion ban laws. Their plan is to wear down the judiciary. They're done with democracy.

KarlGauss 06-14-2019 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asahi (Post 21698664)
His success depends on how much people are willing to tolerate, and how much risk they're willing to take on to push back against his authoritarianism.

Yes, much of what I'm saying here seems like alarmism, until you realize that this administration is filing court briefs and legal opinions that declare the executive branch superior to congress, and why would it not then declare itself superior to the judiciary if it rendered an opposing opinion. What can a judiciary (viewed through the prism of 5-4 partisanship I might add) do to stop a president that congress cannot? Do you really think the president and the GOP are going to ignore the congress but comply with a split SCOTUS decision? They'll just ever-so slightly modify what they're doing and then compel more legal challenges, just as they did with the Muslim Ban, just as conservatives are doing with their extreme abortion ban laws. Their plan is to wear down the judiciary. They're done with democracy.

No, I get it. Indeed, I worry that so much can be destroyed by so few.

Snowboarder Bo 06-16-2019 11:26 AM

MBS finally weighs in publicly:
Quote:

In his first public comments regarding the attacks, the powerful Saudi prince, who is also defense minister and oversees all major levers of power in the country, said the incident “confirms the importance of our demands of the international community to take a decisive stance” against Iran’s behavior.

“The kingdom does not seek war in the region,” the prince said, speaking with the Arabic-language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. “But we will not hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, sovereignty and vital interests.”

The prince claimed Iran had planned the attack’s timing to undercut the Japanese prime minister’s diplomatic efforts, during his visit to Tehran last week, to reduce regional tensions.

He did not offer any evidence to back up the allegation.

“The problem is in Tehran and not anywhere else,” he added. “Iran is always the party that’s escalating in the region, carrying out terrorist attacks and criminal attacks either directly or through its militias.”

Budget Player Cadet 06-16-2019 12:14 PM

Anyone who buys that second line, about "not seeking war", I have a very attractive bridge to sell you.

Snowboarder Bo 06-17-2019 10:36 AM

Iran says it will break uranium stockpile limit in 10 days.
Quote:

Iran will break the uranium stockpile limit set by Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in the next 10 days, the spokesman for the country’s atomic agency said Monday while also warning that Iran could enrich uranium up to 20% — just a step away from weapons-grade levels.

The announcement by Behrouz Kamalvandi, timed for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, puts more pressure on Europe to come up with new terms for Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal.
Quote:

Kamalvandi accused Europeans of “killing time” as the clock runs down.

“If this condition continues, there will be no deal” anymore, Kamalvandi said.
If there's no deal, then there's nothing stopping Iran from enriching uranium and making a bomb, right?

Snowboarder Bo 06-17-2019 12:41 PM

Russia engages in superior gamesmanship:
Quote:

Russia’s U.N. ambassador is implicitly accusing the United States of destabilizing the tense Middle East by escalating “aggressive, accusatory rhetoric and artificially fueling anti-Iranian sentiment.”

Vassily Nebenzia condemned attacks against tankers at a U.N. Security Council meeting Monday on Yemen, calling for an international investigation to identify the organizers and hold them accountable.
Quote:

Without naming the U.S., Nebenzia said, “We underscore that artificially stoking tensions and hasty accusations are hardly conducive to an impartial, international investigation.”

“On the contrary they politicize it and erode trust in such a process,” he said.

The Russian ambassador called on all parties to engage in dialogue and reiterated calls for confidence-building measures and a new “security architecture” for the Persian Gulf and the Middle East.

asahi 06-20-2019 06:42 AM

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/iran-shoot...opstories.html

Tensions only promise to ratchet up from here, which was bound to happen when a) we unilaterally and inexplicably withdrew from the nuclear framework - which was actually working - and b) when Trump brought in John Bolton to advise him on national security. It doesn't help that our Sec of State is managed by someone who is identified more for his service in the military than for his diplomacy.

I think the chances of war with Iran - in some form or another - are well north of 50%, mainly because whether Trump is aware of it or not, he's now put himself (and the country) that is going to be harder to get out of diplomatically. Every time Iran shoots down a drone or lobs a missile at an Exxon oil field in Iraq, it's going to be perceive (probably not incorrectly) that it's an extended middle finger to the U.S.

I don't think Iran is miscalculating the US - they know a war with us is bad for them, but if they view it is as inevitable, then they want to make it bad for us as well. Iran is not going to sit as the US quietly moves its carriers into position; they're going to disrupt a build up long before it happens. They don't have a lot of cards to play, but one they do have is that they can disrupt the Middle East politically and economically, and in so doing, they can potentially disrupt much of the rest of the world.

Mr Smashy 06-20-2019 07:33 AM

I know that this board is extremely liberal, but in case any of you have an open mind on the subject, this piece lays out how bad the so-called Iranian deal was

https://thefederalist.com/2019/06/17...negotiate-now/

Yes, I know, it's from a conservative publication; I'm as surprised as you are that the huge downsides of JCPOA weren't published by MSNBC

iiandyiiii 06-20-2019 07:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Smashy (Post 21707280)
I know that this board is extremely liberal, but in case any of you have an open mind on the subject, this piece lays out how bad the so-called Iranian deal was

https://thefederalist.com/2019/06/17...negotiate-now/

Yes, I know, it's from a conservative publication; I'm as surprised as you are that the huge downsides of JCPOA weren't published by MSNBC

This is a terrible critique, largely relying on political attacks and innuendo (most of his criticism wasn't even about the deal itself!). Getting out of the JCPOA helped Iran, rather than hurting them, because everything they got out of the deal had already happened; getting out of the deal helps no one but those who want Iran to have an easier path to nuclear weapons.

Trump strengthened hardliners in Iran, weakened the moderates in Iran, hurt US relations with our European allies, and weakened the long-term negotiating position of the US, by getting out of the deal. Perhaps the dumbest foreign policy blunder since the Iraq war. It will probably surprise no one that the writer of the dumb critique above, Jonathan Tobin, was an enthusiastic cheerleader of the disastrous Iraq war.

Budget Player Cadet 06-20-2019 07:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Smashy (Post 21707280)
I know that this board is extremely liberal, but in case any of you have an open mind on the subject, this piece lays out how bad the so-called Iranian deal was

https://thefederalist.com/2019/06/17...negotiate-now/

Yes, I know, it's from a conservative publication; I'm as surprised as you are that the huge downsides of JCPOA weren't published by MSNBC

Got a cite that isn't from a website that had a "black crime" tag and defended Roy Moore starting from the assumption that he fucked teens? Or, y'know, just any source that isn't fucking batshit? Last time I clicked on a federalist link I woke up three days later in a dumpster behind a Denny's wearing a tinfoil hat - doctors tell me I had a major aneurysm from how stupid if was, and you can never be too careful when it comes to that kind of thing.

(Trick question - sources like that don't claim that the Iran deal was incredibly bad, and tend to bring up that every time we try to cut a deal with them and fail, our bargaining position gets worse.)

asahi 06-20-2019 08:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Smashy (Post 21707280)
I know that this board is extremely liberal, but in case any of you have an open mind on the subject, this piece lays out how bad the so-called Iranian deal was

https://thefederalist.com/2019/06/17...negotiate-now/

Yes, I know, it's from a conservative publication; I'm as surprised as you are that the huge downsides of JCPOA weren't published by MSNBC

I won't even dispute that Hezbollah was stockpiling weapons or whatever else he claimed in the article - doesn't matter. How much operational control Iran has over Hezbollah is a matter of debate, and in any case, the real objective was to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. One way you stop proliferation is to convince countries that they are safe without them. The framework had inspectors on the ground. It had international support, including the support of Russia, who has no love for US foreign policy and who particularly objected to the foreign policy of Bush and Obama. Withdrawing from the agreement confirmed Iran's (and North Korea's by the way) worst fears, which is that countries need nuclear weapons to defend themselves against the world's most powerful military.

scr4 06-20-2019 09:25 AM

Even if we acknowledge that the nuclear deal was flawed or biased, what did we gain from unilaterally pulling out? If it was too generous towards Iran, just a threat to withdraw would have been a valuable bargaining chip. Which we gave away and got nothing in return.

KarlGauss 06-20-2019 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scr4 (Post 21707444)
Even if we acknowledge that the nuclear deal was flawed or biased, what did we gain from unilaterally pulling out? If it was too generous towards Iran, just a threat to withdraw would have been a valuable bargaining chip. Which we gave away and got nothing in return.

As usual, Trump puts all his chips in - on the ante.

Snowboarder Bo 06-20-2019 09:49 AM

Iran shot down a US drone; US confirms. Although there is some dispute about exactly where it happened.
Quote:

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. drone on Thursday amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over the collapsing nuclear deal with world powers, American and Iranian officials said, though they disputed the circumstances of the incident.

The Guard said it shot down the RQ-4 Global Hawk drone over Iranian airspace, while the U.S. said the downing happened over international airspace in the Strait of Hormuz. The different accounts could not be immediately reconciled.

Later, the U.S. military’s Central Command released a statement calling the downing an “unprovoked attack.”
That phrase in quote marks reminds me that I didn't link this article on Lawfare yet: Does the U.S. Currently Have a Right of Self-Defense Against Iran?

It examines past actions in light of international law while drawing parallels to the situation right now. It focuses largely on state actors working in concert with others (or trying to) due to treaties or defense pacts. I found it helpful as it provided real examples; the things discussed are not vague legal concepts.
Quote:

Would the United States then have the right under international law to use force against Iran in self-defense? The answer is unclear, even under current U.S. interpretations of jus ad bellum rules. The views of the United States and other interested states might, however, deviate along two axes: the debate about whether all uses of force constitute armed attacks and the debate about what requirements must be met before a state acts in collective self-defense of another state.

bobot 06-20-2019 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scr4 (Post 21707444)
Even if we acknowledge that the nuclear deal was flawed or biased, what did we gain from unilaterally pulling out? If it was too generous towards Iran, just a threat to withdraw would have been a valuable bargaining chip. Which we gave away and got nothing in return.

And then we tightened sanctions against Iran to a stranglehold and moved in more military. Seriously, what the fuck does anyone expect to happen after that??

KarlGauss 06-20-2019 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21707496)
Iran shot down a US drone; US confirms.
Quote:

Would the United States then have the right under international law to use force against Iran in self-defense? The answer is unclear, even under current U.S. interpretations of jus ad bellum rules. The views of the United States and other interested states might, however, deviate along two axes: the debate about whether all uses of force constitute armed attacks and the debate about what requirements must be met before a state acts in collective self-defense of another state.

In other words, no rules of law. Maybe it's okay to kill'em all, and let god sort it out.

All the more reason why nations should more often invoke moral law, not international.

asahi 06-20-2019 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobot (Post 21707528)
And then we tightened sanctions against Iran to a stranglehold and moved in more military. Seriously, what the fuck does anyone expect to happen after that??

Exactly - as I've said numerous times on various threads, economic sanctions are not necessarily peaceful acts. Economic sanctions have consequences. They can kill people. They can foment political unrest and end regimes. This is what explains Putin's behavior. This is what explains Maduro's behavior. It explains Kim Jung Un's behavior. I'm not writing this to defend these regimes, but simply to point out that sanctions can have the same consequences as a tomahawk cruise missile. It's just less dramatic.

Obama's administration contained Iran, which was the right strategy because they put the threat of Iran's nuclear program on indefinite hold, and the did this without exacting any further costs. Moreover, it made it possible to have negotiations at some point. Critics can look at Obama's legacy as rewarding Iran, but they were only offered a reward, and they were offered a reward when they behaved like a more mature member of the international community.

Trump's decision to pull out removed the incentive to cooperate, though they were willing to work with other parties to the deal such as the EU and Russia. And now, by increasing sanctions and sending warships to the region, Iran not only has no incentives, they justifiably feel threatened. Trump is acting like someone who wants to overthrow the Iranian regime, and his closest aides are people who have already advocated regime change in the past - not to mention a willingness to make up facts to justify doing so.

asahi 06-20-2019 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KarlGauss (Post 21707612)
In other words, no rules of law.

I bolded this text because I think that a war with Iran would present Trump, the authoritarian's authoritarian, with an opportunity to declare a true national emergency. I'm not saying that to be a conspiracy theorist - this is probably isn't an angle that Trump is actively thinking of, but it's one that exists nonetheless. Under the right/wrong circumstances, it would be a way to preserve his misrule.

Snowboarder Bo 06-21-2019 01:31 AM

Trumplomacy:
Quote:

A U.S. official said the military made preparations Thursday night for limited strikes on Iran in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but approval was abruptly withdrawn before the attacks were launched.

The official, who was not authorized to discuss the operation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the targets would have included radars and missile batteries.

The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump had approved the strikes, but then called them off. The newspaper cited anonymous senior administration officials.

The White House on Thursday night declined requests for information about whether Trump changed his mind.

Kolak of Twilo 06-21-2019 02:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21709183)

Frankly, I was shocked Iran didn't get attacked by our military today. Very curious what happened for it to be called off and if this is only a delay.

Bolton and Pompeo have such boners to bomb Tehran it's sick.

Horatius 06-21-2019 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kolak of Twilo (Post 21709198)
Frankly, I was shocked Iran didn't get attacked by our military today. Very curious what happened for it to be called off and if this is only a delay.



Trump Claims He Called Off Iran Strike After Learning How Many People Would Die


Seems like the sort of question you should ask slightly earlier in the process, but then I'm not a President.....

asahi 06-21-2019 09:02 PM

Trump is about to stumble into his first major foreign policy crisis, and unlike some crises, this is one that is almost entirely of his own making. I mean, great that he called off the bombing, but now he looks like a clueless pussy in the eyes of his "Bomb the shit out of anything that moves", Fox-and-Friends binge watchers. And Bolton and Pompeo are going to tell him that he looks weak for backing out, and they'll remind him of it every time Iran does something provocative. I could be wrong, but I think Trump is politically trapped in his own tar pit.


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