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  #51  
Old 07-22-2019, 11:00 AM
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Yeah, probably at the fact that you think you're "winning" by snipping.
On the other hand, we see others trying to do "winning" by inserting. For example, you said I wanted to focus the discussion solely on "piracy," and (a) I haven't used that term and (b) I completely disagree that the term even belongs in this discussion.

Last edited by Ravenman; 07-22-2019 at 11:03 AM.
  #52  
Old 07-22-2019, 11:51 AM
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Is anyone else reading this exchange and just laughing?
I'm mainly bemused by the series of threads on this subject. I DID find it extremely funny, from an irony perspective, when asahi said "We're going around in circles and I'm not going to leave it to you to frame what I said. I think others in this thread can read it for themselves" to which I'd like to quote him from another thread as saying "Ya know, I'm not obligated to read every one of your posts, so maybe you could just restate what your position is, then". Sorry, but I'm not obliged to re-read or, you know, scroll up, so I'll just take stuff out of context and assume the characterization of another poster MUST be true unless you want to go ahead and restate in a new post exactly what your position is.
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  #53  
Old 07-22-2019, 12:05 PM
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I'm mainly bemused by the series of threads on this subject. I DID find it extremely funny, from an irony perspective, when asahi said "We're going around in circles and I'm not going to leave it to you to frame what I said. I think others in this thread can read it for themselves" to which I'd like to quote him from another thread as saying "Ya know, I'm not obligated to read every one of your posts, so maybe you could just restate what your position is, then". Sorry, but I'm not obliged to re-read or, you know, scroll up, so I'll just take stuff out of context and assume the characterization of another poster MUST be true unless you want to go ahead and restate in a new post exactly what your position is.
Right, because nothing's been taken out of context on this thread by Ravenman. His entire argument is pretty much predicated on taking something out of its context and putting it under the microscope in isolation.
  #54  
Old 07-22-2019, 12:13 PM
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Right, because nothing's been taken out of context on this thread by Ravenman. His entire argument is pretty much predicated on taking something out of its context and putting it under the microscope in isolation.
Just gets funnier and funnier from my perspective. Please, continue.
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  #55  
Old 07-22-2019, 12:32 PM
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Oh, I totally agree that Bolton and Pompeo were likely thinking along these lines.
Which is why, in the grand scheme of things, they are most to blame. They engineered the situation. If Iran is falling into their trap, shame on Iran's leaders, but the trap (and whatever happens after it goes off) belongs to Trump.
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But it is curious that Trump seems to be on a much different page. At this moment, I think Trump wants a big photo op with Khamenei far more than he wants to launch missiles at Iran. I would guess that Trump called off the airstrikes when he realized that he can't have a nice meeting in front of cameras with the world's leading antisemites if he bombs them first.
This is probably the least surprising part of the story. Trump was all in on Bolton's plan, and 6 months later wanders past something sparkly and decides our foreign policy needs to be completely different than what he already approved.
  #56  
Old 07-22-2019, 01:22 PM
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Trump was all in on Bolton's plan, and 6 months later wanders past something sparkly and decides our foreign policy needs to be completely different than what he already approved.
Trump wanted out of the Iran deal because...OBAMA!

Now he wants to see if he can tiptoe back to the negotiating table, hammer out a "deal," and call it the: "BEST EVER US-IRAN #MAGA DEAL!!!! BEST IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY!!!" (or something).

Trump hired Bolton because a) he appeared on Fox News, b) Bolton != Obama fan, and c) Bolton = tough guy who talks about bombing countries. #MAGA!!!

But Bolton and Pompeo are not dicking around. They want to use military power to effectuate regime change, and they're doing this because they're delusional.
  #57  
Old 07-22-2019, 01:34 PM
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Which is why, in the grand scheme of things, they are most to blame. They engineered the situation. If Iran is falling into their trap, shame on Iran's leaders, but the trap (and whatever happens after it goes off) belongs to Trump.
Let's do a thought experiment.

Suppose Iran continues to raid ships and detain crews to the point that shipping through the Strait of Hormuz is no longer considered safe passage. Global trade starts to show glimpses of being adversely impacted. Fearful of risking his economic gains, which are probably the only reason his approval ratings are above 40%, this tactic pushes Trump to the negotiating table and the US and Iran begin to de-escalate.

Is the "escalation" by Iran necessarily wrong?

Consider what happened when the US put missiles in Turkey (during the Cold War)? The Russians responded with nuclear brinkmanship, which was an escalation, but they ended up getting the US to capitulate and removing the missiles from Turkey. See that's my point: I'm not really arguing that escalation is good - in fact from my point of view as an American, it's actually almost always bad. But history shows that sometimes escalation and confrontation can work, which is not very p.c. to point out, but it's the truth.

Last edited by asahi; 07-22-2019 at 01:34 PM.
  #58  
Old 07-22-2019, 02:12 PM
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Is the "escalation" by Iran necessarily wrong?
It's certainly risky, since it goes down the path that many in the administration want, and puts Iran at risk of military intervention. They'd then be relying on Trump to come to the conclusion that capitulating to Iran in the face of increasing hostility is the right move for him.

You can't rely on Trump to feed a goldfish, much less take a specific direction for foreign policy.
  #59  
Old 07-22-2019, 02:33 PM
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It's certainly risky, since it goes down the path that many in the administration want, and puts Iran at risk of military intervention. They'd then be relying on Trump to come to the conclusion that capitulating to Iran in the face of increasing hostility is the right move for him.

You can't rely on Trump to feed a goldfish, much less take a specific direction for foreign policy.
Of course it's risky, but doing nothing is also risky. There's no non-risk scenario here, which is what Ravenman doesn't understand or just conveniently doesn't want to acknowledge.

The conventional view of a conflict like this is that Iran's escalation necessarily increases the outbreak of war, and I certainly won't deny that it's a risky strategy that could "backfire."

But the real question is, what evidence do we have that not escalating will work out in Iran's favor? Indeed, the evidence we have right now is that Iran can follow the rules, and the conflict will be escalated by a country that not only wants to escalate but wants to escalate in ways that put Iran in a weaker position, and in a position that gets weaker day-by-day, week-by-week. The passage of time equals the draining of Iran's strength.

This is why Iran's putting the pressure back on the United States and its allies. Iran is not going to give the US time. Iran is also trying to turn on its head the assumption that the US and allies can put pressure on Iran without having them put pressure on them in return. It looks to me that Iran has actually gamed this situation out pretty well, which doesn't mean that they still won't get attacked, but if they get attacked, it would be very difficult for the US to argue that Iran could have avoided the attack had they just allowed themselves to be weakened to the point of internal political chaos.
  #60  
Old 07-22-2019, 02:45 PM
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But the real question is, what evidence do we have that not escalating will work out in Iran's favor?
Well, we have the evidence of all the other nations that the US doesn't like world wide who aren't on the verge of being bombed. I'm not sure where you are even coming from with all of this to be honest. Do you really think that if Iran continues down this path of escalation that the US won't bomb them?

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Indeed, the evidence we have right now is that Iran can follow the rules, and the conflict will be escalated by a country that not only wants to escalate but wants to escalate in ways that put Iran in a weaker position, and in a position that gets weaker day-by-day, week-by-week.
Well, there is a difference between economic sanctions and actual military conflict. Also, the EU (and China, Russia and several others) had actually not completely stopped trading...and US trade is pretty much negligible at this point. Had Iran made the effort to play up the fact that they were the wronged party and negotiate with the EU, say, directly, then they wouldn't be in ANY sort of weaker position, and it's possible that the EU might have confronted the US over Trump et al trying to broaden the sanctions. Basically, there is nothing in it for the EU to confront the US over this when Iran is obviously reacting so poorly...but that wouldn't have been the case had they not pretty much gone off the deep end with this. Even WITH them doing it there is still reluctance to caving into the US demands among the EU. And this doesn't even get into the fact that China and Russia are basically ignoring the US on this.

So, I think your analysis is flawed and deeply biased to be honest. Iran doesn't have to escalate this to a direct confrontation with the US in the way they are doing it. What they are doing risks direct military confrontation. Hell, we COULD be there already with the shoot down of the drone. It was basically Trump's whim that stopped the US from launching air strikes into Iran.

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It looks to me that Iran has actually gamed this situation out pretty well, which doesn't mean that they still won't get attacked, but if they get attacked, it would be very difficult for the US to argue that Iran could have avoided the attack had they just allowed themselves to be weakened to the point of internal political chaos.
This is the single worst analysis I've ever seen to be honest. Good grief, it's hard to comprehend how anyone could think something this ridiculous to be honest. Iran has played this nearly as badly as the US has, and both countries have brought the region to the brink of war. Even the smallest incident at this point could trigger a shooting war that would wreak havoc in the region and with one of the busiest trade routes on the globe. And they are doing it simple because their own hardliners see this as an opportunity to strengthen their domestic power, without thought to the wider ramifications of what happens if this situation goes over the edge. As it easily could.
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  #61  
Old 07-22-2019, 03:05 PM
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Of course it's risky, but doing nothing is also risky. There's no non-risk scenario here, which is what Ravenman doesn't understand or just conveniently doesn't want to acknowledge.
I've posted several strategies that I would pursue if I were in Iran's shoes, would be more likely to lead to policy success and far less likely to start a war (at least in my estimation).

But go ahead, keep saying that Iran only has two choices: war or capitulation. The rest of the class can surely see that this is not the case.

Last edited by Ravenman; 07-22-2019 at 03:06 PM.
  #62  
Old 07-22-2019, 03:39 PM
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I've posted several strategies that I would pursue if I were in Iran's shoes
But you're not.

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But go ahead, keep saying that Iran only has two choices: war or capitulation. The rest of the class can surely see that this is not the case.
The rest of the class being....?
  #63  
Old 07-22-2019, 04:25 PM
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But you're not.
Are you sure? On the Internet, nobody knows if you’re a mullah.
  #64  
Old 07-22-2019, 04:38 PM
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  #65  
Old 07-22-2019, 04:57 PM
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Careful, you have a quota of those before your eyes get stuck in that position every time you enter this thread.
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