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  #151  
Old 06-02-2019, 08:42 AM
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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 :
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.
  #152  
Old 06-05-2019, 11:15 AM
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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.
  #153  
Old 06-06-2019, 12:09 PM
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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.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-06-2019 at 12:10 PM.
  #154  
Old 06-07-2019, 01:22 PM
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BAM!


New sanctions:
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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.”

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-07-2019 at 01:23 PM.
  #155  
Old 06-07-2019, 01:33 PM
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Iran replies:
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“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.”
  #156  
Old 06-07-2019, 01:44 PM
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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.

Last edited by asahi; 06-07-2019 at 01:45 PM.
  #157  
Old 06-07-2019, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
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.
  #158  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:08 PM
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Iran posturing:
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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.”
  #159  
Old 06-13-2019, 07:48 AM
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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.
  #160  
Old 06-13-2019, 08:00 AM
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"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
  #161  
Old 06-13-2019, 08:13 AM
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  #162  
Old 06-13-2019, 08:47 AM
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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.
  #163  
Old 06-13-2019, 09:19 AM
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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.
  #164  
Old 06-13-2019, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
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?
  #165  
Old 06-13-2019, 09:36 AM
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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.
  #166  
Old 06-13-2019, 09:38 AM
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That wouldn't work if they were baiting Turkey, because they're always prepared.
  #167  
Old 06-13-2019, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
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?
  #168  
Old 06-13-2019, 10:56 AM
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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.
  #169  
Old 06-13-2019, 01:39 PM
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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
  #170  
Old 06-13-2019, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inbred Mm domesticus View Post
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.
  #171  
Old 06-13-2019, 05:03 PM
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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.
  #172  
Old 06-14-2019, 09:07 AM
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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.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-14-2019 at 09:08 AM. Reason: fixed coding
  #173  
Old 06-14-2019, 09:15 AM
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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?
  #174  
Old 06-14-2019, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
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.
  #175  
Old 06-14-2019, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
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.
  #176  
Old 06-14-2019, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
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.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:58 PM
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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.
  #178  
Old 06-14-2019, 09:14 PM
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. . . 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.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 06-14-2019 at 09:15 PM.
  #179  
Old 06-14-2019, 09:34 PM
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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.
  #180  
Old 06-14-2019, 09:52 PM
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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.
  #181  
Old 06-16-2019, 10:26 AM
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MBS finally weighs in publicly:
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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.”
  #182  
Old 06-16-2019, 11:14 AM
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Anyone who buys that second line, about "not seeking war", I have a very attractive bridge to sell you.
  #183  
Old 06-17-2019, 09:36 AM
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Iran says it will break uranium stockpile limit in 10 days.
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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?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-17-2019 at 09:38 AM.
  #184  
Old 06-17-2019, 11:41 AM
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Russia engages in superior gamesmanship:
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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.
  #185  
Old 06-20-2019, 05:42 AM
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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.
  #186  
Old 06-20-2019, 06:33 AM
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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
  #187  
Old 06-20-2019, 06:41 AM
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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.
  #188  
Old 06-20-2019, 06:44 AM
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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.)

Last edited by Budget Player Cadet; 06-20-2019 at 06:46 AM.
  #189  
Old 06-20-2019, 07:36 AM
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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.
  #190  
Old 06-20-2019, 08:25 AM
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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.
  #191  
Old 06-20-2019, 08:49 AM
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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.
  #192  
Old 06-20-2019, 08:49 AM
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Iran shot down a US drone; US confirms. Although there is some dispute about exactly where it happened.
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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.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-20-2019 at 08:53 AM. Reason: fixed coding
  #193  
Old 06-20-2019, 09:00 AM
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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??
  #194  
Old 06-20-2019, 09:24 AM
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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.
  #195  
Old 06-20-2019, 09:33 AM
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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.
  #196  
Old 06-20-2019, 09:36 AM
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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.
  #197  
Old 06-21-2019, 12:31 AM
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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.
  #198  
Old 06-21-2019, 01:01 AM
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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.

Last edited by Kolak of Twilo; 06-21-2019 at 01:04 AM. Reason: the worst part about posting while enjoying an adult beverage is how often you end up editing posts.
  #199  
Old 06-21-2019, 07:10 PM
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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.....
  #200  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:02 PM
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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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