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Old 01-02-2020, 09:01 PM
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Iranian General killed by missile: in Iraq?


https://www.militarytimes.com/news/y...people-killed/

I know Iran and Iraq are technically at war though tensions are high. But what would an Iranian General be doing traveling to Iraq? Surely not peace negotiations. To check on pro-Iran militias? Wouldn’t the Iraqi government stop that?


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Old 01-02-2020, 09:17 PM
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That Iranian general has made regular trips to Iraq for "consultations" with friendly militias and with the Iraqi Government for years. That has been reported in the mainstream press multiple times.

As to who killed him, well the only two countries that want him dead are the US and Israel. The US has a lot more to lose by doing this. So that narrows down the possibilities....
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:20 PM
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But what would an Iranian General be doing traveling to Iraq? Surely not peace negotiations. To check on pro-Iran militias? Wouldn’t the Iraqi government stop that?
Iran and Iraq are allies and Iranian troops were involved in combat operations alongside Iraqi ground forces in the recent push against ISIL. General Soleimani was in fact one of, probably the most senior commander of those forces. He actually had a pretty significant military career.

ETA: Although it is akin to being between a very large rock an somewhat smaller hard place, one could make a reasonable argument that Iran is a closer ally and greater influence on Iraq than the United States. It's a complicated relationship for sure.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 01-02-2020 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:29 PM
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Iran and Iraq are not at war. After the US invasion, politicians aligned with Iran have wielded significant power. The Iraqi government has depended in part of Iranian-backed militias who were brutally effective in pushing back ISIS in the last few years. Itís not surprising at all that Iranian advisers would be found on Iraqi soil, including someone as influential as the IRGC-QF commander. (Note that he was rumored to have been killed in Syria a few years ago while advising pro-Assad militias, but that turned out to be wrong.)
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:35 PM
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As to who killed him, well the only two countries that want him dead are the US and Israel. The US has a lot more to lose by doing this. So that narrows down the possibilities....
Thereís more than just "countries" killing people in Iraq, though, which kind of broadens the range of possibilities...
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:00 PM
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Iran and Iraq are allies and Iranian troops were involved in combat operations alongside Iraqi ground forces in the recent push against ISIL. General Soleimani was in fact one of, probably the most senior commander of those forces. He actually had a pretty significant military career.

ETA: Although it is akin to being between a very large rock an somewhat smaller hard place, one could make a reasonable argument that Iran is a closer ally and greater influence on Iraq than the United States. It's a complicated relationship for sure.
His military career consists mostly of leading an organization that has been deemed a terrorist organization since 2007

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Thereís more than just "countries" killing people in Iraq, though, which kind of broadens the range of possibilities...
True. But the pentagon just stated the strike was from the US.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:14 PM
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As to who killed him, well the only two countries that want him dead are the US and Israel. The US has a lot more to lose by doing this. So that narrows down the possibilities....
From the OPís military timeís link

Quote:
ďAt the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,Ē the Department of Defense said in an emailed statement.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:18 PM
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Well I will be darned.
The Pentagon just announced that the US killed the general on Trump's direct orders.
I guess he got tired of looking like a wimp.
And now we will see what happens. I can't imagine Iraq allowing the US to stay in-country, but I am rarely correct about such things. Iran is certainly going to do it's best to retaliate. Hope the US forces in the area keep their heads down and defenses up.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:33 PM
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Yes, I'm sure all the U.S. personnel stationed abroad are breathing a sigh of relief now, they're totally safer now than they were yesterday.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:40 PM
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The Iraq/Iran relationship is not as simple as 'Allies'. There are large factions in Iraq that absolutely want the Iranian influence ended and Iran militias booted out of the country. Other factions are closely tied to Iran and welcome them.

How this plays put probably depends on Iraqi internal politics.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:42 PM
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Well, this is quite worrisome. I've been fearing something like this.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:57 PM
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Well I will be darned.
The Pentagon just announced that the US killed the general on Trump's direct orders.
I guess he got tired of looking like a wimp.
And now we will see what happens. I can't imagine Iraq allowing the US to stay in-country, but I am rarely correct about such things. Iran is certainly going to do it's best to retaliate. Hope the US forces in the area keep their heads down and defenses up.
No, I think he's counting on the American reluctance to change presidents during the course of a war if the president is running for re-election. Since he's insisted on winding down the other wars, he needs a new one.

I think he also believes that he can weedle a third term, because he's just that arrogant and also because he has never, ever, encountered a law he couldn't break with near impunity. He really believes that his base will force the rest of the country to accept that flagrant a breach of the Constitution.

ETA: I think we can also expect a major escalation in terrorist attacks on US assets here and abroad, and I don't think we'll have long to wait for it, either.

Last edited by Morgyn; 01-02-2020 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:04 PM
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US assassinates commanding general of Iran Quds force


US assassinates Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force at Baghdad airport yesterday. US has confirmed it.

So, let's get this out of the way up front, the guy was an evil dirtbag and it's hard to overstate how bad he was.

That being said... this was an incredibly stupid and dangerous thing to do. Assassinating someone at this high level has been unprecedented for the US since Ford's assassination ban, but political norms aside, it's an enormous provocation that the Iranian regime will have to respond to if they want to continue being the Iranian regime. This action was completely disproportionate to the threat at hand, the potential repercussions varied and enormous.

There are a lot of cynical political implications I could draw, but I don't want to poison the well outside the Pit. We're now in uncharted waters that I expect will end badly for all parties concerned; the only question is how it will play out. There are reports of large movements at Ft. Bragg and Hunter Army Airfield, which are not locations that are known hosting a large and energetic corps of idealistic career diplomats.

In the words of Samuel L. Jackson, hold on to your butts.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:09 PM
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Yikes...
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:09 PM
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US assassinates commanding general of Iran Quds force


Yeah, there will be a heavyweight response from the Iranians no doubt. DJT likely thinks stirring things up with Iran will distract from impeachment and make him look tough heading into 2020. And frankly, it may be exactly what his base needs to get really fired up.

Last edited by Kolak of Twilo; 01-02-2020 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:17 PM
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Yeah, there will be a heavyweight response from the Iranians no doubt. DJT likely thinks stirring things up with Iran will distract from impeachment and make him look tough heading into 2020. And frankly, it may be exactly what his base needs to get really fired up.
If he's compromised by Russia and Turkey, it won't last. Everyone will be brought to ground very quickly, through some unseen mysterious talks that make it all disappear like it never happened.

I don't think that this will be Trump's winning card for 2020. He should have thought about it longer.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:26 PM
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Since this is breaking news with political ramifications, let's move it to Great Debates.

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Old 01-02-2020, 11:27 PM
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No, I think he's counting on the American reluctance to change presidents during the course of a war if the president is running for re-election. Since he's insisted on winding down the other wars, he needs a new one.

I think he also believes that he can weedle a third term, because he's just that arrogant and also because he has never, ever, encountered a law he couldn't break with near impunity. He really believes that his base will force the rest of the country to accept that flagrant a breach of the Constitution.

ETA: I think we can also expect a major escalation in terrorist attacks on US assets here and abroad, and I don't think we'll have long to wait for it, either.
What happened in the news yesterday that would have prompted the POTUS to order this attack? Or are you gonna stick with an argument based on paranoia?
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:30 PM
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Two notes. In the OP I said Iran and Iraq are at war. This was a typo.

IIRC Iraq is now run by a Shiite government? Saddam was a Sunni ruling over a Shiite majority; both Iran and now Iraq are Shiite, so this collaboration makes sense. Not that the USA is happy about it.....


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Old 01-02-2020, 11:30 PM
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[Trump]You can't impeach a President when we're at war!

Now, let me think. Who can I start a war against?[/Trump]
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:31 PM
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If he's compromised by Russia and Turkey, it won't last.
Well, everyone has assured us that he is, for the past...what is it now, three years? So I guess they're all correct, and we didn't just start War on Terror Round 3. Thank God.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:33 PM
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His military career consists mostly of leading an organization that has been deemed a terrorist organization since 2007
Quite effectively if what is published about him is even half-accurate. It is unfortunately a bit difficult these days untangling real info from potential hagiography of an arguably powerful political figure. But dismissing for the nonce stories of his heroic wounds gained an the front lines and the like, both reports and circumstantial evidence points to him having been a pretty effective field commander and tactical organizer/planner. He seems to have been Iran's conventional warfare international troubleshooter - he's given a lot of credit for multiple successful Syrian and Iraqi campaigns against assorted insurgents groups.

None of which made him a prince of a person. My namesake was an excellent general, while not being within spitting distance of being an excellent human being. Ability and morality have no real linkage and I was just commenting on the former.

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Old 01-02-2020, 11:38 PM
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Two notes. In the OP I said Iran and Iraq are at war. This was a typo.

IIRC Iraq is now run by a Shiite government? Saddam was a Sunni ruling over a Shiite majority; both Iran and now Iraq are Shiite, so this collaboration makes sense. Not that the USA is happy about it.....
Iraq is partially Shiite and is at the heart of a Muslim Civil War between its Shiite members led by Iran and its Sunni members led by Saudi Arabia. It makes strategic sense in the ME to deny Iran its desire to lead the Islamic World.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:40 PM
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The Iraq/Iran relationship is not as simple as 'Allies'. There are large factions in Iraq that absolutely want the Iranian influence ended and Iran militias booted out of the country. Other factions are closely tied to Iran and welcome them.

How this plays put probably depends on Iraqi internal politics.
Quite true. But one can absolutely say the same thing about the Iraq/United States relationship . Iraq is a political minefield.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 01-02-2020 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:50 PM
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If Pakistan gets directly involved, that's how you know everything's about to go to hell.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:55 PM
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Quite true. But one can absolutely say the same thing about the Iraq/United States relationship . Iraq is a political minefield.
No, you cant. Iran has a much deeper, more violent and more Imperial relationship with Iraq. Iran sees Iraq as a pawn in a larger struggle and has no intention of leaving. There is little similar about the Iraq/USA relationship and the Iraq/Iran relationship.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:57 PM
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If Pakistan gets directly involved, that's how you know everything's about to go to hell.
They wont. They cant. They have their hands full with India and Kashmir.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:04 AM
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For those interested in the Sunni/Shia conflict, Frontline released an amazing doc exploring the history and intensity of this conflict.

https://www.pbs.org/video/bitter-riv...arabia-pqsnhk/

https://www.pbs.org/video/bitter-riv...rt-two-ka4dlm/

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Old 01-03-2020, 12:04 AM
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Iraq is partially Shiite and is at the heart of a Muslim Civil War between its Shiite members led by Iran and its Sunni members led by Saudi Arabia. It makes strategic sense in the ME to deny Iran its desire to lead the Islamic World.

Thanks I finally looked it up, Shiites outnumber Sunni 2:1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq




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Old 01-03-2020, 12:06 AM
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There is little similar about the Iraq/USA relationship and the Iraq/Iran relationship.
The Iraq/Iran relationship is not as simple as 'Allies'. There are large factions in Iraq that absolutely want the Iranian influence ended and Iran militias booted out of the country. Other factions are closely tied to Iran and welcome them.

That is exactly the same re: Iraq and the United States. Exactly.

That is not saying that American intentions towards and views of Iraq are identical to Iran's. They are not - the U.S. not being a neighbor with a very long and complicated relationship with Iraq guarantees that. But I didn't argue that they were. I just agreed with Sam( in so many words )that Iraq has both pro-American and pro-Iranian factions, which it does.

And the pro-Iranian faction in Iraq is probably the numerically and politically more powerful of the two. Probably, though you won't catch me betting any money on that. But even if that is true it is more than balanced out by the fact that the United States is vastly more powerful than Iran. So Iraq as I've noted is in a very, very touchy space. They've got a lot to lose and no really good options.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 01-03-2020 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:08 AM
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If Pakistan gets directly involved, that's how you know everything's about to go to hell.
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They wont. They cant. They have their hands full with India and Kashmir.
Why the ever loving fuck would we get involved?
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:15 AM
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Yikes...
Yep, it certainly is the kind of act that almost requires a response. The mind kind of boggles at what the response would be, though. They can't really hit an equivalent commander, not practically. They can perform a bunch of other inflammatory operations that could be seen as a response, though.

Here's to hoping that they pick something that doesn't escalate the situation further. I don't have high hopes for restraint on our side.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:18 AM
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True. But the pentagon just stated the strike was from the US.
Current OSINT buzz is that the the Hizboallah leader was the target and the US did not know that Sulamani was travelling with him. Hence the rather muted and delayed announcement.

Last edited by AK84; 01-03-2020 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:29 AM
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Well, everyone has assured us that he is, for the past...what is it now, three years? So I guess they're all correct, and we didn't just start War on Terror Round 3. Thank God.
I believe that I'm the only person on the board who believes that the President has been compromised. The others believe that he tried to cheat the election and is just sufficiently stupid to give the game away when it comes to national security.

The alternative to him being compromised is that we're on the entry point into a potentially nuclear war at a time when we've demolished the top five layers of the Department of Homeland Security, lost the National Security Counsel, are four temporary appointees into the head of the Department of State anti-proliferation bureau, and the Pentagon has been releasing a bunch of letters in the last few weeks saying that all the people at the top leaving is just a cyclical event so please ignore the man behind the curtain over there.

Which is to say, the person running the nuclear war is the guy stupid enough to commit a crime on a phone while twelve people - one of whom everyone knew was a Liberal leak - listened, used a sharpie to try and falsify a weather map, and is genuinely the person on the other side of the phone in this unedited, uncommentated clip.

Personally, I'd say that I'm more stress-free on my side of the issue so you might want to consider getting out the prayer mat and hoping that the nutter conspiracy theorist is the one in the right.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 01-03-2020 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:40 AM
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Well damnit, it is edited and commentated. It started correct.

But I'll leave the link standing as-is rather than finding a correct version.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:45 AM
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I think he also believes that he can weedle a third term, because he's just that arrogant and also because he has never, ever, encountered a law he couldn't break with near impunity. He really believes that his base will force the rest of the country to accept that flagrant a breach of the Constitution.
Some people thought the same thing about at least the last two Presidents. If you noticed, it didn't happen.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:08 AM
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Current OSINT buzz is that the the Hizboallah leader was the target and the US did not know that Sulamani was travelling with him. Hence the rather muted and delayed announcement.
Interesting if true. I was a bit surprised by this news. If Trump has any redeeming quality, it is a reluctance to start wars. Of course there are other people in the Trump administration who are a lot smarter than he is and who do want war.

Even if Suleimani's death wasn't intended, I can't see the Iranians believing it. Retaliation and escalation seek likely with highly unpredictable outcomes both in Iraq/Iran and for the general election.

Despite the massive shock of Trump's election, the 2010s were a rather placid decade for the US with neither a recession nor a significant war. Already the new decade is looking a lot more volatile.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:08 AM
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Trying to understand middle eastern politics in terms of western politics is doomed. It just doesn't work that way, and trying to apply ideas of how the US relates to any of this in terms internal conflicts similarly doomed.

One of the big problems is that those things we call countries in the Middle East are recent inventions imposed from the outside, in a large part by the English after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after WW1. Drawing nice straight lines on maps to carve up control of areas taking no notice of pre-exiting communities, ethic groups, or what were effectively individual countries that had existed for thousands of years. Of course this didn't end well.

Persia, now Iran, was a dominant empire that spread across much of the land, and at one point included the good bits of what is now Saudi Arabia. This however was before Islam existed. Things go back that far. Islam was imposed on the Persians by the Arabians, during which time the Arabians tried to snuff out the Persian language and other culture. Memories are long, and the current enmity between Iran and much of the rest of the Middles East goes back to times when Europe was a forest and the Americas may well have been on another planet.

Iraq is only 100 years old and is make up of three separate components of the Ottoman Empire. Welding these three together was never going to end well.
It isn't just problems with Iraq. The current mess in Libya is just the same story playing out. Libya is less than 70 years old, and exists mostly as accidents of history as the spoils of war after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, welding together 2 separate countries and ethnicities. It isn't hard to guess what the two sides of the current Libyan conflict are. India versus Pakistan is of course the poster child for this problem.

Minimally, any way of trying to understand what is playing out must recognise that the borders we in the West draw on maps have only some influence over what is playing out on the ground. Often they are one of the key causes of the conflict. Every time a new border is imposed on the land and a new ruler placed over it (usually propped up by the West), there is simply yet another player in the power games, not fewer. There are historical interests that go back millennia, and the upstart interests created by the West. What we get shown in the West are the conflicts drawn in terms of those upstart interests, and recent definitions of countries. This is naive at best. Where the West gets it badly wrong is in thinking that these new country definitions are the only divisions that matter. Or using local conflicts as a proxy for other interests. Iran versus the the rest is as much about Persian versus Arab, and has existed for about 3 times as long as the USA has. Sunni versus Shiite is part of this conflict, but not the whole story either.

The Ottoman Empire may be gone, but its heart - Turkey - still wields influence, and it still holds onto parts of the historical empire, albeit bits that were carved by by another Brit with a pencil and a ruler. They play to their own interests, and this gets us the same set of unresolvable conflicts. Kurdistan, Macedonia, etc.

This isn't a one side versus the other problem, which how the West mostly seems to play it. There are multiple competing interests and unreconcilable problems.

Last edited by Francis Vaughan; 01-03-2020 at 01:13 AM.
  #39  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:17 AM
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Yep, it certainly is the kind of act that almost requires a response. The mind kind of boggles at what the response would be, though. They can't really hit an equivalent commander, not practically. They can perform a bunch of other inflammatory operations that could be seen as a response, though.

Here's to hoping that they pick something that doesn't escalate the situation further. I don't have high hopes for restraint on our side.
There will undoubtedly be reprisals. They are likely to be severe, unexpected and will result in a maximum number of deaths.

Suleimani was a violent terrorist and skilled tactician. He is the leader who came up with the idea of small, heavily armed speed boats attacking larger frigates and quickly disabling them. It is likely the responses that come now will be similar - unexpected, unconventional and resulting in high numbers of casualties. Most likely these will be focused on targets in the Middle East but American targets in Europe are likely to be hit as well. There is a definite possibility of sleeper cells already being in place in the U.S. that could be called into play.

If anyone deserved death, this guy would definitely be on the list. However, it will probably prove to not have been the smart move at this point in time.

Last edited by Kolak of Twilo; 01-03-2020 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:22 AM
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The less a white dude knows about the region the more confident they are in their “analysis” and the posts.
Never fails.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:54 AM
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I don't understand how the physics work here. How can a little bitty Tail wag an entire Dog?
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:05 AM
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I don't understand how the physics work here. How can a little bitty Tail wag an entire Dog?
This is an example of American Exceptionalism. This poster cant possibly believe that a series of events might occur on this planet which doesnt revolve around the USA. Trump, believe it or not, might have actually done the right thing here. Lets make Iran think that their deranged foreign policy choices just might be met be an equally deranged response. This might get everyone back to the negotiating table.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:07 AM
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His military career consists mostly of leading an organization that has been deemed a terrorist organization since 2007
That severely understates his importance.

According to experts commenting on TV tonight, he's second in importance in Iran only to the Supreme Leader. In US terms, you took MacArthur at the height of his fame, and combined him with J. Edgar Hoover at the height of his fame, you would be getting warmer. He's the most important general, the most important intelligence head, and wildly popular with the people.
  #44  
Old 01-03-2020, 02:16 AM
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I'm seeing a lot of people on twitter and other places legitimately being afraid that this now means Iran is going to nuke Washington D.C. within the next few months, which seems like maybe we should be more tough on Iran if they're willing to just nuke cities all willy-nilly.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
This is an example of American Exceptionalism. This poster cant possibly believe that a series of events might occur on this planet which doesnt revolve around the USA. Trump, believe it or not, might have actually done the right thing here. Lets make Iran think that their deranged foreign policy choices just might be met be an equally deranged response. This might get everyone back to the negotiating table.

Except that the US is the country that walked away from the negotiating table. I don't think killing Suleiman is going to pull us back.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:33 AM
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That severely understates his importance.

According to experts commenting on TV tonight, he's second in importance in Iran only to the Supreme Leader. In US terms, you took MacArthur at the height of his fame, and combined him with J. Edgar Hoover at the height of his fame, you would be getting warmer. He's the most important general, the most important intelligence head, and wildly popular with the people.
Or this operation on a Japanese admiral in WWII

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Vengeance
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:40 AM
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Except that the US is the country that walked away from the negotiating table. I don't think killing Suleiman is going to pull us back.
Killing Suleiman, accident or not, is an adequate retaliation for their attack on our Embassy. Let them think twice about unprovoked acts of aggression against us or our Allies. The Iranian government is not a popular one and some USA carrot and stick might pay off.
  #48  
Old 01-03-2020, 02:53 AM
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This brings us to the precipice of a full blown shooting war with Iran ó not a shadow war or a proxy war... It is almost impossible to overstate the implications of this event.
Helima Croft
HEAD OF GLOBAL COMMODITY STRATEGY, RBC MARKETS
I can't call this situation myself, but signals are ominous.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:58 AM
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Would Iran nuking the United States in return for this be a justified response as I'm seeing twitter claim? And how Europe wouldn't shed a tear?
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:05 AM
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Would Iran nuking the United States in return for this be a justified response as I'm seeing twitter claim? And how Europe wouldn't shed a tear?
Im guessing then that Israel should be allowed to nuke the entire continent of Europe for their two millenniaish war against the Jews.
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