Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #201  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:20 PM
Declan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Barrie , Ontario
Posts: 5,468
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Would you care to take a bet on whether you are right?
Sure, what did you have in mind
__________________
What would Bugs Bunny say
  #202  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:38 PM
Mike Mabes is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Vaughan View Post
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.
Thanks for this consice yet detailed summary of the history. I knew of the arbitrary boundries drawn up after WWI and the difficulties that caused and the Sunni/Shite conflicts, did not know this went all the way back to Persia.

But I think you last line there is the key - multiple competing interests and unreconcilable problems


The Sunnis and Shites are not going to sit down over a cup of coffee and agree to get along. And the US is sure as hell not going to help in any way. Our government, certainly the current one but past ones as well, don't understand the region and the people and the history.

So I propose another thread - what should our policy in the Middle East be? Not specifically in regards to this particular incident, but in general. Now and for the next ten years.

I wonder if you would want to create such a thread, outlining the possibilities in broad strokes as you have a more extensive knowledge of the region.

BTW I love your line about Europe being a forest and that the Americas may as well have been on another planet. Reminds me of a line in Lawrence of Arabia - "We had lighting in the streets when London was a village. "
  #203  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:44 PM
KidCharlemagne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 5,410
Don't want to start a whole thread so I hope you all don't mind a minor digression - can anyone point me to a recent white paper or in-depth article that summarizes the current political/social situation in Iraq in particular and/or the ME in general? Thanks.
  #204  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:47 PM
Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 16,188
Quote:
Originally Posted by I Love Me, Vol. I View Post
They are a serious threat to kill and maim a significant number of U.S. and Allied forces if we foolishly choose to invade for... reasons.
There is absolutely ZERO reason the U.S. would invade Iran. It would be 10x the quagmire of post-2003 Iraq. It would give Elizabeth Warren a 500-electoral vote victory over Trump in November.
  #205  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:54 PM
Mike Mabes is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 507
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWMarch View Post
I hope you can find the source for this because I have heard that too (on this board courtesy of another poster) and I think it adds the perfect element of comedy to this tragedy. Only Trump could fuck it up like this, trying to hit some foot soldiers and accidentally glassing a senior general from next door. And since Trump isn't capable of admitting fault as you noted, he's going to clusterfuck his way into an actual war.
You can't blame it soley on Trump, the hawks in the military I'm sure had a lot to do with this. The last people in the room with him.

But I am now a bit reassured, I just read that in Mar-A-Lago, Trump was spotted with his advisors the day of the attack. One was Jared Kushner, his advisor on the Middle East.

We'll be OK! Nobody knows more about the Middle East than Kushner, other than, of course, Donald Trump.

Jared Kushner couldn't give competant advice about the mid-eastern side of Manhattan.

Last edited by Mike Mabes; 01-03-2020 at 11:55 PM.
  #206  
Old 01-04-2020, 12:30 AM
Smapti is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 16,548
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
There is absolutely ZERO reason the U.S. would invade Iran. It would be 10x the quagmire of post-2003 Iraq. It would give Elizabeth Warren a 500-electoral vote victory over Trump in November.
Except that Loser Donald has surrounded himself with the same cabal of neocon hawks who've been champing at the bit for an excuse to invade Iran for decades, and they know how to manipulate him into doing it.

All they have to do is fill his head with "Wars like this are easy to win" and "Obama never had the courage to invade Iran".

Last edited by Smapti; 01-04-2020 at 12:30 AM.
  #207  
Old 01-04-2020, 12:30 AM
Flyer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,451
Quote:
Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
I have a legit question. Given that Qud is a well-organized, deeply entrenched organization, how would taking out Soleimani be a pre-emptive strike? Qud has already named his successor, and if the planned attacks against US military personnel, etc., were already in place, how would Soleimani's death pre-empt anything? I'm trying to understand the reasoning.
Having plans--even well-thought-out plans--is one thing. Competently executing them is an entirely different kettle of fish.

I strongly suspect that Quds does not have anybody of sufficient caliber to execute those plans as well as Soleimani could have done. If so, then taking him out makes as least tactical sense, because the damage under anybody else would not be as severe as under Soleimani himself.
  #208  
Old 01-04-2020, 12:32 AM
Defensive Indifference is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 7,418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
There is absolutely ZERO reason the U.S. would invade Iran. It would be 10x the quagmire of post-2003 Iraq. It would give Elizabeth Warren a 500-electoral vote victory over Trump in November.
Just because it's stupid doesn't mean Trump won't do it.
  #209  
Old 01-04-2020, 12:34 AM
Happy Lendervedder's Avatar
Happy Lendervedder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 15,394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul in Qatar View Post
No explosions overnight. No smoke from the refinery this morning. So far so good.
Retire now!
  #210  
Old 01-04-2020, 12:44 AM
AK84 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,646
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I am listening to Trump saying the name "Sollamainee" over and over again. Is this the correct pronunciation?
No.
It’s more like “Suul lah mah nee“.
  #211  
Old 01-04-2020, 12:49 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is offline
Champion Chili Chef
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 63,463
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
No.
It’s more like “Suul lah mah nee“.
What I suspect is that he is trying to make it rhyme with "Khomeini".
  #212  
Old 01-04-2020, 01:54 AM
Dale Sams is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
Under most rules of war *I* can think of, bumping someone off while in a state of peace is called "murder". And since when is Iran an adversary ? Or Iraq a fucking active war zone ? Against whom ?
When has that ever stopped the last umpteen Presidents?
  #213  
Old 01-04-2020, 02:14 AM
MarvinKitFox is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 322
How exactly is this not terrorism?

It's just as bad as if the Iran government planted a bomb in Heathrow airport, to kill Mike Pompeo and his entourage during a state visit to the UK.

I boggle at how anyone can justify a military strike on a foreign leader, in a civilian setting, in a country that neither the attacker not the victim belongs to.
It fits *so* *many* of the markers of international terrorism?
  #214  
Old 01-04-2020, 02:21 AM
Kobal2's Avatar
Kobal2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 19,311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Sams View Post
When has that ever stopped the last umpteen Presidents?
Not the point. Somebody talks raw uncut bollocks, I'm going to call him on it, there's nothing more to it than that.
  #215  
Old 01-04-2020, 02:34 AM
smithsb's Avatar
smithsb is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: mid-Pacific
Posts: 3,004
Spit-balling here like the rest.

I see major miscalculations on all sides.

Iran looking to extend its influence in Iraq/Middle East by ousting US personnel thru an escalating campaign against installations throughout the country. Demonstrated by attacks on US/allied bases recently resulting in the death of a US contractor and multiple severe injuries to military personnel. Followed by an orchestrated attack/demonstration at the US Embassy. Anyone thinking this incident wasn't planned is sadly naive. Their thought was probably that Trump is all hair - no cattle [to coin a phrase] [See North Korea negotiations]. And weakened by impeachment rumblings.

Iraq needed/still needs both US troops/personnel and Iranian forces against ISIS and other insurgents. Different factions in the government dealt with the respective allies/clients with little coordination. Very weak central government being pushed/pulled by external nation states and an ongoing terror campaign. Plan for the future? What?

We (US) are really touchy about embassies; Iran hawks in Trump's ear were dropping Benghazi Benghazi warnings and we must do something. Maybe we got the wrong guy? Doesn't matter, no time stone in real life. I just don't see any planning going on based on our actions. Human life doesn't figure into responses from many of the actors in the region. It's going to get bloody and last for another decade at least [yes, yes, wildly optimistic].

Kurds are still screwed.
__________________
M.A.G.A. - Morans Are Governing America
https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/get-a-brain-morans
  #216  
Old 01-04-2020, 02:47 AM
smithsb's Avatar
smithsb is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: mid-Pacific
Posts: 3,004
Quote:
Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
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/
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidCharlemagne View Post
Don't want to start a whole thread so I hope you all don't mind a minor digression - can anyone point me to a recent white paper or in-depth article that summarizes the current political/social situation in Iraq in particular and/or the ME in general? Thanks.
These two Frontline programs from early in the post are a good start.
  #217  
Old 01-04-2020, 03:59 AM
Lantern is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,013
After thinking about it, my sense is that while there will be a series of reprisals and counter-reprisals, full-scale war is unlikely. Why? Simply because of the incentives for both parties.

The Iranian regime is in a tight spot both economically and with domestic protests. They don't need a full-scale war with a superpower though they probably don't mind a cycle of limited attacks which will help them rally domestic opinion.

In the US I think Trump's instincts are, correctly IMO, that a full-scale war will not help him politically. He would prefer to go into the election with a decent economy and a country at peace. Of course he will still try to claim credit for this operation as a great triumph, his version of the OBL operation.

Ultimately for both sides are best served by a limited confrontation well short of full-scale war. Of course things might spiral out of control but my bet is that limited confrontation is what happens.
  #218  
Old 01-04-2020, 04:07 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 29,515
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarvinKitFox View Post
How exactly is this not terrorism?
Well, yeah, I'd say it looks an awful lot like that, except the US nationalists will never believe that they themselves could be terrorists because in their minds they're the good guys no matter what.

This sort of assassination is something that we'd be roundly condemning if done by any other nation.
  #219  
Old 01-04-2020, 04:37 AM
Kobal2's Avatar
Kobal2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 19,311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Well, yeah, I'd say it looks an awful lot like that, except the US nationalists will never believe that they themselves could be terrorists because in their minds they're the good guys no matter what.

This sort of assassination is something that we'd be roundly condemning if done by any other nation.
It's one of those irregular verbs - I'm a patriot, you're a resistant/freedom fighter, he's a terrorist... we're mass murderers.
  #220  
Old 01-04-2020, 06:59 AM
Pardel-Lux's Avatar
Pardel-Lux is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Berlin
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
Your criteria seem a bit absurd- are we to believe that a "win" is only accomplished if we conquer and subjugate the enemy nation such that there's no insurgency or resistance, a-la post WW2 Germany? Would you call WWI a loss because we were fighting the same guys 20 years later?
[...]
It has been argued that WWI and WWII were one single conflict interrupted by a 21 year truce.
__________________
How happy many people could be if they only cared about other people's business as litlle as they care about their own! - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
  #221  
Old 01-04-2020, 07:06 AM
Pardel-Lux's Avatar
Pardel-Lux is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Berlin
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I am listening to Trump saying the name "Sollamainee" over and over again. Is this the correct pronunciation?
I think Neil Diamond came closer.
__________________
How happy many people could be if they only cared about other people's business as litlle as they care about their own! - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
  #222  
Old 01-04-2020, 07:12 AM
Pedro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,591
There is no doubt this is casus belli. Which is of course not in the Iranian regime's best interest.

The only appropriate response by Iran would be to assassinate a US General in Iraq. Followed by the inevitable accusations of terrorism by the US.

This imminent threat justification is just WMDs all over again.

North Korea's notebook on why they need nuclear weapons just keeps getting longer and longer.
  #223  
Old 01-04-2020, 07:27 AM
Pardel-Lux's Avatar
Pardel-Lux is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Berlin
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Sponge View Post
I'm not sure this was a mistake. Trump is perceived by the world as erratic and capable of almost anything. When a guy like that is in control of one of the most powerful military forces you don't want to piss him off.

I suspect Iran will threaten and posture but won't retaliate in any significant way.
I wouldn't be so sure. They must retaliate, because that is the logic of these things. But they will want to avoid an escalation, as a military exchange of blows would be deadly for many in the regime. And if Trump personally gave the order to fire a Hellfire from a Reaper they will want to make the retaliation personal. I would worry if I was Ivanka, Donald Jr. or Eric. Not so much if I was Melania. And there is a lot of mischief they can do by proxy: all the militias Iran controls in Lebanon, Jemen, Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Libya... etc. etc.
I hope it does not spiral out of control.
__________________
How happy many people could be if they only cared about other people's business as litlle as they care about their own! - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
  #224  
Old 01-04-2020, 08:41 AM
The Librarian's Avatar
The Librarian is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Delft
Posts: 1,225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul in Qatar View Post
No explosions overnight. No smoke from the refinery this morning. So far so good.


I hope you stay safe.

Can’t you fake some illness/family situation and get the fuck out of dodge? Preferably before the explosions?
__________________
Oook!
  #225  
Old 01-04-2020, 08:41 AM
asahi's Avatar
asahi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 11,590
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
Having plans--even well-thought-out plans--is one thing. Competently executing them is an entirely different kettle of fish.

I strongly suspect that Quds does not have anybody of sufficient caliber to execute those plans as well as Soleimani could have done. If so, then taking him out makes as least tactical sense, because the damage under anybody else would not be as severe as under Soleimani himself.
To assume that there's nobody in the chain of command who would have the competence or know-how of Soleimani is probably a miscalculation. They'd lack the experience at the helm for sure, but it's not as a successor would be completely in the dark about how to run the kinds of operations that Soleimani and his #2 did. It's not some rag-tag group of radicals running around from hillside to hillside and cave to cave; it's an organized militia that's funded and otherwise supported by a regional nation-state power.

I find it hard to believe that this blow is as crippling as the news reports are making it out to be. I'm sure it will shake things up in the near term, but over time, they will regroup and do what they've been doing for decades.
  #226  
Old 01-04-2020, 08:57 AM
The Librarian's Avatar
The Librarian is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Delft
Posts: 1,225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul in Qatar View Post
No explosions overnight. No smoke from the refinery this morning. So far so good.


I hope you stay safe.

Can’t you fake some illness/family situation and get the fuck out of dodge? Preferably before the explosions?
__________________
Oook!
  #227  
Old 01-04-2020, 09:04 AM
Moriarty's Avatar
Moriarty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 3,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lantern View Post
In the US I think Trump's instincts are, correctly IMO, that a full-scale war will not help him politically. He would prefer to go into the election with a decent economy and a country at peace.
Have you not seen the tweets Trump sent out several years ago where he predicted that Obama would try to start a war with Iran to help with his re-election?

I think Trump views war as a boon to his campaign.
  #228  
Old 01-04-2020, 09:04 AM
HMS Irruncible is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,942
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
I strongly suspect that Quds does not have anybody of sufficient caliber to execute those plans as well as Soleimani could have done.
If Soleimani was a commander of any caliber at all, he'd have a well-trained and well-briefed chain of command capable of executing the plan. One would expect that after heading an international terror organization for 20 years, losing staff fairly frequently, he's gotten fairly good at that.

Check out this WaPo article showing some insight into his thought process. Here is part of a text message from Soleimani to David Petraeus in 2008:

Quote:
“you should know that I, Qassem Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza and Afghanistan. And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Quds Force member. The individual who’s going to replace him is a Quds Force member.”
This is a man who thinks about succession quite a bit, and has a deep bench of talent to replace him.
  #229  
Old 01-04-2020, 09:07 AM
Jonathan Chance is online now
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: On the run with Kilroy
Posts: 23,295

The Moderator Speaks


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Would you care to take a bet on whether you are right?
Perhaps you hadn't read the new rules for GD and P&E, Ravenman, but betting is now specifically disallowed.
  #230  
Old 01-04-2020, 09:43 AM
Lightnin''s Avatar
Lightnin' is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 7,521
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
I wonder what Trump's military advisors think of this.
I'm sure that Stephen Miller is fuckin' ecstatic.
__________________
What's the good of Science if nobody gets hurt?
  #231  
Old 01-04-2020, 10:24 AM
RitterSport's Avatar
RitterSport is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,696
Pence is on the case, lying about WMDs in Iraq Suleimani helping "10 of the 12" 9/11 hijackers. This is just straight up gaslighting -- first, there were 19 hijackers, second Iran would have no interest in helping Sunni terrorists. More debunking here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/03/u...factcheck.html

Pay walled, for those who don't subscribe or know how to clear cookies. Here's a good quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Times Article
By 2001, General Suleimani had already been named the head of the Quds Force, the powerful security branch that often coordinates with other terrorist groups worldwide. Yet General Suleimani was not named at any point in the “9/11 Commission Report.”

In fact, the report states in no uncertain terms that neither the Iranian government nor Hezbollah, a group that General Suleimani worked closely with, ever knew anything about the attacks or helped facilitate them....
Much more in the article. Pence is lying his ass off here, in a much more obvious way than Cheney did about the WMDs and Iraq's connection to 9/11 (always careful to never state anything definitively). So, anyone willing to defend his lies and gaslighting on this very serious subject?
  #232  
Old 01-04-2020, 10:30 AM
Corry El is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pardel-Lux View Post
It has been argued that WWI and WWII were one single conflict interrupted by a 21 year truce.
And WWI was viewed highly skeptically in the US in the interwar period, often as a case of the US having been maneuvered by the British into a war that was not its concern and with no sharply defined good and bad guys after all. The European view of the US view of WWI is often 'why would the US public care that much about a war that cost the US such a small fraction in lives as it cost us? (and BTW you Americans claim a much larger role in that war than is justified)'. But in this tangent we're discussing the US view, the pop history theme 'the US was so successful in wars especially up to the big one, WWII, but can't get it right ever since'.

But actually there was a mixed record of achieving 'permanent' victory that was 'worth it' in US wars prior to WWII, and WWI is not the only example. WWII, or the feeling about it, here at the end of the era of 'Greatest Generation' veneration in the US, is perhaps more the exception than the rule in US case. And considering all other countries and wars the % of 'victory that was worth it' is not high, as every 'victory that was worth it' meant a defeat for somebody else, even given the odd cases of wars which tend to be viewed as successes on both sides (like the War of 1812 generally viewed favorable in the US, while Canadians have a fantasy that their country actually existed then and 'won the War of 1812' ; to Brits, who the US actually fought in that war, it's very minor among all their many wars). 'War is waste' as Sherman said so you'd expect with objective rationality most wars to eventually be viewed as not worth it taking the average of both sides' view.
  #233  
Old 01-04-2020, 10:44 AM
carnivorousplant is offline
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 59,572
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corry El View Post
(like the War of 1812 generally viewed favorable in the US, while Canadians have a fantasy that their country actually existed then and 'won the War of 1812' ; to Brits, who the US actually fought in that war, it's very minor among all their many wars).
The US wanted to end up with a piece of what is now Canada, and obviously failed.
  #234  
Old 01-04-2020, 10:57 AM
Corry El is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
To assume that there's nobody in the chain of command who would have the competence or know-how of Soleimani is probably a miscalculation. .
To assume anything as a certainty in such a case would be incorrect. However the example was given before of the 'assassination' of Yamato in April 1943 (I'll leave any difference in supposed legality between that case and this one to the internet legal experts). The US decision makers explicitly considered not only the feasibility of that attack but whether Yamamoto might be succeeded by a more or less capable person, and were ready to forego the opportunity if it was likely to be a more capable person. Which though is hard to judge even in full hindsight. Yamamoto's successors as CinC Combined Fleet were relative non-entities in history, Koga killed in an accidental plane crash in early 1944 then Toyoda who oversaw the disastrous battles of Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf. But lots of other factors were piling up against the IJN in that period besides who happened to be CinC Combined Fleet. There's no way to know if Yamamoto's performance in the later phase of the war would have superior to those two men in anything like proportion to how much bigger his fame is now, or what difference it would have made.

But US intel might indeed have a particular idea if the IRGC really has a 'deep bench', rather than just assuming *that*, as some posts seem to. I would hope it's not publicly revealed for many years what US intel (probably significantly aided by allies) knows or think they know about the IRGC, which would point to how they know it. Nobody has to agree with an action like this. But I tend naturally not to take a strong view on this of kind of thing in the moment. There's a lot I don't know, and no way to conduct an effective war/near-war foreign policy if the public, and therefore the adversary, has all the information US decision makers do.
  #235  
Old 01-04-2020, 10:59 AM
Corry El is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
The US wanted to end up with a piece of what is now Canada, and obviously failed.
The 'US' having previously taken a piece of 'Canada' from the French in the Seven Years War. Except the US didn't exist then as a political entity. That was the British. Just like Canada did not exist as a political entity in 1812. The Seven Years War (French and Indian War) was between Britain and France in North America, not the the US or US/Canada v France. The War of 1812 was US v Britain, not US v Canada or Canada and Britain. Every country has its silly mythology, even the oh so rational and even tempered Canadians, the example being their fantasy about 'Canada' fighting in the War of 1812.
  #236  
Old 01-04-2020, 11:13 AM
jsc1953 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 10,829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Except that Loser Donald has surrounded himself with the same cabal of neocon hawks who've been champing at the bit for an excuse to invade Iran for decades, and they know how to manipulate him into doing it.

All they have to do is fill his head with "Wars like this are easy to win" and "Obama never had the courage to invade Iran".
It's already begun. My MAGA Facebook friend, who is our window into the right-wing meme machine, has already posted a picture of a grinning Trump with the caption "I just notified Iran that Obama is no longer in charge."
  #237  
Old 01-04-2020, 11:13 AM
l0k1 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 335
Since we're on an 1812 tangent, I love how completely unheroic the Fort McHenry chapter of the Battle of Baltimore is. The British Navy shelled the defenders until, they got bored and went home. The Star Spangled Banner is about people cowering until the shelling stopped (and about taking revenge on re-enslaved people), super heroic guys. The Battle of Baltimore is the war of 1812 in a nutshell. The British eventually get bored, and decide to call it a day, the US declares victory.
  #238  
Old 01-04-2020, 11:31 AM
AK84 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,646
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
Under most rules of war *I* can think of, bumping someone off while in a state of peace is called "murder". And since when is Iran an adversary ? Or Iraq a fucking active war zone ? Against whom ?
Have you been asleep since 2003?
  #239  
Old 01-04-2020, 11:34 AM
Hillmanhunter1 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Middle East
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Mabes View Post
I read somewhere, can't find it now, that the US did not know Soleimani was at the airport and we were going after lower level targets. It was intended to be a one time strike as a show of force and that would be the end. Now it that were true, the question is now moot as Trump has said we were targeting Soleimani, and of course a mistake cannot be admitted.

This makes sense to me, I do not believe Trump wants a war because a war is not going to help him get re-elected. Well, probably not. Who knows how the public will react if this escalates. Many will buy Pence's bullshit.

Question about the statement that Iran and Soleimani were planning major attacks against America? Any credibility to that? Why would Iran do that? What would be the objective?
This is plausible. In a move that hasn't been reported much in Western media the Foreign Minister of Qatar (a country that hosts a huge US airbase but also maintains a relationship with Iran) was quickly dispatched to Tehran within hours of the killing with a message from Washington.

https://menafn.com/1099506629/Qatari...o-Irans-Tehran
  #240  
Old 01-04-2020, 12:25 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 19,936
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillmanhunter1 View Post
This is plausible. In a move that hasn't been reported much in Western media the Foreign Minister of Qatar (a country that hosts a huge US airbase but also maintains a relationship with Iran) was quickly dispatched to Tehran within hours of the killing with a message from Washington.

https://menafn.com/1099506629/Qatari...o-Irans-Tehran
A lot of things are plausible to outside speculators and armchair geo-political wonks. The quoted rumor that suggests the murder was an accident because the intended target was some lower level operative is something circulating within Iran as well. Iranians don't wish to accept that the US would target such an important and popular Iranian figure.

This may or may not be true. We won't know until more information is released. Until then, every dignitary in the M.E. is on alert and involved in back channel communication on behalf of one party or another. This is about damage control for everyone in the region and outside the region to keep it from escalating out of control.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #241  
Old 01-04-2020, 12:46 PM
Try2B Comprehensive's Avatar
Try2B Comprehensive is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,662
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
Under most rules of war *I* can think of, bumping someone off while in a state of peace is called "murder". And since when is Iran an adversary ? Or Iraq a fucking active war zone ? Against whom ?
Yeah, we just assassinated a foreign head of state in an ostensibly neutral country. I can't blame someone if they want to call it terrorism or something similar.

But I think we should qualify it. Iran Did blow up a bunch of Saudi oil infrastructure recently. They shot down a US drone. And this now dead general Did fight a guerilla war against the US in the Iraq war.

If we had just blown up a Hungarian general at a Latvian airport, everyone would be asking, "Wtf did Hungary do to the US?!?!?" With Iran it goes back to 1979, maybe earlier with that nasty Shah business which one could argue places the blame for the bad blood between these nations squarely at the US' feet.

Still. The question is whether terrorist strikes are justified? proportional? against a country that fights you and your allies via terrorism.
  #242  
Old 01-04-2020, 12:48 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 24,091
The Mosque of the Red Death:

https://twitter.com/WarsontheBrink/s...610864130?s=19

https://twitter.com/MikeyKayNYC/stat...917812227?s=19

https://twitter.com/MalcolmNance/sta...526232576?s=19
  #243  
Old 01-04-2020, 01:19 PM
Steken is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Declan View Post
The one guy that might have been able to craft a solution
This, I think, severely underestimates the depth of Iran's bench.

Someone will take his place, and the struggle will continue.
  #244  
Old 01-04-2020, 01:27 PM
md2000 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 15,323
First, I see a bit of grim humor in this. Iranians basically instigated attacks on a US base and the Baghdad embassy. When Trump threatened consequences, the Iranian response was essentially "Ha ha. You can't do anything." I assume they regret that assertion.

The general was in a foreign country where attacks have happened against US assets. He has been instrumental in some of these attacks, and no secret he leads an organization identified as terrorist by the USA. Much as I think Trump is a moron and the semi-intelligent hawks around him are itching for a war, I see this as an appropriate response. It was an attack on a military person in the roughly defined "theatre of war".

The Iranians are not stupid - they face the same dilemma they assigned to Trump "What can you really do?" They may step up the number and intensity of attacks, but it's not anything they would have not been able to do before. If anything, haste may make such operations sloppy and help expose more of their operational organization.

Meanwhile, they are well aware that the dividing line is their border. Any attacks (missiles) launched from Iranian territory are an open invitation for the USA to attack Iran itself, which they have not done yet; neutralize those bases and any other assets that pose a risk to performing that task - flattening any Iranian military assets - missile bases, air force, navy, anti-aircraft, etc. Also, you can bet after the surprise attack on that Saudi oil facility, there are plenty of radar watching for launches. They don't have to use ground forces - just flatten the government apparatus and let it collapse.

I know if I were Trump or the top generals, the areas where speedboats were a problem would be regularly patrolled for the next while and any craft from Iran too close to any vessel appropriately "warned" off.
  #245  
Old 01-04-2020, 01:32 PM
split p&j is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Upstate
Posts: 369
This is the fruit of the seed that was planted on 9/11/01. This agenda, as laid out in the PNAC study at least 5 years prior to 9/11, is in full effect today. We have learned nothing in the past twenty years.
  #246  
Old 01-04-2020, 01:37 PM
carnivorousplant is offline
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 59,572
Quote:
Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
First, I see a bit of grim humor in this. Iranians basically instigated attacks on a US base and the Baghdad embassy. When Trump threatened consequences, the Iranian response was essentially "Ha ha. You can't do anything." I assume they regret that assertion.
I think they are too testosterone poisoned to regret that. They just need to get even.
Quote:
Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
Meanwhile, they are well aware that the dividing line is their border. Any attacks (missiles) launched from Iranian territory are an open invitation for the USA to attack Iran itself, which they have not done yet;
Did they shoot down a drone from behind their border?
  #247  
Old 01-04-2020, 03:51 PM
smithsb's Avatar
smithsb is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: mid-Pacific
Posts: 3,004
So in this game of tit for tat; who's ahead?

Who's turn is it to even the score?
  #248  
Old 01-04-2020, 04:17 PM
split p&j is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Upstate
Posts: 369
It's not tit for tat, it's an unprovoked attack by the US. Iran has no choice but to respond now.

The fact that they are trying to justify it by saying an attack by Iran was imminent, without any evidence shows its total bs.

Please people wake up, this is the same administration that on one hand says you can't trust any intel when it comes to Trumps dirty dealings. CIA, FBI they are all deep state anti-Trump they say. Now that it is convenient for them we should just trust the intel No evidence, just trust us. An attack was coming.

Come on.
  #249  
Old 01-04-2020, 04:20 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 24,091
This is the administration which took a sharpie to a weather map.
  #250  
Old 01-04-2020, 04:47 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 24,091
Guys, the de-escalation is spreading. Looks like the Iraqis are retreating! All hail President Trump!

Quote:
BREAKING: Commander in Katai'b Hezbollah warns Iraqi security forces to stay at least 1000m away from US military bases in Iraq starting Sunday evening.
https://twitter.com/Conflicts/status...664619009?s=19

https://twitter.com/Aletejah_TV/stat...229977090?s=19

Last edited by JohnT; 01-04-2020 at 04:47 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:16 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017