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  #101  
Old 06-21-2019, 07:08 AM
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I'm pretty sure that if an Iranian drone entered U.S. airspace, the U.S. would shoot it down without a second thought.
And would probably also should the drone linger just outside of our airspace.
  #102  
Old 06-21-2019, 07:25 AM
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  #103  
Old 06-21-2019, 07:39 AM
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One could argue that the US provoked first in this case. It provoked Iran by reneging on a deal that was actually effectively suspending Iran's nuclear weapons program, and it provoked Iran further by imposing harsh sanctions on Iran, which is within our legal right to do but provocative. Adding the dimension of sending more military personnel and activity on Iran's doorstep was further provocation. Yes, Iran is behaving provocatively in a technical sense, but in the broader political context, it's simply responding to US provocation.
You hit on my point exactly: all of Trump's provocations are 100% legal (so far as I can tell), but they are bad policy and bring us closer to war.

Repeating that Iran can legally shoot down an aircraft in its airspace -- which I am not inclined to believe is the case, because I have a hard time seeing that the drone actually was within 12 miles of the coast -- does not negate that shooting it down was a provocative act, bad policy, and brings us closer to war.

Which is why I'm astounded that several posters here are not only giving significant deference to Iran's assertions, but to some degree defending their actions. You in particular have issued a broad defense of Iran to use violence in response to sanctions. I suspect some of these incredible positions is because hatred of Trump is causing some to take reflexive, rather than thought-out, positions on these things.
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Old 06-21-2019, 07:51 AM
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Well, good for you, but as far as I can tell, the general position is that if the drone was in Iranian territory, they had a right to shoot it down, and American statements that the drone was not in Iranian territory are not credible given this administration's history.

It seems perfectly reasonable to me at this stage. You are choosing to believe the American account, which is fine if a bit premature.
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  #105  
Old 06-21-2019, 07:56 AM
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.... American statements that the drone was not in Iranian territory are not credible given this administration's history.
And for the moment, you think Iran is more credible? Others here seem to have come to that conclusion. I'd just like to start making a list of those who think Iran is more trustworthy.

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Well, good for you, but as far as I can tell, the general position is that if the drone was in Iranian territory, they had a right to shoot it down...
And can you agree that shooting down a foreign aircraft, even if it would be legal to do so, is a provocative act when it comes in the context of two countries being on the verge of war?

Last edited by Ravenman; 06-21-2019 at 08:01 AM.
  #106  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:04 AM
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You hit on my point exactly: all of Trump's provocations are 100% legal (so far as I can tell), but they are bad policy and bring us closer to war.

Repeating that Iran can legally shoot down an aircraft in its airspace -- which I am not inclined to believe is the case, because I have a hard time seeing that the drone actually was within 12 miles of the coast -- does not negate that shooting it down was a provocative act, bad policy, and brings us closer to war.

Which is why I'm astounded that several posters here are not only giving significant deference to Iran's assertions, but to some degree defending their actions. You in particular have issued a broad defense of Iran to use violence in response to sanctions. I suspect some of these incredible positions is because hatred of Trump is causing some to take reflexive, rather than thought-out, positions on these things.
I don't recall justifying the use of violence in response to sanctions, and I didn't really even say that Iran was "right" or "justified" in shooting down the drone. I don't really have an opinion on whether Iran should or shouldn't have downed our drone. It probably was a provocative act, but that act can't be viewed in isolation. If the US were minding its own business with the nuclear framework in place, if we weren't imposing extremely harsh sanctions on Iran, if we weren't threatening European, Canadian, and Japanese governments and businesses for doing business with Iran, if we hadn't already invaded, occupied, overthrown the government in neighboring Iraq, if we were just minding our own business and sending regular naval patrols in international waters, I would agree that shooting down a reconnaissance drone is, without a doubt, a provocative act. But in this particular case, to say that Iran's shooting down a US drone is an incontrovertibly provocative act requires one to ignore all of the conditionals that I just mentioned, which is absurd to any person with a shred of logical and analytical reasoning skills.

I have not suggested that Iran has the right to use violence; I have said that sanctions have real life consequences that can be interpreted as hostile acts of war. I don't care what the official encyclopedia of whatever tells you sanctions are: the fact that regimes like North Korea, Iran, and Russia become more desperate to arm themselves to the teeth and to lash out at the United States should tell you all you need to know about sanctions. You stubbornly refuse to budge on your own conventional understanding of what sanctions are, just like those who administer US foreign policy have for decades. There are consequences - that's what I'm saying. I'm not defending Iran's hostility or violence - Iran has a rather large buffet of items to choose from that I could criticize them for. That's beside the point. Iran can be expected like any nation to defend itself against hostile behavior, and we have an ethical responsibility to understand that, not only for the sake of Iran's civilians but also for the protection of our own military personnel and Americans abroad and at home. We have a responsibility to behave responsibly.
  #107  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:04 AM
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Beyond the rhetoric coming from the Iranian hard line military leaders, I doubt Iran is actually spoiling for a fight with the US and allies. I don't think Iran's leadership thinks for a second that they could win a war and I don't believe that inflicting some superficial losses on America and it's interests would be so satisfying that it would justify Iran's destruction and resulting regime change. I think they've lost control of some faction of the military and are working to gain back that control. The imminent threat of an attack by the US might be enough to give the more moderate Iranian leadership a shot at wrestling back control of their own military. It would not surprise me if this entire event was orchestrated through back channels between US/Iran intermediaries to accomplish just that. At least that's what I would like to think has happened. Time will tell.
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Last edited by QuickSilver; 06-21-2019 at 08:06 AM.
  #108  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:07 AM
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... I'd just like to start making a list of those who think Iran is more trustworthy.

...
More trustworthy than Trump?
  #109  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:14 AM
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Beyond the rhetoric coming from the Iranian hard line military leaders, I doubt Iran is actually spoiling for a fight with the US and allies.
I agree that they're not, but perhaps Iran believes that this administration is hellbent on war. So if you assume that's the case, then it might actually make sense for Iran to provoke a conflict before the US is actually ready for one. A country has a choice: it can demonstrate that it wants peace and watch as its opponent builds up enough force to crush its military and overthrow the regime, as Saddam Hussein did, or it can bait its opponent into an attack before its ready. Diplomatically, the smart thing to do is to demonstrate to the outside world that it's not the aggressor, but what's smart diplomatically is dumb when you know that you're on your own and no country is going to stop it from being attacked. So the smart choice then isn't to wait, but to bait the opponent into an attack before it's prepared to do so -- in the meantime, maybe you hope that enough intelligent people can prevent this administration from getting into another idiotic war.

I know it sounds like I might be sympathetic to Iran, but I'm not. I'm only sympathetic to the civilians who don't need to die, but I'm much more worried about the consequences to our country and to the entire region. I'm more concerned about the global economy. And of course the state of liberty and democracy in our own society, which will inevitably be threatened once we give this president the ability to really expand his power. Few people are talking about it, but one of the legacies of the war on terror is that the president, who already had a lot of powers even before that, has even more sweeping powers now. And with this president, you'd better believe that he will assert powers for himself regardless of whether they exist or not. American democracy is in grave danger, and Iran is not the threat.
  #110  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:15 AM
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More trustworthy than Trump?
It was always going to come to this.
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  #111  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:15 AM
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Look, I don't care who you are or what happened but if it is a too close to tell difference between needing to punch an 800 lb gorilla in the face after someone stole his bananas and just leaving him the hell alone, Iran was very very stupid in antagonizing the US in this way.
Whether they were potentially 'strictly right' or not.
  #112  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:16 AM
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More trustworthy than Trump?
Than the U.S. Government generally. Such as this quote from Adam Smith, the Democratic Chair of the Armed Services Committee:

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SHAPIRO: I realize there was classified information at this briefing, but what can you tell us about what you learned this afternoon?

SMITH: Well, a couple things. The biggest points that the administration wanted to drive home was that they have conclusive evidence that the Iranian military shot down our drone that was flying in international waters. And they made a very convincing case that that is what happened.
Again, Iran is tentatively viewed as more credible than the Democrat in charge of oversight of the military?
  #113  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:20 AM
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I don't recall justifying the use of violence in response to sanctions...
You have a history of saying that sanctions ARE war, and you raised it again in this thread. It would follow that violence in retaliation to sanction is justified, in your view.

If you want to clearly state for the record that countries are not justified in using violence when they are faced with sanctions, now would be a great time to clear that up.
  #114  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:21 AM
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America is to George Zimmerman what Iran is to Trayvon Martin.

There, does that make sense?
  #115  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:21 AM
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I agree that they're not, but perhaps Iran believes that this administration is hellbent on war. So if you assume that's the case, then it might actually make sense for Iran to provoke a conflict before the US is actually ready for one. A country has a choice: it can demonstrate that it wants peace and watch as its opponent builds up enough force to crush its military and overthrow the regime, as Saddam Hussein did, or it can bait its opponent into an attack before its ready. Diplomatically, the smart thing to do is to demonstrate to the outside world that it's not the aggressor, but what's smart diplomatically is dumb when you know that you're on your own and no country is going to stop it from being attacked. So the smart choice then isn't to wait, but to bait the opponent into an attack before it's prepared to do so -- in the meantime, maybe you hope that enough intelligent people can prevent this administration from getting into another idiotic war.

I know it sounds like I might be sympathetic to Iran, but I'm not. I'm only sympathetic to the civilians who don't need to die, but I'm much more worried about the consequences to our country and to the entire region. I'm more concerned about the global economy. And of course the state of liberty and democracy in our own society, which will inevitably be threatened once we give this president the ability to really expand his power. Few people are talking about it, but one of the legacies of the war on terror is that the president, who already had a lot of powers even before that, has even more sweeping powers now. And with this president, you'd better believe that he will assert powers for himself regardless of whether they exist or not. American democracy is in grave danger, and Iran is not the threat.
<bolding mine>

All the rest is fodder for discussion, but I don't believe for a second that Iran thinks it can catch the US unawares or that swinging first will give US even a moment's pause.
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  #116  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:24 AM
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You have a history of saying that sanctions ARE war, and you raised it again in this thread. It would follow that violence in retaliation to sanction is justified, in your view.

If you want to clearly state for the record that countries are not justified in using violence when they are faced with sanctions, now would be a great time to clear that up.
They are a form of warfare but not necessarily at the same level. It's like battery and murder are both violence but one would not argue that battery is the same as murder.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:30 AM
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<bolding mine>

All the rest is fodder for discussion, but I don't believe for a second that Iran thinks it can catch the US unawares or that swinging first will give US even a moment's pause.
I'm not a military strategist and I don't have US Army War College training, so I can't begin to understand how all of this would play out militarily. But just as a casual observer, one decision that Saddam Hussein made was to hunker down and prepare for an invasion militarily while hoping the rest of the world would pressure the US for a diplomatic resolution - that never came. We know the rest. My assumption is that Iran knows that just waiting around and doing nothing is probably not going to work to their advantage. So they'll do the opposite of that. I would assume, therefore, that they'll do what they can to disrupt the build up to war, whether it's potentially causing economic harm or something else.
  #118  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:32 AM
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Than the U.S. Government generally. Such as this quote from Adam Smith, the Democratic Chair of the Armed Services Committee:


Again, Iran is tentatively viewed as more credible than the Democrat in charge of oversight of the military?
Certainly I trust that guy more than Trump. And I don't even know who he is. He said that the administration made a convincing case. Good, take it to the public, take it to the UN.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:33 AM
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They are a form of warfare but not necessarily at the same level. It's like battery and murder are both violence but one would not argue that battery is the same as murder.
So.... Iran can use little bits of violence to resist sanctions? For example, would killing non-Americans to resist sanctions (your choice, Iraqis, Saudis, Israelis) be cool? Or maybe just maiming them?
  #120  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:34 AM
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Certainly I trust that guy more than Trump. And I don't even know who he is. He said that the administration made a convincing case. Good, take it to the public, take it to the UN.
I will say this, the case for attacks on Iran need to be taken to Congress for sure. Not just a briefing, but a vote.
  #121  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:39 AM
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So, Iran destroys some of our property that means we get to kill some of their people?

Put me down for a hard no on that one.
  #122  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:41 AM
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And for the moment, you think Iran is more credible? Others here seem to have come to that conclusion. I'd just like to start making a list of those who think Iran is more trustworthy.
Enemies list, huh? Good luck with that.

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And can you agree that shooting down a foreign aircraft, even if it would be legal to do so, is a provocative act when it comes in the context of two countries being on the verge of war?
As much as I loathe the "both sides do it" claim, sometimes it's true.
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  #123  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:43 AM
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So.... Iran can use little bits of violence to resist sanctions? For example, would killing non-Americans to resist sanctions (your choice, Iraqis, Saudis, Israelis) be cool? Or maybe just maiming them?
Hostile actions don't have to be violent to be labeled as war. There's trade war, cyber war, propaganda war, etc. There is no need, other than semantic wankery, to pretend that violence must necessarily follow every conceptual form of war.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:46 AM
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I'm not a military strategist and I don't have US Army War College training, so I can't begin to understand how all of this would play out militarily. But just as a casual observer, one decision that Saddam Hussein made was to hunker down and prepare for an invasion militarily while hoping the rest of the world would pressure the US for a diplomatic resolution - that never came. We know the rest. My assumption is that Iran knows that just waiting around and doing nothing is probably not going to work to their advantage. So they'll do the opposite of that. I would assume, therefore, that they'll do what they can to disrupt the build up to war, whether it's potentially causing economic harm or something else.
Again, I don't believe that shooting down the drone (or mining container ships) was a decision made by Iranian leaders. It was far more likely an internal dick waving contest between moderates and hardliners to test and see who's really in charge. Stupid provocation and unlikely to turn out well for Iran if the US decides to step in. But I think the hardliners are pressing for a full resumption of a nuclear weapons program and the moderates are resisting doing so. My read, anyway.
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  #125  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:51 AM
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Reuters:
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LONDON (Reuters) - Iran refrained from shooting down a U.S. plane with 35 people on board that was accompanying the downed drone in the Gulf, a Revolutionary Guards commander said on Friday.

Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency: “With the U.S. drone in the region there was also an American P-8 plane with 35 people on board. This plane also entered our airspace and we could have shot it down, but we did not.”
  #126  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:59 AM
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You hit on my point exactly: all of Trump's provocations are 100% legal (so far as I can tell), but they are bad policy and bring us closer to war.

Repeating that Iran can legally shoot down an aircraft in its airspace -- which I am not inclined to believe is the case, because I have a hard time seeing that the drone actually was within 12 miles of the coast -- does not negate that shooting it down was a provocative act, bad policy, and brings us closer to war.
It brings us closer to war if we choose to be brought closer to war.

I will not defend the Iranian actions, and I have no idea whether the drone was over Iranian or international airspace. But a lesson I was taught long ago was that you can't control what the other guy does, you can only control what you're going to do. Serious provocation or not, the United States of America gets to choose whether it's going to be provoked into a potentially escalating back-and-forth.

Unfortunately, the person making our choices is Donald Fucking Trump, advised by clowns such as John Bolton who simply wants a war with somebody (though he's got a particular jones for Iran), and Trump's gotten bored with Venezuela.

But in a saner world, we wouldn't be in this situation to begin with because we wouldn't have a nutcase as President this is where we'd step back and consider our larger interests, and how well some sort of retaliation would serve them.
  #127  
Old 06-21-2019, 09:02 AM
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Just to clarify, when I said "good, take it to the public, take it to the UN" I wasn't saying: and then have a war. America instead can pull back our troops, relieve the recently hardened sanctions and reinstate the nuclear agreement. That approach was working fine until Trump and his shitty diaper smeared everything.
  #128  
Old 06-21-2019, 09:31 AM
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Again, I don't believe that shooting down the drone (or mining container ships) was a decision made by Iranian leaders. It was far more likely an internal dick waving contest between moderates and hardliners to test and see who's really in charge. Stupid provocation and unlikely to turn out well for Iran if the US decides to step in. But I think the hardliners are pressing for a full resumption of a nuclear weapons program and the moderates are resisting doing so. My read, anyway.
I find it amazing that people assume that How Things Work (Iran Version) doesn't include a strict chain-of-command controlling what the military does. I mean, just because they are in the Middle East doesn't mean that they are undisciplined yahoos who get to do whatever shenanigans they want. If their military is taking an action, I assume that it is just as sanctioned by the people in power as if the US military took an action.

The trouble with the Islamic Republic of Iran isn't that they have people doing stuff like this without proper permission. The trouble is that the proper channels of power are not the obvious, apparent channels that you'd expect from a country with a nominal democracy. Never doubt that anything that is done by Iran militarily (either directly, or by proxy) has been authorized by the Supreme Leader, or those below him whom he trusts with the power to make such decisions.

I believe that Iran is trying as hard as it can to make clear to the President that his naive assumption that he can re-negotiate the agreement regarding development of nuclear weapons in a way that is "better" from his viewpoint is wrong. I think that they are convinced that the United States won't go to war with Iran, and won't seriously risk further de-stabilizing Iraq and Syria. So they are going to continue to smack us on the snout, so to speak, until we give up this lone-shark strategy and return to acting in accord with all our allies by returning to the provisions of the prior agreement. Given that the President has just blinked in his first chance to stand up to them, they may be right. Time will tell.
  #129  
Old 06-21-2019, 09:40 AM
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....I believe that Iran is trying as hard as it can to make clear to the President that his naive assumption that he can re-negotiate the agreement regarding development of nuclear weapons in a way that is "better" from his viewpoint is wrong. I think that they are convinced that the United States won't go to war with Iran, and won't seriously risk further de-stabilizing Iraq and Syria. So they are going to continue to smack us on the snout, so to speak, until we give up this lone-shark strategy and return to acting in accord with all our allies by returning to the provisions of the prior agreement. Given that the President has just blinked in his first chance to stand up to them, they may be right. Time will tell.
In which case, aggression will have lead to positive results for Iran. For those who were wondering why Iran would do things like mine tankers, bomb pipeline stations, and now shoot down a fifth of a billion dollar drone.

I agree with you; I think their aggression is aimed at getting economic sanctions lowered or removed. If that is the case, then aggression will continue by Iran's forces until that goal is achieved.

Edit: Expect more accidents. Or attacks by rogue elements. Or totally coincidental attacks on US personnel in other countries.

The goal may be to irritate the US enough to conduct lengthy military operations against and within Iran. The idea being that will be so unpopular as to cause Trump's defeat in 2020, and then the removal of lots of sanctions and tariffs.

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  #130  
Old 06-21-2019, 09:51 AM
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New York Times (behind paywall): Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back:
Good thing somebody alerted Putin in time for him to call and tell Donald "NYET".
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  #131  
Old 06-21-2019, 09:51 AM
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For what it's worth, I do not yet take any position on where the drone was. Some people I don't trust say that it was in Iranian airspace. Other people I don't trust say that it was in international waters. One group of people I don't trust are telling me the truth, but I don't know which ones. Hopefully, more evidence will come out with time, and then we'll know.

That said, if it was in Iranian airspace, then shooting it down was absolutely, positively not a provocative act. It was the exact opposite; a de-escalating act. It changed the situation from being a confrontational one (hostile aircraft in territory) to what the situation should have been (no hostile aircraft in territory), and did so without any loss of life.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:00 AM
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For what it's worth, I do not yet take any position on where the drone was. Some people I don't trust say that it was in Iranian airspace. Other people I don't trust say that it was in international waters. One group of people I don't trust are telling me the truth, but I don't know which ones. Hopefully, more evidence will come out with time, and then we'll know.

That said, if it was in Iranian airspace, then shooting it down was absolutely, positively not a provocative act. It was the exact opposite; a de-escalating act. It changed the situation from being a confrontational one (hostile aircraft in territory) to what the situation should have been (no hostile aircraft in territory), and did so without any loss of life.
Whether it was in their territory or not, it was still a provocative act. I don't see how you can arrive at the conclusion this de-escalates things in any way, shape or form. It would be a provocative act no matter who the government was that shot down some other countries drone, but in this specific case it has further upped the tension of the situation. And I seriously doubt the Iranians thought it would calm things down or did it to be less confrontation...quite the opposite. Pretty obviously they WANT to ramp things up nearly as much as the war-hawks in the US government do.
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  #133  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:02 AM
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And for the moment, you think Iran is more credible? Others here seem to have come to that conclusion. I'd just like to start making a list of those who think Iran is more trustworthy.
Who should I believe? The "Iraq has WMDs" and Trump team or literally anyone else?

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And can you agree that shooting down a foreign aircraft, even if it would be legal to do so, is a provocative act when it comes in the context of two countries being on the verge of war?
Did you say the same about Turkey destroying a Russian plane four years ago?
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:03 AM
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Agreed. Nothing about shooting down a US asset is intended to de-escalate tensions or teach a lesson.
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  #135  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Chisquirrel View Post
Who should I believe? The "Iraq has WMDs" and Trump team or literally anyone else?



Did you say the same about Turkey destroying a Russian plane four years ago?
Holy shit...yeah, I'd say Turkey shooting down a Russian plane, even over it's own territory was DEFINITELY a provocative act! That could easily have pushed things into war between Turkey and Russia...which would have brought NATO into it as well, depending on how it was looked at.

As to who to believe...that one is hard to say. There would have been no real reason for the US to fly the thing over their territory. Where we are saying it was at is the logical place for it to be to watch what we were wanting it to watch (presumably for more evidence of attacks on oil tankers and the like). Flying it closer to Iran wouldn't really do anything for us. That said, mistake can be made...or, hell, Trump et al could have ordered it just to push the Iranian's. I watched some video on this that seemed to show it was where we said it was, but it wasn't definitive, so I'd say the jury is still out on that.

The thing is, I don't think it's really all that important where it was wrt the escalation of the situation. Both sides seem to be pushing the other and themselves closer and closer to a direct confrontation.
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  #136  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:23 AM
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I'm not really seeing how the exact position of the aircraft when it was shot down is relevant further than the very strictest, legalistic sense. My point is that the US is not even bothering to deny that it was a spy plane that was in the process of spying on Iran. At that point, does it spying from juuuust across the international line matter overly much ?

Let me put it this way : imagine you live in a ground floor flat, on street level. Every day this big burly guy (who keeps talking shit about you to the neighbours) stands outside your window and stares in. If you try and close the blinds, he keeps peering between the slats. Staring at you and your kids. All day long. Every day.
Now in that situation, do you reckon that the cops you call on the creep would tell you "oh but he's in the street which is public so he's got the right to do that ; he's not touching you, everything's fine" ? Of course not. Anybody being described such a situation would opine that the huge guy was being creepy and you'd be justified to feel threatened, call the cops on him, get a restraining order, what have you.


The problem where Iran is concerned is, there are no cops to call (or, if the UN can be equated with the cops in this simile, the big burly guy happens to also be the chief of police). So what are they supposed to do ? Let the US spy on them because "well we're the baddies and they're the good guys so they get to do that" ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by XT
Whether it was in their territory or not, it was still a provocative act. I don't see how you can arrive at the conclusion this de-escalates things in any way, shape or form. It would be a provocative act no matter who the government was that shot down some other countries drone, but in this specific case it has further upped the tension of the situation. And I seriously doubt the Iranians thought it would calm things down or did it to be less confrontation...quite the opposite. Pretty obviously they WANT to ramp things up nearly as much as the war-hawks in the US government do.

It was not a provocation. It was an answer to provocation. They're saying "stop fucking with us, or shit will go down". It certainly is an escalation of sorts, and confrontational, but it's not like Iran started the shit. From their POV, it's standing up to a bully. Again, how are they supposed to respond ? Ask the US to stop spying on them, pretty please with a bow on top ?
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  #137  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:24 AM
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Holy shit...yeah, I'd say Turkey shooting down a Russian plane, even over it's own territory was DEFINITELY a provocative act! That could easily have pushed things into war between Turkey and Russia...which would have brought NATO into it as well, depending on how it was looked at.

As to who to believe...that one is hard to say. There would have been no real reason for the US to fly the thing over their territory. Where we are saying it was at is the logical place for it to be to watch what we were wanting it to watch (presumably for more evidence of attacks on oil tankers and the like). Flying it closer to Iran wouldn't really do anything for us. That said, mistake can be made...or, hell, Trump et al could have ordered it just to push the Iranian's. I watched some video on this that seemed to show it was where we said it was, but it wasn't definitive, so I'd say the jury is still out on that...
It's not stealthy. I do not know if its ATC transponder was turned on or not, but if it was on, any number of ATC radars could see it and know where it was. Have any of those air traffic control agencies been interviewed, or their radar tapes seen?

IRGC general claimed this morning that they could have also shot down a P-8 maritime patrol aircraft the same day, if they wanted, as it was also violating Iran's airspace. https://en.irna.ir/news/83363396/IRG...-Could-Down-P8

The aggression will increase until the sanctions are lifted, or until the ruling elements in Iran feel the danger to their safety from attacking the US and its allies, outweighs the domestic danger they feel from economic harm caused by the sanctions.
  #138  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:27 AM
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Enemies list, huh? Good luck with that.
I prefer to call it a credibility list.

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Hostile actions don't have to be violent to be labeled as war. There's trade war, cyber war, propaganda war, etc.
I think if you look over ashai's posts on the matter, he's using the term war in the sense of Korean War etc., and not the war on cancer.

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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
It brings us closer to war if we choose to be brought closer to war.

I will not defend the Iranian actions, and I have no idea whether the drone was over Iranian or international airspace. But a lesson I was taught long ago was that you can't control what the other guy does, you can only control what you're going to do. Serious provocation or not, the United States of America gets to choose whether it's going to be provoked into a potentially escalating back-and-forth.
You are totally right, we do not have to take the bait. But since Iran has started a series of violent actions in the region over the past month, I think it is fair to say that the JCPOA withdrawal, IRGC designation, maximum pressure campaign, etc. were key steps to lead Iran to decide that they could gain something from the attacks. So by the same measure, Iran is choosing to blow up stuff, which is furthering the risk of war, and is wrong and inexcusable. I think quite a few people are taking Iran's (and their proxies') attacks as somewhat of a given.

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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
That said, if it was in Iranian airspace, then shooting it down was absolutely, positively not a provocative act. It was the exact opposite; a de-escalating act. It changed the situation from being a confrontational one (hostile aircraft in territory) to what the situation should have been (no hostile aircraft in territory), and did so without any loss of life.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chisquirrel View Post
Did you say the same about Turkey destroying a Russian plane four years ago?
As I recall, Russia was routinely violating an international border with armed planes in order to carry out attacks on anti-Assad rebels (I can't recall who specifically the Russians were attacking in that region at the time), and Turkey had made a big deal of demanding the violations of its airspace stop. Also, I believe I had less of a concern that Turkey (slash NATO) would go to war with Russia over the shootdown.

I have already suggested in this thread that Iran should have first tried to intercept the drone or warn it away with radio calls. I also do not think that it is clear at all that the U.S. went into Iranian airspace, as having a fairly decent understanding of what these aircraft do, there wouldn't really be the need to do so except as a provocation or serious mistake. (And the case for provocation doesn't really hold up, since Trump for whatever reason temporarily came to his senses and decided not to kill ~150 Iranians last night.)

I know I posted in a thread about the matter, I'm sure you could look it up. (I have not refreshed myself on my contributions.) But from whatever comments you quote me from that thread, keep in mind that the context of the incident is sharply at odds of what we face today.

What did you say/think about the shootdown of the Russian plane?
  #139  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:28 AM
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...From their POV, it's standing up to a bully. Again, how are they supposed to respond ? Ask the US to stop spying on them, pretty please with a bow on top ?
I missed where the US was the one who started bombing third party neutral civilian shipping. As to the spying and lack of privacy issue, what are your feelings on spy satellites, either government owned or privately?
  #140  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:29 AM
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Ask the US to stop spying on them, pretty please with a bow on top ?
As long as U.S. planes are in international areas, the Iranians have no case to say the U.S. should stop completely legal activities.
  #141  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:36 AM
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I'm not really seeing how the exact position of the aircraft when it was shot down is relevant further than the very strictest, legalistic sense. My point is that the US is not even bothering to deny that it was a spy plane that was in the process of spying on Iran. At that point, does it spying from juuuust across the international line matter overly much ?
The reason we have laws (including international treaties) is to draw the line between what's acceptable and what isn't. The territorial boundary is literally that line.
  #142  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:45 AM
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I missed where the US was the one who started bombing third party neutral civilian shipping.

You don't get to stalk criminals or listed sex offenders, either


Quote:
As to the spying and lack of privacy issue, what are your feelings on spy satellites, either government owned or privately?

As for spy sats, they're pretty old history by now and militaries have more or less adapted to make them a non-factor these days - that's why drones.

But I wouldn't cry foul if somebody decided to blow them up to bits over their own privacy/sovereignty concerns (except inasmuch as it could kickstart the whole space trash chain reaction Gravity catastrophe that's becoming a more serious concern with every space launch ; and there goes HBO again).
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  #143  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobal2
It was not a provocation. It was an answer to provocation. They're saying "stop fucking with us, or shit will go down". It certainly is an escalation of sorts, and confrontational, but it's not like Iran started the shit. From their POV, it's standing up to a bully. Again, how are they supposed to respond ? Ask the US to stop spying on them, pretty please with a bow on top ?
They shot down a multi-million dollar drone at a point when there are serious questions as to whether or not they have also directly or indirectly attacked several civilian ships in the region and also at a time when tensions are extremely high. This was, absolutely, and escalation and a direct confrontation, not a 'pretty please with a bow on top'. Good grief. They have diplomatic channels for that if that was there intention. They could have asked the Swiss to convey such a message.

And it was basically pointless, unless they are so stupid as to think that a Global Hawk was the only asset the US could possibly have to view the area. Again... Basically, they would be idiots to be trying to 'Ask the US to stop spying on them' at any time, let alone right now, and to do so by basically shooting down a drone.

It's hard for me to believe that people can think this way. I literally don't get it. I mean, I do get that the US has provoked this to a large degree by pulling out of the nuclear treaty, but this sort of shit is on them. They don't have to be doing this, especially considering that until they cross the line wrt the treaty every other signatory is still honoring it. And the US hasn't exactly gotten the other powers on board with giving that up...yet. But if Iran keeps doing this, they are rapidly going from the injured party to the one pushing the confrontation...and it will play right into the war hawks plans. I'm frankly surprised that Trump didn't order retaliation, though I honestly don't think it's what he wants...I think he wants to bully the Iranians into a new deal, even if the deal is essentially the same as the one we already had. Just, you know, that Obama won't be involved and Trump can say he made a MUCH better deal because he's awesome and the greatest negotiator ever and stuff. But a lot of the folks Trump has surrounded himself with DO want Iran to do stupid shit like this and use it as an excuse to hammer them, and we are kind of on the brink of that at this point. One more miscalculation and it's a shooting war in the region...a region that has that vital oil stuff flowing through it. And it's a region where Iran, far from being the weak and innocent nation some in this thread seem to be trying to portray them as, has instead been setting up alliances with terrorist groups in multiple countries that WILL be doing that nasty asymmetric warfare stuff all through the region. Iran will lose, and a lot of folks will die, but it's not going to be cake and hot chocolate for the US or it's allies either. It will be a huge mess that will probably make us wish for the good old days of the Iraqi conflict.
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  #144  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:50 AM
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The reason we have laws (including international treaties) is to draw the line between what's acceptable and what isn't. The territorial boundary is literally that line.

Agreed, but then again when those specific boundaries were drafted spy planes weren't a thing yet, and spying capabilities have greatly improved since. As has society's reliance on technologies that drones outside itl lines could very much fuck with.

So maybe we need new lines - in which case the Iranian missile might be the equivalent of an NAACP lawsuit to bring the case to the Supreme Court . I mean, clearly they're saying "this is shit up with which we will not put any more". Do they have any reason to agree to be spied upon ? Would any country placidly agree to that ?
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  #145  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:57 AM
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Here's hoping the NAACP doesn't get missiles.

Regards,
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  #146  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:57 AM
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They shot down a multi-million dollar drone at a point when there are serious questions as to whether or not they have also directly or indirectly attacked several civilian ships in the region and also at a time when tensions are extremely high. This was, absolutely, and escalation and a direct confrontation, not a 'pretty please with a bow on top'. Good grief. They have diplomatic channels for that if that was there intention. They could have asked the Swiss to convey such a message.

I would agree... if the US President was anybody but Trump. I don't think diplomacy with Trump or his people is worth anybody's time. Even your allies don't really bother any more (ask Angie Merkel...), and you expect Iran of all countries to expect a diplomatic overture to accomplish something with this administration ?
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  #147  
Old 06-21-2019, 11:00 AM
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Agreed, but then again when those specific boundaries were drafted spy planes weren't a thing yet, and spying capabilities have greatly improved since. As has society's reliance on technologies that drones outside itl lines could very much fuck with.

So maybe we need new lines - in which case the Iranian missile might be the equivalent of an NAACP lawsuit to bring the case to the Supreme Court . I mean, clearly they're saying "this is shit up with which we will not put any more". Do they have any reason to agree to be spied upon ? Would any country placidly agree to that ?
Um what? Spy planes, and balloons before that, have been a thing since the beginning of flight. In fact, accommodations have been made regarding international boundaries. It's 12 miles now, with 24 and 200 nm for different purposes. Anyone else remember when 3 miles was the limit?
  #148  
Old 06-21-2019, 11:11 AM
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Without knowing whether the drone was in or out of Iranian airspace, I can say this about the terms we're using:

1. An incursion into another country's airspace is a provocation. Responding to that provocation does not constitute another provocation, it's self defense.

2. Navigating in international waters is allowed by treaty. States may decide that certain postures in international waters are a threat, but that doesn't matter. The treaty exists solely for the purpose of deciding what can and can't be a provocation.

3. Iran escalated the violence. We were not at the level of aircraft getting shot down. Now we are. Escalation may or may not have been justified, but it was an escalation.

One thing I find interesting is that both parties are signalling de-escalation (or at least restraint). i.e. Iran said it could have shot down a P-8 (35 crewmembers) but didn't. The US said it was about to strike SAM batteries but it didn't. Perhaps some adults have entered the room.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 06-21-2019 at 11:15 AM.
  #149  
Old 06-21-2019, 11:11 AM
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Do they have any reason to agree to be spied upon ? Would any country placidly agree to that ?
"Russian trawlers" are doing their "fishing" just beyond our sovereign territory all the time. Like, all the time.
  #150  
Old 06-21-2019, 11:16 AM
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"Russian trawlers" are doing their "fishing" just beyond our sovereign territory all the time. Like, all the time.

The difference is, Russia has mnogo nukes. Are there Iranian "trawlers" ? North Korean ones ?
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