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  #201  
Old 06-22-2019, 01:57 PM
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Let the record note that I’ve asked the simple question several times, and you won’t provide a clear answer whether a country under sanctions is justified to use violence to resist them. Why can’t you answer it clearly? Seems like a yes, no, usually, or sometimes are all clear answers that you could provide.
It's isn't a simple question; it's a "gotcha" question. I'll answer if you'll answer some of mine, tho: which sanctions? How long have they been in effect? What effects have they had on the target country?

Your question is a bullshit question designed to get someone to say something you can attack with glee and ease, IMO.

Here's an analogy: I move 4 100' long x 40' tall walls 1 foot closer to your house every day. I start a mile away. On the first day, are you justified in using force to stop me? How about on the 5000th day? Are you ever justified in using violence against me? I mean, I'm not touching you...

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-22-2019 at 01:58 PM.
  #202  
Old 06-22-2019, 01:59 PM
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Trump on Twitter: "We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday."
  #203  
Old 06-22-2019, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
A short war in which the U.S. destroys the Iranian air force and navy, and degrades the Iranian military, until the point at which Iran is prepared to sign a new deal on U.S. terms, may not be that painful for Saudi Arabia.
Dream on!

America's 'quick and easy' war in Iraq would be like a Sunday picnic compared to a war with Iran.
  #204  
Old 06-22-2019, 02:29 PM
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Will rephrase later

Last edited by Ravenman; 06-22-2019 at 02:31 PM.
  #205  
Old 06-22-2019, 02:30 PM
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Dream on!

America's 'quick and easy' war in Iraq would be like a Sunday picnic compared to a war with Iran.
The Iraq War was a land invasion, with the aim of changing the regime. If the aim is a limited war with Iran to force them to sign a new nuclear deal - I think a more likely aim than regime change for Trump - then that might not even involve a single American (or Saudi etc) boot on Iranian soil. For the Saudis, the Houthis are an Iranian proxy, so from their point of view, they are already in an indirect military war with Iran. A direct war with Iran would, for the Saudis, mean an extension of an existing war, not starting a new one.
  #206  
Old 06-22-2019, 02:56 PM
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I agree with Walken: if we go to war with Iran, I don't think it's going to be with the aim of occupation.

Who in the hell knows what happens after the first shot is fired. I do expect it to be devastating for Iran's regime and its civilian population. I think Bolton and Pompeo have a very Curtis LeMay view of warfare. Maybe I'm wrong and are capable of more restraint than I give them credit for but I'm cynical given their history up to this point.

But however badly we level Iran, there are always surprises in a war, and things we simply don't anticipate. I have no idea how this conflict would unfold. All I know is we're dangerously close to finding out, and it doesn't have to be this way.

Last edited by asahi; 06-22-2019 at 02:58 PM.
  #207  
Old 06-22-2019, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
The Iraq War was a land invasion, with the aim of changing the regime. If the aim is a limited war with Iran to force them to sign a new nuclear deal - I think a more likely aim than regime change for Trump - then that might not even involve a single American (or Saudi etc) boot on Iranian soil. For the Saudis, the Houthis are an Iranian proxy, so from their point of view, they are already in an indirect military war with Iran. A direct war with Iran would, for the Saudis, mean an extension of an existing war, not starting a new one.
The US already had a nuclear deal with Iran - which the US tore up. The US could easily reinstate that deal any time.

Sorry, but this is out of touch with reality. A conflict with Iran could never be so neat and limited. The Strait of Hormuz would be closed indefinitely to all shipping, just for a start. Iran can do this at will with mines and small attack boats (invisible to radar), and nobody can prevent it. Neither Saudi Arabia, nor Russia, nor China, nor any other country wants this. It would probably cause a world-wide economic recession.

See

What a War With Iran Would Look Like

Quote:
In one scenario, all these escalatory pressures set off a larger conflict. The United States sinks several Iranian ships and attacks a port and military training facilities. Iran drops mines and attacks U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf. Iranian proxies kill dozens of U.S. troops, aid workers, and diplomats in the region, and Iranian missiles strike U.S. bases in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, causing limited damage. At every turn, Iran tries to save face by showing resolve but stopping short of all-out war; Washington, intent on “reestablishing deterrence,” retaliates a little more aggressively each time. Before long, the two have tumbled into full-scale hostilities. ...

Iran’s military is soon overwhelmed, but not before mounting a powerful, all-out counterattack. It steps up mining and swarming small-boat attacks on U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf. Missile attacks, cyberattacks, and other acts of sabotage against Gulf oil facilities send global oil prices skyrocketing for weeks or months, perhaps to $150 or more per barrel. Iran launches as many missiles as it can at U.S. military bases. Many of the missiles miss, but some do not. Iran’s proxies target U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen increase their rocket attacks against Saudi Arabia. Iran may even attempt terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies or military facilities around the globe—but will likely fail, as such attacks are difficult to execute successfully.

Israel might get drawn into the conflict through clashes with Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group and political party in Lebanon. Iran has tremendous influence over Hezbollah and could potentially push the group to attack Israel using its arsenal of 130,000 rockets in an attempt to raise the costs of the conflict for the United States and one of its closest allies. Such an attack will likely overwhelm Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, leaving the Israelis with no choice but to invade Hezbollah’s strongholds in southern Lebanon and possibly southern Syria. What began as a U.S.-Iranian skirmish now engulfs the entire region, imposing not only devastating losses on Iran’s leadership and people but serious costs in blood and treasure for the United States, Israel, Lebanon, the Gulf states, and other regional players.

The Iran War: Consequences for US regional allies
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As a first step, Tehran is expected to directly target US military assets, such as the aircraft carriers and warships deployed in the Gulf, without engaging Saudi Arabia or other US allies in its vicinity. On 25 May, a day after the Pentagon’s confirmation of plans for troop surge in the Middle East, Morteza Ghorbani, a senior advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Guards Hossein Salami, warned that in the event of armed confrontation, IRGC will sink US aircraft carriers with missiles or “new top-secret weapons”.

Yet, once initiated, a military conflict is unlikely to remain limited to an exclusively Iranian-American exchange of fire for a number of reasons. If anything, the mysterious sabotage assaults on Saudi and Emirati tanker ships in the Gulf, carried out with explosive charges and widely attributed to the IRGC or its proxies, were meant to send a “costly signal” that Iran’s pro-US neighbours could easily fall prey to any escalation of tensions.

“Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have played a significant role in trying to bring Iran’s crude exports down to zero, so their tankers and oil pipelines were targeted,” a Tehran-based intelligence analyst affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards told MEMO, referring to the Houthi drone attacks against the Aramco East-West pipeline and oil stations in Saudi Arabia on 14 May.

The high likelihood of conflict expansion is partly due to the fact that US-allied Gulf Arab states host American military bases and forces, which will become natural targets if they are used, directly or indirectly, to carry out strikes against positions on the Iranian territory.

“Iran will undoubtedly show no mercy to any of them if war erupts, but that is going to follow a process too: Tehran will wait for a ship or fighter jet or missile to pass through their territory or airspace so it can take the development as an unmistakable instance of hostile collaboration and therefore target the collaborating state legitimately,” the IRGC-affiliated intelligence analyst explained.

But this is not the only reason why an Iranian-American conflagration will likely spread into the wider area and affect US regional allies as well. Absent a powerful air force as a consequence of long-standing isolation and international sanctions, Iran has mastered the art of irregular warfare and developed a military strategy that emphasises asymmetric fighting against a supposedly superior enemy. Since its best strengths lie in such methods of warfare, Tehran will resort to the kind of retaliation where its chances of inflicting damage are best, and this likely means dragging neighbouring states into the fight.
  #208  
Old 06-22-2019, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
Trump on Twitter: "We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday."
Trump is quite obviously displeased with Iran's relatively mild response to the recent American provocations. Kind of a not so passive but still aggressive ante upping on Trump's part. He'll get them to react the way he and his hope! Just you wait and see!

Last edited by bobot; 06-22-2019 at 03:02 PM.
  #209  
Old 06-22-2019, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenWyvern View Post
The US already had a nuclear deal with Iran - which the US tore up. The US could easily reinstate that deal any time.

Sorry, but this is out of touch with reality. A conflict with Iran could never be so neat and limited. The Strait of Hormuz would be closed indefinitely to all shipping, just for a start. Iran can do this at will with mines and small attack boats (invisible to radar), and nobody can prevent it. Neither Saudi Arabia, nor Russia, nor China, nor any other country wants this. It would probably cause a world-wide economic recession.

See

What a War With Iran Would Look Like




The Iran War: Consequences for US regional allies
I don't disagree with any of that. The U.S. and its allies would win a conventional war, but the Iranians would fight back asymmetrically, and use their proxies/allies across the region to cause chaos. Who knows where that might lead.

For the Saudis, though, which is what the original point was about, a war against Iran would significantly weaken their arch-rival. It is also something that could be executed by the U.S - the most powerful military on the planet - with little military involvement by the Saudis themselves. It could also help end the war that they are currently in - the Yemeni Civil War - which has been going on for four years and shows no sign of resolution.

Here are Saudi Arabian casualties and losses in the Yemeni Civil War to date (via Wikipedia):

1,000-3,000 soldiers killed
10 captured
3 aircraft lost
9 helicopters lost
20 M1A2S lost
1 frigate damaged

These are losses that the Saudis have directly received as a result, they likely perceive, of Iranian support for the Houthis. Yet the Saudis have only been able to retaliate against their proxies, the Houthis, and not directly against Iran. I would be surprised if there are not hawks in Saudi Arabia, and I also have no doubt that MBS is determined to achieve victory in Yemen.
  #210  
Old 06-22-2019, 04:48 PM
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Trump is quite obviously displeased with Iran's relatively mild response to the recent American provocations. Kind of a not so passive but still aggressive ante upping on Trump's part. He'll get them to react the way he and his hope! Just you wait and see!
He has one card that he can play with Iran and that was not worth playing over a downed drone that was coming up to the end of its service life before SLEP. I don't understand why people don't get this, Congress is not going to pay for a foreign war under current conditions. Bolton may want regime change to the exclusion of everything else, to everyone else its simply a crisis to good to waste.

Its better to avoid direct military confrontation while ramping up psy-ops. Take the play book from Able Archer and adapt to current times. Between B-52 squadron size elements and carrier alpha strikes , should create quite favorable circumstances.
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  #211  
Old 06-22-2019, 04:58 PM
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There's lots of other things he could do. He could EASE sanctions. He could try, with his feeble mind, to negotiate a nuclear compromise like we had before he destroyed it. Those are just two off the top of my head.
  #212  
Old 06-22-2019, 05:20 PM
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I agree with Walken: if we go to war with Iran, I don't think it's going to be with the aim of occupation.

What goal would that be then ? As has been already stated, the US already had a mutually agreed nuclear deal, and could probably get something similar back without killing people (not to mention, going to war to coerce people into making deals isn't exactly Einstein. When you want people to negociate with you, do you start by punching them in the mouth ? And if so, do you expect them to respect the piece of paper you forced them to sign ?).
Blow shit up until some civil war happens ? Great idea, ISIS wasn't enough...
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  #213  
Old 06-22-2019, 05:37 PM
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What goal would that be then ?
I really don't know, Kobal2. That's a mystery to me.

So they blow half the country to bits, and then...what? And how would Iran retaliate? And how we would retaliate to their retaliation?

I get the impression that as poorly planned out as the Iraq adventure was that there's even less planning for this conflict, and I would submit that Iran's a stiffer challenge than Saddam.

It seems that the theory floating around right wing nutter regime change circles is that if there's anything left in Iran to govern, we can install dissident groups once the current government is obliterated. One of the leading contenders for that prize is an exile group called "MEK", which actually helped Saddam Hussein in his war with Iran. Doesn't seem like there's been much serious thought put into any of this, which is understandable in the case of Trump, but it's inexplicable that he has hardly any senior advisers who've really gamed this out either. It's literally the Fox Newsroom running the Departments of Defense and State.
  #214  
Old 06-22-2019, 09:52 PM
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Well this all sounds good and properly thought through. When has obliterating the popular leadership of a nation, funding "friendly" paramilitary groups and letting chaos run its course ever gone wrong or backfired, except that one time ? No, no that time, I'm talking about that time... though I suppose that other time too. Huh... I'll get back to you.


ETA : actually, come to think of it (although this could be a whole 'nother debate I suppose), when has forceful regime change fostered by a foreign interest ever worked ? I suppose the colonial era would count, but they were a net negative on most if not all accounts (yes, including economic)
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Last edited by Kobal2; 06-22-2019 at 09:55 PM.
  #215  
Old 06-22-2019, 09:58 PM
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My fear is that when the shit hits the fan, Trump and the GOP won't just take their frustration out on his foreign adversaries, but even more so, his domestic ones. Presidents have a history of expanding executive power during times of foreign conflict and crises. Exactly why that hasn't registered with a single fucking person in this country yet...is a sad commentary on the state of American "democracy".
  #216  
Old 06-22-2019, 10:17 PM
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"I don't want to kill 150 people"

I've never heard a president since Carter express that sentiment.
  #217  
Old 06-22-2019, 11:19 PM
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It seems that the theory floating around right wing nutter regime change circles is that if there's anything left in Iran to govern, we can install dissident groups once the current government is obliterated. One of the leading contenders for that prize is an exile group called "MEK", which actually helped Saddam Hussein in his war with Iran. Doesn't seem like there's been much serious thought put into any of this, which is understandable in the case of Trump, but it's inexplicable that he has hardly any senior advisers who've really gamed this out either. It's literally the Fox Newsroom running the Departments of Defense and State.
Iranian news outlets are reporting on audio which they claim shows that the MEK/MKO and Saudis colluded over the tanker attacks. The MEK have links with various high-profile US politicians - John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani have both spoken at MEK rallies calling for regime change in Iran.
Quote:
It was only in 2012 that the US delisted [MEK] as a terrorist group. But the arrival of John Bolton, the MeK’s most powerful advocate, as US national security adviser has given the group unprecedented proximity to the White House and a new lease of political life.
Obviously needs to be treated with a skeptical eye, but it at least adds another party to the suspects list for the oil tanker attacks.
  #218  
Old 06-23-2019, 10:34 AM
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ETA : actually, come to think of it (although this could be a whole 'nother debate I suppose), when has forceful regime change fostered by a foreign interest ever worked ? I suppose the colonial era would count, but they were a net negative on most if not all accounts (yes, including economic)
Not that I think this is analogous, but off the top of my head Japan and Germany both spring to mind where forceful regime change fostered by a foreign power worked fairly well.

Personally, I don't think regime change in this case would work if fostered by an outside power. It's got to come from inside. Just like in North Korea and China, IMHO.
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  #219  
Old 06-24-2019, 07:19 AM
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So,, what are we saying here? Iran is trying to prompt President Trump into war or other retaliations and they couldn't do this (regardless of drone location, cost, publicity, etc). Iran has failed to manipulate President Trump.

That's the gist of it.

Also, predictions as tension rose, as Iran became more provocative, would be that President Trump would be provoked, yet he hasn't been.

Ok. Cool.

Last edited by Philster; 06-24-2019 at 07:20 AM.
  #220  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:10 AM
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There's lots of other things he could do. He could EASE sanctions. He could try, with his feeble mind, to negotiate a nuclear compromise like we had before he destroyed it. Those are just two off the top of my head.
As a non-US citizen it is not up to me to say yay or nay to anything that Bernie Sanders voices, but what I heard coming from him today sounds like a totally new and interesting and worth pursuing point of view. It went along the lines of "why should the US spend billions of Dollars in a never ending fight in the middle east between Iran and Saudi Arabia? We should rather work towards those two getting together and sorting it out between themselves." The only thing the US might look after would IMO be the safety of Israel so that it doesn't get caught in the middle of these arch-enemies should they decide to slug it out. Is it only about oil?
  #221  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:27 AM
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So,, what are we saying here? Iran is trying to prompt President Trump into war or other retaliations and they couldn't do this (regardless of drone location, cost, publicity, etc). Iran has failed to manipulate President Trump.

That's the gist of it.

Also, predictions as tension rose, as Iran became more provocative, would be that President Trump would be provoked, yet he hasn't been.

Ok. Cool.
I don't know if it is cool or not, but I gather presently and despite having Pompeo AND Bolton on the team he couldn't let himself be goaded into an armed conflict with Iran or anybody else without hugely losing face. Not because he would be concerned about American or Israeli safety, rather because of his very personal problem of having maneuvered himself needlessly deeply into a tough position. He has criticized his predecessors for going against Iraq and spending money which should be used at home or so, promised to bring back soldiers, end the wars/conflicts that others have started, and so on. So contrarily to that course ramping up towards a massive armed conflict with THE major Middle East power is not an option, which is why he is currently verbally slouching off with his tail between his legs, calling it de-escalation. The Iranians are clever enough to know this and will surely not budge in any way without lifting of sanctions etc. Therefore, Trump was stupid enough to put himself into a spot where the Iranians can blackmail him, which they will be happy to do.

But that was to be expected from this windbag. Screeching "America first" to enthusiastic Americans is one thing but anybody outside the US will not buy that notion just because a loud-mouthed president shouts it. The US as a nation is not great or, even more important, respected and looked up in a way that leads to this nation having political clout on the world stage just because of Mr Trump being president. Nor will it ever become (back again) as long as he is or people of his ilk are.
  #222  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:29 AM
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So,, what are we saying here? Iran is trying to prompt President Trump into war or other retaliations and they couldn't do this (regardless of drone location, cost, publicity, etc). Iran has failed to manipulate President Trump.

That's the gist of it.

Also, predictions as tension rose, as Iran became more provocative, would be that President Trump would be provoked, yet he hasn't been.

Ok. Cool.
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  #223  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:37 AM
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That’ll earn you a warning, Green Wyvern. You should know we don’t tolerate accusations of trolling in Great Debates.
  #224  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:53 AM
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Not that I think this is analogous, but off the top of my head Japan and Germany both spring to mind where forceful regime change fostered by a foreign power worked fairly well.

I mean, yeah, but there we're basically talking annexation/conquest. While that does involve regime change most of the time, it's not really the same kettle of fish. Or the same tax bill .
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  #225  
Old 06-24-2019, 12:18 PM
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I don't know if it is cool or not, but I gather presently and despite having Pompeo AND Bolton on the team he couldn't let himself be goaded into an armed conflict with Iran or anybody else without hugely losing face. Not because he would be concerned about American or Israeli safety, rather because of his very personal problem of having maneuvered himself needlessly deeply into a tough position. He has criticized his predecessors for going against Iraq and spending money which should be used at home or so, promised to bring back soldiers, end the wars/conflicts that others have started, and so on. So contrarily to that course ramping up towards a massive armed conflict with THE major Middle East power is not an option, which is why he is currently verbally slouching off with his tail between his legs, calling it de-escalation. The Iranians are clever enough to know this and will surely not budge in any way without lifting of sanctions etc. Therefore, Trump was stupid enough to put himself into a spot where the Iranians can blackmail him, which they will be happy to do.

But that was to be expected from this windbag. Screeching "America first" to enthusiastic Americans is one thing but anybody outside the US will not buy that notion just because a loud-mouthed president shouts it. The US as a nation is not great or, even more important, respected and looked up in a way that leads to this nation having political clout on the world stage just because of Mr Trump being president. Nor will it ever become (back again) as long as he is or people of his ilk are.

This is all conjecture.

President Trump, right now, is taking a measured approach. I suppose the spin and debate is on ___________________________.

Wherein the blank is everyone predicting what he'll do next or why he didn't do something.

OBVIOUSLY, he can have all sorts of reasons to act or not act, BUT... every decision seems to be based on something rationale, vs just a nut going off about something.

I've read this thread looking for why a lunatic will act as so, but then it doesn't reveal itself. No prediction seems to match his history.

So, then I further absorb the predictions for the next move. Based on what I see, I expect more measured approaches and an aversion for war and death.

I'm just not getting it (wherein 'it' is anyone viewing this Iran issue objectively to make an accurate prediction).

Last edited by Philster; 06-24-2019 at 12:20 PM.
  #226  
Old 06-24-2019, 01:10 PM
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Tearing up the nuclear agreement, instituting devastating sanctions and moving in our military are awesome ways to avoid a war. Makes you wonder how we've managed to avoid war with Iran in the past, don't it?

Last edited by bobot; 06-24-2019 at 01:11 PM.
  #227  
Old 06-24-2019, 03:27 PM
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Nations crowd other nation's international borders all the time. The Russians (and the Soviets before them) routinely fly aircraft right up to American airspace, and this sometimes triggers fighter launches to shadow the aircraft. And America does the same to them. Sometimes those planes stray into national airspace and are escorted out or threatened with missile lock or otherwise deterred.

China does this constantly with all its border nations, and then some. Basically any country that has the capacity to project power will sometimes push up against another nation's boundaries. There's a good reason for this - if you constantly bounce up against your enemy's territory, then you aren't telegraphing your intentions when the day comes that you actually want to attack. So everyone does this routinely for strategic advantage, and only rarely does anything get shot down. And when that happens, it's usually an error by someone. Or it's claimed to be an error, but message sent.

As for the spy drone, my understanding is that those surveillance drones are not necessarily spying on Iran, but on shipping. It was a drone that got the pictures of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Japanese tanker that was damaged. My guess is that the Iranian attack is an attempt to 'brush back' drone flights over the gulf so that they can continue their shenanigans with shipping without being caught.

For this type of monitoring, satellites are no good. Satellites are good for watching static installations, or large slow troop or convoy movements and such. But to catch a speedboat doing a short-duration task requires flying assets, or the Iranians would just wait until their sky is clear of spy sats before doing whatever. Aerial surveillance is much more useful for this type of work. That's what Iran would like to stop.
  #228  
Old 06-24-2019, 03:34 PM
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Let the record note that I’ve asked the simple question several times, and you won’t provide a clear answer whether a country under sanctions is justified to use violence to resist them. Why can’t you answer it clearly? Seems like a yes, no, usually, or sometimes are all clear answers that you could provide.

Here’s an example of answering questions: I think it’s reasonable for the US to take very seriously attacks against Saudi, Emirati, Norwegian, and Japanese tankers. I don’t think that those attacks warrant war.

If you’ll ever take a moment to read all of my posts, I’ve weighed in against war as a resolution to this crisis several times now. You have made statements that equivocate on whether it is acceptable for Iran to conduct war in the face of your version of a US-led “war,” which everyone else on the planet would call sanctions.
The analogy which immediately comes to mind is Japan in 1941. The US-British-Dutch oil embargo, as tightened in the summer of 1941, caused Japan eventually to decide to start the Pacific War.

Should we 'understand' that the embargo 'threatened Japan's sovereignty and self determination'? In the sense of understanding what happened in history I'd say yes. But obviously the risk there is making it seem like 'Japan was justified', which then also reflects back on the Japanese policies in China (and Indochina, the Japanese coercing the Vichy French into giving basing rights there was the final straw) which led to the sanctions.

I personally think these discussions have a pretty low value because most people who post here are highly political, with a 'socially aware' twist and historical knowledge and interest no as much generally. If the discussion started with Japan and China, 'racism', 'imperalism', they'd be a lot more uncomfortable with vague statements which might be taken as sympathetic to Japan's position at that time. Iran's regime's actions are quite odious also (not *as* bad, and not on as large a scale), but the same people tend to squirm at the idea of taking the side of the modern day (and Trump-led particularly) US on anything. It's 95% politics, and thus bullshit, IMO.

What can be said without political bullshit IMO is that it's been well recognized that countries resorting to violence to counter non-violent sanctions are viewed as escalators and generally in the wrong without a very strong reason why not, not just their 'sovereignty and self determination*'. The logical reason for that general rule is to promote solutions other than wars, and not have the only two means to counter bad national actions be war on one hand, or meaningless words on the other. I think one should be able to recognize that general idea and detach it from their own socio-political need for the US and/or Trump to always be wrong. IOW it could be unwise to abandon Obama's nuclear deal and renew sanctions pressure on Iran (not obviously unwise as a general policy IMO, but it could be argued so) but Iran still the aggressor if it responds to sanctions by, for example blowing up random third country tankers, which is also important context here, it wasn't just shooting down one drone and then arguing about where it really was.

*IMO it's questionable how 'self determination' would apply with the current Iranian regime because it's too far from itself being determined by the people of Iran. That's a judgement call and a spectrum, no govt is 100% the reflection of the will of it people in every action, the Iranian system does have an *inferior* tier that's elected. But now I think it's quite fuzzy whether weakening the Iranian regime, so it might be overcome by the next wave of popular uprisings in Iran, they seem to come fairly regularly now, is actually against, or in favor of, Iranian self determination.
  #229  
Old 06-24-2019, 04:21 PM
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What can be said without political bullshit IMO is that it's been well recognized that countries resorting to violence to counter non-violent sanctions are viewed as escalators and generally in the wrong without a very strong reason why not, not just their 'sovereignty and self determination*'. The logical reason for that general rule is to promote solutions other than wars, and not have the only two means to counter bad national actions be war on one hand, or meaningless words on the other. I think one should be able to recognize that general idea and detach it from their own socio-political need for the US and/or Trump to always be wrong. IOW it could be unwise to abandon Obama's nuclear deal and renew sanctions pressure on Iran (not obviously unwise as a general policy IMO, but it could be argued so) but Iran still the aggressor if it responds to sanctions by, for example blowing up random third country tankers, which is also important context here, it wasn't just shooting down one drone and then arguing about where it really was.
Here are the signatories to the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA):

China
France
Germany
European Union
Iran
Russia
United Kingdom
United States

Here are the signatories that subsequently withdrew from, or failed to comply, with the deal:

United States

Between the date of the signing of the deal and the date of Trump's withdrawal of the U.S. from it, did Iran do anything new to warrant such a move by the U.S.?

Iran didn't change. The rest of the international community didn't change. It was the U.S. (under Trump) that changed - into a more confrontational posture, applying economic sanctions and warning that anyone doing business with Iran will not be able to do business with the United States. In 2018, the United Nations International Court of Justice unanimously "ordered" the United States to stop the sanctions.

While both sides have committed escalatory acts, I think it's clear that Trump/the U.S. is the party that set off this current path of escalation, through unilaterally withdrawing from an international treaty and applying economic sanctions on a country. That's quite an aggressive thing to do.

So, again, what specifically did Iran do that warranted the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement and the application of sanctions?
  #230  
Old 06-24-2019, 04:59 PM
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Nations crowd other nation's international borders all the time. The Russians (and the Soviets before them) routinely fly aircraft right up to American airspace, and this sometimes triggers fighter launches to shadow the aircraft. And America does the same to them. Sometimes those planes stray into national airspace and are escorted out or threatened with missile lock or otherwise deterred.

China does this constantly with all its border nations, and then some. Basically any country that has the capacity to project power will sometimes push up against another nation's boundaries. There's a good reason for this - if you constantly bounce up against your enemy's territory, then you aren't telegraphing your intentions when the day comes that you actually want to attack. So everyone does this routinely for strategic advantage, and only rarely does anything get shot down. And when that happens, it's usually an error by someone. Or it's claimed to be an error, but message sent.

As for the spy drone, my understanding is that those surveillance drones are not necessarily spying on Iran, but on shipping. It was a drone that got the pictures of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Japanese tanker that was damaged. My guess is that the Iranian attack is an attempt to 'brush back' drone flights over the gulf so that they can continue their shenanigans with shipping without being caught.

For this type of monitoring, satellites are no good. Satellites are good for watching static installations, or large slow troop or convoy movements and such. But to catch a speedboat doing a short-duration task requires flying assets, or the Iranians would just wait until their sky is clear of spy sats before doing whatever. Aerial surveillance is much more useful for this type of work. That's what Iran would like to stop.
You're not necessarily wrong, except that there's some context missing. Yes, nations - even powerful nations that don't always get along - bump up along each other's borders all the time. But not all nations are being targeted with massive global sanctions coordinated from the most economically powerful nation on earth. And not all nations are facing the threat of regime change.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:21 PM
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I personally think these discussions have a pretty low value because most people who post here are highly political, with a 'socially aware' twist and historical knowledge and interest no as much generally. If the discussion started with Japan and China, 'racism', 'imperalism', they'd be a lot more uncomfortable with vague statements which might be taken as sympathetic to Japan's position at that time. Iran's regime's actions are quite odious also (not *as* bad, and not on as large a scale), but the same people tend to squirm at the idea of taking the side of the modern day (and Trump-led particularly) US on anything. It's 95% politics, and thus bullshit, IMO.
It's true that I find Trump repulsive, but I can separate his Iran policy from my criticism of his policies elsewhere. In fact I think I even begrudgingly conceded that, whatever one thinks of North Korea and/or Trump, he might have accidentally gotten something right -- at least for the time being. My criticism of Trump's behavior with Iran is founded on the premise that pulling out of a deal that was incontrovertibly effective at controlling Iran's nuclear program and using two militarists to "wage diplomacy" is an extremely risky (if not outright stupid) policy.

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What can be said without political bullshit IMO is that it's been well recognized that countries resorting to violence to counter non-violent sanctions are viewed as escalators and generally in the wrong without a very strong reason why not, not just their 'sovereignty and self determination*'.
And this is where your argument is starting to wander out to sea. Let's cut the crap: the US is imposing sanctions now and applying maximum pressure on Iran because they are making the calculation that food and power shortages could make people take to the streets to challenge the regime, as they have in Maduro's Venezuela. That's a policy that is effectively inciting violence, and even if it doesn't have the desired effect, it's clear that this is the intent because Bolton and Pompeo have already made it clear that they want to use American power to change Iran's regime (sorry, I posted the links already, not doing it again - you can do your own homework).

But as I think I already pointed out, I don't necessarily make the argument that Iran should shoot down drones or that it necessarily has the right to. What I'm saying is that every nation has sovereignty, and it can be expected to defend it, or to do whatever is needed to ensure self-preservation. The US is imposing sanctions and applying maximum pressure in an overt attempt to weaken Iran's regime because they assume that they're in a position to do so. But try that with Russia or with China or with a country that can fight back. Piss them off enough and they might tinker with your elections.

Once upon a time there was a country that put its missile batteries in Turkey and aimed them at Russia. So Russia then decided two can play this game and started putting missile batteries in Cuba. Guess what happened to those missiles in Turkey? They disappeared.

Last edited by asahi; 06-24-2019 at 05:22 PM.
  #232  
Old 06-24-2019, 06:11 PM
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You're not necessarily wrong, except that there's some context missing. Yes, nations - even powerful nations that don't always get along - bump up along each other's borders all the time. But not all nations are being targeted with massive global sanctions coordinated from the most economically powerful nation on earth. And not all nations are facing the threat of regime change.
And so we’re back to the poor, poor Iran and your concern for them being bullied.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:33 PM
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If it was mentioned already I missed it, but while Iran may not have nukes, they do have enriched uranium. I predict that if it comes to war and the regime sees that they are doomed, they will lob dirty bombs at various targets and create a terrible mess on their way out.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:45 PM
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And so we’re back to the poor, poor Iran and your concern for them being bullied.
Is Iran being bullied?
  #235  
Old 06-25-2019, 06:27 AM
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And so we’re back to the poor, poor Iran and your concern for them being bullied.
Why not write a cogent argument instead of pooping on a post? Oh that's right - you don't have shit to say because what I said was true.

Last edited by asahi; 06-25-2019 at 06:27 AM.
  #236  
Old 06-25-2019, 08:04 AM
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Iran, responding to yet more sanctions by Trump:

"Iranian officials slammed the Trump administration Tuesday for new sanctions targeting the country’s leadership, saying the measures permanently closed the path to diplomacy and that the White House had “become mentally crippled” under the current president. "
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.09a05e7489fc

Donald Trump, congratulations for having the "special" ability to orchestrate a conflict between the US and Iran which paints Iran as the good guy. Big pat on the back for you. Believe me when I say that no one else could have accomplished this amazing feat.
  #237  
Old 06-25-2019, 08:36 AM
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Is Iran being bullied?
I was describing asahi's line of arguments, that Trump has declared war on Iran through sanctions, so Iran is justified in fighting back with violence. I think "bully" is a reasonable term to describe those events: nobody likes a bully (Trump), so if the downtrodden (Iran) strike back, it's kind of worth cheering.
  #238  
Old 06-25-2019, 08:42 AM
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I was describing asahi's line of arguments, that Trump has declared war on Iran through sanctions, so Iran is justified in fighting back with violence. I think "bully" is a reasonable term to describe those events: nobody likes a bully (Trump), so if the downtrodden (Iran) strike back, it's kind of worth cheering.
Ok, so if you think Iran is being bullied, I guess I have to ask: how do you define bullying? Is it characterized by equal give-and-take? Is it a desirable situation for both parties?
  #239  
Old 06-25-2019, 08:53 AM
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Ok, so if you think Iran is being bullied, I guess I have to ask: how do you define bullying? Is it characterized by equal give-and-take? Is it a desirable situation for both parties?
I refer you to my earlier post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman
I was describing asahi's line of arguments, that Trump has declared war on Iran through sanctions, so Iran is justified in fighting back with violence.
I think you are asking the wrong person this question.
  #240  
Old 06-25-2019, 09:07 AM
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I refer you to my earlier post:

I think you are asking the wrong person this question.
No; I'm asking the right person. I'm interested in what you think.
  #241  
Old 06-25-2019, 09:23 AM
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No; I'm asking the right person. I'm interested in what you think.
Well, you did put words in my mouth that *I* think that the current situation consists of bullying. I said asahi is making that argument without actually using the word bullying. So you made a mistake there, but I guess you won't acknowledge that.

And about the definition of bullying? I'm not so sure I would really apply it to the topic of international relations as a general matter. I sure wouldn't apply it to the current situation, as we have two main actors who are both currently intent on provocative, dangerous, and dumb policies towards each other. I don't think their relative sizes is very material to the crisis we find ourselves in.

Same question back at you.

Last edited by Ravenman; 06-25-2019 at 09:24 AM.
  #242  
Old 06-25-2019, 09:34 AM
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I refer you to my earlier post:

I think you are asking the wrong person this question.
So you think he's wrong, and Iran is not being bullied?

It's a really simple question - do you, Ravenman, think Iran is being bullied, yes or no?
  #243  
Old 06-25-2019, 09:34 AM
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And so we’re back to the poor, poor Iran and your concern for them being bullied.
You make it sound like a bad thing to have concern for those that are bullied.

The U.S.-imposed economic sanctions are unjustified. They have no support from the international community - outside perhaps of the U.S.'s local Middle Eastern allies - and the United Nations International Court of Justice unanimously "ordered" them stopped.

Do you disagree that the economic sanctions are unjustified? If so, why?

If the economic sanctions are unjustified, then what would you suggest the Iranians do? Go to the U.N.? The U.S. are ignoring the U.N.'s directives. Impose sanctions on the U.S. and tell all the countries of the world that if they trade with the U.S. then they will not be allowed to trade with Iran? The U.S. are 1st in GDP in the world, while Iran are 27th. The economic gulf is so great that, as a stand-alone country, Texas would be the 10th largest economy in the world. Few will choose Iran over the U.S.

I see your view of the situation as being like this. The U.S. are strangling the Iranians (in my opinion as an act of clear and unjustified aggression). The Iranians should just stand there with their arms at their side - if the Iranians punch back, then they are being provocative and are the aggressors. I see this as being rather naive and unrealistic.

One of the only strong cards Iran holds is the possibility of closing the Strait of Hormuz, which would affect global oil trade, and also appear to be a weapon of last resort. How would they close the Strait of Hormuz? Unfortunately, this can only be achieved through violence of some sort. They could indiscriminately send out floating mines, that could sink ships and lead to loss of life. If the Iranians perpetrated the oil tanker attacks - and that is still an if, as no conclusive evidence has been publicly revealed - then they have deliberately done it in such a way as to avoid loss of life. As with the downing of the unmanned drone, these would be warnings to the U.S. to show what could happen if they continue to choke Iran.

For the view of things from the Iranian side, I recommend listening to interviews made a couple of months ago with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, such as here on Fox with Chris Wallace, and here on Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan.
  #244  
Old 06-25-2019, 09:36 AM
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And about the definition of bullying? I'm not so sure I would really apply it to the topic of international relations as a general matter.
We're not talking about general matters.

In this specific case, do you think the US is bullying Iran?
Quote:
I don't think their relative sizes is very material to the crisis we find ourselves in.
How can it not be? Not relative sizes, just relative force, that is...
  #245  
Old 06-25-2019, 09:43 AM
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It's a really simple question - do you, Ravenman, think Iran is being bullied, yes or no?
Please read what I wrote before repeating questions.
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Originally Posted by Ravenman
I sure wouldn't apply it to the current situation....
  #246  
Old 06-25-2019, 09:45 AM
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The Iranians should just stand there with their arms at their side - if the Iranians punch back, then they are being provocative and are the aggressors. I see this as being rather naive and unrealistic.

....Unfortunately, this can only be achieved through violence of some sort.
Ok, so one more vote for the Iran in this thread. I gotcha.
  #247  
Old 06-25-2019, 10:00 AM
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Please read what I wrote before repeating questions.
Obviously that was crossing timelines in posting - but can I take "wouldn't apply it" as a "no", then? Just so I know where you stand on actual question asked of you.

Oh, and if you're counting, count me as thoroughly pro-Iran on this particular matter.

Last edited by MrDibble; 06-25-2019 at 10:02 AM.
  #248  
Old 06-25-2019, 10:05 AM
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Obviously that was crossing timelines in posting - but can I take "wouldn't apply it" as a "no", then? Just so I know where you stand on actual question asked of you.
It was in the post that you quoted when you first asked the question, but you snipped it out. So it wasn't crossing timelines -- either you didn't read it the first time or something else.

And, I think you understand my English just fine. Unless you want me to start questioning what you mean by each one of your sentences?

Last edited by Ravenman; 06-25-2019 at 10:06 AM.
  #249  
Old 06-25-2019, 10:20 AM
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Well, you did put words in my mouth that *I* think that the current situation consists of bullying. I said asahi is making that argument without actually using the word bullying. So you made a mistake there, but I guess you won't acknowledge that.

Quote:
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I was describing asahi's line of arguments, that Trump has declared war on Iran through sanctions, so Iran is justified in fighting back with violence. I think "bully" is a reasonable term to describe those events: nobody likes a bully (Trump), so if the downtrodden (Iran) strike back, it's kind of worth cheering.
Quote:
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And about the definition of bullying? I'm not so sure I would really apply it to the topic of international relations as a general matter. I sure wouldn't apply it to the current situation, as we have two main actors who are both currently intent on provocative, dangerous, and dumb policies towards each other. I don't think their relative sizes is very material to the crisis we find ourselves in.

Same question back at you.
Well I disagree with your assessment of the situation as "two main actors who are both currently intent on provocative, dangerous, and dumb policies towards each other" and you haven't offered any clarification on what bullying would be defined as, so I'm not only reluctant to venture an opinion on that, exactly, I don't think we're talking about the same things in a lot of ways. That's why I'm asking you questions, dude. I'm trying to understand your point of view, which is seems different than mine but then you make statements like "I think 'bully' is a reasonable term to describe those events" only to seemingly deny it immediately thereafter. You're all over the place here.
  #250  
Old 06-25-2019, 10:32 AM
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Tearing up the nuclear agreement, instituting devastating sanctions and moving in our military are awesome ways to avoid a war. Makes you wonder how we've managed to avoid war with Iran in the past, don't it?
No, I don't wonder. It has avoided war. They are not acts of war. They are things you must grasp to make a exceedingly weak argument that President Trump wants war, or has increased the likelihood of war.

From his history and his actions, he does not want war, and the argument that showing strength (sanctions, positioning military) and not being afraid of getting out of a bad deal = war, well that is weak.

I'm not shining the Bush light on Trump, and if President Trump has some Bush leftovers around, what we do know is that if they have a basic disagreement with one of his tenets of how he operates, and how he doesn't want wasted war in the middle east, unlike many other tools, Trump will have Bolton's and such lose their minds trying to force him into something.

This is definitely something Trump wants as a legacy: No more wasted wars in the Middle East. I see no indication that is changing.

.

Last edited by Philster; 06-25-2019 at 10:34 AM. Reason: typos
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