15 thoughts on “Trump’s War With Iran”

  1. I agreed with Trump’s decision not to deliver a military counter-strike.

    The Iranians obviously wanted our counter-attack or they wouldn’t have shot down our drone. In fact, shooting down the drone couldn’t accomplish anything other than provoking us to blow up something in Iran, most likely the SAM site. It’s not like we only have the one drone, or will make the slightest change to our airborne patrols, so downing the drone wasn’t the goal of downing the drone. So why should we go along with playing the critical role in their military plans? They slapped our face with a glove, and we declined their offer of a duel, even though we’d win it, because they must have a reason to want to duel.

    I would venture that they want us to engage them in a tit-for-tat series of attacks and counter attacks because they think they can win that issue and get the sanctions dropped, while whipping up the Iranian public to support the regime when the regime’s popularity is reaching all-time lows.

    What their regime wants is sanctions relief, and the way they think they’ll get that relief is a military skirmish. Instead of giving them a skirmish that eventually ends up with an agreement that lifts the sanctions, Trump just hit them with more sanctions. He’s dishing out what they don’t want instead of what they do want, which they no doubt find extremely frustrating, if not enraging.

    In a schoolyard analogy, the little kid was trying to show he’s tough and brave and trying to provoke the teacher to get sympathy and outside intervention, but the teacher just held his arm up, said “Talk to the hand,” and gave him two more weeks in detention.

    This may prompt Iran to strike a much bigger blow, killing US personnel, and Trump is ready there, too, saying that we will obliterate them. We find their nuclear program, their missile programs, and their regime unacceptable, and if Trump strikes, I think he’ll target all of those for nearly complete elimination. He might also take out their oil infrastructure for good measure.

    But he’s not going to incrementally escalate his way there as long as the sanctions can cripple them, hopefully forcing them to abandon their nuclear program, or bring about regime change.

    But if they force Trump to strike, I think he will hit them hard and go for all the marbles short of ground invasion and occupation. His moves indicate that there will be no tit-for-tat. The brutal economic sanctions will remain until Iran gives up its nuclear program, however long that takes, and if they really lash out we will just obliterate Iran’s nuclear program, along with much else.

    As an aside, yesterday Rand Paul said he agreed with Trump’s decision not to strike back. But then he criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal, which he said Iran had been complying with, and then criticized the Obama Administration for front-loading the deal with hundreds of billions in cash, which gave away our carrot and left us only a stick. Then Paul went on to say that instead, he’d have built on the nuclear deal to add limitations on their ballistic missile program. I said “Rand just contradicted himself. If Obama just gave away the carrot, that left us with nothing to offer Iran to get them to come to the table on their missile program.”

    1. The core of the problem is that ultimately the Khomeinists in Teheran are not playing for what Trump, or anyone else in industrial society is playing for, that being a predictable environment conducive to industrial society’s freedoms of action. The Khomeinists are playing to set up a nuclear defended Caliphate, just as Ayatollah Khomeini approved of in his writings. They want the nuclear weapons *before* they set up their Shia Caliphate, to not repeat the mistake of ISIS. Just because they are corrupt does *not* mean they are not still believers.

      What we call corruption is just part of their hierarchical structure to keep themselves in power. Trump’s sanctions are eroding the basis of their hierarchs’ ability to dole out wealth that keeps themselves on top of that hierarchy. Keep squeezing with those sanctions, and the dependents of their hierarchs will have no reason to support them any longer.

    2. If Iran is so unwise as to cross Trump’s “obliteration” line, we will have to send in occupiers after the obliteration is done and run Iran for some indefinite period under a government of military occupation. Just smashing the place flat isn’t enough. It wasn’t enough for Germany and Japan in WW2 either. That’s why we ran both of those places for a decade after we “obliterated” them. If one isn’t willing to do that, don’t go to war. Smash-and-leave will just net us another ISIS or Taliban. If we wind up having to settle Iran’s hash, we need to make a proper job of it and keep our hands on the place until its inhabitants are prepared to behave.

      That isn’t to say we can’t get some help. Personally, I’d enlist the Kurds as allies and levies. We could make that a quid pro quo for standing up an independent Kurdistan out of the northern third of Iraq and a biggish piece of Iran. We could give Iraq some of Iran’s oilfields as compensation. With the Islamic Republic gone, the “Three H’s” – Houthis, Hamas, Hezbollah – will quickly follow. So will Assad in Syria. At that point, we can carve off a piece of Syria and add it to Kurdistan. We can set up another government of occupation in what’s left of Syria, also garrisoned by Kurds, and politely invite the Russians to leave.

      Doing a quick bug-out, as Obama did in Iraq, or even just turning a conquered nation promptly back over to its unreconstructed inhabitants, as Bush 43 did in Iraq, will simply invite another round of lather-rinse-repeat. The point is, these people are demonstrably incapable of rationally running their own affairs. They need assistnce and instruction for a reasonable period until they can.

      1. We have Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi and his lovely daughter Princess Noor living here. The Crown Prince has said that a secular, parliamentary democracy is the way forward for Iran, and we do have quite a lot of Iranians here who might be able to lend a hand. LA alone has 600,000.

        However, that all presupposes that the mullahs, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and other bad actors are defeated by some combination of US attacks and a popular uprising, which is really hard to predict.

        1. I don’t favor having the Pahlavi Pretender be involved in post-Khomeinist Iran. I wouldn’t even permit him back in the country. His family simply has too much accumulated baggage for it to play any role in Iranian governance going forward. We would want to leave Iran – when we would eventually leave – with a governmental form that is modern and Western. That means no congenital schemers with entitlements mentalities like the Pahlavis. We need to treat them like our own Kennedys; let them live off the Old Man’s ill-gotten gains for as long as they last and then fade into anonymous middle class-ness with no illusions about divine rights to rule. Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves.

          That isn’t to say ex-pat Iranians wouldn’t have a role to play, but the ranks of such people likely include more than a few Persian versions of Chalabi. We would need to be growing an organic government in Iran from people who already live there if it’s to last. Inflicting a bunch of Americanized Farsi-speaking carpetbaggers on the country is not a move calculated to have long-term good effects. Let the Shahs of Sunset stay there.

          All that said, I have sometimes imagined a future – or perhaps even current – U.S. President paraphrasing Adm. Halsey’s post-Pearl Harbor comment about the Japanese, to wit, “By the time this is over the Farsi language will be spoken only in Beverly Hills.”

          1. I don’t think the Pahlavis will ever end up middle class.

            Princess Noor’s Instagram, with 230,000 followers.

            If they weren’t already rich when they got here, they’d still be rich by now, from modelling if nothing else.

            Anyway, I suggested them because, although we could try to set up a functioning liberal democracy in the heart of the Middle East, it is likely the effort will be about as successful as all the previous failed attempts at setting up a functioning liberal democracy in the Middle East.

            Why? Something something Islam, but in part many feel down in their bones that Allah is the one actually picking the ruler, who of course wouldn’t be in charge if he wasn’t backed by Allah’s divine will, or else Allah would have replaced him. Thus all the Presidents-For-Life in the region. The only other mode they seem to have is to up and decide that the ruler is an affront to Islam, and that they must kill him because it’s Allah’s will.

            So Jordan might be a safer model, with a parliament and somewhat limited monarchy led by a stable, Western-educated royal who Muslims would view as a just ruler.

            However, Iran might be much more compatible with modern democracy than most other countries in the area, since they come from a different philosophical school on the Koran, one which allows more logic, reason, and cause and effect, and they might have vastly less tribalism.

            However, the best solution is obviously installing Barack Obama as Emperor of all Persia.

          2. Granted, the Pahlavis are a good looking bunch. Not in a class with the Kardashians, perhaps but the same could also have been said of the Kennedys – at least the men. That hasn’t prevented Old Joe’s rum-running fortune from dispersing to the four winds.

            It was once also confidently said that neither Germans nor Japanese would ever get the hang of republican governance either. In the case of the Japanese, there were also arguments about their religion being fundamentally incompatible.

            Even religion is modifiable to a surprising degree. The British outlawed suttee in India, for example, in spite of dark warnings that the natives would never stand for that. I don’t notice that suttee has enjoyed any sort of comeback since 1948.

            BHO as the new Shah? That would be the revenge of a fiend. Kinder to just disembowel them all and set them afire.

    3. Iran shot down the drone because they don’t like enemy drones in their airspace. They have done that all the time from several Reaper drones to the RQ-170. I don’t know why this is supposed to be a novelty. In fact, one could say, the US was basically asking for it to be shot down by sending it over there.

        1. Because they shot it down, duh.

          Surely you’re not suggesting that the government of Iran would make claims in bad faith!

          /sarc

  2. Brilliant move by Trump, yet again playing rope-a-dope with the DNC media complex.

    Are we really to believe that, just as the go/no go decision was about to be made, that he *then* asked how many casualties this might cause? And that persuaded him to call it off? No, he knew what the possible casualties might be from the beginning, he knew what the Iranians wanted him to do, so he didn’t do it. Finally, he gets to increase the sanctions even more, and make a threat to ‘obliterate’ them if he needs to. To which the DNC media complex responds with an attack of the vapours.

    It’s a delight to watch.

    Talking of the DNC media complex, if you have 37 seconds to spare, do watch the video of E Jean Carroll being “interviewed” by Anderson Cooper, you know the one where she says rape is sexy, he blusters and calls for a commercial break and then she leans over and says you’re fascinating to talk to.

  3. I wonder if Kerry’s talks with Iran played a role in this event taking place.

    It is suspicious how various left wing media outlets had hit pieces ready to go with the narrative of “war” as if doing anything in response means war.

  4. It has long been thought that having served in a war gives a leader the moral authority to take America into war. The idea is that such a leader has the necessary fighting spirit whereas has seen the horrors of war to not take this decision lightly. Examples are Kennedy serving in WW-II and calling upon America to a belligerent anti-Communism, George H W Bush another WW-II combat veteran who fought the Kuwait War, the candidacies of McCain and Kerry. Even George W Bush is an example — he served in uniform during Vietnam, and flying the F-102 was a dangerous undertaking even if you didn’t fly it over the cannon and rockets of North Vietnam, but his taking us into the Afghan and Iraq wars was questioned over whether his version of rushing to the sound of gunfire was sincere.

    Since Mr. Trump dodged the Vietnam War, does this give him the moral authority to lead America in dodging the Iran War?

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