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Discuss the recent Iranian attack (or “attack”) on the oil tankers, and the recent Iranian shootdown of the $200 million American drone (allegedly over international airspace – Iran denies it) here.

***

I have discussed the consequences of a major US – Iran war in previous posts. I don’t have much more to add at this stage.

John Bolton has just packed the NSC with hardliners.

I would rate the chances of US strikes on Iran or Iranian assets within the next two weeks as substantial. If it happens, it will hopefully be confined to largely symbolic strikes on Iranian assets in Syria; however, strikes on Iranian missile sites and the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility cannot be excluded (one wonders what will win – US bunker busters or Iranian concrete).

I would put the chances of this at 50% and 25%, respectively. I realize this might seem unconscionably high, and I would even agree with that, but it’s a feeling I have watching this play out. Also, a friend of a friend with excellent contacts in the Russian MFA apparently believes that there will be an American military response. This is obviously not much to go on, so confidence is necessarily low. Still. At the end of the day, the Iran – US antagonism is sort of like the Chekhov’s gun of world geopolitics. I just have the feeling it will go off sooner or later, regardless of Greasy Willy’s insistence that it will never happen.

Speaking of Greasy (I hope he’s OK) I am amused to see that his eternal bugbear Elijah J. Magnier accepts the official US position that the tanker attacks were carried out by the Iranians.

 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. it will hopefully be confined to largely symbolic strikes on Iranian assets in Syria

    imo that’s wishful thinking and if Trump and his administration believe Iran will react like Assad’s government did to the missile strikes on Syria, it’s a serious miscalculation. Iran will retaliate in some way (the attacks on the tankers and the US drone were clear warnings of that imo), and once American servicemen have been wounded or even killed, a significant part of the US public, or at least of Trump’s chauvinistic base, will clamour for revenge and things will escalate completely out of control.
    If the Americans are really crazy enough to actually attack some nuclear facility in Iran, this will of course be even more the case, the Iranian government would have to react with a counter-strike against that.
    Grim situation anyway. I hope Trump loses heavily in 2020, his government and the deranged cretins cheering on this confrontation with Iran are a danger to the rest of the world.

  3. songbird says:

    I know that the Global Hawk has great capabilities, still it is surprising that it costs about $200 million. Expensive drones seem intuitively wrong. It feels like you are doing drones incorrectly, if they are not low-cost and distributive. What was Iran’s investment in taking it out? Maybe, it is just an expensive anti-piracy toy.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
    , @El Dato
  4. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    Even Jimmy Carter sent in a rescue team that blew-up a bus.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  5. @songbird

    When Iran was actually keeping Americans as hostages, in flagrant breach of all diplomatic conventions. Not comparable to the present situation at all imo (I know there are some American citizens in Iranian custody as alleged spies, but Trump’s policies aren’t going to do them much good).
    I have little sympathies for Iran’s theocratic system of government, if Iranians could replace it with something different, it would be positive. But the fault for the present crisis lies overwhelmingly with Trump’s administration.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Mitleser
  6. Anyone with half a brain knows that latest tanker attacks, just like the previous ones, were a classical false flag, like Tonkin incident. One can argue whether these false flag attacks were perpetrated by the US, Israel, or Saudis. Ham-handedness suggests the latter, but maybe the plan was better than the execution, so the original plan could have been American or Israeli, but the executors were sloppy morons, which point to Saudis. It’s pretty much like MH17 over Donbass: the plan was likely reasonably good (i.e., American), but ham-handed Ukies executed it sloppily, so that the US sidekicks now have to lie through their teeth and look like complete morons to cover up.

    I think that the article greatly overestimates the chances of the US aggression against Iran. I am almost sure that the US brass is scared shitless of Iranian response. Victories (like Grenada in 1983) are good for promotions, but losing lots of aircraft, ships, and personnel is not. We have recent examples to go by: Twitter/Facebook “wars” against NK and Venezuela, lots of huffing and puffing, threatening tweets, movements of military assets (even loss of two aircraft in case of NK), but nothing real. Cowardice is the best thing (for us normal humans) neocons and the rest of American elites have. My bet is, that despite the loss of a drone (which had no business being there in the first place) the US would not move beyond customary support of bandits in Syria and elsewhere.

    • Replies: @animalogic
  7. one RQ-4A Global Hawk costs more than any supercomputer on the top 500 list, except for the fastest two american supercomputers, which cost about the same. except america only has two of those supercomputers, and 40 of these drones.

    priorities, people. GloboHomo at any cost.

    • Replies: @songbird
  8. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    I think American itself is in a rising tide of bluster and aggression, and Trump may not be the greatest peak.

    I hope that Congress is sectarian enough to prevent airstrikes, but, I don’t know, there is something eerie about how politicians can unite behind Israel.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  9. just realized these drones cost about twice as much as the F-117 Nighthawk cost. LOL. so yeah, that’s pretty much total nonsense. most advanced stealth aircraft in the world at the time, or, some stupid drone. wow.

    talk about government pork.

    if we’re gonna get shot down, at least we could get shot down for half the price.

  10. songbird says:
    @prime noticer

    I’d like those 40 Hawks to be 20 A380s, rigged with 1000 seats each, deporting undesirables. I am sure with some further cuts, we could make it 40 A380s.

  11. Hail says: • Website

    $200 million American drone

    Is this a prototype cost, or the general “sticker price”?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  12. anonymous[177] • Disclaimer says:

    If it really were the Iranians sabotaging the oil tankers then it’s perfectly understandable that they would do so. Saudi Arabia is the world’s number one sponsor and financier of terrorism. They’ve bankrolled jihadi fanatics all over, most recently in Syria. They’ve worked against the state of Syria and Iran and have been in cahoots with Israel for a long time now, always scheming and acting as paymasters. It’s payback time now that the Syrian war has wound down. They’ll show the Saudis that they’re vulnerable and that their big brother the USA can’t protect them. If the sanctions cause harm to Iran then they’ll show that harm can work both ways. If the US decides to take military action then it’ll have to be careful no airmen get shot down and captured since the Iranians can then hold them prisoner at likely bombing targets, serving as bombing shields. It looks as if the Iranians are ready to fight, not a good thing for the Americans right now. Negotiations and a pullback of the sanctions is what’s required but who knows what they’re thinking.

    • Replies: @Brabantian
  13. Yevardian says:

    Looks like a good a time as any to brush up on my Persian (the language is actually easier than Russian imo, its actually one of the least-inflected IE languages). Naturally there’ll be a feeding frenzy of a disaster-capitalists flooding the country like vultures if the Mullahs ever lose power.

  14. Ma Laoshi says:

    “however, strikes on Iranian missile sites and the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility cannot be completed”
    From the context it looks as if you meant “cannot be excluded”.

    With the Orange One at the wheel and Supreme Leader Bibi whispering in his ear, I’d say that a little bit of tactical-nuke use cannot be excluded if this isn’t clamped down on pronto.

    On that front: now that the Dems have an issue thrown into their lap on which Trump can and should be impeached, they’re doing all they can to distract us with some nonsense at the border. Useless.

  15. Yevardian says:

    I’ve been told by quite a few Iranians (Persians & Armenian Diaspora) that Iran possesses hundreds of sleeper agents scattered across the US and the West, if a real crisis ever comes to pass. I guess I might finally get to see if these claims are BS or not.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @utu
  16. @songbird

    And, apparently, they’re no cheaper to fly or maintain. What gives? Anyone?

  17. @Yevardian

    I’ve heard similar claims as well, even by supposed terrorism experts.
    imo one can’t exclude the possibility that Iran will react with asymmetric terror attacks in Western countries. I guess this would then be used as evidence that war against Iran was right all along.

  18. Yevardian says:

    So according to friends of mine living in or recently emigrated from the country, the Iranian government (though the Clerics and Secular authorities are divided on this) is indeed stirring up this situation on purpose, because Iran is becoming truly starved by the sanctions that were reenacted under Drumpf. Basically the regime is willing to risk anything at this point just so they can sell Oil again, as soon they’ll have nothing to lose anyway. Rohani btw, is hardly a true ‘moderate’, in fact the Clerics were quite fed up with Ahmadinejad (he also started promoting unorthodox and nationalist-type Shiite views) and had began to see him as an embarrassment are cooperated in seeing him gone.

    I might also mention that Iran has been suffering from a heroin epidemic (the cause should hardly need explaining) since the early 2010’s, which led to a huge spike in petty crime in the big cities. Previously you could take for granted your personal safety in any neighborhood (if you didn’t bother the government), but that’s no longer the case.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @LondonBob
  19. It doesn’t really matter who shot down the drone.

    If the high school bully manages to get the cornered ninety-pound freshman to swing on him, does that mean the ninety pound weakling started the fight?

    We’ve been goading Iran to bring this about, and if it hasn’t paid off now, it will eventually. This is egregiously evil bullshit.

    …Tell Israel to bomb Iran them fucking selves.

    • Agree: utu
  20. peterAUS says:
    @Yevardian

    …Basically the regime is willing to risk anything at this point ..

    Sounds suicidal.

    ….ran has been suffering from a heroin epidemic…..a huge spike in petty crime in the big cities…

    Informative re cohesion of the society.
    At the other hand, when the missiles start raining the regime can get rid of all those with ease.

  21. Also, a friend of a friend with excellent contacts in the Russian MFA apparently believes that there will be an American military response.

    The more interesting question is will there be a Russian response to US military response? This is what our contacts in the Russian MFA should be used for. Not making predictions about US behavior. Their grasp on US behavior is as good as ours, and probably worse.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  22. anon[394] • Disclaimer says:

    This empire needs a good punch in the nose. I hope Iran is able to give it as good as they get it.

  23. Anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/21/politics/trump-military-strikes-iran/index.html

    President Donald Trump abruptly called off military strikes against Iran on Thursday night after previously approving the strikes in retaliation for Iran shooting down a US military drone, The New York Times reports.

    The operation was already underway in its initial stages — ships were in position and planes were in the air — but no missiles had been fired when the order came to stand down, a senior administration official told the Times. The strike had been scheduled for just before dawn on Friday in Iran to minimize the risk to civilians and the Iranian military, and military officials received word shortly after then that the strike was off, at least temporarily.

    This combined with his initial reaction to the drone strike (“I find it hard to believe it was intentional”) leads to me a theory of mind for Trump:

    -At a basic level, Trump does not war with Iran
    -At the same time Trump wants to appear “strong” in foreign policy, so he’s willing to approve pretty much any non-military measure his neocon advisors pitch him, and being intellectually incurious he doesn’t reflect much on what these measures will actually mean in practice
    -Per Yevardian’s post above, this has led to a massive deterioration in relations with Iran; Trump does not appreciate the seriousness of this situation
    -Trump has a primitive, playground mentality: if someone hits me, I must respond
    -But Trump’s impulse to avoid war overrides his desire to save face (for now)

    Overall I think this is another case where Trump’s good instincts have come into conflict with his tendencies towards egotism, ignorance and laziness.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Ma Laoshi
  24. utu says:
    @Yevardian

    “that Iran possesses hundreds of sleeper agents scattered across the US and the West.” – and all of them infiltrated by Mossad and CIA.

  25. @German_reader

    Do you really think it will make any difference who is President? This is baked deeply into the cake, and it doesn’t just come from Washington.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  26. LondonBob says:
    @Yevardian

    Elijah Magnier says the same. The sanctions are an act of war so Iran is and has been hitting back, Houthis missile strikes on Saudi airports, Hamas launching a missile barrage at Israel etc.

    Iran is already isolated from the world economy, $500 oil would be beneficial for them.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  27. Bliss says:

    The invasion of Iraq was good for the Iraqi Kurds. The Kurds of Iran are hoping for the same good fortune:

    https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/06/10/a-moment-of-maximum-danger-as-us-iran-tensions-rise-kurdish-opposition-prepares-for-war/

    The demeanor of the fighters was friendly. Yet world events had them energized, ready for action. A single question was on everyone’s mind: Will the U.S. go to war with Iran?

    “Our people will be happy if the U.S. attacks Iran, but Iran will absolutely retaliate against us,” Asso Hassan Zadeh, KDPI’s deputy secretary general, said in an interview with The Daily Signal.

    This is a moment of maximum opportunity and danger for us,” Zadeh said. “Tehran sees us as America’s allies, and they may try to send a message to the U.S. by striking us.”

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
  28. EldnahYm says:
    @Bliss

    Kurds will betray anyone and everyone at the drop of a hat.

  29. @Godfree Roberts

    The prices that our defense department pays to aerospace contractors are irrelevant and unrealistic. They are just part of the endless circle jerk that goes on, like the revolving door between government and contractors. The same people work for both.

    You can’t tell what an item really should cost. A $200 million radio-controlled toy with cameras might only be worth $10 million for all we know.

    BTW there is other stuff up there. This relatively low-tech flyer is for public consumption.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @alexander
  30. @LondonBob

    This is reminiscent of the declaration of economic war that was made on Germany in 1933, or the boxing in of Japan in the same era.

  31. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Anonymous

    Well you can’t take such a report at face value without taking into consideration that it’s CNN. The Ziomedia have been egging Trump on to manufacture this needless crisis, and now use it to paint him as weak when he doesn’t go all the way. Mr. Karlin … isn’t always right to put it mildly, and yet it makes sense to point to the layers of Beltway palace intrigue as he’s doing in the Russian power-grid hacking saga.

    If you think you can outsmart the jews at their own game as Trump seems to be trying, it only proves that you’re not as smart as you think you are. Fellow gamer Karlin may appreciate what Mass Effect had to say about dirty tricks: “Black ops are bullshit, they always go bad. If you have to deny the mission, then it was a crappy mission.”

    • Replies: @Anon000
  32. @Godfree Roberts

    And, apparently, they’re no cheaper to fly or maintain. What gives? Anyone?

    You make all the money on the airframe and electronics without the bother of accommodating a human on-board. Planes can be built for higher G loadings for evasion or fighting, dodging missiles and so forth. An unmanned fighter is going to be able to turn and climb far harder than manned aircraft for the simple reason that humans cannot sustain Gs and drones can. Cost? What’s it matter? Depending on the version, 75 million for the basic airframe, 25-million and up for the sensors and ELINT capabilities. The one that was supposedly taken down yesterday looks to me to be nearly as big as the A-10, it has that profile, anyway. I know the Navy is dicking around with a refueling drone that’s approaching the same heft as the old A6 Intruder and that’s pretty big, 26,000 lbs of fuel aloft enables offensive capabilities. I suspect we’ll be seeing those used to deliver fuel aloft, directly overhead the carriers. But when these things start dropping on populated areas (crashing, not bombing, heh), people are going to be shocked at how big they are. There will be casualties, but there won’t be dead aircrew. I prefer the pilots of aircraft be aboard, have a little skin in the game, but we are moving from that pretty quickly.

  33. @anonymous

    Indeed, those ideas of Elijah J. Magnier which AK cites above – Bernd Neuner of Moon of Alabama also co-ordinating with Magnier – have some merit

    The blockading of Iran’s oil sales, savagely wrecking Iran’s economy, is an act of war parallel to the USA 1941 blockading of Japan’s oil imports, that pushing Japan into war and the Pearl Harbor attack which USA gov secretly wanted

    Not only the EU, but Russia & China are not stepping up to compensate for the economic wreckage of the sanctions … Which are now an existential threat to Iran, facing possibly 5 plus more years of Israel-serving Trump … Doesn’t Iran have a right to defend itself against acts of war?

    In 2018 & 2019, top Iranian leadership repeatedly threatened that, in response to blockading Iran’s oil sales … Iran will impede oil sales to the entire world in the Gulf straits
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-iran/if-iran-cant-export-oil-from-gulf-no-other-country-can-irans-president-says-idUSKBN1O30MI

    Early 2018. ‘If Iran can’t export oil no-one in Middle East will,’ Tehran warned.

    Dec 2018 Iran’s President Rouhani repeated that position:
    “If one day they want to prevent the export of Iran’s oil, then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf,” Rouhani said.

    In late-April 2019, Iran’s Major General Mohammed Hossein Bagheri said, “If our oil fails to go through the Strait, others’ crude will not either.”

    Iran’s Shia society is dysfunctional, with abysmal fertility as bad as the worst of Europe, due in part to the Shia ‘temporary marriages’ for the weekend etc., essentially mosque-authorised prostitution

    Iran has millions of young men ready to die as martyrs, but Iran is in the last narrow time corridor to do this, in a couple of decades Iranian society will be hopelessly elderly, it’s now or never … and it seems there is a war going on already:

    12 May 2019 attack on four tankers anchored near Fujairah UAE, the attack suspected to be Iranian-backed

    5 June 2019 fire in oil products storage at Iran’s largest container shipping port Shahid Rajaee

    7 June 2019 six Iranian merchant ships caught on fire at two ports, Nakhl Tagrhi and Bualhir

    12 June 2019 fire at an Iranian oil platform in South Pars gas field

    13 June 2019 the two tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman, the Norwegian Front Altair and the Japanese Kokuka Courageous, once again with Iran having good motivation to do so although Iran denies it

    Bernd Neuner writes

    This game will now continue and gain pace. More tankers will get damaged or even sunk. Saudi refineries will start to explode. UAE harbors will experience difficulties. Iran will plausibly deny that it is involved The U.S. will continue to blame Iran but will have no evidence. Insurance for Middle East cargo will become very expensive. Consumer prices for oil products will increase and increase again. The collateral damage will be immense.

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/06/iran-decided-to-put-maximum-pressure-on-trump-here-is-how-it-will-do-it.html

    Elijah J. Magnier writes

    Oil will stop being delivered to the world if Iran can’t export two million barrels per day … let us see what justifications Trump and Europe will offer their people when the price of oil becomes unaffordable … If Iran is in pain, the rest of the world will suffer … Trump decided to pull out of the nuclear deal … Let him pay the price now … If Iran cannot export its crude oil it means the country must be ready for war

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-16/war-tankers-exact-high-price-white-house-global-economy

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  34. neutral says:
    @German_reader

    the attacks on the tankers

    Do tell why you believe the same people that basically lie about everything and have a very long list of false flags?

    • Agree: AnonFromTN
  35. El Dato says:

    More anime girl antics from the military gayfest cruising for something to bomb that the US fields today:

    Iran Says US Drone Entered Iranian Airspace, Turned Off ID Transponder

    The US Navy complained that the drone cost $110 million, though realistically it ought to have known that bringing it even close to Iranian airspace would be putting it in serious jeopardy, given mounting tensions and talk of a US attack.

    MUH … MUH DRONE!!!

    Meanwhile, in a move exhibiting complete and toxic contempt for Normie Amerimutt, Iran is being linked to Al Qaeda on 9/11, and nobody is even being tarred and feathered for such bullshit.

  36. LondonBob says:

    Trump needs to move Bolton on. Campaign funds just aren’t that important. It always amazes that the US has this huge security apparatus and yet they don’t do anything about the Israel lobby, wouldn’t be hard to find something illegal Sheldon Adelson has done.

    • Replies: @notanon
  37. El Dato says:

    More mind-boggling bullshit from the Malignant CIA Manatee:

    This is supposed to be an “administration” not a nigra club.

  38. @AnonFromTN

    Agree.
    I like the point some have made — that the US is shit-scared that an Iranian missile will destroy an F35 or an F22. Awful – terrible advert for US fighter aircraft (cancelled F35’s on top of the Boeing debacle – not funny at all — LOL !) And — almost as bad – a shot in the arm for the missile manufacturer….

  39. El Dato says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    BTW there is other stuff up there. This relatively low-tech flyer is for public consumption.

    Maybe there are some stealthy drones, but they will not be essentially “higher capability”.

  40. LondonBob says:

    Where did this idea that the shooting down of an unmanned drone requires retaliation come from? The North Koreans shot down a US spy plane killing thirty one, Nixon did nothing.

    Appears Trump did plan to attack Iran but Iran’s threats of retaliation got them to back off.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  41. El Dato says:
    @songbird

    I hope that Congress is sectarian enough to prevent airstrikes, but, I don’t know, there is something eerie about how politicians can unite behind Israel.

    It’s like nobody told them that the rapture actually means God will shoah Christians into hell.

  42. El Dato says:
    @songbird

    This is not the cost of the hardware, but the cost of the program.

    Build more, cost comes down. Same as with cruise missiles (a Tomahawk cost is down to ~10⁶ USD per piece)

    Example:

    -> RQ-4Bs US$10 billion (USAF cost through FY2014)
    -> 42 RQ-4B built as of FY2013

    USD 238×10⁶ per RQ-4Bs

  43. alexander says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    You wrote:

    ” You can’t really tell what an item should cost. A $200 million radio-controlled toy with cameras might only be worth $10 million for all we know.”

    How about:

    ” A radio-controlled toy with cameras “really costs” only “$10 million” to manufacture… but the US taxpayer is BILLED OUT $200 million,… by our larcenous “war profiteers” …who pocket the $190 million difference …. then use a small portion of “the grab” to “grease the political wheel” and ban the Pentagon audit .”

    Hey, if the American People cannot “see” what’s going on..Is it really a “crime” ?

    This sort of ” behavior” would help explain why our “forever wars” have run up our National Debt to a “whopping” $22.3 TRILLION DOLLARS in a mere 18 years.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  44. Realist says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    And, apparently, they’re no cheaper to fly or maintain. What gives? Anyone?

    This is why the Deep State loves war.

  45. Realist says:
    @German_reader

    I hope Trump loses heavily in 2020, his government and the deranged cretins cheering on this confrontation with Iran are a danger to the rest of the world.

    Agreed, but there are millions of dumbasses in this country.

  46. @Buzz Mohawk

    Do you really think it will make any difference who is President?

    I couldn’t stand Obama on a personal level, but in regards to relations with Iran he did manage to bring about the nuclear agreement, so clearly it does matter who’s in power.
    I understand that many Americans here hate the Democrats for their stance on immigration, and I would feel the same. But the foreign policy record of the Republicans in the last 20 years is disastrous. What can one say about a party where people like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton etc. are influential voices on foreign policy? And at least a non-trivial part of Republican voters seems to be absolutely fine with all this war-mongering. One only needs to look at the comments under some of Trump’s tweets to be disabused of the notion that MAGA means avoidance of unnecessary wars, a lot of those people are downright bloodthirsty. American nationalism as it is, not as people here would like it to be, is seriously flawed in its paranoid and aggressive stance towards the outside world.

  47. Yevardian says:
    @Brabantian

    I had a much longer comment but this site ate it.

    Iran’s Shia society is dysfunctional, with abysmal fertility as bad as the worst of Europe, due in part to the Shia ‘temporary marriages’ for the weekend etc., essentially mosque-authorised prostitution..

    You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Temporary marriage (sigheh) is frowned upon almost universally in Iran, only desperately poor families and the young men training for the clergy still engage in that. Your point also doesn’t make sense because that institution is far, far more common in Iraq, yet it has one of the highest non-African birthrates in the world.
    The birthrate in Iran is low because women have high average levels of education there, the economy is crashing, and young people are forced to live with their families. Marriage is also a big commitment to make because Shi’ite law requires all marriages to be pre-negotiated for usually very high dowries, the sum of money a man agrees to pay to the bride’s family should he want to divorce.

    AK: Just checked. Not in spam or trash.

    • Replies: @Annatar
  48. anonymous[301] • Disclaimer says:
    @alexander

    ” You can’t really tell what an item should cost. A $200 million radio-controlled toy with cameras might only be worth $10 million for all we know.”

    Is it so big problem to check the things you are talking about?

    It is not a toy. It is not something you can buy at Walmart.

    It is unmanned airplane, full of top of the shelf electronic gear. $200M price tag is fully accurate.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_RQ-4_Global_Hawk

    General characteristics

    Crew: 0 onboard (3 remote: Launch and Recovery Element (LRE) pilot; Mission Control Element (MCE) pilot and sensor operator)
    Length: 47.6 ft (14.5 m)
    Wingspan: 130.9 ft (39.9 m)
    Height: 15.3 ft (4.7 m)
    Empty weight: 14,950 lb (6,781 kg)
    Gross weight: 32,250 lb (14,628 kg)
    Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce F137-RR-100 turbofan engine, 7,600 lbf (34 kN) thrust

    Performance

    Maximum speed: 391 mph (629 km/h; 340 kn)
    Cruise speed: 357 mph (575 km/h; 310 kn)
    Range: 14,154 mi (12,299 nmi; 22,779 km)
    Endurance: 32+ hours
    Service ceiling: 60,000 ft (18,000 m)

  49. anonymous[301] • Disclaimer says:

    In related news, the usual subjects are not happy with Donald. Not happy at all 😉

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  50. Anon000 says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    Fellow gamer Karlin may appreciate what Mass Effect had to say about dirty tricks: “Black ops are bullshit, they always go bad. If you have to deny the mission, then it was a crappy mission.”

  51. @Hail

    From what I read this is the price accounting for R&D costs, unit price today would be a lot less.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @songbird
  52. @Felix Keverich

    If today’s NYT article is accurate, then they appear to have been on the ball.

    I am not sure the MFA would do much if left to their own devices. They are an institutionally cautious organization. For instance, the initial plan was to start giving out passports in the Donbass way back in 2015, but that idea was vetoed or sabotaged by the MFA (muh Minsk). What’s more relevant is what Putin and the leading siloviks think but they don’t leak.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  53. @German_reader

    American nationalism as it is, not as people here would like it to be, is seriously flawed in its paranoid and aggressive stance towards the outside world.

    Stop pretending that what you read on Trump’s twitter feed is “nationalism”! Your caricature of mainstream Republican dipsticks as “nationalist” is really quite tiresome.

    The (sad) truth is that American nationalism is a tiny, marginal creature that has no say in foreign policy.

    Ditto Republican voters. Very few of them are “nationalist.” Very few of them are coherent enough to be labeled by any ideological term, in fact.

    For an example of an actual American nationalist, well, Pat Buchanan’s pieces are hosted by this very site, and he is a staunch anti-interventionist in Middle Eastern affairs.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  54. @anonymous

    He seems to have a nice running dialogue with the svidomy tranny Mortis_Banned who runs some sort of lower budget Bellingcat.

    https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&q=from%3AWASBAPPIN%20mortis_banned&src=typd

    Its Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/mortis_pole/ [NSFL]

    • Replies: @anonymous
  55. Anon000 says:
    @German_reader

    an one say about a party where people like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton etc. are influential voices on foreign policy? And at least a non-trivial part of Republican voters seems to be absolutely fine with all this war-mongering.

    Remember, Obama bombed 7 countries. He did a regime change and destroyed Libya and laid the groundwork for regime change in Syria (both on the neocon list of countries to be destroyed).

    But as a life-long Republican I agree with your comments. And I’m sticking with the GOP because of Trump and I’m sticking with Trump because I still trust his instincts. I think his instincts are in line with the realists. I think he surrounded himself with super hawks as a head fake and to make himself immune from criticism on this ground. He learned quickly what surrounding himself with realists like Gen. Michael Flynn would get him. I believe that after Trump took office he saw how extensive and constricting the Swamp is. He realized there was only one way to play it. Bring in guys even the establishment calls hawks and create the appearance of establishment neocon but then nix their decisions and plans. Allow their bluster to create a situation where Trump can talk tough but move in with negotiation and deals. Trump, unlike a lot of modern billionaires, is fundamentally a salesman and business. The world should be thankful for that.

  56. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    You would have had permission to reprint my excellent earlier comment from a week or two ago, at the top of this topic.

    My comment allows readers to have improved understanding of the situation, and also would help to predict what will happen.

    Link for full comment
    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/iran-escalation/#comment-3270059

    From Iran’s perspective, worst scenario in this order:

    1. Iran do something, and America attack militarily. (Worst scenario).
    2. Iran do nothing, economy continues under sanctions, and Trump is re-elected (second worst scenario).
    3. Iran do something, and America does not attack militarily, oil prices raise, – and Trump is not re-elected (best scenario).

    So Iran will try to manage 3, and increase the price of oil. The problem is between 1 and 3 is a difficult balance for them, and we probably see this now.

    … Best scenario for Trump’s Administration, is 2 – for as many months as possible. With the sanctions, Iran is going to start collapsing, or at least continuous recession, economically.

    Sanctions on Iran, are not at all comparable to sanctions on Russia. American sanctions on Iran prevent exportation of oil, and now petrochemicals.

    As a result, Iran have to store their oil offshore. However, after several months, Iranian oil storage will be full, and then they will have to shut down oil wells. Shutting down oil wells, will even permanently damage oil wells, and some will not be possible to reopen, or retrieve the same quantity of oil in the future.

    As we can see – best scenario for Trump is 2.

    Iran has to avoid 1 and 2.

    So now Iran has the most difficult or subtle task, which is 3, and requires increasing tension and oil price, without going over far (and causing 1).

    The best result for Trump, will be to try to calm the situation, and avoid falling into 1, as well as to mitigate 3.

  57. neutral says:

    OT
    Anyone know what this is about?
    https://www.rt.com/news/462386-georgia-speaker-resigns-parliament/
    Are these protests a creation of the CIA or not?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @g2k
  58. Dmitry says:
    @Anon000

    Michael Flynn

    I think he is the most aggressive, or one of the most aggressive, of the Trump advisers, especially in relation to Iran, which he wants to overthrow.

    You can about his book he prepared in Trump’s election https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Field_of_Fight

    • Replies: @Anon000
  59. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    It’s nice you have returned German Reader. Although why posting some comment, which reads like every comment written on NYT? I was expecting analysis of the situation from comparison e.g. Roman history, or something in the Thirtyyears Wars,

    Notice – Trump and Obama together, have mainly substituted physical war, with financial war, which is a newer development for America.. Trump does not need to attack Iran physically, for example, as he is destroying it economically.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  60. anonymous[359] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Nah. This is your alter ego, pushing your exact plan how to make Russian Galactic Empire great again. 😉

    • Replies: @Epigon
  61. Epigon says:
    @anonymous

    “We thank God our enemies are idiots”

  62. anonymous[359] • Disclaimer says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Stop pretending that what you read on Trump’s twitter feed is “nationalism”! Your caricature of mainstream Republican dipsticks as “nationalist” is really quite tiresome.

    German is right.
    We all there are living in bubble, following isolationist, paleocon and alt right content on the internet. IRL, their influence is negligible.
    Mindless warmongering is what counts as patriotism in the USofA. This is the way it is.

    218 thousands likes by now and keeps rising.

    Read the replies – Twitter promotes to the top liberals and leftists bashing Trump, but scroll down and you will see loads and loads MAGAbots screaming for blood (and lots of Iranian exile types too, do not underestimate these guys).

    No alt-right responses visible at all.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  63. Pericles says:

    If this escalates, it might become a nice opportunity for a color revolution in Taiwan.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  64. Annatar says:
    @Yevardian

    According to the UN 2019 World Population Review, the fertility rate in Iran in 2015-2020 is projected to be 2.15, slightly above replacement and higher than any nation in Europe, Iran certainly has much lower fertility than countries like Iraq or even Egypt but compared to Europe 2.15 is pretty high. The meme of low Iranian fertility was never true, even when it fell to its lowest levels in the mid 2000’s it never went below 1.8 according the the UN.

  65. songbird says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The indigenous Iranian missile system which was used to take it out, the Third of Khordad, probably amortizes to a lot less.

    Of course, one might say that it was a peaceful spy mission, perhaps even routine enough to approach a schedule, and not an all-guns blazing attack. Still, it is tempting to make analogies to China’s missile programs against other expensive US assets.

  66. I wonder whether war with Iran is Trump’s way of staying out of jail after his presidency – give deep state their war and hope they are grateful?

    It doesn’t seem like a good strategy to me.

  67. @Anatoly Karlin

    Did they expect Trump to wimp out at the last minute? I sure did. 🙂

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @El Dato
  68. @anonymous

    A lot of “people” you see on Twitter are actually bots or paid operatives used to promote certain agenda. These “Iranian exiles”, “Venezuelan democrats”, “Friends of Israel” etc would come in huge numbers out of nowhere, and disappear overnight.

  69. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Trump is simply smart, if he avoids physically attack Iran.

    He’s already decided to stop their oil exports, so his best choice is to calm tensions and to wait, after such an escalation.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-oil-storage/iran-stores-more-oil-on-land-and-at-sea-as-exports-slump-idUSKCN1ST1PU

    Recall, also Trump’s ideal scenario will be lower oil prices before his election – which is a bit incompatible with his policy to sanction Iranian oil export. But if he can avoid military response, there is more chance that oil prices will not escalate for him.

    If he bombs any targets in Iran, even if it is a minor attack, this is beginning a low-level conflict around the zone where oil shipping passes, and will rapidly increase oil prices with a year and half before an election in a country where oil prices are inverse to public satisfaction with incumbent politicians.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  70. @Anon000

    Remember, Obama bombed 7 countries.

    True, Obama was far from perfect, his meddling in Syria was especially repellent (I cut him some slack for Libya, because the British and French initiated that; also Gaddafi was a vile creature, I’m actually somewhat surprised that revenge for Lockerbie doesn’t seem to figure that much for Americans…whereas many people still go on about the Iranian hostage crisis).
    But a war with Iran would be in a whole different league, and to his credit Obama at least sought to avoid that.
    Your assessment of Trump seems too optimistic to me, imo the man is clueless and has surrounded himself with extremely dangerous advisors. It’s all very regrettable, his election was a unique chance imo, and it seems to have been completely wasted.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @songbird
  71. @Dmitry

    Trump and Obama together, have mainly substituted physical war, with financial war, which is a newer development for America.

    You should read up on the events before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 (though not exactly comparable, imo the US was much more justified in its actions back then than Trump’s administration is today regarding Iran). “Financial” war – which means an attempt to strangle Iran economically, in the vain hope that an immiserated populace will overthrow the mullahs – can easily escalate into real war. The situation is really dangerous and I still haven’t seen a good reason, why this is supposedly necessary.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  72. El Dato says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Looks like, unlike that last Russian Czar, he managed to slip out of the caring hand of people ridden by Satan and Jehova.

    We will see whether that holds for more than 15 hours.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/462394-trump-stopped-attack-iran/

  73. Anon000 says:
    @Dmitry

    Flynn was hardline but not neocon. There’s a difference. The latter includes regime change as first option and hostility towards Russia as part and parcel for all geopolitical strategies. Why do you think the Swamp went after Flynn so vigorously? As DIA Director he spilled the beans re: U.S. supporting Salafists in Syria and was part of creating a division between U.S. military and the CIA/State push for regime change.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  74. El Dato says:
    @German_reader

    I’m actually somewhat surprised that revenge for Lockerbie doesn’t seem to figure that much for Americans

    Well, that had nothing to do with Ghaddafi.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  75. @El Dato

    I’m not going to watch that entire video.
    I know there’s some controvery about who was responsible for Lockerbie, with Palestinians or even Iran suggested as culprits (the latter seems very unlikely to me, since if there were even some slight evidence for it, it would have been brought up in the media campaign against Iran as the “world’s leading sponsor of terror). But in absence of firm proof for that, the Libyan explanation doesn’t seem unlikely to me, iirc Gaddafi had a French arliner bombed over the Sahara as well.

    • Replies: @notanon
  76. @Dmitry

    Attacks on tankers mean there is already low-level war going on in the region. Iran has no reason to stop now (assuming they were behind the attacks). This is their way of putting pressure on US and Europe.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  77. @neutral

    Not necessarily. Protester might be people with genuine grievances against the government: after all, like all “democratic” governments, it does not give a hoot what the people think or worry about. Georgia has a president from France, so it’s only natural that it has French-style democracy: rubber bullets, water cannons, tear gas. “Dictators” are a lot milder.

  78. notanon says:

    i think the critical thing here is Wall St’s off-shoring of the US economy to China aligns Wall St. with China’s economic interests i.e. China needs middle east oil so Wall St. doesn’t want a war.

    so it seems to me the US side will be split between:

    1) pro-war (neocons, GOPe, Saudi, Israel)

    and

    2) anti-war (Wall St., China, Democrats)

    which i think makes the chance of war much lower than it might at first appear and even if there is a US strike a fairly short lived one and not the build up to a second Iraq (spreading to Syria) which the neocons want.

    caveat: neocons might up the ante and attack a US ship which might work.

    so i dunno – barring some massive escalation i see this being a damp squib.

    what about afterwards?

    the way i see it Wall St. is in the process of betraying America to China and their neocon opponents don’t care about USA itself they only wanted to use it’s military strength to attack Israel’s enemies so what will their attitude be if they decide the game is up and Libya/Gaddaffi was the end of the line for the neocon dream?

    i think the split will close and they’ll both focus on promoting America’s downward spiral into civil conflict.

    my guess: no big war with Iran but US civil conflict a couple of years sooner.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  79. notanon says:
    @LondonBob

    too much to hope for but promising to attack Iran for donor bucks and then not doing it would be funny.

  80. @notanon

    even if there is a US strike a fairly short lived one

    The entire idea that one could do a “short-lived”, “symbolic” strike on Iran is based on the premise that Iran would just accept being bombed and not strike back in some possibly unexpected way…which would then inevitably lead to an escalatory spiral. Taking such risks is insane.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @notanon
  81. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    I’m actually somewhat surprised that revenge for Lockerbie doesn’t seem to figure that much for Americans…whereas many people still go on about the Iranian hostage crisis)

    .
    I think the hostage crisis probably received more coverage due to its drawn-out nature. For instance, there was this long-running late night news program called Nightline with Ted Koppel that aired every weeknight. It basically started as a means to give updates on the hostage crisis.

    Then I suppose that it was kind of an insult to the Department of State, and a lot of politicians on both the Left and Right tried to make hay out of it. Ted Kennedy compared illegal aliens to the hostages. Then it was probably a bigger relationship change. Iran was an ally, and we did a lot of business with them. Finally, Israel probably cares more about Iran.

  82. notanon says:
    @German_reader

    I know there’s some controvery about who was responsible for Lockerbie, with Palestinians or even Iran suggested as culprits

    all the arab spooks in London hung out at the same cafes so you could blame Lockerbie on any of them if you wanted just by focusing on the one little bit a particular spook did and ignoring the rest.

  83. notanon says:
    @German_reader

    Taking such risks is insane.

    neocons insane, nobody surprised

  84. A refinery in Philadelphia is burning after a huge explosion tonight. Confidently expect neocons to blame Iran, or Putin, or Un, or Maduro, or at least Islamic terrorists.

  85. anon[208] • Disclaimer says:

    Time to enliven this thread with some strong nuclear takes.
    Hasten your seatbelts, latest transmission from the Kuiper Belt begins.

  86. @anon

    But how could that not be a parody account?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  87. g2k says:
    @neutral

    They had an election just under a year ago where saakshvili’s party was expecting to return to power, but, instead some obscure woman who was promising to restore the monarchy won. Soros monkeys and other ngo types were spitting feathers at the time, and there were a few protests, but nothing came of them. This comes just after the karacakhy clan were forced out of armenia by mass protests and replaced by closeted atlaticists. Georgians are an odd people and their relationship with Russia is erratic; they’re ultra-conservative and nationalistic by European standards, much more so than Russians or Ukrainians. They were butchered horribly in Abkhazia in the 90s for which they blamed Russia, but then some of their most famous, influential people, even to this day are Russo-Georgeian; Tsereteli, Kandelaki etc

  88. @anon

    This person is even better than that Ukrainian-Taiwanese (cursed combo) svidomist.

  89. @reiner Tor

    There are some people like that on /r/politics, which is a reasonable cross-section of politically agitated people on the US center and center-left.

  90. peterAUS says:
    @Pericles

    You mean Beijing taking over Taiwan….or…..USA asserting full control over the country?

    • Replies: @Pericles
  91. Like Chekov’s gun, I also think ‘it will go off sooner or later.’ But there is a much bigger war waiting in the wings, not to trivialize the suffering ordinary Iranians will suffer in a conflict. They will suffer in even greater numbers – as indeed will we all – if the US attacks. The reports increasingly suggest a Sino-Russian alliance against America, a prospect Washington seems dangerously oblivious to. The pattern of history as well as current events in the Middle East, and globally, point to another world war.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

    • Replies: @S
  92. Anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:

  93. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader

    The Shia theocracy in Iran is preferable to Globohomo.
    It should stay.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  94. trump’s extremely good natural political instincts saved him, yet again. looks like he’ll avoid venezuela as well.

    so, why can’t he fire the obvious stupid assholes in his admin? that he hired, too.

    it’s baffling.

    my takeaways:

    1) he genuinely does not want any new wars

    2) he wants the jewish donor money for his 2020 campaign. so he has do SOMETHING that benefits israel.

    3) as such, he mainly does not want iran to develop any nuclear devices

    he’ll avoid any direct conflicts, or even accidentally killing foreign civilians with missile and bomb strikes, if he can help it.

    while needing to appear tough on israel’s enemies. and willing to be tough in a general way as well. hard on china, hard on NATO, hard on norks, hard on allies who aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.

    we’re really lucky this guy is president and not clinton. of course we all hate it that no matter who we vote for, neocons seem to show up again like undead zombies. can never kill these guys. looks like trump will be a much more peaceful president than obama, if he can keep the neocons at bay. that he can’t seem to fire, for whatever inconceivable reason. maybe tucker carlson is saving things at this point.

  95. @Anon000

    “Remember, Obama bombed 7 countries. He did a regime change and destroyed Libya and laid the groundwork for regime change in Syria (both on the neocon list of countries to be destroyed).”

    started conflicts in libya and syria that are ongoing today. promoted, supported, and caused the situation in ukraine.

    dropped the most bombs and missiles on foreign countries of any US president in history. the all time record for ordnance delivered. oh, you didn’t hear about it, because the press didn’t like reporting on anything that might make obama look bad. but those drones and bombers and missile frigates were going non-stop for 8 years.

    obama caused hundreds of thousands of people to get killed.

    sorry, those are the facts. i had to call out fred reed, an obvious fraud, on his bullshit about this.

    trump – about 1% as much as obama so far. has resisted the entire establishment trying to get him to start world war 3 with russia, which the obama administration was glad to push. obama pushed us right to the brink of open conflict with putin. we’d be in a serious crisis right now if clinton was president.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  96. Republic says:

    recipe for war with Iran: Turn the pressure cooker to high & bring to the boil

  97. anonymous[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @prime noticer

    dropped the most bombs and missiles on foreign countries of any US president in history

    This is load of crap and you know it. Stopped reading right there.

    • Replies: @Anon000
  98. Mitleser says:
    @LondonBob

    It was a different time.
    A time when NK was still considering invading the South and re-uniting Korea by force a realistic option.

  99. peterAUS says:
    @Pericles

    Interesting point.

    A friend of mine, fierce Taiwanese nationalist, would have a lot to say about it.

    My feeling is, if Beijing tries that, it will be blood.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Pericles
  100. @Mitleser

    That’s a weak praise for theocracy. Virtually anything is better than Globohomo. Maybe with the exception of bubonic plague, but I am not sure about that, either.

  101. @peterAUS

    As Taiwanese say, it is tough to be in the same room with an 800-pound gorilla. The worst thing is, the gorilla thinks that it is your brother.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  102. anon[207] • Disclaimer says:

    This whole situation is quite odd when you think about. Now, besides simply claiming the US drone was downed over Iranian airspace, the Revolutionary Guard is clamming that it turned its transponder off. Odd. Further, the Global Hawk is designed to be resistant to the kind of S2A missile used here, so what explains how it was shot down so easily? … unless someone made it easy for them: turned off transponder to hide what the drone was doing, flew into Iranian airspace, and opened the Global Hawk’s bay doors before slowing down, making the aircraft an easy target. Hmm? I’d like to see this thing’s black box, assuming it wasn’t disabled before take off. If it’s recovered months from now and we learn that there was a “malfunction” of some sort in the BB before takeoff, making it inoperable, we’ll have our answer – assuming it’s ever recovered at all, that is.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  103. Dmitry says:
    @Anon000

    Flynn is the most aggressive Trump advisory, in relation to the topic of Iran. His book is about how to overthrow Iran’s government.

    In relation to Russia, is a different issue.

    • Agree: LondonBob
    • Replies: @Anon000
  104. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Iran needs to escalate and raise the oil price to retaliate for the sanctions, while they need to not go far enough to cause a major American attack.

    And this (as I predicted) is exactly, what we can see – some minor actions.

    If Iran do nothing, then Trump will win by default – by collapsing Iran’s economy, without any negative repercussion for himself.

    Brent Crude is still only around $65, however. So Iran hasn’t managed to achieve enough escalation yet (to undermine Trump’s position in a serious way). If Trump does not respond, Iran will still need to continue further escalations and try to at least increase oil prices enough to hurt Trump’s popularity, while trying to avoid causing a major America military action.

    https://www.nasdaq.com/markets/crude-oil-brent.aspx?timeframe=3m

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  105. @anon

    the Global Hawk is designed to be resistant to the kind of S2A missile used here

    The Global Hawk is priced as if it is resistant to the kind of S2A missile used, but this does not mean that it actually is. Considering the amount of fraud perpetrated by war profiteers, I would not bet my money that it was resistant to anything.

  106. @Dmitry

    Agreed. Iran doesn’t want to be bombed, but hopefully, Americans will bomb it anyway – out of sheer stupidity and bloodlust. Iranians will then be motivated to go nuclear in their confrontation with Washington, by attacking American bases in the region and blockading the strait. This is how we get to $200 oil.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Anon000
  107. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Financial war by Trump/Obama against Iran, does not need to result in revolution, to be successful.

    Just by reducing Iran’s oil revenue, they achieve their objective – which is limiting, or partly collapsing, the economic basis of Iran’s power. Iran is particularly vulnerable to this, because its dependence – especially of its military operations – on oil export revenue. And Trump is trying to remove the main part of this revenue (these sanctions are very strong and probably effective).

    I agree there is a bit of an analogy with Japan before Pearl Harbour. Iran’s current position (after Trump’s new sanctions) is unsustainable. They have to try to escape the trap.

    However, for now, they should try to escalate enough to raise oil prices, without causing a major American attack. They might also still have some optimism about waiting for the 2020 presidential election, and whether Trump may not be re-elected.

  108. Anon000 says:
    @anonymous

    I think if that if PN’s comment was read as Obama dropped more bombs on more countries than any other U.S. President the statement would be true.

  109. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    However, $200 oil could initiate a short international recession, and in combination with reopening of strait, a subsequent collapse of oil price after.

    Imagine strait conflict is 3 months? (I have no idea how long it would be, but presumably Iran’s navy would not have a high chance in such a conflict). It will be enough to shock the world economy, reducing demand – but, then after those few months, strait will reopen to oil ships, and oil prices could collapse afterwards.

    If you look at the price chart for previous historical experience.

    After Iran-Iraq war oil supply shocked price (including attacks in the strait), prices collapse over the 1980s. Tanker phase of the war raises it for a short time around 1988.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  110. Anon000 says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Agreed. Iran doesn’t want to be bombed, but hopefully, Americans will bomb it anyway – out of sheer stupidity and bloodlust. Iranians will then be motivated to go nuclear in their confrontation with Washington, by attacking American bases in the region and blockading the strait.

    This would go as well as the stealthy Wagner Group assault on a U.S. base in Syria. I’m sure there are guys in SCIFs in Arlington, VA right now figuring out locations in Iran where the FOBs and permanent airbases will go.

    Probably while looking at maps like this:

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  111. peterAUS says:
    @AnonFromTN

    It isn’t so tough if the gorilla is at the opposite side of a river.
    He can’t swim.

    True, he’s working on it. I guess it will take him some time.
    Enough time to do something about it.

  112. Bliss says:

    To his credit Trump is resisting the warmongers that surround him. Just as he did in Syria. And Venezuela.

    His reason for calling off the strike: it was a disproportionate response because it would kill ~150 iranians in revenge for them shooting down a drone which resulted in no American casualties:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/top-aides-reportedly-urge-trump-into-war-with-iran-2019-6

    “We didn’t have a man or woman in the drone,” Trump said. “It would have made a big, big difference.”

    So now the warmongers will have to create an incident that results in american casualties. Will they do it? Stay tuned…

    • Replies: @Bliss
  113. @Anon000

    This would go as well as the stealthy Wagner Group assault on a U.S. base in Syria.

    I reckon American patriots are going to celebrate this “victory” till the end of time. You don’t have real wins anymore.

  114. @Dmitry

    Iran’s military capabilities evolved greatly since 1980s, both in terms its abilitity to deploy proxies and the use of sophisticated hardware. I think that shipping in the Gulf can be shut down permanently now.

    All of American bases are in the range of Iranian missiles. US will not be able to molest Iran with impunity.

  115. S says:
    @peter mcloughlin

    The reports increasingly suggest a Sino-Russian alliance against America, a prospect Washington seems dangerously oblivious to. The pattern of history as well as current events in the Middle East, and globally, point to another world war.

    The Soviet KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn wrote in 1984 of Communists engaging in a massive ‘false liberalisation’ campaign (including Berlin Wall possibly being taken down) to lull Capitalist states into complacency.

    Golitsyn also claimed Sino-Soviet split starting in 1950’s had not been real, but a planned act of strategic deception to hide growing strength of Soviet Union and Red China; during earlier part of the 1950’s the Soviets and Red Chinese openly staying together was creating its own opposition as non-Communist states were ‘freaking out’ at Red might. During the course of this ‘split’ Russia and China would play ‘good cop, bad cop’, when in reality they were working together the entire time.

    According to Golitsyn, when Russia and China had built up their strength, and the time was right, they would openly join forces as ‘one clenched fist’, and strike the Capitalist West.

    Sounds wild, but if you ‘reverse engineer’ this and apply this to the Capitalist US and UK, you find they appear to have done exactly the same thing.

    [Have Russia and China been consciously (or unconsciously) reacting to this.]

    1763 – British Empire concludes Seven Years War. British are said to be entering into realm of global hegemony. French power in North America is smashed. Spain is in steep internal decline with only nominal control north of Rio Grande. Whole of North America is open for taking by British.

    [However, if UK does so openly, the very act of doing so will create its own international resistance, much as Spain experienced the century prior when it openly took and consolidated control of South America. Spain’s figurative ‘Death Star’ empire vs Europes ‘Ti’ fighters. ‘Spain is too powerful’ Queen Elizabeth is said to have declared. England, having watched and learned, would not make Spain’s mistake.]

    1776 – Strategic ‘false split’ between British North American colonies and UK is enacted. Capitalism is inaugurated, ie ‘Capitalist bible’ The Wealth of Nations published in UK.
    In nascent United States, the multi-national corporation British East India Company flag (aka ‘Grand Union’) is ‘the first flag’ flying over the Revolution and is chosen to symbolize the revolution’s meaning.

    Temporary split will allow ‘former colonists’ to conquer and consolidate whole of North America ‘on the sly’ for British Empire while the rest of the world sleeps. At future date US and UK will reunite…as planned.

    1789 – French nascent Communist Revolution launched. The ‘Commune’, ‘counter-revolution’, ‘political commissar’, ‘Whites’, the ‘Great Terror’ and its mass arrests and executions, are introduced to the world. [Anglo-Saxon ‘Founding Fathers’ of Capitalist 1776 American Revolution, ie Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, amongst likely others, are also ‘Founding Fathers’ of 1789 nascent Communist French Revolution, being heavily involved in its creation and construction.]

    1815 – Napoleon crushed at Waterloo.

    1817 – 32 Capitalist revolutions launched across South and Central America. Spain loses almost all its colonies there. [British intervention in the form of thousands of UK ‘volunteers’ and numerous decommissioned Royal Navy ships (with crews) being made ‘available’ to Spanish American rebels is critical to success of the endeavor. America provides material support as well. US Monroe Doctrine ultimately results in formerly Spanish South and Central America becoming an Anglo-Saxon business park.]

    1848 – Starting in France, revolutions break out across Europe but ultimately fail. Karl Marx publishes ‘Das Kapital’. [While the revolutions were still in doubt, the London Times publishes an editorial exhorting the expected new European states to form a federal continental super-state of themselves to be modeled upon the United States. Both the future British Prime Ministers Lord Palmerston and Benjamin Disraeli indicate foreknowledge of these revolutions in writing well before they actually take place. London will be Karl Marx’s home for the last decades of his life.]

    1871 – Paris Commune established.

    1900 – False split concluded as planned. Having conquered and consolidated heartland of North America, the former colonist are brought ‘back into the fold’ with the formation of the ‘special relationship’ between the US and UK, a relationship only just short of an outright political union. Doing just about everything together from here on, particularly in the area of warfare, the Capitalist US and UK have formed ‘one clenched fist’ to conquer the world.

    2019 – 20 (?) – WWIII breaks out between US/UK and Russia/China resulting ultimately in ‘Fall of Capitalism’. Capitalism and Communism are to ‘converge’ to form (in theory) global Multi-Culturalism. A global ‘democratic republic’, the US/UK’s long dreamed of ‘New Rome’, also known as the United States of the World/World Union (or some such) will be proclaimed. Jerusalem will be world capital.

    The big question is if this Hegelian Dialectic of Capitalist thesis, Communist anti-thesis, and Multi-cultural synthesis, has been naturally occurring or not since 1776 and 1789?

    My vote is it’s been artificial, manipulated, and controlled from the very beginning. London has historically acted like something of a central clearing house for both Capitalist and Communist revolutions during the past almost two hunded and fifty years, besides providing much of the financing as well.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoliy_Golitsyn

    https://archive.org/details/GolitsynAnatoleTheNewLiesForOldOnes

    https://archive.org/details/AnatoliyGolitsyn

  116. Pericles says:
    @peterAUS

    Of course there will be some blood, though they would probably make it as friendly as possible. It’s just a pretty good opportunity to do it while the US is occupied with invading Iran and having a trade war with China and all that, if China wants to force the issue.

  117. Anon000 says:
    @Dmitry

    “His” book was largely a product of neocon Michael Ledeen.

  118. Max Payne says:

    Eh… they won’t attack Iran (just catching up to 4 days of news after a black out). Its too soon.

    We all want to see if a swarm of cloned F-5Fs and single-seat ekranoplans will actually do anything to a Western force but it’s not gonna happen. Like North Korea, its just too costly (and I’m tired of buying bigger and higher resolution monitors in anticipation of 4K war porn which never materializes).

    Iran can’t afford to remain idle if Iranian assets in Iran proper get attacked.

    Iranian units in Syria are viable targets as the government can justify the causalities deployed in a legit no-shit warzone. Iranian retaliation can remain low-key (third-party or shoot up an ambassador or some other retarded shit like that).

    Iran however is NOT a war zone. The government can’t allow themselves to appear weak to the people especially after everything. It would have to retaliate publicly. America, of course, won’t accept such “destabilizing” action and escalate the military response so on and so on and war (hopefully in HD at a minimum).

    Sanctions doing damage? I guess… but this is a nation that has lived with & bypassed sanctions for decades. A key pillar in their grand strategic doctrine. I cannot believe the IRGC never sat down and discussed among themselves “hey guys… what happens if we can’t sell oil/natural gas? This military shit ain’t cheap, Europe doesn’t seem to have anymore men that can do things without asking permission from their wives. What should we do? Are we going to sell drugs like the CIA?”. Persians aren’t Arabs, they can actually assume their enemy is superior to them and work from there.

    Unofficial transactions is very Asiatic… haggling, under-the-table agreements, barter and cash deals are king. Oil is too lucrative to not buy at a discount. India. Pakistan. China. Sadly those bastards have been using hydrocarbons like its cool so they probably like buying it cheap no matter where. Cheaper the better and nothing is cheaper than hot goods. These aren’t the days of Saddam where everyone was too scared to defy America especially after so many international laws and norms have been violated in the past 15 years.

    Shiiiiiieeeeeeetttt would we all even know about all those truck convoys transporting oil out of Syria to Turkey if it wasn’t for the RuAF? Clearly there is a black market which is alive and well (and intelligence communities seem to have access to them).

    If America really wants/needs a war and must appease their masters they should fight Hezbollah. It will cost less American lives than the Iraq invasion. A hell of a lot less than taking on Iran who, unlike Iraq, their ‘guard’ units haven’t abandoned their government. It can easily sell a war with Hezbollah after a small false flag & a handful of bribes to opposing governments in Lebanon. Throw something about “shared values” with our “greatest ally Israel” and southern militant cucks who “work closely with their Israeli counterparts” will swallow it (for Jesus, no less). They might even be able to skip putting that many American boots on the ground and just augment the Israeli air force and navy with supporting firepower from CENTCOM, carpet bomb the whole south of Lebanon.

    Israel will be happy. Saudi Arabia will be happy because Israel is happy. America will be happy because it got a war (avenging the 200+ marines who were killed back in the 80s).

    Venezuela, Afghanistan v3.5, and Yemen all seem too easy. North Korea, Iran, China and Russia are too hard. Syria is too messy to expand beyond the fringes. A non-state actor like Hezbollah is perfect. Enough to be a challenge and make it feel like a “victory”, but not too costly that it reshapes how US supremacy is perceived. AND the US won’t have to deploy/reveal hidden tech like it would with a ‘near peer adversary’. Debtors can still collect interest payments, oil can continue to flow undisturbed, profits will not shrink and that’s all that really matters at the end of the day.

    An example:

    North Korea has air bases built in mountains.

    We’ve seen Iranian missile bases deep in mountains as well. We’ve seen diagrams of Chinese underground railways to transport and deploy mobile ICBMs. The largest American bunker buster is massive but is it enough to penetrate concrete hardened bunkers built deep inside mountains?

    I’m just saying… these people seem to be preparing for the LONG war (underground factories and all). No one in the West can stomach that shit. Maybe all these mini forever-wars in ME and Afghanistan is to prepare a generation for the next real long war… who knows… All I know is that illiterate goat herders with a set of (unwashed) black pajamas in Afghanistan are still fighting. Iranians have factories of black pajamas in mountains and functioning anti-air and have demonstrated the will to bodily clear fields of landmines. Who needs that headache?

    I can only imagine how much sabotage they have planned in Saudi Arabia if things should escalate. Black pajamas EVERYWHERE! Doesn’t the kingdom already suffer from Burka Ninjas? Is America going to deploy soldiers to defend Saudi oil wells too? Of course they are.

    I think we all need to stop stocking up on 94 octane gas and realize a war with Iran, while planned, is still very much down the line. We’re almost there. Kids who were born after 9/11 have been told since birth that Islam = terrorism and Iran = evil and Israel = only democracy in Middle East. I see more and more games that portray Iran as the enemy (and Iranian settings as war zones). So the indoctrination is almost complete. Baby steps. We’ve already increased the number of fighting personnel by allowing women to serve in front line combat rolls. An effort to bolster numbers for the eventual occupation of southern Iran (the minimum required to keep the strait open and a buffer between Iran and Saudi Arabia should war break out and a total invasion and occupation is out of the question).

    If the US really really REALLY wants to strike Iran proper and wants to send a REAL message they have to use a low-yield tactical nuclear warheads on Nanatz. Nothing ludicrous like the Tsar bomb, more like the B61 nuclear bomb, 0.3 to 1.5kt. Radiation is going to spread anyway when the facility is destroyed. But using a small nuclear bomb would send a powerful signal that would make Iranians pause (and America can’t really say it has never used WMDs on other human beings so…). Nuclear bunker busters would have a better chance cracking those hardened underground mountain facilities.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  119. peterAUS says:
    @Max Payne

    From

    ….realize a war with Iran, while planned, is still very much down the line.

    to

    ….occupation is out of the question).

    Pretty much.

    The last paragraph is……tricky.

  120. Bliss says:
    @Bliss

    Trump seems to admire iranians:

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/06/22/trump_everybody_said_i_was_a_warmonger_now_im_a_dove_because_i_oppose_killing_high_quality_iranians.html

    “What are the next steps with Iran? Is a possible strike off the table?” a reporter asked.

    “Well, we’ll see what is it with Iran,” Trump answered. “Everybody was saying I’m a warmonger and now they say I am a dove. I think I’m neither if you want to know the truth. I’m a man with common sense and that is what we need in this country is common sense. But I didn’t like the idea of them knowingly shooting down an unmanned drone then we kill 150 people. I didn’t like that.”

    “Just so you know, I come from New York City. In New York City, we have a lot of Iranians and they are great people,” Trump said. “I have friends who are Iranians, many friends. Living in New York City, you meet many Iranians. They’re very smart, they’re very ambitious and they have tremendous — they’re high quality people. But I have many friends that are Iranian. I don’t want to kill 150 Iranians. I understand it. I don’t want to kill 150 of anything or anybody unless it’s absolutely necessary. And most people very much agree with what I’m doing.”

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  121. @Bliss

    I don’t want to kill 150 of anything or anybody unless it’s absolutely necessary.

    I can certainly agree with that. Even if the other side couldn’t retaliate much. (Like, if it was Zimbabwe instead of Iran.)

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