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I am not an Iran expert, and will not pretend that I have magically become one in the past few days. Nor do I see much point in a detailed chronicle of the latest developments and Tweets – for that, there is, say, /r/SyrianCivilWar.

Instead, I think it would be more productive to highlight a few things that may have perhaps gone under-reported.

***

(1) Obviously, this presents a major escalation on America’s part. And to date the US shows no signs of stopping, with Trump threatening to destroy 52 Iranian “cultural sites” (presumably the neocons will be as pleased with bombing ancient mosques as their Bolshevik predecessors were with blowing up old Russian Orthodox churches), Michael Pence now retconning the Iranians as the masterminds behind 9/11, and barring the Iranian Foreign Minister from the UN.

It really does seem that they are aiming for war, though this was – in retrospect – clear as early as last May when the US presented its unfulfillable demands for lifting sanctions.

(2) What is remarkable is the extent to which the US is prepared to flout international norms in pursuit of this aim. I remarked that the US seems to be reverting to quasi-medieval behavior in its international relations (e.g. seizing the family members of foreign tech oligarchs as hostages). Luring Soleimani to Iraq on the pretext of negotiations and then using the US military in the geopolitical equivalent of a gangland murder is an order of magnitude more “powerful” still. This is being rationalized by Republicans/Alt Lite on account of American exceptionalism – the Democrats are generally against it, but the brunt of their arguments revolve around how Trump is going about it (e.g. not consulting them), not with the general principle. And those same people will doubtless be outraged if/when that same refusal to accept that other nations have legitimate interests that are at odds with their own is weaponized again them.

(3) One concrete example of how this is rationalized by the MIGA/neocon crowd on account of the US assassination of Soleimani enjoying popular legitimacy, e.g. Pompeo: “Iraqis are dancing on the streets celebrating freedom. They’re thankful General Suleimani is no more.” The videos of the mass gatherings at his funeral give the lie to that, at least one would think – though at least one MIGA personality has claimed that all those millions only attended the funeral at the barrel of a gun – but it’s worth noting that we also have concrete numbers about Iranian opinion on the matter:

Iranians supporting Soleimani assassination will either be:

  1. At best, very unrepresentative, prob. emigres in most cases;
  2. Officer’s daughter” type propagandists (famous case of Ukrainian male infowarrior forgetting to login & posting as anti-Russian woman in Crimea).

There is also a certain moderate/neoliberal kind of person – they mainly seem to be technocrat types from outside the US – who speculate that the Iranian elites are themselves secretly pleased at the US having gotten rid of a potential populist challenger – or perhaps even colluded in his assassination. I saw a Tweet to that effect from a female Russian finance/econ person, though I can’t locate it ATM. I think that the most that can be said is that they speak (or project) for themselves.

(4) Americans strongly dislike Iran according to all the polls. This is evident even on “dissident right” website such as this very one. This might be a blackpill to some, but conflict with Iran is not going to be unpopular, at least within the timeframes that matter. With less than a year to go, it shouldn’t hurt Trump and may well even help him. According to Election Betting Odds, Trump’s chances of winning in 2020 remain at 50% and haven’t budged since the start of the current crisis. So I would not rely on American “war weariness” holding the US back. Just look at the replies to people like Michael Tracey or Max Blumenthal on Twitter… quite unlikely that they are all MAGA bots.

(5) So here’s what we have now.

USA – The boomers have been triggered into reliving their 1979 psychological traumas and the Ziocons are at a peak state to offer them relief (no matter how short-term and ineffectual). On the plus side, there is more anti-war sentiment than in 2002-3. However, at the end of the day, even now 43% of Americans approve of the Soleimani assassination (vs. 38% who disapprove) and the propaganda spigots haven’t even been turned on, so there isn’t much scope for confidence in that regard. Finally, and this might be quite critical, one point I haven’t seen anyone make is that the US is now almost self-sufficient in oil production. This largely insulates it against Iran’s only feasible “nuclear” response.

Iran – Their economy is in the doldrums from American secondary sanctions (it is one thing when just the US refuses to trade with them; it is something entirely else when they leverage their position as the world’s financial hyperpower to prevent even Chinese or Russian entities from trading with Iran). The conditions for their removal are basically across the board capitulation, more radical with Austria-Hungary with respect to Serbia in 1914. They have no had their equivalent of McCain or Petraeus (in terms of social position – no intention to sully Soleimani by association) whacked by the US while on a diplomatic mission in a third country. So not responding at all might well be more dangerous, even in absolute terms, so far as regime stability is concerned.

The risk of an Iran-US war this year must is therefore decidedly untrivial. 40% sounds about right. How would such a war look like?

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Geopolitics, Iran, United States 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  2. This war will have only one result.

    Masses of iranians “politically” converting to evangelical christianity and zerg rushing every immigration/refugee channel to the US.

    If they can convince the evangelical/zionist wing of trumps government, theyre as good as american already.

    We already saw this with the vietnamese, and russian emigres already.

    Sure america will become less WASP yet again, but that is their fate.

    Every Iranian who holds on to his principles will be destroyed by America’s air superiority, while every armenoid grifter and asslicker will be walking the streets of LA in 50 years scouting out the last remnant midwesterner white girl to pressure into filming Blacks on Blondes volume 23.

    • Replies: @Per/Norway
  3. Sublime analysis by hand puppet with Russian accent.

  4. AaronB says:

    The conditions for their removal are basically across the board capitulation,

    This capitulation means stop trying to dominate the region and stop trying to get nukes. It’s understandable that Iran wants both – every power wants to expand and grow more powerful – but at a certain point, you have to just accept your ambitions have butted up against someone stronger for the time being. Bide your time.

    Of course, America wants nothing less than complete regime change in Iran, and will stop at nothing less than installing a friendly regime.

    So its incorrect to say that if Iran scaled back its ambition, remained within its borders and gave up on nukes, America would leave it alone. We know the logic of the next step is to transform Iran into a friendly country.

    So as always the dream of “equilibrium” is an impossible one, as it most always is. Equilibrium is only possible between powers of roughly equal strength, never between unequal powers.

    Unequal powers have no choice but to submit. Submitting to America, installing a friendly regime, would indeed allow Iran to retain a measure of independence. But in reality it would be a quasi vassal state. But that may be the best position it can hope for. Being a vassal is hardly a calamity, and has been the fate of many small and medium powers throughout history. Feudalism was once considered a perfectly logical system. Of course, Iran may refuse this state, and suffer disintegration and chaos instead, like Iraq.

    America would obviously pressure Iran to accept globohomo culture, but the pressure would not necessarily be acute or irresistible – and a vassal state must make at least pro forma obeisanse to the rulers cultural preferences, while retaining considerable cultural autonomy if it isn’t too noisy about it.

    Current Iranian culture in any respect seems quite objectionable on many grounds, so it may well benefit from an infusion of liberal ideas if it doesn’t go too far.

    Of course, all this is predicated on the assumption that Trump and America are quite serious and willing to go the whole mile. That is not at all clear

    • Replies: @AltSerrice
    , @DerkaDerka
  5. Matt Forney says: • Website

    One thing that is ignored by both pro- and antiwar people is that Iran is rotting as a society. Their TFR is 1.6: only a whisker higher than Germany’s, lower than Russia’s, and far lower than France, the U.S., or Israel.

    Iran has an embarrassing chlamydia epidemic and one of the highest rates of STD infection in the world. According to the Iranian government itself, as much as 25 percent of Iranian couples are infertile due to chlamydia. The government itself has reported that Sigha—temporary marriages used to get around the Islamic prohibition on fornication—are far more popular than real marriages:

    Some 84.5 percent of Iranians aged 18 to 29 years are in favor of temporary marriage, Iranian Shargh newspaper reported citing Iran’s Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry’s study. According to the study which has conducted tests among 3,000 young people of Iran’s 14 cities, about 62.9 percent of Iranian youth avoid temporary marriage due to fear of bad reputation. During the last several years, number of websites which offer temporary marriage services to Iranians has increased.

    This can be casually observed in Georgia and Armenia, two of the only countries that Iranians can visit without being buried in visa formalities. Iranians behave like British stag partiers: getting drunk, going to strip clubs, casual sex. Iranian women with fake tits and Iranian men on the prowl for hookers is a common sight in Yerevan (where I live now) and Tbilisi.

    Iran has one of the highest rates of opioid abuse—and hard drug use—in the world, almost on par with the opioid epidemic in the U.S. This is in part because hard drugs are easier to get in Iran due to the government’s alcohol ban. The Taliban’s fall in neighboring Afghanistan caused an exponential increase in opioid abuse in Iran.

    Functionally, Iran is a dying nation that has more in common with globohomo, pozzed Western European states than it does with its Sunni neighbors.

    America has already defeated Iran, if you regard homosexuality and drug/alcohol abuse as instruments of American imperialism (which they very clearly are, just look at Poland, Ukraine, Georgia etc.). Literally the only way the U.S. can screw up is a direct war with Iran, which is why I suspect the neocons want one so badly.

    The most likely outcome of the current crisis is a protracted proxy war in Iraq, not an actual war in Iran. America is a sick man like Iran is, but it’s larger, has more resources, and can simply starve Iran out. The smartest plan for the U.S. would be to bleed Iran out like they did the Soviets in Afghanistan with the intent of kickstarting a revolution in Iran, as people and sectors of the elite turn against the idea of waging a foreign war while people are starving at home.

    Granted, the U.S. is run by some of the dumbest people alive, so I’m not putting any money on them being smart about this.

    An actual war with Iran would be winnable by the U.S., but at such a high cost that it would be politically unacceptable; hence, again, why the neocons are so desperate for one.

  6. The American Alt Lite isn’t Exceptional but it certainly is Special.

  7. @Matt Forney

    Thanks for this very interesting perspective.

    I’ll admit that I treat reports of Iran’s globohomofication with some skepticism. I am aware of course that Persian women aren’t Arab women, that Tinder works in Tehran, that there’s an opioid epidemics, etc. But Russia had an order of magnitude more of all that licentiousness and depravity in the 1990s and it didn’t collapse. I don’t think societies tend to collapse from those things in general. TFR=1.6 is perfectly sustainable, South Korea is now below 1.0 but even that will take decades to make itself felt. Iranian tourists going to the Caucasus are hardly a representative sample.

    And of course homosexuality itself is formally punishable by the death penalty (though I have heard that in practice it’s only used against gay pedophiles, a detail which the Western media apparently leaves out).

    • Replies: @AaronD
    , @Matt Forney
    , @Mr. XYZ
  8. AaronD says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    How much do you think the ‘degeneracy’ of 1990s Russia has been reduced, how and why? Would you still say there are hangovers from it?

  9. Matt Forney says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    There’s obviously no guarantee that Iran will collapse based on current metrics, but the issue is that the current government is, by its own admission, incapable of turning things around. Russia wasn’t facing severe pressure from the U.S. during the 1990’s since Yeltsin was perceived as a stooge for American interests, whereas Iran is perceived as an enemy state and the U.S. has been waging war on it for decades. The one-two punch of internal social decay and constant economic/political/military warfare from the world’s dominant power may be enough for Iran to crack.

    Another factor I forgot to mention is that Iran is as much a gerontocracy as the U.S.: Khamenei is 80, Roubani is 71, the other leaders are in the same range. This is not a sign of a vibrant nation. The U.S. and Iran are like two old farts chucking milk cartons at each other in a nursing home kitchen because they’re too afraid to make the first punch, and both of them keep missing because they throw like little girls.

    The cynic in me wonders if someone in the existing leadership deliberately leaked Soleimani’s location to the U.S. in order to knock off a threat to their power (as a younger war hero, he would have greater appeal to the population than the zombies currently in charge, and he would have probably taken the country in a nationalist/reformist direction) and cynically use his corpse as a rallying cry to consolidate their authority. I don’t trust that U.S. intelligence, the worst in the world (and even when it was good, it wasn’t that great), which screwed up the Iraq war so much, was able to suss out his location on their own.

    A possible outcome from Soleimani’s death is that Iran might go in a reformist direction anyway. If I were Iranian, I’d be wondering how the government screwed up so badly that it allowed such an important and beloved leader to be killed so easily. Then again, the U.S. took ten years to kill Osama bin Laden, who orchestrated the greatest terrorist attack in American history, and there was zero public outcry over the fact that he was essentially being harbored by our “ally” Pakistan (there is no way the Pakistanis weren’t aware that bin Laden was hiding within spitting range of their leading military academy), so who knows.

  10. @AaronB

    In this case, capitulation and becoming a vassal is calamity. The US doesn’t just want a ‘friendly’ Iran – US Middle East policy is directed almost entirely by a very specific ethno-religious lobby who want nothing less than the total destruction of Iran as a political entity.

    As long as Iran exists in its current form (large regional power, indigenous industrial and technological potential, plentiful natural resources, etc) it will be considered a threat to Israeli regional hegemony. Should it capitulate, it can expect nothing less than losing ~10m Kurds and much of its West to an independent Kurdish entity which the Israelis have been drooling over creating for years. I’d also venture to say that Baluchistan and Khuzestan would be removed from Iran with time, taking many natural resources with them. Iranian capitulation would also break the back of resistance in Lebannon and greatly damage the work of Syria and Iraq in retaining their independence.

    When a state is considered a threat to the ‘liberal international order’ it is not merely a government or attitude change that is enforced on it – but dismemberment and poverty. For someone who reads the blog of a Russian nationalist you seem awfully naive on that fact.

    • Agree: mark green
    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @utu
  11. @Matt Forney

    cynically use his corpse as a rallying cry to consolidate their authority

    His mission in Syria was essentially accomplished, using his death as fuel to launch a new Iraq operation might be part of the plan
    Personally I don’t think the trade off is worth it either way

  12. That depends on whether or not Iranians go nuclear or not.

    Iranians have extensive mil tech links with N Korea and probably have already procured designs of a workable warhead.Their industrial capabilities are advanced enough to build and stockpile 10-15 warheads within a year.

    If Iranians have say a dozen deployed nukes on IRBMs then we are entering uncharted territory.

    Using the N Korean example we would expect that the US won’t risk nukes wiping out Israel and major oil fields like Ghawar,Saudi Arabia and therefore Iran would likely be regime change proof though under even more draconian N Korea class sanctions.

    OTOH we may be looking at a US/Israel preemptive Nuclear strike on Iran both to permanently neutralize the Iranian threat as well as to prevent other countries in the ME from going nuclear by demonstrating that Nukes is no carte blanche and may not be worth pursuing.

    If Iranians do not pursue nukes they will likely get thrashed via cruise missiles and bombers/drones but Iran as a country is too big(roughly half the size of India) and too mountainous to occupy.The best semi credible conventional counter Iran would have would be to hinder oil supplies in the straits of Hormuz but they would likely risk having their entire oil and gas infrastructure destroyed in retaliation.

    In either of the two cases oil prices well north of $100 is guaranteed.

    • Agree: AltSerrice
  13. AaronB says:
    @AltSerrice

    Israel was quite friendly to Iran under the Shah, so it would certainly be satisfied with a friendly regime. Israel is happy to get along with Egypt and Jordan, which are cold regimes that are not hostile.

    A state that is identified as a threat to the liberal world order will only become dismembered and reduced to poverty if it refuses to become friendly. Both Japan and Germany transformed themselves.

    Iran’s current rulers have brought their country to the edge of destruction, and the only people benefiting from this are the ruling elite, not the Iranian people.

    If Iran wants to retain some measure of autonomy and grow prosperous, it is foolish to refuse to acknowledge basic realities. The only keep who stand to benefit from defying America are the ruling elite.

    As I explained on the other thread, it is ahistorical and strategically illiterate to depict America’s Iran policy as serving only Israeli interests. It is perfectly in line with America’s actions in Europe and Asia, and follows the logic of realpolitik.

    America has a vital interesting in dominating a region that possesses resources vital to the world economy and its most important allies (Europe), and denying this theater yo its adversaries.

    • Replies: @AltSerrice
    , @Colin Wright
  14. Jason Jorjani’s take is one I have not seen elsewhere. He has Prob(War) more like 99%.

    • Replies: @Valley Forge Warrior
  15. utu says:
    @AltSerrice

    In this case, capitulation and becoming a vassal is calamity. The US doesn’t just want a ‘friendly’ Iran – US Middle East policy is directed almost entirely by a very specific ethno-religious lobby who want nothing less than the total destruction of Iran as a political entity.

    Exactly. The Yinon Plan for the ME. Once there was a very friendly Iran of Shah and it was given to Ayatollahs in 1979.

  16. @Matt Forney

    This is a pretty good comment and you’re right about the decay in Iranian society but I think you’re putting too much emphasis on it in relation to the future of Iran and its capability to resist ZOG.

    As AK pointed out, Russia suffered similarly in the 90s and bounced back. Indeed just look at the horrific decay of Western nations to observe how it has not greatly degraded their ability to exert influence internationally. Almost all of the West is much further into decay than Iran, yet it still has no trouble surviving and there remains plenty of potential for bouncing back in the future – though, granted, they don’t suffer under US sanctions. And while Iran’s TFR is just above 1.6, their population structure is still very heavily weighted towards people in their early 30s and 20s.

    I would even argue that many of these social ills are simply caused by a great amount of under-employed and immature youth relative to older generations (just look at how the youth bulge affects Latin America). In a scenario where nothing happens now and Iran continues under sanction, my money would be on their society improving as young people age and the economy hardens (0.5% growth predicted next year).

    In short, internal social decay is not a big deal when it comes to international power (at least in the short/medium term), and Iran probably has more time to work with than the US.

  17. @AaronB

    I’m not saying that the US/Israel aren’t capable of practicality, certainly they are. Indeed the pragmatic approach to domination is the one that is most often used. Keeping a country friendly and exporting globohomo to its society is just as viable as physical dismemberment. In some cases, both strategies are used.

    Take the example of Germany that you mentioned; it was physically dismembered decades ago but now like most of the West it is slowly becoming impoverished and non-cohesive by the importation of low-IQ migrants among other things. Should Germany turn around and become ethnonationalist with all its great industry and economic power, it will become an enemy of the liberal int order even if it promised to continue being a loyal servant on the geopolitical stage.

    This is because domination is multifaceted. It is not merely installing a friendly government or having a country accept US geopolitical hegemony, it requires the constant degradation of a state’s internal affairs to the point where it ceases to even have the potential of becoming a threat. Just look at how Russia was treated in the early 2000s despite Putin doing his best to remain part of the liberal int order.

    The promised prosperity is illusion. Iran cannot hope to capitulate and remain Iran.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  18. AaronB says:
    @AltSerrice

    That analysis is too harsh.

    America has an interest in friendly states being prosperous and stable – both as trade partners and as military allies against other adversaries. Sure, a level of subservience is demanded and accumulating a level of power that would pose a threat would not be tolerated, but within those limits, great prosperity and stability is possible. Look at Japan.

    That is why the US rapidly build up Japan and Germany after the war.

    Germany of course would not be allowed to become an ethnonationalist state within this liberal order, at least partly because the last time it did it tried to destroy that order. However, the flood of immigrants Germany is now experiencing is not demanded by the liberal order America oversees – that is an extra step that is home grown.

    Beyond that, bon-Western states, within the liberal order, are given far more latitude on these matters – they are considered culturally backwards and are not expected to conform to anything close to the same degree. Japan, by submitting to this order, was perfectly able to preserve its culture and ethnic identity despite occasional calls for it to abandon them. Germany could easily have resisted better had it wanted to.

    Iran, in this order, has an excellent of preserving its identity and remaining intact.

    Israel is an instructive case, as a sort of half-Westetn country with a peculiar history of victimization that acts somewhat as a shield. Accordingly, there was immense pressure – especially by Europe – for Israel to capitulate to Palestinian and Arab demands in general – with many demanding the total abolition of Israel as an illegitimate country – with left wing American intellectuals and left wing Israeli and Jewish intellectuals joining in as well.

    I remember how bad this was especially in the 90s, when the liberal campaign against Israel reached a crescendo.

    On the other hand, Israel’s ambiguous Western status and recent history gave it a certain amount of latitude in these areas. But the real reason Israel was successful and Germany was not, was because Israel flexibly gave many concessions to these left wing demands – serious civil rights protections for Arabs plus affirmative action, serious willingness to surrender land and actual withdrawal from land – while not fully capitulating, much less taking the extra step like Germany, which was totally unnecessary. At the same time, Arab violence and intransigence started looking bad.

    Point being, there is considerable space within the liberal order to negotiate accommodations and retain important elements of cultural identity – especially for less Western states, which are given latitude.

    • Disagree: AltSerrice
    • Replies: @Rattus Norwegius
  19. Interestingly enough, many of the boomers I know in rural America are actually opposed to war with Iran.

    One even told me he’s been anti-war for a while now: he said he prayed Bush would not invade Iraq, and was bitterly disappointed when he did.

    These are all Republican Trump-voters, by the way.

    #BoomersAgainstZionism?

    I do know one boomer who is adamantly convinced that this criminal and terroristic assassination was “just,” but he’s the only one so far.

    The fact that they can’t even get boomers totally united behind this is indicative of the extent to which the Jewish-American empire has become completely unhinged and arrogant. The American people were deeply anti-war in 1940-41, but Roosevelt at least managed to maneuver the Japanese into attacking first. Similarly, in domestic affairs, Clinton and Janet Reno did at least lie about “child abuse” to justify the horrible 1993 siege at Waco, TX. By now, our imperialist disease of the brain, our imperial state-thought, has given our government a feeling that it can do whatever it wants without any pretenses.

    I should also add that a large number of my boomer friends are inclined to believe in many conspiracy stories – some, of course, are true; anyone with a brain knows the government, at a very minimum, isn’t telling us everything about 9/11 or the Las Vegas shooting. Some other theories are false. But the point is that even a false flag attack by “Iran” wouldn’t necessarily shift the needle. I hope the CIA doesn’t try to prove me wrong.

  20. I just had an epiphany why war is inevitable: Iran hates the USA for its freedom.

  21. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    I rarely underestimate the ignorance of gaslit Americans, but maybe I just live in a bubble and my acquaintances are uniquely anti-interventionist in this case. The polling data Anatoly mentions would indicate that. In which case, clearly I have nice acquaintances with common sense.

  22. @reiner Tor

    I tend to believe that Jews, French 1789 revolutionanries, communists, sexual perverts, moron liberal whites, et al, were and are just the accelerationists who support and benefit from Modernism and Post-Modernism. I mean Modernism in the sense that the Catholic Church defined it in the 1800s: the synthesis of all heresies. Even though other Christians would argue that the Catholic Church itself is the problem, this is still a strong definition and other faith traditions can agree to some outline like it. And it’s a good starting point.

    This is not even close to a new idea, of course: many, many writers have suggested or described this sort of dynamic. My favorite to do it were Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, and a bunch of more obscure Christian writers from western Europe and even America. There are many others too.

    That’s the real story with the right and the left: The right-wing / Likud believe in destroying Iran with brute force. The left-wing accelerationists want to do it slowly and deliberately, by getting the Iranians carefully addicted to cheap consumer goods.

    And I think Iran, on some level, is aware of this. Because they’ve experienced both: The CIA brutally repressed Mossadegh, who was followed by Soft Power modernism. Now they’re being attacked by brute force modernism again.

    My personal feeling is that Iran certainly doesn’t have the answer, or the means to create an anti-dote to modernism, but I think they’re trying.

  23. utu says:

    The boomers have been triggered into reliving their 1979 psychological traumas and the Ziocons are at a peak state to offer them relief (no matter how short-term and ineffectual). On the plus side, there is more anti-war sentiment than in 2002-3.

    50/50

    https://www.unz.com/estriker/figures-on-left-and-right-come-out-in-support-of-unpopular-anti-iran-antagonism/

  24. Dreadilk says:

    So much bs going around right now. Let’s just see what the results are. Based on how Iran performed so far in ME I predict in the next decade they will be in a much stronger position then they are today. They won Iraq and Yemen wars. My prediction is that they are going to solidify their Shia crescent and become a nuclear power.

  25. Key questions for China in a US-Iran War:

    1. What are plausible scenarios for shut down and blocking of oil production and transportation in the Gulf?
    2. Would the curtailment of oil likely exceed several months? Even years?
    3. Just how expensive is oil going to get?

    I can’t understand why there isn’t an uptick in global discussion about more electric cars. I haven’t seen any fresh impetus for electric cars since the Aramco attacks in September.

  26. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Speaking of the ‘Vegas shooting, did THAT ever get memory-holed!

    • Replies: @utu
  27. Cicerone says:
    @Matt Forney

    Iran still has a pretty youthful population, but it is correct that its demographic window of opportunity is closing fast. Their yout bulge is now around 30, meaning that their demographic resources of leading a war are dwindling rapidly at the moment. In thats ense, their situation is unique in the Middle East as the only other people that are in a similar situation are the ethnic Turks in Turkey. All of Iran’s neighbors except the Azeris are still very youthful and expanding demographically.

    I am wondering by how much the Iranian government is aware of this and to what extent it could explain the actions of Iran in the last couple of years. Securing influence and more youthful allies in the region before the demographic window of opportunity shuts speedily?

    • Replies: @joni
  28. iffen says:
    @reiner Tor

    There is no reason that Iran can’t just get with the program. There is no downside for them and the upside is yuge. Sometimes it’s best to just go along to get along.

  29. SafeNow says:

    I watched some MSM the past two days, for the first time in a long time. My suspicion was that I would find that the MSM was in substantial accord with the Unz comments on this issue. This proved to be the case. I cannot recall another instance in the past three years when agreement existed on any issue.

  30. The risk of an Iran-US war this year must is therefore decidedly untrivial. 40% sounds about right. How would such a war look like?

    That’s entirely up to the Mullahs and how crazy their martyrdom fantasies are. If they do something big militarily, or do something unconventional like terrorism against civilians like they’re believed to have done with Lockerbie, they’re done. Trump will exterminate the Iranians in the main population centers. Drones, Tomahawks from USN ships in the gulf, B-52 fleet runs from Diego Garcia, etc. The works. Small villages, holdouts, shepherds, etc. in the Zagros Mountains can be spared and possibly worked with afterwards.

  31. nickels says:

    I think Trump will be required to resign.
    I know the ZOG will push the ‘everything is normal’, however, this was an egregious murder and an epic warcrime.
    There is a certain calculus to murder: generals and politicians are free to murder the little guy, i.e. the citizens of their own or other’s countries, but murdering one of your peers in never allowed.
    Trump will be a pariah to world leaders and to at least 20% of his base. The infection will spread.
    World leaders will try to remain calm, but the moral panic will consume them and they will ditch Trump to cover their own pedophilia and other crimes.

  32. Quasi-medieval is something of a euphemism. The principle codified in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations has been bedrock law of sovereign states since the Bronze Age. The envoy has always been sacrosanct.

    https://legal.un.org/avl/ha/vcdr/vcdr.html

    Killing an envoy by perfidy, a separate war crime, compounds the outrage. The US government is an atavistic Iron-Age throwback. Wipe it out. Americans will thank you.

  33. A big (but hopefully hypothetical) question. If this will result in a war, would it still be a good thing if Trump gets re-elected? A Democrat president would be horrible for the quasi-nationalist governments in Poland and Hungary, but maybe most aspects of the foreign policy (which affects us foreigners) would be better. A Democrat president wouldn’t have to prove that he’s not Putin’s puppet and so would be able to actually de-escalate sanctions. Such a president might actually not start a big war. (Only starting small wars like Libya would be an improvement.)

    • Replies: @Jatt Sengh
    , @iffen
    , @Mikel
  34. @reiner Tor

    Those are both gay catholicuck states so even better.

    Dems promote radfem tho..

    Evangelicals or radfems. R v D

  35. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Interestingly enough, many of the boomers I know in rural America are actually opposed to war with Iran.

    That’s the key problem of the US: normal sane people, who know that there are only two genders (and many mental disorders), who respect hard work and honesty, are in rural America. It is not easy to find normal people in the cities, at least the people there don’t advertise their normalcy. You need to go 10-20 miles off highway to end up in a place that is normal and pleasant, where you can respect the people around you. These are not only boomers, lots of younger people also look and behave normal, like they have a life, in contrast to zombies you see elsewhere, staring into their cellphones or pounding their half-dead brains via earpieces with noise they consider music. I’d say that normal people opposed to criminal imperial adventurism constitute about a third of the population in the US, another third is too dumb and/or self-absorbed to pay any attention, and about a third are crazed America/Israel/pervert-firsters. If these estimates are correct, the country is doomed.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
  36. iffen says:
    @reiner Tor

    A big (but hopefully hypothetical) question.

    It’s not complicated at all.

    What’s best for America will turn out to be what’s best for Hungary as well.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  37. @iffen

    What’s best for America? I honestly increasingly feel like in 2008, when the choices were Obama, Hillary and McCain. I think McCain secured his nomination earlier than Obama, so there was a point when these three were in the race.

    In 2016 it felt like there was a candidate for whom I could root for. But I didn’t root for a war on Iran and tax cuts. The latter is an irrelevant issue for me, and the former is a big negative.

    • Replies: @iffen
  38. joni says:
    @Cicerone

    Saudi TFR was 2.53 in 2015 and it is now 2.04. (That was how much it dropped over three years.) Their youth is also flooding the cities for work, so you can expect smaller families there too.

    • Replies: @Cicerone
  39. iffen says:
    @reiner Tor

    In 2016 it felt like there was a candidate for whom I could root for.

    As I have said before, Trump is a Hail Mary. If he’s not re-elected we can turn out the lights. If he is re-elected, we have a few years, an interregnum of hope, a chance, small as it might be, of finding a way forward. A possible war with Iran is small potatoes.

    • Agree: Malenfant
  40. Cicerone says:
    @joni

    Saudi fertility is indeed rather low as well, although Saudi citizens are still right above replacement level as the fertility rate of migrants in Saudi Arabia is rock bottom. Saudi TFR also declined much later than that of Iran, so they still have some more demographic momentum left. The same is true for the Shiites in Lebanon (their TFR is higher than that of Sunnis and much higher than that of Christians), although Hezbollah will also find it harder to find more cannon fodder in the years and decades ahead.

  41. SafeNow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    “You need to go 10-20 miles off highway to end up in a place that is normal and pleasant, where you can respect the people around you.“

    True. The problem is, this is temporary, because as life unravels in the insane locations, the insane people, to adopt your accurate parlance, will flee from there — to move to the sane small cities. The sane places will be unable to stop this. They can try to, but an insane federal judge would enjoin such restrictive efforts. Thus, the sane people will migrate still farther out. Eventually, there is nowhere to run where there is any society to speak of.

  42. Mikel says:
    @reiner Tor

    If this will result in a war, would it still be a good thing if Trump gets re-elected?

    There are considerable differences among the Democrat candidates but, even if this doesn’t bring about a new war, I think I’d rather have a moderate Democrat win the next election than a second Trump term. At this stage, it is abundantly clear that he is not going to deliver on his most important promises.

    Immigration to the US has basically remained unchanged. No wall, no increase in deportations, no slowdown of legal immigration levels, no new merit-based (or any other kind) of immigration system,… And his foreign policy record is even worse. If anything, he has been more confrontational with Russia and more nakedly interventionist in the Middle East (as we are right now discussing) than the much more predictable Democrats. He hasn’t even been able of withdrawing the small contingent from Syria, in spite of announcing it to the world -twice.

    Some things on the social and economic spheres could turn for the worse with a Democrat in the White House (probably not by much) but at least there is a possibility that US citizens could approach to experience something like a First World healthcare system.

    In any case, I think that nothing short of a Vietnam type of humiliation is going to stop the US from pursuing its current path of crazy military interventionism. So, sadly, a serious confrontation with Iran and its allies in the ME and elsewhere that results in large US military loses could turn out to have beneficial effects for world peace in the long run.

    Things could turn interesting if Kim-Jong-Un waits until Iran’s response to deliver the “Christmas present” that he promised at the same moment. And if Iran’s allies start their own fireworks in unison: a coordinated offensive by Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Hussites in Yemen, Assad in Idlib, the Iraqi Shia militias in Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan… it’s hard to see how the US could confront all those attacks against itself or its allies at the same time.

    On the other hand, it is also possible that Iran will do nothing. Israel has been bombing them with abandon in Syria and they never replied. As for the ability of all these factions in the Muslim countries to carry out a coordinated strategy, I am not very sure either.

    • Agree: nickels
  43. @Morton's toes

    That is a very long interview. If you listen to it all, you’ll find that in it, Jorjani touts his connections to Iran and Iranian insiders, and he threatens terrorist attacks on US soil. He says that there are Iranian agents and sleeper agents who will conduct terrorist attacks as retaliation, especially once war breaks out.

    Jorjani shouldn’t even be in America in the first place. He should go back to Iran. But given that he is in the US and touts these ties and has made these threats, he needs to be apprehended and interrogated. And if there is a war, he needs to be registered as an enemy alien and taken into custody, stripped of citizenship (if he has it), and possibly treated as an enemy combatant given the hints he’s dropped here.

    There is precedent for this. Anwar al-Awlaki was a US citizen who like Jorjani was a lecturer and intellectual who had connections and foreknowledge of terrorism.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  44. Max Payne says:

    Striking oil infrastructure is meant to disrupt the globally connected financial system which Iran is not a part of… not starve the US of oil…. if anything it’s aimed against the Gulf Arabs whose treachery allowed all this to fester to this point.

    Regardless how this war goes Israel will be dragged into it. Iran fully understands that the US would only attack Iran for Israel and by that point has nothing to lose if regime change is on the menu.

    Iran will continue to negotiate throughout the war like Vietnam and Korea did in the past. It’s going to be THAT type of war….

    [MORE]

    It will only end when US boots are in Tehran or when Israel as a nation is about to be torn apart (suffering from a war that is longer than X days). When families have to huddle in underground bunkers for weeks or months. Risk going into a sky that rains rockets just try to get food & water. When airports and seaports in Israel are in shambles so the average Israeli can’t go back home and cheer Israel on from afar. When Hezbollah is crawling in tunnels popping out in the midst of kibutz taking entire settlements hostage.

    Your average Israeli soldier takes cover when an amputated little girl throws a rock at him, I don’t expect an everyday citizen who thought his service is behind him to fare any better against rockETS.

    Should a moment of calm descend during this conflict any Israeli with a dual citizenship (vast majority) will fly/sail back home, burn their old Israeli passport and change their name to something even more Western and curse the day the Jewish state tricked them into moving over there in the first place. That will be a sign that Iran has won…

    As for regime change… what wunderwaffe does the US have to cause regime change without American soldiers in Tehran? In terms of human and physical geography Iran is much larger than Iraq.

    Like North Korea, Iran has moved a lot of its military production capacity underground (and has vocally advertised it).

    The US can keep bombing Iran like it did with shitty little North Vietnam or reduce all of it to rubble like it did with North Korea but without infantry holding down cities (checkpoints, population control, policing and surveillance) Iran will just keep firing at whatever targets of opportunity it can get on top of its daily showers of missiles on the KSA, Israel, CENTCOM, Bahrain, Hormuz strait, enemy merchant fleets, gypsies, queers, etc.

    Shieeet even Hamas has a shitty underground rocket production facility and those falafels have had it harder than Iran when it comes to their blockade…. so I can only imagine the INDUSTRIALIZED version.

    I hear a lot of talk about using tactical nukes offensively but that seems too… rogue…

    Even so has anyone looked up how large the yield must be to actually penetrate hardened bunkers built in mountains? More than your average tactical nuke… I don’t think China or Russia is going to be comfortable with that.

    I also assume Israel likes not having radiation blown towards it. But I could be guessing on that…
    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=57.20,28.76,1081

    All I know if the US goes full war and demands regime change the KSA will be gone as a country (probably the only good thing to come out of it), Israel will not be the same, the US military might for the first time since Vietnam have significant numbers of PoWs (sailors and pilots most likely)….

    …is it worth all this headache so Trump and Netanyahu don’t go to jail? I’m all for dick-to-dick brothers-in-arms PvP but come on…

  45. Widur says:

    War has already begun. Murdering an Iranian folk hero General in the open ensured that.

    The only places where the prospects of a war with Iran has been advocated as something desirable, are among demented circles of neocons, Israeli Zionists and inbred Saudis…

    The fiddle is tuned and ready, Nero!

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  46. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    In the US, the likes of Tucker Carlson, a good % of One America News, Andrew Bacevich, et al., are against Trump going full scale neocon. Ther’re also the Dems seeing this as a way of getting back at Trump.

    A news report notes Putin just going to in Syria, where he met Assad.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-russia/russias-putin-makes-rare-visit-to-syria-meets-assad-idUSKBN1Z61NN

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  47. They did it the mad lads. The Iranians are based, redpilled, trad, lindy, and extremely powerful. 🇮🇷🇮🇷🇮🇷🇮🇷🇮🇷🇮🇷

    Looking forwards to a final resolution of the Stealth Question and the Aircraft Carrier Question.

  48. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Widur

    Let’s see if the Israelis launch a strike into Iran.

    • Replies: @iffen
  49. @Valley Forge Warrior

    I have only made it through an hour and 14 minutes so far and I have not given it one hundred percent undivided attention because I find him a repetitive fellow.

    Apparently he is an American with Iranian ancestry and an Iranian supremacist. I have not encountered this variety elsewhere.

  50. songbird says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    They don’t have hypersonics or nukes. Iran is precisely the type of third world country which a carrier is meant to intimidate.

  51. iffen says:
    @Mikhail

    Even more important is whether they will be able to frame the US for it. They did WWI and WWII and got everybody else blamed for it. (According to very reliable sources like TUR.)

  52. Max Payne says:
    @songbird

    What about supercavitating torpedoes?

    Because things don’t have to fly in the air to do damage in water. Just a pro tip.

    • Replies: @songbird
  53. WHAT says:
    @songbird

    A lot of supersonics will be more than enough if CBG is dumb enough to get in range.

  54. WHAT says:

    Oh, and are messirs Putin, Shoigu and Gerasimov still in Syria?
    Something tells me these guys knew or at least had a solid hunch, way too focused a delegation.

  55. Max Payne says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The stealth question was already solved when they shot down the RQ-4A (stealth) drone like it was nothing.

    The US better do something instead of push Trump under the bus. If all this was to eject his ass I’m going to be so disappointed in America it deserves to be taken over by queers.

    I shall now take off work for the next two weeks to watch this war in 4K. Excuse me.

    • Agree: WHAT
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  56. WHAT says:

    Spicy videos:

    Notice the complete lack of AA fire. These people talked shit about S1.
    ^_^

    @Max Payne
    I wonder if Interim President Pence would be even worse.

  57. Iran is fighting for ALL OF US.

    Just like French were under Nazi Occupation, we are under Globo-Homo-Shlomo Occupation. Americans need to be shaken out of the Jewish Media hypnosis. They need to be liberated from the Occupation. The West is currently just one big West Bank.

    US military is just a Janissary force of Jewish supremacists and LGBTQ degenerate neo-aristos. Say NO to White Nakba. Say NO to the cuck-traitor comprador elites of GOP and Democratic Party.

    Go Iran, No Zion.

  58. If this is Iranian retaliation, so far it feels…underwhelming. Should have sunk an aircraft carrier.

    Also, how very nice of them to wait until market close in the US.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  59. @Matt Forney

    I don’t trust that U.S. intelligence, the worst in the world (and even when it was good, it wasn’t that great), which screwed up the Iraq war so much, was able to suss out his location on their own.

    The big problem with your take is the assumption that U.S. intelligence “screwed up the Iraq war.”

    It has been admitted by people who were in DC at the time that goal of U.S. intelligence was not to get the Iraqi WMD question right, but to create false information to dupe us into war.

    • Agree: mark green
  60. Mikel says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Looking forwards to a final resolution of the Stealth Question and the Aircraft Carrier Question.

    The Patriot Question looks settled. The US military confirms that its main air base in Iraq was hit several times. So it wasn’t Saudis being incompetent.

    “Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He’s weak and he’s ineffective. So the only way he figures that he’s going to get reelected, and as sure as you’re sitting there, is to start a war with Iran… I believe that he will attack Iran some time prior to the election, because he thinks that’s the only way he can get elected.”

    -Trump talking about Obama.

    • Thanks: mark green
    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @WHAT
  61. @utu

    I reserve judgment on what may or may not have happened there, but I’m confident of two things:

    1) Stephen Paddock was an arms dealer and that event, whatever it was, started with some kind of an arms deal gone bad.

    There are two kinds of people who frequent casinos: boomers wasting whatever is left of their grandkids’ inheritances, and arms dealers. Not only did Paddock frequent this casino, but he only played video poker. It is virtually impossible to beat the house in that game consistently. Not only did Paddock play enough to beat the house with regularity, but he made money. That is total bullshit. He was obviously laundering money.

    The question is why – why was he laundering money? The answer is that he was involved in some kind of highly dangerous illegal act. And the facts of this “arsenal” in his room – what we’ve been told anyway – points to some kind of weapons smuggling and/or dealing.

    There is no way, in all of Hell, that that guy was anything other than an arms dealer of some kind.

    2) The weapons used to kill the people in the crowd were most likely not bump stock rifles. From video and audio released, they sound absolutely nothing like bump stock rifles. The rate of fire is too consistent and too high.

    Personally, I could care less about bump stocks. I’m a gun user, but I don’t care about those devices. I’m just saying they probably weren’t used at Vegas.

    None of this is actually saying all that much in terms of theorizing. But I’m sure these two things are true. And like Prester John said, the powers that be have COMPLETELY memory holed this one.

  62. @Anatoly Karlin

    Let me translate Karlin’s comment into English:

    “A US-Iran war, while obviously a disaster for both America and Iran, will, in my opinion, benefit Russia.”

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
  63. songbird says:
    @Max Payne

    Seems naive to think that Trump will dangle a carrier in range. Israel didn’t use a carrier when it bombed Iran. I don’t expect that a carrier will go through the straight at this time.

    Probably Trump will use cruise missiles.

  64. The reality of this war is now 100%, as of this moment. It has begun, with all the consequences in lives and economy to follow in the years to come. What is unpredictable will also follow, which could deteriorate into World War III, depending upon who else the U.S. targets, particularly the hatred for Russia, certainly as feverish as that for Iran. My own prediction is that Trump will not hold back from anything, since his belief the others weren’t won because they weren’t pursued ruthlessly enough, or with everything America possessed.

    • Replies: @John Gruskos
  65. @songbird

    Have any of you guys ever heard of Millennium Challenge 2002?

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  66. WHAT says:
    @Mikel

    It was settled years ago. PAC-4 can`t stand close to S-300PMU2, and it`s pastgen in Russia nowadays, with nextgen entering testing this year.
    Dudes in Iran have their reverse-engineered something-something-allah-373 version as well.

    A bit more spice:

  67. @Fran Macadam

    The one good thing is, Trump wants a war with only Iran, unlike Hillary who wanted a war with Syria, Iran, and Russia.

  68. songbird says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    I think Iran has the right approach on paper.

    But I just don’t expect that a carrier will anchor in the straight or sail within sight of the coast. Doesn’t seem like there is good reason to use one, with Iraq open as an airbase.

    • Replies: @WHAT
  69. WHAT says:
    @songbird

    Iraq? After tonight`s demonstration? They had to do a mass liftoff, not because of some imaginary retalliation, but for fear of losing the fleet on the ground to cruise missiles.
    US has no AA when it`s actually needed.

    • Replies: @songbird
  70. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    I think just about every war nerd (ha-ha) has, but they massively buffed Iranian capabilities in those games from what I’ve read, not really a guide to how things will play out.

    Suicide speedboats taking out US supercarriers? Come on.

  71. songbird says:
    @WHAT

    At this point, I’m not even sure that there will be manned overflight. Does Trump’s 52 threat really require it?

    It all depends on what Iran’s counter response will be. Trump’s ability to ratchet up is limited. It really requires the support of Congress. If Iraq is asking the US to leave and Iran is limiting its attacks to Iraq (preferably weak attacks), then I think the support of Congress won’t be forthcoming.

    I could be wrong though. I’m always surprised by how many in DC and other capitals bend the knee to Israel. It is always shocking.

    • Replies: @WHAT
  72. @John Gruskos

    Are you blind? Take this to your president!

  73. Rahan says:

    Iran is on the very verge of becoming a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. They’re currently a temporary member and have been given three years to get their act together and become official permanent members.
    https://en.irna.ir/news/83497638/Joining-Eurasian-Union-New-Gateway-for-Iranian-Economy
    https://financialtribune.com/articles/domestic-economy/101446/iran-trades-430m-with-eurasian-economic-union-at-preferential

    Becoming a permanent member of the EEU will be more than enough to guarantee Iran’s economic survival in the sense of as long as Russia stands, Iran will stand.

    If the next stage will be Iran’s gradual integration into China’s One Belt to Rule Them All thing, Iran will not only stand as long as both Russia and China stand, it will also never need to sell anything to another Western country or Western vassal ever again, and still come out on top.

    That being said, if suddenly everything goes to heck and Iran decides to go out in a blaze of glory while nuking Saudi Arabia and Israel, that’s also nothing to sneeze at.

    Nuking both those places is an extremely important job, which today’s lazy whites are simply refusing to do, so perhaps it’s time to get some brownish third worlders to perform this unpopular yet vital job instead.

  74. @AaronB

    ‘Israel was quite friendly to Iran under the Shah, so it would certainly be satisfied with a friendly regime. Israel is happy to get along with Egypt and Jordan, which are cold regimes that are not hostile.’

    ? Israel has boasted of its role in overthrowing the Egyptian government and installing Sisi in his stead.

    In any case, Israel is a state of eight million people that is smaller than some California counties. Where does it get off deciding which regimes will and will not be permitted to remain in power for every state within a thousand miles?

    Does Honduras decide who should rule Mexico? What government Venezuela should have?

    Your hubris is staggering.

    • Agree: WHAT
    • Replies: @AaronB
  75. @Felix Keverich

    Sinking a carrier is way above Iranian capabilities.

  76. utu says:
    @Matt Forney

    Are studying STD in the former USSR or perhaps spreading it? Perhaps you should retrace the steps of the famous Soviet–German Syphilis Expedition.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet–German_Syphilis_Expedition

  77. WHAT says:
    @songbird

    Well, Esper already distanced himself from Trump`s retarded comments, so I`m pretty sure there will be no cultural site attacks at least. And dudes in Iran certainly studied TLAM usage in Syria. If they can build indigenous missiles to shoot down an RQ-4, screwing up TLAM altimeters to severely degrade their chances to arrive at target in one piece should be easy by comparison.

  78. Vaterland says:

    the US is now almost self-sufficient in oil production

    As it so happens a relative of mine works in the oil-industry. While on paper the USA is indeed a net oil-exporter in terms of pure quantity, the quality of US oil is generally lower and the oil extracted from fracking is basically garbage. It’s crude and heavy oils, while the Saudi oil remains among the best in the world, rich in the rarer and fine byproducts of oil exploitation. Which are also very important to the more advanced and important application of oil products than what most people associate with oil: to put it in your tank. Which is akcually one of the less important aspects to oil today.

    True US oil independence should be taken with a grain of salt. KSA remains important.

    • Replies: @utu
  79. utu says:
    @Vaterland

    2018 oil gross imports by US

    Canada 43%
    KSA 9%
    Mexico 7%
    Venezuela 6%
    Iraq 5%

    All Persian Gulf countries 16%

    https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=727&t=6

  80. @Max Payne

    Is the Global Hawk stealthy? It’s not mentioned in Wikipedia. But Wikipedia is not always very detailed and can be wrong.

    Even if it is, it’s customary for stealthy planes to fly less stealthy in peacetime (hiding their capabilities), so even if it is, it’s not a certainty it was particularly stealthy on that day. It was on a reconnaissance mission, probably emitting radar signals, and we don’t know how close it was when the Iranians noticed it. Stealth is not invisibility, it’s reduced visibility, so even if it’s possible to target from 50 kilometers, it still matters if the enemy can be targeted from 100 or 200 kilometers.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @utu
  81. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    “Although the Global Hawk’s smooth surface shaping, buried engine, and heavy use of composite structures lowers its radar cross-section, it was never designed to be a truly low observable, enemy territory penetrating, reconnaissance aircraft.”
    https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/why-the-usafs-massive-10-billion-global-hawk-uav-was-w-1629932000

  82. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    “Although the Global Hawk’s smooth surface shaping, buried engine, and heavy use of composite structures lowers its radar cross-section, it was never designed to be a truly low observable, enemy territory penetrating, reconnaissance aircraft.”
    https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/why-the-usafs-massive-10-billion-global-hawk-uav-was-w-1629932000

  83. AaronB says:
    @Colin Wright

    I was just responding to serrice, who thinks Israel controls America and would not be satisfied with a friendly Iranian regime.

    Obviously I don’t think Israel controls America, and I think an American war with Iran would occur for basic realpolitik reasons.

    You might want to look at what I’m responding to and the context of my remarks before you get all hot and bothered.

    Besides, if Israel has the power – then it should. Hubris doesn’t cone into it.

  84. @AaronB

    ‘… I think an American war with Iran would occur for basic realpolitik reasons….’

    Obviously, we’ve reached new depths of delusion if we feel it is realpolitik to screw around with a regional power-manque that is literally on the other side of the planet from us. Cynical games in Mexico? Sure — that would make a kind of sense. In Iran? You’re definitely kidding.

    Worse, that intervention takes the form of murdering perhaps the most popular leader in the country. How is that supposed to advance anything except the cause of a universally catastrophic war?

    It’s pretty obvious none of this is ‘realpolitik’ for us. It’s not really ‘realpolitik’ for the actual instigator of it all either — but she’s disturbed enough to think it is.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  85. @AaronB

    I agree that Germany was not forced into accepting immigrants. They could have chosen to resist the pressure, and that would not spur the United States to declare war, or sabotage Germany.

    • Agree: AaronB
  86. AaronB says:
    @Colin Wright

    That region halfway around the world from us has resources that the world economy cannot function without. Europe depends on it. China depends on it.

    Realpolitik dictates that we should control that region, and prevent competitors, like China, from gaining too much influence there, or local unfriendly regimes from arising.

    In today’s globalised world, everything is connected, and what happens halfway around the world can have a huge impact on us.

    Its no longer enough to just defend your village – if it ever was.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  87. @AaronB

    ‘… Besides, if Israel has the power – then it should. Hubris doesn’t cone into it.’

    You see. This is the kind of perfect amorality one is reduced to if one wishes to rationalize Zionism.

    As to ‘Hubris not coming into it,’ ask Germany and Japan about that. Or wait a decade or two. Then you can ask yourself.

    The list of powers that overstepped the mark is a long one: ancient Persia, Byzantium in Justinian’s wars, Spain in the siglo de oro, Sweden in the eighteenth century, France under both Louis XIV and his successors and under Napoleon, the nascent Soviet Union and Greece in the aftermath of World War One, of course Italy, Germany, and Japan in World War Two.

    But all of these had secure homelands to retreat to — or at least relatively benign conquerors willing to permit their continued national existence.

    Where exactly do you see the Jews of Israel retreating to? Are you planning to ask the Palestinians to forgive and forget? You’re insane.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  88. @AaronB

    ‘That region halfway around the world from us has resources that the world economy cannot function without. Europe depends on it. China depends on it.’

    Don’t be an ass. From that it would follow that it is up to Europe to decide what to do. Or China.

    Not us.

    Moreover, whoever controls the region, they’re going to want to sell the oil — and sell it for whatever price the market will bear. It doesn’t actually matter to us whether Iran is ruled by a pro-Western pseudo-Shah or Islamic fanatics — they’ll still want to sell the oil.

    In fact, and ironically, the only losing play here is to let your little monster have its way — reduce Iran to blood-soaked chaos with Americans stomping around in the mess.

    That’s likely to interfere with the flow of oil.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @utu
  89. AaronB says:
    @Colin Wright

    I didn’t realize we were discussing morality. I thought we were just talking about what made sense strategically.

    Yes, there are powers who brought disaster on themselves by trying to exceed their grasp – Iran, the Palestinians, and the Muslim world in general come to mind – and there are powers that brought disaster on themselves by failing to act with decisive force.

    But I thought you were saying something different – I thought you were saying its arrogant for such a small country to think it has the right to try and create friendly regimes in its neighbors. I said right doesn’t come into it – if you have the power, of course one should try to.

    In my view, the Arabs have shown they will not be satisfied with anything less than the total humiliation and descruction of israel. It has proven useless trying to reason and compromise with them. In fact, the whole nonsense started when in 1948 the Arabs could not accept Jewish independence on legally acquired land.

    So I guess this is a fight to the end – no quarter given. Since Israel has nukes, and the Muslim world continues to decline, I’m sanguine. Israel has acted with unusual moral restraint, but to satisfy our own conscience, not curry favor with irrational foes who take kindness for weakness.

    Maybe the Muslims will eventually come to terms with the fact that Jews actually have a right to autonomy, and there are signs this is happening, but in the meantime we fight.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  90. AaronB says:
    @Colin Wright

    I’ve already explained upthread why we can’t let China gain influence in this vital area, and America has an interest in making sure Europe doesn’t become militarized again – even if that wasn’t so, Europe right now is too weak, and would find itself at the mercy of China, Russia, or a local strongman who took over the region.

    This would be bad for America.

    I really think you should read up on history and strategy before discussing this.

  91. @AaronB

    ‘…So I guess this is a fight to the end – no quarter given. Since Israel has nukes, and the Muslim world continues to decline, I’m sanguine. Israel has acted with unusual moral restraint, but to satisfy our own conscience, not curry favor with irrational foes who take kindness for weakness.

    Maybe the Muslims will eventually come to terms with the fact that Jews actually have a right to autonomy, and there are signs this is happening, but in the meantime we fight.’

    You can, of course, rationalize your lunacy.

    In fact, you have to. The difficulty is, it remains lunacy.

  92. utu says:
    @Colin Wright

    It doesn’t actually matter to us whether Iran is ruled by a pro-Western pseudo-Shah or Islamic fanatics — they’ll still want to sell the oil.

    That is true but they must make all transactions in dollars which they may not want to when they are not totally dominated by the US. Perhaps they could get better deals in Yens or Euros.

    Asia and Europe must support American dollar for American empire to continue. The US can accumulate huge trade deficits with China, Japan and Germany because it pays them for their real goods in dollars and they need the dollars to buy oil and gas because the sellers form Persian Gulf States are not allowed to sell it in any other currency.

    But you are correct that this system could operate regardless of political orientation of the Persian Gulf States. However, here enters Israel into the equation that has its own doctrine which is expressed by the Yinon Plan which calls for weak destabilized states in its neighborhood. Israel does not want modern functioning states there. They rather have crazy mullahs and ayatollahs than secular Sadat, Saddam or Reza Pahlavi. Reza Pahlavi was the greatest friend of America and somehow it was not enough and the revolution was engineered that he had to go and Khomeini was brought on a special plane to Iran form France just like Lenin was brought to Russia on a special train from Zurich.

  93. Mitleser says:

    The Shah said too much about the Jewish lobby.
    He had to go.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @utu
    , @Jayce
  94. @Mitleser

    WTF I love the Shah now.

    Based and redpilled.

    • LOL: iffen
  95. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    (though I have heard that in practice it’s only used against gay pedophiles, a detail which the Western media apparently leaves out).

    Wouldn’t it be highly unfair to gay pedophiles if they are sentenced to death while straight pedophiles aren’t?

  96. utu says:
    @Mitleser

    Everybody in the ME spoke about Jewish influence in America like Shah. So this was not the reason that Shah was taken down. The true reason for Iran revolution can be found in this interview with Shah:

    Iran was gettin too modern, too quick and too strong so it was decided that it had to be stopped and retarded for 20-30 years. Khomeini was brought form Paris on special plane just like Lenin was brought from Zurich on special train.

  97. Jayce says:
    @Mitleser

    That whole Mike Douglas interview was filled with fun moments.

    • Replies: @Jayce
    , @songbird
  98. songbird says:
    @Jayce

    The Shah for US President 2020!

    Or would it take until 2024, to decant an adult clone, program him to be based, amend the Constitution, and print out some signs and bumper stickers?

  99. @AaronB

    Of course, America wants nothing less than complete regime change in Iran, and will stop at nothing less than installing a friendly regime.

    You typo’d Israel.

  100. BTW – who is this so-called ukrainian info-warrior who was exposed as a fake, according to Karlin?

    That story I completely missed

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