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23 January 2012

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Pirouz

For all that Iranian posturing, they succeeded in:

a) driving up the cost of oil.

b) generating sufficient anxiety against the proposed oil embargo by the EU (up to now, anyway) and Asia.

c) last but not least prompting Obama into canceling the ABM drill with Israel.

All accomplished with the use of only two sentences taken from a speech by the head of Iran's regular military. How's that for "talking about it"?

Not that I personally enjoyed this ratcheting of tensions, as I think a war between the two countries would be even worse for the U.S. and the region than that of the Iraq war., for reasons previously cited at length by a number of commenters here on this site.

confusedponderer

Good that the Iranians, despite their bluster, kept a level head.

Wouldn't it be great if the US and Iran turned it down a notch? Alas, not to happen.

Instead, the Republican candidates fall over each other to outdo themselves in fervent expressions of utmost bellicosity and hostility towards Iran.

Santorum said something to the effect that he hopes that the US is in on the murdering of Iranian scientists? Jon Stewart put it well - that from a guy who is supposedly pro-life?

Indeed, given an excuse, these nuts are going to bomb anything with an I in it, and when their resident geniuses like Bachmann and Perry still were around that probably put Germany at risk, too.

And then, the Iranians too have their squad of specialists who just can't restrain themselves enough to keep their sorry traps shut.

And then, of course, there are the Israelis, who are a law unto themselves.

turcopolier

CP

I deplore the jingoistic rantings of people like Cardinal Santorum, but the US has not "ratcheted up" anything by putting thr fleet back into the Gulf. These are international waters and as a maritime power the US has not and will not accept Iran's threats any more than we accepted those of Libya in 1986. pl

eakens

That's a lot of hardware and it has a reason for being there. Plus they sent a letter which at first the WH denied sending and then which Carney indicated the Iranians needed to respond to.

I suspected it was laced with threats which will be tested shortly. And the EU? They'll do whatever the US wants right now. You'll prob start hearing the crisis is over soon if they get in line.

confusedponderer

The US sending the Navy back in is not ratcheting up but just a freedom of navigation exercise. I have no problem, with that. I'd have no problem with the German Navy participating in such a show of force and resolve as well.

I think that the US Navy is able to clear the straits in case the Iranians tried to close it. They would inflict crippling losses on the Iranians, even though the US probably would suffer losses as well. Less than one week after starting the Iranians would have no navy worth the name left. Their air force would be severely decimated as well. The Iranians know that.

My problem is with the irresponsible and foolish rhetoric, in particular in the current Republican race.

Norbert Salamon

Sir:

While MSM does not devote too mch interest to international changes in the use of US$, it appears that the machinations of Russia, Japan China, Qatar, United Emirates, Iran and India to replace intermdiary use of USD for trade is significant; far more significant than the location of the 5th Fleet, for there will be no USA attack on Iran, while the erosion of USD reserve status /petrodollar standards is far more important than anything else for the USA economy.

Morocco Bama

Why an attack on Iran would be considered positive right now within certain circles.

1.) If it happens within the next several months, it would render the Republican primaries moot and irrelevant. Obama would be handed another term (it's already ordained, imo, but this would justify it in the public's mind) because you don't switch horses in the middle of the battle. The Republic primaries would still be interesting as a satirical spectacle, though.

2.) Defense Contractors and Oil Companies will continue to reap egregiously exploitative profits. It would be the workaround to Obama's proposed defense budget cuts. Another war cannot be subject to such cuts, and so it's a defacto reversal of any cuts. Contrary to popular opinion, the price of oil is now largely influenced and determined by inside price manipulators (Goldman Sachs and other various Hedge Funds) and they will use the Iranian conflict to drive up the price of oil resulting in record profits for them and the Oil Majors. Also, let's face it, the last leg holding up the U.S. economy is defense spending. It's one of the few things the U.S. still does well in house. You take that away, and bye bye birdie.

3.) It's in keeping with the overall Geopolitical Strategy of controlling the remaining spice through Full Spectrum Dominance. As I said before on another thread, there is no future for the Mullahs of Iran. It's just a matter of when, and the above is a justification (not mine) for that when to be now, or very soon.

That being said, yes, what I have just stated is insane and ultimately doomed to failure, but that doesn't make it untrue. It's a short-term strategy that buys some more time but at the expense of an infinitely more painful future. It's the course, though, and I don't see anything on the horizon that is capable of changing the trajectory.

Also, I believe that once Israel has served its purpose as a Nation-State foil, it will be jettisoned and left to the wolves who will be ready to tear it to shreds. It has burned too many bridges, and I believe it is the one being played. It will pay a huge penalty (its existence) for its blindly zealous hubris.

William R. Cumming

Apparently someone in Iranian officialdom has announce that Iran controls all of southern Iraq and southern Lebanon! Is this accurate? Is there a de facto partition of Iraq already?

Fred

I think the EU embargo is more effective in impacting oil prices than two sentances of a speech from an Iranian general.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16674660

Obama finally stood up to Israel? Good for him, Iran isn't the reason why.

turcopolier

WRC

"Is there a de facto partition of Iraq already?" Your question is whether Iran controls southern Iraq? I think not. The Shia government of Iraq controls that area. Does Hizbullah control southern Lebanon? Yes, but that does not equate to Iranian control of the area. pl

Byron Raum

I don't like "these nuts" and I think it would be a disservice for the country if they got elected. Two things occur to me.

One is that these people are not nuts. The Presidential candidates are hypocrites who are talking to nuts. If they become President, I am not really convinced that their behavior is going to be all that different from Obama's, who is as hypocritical as his opponents - he just faces a different audience.

We are not the only country in the world to be blessed with nuts. Iran also has their share.

Charles I

"Sheikhs fall in love with renminbi"

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NA24Ak03.html

toto

"Apparently someone in Iranian officialdom has announce that Iran controls all of southern Iraq and southern Lebanon! "

The one surprising thing is that they would announce it so blatantly.

Thomas

eakens,

The Letter to the Supreme Leader’s office did give Iran a red line warning on closing the strait but also said the US was willing to resume negotiations. The response they are looking for is just an acknowledgement of receiving it I believe. If the IRI would come to the table and act in good faith to resolve the crisis it would be beneficial for all. Ali Khamenei’s ideological stubbornness is preventing it. This has caused former IRGC leaders to start criticizing the performance of the Supreme Leader in the past week.

In the short article I linked below on a previous thread, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells western diplomats that he is willing to settle but the “mad men” in the Supreme Leader’s office won’t allow for it.

There is a major difference between what we read in open source and what happens behind closed doors. I am cautiously optimistic that the professionals on both sides are working to prevent a conflict which will have world wide ramifications. The irrational ones with authority are the true concern.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/rivals+clash+with+West+claims+Ahmadinejad/6004613/story.html#ixzz1jk9a9GSt

confusedponderer

Byron Baum,
this is banal. Of course, being politicians they must be pandering to a base, and the more unpleasant the pandering the apparently more unpleasant is the base. After all, their message is poll tested and empirically sound to appeal to a target audience.

And as far as characters go, with Perry, you may be right. With Bachmann, not so much.

IMO you don't go to a place like Regent university and leave it without some genuinely crazy ideas about the role of - let's put it this way - government in the church.

Also, I think she believes in the imminence of Armageddon, with Perry I'm not so sure.

IMO Bachmann was the reason why Perry got so crazy in his utterances - he had to outflank Bachmann to the right after all. But then, to do that is a choice.

Thomas

(This is a repost of my above comment to see if it is the http link that causes to the post to spread out)

eakens,

The Letter to the Supreme Leader’s office did give Iran a red line warning on closing the strait but also said the US was willing to resume negotiations. The response they are looking for is just an acknowledgement of receiving it I believe. If the IRI would come to the table and act in good faith to resolve the crisis it would be beneficial for all. Ali Khamenei’s ideological stubbornness is preventing it. This has caused former IRGC leaders to start criticizing the performance of the Supreme Leader in the past week.

In the short article I linked below on a previous thread, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells western diplomats that he is willing to settle but the “mad men” in the Supreme Leader’s office won’t allow for it.

There is a major difference between what we read in open source and what happens behind closed doors. I am cautiously optimistic that the professionals on both sides are working to prevent a conflict which will have world wide ramifications. The irrational ones with authority are the true concern.

Rd.

Thomas said...

“ that he is willing to settle but the “mad men” in the Supreme Leader’s office won’t allow for it.”

A question may be; Is it the mad man in Iran, ir elsewhere who are not allowing talks between US and Iran??

From Stratfor;

“A Possibility of Negotiations

It is in this context that the possibility of negotiations has arisen. The Iranians have claimed that the letter the U.S. administration sent to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that defined Iran's threats to Strait of Hormuz as a red line contained a second paragraph offering direct talks with Iran. After hesitation, the United States denied the offer of talks, but it did not deny it had sent a message to the Iranian leadership. The Iranians then claimed such an offer was made verbally to Tehran and not in the letter. Washington again was not categorical in its denial. On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a meeting with the German foreign minister, "We do not seek conflict. We strongly believe the people of Iran deserve a better future. They can have that future, the country can be reintegrated into the global community ... when their government definitively turns away from pursuing nuclear weapons."

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/considering-us-iranian-deal

Frabjous

Thomas, (how) did you modify the HTML code to avoid the post exceeding the frame? I see that a lot on SST and it is very frustrating...

Thomas

Frabjous,

I just removed it from the copied post. I was thinking maybe there is a way to chop it up, copy it and then paste it. I'll try next time I have a link.

Thomas

Rd,

That is an interesting read. I still maintain that Ali Khamenei is the intransigent one. He is stuck in a mindset of forever war with the US for fear of losing control even though he already has during June 2009. In my view he is another of those leaders that Col. Lang refers to as someone who wants "to be, not do".

Though an emotional factor to seriously consider is the issue of a Sunni-Shia Islamic civil war in the region sending the situation into a downward spiral.

YT

MB,

"Geopolitical Strategy of controlling the remaining spice"

Dune?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune_%28novel%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune_%28video_game%29


I like how you mentioned 'bout the Kobayashi Maru option in a previous post (I'm not a Trekkie though).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobayashi_Maru


Re: "there is no future for the mullahs of iran"

Yep, only a matter of time when the ol' f**ks die.

Do they honestly believe that the next generation of Iranian youths (or the Americans for that matter) are gonna let them have things run their way?

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