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13 October 2017

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Mark Logan

Oilman2,

You stole all my thunder.

I would add potential ray of hope:

Whoever filled Trump's teleprompter that day may have committed a terrible strategic blunder. Having a clown on one's side can do a lot of damage. The mere implication Trump is in cahoots with Russia has allowed Russophobia to spread like wild fire. It will now be significantly more difficult for the MSM to avoid re-examinating their deeply instilled AIPAC/Likud assumptions about Iran.

Yeah, Right

I can't see any possibility that the Israelis would want the USA to join it in a war against Hezbollah.

A joint attack on Iran, sure, because for all their chest beating the Israelis know that they don't have the power-projection capabilities to take on such a large and distant opponent.

And, furthermore, they know that everyone knows they don't have that capability, so there is no shame whatsoever in urging the USA to do that dirty work for them.

But Hezbollah? They are just over the border. The Israeli self-image won't allow them to admit that they can't take out a next-door-neighbour, and do so without breaking a sweat.

And, furthermore, much of their utility to the USA is their claim to be able to deal with any problem in their neighbourhood, deputy-sheriff-style: just give us the tools and we'll do the job.

So it would be a huge blow to their image both domestically and in the corridors of power in Washington if they needed US boots on the ground in order to defeat a bunch o' tag-tags who are hiding out in - of all places! - a chaotic, shambolic mess of a place that is Lebanon.

The Israeli's are planning to go to war on Hezbollah, no doubt about it, but they'll insist on going it alone.

And they'll get their arses handed to them on a plate because, let's face it, the IDF is just a bunch of thugs with guns.

Lots and lots of guns, for sure, but a bunch of thugs is still just a bunch of thugs.

Yeah, Right

Babak: "Consider: without US, EU is a nothing militarily."

I'm genuinely curious: if you pack up the US military and ship it home then who, exactly, does this militarily-ineffectual EU have to fear?

Certainly not Russia, since the combined military spending of Western Europe would still exceed that of Russia by a considerable margin.

Who else would pose a credible military threat to that go-it-alone EU alliance other than, of course, the USA itself?

A post-Brexit Britain? Norway? Who?

Babak Makkinejad

EU, together with US, has attacked Yuhoslavia, Iraq, and Libya. EU trained the Maidan agitators and helped overthrew another sovereign government in Ukraine, all the while politically supporting anti-government forces in Syria. EU waged a ten year long economic war against Iran. EU would not have dared doing all of this without the protection afforded to them by US.

Mishkilji

Babak--What do you think the US has learned over the last 16 years?

Mishkilji

In the runup to the 2016 elections, several posters on this forum claimed they were voting for Trump to prevent WWIII. Given what has transpired in SYria, North Korea, and Iran, I'm wondering if any have buyer's remorse. Tyler,or others, care to weigh it?

Babak Makkinejad

Should have said:
"War could be the Great Teacher."
As for question, "Nothing".

charly

Seizing assets and freezing accounts or Double Irish?

charly

Precedent? US has always been known for changing its mind. Why do you think CERN and ITER were build in Europe.

kooshy

Unfortunately, imperial powers they don't learn, hubris will not allow a super power (You read an imperial power) to look back and learn from history. Imperial powers, gradually and eventually will be teached the lesson, when is too late. This is not unique to US.

Yeah, Right

Babak, thank you for your accurate recitation of EU military adventurism, but I will point out that it is nonetheless a non sequitur.

Sure, the EU has enthusiastically joined the US in destabilizing (and even outright destroying) counties in the European "near abroad". That is just the sort of thing that sycophants would do.

Still, they are essentially doing it because their masters in Washington wanted them to do it. Again, a feature - not a bug - of sycophancy.

But if the US military were to pack up and go home then that could only happen as a result of a catastrophic schism between the USA and western Europe, and so from that point on the EU's enthusiasm for destabilizing countries in their neighbourhood would vanish.

They certainly would seek to curry favour with Russia and/or those countries within the Russian sphere of influence, if only as a counter to a now-antagonistic USA.

Simply put: if the EU ever grew a pair and showed the US military the door then their interest in destabilizing the countries near them would..... vanish. Poof! Gone.

At which point my question would still be this: who would that militarily-ineffective "EU armed forces" fear, apart from a resentful Washington?

To reply that the EU would be unable to throw their weight around is not to answer that question, which is and always has been to ask who they would *fear*, not who could they *threaten*.

blowback

I'm not so sure. SWIFT is based in Europe (Belgium to be precise) and the Iranian banks have been reconnected to SWIFT as part of the JCPOA. Provided the Iranian transactions are not in USD, there is little the United States can do. Maybe the Europeans will decide to conduct all their business in Euros, then there will be even less the United States can do financially.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

You might know the Europeans better that I; I can only go by impressions, surmises, and insights gained through reading and at times listening to snatches of conversations.

I would characterize them as very enthusiastic sycophants who actually do believe in the goals of US policy if not its methods.

Your reference to "spheres of influence" is very important in my mind. The recognition of two spheres of influence; a Russian one and an Iranian one will go along way to ensure peace in Europe and in the Near East.

But I do not believe that the Western Fortress is willing to admit the utility of such true and tested artifices of state craft.

Babak Makkinejad

The Europeans kicked Iran out of SWIFT during the last economic war, regardless of the currency. Indians did the same thing when they joined the economic war against Iran when they stopped using the Asian Clearing Union for oil payment.

There is not reason to think that such things are not going to be done again.

different clue

Mishkilji,

Given what Clinton wanted and what Clinton promised to do, it will take more than what you have listed to give me any voter's remorse. Trump's handling of North Korea and especially Iran up to now give me severe buyer's bitterness. But he has done just what he promised to do for Syria. The COLA ( Coalition Of Lawful Authority) is on track to defeat the GAJ ( the Global Axis of Jihad) and drive all its forces out of Syria or out of existence. This is a GOOD thing and gives me voter's satisfaction on this particular score.

Of course he has functioned as a Trojan Horse full of deregulationary arsonists and vandals and looters and privatisers of the traditional Republican Upper Class on the domestic front. But I knew he would be that and I decided this was just the nasty side effects I would to endure to begin curing this country of its otherwise-terminal case of Necrotising Clintonitis.

Imagine

Who wrote Trump's de-certification speech? Apparently Nikki Haley, by way of John Bolton, by way of Sheldon Adelson:

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/13/nikki-haley-trump-iran-whisperer-243772

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