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21 June 2019

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ted richard

iran and oman share the straits as they enter the indian ocean. these waters are THEIR territorial waters and have been agreed upon for decades by the world. 12 miles give or take for each side. there are NO international waters here.

if oil ships stop transiting for any reason the western economic and banking system implodes as the notional value of all those trillions in derivatives (oil at least) become real once the price rises. not a shot need be fired to collapse the western world living standards and there is nothing the pentagon can do about even IF it could which it CAN'T.

peace is the only sane option IF the west wants to remain upright and obstensibly solvent.

ignore fools like bolton and pompeo.

fredw

The Trump administration has to come up with an explanation for this. Otherwise everyone will believe that that the red phone rang. "Mr. Putin on the line, sir." Another ripe conspiracy theory waiting in the wings is that Iran turned on some unexpected radar and showed just what the planes were flying into. Some logical, plausible, and not too embarassing alternative story is needed. Fast.

jon stanley

Let us hope Trump's alleged caution holds. For the moment, anyway. However, let us also hope wiser heads prevail in Iran. It seems clear to me (which I do not mistake for assuming I am automatically correct) that there has been a PATTERN of increased, violent actions coming from Iran. i.e. increased shelling of US positions, or, near them, anyway, in Iraq. Along with the tanker attacks and drone attacks, two, I might add. These seem calculated, at the moment, at avoiding US loss of life. So, they are playing around with us, testing us. This reflects, to me, ONE kind of thinking in Iran. However, there are other sides there, I believe.

And in the meantime Trump is, essentially, bereft of support within DC. Unless it be in the military. One side of the elite community hates Trump, but for the moment, goes along with him. Trying to push and prod him forward to their ends. The NeoCons and Never Trumpers. The other side basically loathes Trump and opposes whatever position he is taking. Reflectively. Thoughtlessly. This leaves him essentially alone. IN DC. He should get out of the Capital more often. To his Base. Away from the talking heads. In the meantime Iran should give pause for thought. They may think the world will be on their side, if only to oppose Trump. But they won't get much support other than soft and meaningless words, if they keep poking the Bear. And they just might get eaten...hard as a meal as that would be to digest.

Barbara Ann

"releash the dogs of war" says it all. Remember the The Bedford Incident?

fotokemist

My poorly informed speculation drawing upon my career as a chemist (i.e., no military training or experience, the navy rejected me when I tried to join the NROTC in 1963) I am inclined to disbelieve our claims that our drone was in international air space. One commentator on MoA claimed there is no international air space over the Gulf of Hormuz. The relevant treaties address only marine access.

It would appear the Iranians tracked our drone essentially from time time of departure until its demise. The folks on the web would have us believe the Iranians used a $2,500 homemade missile to bring down a $120,000,000 drone. Let that soak in. Am I the only one wondering what else we are unaware?

Regarding the aborted attack, my suspicion is that someone informed Trump of the possibility of an unsuspected Iranian asset bringing down an F-22, or horrors, an F-35. Not likely to help our export programs.

Combined with the possibility that Iran can present convincing evidence that the drone penetrated their air space, Trump would be in a poor position to defend himself against war crime charges should he order an attack. Might not play well in the upcoming election cycle.

As a businessman, he could have decided the rewards of an attack did not justify these risks.

Other thoughts?

fotokemist

Make that Strait of Hormuz.

Fourth and Long

Probably a face saving gesture - can seem tough and reasonable simultaneously. It's shaping up as de-escalation on both sides for now, which I deduce from recent press releases on behalf of Iranian authorities saying that they refrained from shooting down a US P-8 plane carrying 35 people, which was accompanying the unmanned drone which they acknowledge shooting down. So they're mirroring each other IMO - it's not going to escalate.

CK

I believe that Nixon did the same thing in 1969 when North Korea shot down an ec121. Threaten with a nuke and then stand down.

Eric Newhill

Walrus,
Contrary to many here, I think the Iranians did attach explosives to the tankers and did shoot down the drone, etc. I think they are religious fanatics and bad actors/terrorists who feel that, for whatever reason(s), at this time they can flex their muscles and make some substantial threats supported by violence.

OTOH, I think Trump painted himself into a corner by being exceptionally bellicose about Iran from day 1 of his entrance into the realm of politics while simultaneously being against foreign adventures. Iran is calling his bluff.

Yet, Trump has already offered up a pressure release valve; or in your words, a way to save face. He has stated that maybe the drone shoot down, etc was a mistake and/or the work of some rogue elements.

IMO, the Iranians will not accept that opportunity to de-escalate. They will need to be smacked around hard, but in a way that doesn't involve anything more than a few US special forces on the ground and otherwise air and naval assets. I'm sure the Trump admin is trying to figure out what that would be at this moment. Something quick, yet dramatic and sufficiently painful to Iran materially and/or psychologically.

If Iran wanted peace, all they have ever had to do is to shut up about the public announcements of wanting to destroy Israel and stop with the terrorist support. They wouldn't even have to recognize Israel's right to exist, though that would be the civilized thing to do as well. Yet they can't bring themselves to do that. They will be the ones to start war if war evolves from all of this.

robt willmann

Trump has come out through the usual direct communication channel, saying the reason he called off a strike was that casualties were certain to occur and thus would not be proportionate to an unmanned drone--

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1142055375186907136

Bill Wade

“On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not……proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!” Pres Trump tweet

Eric Newhill

Yes. Trump is more cool headed than a lot of people give him credit for being. IMO, If there is war, it will be Iran who starts it, for real; no false flags.

HawkOfMay

I've always felt that President Trump is impulsive and that impulsiveness is one of the things that makes him unfit to be President. My question is not 'did he order airstrikes'. My question is 'did an adult in the room step in' or 'did he actually change his mind'. I suspect the answer to that question will break down along the typical partisan lines.

It does make clear that he has no overall plan or strategy in place. These actions demonstrate that our President is unpredictable. While unpredictability has its own value (perhaps especially in the political arena) I don't want to see miscalculations creep in when we are talking about getting involved in a new war in the ME.

turcopolier

fotokemist

My understanding is that the action has been east of the Strait of Hormuz where THERE ARE international waters.

Eugene Owens

I thank Generals Dunford and Selva at the JCS for putting the brakes on Moron Bolton and SecState Pompous. Particularly General Selva who says protecting oil shipments thru the Strait is not our job; and who also pushed back hard against escalation in Venezuela in late April.

https://www.businessinsider.com/paul-selva-john-bolton-aides-meeting-venezuela-2019-5

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/06/18/dont-expect-the-us-to-secure-arabian-gulf-shipping-alone-top-general-says/

Eugene Owens

fotokemist & Ted Richard -

The ships and aircraft of all nations, including warships, auxiliaries, and military aircraft, enjoy the right of unimpeded transit passage in the Strait and its approaches.

That is true elsewhere also. The international legal regime of transit passage exists not only at the Strait of Hormuz but also in the Strait of Gibraltar, the Dover Strait, the Bab-el-Mandeb, and the Strait of Malacca.

Fred

Eric,

Unlike the USA Iran has a perfect command and control system and no officer of the IRGC would ever screw up like the officers on USS Fitzgerald or USS John S. McCain. Nor would anyone there lie to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President Rouhani. I'm sure thier intellegence services have not a single Strzock or Page amongst them either.

"They will need to be smacked around hard...."
How's the Iranian economy doing right now? Not 'smacked around hard' enough?

Fred

Walrus,

Looks like impeachment for Russian collusion is off the table, Joe 'foot in mouth' Biden gets some cover and even Democrats in congress are talking about how the AUMF is outdated. Fixing the later, well that would take Pelosi allowing some legislation to come up for a vote.

rho

What terrorists does Iran support? Are you aware that Iranian troops are fighting Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria right now (which are supported by Turkey)?

Elsi
They will need to be smacked around hard....Something quick, yet dramatic and sufficiently painful to Iran materially and/or psychologically.

It does not seem to you materially and psychologically painful enough the sanctions to which Iran has been submitted so far?
That is like bombing the country to the hell, if you have not been still aware...You may need the oil barrel going $1000, as stimated by Goldman Sachs would be the outcome of a war in the Persian Gulf, to taste a bit of the pain they are experimenting since decades ago in your own skin to notice...

prawnik

And what makes you think that "Iran needs to smacked around hard"? And what makes you think that they will not retaliate?

A better idea would be to treat Iran like any other country.

Ishmael Zechariah

Eric Newhill,
IMO,it is the izzies who are pushing for the destruction of Iran, with their BS about Amalek, their god-given title to Palestine, and their attempts to re-mold the ME in their image. The presence of Nasrallah&Co. and their rocket forces-mostly supplied by Iran-is the primary issue. Most of the current ills of the ME can be traced to the izzies. Think Syria.
While there is no doubt that US can pound Iran into the stone age without really working a sweat, she probably would not have gotten off w/o a few bruises for her pains. In addition, more importantly in my view, the izzies might have also gotten a few surprises.
My friends were glad to end last night with no emergencies on their watch. We were all very, very worried.
Ishmael Zechariah

prawnik

If Iran wanted a war (why would they?) they have had ample opportunities to start one.

joanna

yes, still playing guitar?

https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Iran/Pages/default.aspx

And what would you personally consider as more urgent, the inner US bolshevik threat the ones that made the deal or the outer Iranian one?

BabelFish

Or Sean Connery saying 'release'?

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