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20 July 2019


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Looks like you have all the options covered. Has SST war gamed this?

The wild card right now is Rand Paul. The Iranians certainly aren't going to cave but they have proven over the decades to be very pragmatic. They may choose to talk to Rand because their foreign service will know RP is pretty well the only person with Trumps ear that wants no part of war with Iran. If Trump is smart he will listen very carefully to what RP has to say if he gets a sit down with the Iranians. If he sticks to his I have to win, I have to be seen as having won and even more important the other guy has to be seen to have lost in as humiliating a way as possible game plan, we are in for a long summer.

Ramon Zarate

The US launches assault on Iran, the Iranians respond by destroying attacking US ships and planes. The enraged US deploys B61-12 dial a yield mini nukes. The (Russians) respond, only they don't have mini nukes so have to make do with the old fashioned regular size nukes. Middle east oil fields contaminated with nuclear fall out.
After that the situation starts to get serious?


Why would Iran not be involved (itself or by proxy) in raising the temperature inside Afghanistan? Most focus seems to be on the seaward part of Iran. Might not the Tajiks and others in Afghanistan welcome an opportunity to obtain support for resistance to the occupiers?

Just asking because I’m a bit curious about why the media seems to concentrate on the possibility of conflict around the littoral areas of Iran and hasn’t seemed interested in the bigger picture in SW Asia.

For avoidance of doubt, I have zero military experience.


Trump needs to go ahead and bite the bullet before the Neos and the Israeli Fifth Column in the WH get a war going.
He should meet with Iran, get a deal, come back and do what he does best which is claim he got he best deal ever!, better than Obama's deal!(even though his deal will basically be the same as Obama's)a deal only The Donald could get!
Yes that might cost him Adelson $$ but he gets to keep his base. He can always lie to his Zio and Saudi buddies and tell them he needs a second term to carry out their Iran wishes.

ex-PFC Chuck
" If he sticks to his I have to win, I have to be seen as having won and even more important the other guy has to be seen to have lost in as humiliating a way as possible game plan, we are in for a long summer."
And, god forbid, an orders-of-magnitude longer nuclear winter.



"two weeks ago, when the British Navy seized an Iranian flagged tanker"

Via Associated Press:
Royal Marines took part in the seizure of the Iranian oil tanker by Gibraltar, a British overseas territory off the southern coast of Spain. Officials there initially said the July 4 seizure happened on orders from the U.S." .......

It gets even better than on orders from the U.S.
"Britain has said it would release the vessel, which was carrying more than 2 million barrels of Iranian crude, if Iran could prove it was not breaching EU sanctions"

We are supposed to believe that Syria is importing oil on ships which sail through the Straights of Gibraltar rather than getting oil from, say, Russia! or going from Iran (it is Iranian oil, so they say) through the Suez Canal? What did they do, sail around the continent of Africa to stage this?

So the brilliant minds at GCHQ that brought us Christopher Steele and the dossier have decided that they really, really, need to get rid of the Orange Man and they don't care how many Iranian or American lives it takes. I wonder just how many people the man not in the news, Jeffrey Epstein, had the dirty goods on and just which government was behind his operation.

Ramon Zarate

I like your scenario better than mine

The Twisted Genius

Larry, your intel about the JCS not advising caution is most disheartening. I wouldn't be surprised if the warmongers surrounding Trump are also telling him that his rally attending base is all for taking it to the raghead terrorists. That may not be far off. Sure those who support Trump for his professed aversion to adventurism will be appalled at war with Iran, but his more rabid base may follow him anywhere. Trump has no ideological need for war, but he does have a psychological need for adoration. That's not a good situation.


Did Russia get rid of its tactical nukes? The USSR had them in Cuba at the time of the Bay of Pigs.


There is an effort underway to undermine Israeli influence in the US, and I think the calculus might be to use the exact thing Israelis want most (war with Iran) to do that. I think the resurrection of the Epstein case is also part of that effort. Thus, war with Iran is inevitable.

Ishmael Zechariah

Mr. Johnson,
re: "Iran has taken the bait and given the Brits what Iran sees as a dose of its own medicine."
Is the term "taken the bait" justified? IMO the Iranians had no choice. They executed a commensurate response to signal that each action will be met with a proper reaction.If the Ziocons are truly suicidal they will think this is a bluff and raise the ante. Then life will become very interesting for all of us, including the ziocons.
Ishmael Zechariah


"From what I am hearing from knowledgeable sources [is that] no one on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at DOD are advising caution."

We should probably ignore the notion that the Joint Chiefs are bullish about a war with Iran -- the situation in the area is terrible for us and the Joint Chiefs know it.

For example, Turkey, Iraq and Pakistan have military understandings with Iran and the former is now installing advanced S-400 Russian missiles to defend itself from us. Furthermore, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Azerbajian and Armenia will not allow transit of war materiel or aircraft en-route to Iran. So how does the US project anything into that country?

Then again, US Central Command is located in Iran friendly Quatar, which merely hosts us and could require us to leave. How come? Wouldn't you know it, Quatar is developing a massive gas reserve with Iran in the Gulf, is now very, very friendly with big-brother Turkey and presently negotiating with Russia for S-400 missiles -- clearly against us.

Well, what about our Navy?

Alas, recent improvements in missiles have rendered our deep water Navy a liability -- not that the narrow Persian Gulf / Sea of Oman is deep in any case. (President Trump learned about our Navy's vulnerability to missile attack last year as the Pentagon quickly pulled our three carrier group force from Korea and parked those impressive ships on the south coast of Australia! )

Then there is Iran's near east client / ally Hezbollah, which has made clear that any bombing of Iran, a huge country, would trigger heavy missile attack on postage-stamp Israel.

The Neocons may have managed to silence public Pentagon doubts, but President Trump is clearly attempting to avoid military adventures. "No, the Iran downed drone was old and not that expensive." "The UK captured an Iranian tanker and the Iranians have reciprocated. The two should sit down and work the situation out."


I believe that Iran is going to want to avoid war if they can. Their program of adding precision guidance to Hezbollah missiles in Lebanon means that the longer they postpone war, the better for them. If they get to a point where they have 10,000 precision guided missiles in Lebanon then the next Israel-Lebanon war will force Israel into a humiliating defeat.

Eighty percent of Israel's water comes from water desalination plants - and then there are electricity generation plants, sewage treatment plants, and numerous other infrastructure targets that can be hit. Israeli civilians are soft and will cry uncle as soon as their air conditioning cuts out.

The neocons know that time is not on their side.


When did this group, leading the charge overseas in D.C. for the past 20 years, once get it right, as far as assumptions and expectations of military necessities or outcomes? I am beginning to think this creating a greater danger out of a lesser mess is a feature, not a defect. If so, why? To what end? Or is the policy process that broken?


It's your last line which is the most worrying.

Why not, then, have the Americans initiate the deed now... destroy Iran and Lebanon, and then, with France, the UK, Germany, Canada et al. spend billions to rebuild Israel, with the Palestinians being sent to Jordan (if not worse).

Israel has gambled on a broader war several times in the past, and they believe (despite the fiasco in Lebanon) that each was a win.

What do you do, when "time is not on your side?".

ted richard

imo a war with iran is theatre and will not take place.

should iran be attacked imo you can kiss the UAE goodbye as well as most if not all of the saudi oil infrastructre along the gulf. i would also expect a massive direct bombardment of israeli cities and other important targets from hezbollah starting with the massive ammonia storage system in haifa whose destruction would annihilate that entire region. all of useful israel is in the middle to upper third of the country closest to lebanon and easy reach for all of hezbollahs missiles.

the persian gulf upon the start of the war becomes the hotel california for any warship within. none would likely escape. and the coup de gra for iran is whether they have the ballistic missile reach and or can gain access to russian long range bombers fitted with kalibr or better cruise missiles able to smash diego garcia absolutely critical american relaestate in the indian ocean.

trump imo is not crazy and can read a map as well as anyone with help from his REAL pentagon military professionals.

we have not even gotten to what happens to all those oil and interest rate derivatives far out of the money right now in somewhat normal times. if war starts they go from notional to real fast and the western financial system implodes even with a force majeure declaration

my vote is no war.


The tanker is too big to use the Suez canal and too big to discharge oil in a Syrian port. It was possibly going to a Mediterranean port, but Iran will not back-down to the UK.



Saddam ain't around any more, neither is Muammar Gaddafi. The neocons take those as great victories since the sacred state of Israel is safe from those two.

"There is an effort underway to undermine Israeli influence in the US"

Is it an organized effort? Where do I sign up?

Rick Wiles heads TruNews, a Christian evangelical network. He's been outspoken in his criticism of zionism, calls out Christian zionists, and deplores that "the US has been taken over by zionists." To be sure, ADL has labeled Wiles an "antisemite." If TruNews survives, it may be part of game-changing.

Only from TruNews did I learn about HR1837, US-Israel united cyber command, "an alliance to direct energy space weapons"

"The Squad" mouthing rhetoric is weak tea to counteract Israeli's deep penetration of US military and other key institutions.


An Iran war would indeed most probably kill off Trump's chance of re-election. The almost inevitable spike in the price of oil which it would bring about would have two implications:

1/ ROTW xUS manufacturing is already in recession, with services close to joining it in many countries. The US is clearly slowing down and appears headed on the same course. The global economy is in no shape to withstand even a relatively short-lived surge in oil prices.

2/ There is no knowing what lurks out there in the oil derivatives market, but the banking system - particularly the European banking system - is far too fragile to sustain another bout of counterparty risk aversion along the lines of 2007/08. (And amongst the trillions of gross derivatives exposure, one has to wonder just how many US and other banks are sitting across from Deutsche Bank oil positions and happily netting off the counterparty risk.)

Regretably, from my side of the Atlantic the US looks like a traditional imperial power, addicted to war and conquest and with a significant proportion of the population fetishizing (probably not a real verb) all things military. Whether Trump can be truly damaged by extending the 'forever war' to Iran depends very much on how it goes - and I doubt he has the knowledge required to think through all the plausible scenarios. We can be a lot more confident that carrying the blame for an unnecessary recession into the election campaign has a solid chance of sinking him.


As the Saudi's appear to be losing their war with Yemen, the UAE has announced that they are not desirous of being in the middle of any US-Iran conflict. Qatar is doing a huge nat gas deal with Iran.
Bolton is heading to Japan to "mediate" the current economic disagreements between Japan and S. Korea.
Pompeo is declaring that the Iranian Ballistic Missile program is suddenly on the table. It would appear that the whole Iranian atomic bomb thing was smoke and mirrors and hasbara.
There is a deal available, preparation for making the deal will involve political kabuki, grand posturing, the beating of drums without rhythm and the flooding of the Old American Infotainment outlets with much wailing and whining about "the only democracy in the MENA."
A deal will eventuate that allows both the USA and Iran to move on, about a week before the 2020 presidential election.
Or maybe not.

blue peacock

"...his rally attending base is all for taking it to the raghead terrorists.."


I have seen private surveys commissioned by a deep pocketed hedge fund of working class folks in the mid-west & the south. When the consequences of a military confrontation with Iran are described the overwhelming majority oppose it.

Larry is spot on. Trump will lose his re-election bid if he kowtows to Bibi & MbS. The short-term financial & economic effects would crush his base and the half-life of jingoism after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, & Syria will be rather short. Trump will be blamed by the "right" for cocking up teaching Iran a lesson and demonized by the "left "for getting us into another ME quagmire.

blue peacock

I have a question for those of you well versed with Iranian military capability.

What are the capabilities of Iranian ballistic missiles in terms of range, precision and payload lethality?

As Col. Lang has noted in the transition to war, before the US Navy gets its ducks in a row, that is the window of opportunity that Iran has to strike back. What damage could they inflict on oil & gas infrastructure including LNG, port & pipelines across UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia?

A 50% reduction in oil & LNG output for greater than 3 months would crush already weakening Asian economies who are the manufactured products supply chain for most of the world and in particular the US. Will voters in Ohio, Wisconsin & Michigan cheer Trump's military strikes on Teheran when prices at Walmart double?

blue peacock


As Larry notes "..President Trump, regrettably, is ignorant of military history and devoid of strategic intelligence when it comes to employing military force..", but I believe he has good political instincts and as his Reality TV/Twitter presidency shows he has an excellent sense of how it plays both in the MSM and social media. He must know that while the "shock & awe" and "boom-boom" videos may give him an instant boost the stock market that he has rested his presidency on may not soar but in fact plummet. And he can't blame Jay Powell for that.

He must also instinctually know that November 2020 is a year away and a lot can go wrong as it is economically and in financial markets since he's been harping at the Fed to lower rates in supposedly the best economy evah. Uncertainty spikes volatility and the credit markets are already stressed particularly in offshore eurodollar funding which is an order of magnitude larger than mortgage credit markets were in 2007.

Maybe Rand Paul is his counter to the ziocon fifth column? I don't think he's that foolish to pull the trigger on Iran and sink his presidency when the Deep State & NeverTrumpers are out for his blood. He must know he'll lose immunity from legal jeopardy when he's no longer POTUS.

Noregs gard

here you will find many of Nasrallah`s speeches and tv appearances with english subtitles..

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