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01 February 2021

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SAC Brat

While trying to see the situation and playing with maps, I see a country the size and population of the US state of New Jersey (Israel) wanting to fly at least to Illinois (Iran) in distance and back, except they have to fly through Jordan, Saudi and maybe Iraq airspace.

Maybe the Israelis can make a press release that they did it and everyone will be happy.

Leith

"Even though the UAE has pulled out of the conflict..."

The Emiratis may have stopped airstrikes on the Houthis, but in spite of that they maintain their proxies, the Southern Movement and the STC, within Yemen and still fighting.

Plus MbZ still has Emirati troops occupying Yemen's Socotra Island. There are claims that the UAE and Israel have built a joint Intel/Surveillance Base on Socotra. That Israeli-Emirati spy base is most likely aimed at watching Iranian activity in the Gulf of Aden and trying to constrain IRGC relationship with the Houthi.

Agree with your opinion that a major strike on Iran is not imminent. But IMO the IDF will continue to monkey around with hitting Iranians in Syria or elsewhere. Maybe even nibbling at the fringes of Iran.

Lesly

"[Kovachi] warned the Biden administration against rejoining the 2015 landmark Iran nuclear deal, which was abandoned by the Trump administration in May 2018, saying such a move 'would be bad and not the right thing to do'."

Bad for whom?

Israel has demonstrated it can make nice with Saudi head choppers closer to their border. They can live with Iran.

And if they can't live with Iran they can make war on their own.

Fred

"It was an Obama agreement. Of course Trump would scuttle that. "

You mean it was not a treaty? Why didn't Obama submit it to the Senate to be ratified and thus binding on future administrations ? You left those parts out.

"And then there is Russia. The last thing she wants is an expanded war in the Middle East. Russia has recently signed several agreements to bolster Iranians defenses both air defenses and cyber defenses."

Gas prices are up more than ten percent already due to Dementia Joe's Green New Dealings, which are going to gut our energy indepence from the Middle East. Russia is not the only country that is going to see revenue from oil and gas sales go up. A war is going to make those prices skyrocket faster than shares in Game Stop.

Two weeks, that's all it has taken for some general in the armed forces of our "noble ally" to make demands upon the United States, and further to suggest a war against Iran be waged by us on their behalf. How kind. Has anyone on the general's staff watched American news recently? We are reliably informed by the usual news suspects that the greatest threat to the United States are white male citizens; and our own armed forces are busy conducting loyalty tests. When they aren't explaining to the troops how many genders there are now and conducting other Diversity, Inclusion Equity training.

When he was in office all we had to worry about was being wounded by mean tweets and wondering which defense contractor would miss their earnings because Trump hadn't started a war anywhere. It really makes ya miss The Donald, doesn't it?

The Twisted Genius

SAC Brat,

The whole premise does seem absurd, doesn't it? That's why I thought Amos Gilad's response was perfect.

The Twisted Genius

Lesly,

Bad for the Likudniks sense of superiority, obviously. I'd be all for letting them swing in the breeze if they actually did attack Iran. The only problem is the Israeli nukes. I think that's the primary concern of US policy makers as well. I have little faith the Israelis would refrain from launching them if they were left to get a bloody nose. That's their ultimate trump card.

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

Do you really think McConnell would have let an Obama treaty pass? He wouldn't even bring his SC nominee up for a vote.

coboarts

I am concerned for the sake of Israel. Just as I believe Trump is a part of the plan to reduce the US to fourth world status, I am also concerned that Israel is being set up, too. The United states and its potential empire could dominate the planet, but only the relationship with Israel seems to hold it back. I'm concerned that the US might green light an attack on Iran, while understanding that the result will be the complete annihilation of Israel.

The Twisted Genius

coboarts,

Trump was/is not a part of any plan to reduce the US to fourth world status, or any other status. He wanted the US to succeed and he wanted to be loved by all. He had no plan beyond that. Nor is Israel being set up. Whatever Israel brings on herself is her fault alone.

Ishmael Zechariah

TTG, SST;
Another flash point might be the kurdish proxies of Israel and their "control" of Syrian oil. The recently announced serial by Les Belles Clinton about the female kurds of Ayn al-ʿArab might indicate yet another media operation against Syria and Assad. For what end?
Ishmael Zechariah

james

thanks ttg...too bad about all these dogs sleeping with fleas... no wonder they don't get any sleep....

Artemesia

coboarts, An advocate for US continuing enmity with Russia spoke to the C Span audience the other day. Her parents fled Communist Russia.

I wonder why she is in USA hectoring Americans about the need to punish Russia. If she (and presumably her parents) is so concerned about the situation in her "motherland," shouldn't they return to Russia and put their energies to reforming that country?

Same with Israelophiles: those who are "concerned for Israel" should take their concerns to Israel; it is not the job or duty or responsibility of the American people to nurture overgrown child Israel. "Concern for Israel would best take the form of demanding that Israel trim its sails and learn to get along in the neighborhood it invaded.

FkDahl

Lets assume Israel launches an attack. Let's assume the Gulf dictatorships offer non-kinetik support. Let's assume the Iranian+Hezbollah missile counterstrike is much worse than assumed with efficient Hezbollah suppression of AD systems, volley fire, precision missiles and all that. Assume Bibi's house is flattened, the Knesset, Dimona, Haifa harbor: all in ruins.
What then? If the US cannot be convinced to start beating up Iran will Israel go nuclear - and what then? What will happen with the arab street? Which way Sunni man? Will the house of Saud stand? What about all other Sunni-led and majority Sunni arab countries - what will happen?

Yeah, Right

I suspect that the reason for all this Israeli saber-rattling has very little to do with Iran and a lot more to do with spooking a new US Administration.

Plus, of course, Kochavi is looking for a much-expanded budget for the IDF, and he isn't going to get it from Netanyahu: bank notes go into Bibi's pocket, not out of it.

So a bit of saber-rattling to spoke the Americans, then a surly and ungrateful "OK, if you're going to throw money at me then maybe I'll calm down. For a while".

JohninMK

Fred

To rise in gas prices is surely more to do with it being a particularly cold winter in both the US and Europe than Biden's Green Deal. In the longer term perhaps but unlikely at this time of year.

Gazprom for example have just announced that sales to Europe are up 11% on last year and I bet gas consumption is up in NE US at the moment.

Food prices are also on the rise.

JohninMK

Colonel, that was a really interesting analysis. Having just finished reading your memoir, I can see the background of knowledge from which it sprang. Those who had the opportunity to read your work 30 years ago must have really enjoyed ready it, even if the content upset them.

Would the big difference in your book between the depth of coverage between your time in Vietnam/US and the ME be in part to the sensitivity, even 30 years later, of relationships in the later?

To those of you here who have not yet purchased Tattoo, could I respectfully take this opportunity to suggest that you do. The Colonel has a very good way with prose, as you will have seen in his Civil War extracts, that makes it very easy and at times gripping reading. The way it starts is a surprise and educational in totally unexpected areas.

Well worth the effort you put into it and our wait to read it.

Fred

TTG,

Obama, knowing he would not recieve the consent of the Senate, not just the Senate Majority leader, chose not to submit this agreement for a vote. As he famously said: "elections have consequences". Stolen ones even more so, as those of us who watch rule by executive decree expand the authoritarian state observe daily.

mike a

IZ -

Your Turkish media keeps lying about Kurds as being Israeli pawns. However it was the PKK that fought the IDF alongside their Palestinian allies during the Lebanon war. And it was Israeli drones that helped Erdodog track down PKK elements in the mountains before Turkish industry built their own knockoff drones.

Lately Israeli Harop suicide drones were used by Erdodog's buddies in Baku against the Armenians who are strongly pro-Kurdish. Many of the ethnic Kurds in Armenia fought alongside Armenians against Azeris during the Nagorno-Karabakh wars.

Fred

JohninMK,

The change to winter fuel mix gasoline blends in North America happens in late fall, not January.

Polish Janitor

Great analysis of ME geopolitics as always!

Allow me to point out to certain important issues absent from your analysis:

*The "Abrahamic Accords" between Israel and Arab dictatorships, which could be pushed into adding human rights and civil society issues (of course on top of military/political stabilization and economic development as the two main component of the Accords) that the Biden admin and the EUs' policymakers always seek as the long-term framework of pacification in the MENA region. This IMO has very strong Iran "aspect" to it that need to be taken into consideration. In short, the Abrahamic Accords are very "Straussian" in nature, if you know what I mean!

*Geopolitics of oil/energy and also the prospect of the further development of the Belt and Road initiative in MENA that interestingly includes both Iran and Israel as two major hubs; the former serving as a node to Central Asia and European markets and the latter as a node on the Mediterranean and Southern Europe markets.

*The further strengthening of the Shiite "Axis of Resistance" from Afghanistan (Fatemiyun), and Pakistan (Zeynabiyun), to Hezbollah in the Western MENA which is conceived to be countered (from Israeili POV) by the Gulf sheikdoms (as forward operating bases). This is a clear state vs. non-state actor balance of power initiative directed against Iran by Israel. I tend to believe that the Axis is more battle-hardened and powerful than one might imagine, so the state-actors will going to have a hard time in this front.

fakebot

Even if the Democrats had a majority in the Senate, I hold doubts JCPOA would have passed. Many members of the Senate on both sides of the aisle are beholden to Israeli interests. It was easier for Obama to take that step on his own and allow members of his own party to save face.

Deap

Just an Iranian PR false flag ploy to keep Trump-Kushner from getting the Nobel Peace Prize for their extraordinary Abraham Accords. (Ha!) OrangeManStill Bad.

JohninMK

Fred, the wonders of our shared language. Your gas is our petrol. Hence the confusion. With our mild climate petrol is the same all year, only vehicle diesel changes with the seasons. Our gas is a gas.

wtofd

Slightly off topic. Is the Iron Dome installation in Eilat meant to protect Eilat or cities farther north? Is the Houthi threat really the first viable one to that part of Israel? Thanks; great thread.

The Twisted Genius

Deap,

So, you think I'm working for Tehran? In cahoots with the Persians? Maybe I'm working for the IRGC or the 65th NOHED Brigade. What do the voices in your head tell you?

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