January 5, 2020

"That Iran will retaliate is not in question, analysts say. Not to do so would be a sign of weakness..."

"... that could jeopardize the enormous influence Iran has gained in the region over the past four decades.... 'Iran has to retaliate, and it will be a retaliation to restore the deterrence lost by this assassination,' said [Kamel Wazne, a Beirut-based political analyst]. But he and other analysts also believe Iran also has no appetite for a full-scale war with the United States that would deplete its already precarious finances and leave it heavily outgunned. Iran, analysts say, has to calibrate its response — inflicting enough damage on the United States that it is seen to be avenging Soleimani’s death without precipitating an all-out war. The question is how?... In years gone by, Iranian allies have blown up American embassies and kidnapped American citizens with devastating effect, driving American troops and diplomats out of Lebanon in the 1980s and propelling the ascent of the Iranian-allied Hezbollah movement there.... Since May, Iran has been harassing ships and firing rockets at American troops in Iraq.... [W]hat more can Iran do that 'it has not already done?'... 'Iran cannot go to war in the region. In Iraq their options are becoming very limited for them because any escalation in Iraq exposes them to more attacks by the U.S.,' [said Hanin Ghaddar, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy]. 'In Lebanon it’s going to be difficult because of the financial crisis. They cannot fund a war in Lebanon or anywhere else.'... 'My sense is that we will see an escalation in Iraq,' said Maha Yahya, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center. 'But I don't think the Iranians really want a war with the U.S. I don't think they are interested in an all-out regional conflict.'"

From "Iran has vowed revenge against the U.S. But it seems to be in no hurry" (WaPo).

When you got to the end of what I excerpted, did you look back to the beginning — "That Iran will retaliate is not in question" — and... question?

Does the Washington Post seem to be encouraging Americans to brainstorm about how Iran can hurt us? Whether that was the idea or not, the top-rated comment over there is: "Trump Hotels. Very soft targets, and if they are heavily protected, no one will stay in them. A threat to the hotel chain would work wonders."

Somebody else says: "If Iran really wants to harm America as a whole, they might help Russia hack the 2020 elections to help Trump get a second term. That is frightening, but I doubt they'd do it." Why would Iran want Trump to get a second term? Their brainstorming isn't just evil, it's stupid.

127 comments:

rhhardin said...

The obvious thing would be to delete Trump's twitter account.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Fine. More dead generals.

You shoot down our 30 billion dollar drone - and we do nothing. You kill Americans - we are going to kill you right back.

tcrosse said...

Why would Iran want Trump to get a second term?

Because he's destroying our democracy and our institutions. Or that's what the daily papers say.

rcocean said...

When the Iranians helped a group storm the American embassy was that "Retaliation" for some thing? Remember when Iran attacked a Persian gulf freighter and Trump didn't Retaliate with a bombing raid? When is a hostile Iranian action "retaliation" and when is it not?

The MSM is planting the idea that the next Iranian hostile action can be blamed on Trump - which may or may not be true.

Two-eyed Jack said...

By "hack the election" they mean "run Satan arm-wrestling with Jesus memes" don't they, or are they thinking that Iran would go full "Buff Bernie?"

John Borell said...

Scott Adams predicted no reaction. I tend to agree.

Like Reagan, they must know Trump will respond, hard.

The Iranians are evil but not crazy.

rcocean said...

When the Iranians helped a group storm the American embassy was that "Retaliation" for some thing? Remember when Iran attacked a Persian gulf freighter and Trump didn't Retaliate with a bombing raid? When is a hostile Iranian action "retaliation" and when is it not?

The MSM is planting the idea that the next Iranian hostile action can be blamed on Trump - which may or may not be true.

Gahrie said...

That Iran will retaliate is not in question

But apparently the right of the US to retaliate is in question.

Karen of Texas said...

Perhaps the threat of retaliation will instill fear in the members of Congress and they will refuse to congregate to conduct *cough, cough* the country's business. Winning!

rcocean said...

Remember the MSM rule:

Something goes well - Trump got lucky or had nothing to do with it.
Something goes bad - Its Trump's fault.

Narayanan said...

It is revealing that nobody advocate knocking out Iran completely out of the game.
Almost saying myIran MyHero to accompany NotmyPresident.

todd galle said...

I'm not necessarily a strategery expert, but I'd let the Iranians know that any hostile action will result in the loss of how ever many frigates they have left in their navy, and that we'd be closing the Straits of Hormuz. We don't need the oil now (thanks fracking), unlike the 1970s, and the Iranians need it open to smuggle out what oil they can. Interesting time we reside in currently. I think that there is some concern about oil for some reason. I passed a gas station on the way to Kirk this morning, and it was $2.69 gallon at 0900, on my way home, it was $2.75. A 6 cent jump in an hour or so.

Leland said...

An analyst also said the markets would never recover.

Iman said...

You can’t trust the NYT, but you can trust them to be the NYT...

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/ct-nw-nyt-trump-decision-to-kill-soleimani-20200105-we7fksvu25farhbbb2wkwv3zfm-story.html

pacwest said...

Trump is walking a knife's edge here imo. In an election year no less. If he comes out the other side of this with a 'win' I'd say he deserves the stable genius tag.

An oddity I've noticed is the 52 targets. One a week?

Iman said...

What was the number of American hostages taken in 1979?

52

MartyH said...

I hope our actions going forward are preemptive, not retaliatory. Under Iran's orders, this militia is going to attack that target, but their leader is droned before the attack begins.
I don't know if Bush or Obama would do it because the all the right people said it was the wrong thing to do but Trump I'm sure would. Trump's the honey badger, and honey badger don't care.

Michael P said...

"encouraging Americans to brainstorm about how Iran can hurt us"...

Someone help me out here. I am pretty sure the Constitution says something about what it means to levy war against the United States, or adhere to the United States' enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Is posting comments on the Washington Post's web site an "overt act"?

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

An oddity I've noticed is the 52 targets. One a week?

One for each person held hostage in our embassy 1979 - 1981.

chickelit said...

Of course the Iranian regime will retaliate -- not to do so will make their supporters think they have very small penises. But the Iranian regime (n.b. Iranian Regime) has been fundamentally wrong about things for over 40 years. We need to end their God-forsaken bullshit with a minimum of civilian casualties.

NCMoss said...

Maybe the Iranian people are tired of the malarkey of the Iranian leadership that has demonstrated they can't even provide petrol for its own people. Who do they think they are, Venezuela?

Iman said...

Given all of the unprovoked mayhem and murder over the last four decades that can be laid at Iran’s feet - and given Soleimani’s role in much of it - and so-called FP experts wring their hands at the wisdom and righteousness of putting down this malevolent corksoaker?

Kind of leaves one with a feeling of disgust.

Owen said...

I have no problem with the 52 targets. I think in fact it's a brilliant move, showing how Trump understands the average American, and knows that most Americans see the hostage crisis as unsettled business with Iran. His express inclusion of that key metric of our humiliation (thanks Carter) and the victimization of our citizens, is a way to "contextualize" (ugh) the current clash in larger historical terms.

Personally, I'd like it better if he'd put 444 targets on the list. One for each day of captivity.

Christy said...

I figured Soleimani’s big planned attack was geared to make Trump look weak here in the US during an election year, give Dems a chance to blame him loudly, and defeat him at the ballot box. Then Iran could go back to negotiating successfully with the Dems.

OK, maybe my contempt for all things Democrat is showing, but I do think most of us will agree Iran's aim is always to destabilize us. Are we as easily destabilized as they think? As they wish? As they themselves are? Or as
Ohmar has convinced them we are?

Michael K said...

John Kerry is no doubt brainstorming with the Ayatollah to plan the next step.

Temujin said...

"Analysts" are what they call the talking heads on CNN. So that term has lost its clout over the last decade. Analysts also missed on Lehman Brothers and the crash of 2008 (most of them did anyway), the fall of the Soviet Union, and the US election of 2016. These are not small things.

Iran will need to work through proxies to do their damage. And they have a worldwide cadre of proxies. Iran has been brought, quickly and harshly, to the understanding they are not dealing with Wonderboys, Barack Obama and Ben Rhodes any longer.

Lyle said...

Ben Rhodes comments in the comments of the Washington Post, I hear. Samantha Power too. Obama put a fiction writer and journalist in charge of American foreign policy during his time in office. Thank God Trump is rectifying all the imbecilic harm they caused.

MountainMan said...

"I think in fact it's a brilliant move, showing how Trump understands the average American..."

I had read yesterday where the selection of 52 targets for retaliation, based on the number of hostages taken in Iran in 1979, has symbolic meaning in the Middle East and is something the people there would pay attention to.

Beasts of England said...

Treason thrives in daylight.

-- Washington Post

traditionalguy said...

The Mullahs are dedicated to asymmetric War. But the stable genius is going to use it on them. Hide and watch.

Limited blogger said...

The ayatolah was looking forward to a nice quiet retirement in a Caspian sea villa.

This may cause a change in those plans.

MBunge said...

War with the U.S. ends with the destruction of the Iranian regime. Period. There is no alternative for them. It also likely costs the U.S. thousands of lives and trillions of dollars and decades of dealing with the aftermath.

Mike

mockturtle said...

In order to brainstorm, one first must have a brain.

JaimeRoberto said...

By "hack the election" they mean "run Satan arm-wrestling with Jesus memes"

Oh, it's much worse than that. It's also port scanning! Never mind that that everybody's router is scanned, including mine and yours, and the scans come from lots of countries.

pacwest said...

"What was the number of American hostages taken in 1979? 52"

Revenge for 40 years ago? Maybe Owen above is right, not a good look imo, but I've learned not to criticize Trump's instincts on that type of thing. I do think "proportionality" is out the window with Trump though. Naval blockades, attacks on the nuclear infastructure, targeted assasinations?

Iraq's resolution to kick our troops out complicates things tactically.

It's definitely above my pay grade.

mccullough said...

Honestly, the Iranians taking out John Kerry would be a brilliant move. He’s given them bad advice so in their minds he has it coming. Also he’s an American, a Statesman but not really high up. . And Trump will not retaliate over Kerry’s death.

Karen of Texas said...

"Honestly, the Iranians taking out John Kerry would be a brilliant move."

That actually is devilishly brilliant.

mccullough said...

Let’s be honest. It’s not about Iranian pride or regional influence.

It’s about the rulers of that joint wanting to continue to rule.

They are boxed in. Anything aggressive, and they are dead. All of them. And their successors. You can’t rule from the grave.

The guys who run the military should seriously consider a coup. It’s a great opportunity for them. We’d be happy to negotiate with them.

Tom T. said...

The Iranians have already stuck back via cyber-warfare. Check the news: The website of the Federal Depositary Library Program, which coordinates distribution of the text of laws and regulations for the Government Printing Office, was hacked and replaced by a doctored photo of Trump being punched in the face.

It sounds laughable, but in a small-world moment, my wife happens to use that website a lot at work.

J. Farmer said...

When Bush was president, everything was Clinton's fault. When Obama was president, everything was Bush's fault. Now that Trump is president, everything is Obama's fault. Oh how easily and quickly partisanship leads to brain rot.

Iman said...

"Their brainstorming isn't just evil, it's stupid."

Probably better described as brain shitstorming?

Dave Begley said...

Lyle, "Ben Rhodes comments in the comments of the Washington Post, I hear."

Foolishly, I listened to an "emergency" pod by Ben Rhodes and Tommy "Dude" Vietor.

It was astounding:

1. Ben and Barack supposedly had a "Vulcan" mind meld on foreign policy.
2. Ben literally knows nothing.
3. He was playing poker with Iran and he was the pigeon.
4. He totally misjudged Iran. Iran is run by a bunch of savage religious zealots who chant "Death to America" and mean it. You can't bargain or negotiate with them. The only thing they understand is a gun in their face.
5. Total idiot. Frightening how stupid this guy is.

Breezy said...

While I was shocked at the brazenness of this strike, it was long overdue given his thumbprints being all over ME chaos.

I’m wondering what Kim is thinking about this. Does he see this as another “Qaddafi” or as justice being served?

Lyle said...

That's a bit simplistic J. Farmer.

Mattman26 said...

Unlike any US president in memory, Trump knows how to play his (our) hand. Whether it’s NATO, NAFTA, or Iran, he figures out how to deter what’s bad for us and incentivize what’s good for us.

Which is not to say he’s perfect at it, but it’s refreshing that he makes it his goal.

He has put the Iranian regime in a very tough spot. Pretty sure they know that any serious provocation, whether in the Middle East or closer to our shores, will carry a terrible price tag.

Feel lucky, punk?

Birkel said...

If you're Iranian leadership, do you believe Trump's threat?
On what basis would a rational actor doubt Trump in this matter?
If you believe Trump's threat, would it be rational to provoke the follow through Trump has promised?
Or, is the perceived loss of face due to inaction so problematic (like toppling the regime leading to many extrajudicial killings of regime leaders) that Iran must pursue an irrational course?

And if the regime is so unstable that an irrational course is Pareto-optimal, then is it a regime worth maintaining for the Iranian people?

Lyle said...

Dave Begley,

History will be quite harsh on Ben Rhodes, I think.

Rusty said...

MWhy are you talking an all out war? Do you want an all out war with Iran? Do you think the US is going to mobilize a huge number of our men and materiel to go to war with Iran? How fucking stupid are you? The regime is on the ropes now. The average Iranian is in open revolt against the regime. One B2 bomber hitting the oil transshipment facility in the starits of Hormuze would end the regime. They have , by their own admission, been at war with us for the last 40 years. Trump could end it with a couple of drones and still finish the back 9.
Now go change your underwear.

J. @ 10:02
Yeah. By somebody. Too simplistic. Iran has been at war with us from Carter to Trump.

Sebastian said...

"hack the 2020 elections"

Pray tell, progs: what does that mean?

What could foreigners add to ordinary Dem malfeasance -- registering illegals, harvesting ballots, refusing to accept the result of elections, baseless bitching about voter suppression?

Kevin said...

Shorter article: Please, please, please retaliate. Our anti-Trump biases require American blood.

Sebastian said...

"When Bush was president, everything was Clinton's fault"

Who said so? Not Bush, as I recall.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Honestly, the Iranians taking out John Kerry would be a brilliant move. He’s given them bad advice

Not bad advice. The advice was designed to sound reasonable and logical but was in reality known to cause them great harm.

Kerry was a double agent who got flipped back.

J. Farmer said...

That's a bit simplistic J. Farmer.

Precisely my point.

Koot Katmandu said...

Derangement over PDT is getting scary. Many of these people are just bat schiff crazy.

Iman said...

"When Bush was president, everything was Clinton's fault"

Who said so? Not Bush, as I recall.

Not so Deep Thoughts by Jack Farmer...

Owen said...

I do think the Iranians are (much) more boxed-in than Trump, in this case. His hammer is the sanction system and it appears to be hammering them very hard. That creates internal pressure from an immiserated population: which the mullahs are now reduced to shooting when they petition for redress of grievances. Meanwhile the anvil is military force and the threat thereof. We could obliterate any and all Iranian assets in an afternoon. But we don't because it would be wrong. Seriously: neither the international community nor, critically, our own population would tolerate military action that was unwarranted and disproportionate. (Yes, I know: when you go to war, you cannot stay your hand because some bystander thinks it excessive: you do what you need to do to win, as quickly and cheaply as possible. But this is a different kind of war).

So Trump has got Iran in a box. If they don't act tough, their own people will eat them alive. (And if they do act tough, they somehow need to recruit the loyalty of their own people --the same ones they were shooting a few weeks ago for daring to protest their growing hunger and poverty). If they do act tough, where do they do it? Do they blow stuff up in Iraq or Syria, and pretend that it is striking a blow against us? It will just piss off the Iraqis and Syrians. Do they blow stuff up in the USA? If you want to see people suddenly decide that a wholesale obliteration of Iran was a good idea, that's the way to do it.

Pass the popcorn.

Bob Smith said...

So tomorrow morning the US rep to the NATO conference walks in and says “The Iraqui Parliament has voted to expel US forces and we are leaving as quickly as we can. Over to you.” I don’t see a problem here.

Iman said...

"History will be quite harsh on Ben Rhodes, I think."

When his story is told, it will reflect that. Rhodes had not the first clue, he literally knew nothing.

Dave Begley said...

Someday before I die, I wish someone could explain this Sunni-Shia divide. The way I understand it, it was a succession battle over who was the "rightful" heir to the murdering polygamist and warlord Mohammed. So, it is just a tribal thing that has lasted for over one thousand years. Brilliant.

Maybe Ann can figure it out.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'm not sure the ayotollahs have to fear the people in the streets. Look at Venezuela.

But the difference between Venezuela and Iran is Venezuelans left by the millions. Is there anywhere for Iranians to go?

The ayotollahs have to keep the military and police happy.

Char Char Binks said...

Trump should have picked 57 targets, one for each state we had during Obama's administration.

Michael said...

.
From "Iran has vowed revenge against the U.S. But it seems to be in no hurry" (WaPo).

Mimicking Pelosi's impeachment strategy. Everyone wants so urgently to take out Trump, yet no one seems willing to fuck with him.
.

Narayanan said...

Amazing to see USA foreign policy discussion resemblance to battered spouse and child style analysis with nowayout level atmospheric. .

pacwest said...

Quick question for Farmer. We're you suprised that the Iranians are using IR-8s? If they had been abiding by the JCPOA they shouldn't have that capability.

gilbar said...

That Iran will retaliate is not in question"

perhaps; they'll send us a Sternly Worded Letter, expressing their retaliation?

Richard Fagin said...

"Does the Washington Post seem to be encouraging Americans to brainstorm about how Iran can hurt us?" Possibly, but more likely seems to be the desire to incite war panic, and thereby more antagonism toward Trump, among Americans. Yesterday's CBS Evening News gave the game away, and the Post reads from the same playbook as CBS News.

Narayanan said...

Everyone wants so urgently to take out Trump, yet no one seems willing to fuck with him....
_____&&&&&+++++
Maybe Melania can go on sexstrike?

jk said...

Why is it there can be no question that Iran will respond with violence? Does Iran have no agency? The media treats Middle East govts like they are brain-damaged children.

J. Farmer said...

@pacwest:

Quick question for Farmer. We're you suprised that the Iranians are using IR-8s? If they had been abiding by the JCPOA they shouldn't have that capability.

Use of advanced centrifuges in specific configurations was permitted by the JCPOA:

"32) Iran will continue to conduct enrichment R&D in a manner that does not accumulate enriched uranium. For 10 years and consistent with its enrichment R&D plan, Iran's enrichment R&D with uranium will only include IR-4, IR-5, IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges. Mechanical testing on up to two single centrifuges for each type will be carried out only on the IR-2m, IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, IR-6s, IR-7 and IR-8. Iran will build or test, with or without uranium, only those gas centrifuges specified in this JCPOA.

38) Iran will commence, upon start of implementation of the JCPOA, testing of the IR-8 on single centrifuge machines and its intermediate cascades and will commence the testing of up to 30 centrifuges machines from one and a half years before the end of year 10. Iran will proceed from single centrifuges to small cascades to intermediate cascades in a logical sequence.

39) For 10 years, Iran, consistent with the established practice, will recombine the enriched and depleted streams from the IR-6 and IR-8 cascades through the use of welded pipework on withdrawal main headers in a manner that precludes the withdrawal of enriched and depleted uranium materials and verified by the IAEA."

-Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

p.s. How is the US in any position to complain about violations of the deal after pulling out of it nearly two years ago?

Francisco D said...

When Bush was president, everything was Clinton's fault. When Obama was president, everything was Bush's fault. Now that Trump is president, everything is Obama's fault.

Passing on responsibility to Clinton was not something that the deeply flawed GW Bush did.

Let's not confuse the presidents with their supporters.

Original Mike said...

"History will be quite harsh on Ben Rhodes, I think."

Obama appointed the idiot.

Seeing Red said...

I would love to have read those letters.

J. Farmer said...

@Francisco D:

Passing on responsibility to Clinton was not something that the deeply flawed GW Bush did.

Let's not confuse the presidents with their supporters.


Yes, the supporters are who I was describing. It's the flaw of partisanship. People begin with the presumption that their side is correct or righteous and then works their reasoning backwards to justify their foregone conclusion. It often ignores the huge amount of continuity that exists within American foreign policy and how easily the foreign policy blob (i.e. deep state) can assimilate presidents. Bush ran on a humble foreign policy. Obama was the "anti-war candidate," and they both ended up implementing extremely interventionist foreign policies. Clinton inaugurated this kind of foreign policy, though it was starting to pick up steam under the first Bush administration. It's new world order, stuff.

Conservatism faced a reckoning in 1992 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. On one side were the neocons, who basically threw their lot in with Clinton, and on the other side were the paleocons, typified by Pat Buchanan.

From my perspective, the Buchananite path was the correct one. Go back and watch Pat Buchanan on Face the Nation in 1992 when he said that we needed to "make America first again."

Gk1 said...

Who knows what sort of recalibration the Iranian mullahs are going through at the moment. For all we know they are still trying to figure out to what extent their communications/leadership is vulnerable to attack. They may be asking their russian friends why they didn't get a friendly heads up or what their military can do to protect their oil refineries from attack. In the meantime they will try to hit low hanging fruit so they don't appear to look weak.

pacwest said...

Farmer,

"Iran’s development of this centrifuge during the period of the JPA was not expected by P5+1 negotiators. The IR-8 should serve as a warning that strict limits on Iran’s centrifuge R&D activities, even if difficult to verify, are necessary to limit Iran’s nuclear program in a predictable, stable manner that reduces the chance of a secret breakout to nuclear weapons or a rapid increase in enrichment capability if Iran reneges on a long term deal." -ISIS

"How is the US in any position to complain about violations of the deal after pulling out of it nearly two years ago?"

Better question, why would the US want to be a part of such a bad deal?

John henry said...

Earlier today the mullahs offered $80mm for pdjt's head.

Not sure if they need the actual head to pay off or just his metaphorical head.

Would it count if it were still attached to the body?

Might be an easy way to pick up some cash. Go over there, say "here's my head,come and take it."

I understand Kathy Griffin is talking to them already.

John Henry

John henry said...

This all goes back to the Shah firing his Prime Minister then needing our Cia and the Brits to make it stick.

I blame Kermit roosevelt.

Surprised nobody has brought this up yet.

John Henry

John henry said...

Or, perhaps, the British/us overthrow of the first Shah.

John Henry

Wince said...

John Kerry: Now there's probable cause for a FISA warrant.

Char Char Binks said...
Trump should have picked 57 targets, one for each state we had during Obama's administration.

Or one for each of "Mama T's" 57 varieties?

SPICY HEINZ ADDS A DASH OF UNEASE
By Deborah OrinAugust 1, 2004
Botox. Billionaire. Prenup. Private plane. Eccentric. “Mama T.” Sexy. Cheeky. “Shove it!”

J. Farmer said...

@Pacwest:

Your quote from the Institute for Science and International Security was from September 2014 when only the interim agreement was in place. The final agreement was reached in July 2015, and limitations on the use of IR-8 were included in the final agreement's Annex, which I quoted above and linked to.

Bruce Hayden said...

“War with the U.S. ends with the destruction of the Iranian regime. Period. There is no alternative for them. It also likely costs the U.S. thousands of lives and trillions of dollars and decades of dealing with the aftermath.”

I will respectfully disagree with that. The one thing that I don’t think that we will do is put boots on the ground in Iran. They are Persians, proud that they were living in fine cities for thousands of years while the dirty Arabs were riding around the desert on their camels (one of the best ways to insult an Iranian is to call him a “camel jockey”). A lot of Iranians appear to be pro American, based partly on stories about the Golden times when Iran was allied with the US and the Shah was still running their country. That could evaporate in a minute, if American boots hit the ground in Iran. Their Persian pride is the one thing that could bring the masses in the cities to back the Mullahs ruling in Tehran, and our boots on their ground is the one thing most likely to trigger that. Besides, after the massive demobilization of esp our land forces by first Clinton, then Obama, we don’t have nearly enough land forces to invade Iran. Probably didn’t have them when Bush(41) used VII Corps against Saddam Hussein and Iraq. We may have to go back to WW II troop levels to have had enough troops to essentially conquer Iran on the ground. Iran is a big country, with a lot of people - my memory from their war with Iraq, is that they had 3x the Iraqi population at the time.

Which says to me that our retaliation will most likely be more strategic than brute force. All we really need to do is to sink, or even interdict, the oil tankers trying to ship their oil to other countries. Or maybe just selectively close the Strait of Hormuz to any ships sailing to or from Iran. Sure, they would attempt to keep it open for their ships, but closing it is much easier than keeping it open.

mockturtle said...

My younger daughter just called to say, "Did you know that Iran doesn't have any WalMarts? They only have Targets". ;-)

Seeing Red said...

The Persians are smart. They’ll put something together. They already might have.

The Indians are teaching the Afghanis how to use computers and record births.

Amexpat said...

Saw on Drudge that the Iranians hacked the US Federal Depository Library Program. They can get away with petty stuff like that, but any deaths or major destruction of property should get a US response at least a notch or two above what they do.

I don't like Trump, but I'd support him here. I actually think he was wrong not to respond when they blew up Saudi oil refineries or shot down a US drone. It just embolden the Iranian regime to go further. Now they are in a bind. They feel they have to revenge the General's death but know that there will be consequences if they do anything major.

Francisco D said...

From my perspective, the Buchananite path was the correct one. Go back and watch Pat Buchanan on Face the Nation in 1992 when he said that we needed to "make America first again."

Pat was a favorite on The McLaughlin Group back in the 1980's. His debating skills were excellent.

I was a neocon then and had doubts about his foreign policy prescriptions and his views on Israel. I think it was a coalition of neocon and liberal Deep Staters who smeared him as an anti-semite. While I remain a strong supporter of Israel, he was probably right that we need to step back from Middle East involvements.

bagoh20 said...

"Retaliation" is what you call Iranian terrorism when they try again after being stopped, so you can't stop it or that would be bad.

John henry said...

I don't remember who he was talking to but on Friday I heard pdjt saggy that Kerry was violating the Logan Act. He mentioned the Logan Act by name 2-3 times in 2-3 minutes.

Said someone should investigate Kerry for violations.

John Henry

Michael K said...

Besides, after the massive demobilization of esp our land forces by first Clinton, then Obama, we don’t have nearly enough land forces to invade Iran.

Nobody in their right mind wants to. The left is just gaslighting, as usual. There are millions of Persians who would fill the lamp posts of Tehran (if any are left) with mullahs if we would just take out enough IRGC leaders.

John henry said...

Perhaps the way to get the demmies on board is to start referring to Iran as "That Aryan Nation"

It is, literally, the mother of all Aryan Nations.

John Henry

Paul said...

'Does the Washington Post seem to be encouraging Americans to brainstorm about how Iran can hurt us?'

Do not brainstorm how Iran can hurt us... brainstorm how we can cripple Iran. Turn Iran into Libya/Somalia/Liberia/Sudan. Screw them up so bad their economy's main produce will be sand.

As Gen. George Patton once said, "My flanks are something for the enemy to worry about, not me. Before he finds out where my flanks are, I'll be cutting the bastard's throat. Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

Let the US Military warrior Generals think about how to hurt Iran. And then unleash them.

Jim at said...

The Iranians have already stuck back via cyber-warfare. Check the news: The website of the Federal Depositary Library Program, which coordinates distribution of the text of laws and regulations for the Government Printing Office, was hacked and replaced by a doctored photo of Trump being punched in the face.

How do you know it was the Iranians who did it, and not some leftist here in the US?
They are on the same side, you know.

bagoh20 said...

If we respond to things like the attacks on the Saudi oil refineries or a US drone, we have to respond to everything, and that puts the Iranians in charge of events. I think the embassy attack was a good time to remind them that there are consequences eventually, and that we will decide when and where. They should be like this where the cost is substantial to them and highly advantages to us. These opportunities are, just that, opportunities to destroy assets we want removed from the field. The Iranian can't help themselves from giving us more opportunities.

I expect them to eventually do something dramatic and horrible, becuase there is really no way to stop anyone from doing such a thing somewhere. Our response will always have to be a seriously painful one, as that's the only way to reduce them. All we can do is make it a bad risk for Iran, we can't prevent it, and we know that playing nice has never worked. Guaranteeing a negative risk to benefit is the only way to stop bad actors from doing bad things.

Beasts of England said...

I have a friend who heads IT security for one of the major defense contractors back in town. The top three attempted hacks are from China, Russia, and Iran.

Robert Cook said...

"My younger daughter just called to say, 'Did you know that Iran doesn't have any WalMarts? They only have Targets.' ;-)"

That's a plus for Iran!

Seeing Red said...

I don't like Trump, but I'd support him here. I actually think he was wrong not to respond when they blew up Saudi oil refineries or shot down a US drone. It just embolden the Iranian regime to go further.

It made Soleimani bolder.

He thought he could waltz in and out with his buds and a P/R guy.

Maybe a First person tell all.

RichardJohnson said...

John Henry @ 1:11 p.m.
This all goes back to the Shah firing his Prime Minister then needing our Cia and the Brits to make it stick.I blame Kermit roosevelt.Surprised nobody has brought this up yet

For those with an interest in what happened in Iran in 1953, I suggest they read these three articles at Helian Unbound: Mossadegh, Iran, and the CIA’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Coup.

Also The Myths of 1953.

bagoh20 said...

Trump needs to tell Iran that "All your bases are belong to us.", becuase it's true.

Dave Begley said...

It really is amazing how so many Dems and the Fake News are lining up on Iran's side.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D. Maryland) says Trump will be committing "war crimes" if he orders more attacks on Iran.

Ultimate TDS.

BAS said...

Seems like the Iranian mullahs and the democrats are in the same boat. They have already done everything they can to undermine trump and now just look weak.

Birkel said...

To be fair, I blamed Bush 43 for his failures. I think he was a bad president and said so at the time. I thought John Kerry was a worse candidate for president in 2004. Bush's failures didn't make Kerry a good replacement. Kerry's awfulness was enough to support Bush in the two-person race.

I blamed Clinton for bombing an aspirin factory. And losing track of mainly Saudi nationals overstaying their visas. And not killing bin Laden when he had the chance(s) to do so.

If Trump brings troops out of Iraq who here would complain? If he doesn't leave at least one of the countries where the US currently has troops, I will think much less of Trump by 2025.

John henry said...

Richard,

Thanks for the links. Few people will read them, preferring the myth of overthrow of a "democratically elected" prim minister.

"When the legend becomes fact print the legend"

Mossadegh was not elected PM. He was appointed by the Shah and served at his pleasure. As provided by the Iranian constitution

John Henry

Birkel said...

Wow. Robert Cook May be a bot. Nobody could be foolish enough to miss that obvious joke.

Please restore my faith in humanity, Cookbot.

Kirk Parker said...

Pacwest @ 10:50am,

Of all the people in the world for whom "something that happened 40 years ago is over and forgotten by now" is a meaningless concept, surely Shia Muslims are at the top of the list.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

he really puts the Dem in Dementia

Biden Sided With Terror Leader Soleimani in Handing Control of Iraq to Iran

https://freebeacon.com/national-security/biden-sided-with-terror-leader-soleimani-in-handing-control-of-iraq-to-iran/

Robert Cook said...

"Wow. Robert Cook May be a bot. Nobody could be foolish enough to miss that obvious joke."

Are you referring to mockturtle's comment, to which I responded?Of course I know it was a joke. So was my answer. Perhaps it is you who are the bot!

Francisco D said...

It really is amazing how so many Dems and the Fake News are lining up on Iran's side.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D. Maryland) says Trump will be committing "war crimes" if he orders more attacks on Iran.


Dave,

They are just keeping the motivated leftists and mindless idiots in the fold. I am sure you know who I am talking about, at least in terms of this blog.

narciso said...

his mother was supposedly a middle east and afghan expert,

narciso said...

more category error,


https://babalublog.com/2020/01/05/cuban-american-singer-albita-responds-to-pitbulls-defense-of-pro-castro-musical-group-gente-de-zona/

paminwi said...

Pacwest at 10:50am: in the US something that happened 40 years ago is history. 40 years ago in Iran history is yesterday. Iran, and I will say generally Muslims, hang on to things that pissed them off for centuries. They are still pissed about the Crusades. US citizens would be smart to remember they don’t forget.
As David Begley said at 11:32 the Suni/ Shi'a divide happened 1000 years ago and the tribes still hate each other.

narciso said...

about 1400 years, interestingly I tracked the events of the last days, fall in the months of jumadi, around the time of the birth of a prominent shia figure, the daughter of ali

DavidD said...

pacwest said...
“An oddity I've noticed is the 52 targets. One a week?”

One a week, and he has time to get through the whole deck by the end of his first term, win or lose, with enough time left over for a joker or two.

Birkel said...

That's certainly the answer a bot would make, Cookbot.

n.n said...

"Honestly, the Iranians taking out John Kerry would be a brilliant move."

Aborting Biden would socially justify more witch hunts and warlock trials, where Democrats would bray of collusion with Iran and Khomeini. 12 trimester and still in progress. Just do it.

narciso said...


Why are we doing this:


https://mobile.twitter.com/CarolineGlick/status/1213854058748030976

Narayanan said...

USA Iraq presence ===>>>> Their current mission is to protect Iraq's Iranian controlled govt as agreed by Obama administration.

Solaimani was "guest."

Trump - USA offed him.

More Obama legacy wiped.

Scott said...

If someone hurt me and was inspired by an idea formulated in the Washington Post brainstorming session, I would sue the Washington Post for damages.

AlanKH said...

"You kill Americans - we are going to kill you right back."

If anyone is still confused by Trump's behavior, watch some Mel Gibson movies, especially "Mad Max" and "The Patriot."

walter said...

From ingachucktoofless' link:

In 2010, as Iraq faced pivotal elections that decided the country's direction, Soleimani went to great lengths to ensure Iranian-backed politicians won control of the government, according to a comprehensive 2013 New Yorker profile of the terror leader by Dexter Filkins.

During that time, Filkins reported, then-vice president Biden called pro-America Iraqi politician Ayad Allawi to demand he stop trying to form a government. This crucial call paved the way for Soleimani to orchestrate an Iranian takeover of the Iraqi political system, according to interviews Filkins conducted with numerous sources
<
Biden's role in enabling Soleimani to run wild in Iraq was not known until the New Yorker‘s exposé.
"The Americans knew that Suleimani had pushed them out of the country but were too embarrassed to admit it in public," Filkins reported.

"‘We were laughing at the Americans,' the former Iraqi leader told me, growing angry as he recalled the situation. ‘F—k it! F—k it!' he said. ‘Suleimani completely outmaneuvered them, and in public they were congratulating themselves for putting the government together.'"

Swede said...

Will be interesting to find out what their next move is.

We know where they park their navy. They know that.

Ships are damn expensive. Even with pallets of cash.

David said...

BTW...Just in case anyone's forgotten, the Iranians started this back in 1979 when they invaded our sovereign territory.

And that's not just my opinion: George Kennan said as much, as long ago as the 1980s, during Congressional testimony.

So when people try to play the "illegal act" or "violation of international law" or similar cards, I just remind them of that.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Their brainstorming isn't just evil, it's stupid.

A seven-word description of the resistance.

Michael K said...

Scott said...
If someone hurt me and was inspired by an idea formulated in the Washington Post brainstorming session, I would sue the Washington Post for damages.


A Hellfire missile would do that well. Better than suing. Lawyers take their cut.

Nichevo said...

AlanKH said...
"You kill Americans - we are going to kill you right back."

If anyone is still confused by Trump's behavior, watch some Mel Gibson movies, especially "Mad Max" and "The Patriot."


Not to mention, Payback.

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DeepRunner said...

"'Trump Hotels. Very soft targets, and if they are heavily protected, no one will stay in them. A threat to the hotel chain would work wonders.'...Their brainstorming isn't just evil, it's stupid."

That's the lib mentality at this point. They want TRUMP to pay. They want TRUMP punished. Orange Man Bad, etc., despite the fact that a notorious terrorist was killed.

Jack Klompus said...

Wow. Robert Cook May be a bot. Nobody could be foolish enough to miss that obvious joke.

No no, Florida Man Cookie is letting you know that sophisticated dissident New Yorkers such as himself need to broadcast their disdain for Wal Mart in order to remain in character. It's kind of like working your residency of New York City into conversations through references to obscure musicians and celebrities you've walked by on Avenue A or your sophomoric political views. Status signaling at its finest.

RMc said...

Fifty-two is just the right number to *deck* the Iranians, amirite...?!