Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Upcoming War With Iran, or
Smoking in the Powder Magazine

There have been times in history where nations, through alliances or boasting, have positioned themselves for war and all it took, or would have taken, is one foolish act to trigger a war.

One of those, which is known to almost everyone with a pulse, was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, the dutchess of Hohenberg, by Gavrilo Princip. The Great War followed with the inevitability of pulling a key piece from a jenga tower.

Another, less familiar, was when Soviet Submarine B-59, which was being depth-charged by the U.S. Navy, didn't launch a nuclear torpedo, because the XO of the sub, Vasily Alexandrovich Arkhipov, would not agree to the launch. If Arkhipov had agreed to launching a nuclear torpedo, a "nuclear exchange" between the United States and the Soviet Union would have resulted in World War Three.

Of course, decisions had to be made to bring forces into alignment to where a single spark would have set things off. For the First World War,[1] it was the interlocking of most of the European powers into two opposing alliances.[2]. For the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was the siting in Turkey of nuclear-tipped Jupiter missiles.[3]

If we end up in a war with Iran, historians will likely determine the triggering event to be Trump's scrapping of the nuclear deal with Iran. Was the deal perfect? No. But walking away and then trying to strong-arm the Iranians into submission was and remains folly. It was eminently foreseeable that the Iranians were not going to buckle under the weight of sanctions. It took not a lot of wisdom to foresee that Iran would look for ways to push back.

Trump's not going to admit the sanctions were a stupid idea, for that would make him look weak.[4] The Iranians are not going to kowtow to Trump, because that'll make them look weak.

So unless someone else comes up with an idea to let the Iranians and Trump out of the corners into which they've been painted, there will be a war.

For which historians will blame Trump.

Edited to add: This, too.
[1] Or "the Great War, Phase I.
[2] I'm not going to get into the history of that conflict.
[3] Or this one.
[4] Or weaker than he already does.


Jim in Monroe said...

From my side of the aisle, the Iran nuclear deal was stupid. What good does appeasing enemies do when they get pallets of cash and we get nothing?

Why are sanction a stupid idea? Not one decent country likes Iran - they are the bullies of the Mideast. They are weak, as the sanctions are working. They would crumble, almost like Iraq, in a war. Yes, it would be longer with more casualties.

For some reason, I don't see either side starting a war. Trump would rather use the bargaining table, and the mullahs know their days are numbered if they start it, so yes, Trump is calling their bluff.

If a war is inevitable, historians may blame Trump. Would he get the credit if the whole Mideast changed for the better - all of Iran's proxy wars might just end as a result. How long can one area live in the 7th century?

CenterPuke88 said...

Jim, switch off Fox, it’s rotting your brain. The pallets of money were $400 million of a $1.7 billion settlement to a 40 year old court case in The Hague, where the U.S. was possibly about to lose to the tune of $10 billion. The U.S. had taken Iranian money for military aircraft and then cancelled the order but never returned the funds on 1979. They decided to settle for $1.7 billion, and the first $400 million was promised, and delivered, that day.

The Iran deal was a great choice to keep Iran away from nuclear weapons, something they are now that much closer to. Iraq felt Iran was a bully, and weak, and would crumble...yea, pull the other one. Jim, you sound just like the other chickenhawks. Tell you what, you, Donnie, Brannon and Bolton can have a AC-130U and go over there, have fun.

Iran sanctions have been in place, at varying levels, since 1979...how is it working?

Crushing Iraq and Afghanistan was going to clean up the Middle East too...how is it working?

DTWND said...

CP, are you forgetting? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

At least that was what the banner said.


dinthebeast said...

And speaking of missing pallets of money...

-Doug in Oakland

Tod Germanica said...

Iran/Persia is and always has been a regional power which cannot be ignored. Exactly what choice does Iran have faced with starvation sanctions? Killing children (and adults) by hunger of course can be militarily effective-for example the UK starving the Germans in the world wars. But is it a good strategy for 'democracies'? Fighting for 'liberty'?
Be clear that blockade/sanctions are acts of war. Iran has every right to fight for its existence and interests. Seeing how easily the US betrays and breaks treaties, Iran needs nukes now for national defence.
It must be clear by now that trusting the US is suicide, especially with trump in charge. Gaddafi's torture and death certainly show what's in store for the mullahs if they concede anything, or cooperative with the US or our Israeli/Arab puppets (which, along with Russia, somehow pull trump's strings.)
Iran will do whaever is necessary for national survival. If we (trump) are foolish enough to attack Iran it will be nothing like the Iraq wars. The US army is like the nation, politicized and split.
But trump, if nothing else, is a profound coward. I expect Iran to form some kind of half-assed trading partnership with the former eastbloc countries and other pariahs to sideline the US. Surprised it hasn't happened before.
Does nobody remember that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor because of starvation sanctions?

Jim in Monroe said...

I'm not a chickenhawk and have no desire to go to war against Iran. Not sure where that conclusion came from. I don't think Trump wants to start a war either. That makes him a coward?

I know the pallets of cash were part of a settlement (and some will say a ransom payment). Others say Obama paid Iran up to $33 billion over the years. To think the Iran deal was working is foolish. They are no better at keeping promises as the US and NK.

"Iran will do whatever is necessary for national survival." More like "The mullahs will do whatever is necessary to insure their survival". They don't care about the people, just keep them in the 7th century.

"Iran needs nukes now for national defence" I beg to differ. They are the aggressor, plain and simple.

And now Trump is sending troops to Saudi Arabia. I think we already have troops there. We'll see how this plays out in the next few weeks.

CenterPuke88 said...

Jim, “Not one decent country likes Iran - they are the bullies of the Mideast. They are weak, as the sanctions are working. They would crumble, almost like Iraq, in a war.” The words you used leave little conclusion except that you believe we can easily defeat Iran, and would support such an effort.

Pray tell, why was the agreement with Iran such a rum thing? Some people say, could you please be more specific on your sources, or do they embarrass you? Why do you insist Iran’s leaders are keeping it in the 7th Century, when it’s pretty clear that you simply object to their religion? Why do you deny Iran the same weapons Israel has?

I too would prefer that Iran didn’t have nuclear weapons, but to say that country A is A-OK with the bomb and country B isn’t is pretty churlish...kinda like our kabuki theatre with the Norks. I’m sorry, but we have very little moral ground to stand on here. Israel (and India, and Pakistan, and North Korea, and South Africa) broke the same treaties that Iran is being punished for breaking...but is treated different because of our (deserved) guilt. Israel is not some magical democracy in the Middle East that we must support, that it’s been a bulwark against the Russians and their proxies is the only reason we haven’t said boo. It’s just supremely hypocritical how we pick and choose in the Middle East...Saudi Arabia is as guilty, if not more so, in Yemen as Iran. The Saudi’s are busy bullying their neighbors too.