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Author Topic: Tensions between the United States and Iran  (Read 257 times)
kristina
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« on: January 03, 2020, 01:59:55 PM »

... According to the latest news today (3.January 2020) :

"Tensions between the United States and Iran escalated on Friday after a US air raid killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces, or PMF.
The Pentagon confirmed the attack at Baghdad's international airport, saying it came "at the direction of the President".



... I sincerely hope that with the help of a skilled Diplomat this dangerous situation can be politically "neutralised" a.s.a.p.  ... :twocents;
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 02:02:35 PM by kristina » Logged

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MooseMom
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2020, 08:22:51 PM »

I hope so, too.  I have no idea what will happen next. 

What in the world was Soleimani doing standing around in the open at the airport????  He made himself such an easy target!

Where's Jared when you need him?

The irony here is that while the President has been tweeting publicly demeaning the US intelligence community, calling it part of "the deep state", said intelligence service was tracking Soleimani all along. 

I do not have much faith in the foreign service/diplomatic corps at the moment.  It is seriously underwomanned.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 08:51:55 PM by MooseMom » Logged

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Simon Dog
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2020, 11:14:35 AM »

... I sincerely hope that with the help of a skilled Diplomat this dangerous situation can be politically "neutralised" a.s.a.p.  ... :twocents;
The only way to neuter it is to make sure Iran understands that the US is capable of unleashing fire and brimstone of biblical proportions.

First thing Trump should do is a have a signing ceremony where he rescinds the executive order banning assassinations of foreign leaders.   I favor maintenance bombing rather than invasion - take out key infrastructure like power plants and re-bomb as it gets rebuilt.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 11:16:44 AM by Simon Dog » Logged
kristina
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2020, 12:24:29 PM »

... I sincerely hope that with the help of a skilled Diplomat this dangerous situation can be politically "neutralised" a.s.a.p.  ... :twocents;
The only way to neuter it is to make sure Iran understands that the US is capable of unleashing fire and brimstone of biblical proportions.

First thing Trump should do is a have a signing ceremony where he rescinds the executive order banning assassinations of foreign leaders.   I favor maintenance bombing rather than invasion - take out key infrastructure like power plants and re-bomb as it gets rebuilt.

But Simon, don't you think such suggestions could bring total misery to everyone involved ? Would it not be so much more clever & better for everyone to search for a peaceful way forward with the help of a recommendable (!!!!) diplomat who is clever enough to convince everyone that destruction leads nowhere ? ?
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 12:25:37 PM by kristina » Logged

Bach was no pioneer; his style was not influenced by any past or contemporary century.
  He was completion and fulfillment in itself, like a meteor which follows its own path.
                                        -   Robert Schumann  -

                                          ...  Oportet Vivere ...
Simon Dog
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2020, 04:30:06 PM »

But Simon, don't you think such suggestions could bring total misery to everyone involved ? Would it not be so much more clever & better for everyone to search for a peaceful way forward with the help of a recommendable (!!!!) diplomat who is clever enough to convince everyone that destruction leads nowhere ? ?
That has been tried, but Iran remains a persistent pest. 

Sometimes the misery is like that of losing a very useful, but cancerous, body part.  Painful, unavoidable, and necessary for survival.   If Jimmy Carter had simply said "you will cease to exist as a nation if you do not release the hostages" and backed it up, we would not be in this mess today.
 
The problem is nuts like those running Iran are not "negotiated" or "talked out" of power.

Chairman Mao said "power comes form the barrel of a gun", and he was absolutely right,  You can only negotiate if you have firepower to back you up.   Property taxes and parking tickets are examples - people pay because the ultimate result of refusal to do so is the use of whatever level of force is needed to collect. 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 05:21:57 PM by Simon Dog » Logged
Paul
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That's another fine TARDIS you got me into Stanley

« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2020, 06:11:40 PM »


... I sincerely hope that with the help of a skilled Diplomat this dangerous situation can be politically "neutralised" a.s.a.p.

Yeah, don't hold your breath.
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Paul
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That's another fine TARDIS you got me into Stanley

« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2020, 06:28:12 PM »


The only way to neuter it is to make sure Iran understands that the US is capable of unleashing fire and brimstone of biblical proportions.

Never gonna happen. They believe that they are in the right. Worse than that, they believe God is on their side, and whatever America does, God will protect them. And even when the sticky brown stuff hits the fan, for example if the US Air Force napalm's the country, and they are slowly, painfully burning to death, they will believe that this is God's will, and they will get an automatic ticket to Paradise as a reward for suffering this horrible death.
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Paul
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That's another fine TARDIS you got me into Stanley

« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2020, 06:34:39 PM »


But Simon, don't you think such suggestions could bring total misery to everyone involved ?

I think "total misery" is a foregone conclusion on both sides. This is going to get so much worse before it gets better, and both sides will suffer.

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MooseMom
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2020, 07:31:17 PM »

Iran is a Russian proxy.  Putin is not going to stand by while the US bombs Iran out of existence UNLESS he and President Trump have come to some sort of secret understanding between them, which is entirely possible.

We all need to understand there are not only two "sides" in play here.
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iolaire
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2020, 08:01:25 PM »

Maybe we can liberate the Iranians like we liberated the Iraqis?

Being serious now - I saw one post reminding us the Iran knows patience, we are at risk for a long time now.
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kristina
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2020, 02:53:03 AM »

But Simon, don't you think such suggestions could bring total misery to everyone involved ? Would it not be so much more clever & better for everyone to search for a peaceful way forward with the help of a recommendable (!!!!) diplomat who is clever enough to convince everyone that destruction leads nowhere ? ?
That has been tried, but Iran remains a persistent pest. 

Sometimes the misery is like that of losing a very useful, but cancerous, body part.  Painful, unavoidable, and necessary for survival.   If Jimmy Carter had simply said "you will cease to exist as a nation if you do not release the hostages" and backed it up, we would not be in this mess today.
 
The problem is nuts like those running Iran are not "negotiated" or "talked out" of power.

Chairman Mao said "power comes form the barrel of a gun", and he was absolutely right,  You can only negotiate if you have firepower to back you up.   Property taxes and parking tickets are examples - people pay because the ultimate result of refusal to do so is the use of whatever level of force is needed to collect.

Hello again Simon,
You have mentioned, that it has been tried ... and my question is again : Do you think they have really and honestly tried hard enough to avoid a conflict?
... And I agree with Paul when he mentions a common belief that "God will protect them" etc. After all, they live in a dictatorship and there is apparently no way out  ...

... And since you mention Chairman Mao and his mentioning of  "power comes from the barrel of a gun" :  ... Don't you agree that keeping peace and talking & negotiating about peace is much more important and only indirectly connected to "power" as such ?

Searching about the meaning of "power" one finds :
"The true definition of power is our ability to make our own choices.
... Sometimes power means standing strong…but sometimes it means choosing to step aside. Sometimes power means having our say…but sometimes it means choosing to let others have theirs..."

All the above seems to involve a certain maturity of mind ... plus lots of thinking/discussing/weighing-up etc., before being able to decide how to proceed, does it not?
... and it would seem at this very moment that all this has just not been worked out yet well enough ... ?

I am mentioning all this because I have always admired America and I am very grateful about all the wonderful thoughts and great inventions Americans have brought to all people in this world and it would be such a pity to see another generation of great thinking young people getting lost and messed up in a conflict that still can be avoided...

That's my  :twocents;
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 03:31:34 AM by kristina » Logged

Bach was no pioneer; his style was not influenced by any past or contemporary century.
  He was completion and fulfillment in itself, like a meteor which follows its own path.
                                        -   Robert Schumann  -

                                          ...  Oportet Vivere ...
Simon Dog
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2020, 06:20:43 AM »

Quote
Do you think they have really and honestly tried hard enough to avoid a conflict?
Short of surrender, yes.  The US avoided physical conflict in the hostage case by doing exactly what Iran demanded, which set the stage for the coming years.

Power is the ability to make someone else do what you want them to do.

Sometimes, this is $$ - which is why the truly wealthy are powerful.  Other times, it is fame (people always seem to want to suck up to anyone with a household name).   At other times is it force, but it does not have to be used - just available as an option to give one's polite request credibility.  The later is why the US can strike an enemy in Syria or Iraq but would not dare to breech Russian sovereignty.    In practice, might makes right (which is sometimes good, sometimes bad).

Quote
.. And since you mention Chairman Mao and his mentioning of  "power comes from the barrel of a gun" :  ... Don't you agree that keeping peace and talking & negotiating about peace is much more important and only indirectly connected to "power" as such ?
Si vis pacem, para bellum.  Negotiating power comes from the ability to deliver force (military, economic sanctions, tariffs, etc.).   This is why any rational nation wants nukes.  If you have them your nation no longer exists at the pleasure of the superpowers.

Quote
see another generation of great thinking young people getting lost and messed up in a conflict that still can be avoided...
I hope the US leadership has figured out that occupation and nation building just does not work, but sometimes a vigorous spanking is in order.  Get those young people who grew up on video games into a drone pilot's chair somewhere in Nevada so they don't have to miss out on Starbucks.

This strategy of "We'll elevate from disapproval to stern condemnation if you do not stop behaving badly" hasn't worked out so well.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 06:28:27 AM by Simon Dog » Logged
MooseMom
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2020, 08:39:09 AM »

Conventional warfare, where the US has the obvious advantage, won't necessarily carry the day.  War is rarely confined to just two adversaries.

Our defenses against cyberwarfare has been recognized by US officials as being very vulnerable.  And since Russia played a part in the 2016 elections, and since Iran is a Russian ally, perhaps we should stop thinking conventionally and shore up other defenses.

Try telling the countless numbers of genocide victims, the Armenians, the Jews, the Bosnian, the victims of Khmer Rouge, that "might makes right".

Let's be honest, here.  The reason this assassination is so offputting is because the world does not trust Donald Trump.  We could argue whether or not that mistrust is warranted, but our traditional allies no longer trust us from a security point of view, most Americans do not understand exactly what US foreign policy is now, and there is a running concern that this Administration is under the sway of Putin.  Again, we could argue whether or not there is really fodder for such concern, but these fears are still there.  This administration has to earn our trust again.

I personally have no real problem with this strike.  This man was a monster, and he was a combatant.  All combatants are at risk of losing their lives; this is part of being any military member.  I felt the same about bin Laden.  But bin Laden was stateless.  He was not a beloved figure, and no country wanted him.  No one really mourned his loss, and his death was never really going to result in greater unrest.  This assassination is different.  Iran is a large country with a well trained army.  We killed this man not in Iran but in Iraq.  So, yet another country is involved.

By backing down from the Iran nuclear deal, we undercut President Rohani, who was the face of the moderate faction in Iran.  He had convinced the ruling religious leaders that it was in their best interest to seek agreement, even if temporary, with the West (and the other big powers involved in the deal).  When the US President took us out of the deal, those religious leader essentially told Rohani, "We told you so.", and that moderate middle in Iran has now collapsed.  I personally do not see the wisdom in our withdrawal.

But of course, Obama and Trump are two different people with different philosophies.  Obama tacked toward negotiation where Trump sees negotiation as a business transaction.  I am not sure that particular philosophy works in the nuanced world of diplomacy.  Negotiation, if not purely transactional, is weakness in Trump's book, and many Americans have been taught that the US has been weak and humiliated.  This is what Iran is feeling now, and their rulers will not let their citizens see them as weak and humiliated. 

It is hard to discern what is bluster and what is true intent.  Perhaps Iranians are letting off steam while their leaders are pronouncing Death to America in a PR exercise.  Maybe their reprisals will be devastating.  I don't know.  It isn't my job to know.  I am hoping that those who are advising President Trump DO know, and I hope they are confident they can contain Iran effectively AND placate Russian (and China).  I really am dying to know what Trump told Putin!

PS  I am concerned about unintended consequences, especially regarding ISIS.  Isn't there are US-UK led force in Iraq (and maybe also in Syria) that is fighting against ISIS?  Are those forces gong to still be able to continue their mission?  Anyone know?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 08:49:35 AM by MooseMom » Logged

"Eggs are so inadequate, don't you think?  I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken.  Or a duck.  Or whatever they're programmed to be.  You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of last week."
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2020, 08:56:12 AM »

Remember the Iranians fought a long war with saddam Hussein in which a million Iranians died.  The reason Trump annulled Obama’s Iranian Nuclear deal is trumps absolute hatred of anything Obama did.  The only reason I feel the Iranians agreed to the Obama treaty was the us had tested the BLU-113 MOP bomb (massive ordnance penetrator).. huge bombs that the b2 carried 2 of.  The we’re capable of reaching the underground nuclear facilities in Iran.  The fear of the mop bomb convinced the leadership of Iran to stop the search for the atomic bomb.  Now trump as started Iran down the nuclear path again and put the US in the cross hairs of the largest group of terrorists. 
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iolaire
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2020, 10:08:35 AM »

PS  I am concerned about unintended consequences, especially regarding ISIS.  Isn't there are US-UK led force in Iraq (and maybe also in Syria) that is fighting against ISIS?  Are those forces gong to still be able to continue their mission?  Anyone know?

U.S.-Led Coalition Halts ISIS Fight as It Steels for Iranian Attacks

American forces in Iraq and Syria will now focus on protecting themselves.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/05/us/politics/us-isis-iran.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

This blog has good content with historical background on the Mideast. It’s not right focused so I assume some would consider it fake news.  It was recommended to a reporter who wanted and independent new publication for that region similar to one that reports on the local situation in either Hong Kong.
https://www.juancole.com/
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Paul
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That's another fine TARDIS you got me into Stanley

« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2020, 05:46:13 PM »


Let's be honest, here.  The reason this assassination is so offputting is because the world does not trust Donald Trump.

Oh yes. Most of Europe is against the assassination, but if it had happened on Obama's watch, most of Europe would have been for it.

Ages ago I mentioned (I think on this board, but may have been a different one) that Trump's biggest crime was that his lies and childish behaviour had turned much of the world against America. The world's reaction to this incident is the "pigeons coming home to roost". Sadly, watching from the side lines, I see not only Iran threatening America, but some sabre rattling from Iran's allies, and even some rattling from countries with no affiliation to Iran. If this turns into war, Uncle Sam will turn to his usual allies to help, and thanks to Trump's previous behaviour, most of America's usual allies will turn their backs on Uncle Sam.

If this does turn into war, many many many times as many Americans will die than would have done if a less "assholeish" president had ordered the assassination, and their deaths will be Trump's real legacy.

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MooseMom
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2020, 07:52:24 PM »

While Mr. Trump has not personally consulted me, I can only go by what I have read and learned over various platforms.

It is my understanding that Mr. Trump was quite conflicted during the time in which he was making this decision.  He is not an interventionalist by heart, rather, he is an isolationalist.  This is one reason why he was elected; he wanted to effectively end US involvement in conflicts overseas, a position which is not novel throughout American history.

However, he wants to show "strength", just as any proud nation would want.  Americans like to be "great" but balk at intervening, but in today's world where most nations' interests are intertwined, this is not always possible.

Certain forces within the GOP convinced the President that he could not let Iranian attacks go unanswered, that to do so would be evidence of weakness.  We all know that Mr. Trump does not like being perceived as "weak", that this is the worst insult he could hurl at anyone he does not like.

My fear is that Iran has set a trap and that we have walked into it.  Iran wants to provoke a military attack from the US, thus giving them the perfect excuse to pull out of the nuclear deal.  We have to remember that even though the US pulled out of said deal, Iran and the other signatories remained.

And this is now exactly what has happened.  Iran will go back to producing the necessary materials with which to become another nuclear capable nation, thus adding more lava to an already volcanic region.  I don't know if the other nations still in the deal will work to bring Iran back in.  I still want to know Russia's role in all of this.  I have to wonder if they are behind the initial Iranian attacks on US interests.

But maybe there are frantic talks going on behind the scenes right now that will ensure peace in the long term. 
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 07:53:48 PM by MooseMom » Logged

"Eggs are so inadequate, don't you think?  I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken.  Or a duck.  Or whatever they're programmed to be.  You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of last week."
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