The proxy war with Iran has probably already begun

While the attacks on the oil tankers is almost certainly total bullsh*t, there have been attacks within Iraq that the American media has curiously ignored. These attacks are most likely real.
A couple days ago it was at a coalition military base.

An Iraqi military base where U.S. and allied coalition troops are stationed has been targeted by a rocket attack just as the Pentagon released new photos purporting to show Iran was behind recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

The Iraqi military's official Security Media Cell reported Monday that "a short time ago, three Katyusha rockets fell on Camp Taji," a military installation also known as Camp Cooke, located about 17 miles north of Baghdad. The apparent attack came just two days after unknown assailants fired rockets at Balad air base, another Iraqi installation where U.S. military personnel were present.

Then yesterday it was a U.S. oil company site.

(Reuters) - A rocket hit a site in southern Iraq used by foreign oil companies on Wednesday, including U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil, wounding three people and threatening to further escalate U.S.-Iran tensions in the region.

Unlike the tanker attacks, I don't believe that these are false flag attacks because:

a) this is how the shia militias in Iraq attacked our troops during the occupation
b) those same shia militias have been threatening to do exactly this for years
c) the American media has mostly not reported it

It's obvious why the MSM has downplayed it. It's because it drives home the point that war with Iran won't be just dropping bombs from a safe distance.
It means 6,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and 2,000 troops in Syria will be on the front lines. And that won't sell.

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China stopped buying American oil

China took 346,000 tons, or 80%, of Iran’s LPG exports in May, Kpler estimated. If the cargoes loaded before the end of the U.S. waivers on May 2 they may not have been in contravention of the sanctions. Iran is likely to export a total of 400,000-500,000 tons in June with at least eight supertankers set to load the fuel in coming weeks, Kpler said in the note. Three supertankers have loaded LPG from Iran in June, of which at least one is headed for China, it said.

china_0.pngchina1.jpg

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Pricknick's picture

An attack on Iran is an attack against many nations and a multitude of armed entities. It's an attack against myself and others here in this country. The middle east will burn if our country is ignorant enough to start a war.
I fully expect trump and his cadre of advisors to think that a limited attack would be no big deal. They're not thinkers of great things but only what may make them look good.
The body bags will not be televised.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

On June 7, 2019, six Iranian merchant ships were set ablaze almost simultaneously in two Persian Gulf ports.

First, five ships “caught fire” in the port of Nakhl Taghi in the Asaluyeh region of Bushehr Province. Three of these ships were completely burned and the two others suffered major damage. Several port workers and sailors were injured. As well, at least one cargo ship burst into flames and burned completely at the port of Bualhir, near Delvar. The fire was attributed to “incendiary devices” of “unknown origin”. The local authorities in Bushehr Province called the fires a “suspicious event” and went no further.

In Tehran, senior Iranian officials first attributed the incident to “fires caused by high temperatures”. Subsequently, they pointed out to statements by Iranian opposition activists in Europe (NOT the MEK) who “made the connection between the mysterious fires that hit the Iranian ships and the sabotage” of the tankers in Fujairah. Several diplomats in Tehran reported that the local grapevines were attributing the fires to “expert mercenaries” of “unknown origin”. “Knowledgeable Iranians” opined, the diplomats reported, that “ferocious revenge” was only a question of time.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-18/declassified-sino-russian-mast...

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Pricknick's picture

@jim p
Is as notorious for false stories as it is for truth. Meaning 50/50.
An example taken from the same post:

“These appear to be well planned and coordinated attacks,” wrote shipping experts in the Gulf States. They noted that the two tankers were first hit in close proximity to the engine room and thus were stopped. They were then subjected to strong explosions at or below the waterline. Such explosions were most likely caused by limpet-mines similar to those used in Fujairah on May 12, 2019. The USS Bainbridge reported that it saw “an unexploded limpet mine on the side of one of the ships attacked in the Gulf of Oman”. The next day, a US UAV spotted an IRGC Zulfiqar-class fast attack boat approaching the tanker where the crew removed the unexploded mine. The experts concluded that “a state actor is responsible” for the attack.

So far, there is no proof that the explosions were "at or below the waterline". All current evidence that they show at this point suggest above the waterline intrusions.
There is also no proof that the Iranian ship removed a mine, which if true, was well above the waterline according to crappy verification done by grainy photos taken by a technological superior nation.
I call bupkis on the whole article.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick the quote you used was a statement about what unidentified "shipping experts" and the US said. The US, absolutely, said those things. Who pays the experts...we don't know. So your example doesn't prove your point.

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Pricknick's picture

@jim p
Shipping experts (unknown) and the u.s.
Just who do you believe?

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick your point was ZH article is not trustworthy. But it just quoted what the US/experts claim. It didn't assert the claim was true.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Pricknick

that zero Hedges posted. I found the article confusing just because it was saying some of the same things that Pompeo has said about the incident in the gulf. It also talks about how Isis and their friends are involved in some of the attacks. Yippee..Obama's BFFs are still playing with the toys we gave them.

Russia Insider

On June 5, 2019, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping met in Moscow and decided to not only markedly upgrade the bilateral relations and alliance of their countries, but to use the new relations in order to shape the long-term posture of the entire Eastern Hemisphere in their favor. Emphasis was to be put on the Eurasian Sphere (the Kremlin’s high priority) and the New Silk Road (the Forbidden City’s high priority), as well as the Korean Peninsula which is most important for both.

One of the first major confrontations with the US by Russia and the PRC was to be over the greater Middle East. The main reason was the advance negotiations with all key oil producers - including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran - on substituting the petrodollar with a basket of currencies where the yuan, the euro and the ruble dominate. Using the currency basket would enable the sellers and buyers to go around the US-imposed sanctions and quotas. Indeed, Beijing and Moscow were now enticing the oil producers with huge, long-term export deals which were both financially lucrative and politically tempting by offering guarantees for the well-being of the participating governments.

Oh oh...looks like lots of countries are trying to find a way to work around the almighty dollar. This has been coming for a long time because the world can only tolerate a bully for so long and with Trump putting sanctions on every Tom, Dick and Harry the last 3 years I'm betting people are working overtime to make it so.

Trump is threatening Turkey because they are buying Russia's missile defense system. Trump is saying that he is going to squeeze Turkey so bad its economy will hurt. Trump wants to sanction Germany and anyone else who buys Russia's gas once they get the pipeline built. Venezuela. Syria. India. Iran. Who did I miss who he is sanctioning?

Oh yeah. We are being sanctioned too because all the money is going to the military instead of going to things that we need. This article talks about how the Venezuelan coup is hurting the American people.
Gee if only this country could have made deals with others instead of bombing the hell out of them maybe things would be different?

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Pricknick's picture

@snoopydawg
It shows that ri is not to be taken at face, (or shall I say) fact value.
The original writeup is on oilprice.com.
The question is......Can they be trusted?
Nope.

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snoopydawg's picture

@jim p

according to Pompeo...

But the US kept escalating its covert war with Iran, both in the Persian Gulf and in Syria. The extent of the escalation and the focusing on objectives of great importance for Iran could not but lead to Iranian harsh reaction.

First came escalation of the campaign against the transfer of oil along the long desert road stretch between Deir ez-Zor and Damascus. Since the beginning of the war, Damascus had been purchasing oil from whomever controlled the oilfields east of the Euphrates, be it DI’ISH or the US-sponsored Kurdish PKK/YPG/SDF forces. As well, with the opening of the road from Iran via Iraq, the Iranians increased the shipment of oil in tanker-trucks. Since the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) would not strike and shut down the lucrative oil trade, the US chose to rely heavily on the jihadist forces being trained and equipped in the al-Tanf area.

According to tribal leaders in the Deir ez-Zor area, the US launched at first “a campaign ... to prevent smuggling [oil] from areas under SDF control in Deir ez-Zor to the Syrian regime by way of ferries across the river”. The first major escalation took place in the early morning hours of May 31, 2019. Jihadist forces near al-Shuhayl opened heavy machinegun fire on four tanker-barges ferrying oil across the Euphrate.

Yep. Those Iranians are up to no good.

Indeed, in the early morning hours of June 13, 2019, two large tankers were repeatedly attacked and set aflame in the middle of the Gulf of Oman. Both tankers were subsequently abandoned by their crews and left to drift, burn and sink. By end of the day, there were conflicting reports whether they already sank. The tankers did not sink and most of the flames died down on June 15, 2019. Hence, efforts started tow the tankers to UAE ports.

A few hours before the attack, a US MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) observed IRGC fast attack boats, most likely from the nearby Bandar-e-Jask naval base, gather and advance toward the area where the tankers would be struck. When the Iranians noticed the UAV, they launched a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile. The missile overshot, narrowly missed the MQ-9, and crashed into the water. However, the UAV was pulled away from the scene so that there would be no evidence of the attack that unfolded shortly afterwards.

Aren't these the two ships that we said Iran attacked?

Both tankers were subjected to repeated attacks over three hours in order to ascertain their destruction. The Norwegian owned MT Front Altair was first hit by a torpedo attack which stopped it and started a small fire. The Front Altair was then subjected to two cycles limpet-mine attacks which caused at least three major explosions and set the tanker aflame. The Japanese owned Kokuka Courageous was also subjected first to a torpedo attack which breached the hull above the water line. Over the next three hours, the Kokuka Courageous was subjected twice to limpet-mine attacks, as well as a couple of 107mm rockets (most likely launched from an IRGC Seraj-1-class fast attack boat), which also set the tanker aflame. Both tankers were first hit in the engine-room area so that they stopped. The main tanks were then repeatedly bombed until they burned out of control.

It seems so...so how accurate is this article? Hmm, but either way I think things would calm down if we got our butts out of the region and minded our business.

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Pricknick's picture

@snoopydawg
please give the link from which you pulled these quotes.
Tanks.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Pricknick

It's a long article and I just skimmed it when I posted, but I'm reading it again now.

Same article but from Russia Insider.

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Pricknick's picture

@snoopydawg
I just wanted you to post the link.
Thanks again.

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Big Al's picture

it would seem the attacks in Iraq, seemingly meant to blame Iran, are basically false flag attacks.
The U.S. is definitely waging an economic and subversive war against Iran and has been basically since 79. No doubt they're using proxies inside Iran to destabilize, but that's a bit different from the proxy wars in Syria and Libya where the US used a "civil war" false narrative to avoid direct culpability. I'm not sure how these attacks in Iraq equate to a proxy war with Iran as opposed to attacks in Iraq meant to blame Iran.

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Pricknick's picture

@Big Al

The U.S. is definitely waging an economic and subversive war against Iran and has been basically since 79.

Since 1953.
And it was all about oil baby.

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Big Al's picture

@Pricknick Hell, we could probably go back even further. I remember writing a "diary" years ago about the first chemical weapons attack in Fallujah, by the English I think in 1921. Relative to Latin America, we have the exploits of Smedley Butler to remind how long our government and those that control it have been fucking around down there.
See ya know, that's why they have to be stopped.

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@Pricknick The sanctions that were instituted against Iran included life saving drugs, medical supplies, food, humanitarian aid...all those items you could make WMD out of.

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@Big Al

The U.S. is definitely waging an economic and subversive war against Iran and has been basically since 79. No doubt they're using proxies inside Iran to destabilize

No doubt you are correct. I'm just saying Iran is starting to fight back.

I'm not sure how these attacks in Iraq equate to a proxy war with Iran as opposed to attacks in Iraq meant to blame Iran.

Because many of those shia miitias are directly on the payroll of Iran.
They were formed and sometimes led by Iranians.

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Big Al's picture

@gjohnsit attacks by shia militias on US personnel and corporations? Sorry man, that's propaganda. Just like claiming Iran is backing the Houthis. That's the company line, that's what Pompeo and Bolton say.
Or am I misinterpreting?

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@Big Al

Sorry man, that's propaganda. Just like claiming Iran is backing the Houthis.

Iran never organized the Houthis. The Houthis have never been on the payroll of Iran. Hell, they don't even have the same branch of Shia.

The Shia militias, such as the Badr Brigade, were organize by Iran to fight the Sunni government of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and had Iranian officers.
No, it isn't just propaganda.

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snoopydawg's picture

@gjohnsit

Isis and its buddies are still wreaking havoc in Syria and in Afghanistan after the CIA transferred a bunch of them there. Hey it helped us get rid of the USSR so why not do it again?

Boy I bet that money could have helped our homeless people get some help. But sadly no. I'm still seeing the scene from V for Vendetta where there is a new civil war in this country because our military over extended itself.

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Pricknick's picture

@snoopydawg

our military over extended itself

There aint no blue pill for the MIC.
They just can't get it up anymore unless there is a largess from the taxpayer.

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snoopydawg's picture

The military is considering using nukes!

"Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability. Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict," the report read.

Don't these dumb assholes think that the minute they fire off a nuke that Russia or some other country will detect it and fire theirs back at us? Every person involved with this should be fired from office and put on trial for crimes against humanity and for stupidity!

Strategic stability? Jesus!

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

former UK ambassador to Syria Peter Ford, who never bought the "Assad gassed his own people" or White Helmets propaganda, thinks Iran likely did the tanker attacks. Moon of Alabama entertains the possibility too.

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Lookout's picture

Strategically it does not make sense for Iran to poke a stick in the hornets nest at this time. Iraq has been making noise of US withdrawal for awhile now.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/27/iraq-trump-visit-us-troops...
They could possibly be using this opportunity?

I wish we would just bring our troops and military forces home and leave the ME to its own rule. Dreamin' I know.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

develops his counterintuitive theory:

"Iran's enemies as well as Iran itself now have an interest that more attacks on tankers happen. But unless there is very convincing independent evidence we will never know who will have committed these. There are simply too many players who have motives and the capabilities to make such attacks happen. All of them have plausible reasons to damage more ships. All of them have plausible deniability."

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Similar to what Moon of Alabama has written. Iran has the upper hand in the region. If they have usable air defenses then they will prevail and will inflict considerable damage to the US and oil exporting allies and therefore the Western economies. Trump meanwhile has this god view that the US is omnipotent. Hmm, this is a setup. If Iran prevails then they become the most powerful force in the ME and SA will have to defer.
Iran just shot down a US Reaper drone. Iran claims that it had violated Iranian territory, the US military claims that it was in international waters. Trump says that Iran made a huge mistake. The pressure on Trump has ratcheted up significantly to do something. Any direct military action will result in an Iranian response. I don't see how the US can pull together any significant group of allies, considering that it walked out on the JPCOA, with the exception on the UK, who will always s US c.
Just how many missiles has Iran built, and how good are they? I'm thinking a lot and very good. Last time I checked they had one of the most accurate missiles in the world. That means rapid destruction of assets important to the US within the region. They don't have to actually close the Straits of Hormuz, just destroy the oil shipping infrastructures of neighboring hostile countries. Iran has had a long time to think this through, many many decades, and to plan well. The US has primarily a military built for the Cold War and to attack helpless, poor, third world countries. A super-carrier is a floating graveyard. Just how deep is Iranian anger towards the US? Take a guess.

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Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.