‘cocked and loaded to retaliate; 10 mins. before the strike I stopped it’


Whoosh-worthy Freudian slip aside, this is by way of an open discussion on: what really happened?  Everyone seems to have an opinion, as do I, even if mine don’t bear up under scrutiny.  (smile)  Please chime in…

My belief is that it was a palace coup, or an attempted one, given portions of this reprint of the original June 20 (CIA) New Yawk Times report at the Miami Herald:

“As late as 7 p.m. Thursday, military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.”

“It was not clear whether Trump simply changed his mind on the strikes or whether the administration altered course because of logistics or strategy. It was also not clear whether the attacks might still go forward.

Asked about the plans for a strike and the decision to hold back, the White House declined to comment, as did Pentagon officials. No government officials asked The New York Times to withhold the article.

“Trump’s national security advisers split about whether to respond militarily. Senior administration officials said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; John bomb-bomb Bolton, the national security adviser; and Gina Haspel, the CIA director, had favored a military response. But top Pentagon officials cautioned that such an action could result in a spiraling escalation with risks for U.S. forces in the region.”

H/T b at MoA: @IntelCrab

Not sure I have an opinion yet on this NYT piece, but I will say one thing…the HF traffic we’ve seen today is consistent with the assertion that at least SOME sort of strike package was authorized” 8:26 PM – 20 Jun 2019

Could the Terrible Troika bolded above launched the strike?  This gets a bit out on edge, but I’d seen earlier speculation that the US Cyber Command may have been able to launch the operation.  H/T Café denizen Greyson Smythe:

‘Trump approved cyber-strikes against Iran’s missile systems’, washingtonpost.com, Ellen Nakashima, June 22, 2019

“President Trump approved an offensive cyberstrike that disabled Iranian computer systems used to control rocket and missile launches, even as he backed away from a conventional military attack in response to its downing Thursday of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone, according to people familiar with the matter.

The cyberstrikes, launched Thursday night by personnel with U.S. Cyber Command, were in the works for weeks if not months, according to two of these people, who said the Pentagon proposed launching them after Iran’s alleged attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier this month.

The strike against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was coordinated with U.S. Central Command, the military organization with purview of activity throughout the Middle East, these people said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the operation remains extremely sensitive.”  [long snip]

Our U.S. military has long known that we could sink every IRGC vessel in the strait within 24 hours if necessary. And this is the modern version of what the U.S. Navy has to do to defend itself at sea and keep international shipping lanes free from Iranian disruption.”

Thursday’s strikes against the Revolutionary Guard represented the first offensive show of force since Cyber Command was elevated to a full combatant command in May. It leveraged new authorities, granted by the president, that have streamlined the approval process for such measures. It is also a reflection of a new Cyber Command strategy — called “defending forward” — that its leader, Gen. Paul Nakasone, has defined as operating “against our enemies on their virtual territory.”

Gen. Paul Nakasone is also the head of the NSA.

The bolded text is pretty funny, but could cyber command have launched the operation?  I suppose the whole story could be a psyop for Iran’s benefit, but Iran has been clear: mess with us and our territory, and we’ll respond.   Next, b seems to respect Magnier a lot, and he has a lot to bring on the issues at hand. 

‘Iran and Trump on the edge of the Abyss’, Elijah J. Magnier, June 21, 2019

“According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf.

“Moreover, Iran has established a joint operations room to inform all its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan of every step it is adopting in confronting the US in case of all-out war in the Middle East. Iran’s allies have increased their level of readiness and alert to the highest level; they will participate in the war from the moment it begins if necessary. According to sources, Iran’s allies will not hesitate to open fire against an already agreed on bank of objectives in a perfectly organised, orchestrated, synchronised and graduated response, anticipating a war that may last many months.”

Sources confirmed that, in case of war, Iran aims to stop the flow of oil from the Middle East completely, not by targeting tankers but by hitting the sources of oil in every single Middle Eastern country, whether these countries are considered allies or enemies. The objective will be to cease all oil exports from the Middle East to the rest of the world.”

The bolded portion I find less credible, myself.  For one, Iran’s allies would hardly be allies in a greater war, and second: Elijah’s sources man not (and hopefully do not) reflect state policy on that.

He reminds readers that it was a the request of Netenyahu that Trump pulled the US out of the JCPOA, and that he wants to see Iran suffer from sanctions and blockades for the rest of his term, which is the reason Iran told the anonymous US intelligence message delivery person to stuff it.

“Trump wants to win the war of appearances, but is facing an Iranian regime as unaccommodating to him as he has been to Iran. Trump seems oblivious of the fact that economic embargo is an act of war; by unilaterally blocking the export of Iranian oil and so crippling Iran’s economy, Trump has already declared war on Iran.”

“Nonetheless, Iran was reassured by this offer that the US has no intention of going to war and is trying to find a way out of its quandary; Trump is looking for a way out.”

So now Trump has check-mated himself: Iran refuses to ‘renegotiate’ the JCPOA until sanctions are lifted, he refuses to lift the sanctions, and says he’ll add more on Monday.  Meanwhile, the EU dithers…

“Trump, unlike Israel and the hawks in his administration, is trying to avoid a shooting war. Netanyahu has reiterated his desire for war with Iran—a war that the US will fight–and is meeting with his Arab allies to help bring it about. As Ha’aretz described Netanyahu’s Iran dilemma last month, the goal is to get Trump to go to war without putting Israel on the front line.

It is Trump’s desire to avoid war that makes him susceptible to Iranian pressure. Trump will be in an even more critical position domestically if Iranian missiles target Middle Eastern oil. Iran is offering only two choices to the US President: end the embargo on Iranian oil or go to war. Sources acknowledge that the future is uncertain and potentially very dangerous for the region and the global economy, since Iran will definitely not stop in its plans to halt all oil tanker navigation if its own oil cannot be exported.”

Again, via b at MoA: ‘Trump warned Iran via Oman that U.S. attack was imminent, called for talks – Iranian officials’, june 21, 2019, reuters.com

But in my last post I’d brought these conflicting reports from RT.com:

‘Iran denies reports Trump sent warning about imminent attack in retaliation for downed US drone’, June 21, 2019

 “Iran’s top national security official has denied a Reuters report claiming that Tehran had received a low-key message via Oman from the US warning of an imminent attack on the Islamic Republic.

“The US didn’t send any message,” Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman for the National Security Council, told Iranian television.

“This issue is not in any way correct.”

The comment dismissed a previous report by Reuters, which cited unnamed Iranian officials as saying that Donald Trump had warned Tehran of a military strike and also gave a time to respond. The message was reportedly delivered via Oman and followed the downing of a US spy UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) earlier in the week.

Apart from the Reuters report, other media, like New York Times, cited sources as saying that Trump had, in fact, ordered a limited military response, but then abruptly called off the mission.”

As for Trump’s claim that ‘ten minutes before launch time, I stopped it’, many have their opinions as to the real reasons for that; you may be interested in reading at MoA for b’s take on plausible scenarios that had caused him to think…again.  The Houthi missile strikes on the Saudi water de-salinization plant and other targets resonated for me.

It’s often said that Trump had installed Joltin’ Bolton at the behest of Bibi and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, and that sounds about right, but Boss Tweet wouldn’t want to offend them by firing him, would he?  And this just in:

And as night follows swallows day:

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Comments

Thanks for pulling this together.

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4 users have voted.

dfarrah

wendy davis's picture

@dfarrah

any theories of your own to offer?

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2 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@wendy davis
and let me know what they do.
Then tell me why you decided to stop.

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6 users have voted.

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

wendy davis's picture

@Pricknick

what your question means. could you explain? as in: i decided to stop what?

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Pricknick's picture

@wendy davis
was that if you back something into a corner, like humans, most will fight back.
When you realize this, chances are good that you will cease your cornering.

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3 users have voted.

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

@wendy davis I just haven't read much like you have.

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dfarrah

Pricknick's picture

is that an attack against Iran didn't happen.
Everything else is conjecture by armchair quarterbacks and talking heads.

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5 users have voted.

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

wendy davis's picture

@Pricknick

but it didn't happen YET, according to trump. apparently you have no competing theories to offer, then?

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smiley7's picture

@Pricknick
i cannot support tweets or reality television slices unsubstantiated or time wasted on such.

Call your legislators, write editorials, march in the streets: do something more than revel in gossip.

The stakes too high, please don't gamble for gambling's sake.

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5 users have voted.

But now I think it more. Iran is selling a lot of oil to China, and they apparently just said that they would escalate rather than play tit-for-tat games with America. In 1941 Dean Acheson defied FDR's direct order to not include naval fuel oil in sanctions to the Japanese Imperial Navy, thus cornering them and forcing Pearl Harbor. I suspect that someone reminded Trump of this.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

wendy davis's picture

@doh1304

that iran had been selling oil to china? but i may be missing your point; if so, my apologies.

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wendy davis's picture

@doh1304

the temporary waivers granted to iran to sell oil to: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece...expired on May 4, and this blasted administration hasn't extended them. russia is still buying iranian crude, and helping to sell it abroad, but iran wanted (at a bare minimum) that those waivers be extended.

and of course the original sanctions were due to: Iran's 'nuclear ambitions', because no one can have nukes now unless We Say So.

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5 users have voted.

But now I think it more. Iran is selling a lot of oil to China, and they apparently just said that they would escalate rather than play tit-for-tat games with America. In 1941 Dean Acheson defied FDR's direct order to not include naval fuel oil in sanctions to the Japanese Imperial Navy, thus cornering them and forcing Pearl Harbor. I suspect that someone reminded Trump of this.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

@doh1304

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dfarrah

Donald Trump has made since becoming president:

Trump: “I have some hawks. John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him he'd take on the whole world at one time."

Whatever else I might think of our current situation, it makes me feel just a little bit better to know that Trump knows exactly what the fuck sort of creature Bolton is.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

wendy davis's picture

@UntimelyRippd

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3 users have voted.

@UntimelyRippd people.

It is why he prefers to meet in person for negotiating.

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dfarrah

@UntimelyRippd

begin a war, it will be "obliteration like you've never seen."

I would not put much stock in any single comment that he makes because he's all over the place, like a deck chair on the Titanic, after it hit the iceberg. The only consistent thing seems to me to be his "stick" waving. (Please pardon the implied crudity, but it's the only expression that occurs to me right now that adequately conveys my meaning.)

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wendy davis's picture

@HenryAWallace

his loose cannon foreign policy is by tweet, and as with 'cocked and loaded', one imagines his FP is influenced not only by his cock-measuring, but by indigestion and gas attacks, alcohol or other self-medications and recreations.

but we might easily surmise that he was raised by authoritarian bullies, and is now the most bellicose of bullies. but yes, the rule is watch what they do, not what they say. war criminal obomba smiled and jested as he'd murdered millions, deported hundreds of thousands of would-be immigrants from the global south, and caged many at the border himself.

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ggersh's picture

@UntimelyRippd "cocked and loaded" hey tRump it's "locked and loaded"

sanctions like this are all show, but his previous
sanctions kill and kill more than 150 people.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-24/trump-imposes-sanctions-irans-...

Making good on his Saturday tweet threat that "we are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday", President Trump said on Monday that he’s imposing sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his office, a step "designed to increase pressure on the Islamic Republic."

And just like that the Ayatollah's JPMorgan Chase savings account and his Costco discount card are in grave jeopardy.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday, Trump said that the sanctions would deny Khamenei access to financial resources, although it wasn't immediately clear why anyone believes the 80-year-old Iranian supreme leader was stupid enough to have any exposure to the Western financial system (in retrospect he will prove to be far smarter than most).

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trump will be amerika's last president

What if the impeachment of tRumpolini is meant
to destroy the D party, makes sense doesn't it?

elections = tptb excuse for sayin ameriKa is a
democracy

Pricknick's picture

@humphrey

The plane was flying within range of Iranian missiles over Iranian waters when Iran’s central command and control received confirmation that the US would not go to war or hit any target in Iran.

I call bullshit on this article.
All prior accounts, including those by Iran, state that the P-8 Poseidon was flying in close proximity to the downed drone. They had no clue if the US would counterstrike.
https://zeenews.india.com/world/iran-says-could-have-shot-down-us-navy-p...
https://www.timesofisrael.com/top-iranian-general-we-could-have-downed-a...
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201906211076008026-iran-refrained-fro...

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

wendy davis's picture

@Pricknick

i'm far more familiar with the explanation i your zeenews india link, and has seen folks ask akin to: 'why didn't the iranian commander say why they didn't shoot down the poseidon plane that was along-side the drone they did shoot down?' RT.com had had it as well, iirc.

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military_action_against_iran.jpg

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@gjohnsit about war, it asks about 'military action,' and no, they aren't one and the same.

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dfarrah

Pricknick's picture

@dfarrah
does not matter.
If you were in Irans place, would you consider military action to be a declaration of war?
This bullshit about distinguishing between the two is vapid.
By your definition I guess we can call the first and second gulf wars military action.
Let's not forget calling the Korean war a police action.

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10 users have voted.

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

@Pricknick it was "kinetic military action" according to the Obomber Administration and they were good about changing the definition of any male "of military age" to be fair game (the rest are 'collateral damage')as they are automatically 'terrorists'.

But another change that got very little attention was the argument defending Droning someone, or some group, on the other side of the world (with little or no resources) by officially changing the wording of what makes something qualify as an "imminent threat", simply to mean 'potentially' a threat.

"As President Obama cut short his five-day trip to Latin America to focus his attentions on Libya, a national security adviser finally provides a description for the 'war'.

In the last few days, everyone from military officers to the President himself have been asked the question - What is the fighting in Libya if it is not a war?

In a press briefing on board Air Force One on Wednesday, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes called it 'kinetic military action'."

"Stop the 'war': Despite Ben Rhodes announcing to press on Air Force One that the conflict in Libya was not a war, protesters are not convinced

He said: 'Military steps -- and they can be kinetic and non-kinetic, obviously the full range -- are not the only method by which we and the international community are pressuring Gaddafi.'

Defense Secretary Robert Gates also used the term in a meeting with reporters in Moscow on Tuesday.

He said: 'As we are successful in suppressing the [Libyan] air defences, the level of kinetic activity should decline.'"

The final paragraph..."Many have accused the Obama administration of merely attempting to describe a war anything other than a war to a dubious public.

But for now they are insisting it is merely 'kinetic military action'."

Of course if only the Libyan people knew it wasn't 'war' raining down on them but just 'kinetic action' they'd all have felt a lot better being destroyed.

Obama was/is bloodthirsty.


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1369656/Libya-It-war-kinetic-mi...

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@Pricknick people thinking of 'military action' as something like a limited strike, for example, rather than war, which would encompass more than a single strike.

It is a poorly worded polling question.

The question should have specifically mentioned war and/or clarified what military action entails.

It should have asked: Do you want to go to war with Iran?

And: Do you support limited strikes (as defined so and so) in Iran.

Maybe even better: What kind of action do you think the US or Trump should take because of the drone: (1) nothing, (2)send troops, (3)limited strike of this type, (4)limited strike of that type, (5) more diplomacy, (6) not sure, etc. That way, you would get a much better picture of what people support rather than a vaguely worded "military action," which can obviously be defined by the hearer in any way (as evidenced by posters below who have decided they know how 'military action' was defined in the pollees' minds).

Posters seem to want to believe oh so much that the question meant all out war, yet I can easily see people interpreting the word, "military action," differently from all out war (troops invading, bombs all around, etc).

It fits with your assumption that Trump supporters are all warmongers, completely disregarding the support he received because of his opposition to foreign adventures. If Trump starts some more wars, his supporters will likely not turn out, and the dem may win.

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dfarrah

travelerxxx's picture

@dfarrah

Well, I'm sure the writers of said poll - like most - probably wished for a certain outcome. But, you're right, the wording pretty much sucked.

In addition to your proposed poll questions, I would make a change. And I submit that this question would garner extreme support if posed to the American public at large. Specifically, rather than choice (1) nothing, I would make it thus:

1) Nothing, and bring all our troops home.

Given the chance to speak, I feel the majority of Americans would like to see what's behind that door. For once.

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snoopydawg's picture

@dfarrah

A 'limited strike" on Iran is definitely an act of war. You drop bombs on a country that hasn't threatened yours and it damn well is considered war. Iran has not threatened this country, but we are definitely threatening Iran and the sanctions on them is are considered a war crime.

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16 users have voted.

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

@snoopydawg

A 'limited strike" on Iran is definitely an act of war. You drop bombs on a country that hasn't threatened yours and it damn well is considered war.

From Iran's perspective there is no difference.

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@gjohnsit a drone.

Would you not consider that to be an act of war?

Further, do you consider attempts to develop nuclear power a potential threat to the US?

Are you fine with Iran gaining nuclear capability?

I really don't care that a drone was destroyed; at this time, I don't consider other countries to be a threat to the US.

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dfarrah

wendy davis's picture

@dfarrah

was over Iran's territorial airspace and waters. that was 'an invasion of sovereign rights'.

increasing nuclear capability to DT's withdrawal from the JCPOA is by way of a threat. so yes, i'm fine with it. when amerika ends the sanctions, iran will stop enriching (if they really are).

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@wendy davis Just like Israel and Palestine with both ends refusing to budge.

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dfarrah

wendy davis's picture

@dfarrah

and now you add I/P to your cauldron? and by the by, why should iran be nuclear free? because the US and israel say so?

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snoopydawg's picture

@dfarrah

The drone that Iran shot down was over its airspace. The fact that it was during the heightened tensions could be considered an act of war by the USA.

Iran has stated many times that it's not interested in building nukes, but because Bibi has said that they are people believe it. But if the Saudis build one then it should be okay for Iran to also. Every country has the right to defend itself from bullies that have been saying that they want to destroy Iran or overthrowing its government like we already did.

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5 users have voted.

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

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

and oil blockades are war crimes, but 'sanctions' sound so mild in comparison to war. thus, in the US congress: sanctions that are literally killing citizens are so much easier to vote for, then say 'no regime change' or what.ev.er.

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@snoopydawg Iran destroying a drone to be an act of war?

As I mentioned above, the notion of military action can encompass any sort of action - limited or broad. The word is vague, and the polling question should have been worded much better to tease out what types of actions are supported.

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dfarrah

snoopydawg's picture

@dfarrah
an act of war, but I do consider sanctions to be one. People are dying from our sanctions in both Iran and Venezuela. Might try reading the article I linked above and see why sanctions are considered that.

Any type of military action is an act of war. How can you not understand that? No country has the right to do any type of military action unless they were threatened first. This is settled law. Funny though isn't it that after the Saudis attacked us we did nothing in response. Same as when Israel attacked the USS Liberty.

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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

@snoopydawg against sanctions.

I just wanted to know what you thought about the other things I asked about.

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dfarrah

Big Al's picture

@dfarrah as explained by Marjorie Cohn in this article. Take the time, and mark the website.

Relative to your other question about "attempts to develop nuclear power a potential threat to the US?', first, it's not nuke power, it's a nuke weapons program resulting in one or more nuke bombs. Secondly, don't you think the US is a threat with it's thousands of nukes and being the only country to ever use nukes, and a country with a nuke weapons first strike policy on the books, is a threat to Iran? And thirdly, what right does such country have to prevent Iran, with force and sanctions, from developing a nuke weapon?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51815.htm

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@Big Al US has way too much military capability. For #3, yes, I've always thought about other countries' ability to defend themselves.

But I have been asking myself lately - what happens if/when other countries can obliterate the US. I was trying to see things from a hawk's viewpoint-and I really don't understand the fear they have over Iran, etc.

Then again, maybe they know something we don't.

Sometimes I wish Einstein had never been born, but someone else would have gotten around to discovering all he did anyway (scientific thought being what it is).

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dfarrah

@dfarrah

one nation's invading the waters or land of another nation without the permission of the government of the invaded nation is casus belli, even without causing damage to people or property.

Are you making some distinction between one military attack and an entire war? If so, then, sure, I agree.

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wendy davis's picture

@HenryAWallace

what CENTCOM, the US say...and what iran says about their territorial waters X miles offshore has a certain irony i wish i could recall. one of the wsws authors reminded readers that it was under a US puppet iranian government (pre-1979 revolution?) that iran had claimed what the nation still claims.

hope you don't mind, but this is sorta what i'd meant about the whole NYT story being by way of a psyop:

dunno about the reuters claim, though.

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@HenryAWallace is now (because I had to try to think) that the word is vague and can mean many different things to different people.

But its getting to where words don't mean what they used to mean anyway, and people are deciding words mean whatever they wish.

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dfarrah

snoopydawg's picture

@dfarrah

But its getting to where words don't mean what they used to mean anyway, and people are deciding words mean whatever they wish.

People are deciding to ignore what a military action actually means. How about this - Iran does a limited military action on the USA but only kills 150 people and destroyed just a few buildings? Think that we wouldn't consider this an act of war?

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4 users have voted.

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

@snoopydawg consider anything an act of war, don't we? Wink

The term, military action, is just too vague.

But I find it hard to get exercised over an unmanned drone, or drones, duking it out.

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dfarrah

wendy davis's picture

@gjohnsit

Q and results. adults are in a separate category? 'if it can be proven that...'? you were on firmer ground with the MSM wants war. same thing this a.m. from andre damon this morning:

"The entire US foreign policy establishment, even if some are prepared to admit that there had been insufficient consideration of the consequences of an attack on Iran, are deeply frustrated by the outcome.

“The Trump administration should respond to these recent attacks with strikes of its own on Iranian and Houthi air-defense assets, offensive missile systems and Revolutionary Guard Corps bases,” wrote Michael G. Vickers, Obama’s undersecretary of defense for intelligence in the Washington Post. He added, “Failure to hit back will only embolden them further.”

Martha Raddatz, hosting ABC’s This Week, pressed the Texas war hawk Representative Mac Thornberry whether “anything less than a military retaliatory strike” would be proportional “after they shot down an $130 million drone in an unprovoked attack?”

no one expected that iran would shoot down that drone, then promise to shoot down more. miscalculation galore.

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis Man, you can get em for 49.99 at Target. Remember the $700 hammers and the $1000 toilet seats?

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

drone cost $200 million, some $180 million, but it was crammed with surveillance technology; so, no...it wasn't a kids' drone, but more akin to a U-2 spy plane on high tech (darpa?) growth hormones.

but as to no one mentioning the illegality and lies about iran: did you mean MSM pundits? i just don't watch the news, but i see some when i log into our MSN email provider in the a.m. too much for me, it is, what they choose to care about...or not. my.stars.

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis I'm talking about almost everyone in the alternative media, the comments on twitter feeds, etc. The conversations are all wrong imo and it points to how ignorant almost everyone is regarding why Iran. For instance, even the progressive hero Gabbard strongly points out that if it wasn't for Trump dropping from the JCPOA, this wouldn't be happening and we wouldn't be very close to war with Iran. She does the same thing with the Iran government as with Venezuela and Maduro, calling them evil dictators or whatever but sticking with her "ve must not do regime changes" mantra. She doesn't and will never say the truth, which is that deal was a backdoor method by the neocons to trap Iran and justify going in for the kill, as documented in 2009 by the Brookings Institute for Warmongers and Imperialists.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

and agree totally. i see all too often: 'she speaks truth to power', tulsi, ilhan omar, ocasio, et.al., but only enough to grab headlines, and not challenge the capitalist Empire alliances (Nato, Africom, for instance.). while their congressional votes and constructs as to 'dictators ruling nations' are an entirely different thing. but then, i hadn't considered those sites alternatives to mainstream media, but i'll try to recalibrate, as i've seen it as well. so thanks for the heads-up, amigo.

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Big Al's picture

American public. Notice no one is talking about how the strike would have been based on lies and illegal, that the U.S. has no right to use military force against Iran whatsoever. Instead it's about how Trump supposedly pulled back, causing the discussion to revolve around him and giving the warhawks the opportunity to pour it on with the public, in turn conditioning the public with the idea that Iran is trouble and needs to be tamed. I see no reason to believe anything reported by the corporate media.

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@Big Al Trump is a wuss, no Trump is a wise man, no this was a deep state coup, no this was planned to show who is in control...
Nothing addresses the military action which would be a war crime.
We really need to drop "military action" from our vernacular. And act of war is a straight up, bona fide, act of war.
I am so glad I cut my cable tv off years ago.

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Big Al's picture

@on the cusp Iran. We're at war with the fucking world. That's what people have got to realize and it's the measurement by which all duopoly politicians, not to mention third party politicians, must be measured by. If they are not fully opposing this insane American oligarchy quest to rule the world, flat out opposing U.S. imperialism, then they are simple appeasers. I can't believe sometimes, considering our activist past, like Mother Jones saying "it's time to put our fighting pants on", that more people aren't going hard line on this. There is no room for compromise now.

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12 users have voted.

@Big Al

nations run by white people. Especially white people running nations without oil or other valuable natural resources (Afghanistan). Not at the moment, anyway.

That noted, I do grok your meaning when you say we are at war with the world. Also, I could not agree more about conditioning. Ever since Iranians overthrew the shah,* the US government and its accomplices have been being conditioned to believe that awful "retaliation" against Iran for something or other--pick a reason--is not only justifiable, but desirable.

And, it seems our mass media is beating the drum again, just as it did for our intentionally oopsie invasion(s) of Iraq under false pretenses a good faith belief in the honesty of a CIA head who reportedly had been directed by the highest echelons of Bushco to find a reason for the US to go to war with Iraq.

*Who did those shah-overthrowing Iranians think they were, anyway? Only the US government has a right to overthrow the shah of Iran! Or, for that matter, the elected ruler of Iran. Or, for that matter, the first elected ruler of Egypt in all of world history, but that's a different story and an exercise in connecting the dots.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

this was from june 19 was conditioning the public to this bombing of iran's nuclear site/s a a fait accomplis, as well. no worries, iran deserves it, no muss no fuss on the radioactivity that would be released:

"The report from Israel, based upon diplomatic sources at the United Nations in New York, was initially produced by Maariv Online and then picked up by the Jerusalem Post.

The “military action would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program,” according to the diplomatic sources. One Western diplomat specified that “The bombing will be massive but will be limited to one target.”

It is striking that this ominous report has been virtually blacked out of the US media. No major newspaper or network or cable news outlet has bothered to inform the American public of an impending action with implications for the lives of millions.

The threat of war was underscored by a pair of statements from China and Russia pointing to the growing danger posed by the US escalation. Beijing warned that Washington’s “practice of extreme pressure” threatened to open a “Pandora’s Box” in the Middle East. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, meanwhile, told reporters in Moscow that the “unending and sustained US attempts to crank up political, psychological, economic and, yes, military pressure on Iran … cannot be assessed as anything but a conscious course to provoke war.”

but i did see some short videos in the twittersphere in which the D political class were noting: 'Oh, just limited strikes? that's okay. for actual war, congress must give approval!' (i'd kinda poked around a bit to see what the gang of 8 or whatever boss Tweet had called into the situation room to discuss 'iran' had to say, but i got bored w/ the project:

"The US administration’s real intentions remain opaque. Trump summoned top congressional leaders to the White House “situation room” late Thursday for a classified briefing on Iran. Those attending included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence and armed services committees.

Such a meeting could well be the prelude to US military action." (from wsws)

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

Pelosi Statement on Aborted Iran Strike, June 21, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the President’s decision to approve and then cancel a military strike on Iran:

“We are in an extremely dangerous and sensitive situation with Iran. We must calibrate a response that de-escalates and advances American interests, and we must be clear as to what those interests are.

“During our meeting with the President at the White House, Congressional Leaders stressed the necessity that we work with our allies and not strengthen the hand of Iran’s hardliners.

Democratic Leaders emphasized that hostilities must not be initiated without the approval of Congress.

“We have no illusions about the dangerous conduct of the Iranian regime. This is a dangerous, high-tension situation that requires a strong, smart and strategic approach.”

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ggersh's picture

@Big Al

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3 users have voted.

trump will be amerika's last president

What if the impeachment of tRumpolini is meant
to destroy the D party, makes sense doesn't it?

elections = tptb excuse for sayin ameriKa is a
democracy

wendy davis's picture

but i've been up since 3:30, and am seriously out of commission by now.

i'll freely admit that i'm lost as to what a lot of the new comments might signify.

good night; thanks for reading, caring.

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Big Al's picture

I still have to register my opposition to the situation of having ONE PERSON, who is elected with less than 25% of the voting public to be president, having the power, as bullshit commander in chief, to decide shit like this. No one talks about that either.

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@Big Al

mind, the POTUS does not have power to decide things like this. Even our entire, overgrown Executive Branch does not have power to decide things like this. Only Congress has the power to authorize the Executive Branch to start wars or to join wars already underway. And for very good reason.

Someone in the Truman, however, decided to rebrand wars in the name of (genuflects while hushing tone) National Security. So, we re-named our Department of War and Secretary of War, created the CIA and began calling our wars things like "Korean Police Action" and "Vietnam Era.) Truman also set a clear precedent for going to war without interrupting Congress's fundraising activities by asking for a war vote. Then again, Truman was also the guy who dropped nuclear bombs on Japan and funded the French occupation of Vietnam when France was on the verge of finally giving it up.

And, of course, Truman was a Democrat.

Oh, well, at least he didn't claim to be bringing democracy to Asia. Truman also acquitted himself well during World War I, or so history has told us. So, we know he was very different from Bush Minor, amirite?

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mimi's picture

Certainly not for the 99 percent of the people, who have no clue what you are talking about with all your great insider knowledge.

However great this essay may be with regards to all its revelations and enlightenment, it makes me sick to read it. You don't respect the average auntie Emma and uncle Joe with an essay that isn't formatted for the average 99 percent of eyes trying to read it.

Can you eventually get used to sometimes at least use blockquotes? I know that JtC had once explained why your essays are formatted the way they are and I needed to accept it and shut up because of it, but really ... nowhere could you format a long essay like you do, ie not at all, if you wrote it for an outlet that would pay you for it.

Ok, sorry, I sound pissed off. I can't help it. I could learn quite a bit from you, if you were interested to teach.

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wendy davis's picture

@mimi

writing for you nor the five who gave you thumbs ups. ; ) why are you so addicted to quote boxes? as far as i know, this is the only site that uses them, and paid journalists sure don't.

i'll explain one more time: i compose at the Café (a wordpress site) where i have my own extensive media files and can import more at will), and i compose in a 2003 microsoft word document application. it allows me to create hyperlinks relatively easily (unless microsoft explorer goes bonkers, which does happen). it also allows different colors for text, and other cool things.

as i cross-post via Easy Copy html, what i write is in blue, text from sites i mark clearly with hyperlinks...is in black text. it used to be the reverse, but as my dementia increases, it's gotten harder and harder for me to translate/rewrite what others have written, thus: i rely on copy/paste more.

i guess i'll have to leave it up to you, mimi. if this format is too hard for learning for you, i dunno what to do for you.

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Syria took the two missile attacks without retaliation. Probably, the action was coordinated with Russia, as both attacks struck nothing useful and the second one took no lives. That's the best situation that Syria could hope for, and Trump walks away looking decisive. Iran is not Syria. They would agree to no such thing and would escalate. The US has lots of assets in the ME. The other way to look at this is that the US has lots of targets in the ME. Iran has lots of very accurate missiles, ground targeting and ship targeting. Was the US ready for retaliation? No way! Iran has thousands of missiles and the US would have to take all of them out in a single strike within a few minutes. The loss of US assets would put Trump in an untenable position. My guess is that the military told Trump that the situation was uncontrollable if he went ahead with the strikes. Given the high probability of uncontrolled escalation, Trump took the more conservative approach. I really don't think that all-out war is his game plan, but he's more than willing to threaten such and use hyperbole.

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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.

Big Al's picture

@The Wizard he was told that weeks ago in detail. Of course, he may not have been listening at that time.

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travelerxxx's picture

@Big Al

... Of course, he may not have been listening at that time.

Very likely.

If there was a mirror present in the room, positioned where Trump could see his reflection, I can guarantee that he wasn't listening.

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wendy davis's picture

@The Wizard

and some of DTs generals know that even these 'limited targets' it would have opened pandora's box. iirc, iran has russian-made anti-missile systems (man-pads?) as well, and they're far more accurate (and cheaper) than US made ones.

but them i'm still not convinced that it had been DT who'd 'ordered the strikes' in the first place.

but my paranoid possibilities about US cyber-com aside, 'They tried hard, but failed’: Iran foiled all US attempts to carry out cyber-attacks', june 24, 2019, RT.com

"Iran successfully prevented US cyber-attacks that targeted its infrastructure, the country’s information minister said after Washington was reported to have crippled Tehran’s missile control sites with a retaliatory cyber-strike.

Minister for Information and Communication Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi appeared to deny reports in the US media that a massive cyber-offensive had disabled Iranian computer systems that control rocket and missile launches on Thursday

Neither the Pentagon nor the White House commented on the reports, which claimed that the strike had been carried out by US Cyber Command in cooperation with US Central Command to avenge the downing of an unmanned US Navy drone by Iran on Thursday morning.

Stopping short of directly addressing rumors that the attack had taken place, Jahromi said that Iran has vast experience of thwarting these kind of assaults, having foiled some “33 million attacks with the [national] firewall, only within the last year.”

He specifically referred to Stuxnet, a computer worm jointly developed by the US and Israel, which was used to infiltrate Iran’s nuclear facility networks in 2009-2010.

The Washington Post reported earlier that the alleged cyber-strike had incapacitated Iran’s military command posts and control systems.

The Trump administration has been pursuing a hawkish cyber-strategy. Signed by Trump last September, the document rolled up many of the constraints that limited the usage of offensive cyber-operations in retaliation against foreign actors."

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WoodsDweller's picture

with absolutely no facts to support it.
Trump doesn't want war with Iran. He's manipulating the oil market.
Go long on oil futures. Push the situation right to the brink of war to raise the price of oil. Sell your position. Go short. Tone down the rhetoric, dangle the possibility of talks. Let the price of oil drop. Sell your position.
Pump and dump. Rinse and repeat.
Pompeo and Bolton aren't using Trump, Trump is using them as props in his pump and dump scheme. One thing Trump is very good at is using people.
The Saudi Aramco IPO is still on, it's supposed to happen in 2020 or 2021, MBS (yes, that guy) is still predicting it will be $2 trillion, others are saying closer to $1.2 trillion.
Trump's first overseas visit was KSA, and he's been in their back pocket ever since. Again without any evidence, I think they promised him a ton of options. Simple bribery. Give the fat fool a tenth of one percent of the take and you've bought yourself a President. KSA and MBS can do no wrong. Whatever they want they get.
And the IPO will be more valuable with a higher price for oil. Let your friends sell as much as they want, but pinch off your enemies.
So pull out of the deal with Iran, impose sanctions, take us to the brink of war, all to drive up the price of oil.
Let the world burn, as long as it makes El Trumpo more money on his options.

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7 users have voted.

The truth is never as interesting as wild speculation.

wendy davis's picture

@WoodsDweller

i love it, sir tin foil. not so much MAGA, but me.me.me.me more moohlah! okay, i won't bring the tolkien one this time, nor the captioned one...

thank you, seriously.brilliant!

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@WoodsDweller one of wall street's favorites. Not tin foil territory at all. Higher oil prices help the frackers as well, maybe it allows them to unwind some potentially very ugly derivative losses and pay down some debt. I like it.

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edg's picture

It's extremely unlikely that Iran has any command and control systems still vulnerable to cyberattack after their experience being hit with the Stuxnet virus. Therefore, any claim by the U.S. that it launched a successful cyberattack against Iran is merely smoke and mirrors, meant to provide cover for Trump's pullback from a missile attack.

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wendy davis's picture

@edg

"Stopping short of directly addressing rumors that the attack had taken place, Jahromi said that Iran has vast experience of thwarting these kind of assaults, having foiled some “33 million attacks with the [national] firewall, only within the last year.”

giggle, snort.

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wendy davis's picture

the jerusalem post on june 19: ' Kremlin says Russia-US-Israel meeting 'very important’; Former Deputy NSC head: meeting is Russian ‘slap’ at Iran.

“This is a very important contact,” Tass quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying. “The sides will have a vital exchange of views on the situation in the region, namely the Middle East settlement, the settlement process in Syria and other issues, which they consider necessary to discuss.”

A day earlier, Netanyahu said the meeting that will begin next Monday between Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, US National Security Adviser John Bolton and his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat, is “very important for the stability of the Middle East during these turbulent times.”

Tass also quoted Patrushev’s spokesman, Yevgeny Anoshin, as saying that “We hope our joint work will yield common practical steps aimed at stabilizing the situation in Syria and the entire Middle East.”

Netanyahu announced the meeting last month just minutes after the Knesset voted to dissolve itself, calling the meeting “unprecedented and historic.”

Eran Lerman, a former deputy head of the National Security Council and now the vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS), agreed with Netanyahu’s characterization. Holding this meeting in Israel is “amazing [and] unbelievable, nothing of the kind has ever happened in our diplomatic history,” he said.

Lerman said that meetings such as these generally happen in places like Geneva, and that it situates Israel “as a significant player in an international event of this type.”

and no, i don't like it one bit. the jpost has a bit up today about who said what, but i'll forgo bringing any of it. but one headline is joe lieberman (remember him) saying that trump needs to hit iran big, and in public. thanks, joe, lovely to see you as always.

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wendy davis's picture

'Iran Goes for “Maximum Counter-Pressure”, pepe escobar, june 29, ahtribune.com

"Soleimani should also state bluntly that Iran may in fact shut down the Strait of Hormuz if the nation is prevented from exporting essential two million barrels of oil a day, mostly to Asia. Exports, which before illegal US sanctions and de facto blockade would normally reach 2.5 million barrels a day, now may be down to only 400,000.

Soleimani’s intervention would align with consistent signs already coming from the IRGC. The Persian Gulf is being described as an imminent “shooting gallery.” Brigadier General Hossein Salami stressed that Iran’s ballistic missiles are capable of hitting “carriers in the sea” with pinpoint precision. The whole northern border of the Persian Gulf, on Iranian territory, is lined up with anti-ship missiles – as I confirmed with IRGC-related sources.

We’ll let you know when it’s closed

Then, it happened.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, went straight to the point; “If the Islamic Republic of Iran were determined to prevent export of oil from the Persian Gulf, that determination would be realized in full and announced in public, in view of the power of the country and its Armed Forces.”

The facts are stark. Tehran simply won’t accept all-out economic war lying down – prevented to export the oil that protects its economic survival. The Strait of Hormuz question has been officially addressed. Now it’s time for the derivatives.

and to woods dweller's point:

The key point is it doesn’t matter how the Strait of Hormuz is blocked.

It could be a false flag. Or it could be because the Iranian government feels it’s going to be attacked and then sinks a cargo ship or two. What matters is the final result; any blocking of the energy flow will lead the price of oil to reach $200 a barrel, $500 or even, according to some Goldman Sachs projections, $1,000.

Another US banking source explains; “The key in the analysis is what is called notional. They are so far out of the money that they are said to mean nothing. But in a crisis the notional can become real. For example, if I buy a call for a million barrels of oil at $300 a barrel, my cost will not be very great as it is thought to be inconceivable that the price will go that high. That is notional. But if the Strait is closed, that can become a stupendous figure.”

there's a lot more of course: it's escobar. ; )

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis was definitely fully capable of closing the Straight and had the political will to do it if necessary. And he was briefed on exactly what Pepe is saying here about the price of oil and the impact on the world economy. Trump being Trump evidently realized there's no way he can go to war with Iran without fucking things up greatly and completely ruining his mojo. He evidently was still convinced to take some action relative to the downing of the $130 million drone but realized that could set off a chain reaction that ultimately would end his life as he knows it, and since he's such a selfish bastard, that sets the course.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

been aware of those possibilities, but many of us did. but then you have the nakashima wapo hubristic rubbish in the OP:

“Our U.S. military has long known that we could sink every IRGC vessel in the strait within 24 hours if necessary. And this is the modern version of what the U.S. Navy has to do to defend itself at sea and keep international shipping lanes free from Iranian disruption.”

but as i've noted, i'm the extreme outlier here: i don't think he did order this 'limited strike' myself, and was too embarrassed to say so. if anyone ordered it, i think it was the terrible troika bombers, or it as all a NYT psyop, as per the tweets i'd embedded.

now when he chooses the time and the place, i don't think he'd hesitate bombing iran's 'nuclear facilities', (with bibi's help) and likely w/ israel's 'low-yield' bunker busters. right now, he seems to be content w/ 'making their economy scream' while he tries to gather international support for that. (chile: kissinger, nixon, and the chicago boys economic team, remember?)

speaking of which, i've mislaid the tweets that noted that bastard kissinger visited the pentagon twice last week.

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis "According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf."

Trump's playing con games and he's losing. And like I said earlier, "if he did order the strike", like you say that's not a sure thing as being reported by the ruling class media and re-broadcast by most of the tainted alternative media.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51814.htm

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

it's in the OP, silly mon. and i'd noted (iirc) that adding the mangier piece kinda contradicted my original thesis.

p.s. on edit: as i was composing this diary, and musing about the words i'd bolded, and others that struck several wrong notes to me, i'd added in, then deleted, repeat: FWIW.

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis Sometimes my Evelyn Woods speed reading skills aren't like they used to be. Well, probably more than sometimes.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

commenters that i'll learn to read one day, as well. so far...not so much. ; )

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wendy davis's picture

the economy and more:
Federico Pieraccini, June 23, 2019, strategic-culture doesn’t pull his punches at the outset:

"Tensions in the Persian Gulf are reaching a point of no return. In recent weeks, six oil tankers have been subjected to Israeli sabotage disguised to look like Iranian attacks to induce the United States to take military action against the Islamic Republic. Some days ago Iran rightfully shot out of the sky a US Drone. In Yemen, the Houthis have finally started responding with cruise and ballistic missiles to the Saudis’ indiscriminate attacks, causing damage to the Saudi international airport of Abha, as well as blocking, through explosive drones, Saudi oil transportation from east to west through one of the largest pipelines in the world.

As if the political and military situation at this time were not tense and complex enough, the two most important power groups in the United States, the Fed and the military-industrial complex, both face problems that threaten to diminish Washington’s status as a world superpower.

The Fed could find itself defending the role of the US dollar as the world reserve currency during any conflict in the Persian Gulf that would see the cost of oil rise to $300 a barrel, threatening trillions of dollars in derivatives and toppling the global economy.

The military-industrial complex would in turn be involved in a war that it would struggle to contain and even win, destroying the United States’ image of invincibility and inflicting a mortal blow on its ability to project power to the four corners of the world.

Just look at how surprised US officials were about Iran’s capabilities to shot down an advanced US Drone:

“Iran’s ability to target and destroy the high-altitude American drone, which was developed to evade the very surface-to-air missiles used to bring it down, surprised some Defense Department officials, who interpreted it as a show of how difficult Tehran can make things for the United States as it deploys more troops and steps up surveillance in the region.”

huge snip re: the Fed...

"Trump is in danger of being crushed between a Fed that sees the US dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency collapse, and the need for the Fed to blame someone not linked to the real causes of the collapse, that is to say, the monetary policies adopted through QE to prolong the post-crisis economic agony of 2008.

At the same time, with Trump as president, the neocon-Israeli-Saudi supporters see a unique opportunity to strike Iran, a desire that has remained unchanged for 40 years.

As foolish as it may seem, a war on Iran could be the perfect option that satisfies all power groups in the United States. The hawks would finally have their war against Tehran, the world economy would sink, and the blame would fall entirely on Trump. The Donald, as a result, would lose any chance of being re-elected so it makes sense for him to call off possible strikes as he did after the US drone was shot out of the sky.

While unable to live up to his electoral promises, Trump seems to be aware that the path laid out for him in the event of an attack on Iran would lead to his political destruction and probably to a conflict that is militarily unsustainable for the US and especially its Saudi and Israeli allies. It would also be the catalyst for the collapse of the world economy.

In trying to pressure Iran into new negotiations, Trump runs the risk of putting too much pressure on Tehran and giving too much of a free hand to the provocations of Pompeo and Bolton that could end up triggering a war in the Strait of Hormuz.

Putin and Xi Jinping prepare for the worst

and lengthy quotes from putin and the Hua Chun Ying of china on amerika's quest for both economic and hegemonic command and control.

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