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Old 17th June 2019, 04:53 PM   #241
theprestige
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
As much as I hate Trump and think war with Iran is a horrible idea, I find some of the conspiracy mongering in this thread by alleged rational thinkers to be pretty bad.

Point is who is attacking the tankers in the gulf, and why?
Russia, via Iran, to scare Europe into pressuring America to give up its opposition to Iranian nuclear ambitions, in support of Russia's dreams of global hegemony.
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Old 17th June 2019, 04:55 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
You also have the question the Iranian Government control over the Revolutionary Guards is often shaky; something like the Civilian Japanese Government's relatations with the Japanese Army in the 1930's. The Japanese Army did what it damn well wanted despite what the government wanted.
Which raises the question, both with Japan and Iran, of whether it makes sense to deal with the nominal government, instead of confronting and defeating the actual power in the region.

Why cut a deal with the Iranian "government" if it's the RG that's running the show, and they never actually come to the negotiating table?
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Old 17th June 2019, 05:26 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Russia, via Iran, to scare Europe into pressuring America to give up its opposition to Iranian nuclear ambitions, in support of Russia's dreams of global hegemony.
Nice Conspiracy Theory, amost as good as the "Trump is behind the attacks" one that is being strongly hinted at here.
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Old 17th June 2019, 06:18 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Nice Conspiracy Theory, amost as good as the "Trump is behind the attacks" one that is being strongly hinted at here.
The only thing needed to pull it off is a criminal mastermind more competent than Donald Trump.
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Old 17th June 2019, 09:25 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by Lambchops View Post
Lol, imagine thinking this was done by Iran.
Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
LOL. Imagine thinking the US would try to start a war on false pretences!
It's the best punchline these days. Someone on our side suspects an Iranian false flag, they respond by calling it our false flag. The media wins, especially RT and Sputnik.

Last edited by Venom; 17th June 2019 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 17th June 2019, 10:10 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Russia, via Iran, to scare Europe into pressuring America to give up its opposition to Iranian nuclear ambitions, in support of Russia's dreams of global hegemony.
Quite plausible.

Of course, Russia is interfering in the Middle East far less than the current administration, so Russia/Irans efforts could also be seen as an attempt to start restoring normalcy.
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Old 17th June 2019, 10:29 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
As much as I hate Trump and think war with Iran is a horrible idea, I find some of the conspiracy mongering in this thread by alleged rational thinkers to be pretty bad.
Point is who is attacking the tankers in the gulf, and why?
The most likely scenario is the simplest: Iran, as a retalliation for the economic sanctions. Verdict: likely.

The second most likely scenario is the second simplest: Saudi Arabia, in order to manufacture international consent for war with Iran. Verdict: possible.

All others are deep in loonytown.

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Old 17th June 2019, 10:36 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
That doesn't withstand even elementary scrutiny. Why would Trump go to war over something where nobody got killed and the property damage wasn't even to US property, when he hasn't gone to war over revelations that Iran killed about 600 US service members in Iraq?
Next year is election year and without a war to, heh, trump up his numbers, Trump will lose and possibly face a jumpsuit that will match his skin tone. He, or at least his closest advisors, know the current score sees him struggling in Texas of all places - and that's without the looming recession he caused.

How do you deal with that? Easy: pick a fight. Anyone will do, but it's best to use someone who deserves it.

Trump has the motive to lie about this war. That doesn't mean the Iran isn't just fully cooperating in the matter, because their own agenda (fundamentally no different to the one Trump has) demands it. The sanctions have crippled Iranian economy, if they back down from the nuclear program now it will be all for nothing and they will be facing an angry mob before long.

How do you deal with that? Just as easy: pick a fight, any fight, with someone willing, prefferably stronger than you, and use that as a pretext to clamp down the opposition. Tell the people they're attacked and denounce anyone who disagrees as unpatriotic and putting the country and the people in danger. Hope the other side isn't stupid enough to go all in.

The kicker of course is in this case the hope may not be justified.

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Old 17th June 2019, 10:50 PM   #249
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
The most likely scenario is the simplest: Iran, as a retalliation for the economic sanctions. Verdict: likely.

The second most likely scenario is the second simplest: Saudi Arabia, in order to manufacture international consent for war with Iran. Verdict: possible.

All others are deep in loonytown.

McHrozni
I agree with this, but I would put Israel as number 3. I do not think that the US is an active participant if this is a false flag operation. My concern is that US intelligence is likely coming from Saudi and Israel who are not neutral in this instance and will emphasise Iran's involvement. Both would regard themselves as being in active conflict with Iranian proxies. Both would like more active US actions against Iran. Both would have the capability to run a false flag operation.

Whilst I think one should not rule out alternatives sometimes the obvious solution is the correct one and that is that this is been done by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards maybe without explicit knowledge or approval of the Iranian government.
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Old 17th June 2019, 10:52 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Next year is election year and without a war to, heh, trump up his numbers, Trump will lose and possibly face a jumpsuit that will match his skin tone. He, or at least his closest advisors, know the current score sees him struggling in Texas of all places - and that's without the looming recession he caused.

How do you deal with that? Easy: pick a fight. Anyone will do, but it's best to use someone who deserves it.

Trump has the motive to lie about this war. That doesn't mean the Iran isn't just fully cooperating in the matter, because their own agenda (fundamentally no different to the one Trump has) demands it. The sanctions have crippled Iranian economy, if they back down from the nuclear program now it will be all for nothing and they will be facing an angry mob before long.

How do you deal with that? Just as easy: pick a fight, any fight, with someone willing, prefferably stronger than you, and use that as a pretext to clamp down the opposition. Tell the people they're attacked and denounce anyone who disagrees as unpatriotic and putting the country and the people in danger. Hope the other side isn't stupid enough to go all in.

The kicker of course is in this case the hope may not be justified.

McHrozni
That narrative is no doubt already being held onto by some Trump opponents and the usual anti-US/Chomskyite/anti-intervention types, but I feel uncomfortable sticking to any controlled narrative that will invariably resist revision.
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Old 17th June 2019, 11:37 PM   #251
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
The most likely scenario is the simplest: Iran, as a retalliation for the economic sanctions. Verdict: likely.

The second most likely scenario is the second simplest: Saudi Arabia, in order to manufacture international consent for war with Iran. Verdict: possible.

All others are deep in loonytown.

McHrozni
Pretty much my view, including the relative likelihoods.
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Old 17th June 2019, 11:38 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
I agree with this, but I would put Israel as number 3. I do not think that the US is an active participant if this is a false flag operation. My concern is that US intelligence is likely coming from Saudi and Israel who are not neutral in this instance and will emphasise Iran's involvement. Both would regard themselves as being in active conflict with Iranian proxies. Both would like more active US actions against Iran. Both would have the capability to run a false flag operation.
Israel alone is deep in loonytown too. Israel has ample motive as you noted, but it could only carry out something like this if it recieved cooperation from Saudi Arabia.

This is not outrageous, Saudi Arabia and Israel cooperate on a whole host of issues, but it's not the kind of operation that would require Israeli commandos either. Saudis have sufficient capabilities to plant a few mines on tankers moored offshore in their backyard, they don't need Israeli help to do it. Involving Israel has a host of issues to contend with, the first of which is how to keep it a secret. I'm sure Saudis would do it if it was necessary, such as a surgical strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. They'd provide refueling and everything else to the Israelis for such an operation, but this? Nah. Saudis can pull it off themselves, involving Israel creates a needless and unacceptable risk of detection.

Quote:
Whilst I think one should not rule out alternatives sometimes the obvious solution is the correct one and that is that this is been done by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards maybe without explicit knowledge or approval of the Iranian government.
Yup. The straight shot is by far the most likely. They have the motive too, damage to Saudi oil exports and ample precendens exists for Iran to attack and threaten attacks against oil shipments.

Furthermore, the incident is a few days old now and there has been no imminent attack on Iran as retalliation. Every day, every minute that passes from the attacks makes a Saudi (with or without help) attack less likely. The only reason why Saudis would be doing it is to manufacture a cause to attack Iran, as the last straw before they launch strikes. Too much time has passed already for the tanker bombings to be an effective casus belli. Trump is sending another 1000 troops to Saudi Arabia as a response to the attacks. If the attacks were to be used as a reason to attack Iran, a hundred times as many would have to be deployed months before the attacks.

Ergo, it was Iran, perhaps a rogue element of Revolutionary Guard a you note. If it was anyone else we'd be seeing the attacks used as pretext to attack Iran by now. It's a pity so many people are blind to the obvious.

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Old 17th June 2019, 11:43 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
That narrative is no doubt already being held onto by some Trump opponents and the usual anti-US/Chomskyite/anti-intervention types, but I feel uncomfortable sticking to any controlled narrative that will invariably resist revision.
In this particular case I think both narratives are correct. Iranian mules need the conflict going to justify the ongoing hardship to their people and Trump needs the conflict to hopefully rally votes and keep him out of an orange jumpsuit. It's a symbiotic relationship, until the first blood is drawn anyway. They better hurry too, if the conflict gets stale neither will get what they want.

I just hope the war won't be enough reelect Trump. Or that Iran blinking won't give Trump the major international victory he could use to same effect. Either way, the humanity loses.

Depressing, eh?

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Old 18th June 2019, 04:32 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Israel alone is deep in loonytown too. Israel has ample motive as you noted, but it could only carry out something like this if it recieved cooperation from Saudi Arabia.

McHrozni
I am not a military expert, but Israel could have a submarine with combat divers on board able to do this within reach. I am not sure why they would require Saudi co-operation. A 'civilian' merchant vessel in the Arabian Sea could easily act as a tender.
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Old 18th June 2019, 04:37 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I just hope the war won't be enough reelect Trump. Or that Iran blinking won't give Trump the major international victory he could use to same effect.
McHrozni
This sounds like you're playing for a better draft pick.

You would give up a victory in Iran, so Trump doesn't look good.

Is that what I'm reading?

I'll give you a chance to clarify.
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Old 18th June 2019, 04:44 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Russia, via Iran, to scare Europe into pressuring America to give up its opposition to Iranian nuclear ambitions, in support of Russia's dreams of global hegemony.
That sounds unlikely to occur, and thus an odd move, under that premise.
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Old 18th June 2019, 04:58 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Whilst I think one should not rule out alternatives sometimes the obvious solution is the correct one and that is that this is been done by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards maybe without explicit knowledge or approval of the Iranian government.
To what end, though?
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Old 18th June 2019, 05:04 AM   #258
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If I was a betting person, I would say that it is a last ditch effort by Iran, to try to scare the world into pressuring the US to relax sanctions.
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Old 18th June 2019, 05:05 AM   #259
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
If I was a betting person, I would say that it is a last ditch effort by Iran, to try to scare the world into pressuring the US to relax sanctions.
And how would that work?
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Old 18th June 2019, 05:07 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
And how would that work?
It didn't.


But, in the minds of the Iranians, here is how it would have worked;

Mullah: What can we do to show the world we can still shut down the straits and show them that America is going to ruin the world economy.

General: We will destroy two tankers in the straits, we have been preparing for this.

Mullah: Can it be done?

General: Of Course

Mullah: OK Do it

General: Umm, it didn't work

Mullah: OK lets make it sound like America did it to start a war <hangs general>
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Old 18th June 2019, 05:15 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
It didn't.


But, in the minds of the Iranians, here is how it would have worked;
If they wanted to show the world what they could do, why deny that they did it?

Sorry, I don't get it.
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Old 18th June 2019, 05:15 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
If they wanted to show the world what they could do, why deny that they did it?

Sorry, I don't get it.
Because it didn't work.
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Old 18th June 2019, 05:16 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
Because it didn't work.
Because what didn't work? How didn't it work?

Stop speaking in parables.
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Old 18th June 2019, 05:22 AM   #264
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They didn't blow up two tankers in the straits.
Causing the entire world to be worried about economic strife caused by supply interruption. Those countries beg the US to ease sanctions.
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Old 18th June 2019, 05:49 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
If I was a betting person, I would say that it is a last ditch effort by Iran, to try to scare the world into pressuring the US to relax sanctions.
last ditch?

as you said yourself: they haven't caused any serious harm to ships or crew - yet. They could make things much worse.

Iran has massive room to escalate, but the US has nothing left in its quiver except military intervention.
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Old 18th June 2019, 06:12 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
They didn't blow up two tankers in the straits.
Causing the entire world to be worried about economic strife caused by supply interruption. Those countries beg the US to ease sanctions.
You're still not answering my question. Had they sunk the tankers, then what? They claim responsibility?
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Old 18th June 2019, 06:53 AM   #267
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
last ditch?

as you said yourself: they haven't caused any serious harm to ships or crew - yet. They could make things much worse.

Iran has massive room to escalate, but the US has nothing left in its quiver except military intervention.
US has massive sanctions to use as a bargaining chip.

You want to act like terrorists, you get no relief. You want to sit at the big boy table, then you might get some relief.
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Old 18th June 2019, 07:17 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
US has massive sanctions to use as a bargaining chip.

You want to act like terrorists, you get no relief. You want to sit at the big boy table, then you might get some relief.
The US used all its sanctions options. And then some.
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Old 18th June 2019, 08:05 AM   #269
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The leverage is in the easing of sanctions.

You do this, we give you back this.
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Old 18th June 2019, 08:17 AM   #270
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Considering the US had a deal with Iran that they then unilaterally reneged on, I'm not sure how much faith Iran is likely to have in any deal. Never mind that Trump seems in no hurry to actually negotiate anything.
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Old 18th June 2019, 09:04 AM   #271
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
The leverage is in the easing of sanctions.

You do this, we give you back this.
yes, that would be the right move.

But it's not what Trump, Bolton and Pompeo think is the right move: they think that they have to punish Iran until it comes begging, giving up everything the US wants in return for a return to normalcy.
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Old 18th June 2019, 09:26 AM   #272
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
yes, that would be the right move.

But it's not what Trump, Bolton and Pompeo think is the right move: they think that they have to punish Iran until it comes begging, giving up everything the US wants in return for a return to normalcy.
Exactly, you have to remember Trump threw out the last deal and isn't exactly a skilled negotiator, he prefers to push and push until they walk away or give him what he wants. In nations this is called losing a war and and unconditional surrender.

Why on earth would Iran think Trump could negotiate in good faith? He just does not have it in him.
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Old 18th June 2019, 10:13 AM   #273
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Considering the US had a deal with Iran that they then unilaterally reneged on, I'm not sure how much faith Iran is likely to have in any deal. Never mind that Trump seems in no hurry to actually negotiate anything.
Iran would have known from the outset that the deals negotiated by one US president are not binding on his successors. The US goes through "regime change" every 4-8 years, basically. Unless the first regime's deal is passed into law, the second regime must be dealt with all over again, on their own terms.

Obama may have promised, but without Congress he couldn't guarantee. I doubt Iran was foolish enough to imagine such a guarantee where none existed.

Much more likely that they saw the lack of action from Congress, assumed the next administration would likely be less tractable, and were already preparing this contingency plan in case Hillary somehow didn't win.
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Old 18th June 2019, 10:44 AM   #274
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Iran would have known from the outset that the deals negotiated by one US president are not binding on his successors.
Exactly the US simply can not be expected to honor any agreement in the future, and so no one should expect it to do so. They are not a trustworthy negotiating partner and really not trustworthy at all. It is impossible for the US to negotiate in good faith, that is a founding principle of america, see the worthless treaties the natives foolishly thought were worth the paper they were printed on.

No nation should be foolish enough to bother negotiating with America. It is a pointless worthless exorcise negotiating with people who will never honor any commitment.
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Old 18th June 2019, 11:54 AM   #275
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Exactly the US simply can not be expected to honor any agreement in the future
Do you know the difference between an agreement and a treaty?

No, you probably don't.
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Old 18th June 2019, 11:57 AM   #276
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Considering the US had a deal with Iran
Obama had a deal with Iran. Congress never gave it their backing. I'm not sure why you categorize that as having a deal with the US.
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Old 18th June 2019, 12:18 PM   #277
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Do you know the difference between an agreement and a treaty?

No, you probably don't.
neither does Trump.

any you might not know the point of either.
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Old 18th June 2019, 12:25 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Exactly the US simply can not be expected to honor any agreement in the future, and so no one should expect it to do so. They are not a trustworthy negotiating partner and really not trustworthy at all. It is impossible for the US to negotiate in good faith, that is a founding principle of america, see the worthless treaties the natives foolishly thought were worth the paper they were printed on.

No nation should be foolish enough to bother negotiating with America. It is a pointless worthless exorcise negotiating with people who will never honor any commitment.
What if I told you no nation state, not even Iran, is a trustworthy negotiating partner?

- Morpheus, probably

---

Anyway, if Congress had ratified Obama's agreement in law, future presidents would be a lot more constrained in how they could deal with Iran.

Your problem is not that America is untrustworthy, but that you fantasized that an un-ratified deal by one president would somehow be magically binding on all future presidents.

Obama had the same problem, likely because he assumed Hillary would win, and it would be easier for her just to continue the same unratified deal, than try to get Congress to actually lock it in as a trustworthy agreement.

I doubt Iran was stupid enough to indulge in the same fantasies, though.

---

But I'm curious: What would your advice have been to the Iranians in 2015? Would you have counseled Iran that it was a done deal, that they could rely on in perpetuity?

Or would you have warned them that US participation was entirely up to the good will of each successive president, and that they should not expect it to last for more than one or two administrations at most?
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Old 18th June 2019, 12:32 PM   #279
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People leaning towards Libertarianism should understand the importance of being perceived as a reliable partner in negotiations.
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Old 18th June 2019, 12:45 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
But I'm curious: What would your advice have been to the Iranians in 2015? Would you have counseled Iran that it was a done deal, that they could rely on in perpetuity?

Or would you have warned them that US participation was entirely up to the good will of each successive president, and that they should not expect it to last for more than one or two administrations at most?
More to the point: why would he want Trump to be able to bind future presidents to international agreements that Congress never approved of? The Senate was given the power to ratify treaties for a reason.
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