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Tags Iran incidents , Qasem Soleimani , Trump controversies , US-Iran relations

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Old 5th January 2020, 10:45 AM   #521
Squeegee Beckenheim
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This thread contains numerous quotes from the Iraqi prime minister to the Iraqi parliament about the assassination. Very much worth reading if you want the Iraqi perspective, although it's all pretty much what you'd expect.
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Old 5th January 2020, 10:56 AM   #522
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One concept I see among some of the posts in this thread is the idea that somehow the Iranians will be intimidated from a retaliation by the threat of further US escalation. Would we in the reverse situation? Would other countries? There is a great deal of pride and patriotism involved. And that is just based on secular emotions, whereas there are particularly strong religious feelings in Iran that will drive support for revenge and will view further USA attacks as an opportunity for martyrdom and strengthening their position as a leader in Islamic resistance against the infidels.

In addition those in the Iranian government need to show how tough and committed they are to retain power in competition with other factions. Ignoring the USA attack would undermine their positions.

Last edited by Giordano; 5th January 2020 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 5th January 2020, 10:57 AM   #523
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
I'm guessing this was not part of Trump's plan.

As I stated earlier, I feel very poorly informed about all this, but this action by the Iraqi parliament does seem to suggest that this airstrike was a very bad idea. I sort of had this image of this general as someone who was causing all sorts of trouble in Iraq, and that the leaders of Iraq would consider it good riddance.

Apparently not.
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Old 5th January 2020, 11:03 AM   #524
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"Divert" their attention.
Not sure your point here. Did I mis-spell or use the word wrong? I don’t see it yet but thank you if this was a correction.
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Old 5th January 2020, 11:09 AM   #525
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Not sure your point here. Did I mis-spell or use the word wrong? I don’t see it yet but thank you if this was a correction.
Sorry. I wasn't being quite fair to you. What I was trying to get at was that Iran has been a belligerent player in the region for years. Longer than ISIS has been around. I take it for granted that the Pentagon was able to look at ISIS without losing track of Iran, and that an escalation with Iran will not distract them overmuch from the problem of the Islamic State.
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Old 5th January 2020, 11:13 AM   #526
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
Gulf of Tonkin is the only thing that comes to mind, and one or two examples hardly makes something "traditional". In the alternative facts world there might be more, though.
Actually, the Gulf of Tonkin incident wasn't a "false flag" attack either, unless one wishes to stretch the term to the point of meaninglessness. It was a case of the NSA taking advantage of ghost radar images to advance their agenda in Vietnam.
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Old 5th January 2020, 11:14 AM   #527
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
One concept I see among some of the posts in this thread is the idea that somehow the Iranians will be intimidated from a retaliation by the threat of further US escalation. Would we in the reverse situation? Would other countries? There is a great deal of pride and patriotism involved. And that is just based on secular emotions, whereas there are particularly strong religious feelings in Iran that will drive support for revenge and will view further USA attacks as an opportunity for martyrdom and strengthening their position as a leader in Islamic resistance against the infidels.
No, we would not be intimidated in a similar situation, because we have the strongest military in the world.

Duh.

This hostile act will certainly make a whole lot of people very angry, and some of them may very well carry out plots to kill Americans because they are so mad. However, the government of Iran will not openly attack any American target, because they can't win, and they know it.

That tweet Trump sent out about 2 trillion dollars of military hardware that might be coming Iran's way identifies him as the childish bully that he is. However, when the childish bully also happens to be the biggest kid on the playground, the little kids tend to keep their mouths shut, no matter how much they resent it.

On the other hand, the little kids do look for people who can help them put the bully in his place. i.e. they call the teacher, or they try and find some older kid to take their side and stand up to the bully, or in extreme cases they all band together and gang up on the bully together. If Iran can do it, they will seek help from someone who does have the ability to hit back at America in some way. That might mean dragging Russia or China into things, or it might mean rounding up diplomatic support for anti-American initiatives. This could turn out very badly for the US in terms of standing in the world. I really don't know.

So much depends on how genuinely knowledgable people view this attack. I had never heard of this guy myself. Trump and company want to paint him as a terrorist leader who coordinated attacks on Americans and others, and who was generally a Very Bad Man. If that's true, then the international response will be a sort of tepid protest that Trump didn't play by the rules. If that's not true, then there will be genuine protests, and demands that US troops get out of other places, or invitations to Russian and Chinese military to take up positions in places where we would prefer they not be.

Based on the actions of the Iraqi parliament, it seems like the latter might be the case.
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Old 5th January 2020, 11:19 AM   #528
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
One concept I see among some of the posts in this thread is the idea that somehow the Iranians will be intimidated from a retaliation by the threat of further US escalation. Would we in the reverse situation? Would other countries? There is a great deal of pride and patriotism involved. And that is just based on secular emotions, whereas there are particularly strong religious feelings in Iran that will drive support for revenge and will view further USA attacks as an opportunity for martyrdom and strengthening their position as a leader in Islamic resistance against the infidels.

In addition those in the Iranian government need to show how tough and committed they are to retain power in competition with other factions. Ignoring the USA attack would undermine their positions.
The highlighted is what actually matters. Men in their position cannot be made to look ridiculous.
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Old 5th January 2020, 11:27 AM   #529
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Sorry. I wasn't being quite fair to you. What I was trying to get at was that Iran has been a belligerent player in the region for years. Longer than ISIS has been around. I take it for granted that the Pentagon was able to look at ISIS without losing track of Iran, and that an escalation with Iran will not distract them overmuch from the problem of the Islamic State.
This article indicates otherwise, although I suspect you will choose to consider this as not an “overmuch” distraction:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/05/u...gtype=Homepage

I recognize that you characterize this in binary terms of if we are simply continuing a war or no war with Iran. I think it is clear that “war” represents a broad spectrum of levels with very different commitments of resources, casualties, etc. Escalations have dramatic impacts and cannot be casually dismissed as “well we’ve always been at war, this changes nothing.”
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Old 5th January 2020, 11:29 AM   #530
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
No, we would not be intimidated in a similar situation, because we have the strongest military in the world.

Duh.

This hostile act will certainly make a whole lot of people very angry, and some of them may very well carry out plots to kill Americans because they are so mad. However, the government of Iran will not openly attack any American target, because they can't win, and they know it.

That tweet Trump sent out about 2 trillion dollars of military hardware that might be coming Iran's way identifies him as the childish bully that he is. However, when the childish bully also happens to be the biggest kid on the playground, the little kids tend to keep their mouths shut, no matter how much they resent it.

On the other hand, the little kids do look for people who can help them put the bully in his place. i.e. they call the teacher, or they try and find some older kid to take their side and stand up to the bully, or in extreme cases they all band together and gang up on the bully together. If Iran can do it, they will seek help from someone who does have the ability to hit back at America in some way. That might mean dragging Russia or China into things, or it might mean rounding up diplomatic support for anti-American initiatives. This could turn out very badly for the US in terms of standing in the world. I really don't know.

So much depends on how genuinely knowledgable people view this attack. I had never heard of this guy myself. Trump and company want to paint him as a terrorist leader who coordinated attacks on Americans and others, and who was generally a Very Bad Man. If that's true, then the international response will be a sort of tepid protest that Trump didn't play by the rules. If that's not true, then there will be genuine protests, and demands that US troops get out of other places, or invitations to Russian and Chinese military to take up positions in places where we would prefer they not be.

Based on the actions of the Iraqi parliament, it seems like the latter might be the case.
I wonder if Putin urged Trump to do this as a clever way to strengthen Russia’s position.
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Old 5th January 2020, 11:37 AM   #531
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Iraqi MPs back call to expel US troops

Quote:
Iraqi MPs have passed a non-binding resolution calling for foreign troops to leave, after the US killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad airport last week.

Some 5,000 US soldiers are in Iraq as part of the international coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group.

The coalition paused operations against IS in Iraq just before Sunday's vote.

In another development, Iran announced it was removing all limits on its enrichment of uranium.

The move further distanced Tehran from an agreement struck with the US and other world powers in 2015 aimed at preventing it developing nuclear weapons.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-50998065
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Old 5th January 2020, 11:47 AM   #532
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
One concept I see among some of the posts in this thread is the idea that somehow the Iranians will be intimidated from a retaliation by the threat of further US escalation. Would we in the reverse situation? Would other countries? There is a great deal of pride and patriotism involved. And that is just based on secular emotions, whereas there are particularly strong religious feelings in Iran that will drive support for revenge and will view further USA attacks as an opportunity for martyrdom and strengthening their position as a leader in Islamic resistance against the infidels.

In addition those in the Iranian government need to show how tough and committed they are to retain power in competition with other factions. Ignoring the USA attack would undermine their positions.
One problem I have is that people seem to think that Tehran has some sort of sophisticated command and control that evades US interception such that within hours they can summon thousands of people into the streets of Baghdad. That they can direct the actions of small independent paramilitary forces all over the middle east.


I worry some Shia fanatic unknown to anyone will strap on a suicide vest or just leap into a truck and mow down some US citizens, and given the hype Trump will insist on a response.

CIA funded paramilitary groups commit war crimes / terrorist atrocities in Afghanistan does anyone believe that each killing by these people is authorised by the Whitehouse? Yet somehow every action by anyone against the US in the middle east is somehow directed by Tehran.

https://www.thebureauinvestigates.co...nit-atrocities
https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/10/3...-strike-forces
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Old 5th January 2020, 11:49 AM   #533
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
One concept I see among some of the posts in this thread is the idea that somehow the Iranians will be intimidated from a retaliation by the threat of further US escalation. Would we in the reverse situation? Would other countries? There is a great deal of pride and patriotism involved. And that is just based on secular emotions, whereas there are particularly strong religious feelings in Iran that will drive support for revenge and will view further USA attacks as an opportunity for martyrdom and strengthening their position as a leader in Islamic resistance against the infidels.

In addition those in the Iranian government need to show how tough and committed they are to retain power in competition with other factions. Ignoring the USA attack would undermine their positions.
Iran currently has a fair bit of friction between the more conservative religious establishment and the more secular liberal part of the population.

I remember after the 9-11 attacks, reading a thing by a sociologist who pointed out that under times of attack (real or perceived) people fall back onto "older, more conservative" belief patterns. So, chances are any direct attack by the U.S. against Iran will only strengthen the mullah's grip on power.

I doubt Iran will stage direct attacks against the U.S. anyway. They've got far too many proxies, they can make it dangerous to ally with the U.S. They can hit Iraqi politicians who still support the U.S. presence, they can support the Houthi who fight the U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, they can get Hezbollah and Hamas to fire missiles at U.S. ally Israel, they can support militia who fight the U.S. backed government in Afghanistan. They can hurt our prestige and our friends without laying a finger on us.

Then, if we do respond, we look like the bully for hitting the kid who never laid a finger on us.


ETA:
Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Yet somehow every action by anyone against the US in the middle east is somehow directed by Tehran.
Not every action, no. But Iran has always been pretty open about working with Hezbollah, with supporting the government of Syria, with supporting the Houthi in Yemen, with commanding the Shia militia in Iraq. They openly assign officers to train with Hezbollah, which often operated under Iranian officers in the Syrian civil war. None of this is secret at all. After all, that's why this guy was in Iraq in the first place, publicly attending the funeral of people killed in the previous U.S. air raid, coordinating with the militia there as he has done in public since ISIS overran half the country.

Last edited by crescent; 5th January 2020 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 5th January 2020, 11:57 AM   #534
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
One problem I have is that people seem to think that Tehran has some sort of sophisticated command and control that evades US interception such that within hours they can summon thousands of people into the streets of Baghdad. That they can direct the actions of small independent paramilitary forces all over the middle east.


I worry some Shia fanatic unknown to anyone will strap on a suicide vest or just leap into a truck and mow down some US citizens, and given the hype Trump will insist on a response.

CIA funded paramilitary groups commit war crimes / terrorist atrocities in Afghanistan does anyone believe that each killing by these people is authorised by the Whitehouse? Yet somehow every action by anyone against the US in the middle east is somehow directed by Tehran.

https://www.thebureauinvestigates.co...nit-atrocities
https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/10/3...-strike-forces
I wonder what can the USA do if there is a sudden dramatic increase in individuals driving trucks into crowds in USA and other Western cities? Or gun and knife attacks. Attacks by small indigenous terrorist groups on USA interests in various locations. A trainee or liaison officer attacking American military in a training program. Are we going to retaliate against Iran?
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Old 5th January 2020, 12:36 PM   #535
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
...
I worry some Shia fanatic unknown to anyone will strap on a suicide vest or just leap into a truck and mow down some US citizens, and given the hype Trump will insist on a response. ...
Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I wonder what can the USA do if there is a sudden dramatic increase in individuals driving trucks into crowds in USA and other Western cities? Or gun and knife attacks. Attacks by small indigenous terrorist groups on USA interests in various locations. A trainee or liaison officer attacking American military in a training program. Are we going to retaliate against Iran?
This is where my biggest concern is. We can't protect against numerous individuals who are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to make a point (or themselves martyrs.)
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Old 5th January 2020, 12:42 PM   #536
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
This is where my biggest concern is. We can't protect against numerous individuals who are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to make a point (or themselves martyrs.)
Sure we can. Such individuals don't materialize out of the void. They come from somewhere. Trump's travel ban in Iranians is something we've already done to protect ourselves against this possibility. This isn't foolproof (no defense is), but it's far from nothing.
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Old 5th January 2020, 12:45 PM   #537
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Marco Rubio Tweets

@marcorubio

#Iraq is reconsidering its relationship with the U.S.?
A relationship in which we give them $2 billion a year & they privately beg us to stay & help them fight #ISIS & counter-balance #Iran. But they get to publicly condemn us for protecting our troops?
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Old 5th January 2020, 12:49 PM   #538
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I wonder what can the USA do if there is a sudden dramatic increase in individuals driving trucks into crowds in USA and other Western cities? Or gun and knife attacks. Attacks by small indigenous terrorist groups on USA interests in various locations. A trainee or liaison officer attacking American military in a training program. Are we going to retaliate against Iran?
This right here is exactly how the terrorists win.

You've decided that it's better to just let Iran perpetrate evil in the world, and extend the grasp of its militant theocracy over more innocent people, because you're afraid of what they might do to you if you try to fight back.

Do you ever wish the shoe were on the other foot? Do you ever think that it would be better if they were afraid of what you might do to them, if they keep fighting?
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Old 5th January 2020, 12:54 PM   #539
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I'm guessing this was not part of Trump's plan.

As I stated earlier, I feel very poorly informed about all this, but this action by the Iraqi parliament does seem to suggest that this airstrike was a very bad idea. I sort of had this image of this general as someone who was causing all sorts of trouble in Iraq, and that the leaders of Iraq would consider it good riddance.

Apparently not.
Iraqi citizens were killed in the strike. No matter what they thought about the guy, you just can't accept that.

Imagine the reverse, that some foreign nation killed one of their enemies on American soil, with American citizens as collateral damage.

How would the US have reacted to that?
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:04 PM   #540
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Sure we can. Such individuals don't materialize out of the void. They come from somewhere. Trump's travel ban in Iranians is something we've already done to protect ourselves against this possibility. This isn't foolproof (no defense is), but it's far from nothing.
Too bad most terrorists in the west are funded by Saudi Arabian millionaires.
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:08 PM   #541
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I wonder what can the USA do if there is a sudden dramatic increase in individuals driving trucks into crowds in USA and other Western cities? Or gun and knife attacks. Attacks by small indigenous terrorist groups on USA interests in various locations. A trainee or liaison officer attacking American military in a training program. Are we going to retaliate against Iran?
1. They'll take it as evidence Iran was out to get us all along and that it's bigly good the US attacked prematurely, otherwise the attacks would have been worse.

2. butbutbut Benghazi!

3. a combination of 1, 2, and loud disruptive noises.
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:14 PM   #542
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Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
Iraqi citizens were killed in the strike. No matter what they thought about the guy, you just can't accept that.
Of course you can. There's a whole body of international law that covers the acceptability of civilian casualties in the pursuit of military objectives.

You can't *always* accept it, but you can sometimes accept it depending on the circumstances.

Whether or not I can accept it depends on whether I agree with the assessment of military value and proportional risk of collateral damage. Which I do.

Whether or not you accept it depends on your own principles and reasoning. Instead of telling the rest of us what we can and cannot "just accept", why don't you tell us your reasons for not accepting it?

Do you not accept the risk of civilian deaths at all, in any military operation no matter how justified?

Do you not accept this particular risk in this case? If so, what is it about this case that you find unacceptable? How does it differ from cases where you would accept this kind of risk?

Have you not really given it much thought at all, and just sort of assumed it was unacceptable without ever having examined it properly?
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:15 PM   #543
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I'm guessing this was not part of Trump's plan.

As I stated earlier, I feel very poorly informed about all this, but this action by the Iraqi parliament does seem to suggest that this airstrike was a very bad idea. I sort of had this image of this general as someone who was causing all sorts of trouble in Iraq, and that the leaders of Iraq would consider it good riddance.

Apparently not.
Well I think of it like our relationship to Ukraine with respect to Russia.

separatists move about fairly freely between the two countries, supported by the enemy. If we were to recklessly strike an enemy commander on allied soil, our hosts won't like it, and I wouldn't blame them.
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:15 PM   #544
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
This right here is exactly how the terrorists win.

You've decided that it's better to just let Iran perpetrate evil in the world, and extend the grasp of its militant theocracy over more innocent people, because you're afraid of what they might do to you if you try to fight back.

Do you ever wish the shoe were on the other foot? Do you ever think that it would be better if they were afraid of what you might do to them, if they keep fighting?
You appear to have mistakingly quoted my post, in which I wondered what the US might do, with someone else’s post, which apparently advocated doing nothing. No problem! An easy error to make.
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:15 PM   #545
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
This thread contains numerous quotes from the Iraqi prime minister to the Iraqi parliament about the assassination. Very much worth reading if you want the Iraqi perspective, although it's all pretty much what you'd expect.
Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I'm guessing this was not part of Trump's plan.

As I stated earlier, I feel very poorly informed about all this, but this action by the Iraqi parliament does seem to suggest that this airstrike was a very bad idea. I sort of had this image of this general as someone who was causing all sorts of trouble in Iraq, and that the leaders of Iraq would consider it good riddance.

Apparently not.
Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
Iraqi citizens were killed in the strike. No matter what they thought about the guy, you just can't accept that.

Imagine the reverse, that some foreign nation killed one of their enemies on American soil, with American citizens as collateral damage.

How would the US have reacted to that?
Not just a foreign national, but one who was working to train the equivalent of the national guard, and who was scheduled to meet with the prime minister later that same day. Not to mention their own militia commander.

From the twitter feed Squeegee linked to:

Quote:
“Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandus played a major role in controlling the PMU forces and put them under the control of the state” Iraqi PM said.
Quote:
“I was supposed to meet Soleimani at the morning the day he was killed, he came to deliver me a message from Iran responding to the message we delivered from Saudi to Iran” Iraqi PM said.
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:17 PM   #546
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Iran currently has a fair bit of friction between the more conservative religious establishment and the more secular liberal part of the population.

I remember after the 9-11 attacks, reading a thing by a sociologist who pointed out that under times of attack (real or perceived) people fall back onto "older, more conservative" belief patterns. So, chances are any direct attack by the U.S. against Iran will only strengthen the mullah's grip on power.

I doubt Iran will stage direct attacks against the U.S. anyway. They've got far too many proxies, they can make it dangerous to ally with the U.S. They can hit Iraqi politicians who still support the U.S. presence, they can support the Houthi who fight the U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, they can get Hezbollah and Hamas to fire missiles at U.S. ally Israel, they can support militia who fight the U.S. backed government in Afghanistan. They can hurt our prestige and our friends without laying a finger on us.

Then, if we do respond, we look like the bully for hitting the kid who never laid a finger on us.


ETA:

Not every action, no. But Iran has always been pretty open about working with Hezbollah, with supporting the government of Syria, with supporting the Houthi in Yemen, with commanding the Shia militia in Iraq. They openly assign officers to train with Hezbollah, which often operated under Iranian officers in the Syrian civil war. None of this is secret at all. After all, that's why this guy was in Iraq in the first place, publicly attending the funeral of people killed in the previous U.S. air raid, coordinating with the militia there as he has done in public since ISIS overran half the country.
The US has lesion officers with many armed forces. Are they responsible for the actions of those forces? As in the links above are the US responsible for the terrorism perpetrated by CIA funded paramilitaries? Since the US has liaison officers with the Iraqis why is Iran blamed for action by Iraqi army paramilitaries rather than the US?

From the PoV of many brown people from a Muslim heritage like myself the only difference seems to be killing white people is terrorism killing brown people is collateral damage, retaliation, prevention all weasel words for what is frankly terrorism, killing as many brown people as is needed to cow them into submission.
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:17 PM   #547
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
You appear to have mistakingly quoted my post, in which I wondered what the US might do, with someone else’s post, which apparently advocated doing nothing. No problem! An easy error to make.
I assumed your post was a rhetorical device, arguing against resisting Iran's aggression for fear of more Iranian aggression.

I apologize for the assumption. Let me start over by asking you if you are against resisting Iranian aggression, and if so, why?
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:31 PM   #548
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Since the US has liaison officers with the Iraqis why is Iran blamed for action by Iraqi army paramilitaries rather than the US?
In this case, Iraq seems to have a bifurcated military.

They have the regular, conventional military which is armed and trained by the U.S.

They also have the militia, which started out fighting the U.S. and Iraqi government before going dormant for a time. They were then composed of the Badr Organization and the Mahdi Army (now known as the Peace Companies). They reactivated when ISIS came on the scene. Badr was founded in 1982 in Iran and only became active in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam. Mahdi/Peace Companies were founded by Muqtada al-Sadr - they are less closely tied to Iran than Badr is, but still intensely hostile to the U.S. presence in Iraq.

The militia are trained and supported by Iran. Iran gets blamed for the Iraqi paramilitaries because it supplies, supports, and sometimes commands them. These paramilitaries are Shia, and are pretty intensely hostile to the U.S. presence in Iraq.

Last edited by crescent; 5th January 2020 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:31 PM   #549
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I assumed your post was a rhetorical device, arguing against resisting Iran's aggression for fear of more Iranian aggression.

I apologize for the assumption. Let me start over by asking you if you are against resisting Iranian aggression, and if so, why?
Of course. In doing so I favor being clever and avoiding falling into traps such as those that led to the political disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan. Use of superior military force, even achieving conventional military victories, can nonetheless result in the US being worse off than before.
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:32 PM   #550
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I'm guessing this was not part of Trump's plan.

As I stated earlier, I feel very poorly informed about all this, but this action by the Iraqi parliament does seem to suggest that this airstrike was a very bad idea. I sort of had this image of this general as someone who was causing all sorts of trouble in Iraq, and that the leaders of Iraq would consider it good riddance.

Apparently not.
Maybe this is all just a ploy to bring the troops home ? (Would break John Bolton’s heart but maybe...)
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:41 PM   #551
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Marco Rubio Tweets

@marcorubio

#Iraq is reconsidering its relationship with the U.S.?
A relationship in which we give them $2 billion a year & they privately beg us to stay & help them fight #ISIS & counter-balance #Iran. But they get to publicly condemn us for protecting our troops?
It seems to me this is the kind of economic leverage they could have used to make Iraq do something about unwanted Iranian influence before blowing people up at the airport which is not a good look.
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:54 PM   #552
Mader Levap
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'd like to see more attacks like this, actually. The US has vastly more capacity for escalation than Iran does. If they do decide to launch major "retaliation" during the Trump administration, it could very well end them as a force in the region.
You seem to be cool with idea of yet another pointless war draining lives, resources and reputation of your country. Try to deny that open war with Iran will end like Iraq (only even worse), I could use good laugh.

You also are sufficiently brazen to simultaneously pretend this is business as usual and nothing changed.

You can't have both, though I imagine you know that well. This kind of claim (that nothing actually changed) is just empty rhetoric and damage control, not to mention bald-faced lie.
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:58 PM   #553
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Whether or not I can accept it depends on whether I agree with the assessment of military value and proportional risk of collateral damage. Which I do.
The people who live with and speak the same language as the collateral damage seem to have a different opinion.



If you are quibbling about a blanket "never" when it comes to the acceptability of civilian casualties, I am sure darned near everyone would agree with you. Yes. Sometimes civilian casualties are inevitable and tolerable. However, they are always bad, and they will never be just brushed away as insignificant.

What I think has happened an awful lot in Iraq and Afghanistan is that US commanders have shown a much higher tolerance for civilian casualties than the local residents are comfortable with.

When you have to bury the collateral damage yourself, it seems like a much bigger deal.
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Old 5th January 2020, 02:01 PM   #554
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
...On the other hand, the little kids do look for people who can help them put the bully in his place. i.e. they call the teacher, or they try and find some older kid to take their side and stand up to the bully, or in extreme cases they all band together and gang up on the bully together. If Iran can do it, they will seek help from someone who does have the ability to hit back at America in some way. That might mean dragging Russia or China into things, or it might mean rounding up diplomatic support for anti-American initiatives. This could turn out very badly for the US in terms of standing in the world. I really don't know...
Nah, probably just more mines on oil tankers.
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Old 5th January 2020, 02:09 PM   #555
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Some minor points of clarification:

The parliamentary vote to expel U.S. forces was non-binding. Strongly worded and forceful, to be sure, but at the end of the day it's a "statement" on a piece of paper.

Significant portions of the Sunni and Kurdish blocs boycotted the session.

On second thought, that second one actually might not be a minor point...

Last edited by Delphic Oracle; 5th January 2020 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 5th January 2020, 02:25 PM   #556
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Some minor points of clarification:

The parliamentary vote to expel U.S. forces was non-binding. Strongly worded and forceful, to be sure, but at the end of the day it's a "statement" on a piece of paper.

Significant portions of the Sunni and Kurdish blocs boycotted the session.

On second thought, that second one actually might not be a minor point...
Ok. One thing I found aggravating is the stories I read about it didn't mention the vote tallies, or give any analysis. i.e. they didn't say, "By a vote of 102-69, the Iraqi parliament voted....." and they certainly didn't say "But a lot of people didn't show up to vote". I did read that it was "non-binding".

Those details are pretty darned important to anyone who actually wants to understand what happened.
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Old 5th January 2020, 02:29 PM   #557
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The people who live with and speak the same language as the collateral damage seem to have a different opinion.



If you are quibbling about a blanket "never" when it comes to the acceptability of civilian casualties, I am sure darned near everyone would agree with you. Yes. Sometimes civilian casualties are inevitable and tolerable. However, they are always bad, and they will never be just brushed away as insignificant.

What I think has happened an awful lot in Iraq and Afghanistan is that US commanders have shown a much higher tolerance for civilian casualties than the local residents are comfortable with.

When you have to bury the collateral damage yourself, it seems like a much bigger deal.
When you have to bury the people. The non combatants. The babies and children. The elderly. People just innocently going about their lives. The kind of deaths that would outrage and be tearfully mourned if they were our own. What a ******** dehumanising lie the expression “collateral damage” is.

Last edited by Sideroxylon; 5th January 2020 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 5th January 2020, 02:44 PM   #558
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The people who live with and speak the same language as the collateral damage seem to have a different opinion.
Some of them do, sure. Somebody always does.

Sometimes it's emotional. There's a rational justification for accepting the risk, but they're not in a position to consider it right now.

Sometimes it's political, or rhetorical. There's a rational justification, but it's politically advantageous to pretend there isn't, and sell the idea that there isn't.

Sometimes it's ignorance. There's a rational justification, but they've never actually thought about risk and risk assessment in warfare.

Sometimes it's ideological. There's a certain brand of doctrinaire pacifist that keeps mum about aggression, but is outraged by the response.

And sometimes it's grounded in considered principles and the reasoning from them.

Now, I'm aware of my principles, and of my reasoning, and purely as a matter of military reward versus risk of collateral damage, this was a justifiable attack. I'd be interested to see reasoning from the same principles to a different conclusion.

I'm aware of diplomatic/political objections to this particular attack at this place and time, but they don't really affect my reasoning about the basic value of the attack and the justification for accepting the risks of attacking at that place and time. Right?

"We understand that this attack was military valuable and the collateral damage was well within the norms and standards of international law, but we're still pissed off that you did it in our country this way, and there's gonna be some diplomatic consequences for you as a result."

That's totally understandable, to me. It also seems entirely plausible, as a failure mode of Trumpian military policy: The Pentagon provides options that are militarily sound but diplomatically problematic. Then Trump chooses the most effective military option and screw the diplomatic fallout. Which is well within his authority to do.

We can debate the military value of the attack. We can debate the diplomatic wisdom of the attack. What I'm hoping to do is decouple the one from the other. What I'm not interested in is fielding diplomatic objections as if they were objections to the underlying military propriety of the attack.
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Old 5th January 2020, 02:44 PM   #559
Lukraak_Sisser
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Some minor points of clarification:

The parliamentary vote to expel U.S. forces was non-binding. Strongly worded and forceful, to be sure, but at the end of the day it's a "statement" on a piece of paper.

Significant portions of the Sunni and Kurdish blocs boycotted the session.

On second thought, that second one actually might not be a minor point...
Would that be the Kurds that Trump dumped and left to the mercy of Erdogan a few months back?

Yeah, I'm sure they would be happy to help the US now.
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Old 5th January 2020, 03:01 PM   #560
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I bet if Putin met with Trump in private again he could get him to back off of Iran. Just a feeling.

Atlantic Council

Quote:
Indeed, how to respond to the US killing of Soleimani poses a serious challenge to Moscow. On the one hand, it raises the opportunity to solidify its relationship with Tehran. On the other hand, Moscow does not really want to see (much less get involved in) a major conflict between the US and Iran which—despite however much its ends up hurting the US—raises the possibility of gravely weakening the Iranian regime and reducing its ability to support the Assad regime in Syria (which Moscow does not want to have to undertake on its own). Further, Moscow does not want to damage the good relations it has built up with Washington’s anti-Iranian allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE by increasing Russian military support for their arch enemy, Iran. This would threaten Putin’s two decade-long effort to cultivate good relations with them.
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