What a war with Iran would be …


Mr. President, I believe that the Iranians will fight us with everything they have if we go to war with them.

  • You have several thousand soldiers in Iraq and Syria.  These countries have large proxy forces of Iran's allies in the form of Shia militias in Iraq and actual Iranian Quds Force troops in Syria.  These forces will be used to attack and kill our soldiers.
  • The Iranians have significant numbers of ballistic missiles which they have already said will be used against our forces
  • The US Navy has many ships in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea.  The Iranian Navy and the IRGC Navy will attack our naval vessels until the Iranian forces are utterly destroyed.  In that process the US Navy will loose men and ships.
  • In direct air attacks on Iran we are bound to lose aircraft and air crew.
  • The IRGC and its Quds Force will carry out terrorist attacks across the world.

Do you really want to be a one term president?

Pompeo can talk big now and then go back to Kansas to run for senator. 

Where will you be able to take refuge? 

Don't let the neocons like Pompeo sell you on war.

Make the intelligence people show you the evidence in detail.  Make your own judgments.  pl

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159 Responses to What a war with Iran would be …

  1. jonst says:

    I’m curious Col, pushing you, I know, forgive me. But what if…..granted, big if, but what if it was proven to YOUR satisfaction this was Iran’s doing. And they then did it again. What would you suggest? With all due respect. That is the question on my mind. Those same vulnerable troops you rightly are concerned about are still going to be there after a second strike.
    But for one strike…I say put the plants back together and move on. But it’s the theoretical next one I wonder about.
    Just for the record….my option would be to get the hell out of the ME…and let the chips fall where they may. We don’t understand the territory. We have our oil. I wish everyone best of luck.

  2. Vegetius says:

    Whatever else he knows, Trump knows that he can’t sell a war to the American people.

  3. turcopolier says:

    We have been so thoroughly indoctrinated with the idea that Iran and Russia are intrinsically and immutable evil and hostile that the thought of actual two sided diplomacy does not occur. IMO neither of these countries are what we collectively think them. So, we could actually give it a try rather than trying to beggar them and destroy their economies. If all fails than we have to be prepared to defend our forces. DOL

  4. Larry Kart says:

    There are times — many times — when my gratitude to Col. Lang know no bounds. This is one of them. And thinking of the thread right below this one, among others, I want to add TTG to the list.

  5. Matt says:

    I agree with your reply 100%
    Iranophobia goes back to 1979,
    Russophobia goes back to at least 1917 if not further, especially in the UK,
    Sinophobia for the US reaches back to the mid to late 1800’s
    these phobias are so entrenched now they’re a huge obstacle to overcome,
    Mark Twain: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
    William Casey: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”

  6. confusedponderer says:

    re “Trump knows that he can’t sell a war to the American people
    Are you sure? I am not.
    Reflection, self criticism or self restraint are not exactly the big strengths of Trump. He prefers solo acts (Emergency! Emergency!) and dislikes advice (especially if longer than 4 pages) and the advice of the sort “You’re sure? If you do that the the shit will fly in your face in an hour, Sir“.
    A good number of the so called grownups who gave such advice were (gameshow style) fired, sometimes by twitter.
    Trump can order attacks and I don’t expect much protest from Mark Esper and it depends on the military (which likely will obey).
    These so called grownups have been replaced by (then still) happy Bolton (likely, even after being fired, still war happy) and applauders like Pompeo and his buddy Esper.
    Israel could, if politically just a tad more insane, bomb Iran and thus invite the inevitable retaliation. When that happens they’ll cry for US aid, weapons and money because they alone ~~~
    (a) cannot defeat Iran (short of going nuclear) and …
    (b) Holocaust! We want weapons and money from Germany, too! …
    (c) they know that …
    (d) which does not lead in any way to Netanyahu showing signgs of self restraint or reason.
    Netanyahu just – it is (tight) election time – announced, in his sldedge hammer style subtlety, that (he) Israel will annect the palestinian west jordan territory, making the Plaestines an object in his election campaign.
    IMO that idea is simply insane and invites more “troubles”. But then, I didn’t hear anything like, say, Trump gvt protests against that (and why expect that from the dudes who moved the US embassy to Jerusalem).

  7. Yeah, Right says:

    I’m curious why you have excluded the Iranian army from your calculations.
    That’s half a million men at arms.
    Surely the Iranians can find some use for them, especially as CENTCOM has…. nothing like 500,000 ground troops in theatre.

  8. Paco says:

    I hope your president reads your blog.

  9. Christian Chuba says:

    The ‘ivestigations are a formality. The Saudis (with U.S. backing) are already saying that the missiles were Iranian made and according to them, this proves that Iran fired them. The Saudis are using the more judicious phrase ‘behind the attack’ but Pompeo is running with the fired from Iran narrative.
    How can we tell the difference between an actual Iranian manufactured missile vs one that was manufactured in Yemen based on Iranian designs? We only have a few pictures Iranian missiles unlike us, the Iranians don’t toss them all over the place so we don’t have any physical pieces to compare them to.
    Perhaps honest investigators could make a determination but even if they do exist they will keep quiet while the bible thumping Pompeo brays and shamelessly lies as he is prone to do.

  10. Nuff Sed says:

    1. I am still waiting to read some informed discussion concerning the *accuracy* of the projectiles hitting their targets with uncanny precision from hundreds of miles away. What does this say about the achievement of those pesky Eye-rainians?https://www.moonofalabama.org/images9/saudihit2.jpg
    2. “The US Navy has many ships in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea. The Iranian Navy and the IRGC Navy will attack our naval vessels until the Iranian forces are utterly destroyed.: Ahem, Which forces are utterly destroyed? With respect colonel, you are not thinking straight. An army with supersonic land to sea missiles that are highly accurate will make minced meat of any fool’s ship that dare attack it. The lesson of the last few months is that Iran is deadly serious about its position that if they cannot sell their oil, no one else will be able to either. And if the likes of the relatively broadminded colonel have not yet learned that lesson, then this can only mean that the escalation ladder will continue to be climbed, rung by rung. Next rung: deep sea port of Yanbu, or, less likely, Ra’s Tanura. That’s when the price of oil will really go through the roof and the Chinese (and possibly one or two of the Europoodles) will start crying Uncle Scam. Nuff Sed.

  11. confusedponderer says:

    as for Trump and Netanyahu … policy debate … I had that here in mind, which pretty speaks for itself. And I thought Trumo is just running for office in the US. Alas, it is a Netanyaho campaign poster from the current election:
    As a thank you to Trump calling the Israel ocupied Golan a part of Israel Netanyahu called an (iirc also illegal) new Golan settlement “Ramat Trump”
    I generously assume that things like that only happen because of the hard and hardly work of Kushner on his somewhat elusive but of course GIGANTIC and INCREDIBLE Middle East peace plan.
    Kushner is probably getting hard and hardly supported by Ivanka who just said that she inherited her moral compass from her father. Well … congatulations … I assume.

  12. turcopolier says:

    nuff Sed
    It sounds like you are getting a little “help” with this. You statement about the result of a naval confrontation in the Gulf reflects the 19th Century conception that “ships can’t fight forts.” that has been many times exploded. You have never seen the amount of firepower that would be unleashed on Iran from the air and sea. Would the US take casualties? Yes, but you will be destroyed.

  13. Nuff Sed says:

    3. Also, I can’t imagine this event as being a very welcome one for Israeli military observers, the significance of which is not lost on them, unlike their US counterparts. If Yemen/ Iran can put the Abqaiq processing plant out of commission for a few weeks, then obviusly Hezbollah can do the same for the giant petrochemical complex at Haifa, as well as Dimona, and the control tower at Ben Gurion Airport.
    These are the kinds of issues which are germane: the game has changed. What are the implications?

  14. turcopolier says:

    nuff sed
    I have said repeatedly that Hizbullah can destroy Israel. Nothing about that has changed.

  15. turcopolier says:

    Yeah, right
    It was late at night when I wrote this. Yeah, Right. the Iranians could send their massive ground force into Syria where it would be chewed up by US and Israeli air. Alternatively they could invade Saudi arabia.

  16. Nuff Sed says:

    We will have to agree to disagree. But unless I am quite mistaken, the majority view if not the consensus of informed up to date opinion holds that the surest sign that the US is getting ready to attack Iran is that it is withdrawing all of its naval power out of the Persian Gulf, where they would be sitting ducks.
    Besides, I don’t think it will ever come to that. Not to repeat myself, but taking out either deep sea ports of Ra’s Tanura and/ or Yanbu (on the Red Sea side) will render Saudi oil exports null and void for the next six months. The havoc that will play with the price of oil and consequently on oil futures and derivatives will be enough for any president and army to have to worry about. But if the US would still be foolhardy enough to continue to want to wage war (i.e. continue its strangulation of Iran, which it has been doing more or less for the past 40 years), then the Yemeni siege would be broken and there would be a two-pronged attack from the south and the north, whereby al-Qatif, the Shi’a region of Saudi Arabia where all the oil and gas is located, will be liberated from their barbaric treatment at the hands of the takfiri Saudi scum, which of course is completely enabled and only made possible by the War Criminal Uncle Sam.
    Go ahead, make my day: roll the dice.

  17. Stueeeeeeee says:

    I disagree. Trump maybe the only person who could sell a war with Iran. What he has cultivated is a rabid base that consists of sycophants on one extreme end and desperate nationalists on the other. His base must stick with him…who else do they have?
    The Left is indifferent to another war. Further depleting the quality stock of our military will aid there agenda of international integration. A weaker US military will force us to collaborate with the world community and not lead it is their thinking.
    The rest of the nation will follow.

  18. Yeah, Right says:

    Thank you for the reply but actually I was thinking that an invasion of Afghanistan would be the more sensible ploy.
    To my mind if the Iranian Army sits on its backside then the USAF and IAF will ignore it to roam the length and breadth of Iran destroying whatever ground targets are on their long-planned target-list.
    Or that Iranian Army can launch itself into Afghanistan, at which point all of the USA plans for a methodical aerial pummelling of Iran’s infrastructure goes out the window as the USAF scrambles to save the American forces in Afghanistan from being overrun.
    Isn’t that correct?
    So what incentive is there for that Iranian Army to sit around doing nothing?
    Iran will do what the USAF isn’t expecting it to do, if for no other reason that it upsets the USA’s own game-plan.

  19. johnf says:

    There seems to be a bit of a hiatus in proceedings – not in these columns but on the ground in the ME.
    Everyone seems to be waiting for something.
    Could this “something” be the decisive word fron our commander in chief Binyamin Netanyahu?
    The thing is he has just pretty much lost an election. Likud might form part of the next government of Israel but most likely not with him at its head.
    Does anyone have any ideas on what the future policy of Israel is likely to be under Gantz or whoever? Will it be the same, worse or better?

  20. turcopolier says:

    Yeah Right
    The correct US move would be to ignore an Iranian invasion of Afghanistan and continue leaving the place. The Iranian Shia can then fight the Sunni jihadi tribesmen.

  21. turcopolier says:

    A flaw in your otherwise sound argument is that the US military has not been seriously engaged for several years and has been reconstituting itself with the money Trump has given them.

  22. turcopolier says:

    Nuff Sed
    Re-positioning of forces does not indicate that a presidential decision for war has been made. The navy will not want to fight you in the narrow, shallow waters of the Gulf.

  23. Yeah, Right says:

    Oh, I completely agree that if the Iranians launch an invasion of Afghanistan then the only sensible strategy would be for the US troops to pack up and get out as fast as possible.
    But that is “cut and run”, which many in Washington would view as a humiliation.
    Do you really see the beltway warriors agreeing to that?

  24. Lars says:

    I would think that Mr. Trump would have a hard time sell a war with Iran over an attack on Saudi Arabia. The good question about how would that war end will soon be raised and I doubt there are many good answers.
    The US should have gotten out of that part of the world a long time ago, just as they should have paid more attention to the warnings in President Eisenhower’s farewell address.

  25. CK says:

    Forts are stationary.
    Nothing I have read implies that Iran has a lot of investment in stationary forts.
    Millennium Challenge 2002, only the game cannot be restarted once the enemy does not behave as one hopes. Unlike in scripted war simulations, Opfor can win.
    I remember the amount of devastation that was unleashed on another “backwards nation” Linebackers 1 – 20, battleship salvos chemical defoliants, the Phoenix program, napalm for dessert.
    And not to put to fine a point on it, but that benighted nation was oriental; Iran is a Caucasian nation full of Caucasian type peoples.
    Nothing about this situation is of any benefit to the USA.
    We do not need Saudi oil, we do not need Israel to come to the defense of the USA here in North America, we do not need to stick our dick into the hornet’s nest and then wonder why they sting and it hurts. How many times does Dumb have to win?

  26. turcopolier says:

    The point was about shore based firepower, not forts. don’t be so literal.

  27. turcopolier says:

    We would crush Iran at some cost to ourselves but the political cost to the anti-globalist coalition would catastrophic. BTW Trump’s “base” isn’t big enough to elect him so he cannot afford to alienate independents.

  28. prawnik says:

    Even if Rouhani and the Iranian Parliament personally designed, assembled, targeted and launched the missiles (scarier sounding version of “drones”), then they should be congratulated, for the Saudi tyrant deserves every bad thing that he gets.

  29. CK says:

    The Perfumed Fops in the DOD restarted Millennium Challenge 2002,because Gen Van Riper had used 19th and early 20th century tactics and shore based firepower to sink the Blue Teams carrier forces. There was a script, Van Riper did some adlibbing. Does the US DOD think that Iran will follow the US script? In a unipolar world maybe the USA could enforce a script, that world was severely wounded in 1975, took a sucking chest wound during operation Cakewalk in 2003 and died in Syria in 2015. Too many poles too many powers not enough diplomacy. It will not end well.

  30. prawnik says:

    If it were proven beyond any doubt that Iran were responsible, then we should send Iran a message of thanks and gratitude, and maybe also a nice card and some flowers and chocolates.

  31. PRC90 says:

    These kinds of munition will leave hundreds of bits scattered all over their targets. I’m waiting for the press conference with the best bits laid out on the tables.
    I doubt that there will be any stencils saying ‘Product of Iran’, unless the paint smells fresh.

  32. prawnik says:

    Need I trot out Goering’s statement regarding selling a war once more?
    Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
    Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
    Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

  33. turcopolier says:

    prawnik (Sid) in this particular situation goering’s glittering generalization does not apply. Trump needs a lot of doubting suburbanites to win and a war will not incline them to vote for him.

  34. Bill Wade says:

    Looks like President Trump is walking it back, tweet: I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!

  35. scott s. says:

    AFAIK the only “US naval power” currently is the Abraham Lincoln CSG and I haven’t seen any public info that it was in the Persian Gulf. Aside from the actual straits, I’m not sure of your “sitting ducks” assertion. First they wouldn’t be sitting, and second you have the problem of a large volume of grey shipping that would complicate the targeting problem. Of course with a reduced time-of-flight, that also reduces target position uncertainty.

  36. PRC90 says:

    I doubt there will be armed conflict of any kind.
    Everything Trump does from now (including sacking the Bolton millstone) will be directed at winning 2020, and that will not be aided by entering into some inconclusive low intensity attrition war.
    Iran, on the other hand, will be doing everything it can to increase the chance of a Democrat administration, bearing in mind the great deal they got from the last one and the lack of anything they can expect from Trump Term Two.
    This may be a useful tool for determining their next move, but the limit of their actions would be when some Democrats begin making the electorally damaging mistake of critising Trump for not retaliating against Iranian provocations.

  37. Eric Newhill says:

    Here are some alleged bits from the attack; said to be an Iranian cruise missile.

  38. d74 says:

    I don’t want war with anyone, neither Iran nor USA, God is my witness.
    However, to implore the President, head of the army, by saying that in the event of war with a country determined to defend itself, the armed forces will be badly hurt seems to me weak…
    If combat actions are necessary – and in Iran, they are not – then losses are to be expected and will be justified by the goal to be achieved, victory.
    During my military service, I learned that my Platoon’s mission justified the losses. And these losses would be good and close mates. At the country level, things are no different.
    Here, the questions are political. Diplomatic action is the only way. The range is wide without resorting to war.
    As the Colonel says above, a new war in this region, which has been so severely affected for 30 years, would have negative and lasting consequences. Iran is not worth it.


    This is a dated document by authors who do not know Iran; excepting Bruce Riedel and Suzanne Maloney.
    The fundamental flaw in this document is the absence of the most important option: “Strategic Settlement with Iran”.

  40. Jack says:

    Senator Hawley on the Iran/Saudi tensions: “We shouldn’t attack anyone on behalf of Saudi Arabia for Saudi Arabia’s interests”
    Why would the US government even consider attacking Iran even if there’s definitive proof that the attack on Saudi oil facilities originated in Iran? Isn’t that a problem for the Saudis, Chinese and Europeans who import Saudi oil?


    No one in Iran wants Afghanistan or her people; just like US & Mexico.
    Nor anyone in Iran is keen on sharing the oil-income with the people of Afghanistan.

  42. jonst says:

    pure ignorance squared.

  43. jonst says:

    ships can’t fight forts? You ever heard of the Mississippi River? And the American Civil War?

  44. jonst says:

    I do not believe they can destroy Israel…and survive themselves. This should not be read to imply I support Israel. Or don’t support them, for that matter. I have repeatedly noted I would get us out of the ME and what happens there happens. We can live with it.

  45. jonst says:

    It looks to me like he is ‘strenthing’….by staring down Graham. will it last? His present position I mean. Who knows? We are in a very fluid time…as well as a slippery slope. And so is Iran.

  46. jonst says:

    Indyk, Pollack, O’Hanlon…I would not give you spit for their opinions except as a guide to do the opposite. Ridel is different.

  47. David Solomon says:

    They should do so. We will then owe them a debt of gratitude.

  48. It doesn’t matter how fast Don/MBS can run, Iran and the Houthi can ramp up faster.

  49. b says:

    Points missing in the above are the roles Russia and China would play in such a conflict.
    The cost for the U.S. of a war on Iran would be tremendous.
    Russia would deliver whatever Iran needs for the war over a secure Caspian Sea. China would pay for whatever Iran needs. (It just granted Iran a large line of credit). Turkey would probably also help Iran.
    The world economy would slump due to high oil prices after the mining of the Strait of Hormuz.
    European ‘allies’ would have no interest in taking part in the the war (the Brits may have to).
    Geopolitical such a war would end after many years with a large loss of U.S. standing in the world.

  50. Fred says:

    If Obama had lived up to his campaign rhetoric we would have. I’m sure the next Democrat will do better.

  51. The Beaver says:

    If it is a fake missile ( like the “Qiam” ballistic missile provided by Pentagon and which Nimrata dressed “in her boots are made for walking” at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington on Dec. 14, 2017) it will say “product of Iran”. However anything made in Iran will have “Product of the Islamic Republic of Iran ”

  52. Mark Logan says:

    It appears to me this attack has raised the question of if the Saudi oil fields and refineries can be effectively defended. Hopefully that will give MBS pause before crying for US vengeance. Aside from sanctions, of course.
    MBS should consider what exactly he expects to accomplish in Yemen, but that would be wishing for much.

  53. FkDahl says:

    Don’t you mean littoral?
    (sorry could not help it)
    For the record it’s about a 1000km or 12 h drive per Google Maps from the Iranian border to Riyadh. Can a light motorized force infiltrate fast enough not to be hit by US air power ? I doubt the Saudi’s have order-control loop agile enough to deal with such raiders. Does the US have enough air assets that are close enough, yet not in areas where bases are under missile attack to put a meaningful number of fighter bombers in the air ?

  54. Are you sure? I am not
    Some glimpses of hope and, surprisingly, maturity, even if forced, from DJT.

    WASHINGTON – As President Donald Trump ponders retaliation on Iran, he and a close Republican ally had a spat over the supposed “weakness” of the last U.S. confrontation with Tehran.Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Twitter that Trump’s decision to call off a military strike on Iran for taking out a U.S. drone in June may have emboldened the Iranians to attack an oil facility in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. “The measured response by President @realDonaldTrump regarding theshooting down of an American drone was clearly seen by the Iranianregime as a sign of weakness,” Graham said in a series of tweets. Trump, while on a fundraising trip to California, quickly snapped back: “No Lindsey, it was a sign of strength that some people just don’t understand!”


  55. turcopolier says:

    Graham is a strange man.

  56. turcopolier says:

    Four lane highway all the way once you get to Kuwait. the Iranians can try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. US forces are configured for expeditionary work and can be re-positioned with a fairly short time (days or weeks). we can cope with difficult conditions.

  57. turcopolier says:

    Who said anything about surviving themselves? The Israelis would kill most of the Hizbullah soldiers involved but Israel itself would be dead or dying with its cities and civilian population so mangled that the Jews would leave the country en masse.

  58. ISL says:

    The decision to go or not to war with Iran has nothing to do with facts. Saudi Arabia needs to calculate if they will hold on to power after the retaliation. or abscond with enough wealth to Switzerland. Trump needs to decide if he wants to be a one-term president for Bibi. BIbi couldnt give a damn what happens to Israel or the US or jews.
    The US will be behind Trump’s war until is causes economic pain or kills an unacceptable number of Americans. Would really position Tulsi ahead of the others, though.
    The real question is whether the president will make an informed decision or based on his guts and the mis-information being fed to him by the sycophants he was responsible for surrounding himself with.
    Perhaps he will pick up the hotline to Moscow at this point Russian interests seem better aligned with US (the country’s) interests than the interests of the Borg.

  59. prawnik says:

    For what? Are the Saudis not committing crimes in Yemen, to name but one?

  60. Yeah, Right says:

    Babak, I’m not talking about an Iranian conquest of Afghanistan.
    But there are US troops there. Not a huge number, but sizeable.
    Iran could send an invasion force of, say, ten times that number to root out those US soldiers. They either stand and fight, in which case Iran kills them all, or they cut and run, in which case the US looks like a bunch of cowards.
    Either way, mission accomplished, at which point the Iranians say to the Afghans “No, we’re not staying” and leave

  61. different clue says:

    Perhaps they are within the borders of Iran itself in order to deter any kind of ground attack against Iran itself, or to fight back against any such on-the-ground attack if it is made.

  62. different clue says:

    The ObamaAdmin did help in negotiating the JCPOA with Iran. That wasn’t going to get us out of the Middle East, but it would have kept us from getting even more deeper inner. It was a real achievement and a first step on a trail of steps toward a state of persistent non-hostility with Iran.
    And it was President Trump who destroyed that particular achievement, driven by racial animus against America’s first “black” President and even more driven by his seething rage over being humiliated in public by Obama’s roasting of him at that White House Correspondent’s Dinner. I did not expect, and therefor did not predict, that Trump would destroy that particular JCPOA achievement.
    Would the next Democrat do better? First of all, we don’t know that there will be a “next Democrat”. If the DemParty nominates a Catfood Democrat, bitter berners like me will not vote for it. If the DemParty can actually be tortured and beaten into nominating Sanders on the first ballot, the Bitter Clinters will not vote for Sanders. Would Warren be tolerable enough to just enough bitter berners and pink kitty cap Jonestown Clinties so as to be able to win the election? I can’t even guess.
    Second, even if a Democrat won, if the TrumpAdmin can get a war going with Iran so deep and hot and with so many embittering and enraging casualties on the American side that American pride becomes involved; then even Next President Democrat would be stuck having to “see the war through” long enough to hand it off to the next President after that.
    Since even that would not be as bad as having had a Total Thermonuclear Exchange with Russia . . . I am not yet sorry that I voted for Trump to stop the evil Clinton. But my margin of “not yet sorry” is wearing very thin.

  63. different clue says:

    This would be a fine time for Dissident Democrats to begin praising the JCPOA, criticising Trump’s removal of America from the JCPOA, and promising that “if nominated” they would run on bringing America back into JCPOA, lifting the Trump sanctions and then waiting to see where things go from there.
    The only Democrats who would overtly criticize Trump for not retaliating against Iranian “provocations” would be thoroughly cynical Catfood Democrats of silly cleverness and deeply shallow mind. Those are the Democrats which the DNC has engineered the whole nomination process to try favoring, of course.

  64. blue peacock says:

    Why should the US care even if Iran knocked out a Saudi processing facility?
    We are self-sufficient in oil and can always get more. If the Iranians want to piss off the Chinese who are planning to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in their economy by cutting of Saudi oil supplies that they depend on why not?

  65. turcopolier says:

    yeah Right is an Israeli.

  66. J says:

    So how is Retd. Gen.(Israeli) Benny Gantz going to play in all of this? It looks like Gantz’s dead heat with Bibi will force Bibi from power. How will Gantz’s personality play with the Godfather behavior of POTUS Trump?

  67. jonst says:

    These, David Solomon’s, are the kind of people that come out of the walls Col. If Israeli “cities and civilian populations are so mangled that Jews would leave the country en masse” there will not be two trees left standing in Lebanon. This is madness to talk this way. EVERYONE needs to calm down. Or the submarines operating in the Med Sea will sprout fire. Then what will will the David Solomon’s of ooze start saying?

  68. JamesT says:

    I don’t think the Iranians consider the US to be anything close to “agreement capable”. The JCPOA was entered into with the Borg fully intending to renege as soon as the Iranians fulfilled their part of the bargain. (I think the Iranians planned for this and believed that it would be worth it to get rid of the UN security council resolutions on conventional weapons sales (and also ballistic missile tech if I remember correctly) – with these gone they can legally buy very advanced weapons from China and Russia).
    But after living up to their part of the deal while having the US and the Europeans renege – you really think Iran is interested in doing another deal? I don’t think so.

  69. LA Sox Fan says:

    it seems that the US has only succeeded in making itself weaker with each succeeding military intervention over the last 19-years. I suspect bombing Iran (we will never send in ground troops) won’t be any different. Only, this time, the Iranians will most likely destroy any US ally within range of its missiles. Of course, Iran too will be flattened by US bombs and missiles.
    Unless Iran is freely allowed to sell oil, this will eventually be the end result. Iran isn’t so neutered that it will allow US sanctions to kill hundreds of thousands of its people like Iraq did after the first Gulf War. Like most countries, people, and living creatures, if backed into a corner, Iran will have no alternative but to fight, even if it believes the odds are hopeless.

  70. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iranians are not stupid

  71. Terence Gore says:

    Yes it is dated, but for me more informative than anything else I have read. I don’t think the US mainland is under any direct threat from Iran unless we initiate hostilities. I think there are legitimate concerns that Israel may take matters into their own hands which I would hate to see. My uninformed opinion is the more we try to enforce our rule sets for the world the more problems we create.

  72. VietnamVet says:

    The UAV attack against Saudi oil production is similar to the MH-17 shoot down in Ukraine. Saudis said the attacks unquestionably were “sponsored” by Iran. But no radar tracks, satellite pictures of launch sites, or evidence who are the perpetrators were have been produced. Just, “Take our word for it, they did it”. Like Russia the risks are too great for the government of Iran launched the missiles. Instead, my gut feeling that this is the direct blowback from the Empire’s regime change campaigns to destroy nation states by building up radical proxy forces; i.e. the Sunni Jihadists supplied by Saudi Arabia in Syria. To survive, Shiites in Syria and Iraq countered with their own militias supplied by Iran. They and the Houthis have every reason to strike back at Saudi Arabia, starting with revenge. Even if Iran is not directly attacked, the renewal of ground fighting against Shiite militias would be bloody and would eventually force an end of America’s occupation of Iraq and Eastern Syria. A renewed aerial bombing of Syria and Iraq by itself is futile. Peace is the only way out.

  73. turcopolier says:

    I cannot be silent old friend. I cannot.

  74. David Solomon says:


  75. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Ironic in that Iran has been opposed to Globalism as well.

  76. Jack says:

    It appears that Lieberman is the kingmaker. Both Bibi and Gantz likely can’t form a government on their own or with those aligned with them. Lieberman is calling for a national unity government with an initial goal of flattening Gaza.

  77. Amir says:

    Without wanting to insult you, would that be like the crushing that Vietnam received, with the difference that Iran shared borders with Russian Federation as well as defacto China?

  78. Amir says:

    And send Clown Prince MBS Muhammad Bone Saw a condolence card with image of Pentagon, WTO & crashed airliner in Pennsylvania: this would be an act of remembrance. And yes I am biased.

  79. Fred says:

    Quoting Lars’ : “The US should have gotten out of that part of the world a long time ago,….”
    JCPOA has nothing to do with us leaving Afghanistan nor would it have kept us from “getting in deeper”. Please spare us all the Trump is a racist line from the left.

  80. turcopolier says:

    Be honest – you wish to insult me. In VN we fought a COIN war. We did not seek to “crush” VN, north or south. In Iran we would just seek to destroy, everything.

  81. charly says:

    Azerbaijan, if the Americans use Azerbaijan is i assume something else

  82. charly says:

    You retreat tactically, than decide a an offensive is not opportune at that moment in time and 6 months later the Beltway decides you are insane if you suggest to invade Afghanistan.

  83. charly says:

    That assumes Iran would fight a low intensity war. I think they will hit back with full force.

  84. charly says:

    Iran* would also do cyber attacks. Not even mildly successful but they would lead to countries in having an excuse to dump Windows/Android for their national systems. And that would really hurt financially.
    Iran* or Russia, China, Brazil, Turkey claiming to be Iran, they could even do a fake hit that only hit them.

  85. Nuff Sed says:

    From the latest by Pepe Escobar.
    Readers should pay close attention to this groundbreaking interview with General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force. The interview, in Farsi (with English subtitles), was conducted by US-sanctioned Iranian intellectual Nader Talebzadeh and includes questions forwarded by my US analyst friends Phil Giraldi and Michael Maloof and myself.
    Explaining Iranian self-sufficiency in its defense capabilities, Hajizadeh sounds like a very rational actor. The bottom line: “Our view is that neither American politicians nor our officials want a war. If an incident like the one with the drone [the RQ-4N shot down by Iran in June] happens or a misunderstanding happens, and that develops into a larger war, that’s a different matter. Therefore we are always ready for a big war.”
    In response to one of my questions, on what message the Revolutionary Guards want to convey, especially to the US, Hajizadeh does not mince his words: “In addition to the US bases in various regions like Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Emirates and Qatar, we have targeted all naval vessels up to a distance of 2,000 kilometers and we are constantly monitoring them. They think that if they go to a distance of 400 km, they are out of our firing range. Wherever they are, it only takes one spark, we hit their vessels, their airbases, their troops.”

  86. johnf says:

    Netanyahu is reportedly exhausted. He now has many weeks ahead of him of wrestling for power, a struggle he will almost certainly lose. He will not have that much time for international decisions.
    Who is Jared going to look to for guidance?
    With no one at the helm (it looks as though Israel will be a no show at the UN this month) who are the Zionist movers and shakers around the world going to look to for guidance?
    This is a time when they should be exerting maximum pressure for war with Iran. Instead, I suspect, they are divided and involved in the infighting within Israel itself.
    The anti-semitism accusations against Corbyn in the UK seem to have disappeared. Is the similar campaign in the US against Bernie also flagging? Is Trump suddenly free to make hay in foreign policy?

  87. Yeah, Right says:

    From whom, exactly?
    I mean, honestly, how many troops does CENTCOM have?
    Is it less than 50,000? There or thereabouts?
    That’s nothing near the number of troops that would be required for a ground attack against Iran itself.
    It took Schwarzkopf nearly six months to build up the 500,000+ troops he needed before he was willing to attack the Iraqi army. It took Franks slightly less time, but still many, many months.
    The Iranians are not the Iraqis. They would not sit back and watch while the CENTCOM commander spends months on a leisurely built up his ground forces. But without that buildup then there is no possibility that CENTCOM can invade Iran.
    I would argue the exact opposite to you i.e. if Trump does start a war then there is every incentive for the Iranians to mobilize every reservist and send them marching against CENTCOM, and from their point of view the sooner the better.

  88. Yeah, Right says:

    I agree completely. The Iranians have displayed great intelligence in the face of extreme hostility.
    But if Trump starts a shooting war then the smart move from the Iranians is *not* to allow it to be a purely aerial campaign.
    Their biggest advantage is that they have a large army and CENTCOM does not, so make it a land campaign.
    At best they might repeat the success of the Chinese at Chosin Reservoir in the Korean war. At worst it will cause the USAF to divert attention away from their pre-planned target list.
    After all, recall the confidence of McArthur a few days before the Chinese stormed over the Yalu: “They have no Air Force. Now that we have bases for our Air Force in Korea if the Chinese tried to get down to Pyongyang there would be the greatest slaughter.”
    A month later the Chinese had swept way past Pyongyang and were in Seoul.
    Air power is not everything. Not when you do not have enough ground troops and your enemy does.

  89. Yeah, Right says:

    Australian, actually.
    Sydney, to be more precise.
    I have no affiliation with that lamentable Apartheid state, and every Israeli I have ever met has made the experience very disagreeable indeed.

  90. I have been reading this thread exchanges with utmost interests and from a European perspective. No one will ever know who did this since it is highly probable it is a covert operation.
    No body in his right mind can doubt the US and Israel can utterly destroy Iran. However, the outcome of the destruction would precipitate the demise of the US and its allies.
    If the western world were truly interested in bringing about regime change in Iran, it is not by cornering and strangling the economy.
    Once sanctions are lifted and Iranian people start developing their economy, the mollahs will spontaneously lose their supremacy.
    The way we have been dealing with Iran is pure warmongering and if this continues, it will not end well for ALL for us. I am not a military expert but I am sure of this.

  91. Christian J Chuba says:

    We will never invade Iran, just bomb
    Limiting ourselves to military targets (and commercial shipping) would require months of $200 oil and be a war of attrition that we might lose. Therefore bombing would be expanded to vital civilian infrastructure, power plants, refineries, factories all of which are close to cities and would kill many thousands of civilians both directly and indirectly re-classifying this as miliary targets. In effect, we would go ‘Dresden’ on them. Contrary to propaganda, Ayatollah Khamanei does care enough about his people to eventually throw in the towel. Our populace has been conditioned to accept this kind of warfare.
    This is the reason I detest the Sean Hannity’s of the world, people like him have de-humanized the Iranians so much that we can commit war crimes against them and shrug it off while being horrified about an apparently bloodless attack against the Saudis. He would make such a bombing campaign in a war of choice sound honorable.
    If anyone of importance ever read my words (not delusional enough to consider this possible), I’d say, are you willing to commit such heinous acts for a war that we are instigating. The Houthis launched this attack with Iranian designed weapons. How many countries could justifiably bomb us if we held ourselves to the same standard.

  92. CK says:

    Wonderful suggestions, they will sit really well with the Democrats main donors. Which might be why none of the dem candidates has raised that issue.

  93. Barbara Ann says:

    Yes, this war would finish the Trump brand, but I cannot see how perpetrating such an atrocity could fail to take America’s with it. De Tocqueville would be proven correct.
    Bless you for speaking truth to power Colonel.

  94. PRC90 says:

    So far Trump is playing hard to hit re his handling of Iran, and the next step is largely in Iranian hands, hence the DNC would need to avoid saying anything that could come back to bite them.
    I’m waiting for the first Iran-DNC collusion Tweet from ‘someone’.
    If the DNC does not bring Tulsi Gabbard on as a run-on in the last 15 minutes of the game, lets her trample Joe and the other two viable contenders, then uses that ongoing momentum as Nominee in the contest against Trump, then they deserve the fruits of defeat.

  95. PRC90 says:

    Those little ones with the winglets would not have had much more than a 100Nm range, probably less, and may ust be a part of the Saudi’s tech exploit museum collection.
    If they were part of the pick up after the recent raid then they were not launched from Iran or Yemen. Their damage is also consistent with impact in forward flight, not a warhead detonation.

  96. PRC90 says:

    Thank you, I shall in future keep that in mind when choosing only genuine products from the Islamic Republic !

  97. Amir says:

    I do not want to insult you. As a matter of fact, YOU are one of “things” that keeps my faith in US going. I think you are an honorable man and believe in what you think is right and your effort in avoiding aggression towards my county of birth, is greatly appreciated, regardless of the motive.
    I have been reading you blog for what feels like almost 2 decades and disagree with some of your thoughts/actions but I also realize that I have never been in the same spot. As a matter of fact, if we run into each other in Little-Inn-At-Washington (never been there but read about it in your blog), if I can afford it and you are willing to accept it, I would like to buy you a drink.

  98. Brian Weston says:

    Why does Iran need to invade anywhere ?
    They can just ‘dig in’ and ‘repel all borders’ whilst attacking everything in sight with their huge missile stock creating mayhem and global economic disaster. That is what their religion teaches, for them to be instigators of the apocalypse.

  99. Harry says:

    You have been reading his blog for about 2 decades and you want to buy him a drink? I would suggest a juicy medium rare rib eye, and a bottle of Amarone.

  100. turcopolier says:

    yeah right
    No combatnt command has troops permanently assigned. It is a C&C facility to which forces are temporarily assigned as necessary. BTW, nobody in the US intends to invade Iran on the ground. pl

  101. turcopolier says:

    You think they were launched from somewhere in the Saudi desert. Look at the distances.

  102. JJackson says:

    Does it matter?
    KSA and the US are going to blame Iran regardless of how or by whom it was done. If it was local Shia, Houtis, UAE, Iraqi or Qataris they will all be deemed to be Iranian proxies.


    You mean the old lands of Aran and Nakhcevan? Renamed by Stalin to Azerbaijan?
    Not even fantasy.


    I think you are not looking at this the right way. There is nothing in Afghanistan worth going to war over – including US basis and soldiers.
    The Iran-US War, in my opinion, will be analogous to North Korea-US War in that it leaves US friends and allies destroyed in any case.


    Israel cannot destroy Iran.
    “Once sanctions are lifted and Iranian people start developing their economy, the mollahs will spontaneously lose their supremacy.”
    Another fantasy.
    Why does it matter so much to you people under what dispensation Iran is ruled?
    You guys did not care about Shah’s dictatorship, you do not care about those in Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia.
    Why do you care about Iran so much?

  106. Eric Newhill says:

    Yes. I was thinking the same thing. The little winglets are the drones and then there is the wreckage of a missile that didn’t reach the target.
    I can’t imagine those little winglets flying hundreds of miles/KMs. But I’m no expert on this by any measure. It just doesn’t seem right. Where would sufficient fuel to make the trip be stored?
    Assuming these photos are truly of bits and pieces from this latest attack, perhaps the drones were launched from somewhere near the target and the missile from somewhere farther away. There is no reason I can think of that all of these things had to come from the same launch site.
    Aspects of this attack make me think that sowing confusion was important to the attackers and secondary only to hitting the target.

  107. FkDahl says:

    I agree that the Marines or elements of the Army can work in difficult conditions, but is that really true for the airforce (with the exception of the A-10)? We are not talking Viggen’s here, we are talking US machines that need a pristine runway.
    It would be a gamble for sure.

  108. FkDahl says:

    I would like to serve the good colonel some of the best my country / region of origin has to offer… slow roasted moose with local fingerling potatoes, a creamy morel sauce and home cooked lingonberries on the side. A bottle of Barolo or Chateauneuf du Pape. Cloudberries with whipped cream for dessert. Bourbon ( to celebrate my US side) afterwards…

  109. different clue says:

    Changing the subject to “Afghanistan” could be a clever gambit if it works. Will it work?
    The “deeper inner” involvement I speak of Obama having offered us a way out of was ongoing hostility with Iran, maybe even a war with Iran. Since my reply to your reply to my comment still focuses on Iran, it would appear that your effort to trick me into following your change of subject has not worked.
    Just as ” you don’t need a weathermarx to know which way the cash flows”, you also “don’t need a leftist to know which way the bias falls.” Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then. Eeeven a leftist blind squirrel. And Trump’s obvious racial bias, revealed several times in several situations, is an acorn the leftist squirrels have happened to find. Even if I were to spare you that” Trump is a racist” line from the left, reality will inflict it on you over and over again.
    So I will again note that Trump could walk this all backwards by claiming that “new information” shows the JCPOA is actually a decent first-step deal under the circumstances. He could persuade his base to accept that. But he won’t do it, because of his racial animus against Obama revealed in his long-running “birtherism” hoax against Obama, and even more because of his public humiliation at Obama’s hands in that White House Correspondents Dinner Roast. Much as he may not want a war between America and Iran, he would rather accept war with Iran than admit that Obama was right and Trump was wrong about JCPOA.
    Trump himself could prove me wrong by publicly announcing the discovery of “new information” which leads him re-enter America into the JCPOA and to lift every sanction he imposed on Iran after taking America out of JCPOA. If Trump does that, I will cheerfully admit how wrong my prediction was.

  110. Eric Newhill says:

    Maybe some of those guys are Iranian proxies, sometimes. Maybe Iran is behind the attack to some extent.

  111. different clue says:

    Sanders does not rely on any of these main donors. His failure to make “rejoin the JCPOA” a part of his nomination-campaign is due to his one-eyed focus on domestic concerns and his deep foreign-affairs ignorance. Because after all , the Democrats’ main donors are part of the people he is running against. So he already has nothing to lose by offending the main donors with some visionary common sense on Iran.
    Likewise, if he were to quietly consult with Tulsi Gabbard and ask how she feels about being named his VP running-mate pick in the event of his getting nominated, and if she says that is okay with her in the event she does not get nominated herself . . . and if she were to give Sanders permission to make that announcement as part of his nomination-campaign; that would be another signal that Sanders intends to wage a political war of political autoclaving and cauterization against the Catfood Democrat elite if he were to be nominated and elected. That too might gain him some support.
    Is he prepared to be that hostile to the Catfood Democrats?

  112. different clue says:

    The DNC considers Sanders and Gabbard to be its “real” enemies . . . the “enemies within”. The DNC is prepared to throw the election to Trump if that is the price of defeating Sanders and/or Gabbard in their race for the nomination. The DNC would deeply and truly prefer a President Trump to a President Sanders or a President Gabbard, because the DNC knows that a President Sanders or a President Gabbard would give the DNC a good thorough autoclaving and cauterization, followed by extensive political chemotherapy and political radiation treatment.
    So I am driven to offer another conditional if-this then-that type of prediction. If the DNC nominates one of its preferred Catfood Democrats, the DNC will lose the election bigly. And the DNC will treasure that outcome as an opportunity to drive the Bernists and the Gabbardists out of the Catfood Democrat Party.

  113. different clue says:

    Lingonberries? Cloudberries? Is this either Norway or Sweden?
    Does anyone in Norway or Sweden have a barbecue pit? Has anyone in Norway or Sweden experimented with barbecueing moose?

  114. jonst says:

    It would my sincere loss if you were. And the Nation’s, to the extent people still read meaningful commentary. But there are some mighty sure people, who talk a good battle. But please, keep at for me Col. You are needed! Sanity and experience are needed. my very best, as always, to you.

  115. Yeah, Right says:

    We seem to be talking at cross-purposes. I am not suggesting that Iran go to war over Afghanistan. As you say, a pointless exercise.
    But if Donald Trump starts a war with Iran then that is a different issue altogether – the war has come to Iran, at which point the Iranians would be tempted to push that war as far away from itself as possible.
    Starting with Afghanistan. Bag all the US forces there, as quickly as possible, and then that is one less border to worry about.

  116. Yeah, Right says:

    Those are my very points, Colonel.
    CENTCOM does not have troops. Iran does.
    That “nobody in the US intends to invade Iran on the ground” ensures that it is in the Iranian’s interest to launch their soldiers onto the offensive.
    After all, they have troops. CENTCOM does not.
    I’ll go back to my original post: everyone simply ignores the fact that Iran has soldiers. Lots of soldiers. Lots and lots of soldiers.
    Nobody factors them into their calculations because if “nobody in the US intends to invade Iran on the ground” then that must mean – how can it not?? – that those Iranian soldiers are irrelevant.
    What if the Iranians disagree, and decide to make them very relevant indeed?
    If Iran responds to US bombing by launching ground offenses against US forces is CENTCOM anywhere near ready to stand in their way? After all, as you say CENTCOM ground forces will consist of a C&C facility and… not much else.

  117. Yeah, Right says:

    The argument “to some extent” doesn’t cut it as a casus belli for going to war with Iran.
    Trump would have to demonstrate that Iran ordered the Houthi to launch this attack and, furthermore, that without that order then the Houthi would not have done so.
    A tough sell: it is undeniable that the Houthi and the Saudis are already in an armed conflict, so it is axiomatic that if the Houthi receive weapons then they will put them to use.
    It is not illegal for Iran to supply weapons to one side of an armed conflict, any more than it is illegal for the USA to arm the other side.
    But having armed the Houthi, it is beyond rich to complain when the Houthi use those arms. After all, there is a war on.

  118. turcopolier says:

    yeah right
    Why do you have a .is suffix in your email address? I made it clear that there would be adverse consequences for the US in a major war with Iran. You did not read that? In such a war the US would use maximum air against Iran while rushing ground forces to the theater from all over the world. a counter-offensive might have to begin on the west coast of SA and fight its way across the peninsula killing Iranians all the way with kinetic ground and air.. Better to ignore the neocons and make a deal with Iran.

  119. turcopolier says:

    Oh, bullshit. The USAF is very good at operating from minimal basing. they have practised it for decades.

  120. turcopolier says:

    LA Sox Fan
    You are wrong we are stronger militarily now than we have been since 1945.

  121. FkDahl says:

    A region called Jamtland,on the border between Norway and Sweden, a free viking republic until 1140 when the Norwegian king decided we needed protection and the privilege of paying taxes. The deciding battle was fought near our parish church, on the ice of a frozen lake. During times of low water I have in vain tried to find lost swords…
    As for BBQ pits, in short no – I think the meat is too lean. One good way is to place a frozen chunk of moose/venison/reindeer in the oven at 80C overnight. Slow cooking was always in a moist vessel.

  122. Anon says:

    Typical yank not to get “yeah right” .he walked the plank after the ship had sank.scott morrison is visiting trump ,hope he does not sell partliament house for a trump resort.

  123. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not know what it meant by talking at cross purposes. You seem to have an idee fixe that Iranians are stupid and are going to use massed infantry since they have so many of them.

  124. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iranians are not Chinese. Chinese were murdering US soldiers in Red Cross ambulances in Korea. It is inconceivable for me that, under similar conditions, Iranian troops would do the same.

  125. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think that the time for making a deal with Iran along JCPOA lines is passed. Per my estimate, there could be some negogiations 18 or so years from now. Certainly nothing will happen during Trump’s Presidency.

  126. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Are you, one Eric Newhill, free citizen ofa representative republic, to some extent, behind the war crimes of Saudi ArBia and UAE in Yemen?

  127. PRC90 says:

    By low intensity I was thinking along the line of the 80’s ‘Tanker War’, which did not cross Iranian borders and was not a campaign of annihilation of Iranian military capability.

  128. PRC90 says:

    With DNC priorities of that nature, another prediction would be that the current and future interests of the United States of America would be in second or third place to the terms of the any internal compromise deal made to put Sanders or Gabbard on the ticket.

  129. CK says:

    Too many ifs.
    However, if Gabbard gets anywhere near a nomination for anything, the “anti-semeticism” howls will crescendo.

  130. CK says:

    Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan have nothing that any other nation needs to exist, to survive, to thrive.
    I do have a question. It appears that the Shia crescent, Beirut to Tehran, is much less restrictive towards its populace. Much more educated, progressive and democratic in their institutions and ways. So why is Shia so despised by Israel and Sunni?

  131. turcopolier says:

    The Shia (12ers) are the ancient sectarian rivals of ALL the Sunni schools of law. IMO the differences between the Sunni and Shia are irreparable on the basis of religious claims to authenticirty in God’s eyes. the principle difference lies in the fact that for thr the Shia the “Gate” of interpretation of scripture remains open while for the Sunni that possibility has been closed for more than a thousand years and they have a much more limited view of the possibility of contemporary understanding of the world and God’s will. This makes the Shia more able to adapt to modernity. This would include the Yemeni Fivers. (Zeidi)


    You are posing the question:
    “So why is Shia so despised by Israel and Sunni?”
    to the wrong person.
    You should ask your allies and friends that question.
    When did Denmark and New Zealand decided that Shia were their enemies?
    Was it because the Great White Father in Washington DC told them so?
    Or did they huddle in some corner with their Protestant Theologians and observed that Shia have doctrinal, theological, philosophical, and practical overlaps with the despised Papists and therefore must be considered enemies?


    That is at the practical level, as Usuli Ulema have made their ascendancy over Akhbari ones.
    At the emotional level, the separation is now predicated on the events of Kerbala which has no resonance in the Sunni World; excepting in a small way among the Sunni Muslims of Turkey – itself a Seljuk country.
    And then there is Ma’awiyah – a great conqueror of early Islam and a hero of Arabs – but deeply despised by Shia for his betrayal of Imam Ali.

  134. turcopolier says:

    aside from the allegiance to the family of the prophet how does the Akhbaria differ from Sunni Islam?


    I do not think they do. But that is my opinion.


    I think they also accept the Doctrine of Ijtihad in any case.

  137. Eric Newhill says:

    I think the answer is “yes” to a very small extent at this point. I am not a war proponent. If my govt wants a war that I do not, then I don’t feel very responsible at all. If I vote for people that run on a war platform and they get elected and start a war, then I am more responsible. I voted for the guy who ran on an antiwar platform.
    What does all of that have to do with the possibility that the Iranian govt supplied components that they knew, hoped, or directed to be used for an attack of KSA (and the world’s oil supply)?
    Iran had an Islamic revolution that became the new govt. The Iranian people bear some responsibility for the actions of their revolutionary Islamic govt; if that’s what you’re getting at.
    They don’t like the govt? Well then they should get rid of it and maybe even appreciate the US stance on the matter.

  138. turcopolier says:

    If that is so, then what is the difference between Usulis and Akhbaris?


    The Prominence of Reason.

  140. glupi says:

    In reply to “turcopolier of 17 September 2019 at 09:31 PM and Matt” – my connection doesn’t let me reply at the proper place:
    Russia interests me. Here’s my impression of its relationship with the West through the centuries. Frankly, it’s been bad.
    The West was lucky – the Romans ‘domesticated’ the Western European barbarians through extermination and soft power (Julius Caesar did write the manual on both in Gaul).
    Russia’s geography put her through the ringer.
    It started as fiefdoms of robber barons too with major victim Byzantium*, but it had to deal with wave after wave of Asian horsemen. While it was strangled by the mongols (master empire-builders and statesmen initially), Catholic Lithuania / Teutonic knights / Poland with the enthusiastic support of the Popes attacked on the other side, often as allies of the Hordes.
    * Byzantium had its revenge against Russia – it cursed it with a distinct religion and alphabet, marking it as heretic, foreign, barbarian, inferior in Western eyes. Attitude that lingers
    So, willy-nilly, Russia served as shield for the West – Hungary was as far as the new Attilas reached. Russia paid dearly – periodically devastated cities, its best craftsmen and skilled workers abducted again and again, etc.
    China, India, Iran were other shields for the West – Genghis Khan/ Tamerland spent precious time destroying them instead of Western Europe.
    What comes next?
    Russia after Godunov – the Africa of the time. Ditch / English merchants control all its trade and maintain their countries’ fleets thanks to Russian resources on the cheap.
    Louis XIV and Charles XII of Sweden give Peter the Great the chance to break the dependency with local manufacturing (incl. weapons), access to seas etc. But he makes the peasants property and a time bomb starts ticking.
    So, the game turns ‘bipolar’. The West is already in the Far East, Russia going there too, the Ottoman empire is decaying etc. Lots of potential for contact -conflict
    The French revolution gives Russia its next big break.
    Catherine II the Great uses it wisely(the Crimea of the Hordes is finally Russian etc). But she 1) loses Poland as bufferzone; 2) backs down from freeing the peasants; 3) releases the aristocracy from its formal duty to serve in the state apparatus.
    Russia breaks Napoleon’s backbone – doesn’t get a thing.
    Russia stops the 1848 revolution wave – is stabbed in the back in the Crimean war.
    Russia contains the other powers while Bismarck unifies Germany – is robbed blind at the Berlin Congress.
    The last quarter ot XIX century Russia again becomes an Africa.
    No need for foreign troops or opium (**) in Russia as in China, because the Russian elite collaborated fully with turning their country into an economic colony of the West. No boxer rebellion in Russia
    ** What the West did to China with the opium was the worst kind of genocide, turning millions into living-dead junkies.
    Then comes the truly shameful behaviour of Russia’s allies in WWI.
    Basically, they were rubbing their greedy hands in glee that Russia, which spent so much blood and did whatever they ordered in this war, was falling apart into tiny ‘statelets’ under British / French influence. There was even a secret treaty between Great Britain and France on spheres of influence after the imminent collapse of Lenin & tovarishi.
    The pattern goes on. Doesn’t sound pretty from a Russian point of view, does it?

  141. Glupi,
    What you write has some truth, but ignores massive complexities.
    ‘Byzantium had its revenge against Russia – it cursed it with a distinct religion and alphabet, marking it as heretic, foreign, barbarian, inferior in Western eyes.’
    This is partly true.
    But – have you ever read W.B. Yeats: ‘Byzantium’, and ‘Sailing to Byzantium’?
    I must admit, that when as a teenager, more than half a century ago, I was first fascinated by the poems, I missed much of the point. Only when, quite recently, my SWMBO and I visited Venice, and saw in St Mark’s the remnants of the treasure looted after 1204, did I understand rather better.
    What Yeats wrote about Grecian goldsmiths, making work out of ‘hammered gold and gold enamelling’, for the Emperor, then made much more sense.
    Meanwhile, I am well aware of the pervasive influence of Gibbon – not least on George Frost Kennan, the supposed author of ‘containment’ – but also on many others.
    But then, another part of the picture is the revival of Byzantine studies, which, ironically, was happening at precisely the time Kennan was writing, both in the Soviet Union and the West.
    Among pivotal figures, in Britain, were Sir Steven Runciman, whose study ‘The Fall of Constantinople’, was given to me shortly after it was published, in 1965, when I was a teenager, and has stayed with me all my life. And also, Prince Dmitri Obolensky, who published his seminal study of ‘The Byzantine Commonweath’ in 1971.
    More recently, there has been the seminal work of Judith Herrin.
    (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Herrin .)
    Another area which is much too complex to go into here is that certain strands of ‘Anglican’ culture are naturally much more at home with parallel strands in ‘Orthodox’ culture than they are with ‘Catholic’ – in the sense of ‘Roman Catholic’ culture.


    Gibbon was the man that poisoned the English mind on the Eastern Roman Empire; supposedly decadent.
    Some decadence, lasting 1000 years.
    Had the Huns not destroyed the Classical Civilization in the Danube Valley in the 5th Century and the Venetians not raped Constantinople in the 13th, there could still have been a vestigial form of it present.


    Without Orthodoxy, what would the Russ be but a barbaric people?
    They are not unlike most Muslims, barring Iranians, who would be nothing without their religion.
    But I agree with you that Western Europe was too far away from the Eurasian Steppes to suffer the marauding tribesmen who emerged on and on out of it. Another accident of history.

  144. different clue says:

    ” If ” springs eternal, from the human heart.

  145. different clue says:

    That supposes that Sanders and/or Gabbard would accept any such compromises as the price of being permitted onto the ticket. Sanders might, Gabbard never would.
    But the DNC won’t offer such compromises, even in secret. So the only way that a Sanders-figure or a Gabbard-figure would get the DemParty nomination is if they can beat it out of the Catfood Democrat establishment with tire irons and car antennas.

  146. different clue says:

    Have you tried “magnet-fishing” for swords with a neodymium super magnet at low-water times? I have read that neodymium magnets are extremely powerful, perhaps powerful enough to wrench a sword up through several inches of vision-obscuring mud.

  147. different clue says:

    I am not the person you asked, but I don’t think Shia is despised by Israel. I think Shia is genuinely feared.
    When the Israelis first invaded Southern Lebanon, the Shia villagers and farmers and small-townsfolk welcomed them as liberators, thinking they would leave as soon as their PLO-persons/infrastructures of interest had been disassembled and expelled.
    At that time the Israelis, from what I have read, did indeed despise the Shia and assumed the Shia would accept an open-ended occupation. When the Shia rose up against Israel so successfully so as to finally force Israel to evacuate South Lebanon, Israeli despisement of the Shia turned over time to fear.
    Israeli Army Colonel Yermiya wrote a book about that process in Southern Lebanon itself, which I remember skimreading several decades ago when it came out.
    And the Israelis don’t like Sheikh Nasrallah of Hizballah, but they don’t despise him. I have read that he even has an ironical “fan base” of Israelis who read all his translated speeches and grudgingly admire his strategic and tactical thinking. Strategic and tactical, not strategeric and tactickeral.

  148. PRC90 says:

    I’m referring to the smaller ones with the winglet wingtips which are, or are similar to the Houthi ISR platform named Rased, which is itself based on the retail Skywalker X-8. By some accounts the Rased is a battery powered unit with a 70Km / 40Nm range and 2 hour endurance, ie., is slow, and this actually corresponds to the cambered high lift wing shape.
    By instead using a small piston engine and fuel tanks, I’d suggest a range of at least double that and a couple of hours endurance, and this appears to be the motive power for the unit with the winglets partly in shot on the right side of the pic in: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/09/19/us-has-no-immediate-plans-boost-forces-counter-iran-pentagon.html
    I’d appreciate input from anyone else who has built similar piston engine models.
    If the displayed wreckage is from Baqayq then it could have flown from Qatar or Bahrain, but if from Khurais then it came from inside KSA. Or, the displayed wrecks may just prior pickups added for effect at the press conference and not relevant.
    Deployment would not be difficult – a light civilian truck with a practised crew could act as a TEL and carry and bungee launch a dozen of these things inside ten minutes while on the move.

  149. CK says:

    My apologies for wasting your time.

  150. CK says:

    Thank you.
    Faith is a perplexing thing.

  151. PRC90 says:

    Or blackmail, however I agree about the hypothetical. Gabbard would still be a contender in 2024.

  152. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You did not wate my time.
    You insulted me, the Shia, and the Iranians.

  153. Milesglorious says:

    Reconstituting itself by developing battalions of wonder women.

  154. CK says:

    Had I intended an insult to you it would not have been misinterpreted.
    Stating the obvious truth that both the Sunni majority neighbours and the Israelis have an intense dislike of Iran and the Shia religion is not an insult, it is at worst an observation of extant reality.
    Observing that Lebanon, Syria under the Assads, Iraq under Saddam and now and Iran are all much less benighted than their Sunni neighbours is also an observation of extant reality.
    It was an honest question asked to someone who I thought might expand my limited knowledge of the sects involved.
    So if you took insult; you read something that was not there.

  155. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “Dislike” is not synonymous with “Despise”.
    I am pleased to hear that Israelis and Sunnis intensely dislike Iran and the Shia religion. I would really be concerned if it were otherwise.
    Again, you have to seek your answer from them.

  156. MC says:

    Hey Turc, would this minimal basing have all the logistical support and maintenance for the high tech stuff like the F35 or would they operate out of stand off bases out of reach from Irainian ballistic missiles with a range of 2000km?
    As a side note, my father was West Point class of 45, retired USAF a full bird, two brother-in-laws retired A-10 Capt. and USN Commander F-18 wing, nephew retired US Army Major flying Medivacs in Afghanistan and another nephew US Army, currently flying C-130s which he can’t discuss, spec ops is my guess.
    Needless to say,by brothers-in-law have interesting perspectives on all this.

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