Will Donald Trump Kill His Presidency Over Iran by Larry C Johnson

Larry Johnson-5x7

Donald Trump appears to be on the verge of doing what the "Never Trumpers" could not–destroy his Presidency and make re-election impossible. It all boils down to whether or not he decides to launch military strikes on Iran. The bottomline is this–if Trump launches military strikes against Iranian military targets it is very likely he will ignite a series of events that will escalate beyond his control, expose him as a paper tiger full of empty bellicose threats and risk a war with other countries, including Russia and China.

The "War" class in Washington and the media are exhorting tough action and doing all within their power to portray Iran as an imminent threat to the West. The mantra, "the must be stopped," is being repeated ad nauseam in all of the media echo changers. President Trump, regrettably, is ignorant of military history and devoid of strategic intelligence when it comes to employing military force. He reminds me of Lyndon Johnson during the early stages of the Vietnam War–i.e., being exhorted to take action, increase forces and not back down rather than lose face on the international front. 

The media is busy pushing the lie that Iran launched an unprovoked "attack" on a British flagged ship. They ignore the British action two weeks ago, when the British Navy seized an Iranian flagged tanker heading to Syria. Britain justifies its action as just keeping the sanction regime in place. But it is more likely the Brits intended this as a provocation, in coordination with some members of Trump's team, that would bait the Iranians to respond in similar fashion. Iran has taken the bait and given the Brits what Iran sees as a dose of its own medicine.

There is a dangerous delusion within the Trump National Security team. They believe we are so dominant that Iran will not dare fight us. I prefer to rely on the sage counsel of Colonel Patrick Lang–the Iranians are not afraid to fight us and, if backed into a corner, will do so. 

I see at least four possible scenarios for this current situation. If you can think of others please add in the comments section.

OPTION 1

A diplomatic resolution. The UK and Iran agree to resolve the situation without shooting and release the respective ships. I think it highly unlikely that Iran will curl up in the fetal position and back down in the face of threats from the UK, the US or any other collection of countries (other than Russia and China). It is possible that Russia and/or China could intervene and offer Iran assurances on the sanctions front in order to defuse the situation. 

OPTION 2

The UK/US launch a limited military action. The Iranian held ship is recovered and some key Iranian infrastructure is destroyed. I rank this as the most unlikely outcome. Iran will not sit passively and let us attack critical targets.

OPTION 3

A UK/US strike on Iranian targets is met by Iranian counter strikes on US/UK targets in the Middle East. US aircraft are downed inside Iran and Donald Trump comes under intense pressure to escalate. U.S. pilots, that survive being shot down, will give Tehran a new bargaining chip. Iran, while damaged, will survive. The Mullah's hold on Iran will be strengthened. Trump's political fortunes will be dire. He will be fatally wounded politically and will lose the portion of his based that did not want the U.S. to become entangle in .

OPTION 4

This is OPTION 3, i.e. military confrontation with Iran, but it escalates to include other countries, possibly Russia and China. This will bring us to the brink of nuclear conflict to a degree not seen since the Cuban missile crisis.

If you listen to the neo-con crowd that are certain we can bomb Iran into submission. That is a fantasy and is based on a lie. From what I am hearing from knowledgeable sources no one on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at DOD are advising caution. We are in an old fashioned dick measuring contest. Pride is supplanting reason. This is a dangerous time and the future of Trump's Presidency and possibly that of America hang in the balance in my view.

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64 Responses to Will Donald Trump Kill His Presidency Over Iran by Larry C Johnson

  1. BraveNewWorld says:

    Looks like you have all the options covered. Has SST war gamed this?
    The wild card right now is Rand Paul. The Iranians certainly aren’t going to cave but they have proven over the decades to be very pragmatic. They may choose to talk to Rand because their foreign service will know RP is pretty well the only person with Trumps ear that wants no part of war with Iran. If Trump is smart he will listen very carefully to what RP has to say if he gets a sit down with the Iranians. If he sticks to his I have to win, I have to be seen as having won and even more important the other guy has to be seen to have lost in as humiliating a way as possible game plan, we are in for a long summer.

  2. Ramon Zarate says:

    The US launches assault on Iran, the Iranians respond by destroying attacking US ships and planes. The enraged US deploys B61-12 dial a yield mini nukes. The (Russians) respond, only they don’t have mini nukes so have to make do with the old fashioned regular size nukes. Middle east oil fields contaminated with nuclear fall out.
    After that the situation starts to get serious?

  3. Cortes says:

    Why would Iran not be involved (itself or by proxy) in raising the temperature inside Afghanistan? Most focus seems to be on the seaward part of Iran. Might not the Tajiks and others in Afghanistan welcome an opportunity to obtain support for resistance to the occupiers?
    Just asking because I’m a bit curious about why the media seems to concentrate on the possibility of conflict around the littoral areas of Iran and hasn’t seemed interested in the bigger picture in SW Asia.
    For avoidance of doubt, I have zero military experience.

  4. catherine says:

    Trump needs to go ahead and bite the bullet before the Neos and the Israeli Fifth Column in the WH get a war going.
    He should meet with Iran, get a deal, come back and do what he does best which is claim he got he best deal ever!, better than Obama’s deal!(even though his deal will basically be the same as Obama’s)a deal only The Donald could get!
    Yes that might cost him Adelson $$ but he gets to keep his base. He can always lie to his Zio and Saudi buddies and tell them he needs a second term to carry out their Iran wishes.

  5. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    ” If he sticks to his I have to win, I have to be seen as having won and even more important the other guy has to be seen to have lost in as humiliating a way as possible game plan, we are in for a long summer.”

    And, god forbid, an orders-of-magnitude longer nuclear winter.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_winter

  6. Fred says:

    “two weeks ago, when the British Navy seized an Iranian flagged tanker”
    Via Associated Press:
    Royal Marines took part in the seizure of the Iranian oil tanker by Gibraltar, a British overseas territory off the southern coast of Spain. Officials there initially said the July 4 seizure happened on orders from the U.S.” …….
    It gets even better than on orders from the U.S.
    “Britain has said it would release the vessel, which was carrying more than 2 million barrels of Iranian crude, if Iran could prove it was not breaching EU sanctions”
    We are supposed to believe that Syria is importing oil on ships which sail through the Straights of Gibraltar rather than getting oil from, say, Russia! or going from Iran (it is Iranian oil, so they say) through the Suez Canal? What did they do, sail around the continent of Africa to stage this?
    So the brilliant minds at GCHQ that brought us Christopher Steele and the dossier have decided that they really, really, need to get rid of the Orange Man and they don’t care how many Iranian or American lives it takes. I wonder just how many people the man not in the news, Jeffrey Epstein, had the dirty goods on and just which government was behind his operation.

  7. Ramon Zarate says:

    I like your scenario better than mine

  8. Larry, your intel about the JCS not advising caution is most disheartening. I wouldn’t be surprised if the warmongers surrounding Trump are also telling him that his rally attending base is all for taking it to the raghead terrorists. That may not be far off. Sure those who support Trump for his professed aversion to adventurism will be appalled at war with Iran, but his more rabid base may follow him anywhere. Trump has no ideological need for war, but he does have a psychological need for adoration. That’s not a good situation.

  9. optimax says:

    Did Russia get rid of its tactical nukes? The USSR had them in Cuba at the time of the Bay of Pigs.

  10. eakens says:

    There is an effort underway to undermine Israeli influence in the US, and I think the calculus might be to use the exact thing Israelis want most (war with Iran) to do that. I think the resurrection of the Epstein case is also part of that effort. Thus, war with Iran is inevitable.

  11. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Mr. Johnson,
    re: “Iran has taken the bait and given the Brits what Iran sees as a dose of its own medicine.”
    Is the term “taken the bait” justified? IMO the Iranians had no choice. They executed a commensurate response to signal that each action will be met with a proper reaction.If the Ziocons are truly suicidal they will think this is a bluff and raise the ante. Then life will become very interesting for all of us, including the ziocons.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  12. Petrel says:

    “From what I am hearing from knowledgeable sources [is that] no one on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at DOD are advising caution.”
    We should probably ignore the notion that the Joint Chiefs are bullish about a war with Iran — the situation in the area is terrible for us and the Joint Chiefs know it.
    For example, Turkey, Iraq and Pakistan have military understandings with Iran and the former is now installing advanced S-400 Russian missiles to defend itself from us. Furthermore, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Azerbajian and Armenia will not allow transit of war materiel or aircraft en-route to Iran. So how does the US project anything into that country?
    Then again, US Central Command is located in Iran friendly Quatar, which merely hosts us and could require us to leave. How come? Wouldn’t you know it, Quatar is developing a massive gas reserve with Iran in the Gulf, is now very, very friendly with big-brother Turkey and presently negotiating with Russia for S-400 missiles — clearly against us.
    Well, what about our Navy?
    Alas, recent improvements in missiles have rendered our deep water Navy a liability — not that the narrow Persian Gulf / Sea of Oman is deep in any case. (President Trump learned about our Navy’s vulnerability to missile attack last year as the Pentagon quickly pulled our three carrier group force from Korea and parked those impressive ships on the south coast of Australia! )
    Then there is Iran’s near east client / ally Hezbollah, which has made clear that any bombing of Iran, a huge country, would trigger heavy missile attack on postage-stamp Israel.
    The Neocons may have managed to silence public Pentagon doubts, but President Trump is clearly attempting to avoid military adventures. “No, the Iran downed drone was old and not that expensive.” “The UK captured an Iranian tanker and the Iranians have reciprocated. The two should sit down and work the situation out.”

  13. JamesT says:

    I believe that Iran is going to want to avoid war if they can. Their program of adding precision guidance to Hezbollah missiles in Lebanon means that the longer they postpone war, the better for them. If they get to a point where they have 10,000 precision guided missiles in Lebanon then the next Israel-Lebanon war will force Israel into a humiliating defeat.
    Eighty percent of Israel’s water comes from water desalination plants – and then there are electricity generation plants, sewage treatment plants, and numerous other infrastructure targets that can be hit. Israeli civilians are soft and will cry uncle as soon as their air conditioning cuts out.
    The neocons know that time is not on their side.

  14. smoke says:

    When did this group, leading the charge overseas in D.C. for the past 20 years, once get it right, as far as assumptions and expectations of military necessities or outcomes? I am beginning to think this creating a greater danger out of a lesser mess is a feature, not a defect. If so, why? To what end? Or is the policy process that broken?

  15. Castellio says:

    It’s your last line which is the most worrying.
    Why not, then, have the Americans initiate the deed now… destroy Iran and Lebanon, and then, with France, the UK, Germany, Canada et al. spend billions to rebuild Israel, with the Palestinians being sent to Jordan (if not worse).
    Israel has gambled on a broader war several times in the past, and they believe (despite the fiasco in Lebanon) that each was a win.
    What do you do, when “time is not on your side?”.

  16. ted richard says:

    imo a war with iran is theatre and will not take place.
    should iran be attacked imo you can kiss the UAE goodbye as well as most if not all of the saudi oil infrastructre along the gulf. i would also expect a massive direct bombardment of israeli cities and other important targets from hezbollah starting with the massive ammonia storage system in haifa whose destruction would annihilate that entire region. all of useful israel is in the middle to upper third of the country closest to lebanon and easy reach for all of hezbollahs missiles.
    the persian gulf upon the start of the war becomes the hotel california for any warship within. none would likely escape. and the coup de gra for iran is whether they have the ballistic missile reach and or can gain access to russian long range bombers fitted with kalibr or better cruise missiles able to smash diego garcia absolutely critical american relaestate in the indian ocean.
    trump imo is not crazy and can read a map as well as anyone with help from his REAL pentagon military professionals.
    we have not even gotten to what happens to all those oil and interest rate derivatives far out of the money right now in somewhat normal times. if war starts they go from notional to real fast and the western financial system implodes even with a force majeure declaration
    my vote is no war.

  17. Стивен says:

    The tanker is too big to use the Suez canal and too big to discharge oil in a Syrian port. It was possibly going to a Mediterranean port, but Iran will not back-down to the UK.

  18. Fred says:

    Smoke,
    Saddam ain’t around any more, neither is Muammar Gaddafi. The neocons take those as great victories since the sacred state of Israel is safe from those two.

  19. Artemesia says:

    “There is an effort underway to undermine Israeli influence in the US”

    Is it an organized effort? Where do I sign up?
    Rick Wiles heads TruNews, a Christian evangelical network. He’s been outspoken in his criticism of zionism, calls out Christian zionists, and deplores that “the US has been taken over by zionists.” To be sure, ADL has labeled Wiles an “antisemite.” If TruNews survives, it may be part of game-changing.
    Only from TruNews did I learn about HR1837, US-Israel united cyber command, “an alliance to direct energy space weapons”
    https://www.trunews.com/stream/united-zionist-cyber-command-congress-forges-us-israel-alliance-in-direct-energy-space-weapons
    “The Squad” mouthing rhetoric is weak tea to counteract Israeli’s deep penetration of US military and other key institutions.

  20. Error404 says:

    An Iran war would indeed most probably kill off Trump’s chance of re-election. The almost inevitable spike in the price of oil which it would bring about would have two implications:
    1/ ROTW xUS manufacturing is already in recession, with services close to joining it in many countries. The US is clearly slowing down and appears headed on the same course. The global economy is in no shape to withstand even a relatively short-lived surge in oil prices.
    2/ There is no knowing what lurks out there in the oil derivatives market, but the banking system – particularly the European banking system – is far too fragile to sustain another bout of counterparty risk aversion along the lines of 2007/08. (And amongst the trillions of gross derivatives exposure, one has to wonder just how many US and other banks are sitting across from Deutsche Bank oil positions and happily netting off the counterparty risk.)
    Regretably, from my side of the Atlantic the US looks like a traditional imperial power, addicted to war and conquest and with a significant proportion of the population fetishizing (probably not a real verb) all things military. Whether Trump can be truly damaged by extending the ‘forever war’ to Iran depends very much on how it goes – and I doubt he has the knowledge required to think through all the plausible scenarios. We can be a lot more confident that carrying the blame for an unnecessary recession into the election campaign has a solid chance of sinking him.

  21. CK says:

    As the Saudi’s appear to be losing their war with Yemen, the UAE has announced that they are not desirous of being in the middle of any US-Iran conflict. Qatar is doing a huge nat gas deal with Iran.
    Bolton is heading to Japan to “mediate” the current economic disagreements between Japan and S. Korea.
    Pompeo is declaring that the Iranian Ballistic Missile program is suddenly on the table. It would appear that the whole Iranian atomic bomb thing was smoke and mirrors and hasbara.
    There is a deal available, preparation for making the deal will involve political kabuki, grand posturing, the beating of drums without rhythm and the flooding of the Old American Infotainment outlets with much wailing and whining about “the only democracy in the MENA.”
    A deal will eventuate that allows both the USA and Iran to move on, about a week before the 2020 presidential election.
    Or maybe not.

  22. blue peacock says:

    “…his rally attending base is all for taking it to the raghead terrorists..”
    TTG
    I have seen private surveys commissioned by a deep pocketed hedge fund of working class folks in the mid-west & the south. When the consequences of a military confrontation with Iran are described the overwhelming majority oppose it.
    Larry is spot on. Trump will lose his re-election bid if he kowtows to Bibi & MbS. The short-term financial & economic effects would crush his base and the half-life of jingoism after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, & Syria will be rather short. Trump will be blamed by the “right” for cocking up teaching Iran a lesson and demonized by the “left “for getting us into another ME quagmire.

  23. blue peacock says:

    I have a question for those of you well versed with Iranian military capability.
    What are the capabilities of Iranian ballistic missiles in terms of range, precision and payload lethality?
    As Col. Lang has noted in the transition to war, before the US Navy gets its ducks in a row, that is the window of opportunity that Iran has to strike back. What damage could they inflict on oil & gas infrastructure including LNG, port & pipelines across UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia?
    A 50% reduction in oil & LNG output for greater than 3 months would crush already weakening Asian economies who are the manufactured products supply chain for most of the world and in particular the US. Will voters in Ohio, Wisconsin & Michigan cheer Trump’s military strikes on Teheran when prices at Walmart double?

  24. blue peacock says:

    All
    As Larry notes “..President Trump, regrettably, is ignorant of military history and devoid of strategic intelligence when it comes to employing military force..”, but I believe he has good political instincts and as his Reality TV/Twitter presidency shows he has an excellent sense of how it plays both in the MSM and social media. He must know that while the “shock & awe” and “boom-boom” videos may give him an instant boost the stock market that he has rested his presidency on may not soar but in fact plummet. And he can’t blame Jay Powell for that.
    He must also instinctually know that November 2020 is a year away and a lot can go wrong as it is economically and in financial markets since he’s been harping at the Fed to lower rates in supposedly the best economy evah. Uncertainty spikes volatility and the credit markets are already stressed particularly in offshore eurodollar funding which is an order of magnitude larger than mortgage credit markets were in 2007.
    Maybe Rand Paul is his counter to the ziocon fifth column? I don’t think he’s that foolish to pull the trigger on Iran and sink his presidency when the Deep State & NeverTrumpers are out for his blood. He must know he’ll lose immunity from legal jeopardy when he’s no longer POTUS.

  25. Noregs gard says:

    http://resistancenewsunfiltered.blogspot.com/
    here you will find many of Nasrallah`s speeches and tv appearances with english subtitles..

  26. Fred says:

    Stephen,
    Thanks for the comment. I did a bit more research. It seems strange to me that Iran would use a ship to large for the canal to make such a shipment to Syria, if indeed that was where it was heading.

  27. Fred says:

    Error404,
    Just what good has the past two decades of “war and conquest” done for America, whether flyover country, Jussie Smollett’s “Maga Country” section of Chicago or the homeless encampments of Seattle, LA or Portland?

  28. J says:

    How does one wake POTUS Trump to the reality that his NEOCONS and Israel Firsters in his Cabinet will destroy his Presidency if he doesn’t jettison them out the door.
    J

  29. JamesT says:

    I think that the Israeli’s accept that 2006 was a loss.

  30. I have no faith in Donald Trump when it comes to Israeli’s interests. Embassy moved to Jerusalem check, Golan Heights check. Deal of the Century by his Anti-Christ Son-In-Law check. Not sure if that is a joke or not.
    Israeli wants Iran destroyed and their ability to pressure US Presidents to do their bidding all the way back to President Truman is 100% success. Trump so cravenly promotes the Zionist interest that I see no reason he will not pursue regime change in Iran to its logical conclusion.
    The plan is ultimately Greater Israeli and the leaders of Iran are well aware of this.
    Many comments say that Israeli will be badly damaged by any regional war. Why do you believe Israeli is just going to take the blows? Analysis is not advocacy as Col. Lang says.
    My fear is the ultimate weapons of mass destruction are introduced into the Middle East.

  31. Jack says:

    “Trump’s advisers have a demented obsession with Iran. They’ve been spoiling for a fight with Iran for decades. They have no idea how destructive it would be. It would make Iraq look like a tea party.”
    @Tom_Slater_ on Sky https://t.co/A50M6bghj8
    https://twitter.com/spikedonline/status/1152926344466063360?s=19
    Yes. A demented obsession that is not in US interests. Is it really in Saudi and Israeli interests when they may be hurt too?

  32. Flavius says:

    Option 1 – Diplomatic solution: The UK will do what it must do, ie what the US allows it to do. The GB Imperial project is no more and the UK is riding along somewhere in the wake of the Imperial City. Whatever influence it exerts on power there is by flattery or deception (Steele dossier.) Trump slapped the UK Ambassador out of Washington as if he were a fly. Moreover, the UK alone carries no stick to wield against Iran. Iran is no Falklands.
    Options 2 thru 4 – some degree of military attack on Iran: as you point out, the return on investment for any kind of attack on Iran is highly unpredictable. It depends entirely on how Iran chooses to respond and whether it decides to roll the dice, go all in, and endure the onslaught, and inflict what damage it can where it can, which it very well may. Does anyone in Washington have an intel based fix on Iran’s intentions when attacked? I doubt it. Not a single intervention in the last 18 years, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya resulted in the anticipated outcome. Do they have rear view mirrors in Washington?
    My weakly held expectation, especially now with the passing of a few days, is that Washington will decide to temporize and tell the UK to accept the humiliation, in effect kicking the can down the road. Everyone will know it is only doing what it has been told to do.
    Of course they will announce more face saving sanctions. The Donald will hope that he will be able to gut it out to 2020 without having to make a decision that could blow him up, and likely would – but who knows? Iran will hope to gut it out to 2020 and in the interim pray to God that some Democrat floats back down to earth with some issues, like the Donald once espoused, that will be used to beat the Donald and send him and his family back to the upper East Side.
    With the escalation game fully in play, it’s going to be a close call.

  33. GeneO says:

    LJ –
    I find it a bit hard to believe that leaders like Dunford, Selva, Milley, Richardson, and the others on the Joint Chiefs are not advising caution. Milley, the next Chairman, for sure has advised caution at his recent Senate hearing. Dunford has only pushed for an international coalition Task Force to guard ships transiting the Strait. Selva and Richardson appear to be more worried about China.
    Let us all hope that your knowledgeable sources are wrong.
    The real danger is if Fred Fleitz gets to be DNI. If that happens be prepared for another scam like the Office of Special Plans a la Wolfowicz and Feith. Probably Bolton and/or PomPom already have one hiding in the basement ready to go.

  34. GeneO says:

    Iran’s FM Zarif made a peaceful impression during Fareed Zakaria’s interview. But all the headlines focus on his one statement: “Start a war with Iran and we will end it”. Although those were NOT his words, what he said was “We will never start a war,…But we will defend ourselves, and anybody who starts a war with Iran will not be the one who ends it.”
    The question is whether he speaks for the hardliners.

  35. casey says:

    Agreed. Isn’t that what the recent few steps into NK were about, face-saving photo op?

  36. ISL says:

    Tucker Carlson are the only two words I can think of.

  37. Karl Kolchak says:

    You forgot to mention what will happen to the world economy if the Strait of Hormuz is closed to all shipping by Iranian missiles an mines. Stock marks would collapse and a deep recession if not depression would ensue quickly.
    The same idiots running the show seem to believe that American oil and gas fracking makes it impervious to the loss of Middle Eastern oil (in fact, a secret motivation might be to save American frackers economically), but they forget that oil is a fungible commodity and always flows to the highest bidder. They could try of ban oil exports, but the Europe and Japan’s economies would be utterly toast as there would be virtually no oil available to them, especially if Russia backed Iran and cut them off.

  38. turcopolier says:

    Karl Kolchak
    the strait would not stay closed long, but there would be considerable economic damage while it is.

  39. Tom Wonacott says:

    Rather than blaming this on the media, neocons or the Pentagon, put the blame where it lies – with President Trump. Trump campaigned on tearing up the Iran nuclear agreement which he did once he was elected. The Trump administration re-imposed sanctions on Iran which are meant to inflict serious hardship on the Iranian people. Trump hired Bolton and Pompeo – both hawks from previous administrations. Trump is attempting to enforce the sanctions. Is there anyone else to blame but Trump?
    The scenario proposed by Moon of Alabama seems to be coming to fruition as an Iranian strategy to counter the sanctions – imposing hardships on the world economy by attacking western and Arab interests in the Middle East, but stopping short of a provocation which will require a military response (https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/06/iran-decided-to-put-maximum-pressure-on-trump-here-is-how-it-will-do-it.html). Iran is not going to go quietly into the night.
    Iran is also not entirely innocent in the affairs of the Middle East. Israel believes with some evidence that Iran is building forward bases in Syria – an unacceptable condition for Israel considering the thousands of missiles owned by Hezbollah and the ballistic missile testing by Iran. Iran is also supplying weapons directly to Hezbollah (as they always have). In addition, Iran is supplying weapons and (likely) ballistic missile technology to the Houthis. The Houthis have used ballistic missiles to attack the Saudis. Yemen is on the border of Saudi Arabia – and a (Shia) Houthi government is unacceptable to the Saudis. The Trump administration tore up the nuclear agreement because of the destabilizing political agenda of Iran (to US interests).
    Trump campaigned on a more isolationist foreign policy so option 1 is still the most likely possibility for the moment (IMO).

  40. walrus says:

    As Col. Lang has repeatedly observed, the decisions to go to war do not necessarily follow economic, nor domestic political logic. It is therefore better to speculate on the players state of mind rather than looking at the aforesaid rational drivers like economics and votes.
    Who knows what is being whispered in Trumps ear?

  41. walrus says:

    The use of the golden rule suggests problems with your logic. Would we sit still, for example, if Russia and/or China started fostering guerrilla movements in South America? Of course not. We would actively intervene in support of what we see as our local security imperatives. That appears to me to be all Iran is doing in its region.

  42. Antoinetta III says:

    I’m wondering if in case of war, Iran would need to “close the Gulf” at all.
    If the Gulf oilfields in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are heavily rocketed and put out of commission along with tanker loading docks and pipeline infrastructure, there won’t be any oil to ship out of the Gulf anyway.
    Except Iran’s own oil, of course.
    Antoinetta III

  43. jdledell says:

    The primary damage from a war with Iran will be economic. Oil flowing through the Staits will come to a halt and that will hit China, Japan and the rest of Asia very hard and their buying power will decrease significantly hurting our exports. Even though the U.S is self-sufficient in oil if oil prices hit $100+ on the world market look for the U.S. oil companies to increase their prices to approach the world price driving gas prices into the $5.00+/gallon range. Trump will undoubtably prohibit U.S oil exports but the damage to the economies world wide will still negatively impact the U.S.
    Insurance on oil vessels will become almost impossible to get. The U.S will have to indemnify ship owners and I suspect many will not trust the U.S. to come through with the money for claims. Trump has a history of this and thus many ships will stay in port.
    A war with Iran will not be won or lost militarily, but economically. Iran is 4 times the size of Iraq and has 3 times the population and I simply do not think we can successfully occupy the country. That being the case, I don’t think the U.S can permanently prevent sabatoge in the Staits – meaning an oil induced recession will linger world wide for many years.
    In a word – SNAFU

  44. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Your third paragraph is a stretch. Iran’s actions that you describe are realistic (in the strategic sense of the word) responses to Israel’s overt hostility, overwhelming superiority in air power and its possession of scores of nuclear weapons.

  45. UNO: increased false flag incident instigated by the anglo-zionist
    DUE:Increased takfiri movements in Idlib and provocatiev attacks InnAleppo ,Hama Dara and Dier Ezurr as the Syrian Arab Army is consolidating around Northern Hama and Around Idlib .
    TRE: More tanker siezures by the Nato cohorts and portraying Iran as breachoing the JCPCOA treaty. Nevr mentioning the breach of contract from the western alliance from Pax-Americana and its Western European vassals
    Quattro Russia and China will be either utilised as middle men or further labelled as agressors and Iranian?Syrian?Yemeni apologist.
    Post Scriptum: Signs of a ddying paradigm as the western elite have gone into total sclerotic mode. Dangerous as a rabid dog.

  46. catherine says:

    The Iran ‘issue’ makes me want to go around slapping people.
    Its all so absurd.
    Try everyone to remember how this all(stating with Iraq) began.
    Three guesses who was behind ‘ginning up’ the Green Peril.
    The “Green Peril”: Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat
    By Leon T. Hadar August 27, 1992
    https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa177.pdf
    The Making of a “Peril”
    The Islamic threat argument is becoming increasingly popular with some segments of the American foreign policy establishment. They are encouraged by foreign governments who, for reasons of self-interest, want to see Washington embroiled in the coming West vs. Islam confrontation. The result is the construction of the new peril, a process that does not reflect any grand conspiracy but that nevertheless has its own logic, rules and timetables.
    The creation of a peril usually starts with mysterious “sources” and unnamed officials who leak information, float trial balloons, and warn about the coming threat. Those sources reflect debates and discussions taking place within government. Their information is then augmented by colorful intelligence reports that finger exotic and conspiratorial terrorists and military advisers. Journalists then search for the named and other villains. The media end up finding corroboration from foreign sources who form an informal coalition with the sources in the U.S. government and help the press uncover further information substantiating the threat coming from the new bad guys.
    In addition, think tanks studies and op-ed pieces add momentum to the official spin. Their publication is followed by congressional hearings, policy conferences, and public press briefings. A governmental policy debate ensues, producing studies, working papers, and eventually doctrines and policies that become part of the media’s spin. The new villain is now ready to be integrated into the popular culture to help to mobilize public support for a new crusade. In the case of the Green Peril, that process has been under way for several months.
    A series of leaks, signals, and trial balloons is already beginning to shape U.S. agenda and policy. Congress is about to conduct several hearings on the global threat of Islamic fundamentalism.”

  47. Poul says:

    Egypt may have closed the Suez for Iranian ships hence the trip round Africa.
    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-07/10/c_138215661.htm

  48. J says:

    The Epstein pedophilia prosecution shows that the Government of Israel OFFICIALLY condones pedophilia as it is THEIR Mossad that is the one running the Epstein Honey Trap designed to ensnare political and such for Israeli purposes.
    Mossad is no Intelligence agency, they are IMO scum scum scum.

  49. Serendipity says:

    The Neo-con Zionist Globalists have a solution , as always, Global Warming solved by Nuclear winter,

  50. Jack says:

    What is Trump’s state of mind? He seems emotionally tied to Bibi even tweeting today in his support. Then again he also seems like an unsentimental person who cares more about adulation and being in the limelight and of course winning reelection. That’s got to be on the top of his mind.
    It looks like Khamenei is not gonna cave that easily and will climb Trump’s escalation ladder every step of the way.
    https://ejmagnier.com/2019/07/20/khameneis-three-commandments-for-the-iranians-the-middle-east-is-heading-towards-maximum-danger

  51. ISL says:

    My understanding from what I have read is that the drone was at great altitude and stealth and thus Iran should not have been able to down it. Russia could have provided tactical info (as a clear warning to Trump) or S-300 components could have been delivered years ago, or Iran could be more advanced than Hollywood projects.
    The patriot appears to be useless for missile defense (95% failure rate based on MIT analysis), and when THAAD had a chance to show its worth and down the Korean missile the pentagon decided not to show off how awesome it is (in a real as opposed to staged missile test). Thus, gulf oil installations are essentially undefended – after all, how are those Patriots at protecting our Saudi allies against even Houthi missiles?
    Rural america is very dependent on gas prices – there is no mass transit and driving distances are long.
    US SPR is less than in 2008, but US and global usage of oil is much greater. Cant see Trump price controlling oil (Nixon would have, but we didnt have a crony capitalism economy then), so the hit on global supply will not be tamed by selling the SPR.
    SPR – Strategic Petroleum Reserve

  52. Fred says:

    Poul,
    As Стивен pointed out, some bulk cargo ships are too large for the Suez canal even after the expansion completed in 2010.

  53. casey says:

    Martyanov agrees with Mr. Johnson’s assessment( see link below), and I think it is interesting to note that Martyanov echoes the earlier post by Mr. Colonel, I believe, about Japan’s motivation in attacking Pearl Harbor. Namely, that if the Japanese military men didn’t engage in an attack that they apparently knew, beforehand, was senseless, counterproductive, would lead to defeat, that “they would not be the men they thought they were.”
    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2019/07/trump-iran-conqueror.html
    God help us if these tools attack Iran.

  54. eakens says:

    there will be no oil for a ship to even receive if a war starts. All the oil infrastructure will be hit in SA and the UAE. Only Kuwait and Iraq will be spared and they’re more allies of Iran than the headchoppers.
    Israel will be the number one target.

  55. J says:

    Larry,
    What’s your take on the news coming out of Iran where the Iranians say they’ve arrested 17 CIA spies, and have sentenced some to death.

  56. JamesT says:

    The problem with price controls is that they require rationing – and rationing encourages hoarding. I’m old enough to remember the queues at the gas stations in 1973. POTUS could simply ban oil exports – since the US is currently a net oil exporter I imagine that would be effective at keeping the price reasonably under control.

  57. Norbert M Salamon says:

    Sir:
    Before we can ascertain the validity of your observation above, we have to see:
    to rephrase the question you asked in previous post, the appropriate question is whether Mr. Trump is man enough to stop the carnage in ME/N Africa for the last 30 odd years, or in the alternative indicate that he is but a low class slave to the most destructive Israeli PM, aka Bibi.

  58. Jack says:

    Iran is storing oil in Chinese bonded storage right now. It will have some oil to sell the Chinese if the Gulf is shut for a period.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-07-22/millions-of-barrels-of-iranian-oil-are-piled-up-in-china-s-ports
    The real question is how badly could they damage Gulf oil production infrastructure and how long would it take to rebuild?

  59. ISL says:

    Our refining capacity is not matched with our production capacity in terms of types of oil. In the import export numbers its a wash, but would be massively disruptive if Trump (stupidly) was to do so. I imagine he would tweet it out, and then would get hauled up the keister by the oil industry – Basically, refineries are on a multi-decade time horizon and the US had a very different mix of petroleum (sweet vs sour crude) then, and its easier to ship for refining than reconfigure a refinery in the US (or anywhere).

  60. Lee says:

    Net crude oil imports 4 mbd, net crude and products import 2 mbd. Fracking boom will bust with net imports rising again. US has been a net importer since the late ‘40’s. Congress has to eventually increase Fed fuel tax as it hasn’t been adjusted for inflation in 26 yrs.
    https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WCRNTUS2&f=W
    https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_oil_net_imports

  61. Fred says:

    Lee,
    “Congress has to eventually increase Fed fuel tax as it hasn’t been adjusted for inflation in 26 yrs.”
    Well they didn’t raise it in more than two decades but “evenually” is such a powerful motivating force that maybe Pelosi would like to have the house pass a tax hike now and see if The Squad – or the Senate – goes along with it.
    BTW I know Math is Hard is the toughest course in college but 8,387 barrels per day in July of 2002 is much lower than the 4,254 barrels per day in July of this year and fluctuations appear throughout the historical record.

  62. aleksandar says:

    Zero military experience but you’re right on point.
    In case of war, no doubt Iran will strike in Afghanistan.
    A US base like Bagram is an easy target right at the base of mountains north and west.
    Indefensible

  63. aleksandar says:

    He doesn’t speak for the hardliner, he spoke for the Iranian people.
    If war begin, you will have millions of iranians ready to enlist.
    Patriotism is a core value of Iranian society.

  64. Lee says:

    Fred, my point was that the US is not a net exporter of oil. Sure imports are way down due to fracked oil production. Fracked production will bust with imports rising or US consumption dropping. Saying fluctuations appear through the historical record is obvious and irrelevant.
    The consequence of not indexing the Fed fuel tax to inflation or a percentage of sales is that it loses value over time. Previous administrations and Congresses had no problem updating the tax. What happens now is that the Highway Trust fund needs to be bailed out by the general fund which comes in part from deficit spending. My point there in response to James was that getting the deficit under control and adequate funding for transportation infrastructure will come from increased fed fuel taxes. Painting a bridge and paving a road cost more than it did 26 yrs ago.
    So keeping the deficit and infrastructure funding “under control” is likely to come from higher fuel taxes and higher fuel prices if oil price is constant.

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