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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Is Plan B in effect?

The Saker appears to have correctly predicted the recent increase in hostilities between Iran and Israel in one of his recent articles.
Risks with Israel’s plan “B”

Think of 2006. The Israelis had total air supremacy over Lebanon – the skies were simply uncontested. The Israelis also controlled the seas (at least until Hezbollah almost sank their Sa’ar 5-class corvette). The Israelis pounded Lebanon with everything they had, from bombs to artillery strikes, to missiles. They also engaged their very best forces, including their putatively ‘”invincible” “Golani Brigade”. And that for 33 days. And they achieved exactly *nothing*. They could not even control the town of Bint Jbeil right across the Israeli border. And now comes the best part: Hezbollah kept its most capable forces north of the Litany river so the small Hezbollah force (no more than 1000 man) was composed of local militias supported by a much smaller number of professional cadre. That a 30:1 advantage in manpower for the Israelis. But the “invincible Tsahal” got its collective butt kicked like few have ever been kicked in history. This is why, in the Arab world, this war is since known as the “Divine Victory”.

As for Hezbollah, it continued to rain down rockets on Israel and destroy indestructible Merkava tanks right up to the last day.

There are various reports discussing the reasons for the abject failure of the IDF (see here or here), but the simple reality is this: to win a war you need capable boots on the ground, especially against an adversary who has learned how to operate without air-cover or superior firepower. Should Israel manipulate the US into attacking Iran, the exact same thing will happen: CENTCOM will establish air superiority and have an overwhelming firepower advantage over the Iranians, but other than destroying a lot of infrastructure and murdering scores of civilians, this will achieve absolutely nothing. Furthermore, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is no Milosevic, he will not simply surrender in the hope that Uncle Sam will allow him to stay in power. The Iranians will fight, and fight, and continue to fight for weeks, and months and then possibly years. And, unlike the “Axis of Kindness” forces, the Iranians do have credible and capable “boots on the ground”, and not only in Iran, but also in Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan. And they have the missiles to reach a very large number of US military facilities across the region. And they can also not only shut down the Strait of Hormuz (which the USN would eventually be able to re-open, but only at a cost of a huge military operation on the Iranian coast), they can also strike at Saudi Arabia proper and, of course, at Israel. In fact, the Iranians have both the manpower and know-how to declare “open season” on any and all US forces in the Middle-East, and there are plenty of them, mostly very poorly defended (that imperial sense of impunity “they would not dare”).

The Iran-Iraq war lasted for eight years (1980-1988). It cost the Iranians hundreds of thousands of lives (if not more). The Iraqis had the full support of the US, the Soviet Union, France and pretty much everybody else. As for the Iranian military, it had just suffered from a traumatic revolution. The official history (meaning Wikipedia) calls the outcome a “stalemate”. Considering the odds and the circumstances, I call it a magnificent Iranian victory and a total defeat for those who wanted to overthrow the Islamic Republic (something which decades of harsh sanctions also failed to achieve, by the way).

Is there any reason at all to believe that this time around, when Iran has had almost 40 years to prepare for a full-scale AngloZionist attack the Iranians will fight less fiercely or less competently? We could also look at the actual record of the US armed forces (see Paul Craig Roberts’ superb summary here) and ask: do you think that the US, lead by the likes of Trump, Bolton or Nikki Haley will have the staying power to fight the Iranians to exhaustion (since a land invasion of Iran is out of the question)? Or this: what will happen to the world economy if the entire Middle-East blows up into a major regional war?

Now comes the scary part: both the Israelis and the Neocons always, always, double-down. The notion of cutting their losses and stopping what is a self-evidently mistaken policy is simply beyond them. Their arrogance simply cannot survive even the appearance of having made a mistake (remember how both Dubya and Olmert declared that they had won against Hezbollah in 2006?). As soon as Trump and Netanyahu realize that they did something really fantastically stupid and as soon as they run out of their usual options (missile and airstrikes first, then terrorizing the civilian population) they will have a stark and simple choice: admit defeat or use nukes.

Which one do you think they will choose?
Now, I'm still not convinced that the God-Emperor is doing what most observers believe him to be doing. I have no doubt that the Saker is right about the fact that both the Israelis and the globalists want the US to go to war with Iran, but I am not at all convinced that Trump is actually giving them what they want. As always, my advice when confronted with unknowns and unknowables is to wait and see.

Labels:

89 Comments:

Blogger SDaly May 10, 2018 11:38 AM  

If the mid-East blows up in war and stops oil exports, wouldn't the main beneficiaries be the U.S. & Russia?

Blogger S'mon May 10, 2018 11:51 AM  

I agree that based on past performance Trump does not seem the type to march recklessly to war. He does seem adept at giving allies like Netanyahu what they demand with minimal damage. With the astounding success in Korea it is even possible a new and better deal is on the cards - has he given himself the leeway for an Iran Israel peace treaty?

Blogger S1AL May 10, 2018 11:57 AM  

@SDaly -

And likely Saudi Arabia, which is rapidly transitioning to a modern power.

Blogger Hammerli280 May 10, 2018 11:58 AM  

The way I read the strategic situation, I think an Israeli/Saudi air campaign to degrade Iranian nuclear facilities and military capability is quite possible...and feasible. Not sure if the U.S. will participate.

That being said, I would seriously hope the USN has enough war-warning to get everything out of the Persian Gulf. Those waters are a deathtrap in a modern shooting war.

Blogger SDaly May 10, 2018 12:05 PM  

Oddly, the Saker analysis ignores Turkey, which used to be an powerful regional ally of Israel, but is now openly hostile to Israel. Saudi Arabia is not a real replacement for Turkey as an ally.

Turkey's gov't wants to return the country to its place as head of islamic world. It is currently aligning with Russia and Iran, but historic enmity between all three of those powers would make any alliance fragile. It would, though, be a virtual death-blow to NATO.

Blogger August May 10, 2018 12:12 PM  

I am hoping the bulk of the military industry starts to realize is it more comfortable to hang out near the Rio Grande and have access to comfortable Texas cities, rather than get stuck in Muslim countries. The Neocons suck, but the huuuuuge problem is the massive number of people getting paychecks for war and war related stuff. So I figure part of the problem is folks don't want their Middle Eastern objectives to go away because they don't want their paychecks to go away.

Blogger pyrrhus May 10, 2018 12:12 PM  

If the mid-East blows up in war and stops oil exports, wouldn't the main beneficiaries be the U.S. & Russia?

Hardly...The US imports almost 10 million barrels per day....It would cause a depression and possibly revolution.

Blogger pyrrhus May 10, 2018 12:16 PM  

As the Saker points out, Russia, and probably China and Turkey, will support Iran in any war, even if they don't do any fighting. Israel, and the US of course, would have to be crazy to get mixed up in such a war. But Zionists are kind of crazy......We have to assume that Trump is not insane, so no war.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 10, 2018 12:20 PM  

Cowboyistan would like open all the taps, complete the DUC's, build shit loads of VLCC tankers, and it would make the Decade of Greed look like child's play. The US oil and gas industry would be handed the keys to the world, and the good times would roll. Domestic production would spike, and every single existing and future major would be drilling anywhere they could get a rig into.

Depression? More like get the fuck out of our way.

Blogger Brett baker May 10, 2018 12:21 PM  

Why do you want to take food out of the mouth of Animal Mother's children?
More seriously, the USA tends to benefit from global chaos. It sucks while it's happening, but afterwards we come out ahead.

Blogger SDaly May 10, 2018 12:21 PM  

As I understand it, the "net" use imports (imports - exports) for US petroleum is only about 4 million a day, and the overwhelming majority of our imports come from Canada & South America. Very little actually comes from the Middle East.

Blogger Brett baker May 10, 2018 12:22 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Longtime Lurker May 10, 2018 12:22 PM  

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 10, 2018

Statement from the Press Secretary on Iranian Regime Provocation against Israel

The United States condemns the Iranian regime’s provocative rocket attacks from Syria against Israeli citizens, and we strongly support Israel’s right to act in self-defense. The Iranian regime’s deployment into Syria of offensive rocket and missile systems aimed at Israel is an unacceptable and highly dangerous development for the entire Middle East. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) bears full responsibility for the consequences of its reckless actions, and we call on the IRGC and its militant proxies, including Hizballah, to take no further provocative steps.

The United States also calls on all nations to make clear that the Iranian regime’s actions pose a severe threat to international peace and stability.

###

Blogger pyrrhus May 10, 2018 12:23 PM  

A war with Iran would mark an abrupt end to the US "empire", and would cause a major restructuring of the world...The question is, are the Elites blind to this, as they were in 1914.

Blogger Nathan May 10, 2018 12:23 PM  

The Saker is addicted to black pills. After the recent Syria bombing, he was salivating for WW3, probably to fulfill some idea of Russian divine retribution against the "Zionist empire".

Blogger pyrrhus May 10, 2018 12:26 PM  

@13 Yes, the fact that there have been no observed rocket attacks on Israel from Syria, and that Israel attacked Syria, not vice versa, is hardly going to stop the flow of Zionist propaganda....

Blogger pyrrhus May 10, 2018 12:29 PM  

Why do you want to take food out of the mouth of Animal Mother's children?
More seriously, the USA tends to benefit from global chaos. It sucks while it's happening, but afterwards we come out ahead.

Who is this "we" you are talking about? America's middle and working classes have been hammered economically for the last 50 years...Sure, the (((bankers))) and MI complex have done well, while bankrupting the country.

Blogger tz May 10, 2018 12:33 PM  

Of course if you blow up Saudi Arabia's oil export infrastructure (which takes a few minutes to destroy, but years to rebuild) and sink the supertankers, you can open the strait of Hormuz, but it might be irrelevant. Big fat targets are hard to protect.

The other half is the Iran protesting, celebrating, and welcoming us in the streets (Molyneux even had a video) won't happen if we start bombing them. Read the 4GW stuff from Lind. We have no strategy, just bomb stuff and PEOPLE. Sanction - starve and deny medicine to them. And that will cause the moral level of war to be a negative for us, so we will lose.

Meanwhile the EU might have something to say about it as NATO which includes Turkey.

There are also 50,000 Jews living peacefully in Iran. If Israel starts a war, Jews across the world won't be safe, and if they nuke anyone they are likely to initiate a new self-immolation Holocaust.

No, I don't believe in the Rapture.

Blogger pyrrhus May 10, 2018 12:34 PM  

@11 Look it up. The US produces a little more than 10 million bpd, and consumes about 20 million.
The other thing you don't understand is that oil prices are sensitive to even small supply shortfalls, as we saw in 2008.

Blogger pyrrhus May 10, 2018 12:39 PM  

There are also 50,000 Jews living peacefully in Iran. If Israel starts a war, Jews across the world won't be safe, and if they nuke anyone they are likely to initiate a new self-immolation Holocaust.

Very true. That should deter any craziness, but common sense isn't a Zionist thing. In 70 AD the Jews revolted against a much more powerful Rome and were slaughtered wholesale, with all the gold in the Temple being carted off to Rome.

Blogger SDaly May 10, 2018 12:40 PM  

I did look it up.

In 2017, the United States imported approximately 10.1 million barrels per day (MMb/d) of petroleum from about 84 countries. Petroleum includes crude oil, natural gas plant liquids, liquefied refinery gases, refined petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel fuel, and biofuels including ethanol and biodiesel. About 79% of gross petroleum imports were crude oil.

In 2017, the United States exported about 6.3 MMb/d of petroleum to 180 countries. About 82% of total petroleum exports were petroleum products. The resulting net imports (imports minus exports) of petroleum were about 3.7 MMb/d.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 10, 2018 12:50 PM  

Sdaly,

What you've uncovered is the size our overhang would have to be. How much could we generate through new exploration, DUC (Drilled but UnCompleted) wells, international E&P, etc.

Oh and we could also invade Venezuela.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 10, 2018 12:53 PM  

Do y'all know how much my kids eat? I have an eight year old pushing five feet tall.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 10, 2018 12:57 PM  

Where some people see problems, my eyes see ways to kick ass!

Blogger James Dixon May 10, 2018 1:04 PM  

> Is there any reason at all to believe that this time around, when Iran has had almost 40 years to prepare for a full-scale AngloZionist attack the Iranians will fight less fiercely or less competently?

Actually, yes, there is. They've had that many years of rule by the mullahs. Signs are they're beginning to get a bit tired of it.

> Now, I'm still not convinced that the God-Emperor is doing what most observers believe him to be doing

Agreed. Trump knows the people who elected him. We have no problem with offering all the air and sea support our allies in the region want. We're not going to support sending our troops in. We've had about enough of our people dying in pointless wars.

> Hardly...The US imports almost 10 million barrels per day....It would cause a depression and possibly revolution.

Yes, we do. But unlike the 1970's and 80's, we no longer have to. Now it's merely a question of convenience and cost. We could produce enough to meet our needs.

Anonymous Anonymous May 10, 2018 1:04 PM  

Invading Venezuela isn't just a bad idea, it's a phenomenally, spectacularly bad idea.  First, it would put the USA on the hook for all the idiot socialist policies of Chavez and Maduro.  Second, it would give hordes of (socialist, parasitic) Venezuelans a route into the US.

If we go into Venezuela, it has to be at the head of an army of Venezuelan ex-pats, probably organized and regimented by Brazil and Colombia.  As in, "You don't have to carry a rifle and take your country back, but you're not staying here."  The one thing we can do with ease is feed that army, and the starving hordes in Caracas and those who've fled.  That will do quite a bit to keep them at home.  Then we can rebuild the oil industry... on OUR terms.

But it has to be a Venezuelan army with US assistance, not a US army.

Blogger tuberman May 10, 2018 1:06 PM  


Saker is a moron in this particular case, as he has this all planned out like the 2006 war, and vast changes have happened. A lot has happened since 2006. The Hezbollah forces in 2006 were dug into an incredible tunnel system that was nearly impossible to take out from the air, and it united the major force of it's fighters. Even the missiles came out of the tunnels during periods of firing, and than disappeared back into the tunnels. Also, the population around them was more or less on their side due to some wanting to be and some intimidated.

What is true different today:

* The Hezbollah force has been infiltrated by other Muslim forces, and heavily from my reading.

* Several anti-tunnel techs have been invented to take out the toughest and best built tunnels

* The surrounding people barely support them anymore, easy to get intel from surrounding population.

*Iran is weak at home and will send little extra help, as they will not be able to sustain even war at home...which will mainly be from their own people and not Israel.

Probably several other changes from 2006 bad for the Hezbollah force that I will think of later. Suffice it to say the incredible tunnel system in 2006 was a kind of state of the art defensive system then, and it's since dated and lost it's shine.

Anonymous Anonymous May 10, 2018 1:16 PM  

Jews are protecting moslems using taxpayer money in Once Great Britain
https://diversitymachtfrei.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/jewish-community-security-trust-helps-beef-up-mosque-security/

There are also 50,000 Jews living peacefully in Iran.

One of only 4 Jewish charity hospitals in the world is in Tehran. But those are Sephardic (second class) jews in Iran that passed up a $10,000 relocation offer from Israel because Iranians treat Sephardic jews better than the white jews in Israel do.

unlike the 1970's and 80's, we no longer have to. Now it's merely a question of convenience and cost. We could produce enough to meet our needs.

US refineries are geared for shitty high sulfur middle east oil, the US fracking oil is higher grade & hardly produces any diesel. Also we need to get Liquid Natural Gas infrastructure set up Obama was holding it up.

Blogger rws May 10, 2018 1:17 PM  

@26 I think I've seen that movie before. It smells like...victory.

or not...

Anonymous Anonymous May 10, 2018 1:21 PM  

Invading Venezuela ...I think I've seen that movie before. It smells like...victory.or not...

Staring Joe Biden's cocaine snorting son as the guy given the Ukraine's oil reserves, & Soros as the guy who got 33 tons of the nations gold.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 10, 2018 1:23 PM  

tz wrote:There are also 50,000 Jews living peacefully in Iran. If Israel starts a war, Jews across the world won't be safe, and if they nuke anyone they are likely to initiate a new self-immolation Holocaust.


That's cute. You think they actually care about a bunch of Sephardim.

Blogger Desdichado May 10, 2018 1:30 PM  

Pale Male wrote:Invading Venezuela isn't just a bad idea, it's a phenomenally, spectacularly bad idea.  First, it would put the USA on the hook for all the idiot socialist policies of Chavez and Maduro.  Second, it would give hordes of (socialist, parasitic) Venezuelans a route into the US.

If we go into Venezuela, it has to be at the head of an army of Venezuelan ex-pats, probably organized and regimented by Brazil and Colombia.  As in, "You don't have to carry a rifle and take your country back, but you're not staying here."  The one thing we can do with ease is feed that army, and the starving hordes in Caracas and those who've fled.  That will do quite a bit to keep them at home.  Then we can rebuild the oil industry... on OUR terms.

But it has to be a Venezuelan army with US assistance, not a US army.

We could send all of the "Americans" that we don't want here down there to do that. Whether they succeed or fail, it's still good news for us.

Blogger tuberman May 10, 2018 1:31 PM  

The Mullahs in Iran are the ones supporting the Hezbollah force and most of the rest of the chaos in the ME, and the EU elite are profiting from this and it helps to keep the actual European common people under control. Hezbollah will be destroyed, the Mullahs will hang, and the EU elite will be one step closer to losing their heads... metaphorically first.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 10, 2018 1:32 PM  

James Dixon wrote:Actually, yes, there is. They've had that many years of rule by the mullahs. Signs are they're beginning to get a bit tired of it.
Remember 9/11?
Attacking Iran is likely the only way to keep the mullahs in power.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelpia May 10, 2018 1:34 PM  

I totally agree with @ James Dixon @Tuberman.

We're not going to go to war with Iran, and Israel is not going to go to war with Iran, and the only country that would even THINK Of using Nukes first is...ta da!!...Iran. If they do, all bets are off.

Right now, and for the foreseeable future, conflicts are going to be proxy conflicts. Yemen. Hezbollah. Syrian civil war. Smallish, localized, circumscribed -- though potentially deadly for those in the way.

We forget that Israel thought about taking out Iran's nuclear infrastructure. They asked themselvs, and appropriately so, , "well, can we do to the Iranians what we did to Saddam at Osirak?" They checked with the Saudis -- can we fly over your airspace? No problem. Then they evaluated the geography and topography of all the facilities, many dug in and fortified from air attack. And then the Israels even rehearsed a long distance multi strike force refueling operation over the Mediterranea to replicate what a trip to Iran and back would entail logistically.

And what did they decide to do?

Nothing. Going after Osirak? Easy. Going after one Syrian reactor? A no-brainer.

But Iran? A more or less modern state with 80 million people -- many clicks away -- with a nation state military and modern air defence system?

No effin' way.

So it's more or less status quo. Israel will attack locally whatever it deems a threat. Iran will never formally attack Israel. Localized disruptions is what we will see.

Blogger Frank Brady May 10, 2018 1:40 PM  

With all due respect to the God Emperor's loyal subjects, Trump has gone full-bore neocon. Period.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 10, 2018 1:42 PM  

Frank Brady wrote:With all due respect to the God Emperor's loyal subjects, Trump has gone full-bore neocon. Period.
Frank, don't you ever tire of being wrong?

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 10, 2018 1:43 PM  

Pale Male: it was a joke, genius.

BGKoranBurner: Some US refineries are set up for the shitty crude. Look for the twin oil derrick looking towers. Those are coking towers. Mainly in the Gulf Coast, due to its proximity to Venezuela, and crude pipelines from Canada to Houston. Many Midwest and east coast refineries are set up for the Bakken crudes, and more and more refineries are expanding and changing to take any crude in and process it. Multiple distillation towers, secondary processing units, etc.

West Coast refineries are on their own, due to the insanity of the Left Coast.

Saudi Arabia infrastructure disappearing in a flash of ordnance/fission products would be a gift from heaven for US oil and gas. Please believe me, I got enough to feed the needy.

Blogger VFM #7634 May 10, 2018 1:45 PM  

As I understand it, the "net" use imports (imports - exports) for US petroleum is only about 4 million a day, and the overwhelming majority of our imports come from Canada & South America. Very little actually comes from the Middle East.

@11 SDaly
Nearly half of our oil imports come from Canada, with Latin America as a whole being the second largest source. Most Mideast oil we do get comes from either Iraq or Saudi Arabia, due I suppose to special deals we have.

Invading Venezuela isn't just a bad idea, it's a phenomenally, spectacularly bad idea. First, it would put the USA on the hook for all the idiot socialist policies of Chavez and Maduro. Second, it would give hordes of (socialist, parasitic) Venezuelans a route into the US.


@26 Pale Male
Best case scenario would be for Colombia to invade Venezuela and toss out Maduro, sort of like the Romanians did with Bela Kun.

Blogger Hammerli280 May 10, 2018 1:45 PM  

@26: "But it has to be a Venezuelan army with US assistance, not a US army."

Yup. Big time. This was how Reagan won the Central American campaigns of the 1980s. He didn't send an American army to do the fighting, he sent supplies and let the locals sort it all out.

Background: The U.S. Army is xenophobic. They do NOT like working with foreigners. Had a bad experience in the First World War, repeated it in the Second World War, Korea, and Vietnam. Send them, and they'll shove the locals aside and do all the fighting themselves.

More background: Insurgency and counterinsurgency are domestic politics by force of arms. We do NOT know the politics as well as the locals.

Still More Background: The American electorate will fight for 36 months. After that, they will demand to see either victory in sight or a disengagement being attempted. Politicians who forget this become unemployed.

Blogger DonReynolds May 10, 2018 1:48 PM  

It may come as a major disappointment to The Saker to learn that nobody actually wants to invade or occupy Iran. There is no one who wants to destroy the cities in Iran, or sink their entire navy, or shoot down every Iranian aircraft. As for Iranian civilians, I never met anyone who hated the Persians. I am sure there are some, since everyone has enemies, but Americans do not get up every morning with a burning desire to kill Iranians. When I was in college there were many Iranians and they were some of the biggest party animals on campus...great bunch of guys too.

If there is a shooting situation with Iran, it will be in a third country...not Iran. So long as the Iranians are a major sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East, it becomes much more likely that the shootout with Iran will be in Syria, or Yemen, or Lebanon, or Afghanistan....where their odds of success are only slightly better than them invading and occupying Canada. Not many countries have the resources (or experience) at projecting force 10,000 miles from their own country and Iran is not one of them. This is why the Iranians are not going to use nukes and for the same reason, nukes will not be used against them either. Iran is simply not a credible threat at this time, no matter what the NeoCons say.

Blogger VFM #7634 May 10, 2018 1:51 PM  

Still More Background: The American electorate will fight for 36 months. After that, they will demand to see either victory in sight or a disengagement being attempted. Politicians who forget this become unemployed.

@40 Hammerli280
One big reason we got Trump was Dubya and his Iraq War.

Blogger centexguy May 10, 2018 1:55 PM  

I just reread The Saker's column on North Korea from December 2017. Not one mention of the negotiating tactics Trump was employing to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula. So of course in this article it's "intellectual nausea" to think Trump takes credit for bringing North Korea to the negotiating table. I prefer the predictive skills of Scott Adams (who admits he knows little about this sort of stuff) over someone like Saker.

Blogger Ledford Ledford May 10, 2018 1:59 PM  

We weren't at war with Iran before the deal, and we weren't during the deal. I don't see war as much more likely now that we're out again.

Saker is an interesting, insightful loon. He's fun to read, like Peter Schiff. You can learn something, but take it for what it is.

Blogger Meimou May 10, 2018 2:01 PM  

The shills at BB seem to be priming us into a conflic with Russia and/or threating Russia.

In other words vladmir if you don't get your troops and equipment out of syria you may be collateral damage. You have been warned

I hope the IDF attacks Putin forces if the Russians act up!


Russia would be extremely foolish to attack Israel even in a proxy war. BiBi, much like Trump has demonstrated amazing restraint

According to the propaganda it seems

1. Israel really wants Russia out of Syria. Israel is willing to attack Russia get them out of Syria.

2. Israel is planning to attack Russia and is warning them not to retaliate.

3. Israel is warning Russia not to retaliate against extremely agressive action towards Syria.

Blogger Ledford Ledford May 10, 2018 2:09 PM  

Re: Venezuela

We are utterly incapable of any direct or indirect military intervention in Venezuela that would improve the situation. All we would do is create a whole new category of refugees.

I pity the Venezuelans and hope they can do better with their gov't. Meanwhile they do serve as a cautionary tale.

Blogger DonReynolds May 10, 2018 2:10 PM  

On the subject of Venezuela, there is zero reasons for the US to invade that country. They are only starving their own people....not us. They are destroying their own future....not ours. We have zero reasons for even thinking about it. If the regional adult supervision in South America feels the need to deal with Venezuela, they can shop for weapons in the USA, as long as they have the bongo bucks to pay for their purchases. No credit. No discount. If the CIA has money enough to mount a secret invasion of Venezuela, they need their budget cut.

The domestic solution in Venezuela will resolve itself without US participation. People do not starve for very long. Either they resolve the situation themselves or they die. It is their choice....not ours.

Blogger Ingot9455 May 10, 2018 2:11 PM  

@39 But the quantity from the Middle East substantially affects the global market price. Obviously it's cheaper to get your oil through a pipeline which is why Obama was against the Keystone Pipeline and the benefits it would bring. But the shipping cost of oil on tanker-trains and giant slow ships is very well known and priced into the market. And when something happens to someone and they have to dump their oil to secure funds, say, then they price that shipping into whereever they have to sell it and whoever has the space to hold it.

That we happen to get the large majority of our oil from the closest space doesn't mean the prices in other parts of the world doesn't affect us.

Blogger Ingot9455 May 10, 2018 2:13 PM  

@35 I'll just add that Israel even scoped out a secret attack on Iran's nuclear infrastructure from Azerbaijan - and Obama dropped the dime on it to the Iranians and they had to pull out.

Anonymous Anonymous May 10, 2018 2:19 PM  

DonReynolds wrote:On the subject of Venezuela, there is zero reasons for the US to invade that country. They are only starving their own people....not us. They are destroying their own future....not ours. We have zero reasons for even thinking about it.
Not quite true.  It is no doubt adding to the flows of illegals, not just Venezuelans but also Colombians displaced by escapees and others up the line.  The more Venezuelans go home, the easier it is to deport illegals.

The way we'd do this is as the logistical muscle helping Brazil and Colombia to get their troublesome refugee populations to go back home.  When Maduro gets the Mussolini treatment and the US aid convoy arrives in Caracas to break the famine, we'd be the heroes... without firing a shot.

Anonymous Anonymous May 10, 2018 2:20 PM  

bgkoranburner wrote:the US fracking oil is higher grade & hardly produces any diesel. Also we need to get Liquid Natural Gas infrastructure set up
Those two things are actually related.  There was a push to get LNG infrastructure into a lot of US truck stops and convert trucks to NG engines, but it stalled when OPEC opened the taps and the price of diesel plummeted.  If there's a problem with a shortage of diesel, all we have to do is get the LNG program moving again.

For many years, the US was a net exporter of diesel fuel.  It only became more popular when the US gas glut made it very cheap to produce ULSD here (it needs hydrogen for defulfurization, and hydrogen is made from NG) and ship it out; this ready export market drove the price premium held by ULSD over gasoline.  But if we have all kinds of light crude (aka natural gasoline) coming out of our shales and not producing much diesel, we can convert trucking to stop using what we're short of and use what we've got great gobs of instead.  As a bonus, the trucks will be a lot cleaner and quieter too.

Blogger Cash May 10, 2018 2:23 PM  

The Saker is a woman.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 10, 2018 2:29 PM  

Hydrogen is not made from natural gas, unless you're talking about syngas. Even so that isn't a big part of hydrogen supplies. Most of it is produced as a result of normal refinery operations.

Liquid Natural Gas is merely liquefied methane. NGL and y grade is the correct term for what you're thinking of. That's the ethane, propane and butane products that are the petrochemical feedstocks, and what we need more of. The best ways to get those are by gas processing of rich gas and exploiting the payback zones in shape plays that are the liquids window or very wet (in terms of heavier hydrocarbons). That's why the Permian is the hottest area on the planet, the wet gas and liquids, and of course the oil.

Blogger Unknown May 10, 2018 2:44 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Unknown May 10, 2018 2:55 PM  

As always, my advice when confronted with unknowns and unknowables is to wait and see.

Don't know those other chaps, but I'm sure they'll agree that Palantir predictions of doomglory are going to be right at least some of the time. That's crystal balls for ya. The steel ones are better. They swing better and make a confident clanging sound in your strides. The sound brings more to the herd, although they have to deal with more shit from the bull.

Blogger DonReynolds May 10, 2018 2:56 PM  

@50 Pale Male
Not many of us are interested in being heroes to a nation of starving people.

People starve for a variety of reasons. Maybe their geography does not favor food production. Maybe they refuse to trade. Maybe they blew all their money on arms and highways instead. Maybe because of war. Maybe because they breed like houseflies. But usually because of stupidity and I have no interest in saving starving people who also happen to be collectively stupid. It may be natural selection at work, or maybe they need to learn new priorities, or maybe this will kickstart their own agriculture. Under no circumstance should we interfere with their karma.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 10, 2018 3:07 PM  

Pale Male wrote:But it has to be a Venezuelan army with US assistance, not a US army.

Competent empires spend their vassal states' blood and treasure, not their own. The US is not a competent empire.

Blogger VFM #7634 May 10, 2018 3:11 PM  

That we happen to get the large majority of our oil from the closest space doesn't mean the prices in other parts of the world doesn't affect us.

@48 Ingot
If Europe and Japan were cut off from Mideast oil, they'd suffer first and most. Sure, it would affect us, but it would take a while for supplies to be diverted. And even then, I don't think it would happen completely to equalize prices between us and Europe/Japan.

Blogger MadMax 1861 May 10, 2018 3:13 PM  

@7 https://www.newsmax.com/finance/markets/oil-imports-us-crude/2018/05/08/id/859106/
"The Energy Information Administration sees net imports of crude and petroleum products dropping to 1.5 million barrels a day in 2019, the lowest level since Dwight Eisenhower was president." The key word is "net" imports, as the US exports millions of barrels of petroleum products each day.Most US imports are from Canada.

Read Newsmax: U.S. Seen Cutting Oil Imports to Lowest Since Eisenhower (1) | Newsmax.com
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Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 10, 2018 3:51 PM  

Meimou wrote:I hope the IDF attacks Putin forces if the Russians act up!

Since I'm not an anti-Semite, I certainly hope the IDF is not that stupid. Russia would walk over Israel in a week, maybe less. And if Israel used nukes, there would be none left alive.

Blogger Almodavar May 10, 2018 4:03 PM  

@58 Not to mention China gets a heck of a lot of oil from Iran. The Gulf area, in total, is probably their the number one supplier.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 10, 2018 4:31 PM  

And that also ties into the Silk Road initiative.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener May 10, 2018 4:50 PM  

I believe Saker is totally misreading Trump. Analyzing him as though he's a typical neocon just doesn't work.

Blogger Long Live The West May 10, 2018 5:14 PM  

Why the hell are people here talking about invading Venezuela? The last thing we need Trump to do is start a war. We can't afford to bail out and/or invade every single country in the world.

Our troops belong on the border, not screwing up every damn country in the world.

Blogger Jordan May 10, 2018 5:47 PM  

Trump should propose a “peace summit “ with Israel, Iran and the U.S. as participants.

Blogger pyrrhus May 10, 2018 5:52 PM  

"I hope the IDF attacks Putin forces if the Russians act up!"

Me too...The Russian militia, without their regular military, would route the IDF in short order...The Golani Brigade ran from Hezbollah.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 10, 2018 5:58 PM  

I WAS JOKING ABOUT VENEZUELA

Blogger pyrrhus May 10, 2018 6:01 PM  

US oil production (9.5mbpd) and Natural gas liquids (3.7 mbpd) in 2017....total 13 mbpd....https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/us_oil.php

Blogger pyrrhus May 10, 2018 6:02 PM  

Consumption of oil alone, 20 mbpd...

Blogger Robert What? May 10, 2018 7:09 PM  

Since Israel calls the shots for American foreign policy the US might very well go to war with Iran. I voted for Trump but I think his primary motivation is to be "liked". He has surrounded himself with NeoCons who will "like" him all that he could wish if he does what they say.

Blogger Dirk Manly May 10, 2018 7:12 PM  

@32

"We could send all of the "Americans" that we don't want here down there to do that. Whether they succeed or fail, it's still good news for us."

It would definitely be a "draftable" moment.

Blogger jb May 10, 2018 7:28 PM  

" . . . but I am not at all convinced that Trump is actually giving them what they want."

Correct. How so - most will have to wait to see.

Blogger Dirk Manly May 10, 2018 7:30 PM  

@48

"
That we happen to get the large majority of our oil from the closest space doesn't mean the prices in other parts of the world doesn't affect us."

Very True. The British went whole hog into developing North Sea oil sources, thinking it would make them immune to worldwide price fluctuations.

What they found was that when the worldwide price went up, their North Sea companies had the choice of either

(A) not-raising prices for domestic consumption (not happening), or

(B) selling on the world market at the world price (guaranteed if A is their only alternative), or

(C) selling on the domestic market for the world price (what happens they are allowed to act freely).

Blogger Ian Stein May 10, 2018 7:39 PM  

Neocons Always Double Down

Could be a book in there somewhere.

Blogger Dirk Manly May 10, 2018 7:41 PM  

@56

"
People starve for a variety of reasons. Maybe their geography does not favor food production. Maybe they refuse to trade. Maybe they blew all their money on arms and highways instead. Maybe because of war. Maybe because they breed like houseflies. But usually because of stupidity and I have no interest in saving starving people who also happen to be collectively stupid. It may be natural selection at work, or maybe they need to learn new priorities, or maybe this will kickstart their own agriculture. Under no circumstance should we interfere with their karma."

In this case, there are two camps

1) The Communists who put Chavez in power and kept him there

2) The rest of the country who took insufficient measures to defeat group (1).

Blogger Dirk Manly May 10, 2018 7:44 PM  

@60

>Meimou wrote:
>>I hope the IDF attacks Putin forces if the Russians act up!


>Since I'm not an anti-Semite, I certainly hope the IDF is not that stupid. Russia would walk over Israel in a week, maybe less. And if Israel used nukes, there would be none left alive.


Even the Palis would weep, as they would know for certain that they would be stuck in Gaza for several dozen generations, as whatever homesteads they are trying to get back would be glowing in the dark.

Blogger Dirk Manly May 10, 2018 7:47 PM  

@64

"Our troops belong on the border, not screwing up every damn country in the world."

On the bright side, there's nothing left to screw up in Venezuela. They even ate all the zoo animals a couple years ago.

On the Brighter Side, Trump has shown absolutely no concern for what the Venezuelans have done to themselves and allowed the doers to do to themselves.

Blogger Dirk Manly May 10, 2018 7:48 PM  

@70

"Since Israel calls the shots for American foreign policy the US might very well go to war with Iran. I voted for Trump but I think his primary motivation is to be "liked". He has surrounded himself with NeoCons who will "like" him all that he could wish if he does what they say."

And he keeps firing them for being idiots.

Blogger dienw May 10, 2018 8:02 PM  

@57
Competent empires spend their vassal states' blood and treasure, not their own. The US is not a competent empire.

Greater Israel desires to use our blood and treasure.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 10, 2018 9:17 PM  

dienw wrote:Greater Israel desires to use our blood and treasure.

Greater Israel is better at empire than Uncle Sucker.

Anonymous Anonymous May 11, 2018 1:11 AM  

Stg58/Animal Mother wrote:Hydrogen is not made from natural gas
Nitwit.  The overwhelming majority of hydrogen is made by steam-reforming of natural gas; "Currently, the majority of hydrogen (∼95%) is produced from fossil fuels by steam reforming or partial oxidation of methane and coal gasification with only a small quantity by other routes such as biomass gasification or electrolysis of water."  That's why the North American gas glut makes ULSD refining so much more attractive here than in e.g. Rotterdam.

Liquid Natural Gas is merely liquefied methane. NGL and y grade is the correct term for what you're thinking of.
You are confusing Liquid Natural Gas and Natural Gas Liquids.  The former is a cryogenic liquid composed mostly of CH4, the latter is mostly propane and higher which are liquid at room temperature under pressure.

Now stop trying to play an authority in a subject where you are grossly ignorant.

Anonymous Anonymous May 11, 2018 1:12 AM  

DonReynolds wrote:Not many of us are interested in being heroes to a nation of starving people.
I don't particularly care if we're heroes to them.  I do care if they stay home instead of trying to come here.

People starve for a variety of reasons. Maybe their geography does not favor food production. Maybe they refuse to trade.
Maybe their socialist government destroyed food production.  Strike "maybe".  Removing the government and killing its officials and enforcers is a necessary part of any remedy.

I have no interest in saving starving people who also happen to be collectively stupid.
Venezuela was doing okay in food before Chavez/Maduro.  I think we can help them fix this by removing the right fuckheads.

Anonymous Anonymous May 11, 2018 1:13 AM  

Why the hell are people here talking about invading Venezuela?
We don't need or want to invade Venezuela.  We want Venezuelans to take their country back from the communists who have destroyed food production and imposed starvation where there was abundance.

Blogger Dirk Manly May 11, 2018 1:38 AM  

Back in the `1970s-80s, Venezuela was the most prosperous country in South America, and compared favorably with Mexico.

Anonymous Anonymous May 11, 2018 3:42 AM  

Dirk Manly wrote:Back in the `1970s-80s, Venezuela was the most prosperous country in South America, and compared favorably with Mexico.

And then something happened. Something dark and evil.

If only our "best and brightest" could figure out what that thing was so that no other country would have to go through the hell that is present day Venezuela.

Blogger The Surly Beaver May 11, 2018 5:42 AM  

That Saker column is wish fulfillment of the highest order. He hates Jews and Americans, and ergo they'll lose any war against Hezbollah and Iran. While Hezbollah fought well against Israel in the 2006 Lebanon War that was a defensive war for which they had prepared, fought on their home ground. While Hezbollah has been an effective fighting force in Syria, it has sustained very heavy casualties over the course of the conflict, as have the various Iranian forces. Fighting in the offensive role, it's forces are far more vulnerable to Israeli air strikes. And if Israel and Iran go at it hammer and tongs in Syria it won't just be an air war on Israel's part - they will be siding with the various anti-regime forces which have been losing, partly due to Russian/Syrian regime air superiority, and partly due to the superiority of Iranian and Hezbollah forces on the ground. With Israeli air support and degraded Hezbollah and Iranian ground forces, the ground war could suddenly tilt a different way.

Saker seemingly didn't notice that Netanyahu was Putin's guest of honour at Moscow's Victory Day Parade this week. I doubt Putin will shed a tear if the Israeli's bomb the shit out of Iranian forces in Syria - Russia and Iran may both support Assad, but they're still rivals for influence within his government.

Saker's right that Iran could conceivably damage it's opponents' ability to extract and export oil from the Persian Gulf, but of course its' own oil industry is equally vulnerable (if not more so) in the event of a conflict. How long can Iran sustain its forces in Syria without any oil income?

That's a lot of magical thinking in one article.

Blogger Robert Browning May 11, 2018 8:13 AM  

Trump knows Jews are cowards at heart and by pushing the cowardly Jew to fight Trump hope to make a peace deal.

Blogger James Dixon May 11, 2018 11:50 AM  

The type of US action you can expect to see wrt to Iran: http://freebeacon.com/national-security/white-house-examining-plan-spark-regime-change-iran/

Blogger Daniel May 11, 2018 8:45 PM  

Venezuelans will not revolt

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