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Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Mailvox: the view from the field

A military reader shares his take on recent events from the Middle East:
I'm an American field grade officer in [REDACTED], and would like to calm things down a bit, concerning the Iranian missile strike on Al-Assad Air Base, and Erbil. I was in [REDACTED] during the strike. Here's my take.

1. We received "intelligence reports" that there would be a missile strike that night in two volleys. We didn't know the hour, or location, but there were in fact two volleys. Field intelligence is never that accurate, in my experience.

2. The first volley launched within minutes of us receiving the "intelligence report".

3. I watched the rockets impact - mostly ineffectively - on a live feed.

4. Pres Trump tweeted that there were no American casualties, and little damage, before we even received the Battle Damage Assessment, but he was right.

5. Iran, Iraq, and Pres Trump were all talking about de-escalation within hours of the strike.

The whole night, I couldn't escape the feeling that the whole thing is intended to give Pres Trump a reason to remove troops from Iraq, while giving all three parties (Iran, Iraq, and the USA) reason to claim a win - the USA killed a very bad man, Iran struck The Great Satan, and Iraq gets to reassert their sovereignty.

We'll see, but that's the way it looks from [REDACTED]. Finally....

6. I watched the Neo-Clowns on Fox News agitate for war. I just thought, "give it a rest, man!"
If war is politics by other means, military theatrics are diplomacy by other means. And what we're seeing here looks a lot more indicative of diplomacy-by-missile-barrage than actual war.

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92 Comments:

Blogger VFM #7634 January 08, 2020 7:43 AM  

From Drudge (yeah, I know...):

"Ukraine plane crashes in Iran, killing all 176 on board... Developing..."

Blogger JamesB.BKK January 08, 2020 7:50 AM  

If so, that's terrific. And downright original.

Blogger John Best. January 08, 2020 8:04 AM  

Yep. The US is moved out of the middle east under Trump, Saudi is bogged down in Yemen and Israel has internal political issues. Syria is restoring its state, with Iran and Turkey moving into competition. So things are looking good for the Iranians and Americans, there isn't much chance of there being a war. Now there could be other middle eastern wars coming, however the US won't be involved beyond the minimum level. Neo-Cons are on the run.

Blogger Mirk Wood January 08, 2020 8:05 AM  

GE is awesome.

Blogger Silent Draco January 08, 2020 8:06 AM  

Politicians don't understand that Clausewitcz is commutative; politics is an extension of war by other means. Disengaging and ending conflict on terms acceptable to all major parties is delicate, and takes a lot of subtlety, like playing 5D chess and Calvinball. The next month will be interesting for what doesn't happen publicly.

Blogger D E K January 08, 2020 8:07 AM  

Military theatrics - diplomacy with other means - great take on this matter.
Would not be surprised if Trump strikes 30 rockets around an Iranian compound in Syria and not hurting one soul.

Blogger Doktor Jeep January 08, 2020 8:19 AM  

What I like most about this: instead of the proles being played into war by neocons, real adults are using the same tactics to play the proles out of war.
None of that bowtie wearing "we're above these tactics" moves, ending in the graveyard of dialectic. This is what has the neocons and deceivers' panties in such an epic wad. Adults are in charge.

Blogger Nym Coy January 08, 2020 8:19 AM  

Morale boost much appreciated.

Blogger David Ray Milton January 08, 2020 8:23 AM  

A win for all three sides in a fake war. If that’s not millennial warfare then...

But seriously, it’s nice to see all these countries playing chess well together if that’s what is happening.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan January 08, 2020 8:24 AM  

#3 Careful what you wish for, I personally want a secure Israel and I want our gentle and kind but neurotic Healers to go live there, but if it collapses guess who gets them? And then we would end up going thru all the tarded theatrics of Jewspiracytards vs The Holy Hebrews for decades more. Oh Lord spare us that.

Blogger Richard Holmes January 08, 2020 8:24 AM  

If so, that's terrific. And downright original. JamesB.BKK

Terrific, yes. Original.. Not so much.

Blogger Shimshon January 08, 2020 8:27 AM  

Gives new meaning to "Mission Accomplished." In this way, Fake News does not discriminate. They'll regurgitate anything as long as the provenance is acceptable to them.

Blogger Silly but True January 08, 2020 8:36 AM  

Trump should declare Soleimani a national hero and a martyr for facilitating peace between US and Iran and bringing an end to US involvement in Iraq, expel Turkey from NATO and invite Iran to replace them, then announce a new Trump Tower Tehran & Mosque development deal.

Blogger roundeye January 08, 2020 8:43 AM  

Sulimani ran the Shiite militias in Iraq (among other things). Maybe he got too high for the Iranian regime, they gave the nod to kill him, US leaves and Shiite militias can install a satrap who will listen to Tehran.

Blogger Iron Spartan January 08, 2020 8:48 AM  

Win/Win/Win is what the God Emperor does best

Blogger Meanoldbasterd January 08, 2020 8:51 AM  

one thing bugs me about this vox, does this mean the Iranians gave solemani up, or perhaps that they found themselves in a xanatos gambit and bit the bullet AFTER he was dead? this raises another question, if the latter is the case, what could Trump be threatening them with that would cause them to back down after all the wailing and screaming we saw in their parliament?

Blogger Stephen January 08, 2020 9:04 AM  

https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/kek.jpg

Blogger CarpeOro January 08, 2020 9:07 AM  

"intelligence reports"... For those to whom this isn't clear, I'd love to introduce you to three card Monty.

Blogger Longtime Lurker January 08, 2020 9:09 AM  

Last night the Iranians put on one helluva smoke and light show.

They don't want war.

We don't want war. Except for the Neo-Clowns on Fox.

If I never hear a Republican senator call for the destruction of Iranian oil refineries again, it won't be too soon.

Blogger Jake January 08, 2020 9:14 AM  

I myself overreacted, against my rational judgment, just because of the media frenzy. Then I thought- wow. Iran gets to "get revenge" publicly. Salameini is still dead (or maybe he's not). Iraq still has asked the USA to leave. This could literally be the only viable way to get our troops out of Iraq.
If so, kudos to the GE.
If not... well, we shall soon find out.

Blogger Akuma January 08, 2020 9:15 AM  

"If that’s not millennial warfare then... "

Whats Boomer warfare then? Slaughtering your unborn children,destroying the earth, and losing.

Blogger CarpeOro January 08, 2020 9:17 AM  

A sort of an aside. I came across a Bantam book when I did photographic interpretation and recommended it to people in my unit. It was "The War Magician", if I recall correctly a third generation magician who was recruited by the British to pull off various feats of misdirection (one of which I'm sure most interested in WWII would recall - the fake army of Patton prior to D-Day). What you hear third or forth hand is seldom any where near the real story.

Blogger Oswald January 08, 2020 9:19 AM  

Here is a thought: If there are Iranian Sleeper cells in the USA wouldn't they have been commanded by Soleimani. So his death one would expect would trigger them in the near future? If their attacks were bad enough, wouldn't the government need to declare martial law? What if that happened? Would Trump finally start making arrests of the traitors?

But if they don't happen, what does that mean? Solemani's death prevents the go signal? Someone else controls them in Iran or somewhere else? They don't exist like we have been led to believe? All interesting questions.

Blogger John Rockwell January 08, 2020 9:26 AM  

Doktor Jeep wrote:What I like most about this: instead of the proles being played into war by neocons, real adults are using the same tactics to play the proles out of war.

None of that bowtie wearing "we're above these tactics" moves, ending in the graveyard of dialectic. This is what has the neocons and deceivers' panties in such an epic wad. Adults are in charge.


The most Godly results always come from those Sun Tzu like tactics.

And the precious lives of our warriors are most spared by said superior strategies.

Men who value the Logos and the value placed on image-bearers of God are obligated act this way. Consistent with the requirement to be as Wise as Serpents.

Blogger Fuzzums Wuzzums January 08, 2020 9:29 AM  

The impeachment hearings all seem like so long ago.

Blogger FUBARwest January 08, 2020 9:31 AM  

Three years in and people still can't figure out the GE?

Blogger camcleat January 08, 2020 9:35 AM  

Every time the NeoCons / Faux News calls for war and we don't actually play the game, it discredits them further and further.

I love it.

My sisters and their husbands, all of Boomer age, spend endless hours glued to FN and handwring over this stuff. It's fun to point out just how often the punditry has been wrong in their dire predictions.


Russia? Syria? Iran? North Korea? China? And that's just within, what, the last 2-3 years?

Come on, Normies! Figure it out! You can do it! FakeNews is LyingMedia.

Blogger Crew January 08, 2020 9:35 AM  

There is speculation that Iran shot down that airliner (accidentally?):

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/iran-refuses-hand-over-crash-data-stoking-speculation-plane-was-accidentally-shot-down

Blogger Zaklog the Great January 08, 2020 9:38 AM  

I'm going to have to watch carefully to see who I follow is actually calling for war. No matter how long I've liked them, I'll probably have to cut them out. Have they learned nothing over the past two decades?

I hope you're right here, Vox. That sounds like an overall positive scenario. Maybe we could actually dial down U.S. military commitments for once.

Blogger Monotonous Languor January 08, 2020 9:48 AM  

I love it! If Trump can pull this off, he will be the greatest chess master ever to hold the office of President. The only fly in the ointment: the Deep State could still try to interfere with the mechanics of withdrawal.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( you think it's a coincidence that Tucker Carlson shares initials with Ted Cobbler? Never Go Full Retard ) January 08, 2020 9:52 AM  

okay, i called Trump playing 4d chess to get us out of Iraq.

but i never expected him to collude with Iran.

i guess it's a good thing he's Putin's sock puppet.

i want to see the Demonrats impeach Trump for colluding with ERRYBODY.

Blogger xevious2030 January 08, 2020 9:56 AM  

I have no idea if any of that is true, but there is a beautiful logic to it. Even if it were not the case, all three parties accepting that narrative would be entirely workable. If Iran did want to deescalate, and the previous number two did not want to go along, that scenario would allow for his removal from the table, and for a move to begin to normalize relations and the US military to leave Iraq. Fingers crossed.

Blogger Attila is my bro January 08, 2020 10:09 AM  

>>Mr.MantraManJanuary 08, 2020 8:24 AM
#3 Careful what you wish for, I personally want a secure Israel and I want our gentle and kind but neurotic Healers to go live there, but if it collapses guess who gets them? And then we would end up going thru all the tarded theatrics of Jewspiracytards vs The Holy Hebrews for decades more. Oh Lord spare us that.

They can go to Uganda. Problem solved. Then again, the Chinese might object.

Blogger Cetera January 08, 2020 10:15 AM  

Three uniquely timed earthquakes in Iran over the last week.

Blogger Dave January 08, 2020 10:19 AM  

POTUS remarks live at 11am est

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XY_RVhO4mc

Blogger Nikolai Collushnikov January 08, 2020 10:42 AM  

Covefefe.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 08, 2020 10:45 AM  

Ballistic specifically means unpowered on final approach, like a bullet.

Blogger Owen Martin January 08, 2020 10:47 AM  

The Iranian general lives.

This is all theatre.

Blogger Richard_III January 08, 2020 10:47 AM  

Thank God for the GE. I shudder to think how any of the alternatives would have handled situations like these.

Blogger Krymneth January 08, 2020 10:54 AM  

It sounds like wiggling in between the differences in our cultures. The face-saving culture gets to save face, and our honor-based culture (obvious snark about that aside) gets to believe it's withdrawing honorably. Everybody comes away thinking they won and there is peace. The only losers are those who profit from endless pointless "war".

This sounds like Trump is in control.

(If you do not immediately know what a "face-saving culture" and an "honor-based culture" are, I highly recommend duck duck go-ing it. It is one of the most basic of the cultural differences in the world, but does not seem to be understood by very many people. If you communicate internationally at all, like for your job, this is immediately practical stuff.)

Blogger Jay Will January 08, 2020 11:03 AM  

Too many neocons looking clueless about this, they don't appear to be in on it. There was definitely an aim to set Islam against West, especially USA, and out of that chaos more globalism. US was meant to go boots on the ground into Iran so you both bash each other up. Idea being to crack both nationalism and Islamism. As the bodies build up people get sick of war, and war becomes attached to national pride, valour, religion. The aim is to sully those things and make people fear them. Give up your claws and we will make you safe!

Blogger Lazarus January 08, 2020 11:06 AM  

John Best. wrote:, Saudi is bogged down in Yemen

They are rapidly unbogging. Saudis & Houthis in recent peace talks. Khalid bin Salman is the Saudi in charge of the effort. He met with Trump yesterday.


Donald J. Trump
‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump
21h21 hours ago

Had a very good meeting with @kbsalsaud of Saudi Arabia. We discussed Trade, Military, Oil Prices, Security, and Stability in the Middle East!

Blogger Critias January 08, 2020 11:07 AM  

@28
AC was reporting that a twitter account he follows for news was deactivated after it tweeted out a video of the Ukrainian plane being shot down. This is only allegedly that it tweeted a video as there is no evidence that it did.

But it's a strange coincidence given that Iran and Ukraine are involved in the conspiracy.

Blogger Newscaper312 January 08, 2020 11:11 AM  

This is the correct active link w camera on - not speaking yet as of 10:08

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dsxHjbHP1Y

Blogger Newscaper312 January 08, 2020 11:15 AM  

@43 FWIW most passengers of the were apparently Iranian. Saw the passenger list somewhere. No conspiracy, just a massive screwup by Iran right when trying to look tough and competent.

Blogger borsabil January 08, 2020 11:19 AM  

The kvetching from right wingers about Trump supposedly selling out to Israel at least lets us know who has a brain and who doesn't. The GE has had multiple opportunities to start a war with Iran and he's passed on every single one. In fact he's gone out of his way to scupper the neo con warmongers. There will be no ME war on his watch, end of fucking sentence.

The interesting thing to me about how this little drama has played out is looking at how the various sides have reacted. Who gave the intelligence to the CIA which allowed for the droning? Are elements within the Iranian leadership secretly cooperating with the US? Was Soleimani a threat to those efforts and did it suit both sides to be rid of him? Certainly Israel seemed far from happy at the assassination. The middle east is the home of the double and triple cross and those who we think are allies can be mortal enemies at the turn of a dime and vice versa.

Blogger James Dixon January 08, 2020 11:26 AM  

> and Shiite militias can install a satrap who will listen to Tehran.

And the Sunni's start an immediate insurgency which we can fund for peanuts, thus removing Iraq's ability to bother anyone else for decades. This also leaves the Kurds to mind their own affairs, largely independent of both.

Blogger lowercaseb January 08, 2020 11:28 AM  

David Ray Milton wrote:A win for all three sides in a fake war. If that’s not millennial warfare then...

That is a perfect take on this, and one of the few times when I am OK with trophies for everybody.

Blogger PolitiCrump January 08, 2020 11:29 AM  

It's possible...but it all sounds a little too convenient. I don't doubt that Trump has the finesse to pull this off, but if so, are the neoclowns surrounding him really this dull, or are they just so blinded by their hatred that they've lost all perspective?

Blogger Dave January 08, 2020 11:36 AM  

POTUS live

www.whitehouse.gov/live/

Blogger Jack Amok January 08, 2020 11:39 AM  

US out of [REDACTED] now!

The most interesting take I've seen on TGE droning Soleimani came from Wretchard over at The Belmont Club. He pointed out that we've functionally been at war with Iran for 40 years, but the elites have denied the fact because these [REDACTED] operations give them so much opportunity for "deal-making" (aka graft and corruption):

Hidden wars allow Western politicians to avoid World War 2-type political choices that might lead to binary outcomes like victory or defeat in favor of a chronic conflict flying just beneath the media radar. That way deal-making can continue with minor interruptions.

By killing Soleimani, TGE forced things into the open.

If Trump's goal was to drag the secret four-decade war out of the shadows he has succeeded spectacularly. Suddenly Iran can no longer pick and choose when to engage. Suddenly politicians can no longer indefinitely fight this "forever war" without accountability. Pressure will mount in Congress to vote on what to do about it: win, surrender or initiate a negotiated settlement. If nothing else, it will force them to articulate the alternatives. But they can't hide it under the fold anymore.

He pointed out that Iran really can't escalate the conflict - they're already stretched thin and open war with the US would likely be a disaster for them. Wretchard didn't say anything about the declining quality of the US military, but I'll add that forcing the decision now before the US military degrades any further is a smart move.

Blogger Newscaper312 January 08, 2020 11:40 AM  

Trumps speech was about perfect as far as I am concerned.
Resolve, restraint, plus stick and even carrot making nice about the Iranian people.
Neocons will be giving fake smiles of approval I imagine.

Blogger peacefulposter January 08, 2020 11:42 AM  

@29 Zaklog - I'm going to have to watch carefully to see who I follow is actually calling for war.

Also watch those who are supposedly pro-Trump but quickly turn on him every time things get a bit dicey, like they did after the Syria missiles, and now with Iran.

Blogger Dave January 08, 2020 11:45 AM  

Newscaper312 wrote:This is the correct active link w camera on - not speaking yet as of 10:08

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dsxHjbHP1Y


Really? Posting a link to NBC News?

Blogger Jacked Huwhite Boy January 08, 2020 11:45 AM  

No survivors... Bane?

Blogger Trump Ally January 08, 2020 11:47 AM  

So Dread Ilk, what doom and gloom and ((( ))) conspiracies will you prognosticate after Trumps "perfect" adress that just occurred.

This should be good.

Blogger Silly but True January 08, 2020 11:50 AM  

Iran has been laying off its purchase of Russian surface-to-air missile systems, so it’s not likely to be the case but I suspect Ukraine won’t appreciate the irony of having its airliner accidentally shot down by a Russian Buk because the plane was flying in a militarily conflicted area.

Blogger Dave January 08, 2020 11:52 AM  

POTUS remarks just now: "For far too long, all the way back to 1979, to be exact, nations have tolerated Iran's destructive, destabilizing behavior in the Middle East and beyond. Those days are over."

Blogger Trump Ally January 08, 2020 11:52 AM  

Whenever the Ilk go to dreamland with Trumps intetions and actions it reminds of so Ilk statements during the 2016 election which were basically "he is a schill for Hillary whose whole purpose is to get her elected".

How about we take the GE literally this time and admit he just kicked ass and took names.

God bless President Donald Trump.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 08, 2020 11:53 AM  

Trump Ally wrote:So Dread Ilk, what doom and gloom and ((( ))) conspiracies will you prognosticate after Trumps "perfect" adress that just occurred.


Only a couple of the Dread Ilk comment here. You probably wouldn't like hearing their opinions.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia January 08, 2020 11:58 AM  

Given how all this is playing out with a whimper, I think we should revise the astute Vox maxim to "wait three days" about a Trump decision we may not like to "typically wait three days, but sometimes it takes a week or so."

Not as pithy, I admit, but a bit more flexible.

Blogger Silly but True January 08, 2020 11:58 AM  

Trump gets to blame Obama for the missile attack and make peace with Iran: the Nobel committee should give Obama’s Peace Prize to Trump.

Blogger Geir Balderson January 08, 2020 12:00 PM  

@5
Ahh, brings back memories. I had season tickets for Calvinball, but the $2 root beer and the $1 chocolate chip cookies were way too pricey. Perhaps, if they expand the league, the prices can get more in line with a regular person's budget?

Blogger Sam Gem January 08, 2020 12:01 PM  

And the big loser today is...Israel. How'd that happen blackpillers? Instead of WW3 we have a conclusion to the endless wars. America First!

Blogger James Dixon January 08, 2020 12:06 PM  

> So Dread Ilk, what doom and gloom and ((( ))) conspiracies will you prognosticate after Trumps "perfect" adress that just occurred.

The fact that he has to ask the question shows how clueless he is about the Dread Ilk.

Blogger Johnny January 08, 2020 12:15 PM  

It is not going to be the Iranian leadership selling out one of their members because all the other members of the leadership would know they might be next. But it could easily happen that one of them was a sellout. If you think of it, whether it is a spy by us or one of them leaking information, that is not really all that different. By one means or another we had inside info and knew where Solemani would be.

Blogger Akulkis January 08, 2020 12:16 PM  

@22

I read Jasper Maskelyne's book "The War Magician" back around 1980 when I was in high school. It was convincingly debunked over 15 years ago. It's primary purpose was not to inform, but to subtly push other books by the ghostwriter.

Maskelyne needed money because he wasn't getting hired to perform. Apparently, he never had the stage presence of his father and grandfather, and even his family name couldn't fill the seats.

The search-light trick in Alexandria: I doubt it ever happened, otherwise, the technology would have spread throughout British Anti-Aircraft searchlight units, for the simple fact that the story has German aircraft crashing without even being fired on, (supposedly due to induced vertigo).

POSSIBLY the hoax pipeline was true.

Most likely, the only true story in the book is the dummy base camps set up for the sole purpose of being photographed by Rommel's air recon, as it is well recorded that the British managed to achieve operational surprise on that offensive because they fooled him into thinking the main attack would come from 30 miles or so south of where it actually came from.
Although, IIRC, the story fails to mention that in the final weeks leading up to the offensive, the Brits
were putting 3d canvas-covered frames on top of tanks to make them look like truck when viewed by air recon cameras. Which is a strange omission, considering that would ALSO be under the control of Maskeleyne.


The mirror trick in the machine-gun nest camo exercise in officer training is doubtful at best. Mirrors are delicate things, and how would they have moved a mirror, even only 5 foot by 2 foot, into the field by truck, without breaking, and also, loaded onto and off of the truck without their instructors noticing? On the surface, it sounds like a clever trick. But to anybody who has spent much time in an army or uniform, that story rings hollow.

This then begets the question: Why would he write such things in a book?
Also, the original copyright was only about 10 years after the war ended, and the first printings were in England. Most of the things he talked about happening "in-theater" would have been still covered under the UK's Official Secrets act, and if such deceptions had been successful, no British publisher would have touched the book.

At that time, there were really only two major deceptions which had leaked out into the public. "Hobart's funnies" (the rubber blow-up tanks and trucks to give visual substance to Patton's fictitious 1st US Army Group (FUSAG) positioned in SE England to imply an intention to land at Calais), and the Double-Cross system (officially "XX System", as a covert hueristic in official memos and correspondence) of capturing German agents and allowing them to live provided they transmitted back to Germany exactly what their British captors wanted them to report.

Most significant of all is that even though even Intrepid and many of the British wartime spy networks and their actions have been fully declassified, to this day, no historians even mention Jasper Maskelayne, let alone as being the head of a successful deception unit in the war in the north African desert.

Blogger tuberman January 08, 2020 12:16 PM  

Trump Ally wrote:So Dread Ilk, what doom and gloom and ((( ))) conspiracies will you prognosticate after Trumps "perfect" adress that just occurred.

This should be good.


You lack perspective. Do you have a clue as to how much good the Ilk and many others are doing for the Culture Wars? Instead of sperging just present the positive facts you know about your side of things. Then you have the right to show you know what you say is Truth..

You could stand to learn a few thing about the nature of the Culture Wars too. This is not an attack, but trying to get you beyond the Cheerleader phase. Bill Mitchell already has that job covered.

Blogger Akulkis January 08, 2020 12:16 PM  

(continued)


Don't take it to hard, though. I was initially fooled, too. Despite a lot of fabrication (80%+ ??), I think the book IS useful for the simple fact that it gets the reader thinking about deceptive measures, especially against those who are only being allowed to see what the deceiver wants them to see (i.e. the typical citizen whose only knowledge of what's going on outside of his small sphere is what he gets through the lying news media. Such as VERY tight-in shots of a group of protesters, who number less than a dozen, being portrayed as a SIGNIFICANT voice numbering in the hundreds or even thousands, when they are actually just a collection of cranks. Or the "Union of Concerned Scientists" who is actually a lefty husband and wife team who owned a fax machine and had a list of fax numbers of various newspapers around the country, but who were always portrayed as speaking for a group of scientists numbering in the tens of thousands, if not more, when their "press release" propaganda was circulated by newspapers and broadcasters).

I believe it was Limbaugh who spotted and interview with them, which sbutly revealed that the UCS had NEVER been anything more than than a sham composed of exactly two people, and whose education in scientific matters is, shall we say, lacking.

Blogger Dave January 08, 2020 12:25 PM  

Jack Amok wrote:US out of [REDACTED] now!

The most interesting take I've seen on TGE droning Soleimani came from Wretchard over at The Belmont Club. He pointed out that we've functionally been at war with Iran for 40 years, but the elites have denied the fact because these [REDACTED] operations give them so much opportunity for "deal-making" (aka graft and corruption):

Hidden wars allow Western politicians to avoid World War 2-type political choices that might lead to binary outcomes like victory or defeat in favor of a chronic conflict flying just beneath the media radar. That way deal-making can continue with minor interruptions.


Yes, that's why POTUS just mentioned going back to 1979. Lee Smith has a slightly different take on this 40 year period: https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/296604/iran-and-america-are-suddenly-both-naked

It’s no coincidence that in the wake of the targeted killing of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most important military proxy has begun taking credit for terror attacks committed nearly four decades ago. For example, Hezbollah-affiliated media and activists are laying public claim to the organization’s responsibility for bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in October 1983, which killed 241 Marines. So why now?

The answer is, to scare Americans now that Donald Trump has thrown the regime in Tehran off balance by changing the 40-year-old rules of the game. The United States always knew that Hezbollah was responsible for the Marine barracks attack and that the Lebanese militia was armed, trained, funded and directed by Iran. President Reagan’s decision not to respond directly to the attack was part of a tacit agreement that America and the Islamic Republic entered into during the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran. It mirrored similar arrangements with the Soviet Union in which neither superpower held the other directly accountable for the actions of proxies in order to reduce the likelihood of a nuclear cataclysm.

Blogger Scott January 08, 2020 12:28 PM  

Remarkable. I was convinced we were about to bumble into another war yesterday.


If the threads predictions pan out, Trump's administration deserves more respect than I've given it.

I'm shocked this didn't blow up in everyone's face.

Blogger Newscaper312 January 08, 2020 12:29 PM  

@545 Dave re NBC link

Oops, sorry! I jumped on that one because the thing was running late and their camera was turned on for the stream first, before the whitehouse.gov one, not sure if technical difficulties there. Once he was talkign I didnt bother checking back.
Yes, I muted Lester "black but not too black" Holt.

Blogger Scott January 08, 2020 12:34 PM  

If this works out as the thread predcits it will, Trump did the equivalent nailing a three pointer, one handed, while falling out of bounds under his own basket.

Remarkable.

Blogger Slippin JImmy January 08, 2020 12:51 PM  

Until recently Iran had to import much of it's gasoline and other fuels. It only just has enough refinery capacity and the current anti-regime protests are due to cuts to gasoline subsidies. A few missile strikes on Iranian refineries would probably spell curtains for the Mullahs. Therefore they had to hit back to save face but not so hard that Trump would be justified in taking the next step.

Blogger Poochman January 08, 2020 1:30 PM  

If Trump turns our withdrawal out of Iraq into a better nuclear deal with Iran, which I suspect he will, absolutely masterful. Two birds with one stone.

Blogger Clay January 08, 2020 1:55 PM  

I've noticed that I haven't seen the typical Democrats/Socialist/Communists screaming about Trump drawing the US into an "endless war" today.

Blogger Clay January 08, 2020 2:15 PM  

Who seems to be "slipping in the cracks", is Saudi Arabia. We have equipped them with some of the best weapons in the world.

Yet. They can't defeat Yemen? A pimple on a peninsula? We don't need their oil either. They serve no purpose, anymore.

Blogger Newscaper312 January 08, 2020 2:55 PM  

@77 Clay

The Saudis (parts of their regime that is) do serve two purposes:
1) Keeping a lid on the worst of their crazies. Yes, those are in part monsters of their own creation, but MBS is reining them in.
2) Saudi's seem to be key to calming the general Arab-Israel mess, a good thing since we can't seem to keep that from splashing on us. Iran has managed to get a lot of under the table cooperation between Israel and Saudis going.

Blogger CarpeOro January 08, 2020 3:06 PM  

@Akulkis - I read the book around the same time frame as you. Didn't recall all of the details, didn't know it had been debunked since then. Guess that book falls under my comment of third hand accounts having little to no relation to the actual events. The stuff that intrigued me were likely the more probable points or the ones you advise he had no provable association with. I do recall the Bantam books ran quite the gamut back then, guess that one falls in the pulp fiction bin.

Blogger CarpeOro January 08, 2020 3:11 PM  

@Scott
You must have missed the three card Monty reference. I advise you ignore interesting men with games using cards on the streets of major cities. This game is not played the way you have been told.

Blogger Poochman January 08, 2020 3:26 PM  

@77 Clay

Trump needs them to keep gas prices low and stable back home. True, we don't need their oil but without them gas prices rise even if that money is passing from American consumer to American producer.

Blogger Akulkis January 08, 2020 4:09 PM  

@77

"Who seems to be "slipping in the cracks", is Saudi Arabia. We have equipped them with some of the best weapons in the world.

Yet. They can't defeat Yemen?"

The Saudi regular army is barely functional. It is easily out-performed by the Saudi National Guard.

Think about that.

One reason -- the Saudi National Guard units are built along tribal lines, whereas the Saudi regular army isn't. Add in pathological laziness among Saudis with a college degree, and you get the results you noted.

Blogger Elder Son January 08, 2020 4:17 PM  

You are now witnessing the beginnings of the New Ottoman Empire.

Blogger English Tom January 08, 2020 6:00 PM  

@Akulkis

Check out: The Deceivers by Thaddeus Holt which deals with another Brit military magician called Dudley Clarke, a master of deception.

Blogger Pathfinderlight January 08, 2020 6:03 PM  

It's been very amusing watching the media go from crazy about Trump starting WW3 to crowing about how a few ineffective missile attacks chased him out of Iraq.

Blogger English Tom January 08, 2020 6:04 PM  

@Dave

The rationale behind the marine bombing was because Reagan ordered US battleships to shell Shiite villages. There's a book called Landslide (cant recall author) which is about the Reagan presidency and details these events.

Blogger RedJack January 08, 2020 7:24 PM  

They sold out they oil company. The House of Saud is cashing out and getting paid before the game ends.

Blogger Primus Pilus January 08, 2020 8:00 PM  

Clay wrote:Who seems to be "slipping in the cracks", is Saudi Arabia. We have equipped them with some of the best weapons in the world.

Yet. They can't defeat Yemen? A pimple on a peninsula?


Arabs are famously terrible soldiers.

Blogger Jego January 08, 2020 10:03 PM  

Theyre communicating in a language we dont understand. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYRCTHj7k8Y

Blogger OvergrownHobbit January 09, 2020 1:28 AM  

Lady coworker: OMG! They're bombing USA bases in Iraq!

Me: Iran has been doing that for a while now. Is everyone O.K.?

LCW: .... They have-?

Me: Yes. I guess now the Corporate media wants to sell you something about it.

LCW: .....

Note: LCW is a very capable, old-school trade union Democrat.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd January 09, 2020 1:49 PM  

Primus Pilus wrote:Arabs are famously terrible soldiers.
Good warriors are usually terrible soldiers.

Blogger Akulkis January 09, 2020 2:51 PM  

Arabs are terrible warriors, too.

Sucks when your greatest means of effectiveness can only be a one-off because you kill yourself in the process.

Even mediocre warriors maintain their equipment whereas Arabs are entirely fatalistic about maintenance, and so they don't do it -- "If god wants me to succeed, then my [X] won't fail."

Same goes for training beyond an initial class. Arab air forces are teeming with pilots who have never get in a cockpit or sit behind the controls after graduating from flight school.

In the Gulf War, when that Saudi pilot shot down an Iraqi jet, the most surprised were not the AWACS crew guiding his flight in, or the American pilots trailing them. No, the most surprised person was that pilot. You could hear it in his voice.

The only thing the Arabs really excel at is uncoordinated, lone wolf infiltration attacks. Usually while wearing women's clothing.

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