Author Topic: Escalation with Iran  (Read 12118 times)

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #100 on: January 07, 2020, 06:26:07 AM »
Beeb: Trump under fire for threat against "sites important to Iran's culture"

Would be funny if they were nuclear development sites, poking fun of the cultural prestige that sub-1st worlders place in rocket worship.

Good odds the "culturally significant" sites he was talking about are more in line with your suggestion. They're sites that are important to maintaining their image of power and modern culture.

He's probably talking about blowing up power plants(no electricity), refineries(no fuel for transportation), and anything of significant military importance(hard to come off as being a regional power when your military infrastructure is in ruins) among other things.

Good job of mind-reading.  You think that when he said cultural site(s) (referring to places that are important to a country's social identity) he instead meant civil and military infrastructure.  So, why not just bomb Tehran?  That would have a "culturally significant (sic)" impact.

Pete at Home

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #101 on: January 07, 2020, 07:00:58 AM »
Gee, Kasandra, I thought you agreed with me that this president is opaque and doesn’t always mean what he says?  Hang it now you think Trump is in capable of being a smart ass?

Look at the details in this picture, Iranians dressing up and revering a missile like it was the Virgin Mary in Spanish parade. Looks to me like a social identity idol. :D

Remind me again, how big and thick is trumps wall?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 07:10:29 AM by Pete at Home »

Pete at Home

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #102 on: January 07, 2020, 07:25:28 AM »
I’ll bet you that the “house of Leadership,” where Khamenei lives and delivers his fatwas is on the 52 site list

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #103 on: January 07, 2020, 08:07:33 AM »
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Gee, Kasandra, I thought you agreed with me that this president is opaque and doesn’t always mean what he says?  Hang it now you think Trump is in capable of being a smart ass?

He's not opaque, he's certifiably insane.  His defenders here and elsewhere try to claim that his most outrageous and irrational statements are actually jokes, because even they don't know what he's talking about.  It takes a full course of post-education political, nee real estate sales, study to figure out what he's talking about sometimes.  It's infected Melania, too, else why would her signature program be "Be Best"?

rightleft22

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #104 on: January 07, 2020, 09:47:36 AM »
Government and diplomacy by tweet the new politics. Nothing Trump says or tweets is official unless it is. 


DonaldD

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #105 on: January 07, 2020, 09:59:55 AM »
Look, regardless of what Trump tweets about attacking cultural sites, it simply will not happen.  The US military is well-enough schooled in the laws of war that if the president were to actually order such attacks, they would be ignored.  Just refer to Esper's direct contradiction on the subject.

Also, it was just 10 years ago that the US ratified the 1954 Hague convention.  US military personnel will simply not take such obviously illegal actions that would put legal targets on themselves once they left the borders of the USA... heck, they wouldn't even be able to travel to Canada without the risk of arrest and prosecution under the War Crimes Act.

This is such an obvious distraction from Trump's other problems (hello, Mr. Bolton) that I'm surprised y'all are giving it so much oxygen.

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #106 on: January 07, 2020, 11:04:43 AM »
Absent a true declaration of war, attacking any aspect of civil infrastructure is out of the question.  But that doesn't mean that he isn't crazy enough to try to do it, anyway.  Bolton matters, impeachment matters, lots of things matter, and this matters as much or more as some of those, even if he brought it into play as a distraction from other things, because it would throw the world into chaos.

Fenring

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #107 on: January 07, 2020, 11:05:04 AM »
If context is everything and you're painting it as a "lie," then who exactly is Trump trying to deceive and why?

Absolutely everybody, because he is a clown who never shows his real face.  He's actually more like The Joker whose real face is a clown face.

This is the real argument right here. Everything Trump says is a lie because he's a clownish lying clown. If a statement of his has no direct motivation as a lie, nor does he lie stand to gain anything, you can still double down on it being a lie because obviously it's a lie, since he's a liar. The argument is more circular than Barnum and Bailey.

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #108 on: January 07, 2020, 11:29:33 AM »
If context is everything and you're painting it as a "lie," then who exactly is Trump trying to deceive and why?

Absolutely everybody, because he is a clown who never shows his real face.  He's actually more like The Joker whose real face is a clown face.

This is the real argument right here. Everything Trump says is a lie because he's a clownish lying clown. If a statement of his has no direct motivation as a lie, nor does he lie stand to gain anything, you can still double down on it being a lie because obviously it's a lie, since he's a liar. The argument is more circular than Barnum and Bailey.

Not absolutely everything is a lie. Don't forget that he also exaggerates and sometimes misremembers.  While you're dismissing claims that he lies like a circus clown, don't dismiss the lies themselves.  When he held a rally in Michigan a few weeks ago, the following are among other things he said.  Here's a true or false test for you...I'll make it easy, find something in here that is a true statement.

* “Did you notice that everybody is saying Merry Christmas again? Did you notice? Saying Merry Christmas.”

* “We have tremendous support in the Republican Party like we’ve never had before — nobody’s ever had this kind of support.”

* “I understand she’s not fixing those potholes [referring to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer]. That’s what the word is. It was all about roads and they want to raise those gasoline taxes, and you — we don’t want to do that. But she’s not fixing the potholes.”

* “What’s happening now — and by the way, your state, because of us, not because of local government, but because of us, because of the job that we’ve done ... Michigan’s had the best year it’s ever had. Best year it’s ever had. And that’s because we have auto companies expanding and thriving and they’re coming in from Japan and they’re coming In from a lot of other places.”

* “I don’t know if you know this, but probably 10 years ago, I was honored. I was the man of the year by, I think, somebody, whoever. I was the man of the year in Michigan. Can you believe it? Long time. That was long before I ever decided to do this.”

* [About outsourcing US auto jobs]: “I asked that a long time ago and we’ve stopped it. We’ve stopped it.”

* “Now, from the standpoint of the farmers, you know, what’s going on, we had tremendous trade barriers in Canada. We had a tax on dairy products, 297 percent tariff. Nobody talked about it with Canada, and we had some really bad things with Mexico.”

* “We did a [trade] deal with Japan, $40 billion deal with Japan, and we’re not — that was just a little piece of a deal.”

* “We made a great deal with China. And you know, China’s paying us billions and billions of dollars a year, they never gave us 10 cents.”

* “We made the largest ever investment in our military, $738 billion.”

* “Our military, by the way, in all due respect to the previous two administrations, our military was — was depleted, it was
depleted, it was in bad shape.”

* “We had fighter jets that were 35 years old. We had planes that were 60, as you heard, where the father flew him, the grandfather flew him, and now the young son comes in.”

* “We’ve got the best [military] equipment in the world, now spent $2.5 trillion, made in the USA, two and a half trillion.”

* “I won’t tell you this story, but very early on, I thought we were going to have a problem someplace and one of the generals came up to me and said, ‘Sir, don’t go, don’t do it.’ ‘Why?’ ‘We don’t have the ammunition.’ "

* “I’m not allowed to have stock. I can’t have stock. They considered the conflict of interest, and that I can’t understand, I mean, I can’t.”

* “The 401(k)s, where people are up 90 percent, they’re up 97 percent, they’re up 82 percent.”

* “Many other investments we’ve gotten from Japanese companies, car companies and other companies, but they’re all coming in and a lot of them are coming to Michigan.”

* “We’re doing so well in Michigan with the auto companies. Now you’re back, you’re back. So you’re back, very proud of it. Very proud of it. But while we’re creating jobs, fighting for Michigan workers and achieving numbers that you’ve never seen before, incredible victories for the American people are happening.”

* “I have the greatest economy in the history of this country.”

* “You were going down. The regulations were taking it down, the taxes were taking it down. Instead of being up 92 percent or whatever — you’re up a lot — you would have been down, you would have been in less than half, it was crashing for all those people that would say, ‘Oh, it’s the Obama.’ Let me tell you something, you were dying. ... It was heading south as sure as you’re standing.”

* “I’m sorry we couldn’t get your seats; we didn’t have any room. And by the way, 20,000 people outside had to leave.”

* “I watch these guys come in like Biden, he has a — he has a big rally and they get 93 people show up. No, it’s true.”

* “And did you see the new polls from USA Today? Came out, I’m killing everybody, and they hate me. ... USA Today hates me. But there’s a poll, we’re beating everybody.”

* “Biden has this rally like, you know, they got 200 seats, but only a small number of people. So you know what they do? They set up a roundtable. So think of these people. They come in, they think they get to listen to the speech, they end up sitting at a roundtable discussing. They must have been happy, right?”

* “You finally got a choice [referring to the Veterans Choice program]. They’ve been trying to get it for almost 50 years.”

* “The cameras, you ever notice? I go to these stadiums, 25-, 30 thousand people, they never show the crowd.”

* “We set records at every arena and they never even mention the crowds. They never mentioned the crowds, it’s sort of amazing. You know what? I don’t think we’ve ever had an empty seat from the time I came down the escalator — that’s a long time ago. I don’t think we’ve ever had an empty seat."

* “After three years of sinners and witch hunts, hoaxes, scams, tonight the House Democrats are trying to nullify the ballots of tens of millions of patriotic Americans.”

* “Grand Rapids. We have 32,000 people that night, it was one o’clock in the morning. That means it was Election Day [2016] when I started speaking. Hillary, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Bill Clinton, they did an emergency trip, they did an emergency trip to Michigan at six o’clock. They got here at prime time, they started to speak. She had 500 people.”

* “The problem is the newspaper polls are more fake than the news they write. They write fake polls. It’s true. They write fake polls. You call them suppression polls, you read them and you get depressed because it looks like you’re doing badly. They do that.”

* “The word is that we’re much higher right now in the polls than we were ever in 2016 in Michigan.”

* “Mexico has 32 percent of your car business. You know that, right? ... Thirty-two percent of our car business moved to Mexico.”

* “Today’s illegal, unconstitutional and partisan impeachment ... Democrat lawmakers do not believe you have the right to select your own president.”

* [Trump on how many other candidates should be on the stage during Republican debate]: “I said, wait a minute. This is no good. I want odd numbers because if you’re center stage, if you have a 10, that means two people are in the middle. So, I said make it 11 or make it nine, okay? Or I’m not showing up. And generally, they did it because we were way ahead from the beginning.”

* “NBC, I made a lot of money for NBC with ‘The Apprentice,’ right? A lot of money, a lot. Plus, we had the No. 1 show a lot, and they had nothing in the top 10, except for a thing called ‘The Apprentice,’ and they treat me so bad.”

* “CNN and MSNBC, their ratings are down the tubes.”

Ugh, getting tired.

TheDrake

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #109 on: January 07, 2020, 11:35:26 AM »
<giant list deleted>

Ugh, getting tired.

This sort of spam is not helpful, especially in a thread about Iran.

TL;DR: Trump makes false claims, either deliberately or inadvertently.

Fenring

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #110 on: January 07, 2020, 11:52:22 AM »
My point was just that an answer to Pete's question of "what does anyone stand to gain by insisting that planes are invisible if sitting right in front of you" should not come in the form of "it doesn't matter, since he lies all the time." I can see wanting to keep the President to making accurate statements, but surely that ship has sailed with Trump? At this point harping on the definition of "literally" in the hopes of portraying Trump as lying is really silly. If a car salesman told you that a car would "literally take you to the moon" you would be looked at like an idiot if your reply was "I think we both know that cars cannot go into space, so I'll take my business elsewhere." If you don't like that Trump is a car salesman then so be it, that's a totally reasonable thing to dislike. But holding a car salesman to the standard of a dictionary editor is being just as bad.

rightleft22

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #111 on: January 07, 2020, 12:02:28 PM »
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But holding a car salesman to the standard....

And that's the crux of it.. A position of leadership that should held to high standards is explained way.
The ship has sailed and all we can do is watch... only government is by the people and so if we only watch we are guilty when standards aren't met

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #112 on: January 07, 2020, 12:23:00 PM »
My point was just that an answer to Pete's question of "what does anyone stand to gain by insisting that planes are invisible if sitting right in front of you" should not come in the form of "it doesn't matter, since he lies all the time." I can see wanting to keep the President to making accurate statements, but surely that ship has sailed with Trump? At this point harping on the definition of "literally" in the hopes of portraying Trump as lying is really silly. If a car salesman told you that a car would "literally take you to the moon" you would be looked at like an idiot if your reply was "I think we both know that cars cannot go into space, so I'll take my business elsewhere." If you don't like that Trump is a car salesman then so be it, that's a totally reasonable thing to dislike. But holding a car salesman to the standard of a dictionary editor is being just as bad.

Bummer, maybe we should make a note that next time we should change the channel and elect someone to the office of President who is responsible.  I'm no longer fighting about the word literally, but I do find it fascinating that some here go out of their way to defend and "interpret" statements where he says ridiculous things like that.  In the meantime, feel reassured that Trump is the greatest President ever, with the possible exception of Lincoln.

Fenring

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #113 on: January 07, 2020, 12:28:45 PM »
only government is by the people and so if we only watch we are guilty when standards aren't met

Except I think you have it backwards: the people are not to blame for standing by and watching. In fact that's all they can do. There is no "eject" button that a citizen can go to their TV and press to "do something about it". The U.S. system is basically elect your monarch for four years. They're 'accountable' in that there are two other branches of government, and another election in four years. But during term the population cannot do anything other than maybe protest. So what, you're going to protest a tweet with placards?

If you want to blame people for voting a certain way then fine. Blaming people for "only watch[ing]" doesn't make sense to me. They voted him in, this is the predictable result. Personally I blame the system more so than the voters even at the polls. Put people up against it and they'll do all sorts of things that are unfortunate. Maybe if politics wasn't so corrupt no one would feel the need to elect agents of chaos to break it up.

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #114 on: January 07, 2020, 12:31:14 PM »
only government is by the people and so if we only watch we are guilty when standards aren't met

Except I think you have it backwards: the people are not to blame for standing by and watching. In fact that's all they can do. There is no "eject" button that a citizen can go to their TV and press to "do something about it". The U.S. system is basically elect your monarch for four years. They're 'accountable' in that there are two other branches of government, and another election in four years. But during term the population cannot do anything other than maybe protest. So what, you're going to protest a tweet with placards?

If you want to blame people for voting a certain way then fine. Blaming people for "only watch[ing]" doesn't make sense to me. They voted him in, this is the predictable result. Personally I blame the system more so than the voters even at the polls. Put people up against it and they'll do all sorts of things that are unfortunate. Maybe if politics wasn't so corrupt no one would feel the need to elect agents of chaos to break it up.

Okaaay, you did forget about impeachment, eh?  But if we can only blame the system, how would you fix it?

yossarian22c

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #115 on: January 07, 2020, 12:32:27 PM »
Look, regardless of what Trump tweets about attacking cultural sites, it simply will not happen.  The US military is well-enough schooled in the laws of war that if the president were to actually order such attacks, they would be ignored.  Just refer to Esper's direct contradiction on the subject.

Should ordering the military to commit war crimes be an impeachable offense?

Just checking beforehand I know this hasn't happened yet.

Two hypotheticals to consider -
1) The military refuses to execute the order.
2) The president finds someone in the military to carry out the order.

I think it should impeachable under both scenarios. But I know we have a lot of people who may argue the no harm no foul angle for #1.

Pete at Home

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #116 on: January 07, 2020, 12:39:52 PM »
Look, regardless of what Trump tweets about attacking cultural sites, it simply will not happen.  The US military is well-enough schooled in the laws of war that if the president were to actually order such attacks, they would be ignored.  Just refer to Esper's direct contradiction on the subject.

Should ordering the military to commit war crimes be an impeachable offense?

Just checking beforehand I know this hasn't happened yet.

Two hypotheticals to consider -
1) The military refuses to execute the order.
2) The president finds someone in the military to carry out the order.

I think it should impeachable under both scenarios. But I know we have a lot of people who may argue the no harm no foul angle for #1.

Yes, I think that ordering the military to commit a war crime should be an impeachable offense in either a or b

Fenring

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #117 on: January 07, 2020, 12:43:53 PM »
Okaaay, you did forget about impeachment, eh?

You should re-read my post. That was not excluded.

Quote
But if we can only blame the system, how would you fix it?

I don't think you need to reduce it to "only" blaming the system. Being reductionist doesn't help. But yes, I think the priority should be on identifying the largest contributing factor. In terms of how to fix it I think I've offered input on this umpteen times here. If it doesn't begin with campaign finance changes and regulation on corporate lobbying then it probably doesn't matter. Cutting off the access of money to politics is step one in getting pretty much anywhere on any topic. Tracing which money interests have more influence with which party in which ways is an endless game of whack-a-mole that can't realistically be traced anyhow. I think it is in fact impossible. Cut off all money influence and the problem attends to itself. That, and I think that there needs to be far tighter rules in place to ensure the elimination of conflicts of interest in high offices.

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #118 on: January 07, 2020, 01:10:18 PM »
Okaaay, you did forget about impeachment, eh?

You should re-read my post. That was not excluded.

No, you didn't say anything about impeachment.  Re-read your post ;)

Quote
But if we can only blame the system, how would you fix it?
Quote
I don't think you need to reduce it to "only" blaming the system. Being reductionist doesn't help. But yes, I think the priority should be on identifying the largest contributing factor. In terms of how to fix it I think I've offered input on this umpteen times here. If it doesn't begin with campaign finance changes and regulation on corporate lobbying then it probably doesn't matter. Cutting off the access of money to politics is step one in getting pretty much anywhere on any topic. Tracing which money interests have more influence with which party in which ways is an endless game of whack-a-mole that can't realistically be traced anyhow. I think it is in fact impossible. Cut off all money influence and the problem attends to itself. That, and I think that there needs to be far tighter rules in place to ensure the elimination of conflicts of interest in high offices.

A reasonable start.

rightleft22

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #119 on: January 07, 2020, 01:25:01 PM »
Quote
Except I think you have it backwards: the people are not to blame for standing by and watching. In fact that's all they can do

Where and when and what then do we stand for. I have no influence and so turn a blind eye and stand for and do nothing.  Great until I am directly affected.

I think of the Iranians. From what I understand the majority of Iran’s wish for a separation of mosque and state while it is the minority fundamentalist that hold the upper hand and guns.  The majority by not acting are still held to account by the other Governments who are affronted by their government. The rain/bombs fall on the just and unjust alike.   Are they not guilty for not demanding better? No. yet they are punished just the same. Or are we guilty of punishing those that have done us no wrong? What is a government if not the people? Ah but if the people are the government, we are accountable, and that we can not have.

Let us kill people from high above and never see the blood, sleeping sound in our innocents and righteous righteousness. 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 01:29:19 PM by rightleft22 »

TheDrake

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #120 on: January 07, 2020, 01:33:31 PM »
Protests, commentary, and other factors all shape WH policy. Consider Trump's reversal on using his Doral resort for the g7, which was due to public pressure. Mind you, Trump is probably more immune to criticism and public opinion than any President in recent memory. But that was a much better option than shrugging and saying, "Whaddya gonna do? He's President."

On the other note, the problem with money in politics is that morons vote based on how many yard signs and 60 second spots they see, or if they get to have a handshake or jump around in a rally. If it weren't for that, there wouldn't be any payoff for raising gobs of cash.

rightleft22

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #121 on: January 07, 2020, 01:53:13 PM »
Quote
Trump is probably more immune to criticism and public opinion than any President in recent memory

As in all things Trump the answer is Yes and No. He is immune yet incredibly thin skinned to criticism.

From all observations even before his political life Trump is not a strategic thinker, he decides in the moment.
To often his political 'reasoning' comes down to what Obama did or might do and doing the opposite 

Pete at Home

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #122 on: January 07, 2020, 01:59:14 PM »
Yes; Trump’s the Anti’bama. And no where is that more apparent than this strike on Saruman.

[attempts to rethread derailment]

Fenring

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #123 on: January 07, 2020, 02:36:31 PM »
Okaaay, you did forget about impeachment, eh?

You should re-read my post. That was not excluded.

No, you didn't say anything about impeachment.  Re-read your post ;)


Quote
They're 'accountable' in that there are two other branches of government, and another election in four years.

If you think "there are two other branches of government" translates into your conclusion that I "forgot" about impeachment then I guess should have also mentioned, for your benefit, "and the two other branches of government can do stuff." There.

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #124 on: January 07, 2020, 03:03:18 PM »
Quote
If you think "there are two other branches of government" translates into your conclusion that I "forgot" about impeachment then I guess should have also mentioned, for your benefit, "and the two other branches of government can do stuff." There.

It's easy enough to use the word impeachment.  I thought you meant oversight and Judicial review.

Fenring

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #125 on: January 07, 2020, 03:08:01 PM »
Quote
If you think "there are two other branches of government" translates into your conclusion that I "forgot" about impeachment then I guess should have also mentioned, for your benefit, "and the two other branches of government can do stuff." There.

It's easy enough to use the word impeachment.  I thought you meant oversight and Judicial review.

I should have to enumerate for you all of the various functions and powers the government branches have? I couldn't even do that if I wanted to. You're the one who asserted that I forgot something which is clearly a subset of the categories I did list.

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #126 on: January 07, 2020, 03:31:18 PM »
Yes, a subset :)

Pete at Home

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Mr Salami! Do they know the name means processed swine in English?
« Reply #127 on: January 07, 2020, 03:36:39 PM »
Hello.  Soleimani's replacement as leader of the Revolutionary guard is named Salami.  Thank heavens for a name that's easy to spell -- and remember.  Long may he garnish Iran's terrorist forces.

TheDeamon

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #128 on: January 07, 2020, 04:21:45 PM »
Beeb: Trump under fire for threat against "sites important to Iran's culture"
Would be funny if they were nuclear development sites, poking fun of the cultural prestige that sub-1st worlders place in rocket worship.

Good odds the "culturally significant" sites he was talking about are more in line with your suggestion. They're sites that are important to maintaining their image of power and modern culture.

He's probably talking about blowing up power plants(no electricity), refineries(no fuel for transportation), and anything of significant military importance(hard to come off as being a regional power when your military infrastructure is in ruins) among other things.

Good job of mind-reading.  You think that when he said cultural site(s) (referring to places that are important to a country's social identity) he instead meant civil and military infrastructure.  So, why not just bomb Tehran?  That would have a "culturally significant (sic)" impact.

I'm going with Occam's Razor on this one. He loves his "truthful hyperbole" and seems to be a big fan of the hard sell rather than the softer approach. So rather than spin it to seem more benign, he's making it seem more ominous instead. (And hurting his case in the process)

But let us visit the tweet itself for a moment:
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1213593965838163968

Quote
...Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran &  the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!

I like how "& Iranian culture" was third on the list, not first. And I imagine there are a handful of "cultural sites" that are being "dual use" purposed by Iran, if not more. Much like a military Strike against the White House, or Capital Hill while likely to be considered a violation of those "unwritten rules" they're valid enough military targets... Which also happen to have cultural significance.

So after a fashion, he's probably saying in his typical bull-in-a-china-shop manner, that any Iranian site of strategic or military significance is likely to be on the target list even if it also is considered a "cultural site" as well. Which by the way, is a legally defensible position for the US Military to take and hold.

The other part of his tweet to take note of is the strong implication the target list exists, and has been agreed upon by top-level Military commanders already. And knowing the commanders aren't going to leave themselves open to charges of war crimes, it means that any of the 52 sites agreed upon have valid military significance.

Pete at Home

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #129 on: January 07, 2020, 04:26:36 PM »
I agree with Daemon's interpretation for a different reason: Trump has a history of feinting in a way that makes left-wits spin in their boots accusing him without sufficient evidence, and reveling in the attention.

TheDeamon

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #130 on: January 07, 2020, 04:27:38 PM »
Also, it was just 10 years ago that the US ratified the 1954 Hague convention.  US military personnel will simply not take such obviously illegal actions that would put legal targets on themselves once they left the borders of the USA... heck, they wouldn't even be able to travel to Canada without the risk of arrest and prosecution under the War Crimes Act.

One fly in the ointment on this one is that for certain attacks, in particular cruise missiles. The person carrying out the order likely has no idea what they're shooting at. For them, it is simply a set of GPS coordinates. That said, someone much higher up the chain had to know what those coordinates were, so while the person who carried out the attack may have had no idea, others in the decision chain did know, and not just PotUS.

It is only when you start dealing with attacks on sites where the attacker can actually see their target that things become much more clear on the grunt also being able to be held accountable.

TheDeamon

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #131 on: January 07, 2020, 04:31:25 PM »
Absent a true declaration of war, attacking any aspect of civil infrastructure is out of the question.  But that doesn't mean that he isn't crazy enough to try to do it, anyway.  Bolton matters, impeachment matters, lots of things matter, and this matters as much or more as some of those, even if he brought it into play as a distraction from other things, because it would throw the world into chaos.

In what alternate universe have you been living in since the 1940's?

That didn't stop us from bombing North Korea. It didn't stop us in Vietnam. It didn't stop us in a number of other 3rd world nations. It didn't stop us in Iraq -- twice over. It didn't stop us in Serbia. It didn't stop us in Afghanistan, although there was no infrastructure remaining of note to be destroyed by then. It also hasn't stopped us in Libya and Syria either.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 04:36:09 PM by TheDeamon »

TheDeamon

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #132 on: January 07, 2020, 04:40:22 PM »
I agree with Daemon's interpretation for a different reason: Trump has a history of feinting in a way that makes left-wits spin in their boots accusing him without sufficient evidence, and reveling in the attention.

This a valid part of the hard sell strategy. Nobody can accuse the warning of not being very straightforward. Spinning up the left-wits in the process is icing on the cake. It might have a deliberate tactical move on his part--phrasing the warning in just such a way to achieve exactly what you describe. As it also allows the Republicans to paint the Democrats as weak on National Security as they rush to defend Iran.

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #133 on: January 07, 2020, 04:49:21 PM »
I don't usually like to quote a full post, but there's something to comment on all over it this time.

Beeb: Trump under fire for threat against "sites important to Iran's culture"
Would be funny if they were nuclear development sites, poking fun of the cultural prestige that sub-1st worlders place in rocket worship.

Good odds the "culturally significant" sites he was talking about are more in line with your suggestion. They're sites that are important to maintaining their image of power and modern culture.

He's probably talking about blowing up power plants(no electricity), refineries(no fuel for transportation), and anything of significant military importance(hard to come off as being a regional power when your military infrastructure is in ruins) among other things.

Good job of mind-reading.  You think that when he said cultural site(s) (referring to places that are important to a country's social identity) he instead meant civil and military infrastructure.  So, why not just bomb Tehran?  That would have a "culturally significant (sic)" impact.

I'm going with Occam's Razor on this one. He loves his "truthful hyperbole" and seems to be a big fan of the hard sell rather than the softer approach. So rather than spin it to seem more benign, he's making it seem more ominous instead. (And hurting his case in the process)

I seem to recall you blathering about tin-foil thinking and other fring-y characterizations.  No reason for you to think of yourself as holding unyielding views and making harsh statements; that's what people who disagree with you are guilty of.

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But let us visit the tweet itself for a moment:
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1213593965838163968

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...Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran &  the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!

Well, now there can be no doubt that Trump meant exactly what he said.  And now he's been told he can't do that, so he grudgingly gives it up.

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During an Oval Office meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Trump said the administration is "supposed to be very careful with [Iran's] cultural heritage."

"And you know what, if that's what the law is, I like to obey the law," he told reporters, before adding, "But think of it: They kill our people, they blow up our people and then we have to be very gentle with their cultural institutions. But I'm OK with it."

Quote
I like how "& Iranian culture" was third on the list, not first. And I imagine there are a handful of "cultural sites" that are being "dual use" purposed by Iran, if not more. Much like a military Strike against the White House, or Capital Hill while likely to be considered a violation of those "unwritten rules" they're valid enough military targets... Which also happen to have cultural significance.

So after a fashion, he's probably saying in his typical bull-in-a-china-shop manner, that any Iranian site of strategic or military significance is likely to be on the target list even if it also is considered a "cultural site" as well. Which by the way, is a legally defensible position for the US Military to take and hold.

So you may not like my blunt way of speaking, but you can see from your above snippet that you were "interpreting" a little too freely.  You've got a little bit of KellyAnne in your style.

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The other part of his tweet to take note of is the strong implication the target list exists, and has been agreed upon by top-level Military commanders already. And knowing the commanders aren't going to leave themselves open to charges of war crimes, it means that any of the 52 sites agreed upon have valid military significance.

No, it doesn't mean his military leaders knew he was putting cultural sites on "his list".  If they did know, why did Esper have to reassure people that he didn't mean it?

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #134 on: January 07, 2020, 04:50:33 PM »
I agree with Daemon's interpretation for a different reason: Trump has a history of feinting in a way that makes left-wits spin in their boots accusing him without sufficient evidence, and reveling in the attention.

This a valid part of the hard sell strategy. Nobody can accuse the warning of not being very straightforward. Spinning up the left-wits in the process is icing on the cake. It might have a deliberate tactical move on his part--phrasing the warning in just such a way to achieve exactly what you describe. As it also allows the Republicans to paint the Democrats as weak on National Security as they rush to defend Iran.

I like that "leftwits" are people who object to Trump's actions and doubt his motives.  You couldn't speak kinder of them if you tried, bless your heart.

Pete at Home

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #135 on: January 07, 2020, 05:04:09 PM »
I agree with Daemon's interpretation for a different reason: Trump has a history of feinting in a way that makes left-wits spin in their boots accusing him without sufficient evidence, and reveling in the attention.

This a valid part of the hard sell strategy. Nobody can accuse the warning of not being very straightforward. Spinning up the left-wits in the process is icing on the cake. It might have a deliberate tactical move on his part--phrasing the warning in just such a way to achieve exactly what you describe. As it also allows the Republicans to paint the Democrats as weak on National Security as they rush to defend Iran.

I like that "leftwits" are people who object to Trump's actions and doubt his motives. 

Not in my usage.  Left-wits are those who got Trump elected by making every story about him.  Every breath you take is about Trump.  That's not healthy, except for Trump.

A right-wad, conversely, is someone who complains that the poor and homeless don't pay their fair share of income taxes.  IIRC there's only two of those on this forum.

TheDeamon

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #136 on: January 07, 2020, 05:39:58 PM »
I like that "leftwits" are people who object to Trump's actions and doubt his motives.  You couldn't speak kinder of them if you tried, bless your heart.

I doubt a number of Trump's motives, and I'm pretty sure I'm not a left-wit by my own usage. I'm anything but a Trump fan, if you honestly read a lot of my comments about him, I'm actively disparaging the man even as I'm posting things to defend him against many of the claims being made against him.

You don't need to mind-read the guy, or invent things to make the guy look bad, he does a good enough job of that on his own. Of course, the "problem" many have is that by itself isn't enough to justify doing what they'd like to do.. So we get to deal with mind readers, and other "creative activities" to get people to act how they want them to(against Trump)

cherrypoptart

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #137 on: January 07, 2020, 06:02:32 PM »
It seems like the take away in all this is that if we don't let their terrorists continue with impunity to kill our people then they will engage in further acts of terrorism to kill our people.

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #138 on: January 07, 2020, 06:17:18 PM »
It seems like the take away in all this is that if we don't let their terrorists continue with impunity to kill our people then they will engage in further acts of terrorism to kill our people.

And we will kill their people, and they will kill our people, and we will kill their people, and before you know it we'll have spent another 10 years killing each other and a trillion dollars and think it was a mistake to get so deeply involved.  The vote for the Iraq authorization in 2002 was 77-23.  When the Senators who had voted in 2002 were surveyed by ABC in 2008, knowing then what they hadn't known earlier, the tally was 43-57.  Would you really trust Trump to tell us honestly?  They can't even come up with a legitimate imminent threat to justify the assassination of Suleimani, and that just happened last week.

TheDrake

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #139 on: January 07, 2020, 06:33:39 PM »
It seems like the take away in all this is that if we don't let their terrorists continue with impunity to kill our people then they will engage in further acts of terrorism to kill our people.

Beyond any ethics or international law, the pragmatic question is "will we be better off"?

Not "does this guy deserve it?" or "am I getting revenge?" or "will I feel more powerful?" or "will this make me righteous?".

That's Abu Graib thinking.

Will it deter terrorism or make it less effective? What other side effects may happen?

I'm not going to try and answer that question, I don't think I'm particularly qualified to understand how that ends up, but that's how one decides pragmatically. And yes, sometimes your best alternative is continue to weather attacks and search for an effective strategy.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #140 on: January 07, 2020, 06:39:17 PM »
So yeah, we know more people will die because we killed him than would have died if we hadn't killed him. Therefore, we should not have killed him and just let him keep killing our people, but at least it would be less people dead overall, ours as well as theirs.

This reminds me a little bit of when the North Korean government was kidnapping little Japanese girls who were walking to school in the morning. So just a relative handful were kidnapped and eventually died in North Korea. Attacking North Korea over it would have led to thousands or maybe millions of deaths. So instead we just let them kidnap little girls and in some cases for all practical purposes kill them.  The greater good is served by doing little to nothing and choosing to let evil prosper.

Or is it? It's almost like one of those ethical dilemmas.

Kasandra

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #141 on: January 07, 2020, 06:41:52 PM »
There's no question that it's an ethical dilemma.  Which is the greater evil?  I agree that "wisdom" seeks to find  the path to lesser evil and greater good. It's hard to know what path to take in the beginning, but we've seen over and over that wisdom is not Trump's long suit.  Congress needs to step in and have a strong voice in determining how to proceed.  In Iraq they did their job badly; let's hope they will do better if they are called upon this time.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #142 on: January 07, 2020, 06:42:38 PM »
I liked this exchange.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/elizabeth-warren-shuts-down-meghan-170414641.html

So it seems like pretty much everyone agrees he was a terrorist.

That's something. That's a very good place to start. If a country is going to get upset and risk war because we kill one of their terrorists then what are we supposed to make of that?

TheDrake

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #143 on: January 07, 2020, 06:45:25 PM »
It's interesting that you think not killing him in exactly that way is the same as inaction. Maybe he could have been taken alive instead. Maybe we could have found some Sunnis to do the job by proxy. Or several other options, some lethal and some not. Or maybe we could get the hell out of their backyard and stop being easy targets.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #144 on: January 07, 2020, 06:48:47 PM »
All that's possible. Trump isn't knowing for playing the deep game. But if any of that was feasible one would think it would have already happened.

Now having said all that I'm with everyone who is very unnerved by all of this. One of Trump's promises was to get and keep us out of the quagmire in the Middle-East. This is a dangerous gamble by Trump. I hope it works but it's on the knife's edge right now whether it will result in peace like Reagan's attacks on Gaddafi that killed one of his children did or if it will result in all out war and another long term quagmire that costs thousands of American military personnel their lives. Only time will tell and I'm not willing to bet on it either way.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #145 on: January 07, 2020, 07:12:30 PM »
Well it looks like maybe it's on.

Iran launches missiles at US military facilities in Iraq: US official

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/iran-launches-missiles-us-air-bases-iraq-us-233400332--abc-news-topstories.html



Of course no one thought that just killing that one terrorist would be enough to move them toward peace. Supposedly Reagan sank half their Navy or something in the 80s. I guess we'll just see what happens next, and then after that, and then where we are ten years down the road.


TheDeamon

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #146 on: January 07, 2020, 08:10:12 PM »
Well it looks like maybe it's on.

Iran launches missiles at US military facilities in Iraq: US official

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/iran-launches-missiles-us-air-bases-iraq-us-233400332--abc-news-topstories.html



Of course no one thought that just killing that one terrorist would be enough to move them toward peace. Supposedly Reagan sank half their Navy or something in the 80s. I guess we'll just see what happens next, and then after that, and then where we are ten years down the road.

I am expecting a repeat of that response, and then some. If Trump doesn't bomb the Iranian nuclear and missile research facilities while we're at it I would be surprised.

Pete at Home

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #147 on: January 07, 2020, 08:32:02 PM »
Well it looks like maybe it's on.

Iran launches missiles at US military facilities in Iraq: US official

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/iran-launches-missiles-us-air-bases-iraq-us-233400332--abc-news-topstories.html



Of course no one thought that just killing that one terrorist would be enough to move them toward peace. Supposedly Reagan sank half their Navy or something in the 80s. I guess we'll just see what happens next, and then after that, and then where we are ten years down the road.

Actually, their move towards launching missiles from their own territory, after an informal declaration of war by their Ayatollah, *is* a step towards peace.  We took out their master terrorist, and now they are fighting relatively honorably, for Iranians.  I hope that we don't do more in response than take out their launch sites.  Since no one's been killed.  My voice is to offer diplomacy at this point.

TheDeamon

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #148 on: January 07, 2020, 08:40:07 PM »
Right now we don't know if Trump's promised attack is already underway or not.

Assuming it's not, given the statements coming from Iran, the next step is more US Navy ships entering the Persian Gulf to taunt them, and beefing up missile defenses in the region. Then wait to see if Iran follows through and broadens the scope of their attacks: Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia.

Pete at Home

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Re: Escalation with Iran
« Reply #149 on: January 07, 2020, 08:57:39 PM »
To answer Kasandras question and distinguish leftists from left-wits, a leftist at this point should be able to state what they hope Trump will do in response, whereas a left-wit would feel compelled to wait to see what Trump does before saying he should have done differently.