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Tag Archives: Iran

Trudeau Blames Trump for Airliner Shoot-Down

I mean, come on.

Our closest ally repeats our enemy’s talking points. This is what Iran wants the world to believe.

Fortunately, Iranian citizens, unlike the leader of Canada, are not fooled and are in the street protesting against the people who actually shot down the plane.

From the Washington Examiner:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, 48, said on Monday that the United States bears responsibility for Iran’s downing of a Ukrainian airplane last Wednesday, which killed all 176 passengers on board. 

“I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” Trudeau said in an interview on Monday. 

Fifty-seven Canadians were among those killed last Wednesday after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired a ballistic missile at a commercial Boeing 737 plane. The strike occurred during an Iranian attack on Iraqi air bases housing U.S. military personnel. Trudeau said the incident is “something that happens when you have conflict and war.” 

“Innocents bear the brunt of it, and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on deescalation, moving forward to reduce tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing,” Trudeau continued.

Trump’s Sanctions are Limiting Iran’s Options: NY Times

According to self-proclaimed Paper of Record:

Iran is caught in a wretched economic crisis. Jobs are scarce. Prices for food and other necessities are skyrocketing. The economy is rapidly shrinking. Iranians are increasingly disgusted.

Crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration have severed Iran’s access to international markets, decimating the economy, which is now contracting at an alarming 9.5 percent annual rate, the International Monetary Fund estimated. Oil exports were effectively zero in December, according to Oxford Economics, as the sanctions have prevented sales, even though smugglers have transported unknown volumes.

The bleak economy appears to be tempering the willingness of Iran to escalate hostilities with the United States, its leaders cognizant that war could profoundly worsen national fortunes. In recent months, public anger over joblessness, economic anxiety and corruption has emerged as a potentially existential threat to Iran’s hard-line regime. 

Only a week ago, such sentiments had been redirected by outrage over the Trump administration’s Jan. 3 killing of Iran’s top military commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani. But protests flared anew over the weekend in Tehran, and then continued on Monday, after the government’s astonishing admission that it was — despite three days of denial — responsible for shooting down a Ukrainian jetliner. 

The demonstrations were most pointedly an expression of contempt for the regime’s cover-up following its downing of the Ukrainian jet, which killed all 176 people on board. But the fury in the streets resonated as a rebuke for broader grievances — diminishing livelihoods, financial anxiety and the sense that the regime is at best impotent in the face of formidable troubles.

Inflation is running near 40 percent, assailing consumers with sharply rising prices for food and other basic necessities. More than one in four young Iranians is jobless, with college graduates especially short of work, according to the World Bank.

The missile strikes that Iran unleashed on American bases in Iraq last week in response to Gen. Suleimani’s killing appeared calibrated to enable its leaders to declare that vengeance had been secured without provoking an extreme response from President Trump, such as aerial bombing. 

Hostilities with the most powerful military on earth would make life even more punishing for ordinary Iranians. It would likely weaken the currency and exacerbate inflation, while menacing what remains of national industry, eliminating jobs and reinvigorating public pressure on the leadership.

Below, U.S. and Israeli flags are on the ground so people can disrespect them by walking across them. In a sign of the growing resistance to the Iranian regime, these protestors refused.

Tulsi Gabbard, Pete Buttigieg and Other Dems Blame Trump for Downing Ukraine Airliner

Trump Derangement Syndrome run amuck. This is just simply plain stupid.

Trump’s killing of Qassem Solameini can legitimately be debated. But you can’t logically blame Trump for an apparent accident that occurred related to a foreign policy decision that at least arguably has merit. How about just blaming Iranian incompetence?? They shot the thing down.

Best then, not to make any foreign policy decisions at all. Who knows what could result?

Should be blame the United States Marine Corps, which trained Lee Harvey Oswald to shoot, for the Kennedy assassination?

I guess maybe let’s blame Dwight Eisenhower for the Ukrainian airliner tragedy instead. I mean, he put the Shah back in power in the 1950s, which led Iranian Islamic extremists to take over the country in the 1970s, which led to Iran causing problems in the region, which led to Trump killing Solameini, which led to the downing of the Ukrainian airliner by Iran.

So that’s whom I blame. It was Eisenhower.

BTW, for a leading presidential candidate like Pete Buttigieg to blame the president for such a horrifying incident — even in Buttigieg’s typical slick way of trying to suggest something while maintaining deniability — is repugnant.

Trump Wins: U.S. Knew Beforehand about Limited, Face-Saving Iran Response

Iran performed a little pinprick by striking U.S. bases in Iraq, without inflicting casualties, because it was afraid of how President Trump might respond. Trump smartly declined to escalate with a military response, and the mission of killing Iranian Gen. Solemeini and making Iran think twice before harming Americans has been accomplished.

According to the Washington Post:

The Iranian missile strike on American locations in Iraq on Tuesday was a calibrated event intended to cause minimal American casualties, give the Iranians a face-saving measure and provide an opportunity for both sides to step back from the brink of war, according to senior U.S. officials in Washington and the Middle East.

White House officials were bracing as early as Tuesday morning for Iran to respond to the U.S. killing last week of Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

U.S. officials said they knew by Tuesday afternoon that Iran intended to strike at American targets in Iraq, although it was not immediately clear exactly which they would choose.

The early warning came from intelligence sources as well as communications from Iraq that conveyed Iran’s intentions to launch the strike, officials said.AD

Iran state TV airs video claiming to show missiles being launched at bases in IraqVideo aired by Iranian state TV reportedly showed the launch of multiple ballistic missiles from an undisclosed location in Iran on Jan. 8. (IRINN)

“We knew, and the Iraqis told us, that this was coming many hours in advance,” said a senior administration official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence and diplomatic communications.

“We had intelligence reports several hours in advance that the Iranians were seeking to strike the bases,” the official said.

That gave military commanders time to get U.S. troops into safe, fortified positions at the bases.

Pompeo Echoes Trump: Iran Will Never Have a Nuclear Weapon

That’s fine. Are you ready to back that up?

Iran will also never give up its quest to gain a nuclear weapon. The deal with Barack Obama was a tactic to eventually legitimize its quest, since the deal expires, and provide more time for research, missile development, and so forth. All while cheating.

In the end, it will take the U.S. and Israeli military, or just the U.S. military, to destroy their capability. If the current crisis escalates, and we’ve got war anyway, that will be the time to do it.

The world will not survive long term with either an Iranian or North Korean nuclear capability. Nothing equals these threats. They are existential. Crazy, violent people cannot have nuclear weapons and the missiles with which to deliver them.

According to the Washington Examiner:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed President Trump’s all-caps tweet this week, saying the United States is committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“President Trump could not be more clear. On our watch, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon,” Pompeo said during a press briefing Tuesday. “And as we came into office, Iran was on a pathway that had been provided by the nuclear deal, which clearly gave them the opportunity to have those nuclear weapons. We won’t let that happen.”

His message came a day after Trump tweeted, “IRAN WILL NEVER HAVE A NUCLEAR WEAPON!”

U.S. Responded to Attack on Saudi Oilfield with Secret Cyber Op Against Iran

It’s just the opposite of how President Trump gets portrayed, you know?

People figured he’d be a bloodthirsty warmonger. But it turns out he’s been very measured, if direct, in some of his responses to world events. He genuinely sees military operations as a last resort.

Turns out that while many were demanding we blow something up in Iran in response to last month’s attack on Saudi Arabia, Trump decided to keep the response below the radar instead of doing something that could have escalated into a war.

According to Reuters:

The United States carried out a secret cyber operation against Iran in the wake of the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh blame on Tehran, two U.S. officials have told Reuters.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation took place in late September and took aim at Tehran’s ability to spread “propaganda.”

One of the officials said the strike affected physical hardware, but did not provide further details.

The attack highlights how President Donald Trump’s administration has been trying to counter what it sees as Iranian aggression without spiraling into a broader conflict.

Asked about Reuters reporting on Wednesday, Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said: “They must have dreamt it,” Fars news agency reported.

The U.S. strike appears more limited than other such operations against Iran this year after the downing of an American drone in June and an alleged attack by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on oil tankers in the Gulf in May.

Trump Sends Troops and Missiles to Saudi Arabia

Seems to me like a strong, yet measured response.

According to the Washington Examiner:

The Pentagon is sending additional troops and missiles to Saudi Arabia in response to Iran’s attack on Saudi oil facilities last weekend.

“The president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces which are primarily defensive in nature,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a surprise briefing Friday night. He said the kingdom had asked President Trump for the support.

“We are contributing to Saudi Arabia’s defense,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford added.

Neither official would say how many troops the United States is contributing, but the number will likely be in the hundreds. Nothing is happening immediately, and Dunford said he will present more specifics next week.

Esper said U.S. and Saudi officials on the ground had confirmed the attack originated in Iran.

Trump’s Cool, Rational Approach to Iran

The man who is forever characterized as an irrational hothead is playing Iran’s attack on Saudi Arabia cooler than everyone else.

He is talking to lots of people, getting advice, assembling information, and then he’ll make a decision – hoping to steer clear of war if possible.

It’s not just Lindsey Graham and the usual neocons who want us to hit Iran. It’s the Wall Street Journal:

 If the message to Iran is that Mr. Trump has taken military force off the table, the Middle East becomes more dangerous and Mr. Trump may be backed into returning to Mr. Obama’s nuclear deal. 

Mr. Trump wants to reduce every foreign controversy to a negotiation with some head of state, and the world’s bad actors are figuring that out. Tehran has a clear policy to become the dominant power in the Middle East, and its actions—including aggression to destabilize its Arab neighbors—support that policy. Mr. Trump had better prepare for more Iranian trouble.

Over at American Greatness, Joseph Duggan has a much smarter take:

We are in a protracted conflict, and the United States and our allies need to act strategically over the long term. Reagan won the Cold War by resisting the temptation to go to war when there were flashpoints such as what we’ve seen in the past week.

America is much stronger than Iran. We are much stronger than the terrorist organizations ISIS and al-Qaeda. We can outlast them.

The Trump Administration should refuse to take the bait of answering a spectacular attack with a showy gesture of rapid escalation that is not strategically sound. We need to play to our strengths and not dissipate them. The United States must operate steadily, and usually covertly, to degrade our adversaries’ ability to harm our allies and our interests.

Yes, at a certain point, we may need to deliver a military response. But the goal is to let Iran know this is unacceptable, not to show how tough we are. And there are many, quieter ways to make Iran pay without risking a large-scale war.

Trump Denies Responsibility for Blowing Up Iranian Rocket

Here’s what happened, according to AP: A rocket at an Iranian space center that was to conduct a satellite launch criticized by the U.S. apparently exploded on its launch pad Thursday, satellite images show, suggesting the Islamic Republic suffered its third failed launch this year alone. Israelis? Iranian incompetence? We actually did do it? All… Continue Reading

Trump Handled The Iran Crisis Poorly, but His Flexibility May Have Avoided a War

President Trump’s decision not to go ahead with a retaliatory strike on Iran may have prevented a war by avoiding one of the reasons for unnecessary conflict: Leaders trapped into rigid thinking and plans under which they believe their hand has been forced. Let’s be clear. Trump’s response was bungled. He’s managed to do this… Continue Reading

WSJ Editorial: Trump’s Iran Policy Can Succeed

So everyone, from Democrats, to journalists, to all of Europe, is pissing in their pants because Iran is threatening to increase its production of uranium in response to President Trump’s sanctions and supposed belligerance. The United States has to make a decision about whether it can live with a brutal, terrorism-sponsoring Iranian theocracy with nuclear… Continue Reading