Free Markets, Free People

Iran–something to watch

While the hype and nonsense that usually accompanies primaries continues here, something to keep an eye on is happening a half a world away:

Iran will take action if a U.S. aircraft carrier which left the area because of Iranian naval exercises returns to the Gulf, the state news agency quoted army chief Ataollah Salehi as saying on Tuesday.

"Iran will not repeat its warning … the enemy’s carrier has been moved to the Sea of Oman because of our drill. I recommend and emphasise to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf," Salehi told IRNA.

"I advise, recommend and warn them (the Americans) over the return of this carrier to the Persian Gulf because we are not in the habit of warning more than once," the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Salehi as saying.

Salehi did not name the aircraft carrier or give details of the action Iran might take if it returned.

Iran completed 10 days of naval exercises in the Gulf on Monday, and said during the drills that if foreign powers imposed sanctions on its crude exports it could shut the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world’s traded oil is shipped.

Iran is feeling froggy and is issuing a very thinly veiled threat.  In every way, shape and form, any attempt to attack a returning carrier (or close the Straits of Hormuz, something they deny they intend) will be considered an act of war.

And they’re not really being particularly nebulous or coy about this either. 

In the world of international power politics, this calls for a response by the threatened side. 

This is akin to that 3am call for Obama.

Fold or call their bluff ?

Which will it be?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

103 Responses to Iran–something to watch

  • Obama will do something and it will either be called to much or too little by the right. My guess is that the response will be considered too harsh and the right will call Obama an opportunist for trying to start a new war before the election. Trump (that political genius) has been saying this for months. What is the over/under for the number of hours the Iranian navy will have a vessel floating after the first shot?

    Here is the first official response I have seen from a CNN story:
    Cmdr. Amy Derrick Frost, spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain, responded at the time, “Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/03/world/meast/iran-u-s-/index.html

    • @CaptinSarcastic Obama will do something and it will either be called to much or too little by the right. My guess is that the response will be considered too harsh and the right will call Obama an opportunist for trying to start a new war before the election.

      >>>> After the way he and the left ran their mouths about Bush and Iraq, raising the terror theat level for political gain etc – damn right. Except this time we’d be correct in assessing his motivation. The guy really is a s**mbag. As for your over/under, the real over/under is number of minutes that passes after the first shot before Iran takes some sort of shot at Israel?

      • @The Shark I don’t think that even if there is shooting, Iran will take a shot at Isreal. We may break a bunch of their toys, but Israel is primed to recover some of the lost cache of the Second Lebanon War, and I think Iran knows this.

        • Iran has been brutally rational in its foreign policy, pushing as hard as they can get away with, but knowing when to stop or back down. I think now the US and Israel has been actively disrupting their nuclear program and they’re trying to figure out how to respond. I think some of this is also for Iranian domestic consumption. They’re afraid of the Arab Spring spreading to Persia, recalling the 2009 protests, and sabre rattling to get domestic support is a time honored political tradition. I suspect they’d love a US response that stirs Iranian nationalism and gets their minds off their growing dislike of their government.

        • @scotterb Hostilities, unless they escalate to regime changing action, definitely benefits the hardliners in Iran. Iran’s liberal population was making good strides against the hardliners before the nation took an authoritarian turn after being named as an “Axis of Evil” nation. They did (generally) what we would do if threatened, we take the focus off of our domestic squabbles and focus on the common enemy.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb More stupid. You are…like…a stupid generator!!!

        • @Ragspierre @scotterb I’m sorry I embarassed you Ragspierre, but doubling down is not going to help you recover. At this point, you have created the image a person with their fingers in their ears yelling “stupid, stupid, stupid”. One of us is behaving reasonably and rationally, the other one is you.

        • “Iran’s liberal population was making good strides against the hardliners before the nation took an authoritarian turn after being named as an “Axis of Evil” nation.”

          Tantamount to saying Reagan calling the Soviets the “Evil Empire” made them an evil empire.

          Stupid.

          By identifying an “Axis of Evil”, you create an axis of evil.

          Stupid.

          Since the fall of the Shah, Iran was not…at all times…authoritarian.

          Stupid.

          The only person you manage to embarrass is yourself. But, please, carry on…!!!

        • @Ragspierre Go back and read it again. I never said that the Iranian leadership was not evil, they are some very bad people. What I DID say that the Axis of Evil comment undermined a liberal revolution in Iran that was starting to make gains on the authoritarian government. Do you see the difference? Let’s say you and your brother were having an argument, and then someone stepped up and said your whole family was a bunch of d-bags. If your family is anything remotely typical in their reactions, your internal disagreement will be forgotten and you will both focus on this new external enemy. It is human nature, and it is how authoritarian emotions are stoked by governments, by naming external threats, real or invented. But in this case, we assisted the Iranian hardliners by naming them an enemy when we should have allowed the liberal revolution to take it course.
          Learn who Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is and then tell me if anything we did hurt his reform movement and helped pave the wave for the election (read – insertion) of the hardliner Ahmadinejad. People who were previously anti-government reformers rose in the streets to show solidarity against the veiled threat of the Axis of Evil speech.

        • @Ragspierre Bush’s policies threatening Iran did help the regime get people in Iran to rally around the flag. The moderates had won every election until 2004. Since then the conservatives have changed electoral laws, expanded control and censorship, and took advantage of the gift the Americans gave Iran when we attacked Iraq. Iran was authoritarian not just since the fall of the Shah, but since the CIA assisted coup overthrew Mossadegh and ended Iran’s secular democracy.

          The US rationalized this because the Communist Tudeh joined Mossadegh’s government. But that was only because a US/UK refusal to buy Iranian oil because Mossadegh wanted to nationalize it lead to intense economic problems which caused Mossadegh’s coalition to splinter forcing him to deal with Tudeh.

          And that’s a big reason why we’re where we are today with Iran. Blowback.

        • @Ragspierre Bush’s policies threatening Iran did help the regime get people in Iran to rally around the flag. The moderates had won every election until 2004. Since then the conservatives have changed electoral laws, expanded control and censorship, and took advantage of the gift the Americans gave Iranian hardliners by attacking Iraq. Iran has been authoritarian not just since the fall of the Shah, but since the CIA assisted coup overthrew Mossadegh in 1953. That ended Iran’s secular democracy. The US rationalized this by citing the fact that the Communist Tudeh joined Mossadegh’s government. But this was only after a US/UK boycott of Iranian oil lead to economic turmoil in Iran, splintering Mossadegh’s coalition and forcing him to bring in the Communists. Mossadegh’s crime leading to that damaging boycott? Iran was upset with BP’s offer on oil and had decided to nationalize their oil industry. And that’s a big reason why we’re where we are today with Iran. Blowback.

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre
          Any discussion of how we came to the position we are today in reference to Iran and not including Carter’s disasterous policies regarding that nation and the repatriation of the Ayatollah has either made a monstrous omission or cannot read or understand history.

          For your sake, Erb, I hope it is the former and not the latter.

        • @sshiell @Ragspierre Silly sshiell, you’re blaming Carter? LOL! Carter should be a delight to the right. He’s the one that declared the Carter Doctrine, said we’d fight a war for oil, and started the defense build up that Reagan continued (though at a slower pace than Carter had intended). I suppose you think Carter should have tried to save the Shah or stop the Ayatollah from returning. That is naively ignorant of reality. The Shah was a repressive tyrannical dictator. Sometimes the right sees that as bad, but sometimes they find repression oddly arousing. :-)

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre “Iran has been authoritarian…since the CIA assisted coup overthrew Mossadegh in 1953.”

          Which any anti-interventionist knows was wrong to do. (Except Libya was different. Somehow, it doesn’t qualify as what you characterized as “murder” and “evil” previously.)

          “Iran was upset with BP’s offer on oil and had decided to nationalize their oil industry. And that’s a big reason why we’re where we are today with Iran.”

          So you’re blaming the wholesale theft of property for initiating problems, the consequences of which can be felt today? Haha, just kidding. I know you consider property rights a mere human invention which can be dispensed with so long as the politics suit your liking.

          I’m guessing that you’re blaming BP for their position in negotiations which “upset” the rulers in Tehran?

          Given your history of advocating socialism (or, at the least, being a ridiculously biased apologist), my money is on you deciding that investors who put money and technology into oil exploration and extraction deserve having all of their property stolen when they don’t “serve the interest of the people” (i.e., don’t sufficiently grease the palms of the ruling officials and bureaucracy who easily run to populist justifications for plunder which does not, in fact, benefit the average person, but is a short-sighted power grab of the most selfish variety).

          “Blowback.”

          Oops, you’re revising history (again), putting the Operation Ajax (1953) intelligence term of art back in time to the theft of BP infrastructure (1951).

          Also, you’re overlooking the assassination of Prime Minister Razmara, which preceded the nationalization. Razmara argued, sensibly, that Iran lacked the technological expertise to run the oil industry if they just outright stole it from BP by force. But somehow, that bit of violence goes down the memory hole when the next coup is presented as the initial spark of violence.

        • @myweeklycrime @scotterb @Ragspierre I’ll never forget seeing Ayn Rand in the Phil Donahue interview making the argument that it is okay to take (by force) the oil from Iran because they are not “civilized enough” to own it. Convenient, subjective, Objectivism.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb @Ragspierre “I’ll never forget seeing Ayn Rand in the Phil Donahue interview making the argument that it is okay to take (by force) the oil from Iran because they are not “civilized enough” to own it.”

          It’s a sure sign of a weak mind when one brings the Russian Radical into a discussion—when no one else mentioned her—for the purposes of arguing against what she said as though it was the argument put forth by the people actually involved in the present-day discussion.

          But, since you do bring up that woman, I’ll just point out that your mind is clinging to a “memory” of something which did not happen.

          You have glossed over the critical first two steps of the situation, falsely assuming post-nationalization to be a starting point, not the result of (1) foreign oil companies making an agreement with the local government and (2) local government breaking the agreement and taking all of the infrastructure by force.

          But if you want to pick nits with Objectivists, I suggest you find some, rather than inserting your arguments against them into responses to me.

        • @myweeklycrime @scotterb @Ragspierre “they have no right to their soil if they do nothing with it, rights are not involved with those primitive societies.”
          Yes, there was a contract, but Iran claimed that it was made under duress with a non-constitutional government. Standard contract dispute, but it’s interesting that an Objectivist would make the statement that a people have no right to their soil if they do nothing with it. I am not doing anything with backyard, do you have the right to mine for gold there?

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb
          ” Iran’s liberal population was making good strides against the hardliners before the nation took an authoritarian turn after being named as an “Axis of Evil” nation”

          Ah, yes. The ever popular “The devil made me do it!” defense, popularized by another political science maven, Flip Wilson.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @myweeklycrime @scotterb @Ragspierre
          “”they have no right to their soil if they do nothing with it, rights are not involved with those primitive societies.”

          Did one of the local naughty boys say that? Or was it an author who, to my knowledge hasn’t posted here and wasn’t given leave to speak on, certainly not my, presumbly as well not on the collective our, behalf?

          That sort of statement is exactly wrong, sauce, goose, gander, and for precisely the reason you cited in your backyard. Having said that (upon which we agree), I’m not sure how it excuses the government of Iran from threatening our carrier in international waters, and I would submit, it’s not at all a factor in Tehran Timmy’s declaration that we better not cross the metaphorical line he just drew.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb @Ragspierre “Yes, there was a contract, but Iran claimed that it was made under duress with a non-constitutional government. Standard contract dispute….”

          Your argument, and that of Scott, that “Iran claimed” or “Iran was upset”, is a clear-cut example of The Fallacy of Collectivism http://mises.org/daily/2528 . Countries do not make claims or have emotions.

          As for your statement: during negotiations in the late 20s and early 30s, particular political leaders made such claims about the agreement between the monarch and D’Arcy in 1901. (Nevermind that the monarch made the agreement to pay for his extravagant lifestyle—which makes claims of “duress” aimed at British oil interests quite off the mark—and the very same monarch initiated the process of establishing a constitutional parliament.)

          It should be noted that those who made the objections of “duress with a non-constitutional government” made such arguments before the 1933 agreement with the APOC, ratified by the parliament—which means your claiming “duress with a non-constitutional government” to be the excuse for the nationalization two decades later is revisionist history. There was also the matter of the events of WW II during the intervening years, plus the endless assassinations and coups that plagued the country, nearly all of which were not a result of foreign meddling, but old-fashioned civil strife and religious fanaticism. There is quite a bit of history which you and Scott gloss over to find convenient targets.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb @Ragspierre “…it’s interesting that an Objectivist would make the statement that a people have no right to their soil if they do nothing with it.”

          Interesting to whom?

          Again, you’re the one who brought up the subject of the founder of that philosophy. Perhaps you’re seeking to bait Objectivists to come join this debate. If so, you could post a separate comment not addressed to me to try to accomplish this?

        • @myweeklycrime @scotterb @Ragspierre Point taken. It was just a memory that occurred to me in discussion of Iran’s nationalization of their oil.

        • @looker @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb @Ragspierre “That sort of statement ['They have no right to their soil if they do nothing with it, rights are not involved with those primitive societies.'] is exactly wrong, sauce, goose, gander, and for precisely the reason you cited in your backyard.”

          I think there are stark differences between people claiming rights, based upon the alleged authority of the purported government, to all land which happens to lie between lines on a map and a private individual claiming rights to the homestead he obtained through a purchase agreed to by the previous owner.

          The 1901 D’Arcy Concession was predicated on the assumption that the Shah had ownership of Persia from his throne in the capital city, including remote lands inhabited by nomadic tribes. The nationalization of 1951 was predicated on the assertion that the group of people in parliament had ownership of the *DEVELOPED* land and equipment, which was still the home of the (by then) semi-nomadic tribes. If the former was invalid, then the latter was even less valid, due to the cost of exploration, extraction, processing, and transport that the foreign oil company put into the industry.

          Now, whether the “primitive” people of the nomadic tribes had a right to every square inch of land between this moutain range and that one, since their ancestors had lived in parts of it for centuries, is the more useful question. In a just, rational world, the oil company would have negotiated with the people living there (not in some distant city) who actually had a stake in what was done where they fed their livestock and the locals would divide the payments to them in a reasonable fashion—rather than filling the coffers of the tribal leaders.

        • @looker @myweeklycrime @scotterb @Ragspierre That was a quote from Ayn Rand in her Donahue interview that weekly crime posted.

        • @myweeklycrime @looker @scotterb @Ragspierre (Let’s make it an even 100 posts) I don’t disagree, but you clearly understand the risks of doing business in nation-states like this. Nobody would have ever done it were not the rewards so ridiculously rich. For whatever reasons, it was a sovereign nation, and they used their sovereignty and some legal arguments to break the contract and nationalize the oil. They brought their case before the international court in the Hague, and Iran won. Case closed, contract broken, legally.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @scotterb @Ragspierre “Case closed, contract broken, legally.”

          It took assassinating Prime Minister Razmara to get the votes. Isn’t killing a politician illegal? Or, is this another special pleading, the old “break a few eggs to make an omelet” argument? There were assassinations, coups, and all manner of looting and corruption going on in Persia/Iran well before oil speculators, WW II, and Operation Ajax, so it’s pathetic to employ revisionist history to concoct a mythical point in the history of that nation as proper and stable, against which any change is deemed a novel upheaval of all that is good and right.

          Note, also that being legal doesn’t make something right. Slavery was once legal. I’m more interested in what was ethical and what was wise. Most of the arguments are moot, anyway, based upon the fact that the rulers in Tehran, with or without fancy papers or the alleged approval of the mobs, lacked the moral authority to negotiate for resources of lands inhabited by other people.

          It was unethical and unwise to nationalize the oil by force because they took what others had invested in without compensating them, which sent a signal to any other foreign investors with the technological knowledge to find, extract, and process oil that the Iranian government was not to be trusted. Operation Ajax was unethical for reasons cited previously and unwise because it gave anti-Western, anti-American arguments a foothold.

  • Oh, I really doubt Bad Luck Barry wants to start a hot war with Iran. Not when he’s so busy capitulating to the Taliban! It would seems so…I dunno…contradictory. You know, like his entire Presidency…

    • @Ragspierre Oh, I really doubt Bad Luck Barry wants to start a hot war with Iran

      >>> Oh really? I bet he’s focus-grouping right now if a hot war can goose cold poll numbers

  • Fold, in a way, by ignoring them other than the already delivered standard response below.

    I think what we should do though is ignore the Iranian putz and do whatever we intended to do all along. I don’t think O will do anything aside from that and I think when the carrier force comes back they won’t be forced to do anything either. And we sure don’t want another Vincennes/Airbus incident.

    This is the usual Middle Eastern little dog barking crap that Iraq used to pull. All Iran is missing is Baghdad Bob to do their next telecast. This is right up there with their threat to turn their puddleboat navy into a blue water one and cruise up and down our coast. It would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that they may force us to blow things (and people) up.

  • You haven’t been paying attention – there has been a covert war against Iran waged by the Obama administration, perhaps along with Israel for over a year. Iran is responding to that, realizing that it’s been effective and there has been virtually no criticism of the US and Israel for their actions.

    Just in the last couple months: November 12, 2011, an explosion destroyed an Iranian military base killing 17 government officials. On November 28, 2011 an explosion near the Isfahan uranium facility. On December 1, 2011 the EU put in place sanctions and the US Congress gave the President power to bar financial interactions with Iran. December 4, 2011 Iran shot down a US drone.

    On December 19 and 20th the Obama administration made the threats more explicit. Panetta admitted there were real efforts to undercut Iran’s nuclear program, and on the 20th the Joint Chiefs said they were gathering intelligence for military action. On the same day the US expanded sanctions on Iran’s shipping sector, Iran’s arguments with the Saudis and other Arab states intensified (they claim the Arabs are supporting US interests) and Iran’s currency plummeted. On Dec. 24 Iran started war games, and on December 27th threatened to close the straights of Hormuz. On Dec. 28 the US said it would not tolerate any disruption of shipping through the straights. On Dec. 29 the US approved sales of $30 billion of military aid to Saudi Arabia and sent the USS John Stennis aircraft carrier through the straights of Hormuz.

    This ain’t no 3:00 AM call, this has been building for weeks (really going back longer I just focused on recent events) with the US racheting up pressure on Iran who has been unable to effectively respond except with name calling and threats. You should be praising Obama for his toughness here, but of course, that would make your head explode.

    • @scotterb Holy clusters of assumptions, Batman…!!! I mean, THAT has to be a record.

      And so many of them sooooo silly, too!

    • @scotterb Yeah, you go ahead and give credit to Obama for what Israel, or stupidity, is doing in Iran. I love it when you get all excited because Obama is allowing our military to do their job. I mean, after the way HE personally did Bin Laden in, why, it’s almost like watching a combo movie of Bruce Willis and Stallone it’s so cool how he handles all this espionage stuff and still has time for golf.

      And you forgot their ‘borrowing’ our stealth drone and Obama’s manly reaction to that – “Mister! Can we have our kite back?”.

      Now, don’t misunderstand, I personally view what we do as acts of war. If this was say, 120 years ago, we’d be calling it gunboat diplomacy. I don’t much agree with it, and I haven’t liked this overt attitude we have that we can use military hardware to blow stuff up any time we want in someone else’s country (provided of course they won’t be able to respond) whether the President is Democrat OR Republican.
      By the same token, if you ARE going to play that game, you’d better bring your game face and do ALL of it,
      That drone should have gone up in a million pieces before the Iranian’s ever touched it.

      After all Chuck, it would have then been but another ‘mysterious’ explosion in Iran. Something you seem to think Obama is always behind.

      Maybe that’s where he REALLY is when we think he’s golfing.

      • @looker @scotterb I do enjoy the irony of arguing that in cases where the military effectively does their job (killing Bin Laden) that it is simply a case of the military doing their job and has nothing to do with the CinC, but when the military fails to do their job (lost drone), it is the sole responsibility of the CinC. What did the hippies used to call that, cognitive dissonance?

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker It’s called ODS, Obama Derangement Syndrome.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @scotterb Yeah…this Captain guy falls further in my esteem every time he posts.

          Asinine formulations for insipid comparisons are not Hitchens-level critical thinking.

        • @Ragspierre @looker @scotterb Aww shucks, I should have thought of that. I could just apply a negative label to someone’s opinion and then to them personally, and I would not have to address the content at all. Brilliant time saver!

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @scotterb I like to be succinct.

          You seem to love straw men as much as Obama (i.e., “where the military effectively does their job (killing Bin Laden) that it is simply a case of the military doing their job”).

          Erp will tell you I suffer fools very little. Fool.

        • @Ragspierre @looker @scotterb Awesome, you (incorrectly) accuse me of a logical fallacy (strawman) and then close it with a logical fallacy of your own (ad hominem). That is beautiful!

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @scotterb False. Let me call you the liar you have also shown yourself.

          Your strawman formulation has somebody (who does not exist) arguing that Obama had nothing to do with killing OBL (which nobody argued).

          Your second one was as stupid and perfidious.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb Come on Cap, you know as well as anyone else he didn’t have much choice about getting Bin Laden once they confirmed. There was no way he was going to be the President who let Bin Laden ‘escape’, so it wasn’t an option. Blowing up the drone, was an option. In fairness, and since my clearance is so low, they didn’t consult me and tell me where the drone was, it may be they couldn’t, I grant that. But it’s not dissonance, you look at his record, his indecision is historic, I’m surprised he craps without checking the poll possibilities first.

        • @Ragspierre @looker @scotterb Here is the quote I responded to, ” I love it when you get all excited because Obama is allowing our military to do their job. I mean, after the way HE personally did Bin Laden in, why, it’s almost like watching a combo movie of Bruce Willis and Stallone it’s so cool how he handles all this espionage stuff and still has time for golf.”
          The implication is not subtle, that Obama was not responsible for the miltary success, he just “let the military do it’s job.”, and this was immediately followed by a claim that Obama was responsible for the military failure to handle our assets, “And you forgot their ‘borrowing’ our stealth drone and Obama’s manly reaction to that – “Mister! Can we have our kite back?”.
          It’s fair to argue the point, and Looker does, but I am pointing to two claims that dismiss credit and exaggerate blame, which I think made a valid example of partisan rhetoric rather than objective analysis. Again, it’s arguable, as is anything, but I do accept that it is dismissable on the grounds of rhetorical fallacy. Though Rags comments, and any comments that include insults such as “fool”, “prig” (what is a prig?), “stupid”, and “liar” are.

        • @Ragspierre @looker @scotterb Here is the quote I responded to, ” I love it when you get all excited because Obama is allowing our military to do their job. I mean, after the way HE personally did Bin Laden in, why, it’s almost like watching a combo movie of Bruce Willis and Stallone it’s so cool how he handles all this espionage stuff and still has time for golf.”
          The implication is not subtle, that Obama was not responsible for the miltary success, he just “let the military do it’s job.”, and this was immediately followed by a claim that Obama was responsible for the military failure to handle our assets, “And you forgot their ‘borrowing’ our stealth drone and Obama’s manly reaction to that – “Mister! Can we have our kite back?”.
          It’s fair to argue the point, and Looker does, but I am pointing to two claims that dismiss credit and exaggerate blame, which I think made a valid example of partisan rhetoric rather than objective analysis. Again, it’s arguable, as is anything, but I do NOT accept that it is dismissable on the grounds of rhetorical fallacy. Though Rags comments, and any comments that include insults such as “fool”, “prig” (what is a prig?), “stupid”, and “liar” are.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb Cap cap cap – Note, the Stallone and Willis reference… it’s called ‘Sarcas….” ah,. but you understand that, it’s your moniker, no?

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @scotterb In BOTH instances, you liar, Obama (the political authority) APPARENTLY made the ultimate decision.

          In the OBL instance, he would have been lower than dog shit if he made any other call, and he POLITICALLY knew that.

          In the instance of the drone, (if we credit press reports) he flucking punted on several options that would have denied the Iranians the drone.

          Hence, your asinine formulations for insipid comparisons.

          People here can read.

        • @looker @scotterb Let’s apply the rationale behind both actions, and let’s add risk vs. reward. Obama gave the go ahead to violate a nuclear nation’s sovereignty with a very public miltary action. It was clearly illegal by any technical review under international law. That’s a pretty serious risk. the reward was ridding the world of global enemy number one. In hindsight, it was clearly a good call. But before the action, there was only one good outcome, and about a million bad outcomes and though you can credit the miltary for “doing their job” because they did, brilliantly. Every other possible outcome, all of them bad, would have landed, fairly, on the President’s shoulders. On the drone, the risk was far greater, and the reward was likely to destroy technology that is likely already in the hands of people who would want it and could use it ie; China. I could be wrong, but I think objectively, if you apply the same rationale to both scenarios, you don’t end up with the conslusions that you present.

        • @looker @scotterb Yes, I got that, and it was funny too. But I got the larger point, that Obama isn’t Rambo, and he didn’t DO anything. But that’s not true, he risked his political life on that call. Not the same as facing an AK, but still a serious risk.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @Ragspierre @scotterb I suppose we could posit the military did NOT suggest the drone be blown up, that no one thought it could be done, and they never put that on the table for him.

          Do you think that happened?

          He makes the decisions – he decided they should kill Bin Laden,

          I’m presuming, without evidence I admit, that he was offered the option to wax the drone too.

          Scott, without evidence, attributed all sorts of things to Obama’s steely eyed gaze, I didn’t see you bust that party much.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @scotterb What bullshit! Had he done anything BUT give the go, he would have been THE pariah in American history…forget B. Arnold. IF the raid failed (for any other reason BUT Jimmy Carter-style control), NOBODY (sane) would fault him for trying.

        • @Ragspierre @looker @scotterb But that is not the assertion that was made, the assertion made was that Obama just “let the military do it’s job” in the case of OBL, and then Obama was to blame when the military failed to handle assets. The two juxtaposed, especially in the same post, create the irony I highlighted. Of course the FACT is that Obama DID order the OBL action, and did NOT order the downed drone to be bombed in Iran. But I was not responding to facts, I was responding to assertions.

        • @looker @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb Than you can’t read. Erp is a hiss and a by-word here. You are approaching the same status.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @scotterb Actually, in most failure scenarios, there would be close to zero political risk.

          Nobody would know about the failed raid for a couple of decades, for good and not-good reasons having to do with national security and the transparency of this regime.

        • @Ragspierre @looker @scotterb Were you laughing out loud and when you typed this, or do you really think that any failure would not have been characterized EXACTLY like the failed hostage rescue was mischaracterized?

        • @Ragspierre @looker @scotterb A failed raid in public on the foreign sovereign soil of a nuclear nation would have been kept a secret? How many people need to reveal what someone else wants to keep a secret before it is not a secret? If OBL simple were not there at the moment of the incursion, Obama would have been accused, probably right here in this forum, of committing an act of war.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @Ragspierre @scotterb No, the assertion was a sarcastic reflection of the left getting all giddy that the President “got” Bin Laden, but he couldn’t “get” the drone.
          It’s a carry on from Erb’s list of assertions of demonstrations of Obama’s steely eyed gaze. Erb, obviously didn’t mention Bin Laden, I dragged that sorry SOB into it.

          That’s all it was. I don’t expect the President (again, without regard to party), short of maybe a Teddy Roosevelt clone, to show up with a shotgun and send someone into the hereafter when he has troops at his disposal to do it. It ISN’T the job of the President to literally lead the men into battle, and short of Madison at Bladensburg, it’s never been an option.

          And to be very clear, again, if Obama does NOTHING to Iran for this grandios threat, I won’t think any less of him. My advice would be, barring them taking hostile action to normal maritime travel to ignore the little rats. And it wouldn’t be to lessen his chance of re-election. This just isn’t the time to put a hard tackle on Iran. Give it a few more months for the Iraq withdrawal to settle out.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @scotterb Gawd you really are stupid. You believe we don’t have black ops in Pakistan that are never known about?

          Who do you figure in the SEAL chain of command would say, “Oh, yeah, in this raid we were targeting OBL, but he just wasn’t home, so the whole thing was a bust”.

          Cripes.

        • @looker @Ragspierre @scotterb I agree that we should, nor will, overtly provoke action, but we will bring our carrier back into the Straits of Hormuz and if Iran shoots first, I have no doubt that Obama will give the order to shoot back, and the end result will likely be the elimination of the Iranian (cough, cough) navy. The only question in my mind is will Iran be dumb enough to shoot.

        • @Ragspierre @looker @scotterb Sure, we have Black-Ops in border regions that no one of consequence ever knows about. But this was in a residential neighborhood a mile away from Pakistan’s military college. Neighbors were taking pictures and we left the wreckage of a helicopter at the house. I suppose you think that there could be a military raid on a suburban Annapolis home that no one would ever know about. Yeah, sure, that’ll happen.

        • @Ragspierre @looker @scotterb The target made the violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty acceptable, and that in fact is what happened. Sure, they whined about sovereignty, but they could not whine very loud or very long in light of the fact that with or without their knowledge, global enemy number one was hanging out in their ‘burbs. Without the target, this would have been seriously problematic.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @scotterb There is simply too much stupid there to take time to deal with.

          Way. Tooo. Much. Stupid.

        • @Ragspierre @CaptinSarcastic @looker Many pundits on the right were trying to deny Obama any credit for killing Bin Laden. You know that Rags. Even looker is claiming that Obama had no “choice” but to kill Bin Laden. It’s ODS.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker Also Obama’s policies and priorities were part of what allowed Bin Laden to be found. I recall in 2004 people arguing that “Bush kept us safe” from al qaeda after 9-11. The same argument must apply for Obama in 2012.

        • @scotterb @CaptinSarcastic @looker Looker is correct. As I noted above. NOT acting would have been political suicide.

          Obama DID keep up the Bush policy of targeting OBL. ‘K. Good. Fine. Duh, as a matter of decision-quality. Meh, as a matter of moral courage. HAH, as a matter of consistency, given Obama’s positions BEFORE election.

          But the criticism from the Right was Bad Luck Barry’s chest-thumping “ObaRambo” crap, and the unified “gutsy call” BS from the Mushroom Media.

          Don’t pretend, Erp. I will beat you over the head with citations.

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre @CaptinSarcastic “Even looker is claiming that Obama had no “choice” but to kill Bin Laden. It’s ODS.”

          Heh – once the identity was fully confirmed, what was his alternative oh wise one? Do nothing? Carpet bomb an “ally”, Ask nicely if Mr. Osama could come to our house to play?

          Aren’ t you supposed to be the pragmatic realist guy over here ‘learnin’ us dumbass right wing knuckle draggers? Isn’t Obama supposed to be a genius pragmatist?

        • @looker @scotterb @Ragspierre His alternative was to include the Pakistani’s, which would have been legal, and probably lead to a failure to kill or capture bin Laden. You seem to be arguing that Obama had no choice but violate international law and the sovereignty of a nuclear nation, but he did. He could have made a decision to do this “by the book”, but he didn’t and y’all are arguing as if the decision he made was a foregone conclusion and there was no other decision he could have made, therefore it was no even his decision at all, it was fait accompli. There was nothing pragmatic about his decision, he had a legal path to follow, and that would have been the pragmatic path. Regardless of the outcome, he could have safely argued that we did everything within our legal authority to get OBL. Instead, he went beyond legal and took a huge gamble, which you now dismiss as the only decision he had on the table. He threw the dice and it came up 7′s. He would have been crushed with any other outcome and the odds of another outcome were greater than 50/50 against him.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb @Ragspierre Not that it makes it right, I’m fairly sure we explicitly stated we would take Bin Laden out no matter where we found him.

          I’m dismissing it because I don’t think he had any other choice Cap. If I were in his shoes, I don’;t think I’d have had any other choice once they assured me they could get it done.

          Do you seriously think he saw it any other way? They know better than any of us that the Pakistani government has it’s (probably well numbered) Bin Laden supporters, so your option isn’t really an option, is it?

          Just because you claim the odds were greater than 50/50 against him, doesn’t mean they were. That’s your claim, it’s as much suppostion as mine that his odds were better than 50/50 of a successful mission. Why would I think highly trained, specialized experts at what they do would suddenly screw up Cap? Where’s your evidence that this wasn’t HIGHLY likely to go exactly as planned (at least until the chopper fragged)?

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb @Ragspierre Actually, let’s enumerate why it’s much higher than 50/50.

          Carried out by a highly trained, highly motivated, well armed team of experts.
          Attacking a location they had practiced on in a simulated environment specifically designed to reflect the actual location.
          In a country that was at least semi-friendly (meaning waaaay less apprehensive we were going to go in and do exactly what we did)
          Probably with a high confidence of knowing the target was present
          Probably with a high confidence of the defensive capacity of the site
          Probably with a high confidence of the number of occupants
          Probably with a high confidence of knowing where Pakistan’s assets would be.

          Iif we can’t get better than 50/50 odds with the Navy Seals under those conditions we might as well disband the whole program. While no plan survives contact, this was on had a high probability of success. And if he DID send them in thinking the odds were really 50/50 then there are a whole bunch of people, not just him, who need to lose their jobs. NOW.
          You and me may play the lottery, these guys are trained to consistently WIN it.

        • @looker @Ragspierre @CaptinSarcastic Actually Obama could have easily bombed the location and claimed the kill – he choose a much more daring move to get in there and gather intelligence.

          But what’s amusing – and transparent – is that if this happened exactly the same under a Republican he would be praised as having stuck to the mission and seen it through with tough calls. But because it’s Obama you’re all falling over yourselves to try to avoid saying the obvious – the President did a good job. Same with Iran, if these policies were being done by a Republican, you’d be praising them. “Four legs good, two legs bad.” I see right through you.

        • @scotterb @looker @CaptinSarcastic MORE BS, Erp.

          Bad Luck Barry RULED OUT bombing. Why? Too messy. Too much risk of Pakistani collaterals. Instead, he elected a mission that MAXIMIZED U.S. exposure.

          How did that intelligence bonanza work out fer ya…??? Oh, and how much intell did Sherf Joe and Barackah puke on the TeeVee during their snoopy dance?

          You are pathetic.

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre @CaptinSarcastic Uh huh, and if the Republican supporters were all gloaty about how ‘steely eyed” he was, I’d mock it just as much.

        • @looker @scotterb @Ragspierre Here’s the thing, if the story below is true, then there was only a 30-40% chance that OBL was still on the property at the time of the raid. Do you see the statistical problem with arguing that there was better than a 50% chance of success on a mission where there was only a 40% (at best) chance the target was there? “on April 28 a special “red team” of security analysts advised the President they were only about 30-40 per cent certain it was the world’s most wanted man, due to a lack of evidence and an unusually large number of visitors to the house.” http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/obama-bin-ladens-biggest-gamble/story-fn6bfmgc-1226132492360

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb @Ragspierre What can I say, if you believe those numbers, there’s not much room left for me to argue otherwise. My betting the odds were considerably higher has no basis, yours comes from an Australian newspaper.
          You will pardon my reading the story and imagining the movie trailer, but I can’t say it’s NOT true, can I.

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre @CaptinSarcastic With the exception of Ron Reagan. And why? Because Reagan consistently proved he was pretty damn steely eyed when it came to being threatened.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @scotterb What I’m seeing is another Erp.

          A guy who makes STUPID statements, but will flog them into offal for days afterwards because he cannot admit he’s made STUPID statements.

        • @scotterb @looker @Ragspierre @CaptinSarcastic “…if these policies were being done by a Republican, you’d be praising them. ‘Four legs good, two legs bad.’ I see right through you.”

          Kind of like your support for the US waging war on Libya under a president of your party, when you previously condemned such actions as “murder” and “evil”?

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb @Ragspierre Again, as an afterthought (my “L’esprit d’escalier “) what I would NOT expect to see in such an article would be.

          “We had the building under drone survillence 24 hours a day” or
          “We had the building under satellite survillence 24 hours a day”
          or
          “Our teams on the ground, led by Rahat, Hunaid and Eniyet, had the building under survillence 24 hours a day”

          Unless they were interviewing Biden of course.
          Assume for the moment that even in their moments of glory they don’t reveal our intelligence capacities, and in fact, are fully prepared to understimate them for the public because frankly most of the public isn’t really paying attention anyway so they could have said they picked the house at random becuase it looked like Osama’s villa in Afghanistan a goodly portion of our electorate would have gone “gee golly! wow! were we lucky or what!”.

          Just sayin :)

        • @looker @scotterb @Ragspierre Now you’re talking! I think what we should both recognize here is how much we really DON’T know. As a result, I dont base crediting Obama for getting the job done based on hard facts of the operation and you dont base your effort to underplay Obama’s on hard fact. The difference is this, I give credit one side because I KNOW that ultimately had this not gone off well, Obama ALONE would have been blamed for failure. I think it is fair to say that if one owns the risk, they get the credit. But it was an entertaining discussion and you make valid points.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @scotterb @Ragspierre I agree, he would have gotten the blame. It’s not particularly blame I would want to have to assign either, since it might have involved loss of some of the participants beyond the tech, which was bad enough.
          Your point is taken. He was President, he almost certainly DID approve it (damn it’s hard to say he ordered it….much as I disagree with so much else he does) he gets the credit.

          Didn’t we start this over the Straits of Hormuz and Baghdad Bob’s Iranian couisin Tehran Tim? heh.

      • @looker Gee, looker, don’t have a hissy fit. I simply pointed out facts with no editorial comment — this has been building, this isn’t a 3:00 AM call, and the US has been very assertive. Apparently the facts bother you.

        • @scotterb @looker “I simply pointed out facts…”

          No, Erp, you reeled off a set of assumptions without stating their basis. Your “facts”, as usual.

        • @scotterb Geeze Erb, don’t characterize it as a hissy fit. That’s suc a typical ploy for you. Next you can ‘win’ and go on to other things like doing a moose count.

        • @Ragspierre @looker Gee, Rags, you call events that occurred on particular dates “assumptions.” You’re over the top today even by your own standards (and few people are as ‘over the top’ in their silliness as you are!)

        • @scotterb @looker Is it a fact that Israel attacked Iran? Is it a fact that Iran “shot down” our drone? Over Iran?

          See, you can’t even keep what is and is not a fact strait (as in Hormuz). Dope.

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre “there has been a covert war against Iran waged by the Obama administration, perhaps along with Israel for over a year. Iran is responding to that, realizing that it’s been effective and there has been virtually no criticism of the US and Israel for their actions.

          Just in the last couple months: November 12, 2011, an explosion destroyed an Iranian military base killing 17 government officials. On November 28, 2011 an explosion near the Isfahan uranium facility.”

          Your supposition –
          A covert war, waged by ‘Obama’, that caused explosions in Iran. MAYBE Israel even helped.

          You ASSUME it was us that blew stuff up. Historically speaking, if things blow up mysteriously in Islamic countries, it’s more likely to be MOSAD than it is to be CIA. The visible credit for the STUXNET virus went to Israel, not the US.
          We’re not arguing the dates, or the fact explosions occurred
          For all I know, or all you know, Ahura-Mazda is finally getting back at the Persians for dropping him in favor of Allah.

          You started off with some of the assumptions chuck.

        • @looker @Ragspierre You can believe these things didn’t happen or that we weren’t involved. Cover your eyes and ears, say ‘blah blah blah’ and maybe reality will go away.

        • @scotterb @looker Proof…???? When you assert facts, you ought to be able to support them.

          Idiot.

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre you got nothing Chuck. I have every reason to believe that Israel did that, and that Obama might have known, but didn’t do it.
          Then again maybe he didn’t know, I mean, he gets along with that guy he has to deal with every day so well.

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre While you’re about it, why don’t you query your man about the 69 Patriot missiles bound on a ship for China marked as “Fireworks”.

    • @scotterb Straits don’t have to be straight, professor. Such repeated errors should make it easy to find where you are cribbing the meaty analysis from.

      • @DocD I am a fast typist (hit 100 WPM in my senior year of high school). My fingers type words without regard to the letters. That means I should proofread more carefully! Iran is going to be an on going case study for my American Foreign Policy class next semester. It could be very interesting.

        • @scotterb Fast typing explains the odd typo here and there. Poor mastery of one’s birth-language explains consistent and repeated grammatical errors.

        • @DocD Grammar error make I do not.

        • @scotterb @DocD Where would we be without a daily dose of Gollumish non sequitur? “I did not make a grammatical error of type X, therefore I did not make a grammatical error.”

    • @scotterb You haven’t been paying attention – there has been a covert war against Iran waged by the Obama administration, perhaps along with Israel for over a year

      >>> You’re correct in that SOMEONE(S) have been effing with Iran pretty nicely – Stuxnet, a few targeted killings of Iranian “scientists” (snicker) and some explosions at key facilities. I’d say it’s Israel at work – NOT the US – but we know what’s going on.

  • You move the carrier back into the Persian Gulf, knowing in advance how Iran would attack it if it does. You put down the attack if it comes, with extreme prejudice. If necessary you follow the trail back into Iran and destroy, for instance, a missle site or sites whence the attack came or the airbase used by Iranian planes for the attack. But get it all done quickly, on the spot. Never drag something like this out.

    The big move, of course, will be when the nuclear sites are taken out. For that I have always preferred the advanced bunker busters, preferably in the dead of night, with all the latest in technology, satellite guidance, etc. The Iranians should never ever have a nuclear device on their hands. There’s a certain diplomacy to be used here, for the regional audience (like the Russians), and for that I recommend the Syrian model used a few years ago to take out one of their facilities, where we heard about it but no one, not even the Syrians, acknowledged it. I think that the Israelis took the lead there.

  • As far as the “Obama got Osama” thing, Obama was left the most advanced counterterrorism, special forces, black operations set of options that he would have had to deliberately scotch the thing to miss the opportunity.

    Obama is a slug. And like so many of his supporters cried out to the car bombers in Baghdad that “help is on the way,” without doubt giving aid and comfort to the enemy, giving them hope to fight terrorize on, and costing Americans their lives. Easily the most disgraceful human being who could have become president.

    • As far as the “Obama got Osama” thing, Obama was left such an advanced counterterrorism, special forces, black operations set of options that he would have had to deliberately scotch the thing to miss the opportunity. Obama is a slug. And like so many of his supporters cried out to the car bombers in Baghdad that “help is on the way,” without doubt giving aid and comfort to the enemy, giving them hope to terrorize on, and costing Americans their lives. Easily the most disgraceful human being who could have become president.

  • Iran is thinking this is the last year for Obama. Who better to sabre rattle against?

    OTOH, becoming a wartime president is about Obama’s best chance for reelection short of the Republicans shooting themselves in their foot with their own choice, who knows what will happen.

  • Jimmy Carter? He announced weakness in every venue and then reacted with hollow recriminations when the aggression he invited manifested itself. Reagan announced strength and rolled back the aggression and set up the breach in Communist Party discipline that brought the collapse of the Soviet Union. If Carter deserves credit for anything it was the very solid work he did in getting Ronald Reagan elected. Through Reagan’s, Thatcher’s, and JPII’s efforts, fifteen years after America and the West was humiliated (and largely self-humiliated) in Southeast Asia by the communists, the Warsaw Pact evaporated and the Soviet Union collapsed, bringing perhaps the greatest trauma of Barack Obama’s life.