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StringJunky

Potential Iran Conflict

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It seems to me that the Trump administration is pre-meditatively creating and escalating a problem with Iran to the extent of maneuvering the armed forces and removing non-essential staff from Iraq. Do you think the ulterior motive might be to bury bad news at home by distraction? 

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He is not predictable, since he is unbalanced.  I don't think any course he takes would surprise me.  He never has had any strategy in foreign policy.

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19 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

It seems to me that the Trump administration is pre-meditatively creating and escalating a problem with Iran to the extent of maneuvering the armed forces and removing non-essential staff from Iraq. Do you think the ulterior motive might be to bury bad news at home by distraction? 

In all honesty, who knows? The administration's behaviour is so detached from any fact-based frameworks that it becomes impossible to ascertain any strategy in anything. It could be a planned distraction. It could be something he saw on Fox and now thinks it's real. There could be the assumption that straight threatening (without counterpoint) is actually a viable foreign policy. There have been so many times were Trump and his administration are contradicting each other (and then claim the opposite) the overall strategy seems to be to create as much smoke as possible to cover up the fire. I give it a good chance that they have  no idea what they want, either (with each faction having their own, probably uninformed ideas).

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Posted (edited)

Maybe they could just arrange a summit with the Iranians, then Trump would have the biggest bestest newest buddy, espousing how strong Iranian leadership is.

Edited by rangerx

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24 minutes ago, CharonY said:

In all honesty, who knows? The administration's behaviour is so detached from any fact-based frameworks that it becomes impossible to ascertain any strategy in anything. It could be a planned distraction. It could be something he saw on Fox and now thinks it's real. There could be the assumption that straight threatening (without counterpoint) is actually a viable foreign policy. There have been so many times were Trump and his administration are contradicting each other (and then claim the opposite) the overall strategy seems to be to create as much smoke as possible to cover up the fire. I give it a good chance that they have  no idea what they want, either (with each faction having their own, probably uninformed ideas).

It was reading this BBC article that kind of made me think "Hey, wait a minute, this is rather melodramatic" considering Iran has not made any explicit overtures to violence and merely said what they would do if certain things happened, like blocking the Strait of Hormuz i.e. they are responding and not initiating. They have a right to respond in their own interest in this Republican-contrived crisis imo.

US pulls 'non-emergency staff' from Iraq as Iran tensions mount

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So, to muddy the waters a bit, the British military (esp. the deputy commander of the US-led coalition forces Chris Ghika) said that there was no increased thread from Iranian-backed forces. However, British and US Intelligence seem to agree that there is a heightened risk. It could be down to differences how the different groups assess risk. 

However, Trump has backpaddled a bit and seem to be less enthusiastic about an attack as parts of his administration. That in turn is indicative of some level of infighting with no shared message, which makes it virtually impossible to see the overall strategy, should one exist.

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15 minutes ago, CharonY said:

So, to muddy the waters a bit, the British military (esp. the deputy commander of the US-led coalition forces Chris Ghika) said that there was no increased thread from Iranian-backed forces. However, British and US Intelligence seem to agree that there is a heightened risk. It could be down to differences how the different groups assess risk. 

However, Trump has backpaddled a bit and seem to be less enthusiastic about an attack as parts of his administration. That in turn is indicative of some level of infighting with no shared message, which makes it virtually impossible to see the overall strategy, should one exist.

I''d be more inclined to go with the military assessment because they are hands-on.

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That being said, it seems Iran has learned a few things from North Korea.

The thinly veiled extortion demands
"Lift the sanctions, or we start enriching Uranium again"

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This is John Bolton. Trump let’s him do his thing until he sees negative news coverage about it. Then, he later says “maybe we shouldn’t.” Unfortunately, until he orders a pullback of ships and weapons, any idiot or tiny mistake could lead to escalation like a spark in a powder keg. 

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The news today has an item about Trump calming the hawks.

I wouldn't put it past them for this to all be a beat-up to give Trump a "victory".

i.e. manufacture a near-crisis out of nothing, so he can be shown to have averted it.

(I really hate to sound conspiracist. But here it is.)

 

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It’s not improbable. Trump has a history of arson and pretending to be a hero when he arrives with an extinguisher. 

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1 hour ago, iNow said:

It’s not improbable. Trump has a history of arson and pretending to be a hero when he arrives with an extinguisher. 

Munchausens syndrome by proxy. :D  They surreptitiously make people ill then try to make them better, ultimately with the aim of making themselves look heroic to others. Sound like Donald?

 

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9 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Sound like Donald?

A bit, yes. He threw out the deal Obama made. Let Bolton cook the books and manufacture a crisis. Sent in warships and presented an attack posture. Now, he’ll pull back and tell everyone how great he is for avoiding disaster... hopefully. 

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On 5/15/2019 at 6:22 PM, StringJunky said:

It seems to me that the Trump administration is pre-meditatively creating and escalating a problem with Iran to the extent of maneuvering the armed forces and removing non-essential staff from Iraq. Do you think the ulterior motive might be to bury bad news at home by distraction? 

The right wing has wanted a war with Iran for decades.  With today's news of a British tanker "accidentally" veering into Iranian waters, it seems everything is being done to stoke a conflict at this point.  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/19/british-tanker-iran-capture-fears-stena-impero-uk-ship-latest

Everything that's happening now seems like a provocation.

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