U.S.-Iran Crisis

ballettmaus

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13,258
Here is a thread worth reading.
I’ve had a chance to check in with sources, including two US officials who had intelligence briefings after the strike on Suleimani. Here is what I’ve learned. According to them, the evidence suggesting there was to be an imminent attack on American targets is “razor thin”.
Came across that earlier. At the moment, it sounds a lot like they made the intelligence fit their actions and not the other way around. (It also sounds a lot like something Trump would do. He wanted to assassinate the guy, so they had to come up with a reason/legal rational to do it without congressional approval.)


For @ballettmaus, here’s an article detailing the planning of the attacks by Soleimani:
It doesn't tell me anything that other articles haven't told me but as the correspondent in the twitter thread @Sparks posted and many other analysts and officials have said, it looks a lot like business as usual for Soleimani.
And again, if the orders had already been given, why not go after the ones who were meant to execute the plan? Soleimani has already been replaced. If the threat was so imminent that he needed to be assassinated right now then everything would already have been in place and anyone can give the order to execute the plan.



Politico's article on how the attack came about includes that Trump gave permission to kill Soleimani the next time they had an opportunity. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/03/donald-trump-iran-soleimani-093371
 

topaz

Well-Known Member
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14,478
It's kind of insulting to say "folks need to finally accept that".
:rolleyes:
You are not telling us anything that is new.
My folks comment was a general statement. Why are you insulted if the statement doesn't apply to you.

Also, much of the American public has no idea about the US and Iranian history because it's rarely honestly talked about in the media.
 

ballettmaus

Well-Known Member
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13,258
Good point by Senator Murphy, I think.


Another thread I found helpful/interesting. It explains that "imminent" does not have to mean imminent but can also mean ongoing. (In which case, I wouldn't consider it imminent anymore but okay). It also talks about the argument of self-defense.




On a separate note, Pence was obviously wrong in the number of hijackers, but he was not wrong in that Iran was implicated in 9/11. Here’s an article explaining the extent of Iranian involvement in 9/11 as established by the 9/11 commission.
Pence did not say Iran. He said Soleimani. I think the article that @jeffisjeff linked explains the Iranian involvement (or non-involvement in that case) pretty well.
The WaPo analysis of Pence's claim adds that Soleimani actually cooperated with the US government in their fight against the Taliban after 9/11. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/01/03/pences-problematic-tweet-tying-qasem-soleimani/?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter
 

ballettmaus

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The notification Congress received was entirely classified. That's not suspicious at all and doesn't raise any doubts about officials telling the truth. :shuffle: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-white-house-has-formally-notified-congress-of-the-soleimani-strike/2020/01/04/1cc60090-2f3f-11ea-be79-83e793dbcaef_story.html

 

ballettmaus

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The NYT's version of what went down. They confirm the WaPo's reporting that officials were stunned Trump chose to kill Soleimani. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/04/us/politics/trump-suleimani.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

The president issued those warnings after American spy agencies on Saturday detected that Iranian ballistic missile units across the country had gone to a heightened state of readiness, a United States official said on Saturday night.

Other officials said it was unclear whether Iran was dispersing its ballistic missile units — the heart of the Iranian military — to avoid American attack, or was mobilizing the units for a major strike against American targets or allies in the region in retaliation for General Suleimani’s death.
So, they don't know why those missiles went to a state of heightened readiness but they do know that Soleimani ordering the moving of weapons means an attack was imminent?



CNN's version. They, like the NYT report that killing Soleimani was one option. If Soleimani needed to be killed due to an imminent threat, would there not have been any other options? They also quote an official who says that imminent depends on what one calls imminent and that they believe it was in the final stages. (Which I think matches the NYT's correspondent's sources. What the sources told her sounded like they were speculating/had drawn conclusions based on intelligence that could have also been interpreted differently). https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/04/politics/trump-iran-soleimani-strike-concerns/index.html

This administration doesn't make it easy for me to believe they're telling the truth.
 

caseyedwards

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13,475
The trump administration is totally opposing Trump on this. They Are leaking like crazy to NYT and CNN there is no national security reason for the killing of Suleimani. They want to make sure people know trump did this because of impeachment



 

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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54,795
The NYT's version of what went down. They confirm the WaPo's reporting that officials were stunned Trump chose to kill Soleimani. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/04/us/politics/trump-suleimani.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share



So, they don't know why those missiles went to a state of heightened readiness but they do know that Soleimani ordering the moving of weapons means an attack was imminent?



CNN's version. They, like the NYT report that killing Soleimani was one option. If Soleimani needed to be killed due to an imminent threat, would there not have been any other options? They also quote an official who says that imminent depends on what one calls imminent and that they believe it was in the final stages. (Which I think matches the NYT's correspondent's sources. What the sources told her sounded like they were speculating/had drawn conclusions based on intelligence that could have also been interpreted differently). https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/04/politics/trump-iran-soleimani-strike-concerns/index.html

This administration doesn't make it easy for me to believe they're telling the truth.
I think its pretty clear that "imminent" here does not mean in the sense of stopping an in progress attack.

It looks like the argument that may come to fore is that Soleimani and Iran were planning major attacks on US installations that would have meant a major escalation toward war.

A source briefed on the latest intelligence told CNN that before the strike, specific information showed Iranian surface to air missiles and other military weaponry that the US had been watching, were moving in on at least two US air bases, as well as US embassies in the region.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/03/politics/trump-soleimani-strike-legal-justification/index.html
Additionally, the source said that the situation was different because the US had advanced notice of his plans to kill Americans and that the previous reason not to kill him has gone away -- fear that it could cause the IRGC to specifically target Americans.

O'Brien made the case Friday that the strike was prompted by intelligence related to Soleimani's movements coupled with ongoing attacks that he was planning against US diplomats and military personnel.

"Soleimani was in the Middle East, in Iraq, and traveling around the Middle East. He had just come from Damascus, where he was planning attacks on American soldiers, airmen, Marines, sailors, and against our diplomats. So this strike was aimed at disrupting ongoing attacks that were being planned by Soleimani, and deterring future Iranian attacks, through their proxies or through the IRGC Quds Force directly, against Americans. As President Trump said today, this action was taken to stop a war, not to start a war," he said.
(above from the CNN article) This is what I'd like to know more about. Was there firm evidence of this? I have to wonder based on 1) Trump's decisionmaking which at least based on reporting appears to have been a seat of the pants response to how he looked after the storming of the embassy compound; 2) would Iran really be willing to take the risk of how the US would respond to major attacks?

I strikes me as more likely that Soleimani was planning more attacks that would push at the US, not ones that would force a major escalation. But its clear that Iran felt emboldened by Trump's erratic actions and lack of strategy to counter Iranian aggression.

I don't think anyone should play down the danger of the situation. Iran clearly was making moves to hurt the US in response to the sanctions that were pushing their economy to the brink. Trump seems to have no strategy for dealing with Iran, his thinking seems to have been that eventually the maximum pressure would mean Iran would sue for peace and give up everything.

Ultimately the biggest problem here is the failure of policy making processes in the White House. No one is giving Trump clear options and advice and there isn't the normal policy process, what advice he does get he isn't able to take in any meaningful way.

I'd like to know more about how the decision was made for the US attack on the militia after the attack that killed the US contractor. It looks again like seat-of-the-pants, I must act to show I won't just allow US citizens to be killed, but no real policy making process that would show the president the consequences of different decisions.

I think the attack on the militia was a huge mistake and that Trump was not informed that it would likely provoke a response such as the storming of the embassy. I looks like some of his main advisors like Pompeo are allowing themselves to live in the same kind of fantasy land that the Bush administration officials did before the Iraq war. They saw protesters against Iranian influence in Iraq for months and convinced themselves this meant that "the Iraqi people" would welcome US intervention.

The reality that Iraq is very divided country; the obvious knowledge gained from 17 years of US involvement that it is not easy seems completely lost on the third rate personnel like Pompeo that Trump seems to listen to.
 

Reuven

Official FSU Alte Kacher
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I wonder how much it’s going to cost the U.S. taxpayer for security measures at Trump properties.
 

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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Although the vote was 170-0 in Parliament, many of its 328 members, primarily Kurds and Sunnis, did not attend the session and did not vote, showing the division in Parliament on the demands to oust American troops. While groups that grew out of Shiite militia organizations have pushed hard for the expulsion, Sunni Muslim factions and the Kurds wanted the United States to stay.

As it has been through five administrations that have been involved there, Iraq remains a very complex situation that requires complex thought and strategy.

Or we could just leave as we've never been able to make much of a success of our missions there.

ETA: before the vote but after the prime minister called for it, Pompeo said “We are confident that the Iraqi people want the United States to continue to be there to fight the counterterror campaign."

Wishing doesn't make it so. We already tried that in Iraq.
 
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Sparks

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@NYTimes: “Officials presented the president with options. The Pentagon tacked on the choice of targeting Suleimani mainly to make other options seem reasonable. They didn’t think he would take it. When Mr. Trump chose the option, military officials, flabbergasted, were alarmed.”
 

Vagabond

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@NYTimes: “Officials presented the president with options. The Pentagon tacked on the choice of targeting Suleimani mainly to make other options seem reasonable. They didn’t think he would take it. When Mr. Trump chose the option, military officials, flabbergasted, were alarmed.”
This, I suppose, is what is meant by the term "military intelligence." :shuffle:
 

caseyedwards

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^^^^^Trump supporters...do you feel more safe now?
Not one trump supporter anywhere in America believed Iran deal was working and opposed it because 1- they were sure Iran would get a bomb under the deal and the deal didn’t say anything about Iran not doing terrorism anymore
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
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6,289
jane arraf @janearraf 3h
This is stunning - #Iraq prime minister tells parliament US troops should leave. Says
@realDonaldTrump called him to ask him to mediate with #Iran and then ordered drone strike on Soleimani. Says Soleimani carrying response to Saudi initiative to defuse tension when he was hit.



Randy Bryce @IronStache

This is a claim that would have it appear that the Iraqi PM was asked to mediate.
He tried.
The meeting that would have taken place to do so was used to set up the assassination.
Who in their sane mind would trust Trump again?
(aside from Republicans)
jane arraf @janearraf 52m
Not entirely clear the Iraqi PM is saying the two were directly linked as Soleimani was a frequent visitor to Iraq. But clear he believes Trump wasn't serious about wanting to defuse tension.

jane arraf Retweeted

Mustafa Habib
@Mustafa_Habib33
Breaking: #Iraqi parliament votes for the withdrawal of all U.S forces and the "Global Coalition" from the country, & submit a complaint to the United Nations against the U.S for violating the sovereignty of Iraq.
jane arraf @janearraf
8m
US military says it is suspending training and support for #Iraqi anti-ISIS operations after recent Kataib Hizbollah attacks on bases. Made the announcement days after the most serious attacks but on the day #Iraqi parliament voted to ask US forces to leave.
 

Sparks

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Dear Lord. He tweeted this:

These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!
 
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BlueRidge

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Dear Lord. He twitted this:

These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!
This is Trump's manner. He believes that bellowing on twitter will get whoever he is addressing to back down.

Its the language of a childish bully.

Earlier he threatened to attack Iran's cultural sites. Its been pointed out that would constitute a war crime.

I look forward to the day we have a president that doesn't make us sound like barbarians.
 

ChelleC

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We've truly entered upside down world. The US President threatens war crimes while the leader of Hezbollah says that only the US military should be be targeted in retaliation.
 

Sparks

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Proportionality is a specific requirement of the laws of armed conflict, codified in US law. The president is specifically saying that the US will "perhaps" violate international law.
 

caseyedwards

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As part of the war in Yugoslavia Clinton said hospitals, TV stations, bridges, churches were all legitimate military targets. Nothing new
 

VALuvsMKwan

Wandering Goy
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@NYTimes: “Officials presented the president with options. The Pentagon tacked on the choice of targeting Suleimani mainly to make other options seem reasonable. They didn’t think he would take it. When Mr. Trump chose the option, military officials, flabbergasted, were alarmed.”
Did they not effing know who they were dealing with? :angryfire :wall:
 

Coco

Rotating while Russian!
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Hello, I generally stay out of this forum, but I have heard that Iranian born US citizens who are currently out of the United States, are being detained if they try to come back to the United States.

Someone I have officiated with for over a decade is an Iranian born US citizen who is currently visiting his daughter in London. He's scheduled to return on Wednesday.

So if anybody hears about what is happening to Iranian born US citizens at the border, could you please send me a PM or post here and tag me?

Thanks
 

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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My question for Trump supporters is, why do you think this heavy focus of the US's time and resources on Iran is so important?

It doesn't seem like that is at all what Trump came to office promising. He disdained the Bush administration's policies of sinking US money, lives, and resources in the Middle East.

In any case, it looks like the reason for this is Pompeo.

Killing of Soleimani follows long push from Pompeo for aggressive action against Iran, but airstrike brings serious risks (Washington Post)

First off,

Pompeo first spoke with Trump about killing Soleimani months ago, said a senior U.S. official, but neither the president nor Pentagon officials were willing to countenance such an operation.
I think the idea that the strike happened because of an "imminent" threat cannot be sustained without torturing the meaning of the term imminent. Or in other words, Pompeo is lying about what anyone would commonly call an imminent threat being the reason.

Then there's this:
At every step of his government career, Pompeo has tried to stake out a maximalist position on Iran that has made him popular among two critical pro-Israel constituencies in Republican politics: conservative Jewish donors and Christian evangelicals.

After Trump tapped Pompeo to lead the CIA, Pompeo quickly set up an Iran Mission Center at the agency to focus intelligence-gathering efforts and operations, elevating Iran’s importance as an intelligence target.
And helpfully for Pompeo, Defense Secy Esper is a life-long friend:

One significant factor was the “lockstep” coordination for the operation between Pompeo and Esper, both graduates in the same class at the U.S. Military Academy, who deliberated ahead of the briefing with Trump, senior U.S. officials said.
And also Pompeo approaches the world as though what he believes is how it will be, rather than realistically:

Two European diplomats familiar with the calls said Pompeo expected European leaders to champion the U.S. strike publicly even though they were never consulted on the decision.
The US is very ill-served by having this man in high office. And in fact, Donald Trump is ill-served by having him in his administration.
 

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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Sorry for the double post but just saw this:

“They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people,” the president said. “And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn’t work that way.”
For god's sake, no they are not allowed to torture and maim our people, with roadside bombs, those are crimes. That doesn't mean we turn around and violate the laws of war just because someone else does. How crude can one's thinking be to say such a thing?

Tell me again how the Republican Party let him become president?

Trump Reiterates Threat to Target Iranian Cultural Sites (NY Times)

I'm really scared where this is headed. Trump has a strong propensity to want to do things he's been told he can't. And his supporters seem to think its the best thing in the world when he does. I fear some really anti-intellectual arguments are coming about why anyone should care about World Heritage Sites and the cultural treasures of humanity.
 

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
Messages
54,795
Hello, I generally stay out of this forum, but I have heard that Iranian born US citizens who are currently out of the United States, are being detained if they try to come back to the United States.

Someone I have officiated with for over a decade is an Iranian born US citizen who is currently visiting his daughter in London. He's scheduled to return on Wednesday.

So if anybody hears about what is happening to Iranian born US citizens at the border, could you please send me a PM or post here and tag me?

Thanks
(Sorry everyone else, I promise to go to bed and stop posting)

I found this article at MSN: Border Officials Detaining Iranians and Iranian-Americans in Washington State, CAIR Says

CAIR is The Council on American-Islamic Relations. Their website is here: https://www.cair.com/

The incidents noted in the article happened at the border in Washington State and it says that Rep. Pramila Jayapal is looking into this, so you could contact her office.

The group said over 60 people–all Iranians and Iranian-Americans–were detained at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington. Others were turned back and refused the chance to enter the U.S. because CBP didn’t have space to detain them, CAIR said.

“Those detained reported that their passports were confiscated as they were questioned about their political views, allegiances, what courses were studied in college, and other invasive and interrogative questions,” they wrote. They said there was a CBP source who said the Department of Homeland Security issued a national order for CBP agents to report and detain people of Iranian decent from entering the U.S. if they’re “deemed potentially suspicious or ‘adversarial,’ regardless of citizenship status.”
 

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