Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 20, 2019

Iran Shoots Down Strategic U.S. Drone - Is Ready For War - Puts "Maximum Pressure" On Trump - Updated

Updated below

Early this morning Iranian air defense shot down a U.S. high altitude reconnaissance drone:

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have shot down a U.S. “spy” drone in the southern province of Hormozgan, which is on the Gulf, the Guards’ news website Sepah News said on Thursday.

State news agency IRNA carried the same report, identifying the drone as an RQ-4 Global Hawk.

“It was shot down when it entered Iran’s airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in the south,” the Guards’ website added.


A later statement by the IRGC detailed the incident:

The American UAV took off from an US base in the south of the Persian Gulf at 00:14 am today morning and contrary to aviation laws, it shut off all of its introduction equipment and proceeded from the Strait of Hormuz to Chabahar with complete secrecy.

The unmanned aircraft while returning to the west of the region towards the Strait of Hormuz, violated the territorial integrity of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and start collecting information and spying.

At 4:55 am, when the aggressive UAV entered our country’s territory, it was targeted by the IRGC air force and was shot down.

The U.S. says that the drone was a MQ-4C Triton, the navy variant of the Global Hawk type that is specialized on Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS). It claims that the drone was in international airspace when Iran's Revolutionary Guard shot it down.

(Interestingly no MQ-4C is supposed to be in the Middle East. The deployment must have been secret. Update: This specific drone seems to have arrived in Qatar only five days ago. Additional details are discussed here. /update)

Global Hawk type drone - bigger

The incident is another piece of evidence that Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran now works against him.

Trump allegedly told his staff to stop talking up war on Iran:

Two senior officials and three other individuals with direct knowledge of the administration’s strategy in the region tell The Daily Beast that the president has asked officials to tone down their heated rhetoric on Iran ...

Trump does not want to open a military conflict with Iran. But he is already waging a brutal economic war against Iran and the country is pushing back. Trump wants negotiations with Iran without first lifting his sanctions against it. Iran rejects that.

It no longer matters what Trump wants. Iran has achieved escalation dominance. It can cause a myriad of incidents that force Trump to react. He can either launch a hot war and thereby risk his reelection bid, or he can cut back on the sanctions that hurt the Iranian people. If he does not do either, more pinpricks will follow and will over time become more costly.

Abas Aslani @AbasAslani - 7:29 UTC · 20 Jun 2019

#Iran's #IRGC commander Salami: Shooting down the US drone had a clear & strong message i.e. we'll react strongly against any assault to the country. Borders are our red line. We are not after a war with any country, but we are ready for war. Message of today's incident was clear.

The loss of the Global Hawk drone is significant. These huge birds, with a wingspan larger than a Boeing 737, are considered strategic assets. They were built as replacements for the infamous U-2 spy planes. They carry highly classified sensors and cost more than $120 million a piece.


This loss can certainly be attributed to Iran. But to blame Iran for it the U.S. will have to prove that its drone did not enter Iranian air space. Only two days ago the Federal Aviation Authority issued a warning for aircraft flying in the area.

U.S. drones have violated Iran's sovereign airspace many times. In 2011 Iran acquired a stealthy RQ-170 drone which had flown in from Afghanistan by manipulating its command signals. In 2012 Iran took down another U.S. drone, a Boeing Scan Eagle, that had flown in from the Persian Gulf. Many other U.S. drones were shot down over Iranian territory:

In January [2011], Iran said it had shot down two conventional (nonstealth) drones, and in July, Iran showed Russian experts several US drones – including one that had been watching over the underground uranium enrichment facility at Fordo, near the holy city of Qom.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told Fox News on Dec. 13 that the US will "absolutely" continue the drone campaign over Iran, looking for evidence of any nuclear weapons work. But the stakes are higher for such surveillance, now that Iran can apparently disrupt the work of US drones.

The Persian cats are by now well trained in anti-drone measures.

Persian cats train to take down RQ-170 drones
Photo via Thomas Erdbrink - bigger

How will Trump react to this incident? President John Bolton will demand military action against Iran as revenge for the shoot down. He will surely also press for sending more troops to the Middle East.

Trump may again play down the incident, like he recently did with the tanker attack which he called "very minor". But the war hawks in the media and Congress, and Iran, will put more pressure on him. More incidents would surely follow.

Trump has a way out. He could issue sanction waivers to allow China, Japan, South Korea, India and others to again import Iranian oil. It would take the "maximum" out of his now failed "maximum pressure" campaign and could be a way to move towards negotiations.

Update 2:00 PM

The Pentagon just held a very short press conference. Via telephone Lt General Joseph T. Guastella from the U.S. Central Command made a very short statement. No questions were allowed.

He said that the drone was in international airspace at high altitude and "34 kilometer from the nearest point of the Iranian coast" when it was shot down.

That is trickery, or if you will trigonometry.

High altitude means that the drone flew at a height of around 60,000+ feet or 20 kilometer. It it would have flown directly over the Iranian coastline it would have been "20 kilometer from the nearest point of the Iranian coast".

The 34 kilometers is the length of the hypotenuse AC of the right-angled triangle. The hight is the opposite AB. What we have to find is the length of the adjacent BC.

? = square root of ( 34 x 34 - 20 x 20) = 27.5 kilometer

National maritime zones and national air zone are measured in nautical miles: 27km / 1.852 = 14.85 nautical miles.

The length of the adjacent BC, i.e. the legal distance of the drone to the Iranian coast, was 14.85 miles. That is at least according to the CentCom talking head.

Iran's national maritime zone, which equals the national airspace limit, is 12 nautical miles from its coast. The U.S. navy claims that its drone was a tiny bit further away.

This map was shown during the Pentagon briefing.


Now compare it with this map that shows the maritime borders of Iran, Oman and the UAE in the Straits of Hormuz.


There is no international airspace in the tightest, northern part of the Straits of Hormuz. There is only the national airspace of Iran and Oman. If what the CentCom map shows is the correct location of the drone, which had come from the south, it was in the mid of a blind alley of international airspace flying towards its end.

The drone was the RQ-4N BAMS-D. The D stands for "development". It was the U.S. navy owned prototype of the new MQ-4C Triton type of the Global Hawk that is currently built. The RQ-4N was unique. It used an old Global Hawk frame packed with new electronic equipment. It was used as the test bed for the gigantic data hoover that the Triton will be. But it was also a piece of equipment that was hard to maintain and that had served its purpose. The first of the new drones will be delivered this summer. The RQ-4N was arguably expendable.

The Iranian IRGC says that the drone had switched off its transponder shortly after take off. A look at the usual live air traffic sites confirms that the drone was not tracked by the civil aviation systems which monitor transponder signals.

The U.S. airforce, which each day flies reconnaissance missions near potentially hostile countries, always keeps its transponders on. The transponder signal demonstrates that it has no hostile intent. It prevents accidental air defense engagements. It also allows it to prove that it stays outside of foreign national airspace.

The U.S. has threatened Iran with war and regime change for some 40 years. There is currently a crisis caused by Trumps violation of the nuclear deal with Iran. If the CentCom claim is correct the Navy drone flew extremely near to Iran's border, seconds away from entering it, in a way that Iran had reason to interpret as hostile. Iran released a video that supposedly shows the shoot down.

Iran says that the drone entered Iranian airspace. I find that to be likely correct. CentCom is not known for telling the truth and the list of proven hostile drone entries into Iranian air space is quite long.

Trump just held a press conference in the Oval Office. He seemed to play down (vid) the event. He emphasized that the drone was unmanned. He said he had "a big, big feeling" that "someone made a mistake", that "some Iranian general probably made a mistake". That means that he does not accuse the government of Iran of the shoot down, but some lowly grunt who "might have made a mistake."

That statement gives him room to avoid a large retaliation.

Someone made a mistake? So what.

Posted by b on June 20, 2019 at 8:57 UTC | Permalink

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The US cornered itself: relieving pressure on Iran would be yet another failure of American confrontational foreign policy. Even though subservient media could convince the Western public otherwise, foreign politicians would recognize this failure for what it is: waning American power.

To avoid this, Trump has only one choice: war. The B-team knows - sadly, they worked very well towards their goal.

Another success of the B-team: withdrawal from the JCPOA. This betrayal means that future US presidents will not have the credibility to sign another such agreement, nor countries like Iran will have domestic support to negotiate.

Posted by: astabada | Jun 20 2019 9:44 utc | 1

US warhawks should be very wary of an opponent that can take down aircraft at 60,000ft

Posted by: m | Jun 20 2019 9:53 utc | 2

I call it Operation SNAFU.

Assholes in the Pentagon want to keep their cushy jobs, not to mention lucrative retirements, so they've devised a reverse false flag to demonstrate their total incompetence wrt fighting wars on any level whatsoever, lol.

As proof I offer no more and no less than does b when he indicates

This loss can certainly be attributed to Iran.

All I see are pixels arranged this way and that. The U.S. military manages wars nowadays, both sides if need be, and alongside their globalist 'partners' they all agree we need many small crisis' to bring the world to it's knees.

And more pertinently, why fuck up a racket like this whilst simultaneously proving your military impotence against Parthian geography?

Posted by: C I eh? | Jun 20 2019 9:59 utc | 3

Iranians reportedly used Raad Khordad-3 to take down the drone. Its missiles ceiling is up to 27 km, more than enough for up to 18 km altitude drone.

Distance of the take down is the interesting part now. Depending on the sources, its between 100 to 180 km. Wiki info limits Khordad-3 range to 105km, however Iranians mentioned in 2014 they are developing 200km range missiles. In any case, it seems "BUK clone" far surpassed the original, if there was any reverse engineering done in the first place.

Posted by: Harry | Jun 20 2019 10:10 utc | 4

Congratulations b for nailing the zeitgeist on this and for finally accepting the responsibility for this FUBAR self-created foreign policy moment resides 1000% with the Orange Doofus.

Iran has called his bluff. His conman facade continues to crumble at home. Still surprising anyone bought his con in the first place but we still have supposedly intelligent commenters even here drinking the orange kool-aid to this day.

Iran knows Amerikkkans will not support another military adventure in the ME.

One part of me would like to see Trumpolini puff out his chest and recreate Ethiopia 1935 in Iran for a similar excursion into Iran by US forces will mark the end of Trump's re-election chances.

Also, many commenters will continue to portray Trump's ending of JCPOA and reintroduction of sanctions as an approved strategy by the US deep state.

Nonsense. This is Trump strategy and that of the neocon GOP foreign policy establishment he personally resurrected after successfully campaigning against them in the GOP primary.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 20 2019 10:21 utc | 5

Sometimes I get the impression that there is a deep zionist state in fierce battle with a deep oligarch state and the twain will never meet. There is a whiff of severe struggle in the background. Is it Adelsen vs the old Russian or Italian mafia? Or is it Adelsen vs a USA patriot mafia? I cannot see that clearly from my position but it sure seems like the deep state is far from united. Perhaps its survivalists vs rapturists. Can any of my comrades out there recommend a sound analyst of the USA mafias and their game.

Trump plays like a novice swordsman, thrust and parry and thrust and parry so that his opponents can always choose a third way and sit on the sideline and watch. Pardon the dense blob of metaphore but WHAT is this buffoon up to and has he two masters or is he two masters. Either way he does not make 'merica great again at all. He has hocked his entire credibility on Iran and he will pay for that blunder for years to come. I have no doubt that Iran will turn the thumbscrews daily until he relents on his blockade and alliance with sunni butchers.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 20 2019 10:41 utc | 6

uncle tungsten

I believe what you are striving to make sensible as an internal battle among repressive, criminal forces of the Globalist cabal is more likely in fact to be a jumbled, illogical, incoherent mess emanating mainly from Trump's, well, jumbled, illogical, incoherent mess of a brain and then exuded out into the world through his lying lips and those of his udderly ridiculous senior foreign policy cabinet choices.

Are battle lines being drawn among various internal adversaries? Yes. Is Trump overtly acting out on behalf of his buddy Netanyahoo and his campaign financier Adelson? Of course.

Are Russian and Italian mobsters intimately involved? Well, Russian mobsters, er oligarchs, no doubt have been involved with Trump for decades....not sure about the Italians, but probably?

Trump likes money.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 20 2019 10:59 utc | 7


The US Navy used a drone so no human casualties so no red line crossed.

Is the United States prepared to go to war over a $120 million drone? Except for Pompeo, Bolton, Abrams, Adam Schiff, Netanyahu and various other neo-con halfwits, I doubt it. I even doubt Pompeo would be that keen.

Who ordered this mission? Was it the result of the visit by Pompeo to Florida? Did Bolton pressure the Pentagon into doing it? In a sane world, either would be ground for "resigning" the protagonist. Unfortunately literal defenestration is out of the window.

Was this a failure? Nah, for $120 million and no casualties, the White House now knows how far they can push Tehran.

Was the drone in Iranian airspace? Who cares? Nobody should believe the Pentagon's claims given how often it lies.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 20 2019 11:01 utc | 8

Hmm... Let's see:

c. 1960
+Nuclear missiles stationed on opponent's borders. Check.
+U2 shot out of sky over opponent's land. Check.
+Near-shore crisis stimulates all-out nuclear war near-miss. One does not get two kicks at the cat.

Pattern re-emerging.

Posted by: UnionHorse | Jun 20 2019 11:06 utc | 9

The domestic political result of the increased sabre rattling over Iran unfortunately will be to boost Biden since he suppoedly possesses "Serious Foreign Policy Credentials" while Bernie and Warren are thought to have obtained theirs from a box of Crackerjacks.

Bernie and Warren could use this moment to their advantage in fact to tie Biden into the same neocon foreign policy etablishment Trump is bastardising in his own unique (ie, FUBAR) way and set themselves farther apart from the establishment. Trump is providing that opening for them now as he turns his back on his own anti-establishment alt-right allies towards the old fashioned GOP neocons.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 20 2019 11:15 utc | 10

Surely the US should know and care by now that nearly every time the Iranians shoots down one of its drones, the Iranians almost immediately pull the thing apart and study it to learn how it operates, and then design and build their own version.

The more the US tries to pressure Iran by sending over a drone, the more Iran will pressure the US back by catching and replicating it.

But then if the Exceptional Nation is incapable of recognising its errors, it can't learn from them.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 20 2019 11:26 utc | 11

Again Iran shows its competence without shedding blood

1. Iran 'hacked' a stealth drone before but now they shot one done with either an air to air missile since the IRGC said 'air force'. The U.S. says that it was in international airspace but was that a lie or were we too incompetent to pass up an opportunity to take out an IRGC asset operating illegally in international airspace? Neither answer makes us look good. I know, the U.S could say that Iran pulled an Israel and launched the missile from Iranian airspace but we have bragged about stopping Iranian jets from targeting drones before.

2. I have come to the conclusion that Iran was behind the tanker incidents (no loss of life, I won't call them attacks). They were a tap on the shoulder. Both maximized demonstrations of their ability with minimal damaged and made us look like idiots. Think about it, mining ships in port and planting bombs on ships in motion without detection. We couldn't even produce convincing documentation while and unexploded bomb sat that for half a day.

If Iran can neutralize our air force over their air space and the straights of Hormuz we will flat out lose the war.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 20 2019 11:29 utc | 12

We may remember that the backstory for "Seven Days in May" (novel about coup in USA c 1962) was a stalemated war in Iran between Russia and US.

The "stalemate" over Cuba led to both the Russian and the American leaders' "removal"...

Obviously the Iranian matter is stalemated...

Obviously Trump is, for whatever reason, unable to lead...unable, period.


Posted by: Walter | Jun 20 2019 11:38 utc | 13

Empire overreach.

Trump's surrounded himself with fools. The entire tension with Iran was/is totally avoidable if Trump has the balls to tell Bibi/AIPAC/Saudis/UAE to go f*ck themselves. Instead, he's exposed the US to all kinds of attacks - even from his own "allies".

The recent attacks against US forces in Iraq could very well have been orchestrated by US "allies" trying to force the US into a war with Iran.

Essentially all those involved in the maximum pressure on Iran plot are now caught up in their own sh*t. They're all attacking each other and blaming it on Iran.

Hopefully sane heads in the Pentagon/CIA will advice Trump to tone the f*ck down and stfu coz every time he says something, his "allies" use it as endorsement/green-light to do something stupid.

Trump's inability to stand up to Bibi is going to have catastrophic consequence for the US.

Posted by: Zico | Jun 20 2019 11:51 utc | 14

You have to give those Persians credit, this is as good as Putin and his little green men in Crimea in response to Nulands Ukrainian coup. One can only imagine the panic-driven butt-covering going on.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 20 2019 11:57 utc | 15

So, did it hit the ground, or did it slap into the water?

Because if it was the former then that drone was inside Iranian airspace.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 20 2019 12:11 utc | 16

Hard to see how Trump can save face ... if he yields & removes sanctions he will be seen as weak domestically, thereby damaging his re-election chances ... if he chooses limited (or worse) military strikes he risks damage to his re-election chances (or worse) via economic chaos & US body bags .... Trump is starting to guarantee his own failure.

Posted by: TEP | Jun 20 2019 12:15 utc | 17

After North Korea's fiasco, Venezuela's fiasco, all due to his neocons team's absurd arrogance, Trump faces another one in Iran. One wonders how many foreign policies fiascos he needs to deal with in order to finally fire Bolton and Pompeo.
Now that the polls have turned in his favor he has to stand still and minimize any "provocation" from Iran in order not to compromise his re election. He will not listen anymore to the neocons who were arguing that a war in Iran will bring the polls up.. It si up now because of the economy.
Trump wants the focus of his re election to be the economy and the support to Israel only ( thus ensuring the financial support of the Jewish lobby), anything else will wait.
If Bolton and Pompeo continue provoking Iran into retaliations, thus risking to disrupt the focus of his re election, he will get rid of them.

Posted by: virgile | Jun 20 2019 12:41 utc | 18

@ Ghost Ship | Jun 20, 2019 7:01:20 AM | 9

"Unfortunately literal defenestration is out of the window."

It always was.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 20 2019 12:53 utc | 19

Let's not forget the Venezuela failure. Guaidumb has been exposed as a corrupt dog along with his group of degenerates. Now this failure in Iran is yet another embarrassment for orange with hair. Trump will advise his crew to find an easy win anywhere so he can somehow save face. Another invasion of Granada is imminent

Posted by: Comandante | Jun 20 2019 12:55 utc | 20

Much speculation on these recent post’s/comments , understandably!
Analysing all of it, most areas are covered, peaceing together the jig-saw !
Thanks Walter @ 14 for that missing bit - - - coup !
So here’s my thinking- - -
Is this a ‘coup’ by Israel ‘ on the USA! How many duel Israeli/US nationals are in the senate and congress, How many on Trumps team ?
We know beyond doubt Israel has a history of covert and brutal subversion. We know that Israel have been using lobby groups to affect both US and U.K. politics.
Motive and opotunity!!
The Iran situation has Israel manipulating US all over it.

What hold do they have on trump ? Incriminating evidence ?
Trump as president has made himself dangerously depended on Israel politically!
This would explain a whole catalogue of recent events.
So there we have it - - - ‘a coup’ by Israel on the United States!!! Partly from the inside.
Never mind bogus Russian influence.
US a have been otherthrown.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 20 2019 13:02 utc | 21

OT B Hong Kong: grass roots or artificial turf?

Curious if B or anyone else suspects if the Hong Kong protests were funded by the West or if they are genuine? At this point I don't believe anything that appears on prime time TV when they roll out the crocodile tears and talk about evil dictators crushing freedom.

So if someone blows up a building in China they should be able to go to Hong Kong and blow smoke in the face of a Chinese official, that is what the protesters and the western press is saying.

The fact that it coincides with Tienanmen Square increases my suspicion.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 20 2019 13:19 utc | 22

Hi, b and thanks for a fast and informative report of the early morning incident in Iran air space. The shooting down of an RQ-4 as Iranian claim or RQ-9 alleged by americans is a clear indication of the resolve of Iran to protect its sovereignty. The main points here are:
1- The military impact of killing such a sophisticated spy machine
2- The political fallout of such show of might in the us political scene and in the west in general
3- The attempt by various sources from well-meaning ones (like b and others) to various MSM outlets to finding a pattern in these past weeks and show that Iranians have been either behind them or directly responsible for them and extrapolating from recent past to immediate future.
Obviously, we can be sure that bringing down of such a high flying (and possibly stealth) spy tool will send shivers down the spines of those who advocate the short sharp one-two strikes on the Iranian nation to put sense into their brains. Obviously, this is not the action of a first world military enjoying the protection brought about by fancy defensive hardware, yet, it isn't Saddam's Iraq either where 24 hours before the coalition's invasion, the "Back-door" devised in all high-tech equipment from France and others were accessed by the suppliers to deactivate radars and other defense equipment for good. In contrast, most of the Iranian hardware although copied and upgraded technologies from 50's, '60s and after are their own technologies. One has only to remember how much US and western powers are against their subjects encrypting data in their PC's to know in a military theatre doing so will rob them from the precious element of surprise and choice of timing when confronted with a hard to break the code. Then again brain-washed average american Joe is filled with pride and lust for blood when he is fed the daily ration of jingoistic propaganda from the military complex about the latest piece of killing machine invented to take out the hapless enemies of the empire. He assumes the war is won (or lost) with technology alone, while, it is as easy to be put to rest with an old M10 gun as it is with a laser target finder machine gun. When push comes to shove, throwing sink at the right angle and force at your enemy will break his neck as good as anything, so a determined force able to use old equipment intelligently is a force to be reckoned with. The us must remember this when next tries any adventurism down in the Persian Gulf.
The second point we must wait and see to assess is the political impact. When Iranians are defying the power-mad superpower of the west, it has several effects. On the one hand, the us has to decide whether it wants to up the ante and try for a face-saving act and accept the possibility of a miscalculation by the opponent or its own operators or call it quits and send messages to calm the situation.
At this stage it is not possible to say which way the americans will choose, however, judging by the level of hubris coming from the deep state tools like Lindsey Graham (who has reach the stage of name calling the Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei "… murderous thug...") it may not be difficult to hype the situation using a compliant MSM and a submissive and naïve population to spin the situation to the benefit of neocon Zionists hidden agenda. However, the depth of hatred towards the us will only be inflamed if further escalation happens by americans. Something that nobody could predict its course during as it develops.
On the Iranian side, although there will be opposition to escalation of conflict from both the affluent middle class and poor down and outs, however, if correctly managed especially with return of rationing for the workers and those fallen on hard time it may work to the benefit of the Rouhani government especially if it is combined with a hard-hitting rough-justice attack on corrupt bureaucrats, rotten judges and those fat embezzlers known to the public at large as well as low level corrupt officials making life hell for ordinary citizens. Obviously, Trump does not have such an option even though he promised to drain the swamp which was a mega-lie from the start.
The third point is the misreading of the events even by highly intelligent and experienced observers like "b" himself. The course of this false narrative started with the attacks on Fujairah ships followed by the two Norwegian and Japanese ships in the mouth of the Persian Gulf. The assumption of a few high caliber commentators (starting with 'b') was that these attacks were part of a four-dimension chess being played by the Iranians to send multiple messages to multiple audiences. The assumption being that Iran has attacked the ships in order to make use of hard-earned sympathy of the world population to hit and run in the high seas to score points against its mortal enemy. However, the tenet on which his hypothesis is based is that Iranians are intelligent enough to be able to pull such a stunt. But, by the same token, it is highly unlikely they were not aware of the downside to such an endeavor. These include:
a- The western population at large especially americans are as indifferent to the right and wrong of what has happened to Iran by the US and Britain and France as they are outraged by atrocities committed against Yemenis or the barbarism rained on Syrians by their governments. This is something that Iranian leadership must be quite aware of when doing its profit-loss calculations.
b- The pattern of trump's stated strategy of "Uncertainty Principle" in foreign diplomacy has been the exact behavior seen in this instance. On the one hand a dovish posture and simultaneously, affecting some bizarre and sadistic action. Just concentrate on the trade war with China and how as Trump is tweeting his confidence that the talks are at the final stage, he slaps billions of dollars' tariffs on the unsuspected Chinese. The same is true for the way he treated North Koreans and Russians. This happened with the olive branch offering ceremony performed by Abe Shinzo while British operatives were attacking ships transferring oil products towards Japan and Singapore. This psychopathic/sadistic behavior in American parlance is called 3-D chess. A very primitive tribal and uncivilized behavior if you ask me.
c- The "who benefits?" question in this circumstance must be answered from a high ground position so as not to get confused by small details. The real benefactors of such adventurism are israelis, saudis, british and americans. Iranians with the exception of sending a very crude message would have gained nothing especially if the tankers had blown up and blood was spilled as the repeat attack on one vessel attest to that intention by true culprits. A resolve to counter a plot to suffocate Iran's main marine routes could be achieved way better by attacking ships when passing Bab-almandib or in the red sea or somewhere a bit farther from home yet showing the reach of the Iranian hand should the need arises. saudis as israel's main operative in the Arab world are now in danger of losing the last vestiges of credibility among the masses with unspecified dangers threatening the unimaginable wealth, power, comfort and protection they enjoy by being israeli tool in the region. As they see it the only impediment to their continued enjoying this luxurious and secure life depends on the safety of israel which itself rests on continued apartheid regime operating in Palestine. Iran's demise is a dream come true in both these players' minds.
d- The oil price hike as a by-product of such an attack loses credibility if one looks like the price increase starting a couple of hours before said attacks. This either was accidental or the result of some insider trading based on leaked information from those in the know. My instinct is to think of the second possibility as more valid.
e- Iranians being an Eastern culture, and aspiring to be good Muslims would have deviated far from the tradition of hospitality and honoring their guest Mr. Abe, even if they had planned to scorn him by not accepting him as a messenger. There was nothing in it for them to attack these particular ships as they were not letting steam against the Japanese or Norwegians per se. the message would have been either we all share this waterway or none. Plain and simple. The same argument is valid for the intelligent, clear and unambiguous message sent to the adversaries about the sovereignty of Iran and protecting its borders. No messy operation or stupid theater for prime time tv courtesy of spy planes circling like vultures to film burning ships and mutilated sailors floating on water!
f- 'b" will forgive me I hope if I say there seems to be an element of wishful thinking in his analysis of this episode driving the German mind more towards German sentiment. A bit of giving the underdog a hand may be. This I say in the spirit of sincere approval of his excellent mind and pure spirit.

Posted by: Islander | Jun 20 2019 13:35 utc | 23

A US official quoted by the Associated Press confirmed the shoot-down, but said the incident happened in international airspace over the adjacent Strait of Hormuz – the narrow passage between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman through which 20% of the world’s oil passes.

The US seems to be playing a losing hand, now declaring that the airspace over a strait where states enjoy a "right of passage" through territorial waters, within 12nm from shore, which is disputable itself, is "international airspace." During UNCLOS negotiations the US (a non-ratifier) fought for 3nm territorial waters (not 12nm) for that reason and it lost.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 20 2019 13:49 utc | 24

To Christian.. the protests in HK are real. They should kick off again tomorrow. These are driven by the young who will be in their 50,s when we reach 2047 and HK is then China. I’ve lived here 24 years.


Posted by: Pedro | Jun 20 2019 13:51 utc | 25

Right of Passage

"The US seems to be playing a losing hand, now declaring that the airspace over a strait where states enjoy a "right of passage" through territorial waters ..." - Don Bacon

Claiming Right of Passage under UNCLOS or any other convention is breathtakingly laughable. Forget that the U.S. is a non-member, 'Right of Passage' requires innocent intention. Does a spy drone owned by a country that threatens you meet this requirement?

My country has no honor, no wait, my they can't even sound out the word honor but pretends to defend it on behalf of the world. I can't stand these horrible people.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 20 2019 14:00 utc | 26

@ CJC 29
In any case, "Right of Passage" under UNCLOS is in the water, not in the air. UNCLOS is water only -- Law of the Sea.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 20 2019 14:05 utc | 27

The Iranians must be well aware that they will continue to be targeted until they submit. The pattern of moves emerging smacks of Russian style brinksmanship, with subtle applications of pressure being applied in a timely manner. Even listening to the controlled opposition in the USA (NPR etc...) the narrative is deeply set and has been for some time. Due to a lack of critical thinking and scientific literacy coupled with goldfish-like attention spans this narrative is taken as real. Attempts to dislodge individuals is hardly ever worth the effort, but can sometimes be amusing. Example: So what if the country that overthrew our government in 1953, sponsored a brutal 8 year war between us and our neighbor complete with chemical weapons, and is openly and systematically trying to drive our economy into the ground through sanction, embargo, and blockage then decided to park their naval assets in the Gulf of Mexico and fly enormous UAVS packed with surveillance gear along the Texas border? You get the picture.

In regard to all the speculation about factional struggles, Trump this and that: who knows? It's fine to attempt to piece together something coherent, but what a mess! The premise that the executive branch in the USA determines policy is not on that I subscribe to, so any modeling based on that is really a non starter.
There are plenty of examples of men (and a few women) in public office that are so incapable and corrupt that they could not possibly determine much of anything.
Additionally there are many politicians who have been murdered, possibly for going off script, or challenging powerful entities such as the Federal Reserve Bank. Recently in the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma two former senators were found murdered and the details have obscure and hazy. My point is that with this or any other US president one needs to be quite careful when assigning power and responsibility. Other posters have mentioned the Adelson bailout as well the relationship between the current minister of finance and certain banking cartels. It's likely that there are many other forces at work. Never underestimate the leverage that blackmail and extortion can have on a person with a family.

I am also sensing a schism in perspectives re: the recent damages to various tankers. On the one hand we have the 'Iran did it to send a message' view, on the other: 'yet another attempted false flag for escalation'. Although I am not weighing in on the matter I am curious as to how these two perspectives can be reconciled.
One thing is clear, any further escalation that leads to any kind of serious kinetic conflict will be heard around the world. The economic disruption that ensues will surely cause many nations to react in a way that will amplify whatever factors are tumbling in to play. I would expect quite a few players to show their hands.

Posted by: Chevrus | Jun 20 2019 14:13 utc | 28

"escalation dominance?"

A different possible view: Iran goaded into downing a drone that was sent into Iranian airspace as a provocative act. Iran merely took the bait after false flags on shipping that were blamed on Iran and press reports of USA contemplating bombing Iran.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Apologists and Kool-Aid drinkers remind us that Trump is doubleplusgood:

Trump is 'good cop' 'tough negotiator' to Russia, North Korea, Iran, Syria.

Trump is 'humanitarian' to Venezeulan people and Syrian babies.

Trump is 'peacemaker' in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump loves you (as did Obama, Bush, and Clinton).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20 2019 14:21 utc | 29

Last week US $733B Defense (sic) ReAuthorization Bill was before House.

'Oil Tankers Bmobed by Iran!'Owned Media gets to repropagandize Islamic Jihad and 911 images.

House approves. $733B DRB moves to Senate for approval.

'911 Responders Call for Fairness!'

TV talking head makes screeching weeping agitprop before Congress. Owned Media gets to repropagandize Islamic Jihad and 911 images.

'Unseen 911 Photos Found in CD Garage Sale!' Owned Media ... well, you know the drill.

Yellow Cake! Yellow Cake! Yellow Cake!

Posted by: Sig Glenbow | Jun 20 2019 14:21 utc | 30

@ Chevrus 31
I am curious as to how these two perspectives can be reconciled.
We can't know everything, nor should we. Some matters in life must remain unexplained.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 20 2019 14:23 utc | 31

When the USS Vincennes shot down the Iranian Airbus, the U.S. claimed it was in international waters. It later became clear tat it had been in Iranian territorial waters at the time.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 20 2019 14:24 utc | 32

I dont agree with the analysis.
No president "risk" a reelection by starting wars, thats how you WIN elections.
Did Syria attacks by Trump affect him in any bad way concering his voters? Nope. Go figure what a similar attack would generate on attacks on Iran.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 20 2019 14:25 utc | 33

Well, if it landed on ground and wasn't fully destroyed, then Iranians are going to have a field day analyzing all the shiny toys' remains. China and Russia will obviously be interested as well by the current US "state of the art" when it comes to drones and intelligence gathering.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jun 20 2019 14:25 utc | 34

Let's be clear: Iran, or any country, has an absolute right to destroy enemy military aircraft in its airspace belonging to a country which has threatened it for many years, including with "all options on the table."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 20 2019 14:28 utc | 35

Trump just tweeted: "Iran made a very big mistake!"

Posted by: b | Jun 20 2019 14:28 utc | 36

Yeah, keep the good work.
Iran s business is shooting them down as soon as the spooky eavesshopters show up in sovereign space.

Posted by: augusto2 | Jun 20 2019 14:31 utc | 37

How was it a very big mistake for Iran to shoot down the drone if it was in Iranian airspace? Are Trump's subordinates lying to him about where the drone was?

If the drone was in Iranian airspace, I assume Iran has evidence available that would prove that fact.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 20 2019 14:36 utc | 38

Curious about Paveway IV's take on this..

Iranians. Not Persians. Delegitimizing the Islamic Revolution by reverting to Colonial era nomenclature does not fly imo @MoA..

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 20 2019 14:38 utc | 39

@ Islander

a- Yes, but at the moment Iran has the sympathy of Europe, that also projects the negative view on Yemen and Syria that you describe. This is why I say repeatedly that EU is dangerous and manipulative, that it is able to mislead countries into a trap. Russian and Chinese sympathies don't need to be played to.

Obviously this is hypothesis and it is like that that we discuss. I personally think that Iran is taking a stand and calling out a US mistake. Unfortunately the US may be willing to watch the region go down as answer, prefer to tackle Iran directly now rather than later, or as solution to other conflicts.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 20 2019 14:38 utc | 40

@ 41 lysias
How was it a very big mistake for Iran to shoot down the drone if it was in Iranian airspace?
The US is mistakenly claiming that the airspace over a strait with a claimed "right to passage" is international airspace. It isn't. The 12 nautical mile territory rule in the widely-accepted UNCLOS* still applies.

*United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 20 2019 14:42 utc | 41

b: Trump does not want to open a military conflict with Iran.

Only days ago, Trump hinted that he might label Iran as 9-11 perpetrator. Pat Lang wrote about what this would mean:

If that is so then the general purpose AUMF can be tortured into providing legal authority for Trump to order any level of lethal military activity against Iran for however long he wishes to continue it, or until January, 2021, whichever comes first.

Anyone that believes that Trump just innocently voiced his suspicions, and that they actually are HIS suspicions and not Deep State/neocon maneuvering, is deluded.

Trump is spokesperson and willing accomplice for the Deep State/neocon cabal. He is decidedly NOT an peacefully-inclined, America First, independent actor.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20 2019 14:43 utc | 42

Adding ...

And that follows Trump's labeling of IRG a terrorist organization.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20 2019 14:46 utc | 43

Putin: US attack on Iran would be ‘catastrophe’

Meanwhile Putin is doing nothing to stop it or fully arm Iran against this threat.
Meanwhile NATO member Turkey is to get the S400 from Russia!

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 20 2019 14:49 utc | 44

Grab 'em by the Bolt-on.

That's my quip for the ruse that Bolton is acting with Trump's approval. Presstitute media are eager to ingratiate themselves by furthering a President's 'good guy' image.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything ... Grab 'em by the pussy.
- Trump

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20 2019 14:58 utc | 45

re Lozion #42, I too would like to read Paveway lV's take on this - or just about any other subject.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Jun 20 2019 15:00 utc | 46

with ==> without

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20 2019 15:02 utc | 47

If convincing reports of ground debris emerge, FUKUS will probably try to claim that either momentum or prevailing winds caused the wreckage to drift from a spot over water to land. Meteorology and Physics might present inconvenient facts, however.

Posted by: Chris | Jun 20 2019 15:05 utc | 48

...and here we go! the opportunity was instantly seized!

"Sometime in the last two years, American hegemony died." - Fareed Zakaria

See? not even in "three years", but only since 2017!
It's all because of him!!!

With a little help of those dirty Revolutionaries a new avenue was being vetted to attack Trump in the battle of evermore on The Hill.

Teh drama! (c)

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 20 2019 15:06 utc | 49

thanks for the timely report b..

i suppose this is the event i was looking for from a few days ago..

"i think another event is going to happen real soon in here, to push this further.. june 19th, maybe 20th or before..

Posted by: james | Jun 16, 2019 4:01:17 AM | 255"

don't laugh.. that's via astrology... i sure hope iran is able to find some of the remains of this.. if it is in the water, that will be harder to do.. either they are going to find it, or the americans are and the implications will be different..

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2019 15:06 utc | 50

I mean, not specifically the yet-latest drone event, but the whole idea of "escalation dominance" and all those "pinpricks"

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 20 2019 15:08 utc | 51

Zanon - 47

Well, if Russia and China merely warns the US without directly threatening retaliations and without drawing a red line - when every sane person knows that attacking Iran is a red line for both Russia and China -, then the only logical conclusion is that Putin actually doesn't mind if the USA actually attacks Iran. Not that the USA defeats, occupies, or regime-changes Iran, mind you, merely *attacks* Iran. One has to wonder if they might be thinking they can trap the US there and cause massive pain by helping then Iran defending itself against foreign aggression. They might be rational and logical leaders, but they aren't bleeding hearts peaceniks who can't sleep if there's one human being still suffering in the world.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jun 20 2019 15:09 utc | 52

Trump tweet
"Iran made a very big mistake!" . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 20 2019 15:12 utc | 53

Iran finally got Trump by his long tongue? Trump plays economic attrition card at Iran, and Iran would play politic attrition at Trump?

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 20 2019 15:12 utc | 54

Iran has no right to defend its own territory! USA! USA! /s

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 20 2019 15:13 utc | 55

Posted the following few moments ago in the previous thread but this is actually good for this one as well, with some extra thoughts.

"There is no doubt in my mind the US is pushing Iran toward a military provocation, but what is happening so far is an incredible and well done action by The Resistance to humiliate and discredit the US regime....

1) Houthis are hitting KSA all over the South, power plant, desalinisation plant, airports and it will continue and grow in sites and extension, showing no US "under protection ally" is actually protected at all.
2) Hizballah is ready for the Apartheid regime.
3) US illegal occupiers and local allies are dying in eastern Syrian by IEDs, so far the media has blamed all to ISIS.
4) Mysterious attack in UAE's main oil port hits 4 vessels.
5) Mysterious attack hit 2 tankers in Oman.
6) A US drone is hit in the same day of the tankers attack.
7) A very expensive US spy drone is hit inside souther Iran.

All indications are leading me to believe Iran is so far winning the "war", discrediting the US against its GCC "pay for protection" allies (note Qatar has not being hit with anything....), the global community continues to think the US is fully accountable for what is happening since it left JCPOA and started an economic war and bullying against Iran, losing face to the global the US is now humiliated, and rest assured it can not sustain for long this humiliation, it will have to strike back or the face loss will take a HUGE toll, globally, against the US."

Expect some sort of reaction, something is coming and it may not be in Iranian territory itself. I would have all IRGC, Iraq militias or even the SAA in state of maximum alert because the US response may go into Iranian allies. Time is of essence, and face loss is a very severe event in today's multipolar world.

Posted by: Canthama | Jun 20 2019 15:14 utc | 56

@59 canthama... if winning is defined as generating more profit for the war profiteers, then it looks different to me here..

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2019 15:16 utc | 57

Clueless Joe @55

... then the only logical conclusion is that Putin actually doesn't mind if the USA actually attacks Iran.

I think he should be concerned because IMO it's likely that USA belligerence toward Iran will spillover into Syria. Idlib is a strategic holding of the 'Assad must go!' Coalition. Heightened tensions (or war) with Iran provide an excuse for USA to support Turkey's occupation.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20 2019 15:18 utc | 58

@Chupa Curious if B or anyone else suspects if the Hong Kong protests were funded by the West or if they are genuine?

Obvious a U.S. operation. A remake of the Umbrella nonsense a few years ago. Several of leaders of the 'leaderless' movement visited Washington earlier this year to get their 30 pieces of silver and instructions.

Posted by: b | Jun 20 2019 15:27 utc | 59

I do not think the drone was in Iranian airspace. But that is irrelevant. The US is already waging a war against Iran. Iran has the right and duty to defend itself.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 20 2019 15:30 utc | 60


The Miracle of the Two Planes and Three Towers

Ha,ha,ha,ha ...
All Aboard!

Posted by: Sig Glenbow | Jun 20 2019 15:32 utc | 61

@39 b

Oh well there goes your on-going theory that Trump doesn't want escalation with Iran.

But wait, maybe he's just a sock puppet and President Bolton moved his mouth and made him utter those words? Phew, Trump can maintain good cop deniability, doesn't look bad, and can still win the election for the good of Russia only Russia.

Everyone thought Cheney was the real President too when Bush jr. ordered the hit on Iraq with fake Zionist intelligence.

Wash, rinse repeat.

But keep on protecting baby Trump hostage from bad to the bone Bolton...

Trump is killing this planet after he filled the EPA with corporate cronies, and today is undoing all environmental protection, and yet he is innocent of hiring Pompeo and Bolton. The latest is: Adelson twisted his arm...with his millions 😉! So Trump is guilty of all kinds of shet he's pulling in A, B, and C but on the global stage he's just a reluctant baby Neocon hostage and sock puppet and Bolton is responsible. Because there is no consistency to his actions and he deigns to check his depravity and maniacal hubris at the edge of Iran and Venezuela (to name another projected Neocon conquest).

Aye...(sigh). This is la la land, where whenever Trump does or says something to prove who he really is, some people here shut their eyes and ears and go lalalalala!...ignoring the truth about Trump.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 20 2019 15:53 utc | 62

Like the tanker incidents the shooting down of the UAV is a small event. Direct conflict with Iran will be much bigger. But even larger than that is the US getting into a confrontation with Russia and China. Moscow and Beijing have vital interest to protect in the region. When vital interests clash nations fight. This will be a world war.

Posted by: peter mcloughlin | Jun 20 2019 15:53 utc | 63

You're in Zugswang, Mr Trump.

Posted by: Guy Thornton | Jun 20 2019 15:54 utc | 64

How about an idea that Russians are providing real time sat + radar intel to the underdog in this conflict.

Posted by: anon | Jun 20 2019 15:57 utc | 65

I left the two line posting from Xinhuanet last night before I looked significant

Trump is playing his part of the big world schoolyard bully.

It is all about who gets to control global finance folks. This is just a proxy battle in that war

I am gone till Sunday......keep on spinning those plates.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 20 2019 16:02 utc | 66

I think Trump admin is entering election window -
Either start war now and hope for "patriot" vote or
for-go war until next term, hoping for peace-lover vote.

Choose wisely grasshopper.

On would think that this is becoming obvious and tiresome.
Has anyone every seen Trump and Hillary in same place / same time?

Posted by: jared | Jun 20 2019 16:03 utc | 67

#55, #61 re: "Putin actually doesn't mind if the USA actually attacks Iran"

First, how does it matter? Putin may mind or not, but the decision lies in USA, not in Kremlin.
Second, well, why should Putin mind?

But personally I think it would be good, for Russia and China, if USA gets "aggred" at Iran, then R&C would be providing and supporting Iran indebting them. And USA... Well... Syria was promised to become Russia's Afghanistan. Two can play the game.

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 20 2019 16:03 utc | 68

It claims that the drone was in international airspace when Iran's Revolutionary Guard shot it down.

Assuming that's true, where was it immediately before reaching "international airspace"?

Posted by: c matt | Jun 20 2019 16:05 utc | 69

Yesterday I wondered which side would move first. Turns out it was the Outlaw US Empire that sent a drone which caused Iran to move and shoot it down. Meanwhile, Saudi desalination plant was hit by Houthi missile after another hit power station. In between, a warning was issued to Saudi and UEA civilians to stay clear of airports and military installations for their own safety, implying an escalation of attacks on those facilities. I await a missile attack against UAE's port facilities.

Meanwhile in Syria terrorists continue to get mowed down. World renowned "twitterbot" Ian56 has compiled quite the thread for today's World Refugee Day that's not getting the attention it deserves.

As Yeah, Right splendidly showed on previous thread, USN has zero credibility about anything after its very lame attempts to pin blame on Iran for tanker attacks. Of course, when the transponder's turned off, the global monitoring system for airplanes can't show where it is and thus nullifying the only independent means of verifying USN or Iran's claims--yet another Own Goal.

So, again we return to our starting point: Which side will take the next move?

Brent crude trading shows what appear to be signs of foreknowledge of something happening to drive price up, which is now $3 higher than yesterday's close, with long covering now occurring.

Putin's Twitter providing running highlights to his answers at Direct Line, which is an excellent change from previous years. The program's ended and its transcript will be posted here. The program focuses on domestic issues at first, answering them being the program's basic rationale.

LOL!!!!! Magnier retweets WaPost headline gaff:

"'The @washingtonpost said it is the 'US responsible for downing a US drone', not Iran."

Zarif says: "We don't seek war, but will zealously defend our skies, land & waters. We'll take this new aggression to #UN & show that the US is lying about international waters."

Iran has proof; USN credibility is now scraping the ocean floor.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2019 16:13 utc | 70

Don't they know they are supposed to roll-over?

Relieved to find some balance reporting on mainstream news.
Need to call it out:

Posted by: jared | Jun 20 2019 16:17 utc | 71

Who gets the wreckage? Is treasure!

Posted by: Walter | Jun 20 2019 16:26 utc | 72

Via ZH In his clearest threat yet, President Trump replied "you'll soon find out" when asked whether the US would attack Iran.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 20 2019 16:30 utc | 73

Well, it seems perhaps the new Droner in Chief is not so different from the old Droner in Chief..

$120M loss costs each US citizen roughly $0.30, add interest after rolling the debt for 50-100 years...I say this is a 'win' for the MIC/Wall St. aka Deep State.

Posted by: Mah_Authoritah | Jun 20 2019 16:38 utc | 74

b’s speculations, suggestions, that Iran did the 6 (4 on 19 May, and one should look into those carefully, I have not), and the 2 recent ones, puny, attacks on various tankers in the Straits, doesn’t sit well w. me.

Imho, the culprits are from another country / rogue gangsters, chancers. The possible list of culprits is looong. Plus, any disturbances, even unfortunate accidents (storm, quake, etc.) would be blamed on Iran by the US within one hour.

Iran’s pride and honour, in its own heart and towards its subjects - rests on a kind of purity of transparency and truth (which may be facticious, no love for the Mullahs from me, life is complicated..) But there it is. The idea that Iran would adopt such low tricks (attacking in a minor symbolic way it’s own business, i.e. oil tankers going thru the Straights and oh! pretend to show clean hands) to provoke the USA - is totally nuts. (to make a caricature..)

The image Iran tries to maintain - important at home amongst other considerations - is of a ‘genuine’ straight shooter, stance. If it ever wanted to provoke the US/West to attack (or whatever) there are plenty of ways of doing that more believably, vigorously, with hopes of success or as a ‘strategic move’..

The provocation - framing etc. comes from the US - W - allies.

Rouhani did much to be conciliatory, aiming for lifting of sanctions - achieved for a short while in cahoots with Kerry (Obama), leading to the JCPOA. These ‘symbolic / ersatz’ concessions (none of it had to with nuke weapons) and efforts were rapidly proved to be fruitless/inoperative -> Trump withdrawal, Eurotrash cowardice hypocrisy .. Result: Iran has retreated and became rigid and is now perhaps? close to giving up and going into war-mode.

Why Trump cancelled the JCPOA is imho a complicated story, can’t be explained by the love of Israel. Most likely has to do, in first place, with China (oil.)

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 20 2019 16:38 utc | 75

Iran Air 655. 290 passengers 66 children

Posted by: so | Jun 20 2019 16:42 utc | 76

Everything We Know About Iran's Claim That It Shot Down A U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk Drone (Updated)

This mil-blogger has quite a lot of information about the event, and is providing updates. We are going to be hearing a lot of He Said / She Said stuff from people on both sides, none of whom are renowned for being strict truth-tellers

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 20 2019 16:43 utc | 77


I really hope Iran is ready, that the defensive techniques is ready and so on for whatever it is worth, this might hurt Iran bad.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 20 2019 16:50 utc | 78

@ m | Jun 20, 2019 9:00:46 AM | 22

“look, anyone that can take aircraft out at 60000 feet is going to cause you considerable pain if you attack them. your call.”

Agreed, and the opportunity to demonstrate to the entire world the remarkable abilities of that rocket might have made it worthwhile for Iran to take that opportunity, even if it had been over international waters, which apparently was not the case.

Smartest thing for the US to have done would have been to clam up about it.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 20 2019 16:55 utc | 79

Here's what I think is going on with Trump. Trump is suffering from bully, chicken hawk syndrome. Trump cowardly squirmed his way out of Vietnam even equating his promiscuity with a kind of Vietnam. Trump called for the death penalty for 5 innocent black men. But don't ask Trump to sit and witness an execution. He'll just be glad it was handled and wash his hands.

Trump is a bully. Bullies count on their prey to be longsuffering victims. In truth, bullies tend to be cowards. Iran responded as it should to protect its sovereignty. Trump responded with a typical bully threat like this is a game. But when Trump is put in a position to save face he will run to his generals and make the mistake of ordering a strike then blame those generals or others when it all goes to hell.

Lindsey Graham claims Trump told him his options are running out. Trump put Neocons on his team to look tough, while also maintaining deniability, and have someone to leave behind holding the bag. Trump made a big mistake based on his ego destroying the Iran deal and will again make an even bigger mistake based on his ego and get his ass kicked for it. Trump acts like this is a game of who has the bigger one. Unfortunately, people may pay with their lives. Trump is all ego, and a loudmouth, cowardly bully, and all these fails spell disaster.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 20 2019 16:57 utc | 80

Christian @24
The way I judge if the US is behind particular protests is to watch the amount of publicity given to them by the Mighty Wurlitzer.
It is clear that the US is behind the uprising, by that standard. Why the heck would 2,000,000 people care about an extradition law? Especially one triggered by a brutal murder? It makes no rational sense for people to get out on the streets to support a murderer. There has to be some forces pushing it, same as in the US, when millions of people went out on the streets wearing pink pussy hats. That is not rational.
There have been protests in Haiti and France for months, unreported by the imperial media. Honduras is also having mass protests. The governments of these countries have all cracked down hard, especially in Haiti, where the death toll is high. However, those 3 countries are US vassals, so the deaths, also, go unreported.
For more on Hong Kong...

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jun 20 2019 17:04 utc | 81

The pending war does not serve the interests of the american public.
Who benefits?

Posted by: jared | Jun 20 2019 17:07 utc | 82

Trumps response:

“I have a feeling… that it was a mistake made by somebody who shouldn’t have been doing what they did,” Trump said about the incident, speaking after a meeting with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.

“I find it hard to believe that it was intentional,” he added. “It could have been somebody who was loose and stupid.”

Sounds like he is trying hard to avoid a response or an escalation.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 20 2019 17:08 utc | 83

Zanon, I am very miserable right now about this. As a child I would listen to Basra, from Kuwait, during the Iran Iraq war. Later you understand what was there. We left Kuwait during Iraqi invasion, that was bad enough, the country changed after. I know the UAE and Oman well. I have friends from Iraq who left earlier, but this is all nothing compared to what the local people have had to suffer. When US invaded Iraq I just had to switch off, no news or anything. :(

In the west we don't know, we prefer it that way.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 20 2019 17:10 utc | 84

Meanwhile, that jerk-off Bolton is on his way to Israel to see how he can cook this thing even further. Don’t be surprised to to see an unauthorized response and escalation.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 20 2019 17:11 utc | 85

@Uncle Jon - 86

Possible de-escalation.
More likely, making ready for missile strike.

Posted by: jared | Jun 20 2019 17:11 utc | 86

Uncle Jon @86--

Agreed. That was my reaction when I read the tweet reporting his words. The "mistake" was made by USN to fly the drone into Iran in the first place, so we might see Trump's words as a backhanded slap at USN, which has less than zero credibility about anything. Iran's says it's taking its proof to UNSC, which I doubt is a hollow threat. So, it appears Trump will do nothing while Iran goes to UNSC.

Add those results to the growing pile of straws on the Outlaw US Empire's camel, and something's bound to break soon.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2019 17:23 utc | 87

I suppose the Iranians made sure that the drone was hit well within their 12 miles zone not only for legal and political reasons but also in order to have unhindered access to their loot.

The geodata of the drone do matter immensely. I'm curious how that works out.

Posted by: mk | Jun 20 2019 17:26 utc | 88

karlof1 73

Thanks for the link to the VVP transcript.

Posted by: spudski | Jun 20 2019 17:30 utc | 89

"Agreed. That was my reaction when I read the tweet reporting his words. The "mistake" was made by USN to fly the drone into Iran in the first place, so we might see Trump's words as a backhanded slap at USN, which has less than zero credibility about anything. Iran's says it's taking its proof to UNSC, which I doubt is a hollow threat. So, it appears Trump will do nothing while Iran goes to UNSC."

Iran should definitely present proof at the United Nations that this American drone violated Iranian airspace when it was shot down.

American aggression needs to be exposed everywhere and anywhere that it rears it head in the broadest venues possible.

And I doubt that the Iranians would go to the UN if they didn't have proof--unlike America and its pathetic Colin Powell "Iraqi WMDs" show at the UN in 2003.

Posted by: AK74 | Jun 20 2019 17:37 utc | 90


Yes I know what you mean - the pain and anger felt about this situation is horrible.
It seems there is nothing that can be done by people like us no matter how much we scream in our resistance to a possible war. I could only hope some nations take to the stage and try to stop this from escalating now.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 20 2019 17:47 utc | 91

“I find it hard to believe that it was intentional,” he added. “It could have been somebody who was loose and stupid.” Said Trump.

One can easily see that events are getting out of hand and he is not in control. That somebody in my mind couldn’t be none other than BOLTON. Trump is sending cryptic messages about his displeasure with his own administration.

Can’t help thinking about Kennedy and his generals that tried to sabotage him at every turn during the Cuban Missile Crisis just to start a war with the Soviets.

The difference is that Trump has no one he can trust within his own administration. He is surrounded by sharks without a cage.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 20 2019 17:48 utc | 92

A new operation Prayer Mantis??

Posted by: Horace | Jun 20 2019 17:55 utc | 93


"Sometimes I get the impression that there is a deep zionist state in fierce battle with a deep oligarch state and the twain will never meet. There is a whiff of severe struggle in the background."

Yes exactly. Trump' economic 'populism' is spearheaded by a second elite with more nationalist affinities. The other group, finished with the US, was ready to Argentina it, then shift the onus to China.

"So we have an ostensibly ‘populist/nationalist’ movement orchestrated by the highest social strata on Earth." --January 2018

However over the ensuing 18 months, Trump has been incrementally co-opted by the old gang of Neocons. He's trying to please both masters to the extremities of internal contradiction. What's behind his drift? Blackmail? The counsel of Jared & Ivanka?

That's the great unanswerable. However the box described here by b accurately depicts the dilemma. If he's taken to war, his reelection hopes are dashed (when they look quite good at the moment), which is another way of saying they have to ave something really big on him. That's the only at the math works.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | Jun 20 2019 17:55 utc | 94

There are some really ignorant posters here. How hard is it to see a deliberate sacrifice of a drone to create a reason to start yet another Bolton needed war?

Posted by: Tony B. | Jun 20 2019 18:00 utc | 95

@all - UPDATED the piece above at its end with the newest information.

Posted by: b | Jun 20 2019 18:02 utc | 96

@ Horace 96

.....except that this is not the Iran of 1988 and US military knows it.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 20 2019 18:03 utc | 97

Well Tony B---
It has not started a war and Trump is backtracking very quickly on the drone thing.
So who is ignorant? Hum?

Posted by: arby | Jun 20 2019 18:05 utc | 98

@Russki #6

" supplying houthi with a weapon to destroy the 14mbpd salt water injection plant at Qurayyah and with it 85% of saud crude output."

Or the Abqaiq processing/desulfurization plant. That's probably even more critical.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 20 2019 18:05 utc | 99

Good analysis, and thanks for including the drone-stalking cats photo. I only wish the neighborhood "house cats" here would prey upon drones instead of using my tiny back yard and its birdfeeders as their private hunting grounds.

One quibble, re: "But to blame Iran for it the U.S. will have to prove that its drone did not enter Iranian air space."

This ought to be the case, certainly. But the bogus charges filed yesterday by the corrupt and depraved Dutch authorities as part of the MH-17 downing cover-up is still another reminder that authoritarian despots blithely and bumptiously run on fumes.

No one wishes more fervently than I that the multifarious Western Hegemony Big Lies kept spinning in the air, as if juggled by a monstrous, malevolent Atlas, will ultimately be punctured by laser-beams of truth. In the meantime, increasingly self-righteous repetitions of the Big Lie will substitute for the required "proof".

Posted by: Ort | Jun 20 2019 18:06 utc | 100

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