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
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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.


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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.


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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.

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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.


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


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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

Comments
« previous page

Selective Stealth??? What might be the implication of such? What rendition of such is up for fuding review in Oct.?

Posted by: oldman | Jun 21 2019 2:00 utc | 201

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 20, 2019 10:49:39 AM | 47

Putin: US attack on Iran would be ‘catastrophe’
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/06/20/598981/Russia-United-States-warning-Iran-war-Putin

-----------------------------

The same but from Bloomberg:

Putin Warns U.S. War With Iran Would Be ‘Catastrophic’
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-20/putin-warns-u-s-war-with-iran-would-be-catastrophic

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 21 2019 2:02 utc | 202

Russia Won’t Leave Iran to the Wolves! New Bilateral Cooperation Measures Approved By Kremlin!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlLeeTRp5UI

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 21 2019 2:06 utc | 203

Footage of Iran military shooting down US drone
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai-f5jkdrZM

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 21 2019 2:10 utc | 204

Iranian Foreign Minister claims claims Iran has recovered sections of the US Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk drone shot down by Iranian air defences last night

At 00:14 US drone took off from UAE in stealth mode & violated Iranian airspace. It was targeted at 04:05 at the coordinates (25°59'43"N 57°02'25"E) near Kouh-e Mobarak.

We've retrieved sections of the US military drone in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D9hkT27XUAAONr7.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D9hkUg_XsAAoIfl.jpg

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 21 2019 2:18 utc | 205

@ Zachary Smith | Jun 20, 2019 4:18:19 PM | 139

That 'tweet' makes me wonder if Trump is going to try to do a replay of the massive attack on the Syrian airfield - after warning them of it beforehand.

The US admin could be that stupid though I hope the US military have more sense. The Iranians are getting seriously annoyed. If he does authorize a strike, there is good chance that Saudi Arabia's Eastern province loses most of its major infrastructure including the Al Jubal/Ras Tenura oil terminal complex, the desalination plants, the airforce base in Dahran, whatever oil wells that are within reach and possible every US naval ship in the Gulf though that last sounds a bit risky. I, also, would not want to be in the Emirates as the Iranians take out the US base there.

Okay, we are now 10 minutes into the attack. Not sure what comes next but maybe arming all the Shia in the Eastern Province, who are the majority and an oppressed one. it might have the might have the possibility of taking out the royal family.

I think you are misreading the information about the drone. It and a few others were protypes but remain highly effective intelligence. platforms. It is just that the new models are “new and improved” and should have lower maintaince costs

Posted by: jrkrideau | Jun 21 2019 2:51 utc | 206

IRT Islander @26 ..

you assert Iran has attacked the ships < no creditable facts have yet surfaced to support such an allegation?
you assert, it takes "ability and Intelligence to conduct piracy on the high seas,
<==I fail to see what have "ability and Intelligence" to do with piracy on the high seas?

What i think amazing is the hypothesis that Iran"did it still stands, its just a conspiracy theory".. no one has produced any or sufficient evidence to destroy the claim. but neither has any one produced any or sufficient evidence to support the counterclaim. the hypothesis that the USA did it.
neither of the two hypothesis has been dis proven?
That raises the question what is meant by the terms USA or Iran.. < does it mean just the government or does it include all of its workers, all of its corporations and all of its governed people. Just who are the USA and Iran.. ?? Lets get specific.
my take is that several bankers have invested in certain oil companies and are concerned about their investments, so they arranged these provocations. but no one is pointing a finger at any of them.

Posted by: snake | Jun 21 2019 2:52 utc | 207

@ naiverealist | Jun 20, 2019 6:11:22 PM | 157

a home made surface-to-air missile (and radar system)

What? Well home made as in “

Hey, a lot of those engineers attended some of the best universities in the US, UK and so on.

As an aside, while not an engineer, the Iranian foreign minister did his B.A., Masters & Ph.D in the US and the President did his Ph.D. in Scotland. They actually know the West while the idiots in Washington may still be having trouble finding Iran on the map.

Posted by: jrkrideau | Jun 21 2019 2:58 utc | 208

karlof1@116

Expanding on "B" simple geometry problem the shoot down position US Navy MQ-4C Triton drone appears to be outside of the range of the Iranian 3rd Khordad missile system.

According to Iranian sources the 3rd Khordad missile system The system has an operational range of between 50 and 75 kilometers and can intercept airborne targets as high as 25 to 30 kilometers.
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/06/20/599007/US-drone-Khordad-3-air-defense-missile-IRGC

Using the Pentagon's position for the drone and the Iranian missile battery the horizontal distance is about 90 km which is outside the missile's range. Assuming the MQ-4C Triton drone was flying at a height of 22 km the total travel distance of the missile would be 92 km.
https://www.necn.com/news/politics/Pentagon-Video-Shows-US-Drone-Downed-by-Iranian-Missile-511576582.html

Current information on the 3rd Khordad indicated that the range of the 3x taer-2 surface to air missile is only 50 km.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raad_(air_defense_system)

By comparison the Russian Buk-M2E has a range of only 45 km.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buk_missile_system

To be honest, Iran claims that it has another missile for this launcher that has a range of 105 km. A third missile for this launcher is the Sayyad-2 which has a range of 75 km.

Assuming that the missile has a range of almost 105 km and travels at Mach-3 (3x343 m/s) the drone operator would have been able direct the drone to travel 15 km to get out of the way from the time of missile launch.

The fact the Iran is recovering drone parts suggests that the Pentagon story is all wet.


Posted by: Krollchem | Jun 21 2019 3:28 utc | 209

Nemesis Calling @ 175:

I should think it strange that over 1 million out of a total population of some 7,489,000 would be marching all at once in the first place. Yes I also saw William Gruff's comments about how the numbers might have been massaged by corporate news media.

If people had legitimate grievances over the proposed extradition legislation, they would have voiced their objections when the bill was first read in the HK parliament in April. At that point the US government started intervening in the issue by meeting pro-democracy advocates. By that point then, the original legislation had been amended - it dropped several financial crimes - to cover extradition for rape, murder and any other crime that would attract a prison sentence of over 3 years.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 21 2019 3:30 utc | 210

Grieved @201--

Thanks for your reply! And of course the General would've already gotten the word from his chief; such is the chain of command. I posted numerous comments, but I'd highlight what I wrote about the likely redundancy of the entire air defense system and its mobility. Save the aging Tomcats and other war planes for the time after the air defense system has harvested the opposing crop to an even field. What we've yet to learn is Iran's effectiveness against stand off missiles, although it's clear their radar system can pinpoint their positions, track and likely target. And Iran's already warned all nations in the region what will happen to them in the event of a unilateral attack by the Outlaw US Empire or its vassals.

The question I want answered is how long Saudi can stand being bombarded by Houthis. It's now two locations daily. Then will come three, then four, etc. IMO, Saudi pipelines will soon be goners; and given recent developments as I wrote above, Maximum Pressure's being applied to MbS and King Salman. As I see it, the Saudis are the weak link in the entire affair.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 21 2019 3:41 utc | 211

Krollchem @214--

Thanks for your reply! As I noted in my comment, the ANNA News report was likely incomplete as not all secrets get divulged, particularly those of a strategic nature. As I wrote to Grieved above, there're still capabilities we don't have answers for, which we hopefully will never acquire. It's about daybreak there now. Soon we'll see if Friday holds any surprises.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 21 2019 3:49 utc | 212

That was close, glad someone talked Trump down that Iran is not like Syria

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/20/world/middleeast/iran-us-drone.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

“As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.”

“Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.”

“The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.”

Posted by: Stever | Jun 21 2019 3:51 utc | 213

haspel, bolton and pompous ass should be fired, immediately, and the order should not be reversed or revoked, unlike with this aborted attack

looks like the military is talking sense


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/trump-approves-strikes-on-iran-but-then-abruptly-pulls-back/ar-AADaA3K?li=BBnb7Kz


"....Mr. Trump’s national security advisers split about whether to respond militarily. Senior administration officials said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; John R. Bolton, the national security adviser; and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, had favored a military response. But top Pentagon officials cautioned that such an action could result in a spiraling escalation with risks for American forces in the region.."


Posted by: michaelj72 | Jun 21 2019 4:01 utc | 214

Likely this has not ended. Trump hates looking weak or the fool. If the US is seen to have blinked there will be consequences.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jun 21 2019 4:06 utc | 215


karlof1@217

I fear that the US is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons to shape potential conflicts such as the conquest of Iran. Here is an excerpt from the latest publication (June 13,2019) on the topic by the DoD.

“Employment of nuclear weapons can radically alter or accelerate the course of a campaign,” the document continues. “A nuclear weapon could be brought into the campaign as a result of perceived failure in a conventional campaign, potential loss of control or regime, or to escalate the conflict to sue for peace on more-favorable terms. The potential consequences of using nuclear weapons will greatly influence military operations and vastly increase the complexity of the operational environment.”

Document was saved by the Federation of American Scientists
https://fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/jp3_72.pdf

Posted by: Krollchem | Jun 21 2019 4:29 utc | 216

karlof1@217 and "b"

The Pentagon just released their version of the drone shoot down which shows the drone within the airspace of Iran according to the map of the airspace of Iran posted by "b".
https://www.foxnews.com/world/pentagon-releases-map-disputing-claim-us-drone-violated-iranian-airspace-irans-version-is-very-different

Posted by: Krollchem | Jun 21 2019 4:41 utc | 217

And this from Pepe,

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/06/20/iran-goes-for-maximum-counter-pressure/

Interesting and scary stuff

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 21 2019 4:47 utc | 218

Many point out to Russia's visible indifference to Iran's plight.

Some identify that Russia can assist Iran in many "deniable" ways.

goldilocks statement suggesting “It could have been somebody who was loose and stupid.” doesn't identify his target. Iranian or ameristani appointed, by himself, advisors/military?

Whatever, the takeaway is that Iran can protect itself, initially. ameristani weapons of choice are compromised.

A very obvious win for the little brown Asians, a very public lose for ameristani MIC.

Posted by: OhOh | Jun 21 2019 4:53 utc | 219

Video: Iran's Khordad 3 SAM system shoots down US drone

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/06/20/599007/US-drone-Khordad-3-air-defense-missile-IRGC

Posted by: ninel | Jun 21 2019 4:57 utc | 220

The kettle continues to boil...
Rockets hit multiple Basra oil sites

This is from the Saudi official organ playing its tune...
Trump pulls back from launch of military strikes on Iran after initial approval

Trump may be outliving his usefulness to the unholy alliance unless he gets with the program. Nicky Haley can run with Pence and get it done for them no questions asked.

Trump will probably make them happy with a strike after G-20. Surgical both militarily and politically.


Posted by: dltravers | Jun 21 2019 5:00 utc | 221

NYT: Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back

WASHINGTON — President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.

As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.
...
Senior administration officials said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; John R. Bolton, the national security adviser; and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, had favored a military response. But top Pentagon officials cautioned that such an action could result in a spiraling escalation with risks for American forces in the region.
...

(The NYT BTW fell for the stupid "34 kilometer" claim and interprets it as "closest to coast" distance)

AP has a similar story:
US prepped for strikes on Iran before approval was withdrawn

A U.S. official said the military made preparations Thursday night for limited strikes on Iran in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but approval was abruptly withdrawn before the attacks were launched.
...
The military operation was called off around 7:30 p.m. Washington time, after Trump had spent most of Thursday discussing Iran strategy with top national security advisers and congressional leaders.

Posted by: b | Jun 21 2019 5:07 utc | 222


What did Pres. Trump mean by "a new fly in the ointment". And who put it there?

Seems to me we should consider the possibility a plan for conciliation between Iran and USA was in the pipeline and it has been disrupted. Speculation, but still, read what the man said ...

And start breathing through your nose again (calm down).

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-prime-minister-trudeau-canada-bilateral-meeting-2/>

"Q Do you feel like there are members of your administration who are trying to push you into conflict with Iran?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, not at all. Not at all. In fact, in many cases, it’s the opposite.

But I will say — look, I said I want to get out of these endless wars. I campaigned on that: I want to get out. We’ve been in Afghanistan for 19 years. As you know, we’ve reduced very substantially in Afghanistan.

We beat the caliphate. We took back 100 percent of the caliphate. When it was 99 percent, Justin, I said, “We’re going to get out. We’re going to start peeling back.” And everybody went crazy because it was 99. So I said, “All right. So we’ll finish it up.” So we got 100 percent, and we’re pulling that back, out of Syria. We’re pulling a lot of people back.

But this is something — this is a new wrinkle. This is a new fly in the ointment, what happened shooting down the drone. And this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you.

Thank you very much."

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jun 21 2019 5:19 utc | 223

@227

"President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions."

"the military made preparations Thursday night for limited strikes on "

One suspects all military commanders are "prepared", for "approved" actions, 24/7.

Posted by: OhOh | Jun 21 2019 5:20 utc | 224

TRUMP HAS CANCELED STRIKES ON IRAN AFTER HE ORDERED THEM!

Posted by: John Carter | Jun 21 2019 5:21 utc | 225

It's fascinating to read Uncle Jon's (223) Escobar link about the potential for world economic chaos and a regional blood bath, then to review what was written in the MSN piece linked by michaelj72 (219).

Mr. Trump’s national security advisers split about whether to respond militarily. Senior administration officials said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; John R. Bolton, the national security adviser; and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, had favored a military response.

Pompeo's motives are clear enough - he wants to kick Jesus in the heinie to get the Second Coming started. Presumably Bolton wants the apartheid Jewish state to finally be rid of those pesky Iranians. Haspel is a question mark. Perhaps this lover of individual torture wants to broaden her horizons and watch the suffering of hundreds of millions of people.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 21 2019 5:26 utc | 226

@227

So the junkyard dogs are off their chains but still behind the scrapyard fence. It will be interesting whether "Mr Deal" the "Real Estate Man" will open the gates and go down in history as the idiot-in-charge who caused the economic chaos and likely Depression 20 years into the 21st century.

Mind you, the US post-capitalist "QE" era is almost defunct and ripe for another 1973-74 Oil Crisis. Last time Royal Dutch Shell gamed the scenario and shifted from 7th ranking to 2nd. Too early on the internet's development to prove any direct causal influences, although head strategist, Frenchman Pierre Wack, did spend time "meditating" in Zen monasteries and Saudi Arabia .... as one does! (wink/nod)

Trump will move when it suits him and his key backers can profit -- and also when there are other stories of mass distraction to cloud the situation. Clearly, G20 disruption looks a likely target -- the SCO success cannot go unchallenged. The other squealing point is Turkey. So watch what's happening there closely.

Posted by: imo | Jun 21 2019 5:34 utc | 227

Start a war after their "most advanced" drone got shot down? A big LOL right there. The false bravado-laden welfare queens they called the US military is definitely dying to flee in the opposite direction after pissing their pants.

Posted by: JW | Jun 21 2019 5:43 utc | 228

Donald Trump might very well turn out to be the last President of the former United States of America.

Rest In Pieces, America.

Posted by: AK 74 | Jun 21 2019 5:49 utc | 229

It looks like the White House approved a strike against Iran but then just in time they read my comment at #201 explaining that Iran wasn't negotiating, but was instead very purely in a war posture and defending its country - which means that while the US throws bullshit little strikes at it, Iran will automatically parry with death blows.

That's what shook them up, the notion of actual death and damage in the midst of all their theatrical posturing.

Fucking losers, these Yanks. Take it all the way to the closing table and then back out because they were just playing the negotiation game.

The US has met its match, in public and in real time. For the US, it's all over but the crying. Let the crying now commence. You watch...crying is what we see next.

~~

In other words, yes, as b said, Iran has hardened its position, but not in a sense of escalation - rather in the sense of pulling back to the red lines and waiting for any moving thing to touch the barrier. Iran went to war, has gone to war, is at war. We see this now, that Iran is at full scale war, ready to trigger.

But not to send a message. Iran is far past messages. With life and death at stake in this very moment, Iran is not interested in messages. Iran is watching tripwires and radars and satellite intel from friendly nations, and guarding its nation against attack. Over in Lebanon, Nasrallah is doing the same.

The US has blundered into the den of the tiger - it will be lucky if all it loses is the prodding finger.

And someone in the US woke up to that reality, or more likely, screamed loud enough that its disregarded voice was finally heard by the fools.

~~

@216 karlof1

I think you're right that Saudi Arabia is the perfect place to fight this war. Anything incoming that manages to penetrate Iran will be mirrored tenfold in that hapless place. The oil of Saudi will be closed down and closed down and closed down, until even the fiercely stupid Yankees will understand the correlation, and stop stepping on their own oil supply.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 21 2019 5:59 utc | 230

When's the last time the US waged an actual war with a country like Iran? The Soviet Union did not actually war with the US so it does not count. Iran is no Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or Syria. I would argue it is no Vietnam or Korea either. A war with Iran would be comparable, though not entirely, with the war against Japan and Germany. Unless someone can correct me on this.

Posted by: ninel | Jun 21 2019 6:27 utc | 231

Chump was always a front goy and a zionist. That's him repudiating the Iran nuclear deal in 2015. Anybody living in New-York knows he's been in their pocket since the Rothschild interests bailed him out of bankruptcy. A nation of dominionist fools, Maga was always about Miga. Destroying what's left of american power for zionist interests. Deplorable must be happy, so much winning... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIDNonMDSo8

Posted by: Sol Invictus | Jun 21 2019 6:29 utc | 232

@227 b. quote - "(The NYT BTW fell for the stupid "34 kilometer" claim and interprets it as "closest to coast" distance)"

the memo comes out of the same office that states reality from on high.. it goes straight to the paper on record as lying it's ass off in the war on iran.... one can't make this stuff up... i would prefer to live in alice in wonderland world then george orwell world, but it presently feels like dr. strangelove world..

thanks for the updates..

Posted by: james | Jun 21 2019 6:41 utc | 233

Grieved 235

For some time I have suspected KSA is one of team Trump's targets. A scenario where Iran destroys KSA then US comes riding in to save the day. Of course US companies will be required to take over Aramco assets and other destroyed oil fields in the region to get the worlds oil flowing again.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 21 2019 6:54 utc | 234

Re: Posted by: michaelj72 | Jun 21, 2019 12:01:50 AM | 219

Well I guess if he wanted to smoke them out then he's done so. But I don't that is the reason.

I would suspect any Iranian response to a strike would target oil, gas, shipping and military installations in the UAE (including obviously Dubai & Abu Dhabi) and Saudi Arabia.

I assume they have a list of targets lined up.

You'd almost suspect they would go for broke before all their offensive assets are destroyed.

Posted by: Julian | Jun 21 2019 7:11 utc | 235

This drone has only recently been sent to the persian gulf. If Iran is using escalation dominance, and it was Iran sabotaging the tankers, then the drone was most likely sent there for that reason. Knowing the yanks, they would have flown it within meters of Iranian airspace even if they did not deliberately send it into Iranian territory. perhaps the sort of thing that is capable of detecting sabotage operations. Now no more drone and no more high tech US surveillance of the strait.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 21 2019 7:39 utc | 236

On April 15, 1969[Note 1], a United States Navy Lockheed EC-121M Warning Star of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One (VQ-1) on a reconnaissance mission was shot down by a North Korean MiG-21 aircraft over the Sea of Japan (East Sea of Korea). The plane crashed 90 nautical miles (167 km) off the North Korean coast and all 31 Americans (30 sailors and 1 Marine) on board were killed, which constitutes the largest single loss of U.S. aircrew during the Cold War era.

The plane was an adaptation of a Lockheed Super Constellation and was fitted with a fuselage radar, so the primary tasks were to act as a long range patrol, conduct electronic surveillance, and act as a warning device.

The Nixon administration did not retaliate against North Korea apart from staging a naval demonstration in the Sea of Japan a few days later, which was quickly removed. It resumed the reconnaissance flights within a week to demonstrate that it would not be intimidated by the action while at the same time avoiding a confrontation.

Notes
1. DPRK supreme leader Kim Il-sung's 57th birthday

LINK

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 21 2019 7:41 utc | 237

@230 I think we are going to find out sooner or later that Trump spoke with Pompeo and Bolton and agreed “in principle” that something had to be done, and they then rushed off to make it happen.

If that is what happened then the military would certainly insist that the chain of command be followed i.e. the order has to come from the Organ Grinder, not from his chattering monkeys.

At which point... stand down, boys, stand down.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 21 2019 7:53 utc | 238

Would note:

About the geometry of that triangle, one would need to know angle ø to actually find the length of BC and that, given at best unreliable information of both hypotenuse and altitude, makes angle ø questionable at best. A small angle ø would have the same sum of squares as a large angle ø, giving vastly differing distances for the side adjacent which is the point of the whole exercise.

If you really wish to terrorise someone in that space between Canada and Mexico - don't explain, just hand them some numbers.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 21 2019 7:55 utc | 239

China Unveils New Radar System To Detect US Stealth Jets

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1153725.shtml

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 21 2019 7:55 utc | 240

The Mighty Wurlitzer is in full throat with the story how Trump stayed his hand at the last moment after first ordering Iran to be crushed, which for the record is bluster while backing down in my view.

Iran seems to intend to press their advantage diplomatically too, this could get entertaining.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 21 2019 8:14 utc | 241

‘Russia seeks to revise the world order’ not the US, Pentagon says after Moscow rebuke
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/19/pentagon-hits-back-after-moscow-calls-middle-east-troop-plans-provocative.html
------------------

Finally. 12 years after Putin’s speech in Munich, Pentagon started to get something ...

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 21 2019 8:15 utc | 242

And in the midst of this clusterf*ck the US still has no Secretary of Defense.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 21 2019 8:18 utc | 243

Well, surprise, surprise. the FAA has prohibited Americam operators from flying through Iranian airspace over the Straits of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman:

The US aviation agency has barred all civil aircraft from flying in Iranian airspace above the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, noting that “numerous” planes were in the area when a US drone was shot down.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) claims the nearest civil aircraft was flying 45 nautical miles (51 miles) from the US Navy high-altitude drone.

Perhaps the Pentagon was hoping the Iranians would shoot down a civilian aircraft? A casus belli but only for the Americans if ever I saw one.

Meanwhile, it's interesting to compare and contrast the speed with which the FAA applied the ban over parts of Iran, with the speed with which the FAA applied their ban to overflights above the DPR. Was the latter a "political" decision in support of the illegal Ukrainian regime.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 21 2019 8:36 utc | 244

The FAA:

#FAA Statement: The FAA has issued a Notice to Airmen (#NOTAM) prohibiting U.S.-registered aircraft from operating over the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. The NOTAM applies to all U.S. air carriers and commercial operators.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D9jmJNaXYAAP6ZV.jpg

The FAA:

#FAA issued #NOTAM warning pilots that flights are not permitted in the overwater area of the Tehran Flight Information Region until further notice, due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D9jnkWWWsAAeGgY.jpg

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 21 2019 8:38 utc | 245

Elijah J. Magnier
‏@ejmalrai
8m8 minutes ago
EXCLUSIVE: Iran received a message from U.S. President Trump via Oman overnight warning of an imminent attack on Iran - Iranian government officials @Reuters

Elijah J. Magnier
‏@ejmalrai
8m8 minutes ago
(My exclusive): #Iran informed all its allies about the US message. All allies were prepared to retaliate.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 21 2019 8:38 utc | 246

Those Iranians have a sense of humor:

Report: Trump Confused over Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- US President Donald Trump approved military strikes before dawn Friday against Iran in retaliation for the downing of an unmanned surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching the attacks, The New York Times reported.

FARSNews

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 21 2019 8:53 utc | 247

Seems Trump got the message.

He should now get the mad duo, Pompeo/Bolton in his office and fire them ASAP.

Posted by: Zico | Jun 21 2019 9:07 utc | 248

BBC News (World): US President Trump says "Iran made a big mistake" in shooting down a US military surveillance drone

https://twitter.com/BBCWorld/status/1141763857934934016
--------------------

Mistake... It's time to think about another mistake:

1988: US Missile Downs Iranian Jet With 290 On Board
Mistake, Says Reagan

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D9hGc0gUcAAflB0.jpg

Iran Air Flight 655

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 21 2019 9:18 utc | 249

Iran immediately claimed responsibility for downing the drone. Does that put an end to the theory that they were engaged in a campaign of stealth attacks?

If Iran/Iran proxies weren't engaged in such a campaign, then who was?

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

Iran was able to track the Global Hawk drone throughout it's flight.

Question: Where was the Global Hawk when the shipping was being attacked? Were they tracking any other drones when ships were attacked?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 21 2019 9:21 utc | 250

FP, June 18, 2019, 5:47 PM:

Iran’s Carefully Coded Message

The recent strikes make clear that Iran’s enemies won’t be able to bypass it in the Persian Gulf.

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 21 2019 9:31 utc | 251

@ Billosky | Jun 20, 2019 8:34:03 PM | 194

1. It was not the 15th of Khordad SAM battery that shot down the drone. It was the Ra'ad, which is at least a decade older indigenous technology. The Ra'd has been superseded by the Talaash, the S-300, the Baavar 373, and now, hot off the factory floor, the 15th of Khordad, which is roughly equivalent to the Russian S-400.

2. We do indeed have hypersonic ground to sea missiles. They are called the Noor, and go at a speed of several Machs and feature end-phase maneuvers.

3. We also have multiple warhead ballistic missiles which also cannot be defended against by sitting duck aircraft carriers.

*

In other news:

I think what is going on is that Trump's policy of giving the Zionists whatever they want including bringing the Iranian government's revenue from oil and gas exports to zero is a bridge too far because it has meant that given Iran's current foreign reserve holdings, the government has about a year to a year and a half before it can no longer pay the salaries of its employees; i.e. it has made the situation into an existential threat to Iran (and not just to Saudi Arabia and Israel, which was the status quo ante). This has meant that Iran's hand has been forced, and it has no option but to come off its "strategic patience" perch and make good on its word that if we can't export oil, no one will be able to export oil.

Yes, I am implying that the build-up in mischief is indeed attributable to Iran. The reason I have come to this tentative conclusion is that as Elijah Magnier pointed out to me, if it was the alternative case (false flags), the US would already have had all the excuse it needed to attack, and yet has not done so. And as to the objection raised by Noirette (if I may be permitted to paraphrase) that the Iranians are too gentlemanly to go down the route of black ops and plausible deniability and so on, and would just come out and close the straights, etc. - the answer to that is that we are forced into this posture as a result of being up against an irrational, unpredictable and indeed insane actor; and it is only in the interest of gradually nudging them to see reason that we have been forced into such dishonorable tactics. In other words, the honorableness of the overarching strategy trumps the impropriety of the tactic, as it were.

And so if this is the case, the thesis predicts that these "incidents" will escalate in the coming days and weeks, with the aim of getting the Trump administration to reinstate wavers to Japan, South Korea and India, and to turn a blind eye to China and Turkey, who are proceeding to buy our oil irrespective of the threat of US retaliation. The idea would be that these waivers would be extended until the Trump administration is voted out of office in November of 2020. Otherwise, we will feel teh pain, but the world, and especially Saudi and UAE will feel it much, much more. Amen.

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Jun 21 2019 9:33 utc | 252

Did Trump just lose the 2020 election?

How the heck do you give an order to attack a country and they rescind the order within hours?

Democrats should focus on the dumbass decision to attack but they'll probably focus on Trump's HEROIC!! decision to rescind the attack instead. Because Empire is a bipartisan project.

I can imagine a backstory to accompany the Democrat's meekness that goes like this: lets not criticize the President to strongly or he might actually be tempted to start a war. It fits perfectly with propaganda narratives that USA tries to promote: Presidential power, Presidential independence; Trump as neophyte outsider; etc.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 21 2019 9:36 utc | 253

Nuff Sed @257:

Yes, I am implying that the build-up in mischief is indeed attributable to Iran.

See my comment @255

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 21 2019 9:41 utc | 254

"In other words, the honorableness of the overarching strategy trumps the impropriety of the tactic"

A beautiful example of age old Persian wisdom..

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 21 2019 11:10 utc | 255

@7 Uncle Tungsten

...there is a deep zionist state in fierce battle with a deep oligarch state and the twain will never meet...

It's all in the Big-Jew family, and that's Trump's primary identity. The twain do indeed meet. Trump loves and serves both banksters and Zionists, but he loves Zionists a bit more. If we are to believe what Trump's late elder brother Frederick Christ Trump Jr, who joined a Jewish fraternity at Lehigh. told his frat brothers, his father, in crypsis as a Christian under the name of Frederick Christ Trump Sr, was actually a Jew. Trump Sr was such a confirmed supporter of Jewish causes including support to religious institutions in Israel that it was widely assumed he was a Jew. In the presumed service of the Jewish community, Trump Sr was the local head of the Bayside KKK. (The clipping from the NYT about Trump Sr's arrest as the local KKK head briefly appeared during the campaign and then was immediately dropped by a supposedly hostile media.) This was a typically Jewish-crypsis undertaking, one of several such cases nationwide, and understandable because the KKK was set up to counter Jewish carpetbaggers. Trump's mother was at least nominally a Scot Presbyterian, but it was plain as day during Trump's campaign that he knows nothing about Christianity. My guess would be that this 'shiksa' converted — like Jacob Rothschild's mother, but secretly, to keep her husband's secret. Two and maybe all three of Trump’s wives are Jews, and four and maybe all five of his children are halachically Jewish, including Ivanka. As a born Jew her 'conversion' to Judaism to marry Kushner was a farce, to fool heritage American Christians.

Trump’s main inheritance from his father is his drive to be the biggest macher of Jewish history, under crypsis. The Israelis are already comparing him to Queen Esther, in whose honor Purim is the yearly celebration of goy genocide. There is already a town in stolen Golan to be named for him.

From day one, Trump has been at the complete service of the Big Jews, with barely a gesture to heritage American Christians.

His extreme favoritism towards Zionists has been his undoing. Banksters, through the mouthpiece of Rothschild's Economist, fought at length against his planned disavowal of the Iran nuclear deal. They knew what the risks are. Trump seriously overestimated his own intelligence and his power. Now he realizes he's in a total mess. There is a danger of setting off the implosion of financial derivatives. That would destroy the world economy. And as Bernhard says, Iran holds the trump cards.

Trump made a provocative statement the other day, to ABC's Stephanopoulos, saying (once again, like his dogwhistle in South Carolina on 17th February 2016) that he knows who brought down the World Trade Center, and it wasn't the Iraqis.

Of course he knows. His dear friends Giuliani and Silverstein must have clued him in. On the evening of 9/11 Trump said, on TV, that given the way the light aluminum shell of an airplane would normally interact at high speed with a mass of structural steel, there had to have been bombs involved. That immediately put paid to the hijacker tale. Wise guy Trump needed to be clued in by his friends. And he must have been because by day two he was singing the official story, of steel skyscrapers brought down by melting from burning kerosene, and he's stuck to it ever since.

Trump's purpose in bringing up 9/11 is not, of course, to hang his friends Giuliani and Silverstein. Since it must be to relieve the pressure of Iran, Trump seems to have in mind betrayal of the Saudis (cf Uncle Tungsten's "Sunni butchers")...or, if he's truly desperate, the Israelis — who, after all, are the main 9/11 culprits, as Bollyn has amply shown.

Trump is the sort of guy who, if he can't be the biggest macher of Jewish history, will settle for being a winner some other way. Any other way? Maybe that's the art of the deal. Anyway, someone is worried. The ABC video has disappeared from the internet.

Posted by: sarz | Jun 21 2019 13:28 utc | 256

The most interesting aspect of this SNAFU is that the IRGC reported the precise time and place from which the drone took off. I'm curious to know if Iran can monitor all take-offs in the region, OR if this info was provided to Iran as part of an heads-up alert from an ally with broader surveillance capabilities?

Either way, Iran's demonstrated access to such accurate and detailed info pretty much rules out the likelihood of a surprise attack.
i.e. If the Yanks or (((anyone else))) wants to bomb Iran, they may as well come in the front door because, apparently, there isn't a back door.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 21 2019 14:10 utc | 257

Thank you so much Nuff Sed for confirming my estimation of the very advanced state of the Iranian missile programs. It would be interesting to know just how much about the large Iranian progress in this area US military intelleginece is actually aware of. Certainly there has been a tendency in the past for all American sources to downplay the sophistication of the Iranian missile program, indeed even to assert, totally irresponsibly, that it presents no real threat to a potential American attack on the country. Such an assessment would have been foolish even fifteen years ago, but to assume such a thing today is the very height of folly.

Surely there must be those within US military intelligence who DO understand the real nature and capacity of the Iranian missile systems and who are arguing for restraint. [Indeed, one indication of this would be the reluctance of the US Navy to send any of its valuable aircraft carriers into the Persian Gulf itself, and to instead station them far off the Iranian coast in the distant reaches of the Gulf of Oman.] But whether the REAL dangers posed by the latest Iranian missile defenses is also fully understood by those hubris-saturated neocon crazies around Trump, or by him himself, is far from obvious. Thus it may well be that they will, like the stunted cognitive children they are, "need to learn it the hard way"; the political, if not also military, consequences of which will be disastrous for their dubious cause.

You also mention that: "2. We do indeed have hypersonic ground to sea missiles. They are called the Noor, and go at a speed of several Machs and feature end-phase maneuvers," and "3. We also have multiple warhead ballistic missiles which also cannot be defended against by sitting duck aircraft carriers." If these claims are true, and I have no reason to doubt that they are since it is at least obvious that Iranian engineers have been working on such weapons for several years now, and certainly the country has had every incentive to expedite their development of such missiles by the last decade and a half of continuous sabre-rattling by the US, then one can only conclude that Iran already has TWO BETTER DETERENTS to US aggression than any nuclear weapon would afford them. It would be almost impossible for the Iranians to utilize a nuclear strike on an American naval fleet, both because the US might retailiate in kind, and because the political costs of such a nuclear first strike would haunt Iran for decades to come.

On the other hand, should Iran merely be forced to respond to a barrage of cruise missiles or any other types of missiles from the American fleet, a rapid response via the state of the art Iranian missiles would no doubt be able, should such be sought, to send the entire US fleet to the bottom of the sea, and that without even the need for much in the way of explosive force since any object flying at hypersonic speed has so much momentum as to hit its target with roughly five times the force of a rifle bullet. And, of course, the US Navy currently has NO defense against incoming missiles coming in at over Mach three, so they would indeed be just "sitting ducks" to either the new conventional hypersonic or the multiple warhead weapons of the Iranians.

Thus, at least from a purely military perspective, any successful attack on Iran by the US Navy is simply impossible. Unfortunately, such a bitter fact doesn't seem to be informing US strategy up until now as each day seems to see new aggressive and bellicose accusations and a ratcheting up of tensions. Indeed, we may well be reaching the point where the Iranians, for all of their diplomatic discretion and forebearance up until now, switch to a new policy which, in American slang, we might denominate the "OK, idiots, bring it on!" policy. For the good of Iran, the US and the world, let us all hope that it doesn't come to that, even if it is already on the verge of doing so!

Posted by: Billosky | Jun 21 2019 14:16 utc | 258

Well, Oscar at 117, we will have to judge that interpretative slants vary, I’m not saying Israel played no role. (Contra Iran.) (Thing is, I see US-Isr relations rather differently from many ppl in the US who opine as you do.)

Agree to disagree... Cheers !

So explain me this (a nice Frenchism) why did the US invade and decimate Iraq, thereby throwing the role of dominant power in the ‘region’ to Iran? Notably at present - in Syria?

Why is the US allied with KSA, agreed its influence is exagerated, as you point out, yes - surely the most Arab of Arab territories along one vague definition, thus an Isr. enemy (though that is today not the case as we know) leaving aside past history, Ibn Saud - Roosevelt?

How come this a-hem plucky little country with an ethnic definition has not really managed much - yes of course merciless killing of Palestinians and taking their lands, etc. - but not legitimacy, acceptance, approval, on the world stage, happiness (whatever that is for its citizens), growth (of some kind, image, economic, etc.) and expansion, which might even be territorial without the gun.

How come the most powerful country in the world ever, the USA (say so for the mo) has not been able to achieve anything stable for its no. 1. love, ally, a minuscule postage stamp country, Israel? After more than 60 years? This makes no sense whatsoever.

Even Northern Ireland with its walls of peace is better of. (One can question the validity of the comparison…)

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 21 2019 15:29 utc | 259

@258 jackrabbit.. not to worry.. trump will still be referred to as some brilliant strategist by his devoted following, including pat lang, LOLOL! ...serving israel til the end of times - keeping pompeo and bolton happy...

Posted by: james | Jun 21 2019 15:35 utc | 260

Posted by: jrkrideau | Jun 20, 2019 10:58:21 PM | 213

My comment about the "home-made" missile was not meant to disparage the Iranian expertise. The fact that a heavily sanctioned country would be able to take down a massively complex (and expensive) drone shows the technological ability of a smaller nation against the most expensive and destructive MIC on the planet.
I've worked with ex-pat engineers from Iran, India, China, Russia, and Iraq. They were extremely capable people.

Posted by: naiverealist | Jun 21 2019 15:52 utc | 261

@Noirette 264

Thanks for the interesting views, Noirette. You are French, I'm assuming? Here are some responses:

"So explain me this (a nice Frenchism) why did the US invade and decimate Iraq, thereby throwing the role of dominant power in the ‘region’ to Iran? Notably at present - in Syria?"

Those who engineered the invasion of Iraq expected that it would soon be stabilized under US control and could then be used as a platform for follow-on regime-change operations against Syria and especially Iran. This was certainly the Likud leadership's expectation. In the event, however, the US was never successful in stabilizing Iraq or of convincing the new Shia majority (and the PUK Kurdish faction) to come anywhere near to supporting action against Iran. So the answer to your question is that the "plan" failed in execution. The Saudis, of course, were totally opposed to the invasion, having a much better appreciation of the risks involved. The decision of the US to invade is a good measure of the relative influence of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Israel favored it (and its partisans in the US, highly overlapped with the neoconservatives, pushed it.) Saudi was opposed. Who won out?

"Why is the US allied with KSA, agreed its influence is exagerated, as you point out, yes - surely the most Arab of Arab territories along one vague definition, thus an Isr. enemy (though that is today not the case as we know) leaving aside past history, Ibn Saud - Roosevelt?"

While we don't consume much Saudi oil ourselves, the petrodollar link between Saudi oil production and US financial hegemony is central to US global power. That has been the basis for the US-Saudi alliance since the 1970s.

"How come this a-hem plucky little country with an ethnic definition has not really managed much - yes of course merciless killing of Palestinians and taking their lands, etc. - but not legitimacy, acceptance, approval, on the world stage, happiness (whatever that is for its citizens), growth (of some kind, image, economic, etc.) and expansion, which might even be territorial without the gun."

Actually, I think Israelis are pretty happy and have an increasingly bloated and narcissistic self-image. Israel has indeed expanded gradually but continually since 1917--and since 1946 with US backing. They are on the verge of annexing much of the West Bank. But since Israel is predicated on Jewish supremacism and their implicit superiority over Arabs and, by implication, everyone else, there is no way to make them popular or liked by the rest of the world. That's why the US has to resort continually to military force to impose it on the region and the world. But I'm not sure I entirely understand your question...

"How come the most powerful country in the world ever, the USA (say so for the mo) has not been able to achieve anything stable for its no. 1. love, ally, a minuscule postage stamp country, Israel? After more than 60 years? This makes no sense whatsoever."

Well, in point of fact, all the Arab countries that have tried to prevent Jews from taking control of Palestine have been resoundingly defeated and are now mostly basket cases themselves. But the natural hostility of the region to Israel is such that there is no real way for the US to win permanent stability that normalizes the existence of Israel. Even in terms of Israel's "allies" in the region, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Jordan, there is no love at the popular level. It's all anti-Iran strategizing by the fearful and inept Saudis and Emiratis and mere obedience to those on the dole--Egypt and Jordan.

So how would you answer your own questions, and what is your overall perception of the US-Israel relationship?


Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 21 2019 16:36 utc | 262

@ 244 Addendum

Innumeracy here as well.

Using the given doubtful figures and using sum of squares technique, a substantially different answer appears, to wit:
Hypotenuse 34km (given) XX (squared) = 1156 (sq Km)
Height 60000 ft(given) = 18.3 Km XX = 334.9 (sq Km)
Subtracting second from first results: 821.1 (sq Km), finding sq root 821.1 = 28.65 Km FROM SITE MEASURING DISTANCE. Depending on site position and direction of measurement (NOT GIVEN) this could have been directly over mainland Iran. Converting to Nautical Miles is meaningless and somewhat less than useless. Nice try.

Posted by: Formerly T.Bear | Jun 21 2019 18:33 utc | 263

Again, thanks B for correcting your stance regarding the previous "encounters".
It should now be obvious what the trajectory is now, even to those here that attacked me for pointing out the obvious.

Elijah J. Magnier also has a good coverage on this, more nuanced and less biased than he normally is (Although there is nothing wrong with his pro Iran/Shia bias, as he is pretty open about it).
The hawks in the US and Iran now are on the steering wheel. And with regard to Iran, this is IMHO the only option for them left. Otherwise the Iranian moderates like Rouhani would not have joined into the current hard line.
The US hawks on the other hand, can not loose anyway. Only Trump can loose, US soldiers, US economy.. But not them. Like Bolton and cockroaches they survive every crisis, and let others pay for their faults and sins.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jun 21 2019 21:38 utc | 264

@Peter AU 1 | Jun 20, 2019 4:47:11 PM | 144

October or the weeks prior will be the dangerous time for Iran. Looks like Trump wont act until he has operational capacity of W76-2.

Looks like you are still eager to nuke Iran.

Posted by: Cyril | Jun 21 2019 22:23 utc | 265

Refer my 268:

Assuming information source for distance to drone and altitude was U.S. military and ipso facto dodgy in extreme; a sine ø gives the angle at about 32º +' . That puts it in the lower third of sky, horizon to zenith. Such would the radar view from aboard a ship. Radar horizon would be nearly 14 nautical miles after which, depending on height things start disappearing. In other words, at 28.6 Km to ground location, the Iranian coast would not be seen or territorial zone be determined other than through GPS indication. It was the Iranian statement that provided exact GPS location of the incident, not U.S. sources until much later, again dodgy.

Also curious: the Iranian supplied video was of a missile taking off and detonating in the dead of night. The supplied U.S. video of the drone falling from sky was taken in broad daylight. Must be different world views at work here.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 22 2019 8:42 utc | 266

Its curious that most alt media sites I visit ignore HK.

Posted by: Pft | Jun 20, 2019 8:38:57 PM | 196


Not curious at all. Doesn't fit the [false] narrative.

Trump will never close the loophole Hong Kong presents for globalists in the mainland and elsewhere. You were kidding correct?

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 22 2019 12:30 utc | 267

US claimed shoot down location is obviously wrong.

US military have presented a chart which is showing "SoH SAM launch site" and "UAV Shoot-down location". Shown distance between launch site and UAV shoot down location is 82.8 km.
According to Iranian video their rocket has been flying from start until impact for 24 seconds.

Assuming a rocket speed of Mach 4 (=1.361 km/s) which is the speed of similar Russian BUK system, that rocket cannot fly these 82.4 km in 24 seconds. After 24 seconds that flight distance would be only 32.6 km. Now these 32.6 km are total travel distance up to the UAV. Assuming that the UAV was flying at a height of 15 km then maximum ground distance would be sqrt( 32.6^2 - 15^2 ) = 28.9 km. Therefore real UAV shoot down location is moving 53.9 km (82.8-28.9) nearer to launch site.

Posted by: AirMec | Jun 23 2019 1:35 utc | 268

Some years back the USS Vincennes (destroyer) shot down an Iranian civilian commercial jet just after take off with over 200 on board. Everyone died, even the babies. That plane was in Iran's air space.

Posted by: joetv | Jun 24 2019 0:22 utc | 269

@274 joetv.. yes, and the usa and world wonder why iran is slightly apprehensive about the level of deceitfulness coming from the usa on the world stage 24/7.... it really ought to be fairly obvious right back to 1953 with the overthrowing of a democratically elected gov't in iran, up to the 1978 stand off and etc. etc.. the usa is basically brain dead at this point.. they barely know their own history, let alone the shared history they've participated in on the world stage and with regard to iran.. wars started on the basis of ignorance is their claim to fame... it looks like it will always remain that way too..

Posted by: james | Jun 24 2019 2:03 utc | 270

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