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

« previous page | next page »

Uncle Jon @95
“The difference is that Trump has no one he can trust within his own administration. He is surrounded by sharks without a cage.”

Trump hired these goons. He is not an innocent person. Trump can fire them to get rid of the “sharks”, yet he likes it seems to like to swim in shark infested waters

Posted by: Stever | Jun 20 2019 18:07 utc | 101

So the shootdown is announced by Iran to be by a Raad system. Wiki lists range on this as a maximum of 50 km. The US claims the drone was 34 km from the Iranian Coast.
It will be interesting to see where the wreckage landed.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 20 2019 18:10 utc | 102

Kudos, b.
Your faith in the feedback from your (unique) crystal ball, on June 13, has been vindicated.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 20 2019 18:16 utc | 103

@Tony B. 97

It’s not ignorance. It is cautious optimism. Nobody is discounting the machinations of the court jesters. However, Trump deep down doesn’t want a war, otherwise it would have started long ago if he was as reckless and fanatic as the rest of his jesters and the B team.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 20 2019 18:16 utc | 104

Tony B. @97 sez: "...a deliberate sacrifice of a drone..."

I don't buy it. Sacrifice the most expensive drone the country has, and only has a couple dozen of at that? Why not just use an old Predator or something cheap like that? It is not as if the American public knows the difference.

No, this drone is a strategic asset, as b stated above. Loss of this asset hurts. There is no way that Americans, in their exceptional arrogance, would imagine the Iranians could possibly shoot such an expensive piece of hardware down.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 20 2019 18:22 utc | 105

From the previous thread:

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 19, 2019 6:31:07 PM | 50

CENTCOM gave a scenario that finally made sense, they said that an IRGC boat approached the two tankers at night and attacked the 'mines'. This would explain why it was above the waterline and it would take great skill to do this with no injury and without being detected.

The photos of the Kokuka Courageous published by the US Navy shows markings left by a limpet mine on the side of the ship. The mine was attached by six round magnets, one of which is still seen attached to the ship.

In addition to the six marks left by the magnets there are two screw holes drilled into the steel. Apparently these too were used to secure the mine.

I find it highly unlikely that an Iranian speedboat could have made the holes while the ship was moving. It is more likely that the limpet mine was attached while the ship was still in port!

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 20 2019 18:24 utc | 106

Concering the update with Pentagon an american attack is now incoming, its a question about when, couple a days foward is an easy guess. Perhaps even this night.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 20 2019 18:25 utc | 107

BigLie Media amplification of Outlaw US Empire propaganda exposed by Ben Norton in this thread that needs wider attention.

IMO, Bolton didn't order the drone mission. USN was probing Iranian air defense capabilities and was rewarded with some surprising data. I wouldn't call the ANNA News report on Iranian Air Defense Capabilities published two weeks ago misleading; rather, I'd call it incomplete. It's quite likely that Iranian capabilities deter any stealth ability for Outlaw US Empire, meaning only stand-off weapons are likely to be used--advantage Iran.

Whatever attack plans were drawn against Iran, they are now headed for the shredder.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2019 18:26 utc | 108

@Stever 103

I’m not so sure. I have my reservations about him hiring these people by his own accord. More like under threat, albeit gentle. His policies are totally contrary to his campaign promises and rhetoric. Even his alliance with the Jews has left me bewildered when early on he called on US to be neutral in the Palestinian issue and told a Jewish audience he would never take their donations because he didn’t want to be their slave. He was booed off the stage.

Then suddenly at the eleventh hour he makes a pact with the devil, Sheldon Adelson. Why?? He didn’t need his money at that point and he was winning. Something changed. And I am fairly sure it is Israel, not Russia, that has something on him, thanks to his treasonous son-in-law of course. If there is anyone privy to his dirty secrets is Jared.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 20 2019 18:30 utc | 109

"it shut off all of its introduction equipment"

Probably 'indentification' instead of 'introduction'.

So it switched of its IFF. Then Iran only has a primary radar track without identification flying near or inside its border.
- when intercepted by Iran aircraft the UAV is unable to respond so downing is indicated
- Is that UAV flying under VFR??? Then whose eyeballs is it using?

Posted by: JR | Jun 20 2019 18:36 utc | 110

Zarif just tweeted that they retrieved parts of the drone - in THEIR waters.

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.

Clear cut.

Posted by: mk | Jun 20 2019 18:44 utc | 111

Zarif tweets:

"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."

The case for CENTCOM doesn't look good. Sure didn't take long for the ADM to hit its target. From the video, the AA battery was emplaced quite a ways inland. Zarif's map shows the above coordinates to be well within Iranian waters.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2019 18:45 utc | 112

@Noirette #78

"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.)"

It's not that complicated. And it IS because of a pathological subservience to Israel and the Jewish funders and opinion-shapers. Potential control of Iranian oil flows might be a subsidiary incentive, but unlike Venezuela where Trump probably does think it's largely about oil and about pre-empting Chinese influence, Iran is all about Israel, Israel, Israel.

Even Saudi Arabia is of only secondary importance. If Saudi hadn't entered into a de facto alliance with Israel--a process choreographed by Israel and its supporters--we wouldn't be on the verge of war with Iran for it. The media exaggerates Saudi influence in DC (though it is significant on a certain level) in order to diminish the (accurate) perception that Israel and it's lobby have a Rasputin-like hold on the US policy process.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 20 2019 18:46 utc | 113

@Zachary Smith #80

If you're referring to Tyler Rogaway at The Drive, he's one of the most obsequious lickspittles to military authority I've ever seen. His writing makes me sick, and the jingoistic/Zionist mouthbreathers who occupy the comments there should all be put in a hole and buried.

Posted by: SlapHappy | Jun 20 2019 18:49 utc | 114

FARS Agency track of drone: appears drone veared towards Iranian coastline and IF the white line is boundary of territorial air space, very close to penetrating it when it was shot down; big FWIW:

Posted by: Thomas | Jun 20 2019 18:52 utc | 115

Thanks for the update b.

Empire is losing control of the narrative and that is scary to them so I expect serious escalation to try to reclaim control of the global narrative......

If commenter mk above is accurate that parts are being recovered in Iran waters then empire won't want this to get to the UN Security council and will probably escalate soon....and I am going off grid for a few wouldn't matter if I was watching or not...

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 20 2019 18:54 utc | 116

Just a thought.... if all identifying mechanisms were turned off on the UAV, did the Iranians have any way to know if it was in fact an unmanned aircraft?
I doubt they would launch air defenses into international airspace not knowing if they were about to kill a US pilot or just shoot down a drone, thus I'm inclined to believe it was definitely in Iranian territory.

Posted by: fractionalownership | Jun 20 2019 18:58 utc | 117

@Thomas 119

Interesting - it looks like the Iranians observed the drone leerily when it, on its way back to UAE, approached the 12 miles boundary and they didn't hesitate to shoot it down when it had crossed the boundary.

Now I'm looking forward to the Pentagon's version.

Posted by: mk | Jun 20 2019 19:16 utc | 118

Houthis hit Jizan airport again with drone swarm attack. The promised escalation sure appears to be happening.

One aspect of Iran's air defense system it learned from Russia and from Zionist attacks is to have many layers of redundancy in the radar network, which is essential for accurate air defense. The ADM tractor used to shootdown the drone has its own radar for local use, but would only turn it on if separated from the national radar grid since its location can be detected when activated. Keeping launchers hidden and moved after use to new location, with many firing positions in its own local zone, is the proper tactic. It's also highly likely that many Iranian soldiers had at least one combat tour in Syria, thus rendering them a combat ready force with a very high level of morale--traits sorely lacking from USN and Marine personnel.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2019 19:21 utc | 119

@Uncle Jon #113

"Even his alliance with the Jews has left me bewildered when early on he called on US to be neutral in the Palestinian issue and told a Jewish audience he would never take their donations because he didn’t want to be their slave."

You've got to take Trump's mentality into consideration here. When he told Jews that he didn't need their donations, he was bragging (in a rather NYC Jewish way) that he was a super-successful guy and claiming, indirectly, to be one of them. Of course, it didn't go over that well, but it made no difference in the longer term.

On the neutrality bit, that was just Trump babbling incoherently. He will say something once after a notion has been put before him and then forget about it. The proof is in the pudding. He has given away the store to Israel. In the end, Trump's whole life has been in the very Jewish hyper-pro-Israel NYC real estate environment, and he is deeply conditioned by that. He often goes off message, but his fealty to the pro-Israel sentiment of deep-pocketed NYC machers is well documented and undeniable.

However, Jews have also led the never-Trump movement. How can that be when Trump does everything but perform fellatio on Bibi? The answer there is a split within international Jewry--that is between Israeli Jewry and diaspora--especially US--Jewry. The alt-right grass roots of Trump's base enrage American Jewry, and for a large portion of panicky, self-pitying Jews, Trump and the alt right generate nightmares of Brown Shirts in the streets, Cossacks in the Shtetl, etc. That's why there is so much Trump-hatred on display.

On the other hand, Israeli Jews are more enraged by the global left, especially in Europe which is inclined to criticize Israel quite severely. The right never does at this point. The ultimate Jewish question has alway been, "Is it--Trump in this case--good for the Jews?" Israeli and American Jews are coming up with partially different answers. In fact, this represents issues between them beyond Trump, but Jews instinctively avoid what is called a shande far di goyim, that is, a scandal in front of non-Jews, and therefore use conflicting feelings about Trump as a proxy for their larger disagreements in order to limit the public dimension of their squabbling.

So for Israelis, Trump is the Golem who will destroy Iran (and anyone else) for them. For much (but not all of) American Jewry, he is Haman out of the Purim legend. That accounts for all the Jewish cross-currents on the subject of Trump.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 20 2019 19:21 utc | 120

mk @115

That is correct; this is Javad Zarif's tweet. In addition this is the simulated flight path trajectory according to Press TV.

Posted by: jsb | Jun 20 2019 19:31 utc | 121

mk @122--

Iranian General to AAD battery commander: "If it wanders into our airspace, shoot it down."

Battery Commander: "Yes, Sir!"

As described above, radar fixation by Iran by necessity would've been outstanding. It's also possible that drone was toppled into Iranian airspace via electronic warfare measures, something CENTCOM's unlikely to admit publicly. Bottom line is USN's fault again. To collect intel, the drone didn't need to be traversing so close to Iranian airspace unless provocation was part of the operator's orders. I'd like to have the reaction from the drone op room the moment its bird got hit; nor would I want to be in the shoes of whoever had to make the report.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2019 19:34 utc | 122

Baby Neocon hostage Trump in reply to whether U.S. will strike back at Iran: you'll find out.

He left out...after I consult with my Zionist masters.

So if an Iranian drone entered U.S. air space to spy, and then flew out, the U.S. wouldn't hesitate to determine if it was in international waters. It would blow it away wherever.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 20 2019 19:36 utc | 123

Hello from France...
US Navy said UAV was HIT over international water. Probably SAM was lauch when it enter Iranian airspace. 10 km flight back while SAM has 100 km to fly.

Posted by: Rackam Lerouge | Jun 20 2019 19:39 utc | 124

Perhaps the excitement over this event, will supersede continued pursuit of the "discovered hand prints" on the ship.

That story line was about as viable as "found passports on the sidewalk".

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jun 20 2019 19:49 utc | 125

Where are the US navy fleets placed right now in the gulf? That is something to keep an eye on now.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 20 2019 19:57 utc | 126

Houthis apply max pressure:

"New, ominous Houthi warning towards Saudia: 'Our ballistic missiles and aircraft of all kinds can hit any target inside Saudi Arabia.'"

This is a new warning coming on the heels of the one issued to Saudi and UAE civilians yesterday. Lots of reports of serious damage to Jizan airport from tonight's attack. The new UN report about Khashoggi, the UK court decision on the illegality of supplying arms to Saudi, combined with Houthi attacks will probably see Bolton visit Saudi after his Zionistan visit.

Eight more days till G-20 in Osaka!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2019 19:58 utc | 127

Regarding the Update, if the US aircraft was an early and outdated model, I'd wager it was stripped of all useful instrumentation and sent out on its mission as "bait". Bolton and the apartheid Jewish state really, really want the US to attack Iran.

Still guessing, but I'd predict the latest pitch to Trump is to make a massive attack on the coastal air defenses to "teach them not to mess with America". Presented as a macho/ass-kicking thing to do, he might well bite.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 20 2019 20:00 utc | 128

This is going to escuculate into a major world wide conflagration within the next few days ! My advice to Americans would be - - don’t be anywhere near military establishments or major city’s you have a better chance of survival if you are up wind ! Get plenty of food in, (tinned is best) and plenty of water.
Me ? I’m going to finish digging my bunker !

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 20 2019 20:05 utc | 129

Cryptic Magnier Tweet:

"I have very valuable information on US intel sending a message to the Iranians to agree on a certain scenario to happen.

"This and much more information will force me to write an article tomorrow (hopefully) on #Iran and #US crisis."

Ah, but did the Iranians respond? Magnier's been promising a scoop based on inside information given him for a few days. We shall soon see.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2019 20:07 utc | 130

I am thinking you don't fire a missle and take-down a spy plane at 60,000 feet by accident.
If you missed, it would be an accident.

Would be fun to be watching Bolton.
Must be about apoplectic.
Though I imagine he will enjoy planning the next step.
Keeps digging the hole deeper - dumb and dumber.

Posted by: jared | Jun 20 2019 20:07 utc | 131

@ Christian post 24
That is a complicated question. The protests are "real" as the youth in question are products of Western propaganda and education. Deng understood this.

"When they agreed to One Country, Two Systems in the early 1980s, Deng Xiaoping and his colleagues warned explicitly that the HKSAR must never become “a base for subversion” against China. Without a concerted, systematic effort to fight the Empire and its local agents, Hong Kong would surely turn into Beijing’s worst nightmare. Today, as the US-led Empire revs up its multidimensional war against Beijing, Hong Kong is close to becoming a base of subversion against the people’s Republic."

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jun 20 2019 20:10 utc | 132

@ SlapHappy | Jun 20, 2019 2:49:49 PM #118

I can't dispute that the guy is a bit of a warmonger, but unlike many of the others, I haven't yet caught him peddling a direct lie about a weapons system.

To keep informed on military technology, I'm willing to overlook some editorial comments I don't like.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 20 2019 20:12 utc | 133

Iranians released the video and evidence of the downing. Check RT.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 20 2019 20:16 utc | 134

@ karlof1 | Jun 20, 2019 4:07:25 PM #134

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. He saved face, and since neither the Syrians nor Russians were harmed, there were not later consequences.

I'm not sure how the Iranians would handle a similar situation.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 20 2019 20:18 utc | 135

Elijah has a point today, over at his twitter account

"Pay attention to this point: How #Iran home-made missiles costing $2500 detected and downed such a sophisticated US Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk drone price tag cost of roughly $123 million higher than the US military's new F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter costs only $89 m?"

hahaha $123 million down the tubes, by a $2500 surface to air home-made missile.

now that's what I call asymmetrical

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jun 20 2019 20:20 utc | 136

The whole point of authorizing such expensive weapons is to direct lots of money to the weapons manufacturers, of which a large proportion gets kicked back to the politicians in the form of campaign contributions. The high cost isn't a bug, it's a feature.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 20 2019 20:29 utc | 137


The video and the strike itself are very impressive. Great explosion in the dark sky. Nothing wrong with that Iranian guided missile system. It worked perfectly.

I tend to believe that the drone was legitimate and fully equipped and not a dummy. The Pentagon Way, The MIC Way are the American Way, to wit: waste as much money as possible, fits the theory that the drone was indeed a high tech precision unit. Let 'er rip.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jun 20 2019 20:31 utc | 138

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20, 2019 10:21:02 AM | 32

Sincere apologies for the OT but...

JR, how do get 'strikethrough' (used in 'good cop' in your #32) to work?
I've experimented several times with suggestions I've found on the www but so far no luck. B's instructions for Underline don't bear fruit for me either.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 20 2019 20:37 utc | 139

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Asked how the United States will respond to Iran after Iran shot down an American drone, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters, “You’ll find out.”"

Trump tweet "Iran made a very big mistake!"

"WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump played down Iran’s downing of a U.S. military surveillance drone on Thursday, saying he suspected it was shot by mistake and that “it would have made a big difference” to him if the remotely controlled aircraft had been piloted."

"While the comments appeared to suggest Trump was not eager to escalate the latest in a series of incidents with Iran, he also warned: “This country will not stand for it.”"

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.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 20 2019 20:47 utc | 140

southfront has an interesting bit of info here, and then the analysis of what will happen if the US tries any kind of military action, which I believe is correct. Iran might not be like Syria/Russia and just sit back. unless something is going on behind the scenes that would allow such a tit for tat

"....Media sources close to the U.S. allies, such as the UAE-based al-Arabiya TV, reported that Washington could approve a military response within a few hours. The news channel claimed that a limited strike against positions of the IRGC is one of the options being studied by Trump and his administration.

Any military action by the U.S. could lead to a full-on military confrontation in the Persian Gulf, as Iran is determined to respond to any attack. Such a confrontation will likely have a devastating effect on oil trade and global economy....."

It is trump who has made a big big mistake by withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal. I mean how dumb can you be

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jun 20 2019 20:49 utc | 141

To add to my @ 133
The smart money would be to not be in the area !
Recent history tells us you will have a better chance of survival if you leave your country before the ‘conflict’ !
So you’d be best packing a few things you can carry and making for the Mexican border for refuge !
Or shareing a small boat with 50 other terrified men women and little children hoping some one cares !
Oh waite ! .......
Do you get it.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 20 2019 20:51 utc | 142

@karlof1 #126
GPS spoofing, anyone? The nearly drones didn't even have encrypted video feeds.
An interesting question how "hard" the present generation are vs mitm, replay and spoofing attacks.

Posted by: C1ue | Jun 20 2019 20:53 utc | 143

Hoarsewhisperer @143: strikethrough

The html tag is: '<' strike '>'. Also, reminder: a slash ('/') for the closing tag.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20 2019 21:00 utc | 144

Zach @139--

Given the Iranian government position over many years, I can't see them agreeing to such a proposal--the Outlaw US Empire, Great Satan can't ever be trusted is the current yet longstanding line. I do know that Iranian units within Syria are on high alert. I see my reminder comment about the upcoming conference of National Security Advisors got eaten, which will keep Bolton away from Trump for a few days. Otherwise, we get to wait and see what Magnier's was so cryptic about.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2019 21:05 utc | 145

In addition to links from @karlof1 #115 and @jsb #125,
Youtube video from PressTv shows Iran's map of flight path of drone.
Shoot-down position at 0:48

Posted by: Brendan | Jun 20 2019 21:05 utc | 146

Strange, Bolton has tweeted anything today. Has anyone seen or read his comments on this event?

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 20 2019 21:14 utc | 147

Comandante #21 I bet on yankees invading Australia as they are so compliant already they would surrender at first shot. Media mostly run by Murdoch and Pentecostal beachhead in place as Prime Minister. Failing that maybe Easter Island.

Formerly T-Bear #20 good spotting. "defenestration out the window" :))

Thanks donkeytale 8

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 20 2019 21:16 utc | 148

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20, 2019 5:00:18 PM | 148

Thanks bigly very much for the tips :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 20 2019 21:21 utc | 149

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.

As long as Plugz can get one of his dope addicted loathsome spawn a cushy office job he could move mountains. If there is graft available, this brown nosing sob will get it and there could be peace in the valley

Posted by: beelzebubba | Jun 20 2019 21:22 utc | 150

Declassified: The Sino-Russian Masterplan to End U.S. Dominance in Middle East

One of the first major confrontations with the US by Russia and the PRC was to be over the greater Middle East. The main reason was the advance negotiations with all key oil producers - including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran - on substituting the petrodollar with a basket of currencies where the yuan, the euro and the ruble dominate. Using the currency basket would enable the sellers and buyers to go around the US-imposed sanctions and quotas. Indeed, Beijing and Moscow were now enticing the oil producers with huge, long-term export deals which were both financially lucrative and politically tempting by offering guarantees for the well-being of the participating governments.

The crux of the proposal is regional and includes flagrant disregard of the US sanctions on Iran.

However, the key to the extent of the commitment of both Beijing and Moscow lies in the growing importance and centrality of the New Silk Road via Central Asia.

Persia had a crucial rôle in the ancient Silk Road, and both the PRC and Russia now expect Iran to have a comparable key rôle in the New Silk Road.

The growing dominance of heritage-based dynamics throughout the developing world, including the greater Central Asia and the greater Middle East, makes it imperative for the PRC to rely on historic Persia/Iran as a western pole of the New Silk Road. It is this realization which led both Beijing and Moscow to give Tehran, in mid-May 2019, the original guarantees that Washington would be prevented from conducting a “regime change”.

Posted by: jsb | Jun 20 2019 21:45 utc | 151

Latest piece by Matt Taibbi:

Here we go again. Iran has not only shot down an American spy drone over the Strait of Hormuz, but refuses to feel bad about it.

Iran’s General Hossein Salami — one assumes this is a real person — said of the drone downing, “We are completely ready for the war. Today’s incident is a clear sign of this accurate message.”

We all know what this means. This aggression will not stand, man.

Depending on who’s doing the counting, the United States has attempted to overthrow foreign governments roughly 72 times since World War II. The script is often the same, and the Iran drama is following it.


Iran isn’t Iraq, Serbia, Panama, or an airstrip in Grenada. This country has real military strike-back capabilities that the backwater states we’re used to invading simply do not, meaning war would present a far heightened danger not only to our troops but to civilians in the region. All our recent wars have been stupid, but this one would be really stupid. Just once, could we not do this? Does the script always have to end the same way?

Posted by: jsb | Jun 20 2019 21:52 utc | 152

The fact that a home made surface-to-air missile (and radar system) are able to see this drone operating in stealth mode and with its transponder purposely shut off should be driving the DoD procurement bunch absolutely nuts.

I thought our adversaries were not supposed to be able to see stealth drones.

Posted by: naiverealist | Jun 20 2019 22:11 utc | 153

I doubt anyone is sweating the loss of an unmanned drone. Just gives the hawks one more excuse. Frankly the only thing that allows for more than a token strike on Iran is loss of life of Americans or blockage of the straights. Whether the former comes via false flag or Iran retaliation for the coming strike I cant say


Definitely funded in part by West. Does not mean there is not serious discontent among the grass roots. Have to have both to get this kind of turn out. The silence is curious though

IMO Western elites in HK afraid of extradition to China as they suspect its preparation for a Huawei like extradition, so organized to quash it

Posted by: Pft | Jun 20 2019 22:12 utc | 154

jsb @156--

Taibbi's condescension's shows great naivete. The "script" is already different as Outlaw US Empire regional policy's been in tatters since Russia entered to defeat Daesh and save Syria--that wasn't supposed to happen. Houthi resurrection to go on the offensive versus Saudi wasn't supposed to happen. The USN showing itself to be amazingly incompetent having lost all credibility wasn't supposed to happen. Seems like Taibbi relies far too much on the BigLie Media narrative instead of finding things out for himself.

The one time the Outlaw US Empire put some effort in trying to take out Iran was during the 1980s, and it failed. That wasn't supposed to happen either. Hezbollah's defeat of the Zionists in 2006 wasn't supposed to happen, but it did and that's where the current Arc of Resistance Movement really earned its stripes. It's been growing stronger and increasing its geographic space ever since, and that wasn't supposed to happen either. In essence, the Outlaw US Empire has spawned the forces that will drive it out of the region and change the overall make-up of the world geopolitically and geoeconomically. It thought itself immune from the lessons of history, and with that hubristic vainglory will find itself humbled as was Rome before it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2019 22:19 utc | 155

Iran must escape the American chokehold before it becomes fatal

These limited tactics haven’t forced the United States to back off, and the Iranians escalated Thursday by shooting down the American drone. A likely next step for the United States would be to send aloft F-18 fighter escorts to accompany the big drones; good luck to the Iranians in that contest.

Well the drone didn't do it, so next time we need to send some real people up there to be shot down. Would not want to be one of those pilots if they actually do this. Iranian and B-team missiles all pointed at you.

Not to mention people these potential pilots would most likely consider allies are all foaming at the mouth for them to be shot down.

Posted by: Zack | Jun 20 2019 22:22 utc | 156

I was one of the first to comment that the uprising in Hong Kong is regime change-motivated. The road to Beijing leads through Hong Kong. Venezuela, Iran, China are all simmering on the Neocon stove top. And then Russia will fall like a house of cards.

Let's not leave out the stealthy regime change through trumped up charges against Lula in Brazil.

So, no BRI, no SCO, no OBOR, no EAEU, absolutely no competition to Zionist Empire. That's the plan and Trump is front and center on it. Absolute domination c/o Trump.

There are stealth Zionists on this board, e.g. trashy referencing Mullahs and excusing Trump's cancellation of Iran deal as complicated. Sounds Zionist to me. If it takes the Ayatollah to pound Zionist/U.S. aggression into the ground, gimme 10 of them!!!

@139 Zach

I'll answer that: ZERO TOLERANCE.

It is an indignity on Bashar's part to have to allow Trump to save face with hundreds of U.S. cruise missiles raining on sovereign Syrian soil.

Once you allow for one strike, you're losing and Israel will get in on the action too whenever it feels like it. The rule must be to shoot down all intruders, manned and unmanned the second they breach sovereign space and not give an inch. Period!

Posted by: Circe | Jun 20 2019 22:28 utc | 157

@ karlof1 | Jun 20, 2019 5:05:10 PM #149

I do know that Iranian units within Syria are on high alert.

Excellent point, and one I hadn't even considered. Directing the "revenge" raid towards Syria might actually be preferred by the apartheid Jewish state, especially if it was a large one which did some real harm.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 20 2019 22:30 utc | 158

Chuba @ 24, B @ 62, Wage Laborer @ 84:

I have seen a comment over at the 21SilkRoad Facebook site that protesters were being paid HK$1800 (equivalent to US$230) to protest.

Also what has been left out of Western mainstream news reporting is the Taiwanese murder case that led to the original proposed extradition legislation.

A young Hong Kong couple visited Taiwan in February last year. The 20-year-old woman confessed to her boyfriend that she was pregnant with another man's child. The boyfriend beat and killed her, took her bank card, stuffed her body into a case and left the case at a train station. When Taiwanese police took charge of the abandoned case, the boyfriend was back in HK and confessed to stealing the bank card and cleaning out the girl's accounts to pay off his debts, and killing her. He is current in a HK jail on lesser charges of theft and money laundering but will be free some time later this year. Because HK and Taiwan don't have an extradition agreement, as long as the fellow remains in HK he cannot be made to answer for the murder.

The proposed legislation that Carrie Lam has shelved would have covered Taiwan and Macau and all other states and territories that HK currently has no extradition agreement with in addition to Mainland China. Irony of ironies, Taiwan has now said that it would refuse to accept the murderer's extradition if the legislation were to become law in July this year.

Here is the timeline of the events starting from the murder in February last year to the present. Note that on 17 May this year, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo met with pro-democracy advocates in HK.

The legislation that provoked the June 2019 protests had already been watered down considerably to remove nine categories of financial crimes.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 20 2019 22:38 utc | 159

how dare Iran shoot down a US drone...thats as bad as violating a US sanctions

Posted by: brian | Jun 20 2019 22:40 utc | 160

To me, Trump's "Iran made a mistake" is not about anything factual regarding international waters etc.

To me it sounds like a generalized bullying threat in the vein of

"You think you can shoot at us [regardless of what we do]?? How dare you?

That is what I think Trump is "saying."

Posted by: Really? | Jun 20 2019 22:41 utc | 161

';Earlier in the day, the two countries offered differing accounts over the incident.

Washington said the drone had been downed in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. But Tehran disputed where the incident took place, saying the drone had violated Iranian airspace over the southern coastal province of Hormozgan.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a Twitter post, gave the exact coordinates at which he said the drone was shot, adding that Iran has retrieved sections of the drone from its territorial waters.

Condemning Washington's "new aggression", he pledged to prove the Iranian case at the United Nations.'

imagine if Iran was prowling US coast with war ships and drones, and sent 2000 troops to mexico, seeking to start a war, how would US respond?

Posted by: brian | Jun 20 2019 22:42 utc | 162

Zachary Smith@132 - You beat me to it. CENTCOM blew the tanker ruse, so they rushed a stripped, no-longer-useful prototype to Qatar to troll the Iranians.

"Regarding the Update, if the US aircraft was an early and outdated model, I'd wager it was stripped of all useful instrumentation and sent out on its mission as "bait". Bolton and the apartheid Jewish state really, really want the US to attack Iran."

Technically not 'outdated' - it is (was) a 4C Triton, just more useful today to provoke the Israeli-required war with Iran.

The Iranians knew exactly what CENTCOM was doing. At some point, they probably rolled they're eyes and sighed, "Oh, the hell with it. Just shoot it down already or they'll keep sending it out..." CENTCOM expects the narrative to focus on 'international airspace'. Irrelevant as b describes. The 'event' creates the required chattering on the evening news and supposed outrage of Americans.

The most painful part of this charade? Watching it fail... Americans mostly don't care. You think they would have taken a break after the Guaido fiasco. My government just keep doubling down on stupid. It's embarassing.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 20 2019 22:44 utc | 163

Situation Room briefing on Iran crisis concludes, as McConnell says 'measured' response is coming

Shanahan was spotted outside the White House carrying a folder stamped "SECRET/NOFORN," an intelligence classification category prohibiting distribution to anyone outside the government.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Fox News that "we had a good briefing" and that the Trump administration would engage in "measured responses."

Slow motion train wreck. This is going to be a complete disaster.

They have no respect for any lives other than their own.

Posted by: Zack | Jun 20 2019 22:57 utc | 164

Wouldn't it be funny if Hezbollah shot down an F35 over Lebanese airspace ?

Now that would send shivers down their spine lol

Wishful thinking but you never know these days

Posted by: Deebo | Jun 20 2019 22:57 utc | 165

I should think that once the drone was on the Iranians' radar and it was headed in their direction, all they had to do was wait until it entered their air space and then, ready, aim, fire.

Is there any evidence that they shot at the drone as soon as they spotted it?
Surely they spotted it before it reached their air space.
Surely their electronic "spotters," whatever they are, are not "blind" until an object reaches Iranian air space.

Posted by: Really? | Jun 20 2019 22:58 utc | 166

Deebo @ 169:

Would be funnier still if Hezbollah didn't have to shoot but waited for the plane to fall and crash all by itself while flying over Lebanese airspace.

Even more funny if Syria's current S300 missile defence systems actually pick up the jet on their radar. It is supposed to be a stealth fighter jet.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 20 2019 23:04 utc | 167

Trumps has had the 'hots' for Iran that predate Bolton etc. See video from 2015 in Washington by Tea party/Trump
In game theory Iran must go on the offensive! Now the status quo is upturned it is Trump that is trapped by his own opinion/words and actions.

Posted by: col from OZ | Jun 20 2019 23:05 utc | 168

@ Zack | Jun 20, 2019 6:57:03 PM #168

Your link strongly suggests the Trumpies are going to do something violent. I fear we'll soon learn whether their chosen targets mean it's "Christmas Come Early" for the apartheid Jewish state - or not.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 20 2019 23:11 utc | 169

Jen @163

Don't you think that's a little absurd that 1 million+ people would be paid $200 to attend protests? That is a shit load of logistics when it is easier to just think that residents in Hong Kong legitimately lean more to the west than China and despise their owners on the mainland?

It doesn't mean they are smart to do so, but it does mean that they believe in their own legitamacy. Can't fault them for that.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 20 2019 23:15 utc | 170

Trump is an expert at sensing which way the political wind is blowing and with stupid Democratic support, excepting AOC and others--Sanders too, who should kick out the old can't impeach Pelosi/Schumer guard, he may just give us a preview of what's in store in Trump Presidency Part II--I predict A MAJOR RECESSION AND WAR. Trump is Democrat karma, but the pain has barely started. Wait...

Dumb America is BREATHLESS for its demise. Oh what the hell! Let them have it already!!! Let them have their sick fantasy at the end of a barrel.

Kim take note. Iran can do maximum damage even to the world-wide economy, but it ain't got what you got. One of those suckers in your nuke collection could make even an Empire led by a sleazy Zionist/NeoCON man, heel.

Iran should never have trusted Obama who was merely the Zionist masters' consolation prize for a Bush-weary mericanpublic. Never trust the Zio-Empire. Shame on Russia and China for enabling that farce deal signed with disappearing ink that led to Trump...and now Iran is faced with this predictable shet today! NEVER AGAIN TRUST--NEVER.

A nuclear gram is worth a thousand kilos of trust!

Posted by: Circe | Jun 20 2019 23:15 utc | 171

@161 circe

Regime change in China? Lol. Through Hong Kong? Omg, Circe. Talk about a bridge too far. Calm yourself and get real! If Venezuela ain't falling to the !Zionists! I sincerely doubt that Hong Kong is going to be the vanguard which will topple Beijing.

Hilarious stuff, though.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 20 2019 23:22 utc | 172

the red heffers have been cloned the temple rises israel will soon be mighty the goy must bleed it is written.
year zero erasure of history simon scharma will soon write a new history of the near and middle east.
the khazar ashkanazim always lived and owned these lands/
oded yinon is a big idea cracking musslamic eggs and nut sacks is the only way to make a babylon talmud satanick omellette already

Posted by: coin felt | Jun 20 2019 23:22 utc | 173

Really? @170--

Iranian presentations show them tracking the drone soon after its takeoff in UAE and following it throughout. See my 126 for Iranian decision.

Republicans are talking about a "measured response" to a shotdown provocation within Iranian airspace, which of course isn't what BigLie Media will say since Outlaw US Empire is never wrong.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2019 23:25 utc | 174


And by the same token Trump saw an opportunity to stoke trouble for China, but you keep on thinking it's all about Hong Kong-ese legitimacy, bribery excluded, and Trump is an isolationist saint and all that...baloney.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 20 2019 23:31 utc | 175

Bernhard Hoftsmann - Number 1
Craig Murray Number 2
John Ward Number 3

I am trying to post something from a music festival, in England with very limited bandwidthm and just want to thank all you guys. You are all a Breadth of Fresh Airm and also extremely fast.

I am trying to write this from a small music and arts festival in a tent (car) in England with my Girl

Thank You


Posted by: Tony_0pmoc | Jun 20 2019 23:31 utc | 176

NemesisCalling @175

Yes, paying off more than a couple score thousands would be absurd, but that's not how the US State Department manufactures these "regime change" protests. Only a few thousand end up on the payroll and that is plenty to create the illusion of "grassroots". The real magic happens in the corporate mass media studios and newsrooms where the few thousand is amplified into a hundreds of thousands and the protest is transformed through the wizardry of marketing into the gala event of the decade.

Assuming the Hong Kong authorities can prevent the CIA death squad snipers from doing their part of shooting up cops and protesters to turn the event into a riot, the protests will eventually die out like they did last time. The protests alone, without the CIA inspired riots, are insufficient for "regime change".

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 20 2019 23:37 utc | 177

“…..and expect Trumpstein to reveal the 911 culprits any day now….”

Those dancing Iranians picked up by the FBI while celebrating and making a video of 911 are very suspicious……

but more damning are those singed Iranian passports recently discovered at the site of WTC7 by son-in-law Jared. Want more proof of Iranian involvement? Dame Lindsey Graham has reported the CIA has traced the 911 box cutters back to a factory in Tehran.

Marco Rubio of Chippendale fame has revealed there are DIA recordings of incriminating phone calls from the Ayotollah to Osama high (as in hookah) in his hindu kush cave.

What more proof could any reasonable person need? This is just open and shut. We must defend ourselves against any further attacks on innocent civilians by the vicious aggressive Iranian nazis.

Note: comment above was found on Unz Review by commenter nsa, responding to a recent article by Vietnamese writer, Linh Dinh, called Mashed Potato and Another War for Israel

Posted by: Danton's Head | Jun 20 2019 23:44 utc | 178

Talk about a cleft stick moron in chief will be relying on much vaunted american tech for the next step since even he comprehends that his nonsense has got his base comprising lots of stupids encouraging their kids to join up to MAGA and getting those fools killed will upset that base.

The triton shoot down reveals the US making exactly the same error as the nazis in ww2. After the Nazi perverts lost the entire 6th army at stalingrad (and the 6th army under Reichenau were the army who took paris and drove brits to Dunkirk) adolf was somewhat miffed so he insisted they attack the alleged salient at kursk.

Nothing can beat german armour asserted the stupid nazis, so german factories ran 24/7 building Panther tanks which cost more than US $200,000 in 1943. They built quite a few - more than 100. Plus about the same number of older Tiger tanks.

The soviets whose intelligence penetration of the senior Nazi command was excellent knew exactly what was planned so they churned out T-34s at a cost of under $5000 a unit and they had more than 3,000 T-34s plus a few hundred assorted brit and yank pos.

Everyone knew one on one that a panther could cream a T-34 especially at range but so many in number swarmed the mercedes-benz of tanks they destroyed them before the panthers & tigers could establish ascendancy.

It is the same thing here. US flies a $130 million super weapon at Iran who take it down with a $2500 rocket. If the first one had missed, the Iranians had plenty more.

A handful of giants are no match for thousands of determined midget unfriendlies which is what is going to happen if the US attempts escalation.

Posted by: bwahaha ; ) | Jun 20 2019 23:46 utc | 179

@177 NemesisCalling

Why aren't you ridiculing Trump, instead? I'm not the one with the grandiose fantasies of bringing down China. Your Trump hero-worship is clouding your perception. The tariff war Trump has initiated is a prelude. When people go from extreme poverty to riches they trust the system that brought them there. Trump is trying to put cracks in that system. When people start to feel a decline, they become much more susceptible to foreign influence and inclined to rally to the struggles of, say, their Hong Kongese and Taiwanese cousins. Seeds of mistrust will fall and multiply in fertile soil. Ancient Chinese proverb.😁

Posted by: Circe | Jun 20 2019 23:47 utc | 180

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

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.

I'll add that they might stick an imaginary nuclear false flag in front of that. Maybe the news about having detected radioactive isotopes some months ago was some kind of test for such a lie.

So I'm worried that you are right except it might as well be tomorrow. They're already dazzling nearly everybody with lies, nonsense, and multiple layers of contradictory obfuscation and they'll have a lot more prepared to continue after their attack. They will claim their use of nuclear weapons can't be compared to "old nukes" in any way. The will claim no other weapon could do the job. All sorts of excuses and lies.

It's an insane plan to claim the upper hand because they can't compete with conventional arms. It also seems the only conceivable plan if they're adamant on attacking Iran first in any serious manner. They would be betting on it forcing everybody else to get in line and submit, all through giving the world a massive shock.

So far it might actually work and make all nations including Russia and China fold, but that's not going to be the end of anything.

Now this might not come to pass, I sure don't want it to, but horrendous as it is the US certainly could be up to something like it; they haven't demonstrated anything that they will hold sacred and not allow themselves.

They'll still lose.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 20 2019 23:47 utc | 181

@182 gruff

My view on the subject echoes pft above. Of course there is money flowing to NGOs fomenting discord.

Often though, I would imagine perhaps every time, there is a preexisting disposition the population has naturally towards those they believe "own" them. For better or worse the Ukes in w. Ukraine will always despise the Ruskies and that of course presented an opportunity for the west to exploit. In the case of Hong Kong, I know very little, but the numbers that have been for all intents and purposes confirmed protestors tells me that something genuine is afoot.

Here at MoA, we all laugh when Gauido in Venezuela claims to have the country at his back, while zoomed out photos reveal Hillary Clinton-esque campaign appearance numbers actually accompanying him. Hilarious! But we should not be double-minded in dismissing the legitimacy when those kinds of numbers (millions) in Hong Kong appear.

We should all strive to support localities that want to be free within reason and perhaps those in Hong Kong have very legitimate grievances.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 20 2019 23:50 utc | 182

b. Re: the cats. I liked the humour at this bleak time. One strains to find much uplifting currently. The Bangladesh cricket team beating the great West Indies in the cricket world cup - though I wish it had been England or Australia - must have brought joy to so many poverty-stricken people in that country.

Trump is now well and truly on the spot, like he surely has never been in his life before. He's trying to find a way to punish Iran while not getting dragged in to an expensive and totally unpredictable war. We should remember he is at heart a businessman. You advised, against most of the "alternative" opinion, of a hardening in Iran's position which has proved to be very accurate. They shot down a very expensive and valuable US aircraft that had just about invaded Iran's airspace, and in this way invaded Trump's thinkspace to the extent of a possible sleepless night.

One is drawn to see a Russian hand somewhere here, but I think it is a Soleimani. Thank you, b.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jun 20 2019 23:51 utc | 183

Trump must outsmart his puppet masters and immediately tweet that the drone was shot over Iranian sovereign airspace so no war for the hawks. Whether true or not,
Trump must keep tweeting "drone invaded Iran's airspace."

Posted by: Willow | Jun 20 2019 23:59 utc | 184

Who even cares which particular moron is "calling the shots"?
It makes no difference, it could be anyone in dc since even those dc scumbags who claim to be different understand that upsetting the zionists means losing their job.

If a dem prez took over tomorrow there would be big changes it what was said but no change at all in what was done. The jcpoa would stay on the shitlist no matter what so this confrontation would still need to happen. If you believe different taking you out back and shooting you would be the kindest option.

So why waste time and energy on theorizing when it won't make a scintilla of difference to the outcome?
americans need to accept their powerlessness.

Posted by: bwahaha ; ) | Jun 21 2019 0:00 utc | 185

@183 Danton's Head

That blogger should be extremely careful writing sarcasm that Trump's hungry, low i.q. gullible base will pounce on like red meat to war-starved dogs! They need to send their children to die for the perpetual unholy Zionist crusade.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 21 2019 0:02 utc | 186

@185 circe

Who says that I should have more goodwill towards China than my own countryman? I applaud Trump for starting the discussion re: China's unfair trade tactics. Much is to be done, still, including convincing our nationals to bring jobs home.

In the mean time, I suppose you need bargaining chips and Hong Kong will probably be a rather cynical one harnessed by DJT.

Gruff is right that little will probably result from this and the Hong Kong demonstrations will subside.

I sincerely prefer our country not messing in others' spheres of influence and pray for this as we revert back to strong and localized economies.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 21 2019 0:03 utc | 187

NemesisCalling @187 sez: "...there is a preexisting disposition the population has..."

Yes, that is precisely what capitalist mass media promotes "identity politics" for. It is intended to give the mass media a handle with which to steer portions of the population, but which the population cannot use to organize itself. Get chunks of the population wallowing in their own personal butthurt which leaves them in apathy until the media aims that butthurt at a particular target (always the government in countries trying for socialism). Note as evidence of how this works how standards of living have declined significantly in Ukropia since the coup in 2014, giving the population plenty of reason to be dissatisfied with the US-backed regime, but there have been no protests to speak of. The population IS deeply dissatisfied, but until the NGOs and the corporate mass media manufacture a "protest event" for them they are paralyzed.

The Chinese are aware of how this works which is why they are trying to protect the more delicate members of their population who are more prone to butthurt from being infected with "identity politics". Unfortunately it is too late for Hong Kong (the butthurt is strong there), but given time some of the damage can be undone.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 21 2019 0:19 utc | 188

There is only one point that I believe has not been made strongly enough in this discussion, and that is that whatever else the downing of the drone might mean, it clearly displays to the US military that the Iranian 3rd Khordad missile batteries are for real, and that they can easily bring down any spy drone or planes the US might send there way. Moreover, the Khordad system is only one of Iran's many new state of the art missile systems, many of which have actually been displayed to the world as they are being built in deep underground factories. The Iranians claim to have a much superior indigenous version of the Russian S300 system, and there is no reason to believe that they are bluffing about this considering that their expertise in missile technologies is now on par with the great powers. The also surely have supersonic missiles, and may well even have hypersonic missiles as well. The latter makes perfect sense, too, since hypersonic missiles would actually provide a better deterent to any US attack than an almost certainly unusable nuclear weapon. The US should remember, although no doubt it will not, that to a hypersonic missile and aircarft carrier looks like a bloated turkey ten paces away!

Posted by: Billosky | Jun 21 2019 0:34 utc | 189

Note that the drone first approached from the North and headed south around the peninsula of Oman and a bit farther. It then made a u-turn and headed back north again toward the direction it had came.

It would seem that Iran would have had a radar bead on it well before it had made the u turn.

Iran would likely have waited to fire the missile until the drone was definitely in its airspace.

The drone seems to have traveled in and out of Iranian airspace on its route from the north and again when it turned from south to north.

Posted by: Kristan hinton | Jun 21 2019 0:38 utc | 190

Hk is a loophole to chinese firms/US companies to avoid tariffs on Chinese goods. HK prosperity is a priority for China still whose elites have parked much of its wealth there, not to mention Chinas own prestige

DJT can just close that loophole if he means business. The protests and extradition bill (now withdrawn) would have given him an excuse to pull the trigger. Of course, many US companies and elites have a similar stake, not to mention the City of London which pulls a lot of strings still, so its not likely to happen

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

Posted by: Pft | Jun 21 2019 0:38 utc | 191


excellent point. These are not Saddam's skud missiles.

Iranian missiles are for real.

Posted by: Kristan hinton | Jun 21 2019 0:42 utc | 192

@168 If Trump had any brains (I know, I know...) his "measured response" would be this: tweet that he has just been told that this drone had indeed intruded into Iranian airspace, and since he has been given no adequate reason why this was ever supposed to be A Good Idea he has now sacked Pompous and The Moustache for their breathtaking incompetence and gob-smacking ignorance.

Their replacements will be told in no uncertain terms not to do anything behind his back nor to think for a second that they can overstep the boundaries of their responsibility without meeting the same fate.

Problem. Solved.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 21 2019 0:46 utc | 193

The US was just testing Iran's missile capability..sure it was a $120 million loss..but it's not real money..just paper..Now the US probably has lots of Intel from the Missile strike..I know I'm impressed Iran can shoot the Drone down..Probably the US will keep their Drones a little further out in International Waters.

Posted by: John Rourke | Jun 21 2019 0:46 utc | 194

168 Regarding that drunken fraud Pelosi saying that America is not going to take this sh&t.....then you look at the rest of the article and all the other goobermint hacks are all notorious boozers and like most alcoholics have lots of resentments and anger. These poor tragic besotted creatures, who would probably give anyone a free hand job for just a splash of Peach Brandy on any gloriously hung over morning are making these decisions. We are a bunch of pathetic creatures ourselves, letting it all happen. I wish ourselves all the happiness we deserve.

Posted by: beelzebubba | Jun 21 2019 0:50 utc | 195

@126 karlof1 - "If it wanders into our airspace, shoot it down." -- "Yes, Sir!"

I enjoyed that very much, and precisely because I think you exactly characterize the Iranian state of readiness, and its moral clarity. Inexpert as I am, I'd guess that our surmised commander didn't even have to call anyone for permission, beyond relaying events as they occurred to high command. The lines have already been drawn. Each commander knows what one has to do in any specific situation.

They've had 40 years to war game. Their military is immensely distributed - all over the country, extremely mobile, with a multitude of hiding places and I would guess a highly distributed command and communication system also. Impossible to conquer, impossible to bomb. Also, they are scientists and mathematicians, with a solid moral center. There will be no hesitations at red lines.

This event serves as a message but first and foremost it was an action. The message is that there is no message, only the action. The medium is the massage.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 21 2019 0:51 utc | 196

@160 Two points to make about that:
1) I don't think the FA-18 Super Hornet can go high enough to run escort for Global Hawks.
2) I don't think the US Navy has any more Global Hawks to be escorted.

That's their one and only example, and it's now been terminated with extreme prejudice.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 21 2019 0:57 utc | 197

Politics aside, isn't this just a SOP military tacit of EW (electronic warfare) to gather the enemy's radar signature by shaking the bushes(with a drone)to develop countermeasures for future incursions? I seem to remember a similar event not too long ago between the jews and the Syrians.

Posted by: mungo | Jun 21 2019 1:14 utc | 198

Ya' don't need a wider war to entrance the moronic public, just the possibility, which is enough theater, so the new 4th reich can accomplish their goals of distracting the sheeple,
and finish the job of world hegemony for the oligarchs.

Monopoly Capitalism uber alles...

Posted by: ben | Jun 21 2019 1:20 utc | 199

Posted by: m | Jun 20, 2019 5:53:16 AM | 2

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

just one picture:

From Islamic Republic of Iran Constitution:

Article 2 [Foundational Principles]


b) sciences and arts and the most advanced results of human experience, together with the effort to advance them further;


Article 3 [State Goals]


4) strengthening the spirit of inquiry, investigation, and innovation in all areas of science, technology, and culture, as well as Islamic studies, by establishing research centers and encouraging researchers;


Posted by: John Smith | Jun 21 2019 1:52 utc | 200

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