did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Did I Miss Something That Should Have Told Me To Expect This?

1

I believe the sky in Baghdad is usually brownish. But no, you shouldn't be massively surprised by this.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 5:32 AM
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Thanks! That was illuminating.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 5:44 AM
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You're a super-cosmopolitan New Yorker, so I know that's totally ironic.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 6:14 AM
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You can't impeach a President during a war.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 6:50 AM
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Good ol' Bernie.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 7:13 AM
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1. Meet Qasem Soleimani (shorter). He was in the fucking New Yorker in 2013. The surprise is that he wasn't killed years ago.
2. Specifically, a visible fraction of all American casualties in Iraq were inflicted with Iranian-supplied IEDs. American military and intelligence have wanted his blood for years.
3. Since c.2011 he's been crisscrossing Iraq and the Levant directing Iran's involvement in Syria and Iraq; last week one of his Iraqi affiliates carried out the rocket attacks on American bases to which the US retaliated; the same militia organized the consequent march on the US embassy in Baghdad; its leader was killed along with Soleimani.
4. Last year the US designated the IRGC a terrorist organization,* which presumably is being given as the legal authority for killing him.
5. Despite all the above, killing him at this moment, in Iraq, is remarkably stupid. Stupidity is unsurprising from this administration.
*Which it is; but it's also an armed service of a state, which is why, per wiki, only KSA and Bahrain have joined the US in this.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 7:22 AM
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4 is 11-dimensional chess. Trump wanted something to tweet about.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 7:26 AM
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There was a big batch of impeachment evidence just coming into the news after the holiday break. Now it's been buried.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 7:37 AM
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Going to disagree with Mossy here and say yes, you should be surprised at this. This is a game changer. We had planned this several times even under Obama but pulled back because it was considered a very bad idea on account of the many repercussions. I don't think Mattis would have allowed this to happen (he was former head of Centcom which has Udeid, our largest airbase in the region). This was very stupid. (I know, my last point undermines the first).*

*Notice that DoD put this on Trump in it's statement.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 7:46 AM
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I don't deny it's a big deal. I deny that it's surprising.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 7:56 AM
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I don't see how Iraq avoids expelling us. With Daesh in eclipse, there's not much downside, and there's really no way the Iraqi government can have signed off on this.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 8:06 AM
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Designating an armed service of a state as a terrorist organization seems like an impossibly stupid and bad idea, in terms of undermining the law of war. But I have been thinking versions of that since we invaded Afghanistan and no one listens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 8:09 AM
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Oh, just saw this: https://twitter.com/IraqiGovt/status/1213040106115866626


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 8:14 AM
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11 Yes, and Mohandes was killed too. He was an Iraqi commander. You know, the state we're supposed to be aiding there.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 8:20 AM
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11, ,14. Yes. I think there is actually a downside, since Daesh does still exist, and the Americans are rebuilding the special forces which are AFAIK the strongest counterweight to the PMF, which don't answer to the central state. I think you're right anyway.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 8:27 AM
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And now in all likelihood the US will be forced to leave Iraq and leave a vacuum that ISIL will fill.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 8:29 AM
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Explainer for Heebie.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 8:35 AM
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16: And without Iraq, perhaps Syria. Really impressively stupid.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 8:37 AM
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11,13 - I have been amazed at the fact that the media has largely ignored the implications of assassinating someone on Iraqi soil -- particularly Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

I only know what Google tells me, but this guy appears to be a quasi-government official in Iraq. Here's how the NYT describes him in an "Oh, by the way" paragraph:

The strike killed five people, including the pro-Iranian chief of an umbrella group for Iraqi militias, Iraqi television reported and militia officials confirmed. The militia chief, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was a strongly pro-Iranian figure.

The Guardian does much better:

He was credited with being a key leader in the Shia militias, the Popular Mobilisation Forces, known as the Hashed (al-Shaabi), employed as shock troops in the bloody fight against Islamic State in Iraq. Although he worked under Faleh al-Fayyadh, Iraq's national security adviser, Muhandis was widely recognised as the Hashed's real leader.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 8:40 AM
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The PMF are complicated, but legally they are Iraqi state forces.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 8:46 AM
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PMF.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 8:51 AM
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We've spent more than 20 years in denial about the relationship between the folks now leading Iraq and Iran, and are obviously not going to stop now.

What is Putin's play here?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 9:00 AM
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Complete the reduction of Idlib; occupy the east if the US has to withdraw; maybe expand his Libyan venture during the noise; play convener in the peace talks.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 9:11 AM
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I presume the Atlantic Council is very conventional-wisdom-y, but I'm bowled over by their assertion that if the Iraqi Parliament votes today to terminate US military presence, Trump will likely take them up on it? Is that as myopic as it sounds?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 9:27 AM
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Especially now that media is finding the many times Trump "predicted" in 2011 that Obama would attack Iran out of weakness in an attempt to win re-election.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 9:29 AM
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Hey, maybe the Russians can take over our bases in Iraq.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 9:34 AM
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In support of Iraq and Iran preventing the resurgence of Daesh.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 9:35 AM
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Trump already pardoned him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 9:37 AM
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||

Nine U.S. states' economies are expected to slide into contraction within six months
West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Montana, Oklahoma, Vermont, New Jersey, Kentucky, Connecticut. Promising?
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 10:09 AM
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Economic contractions are never good, but they might be useful in a limited political way.

I don't see much political impact from any of these except Pennsylvania and maybe Montana, though on the latter we have an expert.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 10:14 AM
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I'm not sure about the local economy. I tried to avoid spending any real money until after the election, but sometimes houses have problems that won't wait.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 10:14 AM
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30: Not sure about the rest of MT but the part I frequent around Kalispell and Columbia Falls looks like it's booming. New construction all over the place.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 10:24 AM
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Lots of new construction here too.

If Jesus himself appeared in Kalispell and told people to vote against Sen. Daines, it wouldn't have any impact. A slow down in construction for the benefit of out-of-state migrants isn't going to make a political difference up there.

Our 'boom' is driven by incomes derived out of state -- either retirement or telecommuting -- and so (a) it's pretty local to places that are nice to live and (b) it's relatively insulated from other economic conditions. Migrants sort, to an extent, by politics: your hardcore Reds are going to the Flathead or the Bitterroot, blues are going to Missoula and the Gallatin. Is this actually conscious? Probably mostly not, but there are a lot of cultural clues that people can easily see.

We vote last, so a Sanders win (as in 2016) isn't unlikely in the primary, if he's still in. A Sanders win in the general is completely off the table, it seems to me at this point. We've elected a few Democrats statewide in post-Tea elections, but they had a particular type of personality, and a particular spot on the spectrum.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 10:41 AM
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I think the top half or top third is doing pretty well all over. It just varies how many of those people are around in different regions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 10:42 AM
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35

34 is awesome.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 10:45 AM
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|| Speaking of which, we just finished Messiah last night. On Netflix. Anyone else watch it? |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 10:47 AM
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37

It's just the one chorus that's good.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 10:51 AM
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38

34 was really kind of meh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 10:53 AM
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39

You are too humble.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 10:55 AM
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40

The one Dem primary poll conducted in Montana to date!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 11:02 AM
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That's astonishing. Sanders way behind, and polling at 0 among women!

The Trump approval figure looks a little overstated. That's an interesting contrast between 18-29s here and 18-29s in Wyoming.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 11:13 AM
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71% approval among Catholics?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 11:25 AM
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In the Fivethirtyeight clearinghouse I found the poll on, it said n=40. I expected that fact to be in that PDF, but I don't see it now.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 11:25 AM
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Goddamnit minivet. You made me download a pdf for that.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 11:28 AM
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statewide random sample of 215 adult residents of Montana and 177 adult residents of Wyoming identified as likely voters.

Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 11:31 AM
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29: Pennsylvania's the only one of those that's really a swing state. The rest are an odd collection of strongly red and strongly blue states, most of which are pretty small, and they don't seem to have much in common economically so the negative outlook seems likely to be based on idiosyncratic local factors that are unlikely to have much impact on a national election.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 11:36 AM
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Oh. Maybe 40 = Dem primary likely voters?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 11:42 AM
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48

The internet narrative on the right is already settled: Soleimani was conducting operations against the US and its gallant Iraqi allies, so this was a legitimate act of war. Any Iranian reprisals should therefore be met with shock and awe.

This is what we are up against.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 3:18 PM
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49

Has anyone told the hawks that the IRGC is a large military organization with thousands of commissioned officers, maybe tens of thousands?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 3:27 PM
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50

E.g., there might conceivably be a few people who could step into this guy's shoes.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 3:28 PM
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48. A gallant ally was in the car with him. Iraqi parliament consequently plans to vote on whether to kick US out. US bases will have new Russian occupants next month is one possible outcome.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 3:58 PM
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The Russians should get something for all the money they loaned Trump.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 4:17 PM
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53

They surely weren't expecting him to pay them back.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 5:39 PM
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49: Soleimani was Quds Force, which is a much smaller subset of IRGC. But yes.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 6:16 PM
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53: Not in money.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 6:20 PM
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Oh hey, it's been pointed out to me that the OP is by LB, not HG. So the explainer above is for LB, not HG. But is free to be read by all. Apologies.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 3-20 7:13 PM
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You asshole. I have a strict rule of only reading explainers for HG, and not LB, and now you've ruined it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 1:13 AM
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Thanks, that was illuminating.


Posted by: Notty Boy | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 2:35 AM
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"The internet narrative on the right is already settled: Soleimani was conducting operations against the US and its gallant Iraqi allies, so this was a legitimate act of war."

This is not an inaccurate description of the situation. But something can be a legitimate act of war and also be a bad idea. The Charge of the Light Brigade was a legitimate act of war.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 4:43 AM
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We need a new Tennyson to pen a poem worthy of our gallant drones.

Theirs was not to reason why
They didn't yet have strong AI...


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 6:06 AM
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That is amazing and I feel a little guilty for enjoying it so heartily in the context of a terrible situation.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 6:12 AM
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60 is great.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 8:42 AM
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re LB's question: possibly it was the spectre of an embassy hostage-crisis made things boil over emotionally at mar-a-lago, and people didn't factor that in.


Posted by: lurker | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 9:40 AM
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I still think it's all about distracting from impeachment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 9:42 AM
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I think cause-and-effect is an outdated notions. Things just happen now.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 10:07 AM
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To the OP title, apparently if you had been a member of mar a lago you would have known several days in advance and could have made a quick buck buying defense stock options. You can be sure several foreign governments have agents who are members.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 11:22 AM
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It probably wouldn't be that hard to start a blog pretending to be from a member of Mar a Lago that puts out enough obvious stuff as insider gossip. Do it for a while until you develop a reputation, then start a wild rumor that tanks or boosts a specific stock (or basket of stocks), and profit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 11:50 AM
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I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know if that's legal. If I were, I would probably not say anyway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 11:52 AM
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My other way to make money is to change my name to "Rhobert Parker" and let people pay me to put numbers from 90 to 95 on bottles of wine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 6:17 PM
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I am retrospectively still so angry at everyone who supported the Iraq War, and everyone who took the arguments for the Iraq War seriously as if they were more than bloodthirsty dishonest nonsense.

I couldn't agree more. On the micro level, I still can't believe the people I know who accepted Judith Miller's lies because they were printed in the NYT, no matter how many credible sources said otherwise.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 6:18 PM
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Didn't she go to prison and stab somebody named "Scooter"? It's just been a long time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 6:27 PM
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I'm pretty sure that was Martha Stewart.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 6:37 PM
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What kills me is that the crisis at the embassy had JUST BEEN DE-ESCALATED, and then he goes on to reward the opponent's show of good faith by assassinating their dude.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 6:40 PM
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He needs an enemy as a distraction.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 6:44 PM
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73: I think the embassy was a threat and a warning, and the de-escalation intended in advance.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 6:53 PM
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Really, thinking about it another day (some of which spent all hopped up on cold medicine) I'm really not seeing anyway way Iraq avoids expelling us. Inasmuch as Iran's principal strategic goal has to have been our withdrawal from Iraq, that would make General S a martyr for his cause.

I don't think any of our recent past presidents could navigate this with Iraq, but the orange asshole seem to be uniquely disqualified.

If you're any Iraqi faction, what possible justification can you conjure up for keeping us? Best case scenario, they'll play host to strikes and counter-strikes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 7:43 PM
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I think Iran's principal strategic goal is survival, what that's meant for the past two years is sanctions relief, and the series of Iranian escalations leading to the rocket attacks and the embassy march have to be seen in that context.
I also think Iran actually has a continued interest in US anti-IS efforts, and thus in at least some presence in Iraq.
None of this is to deny that the strike was a gift to Iran, it was. I just think the the focus should be the regional level, not the Iraqi.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 8:05 PM
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It occurred to me today that, on some level, this is also probably about Trump being jealous that Obama got to kill a Big Bad Guy (OBL).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 9:02 PM
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79

That's "BBG". You suck at acronyms.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 9:14 PM
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I'm stewing over how zombie-immortal the notion "these foreigners will surely be cowed by our show of strength" has proven. Since it's barely ever worked out in practice, I can only assume it's some combination of deliberate attempt to ramp up the cycle of retaliation, and racism characterizing foreigners as animals alternately fanatical and meek. Especially the former masquerading as the latter so they all meet in the same fever swamp.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 9:41 PM
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I'm really not seeing anyway way Iraq avoids expelling us.

"avoids"...... yeah. I'm sure they will be really sad to see us go.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 10:10 PM
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I'm stewing over how zombie-immortal the notion "these foreigners will surely be cowed by our show of strength" has proven.

Shock and Awe is as much for the domestic audience as for the enemy.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 10:14 PM
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83

15 to 81.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 10:42 PM
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Not saying that there aren't any downsides but, if I'm the Iraqi state, "getting rid of these fucking occupiers" is a heck of an upside.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 10:52 PM
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You stopped being occupiers in 2011. You're there at Iraqi invitation, to deal with IS.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 4-20 11:07 PM
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86

JFC but the stories coming out that DOD presented Trump with a list of possible options to retaliate and tacked on assassinate Soleimani as the last and extreme option and he went with that one.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 4:56 AM
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86 is one old civil service trick they won't use again.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 5:10 AM
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I mean after all this time don't they know who they're dealing with?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 5:27 AM
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I will say that the Trump admin has increased the efficiency of lying about this stuff. No more hard work of leaking lies to Judith Miller so Cheney or other admin officials could cite the Times while being "interviewed" by dimwits like Tim "gotchas are my weakness" Russert.

And so many old lies lying around to reactivate.

For instance:

"... assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States"

But don't worry, the press has labeled that one as "problematic" so we're all good.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 6:13 AM
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Well the Iraqi parliament just voted to expel US (and coalition?) troops from Iraq. It looks like Soleimani was in Baghdad to relay Iran's response to a Saudi overture to deescalate (in Yemen? with various proxies in Iraq?). There's a possibility that Soleimani was lured there and that will certainly be the way it's viewed in Tehran (though his movements were well known, still easier to get him there where the US was operating fairly freely. What a complete clusterfuck.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 7:49 AM
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You stopped being occupiers in 2011. You're there at Iraqi invitation, to deal with IS.

I'm sure that's a distinction deeply recognized in Iraqi society.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 7:54 AM
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Amazing
https://twitter.com/janearraf/status/1213823941321592834?s=21


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 7:56 AM
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Looks like the Iraqi parliament just revoked their "invitation". Within the past hour, going by news timestamps.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 8:00 AM
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90: Oops, for myself.

92. Oops, for History.

"It's too late, I've already paid a month's rent on the battlefield."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 8:03 AM
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Nasrallah has issued a statement saying that American civilians anywhere are not to be harmed so that's a (personal) relief.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 8:26 AM
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Some of my best friends are American civilians.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 8:29 AM
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My selfish first thought was at least I can still travel to Lebanon.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 8:31 AM
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I've heard they have impressive cedars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 8:36 AM
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I saw a lot last time I was there but I still haven't seen the cedars.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 8:55 AM
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They were in the Bible, so they must be at least 2,500 years old.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 8:58 AM
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I've never been east of Thera and that was almost thirty years ago, so you should definitely take my advice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 9:10 AM
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I find myself doubting 86. Killing QS is so far off the list of rational responses to the embassy protests, it doesn't even make sense as an extreme option.

Who is telling this story, what is their knowledge, and why are they telling it? As is often the case, I find these questions a whole lot more interesting than another Trump is an imbecile story.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 9:51 AM
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I agree that 86 strains credulity. If its true that the military left an extreme option on the list with the intention that it would not be picked, that's a strong indication that, after three years of working for Trump, they still lack a basic understanding of who he is.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 10:04 AM
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Maybe they just wanted him dead and figured Trump was going to start something stupid regardless so why not over this?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 10:10 AM
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I saw the rumor yesterday that they didn't know QS would be in the car, and their actual target was the Iraqi guy. I can imagine someone at the Pentagon including 'drone Iran-backed Shia militia head' as an extreme option on a power point slide. And it does look like we had some strikes on other 'Iran-backed Shia militia' targets the following day. Totally speculating here, but Trump would see this as big enough to brag about at Mar-a-Lago, but his people would see it as small enough to avoid re-making the strategic map.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 11:13 AM
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So DHS and CBP are going all Korematsu on people of Iranian descent?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 1:45 PM
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Has anyone heard from Ogged? This has to be a horrifically upsetting time to be Iranian-American.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 3:47 PM
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Sorry have been offline much of the weekend but link for 106? Didn't see it in a quick headline scan. Thank you.


Posted by: Lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 4:34 PM
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The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) is assisting more than 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans of all ages who were detained at length and questioned at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Wash.

There have been some claims this was following an official direction from DHS. CBP denies any such directive.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 4:44 PM
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Gov in on it: https://twitter.com/GovInslee/status/1213958239676592129


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 4:51 PM
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I hope that's "is on it".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 5:00 PM
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I make that typo a lot.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 5:06 PM
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Trump did tweet that Obama would start a war with Iran to get re-elected back in 2012. If a Republican accuses a Democrat of eating babies, it's a good bet to check on that left over roast in his or her refrigerator.


Posted by: Kaleberg | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 6:00 PM
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86, 102, 103: My guess is that there was internal disagreement and that was the justification given to the moderate faction by the extremists (who wanted "all options on the table", as very serious people who like to be considered very serious like to say), and that the moderates are the most likely to be sources for the press.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 6:48 PM
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103: Imagine looking at that man's eating habits and not realizing that he's instinctively drawn to the shittiest thing on the menu. Well-done steaks, gold toilets, starting a war with Iran.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 6:58 PM
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Gold toilets, golden showers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 7:10 PM
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Man, John Bolton must be pissed off he wasn't able to get a piece of this.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 7:30 PM
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Somebody is releasing bed bugs in a Walmart near me. Iran strikes quickly and fights dirty.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 7:35 PM
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To amend my 114: I think the extremists knew what they were doing.

And this concludes a story I made up on the basis of no actual sources. At least I didn't twitter thread it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 7:35 PM
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Man, moderates can be such dupes.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 7:37 PM
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he's instinctively drawn to the shittiest thing on the menu

He's probably one of those people who chooses sweet-potato fries over regular fries.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 7:49 PM
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Oh, come off it. Sweet-potato fries are good for you.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 8:13 PM
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Trump is threatening sanctions on Iraq if they order the U.S. out, which will put us at sanctioning 100% of the countries starting with "Ira" and 75% starting with "Ir".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 8:59 PM
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75% starting with "Ir".

I calculate 66%.

Also sanctions against Iraq would be so dumb. Iraq doesn't need to trade with us... they will just do business with Europe and China instead.

The only ones who would be genuinely fucked over by sanctioning Iraq would be American defense contractors.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 10:56 PM
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114, 119 this strikes me as extremely plausible


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 5-20 11:21 PM
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Worth noting:

Many Sunni and Kurdish legislators did not show up for the session, apparently because they oppose abolishing the deal. One Sunni member of parliament told Reuters that both groups feared that kicking out US-led coalition forces would leave Iraq vulnerable to an insurgency, undermine security and heighten the power of Iranian-backed Shiite militias. The 168 lawmakers present for the vote were just three more than the quorum.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 1:55 AM
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In a bold move, young protesters in the southern city of Nasiriyah blocked a mourning procession for Soleimani and top Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis from reaching their protest camp. Outraged pro-Iran mourners fired on the protesters, wounding three, medical sources told AFP.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 1:59 AM
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124.1- maybe he's counting the Iroquois nations, since the US already destroyed them you could say they're still facing trade sanctions.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 4:37 AM
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Math is hard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 4:56 AM
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The Axis of Ire.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 6:16 AM
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IraGlass is a small country known for its storytelling traditions and vocal fry.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 6:27 AM
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126: Yes, shockingly, the complexities of the Iraqi polity continue apace. A lot of examples in the NYer long read on Soleimani linked in 6 which I think is worth a read not so much about the guy himself but as review of the ins and outs of the whole bloody theater between the 1980s and 2013 (I had forgotten the actual dates of ISIS becoming a huge thing, but the article was written late 2103 just before it really exploded). Some things I had dimly remembered such as the brief Iran cooperation with us against the Taliban early on, and some I had not heard of before such as the Iranian military having their own "stabbed in the back" narrative with regard to the clerics ultimately pulling back int he Iran-Iraq war. the complexities and impossibilities of the Kurds comes up several times.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 7:01 AM
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126: How fucked are the Kurds? Even after Trump's betrayal vis a vis Turkey, the Kurds were sucking up to him because what else are they going to do?

The Americans, though, have now made their presence in Iraq so toxic that the most the Kurds can do is sit this vote out.

Yes, there is significant resistance in Iraq to Iran's influence. The US, in its wisdom, fought a war of aggression to take that faction out of power.

"We refuse a proxy war on Iraqi territory and the creation of crisis after crisis," said student Raad Ismail.

A sensible position, but sorry, that decision has been made for you.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 7:27 AM
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(I had forgotten the actual dates of ISIS becoming a huge thing, but the article was written late 2103 just before it really exploded).
An easy point of reference is the first few seasons of Archer, where the spy agency he works for is called Isis. When actual ISIS appeared on the scene, the cartoon dropped the name.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 8:05 AM
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It's like how you can tell when AIDS was a big public issue because they stopped selling Aydes diet pills.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 8:18 AM
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||
Bleg: One-volume history of the Byzantine empire?
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 8:20 AM
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I'm reading one called "Lost to the West". But I can't remember if I liked it or not. I'm only on the first chapter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 8:25 AM
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136: https://www.amazon.com/History-Byzantine-State-George-Ostrogorsky/dp/0813511984 is what I remember from the course I took back in college. Of course, it wasn't new then, and that's almost thirty years back, so I'm sure there are more uptodate options out there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 8:34 AM
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136. Oxford handbook? I liked Runciman, which I have from my dad's library. I've looked at chapters of the Oxford handbook, but it's far back on my reading list. There's a Cambridge single volume also, also a Very short Introduction, the two of those that I've read on other subjects have been really good.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 8:59 AM
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Oh, true for the VSI's generally, I've only read a few but the ones I have were all terrific. I wonder if they sell a subscription service -- sign up and they'll send you one every month, maybe with a Very Small Bookshelf to go with because it'd be adorable. I would want that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 9:09 AM
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114/119: There is now a twitter thread with almost precisely this narrative. I can't find the link now - something to the effect of, there is a contingent of young bloodthirsty staffers who have been using Iran as their scapegoat for years for why no Mideast project of theirs succeeds, and are itching for a war.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 9:23 AM
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Here it is.

Says he's quoting a career official on the inside:

"So many of Trump's top advisors on Iran are military vets who served multiple tours of duty in our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. They believe to their core that Iran is the reason why they lost those wars, and they're dead set on payback - no matter what it takes... They've been pushing to kill Soleimani for years, and they finally baited Trump into it. They think war with Iran is long overdue, so for them, this was a means to an end. When Iran responds, they'll tell Trump to hit the Iranians harder. You see where this could go."

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 9:26 AM
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142 It seems so nuts, so this is probably right as well.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 9:44 AM
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Invading Iraq was a really bad idea for anybody who was worried about containing Iran.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 9:45 AM
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And wasn't stupid as a box of bricks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 9:48 AM
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Thanks, Byzantines.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 9:49 AM
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Speaking of, also worth remembering that the Kurds in Syria aren't identical with those in Iraq; and IIRC that most Iraqi Kurds don't favor secession, and that the two old ethno-nationalist parties are decreasingly popular.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 9:51 AM
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Speaking of Bolton, maybe starting a war with Iran is the way they will try to get him to not cooperate with the impeachment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 10:10 AM
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That's actually the most satisfying explanation I've seen.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 10:12 AM
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148: I had that thought as well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 10:22 AM
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And immediately upon posting 150 I see where Bolton "says" he will.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 10:27 AM
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And immediately upon posting 150 I see where Bolton "says" he will.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 10:28 AM
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That's what I saw before posting 148.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 10:33 AM
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Maybe all that talk of bombing cultural sites and the like has alarmed the hawks. No one can ally with us so long as the nutball is in charge, and unable to control himself. Israel is reportedly distancing itself . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 11:02 AM
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An I meant to make some comments on Solemani in 6.

2. Ah, the Iranian IEDs. A line pushed incessantly by Iran hawks during the Iraq thingie. And I see that just this spring the Dod has raised its estimate of Us servicemen killed "by" Iran from somewhere under 500 to 605. Very precise. And weird, and probably bullshit. The IEDs used later in the war when US was more inconflict with the Shia than the Saddamist Sunnis were more sophisticated. Investigations at the time always showed most probably manufactured in Iraq, but admittedly by Iranian backed Shia groups. I will note that all of this in the context of Iran having the world's great military superpower actively engaged miles from their border with various highly-placed leaders of that nation advocating attacks on Iran. Or shooting down a domestic airliner (probably accidental, but the Pentagon put out such a barrage of lies at the start that who the fuck knows*) that killed 290 in one go.

Not mentioned in 6 is his role in helping Iraq confront ISIS. The exact extent of which is hard to determine, but certainly it the view within much of Iraq.

It's all fucked and I believe we have been the fuckers much more than the fuckees.

*A sentiment that can be applied to everything about the mess. Lies, lies and more lies from every nation and group involved.



Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 11:32 AM
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But maybe this time if we clap real hard we can unshit the bed.

(not directed at 6 which acknowledges , but at the Thomas Friedmans* of the world.)

Top this from his latest column for fatuousity:

If governments there don't stop fighting and come together to build resilience against climate change -- rather than celebrating self-promoting military frauds who conquer failed states and make them fail even more -- they're all doomed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 11:35 AM
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156 last: That seems like Friedman was worrying that Stephens was going to take away his official NYT op-ed Dunce Cap.

If governments there don't stop fighting and come together to build resilience against climate change -- rather than celebrating self-promoting military frauds who conquer failed states and make them fail even more -- they're all doomed.

There? Are you sure you're not describing the U.S.?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 12:10 PM
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How do you find something more fatuous than a Thomas Friedman quote on the Middle East? Look for another Thomas Friedman quote. He actually started that same column with a doozy:

One day they may name a street after President Trump in Tehran. Why? Because Trump just ordered the assassination of possibly the dumbest man in Iran and the most overrated strategist in the Middle East: Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

But yeah, you still have to give the edge to that closing line. It's breathtaking and perfect. I can't imagine an improvement.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 12:35 PM
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"they're all doomed" sounds like a true belief, however accidentally arrived at.
155: While you're not wrong, Iran is fucker as well as a fuckee. They extended the Iran-Iraq war beyond 1982, they helped cause it by the promise of exporting their revolution, they helped keep Assad in power, they helped create IS* before they helped defeat it, their (specifically IRGC) militias are doing much if not most of the killing of protesters in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon. I don't know if they've caused as many deaths as GWB, but they're certainly in the same league.
While as you say feeding IEDs to insurgents can reasonably be construed as defensive, attempting indefinitely to dominate the politics of Iraq and Lebanon can't be.
(To reiterate: none of this is to defend the assassination of Soleimani at this time and place.)
*They were at minimum complicit in Assad's policy, which was from the beginning to put down non-jihadi rebels first, leaving IS to thrive until there was no choice left but them or Damascus.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 12:47 PM
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Iran does a lot of bad things, but in the regional war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, it's pretty hard for me to see Iran as anything but the lesser of two evils. Not that the regional conflict is any of our business in the first place, but if we have to be involved, I'd rather we were allied with Iran.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: “Pause endlessly, the go in” (9) | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 1:12 PM
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It is your business. You, your allies, and your enemies still need the oil.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 1:19 PM
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Do we really, though? The US now produces more oil than any of these countries.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 1:43 PM
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We're just blowing the money on guns and religious extremism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 1:46 PM
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We probably still need (for some values of need) their oil to keep the global price comparatively low, given it's mostly a freely traded commodity. Unless exporting our oil and exchanging it for currency is still considered winning according to Trumpist dogma.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 2:34 PM
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162, 164: While those figures show that we are the number one producer of oil, they also indicate that we still use more of it than we produce.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 3:23 PM
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""So many of Trump's top advisors on Iran are military vets who served multiple tours of duty in our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere."

I would be really interested to hear some names here. That is a pretty specific description. It fits deputy NSA Matthew Pottinger (marines, one Iraq, two Afghan tours) but I don't know if he's particularly hawkish.
It doesn't fit NSA O'Brien or Pompeo or Iran SpecRep Brian Hook, who are the three biggest Iran hawks advising Trump right now. None of them have been to the sandbox. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/01/iran-hawks-inside-trumps-administration-mike-pompeo-bolton-robert-obrien-brian-hook/


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 3:27 PM
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165: True, but the gap is relatively small and could in theory be met by imports from closer, friendlier countries like Canada.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 4:22 PM
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Venezuela.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 4:43 PM
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ALLIES. ENEMIES. It isn't all about you.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 4:46 PM
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155: Iran is fucker as well as a fuckee

Agreed. Fuckers and fuckees abound. Us should just fuck off for a while, however.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 4:53 PM
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US


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 5:10 PM
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True, but the gap is relatively small and could in theory be met by imports from closer, friendlier countries like Canada.

Also we could burn less oil and maybe try to do something about global warming.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 6:10 PM
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172: A witch! Burn him!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 6:30 PM
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166 A whole lot of journalism would be a whole lot better if they could put as much energy into telling the damn story as carrying someone's water. I can totally buy that there are a bunch of Majors and Lt. Cols -- Cols, even -- walking around with stab in the back narratives in their heads. And there are surely also a bunch of folks that understand our failure to magically transform Iraq and Afghanistan with a little more subtlety.

As you say, though, it's a lot better to name some fucking names here so that people can actually understand what is going on.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 6:43 PM
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169 Sorry, man. We took a vote. It's all about us.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 6:45 PM
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173. How much oil does a witch contain?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 7:44 PM
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As much as a very small rock.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-20 7:51 PM
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https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-10-19/u-s-needs-saudi-oil-despite-talk-of-energy-independence
https://www.cfr.org/blog/iranian-oil-sanctions-myths-and-realities-us-energy-independence
https://warontherocks.com/2019/01/a-primer-on-the-geopolitics-of-oil/
https://warontherocks.com/2019/05/oil-and-the-future-of-u-s-strategy-in-the-persian-gulf/


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 7-20 2:08 AM
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A duck.


Posted by: Unexpected King Arthur | Link to this comment | 01- 7-20 3:04 AM
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166: I think "advisors" tends in this context to denote people lower-level than secretaries or the NSA (even though the latter is literally an "advisor").


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 7-20 1:13 PM
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Trump got us shot back at.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-20 5:07 PM
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With BMs, from Iran.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 7-20 5:42 PM
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At almost exactly the same range from Iran as Al-Udeid. Nicely done.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 7-20 5:53 PM
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It's nice of them not to wait until after this post fell off the front page so nobody has to make a new one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-20 6:15 PM
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Sounds like there was some thought of having the President go on TV tonight, but then they thought better of it. Maybe he couldn't pronounce infamy.

It does seem to be more his style, at this point, to announce strikes that have already taken place, rather than just rattle the same old saber.

Someone should play the Meeting of 5 Families scene from the Godfather for Putin.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 7-20 7:06 PM
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Trump says he's going to reassure Americans tomorrow. Unless he comes on the TV and says, "The pee tape is real," there's no way that would work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-20 8:52 PM
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A missile attack that doesn't kill any Americans is a hell of a chess move by Iran. It asserts national honor while leaving an option open for de-escalation. Trump still has an option to back out of this, which he wouldn't have if 20 American soldiers had been killed.

Not saying he will do that, but bear in mind that in addition to being a bellicose shithead, he's also a coward.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 12:05 AM
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BBC is saying casualties unclear.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 1:06 AM
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187: their ballistic missiles have a pretty impressive CEP if they can launch at a joint air base and be confident of only hitting the Iraqi bits.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 1:10 AM
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Also a Ukrainian 737 (800, not Max) just went down outside Tehran.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 1:11 AM
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187/9: Also Iraqis apparently saying 2/22 missiles didn't detonate.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 1:16 AM
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||

This tactic was pioneered by SM Entertainment, South Korea's largest and most infamously exploitative K-pop agency, which debuted a Mandarin-speaking subunit of its hit boy group Super Junior in 2008.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 2:23 AM
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191: could be they broke up in flight. Difficult to tell.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 3:39 AM
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Maybe he couldn't pronounce infamy

I'm sure he can. "Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!"

(Doesn't work as well in rhotic dialects.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 5:07 AM
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187. Trump still has an option to back out of this

What is there to back out of? He can't bring back Soleimani. Beyond that, it's just words, so far.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 6:06 AM
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At this point, I'm just hoping it wasn't us who downed the plane.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 6:10 AM
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But I'm also hoping it wasn't a mechanical failure because I fly in 737-800s often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 6:25 AM
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||

At more than $562 billion, the U.S. goods and services deficit in the first 11 months of the year is already more than $60 billion higher than it was in all of 2016, the year Trump was elected.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 6:55 AM
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Even if manufacturing jobs rise by the median economist estimate of 5,000 positions, it will be the second-worst calendar-year performance in the past decade for that key Trump constituency.

Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 6:56 AM
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The Trump-types on the local forums were going on about fracking, which is played out as far as local jobs go, and the new cracker factory, which isn't on-line yet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 7:19 AM
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193 actually to 192.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 7:20 AM
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200: Pennsylvania already has to much fracking and too many crackers.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 9:22 AM
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I finished my coffee and thought I was ready, but in fact I was not ready to read these sentences this morning:

NEW: Rudy Giuliani -- hired by Iran's MEK to get it off the terrorist list -- is in Trump's ear and cheering the recent Iran actions. Soleimani was "directly responsible for killing some of my MEK people," he told The Beast. "We don't like him very much."

I need to remember this "dark picaresque" mode next time I'm casting about for literary innovation.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 10:18 AM
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I don't know if this resonates for anyone else, but for a long time I've thought of creativity and paranoia as opposing mental states: in one, you wish to expand the number of possible scenarios, in the other you deeply wish to reduce them. The Trump era has scrambled the creativity-paranoia axis and created a fundamental longing for simultaneous reduction and expansion. (This is part of why it's so hard to satirize, and Alexandra Petri's Toast-style gonzo satire works better than most. You gotta give creativity the upper hand somehow.)

Just to be clear, I'm not literally surprised or puzzled or whatever that Giuliani was feeding at the MEK trough and then showing up to chew scenery in an interview. It's... it's just the gestalt.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 10:35 AM
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The Trump era has scrambled the creativity-paranoia axis and created a fundamental longing for simultaneous reduction and expansion.

Say more about this? Are you talking about the mental state of an Unfogged commenter or of a Trump admin?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 10:50 AM
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187: their ballistic missiles have a pretty impressive CEP if they can launch at a joint air base and be confident of only hitting the Iraqi bits.

Well, they managed to score dead-on hits to the buildings with mostly airplanes in them but not hit any buildings with mostly people. So yeah, it seems that ballistic missile technology is pretty refined these days.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 10:58 AM
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An Unfogged commenter. I'm not privy to the mental states of Trump admin people, but I figure they're adulterated one way or another 24/7.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 11:19 AM
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204.1 oh that's very good. Lately I've been feeling my own general anxiety levels going through the roof but I've become unable to differentiate the source, whether from personal life shit or the current political and environmental situation.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 11:39 AM
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I blame Trump partially for my high blood pressure. I've learned to never measure it after reading the news.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 11:47 AM
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Just to be clear, I'm not literally surprised or puzzled or whatever that Giuliani was feeding at the MEK trough and then showing up to chew scenery in an interview. It's... it's just the gestalt.

That makes me think of Bruce Sterling's Y2K novel, Zeitgeist.

It has a Russian character who drops out of the time-stream for a while because Russia in the 20th Century had simply experienced too much history. The 21st Century feels even moreso.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 8-20 11:48 AM
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Well, it looks as though 2020 will be another year in which "no, the US is not going to war with Iran this year" will be true. It joins 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 in that category.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 2:10 AM
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Not to forget 1783-2002.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 2:31 AM
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I dunno, a lot of 1979-1988 included things that were basically acts of undeclared war. Eagle Claw, Praying Mantis and so on.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 3:26 AM
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We need to make a Cold War proxy warfare operation name generator. Tiger Leap, Badger Fury, Indomitable Capybara, Quokka Perambulation.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 3:38 AM
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213: By which standard 211 doesn't stand.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 3:48 AM
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215: armed attacks by the US on Iranian soil or within Iranian territorial waters? Have there been any of those since 2003?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 4:14 AM
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214: let me introduce you to the wonderful world of Cold War-era UK weapons research. Blue Steel, Blue Danube, Red Beard, Blue Badger, Green Sparkler, Indigo Corkscrew, Purple Possum and many many more. The theory was to make war unthinkable not because it would be too awful to contemplate but because it would sound too silly.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Rainbow_Codes


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 4:16 AM
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COMMANDER NARK:
Good morning, now Seagoon these are the code-names. (aside) You know I don't feel strange in this programme at all. Here are Do you know the code-names of our agents in France at all?

SEAGOON:
(confidence) Carry on, I'll remember them.

COMMANDER NARK:
There's the Black Rabbit, the Blue Pelican and the Yellow Alligator.

SEAGOON:
(confidence) Roger.

COMMANDER NARK:
Then there's the Octaroon Monkey, the Pink Oboe, and the Purple Mosquito.

SEAGOON:
(getting worried) Yes, I think I...

COMMANDER NARK:
Then there's the Vermillion Sock, the Vermillion Ponk, the Chocolate Speedway and the White Bint.

SEAGOON:
Look, I... I think I'd better write this down.

COMMANDER NARK:
No please don't, you'll go colour blind...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 4:35 AM
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The rainbow party you should have been worried about


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 5:13 AM
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216: A period which includes Stuxnet, the abovementioned IEDs in Iraq, missile attacks on US ships off Yemen, and the past two weeks.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 5:21 AM
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I find "Indomitable Capybara" strangely calming. In fact, I recommend capybaras as a calming influence on almost all other animals, including humans. Send a brigade or two of them to lounge around in Teheran and things would quiet down very nicely.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 6:03 AM
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I'm not sure the largest part of the problem is there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-20 6:04 AM
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