Last night twitter was all abuzz about the Iranian attack on our bases. All kinds of reports were flying hither and non but after a short period of time it became clear that what we were seeing was a giant propaganda exercise where Iran launched about 15 missiles with more than 20% of em blowing up on the way and then hit large US bases without managing to harm any Americans.
This not withstanding they put out a bunch of photos from previous events pretending that they were from tonight, and plenty of video and news of a great Iranian victory which our Trump hating media lapped up while loudly proclaiming that if we left them alone from this point on they’d leave us alone.
As can be expected the Iranians are talking big. I rephrased the statement of the Iranian diplomats thus:
Or as Kurt Schlichter put it:
The Iranians can’t even hit an American on an American base with a dozen freaking rockets? What a bunch of clowns. https://t.co/orTOVyKFyM— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) January 8, 2020
There might be an explanation for this bad bit of aim.
This is being repeated a lot by Middle East journalists: “Tehran told Washington DC through proxies that it will bomb US bases in Iraq to save face and claim it is a response for killing Soleimani. That’s why the USA emptied its bases hours before the attacks. Zero casualties.” pic.twitter.com/rAQj9lLAOY— Imam of Peace / Pray for Peace… (@Imamofpeace) January 8, 2020
If this is true than despite the breathless (and disgraceful) cheerleading for Iran by the American left and the media this might in fact be an Iranian peace feeler in the sense that they can tell their own people they won a great victory while backing down thus saving face, it doesn’t have to be true (for example Egypt still pretends they beat Israel in 1973) and their own people don’t have to believe it but they can pretend that they do. A very Arabian cultural solution keeping their pride while letting the US know they have backed down.
But regardless the President had three options at this point all of which I’m willing to support.
Option #1 Point and Laugh
Option one is to point out that if this is the best the Iranians can do it’s a giant joke and a sign that they are not a threat. He could even confirm the above possibility I just mentioned pooh pooing Iran’s claims as face saving drivel. He can back up his claim by the ineffectiveness of the Iranian action and say his base warning still stands. A few mega hawks will be disappointed and the left that was so worried about escalation will call him cowardly and of course he loses the change to completely erase the Iranian threat but he would avoid a war he doesn’t want plus in the end all the bluster and propaganda won’t bring General jigsaw back together again.
The bad part about this plan it is doesn’t put a further crimp in Iranian plans and the government could just wait for a Democrat to be elected before they start killing Americans again.
Option 2: Tat Tat Tat for Tit
Because the President promised a disproportionate response to any attack instead of laughing at the Iranians he could take several options that are damaging but not mega lethal. This would be within his MO because he doesn’t seem to want to respond to a non-lethal attack with a lethal one. He could take out several oil rigs, blow up some parked jets or even hit a refinery although that would likely risk civilian lives.
He could even seize an Iranian flagged ship, capture the crew paddle and release them (fun but risky).
All of these things have the advantage of being bigger than the attack, particularly in terms of how it would hurt Iran without being lethal and it would once again put Iran on the spot forcing them to either publicly submit which they really don’t want to do or go to a non asymmetrical war which they want to do even less.
The bad side of course is keeps the risk of a larger war on the table that he doesn’t want and of course it’s a half measure which tends to increase uncertainty. While uncertainly in Iran is to our advantage, uncertainty at home is less so, plus we don’t know how Europe or our enemies will react.
Option 3 52 putdown
This option is to treat this as a full fledged attack and to respond with the promised overwhelming force, destroy their navy, destroy their airforce, destroy their refineries and generally leave the country a wreck.
If the Iranians had managed an actual attack that killed someone this would in fact be the only option on the table.
The advantage of course is to clean up the trash that should have been cleaned up four decades ago and crush the power of the terror state to the point where revolution will almost certainly succeed. Frankly this should have been done in 1979 and if it had been a lot of the problems of the last 40 years would not be. Furthermore the lack of Iranian support would crumble terror networks all over the world and would put a lot of bad guys on notice that from this day on, none of them is safe.
While those a big rewards this option also comes with the biggest risks.
- If Iran falls we don’t know what will actually replace it. It could become a Persian Libya.
- Such a move would almost certainly cause attacks from any sleepers they have here (which might actually be good in the sense better to root them out when they’re not ready vs letting them plan) and cause some terror attacks in the middle east and possibly Europe.
- Russia & China with Iran neutralized will have to find a new proxy to counter us which could get really interesting.
- While we don’t need Iranian oil the flow stopping will make Europe more dependent on Russian energy
- Once the threat of Iran is gone the incentive for the Arabs who were scared of them to make nice with us and Israel goes with it
- It’s the equivalent of blowing up your neighbor’s building for trying to step on your toe and missing.
- The MSM will blow out of proportion the small amount of naval & air casualties that such a move would cost.
Biggest risks, biggest rewards
Given what we’ve seen from the deep state I hesitate to give a lot of credit to the Government however I do presume they know more about this than me and from what I’ve seen from Donald Trump I trust him to make the right choice from this list (or a different one that I haven’t thought of) based on what he considers in the best interest for the country given the realities on the ground.
The only think we really know for sure is that whatever the President does the Media will denounce him for it as either a failure, a coward, a warmonger or a butcher under the overriding principle of Orange man bad.
That’s why they can be safely ignored.
Update: Always trust the opinions of an Elder who has experience:
Still, at this time, it looks like Trump let Iran know that they can no longer assume that they can act with impunity in the Middle East, and Iran blinked – hard.
The honor/shame culture is what runs the Middle East. To Muslims in the region, appearances are more important than facts. It appears that at least some people in this much-derided administration understood that and the response was calibrated to allow Iran to maintain its honor.
All the while, in the reality based world, the US has won this skirmish hands-down. Iran’s major architect of terror is gone and Iran is backing down. The US has shown the Iranian leaders that direct conflict would be a very, very foolhardy move.
Again keeping in mind that it is too early to say for sure, but so far it looks like the “experts” and fearmongers have been wrong, and the White House has achieved an unqualified victory that not only hurt Iran because of their loss of Soleimani, but also has forced them to re-think all of their offensive moves in the Middle East for the foreseeable future.