My Offer to the Outraged Senator Duckworth

Senator Tammy Duckworth took exception at the house Rep Jones statement declaring that the Democrats were “in love with terrorists” over their actions this week concerning Iran.

Duckworth loudly declared that she left parts of her body in Iraq fighting against terrorists, and this is in fact very true but not in my opinion much of an argument to anyone who knows history. Consider Benedict Arnold. He took Ticonderoga providing the cannon for the fall of Boston, led the attack on Quebec, commanded the fleet at Valcour Island that delayed the British advance by a year which led to victory at Saratoga where he took a ball in the leg took a nasty wound that left him gimpy (in fact there is a monument to that leg on the battlefield).

As a person who honors her service I concede that one can be wrong on Iran without being on the other side (see Mike Lee, Tulsi Gabbard & Rand Paul) which means voting one way doesn’t mean you’re a fan of Iran. However my training was in engineering which is data driven so having made that concession I’ll make a deal with the Honorable Senator Duckworth.

I’ll stop saying that Democrats aren’t anti-war but just on the other side when their voters , media and members of congress…

  • stop cheering when enemies attack our embassy hoping it becomes’s Trump’s Benghazi
  • Stop lionizing terrorists who have spent years killing Americans
  • Stop having American Hostage takers on the air to hit us unchallenged
  • Stop tweeting out the Iranian flag while they’re shooting missiles at our bases
  • Stop blaming America for the deaths on planes that Iranians shoot down in panic

In other words I’ll stop saying Democrats aren’t any war just on the other side when they stop acting like it is the case.

Oh and Senator when you are at least as outraged over these things as you are over the congressman’s statement call me. Until then you’ll pardon me if, your meritorious service not withstanding, I don’t take your current outrage seriously.

Three Trump Choices to Respond to the Iranian “attack”

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:

There might be an explanation for this bad bit of aim.

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.

  1. If Iran falls we don’t know what will actually replace it. It could become a Persian Libya.
  2. 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.
  3. Russia & China with Iran neutralized will have to find a new proxy to counter us which could get really interesting.
  4. While we don’t need Iranian oil the flow stopping will make Europe more dependent on Russian energy
  5. 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
  6. It’s the equivalent of blowing up your neighbor’s building for trying to step on your toe and missing.
  7. 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.

Iran Strikes Back: Ooh Burn!

Amy: [storming into Leonard & Sheldon’s apt] Sheldon Cooper, I’ve got a bone to pick with you, and I’m about to do it in front of all your friends!

Penny: Yeah, you pick that bone. You pick that bone clean!

Amy: I’m gonna publicly shame you, and then sit back as societal pressure compels you to modify your behavior.

Penny: Ooh, burn!

The Big Bang Theory The Weekend Vortex 2012

I had to laugh when I saw this story at PJ Media about Iran’s big retaliation:

At around 8 p.m. Saturday, hackers breached and defaced the website of the U.S. Federal Depository Library (USFDL), posting a graphic image of President Trump being punched in the face and announcing, “This is a message from Islamic Republic of Iran.”

U.S. officials have not confirmed that the attack on the website of USFDL, a program created to make federal government publications available to the public at no cost, came from Iran, but the hackers claim to be avenging the death of Qasem Soleimani, the brutal Iranian terrorist who was killed in a U.S. airstrike at the Bahrain Airport in Iraq early Friday morning.

About an hour after the attack on the little-known USFDL website, the Iranian propaganda had been removed and the website was offline

I like to think of myself as well informed but I’d never heard of USEDL and I’ll wager that if you asked 1000 Americans 999 wouldn’t have any idea who there were either.

But if you read what the Iranians are saying this is a big deal.

“Martyrdom was his (Shahid Soleymani) reward for years of implacable efforts. With his departure and with God’s power, his work and path will not cease and severe revenge awaits those criminals who have tainted their filthy hands with his blood and the blood of the other martyrs of last night’s incident,” the message read. “Hacked By Iran Cyber Security Group HackerS…  This is only small part of Iran’s cyber ability! We’re always ready… to be continues… We Are: Iranian Hackers… #Hard revenge… #ICG – #SpadSecurityGroup.”

But that’s not all guess what they’re chanting in the Iranian parliament:

“Death to America,” almost all of the 290 members of the Iranian parliament chanted over the weekend.

“Mr. Trump! This is the voice of the Iranian nation. Listen!” Parliament speaker Ali Larijani said as lawmakers chanted.

Oh NO! You mean the Iranians instead of chanting “death to America” like they were doing before are now doing it for a completely different reason! But it gets worse!

Iranian state television reports that Iran will no longer abide by any of the limits of its 2015 nuclear deal.

The announcement came Sunday night after another Iranian official said it would consider taking even-harsher steps over the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Friday in Baghdad.

OMG you mean the Iranians are now publicly declaring that they will ignore a deal they likely didn’t keep anyways and might do something even harsher! If that’s not bad enough here is the corker:

Iran has placed an $80 million bounty on Donald Trump’s head and threatened to attack the White House in response to the president’s warning that any strike on American interests in the region will bring massive retaliation.

An organizer for a funeral procession for General Qassem Soleimani called on all Iranians to donate $1 each ‘in order to gather an $80million bounty on President Trump’s head’. 

The organizer made the remarks during the procession in Mashad.

emphasis mine

They’ve got to raise that bounty a buck at a time, I guess pallets of cash don’t stretch as far as they used to.

So let me get this straight, for all the bluster that Iran is making their big retaliation is a web hack, a telethon a bunch of chanting jihadist “lawmakers” & ignoring a deal we didn’t trust them to keep?

What is this: South Park?

Now here in the west such “retaliation” might bring the following reaction:

But I expect Iran to play it up big internally (and further more I expect our media to do so too along with this meaningless vote) because if all this stuff is a big deal and fitting revenge then there is absolutely no need to do anything that might get any of the leader of Iran, or their navy or their air-force or their oil refineries blown up.

It will be just one more face saving lie that they tell to themselves and President Trump will be happy to allow them to do so because that lie will inform the entire Middle East who is running the show.

Hint It’s not the Mullahs anymore.

Now in fairness it is possible that the Iranians will decide to risk destruction either by misjudging Donald Trump or because culturally they believe in it (think Japan just before the end of WW 2) so we should be alert and not be reckless.

But make no mistake the initiative has now shifted and as long as Donald Trump is president it will remain so.

President Trump Puts the Glove on the floor

Lawrence Murphy: You have anything to say to that, Mr. Chisum?
John Chisum: I don’t favor talking to vermin, but I’ll talk to you just this once. You’re not just getting started. The line’s been drawn. What Billy did balanced the books so far. But if one of your men cross my land, or even touch one of my cows…or do anything to that store…I’m not going to the Sheriff, the Governor, or the President of the United States. I’m coming to see you.
Lawrence Murphy Mr. Chisum, that sounds like a threat.
John Chisum: [rears back and floors Murphy] Wrong word: Fact.

Chisum 1970

Iran issued a not so veiled threat today:

The President noticed the same thing and issued a completely unveiled threat.

I read these three tweets to DaWife. she said: “I wish I could go and vote for him right now!”

Update: Cue the video

Quick Post Qassim Soleimani thoughts Update the Mullahs Tweet More Updates: McCain, McGowan etc etc More updates Trump & Reynolds

UPDATE: This twitter exchange has to go to the top

I don’t think they’ve gotten over the shock of an American leader actually fighting back.

Oh and let’s also quote the Elder of Ziyon who knows the region better than me:

First of all, the so-called experts have been wrong every single time they predicted a major response from things Trump decided to do. The “experts” simply aren’t.

My guess is that Iran will instruct Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad to shoot rockets into Israel, even though there is no evidence that Israel had anything to do with this (excellent intel, by the way.) This is a face-saving routine and Iran still clings to the idea that escalating things with Israel will get the Muslim world on their side. That isn’t true anymore, but this might be Iran’s thinking. (Israel closed the ski resort in Mount Hermon anticipating this very scenario.)

Not only Soleimani was killed – also Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias  Popular Mobilization Forces, and reportedly  Naeem Qasm, Hezbollah’s #2 in Lebanon. You have to think that the remaining leaders of Iranian forces and proxy forces are very frightened of being killed themselves. If they escalate, that is a death sentence. I don’t think they are that brave…I cannot see the Revolutionary Guards’ morale remaining high with the loss of their powerful leader and their countrymen, probably, celebrating.

I do expect a response – Iran is still an honor/shame society and some action, now that the US admitted its role, is deemed necessary. But I think it will be a limited response. Perhaps cyberattacks, perhaps  rockets to Israel as I mentioned, perhaps some directed attacks at US troops in Iraq or a 1983 Beirut-style attack against US military installations in Europe.

Today, lots of very dangerous people are very scared. Hezbollah leader Nasrallah is going deeper underground than he already was. Maybe even Kim Jong-Un.

The US of World War 2 is back and God have mercy on our enemies because apparently Donald Trump won’t


Twitter is ablaze with activity with President Trump taking out Soleimani & friends yesterday. Here are several things that come to mind at once:

You might think that you’d have the Mullah’s on the air issuing threats and I’m sure they will do so, as soon as they can relocate to safe secure bunkers out of the reach of drones.

The Iranian leadership has been given notice that from this point on , if there is an attack on a US embassy, none of them are safe.


It took almost no time for the usual suspects to get organized. Max Blumenthal & company announced their protests at once on twitter, I replied with a question

The left has never seen a killer of US troops that they didn’t like.


In one respect the confusion this has created in Iran is understandable, for decades we have allowed them to kill Americans and strike at our interests with impunity even when we had armies to the east west and south of them.

The concept that the US might actually decide to strike back when attacked is the one thing that they never in their lives expected.

Of course up until the Carter years the idea that one could attack a US embassy with impunity would have been laughed at and as recent as 1970 such retaliation by a US president against a terrorist would not have caused Americans to bat an eyelash.

Of course that was before the left started to get control in the schools


The real problem for Iran is the unrest that is currently going on in their country. The leaders needs to be visable and proactive to keep it from boiling over into a successful revolution but at the same time if they are visible any attempt to kill Americans by Iran will mean a drone will be on them in a moment.

This is likely the best chance we will have to end almost a half century of Iranian terror. That’s the upside. Unfortunately there is no way to know what will replace it, that’s the downside.


The biggest question mark will be our NATO allies currently holding huge populations of pro-terrorist arabs. I suspect most of Europe will do all they can to not choose sides because they are not prepared to deal with the blowback. However if any European nation was looking for an excuse to finally take action to secure their identities, this will be the time. I expect strong support from Poland, Hungary and former Eastern block states. I expect silence or condemnation from Germany & France and the Pope, England is the wild card here.


Politically this is a bad situation for all non-squad members of the left and media. This guy was responsible for the death of thousands of Americans and Iraqis and for terror all over the world so they aren’t likely to condemn his death too loudly if at all, on the other hand they want to make sure that any consequences for this action for ill fall on Trump.

Expect them to start playing the “wag the dog” card pretending that it’s all about impeachment rather than attacks on our embassy.

To some this will be their best chance to energize their base and to defeat Trump. Ironically if the Mullah’s and their allies want to return the US to our former state of impotence without risking their regimes their best shot will be to put all their efforts into helping the Democrats rather than retaliatory strikes. The question is, given their “face” culture do they dare do so?


In the end I have no idea what is going to happen and neither does anyone else, but if I had to bet money on one event over the next 11 months that will come of it I’d bet on a serious Iranian sponsored attempt to assassinate President Trump, most likely via a suicide mission I hope the White House and secret service are prepared for this.


Update 2: Well this didn’t take long, this

and this

shows how lucky we were not to have twitter in December of 1941.


Meanwhile here are some assessment from the same world:

Stacy McCain:

I’m hesitant to predict what comes next. Thursday night, while I was trying to watch the Gator Bowl, “World War 3” was trending on Twitter, and yes, the worst-case scenario is Armageddon. We can’t pretend that the risk of all-out war is non-existent. However, the question is not Iran’s intent — they hate America and want us all dead — but rather Iran’s capacity to turn their intentions into action. We shall see.

Tom Rogan Washington Examiner:

This will also cause short-term strife for U.S. political interests in Iraq. Soleimani and Muhandis represented a powerful bloc of Iranian-aligned interests. But a bloc that was under growing pressure. They’ll now seek to unify erstwhile competitors such as Muqtada al Sadr into punishing America for what has occurred.

Ultimately, however, the U.S. holds the cards here.

If it is willing to tolerate some U.S. casualties, the Trump administration can effectively out-escalate Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s regime and force it into backing down. But while lives have likely been saved by Soleimani’s departure, the near-term future won’t be pretty.

Taking out the trash rarely is.

Paula Boylard PJ Media

 This could get ugly very quickly. In fact, the State Department is already warning Americans to stay away from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq and urging U.S. citizens to leave the country immediately. Americans at home and abroad may very well be at increased risk of a terrorist attack in the coming days and months (and years!).  Let’s hope and pray Trump and the Pentagon have a plan to deal with the aftershocks from Suleimani’s death.

Update 3: POTUS

I put before you life and death, choose wisely.

Glenn Reynolds hit the nail on the head here:

lurking behind all of this is a new reality that the Iranians may not have fully absorbed: Thanks to fracking, the United States doesn’t have to keep the straits of Hormuz open anymore. We only have to be able to keep them closed.

Bingo!

Update: Key words from the Iranian statement:

Khamenei said Iran will honor Soleimani with three days of mourning and announced that the late general’s deputy, Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani, will replace him as Quds Force commander. The terrorist cell’s objectives “will be unchanged from the time of his predecessor,” Khamenei said in a statement reported by Reuters.

In other words the Iranians policy will now be to try to kill Americans, as opposed to their previous policy of trying to kill Americans.

I’m shocked SHOCKED!

No Alamo at San Antonio de Benghazi or Rhineland Sequel

Eight years ago, just before an election our embassy was attacked in Benghazi and i wrote the following post on the subject:

Picture that night for a moment, In the end attackers lost 30-60% of their force but for the sake of argument let’s say only 25% of that was in the first wave. You’re attacking the compound, you’ve been attacking for hours and seen people fall all around you. You’ve been beaten back once and don’t actually know how many men are inside, what do you think would have happened if they heard the sound of a single helicopter gunship? A single plane? a single drone dropping a bomb on the force already bloodied at a rate that would cause most Western countries to declare the mission a disaster?

They would have run.

Instead there was no Helicopter gunship, there was no relieving force, there wasn’t even a single remote control bomb in those seven hours after all there is a fundraiser in Vegas to worry about.

The actions of the Obama administration in general and the President and Secretary of State Clinton in particular were a national disgrace, but fully in keeping with the philosophy that American interests in general and Americans lives in particular are not worth fighting for.

Fast forward seven plus years. Suddenly the Iranians are hitting our compound in Iraq. The media is in a frenzy ready to call this Trump’s Benghazi, celebs who support them are practically giddy with excitement at the prospect of embarrassment to President Trump in an election year

But while the media was looking for a Benghazi sequel, the Iranians were looking for a different sequel, they were looking for a Rhineland sequel.

You don’t know about the Rhineland business in 1936? Well in March of 1936 the Germans under a fellow by the name of Adolph Hitler moved their army into the Rhineland in direct opposition to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, it was an aggressive move, a provocative move and a move that was completely dependent on the French not reacting, as one German officer put it:

“I can tell you that for five days and five nights not one of us closed an eye. We knew that if the French marched, we were done. We had no fortifications, and no army to match the French. If the French had even mobilized, we should have been compelled to retire.”

In fact one officer went so far as to suggest that if the French had intervened there in March of 1936 Hitler would have fallen.

By an odd coincidence the Iranians are having trouble at home and things are a tad shaky The Iranians could sure use a win and according to the international press, America is under the control of an incompetent leader who is in danger of being forced from office, so what better time to push the envelope against a paper power run by an incompetent leader unwilling or unable to fight back.

Alas for the Iranians the source of the reports of Donald Trump’s weakness and incompetence are a unreliable and unfortunately for them along with celebs like Ms. Midler and the media whose reports they rely on President Trump isn’t Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton:

and those choppers didn’t come alone, they came with US Marines:

Do you know what happens when you send Apache Helicopters and US Marines to an embassy that Iranians are attacking? One guess:

All members of paramilitary groups and their supporters who have been protesting against US air strikes in Iraq have withdrawn from the perimeter of the US Embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday, the Iraqi military said.”All protesters have withdrawn, tents dismantled, and other forms of demonstrating that accompanied these protests have ended and the Iraqi security forces have completely secured the embassy perimeter,” it said in a statement.

Or as it was put

And the president weighed in personally:

So instead the Iranians have run, their leaders, like Kim in North Korea are making threats and dismissing the president but actions speak louder than words and right now they know that they aren’t dealing with the pretend version of a president that the MSM has painted for them.

Trump took action and the Iranians are running and the ambassador remains unharmed and the US remains ready to protect our own.

For Iran that’s a disaster, and for the media and Democrats it’s a disaster too.

I’m old enough to remember when wouldn’t be able to say that about the press or Democrats.