Hanson writes on Iran

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US holds all the cards in showdown with Iran By Victor Davis Hanson Published June 20, 2019. Teheran assumes that an even more left-wing American administration would also endorse Iran-friendly policies, and so it is fishing for ways to see that happen in 2020 with a Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden presidency. end quote
That is a thorough article. I agree that the left would enable Iran and I will work to not let that happen in 2020.

Trump is like the President represented in the NetFlix show, “Designated Survivor.” If he hadn’t survived, who knows if America could survive. With President Kirkland America gets a fresh start but he must fight like a civilized wolverine.

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From US holds all the cards: Time, then, is on the Americans' side. But it is certainly not on the side of a bankrupt and impoverished Iran that either must escalate or face ruin . . . . If Iran starts sinking ships or attacking U.S. assets, Trump can simply replay the ISIS strategy of selective off-and-on bombing. The U.S. did not lose a single pilot to enemy action. Translated, that would mean disproportionately replying to each Iranian attack on a U.S. asset with a far more punishing air response against an Iranian base or port. The key would be to avoid the use of ground troops and yet not unleash a full-fledged air war. Rather, the U.S. would demonstrate to the world that Iranian aggression determines the degree to which Iran suffers blows from the U.S. end quote

I hate to (but will) put deep thoughts into the stream of public conscience but what if we had knocked out Hitler in 1941? Germany had 50 years of horrible political philosophy and actions preceding him to shape the environment, so he had plenty of  “Mini-me’s” in the wings. But nobody could incite a mob like Adolph. Invasion? No problem. Dictatorship? I've got to be me. Murder millions? Auctung! Do as I order!        

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From US holds all the cards. Iran may in extremis also stage terrorist attacks in Europe and the U.S. And it may lie that it has already developed enough fissionable material to launch a nuclear missile. end quote

Iranians say nearly daily: “Death to America!” “When Iran gets the bomb we will immediately use it to destroy Israel.”

A dirty bomb could decimate Israel. Fanatics will do crazy things even though they know they will die. Striking Iran would be moral. It would be as moral as a police marksman, “taking out” someone on a roof top with a scope.

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There was never need for proof to prove that Iran's leaders are and have been bullies wherever Iran's "proxy army" and terrorists ventured - you don't empower or encourage a bully like the Leftist politicians and media have. If you do, the risk of major war worsens into the next generations. The spectacle of tactics of appeasement, first by Kerry and EU's Mogherini, (the Charm Offensive: "of course you will abide by this nuclear agreement! We know what fine chaps you are! Nobody else has appreciated you properly".) and lately by the MSM's pundits ("you're goading Iran, pushing them into a corner, shame, look at Tehran's empty shops") - is exactly what ~will~ prompt a war. The Mullahs will feel they have gained the world's public sentiment, to get away with further belligerence or expansion, with only Donald Trump opposing them. Otherwise, and I don't count on it, a concerted alliance of the bigger European nations, showing some grit for once, standing up to and making it clear to Iran, this far and no further, and Iran could be a reformed country in ten years (the Ormuz sea route and the shipping is international, after all, not America's). I think the president has responded excellently, so far. (You don't need to do this, there's a way out of the mess, but if you do anything more, expect the worst).

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How long has this been going on? Since the Iran Hostage Crisis. "Facing Down Iran," Mark Steyn, City Journal, Spring 2006. If you divide the world into geographical regions, then, Iran’s neither here nor there. But if you divide it ideologically, the mullahs are ideally positioned at the center of the various provinces of Islam—the Arabs, the Turks, the Stans, and the south Asians. Who better to unite the Muslim world under one inspiring, courageous leadership? If there’s going to be an Islamic superpower, Tehran would seem to be the obvious candidate. That moment of ascendancy is now upon us…. 

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23 hours ago, Peter said:

That is a thorough article. I agree that the left would enable Iran and I will work to not let that happen in 2020.




On that score, enabling Iran, the left is as blind/evasive/wishful as ever to the nature of evil. From an article below: "it's time for Democrats to own Obama's accomplishments with Iran". Yeah, I proposed in the first thread, the mullahs are counting on winning at the US ballot box. Why? Because, with the Democrats they know they'll get their nuclear cake (in spite of "a deal", anyway) and eat it, too (lifted sanctions).

Victor D. Hanson warned: "The Iranian theocrats despise the Trump administration. They yearn for the good old days of the Obama administration when the US agreed to a nuclear deal that all but guaranteed Iranian nuclear proliferation, ignored Iranian terrorism..." 


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Edited for brevity  From Infoplease. Military Conflicts in U.S. History

Mexican War (1846-1848) The U.S. annexation of Texas, and its stated desire to acquire California and other Mexican territory, precipitated this war. Mexico was forced to give up two-fifths of its territory. This land eventually became the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah . . . .

Spanish American War (1898) The U.S. supported Cuba's desire for independence from Spanish rule, and seized the opportunity to expand U.S. powers in other parts of the world. At the end of the brief conflict, Cuba gained its independence, and the U.S. gained several former Spanish territories: Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.

World War I (1914-1918) Rivalries over power, territory, and wealth led to the “Great War.“ In 1917, the U.S. joined the Allies (Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and Japan), who were at war with the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey), after German submarines began sinking unarmed ships.

World War II (1939-1945) The Axis powers-Germany, Italy, and Japan-attempted to dominate the world. The Allies (U.S., Britain, France, USSR, and others) fought to stop them. The United States entered the war in 1941, after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. Germany surrendered in 1945, and Japan surrendered later that same year, after the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Korean War (1950-1953) Communist North Korea, supported by China, invaded non-communist South Korea. UN forces, principally made up of U.S. troops, fought successfully to protect South Korea. The Korean War was the first armed conflict in the global struggle between democracy and communism, called the cold war.

Bay of Pigs (1961) The U.S. orchestrated the invasion, an unsuccessful attempt by Cuban exiles to overthrow Fidel Castro's communist regime in Cuba.

Vietnam War (1961-1973) In 1955, communist North Vietnam invaded non-communist South Vietnam in an attempt to unify the country and impose communist rule. The United States joined the war on the side of South Vietnam in 1961, but withdrew combat troops in 1973. In 1975 North Vietnam succeeded in taking control of South Vietnam.

Dominican Republic (1965) President Lyndon Johnson sent marines and troops to quash a leftist uprising in the Dominican Republic, fearing the island nation would follow in the footsteps of Cuba and turn communist.

Lebanon (1982-1984) U.S. troops formed part of a multinational peacekeeping force to help the fragile Lebanese government maintain power.

Grenada (1983) President Reagan invaded the Caribbean nation of Grenada to overthrow its socialist government, which had close ties with Cuba.

Panama (1989) President George H.W. Bush invaded Panama and overthrew Panamanian dictator and drug-smuggler Manuel Noriega.

Gulf War (1991) Iraq invaded Kuwait, and a U.S.-led multinational force came to Kuwait's aid and expelled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's forces.

Somalia (1993) A U.S.-led multinational force attempted to restore order to war-torn Somalia so that food could be delivered and distributed within the famine-stricken country.

Bosnia (1994-1995) During the Bosnian civil war, which began shortly after the country declared independence in 1992, the U.S. launched air strikes on Bosnia to prevent “ethnic cleansing,“ primarily by Serbs against Bosnians. The U.S. became a part of NATO's peacekeeping force in the region.

Kosovo (1999) Yugoslavia's province of Kosovo erupted into violence in the spring of 1999. A U.S.-led NATO force intervened with air strikes after Slobodan Milosevic's Serbian forces uprooted the population and embarked on the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian population.

Global War on Terror (2001- ) In the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President George Bush launched the Global War on Terrorism-which has become the longest period of continuous war in U.S. history. The United Kingdom, several NATO countries, and other nations have participated to eliminate al-Qada and other militants groups. The Taliban government harbored Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist group, responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. After Afghanistan refused to turn over Bin Laden, the U.S. and UN coalition forces invaded. The Taliban government was ousted and many terrorist camps in Afghanistan were destroyed. U.S. and NATO troops remain in Afghanistan to support its fragile new government.

Iraq War (2003-2010) The U.S. and Great Britain invaded and toppled the government of dictator Saddam Hussein. Troops remain in Iraq to combat the insurgency that formed after Hussein's defeat.

War Against the Islamic State (ISIS) (2014—) The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has terrorized large swaths of Iraq and Syria in its drive to establish an Islamic state in the Middle East ruled by strict shariah law. The militant group is made up of fundamentalist Sunni Muslims and foreign jihadists. In September 2014, President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. He was clear that he does not plan to deploy ground troops in the fight against ISIS.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What if America had been a pacifistic nation like Switzerland or Sweden? There is a scenario that we would still be part of the English Empire, and America would still have been inevitably drawn into The Boer War, (What do living South Africans think of that?) WWI, and WWII.

What’s cookin’ now for America and NATO? North Korea, Iran, Russia as always, and a few others. Yet, President Trump is a different type of President. He is like Teddy Roosevelt, who said “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” But President Trump speaks loudly, honestly, and he has the weaponry to NOT use troops on the ground as his first option. From Wikipedia. Roosevelt described his style of foreign policy as "the exercise of intelligent forethought and of decisive action sufficiently far in advance of any likely crisis."

And that is our President, ready, willing and able, but only in retaliation. Will he initiate violence? I don’t think so, but there are situations, as with the enrichment of uranium, or troop build-ups that require we know the *motives* of our potential adversaries first. At some point initiation becomes retaliation but ONLY after a lot of very clear, unemotional thinking. What are the tipping and flashpoints? My deepest wish is that there are no flashpoints and that is why I support our President’s foreign policy. The British Ambassador to America who just had some communications exposed that derided President Trump, is a case in point.

From USNews.  . . . . In the leaked cables that he wrote, first reported by the Daily Mail, the career civil servant with 40 years of diplomatic experience described Trump and the White House as "uniquely dysfunctional," "inept" and "unpredictable." British authorities continue to hunt for the source of the leak. end quote

Is it better to have a complete contingency plan in effect for every situation? I don’t think so. I prefer having fewer “pre-conceived must do’s.” but I will accept the Brit’s criticism of Trump as ‘unpredictable.” The Ambassador wants a relationship where he knows what the President will do in many situations, and that may not be happening. Peter       

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  • 3 weeks later...

I posed this question a few weeks ago, but I am interested in knowing if anyone has revised their thinking about US troops remaining in NATO, and especially countries like Germany and Japan. Monday, July, 29, 2019, from ABC News: 2 US service members killed in Afghanistan as Pompeo vows troop reduction by 2020. What is the flash point with Iran?

Ron Paul once said, “We just need to mind our own business.” But, Christopher Hitchens wrote: "In Defense of Endless War,": "We do have certain permanent enemies — the totalitarian state; the nihilist / terrorist cell — with which 'peace' is neither possible nor desirable. Acknowledging this, and preparing for it, might give us some advantages in a war that seems destined to last as long as civilization is willing to defend itself." end quote

So, the “ants” are still marching up to our picnic table and the threats remain. But, America needs to differentiate between what is in our vital interest to defend and just being the world’s peace keeper. Is the American mindset still too much like Teddy Roosevelt’s and does America have a  fascination with being a global Marshall Dillon? President Trump recently said that keeping Americans in countries like Afghanistan is senseless. And if any country wants US troops to remain in their country then they must pay for it. But our presence in countries like Syria IS protecting endangered populations but it is totally altruistic. Sure. I like being “the good guy” but is it time to become more isolationist? If you leave us alone, we will leave you alone. Laissez-fair, mon amis? NO more American deaths in Afghanistan.  Peter

Notes. From Pew Research. There were around 1.3 million total active-duty U.S. military personnel in 2016. Of these, 193,442 – or 15% – were deployed overseas. That’s the smallest number and share of active-duty members overseas since at least 1957, the earliest year with comparable data, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of information from the Defense Manpower Data Center, a statistical arm of the Department of Defense  . . . . Regionally, Asia and Europe accounted for 70% of the U.S. active-duty military presence worldwide in 2016. Asian countries had the highest share of overseas troops (38%), while around a third were deployed to Europe (32%). Nearly one-in-seven active-duty members were in the Middle East and North Africa (13%) and 3% were in sub-Saharan Africa or the Americas (excluding the U.S. and its territories). The remainder (14%) were in other locations, such as at sea or between territories.

"When Johnny Comes Marching Home". When Johnny comes marching home again, Hurrah! Hurrah! We'll give him a hearty welcome then, Hurrah! Hurrah! The men will cheer, the boys will shout. The ladies they will all turn out. That joyful day when Johnny comes marching home.”

Written in 1863 by Louis Lambert (a pseudonym of Patrick Gilmore), this song was one of the most popular on the Union side in the second half of the U.S. Civil War. It clearly shows the longing of family for the return of their loved ones fighting the war. 

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