Friday, September 20, 2019

What Does It Take to Admit Iran Wages War on the West?

While I don't think we need to take a direct role in any Saudi retaliation for Iran's big strike on Saudi oil export capacity, knowing our options is a good thing and lets Iran know that their further escalation by them will bring in the big guns.

This is prudent:

In a White House meeting, the president will be presented with a list of potential airstrike targets inside Iran, among other possible responses, and he also will be warned that military action against the Islamic Republic could escalate into war, according to U.S. officials familiar with the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Iran says any retaliation will spark all-out war but they know that would be really bad for Iran. They want the freedom to strike at will and face no consequences.

But again, I think the Saudis are fully capable of hitting Iran. The Saudis may need to shift forces from Yemen to do it, but the Saudis are fully capable of waging an air and naval campaign against the Iranians.

The Saudis would need our logistics and intelligence support plus perhaps air defense help with assets in the region--and an offensive back up in case Iran does some more real damage--but odds are we don't need to pull any triggers in this.

But we should help. We don't import oil from the region but the rest of the world does and our economy needs the rest of the world to be healthy trading partners. What happens there happens to America, too, even now.

Meanwhile, after our enemy Iran conducts an act of war against our ally Saudi Arabia (and yes, they are our ally as problematic as they are--they are at least the enemy of our enemy and they do seem to be getting better slooowly), our Congress continues to be unable to pour water out of a boot when the instructions are written on the heel. There are arguments against a unilateral strike, arguments against helping the Saudis, and arguments for restoring the horrible Iran nuclear deal as if it actually slowed Iran's drive for nukes.

And Tulsi Gabbard's comments disgusted me when I made the mistake of leaving news on too long to hear her shameful and wrong remarks about the crisis. She should know better. If she doesn't she's an idiot.

Iran is waging war across the Middle East and beyond. And they want nukes. Yet even with Iran's strike on the Saudis, people want to make excuses for mullah-run Iran.

Still our Congress is influenced by Iranian propaganda? After everything we've endured from the mullahs from the hostage crisis to killing hundreds of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, to lying about the nuclear program, to plotting to bomb a restaurant in Washington, D.C., to taking American sailors hostage, to knocking out half of Saudi Arabia's oil export capacity, there are Americans who still want to make excuses for Iran's rulers?

I did warn that economic sanctions effective enough can lead the target to resort to military action. And so I say to our military in CENTCOM again, check ammo and double the watch.

Iran is at war with us. One day they'll do something that even our Congress can't ignore.

UPDATE: Trump has increased sanctions on Iran. Which seems appropriate given that this is our strongest weapon to use against the mullahs:

Speaking in the Oval Office Friday during a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Trump said: "We have just sanctioned the Iranian national bank."

But what's up with this?

Iran denies being involved in the attack. The attacks and recriminations are increasing fears of an escalation in the region.

The attacks by Iran and the discussion of Iran's responsibilities are increasing fears of escalation?

Iran's attack that knocked out (temporarily) half of Saudi Arabia's oil export capacity is the damn escalation! Doesn't anyone notice that?

I feel like I'm on crazy pills.

UPDATE: We will help fill gaps in Saudi and UAE air defenses. After noting recent Iranian aggression, our DOD stated:

In response to [Saudi Arabia's] request, the president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense. We will also work to accelerate the delivery of military equipment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to enhance their ability to defend themselves.

This will involve additional US forces--in the hundreds range rather than thousands. Which may telegraph that any offensive operations in retaliation will await their deployment.

The Iranians seem to be making a classic mistake by threatening to attack anybody involved:

Any country that attacks Iran will become the "main battlefield", the Revolutionary Guards warned Saturday after Washington ordered reinforcements to the Gulf following attacks on Saudi oil installations it blames on Tehran.

Their definition of "attacks" may be overly broad if the Iranian statement is in reaction to our defensive deployment announcement.

Which is the classic Sicilian Expedition mistake of neglecting to focus on the immediate enemy and instead attacking friends of your enemy to make those friends of your enemy an ally of your enemy.

Iran is pretty weak. They can't match their boasts and know if they provoke a full conflict they will feel it pretty badly.

UPDATE: Chutzpah in action:
President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday denounced the presence of foreign forces in the Gulf and said Iran will put forward a peace plan, after arch-foe the United States ordered reinforcements to the tinderbox region.

"Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region," Rouhani said before a massive military parade marking the Iran-Iraq war.

Iran just attacked Saudi Arabia's oil export industry. But other people are at fault for tensions?

Unless that peace plan consists of Iran halting its military actions in that tinderbox region, I don't know what good it will be.

UPDATE: Speaking of Iran--Patriots to the Gulf.