Foreign Policy

Tulsi Gabbard Warns Trump's Iran Actions Could Lead to 'All-Out Inferno of a War'

Gabbard has previously called the Trump administration "Saudi Arabia's bitch."

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) has come out swinging against President Donald Trump's plan to send more troops to Saudi Arabia.

"This is the wrong decision that is more catering towards the interests of Saudi Arabia than it is to the interests of the United States of America and the American people," the Democratic presidential candidate told the Washington Examiner, arguing that this cycle of escalation "will lead us to an all-out inferno of a war in not only Iran, but across the region."

On Friday, following an attack on Saudi oil facilities that U.S. officials blame on Iran, the Pentagon announced that hundreds of troops would be deployed to help provide air and missile defense against future attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The same day, the Trump administration announced it was imposing additional sanctions on Iran's central bank.

Trump framed these sanctions and deployments as acts of restraint, not escalation, on the grounds that it would be easy for him to just bomb Iran.

"Going into Iran would be a very easy decision, as I said before, very easy," Trump said during a Friday press conference. "I think I'm showing great restraint. A lot of people respect it. Some people don't."

Following the attack earlier this month on the Saudi oil facilities, Trump tweeted that the U.S. military was "locked and loaded" and ready to strike the culprits following instructions from Saudi Arabia. That prompted Gabbard to say Trump was trying to "prostitute" U.S. troops to handle Saudi Arabia's problems. "Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters. Having our country act as Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First,'" Gabbard tweeted.

The Trump administration's announcement Friday is only the latest round of deployments to the region. For the past several months, the U.S. has been sending additional group troops, aircraft, missiles, and ships to the Middle East to counter the threat supposedly posed by Iran.

The administration has been ramping up sanctions on Iran following the U.S.'s withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal.

A number of these actions were initiated or hyped by former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has long been an advocate for war with Iran. But Bolton is now gone. The fact that Trump continues to escalate tensions with Tehran suggests that he doesn't require hawkish advisors to take a hard line with the country.

The fact that the president keeps pulling back from a military strike on Iran suggests that he isn't eager for an all-out war. Gabbard is right, though, to warn that this continual brinksmanship could easily escalate into a foolish armed conflict that few people want.

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  1. Yes we must continue the Obama policy of sweetly fellating the Mullahs otherwise the sky will fall.

    1. Or we could just leave the middle east and never look back?

  2. the Pentagon announced that hundreds of troops would be deployed to help provide air and missile defense against future attacks on Saudi oil facilities

    If this were a drone strike as the rebels claim, or a cruise missile stirke (as some US intelligence has suggested), then I really don’t understand how having boots on the ground is a rational response. It seems to be nothing more than sabre rattling as Tulsi suggests here, unfortunately.

    1. The people are there to make it clear that attacking the facilities is attacking the US. They are there for deterrence is the threat of war and retaliation not to stop a particular attack.

      The question is do you think Iran attacking and destroying the Saudi Arabian oil industry is something the US should try and prevent. I think given the enormous effect that would have on the price of oil and the world economy, it is reasonable to say yes they should not just let it happen.

      Whatever your answer to that question is, where Gabbard and indeed reason, goes off the rails is not saying that the US shouldn’t try and defend Saudi Arabia. They go off the rails saying that somehow the US is responsible for the existence of a war that Iran is starting. Gabbard, like so many others, seems incapable of holding Iran responsible for anything. If Iran wasn’t attacking its neighbor, this wouldn’t be an issue.

      1. Defending Saudi Arabia with American troops makes zero sense to me. We have already armed them to the teeth. They have more money than they know what to do with, the least they could do is defend themselves.

        The US isn’t responsible for Iran’s actions. On that I can agree. But between pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, tweeting up a storm, and now putting more troops in the region, this administration has done very little to cool the situation down other than maybe firing Bolton.

        1. But between pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal,

          Yes, if only we could pay them more protection money, maybe they won’t do something.

          You can’t be serious.

          1. Sending them pallets of cash was dumb. Showing good faith in negotiating in lifting crippling sanctions in hopes to further peace and secure nuclear inspections is not.

            Ask yourself this, were we better off under the deal living in relative peace or now after pulling out and they’re attacking oil fields and ships in the gulf and we’re sending troops to the region (yet again)?

            1. “Relative peace”
              As in, when iran was actively taking hostages, publicly humiliating them, and demanding loads of cash?

              1. Debunked

                The cash transfer was horrible optics (badly timed) and made the US look weak. But the ransom was releasing Iranian prisoners. You can’t believe everything Sean Hannity tells you.

                1. Looking at Snopes rational for labeling it false it seems they’re really reaching. The courts may have decided against the US (no actual proof they would have) and a Vox article. I wouldn’t exactly call that debunked.

                2. And further they even quoted an Obama administration personal who said they held up the transfer specifically until the prisoners were released. And Snopes actually used this as proof the transfer wasn’t a random payment. SMH.

                  1. And further, their comment about why would Iran release hostages for money they would get anyway was disingenuous at best. 400 million now instead of 400 million in another 10 years is a BFD.

                    The guy in charge now wants the cash so he can tuck it away for himself. In 10 years, someone else may very well be in charge.

                    1. Iran so has many open liabilities from court settlements from injuries or properties from linked terrorism. US courts have already ruled any back owed money to iran can be used to payments to these suits. So no, the money wasnt Irans. And using snopes to declare a debunk is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen.

                3. “You can’t believe everything Sean Hannity tells you.”

                  Never watched the guy, but you certainly CANNOT take Snopes at face value.
                  Wanna try again?

                  1. Do you have a non-partisan source on the matter that disputes what’s in the Snopes article?

            2. Ask yourself this, were we better off under the deal living in relative peace or now after pulling out and they’re attacking oil fields and ships in the gulf and we’re sending troops to the region (yet again)?

              Ask yourself this, did anything in the deal prevent Iran from taking this very sort of action?

              You’re assuming a protracted relative peace ensured by known belligerents. It’s not like the Yemeni Civil war started the day Trump pulled out of the treaty.

            3. How much literal peace did we actually live under? Has Iran not been tied to arming many of the groups we are in conflict with? Did Iran stop trying to enforce it’s will over neighboring states? Did Iran stop violating the NPA by ending the uranium enrichment? What peace did we actually have?

              1. Why do we care about peace in the middle east anyway? We don’t want Iran to have a nuke because that might actually threaten us, but Yemen is nothing as far as America is concerned.

                1. Economic reasons, which until recently were considered valid national interest.

            4. They violated the agreement from day 1 leo.

      2. ” If Iran wasn’t attacking its neighbor, this wouldn’t be an issue.”

        It’ll be an issue as long as Saudi Arabia keeps attacking Yemen. If Americans, like the president, are keen on that conflict continuing, it seems thar Iran is going to become more deeply involved. I don’t think Americans want a war with Iran, so be prepared for Iran to press the point and exploit American irresolution.

        1. So Iran will play nice as soon as the Saudis stop attacking Yemen?
          Iran doesn’t want to start a war with the US, they are hoping they can force us to attack them first. It’s a ploy to unite their growingly restless people.

          1. “So Iran will play nice as soon as the Saudis stop attacking Yemen?”

            Maybe. Is it really so important to Americans that Saudis continue their assault on Yemen? I don’t think so. Trump is the outlier here. He may have a choice. Wider war with Iran or settling the Yemen thing as well as dealing with a whole raft of issues with Iran.

    2. Well sabre rattling, and asking American men and women to put their lives on the line for the financial interests of Saudi Aramco and the Saud family.

      1. You do realize that Iran destroying the Saudi Arabian oil industry affects more than just them don’t you? Also, isn’t it just possible that Iran might move on to cause more trouble after it flattens Saudi Arabia? I know this is reason and therefore Iran is considered perhaps the most enlightened and peaceful nation in human history, but maybe there is more to it than that.

        1. What is your solution? Start a war with Iran over terrorist attacks, unseat and/or kill Khameini and Rouhani, occupy and install a democracy and train them to defend themselves? Sounds easy! Trump could even declare victory on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

          1. There is no good solution. I do not think we should go to war with Iran for no reason. But if Iran starts attacking and destroying its neighbors and their oil industries with it, I don’t see how we can just allow that to happen. That would have an enormous effect on the world economy. Yes, it would affect the US a lot less thanks to fracking, but it would likely cause a global recession that would inevitably have significant affects on the US.

            I don’t think we have to invade and destroy Iran to deter it from this kind of bullshit. I think at most we could retaliate and make it clear this kind of stuff is not in their best interests.

            If you don’t want to do that, what is your solution other than hoping the Iranians are as kind and wonderful as reason thinks they are and won’t do enormous damage to the world economy and the US economy with it by finally taking revenge on its enemies in the region?

            1. My solution is implied in a previous comment. Continue arming the Saudis as we have been for decades, and then expect them to use those arms to defend their own strategic interests. If they can’t defend against a drone or cruise missile attack, I’m not sure what they expect a few hundred of our troops to do besides die in the next attack. Putting our troops on the ground all but ensures an all-out war if they attack again.

              In this case, the best offense against Iran is a strong Saudi defense.

              1. I am fine with arming the Saudis. But that also means being okay with the Saudis using those arms to defend themselves. And that means a regional war. I am okay with that too, but I doubt Gabbard or reason is. Their position is always “Let the Iranians do whatever they want because REASONS!!”

                1. So, let me say this John. I’ve read this entire argument, and you both make valid points.

                  Here’s my problem. We go to war a lot. For really long periods these days. And, well, it’s tough to stomach yet another, maybe necessary, involvement in an overseas conflict.

                  Whatever the length.

                  And then… Well, I don’t like a lot of what SA does. And I really want Iran to come around and join the civilized world. I think, long term, they and not Saudi Arabia will be a good US partner.

                  But I don’t see a way through here that gets what I want. I’d like to say “fuck Saudi Arabia, it’s time to put up or shut up” but burning that bridge has long term comications. And is no guarantee of Iran coming around.

                  This whole situation is just a mess.

                  1. And when I say “go to war a lot” I mean the low intensity conflicts that we seem to be always involved in.

                2. I think you’re arguing against a strawman there. Libertarian dogma with respect to US foreign policy is consistently on the side of the US not getting involved in regional conflicts. I see nothing from Reason here to make me think otherwise.

              2. “Putting our troops on the ground all but ensures an all-out war if they attack again.”

                Hence DETERRENCE

            2. “I think at most we could retaliate and make it clear this kind of stuff is not in their best interests. ”

              During the Iran Iraq war, the Iranians sent donkeys to clear mine fields. When this proved ineffective, they sent in children, who volunteered according to accounts. The Iranians are not kind and wonderful. You might as well attack Russians.

              1. Volunteered is a stretch. It was like how Kamikaze pilots volunteered. You either volunteered or you and your family faced consequences.

                1. ” It was like how Kamikaze pilots volunteered. ”

                  That’s basically what I’m saying. Families weren’t threatened. And those children weren’t forced. Neither were the pilots. If you’ve heard different let me know. People volunteering to sacrifice themselves in times of war is not unusual.

                  1. According to my major professor, who was a Persian veteran of the Iran-Iraq war the families certainly were threatened. And so were the Kamikaze pilots. You were asked to volunteer, but you were punished if you didn’t.

                    1. “According to my major professor, who was a Persian veteran of the Iran-Iraq war the families certainly were threatened.”

                      Seems implausible. Exactly how were the families threatened? It’s usually the welfare of the children that’s threatened unless the adults comply. In this case it seems that the children were approached and told if they didn’t become human mine clearers, their parents would suffer. Not saying it never happened, I’m just skeptical, especially of an emigre who is willing to toady to his hosts, telling them what they want to hear.

                    2. A man who saw innocent children killed to clear mines is a toady? And yes, if you told my kids that they either do something or their families would be hurt, they would do it. It isn’t all that far-fetched. Children do love their parents.

                    3. Seems implausible

                      To commie wastes of carbon molecules who deserve the rope, of course it would.

              2. The biggest problem with the Iran-Iraq war is both countries relied on Soviet military doctorine, which seems to be less then effective in all reality world applications.

                1. Iran was able to blow a top drawer US drone out of the sky a little while back. The Soviets never faced such weapons. We’re all living in a new century, the Iranians included.

                  1. Blowing a drone has nothing to do with military doctorine. It was a one off event. It has nothing to do with how their divisions are organized, their fire control is organized, their tactics, their logistics etc. They are still using basically outdated Soviet doctorine and for the most part outdated equipment. Shooting a drone down with a SAM, once doesn’t prove anything. The Serbians managed to shoot down an F-117 too, but it didn’t mean the tactics worked in the long run.
                    Chuck Yeager shot down a ME-262 with a P-51 by being in the right place at the right time. Are you arguing the P-51 was as advanced as the ME-262?

                    1. “Chuck Yeager shot down a ME-262 with a P-51 by being in the right place at the right time. Are you arguing the P-51 was as advanced as the ME-262?”

                      Can’t help you there. Wait a few weeks. Sanctions. Uprisings in the streets. Regime change. Within months, I promise.

                    2. So regime change as a result of sanctions and popular uprising. Hardly the US looking to start a war with Iran. So you are endorsing Trump’s plan then? Because that seems to be it. He has had multiple chances to attack Iran and hasn’t yet. He seems to be focused on containing Iran and making it difficult for the regime.

                    3. “So you are endorsing Trump’s plan then?”

                      Trump’s plan? It’s been the plan of every president since 1979. None have worked.

                      “He seems to be focused on containing Iran and making it difficult for the regime.”

                      Maybe he should worry more about containing Yemen. They just claimed responsibility for an attack that destroyed half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production capacity.

                    4. Yemen claimed responsibility but the evidence diffutes that. Radar has the drone coming from the North not South and the debris is not consistent with a Yemenese rocket.

        2. I’d like to give Trump the benefit of the doubt here, actually. If there’s anything to celebrate about his presidency (aside from the tax cuts), libertarians should be celebrating his non-interventionist foreign policy. He signaled a withdrawal from Afghanistan. He fires John Bolton. HOORAY we all cheer. Maybe Trump really is different on war.

          Then he pulls this move, which seems like exactly what every President in my lifetime would have done. And now we’re standing on the precipice of yet another conflict involving the US in the Middle East. I’m beginning to believe the conspiracy theorists wrt the power of the military-industrial complex.

          1. A couple of Patriot missile batteries. We shoot down their drones and or cruise missiles. No damage done. Except to their drones and or cruise missiles. Or we choose to ignore their attack on a nominal ally.

          2. Stop with the pure and naive idealism. How did non interventionism work out between WW1 and WW2? You can prefer non interventionism without being naive. When rogue countries are saber rattling you want to stop it before they saber swing.

            What is your honest level to interventionism? Iran has to take over the canals? What?

          3. Really? Deploy a few missile batteries? Because most president’s order airstrikes in this type of situation.

            1. If we or the Saudis are in fact only deploying missiles, then I agree that’s the thing to do (would prefer the Saudis did it on their own). This article and others are saying boots on the ground.

              I guess it’s not clear what exactly our involvement is.

    3. The all out inferno war will come when Iran gets nukes, which is what all of this is leading to.

  3. Stick to lame insta videos where you ham handedly compare troops to prostitutes, then proceed to woodenly campaign on that shit pile of an analogy.

    It totally works for you.

  4. Tulsi was interviewed by Dave Rubin so totes problematic.

  5. There is an argument to be made that constantly appeasing Iran could also end up in a major regional conflict as well, as the well be emboldened to push the limit on what they can get away with.

    Frankly, whether or not there is such a conflict depends on whether the Iranian government thinks such is in its interest or not. Our questions are: Is it in our interest to suppress it? If suppressing it is in our interest, should we do that before or after it starts?

    1. There is an argument to be made that constantly appeasing Iran could also end up in a major regional conflict as well, as the well be emboldened to push the limit on what they can get away with.

      Yes there is. But understanding that argument requires the listener to not always think the best of Iran and realize that Iran might be a legitimately bad actor that can only be deterred with the threat of force. That is something reason is incapable of doing. According to reason, Iran might be the most peaceful nation on earth.

      1. They do have a blind spot that only US actions increase the possibility of major war. Everyone else is merely reacting to US diplomacy and have no agendas of their own that they are trying to advance.

      2. Understanding any of this requires basic comprehension of fundamental human/animal/physical (aka, universal) psychology, which can be difficult for the dogmatically beholden

  6. Oh Jeez. Another thread full of libertarians for perpetual war.

    1. No, a recognition that giving into an agressive regime may as like not encourage a larger conflict. That Gabbard’s pacifism at all costs may increase the chance for a conflict that will get out of control and may not end in the interests of anyone who wants a general peace.

      1. As I said – libertarians for perpetual war.

        Every thing you said could be and has been said re every single conflict that we have engaged in for the last 120+ years. And there are roughly a couple dozen countries currently who also meet that criteria once you finish rattling your saber about Iran so that we can then go fight them too.

        1. If this actually ends in war you may have a point. If it remains just a form of deterrence then it kind of contradicts your point.

          1. No it doesn’t. ‘Cold War’ is merely a form of war that can go on for decades and inure entire generations to even the very idea that we are at perpetual war.

            You do understand that ‘keeping the entire world at peace’ means being the world’s policeman correct?

            1. Keeping the entire world at peace would require us to be the world policemen. Placing a few Patriot missile batteries to deter further attacks and protecting a national interest (world oil prices do impact our economy) is not acting the world police. Nor is it some form of perpetual cold war (which is far more desirable then a hot war).

              1. Placing a few Patriot missile batteries to deter further attacks

                The only people that would deter are Americans who are apparently the only people on Earth who still think that system works. Patriot missile system is a lemon – and Saudi knows that better than anyone cuz that’s where it has been failing for nearly 30 years. Chances are – assuming any of this recent news is true (which is questionable anyway) – it failed again a few days ago. Going to war to bail out the MIC and preserve face with ‘allies’ whom we bully into buying our stuff – pretty much the definition of an ally to the US – probably has a lot more to do with why we are saberrattling Iran now than anything else.

                world oil prices do impact our economy

                So yet more teat-sucking by SUV driving suburbanites who want someone else to pay the costs of cheap oil for them while opposing any govt spending to reduce the importance of oil prices?

                1. No because oil fuels almost all of our economy. And the Patriot missile is a lemon, really?

                  1. BS. 70% of oil used is for transport and our transport efficiency (kJ/thing/km) is roughly half of other rich countries that don’t try to centrally-plan or subsidize oil prices. That are ok with oil prices fluctuating just like every other price on the planet. You know – a free market. Only 11% is used for petrochemicals and those are not price-rigid to input costs (ie – the only thing being protected is profit margins and capital investment NOT consumer prices). Remainder is combusted where there are alternatives or poured on ground as asphalt where there are alternatives.

                    And the Patriot missile is a lemon, really?

                    The Saudis have at least six battalions of Patriot systems. You can bet at least two of them are in Eastern Saudi cuz that’s where 100% of their oil facilities are and that’s an obvious target for the Houthis who are the ones sending missiles in response to Saudis attacking them. Assuming you believe this recent story, it pretty obviously failed since it didn’t fucking work – again. In my world, that’s kinda the definition of failure. At best – it works against 1960’s air/missile technology.

                    1. The Saudis own a lot of US military gear but the general consensus is the don’t know how to use it.
                      The US centrally plans our energy while Europe doesn’t? Do you really believe that? Our transportation system is less efficient by what standard. And if 70% of oil is used for transportation, that pretty much means it’s the basis of modern economy. Unless you know a lot of countries that use sail power or horse drawn carriages. Can a modern economy function without petroleum based transportation? Yes or no? Thus petroleum is the basis of our economy, because almost all goods need to be transported.
                      BTW profit margins and consumer prices are both related. You seem incapable of making a valid argument.

                    2. Our transportation system is less efficient by what standard.

                      Kj/thing moved/km – ‘thing moved’ = either passenger or ton of freight. Only our freight rail system is extremely efficient.

                      Can a modern economy function without petroleum based transportation? Yes or no?

                      In 20 years, you are going to find that the answer is ‘yes’. Most countries are quickly moving beyond oil. Right now for electricity – and next step for them all is transportation. We are falling behind quickly.

                      Can the US even imagine a future without oil at its core? No. That’s what made us the hyperpower and our addiction to that paradigm will cause our decline. We are incapable of change. The rest of the world is quite capable of change. Because of that obsession of ours, we will be dicking around with oil-producing countries until a)no one else in the world cares cuz they’ve moved on and b)we therefore lose our ability to finance that and go bankrupt in the ‘end of empire’ sort of sense.

                    3. You do realize that the US actually is one of the leading producers of renewables and non fossil fuel energy right? And the countries that are “leading” the way actually get more electricity as a percentage from fossil fuels then before, they just buy it from another country. And since over half of all our freight moves by train already, I’m trying to figure out how we are so less efficient. Of course in much of western Europe a lot of freight is moved by smaller trucks because less distance, and more compact population, while the US is forced to use large semi-trucks, which get less mpg. So, it looks more like comparing apples to oranges.
                      In 20 years at least half of all vehicles will remain petroleum based, greater if it takes longer to convert to electric vehicles. That is based upon replacement rates.

                    4. You do realize that the US actually is one of the leading producers of renewables and non fossil fuel energy right?

                      The US is ‘big’. Therefore we will always be one of the bigger markets by sheer quantity. That doesn’t mean we are ‘leading’ anything. A good indicator of ‘leading’ would be actually producing the infrastructure/equipment that that transition will depend on so others actually buy that from us as they transition. We are essentially irrelevant there. No one is coming to the US for advice/materiel/etc re any of this. Other companies are simply setting up branch operations here. Of the 10 biggest economies, we are #9 in solar (we beat France – but not India) as a % of our energy production and #10 in wind.

                      the countries that are “leading” the way actually get more electricity as a percentage from fossil fuels then before

                      Not necessarily. Germany is now close to 50% of their electricity requirement from renewables. It will be 70% in 10 years. They do still export surplus electricity to neighbors from coal/nuclear plants but that’s more a matter of transition – choosing to wind those pre-existing capital investments down more slowly rather than eliminate them at once.

                      China is doing the opposite priority – dominating EV transportation first since they didn’t have many cars to begin with (a way of bypassing the ‘oil-based combustion engine’ entirely – similar to the way Africa bypassed ‘landline’ telephony). While their electricity generation is still hopelessly ancient and surplus capacity.

                      Within a decade or so, both will switch priorities as their capacity bottleneck changes to the other thing. The investment priority will be different in developed v developing countries.

                    5. I’m trying to figure out how we are so less efficient

                      In large part because a)for passengers we move tons of excess weight around merely to move the passenger around and b)for freight, we have a larger % of long-haul carried by smaller-load trucks.

                      The former is obviously a combo of bigger private vehicles and ’emptier’ buses. The latter is a consequence of hollowing-out of railtrack mileage – peaked at 430,000 miles in the 1920’s to 140,000 now. This was a direct consequence of oil replacing steam. Trains did convert to diesel but the ‘window’ had closed and we were now into cars/trucks. So while we can still move bulk commodities/imports long-distance by rail, we can no longer move truckload size from say 3rd town away from SLC to 4th town away from Tampa.

                      And yes – renewables will run trains too elsewhere (though not in the US). Easier than cars cuz trains have elements of both stationary and mobile that cars can’t really have unless roads themselves become solar panels. Dutch electric trains are now 100% wind-powered.

                2. Your source is a bunch of induendoes and few actual facts. It is one writers “analysis” but hardly definitive. Also, the writer admits the very nature of the type of missile being used wasn’t what the Patriot was designed for. Drones and cruise missiles on the other hand are very similar to what it was designed for. Shooting down ballistic missiles is far different then shooting down drones and or cruise missiles. Please stop embarrassing yourself trying to act like you understand the difference. Besides the bigger deterrence is Iran’s apparent to directly attack America.

                  1. “Shooting down ballistic missiles is far different then shooting down drones and or cruise missiles.”

                    Point is NOT shooting down ballistic missiles is pretty similar to NOT shooting down drones.

                    1. No it isn’t. Shooting down a ballistic missile is one of the most difficult tasks in air defense. There are no systems that do it well. Shooting down a drone is far easier.
                      A drone is far more fragile and far easier to intercept and knock down. A ballistic missile is using gravity when it is intercepted. The inertia alone is far greater than that of a drone. It is basic physics.
                      How is shooting down a powered drone similar to shooting down a falling object, because that is what a ballistic missile is once it reaches it’s zenith.

                    2. “Shooting down a ballistic missile is one of the most difficult tasks in air defense.”

                      Not shooting down a ballistic missile is much easier. About as easy as not shooting down a drone. Point is that Saudi air defense shot nothing down. Nothing on the day of the attack, nothing since. White elephant = paper tiger!

                    3. Not shooting down a ballistic missile is what usually happens. I don’t know why the Saudis missed the drone. But like a lot of things I suspect they never properly trained on the equipment we sold them. I already spoke about that. It had nothing to do with the Patriot missile system not working.

                  2. the writer admits the very nature of the type of missile being used wasn’t what the Patriot was designed for…Please stop embarrassing yourself

                    YOU’RE the one who didn’t realize that Saudi has had Patriot systems for decades – and advocated more installs as the ‘solution’ in this case – even though that solution did not fucking work in this case. Please stop embarrassing yourself.

                    Besides the bigger deterrence is Iran’s apparent to directly attack America.

                    Oh FFS. Stop wetting yourself. Iran’s interest outside Iran is almost entirely ‘protect the Shia’ – including Hezbollah which started as a ‘Never Again’ response to Israeli complicity in the Sabra/Shatila massacre. ‘Sabra’ being the Shiite neighborhood that surrounded the Shatila refugee camp. Before that, Lebanese Shia were actually quite friendly with Israel (both hate Palestinians – for different reasons – enemy of enemy etc).

                    The only direct threat Iran presents to the US is to our bases in Bahrain – which happens to be 2/3 Shia but ruled by Sunnis who repress them.

                    1. I never said the Saudis didn’t have Patriot missile batteries. I advocated for putting in our Patriot missile batteries with American trained crews. Our systems are more advanced than the Saudis and our soldiers better trained. Do you get the difference?
                      And I meant the bigger deterrence is Irand reluctance to attack Americans. I was saying though I missed a word that the Iranians don’t want to attack Americans first but are trying to force America to attack them.

                    2. Iran doesn’t give a shit about the US in the abstract. We serve only one function – to rile up the crowd at Friday prayers. We are the bogey and every authoritarian regime needs a bogey. Hell I’d argue we need a bogey – and Iran is one of those for us.

                      That doesn’t mean they are going to attack us and we are truly snowflakes if we can’t understand why pretty much every country on Earth will find us the convenient bogey for as long as we are king of the mountain (esp when that has often involved us dicking around with the little guy).

        2. And by every single conflict I do mean every single conflict – large or small, overt or covert

          1. Yes, because only if Neville Chamberlain had tried diplomacy first.

            1. “Yes, because only if Neville Chamberlain had tried diplomacy first.”

              Should have signed a pact with Stalin instead. It would have held better than any Hitler pact.

              1. Really? How so? Because Stalin was such a stand-up guy in the post war years. God you are flailing now.

                1. “Because Stalin was such a stand-up guy in the post war years.”

                  He tended to stand behind his international agreements better than Hitler did. I wouldn’t fault Chamberlain for trying diplomacy. Fault him instead for putting his trust in Hitler.

                  1. Berlin blockade? Yeah he stood behind them really well. Right until he didn’t need them anymore.

                    1. “Yeah he stood behind them really well. ”

                      Better than Hitler.

          2. And if the US had only backed down in Beruit and Somalia Al Qaeda would never have attacked us.

            1. In fairness, Al-Qaeda didn’t attack us because we backed down in Beruit and Somalia, but because we sent Christian troops to defend Saudi Arabia against a Muslim aggressor.

              1. Yes, they attacked us because they are religious bigots.

                1. they attacked us because they are religious bigots.

                  God you people are fucking ignorant. No wonder you are so easy to manipulate.

                  Here is binladin’s 1996 Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places

                  ‘Land of the Two Holy Places’ (Mecca and Medina) is the Islamic term for what we now call — Saudi Arabia. Protection of those Two Holy Places is the religious obligation of the Saud family – and the fatwa was also a de facto war on them as corrupt weak puppets. ‘Crusaders’ occupying that country – which we were still doing in 1996 – is as offensive to Muslims as a Muslim army occupying the Vatican and holding the Pope hostage would be to Catholics.

                  9/11 was imo chosen as the symbolic date for the attack because that was the anniversary of the speech GHW Bush made to Congress explaining the objectives of sending troops to Saudi. The first four of which were mundane to the gulf war itself. The fifth – our fifth objective—a new world order—can emerge: a new era—freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony is exactly the sort of grandiose BS that inspires Americans and sounds like ‘permanent occupation until pigs fly’ to those who don’t give a rat’s fuck about inspiring Americans. And I suspect World Trade Center also had that sort of symbolic – here’s the prosperity and peace of your new world order free from the threat of terror right back atcha.

                  1. “Libertarians for Bin Laden”
                    Nicely done

                    1. He hasn’t offered any cognitive arguments and accuses others of not understanding the facts when he makes rather stupid mistakes himself. His approach is blame America first.

                    2. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. – Sun Tzu – The Art of War

    2. Putting defensive steps in place that thwart further aggressive actions is totes supporting eternal war.

    3. yeah, Tulsi is right on foreign policy, just like Ron Paul was. give her credit for that at least. Hopefully Trump can continue to show more wisdom and restraint than the warmongers in DC.

      1. Tulsi is half right. War isn’t a good thing but the Obama’s Iran deal was just fucking worthless.

  7. Are we at least charging the Saudi’s costs for protecting these oil fields?

    I mean, yeah, they’re useful to us – but not *necessary* to our prosperity. The US is basically oil-independent, or could be if we allowed more local drilling.

    Its the Saudis that should be worried about a disruption, the Saudis that wanted control of the fields so badly way back when, and the Saudis that should be protecting the fields that the prosperity of their nation is completely dependent upon.

    1. “and the Saudis that should be protecting the fields that the prosperity of their nation is completely dependent upon.”

      The Saudis should have conquered Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries, years ago. That they haven’t should make you question relying on Saudis for anything. The fact that the Saudis share America’s taste for endless unwinnable wars is no basis for an alliance.

      1. I knew several soldiers who trained with both the Saudis and the Kuwaitis in the 1990s. Their verdict was the Saudis love their fancy toys, loved shooting their Abrams etc but sucked at actually understanding how to use them and didn’t seem to be bothered to learn either. The Kuwaitis on the other hand were not only interested but passionate. I guess being conquered sharpens your focus. Many I spoke with who had trained with multiple different Gulf States felt outside Israel the Kuwaitis had the best military.

        1. Pete Helmes:
          What are the chances of war between them?

          Bob Nixon:
          Very good sir. Our spare parts replacement contracts could be very lucrative.

          Pete Helmes:
          Who trains their flight personnel?

          Max Landsberger:
          Well, as near as we can assess it… well, they don’t actually fly the planes. They sort of roll them down hills, crashing them into each other.

          Scott Dantley:
          Personally, I think that it’s a shameful waste of incredible kill power.

          Pete Helmes:
          Make the deal.

          1. I love that movie! One of my favorites.

        2. “Many I spoke with who had trained with multiple different Gulf States felt outside Israel the Kuwaitis had the best military.”

          Well. good for them. Miltias are the way to go these days. It was a militia that chased your all mighty Israeli army out of Lebanon, twice, while the Lebanese military sat about twiddling their thumbs. Iran also employs militia forces. Even the American military is not immune from the stultifying influence of the pomp and circumstance, self awarded honors, perks, and careerism that plague the military everywhere. Outfits like Hezbollah are leaner, meaner and smarter than we credit them.

          1. Eh, if you pretend to be civilians then you have a gigantic advantage over uniformed military.

            Which is why it used to be standard procedure to execute combatants not fighting in uniform…

            1. “Eh, if you pretend to be civilians then you have a gigantic advantage over uniformed military.”

              I hate cheaters. It’s so unfair, damn their eyes.

          2. Chased Israel out of Lebanon or Israel decided not to use the military force necessary to fight an insurgency using non-uniformed combatants? Mainly because of global pressure? Do you really think the militias could have stood against Israel if Israel had liberalized their rules of engagement?

            1. “Do you really think the militias could have stood against Israel if Israel had liberalized their rules of engagement?”

              They obviously thought using military force against an insurgency was a good idea when they entered Lebanon. What they were thinking when they left, was not worrying about the international community, but Hezbollah blowing up yet another of their tanks and the crew therein. I think Israel proves that there are diminishing returns on killing non combatant civilians.

              1. They entered for a very limited engagement and did not 2ant to fight a protracted battle nor occupy land. The only way to defeat an insurgency or non-uniformed combatants is with overwhelming force occupying territory.

              2. Killing non combatant civilians? Did you not just say those civilians blew up a tank. Seems fairly combatant to me. And wasn’t the actions in response to Hezbollah firing rockets against Israeli civilians?

                1. ” Did you not just say those civilians blew up a tank. ”

                  No, I said a militia named Hezbollah blew up those tanks and the Israelis therein. I was making a point that the most effective fighting forces in the middle east are militias and not militarys like the army of Kuwait, no matter how much you are in awe of their powers.

                  1. They are only effective when the other side doesn’t want to occupy land. The American trained and supported Iraqi units destroyed militia units by occupying their territory.b

                    1. Militias still operate in Iraq. Also Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Yemen, Kurdish enclaves, Afghanistan. Libya, etc.

              3. There were no territorial gains to be had. Therefore why hold territory?

                At this point there is no buffer zone. The battlefield is above, below, on the ground and in cyberspace on the northern border.

                1. “Therefore why hold territory?”

                  For the bible tells me so.

                  1. Do you believe in rock n roll?

                2. That is the point. Israel didn’t want to occupy the land so the militia units look victorious. If Israel had wanted to fight a prolonged campaign and occupy territory, they would have crushed the militias.

                  1. ” If Israel had wanted to fight a prolonged campaign and occupy territory,”

                    They don’t, though. One of their precious conscripts might get hurt or even killed. That’s why, when things got too hot for them in Lebanon, they ran. Twice.

    2. We are more concerned about disruptions to European and Asian energy supplies who the Saudis mostly ship to.

  8. Tulsi Gabbard’s comments could lead to all out war with Iran.
    Trump not acting could lead to all out war with Iran.
    Impeaching Trump could lead to all out war with Iran.
    Voting in the next election could lead to all out war with Iran.
    Legalizing Marijuana could lead to all out war with Iran.
    Iran could lead to all out war with Iran.

    1. “Tulsi Gabbard’s comments could lead to all out war with Iran.”

      Saudi Arabia’s lack of response to the loss of half of their oil production capacity shows how much they want all out war with Iran.

      1. The Saudis are a second rate military (at best) with first class equipment. They by expensive stuff like Abrams and F15E strike eagles but don’t want to put in the effort to actually learn how to use it. You notice Iran doesn’t give to much shit to Kuwait because after the first gulf war they bought a ton of US weapons and learned how to use them effectively.

        1. “You notice Iran doesn’t give to much shit to Kuwait because after the first gulf war they bought a ton of US weapons and learned how to use them effectively.”

          I don’t think Iran gives any shit to Kuwait, certainly not enough shit to garner a headline. They don’t give any shit to another neighbor, Pakistan, which has a lot more US weaponry than your persian gulf princes put together. Neither Kuwait nor Pakistan is responsible for the ongoing atrocities in Yemen. That’s down to Saudi Arabia and USA.

          1. Iran has long saw itself as the leading Islamic nation. They have interfered with multiple neighbors and are hardly a benevolent nation that is only responding to US and Saudi aggression. Your attempt to make this argument shows a decided lack of understanding of Middle East history.

            1. So sometimes Iran makes war on Pakistan, sometimes on Kuwait. This time is Saudi Arabia’s turn, and their rape of Yemen is irrelevant. Just a coincidence.

              Face it, as long as Americans are helping Saudis murder Yemenis, this is not going to be resolved. Amazingly it’s congress who wants the war to end, and Trump is the one who wants it to continue.

              1. You think Iran will play nice if the US stopped supporting Saudi Arabia? Or will the Iranians reinforce their allies and further attack the Saudis? For some reason you seem to think the Iranian regime is benevolent.

                1. “For some reason you seem to think the Iranian regime is benevolent.”

                  It’s you who seems to underestimate their resolve. You actually think the regime will collapse due to American sanctions without firing a shot.

                  1. It’s you who seems to underestimate their resolve. You actually think the regime will collapse due to American sanctions without firing a shot.

                    I doubt anyone thinks the regime will collapse due to sanctions.

                  2. The sanctions won’t cause the regime to fall, it will be popular uprising of the people. The people of Iran aren’t exactly happy with the regime and add on economic pressure and it could result in a popular uprising.

                    1. “The people of Iran aren’t exactly happy with the regime and add on economic pressure and it could result in a popular uprising.”

                      We’ve been telling ourselves that since 1979. It’s not a plan.

  9. Maybe she would prefer the Obama policy of sending the Iranians a few pallets of cash in unmarked, nonsequential bills. Oh wait, that might lead to an all-out inferno of a war or something.

    1. Capitulate I mean make a deal that is good for Iran while accomplishing little if nothing for the US and only slightly delays their (Iran’s) stated goals by a couple of years.

    2. “Maybe she would prefer the Obama policy of sending the Iranians a few pallets of cash in unmarked, nonsequential bills.”

      Why not? Americans have been, yearly, sending billions to Israel and Egypt since long before anyone here ever heard of Obama.

      1. Sending money to allies equals sending money to hostile nations in your mind?

        1. Old Israeli saying: A shekel is a shekel.

          1. No, supporting an ally and sending money to a hostile power is very different. The fact that you even attempt to try and conflate the two demonstrates that you’re only interested in blaming America no matter what the facts actually are.
            So say in 1940 FDR gave Germany destroyers like we gave England, it would be entirely the same thing in your mind?

            1. “The fact that you even attempt to try and conflate the two demonstrates that you’re only interested in blaming America no matter what the facts actually are.”

              No, just the realization that if America wants peace with Iran, money will pass hands. The time for bluff and bluster has come to an end.

              1. That is pure bullshit. Pay off foreign powers to be nice. So you are proposing we institute a form of modern Danesgeld. When you pay Danesgeld you just get more Danes. When you pay the Barbary pirates you just get more Barbary pirates.

                1. “When you pay the Barbary pirates you just get more Barbary pirates.”

                  Americans would rather pay than fight. Fighting the Barbary pirates requires resolve, a quality which today’s American lacks.

    3. It was their money. Not a bad concession to get them to stop making nuclear weapons.

      Trump threw that all away for some reason. Can you explain that reason, perchance?

      1. Except it wasn’t their money it was the previous government’s money and they didn’t stop making nuclear missiles they just slowed down how fast they were making them. And the money was paid to release our hostages anyhow.

  10. Iran is fucking up.
    Only a fool would mess with the Saudis.
    The Saudis have the money to buy a really neat war machine and hire mercenaries who would be more than happy to take out the Iranian ruling elites.
    If the ruling clique of Iran really think SA is going to roll over, the ruling elites in Iran are going to be in for a big fucking surprise.

  11. Just to distract from the war they are starting here ( a replay to show the democrats how a Constitution is born) the dems are ramping up the blather. maybe they will use a new word, “impeach” is old, “Hitler” is dead, and… i don’t even know…

  12. I think if anything, ignoring it and letting Iran attack Saudi Arabia with impunity is what will cause an actual war.

    SA doesn’t want a war, they can’t even beat Iran in Yemen. But they could be forced into it if Iran attacks like this again.

    1. “But they could be forced into it if Iran attacks like this again.”

      The attack a week ago caused the loss of 50% capacity. Another attack like this and Saudi Arabia oil production will be down to zero. The princes will still have their villas on the cote d’azur, so maybe they could lead the fight from there.

      1. Except that isn’t how it works. The Saudis have been able to repair most of the damage. An attack like this would limit but not entirely destroy Saudi oil production.

        1. “but not entirely destroy Saudi oil production.”

          🙂

          1. So you make a factually incorrect statement and I correct you and then you try and ridicule my correction? I notice this seems to be your modus operandi. But the nucleus is always you making a factually questionable statement.

            1. “So you make a factually incorrect statement and I correct you and then you try and ridicule my correction?”

              It was a smiley face of joy that the Saudi Arabian oil production capacity would not be entirely destroyed. Some capacity may remain.

              “But the nucleus is always you making a factually questionable statement.”

              I was responding to a factually questionable statement made by JeremyR with hyperbole. Context matters.

      2. The attack a week ago caused the loss of 50% capacity. Another attack like this and Saudi Arabia oil production will be down to zero.

        Yeah, no. Sorry.

  13. Do the incels like Tulsi because they are in the employ of Russia or because she looks like their favorite blow-up doll?

  14. Tulsi was interviewed by Dave Rubin so totes problematic

  15. “Gabbard has previously called the Trump administration ‘Saudi Arabia’s bitch.'”

    If I was dumb enough to vote, this comment of Tulsi’s alone would win her my vote.

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