Iraq

U.S. Military Retaliation Against Iran Looms After Attack on U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

Several dozen protesters tried to storm the American embassy in Baghdad in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in the country over the weekend.

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Demonstrators attempted to storm the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, on Tuesday as part of a protest against American airstrikes that had targeted a militia group in the country over the weekend.

Media reports say that hundreds of demonstrators had gathered outside the embassy compound chanting "Down, down USA!" while smashing security cameras and setting fire to embassy walls. Several dozen of these protestors then managed to break down the embassy's main door and set fire to a reception area, according to Al Jazeera.

The U.S. ambassador and other embassy staff were evacuated.

On Sunday, the U.S. had conducted airstrikes against the Iranian-backed, Iraqi government-sanctioned militia group Kataib Hezbollah in retaliation for a Friday rocket attack conducted by that group against a U.S. military base in Kirkuk, Iraq.

Those airstrikes received strong condemnation from both the Iraqi and Iranian governments, with the latter describing them as "a clear example of terrorism," reports The Washington Post. Other militia leaders promised retaliation. The crowd that attacked the U.S. embassy grew out of a street funeral procession in Baghdad for fighters killed in Sunday's airstrikes.

On Twitter this morning, President Donald Trump defended the airstrikes while blaming Iran for the demonstrations at the embassy.

"Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq," tweeted Trump. "They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!"

Trump's former National Security Adviser John Bolton was of a similar mind, drawing comparisons to the Iranian seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.

The situation raises the possibility of escalating violence between the U.S. and Iran, warns Christopher Preble, a defense policy scholar at the Cato Institute.

"I'm very concerned that the Trump administration's response is to escalate and to apply pressure. We've reached the point at which escalation almost certainly will be in the form of violence and kinetic action," Preble tells Reason, saying that more airstrikes are possibly on the way and could hit targets inside Iran itself.

The Trump administration has repeatedly ratcheted up tensions with Iran, tearing up the Obama-era nuclear deal, imposing mounting sanctions on the country, and sending more military forces to the region to counter Iranian influence.

The embassy attack and the risks it brings for more U.S. military action in the region are more fruits of the "original sin" of invading Iraq in the first place, says Preble.

"The advocates for that war claimed that the Iraqis would welcome our presence there. They suggested it would be a blow to Iran and undermine Iran's power in the region, and they claimed it would lead to the flowering of democracy, not merely in Iraq, but in the entire region. None of those things are true," he says.

Instead, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of U.S. lives lost, Iraqis appear more resentful of the American presence in their country than ever, and the U.S. is looking at getting more embroiled in yet another conflict in the region.

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    1. Well, it is theater.

      1. Time to just Nuke the shit out of Middle Eastern countries. Seeing as how they worship Satan( look it up, it’s true) it would lead to a MUCH safer world.

        1. If the strategy is to be “America first,” the initial targets should be Saudi Arabia and Israel.

          1. Gee Reverend, why don’t you enlighten us with your thinking on why Israel should be an initial target.

            1. Because he’s an irrational bigot.

              1. He is referring to the fact Trump is owned by both nations.

                1. No he’s not.

                  And your cite fell of asshole.

                  1. Yes he is. That is why he is selling weapons to the Saudis, something ALL libertarians oppose. He ended the Iran deal because he’s Bibi’s buttboy. It’s amazing how fake libertarian Trumpkins have taken over this site.Trump is not even close to being a libertarian.

                    1. All real libertarians spout progressive hivemind talking points!

                  2. The guy who said to “nuke all middle eastern countries” is the asshole.

                    1. And a racist. Funny how the Democrats like to tout “diversity”, but when it comes to murdering people of ethnicities different than their own, they’re all on board with it.

                      Meanwhile they hate the guy who thinks we should have fewer wars and that we should make treaties and trade agreements with other countries.

                  3. WTF does “your cite fell of” mean?

                    1. In this thread, an interesting conversation about the Iran situation is held.

                      Separately, a new poster by the name of “Vince Smith” completely shatters Poe’s Law

              2. Do you agree or disagree with my statement that it is not libertarian to want to nuke middle eastern countries? Answer the question, moron.

                1. That last post was for R Mac. (You know, it would be nice if posts would indicate whom you are replying to and if there was an edit option, like every other website has. Just sayin’.)

                  1. You know, it would be nice if a teenage girl wasn’t here spouting off drivel, then expect calling someone a moron is a good way to have them answer their question.

          2. Kirkland hates Da Joos too.

            Is there anyone he doesn’t hate?

            1. I think you mispelled racist nationalists.

              1. Democrats are running for president again?

        2. That is an incredibly stupid and I libertarian to say, Trumpkin “CGN.”

          1. You should take the time to read what you type before posting, because this is nonsense.

            1. It’s called auto correct, dumbass. I was trying to type illinertarian, as in “not libertarian.”

              The guy said to nuke every middle eastern country, you moron.

              1. illibertarian, as opposed to illiberal.

                1. What a silly little man you are. Making up words and spouting nonsense.

                  1. Wanting to nuke middle eastern conference nitrites isn’t libertarian, moron.

                  2. I’ll say that again because of the auto correct. WANTING TO NUKE MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRIES IS NOT LIBERTARIAN, MORON.

                    1. Needs more caps!

            2. Why am I not able to reply to certain comments here?

              You say I keep embarrassing myself with ignorance, so set me straight then.

              Your belief that I’m a sock puppet is wrong. I am not a troll or liberal. In fact, I had a heated argument a couple of years ago on this site with that guy (forget his name) who bashes Ron Paul all the time. I argued with him about Ron Paul and abortion. i also don’t care for the “Hank Phillips” guy who hates pro-lifers. I am pro-life, pro-peace, and pro-free trade. I just happen to call it as I see it regarding Trump. He is simply not a libertarian or even a conservative. Deal with it.

              1. As you deal with constant ridicule for continuing to post dumb shit?

      1. I bet there are a lot of Islamic Scholars.

      2. The appropriate response when a mob invades an embassy is to kill them all.
        If Americans don’t have a couple mini-guns, some RPGs and a bunch of claymores inside the gates, then they haven’t properly reinforced the embassy. Get a Spectre gunship in to mow down the entire crowd.. and leave NO survivors.
        I don’t have any hope of teaching the sub-80-IQ ragheads the concept of “non-aggression” – but we can teach them that attacking an embassy means instant death.

    2. Here is an idea.
      Let’s pull all U.S. forces out of Iraq.
      And bring them all the way back to continental U.S.
      Then let’s have a debate about having troops in Afghanistan.
      If it is not in our clear national interest, let’s pull them back home as well.

    3. How about this?
      Let’s pull our troops out of Iraq and bring them back to the continental United States.

  1. Seems like a measured response against the Iraqi militia by the US. As much as the NeverTrumnpers at Cato want Trump to go to war with Iran it’s not very likely that he will.

  2. So a government supported militia group attacked a US base and they didn’t expect swift retaliation?

    1. Just like Reasoms theory of trade. Everyone can be bad actors except the US who isnt even allowed to retaliate.

      1. It is the Blame America First orientation of Reason’s writers that I find very off-putting. You’d think we could all agree on: Hey, the host country has an obligation to protect our embassy. I mean, that is as controversial as plain vanilla ice cream.

        Does CHRISTIAN BRITSCHGI mention that? Nope. And that omission to me is indicative of the problem.

        1. This military attack occurred in Iraq and killed Iraqis (civilians?) yet apparently was conducted without the knowledge, consent, or approval of Iraq. Sounds like someone forgot — or, more likely, ignored — the obligation to respect sovereignty.

          I expect clingers to continue to ignore this point.

          1. Obama didn’t alert Pakistan when we raided Bin Laden’s compound.

            You condemn Trump, you must also Obama and your enlightened progressive hawks. But that’s the one thing that you can’t do. I know.

          2. Oh, so you think it is perfectly Ok for Iran and Hezbollah to kill Americans abroad. Is that it Kirkland?

            Your alter ego is so much more entertaining than you.

            1. Abroad. At home. On the moon.

              Kirkland wants Americans dead everywhere.

          3. Sounds like someone forgot — or, more likely, ignored — the obligation to respect sovereignty.

            Embassies are considered a sovereign territory of the country officially occupying them. So technically the “protestors” were attacking the United States.

            You’re as stupid on basics of diplomacy as you are on everything else, hicklib.

        2. JesseAz and Commenter_XY The point is Trump caused this situation by ending the Iran Deal. Sanctions are an act of war.

          1. Holy shit, a new liberal dumbfick. Mod already got taught below. Please refer to facts down there.

            Are you also going to ignore that the deal was never ratified and even if it was iran violated it from day one?

            1. Holy shit, a neocon dumbfuck.

              Since when does supporting peace make one a liberal? This is a libertarian site, and libertarians are pro-peace and largely supported the Iran deal.

              Minor violations of the Iran deal are not worth ripping up the deal and imposing sanctions. Duh. They were cooperating and NOT building nuclear weapons.

              BTW, like I said earlier, a true libertarian wouldn’t even care if Iran obtained nukes. They aren’t going to use them on us or Israel unless they are suicidal. They want nukes to DEFEND themselves, which should be their right. Dumbass neocon.

              1. Since when does supporting peace make one a liberal?

                It doesn’t. But “supporting peace” through unratified, unenforceable treaties that the other party has no intention of honoring makes one a fool.

                Minor violations of the Iran deal are not worth ripping up the deal and imposing sanctions.

                Ah, the Jimmy Carter model of negotiation. It doesn’t matter if they keep violating the terms of the agreement with you because they know you won’t do anything about it…you’ll just make a new agreement with them, which they also won’t honor because they know that you’re impotent.

                How’d that work out for Carter?

                1. UCrawford I’m all for being tough on nations that have attacked America. When Iran invades America, I will support war. Until then, no.

                  The hostage crisis was a reaction to us overthrowing Iran’s government and installing the shah. Can you blame them?

                  1. Iranians attacked America constantly while we were in Iraq (a nation not their own). They imported anti-vehicle and IED weaponry to be used against our troops. They’ve attacked our shipping in the Strait of Hormuz (international waters) since the 1980s. They’ve conducted terrorist attacks throughout the region.

                    The hostage crisis was a reaction to us overthrowing Iran’s government and installing the shah. Can you blame them?

                    Since there was a 26 year gap between Operation Ajax and the seizure of the embassy, yes, I can blame them for their behavior. And since Mossadegh was moving Iran into the Soviet orbit during the Cold War, when our priority to protect ourselves from Soviet expansion was containment, I don’t consider overthrowing a socialist government to be our worst sin.

                    Mossadegh also led a coup to overthrow the shah’s government in the 1950s, so let’s not pretend this was just about the mean old Americans not letting pure democracy flourish in Iran. Mossadegh was not more legitimate a ruler than the shah was…he was a ruler who overthrew the country’s government, looked to seize other countries’ property, and planned to give critical support to our enemies.

                    1. We should have stayed out of Iran’s business. Chickens come home to roost.

                    2. After the hostage crisis, we should have called it “even” and then promised not to bother Iran any more.

                    3. Then we wouldn’t be having any problems with Iran anymore. Also, electing Ron Paul would have ended all of our problems with Iran.

                    4. Vince keeps embarrassing himself with ignorance.

                2. UCrawford The guy who said to “nuke all Middle Eastern countries” is one of your guys, not a Democrat. His name is “CGN.” There are plenty of neocon anti-Muslim bigots who support Trump.

              2. BTW, like I said earlier, a true libertarian wouldn’t even care if Iran obtained nukes.

                Because a true libertarian always believes the train will respect his right to stand on the tracks and stop, right up until the point where it runs him over.

                This is why libertarians are never trusted with anything important. They don’t see the big picture.

                1. Iran would not nuke us simply because they obtained nuclear weapons. It would be suicidal, and they know it. North Korea has nukes yet hasn’t nuked us.

                  1. But they would launch nukes at Israel or some other country if they felt that their regime was in danger of collapse. They’ve got the delivery systems to reach Europe and having that nuclear shield provides them with cover to expand their general level of military and insurgent fuckery in the Persian Gulf region. That’s bad for everyone.

                    North Korea has nukes yet hasn’t nuked us.

                    They don’t have a delivery system capable of putting a warhead on target, a warhead that can deliver the promised megatonnage, or an ICBM that can survive re-entry (yet). They’re also the proxy of China, meaning that most of what they do is about stirring the pot to act as agent provocateur for Xi. We’ve also got them mostly contained and their reach outside of their country is limited, so they’re less of a threat than Iran is at the moment. But if China told them to lob a nuke onto Japan or if they felt their regime was on the verge of collapse, they’d do it…so limiting their nuclear ambitions is the smart move.

                    Your problem is that you make the typical know-nothing mistake of viewing other nations and cultures as if they have the same general goals and ambitions as us and assume that if we just leave them alone they’ll leave us alone. That’s not how the world has ever worked, and it’s naivete that ignores how authoritarian governments view other nations.

                    1. If Iran nukes Israel, that’s not our problem. And they won’t because Israel would nuke them right back.

                    2. If North Korea nukes Japan, that’s Japan’s problem, not ours. There is no reason for us to care what North Korea does. Leave Korea, and end all sanctions.

                    3. If Iran nukes Israel, that’s not our problem.

                      There you go missing the bigger picture again. Escalation to nuclear conflict by *any* nation is very much our problem. And you’re presuming that the Iranians view nuclear brinksmanship and rational political behavior in the same way we do. They don’t…and Carter’s inability to understand that led directly to his bungling of the hostage crisis.

                      That would be you failing to understand the world as viewed by our adversaries and assuming they’re operating from the same perceptions and end goals that we are. That’s a rookie mistake.

                2. And why are you commenting here if you don’t like libertarians? Breitbart is up your alley.

                  1. Because you’re not really a “true” libertarian and don’t really get how anything works and I like slapping people like yourself across the face with reality. It’s fun, and you’re not smart enough to know how to fight back.

                    1. You’ve slapped me with nothing but nonsense. You say I’m not a libertarian. How so? You’re certainly not a libertarian. The REALITY is, your foreign policy hasn’t worked, so please stop talking to me about what reality is, okay, neocon.

                    2. You say I’m not a libertarian.

                      I said you’re not a “true” libertarian. Meaning you don’t really get that libertarianism is not a rigid list of rules for policy positions you have to support. You basically view libertarianism in a childish way and as a series of absolute answers in a world that’s far more complex and chaotic than you seem to grasp…to which absolutes do not apply.

                      And considering that my foreign policy positions are that American politicians’ roles should be to look out for American interests first, and that we should not use military solutions as the opening answer in diplomacy, my positions have hardly been debunked since we’ve only been utilizing that policy for three years now, under Trump.

                      so please stop talking to me about what reality is, okay, neocon.

                      So how many foreign countries have you lived in, kid?

                    3. I am a libertarian, and you haven’t proven that I’m not.

                      And to be a libertarian, you actually do have to have certain viewpoints on issues. There are absolutes and black and white. (You can accuse me of using the “No true Scotsman” fallacy, but you simply cannot claim to be a libertarian yet have viewpoints that violate the NAP. If Bernie Sanders claimed to be a libertarian, that would be laughable.) Liberals and neocons are the ones who say everything is complex and that there are gray areas. Libertarians believe in simple (but not simplistic or unintelligent) rules like the NAP. If something violates the NAP, it is not libertarian, and you must oppose it, or you’re not a libertarian. Libertarians believe that stealing is always wrong as an act of aggression and therefore welfare programs are always wrong. That includes subsidies to farmers. You cannot agree with Trump on that issue and call yourself a libertarian. Again, black and white. No gray areas. What’s wrong is wrong, and what’s right is right. Libertarians believe torture is always wrong, and so on and so on. Now there may be a few issues where libertarians can disagree with each other like abortion, capital punishment, or immigration. Those issues, however, are less clear as it pertains to the NAP. And libertarians must support unilateral free trade. Any kind of protectionism violates the NAP, as the government has no right to prevent people from peacefully trading with each other.

                      As for your foreign policy, LOL. If you were truly “against using military solutions as the opening answer,” you wouldn’t be disagreeing with me, moron. I am anti-war. Trump is half ass anti-war. He claims to have been against the Iraq war, yet he bombed Syria and has imposed sanctions on Iran, which are an act of war. Trump is not at all that different from the neocons in the Bush administration. Hell, he HIRED John Bolton, for God’s sake. I’m not impressed. Ron Paul he is NOT. To have real results, we need to go full boar with an anti-war policy. That means getting the hell out of the Middle East yesterday, as well as all the overseas bases. Half assing it isn’t good enough.

                      I’ve never BEEN to a foreign country, much less lived in one, but that is not relevant to this discussion. Another non sequitur.

              3. Peace? At any cost?

            2. You fake libertarian protectionist moron.

          2. Iran was violating JCPOA before POTUS Trump assumed office. That is an objective fact. POTUS Trump, per JCPOA, was entitled to leave the agreement.

            Just so you know….I was not opposed to trying to work out a deal with Iran. I thought POTUS Obama was acting within his scope of authority, and it makes sense to reach rapprochement with Iran. I get all that. He wanted a strategic change. What actually happened here is that POTUS Obama executed a tremendously bad deal because he feared the clock was running out.

            If sanctions were an act of war, were you this concerned when POTUS Obama levied sanctions on Iran? Or Russia for that matter?

            1. Russia interfered in our election, which was an act of war, so we were right to retaliate. Duh.

              No. I do not support any sanctions on Iran. Iran should have most favored nation status regarding trade. So should North Korea.

            2. Vince is a reactivated sock troll.

              Holiday reason web traffic was WAY down. Socks trolls are here to boost web traffic or ENB will not have enough moola to bleach that hair.

              1. It’s more annoying than average.

              2. Refute what I said instead of calling me a troll. I am not a sock account. I’ve had this account for probably over a year. I’m just not a regular. I usually comment on other sites. If Reason used disqus, I’d probably comment more.

      2. JesseAz Retaliation on trade hurts Ametican consumers. Other nations’ trade policies should have no bearing on our own. Restricting trade means restricting the freedom of Americans.

        1. This is the dumbest thing I have ever read. Other nations actions in markets have no bearing in the market. You actually believe that? Holy fuck is that a dumb thought.

          1. Are you fucking retarded? https://mises.org/wire/two-common-objections-unilateral-free-trade Read this, you God damn fake libertarian moron.

          2. I said other countries’ policies should have no effect on our trading POLICY. I didn’t mention the market, you stupid mercantilist piece of shit. The fact is, retaliatory tariffs only make things worse.

          3. https://mises.org/wire/case-unilateral-free-trade

            Jesus F. Christ, this is libertarianism and free markets 101.

            If I want to buy something from China, that should be my God damn right without being punished with excessive protectionist tariffs regardless of what policy China has regarding goods it imports from America. That is NOT my fucking concern. Idiot.

            1. That is NOT my fucking concern.

              This is why “true” libertarians are never entrusted with anything important. Because they can’t see the big picture and can’t think in the long-term.

              1. Hong Kong has unilateral free trade. Guess what? It works. Unreciprocated free trade does not harm the country that eliminates barriers.

                1. Hong Kong does not have unilateral free trade. They have trade agreements just like everyone else, and fall under Chinese governance (in ever increasing doses since the handover).

                  Unreciprocated free trade does not harm the country that eliminates barriers.

                  That’s just pure ignorance on your part. Tell it to the American steel industry. I’m sure your rebuttal to that will be along the lines of “If the Chinese can make their steel cheaper at taxpayer expense, then obviously it’s in our interests to buy it”, but that only seems like a smart response to you because you’re not asking the question of why the Chinese would spend their currency so heavily to sell steel to us at a loss. When you can start figuring out that game, maybe you’ll be eventually smart enough to figure out why it’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

                  Hint: It’s not because the Chinese government is stupid.

                  1. Economics 101. The losses in certain jobs due to free trade are more than offset by the savings of buying cheaper imports, which in turn allow people to spend more on other things, which provide jobs in those sectors. Duh. Get off this site, and go to BreitFART.

                    1. Economics 101

                      That’s your first mistake…presuming that the Chinese are attempting to win the battle of basic economics with their trade policy.

                      Try again, kid.

                    2. He really does come across as a child.

                  2. UCrawford China cannot win at basic economics or militarily with their trade policies. The end.

                    1. There you go, thinking everyone is playing a different game than they’re actually playing.

                      Try again, fuckwit.

                    2. 1.4B vs < 400M. Trade isn't important with those odds. The Chinese have already won in shear numbers.

                      This kind of demographic dominance has occurred throughout human history.

                      I read a reasonable statement the other day about how combined European, US and former colony "whites" make up less than 10% of the world population. And no, this wasn't on some radical white supremacist web site.

                      It got me to thinking; no matter what I might like to see, we are doomed. One way or the other, the western world as we know it is doomed.

                      "Meet the new boss
                      Same as the old boss"

                      With respect to the Who. ;-(

              2. UCrawford And yes, Hong Kong does in fact practice unilateral free trade with many nations, although it does have deals with some nations. I gave a link refuting you, but it’s still waiting moderation. Anyway, you’re wrong, as usual, and not libertarian.

          4. Reason is pretty up set to send in Vince sock troll.

            1. If you click on my name, it should tell you how long I’ve had an accouht here. I’m not a sock puppet.

              1. Who cares how long you’ve been here when your arguments are shit?

      3. The point is that Trump caused this mess by ending the Iran Deal. Duh.

        1. All libertarians believe only whites have agency and responsibility!

          1. Lay off the crack. As a libertarian, I believe drugs should be legalized, but they’re still not good for you.

    2. Yeah, because we really thrashed them for it back in 1979.

      1. Maybe you have yet to complete your analysis, but Trump ain’t Jimmy Carter.

        1. Carter ordered a bungled rescue mission which resulted in the development of Delta Force, so there.

      2. An Iraqi militia attacked one of our military bases in 1979? J/k I knew you were talking about the Iranian embassy.

        Also, I’m not sure the Iranians would have gotten the same response to their actions if Johnson or Kennedy were president.

    3. The point is, Trump caused it by ending the Iran deal and imposing sanctions, which are an act of war.

      1. You keep repeating this idiocy and it only proves your actual ignorance or Iranian actions even after the deal was negotiated.

        1. Leaving alliances and ending worthless nuke deals makes one a NEOCON according to reason.

          1. Imposing sanctions is neoconservatism, moron. Sanctions are war.

            1. Sanctions are war.

              Tariffs and trade restrictions are a form of sanction, so by your definition China has been at war with us for decades. That’s certainly how they view it.

              Did you ever think about why they’ve stuck with aggressive protectionism for so long and why they’re continuing to do so, if unrestricted free trade is so obviously and completely beneficial to the country that engages in it and detrimental to the country that uses protectionism? Do you believe the Chinese government doesn’t think in the long-term or that they don’t understand economics? Do you think they’re stupid and haven’t considered cause and effect?

              Or is it possibly the case that they’re looking for something different from trade than you are?

              1. If China is so wise, why are they communist? MORON.

                1. If China is so wise, why are they communist? MORON.

                  So you’re assuming that people who live in authoritarian states get to pick their government? Do you not understand what “authoritarian” means?

                  They’ve had the same form of government for most of the last 2,000 years, which predates Marx and Lenin. Maybe you should look into that before you start assuming you understand them better than they understand themselves.

                  1. I’m talking about the people who run China, you idiot. If they were smart, they’d have dumped communism for capitalism, since it works much better.

                    1. “If they were smart, they’d have dumped communism for capitalism, since it works so much better.”

                      What are you, 12 years old? Do you not understand anything about China? They don’t give a fuck about making their population’s lives better. Their entire system of government is designed to eradicate individualism and expand state control.

                      And that system of government has been around for 2,000 years, so it clearly works well enough for them to outlast most nations in the world and maintain control over almost a quarter of the world’s population.

                      You really are dim.

              2. O.K.

                Can we resurrect Nixon? After all, he opened the door to the sleeping giant. 😉

  3. “”I’m very concerned”

    I bet you are, faceless NGO operative.

  4. “The Trump administration has repeatedly ratcheted up tensions with Iran, tearing up the Obama-era nuclear deal, imposing mounting sanctions on the country, and sending more military forces to the region to counter Iranian influence.”

    Poor, innocent victim Iran…

    1. It is odd that Reason is now the pro iran treaty which basically amounted to US and europe funding Iranians military efforts.

      1. It is a bit baffling. “Sure, Iran cheated on the deal from the word go…but just like Chinese trade, it is vital that the US ignore such cheating…”

        1. damikesc So if China “cheats” on trade, Americans like me should lose our freedom not to be taxed excessively for buying imports from there? How libertarian!

          Iran was following the deal for the most part. Now it isn’t even bound by the deal anymore. Lol.

          1. Are you in high school? You’re already being taxed through market manipulation and theft. Tit for tat is a valid game theory and it has been shown to be beneficial in multiple economic studies and AI competitions.

            1. Pure nonsense. Trump’s weak deal with Canada and Mexico, as well as the upcoming nothing burger deal with China, proves that his tariffs weren’t much leverage at all.

              Less than 3% growth due to the tariffs. Pathetic. Plus Trump is giving socialist welfare to farmers who are being hurt by the trade war. Lol. No libertarian can support that. Be gone, Trumptard. Go to Breitbart where you belong with all the other toothless hicks who married their sisters.

              1. Trump got Mexico to crack down on border crossings from Guatemala simply by threatening to re-work the trade deal if they didn’t. Bilateral trade deals give all of the potential leverage to the country with the better economy (assuming that country’s leader is smart enough to know how to use it) because it allows the stronger country to dictate terms to the weaker country on all kinds of policy…or suffer the more severe consequences if they refuse to do so.

                Multilateral trade deals, conversely, tend to work against the strongest partner in the deal, because it gives all of the power to the other signatories who are in competition with the stronger country…and requires their consent for enforcement and revision (which they usually won’t give).

                Trump chucking multilateral trade agreements in favor of bilateral trade deals where we have all the leverage is the smartest decision any U.S. President has made in decades.

                1. Not true. Mexico had already agreed to that before the tariff threat.Trump lied.

                  1. They “agreed” to it before. They didn’t start implementing it until Trump cracked the whip on them and threatened the trade deal. Before that they did nothing on the issue.

                    You do realize that other countries promising to do something is not the same as them actually doing it?

                    1. Yet Trump’s tariff threat gave us a new trade deal with barely any differences from the old one. Lol. Trump’s tariff threats simply have not been much leverage.

                2. Trump nixing the TPP actually helped China gain a foothold in those countries. It was pure stupidity.

                  I support unilateral free trade over multinational deals, but multinational agreements are still better than protectionism.

                3. (Sigh) Trade isn’t about nations having leverage. It’s about freedom. Unilateral free trade without agreements is the way to go.

                  1. Trade isn’t about nations having leverage. It’s about freedom.

                    What fucking world do you think you live in?

                    Unilateral free trade without agreements is the way to go.

                    Although funny enough, when Trump offered anyone who was interested a trade deal with zero protectionism, he found not a single country that was interested. Not one country was willing to do it.

                    I’m betting you can’t figure out why that was the case.

                    1. I know what world I live in, moron. I’m telling you that treating trade as a freedom issue instead of a war between nations is better for society and the economy. The way we’ve done it for centuries doesn’t work, and it’s time to adopt unilateral free trade. Trump is trying to take America back to the “great” days of Herbert Hoover with his trade policies. Lol. You sound like a typical libtard. Libtards always laugh at us libertarians because of our “pie in the sky” support for freedom and free markets and our opposition to the welfare state.

                      No countries took up Trump’s offer because they’re just as ignorant about trade as he is. It would be in the best interest of every country to have free trade with all other countries. The end. That has been PROVEN by Austrian (libertarian) economists, which just goes to show you’re not a libertarian. Name one economist who agrees with Trump’s tariffs; I dare you.

                    2. Tell your mom the next time she goes shopping she needs to buy the lotion with lanolin. The handjob she gave me chafed because she bought the shit with aloe vera.

                4. I support unilateral free trade over multinational deals

                  Translation: “I support something that doesn’t exist in a world of nation-states and competing cultures.”

                  but multinational agreements are still better than protectionism.

                  Translation: “I believe in disadvantaging ourselves in trade agreements in the hopes that other countries will eventually like us and because eventually they’ll realize that we’re the good guys and they should want us to do well.”

                  What you don’t understand about other countries and cultures could fill a book, kid.

                  1. Fallacious argument by you. in 1750, the Republican form of government we now take for granted didn’t exist. So, I guess you would have called the founding fathers “nuts” for wanting to enact something that didn’t exist.

                    Please explain how unilateral free trade disadvantages us. You must be one of these morons who thinks that trade deficits matter. Hell, if China actually banned all American imports, it would still be in our country’s best interest to eliminate all trade barriers on China. The “exports we win, imports we lose” view you hold is counter to common sense and the laws of economics. I have a huge trade deficit with my local supermarket. I guess I lose, according to your logic. Again, if China can make something cheaper than we can, it’s in our best interest to buy from them and save money. That creates wealth. You say I know nothing, yet all educated conservative economists agree with me, including Thomas Sowell, Walter E. William, Lew Rockwell, MIlton Friedman, and Ron Paul. WTF agrees with you? Pat Buchanan? Lmao. If you know more than I do, why does no expert agree with you? Lol.

                  2. You use the same fallacious arguments liberals do. When I argue for free market healthcare, liberals laugh at me and say that’s “pie in the sky nonsense” that has no chance of happening. If I should be resigned to support only things that seem possible, then I might as well be a socialist because America is obviously headed in that direction. I might as well support single payer.

              2. Less than 3% growth due to the tariffs.

                I guess you didn’t pay any attention to the pre-Trump economy. Another check for the “Vince Smith is in high school” crowd.

                No libertarian can support that.

                A libertarian who doesn’t want to become dependent on China for military-critical industries does. You do realize that China is an authoritarian country with global ambitions for conquest? Maybe you should start paying closer attention to what they’re doing with their Belt and Road initiative. Or what they’ve been doing with regards to pirated IP. Or what they’ve been doing with their military and territorial holdings for the last decade.

                There’s a lot you don’t seem to be paying attention to or simply aren’t aware of.

                1. What I’m saying is we would have gone over the 3% threshold by now had Trump not started the trade war. We had a quarter of 4.1% before the trade war started. I’m just pointing out Trump’s own goal. If he had not started raising tariffs, he’d have the 3% annual growth by now and would have that to brag about over Obama.

                  I already refuted your other point about China.

                  1. What I’m saying is we would have gone over the 3% threshold by now had Trump not started the trade war.

                    Now that’s an interesting assumption, considering that the rest of the world is in a global slowdown/borderline recession right now.

                    Everyone’s growth has slowed *but ours*. China’s reporting 6% growth right now, which likely means less than 2% growth (since they, like most authoritarian nations, like to fabricate their economic statistics), but that’s way down from their reported growth before. Fact is that we’re on the way up and everyone else appears to be in decline (except for the countries siphoning business from China), so we’re doing phenomenally well right now.

                    1. Your entire post is a non sequitur.

                    2. Let me get this straight. The plight of other countries proves that our country would not have more growth if we practiced free trade. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

                    3. Trump condemned Obama for less than 3% growth yet hasn’t had it himself. Lol.

      2. Reason are counter tribalists when it comes to foreign policy.

        1. Reason shares the typical progressive attitude that “oppressors” should bend over for everybody else.
          Success = now take shit from everyone else and smile.
          But only if you’re American. And white. And Christian. If you are those things, the only moral thing to do is smile while allowing everyone else to take whatever they want.
          “America last”

          1. Open wider, Nardz. Your betters aren’t through with you, not nearly. Enjoy another year of life as a culture war casualty.

            1. What a characteristically odd thing to say

              1. He’s retarded so don’t put much thought into what he says.

        2. No. They’re just not neocon warmongers.

        3. That last comment was for Last of the Shitlords.

          1. I thought it was for reason because they are NEOCONS.

        4. That’s because they believe the Beltway cocktail circuit dogma about how America is the source of all evil in the world.

      3. Not odd.

        Reason is for whatever keeps the transnational profits flowing one more day to the international Globalist ruling class.

        I’m looking forward to Reason taking the inevitable ads from Emperor Xi for the “freshest organ transplants money can buy”.

        1. “Globalism”? Lol. This is Reason, not BreitFART.

            1. Trump is the one who looked at underage girls while they undressed at a beauty pageant, Nardz.

          1. Ahh. You’re a neutral mikey clone. Makes sense.

      4. JesseAz We gave Iran their own money.

        1. Wrong. Again, you’ve proven nothing but your own ignorance. All this shit was discussed earlier. Read the whole thread before saying stupid and ignorant shit. You’re nothing but a liberal cuck. Everything you’ve said is a ben Rhodes echo chamber special. You’re the useful idiot he laughed about to the New York times.

          1. “Cuck” = alt right speak, not libertarianism. You’re a fucking joke. Go to BreitFART with the other double digit I.Q. Cheeto Mussolini worshippers.

    2. Nardz We started the conflict with Iran in 1953. Facts are facts.

      1. I wasn’t alive in 1953. My parents weren’t even alive in 1953.
        Regardless, you don’t have a point – you have progressive talking points that are irrelevant to the discussion.
        Go back to your handlers and tell them you’re not up for the task here

        1. NEOCON Israel Firster.

          1. What an annoying twat you’ve decided to be.

            1. Just fighting fire with fire.

  5. Let start by saying that President Trump was wrong about Iran from the start. We had a treaty in place, but that was President Obama’s and so we had to cancel it. We have seen nothing but escalations since that time. We could have worked from the treaty to get more but now we are nowhere and have nothing to work with by more violence.

    1. The treaty was never ratified dumbfuck. On top of that the treaty was repeatedly violated by Iran from day 1.

      1. That the treaty was not ratified is not important. We had a multinational agreement that was working. Note that even as President Trump dropped out of the agreement his administration was verifying the Iranians were in compliance. Leaving this agreement was a mistake and history will likely show this to be the fact.

        1. “agreement that was working”

          Faith alone!
          Really. It was based on Iran’s word.
          Any likely site of weapons development was off limits.
          As Ken often points out, Iran can easily obtain energy grade uranium. They insist on developing their own because they want weapons grade. Which is understandable, but something we, and other nations, should try to prevent.
          The Iran “deal” was a joke.
          If other nations want to trade with Iran, let them enforce the agreement.

          1. Mod and other progs are so fucking stupid. What Obama did may end up causing WW3.

            1. Keep talking, Last. It will be easier for your betters to shove more liberal-libertarian progress down your whining and bigoted throat, and will be less painful for you, if your mouth is already open.

              1. I don’t think you understand the conversation going on around you

                1. The unaddressed anger of a childhood spent getting pummeled by bigger, stronger boys makes it more difficult to think rationally.

                  1. Actually, the rev was routinely beat up by bigger, stronger little girls, and that is what explains why he is so incredibly fucked up.

              2. Your impotent rage delights me.

                Can’t wait to hear you squeal when Trumpslide2020 hits.

                1. Trump may win in 2020, but there’s no chance of him winning in a landslide or even winning the popular vote. If he wins, it will be the same thing as last time. You are delusional. Look at Trump’s approval numbers, for God’s sake.

                  1. Your impotent rage is less entertaining than Kirkland’s

                  2. Higher than Obama’s at the same point. Yeah, he should be scared.

                    1. Furthermore Trump’s approval has NEVER been good at any point in his presidency. Less than 45% approval is hardly a lock for reelection.

            2. Last of the Shitlords Trump is the one causing all this tension by ending the Iran deal. Iran wasn’t pulling this kind of shit when the deal was in place. Libertarians shouldn’t really even care if Iran obtains nuked.

              1. “Libertarians shouldn’t really even care if Iran obtains nuked.”

                You’re in no position to dictate what libertarians should or shouldn’t care about.

              2. Iran was pulling this shit from day one after the deal was announced dumbfuck. They’ve been funding military proxies since then funds were released most notably in Yemen. How ignorant are you? I really want to know.

                1. Did they shoot down an American drone while the deal was in place?

                  1. No, just took a dozen US sailors hostage

          2. Don’t forget, one of the stipulations of the deal was that Iran would disclose their nuclear weapons program.
            Once the deal had been signed, they said “We totally do not have and have never had a nuclear weapons program. We totally pinky swear, so you know we telling the truth.”
            Then Israel managed to haul out of Iran a truck full of documents outlining their nuclear weapons program.

            Iran can’t be trusted to hold up their end of the deal.

            1. Everyone knows the deal was never intended by *anyone* to be anything other than a fig leaf over Irans nuke program to buy them enough time to get nukes.

              1. Lol. What’s stopping Iran from getting nukes now that the deal is gone?

                1. Good question.
                  Where are they?
                  We were told by your messiah that Iran was mere months away from producing nukes back in 2016, and that it was “this deal or war”
                  Seems an erroneous statement

                  1. Nardz You sound line another BreitFART cretin, assuming I am an Obama supporter. I never voted for him. I’m a committed libertarian, unlike you. Idiot.

                  2. Your hero Bibi has been saying for years that Iran is a few months away from developing a nuke. Lol.

                2. The same thing that stopped them during the deal, nothing. But you keep believing in unicorns.

          3. “If other nations want to trade with Iran, let them enforce the agreement.”

            Other nations did want to trade with Iran and maintain the nuclear agreement. But President Trump put the pressure on to stop them. We has an agreement. By the administrations own reporting the Iranians were complying. We should have stayed in the agreement.

            1. “Other nations did want to trade with Iran and maintain the nuclear agreement. But President Trump put the pressure on to stop them”

              Looks like they weren’t committed enough to it.
              Probably because it was a bullshit “deal”.
              The US got nothing out of it, Iran got everything without giving anything but lip service. So there was really nothing to “comply” with.
              Iran has nukes now, right?
              We were told “this deal or war” (“and we’re not going to war” – great negotiating) and that Iran would have a nuke in 3 months if it wasn’t signed.
              Trump pulled much more than 3 months ago.
              Where’s Iran’s nuke?

              1. So then you admit Iran wasn’t building a nuke while the deal WAS in place.

                1. I don’t know whether they were trying to build a nuke then, or in the last 25 years, or now.
                  I know that they don’t claim to be able to do so at the moment, and that Obama’s “deal” was a massive foreign policy blunder that encouraged aggression against the US and Americans

                2. They were advancing technology while the deal was in place. They focused on both centrifuges and advancement of deployment systems. Again, your ignorance seems unbounded. They had many missile tests that are only useful as a nuclear payload delivery as an example. You are quite ignorant.

                  1. You work for Israel? Lol.

        2. “Leaving this agreement was a mistake and history will likely show this to be the fact.”

          Yea, because it worked so well with North Korea.
          The Iran “deal” would age historically much like Obama’s “red line” – which is, as embarrassing evidence of the US being a pussy – if it weren’t for Trump nixing it.

          1. This is simply the military putting pressure on trump when he’s weak (impeachment), They did this once before when mueller started his investigation – with who was it? Syria I think.

            Everyone’s going to be hitting up trump with their threats moving forward. I’m surprised China is signing a deal on Jan 15th. Trump must have caved to them to get that scheduled:

            Alas, it’s a give and take world for trump. He’s doing pretty good considering the sheer amount of adversity. Best president in my life time. Easily.

            1. Granite Best president of your lifetime? Lol. Certainly the dumbest, though. Trump has done nothing conservative and has destabilized the Middle East by ending the Iran deal.

              1. Lol
                You’re just bad at this

                1. Nards thinks a Trump isn’t dumb. Lol.

                  1. Is your English consistently bad because you’re foreign or retarded?

                    1. My English is good, and Trumpanzees are the foreign ones. Russian, to be specific.

                    2. The word “a” before “Trump” was a typo. Duh.

                    3. It would be nice if one could edit comments here.

                    4. Your English is average, but your brain is subpar. You should try to grow a functional one.

              2. Pray tell which one since Herbert Walker (my lifetime) was better?

                Also, did you read my comment? Why is Trump the dumbest? He handles pressure way better than Obama. Obama wouldn’t have made it a week in trump’s shoes.

                Finally, thank you for piping up – I was just trying to figure out who gives a shit about the Iran deal when I saw your comment. No one.

                This is my first debate here on reason – so please, correct me if I’m wrong – but I believe the customary thing to do now would be to offer you some cop cock to slurp on, or call you a pedophile libtard shill. Oh, and brag about how right I am. Again.

                How’d I do?

                1. Clinton actually balanced a budget. He also signed NAFTA, which puts him to the right of Trump on trade. I never liked Clinton, but he’s definitely better than Trump and at least ten times more intelligent.

                2. Trump is the dumbest because he has a fourth grade vocabulary, misspells words on Twitter, thinks global warming is a hoax, doesn’t read books, talks gibberish, and needs to be shown pictures to understand anything. He is a whopping moron.

                  1. He is a whopping moron.

                    Who ran a multi-billion dollar company for four decades and who won the presidency against the most heavily funded political campaign in history against overwhelming odds while overcoming a coup perpetrated by federal law enforcement and the intelligence community. He’s also one of the wealthiest people on the planet who bangs supermodels whenever he feels like it.

                    What the fuck have you ever accomplished?

                    1. 1. First of all, since I didn’t have the reply option on your comment about Israel, I’ll comment here: If Iran nuked Israel (which they won’t), it would be Israel’s problem, not ours. Israel would be able to defend themselves, so don’t worry about them. Your argument that attacking Israel is somehow a threat to America is neocon gibberish. I’ll say it again; Iran is not suicidal. They’re not going to nuke a nation knowing that nation can fight back. They want nukes because they feel threatened themselves. They want nukes for defense, not aggression.
                      2. Language experts have stated that Trump speaks at a fourth grade level. He admits he doesn’t read books. Does that sound like a smart person to you? He was born rich, so don’t give me the “He’s a billionaire” nonsense. We don’t even know that he’s a billionaire because he lies about his wealth. He won the presidency? So what? That doesn’t make him smart. George W. Bush is stupid and was elected president, so don’t give me that garbage. Trump got help from Russia in winning the election. Mueller made it clear in his report and in testimony that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. There is no “coup” against Trump. He’s been impeached because he committed crimes. He extorted Ukraine for campaign help int the 2020 election against Biden. He’s not even close to being one of the wealthiest people on the planet. He’s a pauper compared to Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and guys like that, and those guys are self made. Trump would also have more money had he simply invested in index funds. He’s a moron. He went bankrupt four times and even lost money on a casino. Lol. He just said the most nonsensical pile of verbal diarrhea about windmills. He can’t go a day without embarrassing himself or making a false statement. “He bangs supermodels” isn’t any evidence of his genius nor is changing the subject to “what have you accomplished?,” moron. That’s classic red herring nonsense. You belong on Breitbart. This is the kind of nonsense they spout. Libertarians are wary of Trump. I should point out Trump raised the age to smoke and banned certain flavors of e cigarettes. Yeah, he’s really for freedom to do what you want! Lol.

                    2. Go to Breitbart, you loser.

                    3. If I were a homeless bum on the streets of New York, that still wouldn’t change the fact Trump is a moron, so your “What the fuck have you ever accomplished?” question is moronic and a non sequitur.

                    4. I wish there was an “edit” option here, so I could simply add new thoughts to the same post. Anyway, we’ve had YOUR foreign policy for the past several decades, and it hasn’t gotten us anywhere. We should leave the Middle East and simply not care what other countries do to each other. Then we’ll be left alone.

                    5. You really like to respond to yourself. Or are those the difference voices in your head?

                      Also, what grade are you in?

          2. Nardz Just admit you are a neocon. You sound like John Bolton with this talk of “US being a pussy.”

            As for North Korea, why not leave Korea altogether? Why is North Korea our concern?

            1. Your complete lack of intelligence doesn’t make for interesting conversation.
              Dismissed

              1. You literally said nothing there. Lol. Retard.

        3. Ratification is important, in fact it is a requirement.

          Second… what exactly is your definition of working? They increased military efforts in the region, continued nuclear research, and increased funding to military groups. If that is your definition of working, which team are you on?

          1. The nuclear agreement had nothing to do other Iranian activities. But the fact that we had an agreement gave us a place to start working on other issues. President Trump blew that all up.

            1. The nuclear agreement had nothing to do other Iranian activities. Really? Says who? You can’t be that naive.

              But the fact that we had an agreement gave us a place to start working on other issues. Hmmm, you’d think Iran would’ve been more forthcoming on Robert Levinson. They never did. That is proof enough of their intentions. But truthfully, I blame this on the incompetence of POTUS Obama, who did not hold out for a better deal. Iran owns some of the blame for not helping themselves with the deal they had.

            2. So in your view it was an agreement for an agreement and it was working? You’re just going to ignore all the actual reality if iran the last 2 years in hopes everyone else is ignorant as well?

              1. Iran has clearly become more aggressive since Trump ended the deal. Give it a rest.

                1. Clearly to those informed only by the d.c. media. Iran has been aggressive ever since a few billion was released to them shit for brains.

                  1. Stop watching Faux Noise.

        4. It absolutely is important because, just like with the Paris Accords, Obama decided to swing his dick instead of following the goddamn constitution and set it up for the next president to undo everything he had tried to accomplish.

          They just didn’t expect the next president to be Trump.

          1. Ah, so you’re a climate change denying moron. Lol.

            1. Climate has always changed. LIA was a modern minimum. The signal of warming growth is neither unusual or significant. You’re an alarmist dumbfuck I bet though. There is a reason why real temp growth is falling outside the lower 2 sigma bounds of the models and consistently do so after they get retuned every few years, the models are wrong. Only a dumbfuck would think temp growth feedbacks would be a factor of 3 based on carbon without any negative feedback controls. Since o doubt you have any actual scientific ornmath training, I wont bother explaining why a factor greater than 1 leads to an unstable system and why the fact weve had life for hundreds of millions of years proves we live in a stable system globally.

              1. 97% of climate scientists say man is the primary cause for climate change. Drop dead with your debunked big oil talking points, cretin.

                Carbon levels have NEVER been this high since humans started roaming the planet.

                1. “”97% of climate scientists say man is the primary cause for climate change. “”

                  What’s that ratio look like? How many scientists are in the denominator?

                  If you think humans are the primary driver how do you explain the ice age? And all of the other major climate events prior to humans.

                  1. They are the primary driver of CURRENT CLIMATE CHANGE.,I never said anything about the Ice Age. BTW, humans also caused a hole in the ozone layer, which is almost all gone now due to the banning of CFC’s.

        5. Moderation….Clearly, you did not pay attention in civics class. So I will give you a Readers Digest version, responding to two of your sentences.

          That the treaty was not ratified is not important.

          As a legal matter, there was no treaty. And in fact, it was never called a treaty. The proper name is Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Agreement (JCPOA). I am sure you know this, but unless there is a treaty ratified by the US Senate, there is nothing legally binding to the US. The POTUS is not able to make treaties. The POTUS must submit a proposed treaty for ratification. POTUS Obama deliberately chose not to do this.

          We had a multinational agreement that was working.

          There were repeated violations of heavy water production by Iran, which we taxpayers had to pay our tax dollars for. The US gained nothing from this agreement, and all it did was pave the path to a nuke for the mullahs. Yeah, it was working, for Iran, yes.

          1. What have we gained by ending the agreement?

            1. We undermined blacky’s legacy.

              Jesus fuck, people are dense around here.

              1. Granite So you admit it’s racism.

                1. Whoosh!

                  So you admit you’re dense? lol.

                  1. I know you are, but what am I?

                    1. Someone not smart enough to get sarcasm.

            2. We gained nothing from the agreement shit for brains.

            3. You ask a fair question…what have we gained by ending the agreement?

              In tangible terms, the US taxpayer is no longer on the hook for heavy water purchase from Iran. Would you believe these Iranian bastards had us buying the heavy water they produced from their nuclear activities?! The ones we were trying to stop? What a wonderful agreement. That cost us hundreds of millions annually. Additionally, we are making the cost of doing business far more expensive to Iran. We compete with Iran on oil sales. The incremental cost we add to them makes our oil even more competitive on the open market.

              Intangibly, we are imposing a diplomatic and military cost on a malign country. Iran is increasing isolated. That counts for something.

              1. So mercantilism.

                1. Well, you asked the question, so I answered it directly, dipshit.

    2. Moderation….There was no treaty with Iran. A treaty would be ratified by the Senate. That never happened.

      1. Globalists don’t care about no steenkin Rule of Law.

        1. Not wanting war with Iran makes one a globalist? Lol.

      2. Commenter_XY So what if there was no treaty? That doesn’t mean we have to put sanctions on them again. Duh.

    3. You keep using that word ‘treaty’…

      As if you knew what you were talking about.

      1. “Let start by saying that President Trump was wrong about Iran from the start”

        No. No we won’t.

        “We had a treaty in place”

        No we didn’t. Obama unilaterally signed an agreement with no force behind it. He never even presented as a treaty to the senate for ratification.

        “We have seen nothing but escalations since that time.”

        That’s actually true, though not for the reason you think. Obama illegally gave Iran a pallet of American cash and released money from the precious regime that on no way belonged to the mullahs currently oppressing the Iranian people.

        This is just another bad comment that showcases your ignorance and progtardery. Just like all of them.

        1. That was meant for Mod. Not sure how it ended up as a resumes to Thomas.

        2. Wrong. Obama gave Iran their own money. And Trump ending the deal is obviously the reason for the escalation.

          1. Again. You’re fucking wrong. The money given was legally allowed to be transferred from victims of Iran’s proxy terrorism in legal judgements. The money owed is far greater than Iran’s claims on the US.

    4. You’re not even trying anymore.

      1. Puts up a better front than neutral mikey. At least he hasnt tried to pretend quora isn’t an echo chamber.

        1. I think it’s funny that we broke Mike.

          1. Ruined him lol

          2. Really didn’t take that long either

            1. What are you talking about? I’ve been posting here for decades!

              1. Well, Neutral Mike became and self identifies as Non-Partisan Mike. In small part due to your parody efforts. 🙂

        2. Fuck Quora. I’m on there 4 hours a day trying to fuck over the Mormon church and it’s nothing but censorship. When I’m not digging religion I sometimes make fun of feminists or progs. You can’t bring up trump without being banned nowadays. Thankfully I can have a new account with new VPN and email – all up and running in under 5 minutes now. Nothing the mods can do about it. Fuck Quora. Fuck em. Worst leftist censoring shitbag website I’ve ever had the displeasure of visiting. Fucking echo chamber is an understatement. Goddamn I hate Quora.

          1. Have you considered taking up fishing as a hobby?

            1. lol
              It’s bad isn’t it?

    5. There was never a treaty.

      Basically, Obama wrote the Mullahs a “let’s be friends” letter, like they were the mean girls in middle school. The results were predictable.

      1. Why should we care if Iran gets a nuke anyway, fake libertarian?

  6. >>”I’m very concerned that the Trump administration’s response is to escalate and to apply pressure.

    the fuck else do you do when an embassy gets bombed? Whitman’s sampler?

    1. You blame it on a YouTube video that has 17 views.

      1. H started calling Ambassador Stevens “Chris” to microphones bc she knew she got him murdered.

        1. What difference, at that point, did it make?

  7. First things first….Iraq has an obligation as the host country to protect our embassy. 100%, no debate. They need to do so immediately.

    The Iranians have been attacking American troops in Iraq for months now. Up to now, it has been more of a pain in the ass. I am quite sure our special forces have twisted Iran’s tail as well. Iran crossed the line when they killed an American. So it is not like this American response wasn’t forthcoming, given the death.

    Iran states they will retaliate. Very well, we’ll see. I would rather not have a military confrontation with Iran.

    1. Hey, maybe people would stop shooting at us if we’d stop killing them in Iraq.

      1. Uh huh. The host country obligation to protect our embassy remains.
        BTW, we are there at Iraq’s invitation and they can ask us to leave anytime. I won’t be saddened if they ask us to go.

        1. Islam was a religion of peace up until we got involved.

    2. Iraq has an obligation as the host country to protect our embassy. 100%, no debate.

      Um. Usually an embassy is welcome by the “host” country. If the US embassy is there uninvited, then Iraq has no obligation toward it whatsoever.

      1. They invited us there and have made no move to ask us to leave. Therefore, they have an obligation. One, mind you, that WE manage to enforce even for shitty countries.

      2. Juice, it is the obligation of any host nation, not just Iraq, to protect the embassies of all countries. Dude, it is our embassy. Not some base in the middle of nowhere. Our embassy, which is our sovereign soil. That has meaning.

        An attack on our embassy cannot go unpunished.

        1. Jimmy Carter showed himself to be utterly incompetent to deal with Iran’s attack on the US embassy in Tehran, which told a generation of head-choppers that they need not fear US retaliation for acts of war, which is pretty much why they pulled all the stops out, culminating in the 9/11 attacks.

          Will Trump handle it any better? Who knows?

          -jcr

    3. Perhaps Iraq will remove American mercenaries from harm’s way by kicking them out of Iraq.

      1. Kirkland is so hot for the death of Americans.

  8. The advocates for that war claimed that the Iraqis would welcome our presence there. They suggested it would be a blow to Iran and undermine Iran’s power in the region, and they claimed it would lead to the flowering of democracy, not merely in Iraq, but in the entire region. None of those things are true,” he says.

    Aww, come on man, this time it’s different. It’s Iran, dude… you know, our mortal enemy who ranks #21 on our Axis of Evil list. Hey, North Korea, isn’t it time you get rid of your nuclear weapons program so you can get bombed by a B-52 bomber?

    1. You were probably an obama acolyte who thought giving Iran billions of dollars as they clamped down on their internal protestors would bring peace.

      1. Oh yes, i’m Firmly for buying off Iran and North Korea. Beats sanctions and bombing them. Psst, that money we “gave” Iran was actually their money.

        1. Such a stupid progressive talking point.
          “Their” money.
          So the Shah is back in power?
          The US had no agreement with the theocratic regime that took over Iran.
          The Shah’s payment was forfeited when his government was deposed.

        2. I guess we should give them back their Kidd-Class Destroyers too.

        3. Plenty of court cases Iran lost where their victims were awarded money they never received.

          That money most assuredly was not the mullahs’ money.

        4. It wasn’t their ego stupid bitch. You really do resort to every ignorant cliche knee jerk progtard response , Don’t you?

          Maybe you should consider suicide.

        5. Psst, there were billions in court rulings based on iran proxy terrorism that dwarfs what the US “owed” them. The money was legally allowed to go to settle those suits.

          Way to once again demonstrate your ignorance.

        6. Spoken like someone who knows fuckall about Iran and who’s money that was.

  9. Look at all these limited government libertarian sucking on the government line again. Feels just like February 2003 again… you know, when the socialists and commies we hate we’re out at peace marches and libertarians were buying GWB’s bullshit. Ah, good times.

    1. “you know, when the socialists and commies we hate we’re out at peace marches”

      Weird how few problems those same groups had under Obama. It’s not like their complaints didn’t fit him to a tee as well…

      1. Strange how murderdroning a US citizen didn’t cause any protest. It’s almost like those folks don’t have any principles.

    2. Limited government doesnt mean bending over like a little bitch when attacked.

      You are a cuck arent you?

  10. What the Hell man? You can’t stage a protest at the embassy of the country that attacked, bombed, and occupied you for 10 years. Don’t these “Iraqis” know the rules?

    1. Iranian Shiite militias have operated freely within Baghdad going back to 2014 when ISIS was infiltrating the city.

      Anyone who thinks this is some “spontaneous” grassroots protest probably thinks the Russians cost Hillary the election too.

      1. So he thinks that.

  11. You know, things have worked out well in Iraq and Afghanistan, so why not start fighting Iran?

    1. Well Yea more makes right, RIGHT

    2. We don’t need to send any troops.
      Bombing the shit out of some of their military infrastructure might not be a bad idea though

      1. We should encourage the Iranian citizens to overthrow their mullah leaders.

        1. Shades of 1953. The Brits and CIA engineered a coup so the Shah could take over. In order to do that we would need lots of interactions with the citizens who want to revolt. And, don’t forget, people who murder their government leaders might not be nice people.

          1. Agree completely

      2. Kharg Island is the export port for 90% of Iranian oil.

  12. I for one intend to wait and see what Trump does before I start cheering for whatever it is He decides to do. You’re going to look mighty foolish advocating a position Trump later repudiates and you’re going to have to deny ever having advocated that position. Almost as bad as advocating a position Trump later embraces and you’re going to have to deny ever having advocated that position.

    1. Luckily you have the benefit of looking foolish independent of Trump’s actions.

    2. Your statement is only true of you are pushing the trumpistas narratives like abc. Most here have called out trumps commentary and negative actions. But they also dont blindly think Amash is the great libertarian hope. If trump backs down then he will be in the wrong as obama was on Benghazi. First and foremost the president should protect americans wherever they are. Tit for tat is also a valid strategy. Trump isnt initiating violence here. This isn’t a Syria.

      1. Correct.
        The Syria strike was wrong, though Trump managed to mitigate by simply bombing an airstrip, but was unanimously called for by the “experts”. The evidence of Assad using chemical weapons was always questionable at best (and completely illogical for Assad’s position), and didn’t involve the US or Americans.
        This is different. Like Benghazi, it’s a direct attack on the US and Americans. Unlike Benghazi, there was clearly ordered by a foreign nation. They’ve now raised Hezbollah flags on embassy grounds (aka US territory).
        This requires a formidable response, inflicting millions of dollars worth of damage and possibly hundreds of lives.
        The US need not go to war to drop the hammer on the mullahs and Hezbollah, but striking them is absolutely necessary.

        1. ” it’s a direct attack on the US and Americans. ”

          It’s a demonstration against US at its embassy. There was a similar one a while back in Seoul, South Korea. Same issues, no deaths, no injuries. No need for hysteria. You shouldn’t be so eager to let the MSM play you for a knee jerk fool.

          1. “demonstration”

            Oh, shut the fuck up, you lying automaton.

            1. How many Americans were killed or injured in this attack? No need to panic.

      2. Glad you pointed out Syria. Is it not obvious trump is getting pressured by the military while he’s weakest – just like when mueller began the investigation, what did the military do? Forced trump back into syria.

    3. Trumptards have a lot of practice by this point, don’t you worry about that.

      1. “Trumptards”

        Hilarious!

  13. 1) We should leave the ME, tell Israel “Go hog wild and do whatever you want” and allow them to wallow in their miserable shit.

    2) Iraq, undoubtedly, has an obligation to secure our embassy and if they refuse to do so, we should remove ALL diplomatic recognition from them and starve them of any semblance of aid from us.

  14. “Not my fault! They started it!”

  15. For the life of me I can’t see why we stay in that sh**hole.
    We can’t garrison the world while waiting for some group like ISIS to emerge.

    1. Because Saudi Arabia and Israel want us there to keep Iran, and to a lesser extent Turkey, apprehensive.
      It’s also kind of a pivot point between Asia, Africa, and Europe – which is why China is moving in.

    2. It’s like a sunk costs fallacy.

      We had the same problem when Obama effectively nationalized GM. Obama was reluctant to sell the government’s remaining stake in GM because until he sells it for a loss, it doesn’t seem like it’s really a loss. In reality, there’s no such thing as a “paper loss”, and you don’t lose money the day you sell something “for a loss”. You lose money the day you buy something for more than it’s valued on the market. Waiting for it to go higher doesn’t mean you haven’t lost money. If the market values it for less than you paid for it, you lost money–regardless of whether you hold it or sell it at that price.

      When Colin Powell cautioned us against the Pottery Barn rule, it being hard to get out of a quagmire once you get in is what he was talking about. The problem is that you don’t see the quagmire until you’re already in. The reluctance to pull out, the blame for when things go wrong, the dead and wounded American soldiers and your reluctance to abandon the place and be accused of squandering their lives for nothing–you accept all that on the day you decide to occupy the country and depose its ruler regardless of whether you realize that’s what you’re doing.

      When you see journalists criticizing Trump for conditions in Iraq in an election year, don’t wonder why we’re staying in that shit hole. The reason we stay in that shithole is because so many of our friends, coworkers, and family have become convinced that what happens in Iraq is the responsibility of the United States. The reason we stay in that shithole is because we’ve failed to persuade our fellow Americans that the future of Iraq is none of our business.

      1. Leaving Iraq is a strategic risk (as is staying).
        If we leave Iraq, Iran is very likely to gain dominant position in the mid east, with control of territory all the way from the Afghan border to the Mediterranean coast. A united Iran+Iraq, with client states of Lebanon and, to a lesser extent, Syria, gives them unparalleled power in the region and makes them a formidable player globally.
        Now maybe this would just become their own quagmire, but that’s a big risk to take with Iran’s theocracy in charge.
        And yes, an Iranian superstate would be an existential threat to both Israel and Saudi Arabia. Turkey may (possibly) stay out of it, but their position would be unenviable as well. It would probably lead to an out and out war, that would likely involve US participation, maybe NATO’s as well, with Iran appealing to Russia and China (whose responses are unpredictable at this point).
        Looks an awful lot like WW3.
        There isn’t an easy solution here (other than outright and official alliance with Russia, which I’ve been advocating for years).
        And “solution” is probably the wrong word.
        The likeliest least-bad option needs be determined.

        1. “If we leave Iraq, Iran is very likely to gain dominant position in the mid east”

          Just stop there.

          Iran has been dominant in Iraq since 2005.

          The only parts of Iraq that weren’t dominated by Iran were dominated by ISIS or the Kurds.

          The damage is done. That cost is sunk.

          Iran is the dominant force in the region, and if we didn’t want that, then we shouldn’t have deposed Saddam Hussein.

          No amount of staying will change the fact that Iran is and will be the dominant power in the region.

          1. Fuck your “just stop there” bullshit, that’s not the whole story. It’s not as simple as your abstract pontificating assumes.
            I see you haven’t responded to my 4:04 post.
            Iran’s dominance has been mitigated by the US presence. IS was partially a reaction to the prospect of total Iranian dominance US withdrawal was going to result in.
            We can’t go back in time and make it so the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, without also toppling Iran, didn’t happen. Nor can we go back and not ignore the 2009 Green revolution in Iran, or let the 2010 Iraqi election play out without US interference, or sign a SOFA extension in 2011 to prevent the rise of IS and empowerment of Shia militias.
            Those things already happened.
            (Incidentally, that 2009-2010-2011 string of events looks real, real, REAL bad for Obama…)
            It is what it is now. What you think should’ve happened doesn’t matter.
            What matters is what you think should happen now and going forward.
            If you want to argue that the US should leave Iraq, do so (you might be right, or not) – but deal with what that means going forward, not looking backward.

            1. Who cares what Iran does in the Middle East?

      2. Ken….wrt Pottery Barn rule, I reject the underlying premise. Somehow, I own it since I broke it. That might work in retail, but I don’t think it applies in diplomacy. I would have been content completely devastating Afganistan back in 2001-02, and leaving. I would have been content trashing and destroying Iraq until we executed that useless piece of shit Saddam. And then picking up our shit and leaving.

        Nevermind nation-building. Leave that to the bankers and engineers.

        War is war. While I greatly admire General Powell (he is an extraordinary American), I disagree with him bigly on the applicability of the Pottery Barn rule.

        1. “Ken….wrt Pottery Barn rule, I reject the underlying premise. Somehow, I own it since I broke it. That might work in retail, but I don’t think it applies in diplomacy.”

          Powell wasn’t making a proclamation. He was telling you the way the world works. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in the laws of supply and demand, they’ll have their way with you whether you believe in them or not. The Pottery Barn rule is like that.

          The Pottery Barn rule turned France more Algerian.

          If you break a society, it will become yours. The responsibility for it will chase you down and grab you by the neck–regardless of whether you believe in it. If we’d won in Vietnam, we’d probably still be there.

          If you don’t want to be responsible for another society, don’t invade it, occupy it, and install a new government of your own. You cannot do those things and then escape responsibility for what happens afterwards. You will feel compelled to stay until it’s paradise.

          There are all sorts of different reasons why that is so, suffice it to say, the law of gravity will pull you to the ground regardless of whether you believe in it.

          1. While I understand that there are always people who want you to stay in country after invading, that should not keep us from doing what is right for the USA. Sometime you have to say “F you” to those people and let them stew in their own juices.

            While it was foolish to invade Iraq in 2003, we should have withdrawn about a year later. Same for Afghan, after killing Usama we should have had a slow withdrawal. Don’t forget we can always send them a few cruise missile Christmas cards if they get out of line.

            1. I appreciate that we should just say, “Fuck you”. The rationale behind staying the fuck out of Rwanda was a good one. We were smart to get out of Somalia. Why the hell would we want to be responsible for fixing that?

              It should be noted that the desire to stay is to be expected.

              Progressives are mystified when Venezuela under Chavez end up just as we predicted. How could anyone have known that nationalizing food distribution and instituting price controls on food would end up starving the Venezuelan people?

              The correct answer is because you always get the same results from that for the same reasons every time someone tries it. In fact, that’s the very best reason not to nationalize food distribution and set price controls on food–because your people will starve.

              We can get into the economic details if you want, but is that really necessary? We can get into the details of why the Pottery Barn rule works the way it does, too. One of the big contributors, to my mind, is that we live in a culture that has been heavily influenced by Christianity–a culture in which a hero is someone who sacrifices his own life for other people. The more heroes die in Vietnam or Iraq, the harder it gets to accept that those heroes died for nothing. If I were the President of the United States, and I had to face the wife and fatherless children of a fallen hero at his funeral in Arlington, you think I’d want to look them in the face and tell them their father died for nothing–and we’re pulling out tomorrow?

              Probably the worst thing you can be is an American president who squandered the lives of American heroes for nothing. Average Americans feel that on a wide scale. They don’t want to make sacrifices for nothing either, and when you pull out of a situation when the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs–despite the fact that the place isn’t as free and democratic as Peoria–then it seems like that’s what we’re doing.

              You know why it was easy to pull our ground troops out of Libya? Because we didn’t put ground troops in Libya.

              Anyway, that isn’t the only reason why the Pottery Barn rule works, but I think it’s a big factor. Regardless, the Pottery Barn rule is real and it happens and that’s regardless of whether we believe in it, and that’s regardless of whether we like it. This is why I tend to argue in terms of our heroes when I oppose a war. Our heroes lives are too precious to squander in conflicts that are not in America’s best interests–the sacrifices of those who died and were wounded before notwithstanding.

              1. “We were smart to get out of Somalia.”
                “The correct answer is because you always get the same results from that for the same reasons every time someone tries it.”

                Contradictory statements, as getting out of Somalia led directly to the attacks on the USS Cole, the embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and 9/11.
                Side note: the bombing of Khobar Tower in 1996 was perpetrated by Hezbollah, so they haven’t exactly avoided targeting Americans to the extent you believe.

                1. 9/11 was a response to our interventionist foreign policy, you neocon moron.

          2. Maybe this doesn’t need to be said, but maybe it does: Powell was right.

            It’s been 16 years since we occupied Iraq and captured Saddam Hussein. If we’re still there and still feel like what happens there is our business, then Colin Powell was right to warn us about the Pottery Barn rule. And there’s no end in sight.

            1. What’s your point: don’t invade countries unless you want to occupy them long term?
              Cool. We agree there.
              Not really much value in the context of places we’ve already invaded, currently occupy, and were just attacked in though.

              Leaving now doesn’t erase having invaded and occupied.
              Leaving may be the best option. It may not be. Both options have pros and cons.

              Either way, what we should or shouldn’t have done is of limited relevance to the current situation.

              1. Don’t invade countries unless you want to destroy them to the point where the threat is neutralized for many years.

            2. We did get out, Ken. When SOFA expired, we actually left. Then Daesh went hog wild. POTUS Obama elected to get back in. And expand to Syria. That was a mistake. I would have let the ME deal with Daesh themselves. They certainly earned it.

              1. Getting pulled back in is the issue. That’s what we’re talking about.

                The Ivory Coast became independent of France in 1958.

                The French still find it necessary to invade and occuy the country periodically. They’re still there now.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Op%C3%A9ration_Licorne

                Puerto Rico is our problem. We still have a special relationship with the Philippines, too. We’re responsible for the national defense of Japan. We’re been largely responsible for the defense of South Korea since the 1950s, too. We’re responsible for the defense of Germany. Why would we expect Iraq to be any different?

                When Powell was warning us about the Pottery Barn rule, he wasn’t making a proclamation on an elective policy. When you break a country, you become responsible for it–whether you like it or not and regardless of whether you believe it to be true.

                In related news, if you nationalize food distribution and set price controls on food, your people will starve. In related news, if jump off of a cliff, gravity will have its way with you–regardless of whether you believe in it and regardless of whether you like it. The good news is that smart people know these things and act accordingly beforehand. If you don’t want your people to starve because you nationalized food distribution set price controls, there’s an easy way to avoid that. For instance, you could refrain from nationalizing food distribution and setting price controls. If you don’t want go splat at the bottom of a cliff because you jumped off of it, there’s an easy way avoid that, too. For instance, you could choose not to jump off of the cliff.

                There’s an easy way to avoid becoming responsible for a foreign country because you sent in ground troops and broke their country, too. Can you guess what that is?

    3. We may not stay in that shithole for long.

      Trump’s America is oil independent and a growing energy exporter.

      Let the Saudis and Iranians have at it.

  16. “Several dozen of these protestors then managed to break down the embassy’s main door and set fire to a reception area, according to Al Jazeera.”

    Calling these people “protesters” or “demonstrators” may not be truly indicative of what’s happening. Anybody else remember the narrative about the “protesters” and “demonstrators” that murdered our ambassador in Benghazi? That turned out to be a military operation by an anti-American militia, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the “protesters” and “demonstrators” here turn out to be full time soldiers in a pro-Iranian, anti-American militia when they’re not posing as “protesters” and “demonstrators”.

    The fact is that average Iraqis have legitimately been protesting against Iranian interference in their country’s government for months.

    “As a new wave of demonstrations engulfs the Middle East, one common factor connects the protests from Baghdad to Beirut: a deep and widespread feeling of antipathy toward the Iranian regime. This is especially true in the bloodied towns and cities of Iraq—a country Iran’s leaders have regarded as theirs since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    Since the outbreak of the protests in early October, various security forces, including Iranian-backed Shiite militias, have killed more than 400 Iraqis and wounded some 20,000 others. Not only is there good reason to believe that much of the brutality has taken place at the behest of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Qassem Suleimani, the notorious commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, but the available evidence seems to confirm it.

    Aware of the anti-Iranian mood on the Iraqi streets—exemplified by protesters beating their shoes against portraits of Khamenei, just as they had done with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003—an unnerved Khamenei did not hesitate to intervene.

    Referring to the unrest as a conspiracy orchestrated by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the “Zionist regime” (Israel), the ayatollah called on forces in Iraq to “remedy the insecurity and turmoil”—a metaphor that served as a green light for Iranian-backed militias to quash demonstrations in Iraq.

    —-Foreign Policy , December 11, 2019

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/12/11/collapse-iranian-shiism-iraq-lebanon/

    To believe that this is an organic protest movement by the Iraqi people in defense of Iran, you’d have to be ignorant of the protests against Iran that have been raging all over Iraq since October. Journalists suffering from TDS are perfectly capable of that kind of sudden onset of ignorance. I think Trump probably made a mistake by getting suckered into retaliating against a pro-Iranian militia, here, but just because I believe that doesn’t mean I have to pretend that the people of Iraq are so appalled and upset about an Iranian backed militia taking one to the chin that they felt compelled to demonstrate against the U.S. and storm the embassy.

    This “protest” is almost certainly being orchestrated by Iran, and anyone who reports on it without making that clear is carrying water for the Iranian propaganda machine, knowingly or otherwise.

      1. The last thing we need is to go to war with Hezbollah.

        What’s the advantage of that?

        1. So Hezbollah did not just commit an act of war by storming US territory?
          Punitive strikes are not going to war. May lead to it, but just as likely that doing nothing will do the same.

          1. Defeating Hezbollah involves invading, occupying, and remaking the countries of Iran, Lebanon, and Syria in our image. That exercise would make Afghanistan and Iraq look like a walk in the park.

            Not being provoked into doing something stupid is a smart thing. Iran has been trying to provoke us over the sanctions for a long time, and we’ve been smart not to be suckered for so long.

            Iran may want Trump to do something stupid, but he doesn’t have to take orders from Iran, and that’s exactly what he would be doing if we went to war with Hezbollah.

            1. So what’s your proposal, Ken?
              Since you seem to be of the “turn the other cheek or go straight to all out war and occupation” mindset.
              I’ll let you suggest something before going further

              1. My solution is to not do things that are more harmful for the United States than they are beneficial, and there is no reason to think that starting a war with a terrorist army that has largely avoided targeting Americans in the past is a smart thing to do.

                And, yeah, since elements that later coalesced into Hezbollah targeted our Marines in 1983, Hezbollah has avoided targeting Americans specifically. They are generally not an active threat against Americans, and the effort and expense required to remove a terrorist army like Hezbollah isn’t worth the removal of the threat.

                You’re more in danger from drunk drivers than you are from Hezbollah, despite them being a terrorist organization sponsored by the rogue state of Iran. If you want to change that, with little or no hope of defeating them, then go ahead and attack them.

                What do you imagine attacking them will accomplish? You think they’ll continue to avoid targeting us because we attack them? Do you think they’ll stop perpetrating attacks on the U.S. or its ally Israel because we attack them? Do you think anything less than invading and occupying Iran, Lebanon, and Syria will remove Hezbollah as a threat entirely? You’ll get the Taliban out of Afghanistan before you destroy Hezbollah in Iran, Lebanon, and Syria.

                There is little or nothing to gain from attacking Hezbollah and the downsides are so high, it’s amazing.

                If we need to do anything offensive, we should rely on our proxies, Israel and Saudi Arabia. That’s the point of having them as allies.

                1. “And, yeah, since elements that later coalesced into Hezbollah targeted our Marines in 1983, Hezbollah has avoided targeting Americans specifically.”

                  Until they stormed a US embassy this morning.

                  Your point about making Israel and Saudi Arabia do it is valid. Maybe the right course.
                  Your advocacy to just ignore it though?
                  That’s idiotic, and history has proven it wrong time and again.
                  Yes, if we send a few missiles up Hezbollah’s ass they will be more reluctant to do Iran’s dirty work the next time they’re asked to target Americans.
                  If you can think of other means of retaliation that would be better, please say what they are and why.
                  But doing nothing only encourages more aggression.
                  Discouraging future attacks does not require completely wiping out the threat. It just requires imposing a cost for the attack that Hezbollah will be reluctant to bear in the future.
                  Please tell me there’s more to your argument than “we’ve fucked up in the past, so we should bury our heads in the sand now”.
                  I agree that actions should be taken that will advantage the US. You appear to think that doing nothing will advantage the US. I disagree.
                  So, do you think “no response” benefits the US the most?
                  If not, what does?

                  1. “Until they stormed a US embassy this morning.”

                    Do you know that Hezbollah stormed the embassy, or did someone, who may or may not be Hezbollah, get orders from Iran to wave Hezbollah’s flags around to antagonize President Trump into doing something that is not in the interests of the United States?

                    And I don’t see the part in your post about why it’s in the best interests of the United States to go to war with Hezbollah.

                    Yes, if we send a few missiles up Hezbollah’s ass they will be more reluctant to do Iran’s dirty work the next time they’re asked to target Americans.

                    Despite the fact that Israel has hit them with much more than that over the course of 35 years and it’s done nothing?

                    “Please tell me there’s more to your argument than “we’ve fucked up in the past, so we should bury our heads in the sand now”.

                    Please tell me there’s more to your argument than insisting that we make the same stupid mistakes again despite having made them before–over and over again. Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result isn’t just the definition of crazy. It’s also the definition of stupid.

                    “Do, do you think “no response” benefits the US the most?”

                    Are you unaware of what’s happening to the Iranian economy and why?

                    Are you completely unaware of why Iran has been trying to provoke the United States into attacking it?

                    1. So you’re going to type all these words just to say nothing?
                      C’mon, man.

                      “Do you know that Hezbollah stormed the embassy, or did someone, who may or may not be Hezbollah, get orders from Iran to wave Hezbollah’s flags around to antagonize President Trump into doing something that is not in the interests of the United States?”
                      That is the key question, and obviously should be determined before deciding upon action. If they Hezbollah didn’t actively participate, then we can eliminate them from the equation.

                      “And I don’t see the part in your post about why it’s in the best interests of the United States to go to war with Hezbollah.”
                      You don’t see the part in my post where I advocate completely destroying Hezbollah and occupying Lebanon… because it doesn’t exist. You should see in my post the proposed advantages of imposing costs on Hezbollah for attacking the US, and the disadvantages of failing to do so. If Hezbollah directly participated in storming the embassy, then we’re already at war with them. Failing to fight back doesn’t mean there’s no war. It just means there is no cost to Hezbollah for waging war against the US.

                      “Please tell me there’s more to your argument than insisting that we make the same stupid mistakes again despite having made them before–over and over again. Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result isn’t just the definition of crazy. It’s also the definition of stupid.”
                      Maybe point out the parts of my argument advocating those mistakes we’ve made over and over again? Hint: there’s nothing about invasion in there. And do you think Reagan’s bombing of Qaddafi was a mistake? Because that one looks like it worked to me.

                      “Are you unaware of what’s happening to the Iranian economy and why?
                      Are you completely unaware of why Iran has been trying to provoke the United States into attacking it?”
                      I am aware, I just don’t think that doing absolutely nothing is the best response. You can see (above?) somewhere on this page that I propose a punitive strike on military infrastructure. I don’t see that helping the regime. I suppose you disagree? If so, what effect do you think striking military infrastructure will have?

        2. I agree. A ‘hot war’ with Hezbollah is not in our interest. There is nothing but downside risk doing that.

          1. There is a war with Iran and Hezbolla.

            Israel is the tip of the spear. First test for the f-35. It works.

            1. Yes, there is a proxy war happening now, and Israel is at the tip of the spear. It won’t stop until the people of Iran have missiles raining down on their cities, towns, and villages. Once the ‘Iranian on the street’ feels real, palpable fear, then Iran’s behavior will change. This has been my critique of Israel.

              Mowing the grass is a recipe for long-term failure.

      2. It’s a different Hezbollah, Nardz. Read more.

        1. Way to not make a point.

        2. Hezbollah has multiple branches.
          You can start your research here
          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah

      3. Oh shut up, Nardz. You idiot.

    1. I think Trump probably made a mistake by getting suckered into retaliating against a pro-Iranian militia, here,…

      This is what I find troubling about the whole episode. Surely a competent military/national security adviser might have been able to tell Trump that reacting to a rocket attack with a significant display of force might have the undesirable effect of undercutting an emerging anti-Iranian push in Iraq. But now we’ve galvanized the politicians and the public, who are asking quite reasonable questions about why the U.S. should be allowed to execute military strikes in their territory at will.

      But here we are, Trump has acted impulsively yet again, thinking more about his base here and short-sighted positioning against Iran, not considering how the wrong move can tip Iraq back toward Iran or pulling us back into Iraq in a proxy war with Iran when that is very definitely not what we (or he, thinking about his re-election) should want to be doing right now.

      The explanation here seems to be that, by now, he has pushed out all of his competent, non-yes-men advisers (or learned to effectively ignore anyone whose counsel he disbelieves, for whatever reason).

      1. This isn’t analysis, it’s a regurgitation of corporate media talking points.
        The “mourners” so upset about the strike are no more nor less than Iranian militia

      2. This is not about the Shia in Iraq running to the aid of Iran or becoming sympathetic to Iran.

        This is a pro-Iranian militia, the likes of which the Iraqi Shia have been protesting against since October, making a scene for television.

        Again, I would have to forget everything I’ve read from every international news bureau across the whole spectrum of ideologies to believe that the Shia of Iraq are rushing to protest against the U.S. on behalf of Iran.

        That is simply not what is happening.

    2. Newspeak Dictionary
      protestors: street militias attacking Americans

  17. Another source:

    “Iran has condemned the burning of its consulate in the Shia holy city of Najaf as Iraqi security forces escalate violence against protesters who increasingly see the Iranian authorities as responsible for the repression.

    Anti-government protests that started on 1 October now in large part resemble a general uprising by the Shia majority in southern and central Iraq. The government crackdown has seen at least 350 people killed and 15,000 injured. A further 28 protesters were shot dead, 24 of them in the city of Nasiriya, and 165 were injured overnight.

    —-The Independent, November 28, 2019

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iraq-protests-baghdad-consulate-death-toll-iran-middle-east-latest-a9223986.html

  18. Gosh, that nation building in Iraq is going great! But let’s definitely not leave and cut our losses because people will think we are scaredy cats!

    1. Well, if we act like we’re running away in fear… yea, other nations will think we’re pussies.
      It started with Korea.
      Was amplified by Vietnam.
      Reinforced in Beirut, and again with Somalia.
      There may be plenty of good reasons to leave, but doing so as a response to aggression only invites more aggressive action.

    2. You mean the nation building Iran has been doing?

      Iraq has been more or less under effective control of the Iranian government since the first election held under the Bush administration in 2005 gave control of the Iraqi government to the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq–a Shia political party that was founded in Iran and financed by Iran.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Supreme_Council_of_Iraq#Iran

      When George H. W. Bush decided not to depose Saddam Hussein and occupy Iraq, it was largely because he didn’t want to hand effective control of the country over to Iran’s influence.

      When George W. Bush invaded Iraq, deposed Saddam Hussein, and occupied Iraq, I opposed it because I didn’t want use to hand effective control of the country over to Iran’s influence–among other reasons.

      When they held an election in 2005 for the first time, the party that won control of the government was founded by and financed by Iran. If there were ever a more embarrassing moment for neocons, I can’t remember what it was. After telling us that the Iraq War wasn’t really about Saddam Hussein’s phantom WMD program or his non-existent collaboration with Al Qaeda–it was all about bringing democracy to the Iraqi people, the Iraqi people voted to hand over their country to and Iranian backed political party.

      Oh the humanity!

      That the people of Iraq have finally had enough and protests against the Iranian -backed government erupted in October was a very positive development. Regardless, don’t get confused about who backs the Iraqi government. Because the United States installed it and tries to defend it, it is a government that cares far more about the interests of Iran than it does about the backing of the United States. The same kind of thing happened in Vietnam, where we also backed a government in the name of democracy–that the people of South Vietnam hated.

      Once we got to war on some other country’s behalf, we often find ourselves pretending that they’re good and heroic. It’s sometimes in our best interests to back an evil and awful government, but it’s never in our national best interests to pretend that government is any better than it is. It’s most just about appeasing all the Polly Annas out there, who think that if Stalin isn’t the nicest guy in the whole wide world, then we shouldn’t coordinate with him to destroy the Nazis in Europe or the Japanese in China.

      Imagine if McDonalds refused to sell cheeseburgers to anybody unless they’d never told a lie, and you get a good sense of how progressives and neocons want to run our foreign policy.

      1. “That the people of Iraq have finally had enough and protests against the Iranian -backed government erupted in October was a very positive development”

        They had in 2010 as well, until uncle Joe was sent by Obama to shut that down.
        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Iraqi_parliamentary_election
        Since 2005, Iran has wielded great influence in Iraq – but not outright control. That has been prevented by the US presence.
        The rise of IS was in part a reaction to the prospect of outright Iranian control presented by US withdrawal

  19. Is this all part of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament based neocon war
    ( https://www.deism.com/neoconsbible.htm ) that was going to be a “cakewalk” according to the neocon warmongers back in 2003? US politicians from both parties never tire of boosting their political careers by pleasing Israel and the powerful Israel lobby with the lives and tax payer dollars of Americans. I’m sure they’re hoping they can use the attack on the embassy to start another war for Israel’s benefit, this time against Iran.

    1. You’re in the wrong room.
      ZeroHedge is down the hall.

    2. Say hi to Mizek for me.

    3. Why is the deist trolling atheism central?

      Scat! We don’t take kindly to grown ass men who use make-believe to cope with the fact that their ego can’t handle its own death someday. Isn’t there a war in heaven led by the planet Venus you’ve got to comment on?

  20. Interesting conundrum. We have our Cato Institute expert warning that Trump might escalate….

    But he has seriously avoided escalation so far – with attacks on international shipping, attacks on Saudi oil fields and attacks on US drones in international airspace. He has even been excoriated by the US media for failing to kill people in retaliation.

    So…. what would our intrepid expert actually have him do? We have an actual attack on what is technically American soil… an intentional act of war. So… how do you avoid escalation? Does anything that is not an escalation in his mind even exist?

    1. “American soil… an intentional act of war. So… how do you avoid escalation? Does anything that is not an escalation in his mind even exist?”

      Right.
      There is no way to avoid escalation at this point, only the possibility of managing it.
      This reminds of a dynamic in poker and a tactic of dealing with it. In hold’em, there are 4 rounds of betting – preflop, flop, turn, river. It’s called pot control. You have a good, not great, hand that’s quite possibly going to be a winner. So, you want to see the hand to the end because your pair is probably good, but there better hands possible. You’re in early position, so you have to act before the others in the hand. You can’t simply check-call unless you feel very confident your hand is the best, because you’re showing weakness thus likely to face a big bet without having much information. What you need to do is control the size of the pot, so you can see the hand to the end (get to showdown) without having to risk more than you’re comfortable with. This requires a defensive bet – betting an amount that is neither too much or too little (you think you have a better pair than your opponent/s). An amount that a player will call or fold to, but discourages a bluff that you don’t want to or can’t call. You have to size the bet so that any reraise tells you that you should fold… without revealing that a reraise tells you to fold.
      It’s not easy. Takes experience and a pretty good read. If the guy is chasing and misses, his only options are to fold or raise. But if he has a slightly worse hand, he can call in addition to the other two options. You want the call, you’ll take the fold, but the raise can be a problem.
      It’s all about representing your willingness to do something that you’re in reality not wanting to do. You’re communicating the message, without investing too much, that your opponent shouldn’t fuck with you.
      So what the US needs to do is escalation control. Not escalate to much, and commit to more action than necessary, while not remaining totally passive, and inviting escalation from the other side.
      Trump has walked that line pretty well so far.
      Let’s hope he continues doing so.

      1. I say we bug out and call it even.

    2. Cyto…Theoretically, Congress could vote to end the 2002 AUMF. That puts a stop to our intervention in the ME. The legal justification is gone and Congress would have to decide each of these interventions is worth maintaining. Our troops would probably remain in place until everything is worked out, but we would eventually be out of there (the ME).

      1. And donkeys might fly out of my butt…..

        We can’t even do a proper appropriation process…. not since Obama took office.

        Bush was the last President to even pretend that he needed Congress’ permission to go to war, and he studiously did not use the term declaration of war.

    3. There are basically two paths for Trump to take here:

      1) Return to the JCPOA framework; get Iran back into compliance with its commitments thereunder; gradually open up access to global financial markets for Iran. That will restore the political standing of political moderates in Iran and build good will towards addressing some of the other regional concerns the U.S. government has with Iran right now. It will also go a fair ways toward restoring relations with European partners and push China/Russia back into the periphery where they belong.

      2) Respond to Iran’s provocations, tit-for-tat, in an escalating series of military actions designed to convey clearly to Iran that the U.S. is not going to tolerate its bullshit. This presents Iran with a clear choice between either further escalation or capitulation.

      There is no other way. Trump seems to think that conveying fecklessness is in fact savvy – oh, I could have killed lots of people, but I decided at the last minute not to – but this just conveys to the Iranian regime that Trump either fears or does not know what decisive military action against Iran would do for his re-election chances. That emboldens Iran and expands the range of things they can do to further tweak the U.S. and peel away allies (e.g., Russia, China, increasingly Japan, the EU). It’s exactly like Obama’s “red line” on chemical weapons in Syria and limp-wristed support for the wrong Syrian rebels.

      Trump huffs and bluffs, but world leaders are cannier than he is. They just use this constant hedging to tease out more information on Trump’s “strategic” thinking.

      1. That you’d even include #1 as an option (complete capitulation and rewarding hostile behavior) completely invalidates your opinion.
        Take it to WaPo. Those degenerates are more your type

      2. SimonP….JCPOA is dead. It is not coming back. You can remove that option. No one, not even Team D supports going to status quo ante.

        Option 2 is the most likely, but I don’t see capitulation in the cards. We will respond to provocations, but the stated goal from the US side is not capitulation.

      3. “Return to the JCPOA framework; get Iran back into compliance with its commitments thereunder; gradually open up access to global financial markets for Iran.”

        Below, I pointed out that the JCPOA isn’t the alternative to direct war with the United States. In fact, the JCPOA makes direct war between the United States and Iran a certainty.

        The JCPOA is unacceptable because it allows Iran to enrich their own uranium. Iran forfeited the right to enrich their own uranium when they violated the NPT by enriching uranium in secret.

        When the Security Council voted to certify the findings that Iran had violated the NPT and impose sanctions, not even Iran’s allies–China and Russia–would stand in the way.

        If Iran wants uranium that has been adequately enriched for civilian use, then China and Russia are perfectly wiling to supply enriched uranium for them. That neither of them even wanted Iran to enrich their own uranium is telling.

        In fact, because Iran prefers suffering the economic effects of sanctions and the protests and threats to their regime that entails, rather than have enriched uranium supplied to them, that’s how we know that the intentions of their nuclear program are nefarious.

  21. Every smaller developing country that has valuable resources should do its best to obtain nuclear weapons. That is their only assurance that they will not be the victims of “regime change” and occupation by the US and its minions.

    1. Iran is lashing out in the hope of provoking an attack by the U.S., in the hope that this will draw the condemnation of the Europeans and make them completely withdraw support for U.S. sanctions. Iran’s economy is circling the drain due to sanctions for violating the NPT, and by last count, they appear to be burning through what’s left of their foreign reserves.

      “They are in a state of panicked aggression,” said a senior U.S. administration official, referring to recent assaults that include attacks against energy supplies and deployment of precision-guided missiles in Lebanon and Syria. Iran denies carrying out attacks on oil tankers and Saudi infrastructure.

      The key measure in the U.S. assessment is the country’s foreign-exchange reserves, representing the emergency cash that countries use to pay off trade debt, safeguard currency and stave off financial turmoil. In Iran, the currency reserves are estimated by the International Monetary Fund to be at $86 billion currently, or 20% below the level in 2013, when world-wide financial pressure forced Iran to negotiate on its nuclear program.

      . . . .

      Even if Iran has access to the full amount projected by the IMF, the fund estimates Iran will burn through another 20% next year to keep its exchange rate stable and hold down inflation, which at 36% this year is slightly higher than in 2013. Doing so would leave the central bank able to cover less than a year’s worth of imports, the projections show.

      . . . .

      U.S. officials say mismanagement and corruption are partly to blame for Iran’s economic woes, but they are exacerbated by oil and trade. The 70% fall in oil exports due to U.S. sanctions pressure reduced Iranian crude sales to an estimated 500,000 barrels a day, less than half the 2013 level of around 1.1 million barrels. Though all of Iran’s major exports fall under sanctions, enforcement has been most rigorous on crude.

      —-WSJ, December 3, 2019

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-cut-off-from-vital-cash-reserves-is-approaching-economic-peril-u-s-says-11575369002

      No one is looking at Iran and thinking that the results of violating the NPT are so good, they should develop a nuclear weapon like Iran is doing. Iran is devastating its own country and its own economy in pursuit of nuclear weapons, and any country that wants to be like them right now in terms of their economy or in terms of the spontaneous protests that have been erupting all over Iran right now is completely insane. Iran is complete mess because they violated the NPT in pursuit of nuclear weapons.

      1. They took too long. Now they’re vulnerable. If they’d had deployable nukes a decade or so ago, they would not be under threat of US aggression now. Iran is a mess because of decades of US interference.

        1. “Iran is a mess because of decades of US interference.”

          I believe this is true–but not in the way you seem to be suggesting.

          It is not a mere coincidence that Iran’s initial violations of the NPT coincided with the insurgency exploding in Iraq under U.S. occupation and the pro-Iranian Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq winning the U.S. sponsored elections for the new Iraqi government.

          Iran didn’t violate the NPT–despite the revolutionary government being in power since 1979 and despite the fact that their primary adversary, Israel, is known to have had nuclear weapons for all that time. That’s why they started violating the NPT in 2003/2004–they were emboldened by our inability to do anything about it. The last thing we wanted to do during the worst of the insurgency was have the Shia militia’s under Iran’s control do the same thing to us that Sunni insurgents were already doing.

          We were sitting on top of a powder keg, and the fuse ran all the way to Tehran.

          The reason we were in that situation was because we invaded and occupied Iraq. If we weren’t fighting an insurgency by way of an occupation at the time, they wouldn’t have been so emboldened as to violate the NPT. Why didn’t they violate the NPT from 1979 until the U.S. was neck deep in an occupation next door? The answer is because after 2003, we were neck deep in an occupation next door. So, yes, U.S. interference is probably to blame for Iran’s nuclear program–but the U.S. interference to blame is George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.

      2. Ken, this is the one thing that does worry me about Iran. The prospect of an Iran wielding nukes. My observations of world history are that when people say they are going to do something, like destroying your country and killing your people…you should take them at their word. Just remember, after a nuke armed Iran deals with Israel, they will come for us next.

        I don’t want a military conflict with Iran. We seem to be doing a decent job making Iran ‘feel the burn’ with economic and trade sanctions. I will say this, though. When Iran kills our people (and they did), their people must die as well. We should do everything we can to stop Iran from developing nukes (we probably are). It remains to be seen whether we can wait it out wrt sanctions.

        1. Why would Iran use nukes on us, knowing that we’d nuke them back ten times over? They want nukes as a defense mechanism.

            1. He’s too thick headed to recognize that other people think differently.

              1. ThomasD You’re dismissed.

            2. Suicide bombers are useful idiots, Nardz. The people running Iran are not suicidal.

      3. Iran is devastating its own country and its own economy in pursuit of nuclear weapons,…

        This is a strange interpretation, given the current state of play. Trump’s trashing of the JCPOA had nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear program – he cited their support of militant groups throughout the Middle East – and he hasn’t clearly articulated any series of clear steps that Iran could take to do anything to help their economy.

        This isn’t about Iran’s nuclear program. This is about hegemony in the Middle East. Trump withdrew from the JCPOA and ratcheted up sanctions in order to do something about Iran’s regional pursuits, in order to weaken it and empower the Sauds. So, for the Iranians, it’s an existential issue, not merely about nuclear weapons. Properly understood, their risky brinkmanship makes a lot more sense.

        1. “This is a strange interpretation, given the current state of play. Trump’s trashing of the JCPOA had nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear program – he cited their support of militant groups throughout the Middle East – and he hasn’t clearly articulated any series of clear steps that Iran could take to do anything to help their economy.”

          “Strange interpretation”? How can trashing the JCPOA not be about Iran’s nuclear program?

          No doubt that Trump’s policy towards Saudi Arabia (especially his defense of our relationship with the Crown Prince and our sale of weapons systems to Saudi Arabia), has been driven by more than just Iran’s nuclear program. It’s also been about Iran’s aggression outside its borders–and not just in Lebanon and Syria but also in places like Yemen. Yes, using Iran’s flagrant violations of the NPT to hit them with sanctions, cut them off from the world’s credit markets, and cripple their economy also has upsides in terms of crimping the extent of their aggression outside their borders, but that isn’t to say it doesn’t have an impact on their nuclear and missile programs, too.

          Iran could make the sanctions go away tomorrow if they stopped their foreign aggression and returned to compliance with the NPT. That they would rather devastate their economy than give up their foreign adventures and their nuclear program is telling.

          It should be noted that protesters within Iran have been screaming about Iran “liberating” people in Syria and Yemen at the expense of the people of Iran, especially when they stopped subsidizing gasoline prices, but that isn’t the only lesson to draw here–sanctions probably will not drive the Iranian regime from power. The big lesson is that if Iran will choose to engage in aggression against its neighbors and flagrantly violate the NPT–even when doing so practically destroys their economy–then how bad would it be without the sanctions?

          Sometimes sanctions being implemented under the auspices of what amounts to a mutual defense treaty that has been ratified by the Senate is an excellent alternative to war. Sometimes letting our allies fight our battles for us is an excellent alternative to a war of our own. And when President Trump is implementing all of these constitutional and effective strategies in attempt to avoid direct involvement by the United States on the battlefield, then he’s doing a good job–and he should be congratulated.

          Iran has done practically everything they can to provoke the United States into retaliating, only to coldly and steadfastly refuse to be provoked into doing something that isn’t the U.S.’s interests is the best display of judgement of force I’ve seen since Bill Clinton wisely kept us out of Rwanda, since Bush Sr. refused to topple the Saddam Hussein regime, and since Reagan wisely withdrew our troops from Lebanon.

          The JCPOA was never the alternative to war. The JCPOA practically guaranteed that there would be war because if and when Iran acquires nuclear weapons and means to deliver them, the result will not be peace–any more than mutual assured destruction lead to peace during the Cold War. The Cold War was a never ending series of proxy wars, in which direct engagement by the U.S. or the USSR was almost always a mistake (see Vietnam and Russia’s experience in Afghanistan). If you think proxy wars and the pressure for U.S. intervention are bad now, just wait until Iran successfully pulls off a nuclear test.

          The alternative to war is exactly what President Trump has been doing up until this point. He should refuse to be suckered into retaliating just as he urged the Saudis to refuse to be sucked into retaliating against Iran when their proxies attacked Saudi oil production facilities several months ago–and for all the same reasons. They’re flailing because the sanctions are working to force them back to the negotiating table–and they’re running out of time.

  22. When did Trumpkins take over Reason’s comments section?

    1. A true libertarian wouldn’t even care if Iran obtained nukes, as long as they don’t use them on us.
    2. We started the mess in Iran in 1953 by overthrowing their democratically elected government.
    3. Sanctions are an act of war. Therefore Trump has NOT had a peaceful foreign policy regarding Iran.
    4. Obama gave Iran their OWN money we had frozen.
    5. For all this talk of Iran supporting terrorism, no terrorist attack on American soil has ever resulted from Iran’s supposed support of terrorism. That is a neocon talking point about Iran, and I’m shocked to be reading it here.
    6. The Iran treaty wasn’t ratified, and Iran wasn’t following the letter of the law, but it was mostly following it. Iran has become more belligerent since Trump imposed sanctions, and now this. You cannot possibly argue that Trump’s policy has been a success. Our relationship with Iran was better while the deal was in place. Case closed. And since sanctions are an act of war, Trump basically provoked Iran just as FDR provoked Japan with an embargo.
    7. I’m shocked and appalled by the Buchananite protectionist nonsense I am reading here. Libertarians support unilateral free trade, and fighting a trade war through tariffs is causing as much harm to America as it is China. It’s because of the trade war we haven’t seen 3% annual growth yet under Trump. Because China places trade barriers on us and its own citizens is not a legitimate reason for our government to take away our freedom to trade with the Chinese, which tariffs in fact do. That is why virtually zero Austrian school economists (or any other for that matter) agree with Trump.

    1. You like all of us Trumpkins here?

      Just the beginning of *our* Long March Through the Institutions.

      1. Refute one of my points. I am an Amash supporter. Reason is for libertarians, not Trump acolytes.

        1. Be as belligerant as you want, but nobody is buying the new sock Jeff.

          1. My account isn’t new. I’m just not a regular. I comment mostly on other sites.

    2. You accuse of comments being like Breitbart and then chime in with MSNBC. I don’t know how you can conclude some of the comments above are ‘Trumpistian’. They seem valid to me.

      1) Define ‘true’ libertarian. And not necessarily accurate and some do I’m almost certain.

      3) Sanctions are legal and accepted forms of pressure tactics in foreign policy. Blockades are considered acts of war.

      4) It’s confusing. Yes, Western powers have frozen Iranian assets. The amount sent to Iran by Obama seems to be tied to this and is in dispute but there was cash sent out that may not be accounted for (c. $1.7 billion).

      5) What do you mean ‘supposed’? It’s a well-established fact they’re the biggest sponsors and funders of terrorism. Hizbollah for example. Are you for real?

      6) ‘Mostly’ can be considered a breach; like a contract. And the parts, wouldn’t surprise me, they were ignoring were probably the main ones – that is the nuclear part of it. Up top you mention no true libertarian would care but Obama sure cared. They had no intentions of honouring the deal. Read: Deal because it wasn’t a treaty since it was never ratified.

      7) You’re shocked. Shocked! Point one from Trading Economics:

      “Here are the facts:
      The Chinese economy is in the worst shape as the growth has been slowing down since the first round of tariffs was imposed by the US in February 2018. The GDP grew 6% yoy in Q3 2019, the least since the first quarter of 1992. Exports to the US, the biggest sales market, fell 28% in the first 10 months of 2019. Manufacturing production has been slowing since the beginning of 2018 (monthly average of 5.6% year-on-year compared to 6.3% in 2018 and 7.1% in 2017). The yuan weakened near 11% and the Shanghai Composite lost 4%.

      The US economy is still in the very good shape but signs of downshifting are becoming more evident as uncertainty spreads to manufacturers, exporters and companies in general.
      On the positive note, the US GDP has been expanding strongly since 2018 (average of 2.5% since Q1 2018) and grew by an annualized 2.1% qoq in Q3. China first imposed tariffs in April of 2018 and during 2018 many companies in the US increased exports, imports and production aiming to anticipate the impact of the new fees. Since the first tariffs were imposed by China, the USD gained around 7%, the Dow Jones added 21%, the Nasdaq increased 27% and the S&P 500 22%.”

      Why you chose 3% I don’t know, but the U.S. economy is expanding and operating at a healthy pace.

      And there were probably no who Austrian economists who didn’t agree with Obama….and Bush…and Clinton. That’s because they don’t agree with the general overall principles governing modern economies.

      1. 1. Being a libertarian means you don’t care what other countries do as long as they don’t attack us.
        3. Sanctions are a legal ACT OF WAR that prevent people from freely trading with one another.
        5. As long as we aren’t the victims of said terrorism, so what?
        6. Why do most experts say Iran was cooperating? Only neocons and Israel Firsters who are itching for war seem to make a big deal of minor violations by Iran.
        7. Trump himself said that less than 4% growth is terrible when he campaigned.

        1. No, that is not even close to the definition of a true libertarian.

          Everyone knows, the definition of a True Libertarian is “people who agree with me”.
          Which means, you sir, are no True Libertarian.

          1. Cyto Actually it is. NAP foreign policy means we don’t care what Iran does unless they attack us.

        2. We’re well aware of the NAP in foreign policy. But it’s not a zero-sum position. You can advocate for NAP but also understand a theocracy like Iran that sponsors terrors directly and engages in proxy wars with nukes is not a good idea and measures should be in place to prevent that from happening.
          3) Nope.

          5) ?

          6) There’s certainly some sabre rattling against Iran but you seem to take the naive – if not idiotic – position that Iran’s actions are ‘minor.’

          7) You chose ‘3%’ as a baseline. Now you pull out Trump’s targets of 4%. Regardless, I presented you the economic facts that challenged your assertion. Moreover, you erred on the claim the economy has ‘not yet hit 3%’. In fact, it has. It hit a hight of 3.5% in mid-2017 (well into the trade war) and as recent as early 2019.

          https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth

          1. I answered yesterday but my comment was stuck in ‘awaiting moderation’ purgatory for over a day which I don’t appreciate one bit.

            Have the decency to approve or not in a timely fashion since we’re trying to have a discussion. I have no idea why it’s being moderated anyway. I’ve been commenting here for 10 years and never had this happen to me.

          2. Actually sanctions are an act of war. Ron Paul has even said so. Sanctions are an act of government coercion that results in starving people to death. Our government not allowing its people to freely trade with the people of Iran is an act of war against Iran. It would be one thing if Americans freely chose not to trade with Iran; we’re not obligated to trade with others. However, it’s another when government coercion causes mass death in a foreign country, like it did with Iraq. If I want to feed Iranians and the government stops me, the government is guilty of starving Iranians. Period.

            https://www.fff.org/2017/09/08/sanctions-act-war/ Read this, and stop embarrassing yourself, okay. You fail the libertarian test when you support sanctions.

          3. Rufus Incorrect. We have not had a FULL YEAR of 3% growth under Trump yet. And 3% is measly growth.

            AS FOR #5, you mentioned Iran’s support for terrorism. If that terrorism doesn’t affect the United States, then it’s not our problem.

            1. I stand corrected. You did say ‘annual’. Nonetheless. Overall, the general economic environment has not been impacted by the trade war as of yet.

              If they fall under UN rules, they’re not acts of war.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_sanctions

              Who said I support sanctions?

              1. And judging by how you argue, by me saying the economy is fine doesn’t mean I like Trump or support his trade policies.

                1. Fair enough, regarding your last point.

              2. I don’t care about what the UN says. They aren’t the arbiter of what’s right.

                1. THAT I agree.

                  But dems the rules nations are expected to play by.

    3. “A true libertarian wouldn’t even care if Iran obtained nukes, as long as they don’t use them on us.”

      True libertarians might perpetrate the no true Scotsman fallacy on occasion, but they probably wouldn’t be proud of it after having it pointed out to them.

      Meanwhile, there isn’t anything unlibertarian about using constitutionally ratified treaties to preemptively defend ourselves against threats to our rights from foreign actors by using sanctions–rather than war.

      You’re just making shit up.

      The legitimate libertarian purpose of government is to protect our rights. We have police to protect our rights from criminals. We have criminal courts to protect our rights from the police. We have civil courts to protect our rights from each other. We have a military to protect our rights from foreign threats. The NPT was formally ratified by our Senate, and using the sanctions regime to which the state of Iran willingly subjected itself to when it ratified the treaty remains a perfectly legitimate means to protect our rights from foreign threats. I might point out that sanctions under the auspices of a treaty their government ratified is even less coercive from a libertarian standpoint than the threat of military force–which is also a perfectly legitimate means to protect our rights from foreign threats. Inflicting consequences on a party for failing to abide by the terms of an agreement you consented to isn’t coercive in civil court–and it isn’t coercive in international treaties either.

      As an aside to the rest of you, the least complicated assumption as to why someone would look at a belligerent state like Iran, that is both a sworn enemy of the United States and a state sponsor of a terrorist army that is actively engaged in fighting wars and murdering civilians beyond its borders, etc., etc. and conclude that we shouldn’t be worried about their nuclear program . . . we’re probably talking about TDS.

      TDS is the inability to see the world objectively because Donald Trump is somewhere in it.

      1. There have to be standards as to what constitutes a libertarian thought. If Hitler had claimed to be a libertarian, that wouldn’t make it so. The NAP is an important part of libertarianism, meaning that a true libertarian should not care if Iran obtains nukes.

        We started the conflict with Iran in 1953, so we have a responsibility to be lenient towards them. You said government is to protect us from a foreign threat, and I agree. Iran just isn’t a threat and never will be. Not to us, at least. We should have never left the Iran deal, and the fact is that Iran was mostly cooperating with it.

        You mentioned that Iran freely signed a treaty with us, but you ignore the fact that treaties can be signed under duress. Nations will ratify treaties simply because they fear the consequences if they don’t. It’s not as “free market” as you are making it out to be. I really don’t have a problem with Iran obtaining nukes. Sanctions are an act of war, and we really shouldn’t be at war with Iran. We should apologize for overthrowing their government and just leave them alone.

  23. Trump has ballooned the deficit with his out of control spending, and he solicited Ukraine to help smear Biden on a debunked charge to swing the 2020 election, in exchange for withheld foreign aid that was put on hold the same day of the Zelensky phone call. “Best president” my butt. Dumbest and most corrupt, maybe.

    1. Nice to meet Rachael Maddow’s sock puppet.

      1. Is that the best you got?

        1. Truth hurts, doesn’t it? 🙂

          1. What truth? I don’t watch TV news. Troll harder.

            1. I mean, if you want to be Maddow’s Mouthpiece, at least own up to it.

          2. Seriously, there is no difference between this comment section and Breitbart. I thought this was a libertarian site.

            1. Only a progressive would not see a difference between Breitbart and here.

              1. Pretty much.

              2. If she’s saying what I’m saying, then I guess she’s right.

              3. What’s the difference between the Trump defenders on this site and those who comment on Breitbart? Please educate me.

                1. Expect more vince sock trolls now that election hear 2020 has officially begun.

                  1. I notice you couldn’t answer my question, retard.

              4. turco So tell me what the difference is, dipshit.

    2. Has Trump even bothered to submit a budget?

  24. I hope Reason and fans realize there are government (or government-loving or Neo-con) trolls in all comments from JesseAz, Narz and others, who’s main intention is to shut you up. It’s really not worth reading their comments or replies.

    1. Yea, all neocons advocate alliance with Russia.
      Good call.
      Have anything relevant to contribute?
      No?
      Then shut the fuck up

      1. Sanctions are an act of war.

        1. You said this about 15 times already bot.

          1. Yet you still don’t get it, VLADIMIR.

    2. Notice Vince and factsnotbs are trying to push the same trolling nonsense.

      1. Notice loveconstitution1789 wears his mom’s panties.

  25. So he wants to pull out of Syria and Reason and others become pro-war in that instance. He attacks Iran in retaliation and Reason….finds its antti-war stance again.

    Which is it people? If I missed understood please let me know.

    “The Trump administration has repeatedly ratcheted up tensions with Iran, tearing up the Obama-era nuclear deal,”

    Heh. Good one.

    As proper. Like the Paris Accords.

    Get it ratified.

  26. Embassy or occupation force headquarters?

    The citizens of the Middle East are living a red, white and blue dawn reality.

  27. UCrawford The guy who said to nuke all middle eastern countries was on your side, not the Dem side. I like some of Trump’s foreign policy, but it is not peaceful enough. Sanctions are an act of war. As for trade, Trump is a protectionist.

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