Monday, September 23, 2019

Lesser of the Two Weevils

It is said that a cotton farmer saw two boll weevils several meters apart and running in opposite directions, so he chased after the small one, because one should always choose the lesser of two weevils.

Given that Trump ran on an isolationist platform and Secretary Clinton promised regime change in Syria and Russia on Day 1, I figured Trump was the lesser of the two weevils.

Of course, Trump has not delivered on his isolationist promise, all the wars he inherited are still going strong, and some are going stronger, but no new shooting wars, and that's a good thing.

We (might?) have come close, though.

The US 'experts' said Trump had to bomb Iran for shooting down a $100,000,000 drone, but he didn't. As usual, we have no idea what really happened. Did Trump, as he said, order a bombing run then cancelled at the last minute, or was it some minion who ordered the attack and Trump demanded they desist. We'll never know.

And now that someone has bombed a Saudi refinery, Trump has said he'll stick to sanctions, not a shooting war. Which is good. And which is soundly condemned by all the 'experts' who say he's letting Iran (how do they know it was Iran?) get away with shutting down the world's largest refinery.

The attack was on Saturday, 14 Sept 2019. The following Monday, oil was up 20%. By Friday, oil was back down to about where it was the previous Friday, after Saudi said the refinery would be back at full capacity in 48 hours (OK, it's still not back at full capacity, but Trump dumped enough oil out of the US Strategic Reserve to make up for lost Saudi production, and since they said '48 hours' surely after yet another 48 hours, it must be back up).

The Houthis said 'We done it, and we'll do it again unless Saudi stops bombing the Yemen.'

The 'experts' say Iran was responsible, and must be bombed. They say Trump's failure to start a shooting war with Iran makes the US look very weak, and this is a state that cannot be tolerated.

Iran says it does not want war, will not start a war, but if it's attacked, it will retaliate.

Saudi and the 'experts' say the US must bomb Iran to teach them a lesson they'll not soon forget.

The press says the Iranians want war, while Saudi and the US want peace, but Iran is forcing them into war. Where the press gets this, escapes me.

One must recall '88. Reagan ordered the US to shoot down an Iranian Air Force plane on 3 July, to appear as headlines on the 4th of July as a birthday present to the US. Only Iranian Air Force planes were grounded, so the US Navy shot down an Iranian passenger plane.

The US version is that the passenger plane was carrying 290 suicide bombers flying backwards to blow up a US Navy ship, and the officers and crew of the ship all got medals for defending the US against that Iranian attack (the fact that avionics means planes can't fly backwards doesn't count with Americans, who say suicide bombers can easily make a jet fly backwards). And Iran could do absolutely nothing. But Iran said, 'Never again.'

Iran wanted a nuke, but to build a nuke from scratch requires 60 tonnes of uranium, and Iran has about 6 tonnes, so they gave up in 2003 and said they did not and do not want a nuke, it's unIslamic. In April, 2018 Israel Mossad agents managed to go to the shuttered nuclear research facility and managed to bring about one tonne of paper and CDs back to Israel, and said this was proof Iran is working on a nuke and must be stopped (it wasn't and isn't proof of any such thing).

So Iran settled for a huge arsenal of ballistic missiles with conventional warheads, hidden all over Iran. The head of the Iranian-American society said, if the US attacks Iran, it must carpet bomb the entire country to destroy Iran's missiles and command and control to prevent a counterattack.

In fact, a US attack will mean Iranian missiles will hit the US fleet, the US military bases in the Middle East, and also major cities in Saudi Arabia and Israel (but not Mecca, Medina, nor Jerusalem--the Iranians are still good Muslims, even if Saudi says they're all infidels because they're not Sunni Muslims). Saddam sent a few missiles at Israel, all shot down by Israel's air defences. Iran has a much larger arsenal of missiles, and one (out of two) was able to get past the US drone's sophisticated anti-anti-drone defences. So an attack by Iranian missiles will be quite a bit more damaging than what Saddam had (and if Israel had any sense, they'd be asking the US not to bomb Iran).

So Trump is doing the right thing by saying he's imposing tough sanctions, and that's enough.

The US press are idiots for saying that makes the US look very weak and Trump must bomb Iran.

Fortunately, Trump seems to be listening to Tucker Carlson, who noted that Trump won 30 states, the critical ones by paper-thin pluralities, and some of those votes were anti-war votes that will be lost if Trump starts a new shooting war. There is no way Trump can win any of the 54% who voted against him in 2016, but if he can hold on to every one of the 46% who voted for him in 2016, he could win again in 2020. And that means no new shooting war.

So I'm hoping Trump continues to listen to Tucker Carlson, and not to the US press who are screaming he's weak and ineffective if he doesn't bomb, bomb, bomb Iran (plus, the US press wants Trump to lose, so if they can get him to bomb, and bombing costs him all his anti-war votes, so much the better--what's a fleet and a base or two if it gets rid of Trump?).