Streetwise Professor

January 9, 2020

It Is Better to Be Feared by the Mullahs Than to Be Loved By Them (Which Will Never Happen Anyways)

Filed under: Energy,History,Military,Politics — cpirrong @ 6:29 pm

Where’s my World War III? I was promised a World War III!

As for indicators that the fact that the US blowed up Qassem Suleimani real good will not set off WWIII, or even Middle East Regional War MCCCLV, look at the oil price: it’s lower today than when Gen. Suleimani’s bell tolled.

The vaunted Iranian retaliation was of the “we have to do something but please don’t hurt me anymore” variety: they launched a few missiles towards bases in Iraq, and fewer still landed there, and those few that landed did not even inflict a scratch on an American.

This allowed Trump to act magnanimously. And limit his response to imposing more sanctions.

That is, the Dirty Harry equilibrium appears to be playing out. A rational thug put his hand on the gun, looked into the muzzle of a 44 magnum, and thought the better of it. Expectations have been reset. Deterrence has been revitalized.

“It is better to be feared than loved, when one cannot be both.” There is no way in hell the mullahs will ever love us: so fear it has to be.

There is other evidence that the mullahs and their security forces were petrified at the prospect of a robust US counterstrike–tragic evidence. It appears increasingly likely that a Ukrainian 737 that went down about the time Iran shot off its missiles was shot down by the Iranians. Interested parties–the US (though not yet officially), Ukraine, and Canada (which had many nationals on board)–have said it was highly likely that was indeed the case. Occam’s Razor says the same: the likelihood of a relatively new 737 spontaneously catching fire and crashing with no communication from the pilots is small indeed.

Shooting down a civilian airliner betrays an extremely jumpy–i.e., afraid–Iranian military that was dreading a US strike. It is horrible outcome–but one that rests entirely on the mullahs.

But not in the minds of many of the American “elite.” Apparently a memo went out dictating that talking heads assert that the plane was the victim of “crossfire,” and that the US generally, and Trump specifically, was to blame.

Representative of this regurgitation of the crossfire talking point was Susan Hennessey, well-known member of Lawfare, and hence a polyp in the colon of “The Resistance” and the deep state:

Hennessey received much push-back on her “crossfire” remark (as apparently did NBC journalist Heidi Przybyla, who cravenly deleted her tweet), and she felt compelled to respond, pissily:

Susie brings to mind Humpty Dumpty: “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less. ” To non-Humptys, the word “crossfire” requires, you know, at least two people shooting. There was only one party shooting (evidently) in Iran. That being Iran. The US fired nary a shot after Senor Suleimani bit the dust.

Insofar as this was a consequence of Trump’s decision to respond to Suleimani’s extremely long history of terror–a history he reveled in–and the threat of terror to come, that is also squarely on the mullahs. They acted as if there were no consequences that they weren’t prepared to accept. Then there were. And then they panicked, and killed a further 176 people.

But everything must be blamed on Trump. Everything.

Along these lines, the media keeps slobbering over Suleimani, telling us how universally revered he is in Iran (while ignoring the other places in the Middle East where he is hated), and speaking in awed tones about the crowd at his funeral.

Arguendo, let’s assume that he is/was universally venerated in Iran. That is, a man who avowedly hated the United States, and ceaselessly waged war on it, and panted for its destruction (and that of Israel). What would that say about Iranians, and their attitude to the US?

Is that really the mullaphiles want to convey? Or are they just too stupid to grasp the implications of their idolatry?

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  1. We’ve learned
    1. They aren’t parading their generals and proxies anywhere abroad any more.
    2- Were they already at full stretch in fighting the Great Satan? Early days, but a few missiles near the end of their shelf life sure looks like it.
    3. Iran’s friends and allies won’t help them out beyond a pointless vote at the UN.
    4. Some people hate Trump so much they are prepared to side with a known terrorist.
    5.Their ability to command their proxies is limited.
    Useful to know.

    Comment by philip — January 9, 2020 @ 7:27 pm

  2. I think you’ve identified a few outliers – not the general consensus – in the debate about the Iranian shootdown, Craig. From what I can see everyone is firmly pointing the finger at Iran, and giving them a way out by suggesting it wasn’t intentional.

    Have to say its been a pretty disastrous week for Iran. They’ve really phuqed up big-time. Nice start to the new decade…

    Comment by David Mercer — January 10, 2020 @ 3:49 am

  3. @David. Yeah. Outliers. Like leading Democratic presidential candidates, Democratic Members of Congress.

    Comment by cpirrong — January 10, 2020 @ 10:27 am

  4. The retired State Department official and blogger Diplomad has an interesting take on the whole Suleimani hit:

    “…I am coming to the conclusion–I can be talked out of it–that General Qasim Soleimani got handed to us by a faction or factions within Iran’s ruling circle.”

    As he’s retired, he’s been able to let loose on a whole range of issues, which makes for some great reading:

    Comment by I.M. Pembroke — January 10, 2020 @ 1:24 pm

  5. The fact that the Ukrainian airliner was shot down at the very time Iran was shooting missiles westward gives us excellent reason to believe the incident was the result of an incompetent trigger-happy Iranian soldier; however, I think the possibility that the airplane was purposefully targeted should be considered.
    I think that it is well within the realm of possibility the plane was shot down for reasons only the Iranian secret police know, that is, for reasons that are not, may not, or maybe are, related to the recent events with the Americans.
    All pure speculation, of course, but the fact that more than half of the passengers were non-Iranians, but close to every passenger had an Iranian name, coupled with my unwavering belief that the Iranian government is evil and will do evil things in its own interest, lead me to consider the possibility that the plane was destroyed simply as a means of assassinating one or a small group of people, again, for reasons only the killers know.
    Anyone who thinks the mullahs wouldn’t kill a large group of innocent children, men and women to advance their power and agenda is sadly mistaken in my view.

    Comment by Gordon — January 10, 2020 @ 3:58 pm

  6. Wow this site is really a gravity well for conspiracy theory wingnuts.

    My favourite one today was a theory that the Saudi’s had driven one of their SAM units into Tehran and shot the airliner down, in order to further discredit the Iranians. Quite how they figured this out from their basement bedsit I’ll never know, but with investigative powers like that, Bellingcat had better watch out…

    Comment by David Mercer — January 10, 2020 @ 4:18 pm

  7. David Mercer – I am not sure how you conflate some wild story seen elsewhere (ie, not here) with this site being “a gravity well for conspiracy theory wingnuts.” That, of course followed on your claim that the idea that the airliner strike was Trump’s fault was some sort of outlier. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but the NY Times is not generally an outlier from progressive idiocy.

    Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt, no?

    Comment by dcardno — January 11, 2020 @ 12:59 pm

  8. *dcardno: there isn’t any doubt for a long, long time…

    David M*: you must have a very short memory indeed, since you keep coming back with the same textbook self-praising, foolish, vulgar-lefty remarks, only to receive the same punishment as before, time and time again. can’t believe this time it’ll be different and you’ll be praised for your insight and cleverness?

    just like your ideological brethren who keep returning to compromised idea of socialism, universally proven wrong, in ostrich hope that this time! in this country! it will be made to work!


    Comment by Tatyana — January 11, 2020 @ 2:54 pm

  9. @David–Really? You are the one injecting conspiracy theories here. No one else is.

    Comment by cpirrong — January 11, 2020 @ 4:08 pm

  10. @Tatyana–Preach it, girl.

    Comment by cpirrong — January 11, 2020 @ 4:08 pm

  11. @Craig – wot, you’re taking Gordon’s comment at face value? Or did you just zone-out when you read it (as I admit I did)? I thought, being somewhat of a connoisseur, you’d at least appreciate my contribution.

    @Tatyana – well done, you managed to raise two bona fide LOLz with your reply. You go girl!

    Comment by David Mercer — January 11, 2020 @ 6:03 pm

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