Author Topic: Iraq Unravels  (Read 28575 times)

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Offline FJAG

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #300 on: January 08, 2020, 21:56:25 »
Well and who is to blame for that? I bet if ME oil and shipping rates skyrocketed, they wished that there was a magical pipeline from the West.

Here's a little chart that tracks oil prices, their highs and lows and averages over specified time spans. While there have been some very significant peaks, all in all over the last twenty and forty years they have been relatively level. I would think anyone planning long range would factor that in even if there was another peak to come.

My own view is that it's a simple math equation that if a) we have oil/gas in Alberta and b) we need oil/gas in the East and in BC, then c) we should build pipelines and refineries sufficient to meet anticipated demand.



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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #301 on: January 08, 2020, 23:14:53 »
>he never misses a chance to lay blame on the Obama administration.

That's a specific example of a general principle:

[the current administration] never misses a chance to lay blame on [the prior] administration.
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #302 on: January 08, 2020, 23:17:29 »
This idea that Iran's response is going to provide "face" for domestic consumption...does Iran have its population locked out of the internet?  My guess is that Iranians, along with the rest of the world, are going to know that the US took out a high-value player in exchange for some dirt thrown around.
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #303 on: January 09, 2020, 00:08:15 »
>he never misses a chance to lay blame on the Obama administration.

That's a specific example of a general principle:

[the current administration] never misses a chance to lay blame on [the prior] administration.

Except the prior administration in this case put 150 billion dollars in Iran's pocket, unless that's an exaggeration?
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #304 on: January 09, 2020, 00:34:13 »
Except the prior administration in this case put 150 billion dollars in Iran's pocket, unless that's an exaggeration?

It most probably is. See below.

Quote
Angered by deadly U.S. airstrikes that targeted an Iran-backed militia, dozens of Iraqi Shiite militiamen and their supporters broke into the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Dec. 31.

The next day, a Facebook post referencing former President Barack Obama made this claim:

"Iran will be shooting at our soldiers with bullets, etc., purchased with the $150 billion Obama gave them."

The post misrepresents the Iran nuclear deal from 2015.

The agreement was promoted by Obama. But it included China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the European Union — not just the United States and Iran. 


The deal resulted in Iran getting access to some of its own funds — assets that had been frozen — it wasn’t cash given to Iran by the United States.

And $150 billion is a high-end estimate and the one with the least evidence to support it. The high-end estimate from the U.S. Treasury Department in 2015 was $56 billion, and outside analysts believed the number could be lower.


Per the deal, the United States and other countries lifted the sanctions and the funds were unfrozen after nuclear inspectors verified in January 2016 that Iran was doing enough to curb its nuclear program.

(On Jan. 5, in the aftermath of the airstrikes, Iran said it no longer will comply with limits on uranium enrichment provided under the deal.)

It’s worth noting that it was not clear what became of the unfrozen funds.

In January 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry said he expected that some of the money ultimately would end up with organizations involved in terrorism.

Our ruling
A Facebook post claimed: "Iran will be shooting at our soldiers with bullets, etc., purchased with the $150 billion Obama gave them."

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal involved multiple nations, not just the United States under Obama, and did not involve the United States giving cash to Iran.

It’s also debatable whether Iran ultimately got access to $150 billion of what were its own assets — which had been frozen in retaliation for its pursuit of a nuclear weapon — or whether the amount was much less.

What is correct is that largely because of the U.S. involvement, the deal resulted Iran getting access to likely tens of billions of dollars of its own funds, and it’s unclear how they might be spent.

For a statement that contains only an element of truth, our ruling is Mostly False.

https://www.politifact.com/facebook-fact-checks/statements/2020/jan/07/facebook-posts/facebook-claim-wrongly-states-obama-gave-iran-150-/

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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #305 on: January 09, 2020, 01:00:01 »
$150B is the highest estimate.  As for the "its own funds", the matter was before the courts (Iran's claims against the US), and the amounts claimed by Iran were swamped by counter-claims from the US.

David Harsanyi at NRO outlines some of the pieces people are throwing around.  Iran got the money because Obama wanted a deal.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #306 on: January 09, 2020, 10:44:47 »


https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/iran-sent-multiple-messages-to-us-that-its-attacks-were-done/ar-BBYLYBQ?ocid=spartandhp

As US officials were busy assessing Iran's missile attacks in Iraq late Tuesday, messages began arriving from Iran saying one thing: We're done.
Iran initiated contact through at least three back channels starting late Tuesday, including through Switzerland and other countries. There were "multiple messages and they were all the same," a person familiar with the matter said. Iran wanted to convey their retaliatory action had ended -- and was waiting to see how the US would respond.
The back-and-forth communication came as American officials were still determining the extent of the Iranian attacks, and were formulating plans for a response. In response, the US sought to communicate to Iran that its proxies in the region were of equal concern as the activities of the Iranian state, the person familiar said.   More at link
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #307 on: January 10, 2020, 07:38:38 »
Quote
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are planning to adopt a higher security posture in Ottawa as of Thursday, Global News has learned.

The force is expected to use the elite tactical officers of the Emergency Response Team to provide increased protection and security in the national capital.

Emergency Response Team (ERT) officers are trained to deal with high-risk firearms and counter-terrorism calls. At times, they also provide VIP protection, including that of the prime minister alongside his protective detail.

The change comes at the request of high-level authorities, in response to recent events in Iran and Iraq, according to a security source.

Global News was told the move does not indicate an anticipated or imminent attack, but rather is out of an abundance of caution ...
More here.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #308 on: January 10, 2020, 12:04:54 »
Here's a little chart that tracks oil prices, their highs and lows and averages over specified time spans. While there have been some very significant peaks, all in all over the last twenty and forty years they have been relatively level. I would think anyone planning long range would factor that in even if there was another peak to come.

My own view is that it's a simple math equation that if a) we have oil/gas in Alberta and b) we need oil/gas in the East and in BC, then c) we should build pipelines and refineries sufficient to meet anticipated demand.



 :pop:

Personally I prefer to look at commodity vs commodity pricing (or barter exchange).  It takes the banks and inflation out of the discussion but retains market volatility.  It also has the advantage of reflecting market opinions in the economically conservative or traditionally minded regions where much of the world's oil originates.  Coming off the Gold Standard in 1972 drove the rise of OPEC and the Oil Crisis of 1973.

Oil vs Gold



Market Trends prices oil at 24.94 bbl per oz of gold currently

https://www.macrotrends.net/1380/gold-to-oil-ratio-historical-chart

Short form, in my opinion, we are at the upper end of the normal range as experienced over the last 70 years.  The underlying economy is stable.  Fiat Currencies continue to demonstrate their historical inflationary tendency.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #309 on: January 10, 2020, 15:09:22 »
Intriguing ...
Quote
The Islamic State group gloated over the recent U.S. killing of a senior Iranian general, who rose to prominence by advising forces fighting the extremists.

In the first IS comments since Gen. Qassem Soleimani's slaying, the group said his death "pleased the hearts of believers." The editorial was released in the group's al-Nabaa online newspaper late Thursday.

Although the U.S. and Iran strictly avoided working together directly, they were once on the same side in the fight against IS. Neither side wants to see the extremists stage a comeback.

But as the various players in Iraq jockey to come out ahead in a post-Soleimani landscape, Islamic State militants may find an opening. Thousands of fighters are scattered among the group's sleeper cells, and have claimed attacks in both Iraq and neighboring Syria in recent months.

As the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, Soleimani was one of the main commanders on the ground spearheading the fight against IS. He sent thousands of Iran-backed fighters to Iraq and Syria to battle the extremists, and directed Iraqi Shiite militias as well. A top Iraqi militia commander was killed alongside Soleimani in last week's U.S. drone strike.

The IS editorial said that its members tried for years to kill the two commanders, but that "God brought their end at the hands of their allies." It said both men "have gone too far in shedding the blood of Muslims in Iraq and Syria." ...
A bit more @ link
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #310 on: January 10, 2020, 15:17:12 »
Quote
The force is expected to use the elite tactical officers of the Emergency Response Team to provide increased protection and security in the national capital.


Does the ERT sit around watching movies until they're called into action or do they have some kind of secondary duties or more mundane duties?

I'm not sure if sending an elite tactical police response team on security detail is the most economical use for them?  I'm sure they'd do a great job but it seems strange.
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Offline CBH99

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #312 on: January 10, 2020, 18:04:10 »
Intriguing ...A bit more @ link


When the US and ISIS both want the same man killed, and the man happens to be someone who fought ISIS even if he wasn't doing it hand in hand with the US.

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Offline Retired AF Guy

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #313 on: January 10, 2020, 19:06:31 »


Does the ERT sit around watching movies until they're called into action or do they have some kind of secondary duties or more mundane duties?

I'm not sure if sending an elite tactical police response team on security detail is the most economical use for them?  I'm sure they'd do a great job but it seems strange.

Hasn't that always been the problem with ERT? You have a bunch of highly trained professionals sitting around doing nothing so rather then let them get bored you use them for more mundane duties. Mind you providing extra security in a situation like this is hardly mundane.
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Offline mariomike

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #314 on: January 10, 2020, 19:27:41 »
You have a bunch of highly trained professionals sitting around doing nothing so rather then let them get bored you use them for more mundane duties.

Depends on the employer. ETF responds to low adrenaline jobs - even panhandler complaints - in between high priority calls.

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #315 on: January 10, 2020, 19:30:21 »
Hasn't that always been the problem with ERT? You have a bunch of highly trained professionals sitting around doing nothing so rather then let them get bored you use them for more mundane duties. Mind you providing extra security in a situation like this is hardly mundane.

And mundane duties like gate guard and perimeter sweeps/patrols are fine but need to be done by the non ERT people. If your ERT people are on gate duty or patrol and a true emergency arises then there may be a time lag for a response. Mundane duties will also dull the edge.
IMO the best way to employ them is conducting refresher training (but not too much) and run some mock scenarios.
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Offline Brihard

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #316 on: January 10, 2020, 19:34:04 »
Ottawa ERT has lots to do. They aren’t just sitting around. It doesn’t look like what people typically think of when they imagine police tactical teams, and yes it can be mundane... But they’ve always got tasks or training to do.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #317 on: January 10, 2020, 19:57:52 »

When the US and ISIS both want the same man killed, and the man happens to be someone who fought ISIS even if he wasn't doing it hand in hand with the US.

This world is getting way too complicated for me...

The flip side of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend ...... Pro tem."
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #318 on: January 10, 2020, 20:52:12 »
Hasn't that always been the problem with ERT? You have a bunch of highly trained professionals sitting around doing nothing so rather then let them get bored you use them for more mundane duties. Mind you providing extra security in a situation like this is hardly mundane.

The French Military has been complaining about this recently with respect to France's VIGIPIRATE system which has slowly but surely been chipping away at France's military forces and overburdening them with needless public security duties.

It's a vicious cycle of politicians wanting to be seen doing something and getting the Armed Forces there decisively engaged in business they really shouldn't be doing.  It's too the point where the terror alert is ALWAYS HIGH and every task becomes a NO FAIL TASK so the government ends up committing the French Foreign Legion, Colonial Marines and Alpine Regiments, whom are the elite of the French Army, to Public Security Duties having then aimlessly walking around Paris in circles when they really should be training and preparing for overseas deployments.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 20:56:33 by Humphrey Bogart »

Offline FJAG

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #319 on: January 13, 2020, 22:13:06 »
There seems to be a shift in the explanation as to why Soleimani was targeted and "imminent" threat seems to be falling by the wayside.

Quote
Barr and Pompeo shift justification for Iran strike from 'imminent' threat to deterrence
Zachary Cohen
By Zachary Cohen, CNN

Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr said Monday that killing Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was part of a larger strategy of deterrence, a shift from the Trump administration's previous rationale that the strike was carried out to prevent an "imminent" attack.

Barr's comments were particularly noteworthy as he attempted to push back on criticism over the administration's claim that Soleimani was planning attacks that posed an imminent threat, calling the concept "something of a red herring."

"I believe there was intelligence of imminent attack, but I do believe that concept of imminence is something of a red herring," he said during a press conference on last month's deadly shooting at a Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.
"I think when you're dealing with a situation where you already have attacks underway, you know there is a campaign that involves repeated attacks on American targets, I don't think there's a requirement frankly for, you know, knowing the exact time and place of the next attack. And that certainly was the position of the Obama when it droned leaders of terrorist organizations," Barr added.

Pompeo, who has leaned heavily on the assertion that intelligence showed an imminent threat, did not mention that reasoning Monday during a speech at the Stanford's Hoover Institute. "I want to lay this out in context of what we've been trying to do. There's a bigger strategy to this," the top US diplomat said. "President Trump and those of us in his national security team are re-establishing deterrence -- real deterrence ‒ against the Islamic Republic of Iran." ...

The highlighted portion gives me particular concern when we deal with the issue of not receiving Congressional approval.

When one deals with Obama's drone strikes (and even earlier Bush and later Trump era ones) we are dealing with strikes against terrorists and terrorist organizations that are not acting on behalf of a state (or if so they are acting clandestinely) and under existing Congressional approvals. Soleimani on the other hand was a senior officer in the Iranian military. While there is little question that he has been an instigator of destructive terrorist activity in the region, he is doing so as part of a campaign by Iran. In effect, the targeting of Soleimani as an agent of the Iranian government is an act of war against Iran. Whether or not the targeting was justified isn't the political issue here. The issue is that the President does not have the authority to initiate an act of war against another country. That is the solely within the authority of Congress under Section 8 of the US Constitution:

Quote
Section 8
1: The Congress shall have Power ...
11: To declare War ...

I think that the US Executive branch has adopted a rather free wheeling definition of the term "deterrence" that seems to include initiating "spoiling attacks" against other countries.

Quite frankly, if there had been clear and convincing evidence that Iran had, through Souleimani, been waging hostile attacks against the US (which it seems it had) then (like for Pearl Harbor) it should have been up to the President to seek approval from Congress that a state of war existed with Iran. Assuming Congress approved that, then and only then, would the President be able to take appropriate measures, including military acts, against Iran and it's personnel.

I'm surprised that this administration doesn't quite understand that. Or maybe it's that they don't care.

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Offline Brihard

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #320 on: January 13, 2020, 23:09:49 »
Are we starting a pool yet on how long til Esper is asked for his resignation? He has now publicly contradicted Trump twice in a week and a half.
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #321 on: January 13, 2020, 23:23:15 »
Are we starting a pool yet on how long til Esper is asked for his resignation? He has now publicly contradicted Trump twice in a week and a half.

Two contradictions cancel each other out, so it's all good.
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #322 on: January 14, 2020, 00:11:46 »
>Quite frankly, if there had been clear and convincing evidence that Iran had, through Souleimani, been waging hostile attacks against the US

If Iran attacked US targets (acts of war), why would it matter which military targets are selected for responses?  For example, would the administration have been forbidden from responding to the missile attacks on land targets by sinking an Iranian patrol boat?

What does a non-hostile attack look like?
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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #323 on: January 14, 2020, 07:17:20 »
>Quite frankly, if there had been clear and convincing evidence that Iran had, through Souleimani, been waging hostile attacks against the US

If Iran attacked US targets (acts of war), why would it matter which military targets are selected for responses?  For example, would the administration have been forbidden from responding to the missile attacks on land targets by sinking an Iranian patrol boat?

What does a non-hostile attack look like?

I think you missed his point. It’s less about how America would have struck back, and more about the power to declare war being reserved for Congress. Even military conflicts that fall short of declared war are supposed to receive congressional approval.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Iraq Unravels
« Reply #324 on: January 14, 2020, 12:07:31 »
The point depends on whether Iran has attacked the US - which it has.  It could just as easily have been "they shot down a drone; we killed some officers".

Congress could tighten the rules and clarify, if Congress were willing to take responsibility for responses to acts of war and then explain decisions to voters.

I have no regard for the possibility that the supporters of the past two administrations, having crossed lines when it suited them, will behave differently when they are back in control.  This is all just a temporary hissy fit for political advantage.
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