Tag: Iran

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Nikki Loves America

 

Ambassador Nikki Haley believes America is the greatest country in the world, and she’ll tell you why. She thinks well of our society and people, while being clear that she has seen and experienced real racism and sexism and that socialism is making a troubling resurgence in popularity. In her account of her time in the Trump administration, Amb. Haley raises concerns, which she raised publicly while in office, about the arrogance of mere appointed officials, carrying no independent constitutional authority or accountability, while contending that the real Donald J. Trump is always willing to listen and respects respectful, professional, direct expressions of disagreement. Nikki Haley puts this all together in a slim, readable volume: With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace.

The title comes from a small but significant moment in the former South Carolina governor’s tenure as United States ambassador to the United Nations. She had gone out on a national show and spoken the last known administration position on new Russia sanctions. However, President Trump made a different decision when the staffed recommendation came to him, before Amb. Haley’s media appearance.

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If the protests in Iran, which seem more explicitly pro-American than past protests, result in a change of the Iranian regime and a liberalization of that country, it will be difficult not to trace the proximate cause to President Trump’s actions in recent days. It won’t be reported that way, of course. But it will […]

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Grab a stool and join us for the start of another crazy week in Washington. Today, Jim and Greg salute the Iranian protesters risking life and limb to protest the regime they despise and applaud President Trump’s very appropriate tweets in support of the demonstrators. They also welcome the news that Sen. Cory Booker is […]

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Lots of Friday fun on today’s Three Martini Lunch! Join Jim and Greg as they celebrate the Dow Jones crossing 29,000 for the first time on Friday and enjoy an economy that is staying stronger than many experts predicted. They also slam Pete Buttigieg for suggesting the doomed Ukrainian airliner was “caught in the middle […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Overplaying the Weak Hand

 

If people keep getting away with outrageous behavior, if their provocations and incursions against decency and order are tolerated, for whatever reason, they begin to think that they’re in control. If their followers and those around them reinforce that impression, they risk growing deluded about their own authority and power.

Appeasement makes people foolish. Yes, it makes the appeaser seem weak, but it also misleads the appeased into imagining that they hold all the cards, and encourages them to raise too fast and bet too much. They begin to believe their own bluffs.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Mike Lee and the Need for Discretion in Foreign Policy

 

Senator Mike Lee of Utah recently got hot over a Trump administration briefing that he saw as disrespectful. According to Lee, when pressed about what exactly the Trump administration needed congressional approval for, the administration responded by saying there were almost no limits. As to legal justification, the administration officials responded, “I’m sure we could think of something.” Well, Senator Lee was mad, as he should be. The power that Congress has ceded to the executive in matters of foreign policy has exceeded the time horizon envisioned in its initial approval of the war on terror. It’s well past time to reign the executive back in.

I’m afraid, however, that Senator Lee in his anger has made an unforced blunder with his bluster. When to speak is as important as what is said, particularly in matters of foreign policy. Right now, Trump is in the middle of a standoff which requires that any threat he makes, either real or implied, be credible. If the Senate or, even worse, a handful of senators even give a hint that they won’t follow through with retaliatory action, mixed messages are sent to Iran. Mixed messages lead to miscalculation, and miscalculation in foreign policy leads to bloodshed.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Escalation: US Launches New Iranian Offensive

 

The United States is launching a new offensive against the Iranian regime, in hopes of further destabilizing that country’s tyrannical government through non-military means. Though details of the offensive are classified, a high-ranking defense department official spoke anonymously about the new initiative.

We don’t talk about it much, but the defense and intelligence agencies sometimes work together on what we call psychological operations, or psyops. These are behind-the-scenes efforts to confuse, mislead, intimidate, and demoralize the enemy, to reduce his effectiveness as a fighting force and, sometimes, to encourage regime change. It’s really that regime change we’re after in Iran.

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No good martinis but plenty to talk about today! Join Jim and Greg as they dissect Republican fears that the open U.S. Senate seat in Kansas could be at risk this year if primary voters nominated Kris Kobach, who lost the 2018 governor’s race there. They serve up a double-barreled crazy martini as Utah Sen. […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Pour l’Honneur le Pavillon: Honor and Warning Shots for Iran

 

Back in the age of fighting sail (a topic I enjoy writing of), occasions would occur where one warship was totally overmatched by an opponent. A sloop-of-war carrying twelve guns and capable of firing a broadside of but 36 pounds of iron shot might find itself being overhauled by a ship-of-the-line carrying 74 guns and capable of firing a broadside of 750 pounds. (Yes, that could happen with the right wind speeds and directions.)

The ship-of-the-line would typically fire a warning shot ahead of the smaller ship. This was an invitation to surrender, to be followed up with calling cards in the form of iron shot if the invitation was declined. Given the disparity in combat ability, there was no dishonor in the weaker ship striking its colors and surrendering to an obviously superior force.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Cultural Sites Are No Crime

 

It should not be surprising that even commenters on Fox News would miss the obvious. President Trump tweeted about having 52 targets to match the 52 American hostages seized and held by the Khomeinist regime at its founding. He included the word “cultural” to describe at least one of the targets. Why is no one seeing the obvious here?

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Join us for a busy news day on the Three Martini Lunch. Today, Jim and Greg discuss Iran’s missile strike injuring no one in Iraq, leading President Trump to announce new sanctions but no new military action. They also discuss whether the Ukrainian airliner crash in Iran was a coincidence or something more sinister. In […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Message to Iran

 

If I had my druthers, the U.S. would deliver the following message to Iran, and would back it up with corresponding kinetic engagement:

Dear People of Iran,

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Join us for three Iran-related martinis for you today. First, Jim and Greg are glad to see the likes of Russia and China offering nothing but word salad as no nation commits arms or manpower to Iran in the wake of the Soleimani strike. They also cringe as the Pentagon has to walk back a […]

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The President tweeted, somewhat ambiguously, about having selected targets of cultural value to the Iranians. Then, in response to the predictable outrage, he backed down and apologized for the alarming and offensive comment. No, of course he didn’t. We can count on one digit — and still have one left over — the number of […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Don’t Forget the Strong Horse

 

When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, they will naturally want to side with the strong horse. When people of the world look upon the confusion and atheism of the West, they see that Islam is the strong horse.

These were the words of Osama bin Laden; they were prescient after 2001 and are still relevant today. In all the discussions about killing General Suleimani of Iran’s Quds Force, the focus has been on challenging Trump’s authority to have him killed and the possible reaction by Iran to the strike. Left out of the discussion is an understanding of the Arab and Islamist mentality and how we should take that into account now and in the future.

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We’ve got three compelling martinis to help you ease back into that first day back at work or school. Join Jim and Greg as they applaud comedian Ricky Gervais for hammering Hollywood for its hypocrisy and self-importance at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday evening on topics ranging from Harvey Weinstein to Jeffrey Epstein to Chinese […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Lebanon? Wasn’t This About Iraq? A Brief Note to the Perplexed.

 

I thought it noteworthy that an unnamed Pentagon source claims that “an Army brigade” has been put on alert for Lebanon:

Around 5,200 American troops are based in Iraq to train Iraqi forces and help in the fight against Islamic State group militants. Defense officials who discussed the new troop movements spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a decision not yet announced by the Pentagon. A Pentagon official who was not authorized to be identified said the U.S. also had placed an Army brigade on alert to fly into Lebanon to protect the American Embassy. U.S. embassies also issued a security alert for Americans in Bahrain, Kuwait and Nigeria.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Winter Turning to Summer of Discontent?

 

There is a useful fiction that “politics stops at the water’s edge,” but that has always been only a fiction. So, we should not be surprised that politics drive divergent responses to the death of a terrorist mastermind, an actual general, with a real uniform, in the “terror war.” At the same time, we should be cautioned by the contrast between the opening lines of Richard III and the end. It was not just a rapid change of political weather, but also of the seasons, as winter turned to summer only to turn back to winter for the house of York.

Remember that the line after “now is the winter of our discontent” is “made glorious summer by this sun of York.” At the time, the Duke of Lancaster and the supporters of his house, might have said, “now is the summer of our repose made gloomy winter by this storm from York.” So it has always been with political power. “Can’t we all get along?” Not when there are even the smallest stakes (see Henry Kissinger’s (?) snark about academic internal politics).

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Well, 2020 is certainly off to an explosive start. Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the demise of Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Suleimani and recount the evil carnage he perpetrated against U.S. forces and many others over the past two decades. They also realize that the targeting of Suleimani may well result in […]

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While commenting on a post about the circumstances in Iran, I found this clip on C-Span. It is a lecture by Author Joel Rosenberg. His extensive resume includes former adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu. He has been dubbed the modern Nostradamus because his novels seem to come true shortly after release. He wrote a few non-fiction […]

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