Tag: Iran

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The World Keeps Turning


The secret to any good magic trick is deception. The audience’s attention is diverted up into the air, while the trick is pulled off under the table. Politics is, in and of itself, a type of magic. How do governments and high-level officials pull off the corruption they do? Everyone else is looking away.

If you could find me an American who isn’t aware of either Coronavirus or Black Lives Matter, I would be shocked. The entire nation is held captive by these era-defining moments. Important as they are, it is imperative that we pay attention to the other events happening in the world around us that have just as much potential to play into future conflicts as Black Lives Matter does.

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Looks like Trump isn’t taking the antics of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard lightly: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-says-hes-instructed-navy-to-destroy-any-iranian-gunboats-harassing-us-ships Read More View Post

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Different Focus: Briefing with Two Teams


“It would be a mistake, a mistake with terrible consequences, for any adversary to attempt to do us harm during this health crisis, or ever for that matter.” — National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien

“This is the United States military. You will not penetrate this country. You will not get past Jump Street. You’re not going to come in here and kill additional Americans. And we will marshal whatever assets are required to prevent your entry into this country to kill Americans.” — General Milley

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Serendipitous Development for a Vaccine – From Israel


The Jerusalem Post is reporting that MIGAL [The Galilee Research Institute] is on the cusp of developing a coronavirus vaccine within a few weeks. The vaccine would still need to be tested and approved by various government agencies (the FDA here in the United States, for example) before it could be widely manufactured and disseminated.

How is it possible that this firm is developing a potential vaccine candidate so quickly? Based on the processes the lab developed and wanted to test, they had their choice of virus candidates to validate their work and…

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Climactic Moment for Iran


Isolated Iran leader lashes out at Europe as nations join US in ramping up pressure

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Friday lashed out at Germany, the U.K. and France, calling them the “footmen of the U.S.,” days after the European countries moved to sanction the Islamic Republic for violating the controversial 2015 nuclear deal.

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 ending his 2020 presidential campaign and discuss why he never took off. And they slam House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her exceptionally weak answers as to why she pushed impeachment forward rather than fighting the Trump administrations over subpoenas in court.

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 of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat” instead of simply stating that it was shot down by Iran. And they dissect the stunning news that Tom Steyer is suddenly in second place among Democrats in South Carolina.

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.

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.

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.

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. Mike Lee fumes that Wednesday’s Iran briefing offered few specifics and that national security officials told lawmakers not to debate the issue in public. But they’re also surprised to see Lee planning to channel that frustration into support for the War Powers Act revisions restricting the ability of a president to order time-sensitive military action. And they have a lot of fun as House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith tells CNN that its time for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to deliver the articles of impeachment to the Senate only to go on Twitter a short time later to say he “misspoke” and whatever Pelosi wants to do is fine with him.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 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.

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?

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 addition, they’re glad to see Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann receiving a settlement from CNN after the network attacked over his encounter with an American Indian near the Lincoln Memorial last year – all because Sandmann was wearing a MAGA hat. And they try not to lose their breakfast as MSNBC not only carries the Soleimani funeral live but fawns all over the legacy of a man known for killing hundreds of American service members and slaughtering innocents at home and abroad.

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,

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 letter stating the U.S. Army would leave Iraq, only to have Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley explain the letter was just a poorly worded draft that doesn’t accurately express our policy and was never intended to go public. And they unload on California Rep. Ro Khanna for suggesting that Pres. Trump retaliating against Iran could warrant another article of impeachment, with Jim wondering if the Democrats are starting an impeachment of the month club.

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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.