‘cocked and loaded to retaliate; 10 mins. before the strike I stopped it’

Whoosh-worthy Freudian slip aside, this is by way of an open discussion on: what really happened?  Everyone seems to have an opinion, as do I, even if mine don’t bear up under scrutiny.  (smile)  Please chime in…

My belief is that it was a palace coup, or an attempted one, given portions of this reprint of the original June 20 (CIA) New Yawk Times report at the Miami Herald:

“As late as 7 p.m. Thursday, military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.”

“It was not clear whether Trump simply changed his mind on the strikes or whether the administration altered course because of logistics or strategy. It was also not clear whether the attacks might still go forward.

Asked about the plans for a strike and the decision to hold back, the White House declined to comment, as did Pentagon officials. No government officials asked The New York Times to withhold the article.

“Trump’s national security advisers split about whether to respond militarily. Senior administration officials said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; John bomb-bomb Bolton, the national security adviser; and Gina Haspel, the CIA director, had favored a military response. But top Pentagon officials cautioned that such an action could result in a spiraling escalation with risks for U.S. forces in the region.”

H/T b at MoA: @IntelCrab

Not sure I have an opinion yet on this NYT piece, but I will say one thing…the HF traffic we’ve seen today is consistent with the assertion that at least SOME sort of strike package was authorized” 8:26 PM – 20 Jun 2019

Could the Terrible Troika bolded above launched the strike?  This gets a bit out on edge, but I’d seen earlier speculation that the US Cyber Command may have been able to launch the operation.  H/T Café denizen Greyson Smythe:

‘Trump approved cyber-strikes against Iran’s missile systems’, washingtonpost.com, Ellen Nakashima, June 22, 2019

“President Trump approved an offensive cyberstrike that disabled Iranian computer systems used to control rocket and missile launches, even as he backed away from a conventional military attack in response to its downing Thursday of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone, according to people familiar with the matter.

The cyberstrikes, launched Thursday night by personnel with U.S. Cyber Command, were in the works for weeks if not months, according to two of these people, who said the Pentagon proposed launching them after Iran’s alleged attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier this month.

The strike against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was coordinated with U.S. Central Command, the military organization with purview of activity throughout the Middle East, these people said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the operation remains extremely sensitive.”  [long snip]

Our U.S. military has long known that we could sink every IRGC vessel in the strait within 24 hours if necessary. And this is the modern version of what the U.S. Navy has to do to defend itself at sea and keep international shipping lanes free from Iranian disruption.”

Thursday’s strikes against the Revolutionary Guard represented the first offensive show of force since Cyber Command was elevated to a full combatant command in May. It leveraged new authorities, granted by the president, that have streamlined the approval process for such measures. It is also a reflection of a new Cyber Command strategy — called “defending forward” — that its leader, Gen. Paul Nakasone, has defined as operating “against our enemies on their virtual territory.”

Gen. Paul Nakasone is also the head of the NSA.

The bolded text is pretty funny, but could cyber command have launched the operation?  I suppose the whole story could be a psyop for Iran’s benefit, but Iran has been clear: mess with us and our territory, and we’ll respond.   Next, b seems to respect Magnier a lot, and he has a lot to bring on the issues at hand. 

‘Iran and Trump on the edge of the Abyss’, Elijah J. Magnier, June 21, 2019

“According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf.

“Moreover, Iran has established a joint operations room to inform all its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan of every step it is adopting in confronting the US in case of all-out war in the Middle East. Iran’s allies have increased their level of readiness and alert to the highest level; they will participate in the war from the moment it begins if necessary. According to sources, Iran’s allies will not hesitate to open fire against an already agreed on bank of objectives in a perfectly organised, orchestrated, synchronised and graduated response, anticipating a war that may last many months.”

Sources confirmed that, in case of war, Iran aims to stop the flow of oil from the Middle East completely, not by targeting tankers but by hitting the sources of oil in every single Middle Eastern country, whether these countries are considered allies or enemies. The objective will be to cease all oil exports from the Middle East to the rest of the world.”

The bolded portion I find less credible, myself.  For one, Iran’s allies would hardly be allies in a greater war, and second: Elijah’s sources man not (and hopefully do not) reflect state policy on that.

He reminds readers that it was a the request of Netenyahu that Trump pulled the US out of the JCPOA, and that he wants to see Iran suffer from sanctions and blockades for the rest of his term, which is the reason Iran told the anonymous US intelligence message delivery person to stuff it.

“Trump wants to win the war of appearances, but is facing an Iranian regime as unaccommodating to him as he has been to Iran. Trump seems oblivious of the fact that economic embargo is an act of war; by unilaterally blocking the export of Iranian oil and so crippling Iran’s economy, Trump has already declared war on Iran.”

“Nonetheless, Iran was reassured by this offer that the US has no intention of going to war and is trying to find a way out of its quandary; Trump is looking for a way out.”

So now Trump has check-mated himself: Iran refuses to ‘renegotiate’ the JCPOA until sanctions are lifted, he refuses to lift the sanctions, and says he’ll add more on Monday.  Meanwhile, the EU dithers…

“Trump, unlike Israel and the hawks in his administration, is trying to avoid a shooting war. Netanyahu has reiterated his desire for war with Iran—a war that the US will fight–and is meeting with his Arab allies to help bring it about. As Ha’aretz described Netanyahu’s Iran dilemma last month, the goal is to get Trump to go to war without putting Israel on the front line.

It is Trump’s desire to avoid war that makes him susceptible to Iranian pressure. Trump will be in an even more critical position domestically if Iranian missiles target Middle Eastern oil. Iran is offering only two choices to the US President: end the embargo on Iranian oil or go to war. Sources acknowledge that the future is uncertain and potentially very dangerous for the region and the global economy, since Iran will definitely not stop in its plans to halt all oil tanker navigation if its own oil cannot be exported.”

Again, via b at MoA: ‘Trump warned Iran via Oman that U.S. attack was imminent, called for talks – Iranian officials’, june 21, 2019, reuters.com

But in my last post I’d brought these conflicting reports from RT.com:

‘Iran denies reports Trump sent warning about imminent attack in retaliation for downed US drone’, June 21, 2019

 “Iran’s top national security official has denied a Reuters report claiming that Tehran had received a low-key message via Oman from the US warning of an imminent attack on the Islamic Republic.

“The US didn’t send any message,” Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman for the National Security Council, told Iranian television.

“This issue is not in any way correct.”

The comment dismissed a previous report by Reuters, which cited unnamed Iranian officials as saying that Donald Trump had warned Tehran of a military strike and also gave a time to respond. The message was reportedly delivered via Oman and followed the downing of a US spy UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) earlier in the week.

Apart from the Reuters report, other media, like New York Times, cited sources as saying that Trump had, in fact, ordered a limited military response, but then abruptly called off the mission.”

As for Trump’s claim that ‘ten minutes before launch time, I stopped it’, many have their opinions as to the real reasons for that; you may be interested in reading at MoA for b’s take on plausible scenarios that had caused him to think…again.  The Houthi missile strikes on the Saudi water de-salinization plant and other targets resonated for me.

It’s often said that Trump had installed Joltin’ Bolton as the behest of Bibi and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, and that works for me, but Boss Tweet wouldn’t want to offend them by firing him, would he?  And this just in:

And as night follows swallows day:

(cross-posted at caucu99percent.com)

7 responses to “‘cocked and loaded to retaliate; 10 mins. before the strike I stopped it’

  1. Thanks, wendye. This has been a fascinating follow-on week to events in Venezuela. Not so much follow-on in terms of actual time, but the same building up of events and posturing and deflation and contradicting statements, tweets and general mish/mash. So a follow-on in terms of how the US operates currently that seems to follow somewhat a pattern.

    It’s fitting you ended with a message from “PM of Israel”. The one part of the puzzle not in view here has seemed to be the elusive “P8” and curious overheard remark by an Iran general about the accompanying aircraft with “35 bodies” aboard. MoA has had various permutations of this tidbit, interesting.

    and I have been reminded of the accidental destruction of an aircraft in Syria that was caused by their own deviating missile hitting the larger target rather than the aimed at incoming Israel attack vehicle. I’m fuzzy on the details there, but it seemed a deliberate ploy on the part of the Israelis. Hmm.

    • yep, depending on the source, the posiedon 8 is confusing, but i’m going w/ iran: they knew it had a lotta bodies on it, so dinnae shoot it down, esp. as they’d already shot down the drone; message delivered.

      i will say i’d almost added about magnier’s exposé: FWIW, as so many parts don’t add up. pepe’s piece about crashing the economy i did put up over yonder, the fed, quantitative easing, etc. his earlier one caused me to think he believed that russia would sell out iran because ‘israel in syria’, but that was about deconflicting air space, as i recall it.

      anyhoo, the c99 version went to 80 comments or so, lots of additions i’d dug up as well.

      but here we are again today (though ‘america’, not ‘american interests’

      ‘How many has US killed?’ Zarif slams Washington hypocrisy, says Iran will never produce nukes’, RT.com

      i’d also noted the advertisement of this meeting at the jpost, an the author said it was a slap in the face to iran. i did not like a russian rep in freaking jerusalem one bit, but:

      ‘Aligned on Syria, divided on Iran: Russia, US & Israel meet for trilateral talks on Middle East’, 25 Jun, 2019, RT.com


  2. Also, for what it is worth, I had no idea drones came in such large sizes so that was an eye-opener at the start. And latest occurrence has been Russia/Putin firmly declaring Iran is an ally, so that question about coalitions must have got answered fairly soon. Much has been made about China needing no closing of the straight strait, but I would really suppose that push coming to shove ways would be found (a pipeline down via Mongolia?) that kept the oil flowing. On the map it looks to be downhill at least.

    I keep thinking about chickens that still dash around the coop after their heads have been chopped off. Never have seen that myself, but there are enough tales of it happening for one to be in no doubt of the veracity of the tale. I’m just hoping our headless chickens are staying within their coop.

    If so, all will be well that should be well. And as Pepe has said, for Iran to close Hormuz would be no kind of soft landing – derivatives? Never have cottoned to those myself. And rather than vulnerable Iran or vulnerable China, vulnerable financial wizkids would be my guess. Too big NOT to fail.

    • i have indeed watched chickens run about headless, and it’s very disconcerting. i learned to hold their legs tight to the chopping block, arrrggh.

      ass to china and oil, the trumpster hasn’t extended the waivers for iran to sell oil to those 8 or 9 nations, but russia buys iranian oil to re-sell abroad. maybe china gets some? other than that, i’m not sure about your reference to china needing no closing of the strait, and i’ve forgotten the state of completion of the various pipelines under construction. i got the joke, smile.

  3. That bit about ‘downhill on the map’ was meant to be a joke, sorry.

  4. One more and I’ll quit.

    You could say the ‘flight of the headless chickens’ began with the invasion of Iraq – wherein those in the know said it was ‘all about the oil’.

    Huge mother of all ironies if ‘all about the oil’ comes to a head – (I was going to say ‘climax’ but in light of your opening remarks I shall modestly decline to do so) – with the closure of the Strait of Hormuz. And I do think that could happen, because Iran doesn’t like to be thought of as a belligerent, but push comes to shove… watch out.

    Xerxes had a way with great bodies of water, after all.

    • yes: iraq: how may bodies per gallon, george?’ was a sign i’d carried. VZ as well, although more than just oil. i like climax, and as i’d noted over yonder,
      DT likes to engage in dick-measuring a lot. what’s the axiom? them what has tiny ones…, etc.?

      but lord luv a duck, that drone was just stuffed full of high tech surveillance and communication gear…and monstrously enormous.

      i just can’t really see iran closing the strait, but then as you say, ‘push come to shove’…but iran should beware of too much bravado, else…

      nice to see you, juliania. we sure do live in ‘interesting times’ as the curse goes….

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