What About The Saudi-Iranian Mash Up?

Whatever happen to the brewing war in the Persian Gulf?

A week begins and this situation is a distant memory.

Just last month we were on the brink of an all out war (we seem to always be on the brink these days) with Iran over the Persian Gulf incidents…..and attack on a Saudi refinery and one on ma Saudi ship….

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and described it as an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-oil-tankers-fujairah/saudi-oil-tankers-among-those-attacked-off-uae-amid-iran-tensions-idUSKCN1SJ088

With the situation between the Saudis and the Iranians it is always a tit for tat……and so it was recently…an Iranian tanker has been attacked…..

Two missiles struck an Iranian tanker traveling through the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia Friday, Iranian officials said, the latest incident in the region amid months of heightened tensions between Tehran and the US. Saudi officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, per the AP. The state-run IRNA news agency, quoting Iran’s National Iranian Tanker Co., identified the stricken vessel as the Sabiti. Iranian state TV said the explosion damaged two storerooms aboard the oil tanker and caused an oil leak into the Red Sea near Jiddah. The leak was later stopped, per IRNA. “This latest incident, if confirmed to be an act of aggression, is highly likely to be part of the wider narrative of deteriorating relations between [the Saudis] and the US and Iran,” private maritime security firm Dryad Maritime warned.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi described the incident as an “attack” carried out by those committing “dangerous adventurism.” In a statement, Mousavi said the Sabiti was struck twice in the span of a half-hour and that an investigation was underway. “The oil tanker … sustained damages to the body when it was hit by missiles,” IRNA said. The agency didn’t say whom Iranian officials suspect of launching the missiles. Images released by Iran’s Petroleum Ministry appeared to show no visible damage to the Sabiti visible from its bridge, though they didn’t show the ship’s sides. A spokesman for the US Navy’s 5th Fleet overseeing the Mideast said authorities there were “aware of reports of this incident,” but he declined to comment further.

Tit For Tat!

The president and his troubles with the legal stuff has overshadowed a news report that should have been a headline……Iran and Saudis hold talks….

the Saudis appear to be resigned to the fact that they just aren’t starting that war. Their fallback plan, it seems, is to now try to get some indirect negotiations going with Iran to reduce tensions, after spending years bringing those tensions to a boiling point.

Exactly how this process got going is unclear, put Iraqi and Pakistani officials say they were brought into the matter by the Saudi Crown Prince, and both are now intending to serve as mediators for the indirect talks.

Iran is on board for the effort, but Saudi officials, despite being reported to have started the whole thing, are now saying they’re considering the idea, but want to make sure everyone thinks Iraq and Pakistan are acting unilaterally, and they never approached anyone.

An official Saudi statement also insists that since the escalation was all the fault of Iran, they need to begin de-escalation, and that it’s not up to the Saudis to do that. This is in keeping with the Saudis’ stance of trying to provoke every action in the Middle East, but also keep up a narrative where they didn’t actually do anything, and just react to everything that happens.

And while the Saudis usually turn to the US to drive whatever policy they want, it is noteworthy that the US seems uninvolved in this peace process. It seems even the Saudis are well aware that the US isn’t a nation to try to use to make peace.

(antiwar.com)

This should have been a lead story since if these talks are successful then the war drums would be silenced and the the humanitarian crisis and war in Yemen could be negotiated to a halt.

This should have been the story of the week.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

Advertisements

Saudi Money Well Spent

The Royals of Saudi Arabia spends record amounts of cash every year buying the best equipment the US has to offer…..plus their troops are sent to the US for advanced training or we send our troops to train the soldier of KSA….in other words they get the best the US has to offer in equipment and/or training.

If that is a true statement then how can we explain this kturn of events?

A 72 hour military operation in southern Najran Province of Saudi Arabia was carried out by Yemen’s Houthi movement with very little media coverage. Starting on early Thursday, a major operation raged, and by early Saturday the Houthis reported a major victory.

Three entire Saudi brigades in Najran were effectively wiped out. The reports suggest between 200 and 500 Saudi soldiers were killed, and thousands more captured. Saudi arms and armored vehicles were also taken in the fighting.

Offensives against the Saudis are rare, and usually much smaller. On Sunday, the Houthis released video footage related to the operation. They described the operation as involving a number of ambushes set up around the area, and luring the brigades into a trap.

The Houthis are bragging about this, and unsurprisingly so as this is a military victory like they haven’t seen in quite some time. The Saudis, interestingly, have not made any comments at all about the fight.

The lack of comments from the Saudis speaks volumes, however, as they aren’t even trying to spin this at all. US officials quoted Saturday tried to present the loss as a sign of desperation by the Houthis, an attempt to push advancing Saudis away from the border.

Perhaps the most interesting fact that hasn’t been addressed is that this fight was going on since at least early Thursday, so when the Saudis announced they were joining a partial ceasefire on Friday (of which Najran was not a part), they did so in the middle of this huge battle.

(antiwar.com)

I guess the Saudis need a protector after all.

This lack of military success by the Saudis could explain their statement about Iran…..

In his interview with 60 Minutes, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tried to do some damage control on the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, and the ongoing war in Yemen. The focus ultimately was brought back to the Saudis’ favorite topic, Iran.

The prince warned that there is still a danger of escalation with Iran, and called on the world to unite with “strong and firm action” against Iran, saying Iran would otherwise threaten world interests.

The prince further predicted that if the world doesn’t stop Iran, oil supplies will be cut off and oil prices will hit levels “we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,” a threat the Saudis have often used to convince the world to support their position.

(antiwar.com)

The region is seldom calm but I believe that it will get even more hyper….but it may depend on who wins the election in 2020. 

Just a thought.

Leran Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

More Middle East Chest Thumping

In speeches to the UN both Trump and the Saudis did what these two peacocks do…..macho BS….

Trump what Trump does…..blah….blah…blah…. Trump again blamed Tehran for the recent attack on Saudi Arabia. “All nations have a duty to act—no responsible government should subsidize Iran’s bloodlust,” he said, while pledging to ratchet up sanctions if Iran remained aggressive……blah….blah…blah….

Then the Saudis had to chest thump as well….as if to follow instruction….

While President Trump has said that the US is not interested in a war with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, took to a UN meeting to suggest that US military options are still being considered.

While it seems a bit presumptive for the Saudi FM to decide to speak to US policy, his comments that US patience is “not inexhaustible” seems to be directed both at threatening Iran, and at trying to get the rest of the world on board with the conflict.

Al-Jubeir says that the UN report on the attack will be available soon, and that there is a whole list of options, including military options, still being considered, with him wanting to mobilize international support for what is to come.

(antiwar.com)

“The US is not interested in a war”….does anyone truly believe that bullsh*t?

The Saudis talk tough but would they really do the heavy lifting for the US?

I do not think they would do anything but rather find a proxy so their hands are “clean”…..

here is a longstanding joke told in the Middle East about Saudi Arabia’s reluctance to fight its own wars. “Saudi Arabia will fight until the last Pakistani,” the punchline goes, in reference to the fact that Pakistani troops have long supported Saudi’s military endeavours.

The punchline has expanded lately to include the Sudanese, a recent addition to the Saudi army’s ground troops. Saudi Arabia is accustomed to buying labour that it deems too menial for its citizens, and it extends that philosophy to its army.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/22/saudi-arabia-iran-us-middle-east-saudis

Proxy wars…kinda sounds like the old Cold War, huh?

How did the US get dragged into the middle of this mash up?

A great question and watch for the answer in a post to come.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Mr. Trump, Who’s Your Daddy?

All these years I have been laboring under a false concept that the US was the most powerful country in the world and others would do as we say……but in recent days under the Trump leadership the US is a slave to Saudi Arabia……especially in the aftermath of an attack on the KSA refinery.

I say this from a Tweet I got on Saturday morning…..

JUST IN: Pentagon to will deploy additional troops and military equipment to Saudi Arabia: “In response to the Kingdom’s request, the president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense.”

So now the Saudi royals dictate our foreign policy, right?

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says Trump has approved the deployment already, and that it will be focused primarily on air and missile defense systems, at the request of Saudi Arabia.

This has been a major concern for Saudi Arabia. Even though they have the third most expensive military in the world, behind only the US and China, their defensive systems have proven unable to fend off drones and many missiles fired from neighboring Yemen.

The expectation is that the US will be sending more air defense batteries to the area to try to fend off future attacks. Whether or not that’s actually going to work is a huge if, however, since the US has been selling the Saudis their top-of-the-line gear in the first place. It didn’t work for the Saudis, so the question is if adding more of it will make it any more successful.

The US has been investing substantially in trying to improve anti-drone capabilities in recent years, finding that their existing anti-aircraft arsenal is neither cost effective nor super capable against the much smaller, cheaper drones coming into fashion.

Saudi and US officials continue to try to blame the Saudi attack from last weekend on Iran, and are presenting the US deployments as being an attempt to counter Iranian capabilities.

(antiwar.com)

I realize that he Saudis have a strong hand in the US government and policies but when did they start actually making our policy for us?

September 14th, two oil refineries and other oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia were hit and set ablaze by 18 drones and 7 cruise missiles, dramatically slashing Saudi Arabia’s oil production by half, from about ten million to five million barrels per day. On September 18, the Trump administration, blaming Iran, announced it was imposing more sanctions on Iran and voices close to Donald Trump are calling for military action. But this attack should lead to just the opposite response: urgent calls for an immediate end to the war in Yemen and an end to US economic warfare against Iran.

The question of the origin of the attack is still under dispute. The Houthi government in Yemen immediately took responsibility. This is not the first time the Houthis have brought the conflict directly onto Saudi soil as they resist the constant Saudi bombardment of Yemen. Last year, Saudi officials said they had intercepted more than 100 missiles fired from Yemen.

Will Americans Let Trump Start a War for Saudi Arabia?

That is the overwhelming question…..will we Americans allow Trump to start another war?  Another war that we will not win regardless of the immature boast by the president.

Will Americans Let Trump Start World War III for Saudi Arabia and Israel?

Think about it…Pompeo had to rush to KSA to “confer” with MbS after the attack…..did he get his instructions from the new masters of US foreign policy?

Americans might want to pay attention for now……Dancing With The Stars will not get your loved ones killed……please remove heads from butts!

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Does Everyone Want A War?

Saudis say Iran attacked their refinery….Iran says they did not…..Yemen’s Houthis said they are the ones that attacked…..and then the vocal masturbation begins…..

What will the US do?

President Trump emphasized that he believes the US has “many options” for what to do with Iran after allegations Iran had attacked Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure with drones.

Trump told reporters “we’ll see what happens,” while emphasizing that he has “many options.” He described a full-scale war against Iran as the “ultimate option,” and said that “there are options that are a lot less than that.

While giving war a position of primacy among his options doesn’t exactly fit with his comments the last couple of days saying he doesn’t want to start a war, the comments still suggest war is unlikely.

In the course of his comments, President Trump also talked of imposing a number of new sanctions against Iran. He was not specific about what that would mean, beyond it being “substantial.”

(antiwar.com)

Image

Sec. of State Pompeo wants a war with Iran……

The first US official to declare Iran to blame for Saturday’s drone attacks in Saudi Arabia, at a time when others were looking for evidence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is continuing to try to advance this into his always hawkish position toward Iran.

Preparing to head to Saudi Arabia to meet with officials, Pompeo is now declaring what happened “an act of war,” and is now looking to use that bellicosity cobble together a coalition against Iran.

Pompeo is meant to meet with the Saudi Crown Prince to try to talk up coordinated US-Saudi actions against Iran. It’s not clear he’s going to be able to do much, however, as President Trump has already as much as said that he doesn’t intend to escalate this into a war.

Pompeo has been trying to escalate tensions between the US and Iran for months now, and this is just a continuation of that. While much was initially made of the drone strikes, there is a lack of interest in turning this into a war, and Pompeo will likely have to continue with such rhetoric.

Lindsey Graham wants a war……as well……but Trump mocksGRham for his track record on war…..

President Trump is continuing to reject the idea of starting a war with Iran. After dismissing Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) calls, saying not starting a war was a sign of strength, he continued to roast Graham, citing Graham’s support for the Iraqi War, and saying reporters should ask “how did going into Iraq work out?

Graham is being predictably hawkish, but it seems that he’s in a minority in the Senate, where even many of his fellow Republicans are expressing reluctance to escalate precipitously, and are urging debate on the matter instead of hasty action.

Speaking of hawks, President Trump is reportedly facing intense criticism behind closed doors from recently fired John Bolton, who attended a closed-door lunch on Wednesday during which attendees say he repeatedly ripped Trump for policy decisions.

Bolton’s objections, surprising nobody who was paying attention, were to Trump’s interest in diplomacy. Bolton insisted that diplomatic overtures to both Iran and North Korea were doomed to fail, and even trying to hold talks sends a “terrible message.”

(antiwar.com)

Again…does everyone want a war…….

Iran’s foreign minister has warned of “all-out war” in the event of US or Saudi military strikes against his country, and questioned whether Saudi Arabia was prepared to fight “to the last American soldier.”

Javad Zarif told CNN that Iran hoped to avoid conflict, adding that the country was willing to talk to its regional rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. But Iran would not hold talks with the US unless Washington provided full relief from sanctions as promised under the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran’s top diplomat said.
(CNN)
Damn…..can these people just shut up and let the situation calm down?
This country does not need another endless war.
“Lego Ergo Scribo”

The U.S. Must…!

I always like it when a think tank issues such dire ultimatums…..this time it is the Neocon think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

The headline of the their report on the US and the recent attack on Saudi territory…..”U.S. Must Lead Strong Multinational Response To Iran’s Extortion Strategy”…….

Now for the report that made the ultimatum possible…..

Iran has openly breached the limits on uranium enrichment set by the 2015 nuclear agreement, and is escalating pressure on European signatories of the agreement to shield it from U.S. sanctions—which were re-imposed after the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018. Tehran is raising the stakes of its nuclear blackmail campaign every 60 days by ratcheting up its nuclear efforts to extort concessions from France, Germany, and the United Kingdom; drive a deeper wedge between the United States and its allies; and gain bargaining leverage for eventual negotiations with Washington on the nuclear issue.

Iran’s steadily escalating nuclear noncompliance has been accompanied by an intensifying campaign of maritime threats against gulf Arab oil exports. What Tehran wants is not only sanctions relief but unquestioned acceptance of its civilian nuclear program, which it has used in the past as a fig leaf to disguise its nuclear weapons program, and which it plans to use as a pretext for the future expansion of its uranium-enrichment activities.

https://www.heritage.org/middle-east/report/us-must-lead-strong-multinational-response-irans-extortion-strategy

They violated the agreement that Trump basically cancelled when he dropped out of the process……sanctions look like extortion as well…..

Diplomacy is always preferable that armed conflict….but some think that a bullying techniques will always work when they are the single most powerful country on the planet…..and yet that seems to never work  these days.

Heritage is one of those think tanks that will take a desired conclusion and set about making the facts fit the needed end…..to be honest most think tanks operate this way.

The U.S. MUST lead the response….why?

The Saudis have the best and most of US weaponry…they have the best training and the best war chest….so again….why must the US do anything?  Plus they bought the Israeli “Iron Dome” to protect against incoming missiles….that appears to be a absolute failure.

The US military is to be used to protect the homeland….and Saudi is NOT my homeland….is it yours?

Sorry but this recent attack could be turned into one helluva conspiracy theory.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Iran Did It!

For months now there has been a back and forth between the Trump admin and Iran….we have had insults back and forth….ships commandeered…….then there is the Saudis whom have feared the Iranians for decades and in gturn have helped feed the misinformation that is spread like manure…..

To make matters worse there was an attack within Saudi Arabia……

Drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and another major oil field Saturday, sparking huge fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies, the AP reports. It remained unclear hours later whether anyone was injured at the Abqaiq oil processing facility and the Khurais oil field or what affect the assault would have on oil production. Rising smoke from the fires at the sites could be seen by satellites in space. The attack by the Iranian-backed Houthis in the war against a Saudi-led coalition comes after weeks of similar drone assaults on the kingdom’s oil infrastructure, but none of the earlier strikes appeared to have caused the same amount of damage.

The attack likely will heighten tensions further across the Persian Gulf amid an escalating crisis between the US and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers. First word of the assault came in online videos of giant fires at the Abqaiq facility, some 205 miles northeast of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Machine-gun fire could be heard in several clips alongside the day’s first Muslim call to prayers, suggesting security forces tried to bring down the drones just before dawn. The fires began after the sites were “targeted by drones,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. It said an investigation was underway

Just as Trump blames everything domestically on Obama….his Boyz blame everything that happens internationally on Iran……

Forget Yemen. This was all Iran. That was the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s take Saturday after drone attacks struck Saudi Arabian oil facilities and choked half the country’s crude production, the Wall Street Journal reports. Pompeo tweeted that it was “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” It’s unclear why he thought it was Iran and not Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who claimed responsibility for the attack. But the Secretary of State accused Tehran of being “behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia” and said Iran will be “held accountable for its aggression.”

The two attacks Saturday on Saudi oil installations occurred about 500 miles from Yemen and highlighted Saudi’s weakness to drone strikes—a surprisingly cheap and effective means for Houthis to attack a more powerful enemy, the New York Times reports. The drones may have cost under $15,000 and posed a threat Saudis can’t counter, experts say. The Yemen war started in 2014 when Houthi rebels took over the nation’s capital and other territory, forcing the government into exile and drawing Arab nations (with some US support) into the conflict against the Houthis. Fallout in Yemen has become the world’s most devastating humanitarian crisis.

See what I mean?

Iran did it!

And that is how you build a case for armed intervention…..and in the mean time put a damper on the overtures that Trump had made for a meeting.

After months of saying he wants talks with Iran, President Trump said on Friday that he believes Iran’s leadership wants to have talks, and that he is trying to get them together for the UN General Assembly.

That may be overly optimistic, as Iran has long taken the same position, that talks are only possible if the US eases sanctions or returns to the P5+1 nuclear deal. Since it’s long been assumed that won’t happen, they’ve said the talks wouldn’t either.

Trump’s suggestion of a change may be based on hopeful statements from one of President Rouhani’s aides, who thought the firing of John Bolton this week meant the end of US “maximum pressure” strategy.

(antiwar.com)

Three simple words could end any chance of ending the tensions…..”Iran Did It!”

“Lego Ergo Scribo