A Fading Crisis

A week back, some people seemed to think that the killing of Iran’s top general, Qassem Suleimani, was going to start WW3. I didn’t think so. And a week later there’s still no sign of WW3 starting. In response the Iranians fired off 22 ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq, and seem to have managed to kill precisely nobody at all, perhaps because the targets were forewarned. They had to do something, but what they’ve done seems to have been a non-response response, a token gesture. Maybe there’s more coming, but it doesn’t look like it right now.

There isn’t going to be a war between the USA and Iran, because Trump doesn’t want one, and neither does Iran. Nobody wants one, apart from war hawks in the USA and Iran. So there won’t be one.

In this respect, Scott Adams pointed out that Trump had just got rid of the biggest war hawk in Iran – the one who’d been planning most of the attacks for the past ten years. Adams also suggested that Suleimani wasn’t the No. 2 man in Iran, but actually the No. 1 man. His reasoning was that it’s not the guy with the Quran (Ayatollah Khamenei) who’s in charge, but the guy with the weapons (Suleimani).

If so, then what took place last week was a coup d’etat a bit like the assassination of JFK. Back then the blame was placed on Lee Harvey Oswald, who had visited the Soviet Union, and had links to Cuba, and could very easily have been described as a Soviet agent sent to kill Kennedy in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis the previous year. The assassination could have started a war. But nobody in Washington or Moscow wanted a war, so it didn’t happen. WW3 didn’t start in 1963, and it’s not starting in 2020 either. One man was killed in 1963, and one man was killed in 2020: that’s not enough to start a war (although perhaps it was enough in 1914 when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo).

Also, the death of the singular Suleimani is now being overshadowed by the deaths of 176 passengers on board a Ukrainian jet the same night of Iran’s missile strike on Iraq:

Boris Johnson says doomed Ukrainian airliner WAS accidentally shot down by Iranian missile

And there does seem to be mounting evidence that this is what happened. There are several videos that appear to show the plane being hit by a missile, catching fire, and diving into the ground. There are also several photos of debris showing multiple holes in the aircraft fuselage and wings consistent with a missile strike. And it seems entirely plausible that, on a night of high tension in Iran as it was launching missiles into Iraq, somebody prematurely shot down an unknown jet that appeared in the sky above Tehran.

This could become a public relations disaster for Iran, as outraged Iranians and Ukrainians and Canadians demand explanations (and compensation). Are the Iranians really going to withhold the black box flight recorders from air crash investigators?

Right now it looks like the political heat has switched from the Suleimani killing to the deaths of 176 airline passengers, and this is what’s going to now dominate the headlines.  After looking very likely a week ago, WW3 is rapidly vanishing into history.

About Frank Davis

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6 Responses to A Fading Crisis

  1. smokingscot says:

    Certainly the Stock markets don’t seem to be concerned about an all out war. The Dow hit some sort of record high today.

    Nor the Bond market, nor currencies. Have no stake in commodities, but a quick look indicates that’s not fussed either.

    And as an aside, none are positioning to compensate for an impeachment, nor of a Democrat as the next President.

    On the flip, Suleimani was determined in his strategy of getting rid of meddling outsiders with the US the one he loathed most of all. It is possible he was in Iraq to plan an attack on US assets stationed there, however his death has certainly accelerated the process.

  2. waltc says:

    Ah, but the Left’s public line on the downed plane is…that it’s Trump’s fault! Why? Because it wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t forced Iran to retaliate for his unwarranted assassination of their beloved hero. No, I’m not kidding. You can find clips of Democrat pols saying that and much of the press and the loons on fb are repeating it in High Dudgeon mode.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Yes, I know the Dems are blaming Trump for the aircraft downing. They always blame him for everything, so nothing new there.

      Is it true that one US TV channel showed Suleimani’s funeral live?

      If so, how many people watched?

  3. beobrigitte says:

    A week back, some people seemed to think that killing of Iran’s top general, Qassem Suleimani, was going to start WW3
    That would have gotten rid of Tobacco Control et al

    I begin to wonder ……..

  4. Rose says:

    This is something of a change from the BBC.

    Australia fires: Does controlled burning really work?
    By Reality Check team BBC News
    9 January 2020

    “This involves deliberately starting fires under controlled conditions to clear out low-lying flammable material – sometimes called “prescribed” or “hazard reduction burning”
    It is not the same as “back burning”, which is done as a last resort to try to slow down an approaching wildfire by stripping the ground of vegetation.

    Some politicians in Australia have blamed environmental activism for preventing controlled fires because of their impact on wildlife and fauna.

    What is being said about controlled burning?

    The issue is part of a dispute between the Australian Greens and some other political parties.
    The Greens say the major parties need to do more to tackle climate change.
    Other politicians have hit back, such as National Party MP Barnaby Joyce who has pointed to what he says is the Greens’ opposition to controlled burning.

    He thinks the practice should happen more frequently to stop wildfires, and that you need to burn off flammable vegetation otherwise you increase the risk of fires spreading.”

    But for the last three years they’ve been telling us that all these dreadful fires were due to climate change.

    Reeling from its deadliest forest fire, Portugal finds a villain: eucalyptus trees
    June 20, 2017

    “Even as thousands of firefighters still battle the flames, and coroners identify the charred remains of those who were unable to escape, investigators are probing the cause of the fire. Portugal’s prime minister says dry lightning was likely to blame.

    But as its accomplice, environmentalists finger a newcomer, which has populated these hills as quickly as Portuguese have abandoned them for jobs in the city: eucalyptus trees.

    Non-native eucalyptus and gum trees, with their medicinal fragrance and frosty blue-green leaves, now cover a quarter of all forested land in Portugal. First imported from Australia in the 18th century, they are among the world’s fastest-growing trees, and have become Portugal’s most common one — a profitable cash crop for paper and pulp. Portugal is Europe’s largest producer of eucalyptus pulp. It’s one of the country’s biggest exports.

    But eucalyptus trees can exacerbate deadly fires. Their sap is flammable, and so is their bark, which flies off when burned, igniting new fires up to 100 yards away.

    California has had a similar history with eucalyptus trees, which bore at least some of the blame for the second-deadliest fire in the state’s history — the 1991 Oakland hills fire that claimed 25 lives.

    “Our climate is like California. It’s normal to have fires here.”

    There being no eucalyptus trees on Yorkshire Moors ours turned out to be arson.

    Huge fires wreck Yorkshire moorland and wild habitats in record-breaking Easter heat
    https: //www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/fire-yorkshire-moorland-marsden-moor-wildfire-ilkley-easter-weather-a8881796.html

    Arsonist who started moorland fire in West Yorkshire is jailed
    22 AUG 2019
    https: //www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/arsonist-mohammed-zulkifl-sentenced-starting-16800857

    Second man arrested over Lancashire moorland fire
    “Last week about 100 soldiers and an RAF Chinook helicopter were drafted in to help with another, larger moorland fire, which continues to burn 30 miles away near Saddleworth Moor. The fire is now said to be under control and soldiers assisting the fire service were stood down on Friday.
    Police confirmed on Wednesday that they were also treating the fire near Saddleworth Moor as arson,”
    https: //www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/06/second-man-arrested-over-lancashire-moorland-fire

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