World Tension Meter Is Inching Up

First, you have the obvious false flag in the Gulf of Oman, which Pompeo is already blaming on Iran. Even though one of the tankers in question was Japanese, with whose PM the Iranians were meeting on that very day. Plus there is the fact that the Japanese ship – which was coming from Saudi arabia – was hit above the waterline, which would appear to rule out a torpedo.

Second, you had the Houthi missile strike on a Saudi airport. That’s perfectly justified in light of Saudi bombing of Yemen, but the fact that there were 26 injuries but no deaths strikes me as a bit suspicious.

Third, you have the protests in Hong Kong, which seem to be rapidly acquiring major characteristics of a color revolution. This is not that surprising; not only is there a lot of pent-up social pressure (e.g. housing costs), but the extradition law with China may quash most of Hong Kong’s free speech privileges. All it takes is one misstep and the revolting students will be joined by ordinary citizens. There is no real question that China will send in troops should the local government collapse. Stepped up sanctions will then become inevitable, not just from the US but also probably from Europe.

Anyhow, discuss. Open Thread is tomorrow.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.

 

Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.

 

Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.

Comments

  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Pretty all has to do with Israel. I wish I could say that almost nobody can seriously fall for this because these blatant false flags are so ridiculous, but no doubt there are a lot of patriotards out there arguing how all this makes sense.

  3. reiner Tor says

    Would a war on Iran be accelerationist? It could further erode the US position, and strengthen China and Russia. Provided they play their hands well.

  4. Third, you have the protests in Hong Kong, which seem to be rapidly acquiring major characteristics of a color revolution.

    the banking mafia want Hong Kong as their base when they move to China – kinda like the City of London in London, a semi-detached legal entity as their own little self-contained city-state.

  5. Mitleser says

    Pro-Israelis are certainly involved.

    FDD in -2015

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the so-called 800-pound gorilla, is the big player in lobbying against the nuclear weapons agreement that the United States and five other countries signed with Iran. When it comes to influencing members of Congress, AIPAC has the access to financial contributors with which to reward the compliant and pressure the recalcitrant.

    But that’s not enough. Opponents of the deal, if they are to carry the day, need crisp talking points and plausible arguments; they need credible experts who will back up their position in congressional hearings, on opinion pages, and on TV and radio. And no organization has been better at providing this kind of intellectual firepower than the little-known Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a relatively small Washington think tank that is devoting itself to defeating the Iran deal.

    FDD’s website says simply that it was founded “to promote pluralism, defend democratic values, and fight the ideologies that drive terrorism,” but, as the journalist Ali Gharib has noted, it arose out of an organization committed to burnishing Israel’s reputation in the United States. On April 24, 2001, three major pro-Israel donors incorporated an organization called EMET (Hebrew for “truth”). In an application to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status, May explained that the group “was to provide education to enhance Israel’s image in North America and the public’s understanding of issues affecting Israeli-Arab relations.” But in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, May broadened the group’s mission and changed its name to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/08/foundation_for_the_defense_of_democracies_inside_the_small_pro_israel_think.html

    FDD in 2019

    FDD is increasingly focusing on China. This may be spurred by:

    -Trump’s own focus on China
    -Netanyahu’s political vulnerability
    -Democratic chill towards Israel/Mid East i.e. China is the better way to encourage hawkishness
    -China may be the spoiler of max pressure on Iran

    https://twitter.com/yarbatman/status/1139043440585580544

  6. i wonder about that – not as far as an actual war but the buildup to one could bring things to a head.

  7. Prester John says

    Just checked Drudge for updates but—still no attribution as to a source. Paraphrasing one news source “the United States BELIEVES that Iran is to blame” (emphasis mine). Nice. And I believe in the Tooth Fairy. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident has, or should have, taught us to be wary about our so-called “leaders” ready to put other people’s sons into the line of fire, but if you took a poll right now it wouldn’t surprise if well over 50 percent of the public would believe that the Iranian government is behind it–even though thus far there ‘s no evidence.

    I’m smelling a rat here so, let’s see if the stench clears before pointing fingers.

  8. Diversity Heretic says

    All it takes is one misstep and the revolting students will be joined by ordinary citizens.

    Perhaps “the students in revolt,” would be a better expression?

  9. reiner Tor says

    I think China is making a mistake here. They should’ve left Hong Kong alone. I was actually thinking about moving there sometime, but now it’s less appealing. I’m not sure what was the rationale for this extradition bill. Maybe Daniel Chieh could chime in?

  10. reiner Tor says

    Are they not revolting, too?

  11. reiner Tor says

    will be joined by ordinary citizens

    IIRC during the Occupy movement, the lower classes (and the billionaires) generally supported the government. Is that no longer the case?

  12. AltSerrice says

    As a student, I think the former works perfectly to describe that demographic.

  13. reiner Tor says

    Tensions in themselves won’t weaken the US much, but an actual war… it could, of course, lead to a general conflagration.

  14. Mitleser says

    Because BJ wants to have a legal way to get people out of HK and to the Mainland.

    https://twitter.com/chinahand/status/1138843756449357824

  15. Mitleser says

    The Duke says the lower class supports the government and beats the protesters.

    https://twitter.com/qin_duke/status/1138940380030935040

  16. AltSerrice says

    It’s interesting seeing the US becoming less restrained in foreign policy. Over the last 15 years (or arguably since the end of the Cold War) it has been easy to forget what a superpower with limited inhibitions can do, even one in decline.

    We went from the restraint of the Obama era to Trump’s retard strength foreign policy in a very short space of time, and the amount of trouble the US has caused seems to bewilder even mainstream commentators (who naturally prefer safety and continuity). False flags in Syria and the Persian Gulf, openly fomenting unrest in its rivals, crippling sanctions, economic intervention against its own allies (read: vassals).

    America still has serious clout, hopefully Russia and China have prepared for this eventuality.

    On the other hand, accelerationism.

    “We’ve got a city to burn.”

  17. The thing is that Hong Kong is part of China, to argue that the government has no jurisdiction there is arguing for secession. For China this is an especially big deal, but any state that is not a puppet cannot be expected to have no power of the land its supposed to rule.

  18. A post of some interest at moonofalabama

    I’m not ready to say Iran did it, but will say that,

    1) Iran has every right to hinder as much as possible the exports of KSA and UAE, since they are the second biggest instigators (after Israel) of hostility towards Iran.

    2) If Abe is acting as Trump’s pawn and not an honest mediator, then to hell with him. And it wouldn’t be crazy for Iran to let him know they are completely unimpressed with his false mediation.

    3) It would really be ironic if the world has suffered so much false flag fatigue that the very few times something isn’t a false flag, the intended audience assumes that it is.

    That said, I do not believe Iran did this. I do think it is a false flag and the authors of it are too tone deaf to realize people don’t trust them anymore.

    Posted by: Lysander | Jun 13, 2019 9:40:57 AM

    Forgot to add to my comment in 50, that it would be extremely easy for UAE and KSA to sabotage their own ships, since they would only have to pass through their own security, not penetrate someone else’s. And they are exactly the types who would want to implicate Iran and also the ones to dumb to realize false flags aren’t automatically believed anymore.

  19. 2019 is a good year to get things sorted out. We need a bigger trigger. The real fear in the West is a recession with all this unfinished stuff out there, there are no fences to keep it contained.

    German economy is slowing down. Trump has fizzled out and yet they can’t remove him. Macron card has been played. Third Worlders are on the move. Tech is relocalizing by geography. And Brexit. In a recession it could get messy.

  20. i was thinking if China needs the oil to keep flowing then they might decide to put their foot down during a build up to war in some as yet unknown but dramatic way – like actually put troops in Iran for example.

  21. “We’ve got a city to burn.”

    “The Jew fears the samurai”

  22. Also, I don’t know what’s up in Syria. Are the Turks now suppressing Al Nusra in Idlib by calling in Russian air strikes? Is it true that Syrian forces are targeting hospitals as reported by HRW, leading to Trump Tweets? Are the Murricans still in the southern pocket?

  23. There are a number of criminal cases, incl. murders, where the suspect run away to HongKong, no extradition. There are also high-level Chinese businessmen who – after getting in hot water (corruption?) – went to hide in HongKong. The extradition to China specifically excludes ‘free speech’ and similar offenses, so I am not sure what the students are protesting. Maybe some of them have an uncle-embezzler who is paying for their tuition.

    Given that Assange has spent 5 years in a de facto jail and is likely to be extradited from UK to US, I am not sure people screaming about HongKong-China extradition are being consistent.

  24. And also:

    […] Neither the Houthi, nor Islamic Jihad, nor Hizbullah are “led by Iran”. They are friends that receive material support from Iran in form of weapon supplies. When Iran asked them to do a favor in return they are usually quite willing.

    The Islamic Jihad missile launch happened on May 6. Several of these missiles were already shown in a video IJ publishes in February. The missiles are “designed by Iran”. May 6 was the first time that a weapon from Gaza was launched so deep into Israel. It was a warning shot. One may count this to what a happened a week later or leave it out. It think it is related.

    On May 13 the 4 tankers near the UAE get damaged outside of Persian Gulf. On May 14 the Houthi attacked the east-west pipeline in Saudi Arabia with two cruise missiles.

    All three attacks demonstrate the consequences Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia would have to feel should Iran be attacked. Israel’s big cities would come under direct attack. No Saudi or UAE oil would any longer be exported, not through Hormuz but also not on other ways.

    After those incidents the war talks calmed down.

    On Friday the U.S. blocked half of Iran petrochemical exports. This event was a demonstration of capabilities. Its says: “No more. If the U.S. also sanctions the other half there will be severe consequences.”

    That is my current *interpretation* of these events and Khamenei’s talk. It may be wrong, it may change. But I do not see how it could be “hurtful” to dwell into this. I also do not see what current event is more important.

    Posted by: b | Jun 13, 2019 12:19:09 PM

  25. “If Abe is acting as Trump’s pawn and not an honest mediator, then to hell with him. And it wouldn’t be crazy for Iran to let him know they are completely unimpressed with his false mediation.”

    He isn’t, and it stuns me that anyone could think otherwise. Abe has purposely inserted himself into the situation in an attempt prevent Trump from damaging himself and Japan along with him; he has done the same in the past over North Korea. Japan, as a big economy with at least some minor cultural clout with the US, is attempting to ratchet things down, not up. They aren’t acting dishonorably either. This attack, IMHO, essentially proves that. The deepstate doesn’t want Abe negotiating a settlement that avoids conflict or gets the US back into the JCPoA; they know Trump can be easily manipulated, so if Abe comes away with something Trump construes as a victory, he’ll take it and override them in the process. Bolton and company are desperate to prevent that. This was an attempt to damage Abe during this meeting by embarrassing him – one of the ships is Japanese – and undermining his authority as a dove/peacemaker domestically.

  26. reiner Tor says

    Thanks, that was the explanation I was waiting for. So basically they need to be able to extradite Chinese (as in, PRC) citizens and maybe HK citizens who had committed crimes in the PRC.

    That’s sensible.

  27. Abelard Lindsey says

    I think John Bolton has been a busy little beaver lately.

  28. peterAUS says

    ….A hole that appeared to have been caused by some kind of artillery shell was found on the ship, the company said, adding that a fire broke out in the ship’s engine room but was extinguished by the crew before they abandoned ship….

    Nonsense, but normal for corporate PR machine people.

    Now…the major powers definitely know exactly what happened.

    It’s BAU for Cato to blame Cartha…I mean Pompeo to blame Iran.

    It’s also…hehe…BAU that Russia, I mean Kremlin, keeps mute about the similar events.

    I mean, Hormuz of all places and nobody knows……that’s not even funny.

  29. prime noticer says

    but steven pinker told me the world is getting safer and better herr derr

    i’ve been watching for decades as we slowly and steadily approach some kind of horrible, global nightmare future.

    in some ways, having a super AI ruling the world in an orderly fashion seems less nightmarish than the coming china/US thought control police state with forced muslim demographic takeover and 2 billion africans wilding everywhere.

    it seems like there’s nothing you can do to stop the jewish takeover of the west, but at least if it was some AI running things instead, all humans and obvious allies could possibly be joined together in resistance.

    strangely i doubt the AI could engender the kind of reflexive defense of itself that jewish propoganda has instilled in gentiles over the last 100 years. they instinctively defend their parasites.

  30. We might have a “real” war. Interested?

  31. prime noticer says

    more thoughts.

    1) trump administration reacting to terrible 2020 polls? start a war, americans will back the war time president in numbers the upcoming election?

    2) china reacting to terrible 2020 trump polls. trump will be out of there in 2021, so no need to slow play this stuff anymore. just start doing what you want to do since the next democrat will go easy on you and that trump guy will be gone in a year.

  32. The left wing hate him, there is no way any war would change their minds (even if it was a war with Russia they would still call him a Putin puppet and hate him). On the right his pathetic immigration record loses him a significant chunk of support.

  33. Jason Liu says

    They’re already joined by ordinary people.

    There was absolutely no reason to push the extradition law now, it seems like very poor timing from a tone-deaf CCP. The world seems to have turned against China over the last two years and this is just confirming their paranoia of an “authoritarian takeover”.

    If the CCP wanted to grab some traitors in HK they can just do it extralegally like they have for a while now. Or they can pass the laws bit by bit over decades leading up to 2047 so the locals don’t freak out. Or just wait until 2047 while disbanding hostile NGOs based in HK, which they’re not doing for some weird reason. This whole episode smacks of autism and shit decision making from the higher ups.

  34. Digital Samizdat says

    We went from the restraint of the Obama era to Trump’s retard strength foreign policy in a very short space of time …

    By this time in his first term, O’bomber actually had Trump beat. Not only had he escalated in Afghanistan, but he had completed at least three régime-change operations by the end of 2011: Honduras, Paraguay and Libya. And then there were the two unsuccessful régime-change ops in Egypt in Syria–the latter being rather bloody. (His second term, of course, saw the Ukrainian coup unfold. We all know how that turned out.)

    … the amount of trouble the US has caused seems to bewilder even mainstream commentators (who naturally prefer safety and continuity).

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that one either. Did you ever notice that when Trump talks peace–such as with N. Korea or Russia–he is castigated for ‘treason’; but whenever he launches missiles at Syria supposedly in retaliation for some false-flag, that same media will insist that he seems so “presidential”?

  35. for-the-record says

    Thanks, that was the explanation I was waiting for.

    I have spent a fair amount of time looking for an accurate description of what the “Extradition” law really entails, and it is not easy, because the western press seems to think it is so evil by its very nature that it does not need to be described in any detail. Moreover, while not specifically saying it, many accounts seem to imply that criminals will be able to be extradited to mainland China for crimes that are committed elsewhere (à la Julian Assange?).

    Here is what appears to me to be the most complete account I have found so far:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/explainer-hong-kong-controversial-extradition-bill-190610101120416.html

    Specifically:

    The Hong Kong administration first proposed the changes in February, citing the case of local man Chan Tong-kai who was wanted for the suspected murder of his pregnant girlfriend while the two were on holiday in Taiwan.

    Officials said he could not be sent back to Taiwan for trial because there was no formal extradition agreement between the two territories.

    Hong Kong’s extradition arrangements are laid out in the Foreign Offenders Ordinance, which was negotiated in 1997 when the UK returned the territory to China.

    Taiwan, Macau and the mainland were not included in that agreement in what the Hong Kong Bar Association says was a “deliberate decision” on the part of the legislature given the “fundamentally different criminal justice system operating in the mainland and concerns over the mainland’s track record on the protection of fundamental rights.”

    Lam has said a ‘legal loophole’ was preventing the extradition of fugitives like Chan.

    Hong Kong currently has bilateral extradition treaties with 20 countries including the UK, the US and Singapore, but the amendments put forward by the administration are being framed as a way to enable the sending of suspected offenders to places with which the territory has no formal extradition agreement on a case-by-case or one-off basis.

    Under the proposals, the chief executive, who is not elected but chosen by an election committee accountable to China, would have the authority to decide any request.

    The 70-member assembly or Legco would have no role in the process.

    Hong Kong’s courts would have the opportunity to review any decision, but they would not be allowed to inquire into the “quality of justice” the accused would receive or whether they were guilty of the alleged offence.

    “The courts will have very little power to reject any extradition request,” said MK Tam, director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.

    “It’s not a formal prosecution so you cannot examine the evidence presented by the other side. We all know that if they want to prosecute someone – a human rights defender or activist – actually in mainland China the charges are political in nature but they use other laws to prosecute them, like tax evasion, for example.”

    The amendments will cover some 37 offences, including fraud and other white-collar crimes.

  36. Digital Samizdat says

    Given that Assange has spent 5 years in a de facto jail and is likely to be extradited from UK to US, I am not sure people screaming about HongKong-China extradition are being consistent.

    You expect consistency from the Clown Empire? You don’t want much, do you!

  37. peterAUS says

    We might have a “real” war.

    Yep…..

    Interested?

    Of course.

    An opportunity.

  38. peterAUS says

    Looks like it.
    Especially

    ….a tone-deaf CCP..

    …This whole episode smacks of autism and shit decision making from the higher ups….

    But, as I said in some other thread, the last time Beijing was compelled to act hard it was very competent. Tienanmen thing I mean.

    Different times, true.
    Still, I just have a feeling they could be rather good in this particular form of governance. Suppressing internal revolt, I mean.

    Ah, yes, I know some of you guys after reading this just can’t wait to reply. Go for it.
    I’d especially appreciate couple (at the moment missing) bits of information:
    Where, exactly, the first shots were fired? It wasn’t at the square; it was somewhere along the path of approaching troops.
    Why the troops fired? Loss of nerve or the order from the very high above? Even self-defense, perhaps?
    Who were those guys in that APC on the square that got firebombed, but escaped? Cannon fodder (expendables) or …..somebody else?
    Ah, yes, one more: those weapons taken away from the State Security guys, what happened to them (guns I mean)?

  39. War for Blair Mountain says

    Well now……I reckon that we be one “Maritime Casmir Effect” away from NUCLEAR WORLD WAR THREE!!!!……Slim Pickens replaced with the Village People….

  40. EldnahYm says

    It depends on the nature of the war. Attacks on tankers are not good news for countries which rely on oil from the Middle East. If these sorts of attacks were to become more common, it could send oil prices skyrocketing. That would be bad for China, but not a problem for Russia or the U.S.

  41. “in some ways, having a super AI ruling the world in an orderly fashion seems less nightmarish than the coming china/US thought control police state with forced muslim demographic takeover and 2 billion africans wilding everywhere.”

    You might be surprised. The wrong AI running things could be a disaster. If you think you know evil, you don’t – or at least amorality, which could easily give the appearance of extreme immorality. It’s true that things aren’t presently looking so good for the West. But things could also be much worse. Live your life and be happy little bipedal hominid.

    “but at least if it was some AI running things instead, all humans and obvious allies could possibly be joined together in resistance.”

    Resistance against what, though? A Terminator army uniting humanity after billions die? Personally, I think that is both unethical and unproductive, at least as one might construe the scenario presently. I might prefer, instead, a faux alien threat. Perhaps a crafty AI might contrive a fake alien invasion that produces few or no human casualties while uniting humanity? …

  42. About a year ago a HK guy killed his pregnant girlfriend while vacationing in Taiwan. He flew back to Hong Kong and subsequently got caught using his missing girlfriend’s ATM card. He confessed to the murder and revealed to the police where the body was buried. Under the current law, HK cannot extradite him to Taiwan for trial. Instead, he was sentenced to 26 months in Hong Kong for stealing money from his murdered girlfriend. That is how the motion started to make change to the extradition law.

    Hong Kong extradition law: the current process and what will change under the proposed bill

    https://multimedia.scmp.com/infographics/news/hong-kong/article/3013512/hong-kong-extradition/index.html

  43. There was also the incident with two warships last week:

    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=3wkDXbrVEIna5gKOt7uoAQ&q=us+and+russian+ships+&oq=us+and+russian+ships+&gs_l=psy-ab.12..33i22i29i30l3.939.7030..9936…0.0..0.129.1547.20j1……0….1..gws-wiz…..0..0i131j0j0i3j0i10j0i324j0i22i30.i3EIrhHjB0Q

    CNN and MSNBC gave this matter more hype than Fox News.

  44. Anonymous says

    That was beyond silly. It’s unclear who fucked up more but these ships should never have gotten that close. What were they even thinking.

  45. Good overview stuff from RT

    Backing Pompeo’s ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ incident is a massive anti-Iran online propaganda campaign

    Twitter has announced that it is removing 4,779 accounts associated or backed by Tehran, the latest strike in the ongoing anti-Iran campaign perfectly timed to coincide with the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

    … at least, it wasn’t Twitter that brought the “Iran Disinformation Project” crashing to a halt earlier this week. The State Department shut down the social media campaign it created to “counter Iranian propaganda” after it supposedly went rogue, smearing any and all critics of Trump’s hawkish Iran policy as paid operatives of the Iranian government. Human rights activists, students, journalists, academics, even insufficiently-militant American propagandists at RFE/RL, Voice of America and other US-funded outlets were attacked by @IranDisinfo – all on the US taxpayer’s dime.

    Congress only learned of the project in a closed-door hearing on Monday, when the State Department confessed the troll campaign had taken $1.5 million in taxpayer money to attack those same taxpayers – all in the name of promoting “freedom of expression and free access to information.”

    The group contracted to operate Iran Disinfo is run by an Iranian immigrant and claims to focus on strengthening “civil society” and “democracy” back home, though its work is almost exclusively US-focused and its connections with pro-war think tanks like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies have alarmed congressional staffers.

    ….

    Nor was the State Department’s trolling operation the only anti-Iran psy-op to be unmasked this week. Heshmat Alavi, a virulently anti-Iranian columnist promoted by the Trump administration and published in Forbes, the Hill, and several other outlets, was unmasked as a propaganda construct operated by the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) … The fictional Alavi’s stories were used to sell Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal to the Washington Post and other more reputable outlets, as well as to promote the MEK as a “main Iranian opposition group” and viable option for leadership post-regime-change.

    Apart from having the usual levels of stupidity in making decisions the Americans are not getting good value for money. That’s what happens when you see everything through a “gig economy” lens, even regime change, and pay with freshly printed money.

  46. Yeah. One report (think it was on Fox) said that the Russian naval personnel, who were sun bathing were “mocking” the US vessel.

  47. Let’s compare — ISIS ,White Helmet, Al Nusr, Al Fusr, Al Kusr . Al Trump , Al Obama , Al Israel
    and any other Al out there attack with C 4 Explosive , Drones, Missile , Mortars, special nerve agents , certain types of guns and snipers . But no one calls them Israeli affiliated or Israeli supported but Houthi is called Iranian allied . Why is it so?

  48. Yevardian says

    Iran is no pushover, even if it’s military-proper are quickly defeated, the number of casualties the US would take merely trying to hold ground afterwards would push into the tens of thousands very quickly. Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, the population of Iran is very unified (except Baluchis) in support of the idea of the Iranian state and culture, despite barely 50% of its population being Persian. The Christian minorities (Armenians, Mazdeans, Georgians) ironically would have the most to lose from a collapse of the Islamic Republic, as despite everything, they still have far more assets to lose. Although the government isn’t very popular, only a tiny segment of the population (far smaller than Iraq, Afghanistan or even Venezuela) would go as far as cooperate with the US in its overthrow.

    And of course, the geography of Iran alone is a nightmare for any occupying force.

    That said I really hope an outright war isn’t declared. Though I’m pretty certain the US lacks the political will for an outright invasion, an extended bombing campaign could easily result in a humanitarian catastrophe. Not to mention the accompanying migrant crisis would make that of 2014 look like a joke. But who knows, does anyone think Bolton and Co. are insane enough to try it? Not much is left of Trump’s term, and he’s not getting re-elected.

  49. anonymous says
  50. Brabantian says

    Regarding the tanker ‘hit above the waterline’, that is not necessarily so, even tho the damaged area is above the waterline now

    From what shipping-experienced people relate, a small explosion may well have hit an area where ballast is kept … after the hit, the ship’s crew would release ballast on the other side to keep the boat from listing, lifting the ship somewhat out of the water

    Also, modern torpedos apparently do not necessarily ‘hit’ but can explode near the ship, creating shock waves and quasi-vacuum areas, which wreck the target ship through the sudden pressure changes etc

  51. Felix Keverich says

    A war on Iran would mean sky high oil prices (> $200) for a very long time. How does this benefit China, the world’s no.1 oil importer is a mistery to me.

    Iranian regime will survive, I’m not so sure about American bases in the region.

  52. Detonating under the ship’s keel was the reason torpedoes were equipped with magnetic influence detonators.
    In WW2, an empty tanker could take as many as 4 torpedoes impacting on its side and stay afloat.
    A single torpedo detonating beneath it would break its back and sink it, because the keel would fail during the explosion-implosion sequence.

    In theory. In practice, the detonators were faulty along with depth-keeping instruments, and caused premature detonations and failed attacks which saved several capital ships early in the war, among them Ark Royal and Nelson.

  53. The Big Red Scary says

    Um, is this Titania McGrath’s neo-liberal sister?

  54. Brabantian says

    With the Russian profits from highter oil prices … and how Russia would benefit if the USA ruined itself in another mideast war … Maybe Russians did the tanker attack?

    /sarc

    One ship attacked is Norwegian-owned … Nato partner Norway now profits as oil prices go up too

    Would be interesting to know who bet on oil prices going up shortly before this

  55. Dacian Julien Soros says

    Sanctions against China? Very funny. The number of people caring about French cheese and American airplanes must be even smaller than in Russia.

    In mid-eighties, Ceausescu fell off with Western banks. Romania was essentially under sanctions. I don’t I could have given a fuck. Sure, in theory, that could have deprived us of Western medicine. That is about the only thing I could think of that seemed valuable.

    But. But. Today it’s still very hard to get old-style cytostatic drugs. Romanian pharmacies are stacked high with plant supplements and shit invented in Russia in the fourties. Turns out most of our sick people are still too poor. If there would be trade sanctions tomorrow, I wouldn’t notice.

    Also, at the height of the US attack on Serbia, there were some sanctions on selling Serbs refined oil products. Anyone with a card and a pulse, who lived in the ares, would fill up their tanks and travel to Serbia. I never heard of the supposed Serbian gasoline deficit. Apparently, Serbs were rich enough for the sanctions to go unnoticed.

    The latter is the case for China as well. For decades, the newest iPhone was launched half a year later in countries outside the main Homosphere. By the time, Apple brought their latest model to Romania or China, everyone who wanted that model already had it. It helps that Apples sells its products cheaper in the US, creating the opportunity for arbitrage.

    Worse comes to worse, China should dismantle the structures that make Hong Kong independentists dream, such as the stock market. Better to suffer a small economic shock than to live with the shame of a colony of cucks on your border.

  56. Militarily the only option would be bombing, with maybe ground troops taking over some oil fields, a blockade and an attempt to trigger insurrection. No declared war, just hoping that if you make the people in Iran suffer, they will surrender.

    This idea is – to put it mildly – insane. There is no relevant example of a country giving up because of remote bombing attacks. Any bombing would come across to most people in Iran as simply a massive terrorist attack. What country folds after a terror attack? A common response is almost always more unity.

    There is also the damn geography: Iran is open to the north with an infinite ability to be resupplied. Iraq and Afghanistan would refuse to be used (where is that Saddam guy when West needs him?). Turkey, Pakistan and the Kurds would stay out of it. Saudis are militarily useless, and even Kuwait and Qatar are wobbly as allies. The bombing would have to come from the south over the Persian Gulf – not a great strategy. Israel wants Arabs to fight the Persians and vice versa – they don’t fight themselves (see Syria for how they like things to play out). Russia would supply anything they could, a great opportunity to bloody the West.

    When the odds look this bad, most rational people hold back. But maybe Trumpists can’t anymore. Maybe there is something worse lurking right behind the scene.

    This also looks to me like a clumsy attempt to force a ‘negotiation‘, Trump has done that elsewhere, Korea,Venezuela. It has not worked. The best way to defeat a strong enemy with internal problems is to simply wait. But time is not on the Washington side – for reasons completely unrelated to Persian Gulf. When elephants panic it gets quite volatile.

  57. Jim Christian says

    Were we to blow up Iran’s nuclear playthings and throw fallout, wouldn’t that spread across all of Asia? That’s an existential issue, let alone all the depleted uranium ammo we use and leave behind. So how is the entire Asian continent and Russia not up at the UN pounding their shoes against another rogue war against a country that already has arrangement with most of the UN countries, that is, “The Deal” they made and Jared broke that everyone else recognizes?

    How do China and Russia not join and tell the U.S. there’s a new axis and an attack on Iran will not stand? Or is that ‘baked in’ to all calculations? Billions of people at risk and no one is saying no.

  58. Dacian Julien Soros says

    “Iraq and Afghanistan would refuse to be used” Yeah, right. These doormats, under occupation for almost two decades, would “refuse”. Who else is opposing the Yankees? Porto Rico, Japan, Italy, Merkel?

  59. Yevardian says

    I don’t think governmental agreement is even the issue tbh, neither country is exactly an ideal staging point for an invasion, to put it mildly. Iran’s restraining hand is probably a major factor in the remaining occupying troops in Iraq not getting killed.

  60. anonymous says

    And exclusive, very exclusive news are rolling on.
    Soon some Iranian passports will be found, and then it will be freedom, democracy, yee-haw time!

    https://twitter.com/benrileysmith/status/1137831840188948485

    https://twitter.com/benrileysmith/status/1137847468052365314

  61. steven pinker told me the world is getting safer and better ”
    Because he did not include the mayhem caused by Israel from 1982 directly and indirectly ad through USA

  62. It was done by Israel and was presented by paid media shill as an Iranian product.Israel does that all the time
    Recently it doctored the rebel chatters of conducting gas attack as coming from Syria

    In the past it has caused similar events to frame Libya in Lockerbie bombing .

    Israel has caused more bombings and carried out more assassination in Europe New Zealand Australia ThAILNAD and in Bulgaria . It routinely carries out those killings and bombings in Occupied Territories.

  63. …doormats, under occupation for almost two decades,

    And still, even doormats can cause trouble. There are levels of subservience. You simply won’t get the Iran-friendly Shia gment in Baghdad to allow use of its territory. And guarding your own troops against angry Iraqis is no way to fight a war.

  64. peterAUS says

    There is no relevant example of a country giving up because of remote bombing attacks.

    Yugoslavia, 1999.

    ….Russia would supply anything they could..

    Yeah…..

    Maybe there is something worse lurking right behind the scene.

    The Imperial M.O.

  65. peterAUS says

    ….On Thursday, company officials said the vessel, which had been carrying methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore, was first hit by what appeared to be an artillery shell toward the stern, causing a fire in the engine room that crew members were able to extinguish.

    Three hours later, the ship was again attacked on the same side in the center of the hull, at which point the captain felt it was no longer safe and ordered the crew to take to the life boats, officials said.

    Two attacks, in span of three hours, in the straits vital for the game of geo-politics and the “proles” still don’t know what happened.
    TPTBs are cutting deals as we speak.

    So much for “information age”, (free) media etc.

    BTW,Japs haven’t gotten the latest memo from Washington, looks like it. No wonder with a mess as the current administration is.

    My take: this incident won’t make an escalation. The Zionists mouth peaces aren’t ramping up.

    I actually believe that some fraction within Iranian executive arm pulled this stunt and it simply surprised both Washington and Jerusalem. They appear not to be ready to exploit the neat cause for conflict.
    When they are ready they’ll do it without any event at all. Maybe. Because, looking as how they are handling this, well, it is possible they won’t do it.
    Not because they don’t wont to. Not because they are weak. Because the are disorganized. US Administration in particular.
    So, at the end, maybe all the shit Trump has done by being total ..whatever….is paying of now.
    Maybe…..just maybe…we are really entering a phase where politicking within USA is starting to affect their projection of power.
    They, perhaps, simply eroded, ate, themselves up.

    If that’s the case, well……the guys who pulled this stunt should be given Nobel Price. Each of them.

  66. Amerimutt Golems says

    First, you have the obvious false flag in the Gulf of Oman, which Pompeo is already blaming on Iran.

    Without an independent investigation, it will be a repeat of McNamara, the USS Maddox and the Vietnam.


    Questions about the Gulf of Tonkin incidents have persisted for more than 40 years. But once-classified documents and tapes released in the past several years, combined with previously uncovered facts, make clear that high government officials distorted facts and deceived the American public about events that led to full U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

  67. Yugoslavia comes close, but it ended with a ‘negotiated settlement‘ – that Washington, of course, immediately disregarded. I would guess European countries are more susceptible to bombing blackmail.

    Iran is too big, too stubborn, and logistics are awful. It could happen in order to avoid something worse. Or because threatening everyone and then back-tracking is damaging to one’s tough reputation.

  68. Dacian Julien Soros says

    OT. The woman who snatched Moldova’s prime minister position seems so well connected to America that I wonder if she draws Social Security. Also, the other prime minister was deserted by his party, fifteen minutes before a press conference, due to a brief visit from the American ambassador. Third, Maia is not a Romanian name; or it’s a (((Romanian))) name, but people with parentheses are not real Romanians. They are recent arrivals / recent departures.

    But the only way for Maia Sandu to achieve a simulacrum of lawfulness was through an alliance with the Russophon party. For good measure, the leader of Russophons, Igor Dodon, was recorded whining that his stipend from Putin has stopped, leading to him being fired, by the Constitutional Court, from the relatively symbolic position of country president.

    This is same Constitutional Court that declared Maia Sandu’s election illegal hours earlier, so you can’t suspect them of Americanophilia.

    A few days ago, Putin claimed he supports Dodon. But seeing Dodon defunded and impeached doesn’t sound like he is getting much support. Romanian media claim that the Russophon-Americanophile alliance is approved by both Moscow and Washington, in order to get rid of a third party. But Romanians know nothing. The Romanian government doesn’t talk to any of the sides.

    I think it’s simpler, and nobody cares about Moldova and, in particular, about its leaders. With almost 50% Russophons and the 14th Army occupying a decent chunk of it, Moldova’s president could be John Bolton, and still nothing would change. AK, what is the internal Russia propaganda saying?

  69. I think it’s simpler, and nobody cares about Moldova

    bada boom bada bing

  70. AK, what is the internal Russia propaganda saying?

    I think it’s simpler, and nobody cares about Moldova

  71. Anonymoose says

    Why can’t the country just get divided already. Transnistria and Gaugazia goes to Russia and Moldova goes to Romania or it can just be its own fake and gay thing. Moldova just seems to be stuck in this pointless limbo and it’s annoying for both Romania and Russia.

  72. Past polling suggests that Moldovans at large aren’t so gung ho on becoming a part of Romania. Russia might not be so keen on taking in Pridnestrovie and Gaugazia.

  73. Anonymoose says

    That ‘negotiated’ settlement was a humiliation for Yugoslavia. Even though The UN was keeping the peace, American troops still entered Kosovo. Milosevic was then indicted for war crimes. And there was still Albanian guerrilla activity in Serbia and Macedonia. But your right that the settlement which included no independence referendum was disregarded by America.

  74. Anonymoose says

    The Kremlin might not be keen in taking Pridnestrovie and Gaugazia. What common people including Russian nationalists think is another. Apparently Shoigu was reluctant to annex Crimea according to the book ‘All the Kremlin’s Men’ (Could be BS court gossip who knows). It would have been better if Russia had actually invaded Donbass in 2014-2015 period; more territory and less suffering for Donbass natives as well. Such hesitation doesn’t bode well in such scenarios.

  75. Dacian Julien Soros says

    Really, nothing? On the appearances front, it would seem the Americans screwed the Russians this time.

  76. peterAUS says

    It could happen in order to avoid something worse.

    Yep….

    Or because threatening everyone and then back-tracking is damaging to one’s tough reputation.

    Yep. And, that’s actually directly related to the “something worse”. For West, that is.Or, better, for West as it it now.

    Anyway, crisis is an opportunity.
    Seizing the opportunity is another matter altogether.

    We’ll see.

  77. reiner Tor says

    A war on Iran would mean sky high oil prices (> $200) for a very long time.

    It’s unlikely. The likely thing is a supply shock leading to a short price spike. So within a few months it’ll be back below $100. Nonetheless you are correct that one short term effect would be a recession in China. The recession would happen elsewhere (like in Europe, and actually in the US), too. It’d affect everyone. I don’t think it’d affect long term economic trends. But the US might get bogged down in a long and costly conflict. Ideally a war of occupation.

  78. anonymous says

    One of crazy accounts I am ocassionally watching. Why? Because this peculiar mixture of uber woke SJWism and foaming at the mouth neoconnery is, fortunately, not so common (yet).

    BTW, Iran is doomed.

    https://twitter.com/SailorHaumea/status/1139753704813293568

  79. Spent a few hours yesterday arguing with someone on Twitter who firmly believes everything the media tells him about Iran, which is pretty damn ironic since he also firmly believes the media lies non stop about Trump, the GOP and straight white men.

    You just can’t win against tards like that, you just can’t.

  80. Mitleser says

    Let’s hope that this will encourage the protesters to escalate and disrespect the local government even more.

    https://twitter.com/Manish_05Singh/status/1139819275571671040

  81. reiner Tor says

    This guy is fifth column. How influential are they? Where is the Chinese commenter brigade when we need them?

    https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3014644/trade-war-bites-china-should-keep-calm-and-remember-deng

  82. Duke of Qin says

    Shanghai crowd. American loving finance compradors, can’t surrender fast enough. No loyalty but to money and wokemon points. Powerless though. When American liberals mouth platitudes about respecting private property, what they really mean is letting moneyed rentier elites run the show. The Party has a monopoly on power and it isn’t interested in sharing, simple as that.

    BTW scmp is garbage. Liberals will claim Party censorship which just means 75% Western propaganda as opposed to 100%. The assistant editor is a massive self hating tool.

  83. reiner Tor says

    To be honest, if he simply said that China needed to open up to Google and make other concessions in order to be able to make the Americans leave it alone, then that would be a legitimate (but mistaken) viewpoint. But he’s saying that it would actually be the best thing to happen to China since sliced bread.

  84. reiner Tor says

    Is this not a parody account?

  85. anonymous says

    Also alternate history fan 😉 Something she/her have in common with AK 😉

    https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/members/sailor-haumea.110793/

    Lines blurring. Impossible to tell.

    Seems to be legit, even if mightily confused. Many of these things do not fit together at all.

    https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/ideological-statements-thread.436911/page-9#post-16576728

    wtf Peter III? I leave AK and other commenters knowledgeable about Russian history to comment 😉

  86. for-the-record says

    This should further increase the tension meter a bit. Also further proof that Trump is not simply useless, but dangerous in the sense that he is unable to respond to what his subordinates are doing (imagine if JFK in the Cuban missile crisis had been similarly handicapped).

    U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid

    The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said. . .

    Power grids have been a low-intensity battleground for years. Since at least 2012, current and former officials say, the United States has put reconnaissance probes into the control systems of the Russian electric grid. But now the American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow. . .

    Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place “implants” — software code that can be used for surveillance or attack — inside the Russian grid. Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister. Because the new law defines the actions in cyberspace as akin to traditional military activity on the ground, in the air or at sea, no such briefing would be necessary, they added.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/us/politics/trump-cyber-russia-grid.html

  87. This should further increase the tension meter a bit. Also further proof that Trump is not simply useless, but dangerous in the sense that he is unable to respond to what his subordinates are doing (imagine if JFK in the Cuban missile crisis had been similarly handicapped).

    Trump is just ordinary, average American who cannot find any country of the world on the map, even his own, but is always ready to bomb them at will.
    Rejoice, democracy finally prevailed.

  88. Weird mix of neocon and left-wing talking points, delivered in critical way (attack, attack, attack) with anti-WhiteWestern undertone, eems like a parody — of some kind of “Political Ewiger Jude” character. Yet in a few minutes review, I see nothing that obviously identifies this. So it is subtle trolling (amateur disinfo agent), or it really is such a character.

    https://twitter.com/SailorHaumea/status/1140015809722560512

    https://twitter.com/SailorHaumea/status/1139420842536783872

    Sailor Haumea
    ‏@SailorHaumea
    15 June 2019

    There is really no discernible difference between “Assad is good” and “Assad is bad, but I oppose US intervention,” because the statements have the same end result – the conclusion that nothing should be done to stop Assad.

    Sit the fuck down, you privileged white motherfuckers. You will never grasp what “war with Iran” would actually entail, or what the people of the Middle East would think of such a war.

    The nerve it takes to scream “No war with Iran!!!” as Syrians are made homeless by bombs dropped by the Assad regime, which is funded by Iran, as Hezbollah commits countless terrorist attacks, as Hamas launches rockets over the barrier.

  89. anonymous says

    Weird mix of neocon and left-wing talking points

    It is not weird.
    Neocon eternal war and eternal regime change, and intersectional LGBTQ SJW eternal activism, fit together like horse and carriage. They are made for each other.

    So far, we were lucky that SJW types concentrate on internal enemy and do not care much about foreign and world politics. This can change. Imagine all the energy spent on gay marriage, transgendered toilets and removing racist symbols turned into war mongering.

    If Haumea-like folks ever end in charge, we will see that everything that Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump did was nothing than child’s play. We will finally see the world burn 🙂

    So it is subtle trolling (amateur disinfo agent), or it really is such a character.

    The account looks sincere. Too small for a disinfo agent (broadcasting to 956 followers? professional disinfo would be much more widely promoted), too long game for a troll (troll would not bother to post the same things for year).

  90. No, it would not strengthen China or Russia. If America was to conquer Iran, it would have a network of military bases that wall in Russia completely on its southern flank. They would be able to pressure the central Asian states to turn on Russia, while also controlling, through vassal states, a huge chunk of the world’s energy resources. A successful American attack on Iran would be catastrophic for the world, and would surely put us on the road to WWIII.

    Russia must seriously deepen its alliance with Iran in light of this obvious false flag attack. The Russians should send Iran copious military aid, including the most advanced anti-air systems. If Iran presents itself as a sufficiently forbidding target, they might be able to ward off an American attack, regardless of what Israel and the Saudis want.

  91. reiner Tor says

    Yes, assuming it was able to send boots to the ground and install a puppet regime. I’m not saying it’s impossible, though that was not my expectation.

    But your line of thinking is not necessarily wrong. I have to concede I might not have thought it through sufficiently.

  92. War with Iran would certainly be more difficult than war with Iraq, but it is well within America’s ability to overrun Iran. America’s military strength does not rely on superior combat ability, but on an unrivaled logistical system that allows it to deliver troops and material in great quantities pretty much anywhere in the world on short notice. As Guillaume Durocher pointed out some time ago, America’s military logistics and massive economy allow it to bomb and sanction challengers into oblivion, regardless of their martial cultures and proclivities towards guerrilla warfare. This is without taking into account America’s multitude of allies in the region, as well as its already established bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    This is not to say that it would be easy at all, and there would be plenty of potential pitfalls were the Americans to attack. But if they could successfully overrun the country, the casualties they suffered while doing so would be irrelevant, as they would be able to establish total dominance in the middle east and, eventually, central Asia. This would be more than worth the cost in terms of casualties.

  93. peterAUS says

    Wow.
    A thought out comment about Iran re article about Iran. Here.

    On a serious plane, well, not quite sure about:

    ….it is well within America’s ability to overrun Iran.

    if you mean the same what happened to Iraq under Saddam.

    Or, not with USA (and West…..) as they are now.
    It would require some significant changes in the way of life of (average) American (and Westerner).
    Not quite sure that the plebs, especially on the “progtard” side, would want that.

    To clarify: at minimum, it would require a significant change in “circuses” and probably “breads” too.
    It would, likely, require some sacrifice. “Skin in the game” if you will and I just don’t see that strata of society willing to do that.
    Yes, as long as “breads and circuses” work well and, the most important, somebody else is doing dying and getting mutilated they are fine with that.
    THEM getting into position to get their leg blown off, nahh….

    So, land invasion, ground combat, just don’t see that popular with the current US (and Western) populace.
    Yes, securing Hormuz (meaning limited invasion), that would work.
    All of Iran, well, I just don’t see it.

    Or, that would be something interesting to watch. Who, really, rules the game.
    “Progtard” elite pushing for “globo-homo” world, or, Neocons pushing for full spectrum dominance.
    So far they’ve been working together, and quite well.
    “Progrard” team can’t deliver effective occupation. Not enough flesh on the ground.
    Neocons can, of course. Would require a lot of “progtard” voting public to get deployed in Iran.

    Makes sense?

  94. If Haumea-like folks ever end in charge

    This line makes me idly speculate about what it would take to spark a genuine, good-old-fashioned military coup in the United States. ‏

    This @SailorHaumea, if you are right about it being a non-troll, seems like the kind of maniac to possibly even use a nuclear first strike to “stop the evil mullahs,” and/or Assad, and maybe even against White Europeans to punish us for historical anti-Semitism — if the opportunity comes up. (Cf. Samson Option.)

  95. Yevardian says

    Iran is not at all comparable to the rump and internationally isolated Yugoslavia in 1999.

  96. Yevardian says

    Russia permanently blocked Moldova’s reunification with Romania in the early 90s with both carrot and stick measures.

  97. Yevardian says

    You’re delusional. The US never even ‘overran’ Iraq, if you mean it was ever able to eliminate the armed resistance and internal chaos that followed Saddam’s overthrow. The US at this point is still capable of destroying countries, but it can’t successfully occupy them.

    “America’s Multitude of Allies in the region”? Saudis can’t even conquer Yemen, and the rest of them are very unenthusiastic, or outright hedging their bets with Russia.

  98. Anonymous says

    https://twitter.com/CarlaBabbVOA/status/1140719942054096896

    https://twitter.com/dave_brown24/status/1140731451119407104

    MUH FALSE FLAG

    In the afternoon, Radio France Internationale reported that Stand News, an independent online news agency, used big data to predict that at most 1.44 million would have participated in the protest.[73] At 11:00 pm, the organizer of the rally stated that there is “almost 2 million plus 1 citizens”, denoting the protester who died the day before, had participated in the protest.[74][75][76][77][78] The police says that there are 338,000 at its peak, but admits that it should be more as only those on the original route were counted.[79]

    Hong Kong population estimate: 7,448,900

    MUH COLOR REVOLUTION

    This is the last time I’m reading your musings, Karlin. Either you are completely useless as an analyst, or just the latest installment in the long Russian agitprop tradition of shameless lying (this time with a thin veneer of intellectual sophistication to bamboozle the credulous). Either way this is a complete waste of time. So long.

  99. reiner Tor says

    You came here and registered just to announce your departure? Good riddance.

  100. It’s not. She also posts (or posted) on various other sites with the same username. For instance, the 110 Club and alternatehistory.com.