In War Actions And Words Do Not Go Together And Last Night’s Iranian Action Was Not War

Last night Iran wasted its one free shot at America and committed a war crime by making a Ukrainian airliner the victim of its planned AA ambush for the American response that had never materialized

Supreme leader Khamenei’s tears were not avenged and everyone knows it

Anyone who knows anything about military operations knows that the real ones are never accompanied by words; not before, nor during or after. From the Israeli attack on Egypt in 1967 to the Egyptian attack on Israel in 1973, war is when the two enemies grapple, silently. Talking comes later, much later, when the bodies are counted and the territories lost and gained are tallied.

By this measure we know that yesterday’s Iranian missile launch against US bases in Iraq was not a military operation. It was a public relations stunt. It was begun, executed, and terminated via streams of disinformation of all types being broadcast from Iran.

What was very telling about the Iranian PR stunt that was yesterday’s action, was that it did not use the usual suspects to amplify it. We have heard nothing from the various terrorist groups that Iran had so lovingly fostered in the region. Nothing from the Hamas in Gaza, nothing from the Hezbollah in Lebanon, nothing from Qatar.

Neither have the big guys said much of anything. Nothing from China, Russia, or Turkey.

The one thing that did happen last night was a demonstration of the willingness of the mainstream media in America to serve as an amplifier of Iranian propaganda and disinformation. An objective observer could have easily concluded that American media was gleefully disseminating uncorroborated Iranian reports of multiple American casualties, trying to goad the Trump administration into a reckless and premature response.

So what were the likely Iranian objectives? As all headfakes, the Iranian action was designed to solicit a reaction, a reaction that would expose the enemy to the real punch. In this case there could be two such objectives. First, Iran was likely hoping that president Trump would start making bombastic proclamations such as ordering that Iran evacuate its oil refining facilities ahead of a US strike. Such proclamations would have drawn condemnations from Russia, China, Turkey, and even the EU, elevating the conflict and internationalizing it, all to Tehran’s advantage. This war of words would have played into the ayatollahs’ strength, which is their big mouths, while restraining America’s military might.

Another objective, likely a concurrent one, could be the setting of an ambush for US aircraft responding to the fake Iranian attack. While Iran has a weak air force that is no match for the American one, it does have decent anti-aircraft (AA) capabilities and shooting down even one American aircraft, manned or unmanned, would have been a huge propaganda victory for them.

There were reports last night, obviously fake, that exactly such a scenario had taken place and that an American “jet” had indeed been “shot down”. Unfortunately, this AA ambush was likely the cause of the downing of the Ukrainian airliner with 168 souls on board, all now lost. If confirmed, and it likely will be, this would mean that Iran has committed an outright war crime by shooting down a civilian airliner in Tehran, which was nowhere near an active theater of military operations, no matter how much the Iranian government wished it to be.

President Trump’s national security team did an excellent job calmly assessing the real situation rather than the fake reality that was being generated by Iran and its flunkies in the American media and decided on the exact proper response: nothing. Iran has achieved no military objectives and its headfake spectacularly failed in drawing the US into a “disproportionate response” or into putting its aircraft in danger.

But wait, there is more. By not responding to what was clearly a war-like act by Iran, the US has gained the high moral ground and every right to hit Iran hard should it go for a real punch next. Iran has had its “freebie”, its “face saving measure”, its “revenge”.

Everyone knows that a few craters in some base on Iraqi soil is no revenge for the killing of the defacto commander of the Iranian military and for Khamenei’s bitter tears. The Middle East knows how to keep score and this was not even close to a revenge. The ayatollahs took their one free shot and blew it. The next one will not be free.

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1 comment

stevestevensen January 8, 2020 at 10:09 am

Iran has had plenty of free shots since the revolution. Hostages (including still-held Levinson), assasinations of Iranian-Americans in America, EFPs that killed hundreds of US soldiers, Beirut barracks…the list goes on and on.

The only direct military action of any note that the US has taken against Iran is Operation Praying Mantis and now, Soleimani.

Iran has plenty of legit grievances with the USA, from the 1953 overthrow of Mossedegh to the Iraq-Iran war. However, the Islamic Republic of Iran has written a check that it cannot cash, even with Obama’s $150 billion dollar gift/ransom payment.

The Ayatollah wants total war to bring about the return of the 12 Imam. This is their singular focus. Nothing will deter them except total military defeat and the elimination of their Islamic Republic.

What would fill that vacuum and will Iran become another Libya.


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