Those of us who remember the interval between 9/11 and the War in Iraq – and knew in real time that it was all based on bullshit – have to marvel at how much things have changed for neocons since then. The made-up case for Iraq was carefully crafted with just enough remotely plausible elements that Serious People (a demographic predisposed to like a good war now and then) could support it and later claim that they made an honest boo-boo.

With this Iran thing, the maneuvering is being done in plain sight by a group of people whose plotting skills strongly recall the Three Stooges. After John Bolton took his shot and blew it with "They shot down our drone!

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" as a rousing cry to war, there are now a bunch of people linked to the Saudi government just sitting around and openly musing, "Hey let's come up with some kind of way to justify attacking Iran. Doesn't even have to be good."

The Saudi line is now "This is our 9/11" because…some technologically obsolete drones hit some oil refining equipment and caused zero fatalities. Mind you, it's still not even clear exactly what happened; accepting that it was a drone attack of foreign origin requires us to take the word of some extremely unreliable and highly motivated narrators here. For all we know, the Saudis did it themselves. Or Yemeni rebel groups did it. Or Iran did it. Or Iranians in southern Iraq did it. It's kind of a grab bag of potential explanations right now.
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Outside of the Beltway, there is zero support for war with Iran. None. None whatsoever. Even the most red-necked racist MAGA dude is like, wait what?

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Oh, they used a Radio Shack robot to bomb…an oil refinery, huh? In Saudi Arabia?

Not exactly a compelling narrative, to say the least. No opportunities for jingoism, no bloody shirt to wave, not even any plausible connection to the United States. This is, in so many ways, just the dumbest concept ever. And it seems like everyone involved in trying to plan it realizes that, and they're all just kind of openly brainstorming rationales that are so stupid that nobody outside of Congress and the offices of major Pentagon contractors could repeat it with a straight face. "How about we say this is 9/11 for Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia is the same as America" appears to be the best they can come up with. If another pointless war is to be avoided, the saving grace will be that these people are so dumb they can't even con the gullible.

30 thoughts on “IN PLAIN SIGHT”

  • Maybe the answer will be to finally take the handcuffs off Israel. We’ll let Bibi and his general staff decide what’s best for Iran.

    It’s always amusing when Americans of a certain political persuasion complain that we are protecting Israel from her neighbors.

    Think of Colonel Trautman in “First Blood” as America; think of all the assorted police agencies hunting him as Iran & Shiite Allies.

    “I don’t think you understand”, explains Trautman. “I’m not here to save Rambo from you. I’m here to save you from Rambo”.

    I can see Mullah Teasle cringing on a Tehran rooftop right now. Foolhardy obstinacy….

  • If by "this is our 9/11" they mean that the plot was conceived, financed and carried out by Saudis, then… sure, why not.

  • Geez, general inkberrow that is some grade A military strategy. After we unleash Isreal, who by the way would fight to the last drop of American blood, we should also unleash Chiang Kai-Shek. Kill em all let god sort em out, let me guess you will sit on the side lines and cheer.

    You might want to reconsider Rambo as military history.

  • Mike–

    From your careful reading, you know the Rambo line was just an illustration of the actual dynamics at issue. Read slowly: Israel doesn't need our help to dispatch Iran & Co. Iran & Co. needs our continued intercession with Israel. That's not a "strategy". Just military reality.

  • The timing was suspicious. MBS announces an Aramco IPO. It gets bogged down by, among other factors, low oil prices. MBS fires the oil minister and replaces him with a trustworthy family member. Maybe a week later there is an attack on a Saudi oil facility that shuts down 50% of their production. It almost seems that MBS fired the oil minister because he wouldn't go along with the chicanery. I'm not a big conspiracy theorist, but …

    I worked on a training system for satellite photo analysts in the early 90s. It generated synthetic images to support the training scenario, for example, an attack on a facility in the Mideast. Our system cranked out photos much like the ones recently released to the press. I would have expected more progress in 25-30 years.

  • Ink, being a know nothing is hardly a good way to go through life. It is obvious your entire military experience has been vicarious. John Wayne isn't real, Slyvester Stallone is not a war hero. War is much more complex than a movie. Perhaps Israel could use nuclear weapons, but then what? Another wunderkind member of the 101st fighting keyboardists.

  • "some technologically obsolete drones hit some oil refining equipment and caused zero fatalities"

    This remark reminds me far too much of George Bush back in the day making fun of SCUD missiles. Does the modern conduct of war really require hi-tech weaponry? What a weird sentiment.

    We don't yet know quite what happened except that some stuff blew up. Who did it and the motivation behind it are mostly conjecture for now. May never be sorted out convincingly. Chalk up another conspiracy that won't be settled. Rousing the American public for a new foreign war wasn't so hard in 2002 despite the presence of significant anti-war protests. If our leaders want another stupid war, it's likely they'll press forward despite lack of public support, just like last time.

  • Hopefully, you're correct – it is striking how little general enthusiasm there seems to be for casually tossing another war on the pile, which makes a nice change of pace. Their incompetence and carelessness is heartening, but still don't like the idea of having to rely on the risk-averseness of this particular president (assuming there's anything to claims of that Bolton's Iran hawkishness was what got him sacked.)

  • @ Mike R:

    Debate, or even reasonable argument, is not what DinkSpot does. He's somebody's sockpuppet, or would be if he was actually possessed of critical thinking skills.

    He likes him some NeoRandianz.

  • Looking at the satellite photos released yesterday and noting the precision with which the puncture holes in the domes line up… if I weren't so sure we didn't have lasers in space I might think it were done by lasers in space.

  • I wonder. Given that the economy as a whole is beginning to creak and judder despite the GLORIOUS ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP OF IL DOUCHE ORANGE, maybe the Villagers think that we need a war to crank up the production. Better make sure the Heathen Chinese are on board, though. Our Owners have made sure to help off-shore much of our productive manufacturing base and we may need help. Or, we can use the multibillion dollar jet fighters that can't fly in the rain?

  • Is Inkbarrow really a sockpuppet for the infamously bloodthirsty Semitic Apartheid troll "colnago80" who used to haunt these here internets with his war chants?

  • Brian M.–

    No. I'm just rather defensively deemed a "troll" for being an unapologetic conservative amid some mid-wattage leftists.

  • ""deemed a "troll" for being an unapologetic conservative"

    You're not a consevative, honey; you're a fucking reaKKKtionary and a not very bright one, at that.

    Still having trouble finding the proof of your accusation that Ed's lovin' him some moozlim terrarists?

  • From where I am it looks like our interests in the (Increasingly less) United States would be to watch from a safe distance, sadly "Bomb Iran" was never erased from the right wing nut to do list when it lost relevance and the Saudis are leveraging that to have someone else do the heavy lifting to rid them of a rival… again. If the long term results include true believers performing the Haj in radiation suits… I don't think we wish to be associated with it.

  • Tim H—

    Except to the extent American interests are affected by our European allies’ reliance on shipping through the Straits of Hormuz, and/or reliance upon Russia.

  • After experiencing what passes for American diplomacy, do we have any real possibility of having European allies much longer? For that matter, by the time "Creative destruction" runs it's course, we'll no longer have the industrial infrastructure to project power any great distance. Time to step away from empire before it's torn from our hands.

  • Tim H. basically has the right of it. While SA oil still matters to the global economy, it's not worth getting mired in an unwinnable war with Iran. Moreover, the loss of SA oil fields (to sabotage, neither side has nukes and Iran doesn't really want them) will just speed the global energy transition.

  • Kudos to Tim H, also!

    Inkblot must be an example of pure conservative genius. We should be joyful he chooses to grace us with his presence, which illuminates the dark steppes of this leftist blog! Praise be!

    Get with the program, inkblot: even the ultra-reactionaries over at The American Conservative think the whole Iran program is laughable.

  • Brian—

    At this point I’m just something besides the standard leftist choir loft reacharounds. I don’t need to be here, if resented. I miss the old IOZ forum.

    Reading comprehension is poor here. I’m just saying either Bibi or Benny will dutifully reduce Tehran to rubble if the scumbag mullahs push things too far.

  • Inkspot:

    You don't NEED to be here?

    I'm pretty sure that's a lie.

    What is true is that WE don't need you to be here and if Ed wasn't already being pretty much a mensch by letting foulkeyboardin'mofoz like me here, you woulda been shitcanned a long time ago.

    Not only are your comments disingenuous and disruptive (their primary intent) but they make it obvious that you're either dumber than a box of developmentally disabled, blunt force, nail driving tools OR just an incredibly obtuse KKKonservaturd.

    I'm going with both.

    Hey, where's the documentation to back up your accusation about Ed being soft on Islamoterrarizm? It's been about a month since you made that comment and, golly gosh, STILL no evidence to back up your baseless and dishonest assertion on that subject.

    I'm pretty sure that you will decide to not be a decent human bei–wtf am I thinking–you can't decide to be a decent human being, you have no experience in that area.

    Fuck off, troll.

  • Gee whiz demo, you might get on his list of not very serious people. Of course that has absolutely no consequences, so on second thought carry on.

  • Mike R.—

    That consequences horse already left the barn some time ago. Since my last verbal tapdance on his snout a few months ago, after which I left off bothering to reply to his repetitive fulminations, a substantial portion of the poor fellow’s entire, coff coff, oeuvre here is either to me or about me. Don’t let that horrible fate befall you.

  • Dear Inkblot:

    Not only are you a bad liar, but the internet never forgets.

    You have been avoiding the responsibility of backing up your bullshit bravado,

    Put up, or shut the fuck up

    BTW, you do have to ask yourself why almost nobody talks to you. It's not because of your stunning intellect or grasp of the facts at hand.

    You always talk shit and then don't back anything up. Poseur.

  • Michael W Fisher says:

    This from what I can glean from public sources.

    The weapons were drones or cruise missiles. Things that can – unlike ballistic missiles – be steered around obstacles – or to conceal the direction of the attacker.

    The defenses around the facilities did not provide 360 degrees of coverage, the direction that was left uncovered? Towards Iraq and Iran.

    And the attacks came from the direction where the defenses were weakest or entirely lacking.

    The defenses therefore seem to have been strongest in the direction of Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has been waging a genocidal war and from which the Houthi have launched some counter strikes.

    The Houthi have claimed responsibility for the attack.


    Either Iraq or Iran, against their current self interests, launched an unprovoked attack against Saudi Arabia. Or. Russia launched a stealth attack to disrupt oil markets to raise the demand/price for their oil.


    The Houthi, like all war fighters, ever, have gained sophistication and managed to launch an attack through the gap in Saudi defenses.

    Feel free to choose what you think is the most likely scenario.

  • Dear Mr. Fisher:

    In the words of David Byrne, "Stop making sense!"–doing so taxes the brains and hurts the feelings of several neoKKKlowns who show up here.

    Just blame Iran like some of them do. I'm sure that they'll sign up for the THIRD land war in SW Asia and the Middle East that we are currently exacerbating.

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