There has just been an assassination attempt on Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s leading nuclear scientist. He is seen within Iran in a role much like that of Robert Oppenheimer in the United States.
Israel has assassinated other Iranian nuclear scientists and is thus the prime suspect. Bibi Netanyahu has mentioned Fakhrizadeh by name.
Israel, and the Trump administration, have been trying to break the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) so that it cannot be revived. The JCPOA froze and even pushed back Iran’s nuclear weapons program, putting it under greater international scrutiny than any nuclear program in the world.
But war with Iran is what Mike Pompeo and other Trump advisors have wanted. It is also what Netanyahu wants, as long as the losses are primarily America’s.
On top of the devastation of the Iraq War, a war with Iran would tear the Middle East apart. Those desiring war imagine that it would destroy Iran without extreme damage to themselves. Pompeo has mentioned the Rapture, which requires such a war to ensure his personal salvation.
But the warmongers have been unsuccessful in provoking Iran into leaving the JCPOA. After the US left the agreement, Iran has taken reversible steps toward a more robust nuclear program and has made clear that these are in response to US actions. The other participants in the JCPOA have held firm.
The attack on Fakhrizadeh is an enormous provocation, most likely an escalation by those who want Iran to leave the JCPOA so that there is justification for war. As usual, early reports are confused. Current tweets follow.
“We’ll fight to the last American soldier!” (Bibi, probably)
insane, malign saboteurs.
I got nothing printable to say.
At least now we know what Pompeo, Bibi, and MBS were discussing last week.
@Tom Levenson: That’s about where I’m at.
Trump, sitting at his tiny desk in the Romper Room, says Tehran is a Democrat-controlled city and antifa is to blame.
@Cheryl Rofer: NY Times now reporting that Iran state sources confirm his death. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/27/world/middleeast/iran-scientists-killed.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
@Tom Levenson: f..k
Is there a chance Iran will be restrained because they realize we’re about to have new leadership?
This is what I’m hoping. But it was an outrageous act.
people have said for a while that, if Trump lost, the lame duck period would be crazy.
There is going to be a lot more of this shit over the next few weeks.
WaPo says he was killed.
Donnie is now proving what a big boy leader he is following his embarrassing ‘kid’s table’ incident. I have no doubt the US is responsible. I’m sure it took very little for Pompeo and Dence to talk Donnie into starting up their personal rapture wet dream.
This wasn’t planned yesterday.
1/20/2021 can’t come fast enough.
@zhena gogolia: Iran has been very restrained in the face of additional sanctions and other assassinations. This one is big. We can hope, but everyone has a breaking point.
We knew there would be ratfucking.
My nickel, and I would not bet more, is that this was MBS. Trump is too big a coward, and while I suspect Pompeo and other cabinet officials are getting “Do what you want, I don’t care” levels of being ignored, does Pompeo have anyone he can order to do this? MBS wants “Let’s you and him fight” badly, and has a history of crude, obvious force because there’s never been anyone to push back.
@Cheryl Rofer: I wonder how safe Pompous will feel once he loses his State Dept security detail.
@OzarkHillbilly: I said in the morning thread but I thought it would be Venezuela.
@Frankensteinbeck: Are the Saudi’s sophisticated enough to pull this off? Kashoggi was amateur hour.
If the perpetrators were killed presumably they can be identified?
@raven: It still might be.
How do we know this wasn’t?
@Baud: Yes. If perpetrators were killed, it may become clear who is responsible. But we can’t necessarily believe Iran’s claims.
This seems very unsophisticated to me. It’s as crude an assassination as you can get.
@Frankensteinbeck: Mosad with backing by in-country Saudi assets with US approval and intelligence support. Hence my comment at 3.
Agreed. We’re dealing with a situation where no one is trustworthy.
@Baud: Sounds like they did him with a drive by shooting. Between that and the combined talent of MBS and Trump this might well have been planned yesterday.
@Frankensteinbeck: @OzarkHillbilly: Most likely Israel. They have assassinated other Iranian scientists.
@raven: Oh, I’m not so sure it will just be one and done.
Serious question: Are there other viable actors than the US, Israel, or Saudi Arabia? ISIS? Russia?
I’ve never successfully assassinated anyone with at least a week’s worth of planning.
Just days ago Netanyahu traveled to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with high officials there, plus Pompeo was there as well. The timing simply cannot be coincidental.
All of them, Katie.
@Frankensteinbeck: UAE? Their shipping was targeted by Iran (warning!). But no one has an interest in their nuclear program like the three you mention.
Well, they promised us they were going to set fires on the way out.
@Baud: We don’t, that’s my question.
I’m just looking at this from the pov that the Russians are great at throwing people out of windows but their record on poisonings doesn’t exactly inspire a whole lot of confidence. So when it comes to the Sauds, they did a great job of luring a dissident to their Turkish Embassy under false pretenses and than killed him, but they did it so ham handidly that within 48 hrs every one knew they had done it.
If they did have anything to do with this, I’m sure we’ll have an idea by the end of the wkend. If it’s still a mystery I would lean toward the Israelis. They are quite capable of pulling this off.
I would not want to be navigating the Straits of Hormuz anytime soon. Let’s hope this idiot administration isn’t dangling a carrier group out there as bait.
[It so far appears that] The insane and arrogant Israeli right has placed Israel in great peril (and also themselves, and their personal power). (Pompeo is in a different class of evil.) Israel doesn’t have much plausible deniability here. (ETA yeah MBS is a suspect too. Communicating with Netanyahu these days.)
The question is whether Iran retaliates tit for tat, and if so when. If they stay calm, the new US administration will extend offers of peace.
@Cheryl Rofer: That’s where I’m leaning. Occam’s razor and all.
@daveNYC: This took a high degree of intelligence, knowing when where and how to hit him.
@Cheryl Rofer: Well, “Israel did it” was always going to be part of the spin whether true (likely) or not.
I think Iran will wait but will do something specific and personal as retribution. First, a big public funeral which will arouse their supporters around the world.
Netanyahu unwisely forgets that Israel has to win *every* war against regional nations who would like to destroy Israel, Israel’s opponents only have to win once. And he unwisely overlooks that his American friends Trump and Pompeo are both fools and reckless, but them again so is he.
Yeah, I was thinking that too. They let someone they knew was a high value target get killed.
The kitties are demanding their time outside. I’ll be back later.
Then Biden has the option of leaving Bibi dangling in the wind and Trump – who has been withdrawing troops – will sit with his thumb up his ass like usual. More than anything, I want the US to be on the sideline of shit Bibi starts or calls down on Israel. I hope it turns out that way.
And maybe why B-52s were sent to the Middle East last week…
Any statements from Israeli moderates?
@Another Scott: most likely a delivery of cruise missiles from what the natsec guys have said. Now whether to Israel or Sauds? unclear.
Mike in NC
Cannot wait until Pence, Pompeo, Barr and the rest of the crazy fundamentalists are gone forever.
Bibi’s “Black Friday sale” ends in January and he’s not wasting his last months of deals. As if Trump’s assassination weren’t enough.
may not have been planned yesterday, but there is a moment where someone in authority has to OK it. That did happen yesterday.
Somewhere in the paranoid rat-run of his mind President Pettygrift just felt a cold shiver as he belatedly realised how very, very convenient it would be for all kinds of people if a certain bellicose orange loose-thread got all burnt up in an ‘Iranian’ retaliatory hit.
Jared’s tiny marbles just clinked too.
@OzarkHillbilly: Where, yes. But current reports are that the attack used machine guns and explosives. That’s not exactly a precise method finely tuned to the target’s weak spot. It reminds me of the bit in Interview With a Vampire I think it was, where the vampire was talking about the procedure people thought needed to be done to kill vampires, which was something like staking them in the heart, chopping off the head, burning the remains, and then burying them with silver or holy water or something. His point was that, yes, that would kill a vampire, but doing that would kill freaking anything.
This level of crude brute force smells like MBS. Possibly with Israel supplying the weapons from a cache they already had in place. The intel could have come from either Israel or the USA.
An extreme stretch. Plans like this are time-dependent. They have to hit where they know the victim will be. And if it was Israel, Bibi doesn’t need Trump’s go-ahead or wait for Trump’s orders. Bibi is very much not Trump’s minion. He only needs to think he knows how the US will react.
@Immanentize: Really? I’m no expert, but that seems, er, implausible to me. One can get a lot more missiles on a ship than a few bombers, if that’s the purpose.
TheAviationist (from 11/21):
(IIRC, the “US Embassy Complex in the Green Zone” is about 50 square miles or something (an exaggeration, but it’s huge). (Wikipedia says the Embassy sits on 104 acres.).
Interesting idea. Trump is such an extreme “THE BROWN HORDES ARE COMING PUT UP A WALL AROUND THE WHITE HOUSE” coward, it’s at least plausible he could get scared. I think he’s too short-sighted and feels too far away? But it’s an interesting and not-insane idea.
@germy: Biden ends any Saudi Arms deals on Day 1. Announces closure of American embassy in Jerusalem because of unsafe conditions during Netanyahu’s tenure. That might get some attention.
Yes it is.
It’s designed to ensure that your target can’t survive. A bomb in the wrong place doesn’t do the job (see Hitler) and a dozen bullets might miss but a few hundred or thousand are far more likely to have at least a few find their intended target. We aren’t talking about somebody strolling down the street, this guy was going to have a high level of security.
TrumpCo really wants to start a war with Iran on his way out the door. This is what they do, it shouldn’t be shocking but it still is. I don’t know that our military can refuse orders to attack Iran, even though a Lame Duck Administration shouldn’t be able to do this.
Another thought: If this was Israel, Bibi’s biggest interest isn’t starting a war between the US and Iran, it’s keeping the Israeli right scared and angry. It’s internal politics of propping himself up through saber rattling.
EDIT – @kindness:
A week ago we were hearing that what TrumpCo wanted was to pull us out of the Middle East so Biden couldn’t get us back in. Pompeo wants war, yes. What Trump wants is less obvious. He’s a cowardly, spiteful toddler who changes his mind every thirty seconds.
I’m not saying it’s likely or even possible. What I am saying is that a lot of interests would be served if the chances of Donald J. Trump ever blurting out something incriminatory in an attempt to stay relevant were reduced to zero and the finger of blame pointed, convincingly or otherwise, at the perfidious Persians.
He might not be smart, but Pettygrift knows how the people he looks up to deal with loose ends.
@Mike in NC: They may be out of power soon, but they won’t be gone until incarcerated or dead.
Putin doesn’t assassinate ‘loose ends’. Putin assassinates critics, and only rarely outside Russia. I think all of the theories that Putin is going to assassinate people like Trump and Manafort for Knowing Too Much or Being Disappointments have been and are overblown.
Said it before and I’ll say it again: the evangelicals are welcome to shuffle off to Jeebus any time they want – but they should leave the rest of us out of it. If they’re worried about suicide being a sin, they should look into Josephus’s solution.
Yeah, they will live in fear, including of loose-ends-cleanup operatives. Stupid arrogant fuckers, everyone involved in that assassination.
@daveNYC: It also sounds like a suicide attack. Israel doesn’t do those, and neither does the US. MBS sounds more likely, maybe with intel and/or go-aheads from us and Israel.
@Another Scott: why implausible? Ships move friggin sliw. B52s are not part of our nuclear arsenal anymore. Sure they were a great show of force (gunship diplomacy?) But why waste a trip like that without a special delivery? You really think they would put out a press release saying -+ we just delivered a billion dollars of high tech offensive weapons to Israel?
B-but Bernie and the Jets told me that Trump was a man of peace.
I’m waiting for details of the assassination; the early reports are muddled.
MEK has been used for assassinations where a motorcycle rider placed a bomb on a car.
NBC: Israel and MEK Responsible for Murdering Iranian Scientists (2012/02/11, Kevin Jon Heller)
Also, for perspective,
Checks out! :-)
Iranian Combat Motorbike Tactics in Iraq (May 18, 2008)
@Frankensteinbeck: Just yesterday, at his Tiny Desk Concert, Trump told us that a lot of things are going to happen between now and January 20. I for one, believe him.
@Bill Arnold: This is the key to asymmetrical warfare. Horses, motorcycles, small pick up trucks, runners. Iran is a huge country. Lots of land or very different typology. Lots of everyone willing to defend it.
Trump is not one for strategic thinking. He wants to start a war with Iran simply because it’s the yooogest bag of flaming dogshit he can leave for Biden.
I guess Israel does have a legitimate reason for concern with Iran, the only other potential nuclear power in the Middle East. In a sane world both countries would give up nukes. But Bibi wants America to fight his country’s enemies regardless of the cost to America. He believes it’s no skin off his nose if America gets bogged down in Iran the way it’s still bogged down in Afghanistan. My hunch is that Bibi’s wrong about that.
@Immanentize: I have no doubt that things are going on behind the scenes, but using B-52s to deliver missiles to allies makes no sense. C-17s and other cargo planes could get the missiles there just as fast, and carry more (I think), and wouldn’t need the same kinds of unloading equipment as a bomber (AFAIK) – i.e. one could use fork lifts to unload crates from the cargo plane, rather than needing specialized ordnance handling machines to take things off a bomber.
It was a show of force, very publicly done. It was a “round-trip” mission, presumably meaning they didn’t stop anywhere (the story doesn’t mention any stops).
@Immanentize: They are also not cargo planes. They are plenty of “strategic airlift”plane. It’s probably saber rattling like they did when the North Koreans took the Pueblo.
I thought Jared had solved the problems in the Middle East. Did that not happen? I mean Nikki Haley called him a genius:
Damn, damn damn! Curse them all to hell!
The fact that the assassins were apparently killed, doesn’t sound like a hit done by Israelis directly. They generally plan an escape route. Possibly, Saudi agents or Iranian dissidents with Israeli/Saudi/US intelligence information?
The fact that the assassins were themselves killed may be helpful in identifying who was behind this. The problem, as already identified is, will we be able to believe whatever we’re told? Keep an eye out over the next weeks/month to see who is the subject of the Iranian tit for tat killing(s). That will give an indication of who THEY think was behind this.
God, I hope the Iranians keep their cool for another 2 months until Biden is inaugurated, but, this is a massive provocation.
Bibi would absolutely love a “Let’s you and him fight” scenario between the US and Iran, but by far his #1 priority is Israeli internal politics. He leans on Israeli Islamophobia like Republicans lean on racism to remain in power. Creating crises to maintain the sense of threat to the Israeli population is less something he has a history of, and more the central platform of his entire career.
@Matt: Or the Romans solution.
Has Biden issued a statement? He’s now got a much bigger mess to clean up.
@Another Scott: “It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping.”
@Another Scott: it seems the Israelis think the B52s landed in Qatar. Complete with a number of other aircraft alongside.
@debbie: I suspect that Biden will wait to deliver a statement. I’ve been thinking about Tony Blinken this morning.
@Cheryl Rofer: I wonder how much the Trump administration is NOT telling Biden’s team.
Safest to assume it’s zero.
@Immanentize: Trump is not telling them
everythinganything that would be useful? That would be my guess.
“The B-52H with a weapons payload of more than 70,000lb is capable of carrying the most diverse range of weapons of any combat aircraft. The nuclear weapons capacity includes 12 AGM-129 advanced cruise missiles (ACMS), 20 AGM-86A air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM) and eight bombs.”
Not nuke gravity bombs, but nukes to be sure.
@Sloane Ranger: The MEK came to mind almost immediately given the fact that it was a suicide mission.
@WaterGirl: I’d like to think his military briefings are fairly accurate (if not forthcoming) but I expect the State Department information is crap.
@Immanentize: All of it, Katie. But Biden is getting the PDB now, so that should help.
Well, at least we know now that if Biden’s natsec people open up a backchannel to Iran to tell them to hold off retaliating for this because once Biden’s sworn in they’ll come back to the table on JSPOC, and then lie to the FBI about it, it’s totally cool.
@Immanentize: It’s hard to say. Pompeo made a pissy statement when Trump finally agreed to the transition.
The career people at State will continue to do a professional job. How much Pompeo and other Trump toadies will filter that is anyone’s guess.
@trollhattan: Ah. Thanks. I found this too:
Our bomber fleet is OLD.
But I do doubt we sent nukes, although with Trump who knows? He always wanted to drop one — he told us so.
More effective would be some huge conventional bunker busters to reach Iran’s deep nuclear facilities.
scott (the other one)
How much internal terrorism is Iran believed to be behind these days? (This is way outside the things I know almost anything about, and I know I could google, but I trust the folks on here more than likely google results.)
@Cheryl Rofer: This is a very good point — currently lost in the language.
@Baud: Yeah, perpetrators dying would suggest not a direct Mossad operation, although shit happens and it could be a sub contractor.
I think there is a large chance that right now, Trump’s appointees are free to run their department without Trump’s approval. Trump is depressed and focused on whining. He doesn’t give a shit about presidenting. That removes some threats and creates others. They are far more aggressive in destruction than he is, but don’t work together.
Yep, ethical malpractice not to do so, though if the treasonous DJT administration found out before Jan 20, they would scream treason.
(I loath nuclear warmongers. That includes the current Israeli leadership, Pompeo, KSA/MBS.)
@Immanentize: At least the PDB comes from career professionals. Unless they have assigned some awful Trumpers to do the briefings. And Kamala gets briefings from her Senate committee.
Happy Friday everyone!
I actually wasn’t thinking of Putin in this instance, though I can see why you thought so. No, I meant the Saudi/Gulf potentates who wouldn’t want Pettygrift boasting about the things they begged him, with tears in their eyes, to let them do
Its hard to think of a single ‘international partner’ or ‘domestic ally’ of Donny Bigmouth who wouldn’t benefit greatly from his martyrdom.
Never write when you can speak.
Never speak when you can nod.
Think that the sane people on both sides see such and obvious win/win that its an easy nod.
Good odds Iran goes to Biden. They’re not stupid. They know that negotiation with Trump is useless and that on Jan 20th American foreign policy changes, becoming directed and strategic rather than flailing and assholery
They don’t have the ability to assassinate an ex-president. The Secret Service do their job well. But as I’ve mentioned above, all bets are off in what a coward and idiot of Trump’s mythic scale is afraid of.
“The B-52 is also easily identified by its tall beehive hairdo.”
@Tony Jay: I took it as a reverse Kennedy in Dallas suggestion where, as Was (Not Was) put it:
Eleven Miles an Hour
In this case, some people could get things back under control while also sinking US/Iranian relations for generations. If it looked like Iran was involved in any anti-government action (think Hussein and GW Bush)
Just two weeks ago the NYT reported on an assassination in Iran of a man said to be a high Al Qaeda commander, by two men on a motorcycle. Israel was thought to behind it, possibly doing a favor to the U.S. No one claimed credit, but it’s seems probable that Israel and the Iranian opposition MEK have an alliance, as Israeli has resources and the MEK has manpower. I checked out reporting in today’s Jerusalem Post recounting a press conference a couple years ago in which Netanyahu identified the man killed today and told reporters to “remember that name.”
Israel has carried on a bombing campaign against Iranian assets in Syria for at least two years. Israel usually does not confirm its strikes, but the campaign has heated up recently, and the Israelis claimed at least one recent attack.
trump has made a lot of bellicose talk concerning Iran, but when the Iranians shot down a drone last year trump shied away from any retaliation beyond a cyber attack. He is thought to have been wary of war as something that could hurt his chances for reelection. But that is no longer an inhibition, and he has a new acting Defense Secretary, so all bets are off now.
But I doubt if trump had any part in today’s action, because the Israelis know from experience that he cannot be trusted with a secret.
I don’t think you can assume it was a suicide mission. It could have been a case of the actual masterminds cleaning up their tracks. The actual trigger pullers might well not have known they were going to be eliminated. Or even who they were attacking.
This sucky comment system could use ↑ and ↓‘s.
@Frankensteinbeck: I could see the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps taking a shot at trump as revenge for the killing of their commander General Soleimani. Maybe a bomb planted at one of his golf courses while he is away. Soleimani was a revered figure, and the IRGC can be patient, and wait a couple years.
Relatedly, because it all relates to the God Emperor Donnie…
You know, I didn’t ever hear about the rapture until I was in college. It always sounded fishy to me (and I don’t mean like the “Jesus fish”). At one point, I actually imagined a scene, where suddenly, all the people who only cared about getting people to mouth empty words, and believe in empty gestures, and who *generally* leaded okay lives, might be swept away, and the message would come down “Okay, you people who actually care about your world and its people? I’ve just cleared out some of the most useless, lazy folks you can imagine, so they won’t interfere during the times of trouble coming. This isn’t going to be easy, and it sure won’t be fun, but you’ve lived your lives trying to be strong, and care about one another, so I know that, this this added advantage, you can do it.”
And I’ll be honest, I can’t blame any rapture believer for being insulted by that. But I’d hope the ones who have a deep down understanding of Christianity would at least see the criticism implied as not-unreasonable.
Admittedly, “a deep down understanding of Christianity” is my way of saying “one that agrees with me on at least some of the really important points of Christianity”. Thing is, I think the important parts of Christianity are boiled down to the two great commandments. Love God – not because God’s God, but because God is good, and loving, and wise, and wants what’s best. So, “Love the goodness, so much that you’d sacrifice for it.” And then, love one another as you love yourselves. If your friend, neighbor, or a total stranger is hungry, be willing to help get them fed, as much as you would if you, yourself were hungry. Such people, if given a “get out of tribulation, free!” card would feel at least a bit of a pull back to earth, and ask “if I stay, can I do some good? I mean, I sure hope this isn’t like the deal you offered your own son, ‘suffer horribly and die, and just trust me, it’ll work out’, but (gulp) if that’s what will help, I guess I’ll try to do it.”
I also feel that if that’s *not* at the core of Christianity, it’s all a lot of poppycock. I’ve met too many fundamentalists and evangelicals who think that mouthing the magic words about accepting Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins means you’re good as gold, and ready to go into heaven, no matter how sinful your life. And dear lord, is that meaningless.
@Michael: Since you seem to post comments like this every month:
I feel that I should let you know that there is no intention of moving to threaded comments.
Could the attack have been carried out by the MEK? Weapons and intelligence supplied by US or Israel? I see I was late with that thought.
@WaterGirl: Considering the back button’s somewhat unpredictable behavior, I can see some folk warming to threaded comments.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: The back arrow works a lot of the time now, but I haven’t quite figured out why it works sometimes and doesn’t work other times.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Come over to the Dark Side. It’s fine here…
@WaterGirl: Scottie – “Aye, Capn. The Transporter works great most of the time, but …”
[eta:] To be clear, I’m not criticizing your efforts. It’s just very frustrating that W3C web standards are broken so cavalierly
brokenby FYWP and the plugins.
Aren’t you supposed to promise cookies?
@Another Scott: After I wrote that comment I was thinking about how the back arrow worked nearly all the time in the period when we had:
– turned off the Search plugin, waiting for the new code
– turned off the Twitter feed plugin, while i was waiting for their fix
– turned off the ads for the 3 days around the election
Then the ads came back, but it still seemed to work, nearly all the time.
Then the Search plugin was updated, and the back arrow still seemed to work, nearly all the time.
The past few days, the back arrow is shit again, and right after I wrote my comment it occurred to me that I HAVE turned the Twitter feed plugin back on, since then. I don’t see how or why, but maybe that could be affecting the back arrow.
I’ll figure out a time to check that out.
@LivingInExile: The MEK are highly motivated and have members willing to risk their lives in the struggle against the current Iranian regime, so they would be natural partners for the Israelis, who would be very reluctant to put their own citizens at risk in Iran. The Israelis don’t need American assistance or approval, at least in this area, so I doubt if there was any coordination with us. But I imagine Israel will try to get pending actions like this out of the way before Biden takes office, if only to start off the new relationship with as little stress as possible.
And Israel will probably be in an election campaign by then, its fourth in 14 months. Its fractious coalition government could break up as early as next Wednesday, according to reporting in The Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel.
@WaterGirl: Thank you for your efforts! They’re greatly appreciated.
(If it can’t easily be fixed, maybe we’ll eventually get in the habit of clicking the date/time of the comment we want to come back to before clicking the back button – that seems to help.)
@Another Scott: I just glance at the comment number and then use Ctrl-F type in the comment. It takes half a second.
But if you’re not on a computer, that doesn’t work. (Unless there is an equivalent of Ctrl-F for a phone or a tablet?) That’s what makes it maddening, I’m sure, on phones and tablets.
Thank you, WG. To me, the commenting system here is one of its many charms. I can’t tell you how many blogs and other sites I’ve abandoned over the years because they decided to “improve” things with upvotes and nested comments.
I talked to a Catholic priest about that whole rapture jazz. He said it ain’t necessarily so. My personal end-of-times myth is this: Jesus returns in glory, lovebombs all the people, who drop what they’re doing and run to him. They recognize the error of their ways, repent and get a free pass.
Kingdom of Heaven, eternal peace etc etc. But I’m having trouble getting the Old Testament Christians® to buy in. Not enough suffering & death?
There go two miscreants
I find that the back button works reliably unless I have posted a comment. Then it is more likely to take me to my own comment (although I think even that is not entirely consistent). A minor inconvenience at worst.
@SiubhanDuinne: I down vote up and down votes. Seems silly.
J R in WV
I think we do have a huge base in Qatar, which made the “war” between Qatar and the Kingdom of Saud especially stupid on the part of Mohammad Bone Saw. No one will mess with the Buffs there.
I agree that carrying weapons into the MidEast would be more likely with cargo aircraft… heck, even a C-130 could deliver more than a Buff. So V likely this was a show of force — look, we could be bombing away in no time, with no prep other than the loading up of the weaponry being deployed. How big a boom did you want, sir?
@Dopey-o: Some people trace the modern End Times craze to Hal Lindsay’s 70’s best seller The Late Great Planet Earth. Last year Morning Joe had on a Baptist minister, who mentioned that he actually had been a colleague of a co-author of the Left Behind series. The minister did not exactly say that the End Times idea was bullshit, but he did say that he was convinced it was not Scriptural.
J R in WV
A: If you think the comment system sucks, I suggest you quit using it.
B: The sucky comment system has a great feature not readily available elsewhere — it’s called the pie filter, where anyone can relegate a commenter to the Pie Safe, from where no comments are obviously available. IN other words, good bye Michael~!~
J R in WV
The B-52s are indeed old, old.
But they aren’t the only bombers in the fleet, and the cruise missiles and other similar weapons systems are also pretty scary.
Both the B-1 (supersonic) and the B-2 (stealth) are operational and newer than the B-52.
@Michael: The only comments I see from you are gripes about the comment system. (Maybe I miss your more substantive contributions). But why don’t you just use it? You probably have something worth saying. Commenting might not be as tough as you make it out to be.
Michael’s not the only one who feels this way, though. Just sayin’.
Likewise. If a comment section goes threaded, it’s quickly dead to me unless very sparse, and then why bother with threads? Up/downvotes are almost as bad. (E.g. such comment sections often taken over by trolls and comment section popularity gamers).
J R in WV
You almost never comment. Who cares? Just saying.
Maybe this is a completely naive comment, but Iran is a country with a proud history of scholarship and study, and the nuclear scientists in Iran are SCIENTISTS – many will have political motivations and aspirations, just like scientists in the US, UK, France, etc. – but others, even under enormous pressure, will continue to be scientists, and may well be countering a push towards nuclearisation in an effort to keep the JCPOA going, because they see it as a way to keep their country – and the rest of the ME – relatively safe. I’m so tired of the meme that everyone in Iran is a fanatic – there are plenty of ‘sensible’ people in Iran, just like there are in nearly every country in the world. But the fanatics get the attention, cause it keeps the media horse race going. I have hope – slim, but hope.
@Tehanu: It’s not possible to please everyone. And this is one thing that isn’t going to change.
@greenergood: your comment doesn’t sound naive to me, for what that’s worth.