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The Ineptitude of Iran Hawks

The New York Times reports [1] on the latest developments in the Hariri story:

Mr. Hariri did not offer clear answers on why he had announced his resignation from Saudi Arabia rather than Lebanon. He also did not provide any new details on what he had described eight days earlier as a plot against his life. He looked pale and tired, with dark circles under his eyes, which often darted to the side, as if looking at someone else in the room.

Those concerned that he may have been pressured or even detained by Saudi Arabia — including Lebanese officials, Western diplomats and some of Mr. Hariri’s political allies — were unlikely to be convinced by anything short of his return to Lebanon.

As Thanassis Cambanis points out in a useful article [2] today, if Hariri had truly been free all along he would have already returned to Lebanon. If the Saudis didn’t want everyone to think that he was their prisoner, they couldn’t have done a worse job. At best, the Saudis have shown their would-be allies how treacherous and unreliable they can be, and that will make it harder for them to regain the influence they so thoughtlessly squandered over the last week.

Cambanis concludes:

Saudi Arabia’s plan to use him to strike against Iran will fail. Just look at how willfully it has misused and now destroyed its billion-dollar Lebanese asset. It’s a poor preview of things to come in the Saudi campaign against Iran.

As I mentioned last week, the Saudis have unwittingly boosted Iranian influence or played into their hands at their own expense in every attempt to hurt Iran they have made. Just as our own Iran hawks have backed the policies that have done the most to increase Iranian influence in the region, Iran hawks in Riyadh have the same ability to blunder into helping their regional rival despite their worst intentions. Iran hawks are usually too inept to do much harm to their adversary, but they do manage to do a lot of harm to other countries along their misguided way.

9 Comments (Open | Close)

9 Comments To "The Ineptitude of Iran Hawks"

#1 Comment By Cui Bono On November 13, 2017 @ 9:32 am

“Iran hawks are usually too inept to do much harm to their adversary, but they do manage to do a lot of harm to other countries along their misguided way.”

Not least among the countries they’re harming is America.

The American politicians who take money from Israel and Saudi Arabia and then try to get us into a war with Iran have done terrible damage to the country. They are almost without exception the same people who have pushed us into all these pointless wars in the Middle East.

Trillions of dollars gone. Thousands of Americans dead and tens of thousands of Americans wounded, smashed up. Hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern civilians dead and millions of them fleeing across land and sea into Europe, where they have destabilized allied countries.

There are young Americans who have never known an America that wasn’t “at war” against a shadowy and apparently endless “terror threat”, that wasn’t protracting that threat by throwing trillions of dollars down Middle East rat holes to keep parasites like Israel and Saudi Arabia happy.

#2 Comment By Jay C On November 13, 2017 @ 11:45 am

I have seen a lot of press online today about that Hariri video message: it is universally described as “a hostage video” – an assessment with which I agree. One would think the Saudis would at least try to make this stuff credible: either they are incredibly inept or (more likely) simply don’t care.

#3 Comment By GregR On November 13, 2017 @ 12:00 pm

I really think MBS is just a young idiot completely out of his depth. He doesn’t have the patience or experience to appreciate that the stage he is playing on doesn’t make room for youthful inexperience. Combine a bit of hubris, being worth billions, and a rock solid sense of entitlement, and I really think he just assumed all his plans would come of cleanly. Sadly he never thought past the first move, and when that didn’t work he just keeps crashing around looking for a solution.

The only real end to this I see is him being deposed or killed.

#4 Comment By Alex (the one that likes Ike) On November 13, 2017 @ 12:27 pm

Jay C,

either they are incredibly inept or (more likely) simply don’t care.

Both.

***

GregR,

The only real end to this I see is him being deposed or killed.

Or his country being disintegrated. And that boyo seems increasingly more instrumental in making that result come true.

#5 Comment By jk On November 13, 2017 @ 12:37 pm

My favorite neocon leap of logic of day is how Saudi Arabia kidnapped Lebanon’s Prime Minister to prove to the world that Iran interferes in Lebanese politics!

#6 Comment By Stop Counting? On November 13, 2017 @ 3:46 pm

@cui bono “Trillions of dollars gone”

An article that TAC links today puts it at 5.6 trillion.

That’s about a third of the entire federal deficit. It’s incredible. How in God’s name do they expect to keep it up?

#7 Comment By Lawdy Me On November 13, 2017 @ 8:45 pm

“My favorite neocon leap of logic of day is how Saudi Arabia kidnapped Lebanon’s Prime Minister to prove to the world that Iran interferes in Lebanese politics!”

Yesterday it was “MBS is trying so hard to be moderate that he had to arrest and/or kill most of his cousins.”

#8 Comment By Sid Finster On November 14, 2017 @ 11:36 am

Have you learned nothing from Iraq?

The Iran hawks want their war, and one way or the other, they will get it, even if their excuse is so clumsy as to be laughable.

#9 Comment By Jon Cloke On November 14, 2017 @ 12:59 pm

As with Iraq, though, the people who do the damage and profit from it aren’t the people who will pay the price. Talking about some mythical ‘US’ or ‘American interests’ assumes we’re all singing from the same hymn-sheet, which is rubbish.

If you’re anyone from Raytheon to KBR, selling weapons to Saudi autocrats or bombing the crap out of Syria to no ends makes a ton of money – why would you want it to stop?

It’s not your life that will be destroyed, not your kids spread all over the landscape – war means US tax dollars in your bank account!