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​Tillerson vs. Haley on Iran May Be About The Money

​What will President Trump do about the Iran Deal? And what does that say about the apparent battle between Nikki Haley, UN Ambassador and rising star, and Secretary of State Tillerson - a low key middle-of-the-road diplomat with no diplomatic experience but a focus on streamlining the department?

It seems the novice - if you will, and that may not be a good description of someone who has dealt with leaders from around the world as former Exxon head - is more than willing to listen to the conventional wisdom on the Iran Deal and wants to keep it in place. The question is why?

What reasoning has Secretary Tillerson bought into? What does that reasoning provide? Perhaps some sort of justification for the Obama administration's deal, one that Iran most likely is already circumventing, with help from the crazed North Korean regime. What do the foreign policy wonks in D.C. and in Europe whisper in Rex's ear?

Things could be worse Mr. Secretary!

Or perhaps they say: this was the best we could do.

Remember this is the deal that put Ben Rhodes' echo-chamber talents to their biggest test as the scheming former deputy NSA did a masterful job at bringing the media aboard on the Iran Deal. You do those sorts of things when you know it's a bad deal. And now Rex Tillerson has joined the same side of the debate on how bad or supposedly good a deal it is. Because there is no question that this was a good deal. Even Obama, if he were honest about it, would admit it is not a good deal. The question is was it a necessary deal? Would Iran have been measurably closer than it already is to having a nuclear weapon with the right missile technology to hurl a nuclear payload at Israel and elsewhere around the Middle East?

There is a rather disturbing answer to these questions, especially if you are a diplomat or State Department analyst or official. Any deal with Iran - whether a tougher new one or Obama's Iran Deal - will never work with an autocratic hard-line Shiite regime. You can't deal with Iran, because their goals are to dominate the Middle East with violence, or the imminent threat of it, and to destroy Israel. You can only delay the inevitable if diplomacy is your only available course of action.

So sanctions and yes, some form of military option are needed. Remember Israel and Saddam's nuclear facilities back in the early 80's ? An Israeli operation took that facility out with a well-executed bombing raid. Done. Solved. That's one solution: give Israel free reign to defend their state. And yes, it would cause far more reactions nowadays than the earlier raid did, but it certainly is a far better outcome than a nuclear warhead heading to Tel Aviv.

But there's another possible reason for Tillerson's buying into the Iran Deal. The EU is holding a gathering in a few weeks with Iran over opening commercial ties. Wow. If we could just get their oil flowing at capacity again and with West Texas Intermediate easing up over $50 and beyond, think of the Audi's and the industrial machinery and all the goodies we (especially Germany) could sell to them! And imagine if Exxon could participate in that trade. Nice, huh?

It would be Mr. Secretary. If Iran wasn't a destabilizing regime spreading terror around the Middle East and further. But it very much is a rogue regime with a fanatical ideology governing its foreign policy. And it's getting closer to having a nuclear payload. Just like the DPRK. You wouldn't do business with North Korea. Would you Mr. Secretary?

Posted by AllardK at September 22, 2017 3:13 PM
Comments
Comment #420018

I enjoyed and appreciated the read Allard.

Political leaders cutting deals with tyrants that do not benefit the United States are difficult to understand unless one realizes that some leaders are totally devoid of morality.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 22, 2017 4:54 PM
Comment #420040

Does Trump really believe he can out bluff the North Koreans? Kim is well aware that he is holding much stronger cards than the US as long as his military situation remains purely defensive.

Royal Flush, when you have nothing more than a pair of aces, how often do you out bluff someone holding a full house? There is a time and a place for a bluffing strategy, but Iran and North Korea aren’t one of them.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 24, 2017 9:05 AM
Comment #420044

Tillerson is just the front man. Jared is the real SoS. “Streamlining” just means that they haven’t found enough crooks, cronies and creeps to staff the place, or they’ve found that the value of offices for people willing to purchase them has gone down because of lack of confidence that the dotard in chief will be there for the duration of his term.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 24, 2017 10:27 AM
Comment #420047

Pure Blather, ohrealy. Can you support anything you just said with some fact?

Warren Porter, if Trump is bluffing why did China close all it’s banks to N. Korea?

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 24, 2017 12:52 PM
Comment #420056

There is a time and a place for a bluffing strategy, but Iran and North Korea aren’t one of them.
Posted by: Warren Porter at September 24, 2017 9:05 AM

Silly conclusion from a flawed understanding of the world’s bad guys.

Trump is not bluffing. Obama’s strategy was capitulation. We all understand that Liberals want peace at any price. They rehearse their surrender speeches and kneeling before tyrants. Ring and butt kissing is optional.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 24, 2017 3:46 PM
Comment #420063

Royal,

Kim Jong-un has repeatedly called Trump on his bluffs.

When you strip away all the Trump rhetoric, he is simply following the policies of his predecessors which amounts to increasing sanctions and employing cyber warfare.

Posted by: Rich at September 24, 2017 7:11 PM
Comment #420094
Trump is not bluffing.

So, Trump is willing to initiate a war with North Korea even if they refrain from directly attacking the territory of the US or its allies?

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 25, 2017 3:26 PM
Comment #420097

Warren writes; “There is a time and a place for a bluffing strategy…”

When would that be appropriate Warren and give us actual examples.

I don’t know from where you got the idea that “Trump is willing to initiate a war with North Korea…”

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 25, 2017 3:41 PM
Comment #420130
When would that be appropriate Warren and give us actual examples.

Answer my question and then I will answer yours.

I don’t know from where you got the idea that “Trump is willing to initiate a war with North Korea…”

There are only four possible strategies:

1) Initiate unprovoked war
2) Bluff to make it seem one is prepared to invoke option 1 when the truth is that one is unwilling to start a war
3) Strategic Patience
4) Capitulation (reunify Korea under the Kim regime)

No one is even considering option 4 even though you like to libelously confuse it with option 3.

You say Trump isn’t pursuing option 3, which leaves us with options 1 & 2. Either Trump is bluffing or he is ready to initiate war. You say he isn’t bluffing, so that means he is willing to initiate war.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 26, 2017 9:01 AM
Comment #420135

Where’s the option of “starve the beast” and “propaganda”?

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 26, 2017 10:24 AM
Comment #420138

“Starve the beast” is option 3.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 26, 2017 11:19 AM
Comment #420143

Warped, option 3 is in effect. Waiting pat9for Kim to take the first shot.

Posted by: Richard Kapitan at September 26, 2017 1:55 PM
Comment #420144

That’s patiently not pat9

Posted by: Richard Kapitan at September 26, 2017 1:57 PM
Comment #420148

Option 3 is also Obama’s old strategy. It is good to see Trump learning a thing or two from his betters.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 26, 2017 3:01 PM
Comment #420150

Warped, Betters??? Like Obama’s red line in the sand? But IMO if Kim crosses the red line Trump will rain down hell fire unlike Obama.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at September 26, 2017 3:31 PM
Comment #420151

Either Trump is bluffing or he is ready to initiate war. You say he isn’t bluffing, so that means he is willing to initiate war.
Posted by: Warren Porter at September 26, 2017 9:01 AM

Either Warren is correct or wrong. I say wrong, so that means…he is wrong.

There is a distinct possibility that the Korean tyrant will capitulate yielding to all the pressure being mounted by President Trump. Something will have to be given Kim so he can save face. Trump will demand results before the carrot unlike his predecessors.

Warren is soooo “old school” and biased using words like “his betters”.

In fact, that sounds like elitist racism to me.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 26, 2017 4:17 PM
Comment #420165

There is zero evidence to suggest Obama would not have joined South Korea in retaliating to an attack from the North.

If Trump has taken a preemptive war against North Korea and he isn’t bluffing, what sort of pressure is he going to bring upon Kim that hasn’t been tried before?

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 26, 2017 8:21 PM
Comment #420177

*taken a preemptive war against North Korea off the table

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 27, 2017 6:26 AM
Comment #420180

Warren wants to know what the North Koreans want to know. Obama would have told them his next moves.

Thank God we have a CIC that doesn’t tell his adversaries what he will do.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 27, 2017 2:00 PM
Comment #420183

Kim already knows Trump’s next move: continue Obama’s strategy of strategic patience. It’s the only opton as long as war and bluffing are off the table.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 27, 2017 2:47 PM
Comment #420184

As usual our Pal Warren is thinking only “inside” the box. If the smartest man in the world couldn’t think of anything but “strategic patience” no one could.

I see that Obama’s Iran strategy of capitulation is working well. I expect that any day they will explode their first nuclear device. Expect Trump to be blamed.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 27, 2017 2:54 PM
Comment #420185

We keep beating around the bush and getting nowhere. Royal Flush claims that Trump’s strategy is neither:
A) Initiate War
B) Strategic Patience
C) Capitulation (reunify Korea under Kim’s despotism)
D) Bluff

What else is there to do? And please don’t tell me the emperor’s clothes are a secret when he is naked for all to see.

My personal reading remains as before: Trump is trying to bluff but this is neither the time nor place for that move and he is a terrible bluffer. Thus, he moves to strategic patience because he is too much of a coward to initiate a war and capitulation is too unthinkable to merit mention.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 27, 2017 4:01 PM
Comment #420186

A little analysis by Warren might lead to different conclusions.

Strategic Patience and Bluffing are identical in results as we have seen over the past few decades. A stronger and more threatening North Korea.

War and capitulation are not acceptable.

I can think of at least three more actions that could resolve this situation. I am quite certain that the president and our military/diplomatic leaders can add to my number.

Warren has a real disadvantage in global strategic thinking. He was trained and educated as a Liberal/Socialist. He is afraid of confrontation with adversaries when harm is attached. He was educated to believe that using greater power is an unfair advantage. He believes there are limits to what we should do in protecting our people and nation.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 27, 2017 4:20 PM
Comment #420206
Warren has a real disadvantage in global strategic thinking. He was trained and educated as a Liberal/Socialist. He is afraid of confrontation with adversaries when harm is attached. He was educated to believe that using greater power is an unfair advantage. He believes there are limits to what we should do in protecting our people and nation.

What horseshit. If Donald Trump said he wanted to initiate war with North Korea then he would have much more of my respect. If Donald Trump asked me to serve as a military conscript in such a war, I’d do the job. I’m not afraid of anything, which gives me a real advantage here. Unlike you and your parochial concern with saving face at the expense of American interests.

I can think of at least three more actions that could resolve this situation.

Evidently, Royal Flush thinks he can bluff his way through this debate. He claims he has a high scoring hand, yet refuses to show the cards now that betting is over. In that case, I refuse to contribute to this pot anymore. Have a good day.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 28, 2017 8:19 AM
Comment #420220

AW…poor baby got his feelings hurt and left the field of play.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 28, 2017 4:25 PM
Comment #420223

You misread my comment by ignoring the conditional clause at the start. I am here and ready to discuss your ideas. What I won’t do is talk about hypothetical ideas that you may or may not have and refuse to disclose.

The time for betting is over. I’ve called your bluff and it is time to reveal your cards rather than merely brag about the awesomeness of your secret hand.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 28, 2017 6:02 PM
Comment #420225

Warren must understand that he is not allowed any weaseling or backtracking or parsing should I reveal my ideas for plans to defuse the dangerous situation with North Korea without declaring war or capitulation.

Keep in mind Warren, there is no official peace treaty between North Korea and the United States. The 1950-53 conflict was conducted under the aegis of the United Nations and was dubbed a “police action” by President Harry Truman. Congress never actually declared war, nor did it authorize a military engagement.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 28, 2017 6:21 PM
Comment #420227
Warren must understand that he is not allowed any weaseling or backtracking or parsing

I see what you are up to. You want to play word games and hold me to something more confined than what I actually meant. It’s a classic variation of the straw man fallacy. I am not going to permit you to narrowly define what I have written. Because I am not a lawyer, I try to keep my comments as brief as I can, so I routinely use words broadly and generally rather than scrutinize details if I deem such precision unwarranted.

But given your posture, it seems I must attempt to clarify. However, these clarifications are by no means comprehensive and I may need to clarify further if necessary. I will promise that all refinements will be reasonable and within the commonly accepted definitions of English words.

I used the word “war” to describe more things than a formal invasion of North Korea. All manners of limited warfare, including (but not limited to) surgical strikes, violations of North Korean territory/air space, harassment of North Korean military assets, destruction of North Korean materiel or any infliction of North Korean casualties, fall under the umbrella of the war option I outlined above.

Likewise, any sort of economic sanction or embargo that fails to eliminate both Russo-Korean and Sino-Korean trade falls under the strategy of “strategic patience”. As long as North Korea continues to trade with Russia & China there is no way to pressure them economically to capitulate.

Furthermore, any escalation of rhetoric that promises hostile action in the future without actually engaging in said hostile actions counts as a bluff. This also counts bluffing China or Russia in order to obtain their cooperation in an economic blockade of North Korea.

Lastly, any sort of capitulation to Russia or China in order to gain their support for an economic blockade of North Korea must fall under my aforementioned “capitulation” option. This includes: 1) Any agreement that recognizes Russian sovereignty over the Crimea or the autonomy of Donbas from Ukraine 2) Any agreement that limits NATO expansion in Eastern Europe or weakens NATO’s protection of the Baltic States 3) Any agreement that recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the Spratly Islands or any other similarly disputed territory 4) Any agreement that weakens America’s commitment to allies in East Asia (Taiwan, Japan & South Korea) or American influence in Southeast Asia.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 28, 2017 7:21 PM
Comment #420229

LOL…atta boy Warren. I have you thinking outside the box. You’re welcome. More tomorrow.

I am betting the Packers beat up the Bears tonite.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 28, 2017 7:33 PM
Comment #420236

I’m thinking in the same space I always have. If you didn’t think my invocation of the word “war” included limited warfare then you are the one who is unimaginative.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 29, 2017 8:21 AM
Comment #420246

WP, “thinking” is the operative word there.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 29, 2017 1:13 PM
Comment #420254

Warren is under the mistaken impression that people who have not had their heads filled with mush by Liberal professors will swallow his purely arbitrary definitions to make their argument.

Our Pal has obviously never participated in an open, fair, and public debate in which he does not get to define words and meanings.

Using Warren’s definition of the word “capitulation”, the United States capitulated to Iran with the latest concessions engineered by Obama/Kerry.

No one would play poker with a player that insisted on the right to change the rules during the game.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 29, 2017 3:28 PM
Comment #420263

Royal Flush, project much? If you have trouble understanding what my words mean, I suggest you consult a dictionary.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 29, 2017 7:16 PM
Comment #420265

I understand the meaning of words just fine Warren. It’s obvious you fear open debate with me if I am not forced to wear your straight-jacket rules and definitions.

I suspect that Warren was scolded as a child if he colored outside the lines.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 29, 2017 7:47 PM
Comment #420279

No, I am not willing to accept your arbitrary definitions that massacre every dictionary known to man. I try my best to use words the way they ought to be used. Perhaps, I occasionally make a mistake and misuse a word. If you ever feel that is the case, call me out on that specific instance and I will issue a correction. But I assure you, it is never my intention to trick or fool by gaming the meanings of words. If you want a fuller discussion of the philosophy of language, I suggest you read some Wittgenstein.

I approach every debate with you honestly and openly. Usually, I try to construct my arguments using Aristotelian logic as it was taught to me in school. Occasionally, I mimic the sophistry that I see in conservatives’ arguments to expose their absurdity.

Let me guess where we are headed. You are going to argue that war is not war, that bluffing is not bluffing, and that waiting is not strategic patience. Sorry, Royal Flush but I have no time for your word games. Up is not down. Left is not right. And Black is not White. I know these are radical statements for a conservative, but they are truisms that define most of our world.

I suspect that Warren was scolded as a child if he colored outside the lines.

The conservative mind must be a sad one if it dreams up this sort of drivel. Again, I suspect an element of psychological projection is at play. Regardless, it’s a desperate attempt to avoid showing your cards because you cannot admit to disingenuity in earlier comments. Tell me again, what is the strategy you mentioned before that isn’t one of these (or some combination thereof):

A) War
B) Bluff
C) Strategic Patience
D) Capitulation

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 30, 2017 6:55 AM
Comment #420290

Warren wrote; “…any sort of capitulation to Russia or China in order to gain their support for an economic blockade of North Korea must fall under my aforementioned “capitulation” option.”

Dictionaries define the most common usage of “capitulation” as:
a :the act of surrendering or yielding ·the capitulation of the defenders of the besieged town


b :the terms of surrender

Warren choose this word to use in defining any cooperation with another state that results in termination of the North Korean threat. Despite his bastardization of the word, he attempts to charge me with “arbitrary definitions”.

It is useless to attempt debate with a shadow.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 30, 2017 2:56 PM
Comment #420304

You don’t think it would capitulation to surrender the Spratly islands to China or the Donbas to Russia?

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 30, 2017 6:47 PM
Comment #420307

Warren, your thinking is still stuck in a box of your own making.

Perhaps we can offer China something, besides territory, of sufficient value to cause them to alter the situation in North Korea acceptable to us and the United Nations. There are many other options that don’t involve war.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 30, 2017 7:44 PM
Comment #420314

Look, if you or Donald Trump has an idea of a deal that can be made with China that gets them to cut off Kim’s gravy train without disrupting American interests elsewhere, then I am all ears. I just don’t think it is possible.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 1, 2017 9:31 AM
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