Embassies, Attacks, and Iran

Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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8 Responses

  1. Jaybird

    Is an annex home country soil in the same way that an embassy is?

    Because my issue with the bombing of the Iranian embassy was that it’s a direct attack (without proxies!) on Iranian soil.

    If an annex doesn’t count as Iranian soil… well, it’s an attack on an Iranian proxy.

    And these things happen.Report

  2. Mike Guastella

    When Trump took out Iran’s general what was your response to that. Just curious. Where you fine with that, or did you think it was going to start ww3? This is Mike G aka section8 from Right Thinking. Anyhow, be honest.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Mike Guastella

      It was never going to start ww3. At worst they attack one of our war ships (or whatever) and we shut down their only oil port.

      Iran doesn’t have proxies that can attack us directly. We are too far away for them to do so themselves. We can trivially cripple their economy if we’re willing to live without their oil on the global market.

      The USA is basically energy independent so taking their oil off the market doesn’t mess us up, just our allies.

      Trump had the much deserved rep for being erratic and irrational. He also wasn’t on good terms with our allies. So he might actually go there.

      My expectation was Iran wouldn’t escalate.Report

      • Mike G in reply to Dark Matter

        Fair enough. Trump is unhinged, but fact is his replacement isn’t any better. In fact, we weren’t funding two big wars back then which may very well spread out of control. As far as our allies, I didn’t see an issue questioning the motivations and commitment of many of them particularly in Europe.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Mike G

          Israel isn’t a big war and we were about to have peace in the middle East with everyone lined up against Iran, which is the big reason Iran set this up.

          Russia invading Ukraine had much to do with Russia and little to do with us. We have about 6 seriously isolationist GOP congress people… which might be another way to say “Russian agent”.

          IMHO Biden has done very well on both of those; He would have done much better if Trump weren’t trying to prevent anything from going through Congress including fixing the Southern boarder crisis.Report

          • Mike G in reply to Dark Matter

            I remember you complaining on the old blog years ago that 40 billion was a waste for a border wall, but we’ll throw buckets of money to wars we don’t need to be involved in to secure their sovereignty. Not to mention open us up to terror attacks down the road, which I’m sure you’ll be the first to lecture White Americans first and suggest calm and reason (unless it’s Russian terrorism, then it’s white vs white and your organizational chart is OK with that). Instead of leveling Gaza, maybe convince the ADL, and yourself to lobby for a one state solution with open borders and democracy for all, instead of being blatant hypocrites. Don’t get me wrong, the second choice is easier. We’re all guilty on some level, but some of you have really taken it up a notch.Report

  3. DavidTC

    Wait, is the argument that embassies are somehow holy ground? Cause I’m pretty sure that’s _not_ the argument. They shouldn’t be attacked because civilians are there, yes, that’s a war crime. But apparently under new Israel rules, that’s now fine as long as there are military people there also. War crimes don’t really exist anymore.

    The actual argument is: Embassies are the territory of the county that they are embassies are, and attacking them is like attacking that country, thus declaring war on them. And thus Iran is being a hypocrite there, as it has attacked embassies and no one has declared war in response.

    The problem is…those examples don’t prove that. Three of these are not actually relevant. One because it wasn’t Iran:

    The 2019 attack in Iraq was…an angry mob that Iraqi defense forces failed to stop. That isn’t ‘Iran causing a military attack’, that was a political protest for a movement you can certainly blame Iran for starting, but that isn’t anywhere near the same thing as a military attack. (And this is where we really get into some actual hypocrisy, because it’s a bit surreal to blame Iran for starting a political movement in Iraq…who _exactly_ overthrew the government and set up a new one in Iraq, again? Who actively worked with political parties there? Please describe anything we did in Iraq that could not be described as trying to make it a US puppet state? Why does Iran not start a political movement?)

    And the other two because they were done by the opposite side in an already existing war, which makes them war crimes (Except killing civilians is no longer a war crime as long as some military people die at the time, so nevermind.) but not particular relevant as to whether or not attacking an embassy should_start_ a war…a state of war already existed:

    The Israeli embassy bombing in Buenos Aires was by entities already at war with Israel.

    Same for the 1983 Beirut attack: The US was already directly in the middle of the Lebanese Civil War. The embassy got bombed by the other side, in a war.

    There’s really only two examples here that would be relevant to starting a war:

    The 1979 hostages, where a bunch of students took hostages. (Without the Iran government knowing, but the Iranian government did stop any rescue of them by the US, so still at fault.) Should the US have declared war on Iran?

    Well, here’s the thing: The US did. Or, rather, it did things that would obviously have been a declaration of war if Iran had known, and if they had gone through with them. It flew military aircraft into Iran, landed them in Iran, as part of a rescue attempt. That is a casus belli of war, by itself. This rescue mission failed and was withdrawn before it was noticed, because of massive US incompetence in operating aircraft in a desert with sandstorms. It planned even more, but those failed before they got off the ground.

    Would have Iran have responded if they had known? Or if the mission had gone off? We don’t know, but ‘The US did not have a useful plan to rescue the hostages thus starting a war’ is not the same as ‘The US just ignored an embassy attack, and thus Iran should also’. Now, admittedly, ‘We are willing to start a war to rescue Americans’ is not exactly the same thing as ‘We are willing to start a war to avenge dead Americans’, but it doesn’t _disprove_ that theory.

    These leaves…the rocket attack in 1998 by Hezbollah, which…no one really care about. No one died.

    So…there’s not really a good example of Iran attacking an embassy, causing death, and no one responding with war.Report

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