1 Episode results for "Pitcher Davis Hanson"
Iran: Contours of Conflict
"Hello in welcome to the classes. podcast from the Hoover Institution I host choice cynic classes Victor Davis Hanson Martin. In Ely Anderson a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and Victor. This is the first show that you and I have been able to do since the events between the US and Iran and rather than just picking up from where we are today I'd like to start by having you break down the component parts of what got us here at let me start with the event that immediately preceded the strike that killed so the money this was the attack and if you call it botched but it was mostly warded off off that was attempted on the American embassy in Baghdad with the Iranians largely driving. So what do you take as the Iranian calculation there. They've been provocative for a while now with us with the Saudis. What's your read on why they were willing to go in on an attack on American interests like this knowing the the kind of response it might engender well two two observations an answer one? I'm not sure they. They knew exactly what trump was going to do. Because remember they had shot down a multi-million dollar drone and we didn't do anything and trumpet had displayed magnaminity and they took that as weakness and Rather than gratitude to be reciprocated and then the second pre a precursor to this is they are MINUS TWELVE GDP and it's not a static situation so in their view. They have to do something and they have a range of options they can and they can do a big something in tax here in the US with terrorist. I suppose or in Europe or they can do this tit for tat in Middle East Against Middle East bases but are they can Hasten their enrichment program or they can go back to the table and they decided added that all of those are are not possible. So they're they've chosen the safest and that is to kind of get us into a tit for tat Afghan on war of no fly zone in the to the nineties type of harassing eating cycle. And so when they did this I don't think they thought trump was is really serious and they have reason to believe that he wouldn't be because Obama had the red lines and then he had been forgiving about the drone attack and then when he did that I think they were shocked. Because Sulamainiya thought he was sacrosanct. And now they. They're looking at all of the alternatives and trump to be. Frank has all the cards because he can do nothing and each day their economy worsens and now Europeans are talking about joining with the sanctions. And so I expect they're going to have to do use something and from what we know that regime it won't be It won't be honest. It'll be disingenuous. It'll be Subversive they will try to do something to break the stranglehold on their economy. Let's talk about the actual strike. That killed Sulejmani. I confessed fest that you were the first person that I thought of when I heard the news because just a few weeks prior you and I had a conversation on this podcast. One predicted that Iran John was going to lash out at the anti-bid and to that president trump would react with disproportionate force. This the classic Jacksonian formulation formulation. I'll leave you alone but the second you start trying to play in my yard I'm GonNa Bring the hammer down and victor there was. I think it's fair to say some breathlessness about this decision especially in the way it was covered by the press. People saying the president's going to get us into world war three he's going to destabilize the region you heard the news that so many had been and killed and your first reaction was what why wrote an article. I think almost immediately saying that we had all the cards to place I said and that Tom Wants that. We had done that. The world now would look at Iran's see what they were going to do because of their Braggadocio and the Hezbollah and death to America and I said trump obviously has a list of targets that he can attack and take out without loss to ourselves and he can sit back and just go down the list and each one more billion dollar caller targets and they will do some iconic we spots but not any any that involve material damage. Diseases go down. His is target list and they know that and they're frustrated. They lost face among their supporters Moderate Iranians are happy over the assassination targeted. Killing feeling. Arabs are happy Israelis are happy. Europeans are happy. The only people who seem to be upset or the the left in the United States and the left in Europe perhaps because since since the Obama administration as you remember the Green Revolution Two thousand nine whenever there's a popular era uprising against the regime. They worry because they have this very distorted view of a revolutionary regime. That they can do business us with. They can have a landmark agreement with and it never quite works with them end so Obama did not want to support mass uprising because he thought the regime would survive and then they would not cut in Iran. Deal with him in the left I guess is still delusional thinks if that regime survives and they can go back and do around deal two point zero so the reprisal from the Iranians after this Sulejmani killing is them firing from Romanian territory missiles at American installations in Iraq. There are no casualties and in fact a lot of observers interpreted this is more of a face-saving exercise than anything you say and the president comes out the next day and says the Iranians are standing down the ideas. We've kind of recent equilibrium here. How steady do you take that equilibrium to be this Iran really taking a substantive step it backwards this Iran biding its time? I think they're gonNA. They'RE GONNA buy their time three weeks four weeks to two or three months till the smoke clears and then they're going to say. Was this a one off thing. And they're going to do something like that Some something like they have done in the past. They'll kill an American or art thou tackle base. We don't really know whether these these huge rockets that hit the base. Were deliberately aimed. Are they had that capability Not to he hit Americans but they came pretty close and they did a lot of damage and trump could have responded but it it gave him a weird opportunity to show magnaminity and he can say well. No Americans were killed. I'm giving them one more chance. Now the ball is in their court and after that tragedy of the Ukrainian airliner and their lies about it and the disruption that followed They're going to have to make a decision but we should keep in mind again. It's not static. The the domestic situation is volatile and they're going They're getting poor and going broke quicker every day and they're going to have to do something and we're GonNa have to be ready for that something. Same Hab applies to North Korea to end and not an existential sense but to China's well because all three of those regimes see the status quo is not sustainable from their point review. What's the missiles started getting changed Aron announced that it was withdrawing from the nuclear deal now of course the trump administration hit exited awhile ago but Iran was still officially participant along with some of the allies who joined onto that agreement when it was originated during the Obama Administration. Question which I put you without being Flynn does it matter. Does it make a real world difference that Iran has officially disclaimed this agreement. Especially when the argument you've made before the disagreement was never going to accomplish much of our long-term goals anyway it only does because the Europeans now will have a pretext to you start joining the United States boycotting and having sanctions and they they were afraid they were GonNa do it anyway. I think trump sort of hinted that he wanted a secondary boycott that he would boycott countries that were doing business. And that scared a lot of people so I think they felt they had to preempt the European decision to save they face but they had violated we know from the Israeli raid and the documents that came back. They violated Enrichment levels they had advocated You re processor levels. They violated places where centrifuges were supposedly not being activated and they were and so oh. They always looked at this as ten years to bank money when the sanctions were called off and to Bank Accumulated expertise and then they were gonNA unleash it and say okay. We have a bomb. What are you going to do about it? And we couldn't do anything about it. So and then Smith was prominent in a series of articles of the time and then recently. Isn't that the whole Iran deal was designed for two reasons one to make sure they didn't get a bomb on Obama's eight-year watch and to in some misplaced incoherent crazy idea that you were going to balance or era moderate friends in the Gulf and Israel bill by empowering the Shia Persian crescent in Lebanon Yemen Syria and of course in Iran and then that would Created tension in which the United States could withdraw. And think that was the idea and I think their sympathies of the last administration were where the ran rather than with Israel and Saudi Arabia Kuwait in those countries and that was a disastrous decision and it gave around a lot of money gave them a lot of false else notions about US deterrence and it caused a lot of damage. And you can tell that it did because we now have a shadow government and British style. That's on the airwaves. In television. Almost non-stop John Kerry been roads social media. Susan Rice all desperate to show us that they didn't appease Iran and of course they did in the next six weeks can be very bad for them in the new cycle. It's GonNa show what they did. I think the final question that'll put you. How should we think about the health of the Iranian regime? I mean as you mentioned there are pre widespread protests now some of the reporting indicating that it's spreading spreading to areas where you didn't see it before and I guess you could say it was catalyzed by the shootdown of of the airplane but as you mentioned we've seen this before we start with the green revolution and ten years ago. We recently when they started cutting the gasoline subsidies. So how precarious do you take their hold on power to be and if we were to imagine agenda scenario where that regime was to topple how would you think about the future prospects for the country. Well I mean totalitarian regimes and that's it's what it is it's a theocracy in something analogous to the secular totalitarian regime in Venezuela they because they say they're doing the people they have lots more there are a lot more ready to use the power at their disposal to kill people. The Shaw was was. Discredited KLEPTOMANIAC Klepto Maniac Dynasty Family Dynasty was out. These guys have been in for forty years. And they know that the people hate them and their corrupt and but they're deeply embedded throughout society and so the question is how many people are they going to kill on and and they've killed fifteen hundred of them in the last couple of months so I imagine that people in the street knows that if they're going to go out there and try to remove this regime they're perfectly willing and capable of killing tens of thousands of Iranians and it's just a question of how bad the economy gets and when people get so desperate they say I can't go on like this and we'll see but there's one thing else that the Mola's and the permanent religious bureaucracy is widely despised yeah and if that government is overthrown on like the Shaw. There's going to be very few people that want to take this regime. I can't think of anybody North Korea Castro I don't know Castro who the cast. I don't know who would take them and so they they. They're they're thinking that if we lose power we'RE GONNA be dead SORTA like more and more Qaddafi regime so I think it will be an existential an long long drawn out war and I think it's a fifty fifty fifty chance that they'll make it through the year you've been listening to the classes. This podcast with figure Hanson member. You can read all victories work. You're victory hits DOT com. Follow him on twitter at Vdi Hanson. And if you join show please write it on itunes or wherever you get new. PODCAST for Pitcher Davis Hanson Awesome. Thanks for this. PODCAST has been a production of the Hoover Institution for more information about our work. Please visit Hoover Dot