Trump orders military strike on Iran – then pulls back

US aircraft and ships were abruptly turned back when already on their way on Thursday, June 20, to strike a “handful” of Iranian targets after the downing of a US drone. For this sudden change of orders to abort a punitive US operation against Iran, US President Donald Trump risks being labelled a vacillator, a stigma he often attaches to his Democratic rivals.

His top advisers, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton and CIA Director Gina Haspel, pushed hard for the president to retaliate militarily for the downing of the US Navy Triton over international Gulf waters. They were concerned not only by the urgency to shore up US deterrence in the face of mounting Iranian attacks on US interests and allies in the region, but the impact inaction would have on America’s standing in relation to China, Russia and North Korea.
The aborted operation was not planned to be a major act of war against Iran, rather surgical strikes at Revolutionary Guards missile, radar and air defense sites, on lines recalling Israel’s attacks on Iranian locations in Syria. Nonetheless, Trump decided to heed voices from the Pentagon and Democratic lawmakers to “deescalate” US tensions with Iran, rather than exacerbating them.

This reversal was reflected in the president’s contradictory remarks on Thursday: after calling Iran’s downing of the US drone  “a very bad mistake,” he equivocated that it may have been “a mistake made by somebody that shouldn’t have been doing what they do…. I think they made a mistake and I’m not just talking about the country made a mistake, somebody under the command of the country made a mistake.”
Early Friday, some administration sources acted to repair some of the damage to American deterrence caused by the Trump backtrack. They maintained that the operation was not called off only put back by a few days.

Meanwhile, looming over Washington is the short week remaining until the June 27 deadline set by Tehran for breaking out of the agreed uranium enrichment ceiling up to the 20 percent level near weapons grade. Lawmakers from both sides of Congress who were briefed at the White House on Thursday, were told that US allies led by Saudi Arabia and Israel would view that step as more dangerous even than Iran’s ongoing aggression against oil targets and US interests in the region. Some of the lawmakers remarked that America, Israel and Saudi Arabia may decide that Iran must be stopped from resuming its progress towards a nuclear weapon – even by military action.

Therefore, the pivotal moment of the US-Iranian standoff has not passed; it was just postponed by 7 to 10 days.
It must be said, however, that it is hard to establish whether the reporting on the turbulent events of the last 24 hours genuinely reflected President Trump’s reasoning and calculations or, indeed, Iran’s next steps. Will Tehran meet the US President halfway by tempering its belligerent acts? Or be encouraged to redouble them by piling on attacks on additional US and allied targets?  The first clue came Friday morning, when Iran’s Defense Minister maintained that there is no longer any doubt that it was the United States which attacked the two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

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78 thoughts on “Trump orders military strike on Iran – then pulls back

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 11:26 at 11:26
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    I would test the bunker busters on their nuclear facilities.

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 11:45 at 11:45
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      bunker avcılarını israilin nükleer tesislerinde test ederdim

      • Jun 22, 2019 @ 3:51 at 3:51
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        Trumps a moron… and stupid to boot. And did I mention coward.

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 12:57 at 12:57
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      would you now? go ahead then test away…oh yeah, you’re just a pleb and no-one important

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 13:37 at 13:37
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      America is wise to wait but when it comes it will be another Short Conflicts. A Gut-Busting, Mother-Loving Navy War and it is does shape up that way! Meanwhile, Iran’s Economy remains a Disaster!

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 14:47 at 14:47
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      He should test them on Israeli Nuclear facilities as they already have the bombs and are not in NPT.

      • Jun 21, 2019 @ 17:24 at 17:24
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        many countries haven’t signed on to the npt. the ones that have, like iraq and north korea, just used it to get nuclear materials. big deal.

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 16:07 at 16:07
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      Maybe Americans and Israelis should check their nuke facilities. Since if anyone one thinks that blowing nuke facility anywhere in ME will not affect anyone , they should look at Chernobil . That is still alive and polluted all the Europe and adjacent to it soviet republics. Israel should stay away , since it is in bad spot , and will be affected by it irrelevant . Make peace with everyone , that is the only way .

      • Jun 21, 2019 @ 16:48 at 16:48
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        Yeah, it’s in a bad spot. Swallowed up and surrounded by 57 Islamic nations. Most of which seem to lean closer to death than life.

        • Jun 21, 2019 @ 21:18 at 21:18
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          israil ortadoğuda tek nükleer güç olarak ortadoğu ülkelerini tehdit ediyor

        • Jun 22, 2019 @ 10:49 at 10:49
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          israil niye nptye katılmıyor

      • Jun 21, 2019 @ 23:09 at 23:09
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        YaAllah! That only means that today every single Iranian owes his life to merciful uncle Trump. You may deny it but is a Fact!

      • Jun 22, 2019 @ 5:02 at 5:02
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        “…Make peace with everyone , that is the only way ”

        I’ve read a lot your comments, you are a warmonger and a liar.

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 16:51 at 16:51
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      The main question is: it is possible for iran to make nuclear bomb after attack?
      Answer always will be: yes. This is a key fact that prevents israel or US to attack iran from 10-15 years ago

      • Jun 21, 2019 @ 17:26 at 17:26
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        dream on. what prevented israel was barack hussein obama.

        • Jun 22, 2019 @ 5:04 at 5:04
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          shloime – Correct.

      • Jun 21, 2019 @ 20:50 at 20:50
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        Iran has no nuclear weapons. Who doesn’t know them? If they had, even the smallest size of a baby toy, everyone in the world would aware.

    • Jun 22, 2019 @ 2:00 at 2:00
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      Save the bunker busters for a while. Right now, Trump has played the Ace of Spades . . . and holds the only wild card left. By not retaliating and apparently seeming to be weak and indicisive, . . . especially by calling back the aircraft and ships, . . . it is now Iran’s turn again. He gave them an out, . . . a rogue sent the missile, . . . now if there is more, . . . it is with no doubt sent from the ayatollah. Today, . . . parts of the world stage may condemn him for reacting, . . . when they take a shot at a carrier, . . . a destroyer, . . . then it will be time to unleash the bunker busters and the neutrons, . . . turn Iran real hot.

      • Jun 22, 2019 @ 5:08 at 5:08
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        Dwight55 – I agree. “appear weak when you are strong”. I am very happy with Trump’s strategy and tactics. He is giving them a chance, there doesn’t have to a war unless they really want one.

      • Jun 22, 2019 @ 22:54 at 22:54
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        not quite. some insider forwarded the target list to IRGC so they could relocate their defenses. making it a death trap for US pilots- according to Hal Turner ex FBI

    • Jun 22, 2019 @ 9:23 at 9:23
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      And what about the huge plume of radioactive debris spreading all over the the Middle East and Europe in the event of a direct penetrating attack against the several underground nuclear installations?? Maybe not such a great idea. I have no love for the Iranian regime, but that seems to me to be a very High Risk operation, in addition to starting a general theater War. It could really let the genie out of the bottle.

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 11:40 at 11:40
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    I have wrote it and said it from the early beginning: TRUMP is a coward, a big mouth, that´s all.

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 11:57 at 11:57
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      yeah, if I was Shamkhani I would let rip all of my big arrows at you right about now. Why waste time?

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 15:13 at 15:13
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      israil siyonist yahudilerinden nefret ediyorum israilin 500 adet nükleer silahı ortadoğu ülkelerini tehdit ediyor israil bir soykırıcıdır israilin nükleer tesislerini havaya uçurulmalıdır çünkü uaek tarafından denetlenmiyor

      • Jun 21, 2019 @ 17:49 at 17:49
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        Birtanesini kicina sokmasi gerekir, boylesiylen nefretini beraberinde cehenneme gotutursun

        • Jun 21, 2019 @ 19:32 at 19:32
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          Learning a language that humans can understand is beyond your capabilities you half-pigs-half-dogs.

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 16:42 at 16:42
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      Yves, you are arguably the lowest information person on this site.

      It’s a drone, not an airliner, hit by a desperate regime on its last legs, crippled by sanctions.
      I’m sure trump is getting the concessions wanted by not attacking an oil platform or dingy.

      Grow up and tell mom to make to your bed,

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 12:01 at 12:01
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    Repeat:u.s. will not attack the soviet allies.Ultimatelly,americns will eat garbage.Believe me.They are traitors by definition.Maybe idiot Trump dreams at Nobel,,for peace,,.

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 15:14 at 15:14
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      yıkılası israil çökesi bitesi siyonist israil

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 12:24 at 12:24
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    I hope im wrong that donald is a big talker but at the crunch a big softie

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 13:39 at 13:39
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      No he is not. There is something else going on. Trumps enemies would just LOVE a war right now. When its time to go in they will and he will let them WIN.

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 12:28 at 12:28
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    Being a Superpower comes with a lot of responsibilities, and holding off a military strike may actual be the great move by Trump. The iranians may for a change take his offer to negotiate seriously, remember he has been upfront when it comes to stoping the endless wars in the middle east. Iran must return the favour by not upping its enrichment levels. This may hopefully be the beginning of dialogue and an end to bravado, chest thumping and militarism that has gravely improvished humanity.

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 16:41 at 16:41
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      Very sensible ….

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 12:50 at 12:50
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    People relax, Iran will pay for its misdeed, one way or the other……
    What if Trump said get to the table or get cooked, well done and they return to the table, is that worth a drone? Yes they need to understand deterrence, yes it needs to linked, but
    What if they apologize and are forced to leave Syria, Lebanon, Bekka valley, revised nuclear agreement, these are comprehensive issues, not one time oil platform bombings, it’s bigger than that.

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 13:15 at 13:15
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      where are you getting your information from

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 14:35 at 14:35
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      Ahhhh Doron!? Are they going to stop chanting Death to Israel too? What you said sounds good but is extremely unrealistic. Did the Palestinians/Muslim world stop their Jihad against us after 1948??? No! But we live with it, make sacrifices, make adjustments, and keep winning. It’s us that write history!

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 16:42 at 16:42
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      Very true ….

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 13:01 at 13:01
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    Wherever Trump does the rats have to condemn

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 13:13 at 13:13
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    Rare move by Trump, saying or tweeting is one thing.Hoping for talks, and mayby a new deal ( just buying time ).Sooner or later there will be a limited/big clash.Curious what the Mullahs now will do and say.Stay tuned.

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 13:25 at 13:25
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    Several reasons behind this move

    1) America will not strike iran unless they are targeted directly…aka U.S soldiers casualties

    2) Russians intervened, ask trump for a last chance

    3) A retaliation will happen directly or indirectly in the next few days

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 13:35 at 13:35
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    My comments blocked?

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 13:39 at 13:39
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      That happens a lot, you’re not the only one…

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 13:42 at 13:42
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    There is no complex reason for the pullback.

    The U.S prepared the attack with air and naval units all-go. The Iranians, clearly watching everything going on, pickup these units. They issued a warning to the U.S that their air and naval units have been locked on, Make your move. The U.S pulled-back…End of..for now at least.

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 14:04 at 14:04
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    Trump cannot afford premature strikes if he does not intend to finish the job.

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 14:09 at 14:09
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    An Allied nation leaked the target list to Iran, it would have been a death trap.

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 14:12 at 14:12
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    Trump will do nothing. USA need Hillary Clinton.

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 14:45 at 14:45
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    Trump=0 Iran=1 Iran wins Trump flies to florida for change of underwear before making next bombastic speach

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 14:56 at 14:56
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      Iran Economy Minus $23 Billion + America Minus $130 Drone = $anctions Continue Iran Keeps Losing!

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 14:53 at 14:53
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    How Changes In Iran Will Happen In the Future:
    1. Avoid Limited Attacks On Iran!
    2. Gulf States Fund Persian Revolutions!
    3. Israel Mossod & IDF Ends Iran Nuke Program!
    4. America Sanctions Continue Making Iran Respond!
    5. Europe, China, India, Japan pay to Defend Their Ships Of Oil!
    6. Iran Oust Shiia & Bring In Persian King Cyrus Remarkable Rule!

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 15:19 at 15:19
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      I pray you are right

    • Jun 22, 2019 @ 8:31 at 8:31
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      Time to put on your coconut bra and dance on the beach. It is the weekend and people need some fun!

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 15:13 at 15:13
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    “Appear Weak When You Are Strong, And Strong When You Are Weak!”
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War
    Iran Economic Collapse:
    https://youtu.be/Xn1YxeFip98

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 16:06 at 16:06
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    Trump is a sissy, he knows very well that a war with Iran would be a disaster for the US. The Saudis with all the military help of the USA can’t defeat two Houthi Rebels, what about Iran? Iran will transform the Middle East in a fire ball and everybody knows that

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 16:08 at 16:08
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      Iran has nothing and just Pretend but are not True Men, The Nukes Facilities are History One Way or the other. Iran Shiia Regime are Eunuchs and Can’t Stop Their Eventual Downfall by Persians! America Thanks Iran for Rising the Price of Oil without benefiting Iran & Costs China More Trade Problems!

      • Jun 21, 2019 @ 21:07 at 21:07
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        Older strategic mavens know Iran is honeycombed with tunnels. This is why any stock in Obama/Kerry nuclear deal was/is/always shall be ludicrous. Inspections with more tunnels than anyone knows about, and military bases are off limits?

        This chain of events drifts into cyberwarfare and Troposphere (EMP events False Flag or otherwise) before resolution. Nation with best Famine Hedge win. This writer has only Famine Hedge narrative on Debka…

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 16:31 at 16:31
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    The worst that can happen now: the ayatollahs will be forced to change their never-washed skirts for fresh ones – bright brown in color (just in case…)

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 17:42 at 17:42
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    Price of war: drone …. deaths
    Carrier > ….. deaths
    Stay tuned.Tomorrow new rates.

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 20:15 at 20:15
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      The longer the problems in the Gulf remain the softer will the Chinese trade rules become. Provoking Iran is a way to make China to agree to US trade rule demands.

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 21:18 at 21:18
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    israil ortadoğuda tek nükleer güç olarak ortadoğu ülkelerini tehdit ediyor

    • Jun 21, 2019 @ 22:49 at 22:49
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      Trump has followed the direction of his Russian handler!

  • Jun 21, 2019 @ 23:29 at 23:29
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    The economic war, i.e. sanctions, are doing the job. No need to engage in a military showdown…yet.

  • Jun 22, 2019 @ 0:26 at 0:26
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    Intentional or not, the US is in a Stronger Position than before, having Simultaneously shown a Willingness to Strike and a Willingness to Show Restraint. All while Avoiding an Escalation for Now. Holy Men are suppose to care about Men but POTUS Trump showed it instead of the Mullahs?

    • Jun 22, 2019 @ 1:21 at 1:21
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      US is in a Stronger Position than before
      sute it is , but it lost a 130 Mill $ drones , and show only willingness
      willingness is gut for nobody, itr is only Rhetorik
      the rhetoric without action is sign of weakness

      iran humiliating the USA since 40 years,

      • Jun 22, 2019 @ 3:30 at 3:30
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        180 mil is nothing compared to what a retaliatory strike would cost.

      • Jun 22, 2019 @ 4:50 at 4:50
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        Iran lost 500,000 Dead and Wounded in Iraq War Khomeini Did Not Win, America Sunk Oil Platforms, Navy and Air Force in 1989, Iran sold No Oil in May 2019, Iran at 25% Unemployment and 50% Inflation, and Trump Is a Hero Saving 150 Iran Lives! Iran -Iraq War – Navy – Oil = Loser = Iran!

        • Jun 22, 2019 @ 6:46 at 6:46
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          You have been living on Gilligan’s Island too long! You don’t know what’s happening outside the Island.

  • Jun 22, 2019 @ 1:16 at 1:16
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    the trump pulled back, becase he knows half of the pilots will not come back, like the hightech drone did not came back.
    the Americans becoming weak , thst is a falling super power
    and they will leave sooner or later middel east snd iran will occupy all land between inidan ocean and mediteran sea.
    Israel will be just a persian province.

    forget iran will collapse under sanctions or a regime change will bring a jew–american loving government to power . that is all wishful thinking
    even the poor countries , like cuba or north corea are not collapsing because of US sanctions , iran is much more reacher.
    the israel will not survive, the jews must either leave or cionverting
    that will happen, if you want or not

    • Jun 22, 2019 @ 9:09 at 9:09
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      Iran’s Reality Of Defeats Versus America World Advancements:
      1. No Oil Sales For Iran In May-June Lost US$5 Billion Per Month!
      2. Iran Attacks Nations Tankers That Need Oil Iran Losses Friends!
      3. America & GCC Oil Prices Sold Higher Prices Due To Iran Attacks!
      4. Persian People See Iran’s Shiia Regime Sold No Oil & Can’t Rule!
      5. Europe, Asia, Africa Needs America Navy Protection In Gulf!
      6. Europe, China, India, Japan In Trade Talks With America!

  • Jun 22, 2019 @ 2:11 at 2:11
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    Iran had 240 Americans killed in Beirut. Iran had the CIA head of station kidnapped and tortured. Iran kept American hostages for many many months. Iran no controls Iraq. None of the above had any consequences for Iran. So it goes today, no consequence for shooting down an American military aircraft.

  • Jun 22, 2019 @ 3:20 at 3:20
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    I voted for Trump not this wimpish, coward, lying, indecisive, idiot.

    • Jun 22, 2019 @ 9:14 at 9:14
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      President Trump Wins 2020 Election 4 More Years & Cheers For America! Daughter and Sons Follow in 2024, 2028, 2032, 2036!

  • Jun 22, 2019 @ 3:30 at 3:30
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    Who in their right mind would attack Iran over the shooting down of drone? It’s not worth the risk! Ppl shouldn’t underestimate Iran! It’s not about uranium it’s about oil lol!

  • Jun 22, 2019 @ 5:42 at 5:42
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    You lie.

    Donald Trump never ordered an attack.

    The criminals who occupy Palestine want to fabricate a pretext for war.

  • Jun 22, 2019 @ 5:50 at 5:50
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    Bone spur Trump is an incompetent and a coward. No strategy and no policy and anyone who defends this erratic behaviour is a fool.

    Iran won the Irak and Syrian war. They can wage asymmetrical warfare and win, something which is way beyond Trumps understanding.

    Do Americans wish to suffer another defeat?

    Remember the Iraq nightmare. This will be 1000 times worst.

    • Jun 22, 2019 @ 6:22 at 6:22
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      I’m lovin’ it. I really am. “Trump this. Trump that” “..they’ll all die” “Trump is dumb” “..has no understanding” haha…(I think you wet you pants or is that saliva?) Seriously, it is very amusing…Keep the fun coming!

  • Jun 22, 2019 @ 9:41 at 9:41
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    And what about the huge plume of radioactive debris spreading all over the the Middle East and Europe in the event of a direct penetrating attack against the several underground nuclear installations?? Maybe not such a great idea. I have no love for the Iranian regime, but that seems to me to be a very High Risk operation, in addition to starting a general theater War. It could really let the genie out of the bottle.

  • Jun 22, 2019 @ 18:01 at 18:01
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    Meanwhile, President Trump is Showing the Wisdom of Israel’s King Solomon on Foreign Relations with the Knowledge of Persia King Cyrus on unifying Cultures Globally!

    DEBKA Educates and does not Denigrate.

  • Jun 24, 2019 @ 18:44 at 18:44
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    Celine Dion performed as part of St. Jean Baptiste day in 1988 on our old outdoor Shipdeck Stage. However, she didn’t forget about us. She returned to Harbourfront Centre in the mid-’90s after she became famous.

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