Tag Archives: Showdown

Shutdown Showdown: How the Strait of Hormuz Factors into the U.S.-Iran Crisis

Shutdown Showdown: How the Strait of Hormuz Factors into the U.S.-Iran CrisisThe recent mining of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, attributed to Iran by the United States, offers an important window into the strategic thinking of Iran and similarly situated regional powers. The incident is notable because the act of mining a limited number of vessels makes relatively little sense when viewed through the lens of traditional patterns of coercive behavior. Limited coercive acts typically have little value with regards to gaining concessions from a determined opponent. Generally, these acts may serve as a visible demonstration of a state’s willingness to enact some other, more substantial threat, such as shutting down the Strait of Hormuz outright. However, this requires the state making the threat to have the capacity to make good on its more substantial threats and for its opponents to believe that it is willing to incur the risks entailed. Iran, however, could not shut down the Strait of Hormuz for very long even if it wished to—something noted by President Donald Trump—and is unlikely to incur the substantial risks that an attempt would entail. Iran’s opponents, then, clearly don’t see its limited provocations as harbingers of something worse.



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Harris vs. Biden showdown was most-watched Democratic primary debate in history

Harris vs. Biden showdown was most-watched Democratic primary debate in historySen. Kamala Harris sparring with former vice president Joe Biden apparently made good TV.



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Is Iran Close to Collapse? Three Things You Need To Know about the U.S.-Iran Showdown.

Is Iran Close to Collapse? Three Things You Need To Know about the U.S.-Iran Showdown.Iran and the United States are as close to direct conflict as they have been for three decades, since Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 which was, at the time, the largest surface naval engagement since World War II.A lot of ink has been spilled and oxygen expended discussing the matter, some of it good and some of it simplistic. Here a few thoughts, informed by being lucky enough to spend close to seven months studying in the Islamic Republic while finishing a doctorate in philosophy on Iranian history. I worked on the Iran desk at the Pentagon during the George W. Bush administration, frequently visit the Persian Gulf, and have followed Iran almost continuously for a quarter century.



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Obama warns progressives to avoid 'circular firing squad' as Democrats prepare for 2020 showdown

Obama warns progressives to avoid 'circular firing squad' as Democrats prepare for 2020 showdownBarack Obama has urged progressives in the US to avoid becoming part of a “circular firing squad” that takes aim at people who do not share all their views.In what will be interpreted as a comment about the nature of the rivalry between different factions within the Democratic Party, the former president stressed the need for compromise.“The way we structure democracy requires you to take into account people who don’t agree with you,” he said at an event in Berlin hosted by the Obama Foundation. “And that, by definition, means you’re not going to get 100 per cent of what you want.”According to The Hill, he added: “One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States….is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, ‘Uh, I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be’, and then we start sometimes creating what’s called a “circular firing squad”, where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues. “And when that happens, typically the overall effort and movement weakens.”The 2016 Democratic presidential primary was marked by often bitter hostility between the camps of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Supporters of the Vermont senator considered her a Wall Street sell-out, while many of those backing the former secretary of state believed Mr Sanders was out of touch and campaigned for unrealistic policies.As Democrats prepare to select a challenger to Donald Trump for 2020 – congressman Tim Ryan announced on Saturday he was joining the already crowded field – different factions are already becoming clear. Progressives such as Elizabeth Warren and Mr Sanders support policies such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.Others, such as Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker have adopted a more centrist position. With perhaps as many as 20 Democratic candidates running in 2020, there is already a energetic fight underway for supporters and donations, something that will intensify as the contest progresses. At the same time, Mr Obama said it was important for candidates to know what they stood for. “You should take some time to think in your own mind and continually refine and reflect, ‘What are my core principles’,” he said. “Because the danger is if you don’t know what your principles are, that’s when you compromise your principles away.”He added: “You can’t set up a system in which you don’t compromise on anything, but you also can’t operate in a system where you compromise on everything.”



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Trump showdown with Democrats escalates over Russia probe

Trump showdown with Democrats escalates over Russia probeDonald Trump and other Republicans demanded the ouster of a senior congressional Democrat on Thursday for repeatedly claiming collusion between by the president’s campaign and Russia. “Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!” Trump tweeted about the House Intelligence Committee chairman. Schiff has continued his accusations after Attorney General Bill Barr announced Sunday that a nearly two-year investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller had cleared the president of collusion with Russia.



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Two killed as Venezuela aid showdown turns violent

Two killed as Venezuela aid showdown turns violentUreña (Venezuela) (AFP) – A high-risk operation to get humanitarian aid into Venezuela descended into deadly chaos Saturday after President Nicolas Maduro’s security forces fired on demonstrators and aid trucks were set ablaze. Two people, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed in clashes with security forces that left more than 300 people wounded at various border crossings. Despite a blockade by Maduro, opposition leader Juan Guaido had set a Saturday deadline for the delivery of food and medical aid stockpiled in Colombia and Brazil.



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Venezuela Army Trucks Block Guaido's Travels as Showdown Looms

Venezuela Army Trucks Block Guaido's Travels as Showdown LoomsEarlier today, three buses carrying about 40 lawmakers sympathetic to Guaido left Venezuela’s capital heading for the frontier. The National Assembly president was traveling separately for security reasons and was unable to cross the tunnel, said Edward Rodriguez, his press team coordinator.



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House Democrats gear up for showdown over Mueller report

House Democrats gear up for showdown over Mueller reportWASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are stepping up their efforts to investigate President Donald Trump and his associates, hiring new lawyers and staff as they take on oversight responsibility and prepare for a showdown over access to special counsel Robert Mueller's final Russia report.



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Texas showdown: O'Rourke, Trump hold dueling rallies over wall

Texas showdown: O'Rourke, Trump hold dueling rallies over wallO’Rourke, who lost in his bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Texas, promised to blast Trump for stoking “false fear” about immigrants and telling “lies” about his hometown El Paso, which Trump said was a dangerous place before it had a border fence. In a conference call with reporters, O’Rourke said his counter-rally two hundred yards from the Trump event would be a “powerful, beautiful” response to “Trump’s lies about our community, the U.S.-Mexico border, immigrants, about Mexicans.” Trump is traveling to El Paso to argue for a wall he says can protect Americans from violent criminals, drugs and a “tremendous onslaught” of migrant caravans. Trump, a Republican, spoke out against the Democratic attempt to cap detention beds before he left for Texas.



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Venezuela allows US diplomats to stay, defusing showdown

Venezuela allows US diplomats to stay, defusing showdownCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela defused a potential showdown with the United States, suspending a demand that U.S. diplomats leave the country as Washington called on the world to "pick a side" in the South American nation's fast-moving crisis.



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