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John Bolton -- a Bloodthirsty Imperialist

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John Robert Bolton (born November 20, 1948) is an American attorney, political commentator, Republican consultant, government official and former diplomat serving as the 27th National Security Advisor of the United States since April 9, 2018.

Bolton served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 to December 2006 as a recess appointee by President George W. Bush. He resigned at the end of his recess appointment in December 2006 because he was unlikely to win confirmation from the Senate, which the Democratic Party had gained control of at the time.

Bolton is a former senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and Fox News Channel commentator. He was a foreign policy adviser to 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Bolton has been involved with numerous conservative organizations, including the anti-Muslim Gatestone Institute, where he served as the organization Chairman until March 2018.

Bolton is a foreign policy hawk and is an advocate for regime change in Iran, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, Yemen and North Korea. He has also repeatedly called for the termination of the Iran nuclear deal. He was an advocate of the Iraq War and continues to support the decision to invade Iraq. He has continuously supported military action and regime change in Syria, Libya, and Iran.

His political views have been described as American nationalist, conservative, and "neoconservative". Bolton rejects the last term and uses the term "pro-American" instead.

Bio trivia

Bolton was born on November 20, 1948, in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Virginia Clara "Ginny" (née Godfrey), a housewife, and Edward Jackson "Jack" Bolton, a Baltimore City fireman. He grew up in the working-class neighborhood of Yale Heights and won a scholarship to the McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland, graduating in 1966. He also ran the school's Students For Goldwater campaign in 1964.

Bolton attended Yale University, earning a B.A. and graduating summa cum laude in 1970. He was a member of the Yale Political Union. He attended Yale Law School from 1971 to 1974, where he shared classes with his friend Clarence Thomas, earning a J.D. in 1974. In 1972, Bolton was a summer intern for Vice President Spiro Agnew. He was hired for the position by David Keene.

Vietnam War

Bolton was a supporter of the Vietnam War, but purposely avoided military service in Vietnam. During the 1969 Vietnam War draft lottery, Bolton drew number 185. (Draft numbers were assigned by birth date.) As a result of the Johnson and Nixon administrations' decisions to rely largely on the draft rather than on the reserve forces, joining a Guard or Reserve unit became a way to avoid service in the Vietnam War, although 42 Army Reserve units were called up with 35 of them deployed to Vietnam shortly after the Tet offensive in 1968–69. Before graduating from Yale in 1970, Bolton enlisted in the Maryland Army National Guard rather than wait to find out if his draft number would be called. (The highest number called to military service was 195.) He saw active duty for 18 weeks of training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, from July to November 1970. After serving in the National Guard for four years, he served in the United States Army Reserve until the end of his enlistment two years later.

Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman alleged that Bolton played a role in encouraging the inclusion of statement that British Intelligence had determined Iraq attempted to procure yellowcake uranium from Niger in Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address. These statements were claimed by critics of the President to be partly based on documents found to be forged. Waxman's allegations could not be confirmed as they were based on classified documents.

Deceptions as the  method to advance his goals

Bolton stated in June 2004 congressional testimony that Iran was lying about enriched uranium contamination: "Another unmistakable indicator of Iran's intentions is the pattern of repeatedly lying to ... the IAEA ... when evidence of uranium enriched to 36 percent was found, it attributed this to contamination from imported centrifuge parts." However, later isotope analysis supported Iran's explanation of foreign contamination for most of the observed enriched uranium. At their August 2005 meeting the IAEA's Board of Governors concluded: "Based on the information currently available to the Agency, the results of that analysis tend, on balance, to support Iran's statement about the foreign origin of most of the observed highly enriched uranium contamination."

Bolton has often been accused of attempting to pressure the intelligence community to endorse his views. According to former coworkers, Bolton withheld information that ran counter to his goals from Secretary of State Colin Powell on multiple occasions, and from Powell's successor Condoleezza Rice on at least one occasion
 

John Bolton Is a Bloodthirsty Imperialist Who Must Be Stopped

April 9, one John R. Bolton is scheduled to take the place of H.R. McMaster as President Trump’s National Security Advisor — a position that doesn’t require congressional confirmation. No, this isn’t the long-haired crooner who once released a mediocre rendition of “When a Man Loves a Woman”; you’re thinking of Michael Bolton. This Bolton served a relatively obscure post in the George W. Bush administration (Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security), yet proved highly influential in the administration’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 (a decision he still seems proud of). As a reminder, this American military aggression in Iraq resulted in hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, cost American taxpayers more than $2 trillion, and led to the formation of ISIS.

In addition to his unrepentant Iraq War nostalgia, Bolton has a passionate desire to bomb and invade both Iran and North Korea in order to implement the American brand of regime change that has worked so well in the past. He also pals around with anti-Muslim bigots, and his history of “undermining international cooperative institutions such as the United Nations” exemplifies his dangerous nationalistic tendencies.

The mustachioed madman in question has lately spent much of his free time as a Fox News pundit and a traveling fanboy for a cult-like Iranian terrorist organization known as the Mujahedeen Khalq (or “MEK”). This Persian posse, which was formed in the 1960s, is known for killing American civilians during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, forging an alliance with Saddam Hussein, and its likely involvement in the assassinations of four Iranian scientists in recent years. After massive lobbying and PR efforts, the MEK was removed from the U.S. State Department’s terror list in 2012. The group has high hopes for overthrowing and replacing the current Iranian government, theoretically with the assistance of Western warlords like Bolton himself.

The fanatical interventionist views of Mr. Bolton have remained remarkably consistent for decades. The man is like the goddamn Bernie Sanders of American imperialism. In 1966, he even wrote an editorial for his school newspaper entitled “No Peace in Vietnam,” in which he expressed skepicism toward (in his view) naïve calls for an end to the violence in Southeast Asia. Bolton has always looked fondly upon war, as long as he didn’t have to fight in one. “I confess that I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asia rice paddy,” the chickenhawk later explained.

As if John Bolton’s obsession with mass murder isn’t bad enough, the guy is also a known bully and mafioso wannabe. In a recent episode of Deconstructed, former assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman discussed Bolton’s tendency to “emotionally abuse” his staff, and former director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons José Bustani recounted an ominous and chilling personal encounter with the statesman in question:

“I had convinced them, Saddam Hussein and Qaddafi, to join in the organization, which meant that inspections should take place 30 days after their cities are at the convention. […] [Bolton] showed up in The Hague, and he came to my office, and he said, ‘Cheney wants you out. You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with the decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you.’ […] I said, ‘Well, I’m not ready to do that. I have no reason to do that. Secretary of State Colin Powell has written me a letter praising my mandate so far, so I cannot understand why is it that I have to leave the organization?’ And he said, ‘You have to be ready to face the consequences, because we know where your kids live.’” (For more context, listen to the full interview here.)

That’s right; the incoming advisor is so deeply haunted by the prospects for peaceful solutions that he’s willing to threaten the family of a prominent diplomat in attempt to quash them. I hate to say it, folks, but this John Bolton character might be a prime example of a proverbial “bad hombre.”

John R. Bolton has an extensive political resume that includes past positions in the Reagan and Bush administrations and a stint as a U.N. ambassador; he is certainly qualified for the National Security Advisor position. However, he’s also an unhinged lunatic who intimidates and threatens people, abhors peaceful diplomacy, and advocates military action as a first resort. His barbaric neoconservatism reduces the global population to a Brzezinskian “grand chessboard” beholden to the whims of American primacy. The man makes me ashamed of my own mustache, for Christ’s sake!

As a famous cinematic hippie once said, “This aggression will not stand, man!” We need to band together with anti-war conservatives, libertarians, hell, even other species (I’m lookin’ at you, lemurs!), and keep this monster at bay by any means possible. With U.S.-Russia tensions escalating and the Doomsday Clock set at two minutes before midnight, cock-blocking the imperialistic ambitions of this ferocious thug may very well be a prerequisite to the survival of the human race and life on Earth as we know it.


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[Jul 21, 2019] As Trump Backs Down, the Pips Squeak -- Strategic Culture

Jul 21, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Last week it was all fire and brimstone. The US was threatening more sanctions on Iran, the Brits were seizing oil tankers and Iran was violating the JCPOA.

This week things look different all of a sudden. An oil tanker goes dark while passing through the Strait of Hormuz, the story fails to get any real traction and the US allows Iranian Foreign Minister, recently sanctioned, to do his job at the United Nations.

Trump then holds a cabinet meeting where he reiterates that "We're not looking for regime change. We want them out of Yemen."

I thought National Security Advisor John Bolton said the US would apply pressure until "the pips squeak."

Where the pips are squeaking is on the Arabian Peninsula, not across the Persian Gulf in Bandar Abbas. Specifically, I'm talking about the United Arab Emirates. The UAE sent a delegation to Tehran recently that coincided with its partial withdrawal of troops from Yemen.

That meeting, according to Elijah Magnier , focused on Emirates realizing they are in the middle of this conflict, up to their skyscrapers.

"The UAE would like to avoid seeing their country transformed into a battlefield between the US and Iran in case of war, particularly if Trump is re-elected. The Emirates officials noted that the US did not respond to Iran's retaliation in the Gulf and in particularly when the US drone was downed. This indicates that Iran is prepared for confrontation and will implement its explicit menace, to hit any country from which the US carries out their attacks on Iran. We want to be out of all this ", an Emirates official told his Iranian counterpart in Tehran.

Iran promised to talk to the Yemeni officials to avoid hitting targets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as long as the UAE pulls out its forces from the Yemen and stops this useless war. Saudi Crown Prime Mohammad Bin Salman is finding himself without his main Emirates ally, caught in a war that is unwinnable for the Saudi regime. The Yemeni Houthis have taken the initiative, hitting several Saudi strategic targets. Saudi Arabia has no realistic objectives and seems to have lost the appetite to continue the war in Yemen.

So, with the Houthis successfully striking major targets inside Saudi Arabia and the UAE abruptly pulling forces out, the war in Yemen has reached a critical juncture. Remember, the Republican-controlled Senate approved a bill withdrawing support for the war back in March, which the White House had to veto in support of its fading hopes for its Israeli/Palestinian deal pushed by Jared Kushner.

But things have changed significantly since then as that deal has been indefinitely postponed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing a second election this fall after he failed to secure a stable coalition.

After that there was the failed economic conference in Bahrain in June where Kushner revealed the economic part of the plan to a half-empty room where only the backers of the plan showed any real support.

And that's the important part of this story, because it was Kushner's plan which was the impetus for all of this insane anti-Iran belligerence in the first place. Uniting the Gulf states around a security pact leveraging the U.S/Israeli/Saudi alliance was part of what was supposed to pressure the Palestinians to the bargaining table.

By placing maximum economic sanctions on both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran while continuing to foment chaos in Syria was supposed to force Israel's enemies to fold under the pressure which would, in turn, see the Palestinians surrender to the will of Kushner and Bibi.

The problem is, it didn't work. And now Trump is left holding the bag on this idiotic policy which culminated in an obvious provocation when Iran shot down a $220 million Global Hawk surveillance drone, nearly sparking a wider war.

But what it did was expose the US and not Iran as the cause of the current problems.

Since then Trump finally had to stand up and be the grown-up in the room, such as he is, and put an end to this madness.

The UAE understood the potential for Iran's asymmetric response to US belligerence. The Saudis cannot win the war in Yemen that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began. The fallout from this war has been to push Qatar out of the orbit of the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council, cutting deals with Iran over developing the massive North Pars gas field and pipelines to Europe.

And now the UAE has realized it is facing an existential threat to its future in any confrontation between Iran and the US

What's telling is that Trump is making Yemen the issue to negotiate down rather than Iran's nuclear ambitions. Because it was never about the nuclear program. It was always about Iran's ballistic missile program.

And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would have us believe that for the first time Iran's missile program is on the negotiating table. I have no idea if that's actually true, but it's a dead giveaway that it's what the US is after.

The main reason why Trump and Netanyahu are so angry about the JCPOA is the mutual outsourcing of the nuclear ballistic missile program by Iran and North Korea. North Korea was working on the warhead while Iran worked on the ballistic missile.

Trump tweeted about this nearly two years ago, confirming this link. I wrote about it when he did this. Nearly everything I said about North Korea in the blog post is now applicable to Iran. This was why he hated the JCPOA, it didn't actually stop the development of Iran and North Korea into nuclear states.

But tearing up the deal was the wrong approach to solving the problem. Stop pouring hundreds of billions of dollars in weapons to the region, as Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif pointed out recently, is the problem . By doing this he took both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping off his side of the table.

Now he stands isolated with only the provocateurs – Israel, the U.K., Saudi Arabia – trying to goad him forward into doing something he doesn't want to do. And all of those provocations that have occurred in the past month have failed to move either Trump or the Iranians. They've learned patience, possibly from Putin. Call it geopolitical rope-a-dope, if you will.

I said last month that the key to solving Iran's nuclear ambitions was solving the relationship with North Korea. Trump, smartly, went there, doing what only he could do , talk with DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-Un and reiterate his sincere desire to end proliferation of nuclear weapons.

He can get Iran to the table but he's going to have to give up something. So, now framing the negotiations with Iran around their demands we stop arming the Saudis is politically feasible.

Trump can't, at this point, back down directly with Iran. Yemen is deeply unpopular here and ending our support of it would be a boon to Trump politically. Trading that for some sanctions relief would be a good first step to solving the mess he's in and build some trust.

Firing John Bolton, which looks more likely every day, would be another.

He's already turning a blind eye to Iranian exports to China, and presumably, other places. I think the Brits are acting independently trying to create havoc and burnish Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's resume as Prime Minister against Boris Johnson. That's why they hijacked the oil tanker.

But all the little distractions are nothing but poison pills to keep from discussing the real issues. Trump just cut through all that. So did Iran. Let's hope they stay focused.

[Jul 20, 2019] On Iran, Why Not Rand

Notable quotes:
"... Daniel R. DePetris is a foreign policy analyst, a columnist at ..."
"... , and a frequent contributor to ..."
"... That TAC columnists continue to hold out hope that Trump will revert to his 2016 form astounds me. ..."
"... It's like watching Obama cultists convince themselves that The Real Obama®, the hopey changey guy from 2008, will finally put in an appearance, even as he betrays them over and over again. ..."
Jul 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

If there is any direct communication between American and Iranian officials, it is hidden from public view. All of this has made Senator Rand Paul's initiative to open dialogue with Tehran urgent, necessary, and prudent.

According to a July 17 story in Politico , Paul recently pitched himself to President Trump as a possible presidential emissary to the Iranians -- someone who could sit down with Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and begin a conversation on the issues that have nearly resulted in military conflict. Trump apparently accepted Paul's pitch while the two were on the golf course last weekend. His decision, while not yet confirmed by the White House, suggests that Trump is slowly beginning to recognize the deficiencies of the maximum pressure policy that National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and outside counsels like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Mark Dubowitz have peddled for years. Far from forcing Tehran's surrender, economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation have yielded more Iranian aggression. Iran is now a wounded animal backed into a corner, ready to fight rather than submit. The chances of a clash have increased substantially.

In a town filled with tough talkers who see foreign policy as an extension of domestic politics, Rand Paul is one of those strange creatures who is willing to throw himself in front of a bus for the sake of preventing a war. His foes (of which there are many, from Bill Kristol and Lindsey Graham to Marco Rubio and Liz Cheney) use the lazy isolationist epitaph to paint him as a gadfly on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But at his core, Paul is neither a gadfly nor an isolationist. The junior senator from Kentucky is a non-interventionist who has the audacity to search for diplomatic solutions before doing what most of his colleagues on Capitol Hill would have long preferred -- involuntarily reaching for more punitive options.

This isn't the first time Paul has tried to create space for dialogue with a U.S. adversary. Last year, when so much as talking to a Russian was universally frowned upon by the political class, Paul flew to Moscow and delivered a letter on behalf of President Trump to Russian parliamentarians. A month later, he introduced an amendment that would have lifted travel restrictions on Russian lawmakers if Moscow did the same for their American counterparts. The amendment was a small and reasonable gesture that removed largely symbolic sanctions in order to encourage Americans and Russians to familiarize themselves with each other. It was lambasted in committee and killed .

Paul's latest initiative with Iran could run into the same brick wall. The fact that the arrangement was leaked to the media is an indication that somebody in the Trump administration is totally opposed to the idea and wants to bury any potential conversations with the Iranians before they begin. One can almost picture John Bolton, holed up in the White House basement, hearing the news and frantically ordering his minions on the National Security Council to expose it in the press.

There are also practical questions that need to be answered. With Zarif only in New York for another few days, does Paul have the time for a one-on-one meeting? Would the Iranians be interested in meeting with the senator, even if he does have the president's ear? Or is Khamenei, still seething over the administration's withdrawal from the nuclear deal and watching his government's oil exports disappear, dead set on banning any contact with the Americans for as long as Trump remains in the Oval Office?

It's Not Too Late for Trump to Ignore Bolton and Get Iran Right Is America Ready for John Bolton's War With Iran?

Organizing a backchannel with the Iranians could be difficult, in large measure because it will be fought tooth-and-nail by the usual suspects. But Rand Paul's potential role as an envoy should be pursued. After all, it isn't like the hawks have such a great track record.

Daniel R. DePetris is a foreign policy analyst, a columnist at Reuters , and a frequent contributor to The American Conservative.


Sid Finster2 days ago • edited

That TAC columnists continue to hold out hope that Trump will revert to his 2016 form astounds me.

It's like watching Obama cultists convince themselves that The Real Obama®, the hopey changey guy from 2008, will finally put in an appearance, even as he betrays them over and over again.

Sid Finster2 days ago • edited
That TAC columnists continue to hold out hope that Trump will revert to his 2016 form astounds me.

It's like watching Obama cultists convince themselves that The Real Obama®, the hopey changey guy from 2008, will finally put in an appearance, even as he betrays them over and over again.

dbriz Sid Finster2 days ago
Your pessimism is certainly warranted and frequently seconded by Larison and others at TAC. Agreed. But, what choice do we have but to encourage proposals like this one and recognize that Trump, as infuriatingly inconsistent as he has been, needs to be encouraged when he does something sensible.

Rand at least seems to have his ear, no small feat.

Sid Finster dbriz2 days ago
I am not saying that such moves, if they come to pass, should not be encouraged.

But let's see if anything comes of it, or if the Boltons, Pompeos and Haspels of this world make sure that Rand fails and then chant "But we have to go to war because we tried so hard we tried everything ZOMG war war war!"

bbkingfish2 days ago
The best reason I can think of to choose to send someone other than Rand Paul to negotiate with Iran is that Paul was NOT one of the seven WPP senators who didn't sign Tom Cotton's odious open letter to Iran trying to put the kibosh on the Obama nuke deal with Iran.

Maybe try Corker, or Alexander or Murkowski...someone whom the Iranians might have some reason to trust.

I seriously doubt that Rand Paul has a whit more credibility in Tehran than Trump does, and why would he?. I can't think of a single reason why Iran should trust him.

Fayez Abedaziz2 days ago
Good and very to the point made in this article about the hawks, these neo-cons, these war lovers, not having a good track record.
They have a record of death and destruction and they could care less about people suffering.
Just why do they want America to continue attacking and threaten and make war on numerous nations?
Why...
Sid Finster Fayez Abedaziza day ago
Because most Americans have the memory and attention span of a mosquito.

[Jul 18, 2019] The more "effective" the sanctions, the closer to war

Jul 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

elkern , Jul 17 2019 16:08 utc | 31

Trailer Trash is exactly right about brittle supply chains. To "maximize Shareholder value" (the Prime Directive from Wall Street), corporations are maximizing (not optimizing) efficiency, at the expense of long-term priorities.

Summer Diaz is sorta right about what I might describe as US cultural/political obesity, but I don't look forward to living here after the shit hits the fan. There are lotsa crazy bastards with guns. We'll see real race war, starvation, all 4 Horsemen.

Re questions about Israel's fate in Marandi's scenario: I think it's smart that he/they don't talk about retaliation against Israel. Everybody knows that Iran has the ability to really hurt Israel (sans Nukes, they probably can't obliterate it); but this threat is much better left unsaid, just hanging in the air. Threatening Israel would be bad PR, decreasing chances that EU, Russia, & China can talk the US back from the brink of WWIII. And making sure Israel knows they're in danger - without bragging about it - gets (non-crazy) Zionists in USA to help prevent all-out war!

It's OK for Iran to talk about the threat to KSA, UAE, etc, because everybody hates them anyway, and cutting off the world's energy supply is their Doomsday Bomb. They need to remind the world that if the US attacks Iran, everybody loses.


karlof1 , Jul 17 2019 16:23 utc | 32

Three main antagonists have aimed at post-revolution Iran: The Outlaw US Empire, Occupied Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, the latter being the most recent and vulnerable, while the first two have already waged varying degrees of war with the Empire's Economic War having existed for 40+ years. The Levant's former Colonial powers--Turkey, France, UK--are feeble, and in Turkey's case is allied with Iran while being spurned by NATO and EU. Lurking in the background are Russia and China's designs for Eurasian Integration which only the Outlaw US Empire seeks to prevent as such integration benefits Saudi Arabia, Occupied Palestine, France and UK. Thus the only entity that might benefit from non-hybrid war with Iran is the Outlaw US Empire--Occupied Palestine's interests actually lie with becoming part of an Integrated Eurasia not in trying to impede it. And the same goes for the other nations occupying the Arabian Peninsula--but they all need to come to their senses by deeply examining their actual long term interests as Qatar seems to have done in its rapprochement with Iran.

But, just how would a non-hybrid conflict with Iran benefit the Outlaw US Empire if it consumes its regional allies? Would it bring more riches or create greater debt atop the human cost? Most analysts have pointed to the Empire's vulnerability upon the trashing of the current global economic structure. Indeed, the only visible benefit might accrue from slowing Eurasian Integration. Then there's the highly negative result to the Empire's global credibility which is already scrapping rock bottom and the likely end of Dollar Hegemony and the Free Lunch it's lived on for the past 70+ years. But what about the fulfillment of the Christian Rapture Myth? Sorry, but there should be no need to answer that fantastical, magical, thinking. Not a very good balance sheet is it as liabilities seem to vastly outweigh assets. Unfortunately, such logic is ignored by ideologues drunk on magical thinking. And these results don't take into consideration an escalation into global nuclear conflict that's in nobody's interest.

But as noted, Trump's up a tree and keeps climbing higher onto ever thinner, more precarious branches. Iran offered him a chance to climb down if he removes illegal sanctions and returns to JCPOA, which Pompeo promptly replied to with a lie that Iran would negotiate on its ballistic missiles, thus giving the overall goal away.

So, Trump can't/won't climb down and non-hybrid conflict would do great damage to Outlaw US Empire interests, which is where we were at July's beginning.

goldhoarder , Jul 17 2019 16:41 utc | 33
Iran will respond to a limited military strike with a massive and disproportionate counterstrike targeting both the aggressor and its enablers.
Which will be the green light for an even more violent & disproportionate counterstrike on Iran. Make no mistake - there are plenty of gung-ho Washington & Tel Aviv power brokers who want to trash Iran. And they will do it, given the chance. The above scenario is precisely what the war gods are hoping for.

I don't know about that. The US and Israel would really be opening up a can of worms. Any over reaction by the USA and Israel gives Russia, India, and China a precedent to follow. China might it easy to settle their difficulties with Taiwan. Kiev might go up in a mushroom cloud. The USA isn't the only country in the world with problems. If they don't play by the rules it just leads to more rule breakers.

arata , Jul 17 2019 16:47 utc | 34
An Alternate Scenario
There is a saying in Persian language called "Namad Maali" translates as "feltman massag", it means slow killing.
This proverb is very often used in contemporary Persian language but most of the people do not know the actual origin of the proverb.
There is an interesting legend behind it. Holagu Khan, a Mongol ruler, the grandson of Chengiz Khan conquered Baghdad on year 1258, and captured the Caliph Al-Mo'tasam, the last Caliph of Abbasid dynasty. Holagu decided to execute the Caliph and finish the 500 years Muslim caliphate.
Many statesmen begged him to hold on. They told him that the caliph is legitimate successor of prophet Mohammad. Caliphate is the pillar of the world, if you remove this pillar there will be sun eclipse, thunder storm and total darkness. Holagu, with his shamanistic believes fearing sky revenge was yielding, but he consulted his prime minister a Persian mullah, Nasir al-Din Tusi. Nasir told him do not worry, these are total nonsense, all of our great Shai twelve imams were direct descendants of prophet Mohammad, they were inherently innocent, while Abbasid are not direct descendants of prophet. See that our imams, eleven out of twelve, were martyred, there was no sun eclipse, no thunder storm, no darkness of the world.
Holagu was bold enough to carry out the execution. Other statesmen brought forward a group of astrologists who searched through their horoscopes and studied signs of stars and concluded that all the signs are catastrophic, if a drop of caliph's blood drops on earth, there will be a devastating thunder storm, rain of bloods pours down from sky and end of world ...
Holagu consulted Nasi again. Nasir being a great humorist, told him not worry, we can devise a pretty easy solution for your peace of mind, send the caliph to hot bath of feltman workshop, order to be wrapped in felt, they will give him a hot water bath with soap, they will roll him slowly over and over, as they are crafting a felt, his life will be ended peacefully in massage, without a drop of blood, meanwhile I will assign one of my intelligent apprentice who is familiar with sky ways ( Nasir was a great mathematician and Astronomer, he founded a famous observatory, he was inventor of trigonometry), to sit on the roof top of the feltman workshop, he will monitor any changes on sky if there is a minor change, he will signal to the feltman to release the caliph.
President Vladimir Khan has been giving warnings to Ayatollah do not burn JCPOA, do not close Strait of Hurmoz. Ayatollah is telling him do not worry we are giving a feltman massage. Just tell Xi khan do not lean his back against the wall street pillar, clean up your hands from future fund casino, the pillars are collapsing slowly.



jason , Jul 17 2019 17:13 utc | 35
the US and its allies are bluffing. don't get caught up in wars and rumors of it. the only way it was going to happen was if syria and iraq fell and both of them didn't.

when it didn't. they resort back to the usual MO, look busy.

OutOfThinAir , Jul 17 2019 17:31 utc | 36
A reminder from Iran that they can hit back.

Hopefully folks who can influence power have been reading the Guns of August.

Possible miscalculations are everywhere and the parties are no strangers to false flags and proxy actors.

So I'm crossing my fingers for strong back channel communications.

I'm not expecting outright major war. Perhaps a skirmish or two, but a negotiated deal is still the most likely outcome.

c1ue , Jul 17 2019 17:56 utc | 37
@C I eh? #14
I don't see China as the same situation as Russia.
The Russians who have largely supported Putin despite economic ill-effects from sanctions are, at best, 1 generation removed from 1991-1996 post-Soviet collapse privation. They remember the bad times and how to get through them.
The mainland Chinese today are 2 generation removed from the famines in the 50s and 60s, and furthermore there is a largely generational break due to the Cultural Revolution.
I don't see China collapsing, but I also don't see the mainstream population taking a oil-starvation induced economic collapse well at all, because the deal is social repression if the economy and standards of living continue to improve.
The difference is French cheese and EU fruits and vegetables - luxury goods vs. oil = energy = everything.
Uncle Jon , Jul 17 2019 17:57 utc | 38
There seems to be misconception about Kuwait, in particular.

Kuwaitis are fed up with the Saudis and are more Iranophile than anything. They see who is a true regional power.

Recently, I happen to be invited to a diplomatic function, welcoming a new Kuwaiti ambassador (Not in US). There were several businessmen associates of the new ambassador at that function. In an impromptu conversation, they professed their love for anything Iranian or Persian, from culture and history to food and the people, and their disdain for the Saudis and their ruling family.

In fact, one of them, much to my shock, uttered the circulating rumor that the ruling family in SA are actually Jews. He said everyone in the region knows about this open secret but afraid to talk about. That was a revelation for me coming from a Kuwaiti since I never did pay attention to those rumors.

I think in the event of a regional conflict, Kuwait will be spared by Iran. What would happen to the ruling family will be another story.

james , Jul 17 2019 18:04 utc | 39
thanks Seyed Mohammad Marandi.. i agree with your headline...

the usa is not agreement friendly.. everything is on their terms only... they rip up contracts when a new president doesn't like it, and make endless demands of others under threat, just like bullies do. they sanction countries and don't mind killing, starving and subjecting people in faraway lands to their ongoing and desperate means of domination.. nothing about the usa is friendly... they spend all their money on the military not just because it works so well for wall st and the corporations but because they think they can continue to bully everyone and anyone indefinitely.. they get support from the obvious suspects and all the other colonies of the usa - europe, canada and etc - turn a type of blind eye to it all, fearful they might be next if they step out of line.. thus, all these chattel countries fail in line with the usa regime sanctions...

basically, the prognosis isn't good.. none of the colonies are capable of speaking up to the usa regime, largely because they lack strong leadership and independence of thought in all this... we continue to slip towards ww3 and at present all the observing countries sit on their hands waiting for the next shoe to drop.. that is where we are at present with regard the ramp up to war on iran...

Harry Law , Jul 17 2019 21:24 utc | 60
The Gulf states know they would be in the front lines in any conflict, Saudi and UAE infrastructure destruction would mean Kings, Princes and Emir's scurrying from their destroyed countries because of their inability to sell oil and feed their people, as one Iranian General said.. the US bases in the region are not threats, "they are targets". Its true Iran has an army of 500,000, they also have millions of military aged men who would form militias and have the reputation of taking their shrouds with them into battle.
I think a major miscalculation by Trump, initiating this kind of scenario is unlikely, those other whack jobs Pence, Pompeo and Bolton are a cause for concern, just hear this nutcase Lindsey Graham threatening the Europeans....
"The United States should sanction "to the ground" European countries that continue to trade with Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal and refuse to join America's pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic, says top Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
"I will tell the Europeans, 'If you want to side with the Iranians, be my guest, but you won't use an American bank or do business with the American economy,'" Graham said".
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/16/601067/US-Graham-Trump-Iran-JCPOA-EU-sanction-to-ground
William Herschel , Jul 17 2019 21:39 utc | 61
Punitive sanctions against nations with a powerful military establishment have an incredibly poor track record. Germany after WWI. Japan prior to Pearl Harbor. And one might add Russia today. The more "effective" the sanctions, the closer to war.

But, of course, military planners in the U.S. and Israel have already picked out the targets for nuclear strikes during the very first wave of attacks on Iran. It will be nuclear first, ask questions later. Heil Trump has already said he will use nuclear weapons: "obliterate". But will even that work? I doubt it. Iran must expect nuclear attacks in the first wave. Yes, their urban populations will be destroyed, but their military? I doubt it.

Formerly T-Bear , Jul 17 2019 21:54 utc | 62
@ Harry Law | Jul 17 2019 21:24 utc | 60

The folks who now are called Iranian once fought the most militaristic society ever - the Spartans. There is likely a memory of that conflict still, and the lessons learned. They face a military that no longer remembers Vietnam or its lessons. Sanctions are an act of war, not military war but war against another who have been made into enemies nonetheless. Be mightily careful who you make your enemy, one sage reminds that you become like them. Look at those the U.S. has made enemy: Hitler and National Socialism; Mussolini and Fascism; Stalin and State Authoritarianism; Franco and Military Repression; and the list continues substantially, and then look at the U.S. in a distortion free mirror and what does one see?

Maracatu , Jul 17 2019 22:00 utc | 63
Taking into consideration the novel Rand Paul intervention, the likely way forward is this, and I'm sure it is what Putin (the master negotiator) has in mind: Trump blundered badly by throwing out the JCPOA, but he needs a way out that allows him to save face and even turn it into a partial "win". On the world stage (ie. for the public) it needs to look like Trump accedes to reinstate the JCPOA IN EXCHANGE for Iran withdrawing from Syria! This will not only save the nuclear deal, thereby reducing tensions, but it will force Israel to back down and shut up. Israel can't complain and Trump can sell it as an achievement of his, "without having to go to war". The US, of course will have to give Iran, Syria and Russia something in exchange: Iran and Russia ultimately bolstered their forces in Syria in order to save Assad. All things considered, Assad has won the war, so the reason for the bolstered Iranian and Russian presence no longer applies. What the US must agree to is to suspend its efforts to overthrow Assad (which Trump has been trying to do via the withdrawal of US troops in northern Syria), thereby returning the country to the status quo ante. The wild card in all of this, however, is Turkey's presence in Syria. Perhaps China can lend a helping hand on that issue?
Yeah, Right , Jul 17 2019 22:14 utc | 64
@35 "when it didn't. they resort back to the usual MO, look busy."

I agree with that comment, though I will add that for this Administration "looking busy" has a Keystone Cops look about it.

I mean, let's be real here: Norman Schwarzkopf did not make a single move against Iraq until he had well over 500,000 GI's at his command, and Tommy Franks was not willing to restart the Crash Boom Bang until he had built up his army to just shy of 500,000 soldiers.

And Iraq then was nowhere near as formidable as Iran is now.

Where are the troop buildups? Where is the CENTCOM army?
Nowhere. And no sign of it happening.

There is a real possibility that Bolton might get his way and start his dinky little war, only to find that the USA loses a great big war before he even manages to get out of bed.

CENTCOM is not ready for war, nowhere close to it, and for that reason alone Iran is correct to tell the USA that if Trump launches a "limited strike" then their response will be "it's on, baby".

Beibdnn. , Jul 17 2019 22:51 utc | 67
@ William Herschel 61. If the U.S. or anyone else uses any type of Nuclear weapons against Iran, a declared ally of Russia, it will result in an immediate and full scale Nuclear retaliation. This is a recent statement made by Vladimir Putin. Pompeo, Bolton et all are well aware of this. The U.S. might talk of using tactical nukes but despite their Hubris, even the most pro war in the Pentagon know what the results of that type of planned anihilation will have on the U.S. mainland. People like Lindsey Graham are merely empty vessels making a lot of noise.
karlof1 , Jul 17 2019 23:14 utc | 69
Why would Iran allow any Western nation to save face through negotiations or otherwise? Khamenei yesterday tweeted several statements that were later posted to his website:

"At this meeting, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran stressed that Western governments' arrogant behavior is the main obstacle in establishing ties and maintained: Western governments' major vice is their arrogance. If they face a weak government, their arrogance will be effective. But if that country knows the truth about them and resists, the Western governments will be defeated.

"Referring to problems rising between Iran and the European partners of the JCPOA, Ayatollah Khamenei said: Now, in the matters between us and the Europeans, the problems persist, because of their arrogance.

"The Leader of the Islamic Revolution highlighted Iran's commitment to the JCPOA -- also known as the Iran Deal -- and criticized European dignitaries of the deal for breaching it, saying: As stated by our Foreign Minister, who works hard, Europe has had eleven commitments, none of which it has met. The Foreign Minister, despite his diplomatic considerations, is clearly stating that. But what did we do? We acted based on our commitments, and even beyond that.

"Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that Iran continued to stay within the JCPOA despite the fact that the EU partners of the JCPOA as well as the British government violated the international plan of action and yet demanded Iran to stay with its promises: Now that we have started to reduce our commitments, they step forward. They are very insolent, and they have not abided by their eleven commitments. We have just started to reduce some of our commitments, and this process will surely continue."

The hypothetical suggestion Zarif made in his interview with NBC News was just that--hypothetical--as it had to spell out again for the apparently illiterate, deaf or both SoS Pompeo and BigLie Media presstitutes.

In his arrogance, Trump climbed up the tree he's now stuck within; and as I've pointed out again and again, Iran isn't going to help him in his climb down--they'll be no face saving for the arrogant Western nations. I mean, how clear can the Iranians make that?! They quite well understand the very real interests at stake I put forth in my comment @32. And the Turks on their own have upped the stakes with Erdogan assuring :

"that his country is prepared to leave NATO during a meeting with Russian Deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

"'I met twice with Turkish President Recep Erdogan and he told me personally that Turkey was willing to withdraw from NATO,' Zhirinovsky wrote."

Trump seems desperate for a way to climb down from his tree. Controversial Kentucky Senator Rand Paul apparently volunteered his services as an emissary to Iran , which Trump okayed but Paul's office is being mum about. As noted, Iran isn't going to talk unless tangible, visible concessions are made prior to any talks occurring--concessions Zarif and Rouhani have already stated as the minimum required: Ending all illegal sanctions and return to JCPOA.

Uncle Jon , Jul 17 2019 23:38 utc | 72
@karlof1 69

Iran just announced that they would be open to talk about ballistic missiles when US stops selling arms in the Middle East.

You have to hand it to the Iranians. In the one-up-manship game, they are a formidable opponent. Obviously, there is less than zero chance that would ever happen, but they are super smart in driving the message of US arrogance home. I am happy to see they don't take any shit from the Empire.

Master negotiators at work.

[Jul 05, 2019] Bolton Isn't Quitting by DANIEL LARISON

Jul 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Tom Wright makes some good observations about Trump's foreign policy here, but I think he underestimates Bolton's determination to cling to power:

It's hard to see how Bolton can stay. Trump has long known that Bolton wanted war more than he does. He sidelined him on North Korea and overruled him on Iran. For his part, Bolton has privately attacked Pompeo, long a Trump favorite, as falling captive to the State Department bureaucracy and has predicted that the North Korea policy will fail.

Bolton has given an unusually large number of interviews to reporters and has been rewarded with positive profiles lauding his influence and bureaucratic prowess. Those of us who predicted that he would cling to the post of national security adviser, as it would be the last job he'd ever get, may have been wrong. In fact, Bolton looks and sounds as if he is preparing to exit on his own terms. Better that than being sent on a never-ending tour of the world's most obscure places. For Bolton, leaving because he's too tough for Trump is the perfect way to save face. Otherwise, he may be remembered as the man who presided over one of the weakest national security teams in modern American history and someone whose myopic obsessions -- like international treaties or communism in Venezuela -- meant the United States lost precious time in preparing for the national security challenges of the future.

Bolton has been allowed to drive Iran policy to the brink of war, and I can't believe that he would voluntarily leave the position he has when he still has a chance of getting the war with Iran that he has been seeking for years. It is true that Bolton was sent to Mongolia to keep him out of sight during the president's visit with Kim at the DMZ, but where is the proof that Trump has abandoned the maximalist demands that Bolton has long insisted on? On Iran, Trump is still reciting hawkish talking points, sanctioning anything that moves, and occasionally making more deranged threats against the entire country. Unless Trump decides to get rid of Bolton, I don't see why Bolton would want to leave. He gets to set policy on the issue he has obsessed over for decades, and he gets to pursue a policy of regime change in all but name. Bolton will probably be happy to let Pompeo have all the "credit" for North Korea policy, since there is none to be had, and he'll keep stoking the Iran obsession that has already done so much harm to the Iranian people and brought the U.S. dangerously close to a war it has no reason to fight.

Banishing Bolton to Mongolia was briefly entertaining for those of us that can't stand the National Security Advisor, but it doesn't mean very much if administration policies aren't changing. Since Bolton is the one running the policy "process," it seems unlikely that there will be any real change as long as he is there. For whatever reason, Trump doesn't seem willing to fire him. Maybe that's because he doesn't want to offend Sheldon Adelson, a known Bolton supporter and big Trump donor, or maybe it's because he enjoys having Bolton as a lightning rod to take some of the criticism, or maybe it's because their militaristic worldviews aren't as dissimilar as many people assume. It doesn't really matter why Trump won't rid himself of Bolton. What matters is that Bolton is supposedly "humiliated" again and again by Trump actions or statements, and then Bolton gets back to promoting his own agenda no matter what the president does.

For that matter, Bolton's absence from the DMZ meeting may have been exactly what he wanted. Graeme Wood suggested as much just the other day:

Carlson has inserted himself into the frame of this bizarre and impromptu diplomatic trip, and that is exactly where the Boltonites want him: forever associated with a handshake that will be recorded as a new low in the annals of presidential gullibility.

Many observers have assumed that Bolton won't be able to stay in the administration at different points over the last several months. When Trump claimed that he didn't want regime change in Iran, that was supposed to be a break with Bolton. The only hitch is that Bolton maintains this same fiction that they aren't trying to bring down the Iranian government when they obviously are. The second summit with North Korea and the possibility of some initial agreement caused similar speculation that Bolton's influence was waning, and then he managed to wreck the Hanoi summit by getting Trump to make demands that he and everyone else must have known were unacceptable to the North Koreans. Every time it seems that Bolton's maximalism is giving way to something else, Bolton gets the last laugh.

Demolishing the architecture of arms control has been one of Bolton's main ambitions throughout his career. He has already done quite a bit of damage, but I assume he will want to make sure that New START dies. Bolton likely will "be remembered as the man who presided over one of the weakest national security teams in modern American history and someone whose myopic obsessions -- like international treaties or communism in Venezuela -- meant the United States lost precious time in preparing for the national security challenges of the future," but as long as he has the chance to pursue those obsessions and advance his agenda I don't think he's going to give it up. He is an abysmal National Security Advisor, a fanatic, and a menace to this country, and I would love it if he did resign, but I just don't see it. I doubt that Bolton cares about "saving face" as much as he does inflicting as much damage as he can while he has the opportunity. The only thing that Bolton believes in quitting is a successful diplomatic agreement that advances U.S. interests. That is why it is necessary for the president to replace him, because I don't see any other way that he is going to leave.

Lily Sandoz6 hours ago

Bolton quitting? Heck! He's just getting started. Britain, on orders from Bolton, detained an Panamanian flagged supertanker heading to Syria with Iranian oil. Spanish officials said the Grace 1, was seized by British patrol ships off Gibraltar, and boarded by Royal Marines and detained on Wash.'s orders.

Bolton's power is becoming unlimited because Trump and the rest of the gov. is doing nothing to stop his agenda, which most of Wash., must share, of starting a war with Iran, N. Korea, or anywhere else he can stir up trouble.

It's so obvious Wash. wants Iran to fire the first shot in order to go to war and make political donors like Sheldon Adelson happy, as well as Netanyahu who has more to say about US foreign policy than the American people who just want to stop the wars and concentrate on the issues and problems here at home.

After all, it's OUR MONEY going to finance all the atrocities abroad that the war industry and other countries benefit from. Unbelievable stuff going on in Wash. and seems everyday it gets worse and more absurd.

[Jun 28, 2019] Bolton Gets Ready to Kill New START by Daniel Larison

Jun 27, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
If Bolton gets his way, New START is not long for this world :

At the same time, the administration has signaled in recent days that it plans to let the New Start treaty, negotiated by Barack Obama, expire in February 2021 rather than renew it for another five years. John R. Bolton, the president's national security adviser, who met with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, in Jerusalem this week, said before leaving Washington that "there's no decision, but I think it's unlikely" the treaty would be renewed.

Mr. Bolton, a longtime skeptic of arms control agreements, said that New Start was flawed because it did not cover short-range tactical nuclear weapons or new Russian delivery systems. "So to extend for five years and not take these new delivery system threats into account would be malpractice," he told The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative outlet.

Like all of his complaints about arms control agreements, Bolton's criticisms of New START are made in bad faith. Opponents of New START have long pretended that they oppose the treaty because it did not cover everything imaginable, including tactical nuclear weapons, but this has always been an excuse for them to reject a treaty that they have never wanted ratified in the first place. If the concern about negotiating a treaty that covered tactical nuclear weapons were genuine, the smart thing to do would be to extend New START and then begin negotiations for a more comprehensive arms control agreement. Faulting New START for failing to include things that are by definition not going to be included in a strategic arms reduction treaty gives the game away. This is what die-hard opponents of the treaty have been doing for almost ten years, and they do it because they want to dismantle the last vestiges of arms control. The proposal to include China as part of a new treaty is another tell that the Trump administration just wants the treaty to die.

The article concludes:

Some experts suspect talk of a three-way accord is merely a feint to get rid of the New Start treaty. "If a trilateral deal is meant as a substitute or prerequisite for extending New Start, it is a poison pill, no ifs, ands or buts," said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. "If the president is seeking a trilateral deal as a follow-on to New Start, that's a different thing."

Knowing Bolton, it has to be a poison pill. Just as Bolton is ideologically opposed to making any deal with Iran, he is ideologically opposed to any arms control agreement that places limits on the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The "flaws" he identifies aren't really flaws that he wants to fix (and they may not be flaws at all), but excuses for trashing the agreement. He will make noises about how the current deal or treaty doesn't go far enough, but the truth is that he doesn't want any agreements to exist. In Bolton's worldview, nonproliferation and arms control agreements either give the other government too much or hamper the U.S. too much, and so he wants to destroy them all. He has had a lot of success at killing agreements and treaties that have been in the U.S. interest. Bolton has had a hand in blowing up the Agreed Framework with North Korea, abandoning the ABM Treaty, killing the INF Treaty, and reneging on the JCPOA. Unless the president can be persuaded to ignore or fire Bolton, New START will be his next victim.

If New START dies, it will be a loss for both the U.S. and Russia, it will make the world less secure, and it will make U.S.-Russian relations even worse. The stability that these treaties have provided has been important for U.S. security for almost fifty years. New START is the last of the treaties that constrain the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, and when it is gone there will be nothing to replace it for a long time. The collapse of arms control almost certainly means that the top two nuclear weapons states will expand their arsenals and put us back on the path of an insane and unwinnable arms race. Killing New START is irrational and purely destructive, and it needs to be opposed.


Taras77 a day ago

bolton is opposed to any treaty, to any agreement, whereby the other side can expect to obtain equally favorable terms-he wants the other side on their knees permanently without any expectation of compromise by the empire.
Sid Finster a day ago
I wonder how long it will take for Trump to finally figure out that Bolton and Pompeo regard him as expendable.

Whether Trump wins or loses in 2020 will not matter, as long as the neocons get what they want.

Tony 9 hours ago
John Bolton will not be satisfied until he has got us all killed.
He is an extremely dangerous man.

[Jun 27, 2019] US sanctions against Iran amount to an act of war

Jun 27, 2019 | www.wsws.org

Scott Randall21 hours ago • edited

"...as Stratfor, put it, "Trump, fearing a much bigger escalation, got cold feet."

One is reminded of the scene from Oliver Stone's JFK (1991), a General in the Joint Chiefs comments disparagingly about Kennedy for keeping his finger "on the chicken switch" with regard to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Lyndon Johnson in the White House with Henry Cabot Lodge in 1963 declares: "Gentlemen, I want you to know I'm not going to let Vietnam go the way China did. I'm personally committed. I'm not going to take one soldier out of there 'til they know we mean business in Asia (he pauses) You just get me elected, and I'll give you your damned war ."

animalogica day ago
Another question exists: should the US resist the allure of military action against Iran, what can Iran do?
US sanctions against Iran amount to an act of war. Iran can bust sanctions up to some point -- but for how long? Will Iran suffer half a million dead children & elderly people as Iraq did in the 90's ? SHOULD Iran have to suffer such a criminally imposed loss of life?
Where is the way out of this insanity?
Iran won't negotiate with the US for the very good reason that the US clearly wants to sterilize Iranian sovereignty (ie the US won't accept ANY Iranian missiles -- that is, Iran has no right to self defense).
Sad to say, Trump does not need to launch military action against Iran, merely continue to economically terrorise Iran until it has NO choice but to initiate military action against its tormentors.
Ahson3 days ago
Trump being a demented fool that he is now says this:

https://www.presstv.com/Det...

This shows the deep divisions within the imperialist elites on what to do about Iran. They don't have a real plan. Just making it up as they go along.

Ahson3 days ago
The war on Iran will continue till kingdom come, until it falls. Its clear as day that both Russia and China back their Iranian allies against US provocations. China hasn't flinched under US threats to embargo Iranian crude, and continues to purchase it, and Russia has an oil swap agreement with Iran, where it buys Iranian oil and sells it as Russian on the international market. This must be a severe irritation to the imperialists in Washington and London as it renders their Iran sanctions regime practically toothless.

https://www.tasnimnews.com/...

Nobody should be surprised when the next US provocation unfolds, yet again taking us to the brink of disaster.

Ahson3 days ago • edited
Iranian fishermen are finding parts of the CIA drone exposing the lie that the drone was in 'international airspace':

https://www.presstv.com/Det...

Ahson3 days ago • edited
The imperialists are not backing down in their quest for subduing Iran. Seems like the idea here is to put as many large ships in harms way as possible....and provoke Iran to attack one of these......This will ensure the probability of miscalculation and/ or accidents becomes almost unavoidable. There must be regime change in Tehran, on the road to Beijing and Moscow:

https://sputniknews.com/mil...

John Upton • 3 days ago
Iran has every right to defend itself from US imperialisms constant violence, as is the case with China and Russia. It is also pleasing to see the almighty war machine get a bloody nose.

But we should never lose sight of the fact that it is always the working class that suffers the most in terms of death, injuries and destitution.
End all wars!
End production for profit and the Nation state upon which it is built!

John Upton • 3 days ago
America's history demonstrates that loss of (foreign) life is of little concern to those in power.
The Manhattan Project was established, and mightily financed because of reasonably well established fears that Nazi Germany was on track to build its own A-bombs.
With the defeat of Germany that fear was gone. Nevertheless, knowing full well that Imperial Japan had no such program, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were vapourised. A clear demonstration that they, atomic weapons, WMD, worked and a warning to the Soviet Union that it too could be annihilated.
Robert Oppenheimer and others refused to take part in building an H-bomb for class and humane reasons. This fell on Truman's deaf ears.
American Imperialism is indifferent to death and destruction of billions.
As WSWS has stated, Trumps announcement that the loss of 150 Iranian lives is the the reason he pulled backs so much bilge.
FireintheHead3 days ago • edited
Trump is in a catch 22. When push has come to shove , he simply cannot sell another war to the US working class, and he knows it , and he's been well and truly spooked by the Iranian response.

All the US garbage of itself as ''victim'', all the 'good cop bad cop' routines are wearing thin. Nobody is buying it anymore , especially from a gangster.

Perhaps a predicted massive spike in global temperatures will clear out the collective cobwebs further.

Gracchus3 days ago
Good point about the possibility of Iran sinking a carrier. The Chinese have developed advanced anti-ship weapons that, if the results of a RAND corporation war game can be believed, will be able to neutralize carriers. This highlights the fact that, whatever the salesmen of advanced weaponry might say, it will not win wars alone. All of the smart weapons in the world have not ended the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan in the favour of American imperialism.

We can see an historical precedent in the British development of the dreadnought, the modern battleship, in the arms race that preceded WWI. Dreadnoughts were supposed to be the decisive super weapons of the day, but the British and German battle fleets remained in their moorings for most of the war for fear that these expensive ships would fall prey to torpedos. The sinking of the HMS Formidable in 1915 is a case in point. The only major engagement between dreadnoughts was at Jutland and it was inconclusive.

For all of the contemporary bluster about super weapons and the fetishism of smart bombs and cyber weapons, they will not decisively win a war alone. As in the world wars of the last century, the bourgeoisie will be forced to mobilize society for a war. This will mean bringing the working class - against its will - into the maelstrom.

Gracchus3 days ago • edited
Yet again the WSWS demonstrates the incredible foresight and clarity of Marxist analysis. I would like to extend my thanks to Comrade Andre and the editors of the WSWS for their indefatigable efforts to impart Marxist consciousness to the masses. For all of the naysayers who have attacked the WSWS as "sectarian" or as not involved in "practical work," need we point to anything other than the WSWSs explanation of the connection between eruption of American imperialism and the decline of the productive forces of that nation state? That analysis has placed the WSWS in the position of being better prepared politically for the consequences of war than the imperialists, as the latest farce in the Middle East demonstrates.

A quote from Trotsky will further emphasize my point:

"We will not concede this banner to the masters of falsehood! If our generation happens to be too weak to establish Socialism over the earth, we will hand the spotless banner down to our children. The struggle which is in the offing transcends by far the importance of individuals, factions and parties. It is the struggle for the future of all mankind."

The spotless banner is in good hands.

Robert Seaborne Gracchus3 days ago
thank you Gracchus,
for your inspiring comment, I couldn't agree more with it.
dmorista3 days ago • edited
The official story, as usual, is a bunch of hooey. Trump wouldn't bat an eye over the death of 150 Iranians. In addition to the worries about losing an aircraft carrier: the military high command probably let him know that the much vaunted, and outlandishly expensive, force of F-35s, will quickly lose its effectiveness if exposed to probing by the high tech radars the Russians have developed, and that are used in conjunction with at least the S-400 antiaircraft and antimissile defense system. So the question is, if the stealth advantage of the F-35 is only good for a limited time, is this particular geostrategic confrontation worth using up that particular asset??

Then there is the whole question of whether the Iranians would close the Straits of Hormuz in response to a major air raid on their nuclear facilities; this leads to some much more important issues. Despite the blathering about "international waters" and "freedom of navigation" the facts are that the Straits of Hormuz are only 21 miles wide. So all the water in them is either in Iranian territory to the north or Omani to the south. They would be entirely within their rights, as elucidated in the International Law of the Sea, to close the straits after some sort of military strike against them (for what that is worth, which is something at least as far as public opinion outside of the U.S. is concerned). The Iranians have stated that if and when they close the straits they will announce it publicly, no subterfuge or secret operations will be involved.

Since nearly 30% of the World's oil moves through those straits cutting them off will cause an immediate spike in oil prices. Prices of $100 - $300 a barrel would be reached within a few days. If the Straits of Hormuz were closed for a longer period we could easily see prices rise to $1,000 a barrel according to Goldman Sachs projections (see Escobar article cited below). Anything over $150 a barrel would trigger an economic, industrial, and financial crisis of immense proportions around the world. The financial and speculative house of cards, that the ruling classes of the U.S.-led Finance Capital Bloc depends on for their dominance of world capital and markets, would likely come tumbling down. The amount of derivatives that are swirling about the planet and that are traded and created constantly is estimated to be from $1.2 - $2.5 Quadrillion. That's right from $1,200 - $2,500 Trillion or $1,200,000 - $2,500,000 Billion {remember Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, who once said "a billion here and a billion there and first thing you know, You're talking BIG MONEY!!} (See "World Derivatives Market Estimated As Big As $1.2 Quadrillion Notional, as Banks Fight Efforts to Rein It In", March 26, 2013, Yves Smith, "Naked Capitalism", at < https://www.nakedcapitalism... >, and "Iran Goes for 'Maximum Counter-pressure' ", June 21, 2019, Pepe Escobar, "Strategic Culture Foundation", at < https://www.strategic-cultu... >, and "Global Derivatives: $1.5 Quadrillion Time Bomb", Aug 24, 2015, Stephen Lendman, Global Research, at
< https://www.globalresearch.... >). Just like during the 2007 - 2008 crisis the various elements of shadow banking, and speculation would collapse. Remember that total world production of and trade in actual products is only about about $70 - $80 Trillion, or perhaps less than 1/31st the size of the Global Derivatives markets.

All the world's elite capitalists, be they Western or Asian or from elsewhere, maintain homes in numerous places. One reason for this is so they have somewhere to go, if they need to flee from environmental and/or socioeconomic disaster and the resultant chaos in their primary place of residence. As we move ever deeper into this extremely severe and ongoing Crisis of Capitalism, these issues will continue to become more acute.

So we can rest assured that; in addition to the crazed war-mongers Bolton and Pompeo (and their supporters and backers) whispering in Trump's ear to "go ahead and attack the Iranians"; and in addition to the somewhat more sober counsel of General Dunford and other members of the top military command; that titans of finance capital were undoubtedly on the phone warning "Bone-Spur Don" that his digs in Manhattan and Florida might not be entirely safe if the worst were to happen in response to a military strike. The absurd story of Don worrying about 150 Iranians is so ludicrous that it did not even pass the smell test with the corporate controlled media for very long.

Irandle dmorista2 days ago
Oil reached $147 a barrel in 2007-08. That caused the so-called Great Recession.

As WSWS has pointed out there are few if any US options left but war.

Charlotte Ruse3 days ago
"Thirty years of endless war have created a veritable cult of militarism within the American ruling elite, whose guiding assumption seems to be that wars can be waged without drastic global consequences, including for the United States itself."

The military/security surveillance state is a trillion dollar enterprise that instigates conflicts to expand its profits. Militarism works hand-in-hand with the neoliberal corporatists who deploy the military to secure natural resources, wage slaves, and geostrategic hegemony. It should be noted, that the US imperialist agenda left unhindered after the dissolution of the Soviet Union only intensified.

However, in order for the US ruling class to achieve the "ultimate goal" of unilateral hegemony in the Middle East the military must confront Iran a powerful sizable country with economic and political ties to China and Russia. This is the dilemma confronting the warmongering psychopaths
who are influenced by Israel and Saudi Arabia.

A significant military attack against Iran will NOT go unanswered and if the Iranian Military destroys a US warship and kills hundreds of sailors it would unleash another major war in the Middle East igniting the entire region and possibly leading to a world war.

What should traumatize the US population and awaken them from their hypnotic warmongering stupur created by propaganda proliferated on FOX, MSNBC, and CNN is that the United States came within minutes of launching a war whose military consequences it had NOT seriously examined.

John Hudson3 days ago
There's a rumour going around that in preparation for the strike the US launched a massive cyber attack on Iran's air defence - and failed.
Ahson John Hudson3 days ago
Its no rumor:

https://sputniknews.com/mid...

Sebouh803 days ago
In light of these dangerous events it is obvious that a faction of the American ruling class circles including Trump were not prepared to face the consequences of a strike against Iran. That is precisely why Trump aborted the mission last Friday. Just yesterday Trump himself admitted for the first time that if it was up to John Bolton then we would be fighting the whole world. Today Pompeo has been sent to Middle East to broaden his alliance with Gulf Monarchical regimes most notably Saudi Arabia and UAE. It is aimed to prepare the ground for possible confrontation with Iran.
kurumba Sebouh802 days ago
Trump's comment re Bolton that the US "would fight the whole world" sums up what the US is really about. Take it from me, The US hates virtually every country save one: Israel. Illegal US Sanctions regimes now extend to almost 50% of the world's population. The US does not even like the advanced countries such as Europe and Japan. They tolerate them because of diplomatic support and large investment and trade ties. Outside that they have no affinity or connection. Until we all realise the true nature of The US and its exclusive cultural mindset [NFL, NBA, MLB etc etc], populations will merely continue to enable the US to attack and sanction everybody and anyone of their demented choosing. The tragedy is that if the other countries became united and were committed to ending this US terror by eg dumping the US Dollar as international reserve currency and sanctioning all US corporations, the US would face severe turmoil and its reign of endless terror brought to a sudden end.
Popart 20153 days ago • edited
"The strikes were called off at the last moment, amid deep divisions at the highest levels of the White House and the Pentagon over the consequences -- military, diplomatic and political -- of what would likely be the single most dangerous and reckless action of the entire Trump presidency."

I believe things simple didn't go as planned as an airplane was threatened to be taken down. Bolton was in Israel after that to most likely assure Netanyahu that a new attack would be conducted, Bolton Warned Iran Not to 'Mistake U.S. Prudence and Discretion for Weakness'...

https://www.nytimes.com/201...

Ahson3 days ago • edited
There needs to be a correction in the article on the older Raad system not having been used but instead the newer, 'Third of Khordad' system which brought down the MQ-4C Triton. Pictures/ Info on the Third of Khordad reveals that it is in effect an Iranian version of the Soviet Buk-M2 of the MH-17 downing fame which the western backed Kiev junta used from its hand me down Soviet weapons arsenal, to shoot down the ill fated Malaysian Airliner over the Ukraine. The system also is stark evidence of the close defense relationship between the Russians and the Iranians, confirming the suspicions in the west that whatever weaponry Putin transfers to Syria or Iraq is by default also available to Iran.
Andy Niklaus3 days ago
Great Perspective again to build antiwar movement in the global workingclass!
Ahson3 days ago • edited
Not to be outdone by his failure to bring Iran to its knees, Trump ordered a massive cyber attack on Iran's missile batteries and its command and control centers after rescinding the military order to physically attack Iran for downing the drone. The Iranians today announced the failure of this desperate US cyber attack:

https://www.presstv.com/Det...

This is in addition to the CIA placing an agent within the Iranian oil ministry for conducting sabotage. She has been arrested and faces the death penalty for espionage:

https://www.tasnimnews.com/...

The deep State in the US will not stop trying to subdue Iran until it capitulates. Iran must fall to Washington in order for the US to effectively counter and sabotage both Putin's Eurasian Integration and president Xi's BRI projects.

imaduwa3 days ago
Trump's alterration at this moment can be due to Iran's internal coherence against American imperialism. With santions being reinforced, one can anticipate more and more impovershment and quality of life geting lower unabated to the point that the basis for internal coherence gets eroded substantially. We saw working class uprisings in Iran recently and leadership accused imperialist as rabble-rousers to find a way out.That is why we need building SEP/IYSSE in Iran to hatch revolutionary force in Iran for Iran to join the peer in the rest of the world. Morsi in Egypt was overthrown by Sisi with the backing of US imperialism headed by Obama at that time. So is the imperialism and it will continue to work to weaken Iran as a force successfully confronting imperialism in the middle east currently. Let us therefore empower international working class to empower it to overthrow imperialism on one hand and Stalinism on the other hand. Russia too depend largely on its arms sale to maintain its economy. But human needs, not wepons, but basic needs including clean environment. Long live the socialist revolution in Iran and internationally. Death to imperialism. Thank you comrade Andre Damon.
jet1685 • 3 days ago
"The strikes were called off at the last moment, amid deep divisions at the highest levels of the White House and the Pentagon over the consequences -- military, diplomatic and political -- of what would likely be the single most dangerous and reckless action of the entire Trump presidency."
Economically it would be Armageddon. Although some think America does not rely on Mideast oil, the world economy does and America is a part of that despite what nationalists dream. Bolton is making threats from Israel and clearly some believe they stand to gain from war but militarily too it would be Armageddon. The Pentagon would answer the sinking of a carrier by nuking Iran to preserve American "credibility" i.e. fear. China and Russia would have to react, China at least to keep its oil supplied. India pushed against China could add more mushroom clouds not to mention Pakistan. Israel itself with Tel Aviv bombarded from Lebanon and maybe invaded unable to stop this might nuke Lebanon and maybe Tehran if any of it remains and Damascus besides. Just as ww1 started because military train timetables had to be followed there are nukewar plans in Washington, Moscow, and Beijing that won't take long. So world workers need to start our plan before others begin. Preemptive general strikes, antiwar and socialist revolutionary agitation and propaganda within imperialist rank and files and human blockades of war material networks should happen at an early date like now. Now also WikiLeaks should put out whatever it hasn't while people exist to read it. The rich are determined to kill Assange anyway and full wartime censorship is not far off.
erroll jet16853 days ago • edited
Some people have speculated that if the U.S. does attack Iran then Iran will launch missiles at Saudi Arabia's oil fields which will then send oil prices skyrocketing to $130 dollars a barrel. The article also notes that:

"While Trump's foreign policy team -- headed by National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- 'unanimously' supported the attack, General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 'cautioned about the possible repercussions of a strike, warning that it could endanger American forces,' the Times wrote."

Apparently the good general cannot get too worked up at the sight of thousands and thousands of Iranian children, women, and old men who would be slaughtered and grievously wounded by U.S. bombs and the water supply which would be contaminated when those bombs would land at a nuclear power plant. But these horrific actions by the United States are of no consequence because, as Madeline Albright observed on a television a few decades ago, the deaths of a half million Iraqi children by the U.S. was worth it. It would appear that the lives of foreigners are of little consequence to those who are in power. Threatening to start a war against another country for the most specious of reasons is simply another reason why a malignant narcissist like Trump needs to be removed from office as quickly as possible. Or perhaps Trump believes that the best way to improve his low poll numbers is to start dropping 500 lb. bombs on a country which does not in any remote way pose a threat to the United States.

"Almost all propaganda is designed to create fear. Heads of governments and their officials know that a frightened people is easier to govern, will forfeit rights it would otherwise defend, is less likely to demand a better life, and will agree to millions and millions being spent on 'Defense'."-John Boynton Priestly [1894-1984], English writer

"Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god."-Jean Rostand [1894-1977], French philosopher and biologist

лидия3 days ago
When a FOX-news man is the most sane voice in USA foreign policy (regarding aggression against Iran and Venezuela) - it is the real madness!
лидия3 days ago
After Hezballah had booted Zionist colonizers out of Lebanon, Zionist apartheid had lost its image of "invincibility".
Now even ghetto Gaza is fighting back.
Irandle3 days ago
Spies? What is that in reference to?
Gerry Murphy Irandle3 days ago • edited
The CIA payrolled press whores like CNN's Christiane Amanpour for example a prime warmonger and there are countless others embedded in every western media source.
Ahson Gerry Murphy3 days ago
Ironically, Amanpour is Iranian background, an avowed revolution hater and a devoted Iranian Pahlavi monarchist. She's on the record for saying that she wants to see the Shah's exiled son back on the throne in Iran, serving US imperialism for the 'benefit of the Iranian nation'.
The Top-Hatted Commie3 days ago
The sinking of an aircraft carrier, especially one as well known as the USS Lincoln, would have been one of the biggest PR disasters for both Trump and the military. It probably would have sparked demands from the people to know how, despite pouring trillions of dollars into the mouths of greedy defense contractors for decades, a supposedly inferior military could so easily take down one of our ships.
piet The Top-Hatted Commie3 days ago
Khrushchev once said of the Sverdlov class cruisers built in the early 1950's that their only practical purpose was as targets for anti ship missile training because of how outdated they where considering they where armed with guns.

Maybe the anti-ship missile now stands at the point where it can make carriers obsolete similar to how the battleship was made obsolete by the carrier.

Robert Buell Jr piet3 days ago
There are some who argue that surface navies became obsolete in the 1950's with the advent of long range missiles. For many years now, China has been helping to build up Iranian area defences...

https://www.mei.edu/publica...

Ahson The Top-Hatted Commie3 days ago • edited
Cold war weapons are unsuitable for countering Iran's asymmetric warfare doctrine. A dozen or two highly advanced US warships are no match for a thousand missile boats and thousands of Iranian anti-ship missiles in the narrow confines of the shallow gulf.
Corwin Haught3 days ago • edited
Minutes or hours, or Trump never signed on to them, as the accounts from different US media outlets and Trump have differed at several points. Fog of war indeed.

[Jun 27, 2019] Dem candidates has roundly criticized Trump for his approach to Iran. Many of the leading candidates said last week's military confrontation spawned from a crisis of the president's own making, precipitated by his withdrawal from that landmark accord.

That's good line of attack on Trump. People do not want yet another war and they are against overinflated military expenditures. and Trump essentially behaves like a rabid subservant to Israel neocon in those area. So he might share the Hillary destiny in 2020
Jun 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Don Bacon , Jun 27, 2019 12:15:59 AM | 106
The Dem debaters want the failed JCPOA back, except one wants a more punitive one. So it's Obama/Trump redux with all of them, worthless people. We're less safe with Iranians . . .under the bed!

McClatchy

Klobuchar said that Trump's strategy on Iran had "made us less safe," after debate moderators took note of increased military tensions in the Strait of Hormuz last week. Washington has accused Iran of targeting shipping vessels, and Tehran acknowledged it shot down an unmanned U.S. drone on Thursday, nearly prompting Trump to order a retaliatory military strike. The 2015 nuclear deal "was imperfect, but it was a good deal for that moment," Klobuchar stated, characterizing the agreement's "sunset periods" – caps on Iran's enrichment and stockpiling of fissile material set to expire five to 10 years from the next inauguration– as a potential point of renegotiation.

The Democratic field has roundly criticized Trump for his approach to Iran. Many of the leading candidates said last week's military confrontation spawned from a crisis of the president's own making, precipitated by his withdrawal from that landmark accord.

But up until now, the Democratic candidates have not specified how they would salvage a deal that continues to fray – and that may collapse completely under the weight of steadily broadening U.S. sanctions by the time a new president could be sworn in.

Few Democrats had thus far hedged over adopting the agreement entirely should they win the presidency even if the deal survives that long. Leading candidates have characterized the nuclear agreement as "imperfect" and in need of "strengthening," suggesting subtle distinctions within the field over the potential conditions of U.S. re-entry into a pact. . . here


I've got a deal for them to salvage, get off your GD pedestals and say hello to the real world! . . .There, I feel better now.

[Jun 27, 2019] Short US-Iran war 'an illusion', Zarif tells Trump USA News Al Jazeera

Jun 27, 2019 | www.aljazeera.com

Iran's foreign minister has dismissed US President Donald Trump 's claim that a war between their countries would be short-lived, as Washington sought NATO's help to build an anti-Tehran coalition.

"'Short war' with Iran is an illusion," Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter on Thursday, a day after Trump said he did not want a war with Iran but warned that if fighting did break out, it "wouldn't last very long".

Tehran has accused the United States of "economic terrorism" and "psychological warfare" over the Trump administration's application of punishing sanctions after the US president last year unilaterally withdrew Washington from an historic nuclear deal with world powers. Under the 2015 agreement, Iran agreed to scale back its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

In his Twitter post, Zarif said the reimposed and tightened US sanctions "aren't an alternative to war - they are war".

[Jun 27, 2019] Iran Hawks Want to Create an Even Bigger Crisis by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Iran hawks want to force Iran out of the deal to give them a pretext for conflict. These waivers are their latest target because without them other governments may be leery of cooperating on the nuclear projects that give Iran an incentive to remain in the deal. Iran has very few reasons to remain in the deal at this point, and canceling the waivers would likely be the last straw. This is what Bolton and his allies have been working towards all along. When the waivers came up for renewal this spring, the administration extended them, but now there is a real danger that they won't do that again. The last time this came up, Jarrett Blanc explained why extending the waivers is the obviously correct thing to do: ..."
"... Canceling the waivers would be another escalation by the Trump administration, and it would almost certainly prompt Iranian countermoves to further reduce or end their compliance with the deal. The Iran hawks in the administration may think they want a bigger crisis with Iran, but they may not like it when they get one. ..."
Jun 27, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Politico reports that the most rabid Iran hawks in the Senate and inside the administration are pushing to cancel the remaining waivers that enable international cooperation on civilian nuclear projects in Iran. Their explicit goal is to destroy the last pieces of the deal that the U.S. hasn't directly attacked yet.

The report has some interesting details, but the framing of the debate is awful:

Proponents of the nuclear deal have argued that the international nuclear projects facilitated by the waivers help give the U.S. greater visibility and intelligence into Iranian activities; critics say they give an international stamp of approval to Iran's illicit activities.

This is a great example of how ostensibly "neutral" reporting favors the side acting and arguing in bad faith. What "illicit activities" are supported by these waivers? There aren't any. The report makes it sound as if there are two equally valid, competing positions, but one of them is completely false. The hawks' objections to them have nothing to do with opposition to "illicit activities" and everything to do with their hatred for the deal. The activities that the waivers facilitate are endorsed by the JCPOA and a U.N. Security Council resolution.

They cannot be illicit because they are entirely consistent with Iran's obligations and international law. The U.S. has been providing these waivers up until now because of the obvious nonproliferation benefits that everyone derives from the deal, and the people that want to end the waivers are doing so because they don't care about nonproliferation.

Iran hawks want to force Iran out of the deal to give them a pretext for conflict. These waivers are their latest target because without them other governments may be leery of cooperating on the nuclear projects that give Iran an incentive to remain in the deal. Iran has very few reasons to remain in the deal at this point, and canceling the waivers would likely be the last straw. This is what Bolton and his allies have been working towards all along. When the waivers came up for renewal this spring, the administration extended them, but now there is a real danger that they won't do that again. The last time this came up, Jarrett Blanc explained why extending the waivers is the obviously correct thing to do:

Failing to renew the waivers would be indefensible. The fact that there is even an internal debate is illuminating: At least some Trump advisors want a crisis with Iran, and the sooner the better.

Withdrawing waivers for civil nuclear cooperation may sound less aggressive than steps like the overhyped Guard Corps designation, but it is one of the most dangerous steps the administration has left, threatening the international nuclear cooperation that is Iran's only remaining practical benefit from the deal.

Canceling the waivers would be another escalation by the Trump administration, and it would almost certainly prompt Iranian countermoves to further reduce or end their compliance with the deal. The Iran hawks in the administration may think they want a bigger crisis with Iran, but they may not like it when they get one.

[Jun 27, 2019] Iranian viewpoit in MoA blog

Jun 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Capt. Abdul Hassan , Jun 26, 2019 8:10:38 PM | 79

You Americans are for the most part cluelss.

Very few Americans have any realisation at all (certainly non that I have spoken to below the rank of Army Colonel or Navy Captain anyway) that a war with Iran will leave 100s of thousands if not millions of Americans dead, many capital ships at the bottom of the Gulf and the Med (think hard about how that will happen in the Med), and the US a broken 3rd world nation, if the states even stay together to maintain a 'US'.

You need to realise that the middle east (to include Cyprus and Turkey) will be cut off to you. No resupply, no support, no evac. There will be no troops left in the middle east to bring home after a few days of fighting exhaust all ammp and supplies and all positions are then overun or destroyed.

Every last troop in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan will be wiped out, and there will be no way at all of deploying any more troops (think why).

The shock to the weak American Psyche will be amplified by assymetrical spec ops / gorrilla warefare in every US city.

To begin with there will be gas station fires and power line cuts in every US town and city, followed by bridge collpases, interstate highway failures, railroad failures and then destruction, food and medical warehouse fires, forest fires, container port sabotage, cell phone and radio tower destruction, water mains destruction, sewage mains destruction, and of course contamination of water reservoirs - all of which are very simple and easy assymetrical attacks that can be rolled out nationwide by only by a few hundred well trained individuals (already well embedded).

Add these simple WW2 partisan style acts to other acts of sabotage against fire, ambulance, and police infrastruture (again, all very simple and easy assymetrical attacks) and the worst elements of your own society will continue and further amplify the conflageration.

The cities will implode and feed upon themselves, and when the carnage reaches a platau, or simply a stage that invites escalation, then the next phase begins - think MANPADS at every airport to bring down all relief flights and national guard units, ATGMs and HMG against military and police units, snipers against any opertunistic target - anywhere at any time.

There are further steps which I wont describe lest it give certain people ideas, but in the space of just 2 weeks the entire US could brought to its knees and made to realise that every nation on the earth, except the us, hates war and tries to avoid it.

If the US people think they can nuke Iran, kill millions more muslims, and then go back to watching the ball game they should think again.

The Iranians (and Russians and Chinese too) have been planning for a war with the US for decades.

The Iranians know full well that their cities will be nuked, but the Iranians believe the US is the embodyment of Satan (and they have lots of evidence to suggest this is indeed true) so they will fight without regard to life, to pain and to massive losses.

They, and there allies will utterly wipe out ever last US military unit in the middle east and bring the Continental US to its knees in ways few can yet imagine.

Yes, Iran will be glass, but the US will be ashes, or at least no longer a us - as much a victim of its own complexity and ignorance as any missiles or explosives used by Iranian spec ops.

A war with Iran will be the last war the US ever fights. It may 'win' but at what cost.


Don Bacon , Jun 26, 2019 9:34:15 PM | 86

@ Capt. Abdul Hassan 76
Thank you for that, very insighful, perhaps a little over the top, but right on.
Sunny Runny Burger , Jun 27, 2019 10:59:29 AM | 139
Don Bacon I think you're right and in addition the amendment won't matter because the exceptions are so encompassing nearly anything goes.

I'm going to crosspost the scenario (all I posted was the scenario, not the stuff afterwards):

1. US false flags in Iranian vicinity.
2. US military deaths due to provoked Iranian action.
3. US limited strikes.
4. US false flag Iranian dirty bomb in US city using surplus enriched material bought from Iran.
5. US submits evidence of Iranian nuclear attack in UNSC.
6. US attacks Iran using nuclear weapons.

A few (?) didn't buy 1 but the US got stuck on 2 so far and might get stuck on 3 as well.

How can one make 4 fail except to talk about it so people have a chance to think of it as a possibility when it happens?

5 is for "perception" and narrative, it doesn't matter if the UNSC doesn't agree with what the US says or the entire world ridicules the US or if the entire world starts marching like they "magically" and "spontaneously" did before the Iraq war (what was that about? Controlled opposition galore?).

Russia and China are repeatedly telling the US (and everybody else) what 6 will mean.

[Jun 27, 2019] 'The Ugly Americans' From Kermit Roosevelt to John Bolton Iran Al Jazeera

Highly recommended!
Jun 27, 2019 | www.aljazeera.com

Sixty-six years later, I am witnessing how another "Ugly American" is walking in the footsteps of Roosevelt. His name is John Bolton, a chief advocate of the disastrous US invasion of Iraq, a nefarious Islamophobe, and former chairman of the far-right anti-Muslim Gatestone Institute. This infamous institution is known for spreading lies about Muslims - claiming there is a looming "jihadist takeover" that can lead to a "Great White Death" - to incite hatred against them and intimidate, silence, and alienate them.

In his diabolical plans to wage war on Iran, Bolton is taking a page from Roosevelt's playbook. Just as the CIA operative used venal Iranian politicians and fake news to incite against the democratically elected Iranian government, today his successor, the US national security adviser, is seeking to spread misinformation on a massive scale and set up a false flag operation with the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), a militant terrorist organisation. Meanwhile, he has also pressed forward with debilitating sanctions that are further worsening the economic crisis in the country and making the lives of ordinary Iranians unbearable.

... ... ...

Bolton is the dreadful residue of the pure violence and wanton cruelty that drive Zionist Christian zealots in their crusades against Muslims. He is the embodiment of the basest and most racist roots of American imperialism.

The regime he serves is the most naked and vulgar face of brutish power, lacking any semblance of legitimacy - a bullying coward flexing its military muscles. At its helm is an arrogant mercantile president, who - faced with the possibility of an impeachment - has no qualms about using the war machine at his disposal to regain political relevance and line his pockets.

But the world must know Americans are not all ugly, they are not all rabid imperialists - Boltons and Roosevelts. What about those countless noble Americans - the sons and daughters of the original nations that graced this land, of the African slaves who were brought to this land in chains, of the millions after millions of immigrants who came to these shores in desperation or hope from the four corners of the earth? Do they not have a claim on this land too - to redefine it and bring it back to the bosom of humanity?

[Jun 27, 2019] For a man who did whatever he could to avoid fighting in a war, Bolton certainly seems to love the concept.

Jun 27, 2019 | viableopposition.blogspot.com

Sally Snyder , June 27, 2019 at 08:18

Here is an interesting look at John Bolton's Three State Solution for the Middle East:

http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/02/john-boltons-three-state-middle-east.html

For a man who did whatever he could to avoid fighting in a war, he certainly seems to love the concept.

[Jun 27, 2019] What Will It Take to Get Bolton Fired by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Just as Obama turned out to be a slightly more articulate version of Dubya, Trump has turned out to be a meaner, more dysfunctional, more reckless version of Dubya. ..."
"... Bolton is a neo-con, neo-cons are Trotskyites. They believe in an eternal revolution. Bolton believes in eternal war. ..."
"... Sid, the natural conclusion is that the 'deep state' is real, and for the most part runs the country. Whoever is President is less important than the goals of the American elite, most importantly the 'War Party' (the MIC and the IC) and Wall Street, but including Health Care. A side party of equal importance is the Israel Lobby. What happens in America is pretty much what the leaders of those groups want. ..."
"... Trump is too weak to push back on Bolton. He likes bluster. If starting a war will make Trump look macho, he very well might start one. Bolton wants war, Trump may let us stumble into one. ..."
"... "What will it take to get Bolton fired?" One phone call from Israel. Then again, one phone call from Israel would also stop Trump from firing him, and there's no reason to suspect that Bibi is anything other than ecstatic over Bolton's performance. ..."
"... Find out who "told" Donald Trump he HAD to hire Bolton (and Pompeo and others as well) and you'll probably learn the identity of the real puppet master pulling the strings in the "Deep State." It's simply impossible to believe Trump – who ran for president on a platform of "non-interventionism" – appointed this guy on his own volition. ..."
"... The headline asks, "What Will It Take to Get Bolton Fired?" This is a great question. If he CAN'T be fired, this tells us who is really running our country. Another question along the same lines: What will it take to get America to cease its support of Saudi Arabia? ..."
"... The petodollar makes these wars possible; it also defends or preserves the Status Quo, which makes so many of our elite ultra wealthy and powerful. Our carte blanche support of Saudi Arabia is telling us something important just like Trump's appointment of Bolton told us something important. ..."
May 07, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
For someone "not playing along," Trump has obediently given Bolton and the Iran hawks practically everything they have wanted so far. He has gone much further in laying the groundwork for war with Iran than any of his predecessors, and the only reason that many people seem confident that he won't order an attack is their mistaken belief that he is a non-interventionist when all of the evidence tells us that he is no such thing. Trump presumably doesn't want to start a multi-year, extremely expensive war that could also throw the economy into a recession, but then every president that launches an illegal war of choice assumes that the war would be much easier and take less time than it does. No one ever knowingly opts for a bloody debacle. The absurdly optimistic hawkish expectations of a quick and easy triumph are always dashed on the rocks of reality, but for some reason political leaders believe these expectations every time because "this time it's different." There will come a point where Bolton will tell Trump that attacking Iran (or Venezuela) is the only way to "win," and Trump will probably listen to him just as he has listened to him on all of these issues up until now.

There is no question that Bolton should lose his job. Even if you aren't an opponent of Trump, you should be unhappy with the way Bolton has been operating for the last year. He has made a point of sabotaging administration policies he doesn't like, resisting decisions he doesn't agree with, and effectively reversing policy changes while pretending to be carrying out the president's wishes. His mismanagement of the policy process is a bad joke, and the reason he runs the National Security Council this way is so that he can stop views and information that don't suit his agenda from reaching the president. But Trump pays little or no attention to any of this, and as long as Bolton remains loyal in public and a yes-man in person he is likely safe in his job. If Bolton gets his wish and the U.S. starts a war with Iran, he may not be in that job for much longer, but the damage will have already been done. Instead of counting on Trump to toss Bolton overboard, Congress and the public need to make absolutely clear that war with Iran and Venezuela is unacceptable and Trump will be destroying his presidency if he goes down that path in either country.

Sid Finster says: May 7, 2019 at 10:53 am

Obama entered office in 2008 promising to close Guantanamo and end the stupid wars.

Not only did Obama fail to end a single war, he gave us new and stupider wars in Syria, Yemen and Ukraine, to name but three. Guantanamo is still open.

Just as Obama turned out to be a slightly more articulate version of Dubya, Trump has turned out to be a meaner, more dysfunctional, more reckless version of Dubya.

Kouros says: May 7, 2019 at 11:26 am

The banality of Evil, eh?!

No One Listens says: May 7, 2019 at 1:37 pm

" some reason political leaders believe these expectations every time because "this time it's different."

Like communists, political leaders think 'this time we'll get it right. Bolton is a neo-con, neo-cons are Trotskyites. They believe in an eternal revolution. Bolton believes in eternal war.

EarlyBird says: May 7, 2019 at 1:52 pm

As much of a disaster for American institutions Trump has been, I believe he does not want to go to war. The times are a'changin'. Average Americans have figured out that these wars are self-defeating nonsense. Trump knows that, and doesn't want to alienate the middle American types who support him and would go to war.

But he does want to sound and look tough, hence Bolton. The problem is that while Trump may believe he's just blustering, reneging on the nuclear deal, cranking back brutal sanctions and sending US flotillas to the Strait of Hormuz looks and feels like war to the Iranians.

We could stumble into a very big and ugly war like America stumbled into the ugly era of Trump. And Trump is the absolute last person I would want to serve as a commander in chief during war time.

SteveK9 says: May 7, 2019 at 1:57 pm

Sid, the natural conclusion is that the 'deep state' is real, and for the most part runs the country. Whoever is President is less important than the goals of the American elite, most importantly the 'War Party' (the MIC and the IC) and Wall Street, but including Health Care. A side party of equal importance is the Israel Lobby. What happens in America is pretty much what the leaders of those groups want.

Zgler says: May 7, 2019 at 2:52 pm

Trump is too weak to push back on Bolton. He likes bluster. If starting a war will make Trump look macho, he very well might start one. Bolton wants war, Trump may let us stumble into one.

Sid Finster says: May 7, 2019 at 3:59 pm

Of course the "Deep State", the "permanent government" the "Borg" or whatever you want to call it is real.

Every winning candidate since arguably Bush 1.0 ("kinder gentler nation") ran for office as a non-interventionist. Even Dubya promised a humbler foreign policy in 2000.

Once inaugurated, each candidate morphed into a foaming-at-the-mouth hawk.

I don't pretend to know how the process works, or even if it is the same for every president, but the results speak for themselves. I suspect without evidence that it is something like what we saw in "Yes, Minister".

Whine Merchant says: May 7, 2019 at 5:18 pm

The neo-cons are busy studying the Israeli playbook of declaring themselves surrounded and launching a preemptive strike. Pompeo's view is that the occupation of Iraq is/was so difficult because the US isn't as ruthlessly efficient as the IDF in the West Bank and allowed Iraq some self-governance.He won't allow that in the conquered Iran.

Step 1: send a doctored telegram to Kaiser Trump and leak it to the press.
Step 2: Get the GOP Senate to pass the "Gulf of Hormuz" declaration.
Step 3: sink a ship, perhaps one called USS Maine or USS Liberty.

Good night

Oleg Gark says: May 7, 2019 at 6:32 pm

Trump would fire Bolton in a heartbeat, but Adelson won't let him.

Oscar Peterson says: May 7, 2019 at 7:43 pm

"What Will It Take to Get Bolton Fired?"

The first question is "What did it take to get Bolton hired?"

The answer to the author's question is that making Trump look bad (in a way that Trump recognizes) is what will get Bolton fired. But like Dick Cheney, Bolton has a very good sense of what a Richelieu needs to do to seem loyal and obedient to an idiot king. Rummy appended Bible verses to schemes that he wanted Bush to approve. Bolton does something similar, no doubt.

Westerbrook says: May 7, 2019 at 8:50 pm

"What will it take to get Bolton fired?" One phone call from Israel. Then again, one phone call from Israel would also stop Trump from firing him, and there's no reason to suspect that Bibi is anything other than ecstatic over Bolton's performance.

The mammoth "donations" from Adelson et al to Trump and the corrupt Republicans have paid off royally for Israel. With Trump and Bolton in the White House, Israel barely even needs a foreign ministry, a treasury, or a military anymore. Uncle Sam does it all for free.

Uncle Billy says: May 7, 2019 at 9:44 pm

Bolton needs a rabies shot. The man is a rabid neocon.

Deacon Blue says: May 8, 2019 at 9:40 am

Find out who "told" Donald Trump he HAD to hire Bolton (and Pompeo and others as well) and you'll probably learn the identity of the real puppet master pulling the strings in the "Deep State." It's simply impossible to believe Trump – who ran for president on a platform of "non-interventionism" – appointed this guy on his own volition.

Also, if it was so important to appoint Bolton, why would this be the case?

I think it's because – in the minds of those pulling the strings – it's crucial to them that America does the things Bolton wants to do.

That is, Bolton wasn't named National Security Advisor to do nothing.

Lessons?

1) Trump's not calling the important shots here.

2) Better buckle up your chinstrap.

Deacon Blue says: May 8, 2019 at 10:08 am

The headline asks, "What Will It Take to Get Bolton Fired?" This is a great question. If he CAN'T be fired, this tells us who is really running our country. Another question along the same lines: What will it take to get America to cease its support of Saudi Arabia?

We know the answer to this one. NOTHING. Consider that

The answer (Saudi Arabia can do whatever it wants with no risk of incurring the wrath of America) begs the question: Why is "letting Saudi Arabia do whatever it wants" so important to America?

This answer, I believe, has everything to do with the vital role the petrodollar plays in maintaining the Status Quo.

If the Deep State is calling the shots, what is most important to the Deep State?

Answer: Protecting the U.S. dollar (fiat) printing press. Absent this printing press and the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency, none of our current wars and future wars would even be possible.

And the fact we are willing to wage these wars sends a vital message to the nations of the world: We WILL use our military against anyone who threatens the Status Quo.

The petodollar makes these wars possible; it also defends or preserves the Status Quo, which makes so many of our elite ultra wealthy and powerful. Our carte blanche support of Saudi Arabia is telling us something important just like Trump's appointment of Bolton told us something important.

TheSnark says: May 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm

The only way people like Bolton get fired is the same way Bannon got dumped. It is when Trump sees on Fox News that they are getting more press coverage than him.

Tony says: May 9, 2019 at 8:13 am

The post of national security advisor needs to be subject to Senate confirmation.

Henry Kissinger in the Nixon administration and Zbigniew Brzezinski in the Carter administration were both more powerful/influential than the respective secretaries of state, William Rogers and Cyrus Vance.

The Senate needs to assert itself and ensure that national security advisors are appointed in the same way as secretaries of state. This would help to a certain extent.

[Jun 25, 2019] Trump may be in too deep to avoid war with Iran by Patrick Cockburn

Notable quotes:
"... But if a ground war is ruled out, then Iran is engaged in the sort of limited conflict in which it has long experience. A senior Iraqi official once said to me that the Iranians "have a PhD" in this type of part political, part military warfare. They are tactics that have worked well for Tehran in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria over the past 40 years. The Iranians have many pressure points against the US, and above all against its Saudi and Emirati allies in the Gulf. ..."
"... Saddam Hussein sought to throttle Iran's oil exports and Iran tried to do the same to Iraq. The US and its allies weighed in openly on Saddam Hussein's side – an episode swiftly forgotten by them after the Iraqi leader invaded Kuwait in 1990. From 1987 on, re-registered Kuwaiti tankers were being escorted through the Gulf by US warships. There were US airstrikes against Iranian ships and shore facilities, culminating in the accidental but very avoidable shooting down of an Iranian civil airliner with 290 passengers on board by the USS Vincennes in 1988. Iran was forced to sue for peace in its war with Iraq. ..."
Jun 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

But the dilemma for Trump is at a deeper level. His sanctions against Iran, reimposed after he withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, are devastating the Iranian economy. The US Treasury is a more lethal international power than the Pentagon. The EU and other countries have stuck with the deal, but they have in practice come to tolerate the economic blockade of Iran.

Iran was left with no choice but to escalate the conflict. It wants to make sure that the US, the European and Asian powers, and US regional allies Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, feel some pain. Tehran never expected much from the EU states, which are still signed up to the 2015 nuclear deal, and has found its low expectations are being fulfilled.

A fundamental misunderstanding of the US-Iran confrontation is shared by many commentators. It may seem self-evident that the US has an interest in using its vast military superiority over Iran to get what it wants. But after the failure of the US ground forces to win in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Somalia, no US leader can start a land war in the Middle East without endangering their political survival at home.

Trump took this lesson to heart long before he became president. He is a genuine isolationist in the American tradition. The Democrats and much of the US media have portrayed Trump as a warmonger, though he has yet to start a war. His national security adviser John Bolton and secretary of state Mike Pompeo issue bloodcurdling threats against Iran, but Trump evidently views such bellicose rhetoric as simply one more way of ramping up the pressure on Iran.

But if a ground war is ruled out, then Iran is engaged in the sort of limited conflict in which it has long experience. A senior Iraqi official once said to me that the Iranians "have a PhD" in this type of part political, part military warfare. They are tactics that have worked well for Tehran in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria over the past 40 years. The Iranians have many pressure points against the US, and above all against its Saudi and Emirati allies in the Gulf.

The Iranians could overplay their hand: Trump is an isolationist, but he is also a populist national leader who claims in his first campaign rallies for the next presidential election to "have made America great again". Such boasts make it difficult to not retaliate against Iran, a country he has demonised as the source of all the troubles in the Middle East.

One US military option looks superficially attractive but conceals many pitfalls. This is to try to carry out operations along the lines of the limited military conflict between the US and Iran called the "tanker war". This was part of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and the US came out the winner.

Saddam Hussein sought to throttle Iran's oil exports and Iran tried to do the same to Iraq. The US and its allies weighed in openly on Saddam Hussein's side – an episode swiftly forgotten by them after the Iraqi leader invaded Kuwait in 1990. From 1987 on, re-registered Kuwaiti tankers were being escorted through the Gulf by US warships. There were US airstrikes against Iranian ships and shore facilities, culminating in the accidental but very avoidable shooting down of an Iranian civil airliner with 290 passengers on board by the USS Vincennes in 1988. Iran was forced to sue for peace in its war with Iraq.

Some retired American generals speak about staging a repeat of the tanker war today but circumstances have changed. Iran's main opponent in 1988 was Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Iran was well on its way to losing the war, in which there was only one front


Pat Kittle , says: June 24, 2019 at 2:01 am GMT

Patrick Cockburn:

Patrick Clawson tells us whose really calling the shots for war with Iran:

-- ( https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=israel+lobby+submarine+patrick+clawson&view=detail&mid=4881C02C42F22ED6F6164881C02C42F22ED6F616&FORM=VIRE ]

(Hint: It's not Saudi Arabia & the UAE.)

Cheers!
-- Patrick Kittle

Carlton Meyer , says: Website June 24, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
"Trump took this lesson to heart long before he became president. He is a genuine isolationist in the American tradition."

Mr. Cockburn does not understand the meaning of isolationist. Trump has been pro-empire since the day he took office.

I have better stuff in my blog:

June 22, 2019 – Iran

People familiar with US military history know what just happened off Iran. American aircraft and drones have violated Iranian airspace every week for years, either by accident or because American officers like to screw with them, especially when lots of high-level American officials want war with Iran. Complaints were filed and ignored, so the Iranians shot one down. Note there is no international airspace in the Strait of Hormuz. Half belongs to Iran and the other to UAE and Oman. It is an international waterway, so all ships have the right to transit, but aircraft require permission from one of these nations.

The American people are clueless about this stuff since most only know what our warmongering media tells them, as Jimmy Dore explains in this video. I was shocked and pleased that President Trump saw through this ruse and bravely did nothing. If we bomb Iran they will hit back, maybe openly with a missile barrage, or covertly using Shia militias in Iraq, Bahrain, and Afghanistan. The USA has tens of thousands of soldiers and contractors all over the Arab world. I'm sure local teams have spent years scouting targets and preparing to attack after a green light from Tehran. Trump wisely cancelled this chaos, at least until after his reelection.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MYhvOgN707k?feature=oembed

Robert Dolan , says: June 24, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
"National security?"

Whose national security?

Iran is no threat to the United States.

We have no right to impose a "regime change" on Iran, no matter how much Israel
wants us to do so.

Israel should fight its' own wars.

We've had enough

Ma Laoshi , says: June 24, 2019 at 9:14 am GMT
"He is a genuine isolationist" Oh please; Mr. Cockburn, you're old enough to have heard of projection. There is nothing genuine about Trump's public persona, except for his greed and egotism. He's a world-class grifter and charlatan–i.e., still not to be underestimated. His calculation will probably be "Can I get re-elected without jumping into the breach? Then that's fine too. If the polls look awful, I'll roll the dice and be a War-Time President like Dubya."

At least, Mr. Cockburn understands that the "crippling sanctions" (the way Americans are always proud of those show that they're just knee-capping mafiosi) are leaving Iran no choice but to fight back. So the decision may not be in Donald's hands; he may be smarter than his media caricature, and yet not as smart as he thought.

Sally Snyder , says: June 24, 2019 at 11:53 am GMT
Here is a article that takes a detailed look at Iran's military capabilities:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/06/irans-military-strength-2019-edition.html

Once American servicemen start dying for this rather nebulous cause, it will be the reaction of American voters that will ultimately determine the extent and duration of yet another Middle East military, nation re-engineering "adventure".

EliteCommInc. , says: June 24, 2019 at 4:32 pm GMT
"Note there is no international airspace in the Strait of Hormuz. Half belongs to Iran and the other to UAE and Oman. It is an international waterway, so all ships have the right to transit, but aircraft require permission from one of these nations."

You might want to examine the UNCLOS agreement. It's created some sticky issues in the South China Seas and in the straight in question, Iran and Oman are leaning very heavily on that the policy. In their view it is for use exclusively for noncombatant enterprise as part of their claim as territorial waters, they have a say in its use.

[Jun 25, 2019] Should Iran acquire nuclear bomb as a self-defense against attack of the USA

Jun 25, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Dr. Ip , June 24, 2019 at 03:53

Pakistan is nuclear, pal.
Israel is nuclear, pal.
India is nuclear, pal.
North Korea is nuclear, pal.
Nobody attacks their territory these days, pal.
But Iran chose a long time ago not to go nuclear, pal.
The American Mullahs want their oil money back and so have issued yet another fatwah through their Supreme Leader.

KiwiAntz , June 24, 2019 at 04:08

Old Geezer are you familiar with the term"Mutual Assured Destruction"? Any Nuclear attack will be met with a Nuclear response by the Country attacked! This isn't 1945 where America could nuke Japan & get away with it? It's 2019 & alot of Nations have the Nukes to deter US Nuclear attacks? That's MAD in a nutshell!

Zhu , June 24, 2019 at 06:03

Who says Iran is going nuclear, Gezzer? If he usual liars.

AnneR , June 24, 2019 at 09:31

So *what* if the Iranians developed nuclear weapons? (Not that they are going to – as they have stated over and over again. But then they are not as bloodthirsty as Anglo-Americans always seem to be.)

Frankly, if they had done so, the US-IS-UK would be a lot less eager to bomb their country into smithereens – all for the benefit of their more westerly neighbor (the middle country above). NK understands this. Unfortunately, Qaddafi didn't.

And again – I repeat: which nation state is it that *has* used such weapons: twice? Only one. (Not to mention that same country's eager use of depleted uranium – far from its shores, of course – in bullets and shells.) Charming.

heathroi , June 24, 2019 at 09:45

is that you, John?

Steve in DC , June 24, 2019 at 09:47

Iran should go nuclear. The US doesn't f#%* with countries that have the bomb. The sooner Iran can thwart Washington the better off the world will be. Washington will have to get another hobbyhorse.

Tick Tock , June 24, 2019 at 11:45

How many generations has your family been inbreeding? Was it part of the US Guvment plan to create the race of morons? Without a doubt it has been a success in making you, make Forrest Gump look like an Einstein. Keep posting at least it might keep you off the streets.

Ol' Hippy , June 24, 2019 at 11:58

They won't need to. All they have to do is barricade the Strait of Hormuz and collapse the world economy that relies on oil from the Gulf States. Never mentioned in the corporate(MSM) media circles that want war. The ensuing depression would be like no other, ever.

Paul Merrell , June 24, 2019 at 12:36

@ Old Geezer:

My friend, you've been getting too much of your news from Israel-influenced mainstream media. Iran has not had a nuclear weapons program since 2003 (if it had one even then, which is doubtful). That is the consensus position of all U.S. intelligence agencies, Mossad, and several european intelligence agencies. See the reference links in my article at https://relativelyfreepress.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-question-about-ron-wydens-intelligence.html

Moreover, as Don Bacon summarizes, Iran doesn't need nukes to hold the U.S. at bay.

Finally, Iran's unquestionable ability to close all shipping of oil through the Hormuz Strait (30 percent of the world's supply) means that Iran has the ability to bring the western economic system to its knees. Who needs nukes?

DH Fabian , June 24, 2019 at 13:08

Are China and Russia nuclear-armed countries, in a world that has largely come to see the US as an unpredictable and dictatorial threat? Possibly too great of a threat to allow it to continue?

Linda Furr , June 24, 2019 at 13:12

Who's the 'they'? US officials have already talked of nuclear attacks on areas of Iran. The great 'democracy' of USA just ain't so. Its criminal psychopathy comes straight from Israel – against most Americans' desires. Washington DC is sick.

[Jun 25, 2019] Not to in any way absolve Trump, but as long as Bolton and Pompeo are on the scene there will be blood

Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Qualtrough , Jun 24, 2019 8:15:58 PM | 104

Not to in any way absolve Trump, but as long as Bolton and Pompeo are on the scene there will be blood. Bolton in particular should be in jail for crimes against humanity. He is a madman. Scary times.

[Jun 25, 2019] Netanyahu's Iran Dilemma: Getting Trump to Act Without Putting Israel on the Front Line.

Jun 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Don Bacon , Jun 23, 2019 10:37:20 AM | 4

Oscar Peterson , Jun 23, 2019 10:13:46 AM | 2

This recent 19 May piece from Ha'aretz documents precisely the manipulation of American policy by Israeli charlatans and their agents of influence in the US. The title says it all just by itself: "Netanyahu's Iran Dilemma: Getting Trump to Act Without Putting Israel on the Front Line." It goes on to assess that:
"In this conflict, Israel is hoping to have its cake and eat it too. Ever since Trump was elected president two and a half years ago, Netanyahu has been urging him to take a more aggressive line toward Iran, in order to force it to make additional concessions on its nuclear program and disrupt its support for militant organizations.

"Trump acceded to this urging a year ago when he withdrew America from the nuclear agreement with Iran. That was followed by tighter sanctions on Iran, as well as publication of a plan by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo detailing 12 steps Tehran must take to satisfy Washington.

"But Israel isn't interested in being part of the front. That is why Jerusalem has issued so few official statements on the Iranian issue, and why Netanyahu has urged ministers to be cautious in what they say."

I'd say that passage captures the situation perfectly, and it just goes to show that when you want to know about what chicanery Israel and its lobby are up to in the US, you have to go and look at what Israelis are saying when they aren't particularly careful about who's observing. That sort of truth is sanitized from any MSM accounts in the US.

@ OP 2
Israel is an important part of Middle East US policy decisions but not the only part, and not the most important one. Going back to the Carter Doctrine, and before, the US has intended to be the top dog in the Middle East but instead, through its mistakes, has become second fiddle to Iran. The US and its allies have tens of thousands of troops with tons of military gear in the area and are still losing influence, replaced by Iran and its Shia Crescent. That must be reversed!

Lochearn , Jun 23, 2019 11:16:37 AM | 11

In Danielle Ryan’s article in RT's Op-ed “US will not ‘stumble into’ war with Iran by mistake. If it happens, it will be by design” she notes the prevalence of “strange terminology” used by mainstream media to describe how the US gets into wars. I have added to her list and checked that all have been used in the current US-Iran scenario. The US is in danger of being: “dragged into, sucked into, sliding into, stumbling into, slouching towards, lured into, bumbling into, blundering into and sleepwalking into” war with Iran.

Who are they trying to kid when they have already declared economic war on Iran, asphyxiating the Iranian economy, knowing full well that Iran has to respond.

John Bolton “sleepwalking” into war with Iran? He’ll be wide awake and so excited he’ll probably have to relieve himself.

NemesisCalling , Jun 23, 2019 11:23:57 AM | 12 Oscar Peterson , Jun 23, 2019 11:25:56 AM | 13
@Don Bacon #4
"Israel is an important part of Middle East US policy decisions but not the only part, and not the most important one. Going back to the Carter Doctrine, and before, the US has intended to be the top dog in the Middle East but instead, through its mistakes, has become second fiddle to Iran. The US and its allies have tens of thousands of troops with tons of military gear in the area and are still losing influence, replaced by Iran and its Shia Crescent. That must be reversed!"

Have to disagree with a good deal of this.

Israel's strategic preferences have indeed become the most important single influence on US Middle East policy. Up to a certain point in the past, that was not true, but it is now. The Carter Doctrine has, in effect, been undermined by the distortions that the ever-growing power of pro-Israel political Jewry in the US in both its neoconservative and Likudnik expressions are able to impose on our policy.

Neither big oil, nor Saudi Arabia, nor anything that could objectively be called US strategic considerations wields anything like the heft of political Jewry. And even metastasizing Christian Zionism is only an ideological adjunct to Zionism proper, primarily a function of the cultural damage stemming from Jewry's march through the institutions since WW II.

That said, I must also disagree that Iran has become "the top dog" in the Middle East. They are nowhere close, though, with their cultural and technological attainments, backed by oil and gas deposits, their long-term strategic position has a lot of promise. A "top dog" would not be in Iran's current underdog position vis-a-vis Israel and its US golem and having to fight back with the stratagems we are currently seeing.

The Shia crescent is essentially a myth, and Iran's ability to exercise dominating influence on Shia Arabs is largely a function of the hostility of Sunni Arabs to the Shia Arab empowerment of recent years. Yes, the US is losing influence, but that is mostly a function of our own policy dysfunction induced by dual-loyalist political Jewry and the Israel-Über-Alles strategic preferences it imposes.

ATH , Jun 23, 2019 11:34:04 AM | 14
@Don Bacon
That clarifies.
I do agree that Israel is one of the 2 important factors in US calculation in south-west Asia, the other being strategic leverage over big-league competitors. And, it is true that US military presence in the Persian Gulf has been the Carter doctrine's making - although one might argue the doctrine itself was created to fill the vacuum created with the departure of the British and the subsequent independence given to the southern Sheikhdoms. The issue with the current US strategy in the region is that it defies the reality with such an obstinance that it completely undermines its own goals. The origin of this obstinance is well known to everyone.
NJDuke , Jun 23, 2019 11:45:09 AM | 18 Don Bacon , Jun 23, 2019 11:52:24 AM | 19
Israel or no, failure is not an option for the US in the Middle East, especially Syria which was Hillary's Job-One during her SecState tenure.
AP, Dec 14, 2011--
US: Assad's Syria a 'dead man walking'
The State Department official, Frederic Hof, told Congress on Wednesday that Assad's repression may allow him to hang on to power but only for a short time. And, he urged the Syrian opposition to prepare for the day when it takes control of the state in order to prevent chaos and sectarian conflict.
"Our view is that this regime is the equivalent of dead man walking," said Hof, the State Department's pointman on Syria, which he said was turning into "Pyongyang in the Levant," a reference to the North Korean capital. He said it was difficult to determine how much time Assad has left in power but stressed "I do not see this regime surviving.". . . here

And Syria is only the most important US target country in the ME, the Iraq challenge still exists, Lebanon is important (receives some US military aid) and of course the old bugaboo Iran has become more vital than ever. Iran has a heavy political influence in Iraq and Syria, and that highway from Tehran to Beirut is a problem especially considering Iran ally (and "terrorist") Hezbollah. So. . .that's why 50,000+ US troops, an air force, and the Navy's Fifth fleet are there.

The main point is that the US world hegemon has to be strong everywhere, especially in Asia, and if it's forced out of anywhere it would set a bad example, going back to 'losing China.'

Oscar Peterson , Jun 23, 2019 11:55:55 AM | 20
@ATH #14
"The issue with the current US strategy in the region is that it defies the reality with such an obstinance that it completely undermines its own goals. The origin of this obstinance is well known to everyone."

Yes, I think that's the issue exactly, and Israel is at the heart of it all. We are undermining our own goals (and scoring own goals.) Your point here captures the current bottom line of US "strategy" in the region.

Don Bacon , Jun 23, 2019 12:01:08 PM | 21
"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses." . ."I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.". . .General Smedley Butler, USMC, two Congressional Medals of Honor, veteran of wars in Central America, Europe and China
Don Bacon , Jun 23, 2019 12:19:00 PM | 25
Is Israel responsible for the US enmity toward North Korea? the bombing of Libya and Somalia? Eighteen years in Afghanistan?
No. In the US, to quote Randolph Bourne (1918), war is the health of the state.
. . .With the shock of war, however, the State comes into its own again. The Government, with no mandate from the people, without consultation of the people, conducts all the negotiations, the backing and filling, the menaces and explanations, which slowly bring it into collision with some other Government, and gently and irresistibly slides the country into war. For the benefit of proud and haughty citizens, it is fortified with a list of the intolerable insults which have been hurled toward us by the other nations; for the benefit of the liberal and beneficent, it has a convincing set of moral purposes which our going to war will achieve; for the ambitious and aggressive classes, it can gently whisper of a bigger role in the destiny of the world. The result is that, even in those countries where the business of declaring war is theoretically in the hands of representatives of the people, no legislature has ever been known to decline the request of an Executive, which has conducted all foreign affairs in utter privacy and irresponsibility, that it order the nation into battle. Good democrats are wont to feel the crucial difference between a State in which the popular Parliament or Congress declares war, and the State in which an absolute monarch or ruling class declares war. But, put to the stern pragmatic test, the difference is not striking. In the freest of republics as well as in the most tyrannical of empires, all foreign policy, the diplomatic negotiations which produce or forestall war, are equally the private property of the Executive part of the Government, and are equally exposed to no check whatever from popular bodies, or the people voting as a mass themselves.
Oscar Peterson , Jun 23, 2019 12:54:22 PM | 36

@Don Bacon #25

"Is Israel responsible for the US enmity toward North Korea? the bombing of Libya and Somalia? Eighteen years in Afghanistan?"

First, I did not claim that every move the US makes is Israel-induced. I said that Israel is at the heart of our overall strategic dysfunction in the Middle East. Libya and Somalia are peripheral, and Afghanistan is not truly in the region at all.

But let's be clear that the rise of both al Quaeda and, as a follow-on, the Islamic State have been greatly facilitated by the resentment generated by the imposition of Jewish state on the region at the expense of the local Arabs. Both bin Laden and Zawahiri have mentioned the Zionist conquest and its wars as formative experiences.

And the rise of IS was a direct result of the US invasion of Iraq, itself induced by the overlapping strains of Jewish neoconservatism and Likudnik hyper-Zionism. The overthrow of Saddam created the political and strategic space for IS to emerge and thrive, and the concerted attempt to overthrow Assad--another Israeli strategic preference--weakened the Syrian state so much that it permitted the establishment of a "caliphate" which then invaded Iraq. This expanding dynamic played a role in Libya as well.

With regard to Saudi Arabia, we have to ask why the US put its weight behind the replacement of Muhammed bin Naif (MbN) with Muhammed bin Salman (MbS) when almost all the USG wanted to tell Salman that we preferred staying with the known and trusted MbN. Almost certainly, Trump's ignorant support of MbS originated with the pro-Israel Jews who dominate his thinking. MbS has been a bonanza for Israel but a disaster for us (and the region.)

And with regard to Afghanistan, the denuding of that theater to resource the Iraq-Iran-Syria invasion/regime change scheme demanded by Israel and its operatives in the US had a definitively negative outcome on US policy in Afghanistan from which, it is now clear, it will never recover.

In East Asia, the negative impact of US Israel-centric Middle East policy can be seen as well. The neocon/Likudnik-induced morass of Iraq into which we marched distracted us from the Asia-Pacific and particularly China's move into the South China Sea, which might have been deterred, if we weren't expending the overwhelming majority of our energy, attention and resources in the Middle East.

And since you bring up North Korea, the Israeli influence on US policy there is certainly secondary but definitely not zero. Israel and its lobby seek an ultra-hard line on any US negotiations with North Korea because they see it as an extension of Iran policy, so in their view, any concession to North Korea is a bad example for Iran. This contributes to impeding any possible negotiated solution to the complex of issues on the Korean Peninsula.

It is truly amazing how far the insidious reach of Israel, its nefarious lobby and the "Is-it-good-for-the-Jews?" obsessions of political Jewry extends into US foreign policy. Our current strategy is, as ATH noted, self-undermining. There really is no historical precedent for it.

jared , Jun 23, 2019 1:24:50 PM | 45
Regarding blatant/outsized influence of israel. Appears they are being treated as 51st state.
Kristan hinton , Jun 23, 2019 12:32:50 PM | 27
Consider that Israel and the USA are one entity.

After all, this is what our elected, alleged representatives posit when they state collectively, in unison, loudly, repeatedly, on their knees, that "the USA maintains an irrevocable bond with Israel".

That statement should bring the condescension and the wrath of the USA public.

For what reason would the USA maintain an "irrevocable bond" with ANY other nation?

Regardless of the fact that ISrael is an apartheid state by its own definition as "The Jewish State of ISrael".

Don Wiscacho , Jun 23, 2019 1:44:16 PM | 51

Don Bacon @41
Oscar Peterson @46

You both have valid points, but I've always believed it's the dog that wags its tail. Sure, if it was simply Palestine, one could expect different nuances of US policy. But any qualitative difference? I don't see it.
The US would still back undemocractic strong men who would treat American interests as paramount in return for US backing of their regime and turning a blind eye to their enrichment at the expense of the general population. The US would be hellbent against any pan-Arab nationalism or anything resembling socialism or sovereignty.
The proof? Well take a look at how the US treats the rest of the world.
The US and Israel have overlapping interests as it relates to the Middle East with the added accelerator of the many dual nationals in seats of power.

lysias , Jun 23, 2019 2:21:16 PM | 57 bevin , Jun 23, 2019 2:22:35 PM | 58
"Israel's strategic preferences have indeed become the most important single influence on US Middle East policy. Up to a certain point in the past, that was not true, but it is now. The Carter Doctrine has, in effect, been undermined by the distortions that the ever-growing power of pro-Israel political Jewry in the US in both its neoconservative and Likudnik expressions are able to impose on our policy."

Oscar Peterson is correct not because Israel's interests are of such importance-they really are not- but because US Foreign policy has become totally incoherent.
This is because it is entirely aimed at fund raisers and influencers of the electorate. It is founded on the theory that the United States can do whatever it pleases, and need never care about consolidating its power or defending its positions because it is far more powerful than all its potential rivals added together. This being the case its Foreign Policy becomes a saleable commodity, just as its armed forces-which can never be defeated- are at the disposal of the highest bidders.
Note to Psychohistorian: the open democracy website has an article on Costa Rica's public banking today.

james , Jun 23, 2019 2:23:49 PM | 59
with regard to iran, the usa is tied at the hip to israel.. that is a fact... now, maybe it can change, but i think phil at mondoweiss lays it out pretty clearly for anyone interested..

Trump’s climbdown on Iran is a defeat to the Israel lobby

as i see it, this is just temporary... israel is gunning hard for war on iran.. anyone who can't see that is in fact very blind..

meanwhile - Trump: “I have some hawks. John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him he'd take on the whole world at one time.“

bolton is in this position due the fact trump owed sheldon adelson one... at least trump can see it, but i don't know that he can avoid where this is going... that would be putting too much faith in a con artist - grifter..

eagle eye , Jun 23, 2019 6:40:30 PM | 139
Wage labourer, , 91.

I suggest you download Douglas Reed's comprehensive review of Zionism's activities in "The Controversy of Zion" over the period you describe from a singular perspective and read it thoroughly. IN fact I commend that book to everyone on this site. Reed was a correspondent through WW2 and before and his work is detailed and readable, with extensive references.

Get it here: https://www.controversyofzion.info/

[Jun 25, 2019] Jimmy Dore: CBS News "War Expert" Is Being Paid By Raytheon

Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stever , Jun 23, 2019 2:19:31 PM | 55

Jimmy Dore: CBS News "War Expert" Is Being Paid By Raytheon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYhvOgN707k

Via ZeroHedge:

"CBS News Analyst And Iran "War Mongering Maniac" Also Raytheon Board Member: Dore"

"How do you know the MSM is nothing more than the media wing of the military-industrial-complex? A Raytheon board member masquerading as an objective analyst is a good start."

"On Friday, CBS News analyst and retired Navy Admiral James Winnefeld Jr. slammed President Trump for calling off retaliatory strikes on Iran over a downed US drone, while insisting we must strike Iran or else the United States will "lose a lot of credibility."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-22/cbs-news-analyst-and-iran-war-mongering-maniac-also-raytheon-board-member-dore

[Jun 25, 2019] Iran Says New U.S. Sanctions Mean Diplomatic Path Closed 'Forever'

Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zachary Smith , Jun 25, 2019 1:39:41 AM | 140

The headline says it all:

Iran Says New U.S. Sanctions Mean Diplomatic Path Closed 'Forever'

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said financial restrictions would be imposed on Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif later this week. ............... Zarif, viewed as Iran's most skilled diplomat, was lead negotiator in the multi-party nuclear accord reached in 2015 under the Obama administration that Trump has since rejected.

If this was about a real estate deal in New York, Trump's bully-boy tactics might seem reasonable. Deliberately pissing off the real leader of Iran, and sanctioning their head diplomat means he doesn't want "negotiations". Only total surrender is permissible in light of his foolishness.

I've got a bad feeling about all of this. Time is running out for the apartheid Jewish state, and they're going to be mighty tempted to arrange for a bunch of US military men or women to be brought home in body bags. That's because they can't be absolutely positive one of the neocon Democrats will be in the White House soon.

[Jun 25, 2019] As foolish as it may seem, a war on Iran could be the perfect option that satisfies all power groups in the United States. The hawks would finally have their war against Tehran, the world economy would sink, and the blame would fall entirely on Trump.

Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Uncle Jon , Jun 23, 2019 3:09:16 PM | 70

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/06/23/provoking-iran-could-start-a-war-and-crash-the-entire-world-economy/


A great article and an ominous one.


karlof1 , Jun 23, 2019 3:28:18 PM | 71

Behind the curtain :

"Trump is in danger of being crushed between a Fed that sees the US dollar's role as the world's reserve currency collapse, and the need for the Fed to blame someone not linked to the real causes of the collapse, that is to say, the monetary policies adopted through QE to prolong the post-crisis economic agony of 2008....

"As foolish as it may seem, a war on Iran could be the perfect option that satisfies all power groups in the United States. The hawks would finally have their war against Tehran, the world economy would sink, and the blame would fall entirely on Trump. The Donald, as a result, would lose any chance of being re-elected so it makes sense for him to call off possible strikes as he did after the US drone was shot out of the sky."

The author echoes my words from yesterday:

"I wonder if Europeans will understand all this before the impending disaster. I doubt it."

Regarding what I wrote about Sanders in my reply to Stever, here we have the Chancellery of the People's Republic of China spokesman, Hua Chun Ying:

"The American leaders say that 'the era of the commercial surrender of their country has come to an end', but what is over is their economic intimidation of the world and their hegemony.

"The United States must again respect international law, not arrogate to itself extraterritorial rights and mandates, must learn to respect its peers in safeguarding transparent and non-discriminatory diplomatic and commercial relations. China and the United States have negotiated other disputes in the past with good results and the doors of dialogue are open as long as they are based on mutual respect and benefits."

No, I didn't cite everything in the article. There's much more of importance there to read!

[Jun 25, 2019] Trump's action on Iran help to further diminish the USA credibility on international arena

Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Harry Law , Jun 24, 2019 2:13:40 PM | 1

After a somewhat quiet weekend the Trump administration today engaged in another push against Iran.

Today the Treasury Department sanctioned the leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It also sanctioned Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and his office! There will be no more Disney Land visits for them.

There is more to come:

Josh Rogin - @joshrogin - 16:18 utc - 24 Jun 2019

Mnuchin: "The president has instructed me that we will be designating [Iran's foreign minister Javad] Zarif later this week." cc: @JZarif

The Treasury Secretary will designate Javad Zarif as what? A terrorist? Zarif is quite effective in communicating the Iranian standpoint on Twitter and other social media. Those accounts will now be shut down.

The Trump administration's special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, said today that Iran should respond to U.S. diplomacy with diplomacy. Sanctioning Iran's chief diplomat is probably not the way to get there.

All those who get sanctioned by the U.S. will gain in popularity in Iran. These U.S. measures will only unite the people of Iran and strengthen their resolve.

Iran will respond to this new onslaught by asymmetric means of which it has plenty.

On Saturday Trump said that all he wants is that Iran never gets nuclear weapons. But the State Department wants much more. Hook today said that the U.S. would only lift sanctions if a comprehensive deal is made that includes ballistic missile and human rights issues. Iran can not agree to that. But this is not the first time that Pompeo demanded more than Trump himself. Is it Pompeo, not Trump, who is pressing this expanded version to make any deal impossible?

Brian Hook is by the way a loon who does not even understand the meaning of what he himself says:

laurence norman @laurnorman - 10:53 utc - 24 Jun 2019

US Hook says Iran knew what getting into when struck deal with president who had 1 1/2 yr left in office. "They knew what they were getting into...They knew that there was a great possibility that the next president could come in & leave the deal." Note: US elections 17 months away

Those are two good arguments for Iran to never again agree to any deal with the 'non-agreement-capable' United States.

It seems obvious from the above that the Trump administration has no real interest in reasonable negotiations with Iran:

"The administration is not really interested in negotiations now," said Robert Einhorn, a former senior State Department official who was involved in negotiations with Iranian officials during the Obama administration. "It wants to give sanctions more time to make the Iranians truly desperate, at which point it hopes the negotiations will be about the terms of surrender."

That is part of the strategy. But the real issue is deeper:

Max Abrahms @MaxAbrahms - 16:41 utc - 24 Jun 2019

Pro tip: Sanctions against #Iran aren't to retaliate for the downed drone or to punish tanker attacks or to improve the nuclear deal or to help the Iranian people but to foment revolution against the regime. The strategy is regime change with velvet gloves.

... ... ...

Pompeo was hastily sent to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Brian Hook is now in Oman and Bolton is in Israel. The U.S. will also pressure Europe and NATO to join a new 'coalition of the willing'. The UK will likely follow any U.S. call as it needs a trade deal to survive after Brexit.

Other countries are best advised to stay out.

Posted by b at 02:05 PM | Comments (183) Our leaders have gone out of their tiny minds, first Trump confirms our suspicions that the deal he wants must include those legal ballistic missiles, then that nutcase Hunt pledged to stand by the US in the event of conflict with Iran, you could not make it up.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is running against Boris Johnson for the Conservatives' leadership, has pledged to stand by the US even if its confrontation with Iran leads to a military conflict, according to The Daily Mail. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201906241076032533-uk-foreign-secretary-hunt-admits-britain-could-follow-us-into-war-with-iran/

Trump is such a con man... He said he told Shinzō Abe, before the Japanese prime minister visited Tehran on 12 June: "Send the following message: you can't have nuclear weapons. And other than that, we can sit down and make a deal. But you cannot have nuclear weapons."

On further questioning he added the demand that Tehran should not have a ballistic missile programme, and suggested he wanted a tougher inspection regime.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/23/iran-may-pull-further-away-from-nuclear-deal-after-latest-sanctions

This whole saga is not about nuclear weapons, it is about those conventional ballistic missiles which Iran is manufacturing perfectly legally and changing the equation in the region. These are precision missiles and could turn Tel Aviv and Saudi oil infrastructure into rubble, US/Israel want to make Iran defenseless. It is not going to happen.


Sally Snyder , Jun 24, 2019 2:22:28 PM | 2

Here is a article that takes a detailed look at Iran's military capabilities:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/06/irans-military-strength-2019-edition.html

... ... ...

psychohistorian , Jun 24, 2019 2:25:50 PM | 3
Pompeo is a lying ass.

The US faced empire is the largest state sponsor of terror

The big lie technique works when all levels of communication are controlled. Otherwise it makes you the laughing stock, which Trump will be at the G20 before he leaves

Virgile , Jun 24, 2019 2:25:56 PM | 4
In dealing with Iran Pompeo & Bolton are following the infantile pattern that Israel uses with Palestinians and Hezbollah: Make them suffer so they turn against their leaders and provoke a regime change
It never worked because the middle easterners do not think like the Jews or Westerners. They are resilient and have little to loose. The more hardship they get from foreign and hostile powers the more they unite and resist. Despite the overwhelming persecution of the Palestinians by Israel and its western allies for 50 years they are still resisting. Iran is not different.
They are under siege for 30 years and still defiant.
Many US presidents and Boltons have passed and disappeared in oblivion after attempting and failing regime changes in the middle east. Trump is not different.
Joe , Jun 24, 2019 2:39:29 PM | 5
Well, the end is most certainly nigh. Figure the US or Israel will resort to using nuclear weapons which will result in Russia and China unleashing theirs. At least we can expect Wash DC to be obliterated. May solve one of our problems.
Expect all nuclear facilities, military bases, and major airports to be targeted. Hopefully, major population centers would be spared but doubt the US will reciprocate so expect all major metropolitan areas to also be targeted.
fastfreddy , Jun 24, 2019 2:44:14 PM | 6
Here is the double down on stupid which should have been expected.

Double sanctions, double demands, double threats, double censorship and the assemblage of a fake posse - aka the coalition of the lapdogs.

Who will join the coalition of dumbfuckery? Here are the coalition members from Dubya's Iraqi invasion in 2003:

Of the 48 countries on the list, three contributed troops to the invasion force (the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland). An additional 37 countries provided some number of troops to support military operations after the invasion was complete.

The list of coalition members provided by the White House included several nations that did not intend to participate in actual military operations. Some of them, such as Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and Solomon Islands, did not have standing armies. However, through the Compact of Free Association, citizens of the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia are guaranteed US national status and therefore are allowed to serve in the US military. The members of these island nations have deployed in a combined Pacific force consisting of Guamanian, Hawaiian and Samoan reserve units. They have been deployed twice to Iraq. The government of one country, the Solomon Islands, listed by the White House as a member of the coalition, was apparently unaware of any such membership and promptly denied it.[5] According to a 2010 study, the Federal States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau (and Tonga and the Solomon Islands to a lesser extent) were all economically dependent on economic aid from the United States, and thus had an economic incentive to join the Coalition of the Willing.[6]

In December 2008, University of Illinois Professor Scott Althaus reported that he had learned that the White House was editing and back-dating revisions to the list of countries in the coalition.[7][8] Althaus found that some versions of the list had been entirely removed from the record, and that others contradicted one another, as opposed to the procedure of archiving original documents and supplementing them with later revisions and updates.[3]

By August 2009, all non-U.S./UK coalition members had withdrawn from Iraq.[9] As a result, the Multinational Force – Iraq was renamed and reorganized to United States Forces – Iraq as of January 1, 2010. Thus the Coalition of the Willing came to an official end.

psychohistorian , Jun 24, 2019 2:55:44 PM | 7
Thanks to fastfreddy with the Iraq related Coalition of the Willing history

Over on another thread it was noted that today Trump is trying to build another Coalition of the Willing to "protect" the shipping lanes.

My response was
@ Don Bacon and SRB with the comments about the crybaby defense over "protecting" shipping lanes

I think China will tell empire like I tell the guy in front of the Post Office wanting to protect my bicycle while I go in....."Why should I give you money to protect me from you?

karlof1 , Jun 24, 2019 2:57:31 PM | 8
100% Gangsterism. The Outlaw US Empire learned it cannot defeat Iran militarily, so it invites other nations to become outlaws too. The G-20's in 4 days. I'll wager Trump leaves before it's over having accomplished nothing other than absorbing abuse from most attendees. And just what will Trump do when this move fails as it will? IMO, he just dealt Sanders a great set of cards. The crowd expecting a repeat of Shock & Awe will grow smaller as they slowly realize the truth of my second sentence. Instead of climbing down the tree, Trump climbs higher onto thinner branches. What's more, Trump opens himself up to being challenged within the Republican Party for POTUS nominee as the Current Oligarchy cannot like this choice.

Here's Zarif's tweet in response:

"realDonaldTrump is 100% right that the US military has no business in the Persian Gulf. Removal of its forces is fully in line with interests of US and the world. But it's now clear that the #B_Team is not concerned with US interests -- they despise diplomacy, and thirst for war."

It appears Zarif concedes policy isn't made by Trump. The ignorance displayed in the thread's comments is astounding.

adrian pols , Jun 24, 2019 3:03:57 PM | 9
The only times I can think of when a country switched sides, ie: overthrew their leaders, was when they were caught in a squeeze between two other powers and decided to go with the winner. Example: Italy in 1943. External pressures causing people to overthrow their leaders? Essentially Nada.
Casey , Jun 24, 2019 3:08:09 PM | 10
So, what happens to derivatives if a shooting war ends up with the Straits closed? Escobar's recent piece on the derivatives implosion that would result from a shooting war suggests that the US/Saudi/Bibi axis is like a boys playing with matches around a can of gasoline or that they believe they have a work-around for the derivatives problem. I would like to know whether the BIS-types are on board with this fiasco or are trying to apply the brakes.
Harry Law , Jun 24, 2019 3:24:31 PM | 18
Bernie Sanders suggested that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was "the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of the country." Bernie you ain't seen nothing yet, if those slavering imbeciles have anything to do with it. The costs [including long term costs] of the Iraq/Afghan wars [still ongoing] are estimated at 6 Trillion dollars. Here is what just one Trillion dollars looks like http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html
"Yet the nation's longest and most expensive war is the one that is still going on. In addition to nearly 7,000 troops killed, the 16-year conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost an estimated US$6 trillion due to its prolonged length, rapidly increasing veterans health care and disability costs and interest on war borrowing. On this Memorial Day, we should begin to confront the staggering cost and the challenge of paying for this war". http://theconversation.com/iraq-and-afghanistan-the-us-6-trillion-bill-for-americas-longest-war-is-unpaid-78241

[Jun 25, 2019] I'd say it's very likely Trump needs to be included on the list of those needing to hear Nasrallah.

Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 23, 2019 4:11:31 PM | 94

I've replied to numerous people lacking knowledge that they must listen to Nasrallah when it comes to what will occur if the Outlaw US Empire or any other entity attacks Iran. This short clip is one of several I'm referring to. I'd say it's very likely Trump needs to be included on the list of those needing to hear Nasrallah.

[Jun 25, 2019] Tulsi on Iraq war and Trump administration and some interesting information about Bolton

With minor comment editions for clarity...
Looks like Bolton is dyed-in-the-wool imperialist. He believes the United States can do what wants without regard to international law, treaties or the роlitical commitments of previous administrations.
Notable quotes:
"... Israel is an Anglo American aircraft carrier to control the Eastern Mediterranean ..."
Jun 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

J. Gutierrez says: June 24, 2019 at 5:37 pm GMT 300 Words

...Look at this man's video and remember he is a pervert, warmonger and a coward!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hs35O_TBbbU

Ma Laoshi , says: June 24, 2019 at 11:56 pm GMT

@J. Gutierrez

...Zionists know what they want, are willing to work together towards their goals, and put their money where their mouth is. In contrast, for a few pennies the goyim will renounce any principle they pretend to cherish, and go on happily proclaiming the opposite even if a short while down the road it'll get their own children killed.

The real sad part about this notion of the goy as a mere beast in human form is maybe not that it got codified for eternity in the Talmud, but rather that there may be some truth to it? Another way of saying this is raising the question whether the goyim deserve better, given what we see around us.

Saka Arya , says: June 25, 2019 at 7:02 am GMT
@Malla

Israel is an Anglo American aircraft carrier to control the Eastern Mediterranean and prevent a Turko Egyptian and possibly Persian invasion of Greece & the West

[Jun 24, 2019] Was global hawk drone a decoy to get a map of Iran air defense system

Notable quotes:
"... That could mean that it was there specifically for observation (of the P8, as much as Iranian defenses); and of course could mean that much of the equipment, particularly the active equipment, was no longer aboard ..."
"... Wouldn't be needed, after all, if the job was just to record what was hoped to be an Iranian reaction, and would want to minimize the amount of equipment potentially falling into enemy hands if things went bad. ..."
"... Secondly, the 35 souls on board the P8 comment by Iran was brilliant. For one thing, it put the US on the defensive and once again called world attention to the fact that the Iranians have striven to avoid loss of life (so much so that Trump even used it to partly save face on the whole thing). ..."
"... But either way, it is unquestionable that Iranian intelligence has penetrated the base, or operations, to a degree that must be causing all sorts of trepidation amongst the US hawks. ..."
Jun 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Jun 23, 2019 2:32:07 PM | 61

Re the Boeing and the drone. With both planes apparently close together for the flight, they were not there for maritime surveillance. Iranians most likely only picked up floating debris initially and electronic hardware may be rovered later, but there is a possibility the drone was stripped of hardware for its job as decoy. 35 to 38 people on the Boeing are too many for a simple photoshoot.

The decoy entering Iranian airspace the beginnings of a US strike... it draws fire from multiple SAM sites, the Boeing P-8 videoing the shootdown to justify the strike while locating launch positions and directing immediate strikes onto these positions. Comes unstuck when Iran launches a single missile. Trump cancels the strike.
Re the Boeing - if the strike was planned in advance, as the pentagon does with its contingency plans the aircraft would have been equipped for detecting SAM sites.


Peter AU 1 , Jun 23, 2019 3:54:25 PM | 84

To add to my post @80, the US captured the missile strike on video. One of the pics put out by the Pentagon was of the drone exploding. This means they were videoing the drone at the moment the missile struck. The only reason for having a video camera filming the drone that I can see, is that the US expected it to be hit.
William Gruff , Jun 23, 2019 4:04:10 PM | 88
Peter AU 1 @80

Why have 35 (or, according to Trump 38) people on a spy plane that is normally crewed by 9?

Because you need double-digit numbers of American casualties to get Americans' attention.

As PavewayIV pointed out in a previous thread, the P-8 spy plane was to the east of the drone. That means it was between the missile launcher and the drone. The P-8 has a hundred times or more the radar cross section of the drone, despite them both being about the same size, so electronic countermeasures or not it stands out like a sore thumb relative to the drone to Iran's radar. It is impossible that these issues were overlooked by the people who put this mission together.

The Navy has a bunch of P-8s. They only had one RQ-4.

The conclusion is obvious:

The drone was there to collect evidence of the destruction of the P-8.

Peter AU 1 , Jun 23, 2019 4:19:06 PM | 96

William Gruff 88

I had noticed the directions in the in the video pics but had forgotten about that.
Makes it more complex as the crewed aircraft was to the east of the drone (closest to Iran), yet videoing the drone expecting it to be hit...
The video also had coordinates of the aircraft taking the video and the target aircraft (in this case the drone) I have not cross checked this with the Iranian coordinates and bringing them up on google maps did not show the positions in relation to Iranian airspace. That the US includes the coordinates in the pics makes me wonder if the information in the video shots has been changed - possibly by resetting the video recorder prior to the op.

J Swift | Jun 23, 2019 7:42:55 PM | 152

A couple of random thoughts on the drone/P8. Firstly, there was earlier a fair amount of debate on the stealthiness of the drone. I would just mention that the Iranians did not say it was a stealth drone they were tracking...they said it was in "stealth mode." I originally thought that was just an offhand reference to the craft turning off its transponder, making it somewhat less obvious although hardly a true stealth craft. But perhaps they meant that it was noted to be in fully passive mode with respect to its surveillance equipment.

That could mean that it was there specifically for observation (of the P8, as much as Iranian defenses); and of course could mean that much of the equipment, particularly the active equipment, was no longer aboard

Wouldn't be needed, after all, if the job was just to record what was hoped to be an Iranian reaction, and would want to minimize the amount of equipment potentially falling into enemy hands if things went bad.

Secondly, the 35 souls on board the P8 comment by Iran was brilliant. For one thing, it put the US on the defensive and once again called world attention to the fact that the Iranians have striven to avoid loss of life (so much so that Trump even used it to partly save face on the whole thing).

As Paveway IV commented, it could have technically been an empty, remotely controlled plane, in which case the Iranian reference to a highly unusual number of crewmen may have been a tongue-in-cheek jab at the Yanks--or there may have been an unusually high number of crewlambs, which might also have alerted the Iranian intelligence that a set-up was unfolding.

But either way, it is unquestionable that Iranian intelligence has penetrated the base, or operations, to a degree that must be causing all sorts of trepidation amongst the US hawks.

karlof1 | Jun 23, 2019 7:52:23 PM | 154

Jen @143--

As myself and others noted, the usual crew for P-8 is 7: two on the flight deck and 5 distributed at the 5 work stations. The plane's equipped with a bomb/torpedo/sonobouy bay as it's primary mission's ASW. Jamming in an additional 28-30 people would be rather difficult at best. IMO, the only way would be to remove all ordinance to make room for what could only be 3 Special Forces squads and their gear--they would paradive into Iran to do their thing, presumably. Otherwise, the plane wasn't a P-8. I don't recall the Iranians providing the plane type, although it's clear they could have since they readily identified the drone. That leaves us with the following:

  1. Iran's incorrect about the # of people they "saw" on other plane.
  2. USA's playing along with Iranian mistake, but added 3 more.
  3. Iran's correct. USA's lying about plane type.
  4. Iran's correct. USA correct, but altered mission and added troops.
  5. Iran's correct. USA correct; but if shadowing drone, why so many people--trial run?
  6. Iran's correct. Both US planes deliberately entered Iranian airspace to provoke a response that wasn't obtained earlier in the week as Zarif just informed. If so, why so many on non-drone?

There're probably more that could be obtained, but the above seem to be the most logical. It's also possible that Iran toppled the planes into its airspace using EW; although that possibility surprised PavewayIV, I'm not in the least. Regardless if there were 7, 35 or 38 people on the second plane, they all probably needed new trousers upon landing. I also wonder if the Iranian system actuates the radar-lock warning alarm giving the pilot a chance to evade? If I'm correct in my evaluation of Iran's system, it won't and the air crew won't have time to say a final prayer.

[Jun 24, 2019] US and Israel want to make Iran defenseless. It is not going to happen

It is all about dominance in the region...
Notable quotes:
"... This whole saga is not about nuclear weapons, it is about those conventional ballistic missiles which Iran is manufacturing perfectly legally and changing the equation in the region. These are precision missiles and could turn Tel Aviv and Saudi oil infrastructure into rubble, US/Israel want to make Iran defenseless. It is not going to happen. ..."
Jun 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Harry Law , Jun 23, 2019 7:41:48 PM | 151
Trump is such a con man... He said he told Shinzō Abe, before the Japanese prime minister visited Tehran on 12 June: "Send the following message: you can't have nuclear weapons. And other than that, we can sit down and make a deal. But you cannot have nuclear weapons."
On further questioning he added the demand that Tehran should not have a ballistic missile programme, and suggested he wanted a tougher inspection regime.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/23/iran-may-pull-further-away-from-nuclear-deal-after-latest-sanctions

This whole saga is not about nuclear weapons, it is about those conventional ballistic missiles which Iran is manufacturing perfectly legally and changing the equation in the region. These are precision missiles and could turn Tel Aviv and Saudi oil infrastructure into rubble, US/Israel want to make Iran defenseless. It is not going to happen.

[Jun 24, 2019] If the United States removes the existing ruling class, it is not clear that we would be able to build a functional government in the new Iran -- even if we airdropped billions upon billions of dollars onto the country.

Notable quotes:
"... Trump and the Trump administration have no credibility; lying is simply the nature of this administration. ..."
"... Nobody is going to believe anything put out by the US government for a long time. And yes, it's really sad when Iran or North Korea are deemed more credible than my own government. ..."
"... This whole affair is about nothing except smashing yet another nation because the apartheid Jewish state wants that to happen. ..."
Jun 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zachary Smith , Jun 24, 2019 1:04:05 AM | 187

Just ran into an interesting little piece:

War with Iran?

Highlight:

Laying aside political and nationalistic biases, both the United States and Iran have credibility issues. While Iran is not known for its honesty, Trump and the Trump administration have no credibility; lying is simply the nature of this administration. As such, the matter cannot be settled by an appeal to credibility -- although, sadly, Iran seems to be less inclined to relentless lying than Trump.

Nobody is going to believe anything put out by the US government for a long time. And yes, it's really sad when Iran or North Korea are deemed more credible than my own government.

The author does miss the point here:

If the United States removes the existing ruling class, it is not clear that we would be able to build a functional government in the new Iran -- even if we airdropped billions upon billions of dollars onto the country.

This whole affair is about nothing except smashing yet another nation because the apartheid Jewish state wants that to happen.

[Jun 24, 2019] The Fact That Americans Need To Be Deceived Into War Proves Their Underlying Goodness

Notable quotes:
"... "Lying sometimes, not always lying, sometimes it's manipulations, but yeah," Merry replied. "America's warmaking history indicates that there's been significant instances of that kind of maneuvering, manipulations, and in some instances lying–Vietnam is a great example–to get us into wars that the American people weren't clamoring for." ..."
Jun 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

John Smith , Jun 24, 2019 2:33:49 AM | 202

The Fact That Americans Need To Be Deceived Into War Proves Their Underlying Goodness by Caitlin Johnstone

<...>

Carlson's first guest, The American Conservative 's Robert Merry, plainly stated the likely reason for Bolton's deceitful manipulations, saying that Americans are typically reluctant to go to war and citing a few of the historical instances in which they were tricked into consenting to it by those who desire mass military violence.

"So, you're saying that there is a long, almost unbroken history of lying our way into war?" Carlson asked his guest rhetorically.

"Lying sometimes, not always lying, sometimes it's manipulations, but yeah," Merry replied. "America's warmaking history indicates that there's been significant instances of that kind of maneuvering, manipulations, and in some instances lying–Vietnam is a great example–to get us into wars that the American people weren't clamoring for."

Both men are correct. The US empire does indeed have an extensive and well-documented history of using lies, manipulations and distortions to manufacture consent for war from a populace that would otherwise choose peace, and a Reuters poll released last month found that only 12 percent of Americans favor attacking Iranian military interests without having been attacked first.

<...>

What we are watching with Iran is a war propaganda narrative failing to get airborne. It was all set up and ready to go, they had the whole marketing team working on it, and then it faceplanted right on the linoleum. This is what a failed narrative management campaign looks like. It is possible for us to see this more and more.

Today I have a lot more hope. It's becoming clear that the manipulations of the US war machine are becoming more and more obvious to more and more people and that everyday, regular Americans are reacting with a healthy amount of horror and revulsion. There was always the risk that the US population would already be sufficiently paced ahead of these revelations and there would be little to no reaction, but that didn't happen. Americans are seeing what they're doing, and they don't like it, and they don't want it.

And that makes me so happy. Come on Captain America. Save the day. The world is counting on you.

[Jun 24, 2019] Can the USA occupy Iran without reinstituting the military draft

Jun 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

John Smith , Jun 24, 2019 6:04:07 AM | 219

If we're headed for regime change in Iran, get ready for a military draft. We'll need one. -- USA Today

Our leaders seem interested in toppling Iran's theocracy. But do they want a new U.S. military draft? Because make no mistake, that's what it will take.

<...>

Any serious effort to end the Iranian theocracy will not only require American troops, but will also almost certainly break our vaunted All-Volunteer Force If you like the idea of regime change in Iran, you had better love the idea of a new American draft.

We have seen for decades that American air power alone is insufficient to topple a government, [...]. Our Sunni Arab allies are stalemated in Yemen and distinctly averse to sending troops to Syria. The idea that they would invade or occupy Iran is risible. The Washington regime change crowd's preferred Iranian proxy is a hated cult called Mujahideen-e Khalq.

But if the mullahs are to be overthrown, it will be by American soldiers and Marines. Even if the Islamic Republic were to somehow collapse on its own, concerns about radiological material, the security of the Strait of Hormuz or another massive wave of refugees would probably drive the U.S.to intervene with ground troops.

U.S. politicians and generals sometimes like to point out that the volunteer military has successfully endured a decade and a half of sustained combat and a ceaseless cycle of deployments. This is not the whole story.

Despite the enormous amount of money expended there, Iraq was by historical measures a low-intensity war. Total combat deaths for American forces over eight years were about the size of a brigade, and losses in Afghanistan roughly half that. Yet a modest increase in force structure required the military to greatly lower its standards, doubling felony waivers for Army recruits from 2003 to 2006, for instance.

A massive increase in the use of civilian contractors (more than 50 times the ratio in Vietnam) also hid the volunteer system's cracks. The All-Volunteer Force was barely able to sustain two large, but low-casualty, campaigns -- neither of which has resulted in anything resembling a U.S. strategic victory.

Occupying Iran would be a challenge of an entirely different magnitude than Iraq or Afghanistan.

<...>

The force with which we would occupy Iran is also not as resilient as most Americans probably think. Even now, in a time when most troops are not seeing direct combat, the the volunteer force is struggling just to maintain numbers and standards. The Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy are each short of a full quarter of their required fighter pilots. The Army recently announced that it is already 12,000 recruits behind on its recruiting goal for 2018 and will not make mission.

The Pentagon stated last year that 71% of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are ineligible to serve in the U.S. military, most for reasons of health, physical fitness, education, or criminality. The propensity of this age group to serve is even lower. The likely demands and casualties of a war in Iran would spell the end of the All-Volunteer Force, requiring the conscription of Americans for the first time since 1973.

There is ample evidence that American foreign policy elites haven't learned much from Iraq or Afghanistan; one need only look at the latest headlines from Libya or Syria. But perhaps even our modern Bourbons in Washington can grasp one simple lesson from the post-9/11 campaigns: Wars have an uncanny tendency to take on a life of their own.

Regime change in Iran would bring a host of consequences, many of them unknowable, but almost all of them negative for America and the region. There is one outcome we can be sure of, however: Occupying Iran would be the death of America's all-volunteer military and necessitate a return to a draft.

[Jun 24, 2019] Trump Unleashes On Uber-Hawk Bolton We d Be Fighting The Whole World At One Time

That does not change the fact that Trump foreign policy is a continuation of Obama fogirn policy. It is neocon forign policy directed on "full spectrum dominance". Trump just added to this bulling to the mix.
Notable quotes:
"... When pressed on the dangers of having such an uber-hawk neo-conservative who remains an unapologetic cheerleader of the 2003 Iraq War, and who laid the ground work for it as a member of Bush's National Security Council, Trump followed with, "That doesn't matter because I want both sides." ..."
"... I was against going into Iraq... I was against going into the Middle East . Chuck we've spent 7 trillion dollars in the Middle East right now. ..."
"... Bolton has never kept his career-long goal of seeing regime change in Tehran a secret - repeating his position publicly every chance he got, especially in the years prior to tenure at the Trump White House. ..."
"... Tucker's epic "bureaucratic tapeworm" comment: https://www.youtube.com/embed/-c0jMsspE7Y ..."
"... Bolton! So much winning! And there's also Perry: Rick Perry, Trump's energy secretary, was flagged for describing Trumpism as a "toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness, and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition." ..."
"... Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton was one of the architects of the Iraq War under George W. Bush, and now he's itching to start a war with Iran -- an even bigger country with almost three times the population. ..."
Jun 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In a stunningly frank moment during a Sunday Meet the Press interview focused on President Trump's decision-making on Iran, especially last week's "brink of war" moment which saw Trump draw down readied military forces in what he said was a "common sense" move, the commander in chief threw his own national security advisor under the bus in spectacular fashion .

Though it's not Trump's first tongue-in-cheek denigration of Bolton's notorious hawkishness, it's certainly the most brutal and blunt take down yet, and frankly just plain enjoyable to watch. When host Chuck Todd asked the president if he was "being pushed into military action against Iran" by his advisers in what was clearly a question focused on Bolton first and foremost, Trump responded:

"John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him he'd take on the whole world at one time, okay?"

Trump began by explaining, "I have two groups of people. I have doves and I have hawks," before leading into this sure to be classic line that is one for the history books: "If it was up to him he'd take on the whole world at one time, okay?"

During this section of comments focused on US policy in the Middle East, the president reiterated his preference that he hear from "both sides" on an issue, but that he was ultimately the one making the decisions.

When pressed on the dangers of having such an uber-hawk neo-conservative who remains an unapologetic cheerleader of the 2003 Iraq War, and who laid the ground work for it as a member of Bush's National Security Council, Trump followed with, "That doesn't matter because I want both sides."

And in another clear indicator that Trump wants to stay true to his non-interventionist instincts voiced on the 2016 campaign trail, he explained to Todd that:

I was against going into Iraq... I was against going into the Middle East . Chuck we've spent 7 trillion dollars in the Middle East right now.

It was the second time this weekend that Trump was forced to defend his choice of Bolton as the nation's most influential foreign policy thinker and adviser. When peppered with questions at the White House Saturday following Thursday night's dramatic "almost war" with Iran, Trump said that he "disagrees" with Bolton "very much" but that ultimately he's "doing a very good job".

Bolton has never kept his career-long goal of seeing regime change in Tehran a secret - repeating his position publicly every chance he got, especially in the years prior to tenure at the Trump White House.

Tucker's epic "bureaucratic tapeworm" comment: https://www.youtube.com/embed/-c0jMsspE7Y

But Bolton hasn't had a good past week: not only had Trump on Thursday night shut the door on Bolton's dream of overseeing a major US military strike on Iran, but he's been pummeled in the media.

Even a Fox prime time show (who else but Tucker of course) colorfully described him as a "bureaucratic tapeworm" which periodically reemerges to cause pain and suffering.


Iconoclast422 , 15 seconds ago link

YOU TELL HIM BOSS. Only bomb one country at a time.

bizarroworld , 1 minute ago link

It's great that the biggest war mongers are the ones that not only never served but in the case of Bolton, purposely avoided serving. They should send that ****** to Iran so we can see just how supportive he is when he's actually in danger.

This guy is a worthless piece of **** and Trump's an idiot for hiring him.

Catullus , 1 minute ago link

Being a cheerleader for the Iraq war is as ridiculous as that ******* mustache. He's just letting neocons have a front row seat to power. That's how he's keeping them from jumping ship to become democrats. They have no principles. They're just power worshippers.

Moribundus , 2 minutes ago link

Do ya all remember when Trump took office? Losers use military strategy that is overwhelming bombardment b4 land attack. I thought that Donnie can not survive this pressure. Looks like now he is riding horse with banner in hands. Thumb up, MJT

thepsalmon , 2 minutes ago link

I was against going into the Middle East...$7 Trillion? So why is Jared trying to give away $50 Billion more? People thought they voted for MAGA, but they got Jared...MMEGA.

How about MJANYA?...Make Jared a New Yorker Again. Send Jared and Ivanka back to New York before it's $10 Trillion.

HenryJonesJr , 2 minutes ago link

Never understood why Trump allowed Bolton near the White House. Bolton is insane.

Joiningupthedots , 4 minutes ago link

WTF is wrong with Trump? He appointed Bolton and Pompeo......... OR DID HE?

SMOOCHY SMOOCHY CARLO , 4 minutes ago link

Bolton! So much winning! And there's also Perry: Rick Perry, Trump's energy secretary, was flagged for describing Trumpism as a "toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness, and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition."

ne-tiger , 4 minutes ago link

Holycrap trumptards: all get your 22 little pistols ready to die for your orange swamp mushroom?

ConanTheContrarian1 , 5 minutes ago link

Trump "unleashes"? For those who think, he also said Bolton is doing a good job. Crap headline. I think Solomon said, "In a multitude of counselors there is victory".

DingleBarryObummer , 4 minutes ago link

What kind of unprofessional dingus talks openly about employee issues? That's not how you run a organization. That's how you run a reality television show.

DingleBarryObummer , 5 minutes ago link

Bolton is just there to make Trump look like less of a Zionist tool in comparison.

Everybodys All American , 5 minutes ago link

Rid yourself of Bolton. The guy is a friggin megalomaniac and he's no fan of making America great. Move on from this idiot.

RedNemesis , 7 minutes ago link

Who would have thought that we now wish HR McMaster was back.

HillaryOdor , 9 minutes ago link

So why did you put him in your cabinet then you dumb ****? Was this actually news to you?

ConanTheContrarian1 , 8 minutes ago link

Because, you dumber ****, Trump wants to hear both sides, as was pointed out in the article.

DingleBarryObummer , 7 minutes ago link

Sides? I could hire Hobo Joe, the bum that huffs paint and drinks scotch out of plastic bottle while yelling at traffic by the intersection, as my advisor. He'd probably tell me to do some whacky stuff. But why would I do that?

HillaryOdor , 7 minutes ago link

There is no side to hear. Bomb everyone. That is John Bolton's side. It isn't worth hearing. The man shouldn't be drawing a paycheck. He shouldn't be drawing breath. He should be pushing up daisies. He the same as ISIS.

libertysghost , 6 minutes ago link

More easily controlled... Keep your enemies even closer, you may have heard.

HillaryOdor , 30 seconds ago link

Whatever you have to tell yourself to stay in the Trump delusion. What will the excuse be when they are at war with Iran?

Cognitive Dissonance , 1 minute ago link

Reading is fundamental....and certainly not needed to spout opinions. In fact, reading, combined with critical thinking, logic and reason, just gets in the way of forming opinions. Or should I say "repeating" other's opinions.

Commodore 1488 , 11 minutes ago link

John "The Pimp" Bolton wants American military to serve Israel.

FreeShitter , 7 minutes ago link

The military has been serving Israel for decades, you think this is new?

FreeShitter , 11 minutes ago link

"Chuck we've spent 7 trillion dollars in the Middle East right now."....Yes, just like your *** bosses wanted and needed and you dumb ******* sheep still think voting matters.

El_Puerco , 11 minutes ago link

Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton was one of the architects of the Iraq War under George W. Bush, and now he's itching to start a war with Iran -- an even bigger country with almost three times the population.

Democrats in Congress have the power to pull us back from the brink , but they need to act now. Once bombs start falling and troops are on the ground, there will be massive political pressure to rally around the flag.

[Jun 22, 2019] The USA MSM uses Bolton and Pompeo bellicosity as clickbait to generate revenue for their business at the expense of whats best for the nation

Notable quotes:
"... Russia, China and the Europeans all want Iran to remain in JCPOA and Putin is worried about Iran acting irrationally. ..."
"... Asians all worried about the security of oil flows to Asia. Japan especially dependent on Middle East oil flows, even if they've moved out of Iranian purchases. ..."
"... The IRGC knuckle dragger in charge at Hormuz will get a medal or two, and a promotion. The U.S. is waging a total economic war on Iran. It cuts off all its exports and imports. Iran is fighting back by all means. It has no other choice. Iran now implements a "strategy of tension" that is designed to put "maximum pressure" on Trump. The tanker attacks, the mortars on U.S. troops in Iraq, the Houthi strikes an Saudi desalination plants and the shoot down of that drone are all part of that Iranian strategy. ..."
"... High Iranian officials, including its president, have multiple times announced: "If we can sell no sell oil than none of our neighbors in the gulf will be able to sell their oil." They mean that and they have the plans and means to achieve that. ..."
"... These strikes will continue, and will become stronger. I most cases Iran will have plausible deniability. That is easy to create when CentCom and the White House are know to lie left and right as they do. ..."
"... It is Trump, not Iran, who killed JCPOA. It is Trump, not Iran, who will be blamed for that war. ..."
"... Exactly! There's one striking characteristic of the "resistance" leaders, including Khamenei, Syrian President Assad, and Hezbollah's Nasrallah, and that is that they are reliable: they do what they say they are going to do. They have integrity, that quality so clearly absent from all US and Western European leaders, all beholden to their Ziodonors to assure reelection. ..."
"... Additionally, any standoff missile attack or "March of the B52s" will be met with immediate regional attacks on US (Saudi and Israeli) assets, military personnel and civilians that will destabilize the entire region and destroy the global economy. Not the best scenario for a reelection bid, is it? I'm with b. There is no knuckle dragger at Hormuz, only competent officers carrying out their orders. ..."
"... How blame is apportioned will matter little to Iran if it miscalculates one iota. Yes it cannot sit idle until it is strangled by economic sanctions. But neither can it escalate beyond the destruction of civil and military hardware alone. One dead American is all the neocons need. A counter strike would then be inevitable and the uncontrollable escalation they are counting on the likely result. ..."
"... Col. Lang has described here the catastrophic consequences for America's enemies when they have doubted its resolve. And the sure route to galvanizing that resolve is for Iran to escalate into targeting US forces. ..."
"... The only way this ends without a war which would be catastrophic for both sides is if Trump realizes the reality of the situation he is in and ditches the neocons right now. Iran has got its message across and must now desist to allow Trump breathing room to de-escalate. Let us pray that Suleimani and the Iranian leadership are men enough to understand that holding the moral high ground confers no advantage in warfare. ..."
"... Privately, phone calls to China and Russia begging for assurances of support ..."
"... This is delusional thinking. The Iranians realized a long time ago not to rely on other countries for assistance. Every Iranian knows not to trust Russians from history. China might be the only hope, not for support, but to convince that this war is as much about them. ..."
"... The Chinese should close Adelson's Macau casinos for health and safety violations. Zionist donors for Trump's election campaign are driving this. Adelson's boy Bolton needs removing before anything positive can happen, Tucker Carlson needs some help with his campaign to oust him. ..."
"... Could you explain how the concept that economic sanctions are a belligerent act of war is anti-American? This is a historical concept that you, as a teacher and student of military history, are well aware of. The Iranians are using the means that they have available to respond to these acts of war. ..."
"... They are not equipped to confront the US military directly, so they are using tactics to place pressure on the US in other areas, primarily by threatening the global economy by plausibly deniable acts against shipping in the Persian Gulf. This is a masterstroke right out of the pages of Sun Tze's Art of War. ..."
"... Trump has painted himself into a corner. He can offer sanctions relief if he wants to negotiate, or he can attack, and we can hope that the US military learned some of the lessons taught by Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper in the Millennium Challenge 2002. ..."
"... The neocons are playing out provocations until Congress is forced to vote on War just before election. The provocations will continue -- Israel's Rational Institute & expert game theorists have done this so many times they're just going through the motions. Iranians have watched that game play out before and, perhaps, know how to handle provocations in a disruptive manner. ..."
"... Hook repeated, emphasized & repeated again that "finance is the basis of war," and US / Trump strategy is to "not to bankrupt Iran," but to "deny Iran access to financial ability to fund Hezbollah, Hamas, and other of the #1 state sponsor of terror's proxies." ..."
"... The congressmen questioning Hook nodded sagely. None of them so much as hinted at the fact that the USA is so deep in debt it can never pay its way out. ..."
"... --One of the expectations of the JCPOA was that with sanctions lifted, Iran would enter into the mainstream economy, trading with states throughout the world. This normalization of commerce would constrain Iran from taking actions that would jeopardize its trade relationships. Why does Trump & the zioncons not wish Iran's commercial normalization to take place? Is it because Israel cannot stand the competition? ..."
"... -- by what right USA violates UN Charter demands that internal affairs of a member state must not be interfered with. Congressmen crowned themselves with laurel as they proclaimed that "the people of Iran are not our enemy; it is the government; we act on behalf of the Iranian people, especially Iranian women." ..."
"... Trump thinks that he can f*** Iran and sit it out? Not gonna happen. ..."
"... He gets that he cannot be an LBJ or a Harry Truman with the Albatross of an unwinnable war hung around his neck. ..."
"... But, I am afraid the chosen true believers on his staff do not believe nor care that Iran has prepared a massive disproportionate non-nuclear response that will destroy the global economy. ..."
"... John Bolton and Mike Pompeo have other agendas than the President's re-election and what is in the USA's national interests. We are not out of the woods. ..."
"... The IRGC knuckle dragger at Hormuz wisely and prudently targeted the unmanned drone and not the manned P8 aircraft. ..."
"... No, this action was appropriate in the face of our policy of maximum pressure to starve out the Iranian people and force a regime change. ..."
"... I applaud Trump's decision not to engage in a shooting war. The way he got to that decision was messy, but the final decision was right. Those calling him weak for not engaging in a war of choice are craven fools. Chief among those is Bolton. ..."
"... Trump should throw his ass and his mustache out of the WH before the sun goes down. Trump brought this situation upon himself with his pulling out of the JCPOA and initiating his "war" of maximum pressure. It is he who can deflate this crisis, not Kamenei. ..."
"... This is all one big PsyOp imo. The US has no popular support for an attack on Iran, internally or externally. We are going to attack, but want to make it seem like they showed restraint and have been left with no choice. ..."
"... And this nonsense about Iran allowing the US to make some window dressing attack on innocuous targets to save face/ All I can say is Iranians are not Arabs. ..."
"... PS -- C Span ramped up an orgy of war hysteria over Trump's threat, then stand-down over Iran's shoot-down of an un-manned drone. The public was, as usual, confined to a narrow frame of reference and range of responses: "Trump was a coward," vs. "Trump was wise." Congressmen who were interviewed emphasized that "no American was killed." ..."
"... No one mentioned that Lyndon Johnson called back flights sent to rescue crewmen on the USS Liberty when Israel attacked the ship, strafed the wounded and those in life boats. ..."
"... Everyone remembers the shootdown of Iranian Air flight 655 on July 3, 1988 by the guided missile cruiser Vincennes, under the command of the late Captain Will Rogers, in which 290 people were killed. President Reagan said America will never apologize. President Clinton ultimately paid the Iranians $130 million. ..."
"... Tucker Carlson seems like the only realist in the MSM. https://youtu.be/Rf2cS4g0pes ..."
"... It is no secret that the Neocons and the Israeli zionists (I am repeating myself here) do want a war between Iran and the United States. First, there were a few tanker attacks which were brushed off by Trump. Then this, which was more difficult to brush off. Is it possible that the drone actually went to Iranian airspace but GPS coordinates were spoofed (by insiders on the American side) so that Trump (and the administration) believed that it stayed in international airspace? ..."
"... Sorry. Here's the ink to Tucker on the Iran war brink. https://youtu.be/3PQW2tMMn2A ..."
"... Why did Donald Trump hire neocons Bolton & Pompeo as well as torturer Gina Haspel? Couldn't he find people who shared his views (at least what he said during the last campaign) that our ME regime change wars were a disaster that we shouldn't repeat? ..."
"... As Tucker noted in his segment yesterday Bolton & the neocons have been plotting a war with Iran for some time. They don't care if it sinks Trump's presidency. They have no loyalty to him only condescension. ..."
"... Yet as Tucker notes in his segment yesterday the neocons are "bureaucratic tapeworms" that some how manage to survive failure after failure with the same regime change prescriptions. Trump better wise up like right now or he can kiss his re-election goodbye. ..."
Jun 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Solomon , 21 June 2019 at 12:54 PM

Colonel Lang,

I am not now nor have I ever been a fan of Trump. However, if he does not start a war, he will end (in my mind, at least) as a vast improvement over his immediate predecessors.

Robert C said in reply to David Solomon... , 21 June 2019 at 08:56 PM
Wait a minute. Obama blew it with Libya. However,
-he reached a good deal with Iran
-he didn't bomb Syria when the crossed his "red line" and managed to make it look like the R controlled Senate made the decision .
-He didn't kiss Bibi's ring.
ted richard said in reply to David Solomon... , 21 June 2019 at 09:38 PM
look at a decent map of this area. the us naval base in Bahrain and air base Qatar are an Iranian missiles equivalent of firing from lower Manhattan to hit something in Hoboken.

The USA military assets within the Persian gulf have if war breaks out checked into the hotel California.

It is a logistical nightmare for the Pentagon to protect and resupply in the event of serious hostilities. Trump surely has been told by real us military professionals the giant hairball he takes on if he gets into a war with Iran and what it means for us servicemen station there and throughout the larger middle east.

it is unfortunate that the usa media uses fools like bolton and pompeo as clickbait to generate revenue fore their business at the expense of whats best for the nation but there it is... the msm has an agenda which is not at all in the service of the nation.

Harper , 21 June 2019 at 01:28 PM
Yes, a grown up has the right to change a decision. Now, ball is in Khomeini court. Abe asked him to release some Iranian-American prisoners. If Khomeini wants to lower threshold of conflict, he can do this gesture without losing any face. Humanitarian action.

Russia, China and the Europeans all want Iran to remain in JCPOA and Putin is worried about Iran acting irrationally.

See what kind of other pressure comes down on Iranians. Asians all worried about the security of oil flows to Asia. Japan especially dependent on Middle East oil flows, even if they've moved out of Iranian purchases. US more able to go it alone with extensive domestic and other sources.

blue peacock , 21 June 2019 at 01:36 PM
Col. Lang,

Khamenei should call Trump and setup a media spectacle of a summit in Switzerland. They can agree on the same deal as before but as long as the headline says "Iran agrees to not build nukes", Trump will be happy and Khamenei will be his new best pal.

The same playbook as KJU where nothing tangible is likely to happen except that KJU has stopped nuke & missile tests that create media hysteria among the Never Trumpers.

IMO, the ball hasn't left Trump's court. How long is he going to tolerate the neocons in his inner circle who are likely to keep coming up with another casus belli? Can he find some distance from being Bibi's lapdog? How long is he going to allow his conflicted son-in-law to meddle in the Middle East?

Trump must calculate the potential of where escalation leads and what a full on war with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon means for his re-election campaign. Bernie is banging the table hard against any military action in Iran. The probability that 50,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania & Wisconsin changes sides the next election would be rather high in the event of an unpredictable full-scale war.

Christian J Chuba , 21 June 2019 at 01:56 PM
I hope Khamenei takes any offer Trump makes for direct talks. Trump is heavily influenced by the last person he meets.

I get that Khamenei doesn't want to meet on the premise that the JCPOA is flawed and must be changed but if he can get an audience on the basis of airing mutual grievances in an unfiltered environment, it would be an opportunity. Currently, the only people Trump talks to are Neocon loons. They are innumerable but the FDD seems to be the center of gravity.

I must say that Clifford May does sport quite the impressive beard, who wouldn't think that he's an expert on anything he talks about http://www.vipfaq.com/nested/c/l/Clifford_May-1.jpg

robt willmann , 21 June 2019 at 02:04 PM
In an interview with NBC News and Chuck Todd, Trump reiterates his position about a response being proportionate--

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trump-says-he-did-not-given-final-approval-iran-strikes-n1020386

Widowson , 21 June 2019 at 02:41 PM
I was shocked-- but not surprised-- to see visibly-pained CBS Pentagon flack David Martin on the boob tube this morning quoting an unnamed source that speculated that the reason Trump cancelled the bombing of Iran was that he got "cold-feet." Thank you, Vasili Arkhipov, for getting cold-feet, too! Madness, our nation is afflicted with madness.
b , 21 June 2019 at 02:47 PM
The IRGC knuckle dragger in charge at Hormuz will get a medal or two, and a promotion. The U.S. is waging a total economic war on Iran. It cuts off all its exports and imports. Iran is fighting back by all means. It has no other choice. Iran now implements a "strategy of tension" that is designed to put "maximum pressure" on Trump. The tanker attacks, the mortars on U.S. troops in Iraq, the Houthi strikes an Saudi desalination plants and the shoot down of that drone are all part of that Iranian strategy.

High Iranian officials, including its president, have multiple times announced: "If we can sell no sell oil than none of our neighbors in the gulf will be able to sell their oil." They mean that and they have the plans and means to achieve that.

These strikes will continue, and will become stronger. I most cases Iran will have plausible deniability. That is easy to create when CentCom and the White House are know to lie left and right as they do.

Trump has two choices.

He can pull back on the sanctions and other U.S. violations of JCPOA, or he can start a full war against Iran that will drown his presidency, put the world economy into a depression ($300/bl oil) and kill many U.S. soldiers.

It is Trump, not Iran, who killed JCPOA. It is Trump, not Iran, who will be blamed for that war.

frankie p said in reply to b ... , 21 June 2019 at 07:05 PM

Exactly! There's one striking characteristic of the "resistance" leaders, including Khamenei, Syrian President Assad, and Hezbollah's Nasrallah, and that is that they are reliable: they do what they say they are going to do. They have integrity, that quality so clearly absent from all US and Western European leaders, all beholden to their Ziodonors to assure reelection.

The Iranians will NOT contact Trump to arrange a meeting. The Iranians will NOT meet with Trump because the JCPOA is flawed. The Iranians will NOT meet with Trump after a brief suspension in sanctions to ask for permanent sanctions relief. The Iranians WILL meet with Trump when he lifts most or all of the sanctions in good faith and rejoins the JCPOA. Is it just a coincidence that the two ships attacked last week were carrying petrochemicals, just days after Trump and the US placed sanctions on the largest Iranian petrochemical producer? What is it about "If we cannot ship oil/petrochemicals, nobody can." that people don't understand?

Additionally, any standoff missile attack or "March of the B52s" will be met with immediate regional attacks on US (Saudi and Israeli) assets, military personnel and civilians that will destabilize the entire region and destroy the global economy. Not the best scenario for a reelection bid, is it? I'm with b. There is no knuckle dragger at Hormuz, only competent officers carrying out their orders.

Frankie P

Barbara Ann said in reply to b ... , 21 June 2019 at 07:46 PM
b

How blame is apportioned will matter little to Iran if it miscalculates one iota. Yes it cannot sit idle until it is strangled by economic sanctions. But neither can it escalate beyond the destruction of civil and military hardware alone. One dead American is all the neocons need. A counter strike would then be inevitable and the uncontrollable escalation they are counting on the likely result.

Col. Lang has described here the catastrophic consequences for America's enemies when they have doubted its resolve. And the sure route to galvanizing that resolve is for Iran to escalate into targeting US forces.

The only way this ends without a war which would be catastrophic for both sides is if Trump realizes the reality of the situation he is in and ditches the neocons right now. Iran has got its message across and must now desist to allow Trump breathing room to de-escalate. Let us pray that Suleimani and the Iranian leadership are men enough to understand that holding the moral high ground confers no advantage in warfare.

Fred -> b ... , 22 June 2019 at 11:06 AM
b,

Only two choices? That doesn't sound very realistic in the terms of actual options. How about leaving the sanctions in place? What prevents that?

Eric Newhill , 21 June 2019 at 03:32 PM
Publicly, much chest thumping over how Iran has the cowardly Great Satan on the run like a beaten dog. Privately, phone calls to China and Russia begging for assurances of support and attempted offers of negotiations with Trump complete with wildly unrealistic demands.
eakens said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 21 June 2019 at 06:57 PM
This is delusional thinking. The Iranians realized a long time ago not to rely on other countries for assistance. Every Iranian knows not to trust Russians from history. China might be the only hope, not for support, but to convince that this war is as much about them.
LondonBob said in reply to Jack... , 22 June 2019 at 04:19 AM
The Chinese should close Adelson's Macau casinos for health and safety violations. Zionist donors for Trump's election campaign are driving this. Adelson's boy Bolton needs removing before anything positive can happen, Tucker Carlson needs some help with his campaign to oust him.
turcopolier , 21 June 2019 at 05:44 PM
b

Your usual deeply bigoted anti-Americanism.

frankie p said in reply to turcopolier ... , 21 June 2019 at 07:23 PM
Could you explain how the concept that economic sanctions are a belligerent act of war is anti-American? This is a historical concept that you, as a teacher and student of military history, are well aware of. The Iranians are using the means that they have available to respond to these acts of war.

They are not equipped to confront the US military directly, so they are using tactics to place pressure on the US in other areas, primarily by threatening the global economy by plausibly deniable acts against shipping in the Persian Gulf. This is a masterstroke right out of the pages of Sun Tze's Art of War.

Trump has painted himself into a corner. He can offer sanctions relief if he wants to negotiate, or he can attack, and we can hope that the US military learned some of the lessons taught by Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper in the Millennium Challenge 2002.

Artemesia said in reply to turcopolier ... , 21 June 2019 at 07:28 PM
At the risk of ---
I think b is on to something.

The neocons are playing out provocations until Congress is forced to vote on War just before election. The provocations will continue -- Israel's Rational Institute & expert game theorists have done this so many times they're just going through the motions. Iranians have watched that game play out before and, perhaps, know how to handle provocations in a disruptive manner.

Did you listen to Foreign Affairs subcommittee questioning State Department undersecretary Brian Hook? https://www.c-span.org/video/?461811-1/house-foreign-affairs-subcommittee-hearing-iran-policy

Hook repeated, emphasized & repeated again that "finance is the basis of war," and US / Trump strategy is to "not to bankrupt Iran," but to "deny Iran access to financial ability to fund Hezbollah, Hamas, and other of the #1 state sponsor of terror's proxies."

The congressmen questioning Hook nodded sagely. None of them so much as hinted at the fact that the USA is so deep in debt it can never pay its way out. Nor was any congressman sage enough, or moral enough, or consistent enough, to question:

-- International policy pundits & think tankers opine that the greatest guarantee of peace is economic stability. US is deliberately seeking to destabilize Iran economically. To what end?

--One of the expectations of the JCPOA was that with sanctions lifted, Iran would enter into the mainstream economy, trading with states throughout the world. This normalization of commerce would constrain Iran from taking actions that would jeopardize its trade relationships. Why does Trump & the zioncons not wish Iran's commercial normalization to take place? Is it because Israel cannot stand the competition?

-- by what right USA violates UN Charter demands that internal affairs of a member state must not be interfered with. Congressmen crowned themselves with laurel as they proclaimed that "the people of Iran are not our enemy; it is the government; we act on behalf of the Iranian people, especially Iranian women."

When I visited Iran in 2008, "Iranian women" spoke with us and asked if we could please provide several days' warning before bombing Iran so that they could shelter their children. Iranian women are some of the toughest you'll meet.

-- what casus belli legitimizes aggression against Iran? Does the USA no longer subscribe to Just War theory? Several years ago I heard Notre Dame's Mary Ellen O'Connell discuss Just War theory with respect to Iran -- https://elibrary.law.psu.edu/jlia/vol2/iss2/6/. US claims to uphold "universal values" ring hollow if such basic steps in framing policy are ignored.

b -> turcopolier ... , 22 June 2019 at 12:10 AM
I deal in facts, not in 'deeply bigoted anti-Americanism'. Interesting that you do not want to recognize those facts. They are right before your eyes. Just I give it a day or two until the next 'incident' happens.

Trump thinks that he can f*** Iran and sit it out? Not gonna happen.

turcopolier -> b ... , 22 June 2019 at 09:39 AM
All

The question has been raised of my denigration of b. He has a long history on SST He is an excellent military analyst but the long and so far as I can remember unbroken record of interpreting EVERY situation as demonstrating the demonic nature of the US causes me to discount anything he writes on other than military subjects narrowly defined. IMO b's hostility to the US is a permanent burden that he carries.

Eric Newhill said in reply to turcopolier ... , 22 June 2019 at 10:54 AM
Sir,

Also, B's minions, who follow him around, have absorbed his anti-US attitude so completely it's like a religion to them.

Charlie Wilson -> turcopolier ... , 22 June 2019 at 01:40 AM
b is a hater, colonel. And his English sucks too!

Charlie

Eugene Owens said in reply to turcopolier ... , 22 June 2019 at 01:56 AM
Agree regarding b's anti America stance. Yet b's prediction that the guy in charge at Hormuz will get a medal and promotion is correct IMO.

Ditto for his prediction that Iranian attacks will continue with some measure of deniability.

VietnamVet , 21 June 2019 at 07:13 PM
Colonel,

The NYT report that Donald Trump ordered the attack and then pulled back is in Jimmy Carter's "been there done that" territory. Although a New Yorker and he never had to sit in a gasoline line, Donald Trump, personally and legally, cannot be a one term President. He is a political savant.

He gets that he cannot be an LBJ or a Harry Truman with the Albatross of an unwinnable war hung around his neck.

My assumption is that someone in the chain of command after the surveillance drone was shot down triggered a preplanned strike package that was stopped once it got to the President for approval. Once again global media moguls strike back at the nationalist President with Fake News.

But, I am afraid the chosen true believers on his staff do not believe nor care that Iran has prepared a massive disproportionate non-nuclear response that will destroy the global economy.

John Bolton and Mike Pompeo have other agendas than the President's re-election and what is in the USA's national interests. We are not out of the woods.

ex-PFC Chuck , 21 June 2019 at 07:14 PM
Do we know for sure Trump is the one who initially ordered the strike? Or did someone down the line interpret the rules of engagement (do I presume correctly that some such would be in place at the present time?) to allow him or her to order it?
turcopolier -> ex-PFC Chuck... , 22 June 2019 at 09:35 AM
All

In a situation of this degree of geo-political gravity, nobody in the chain of command below the CinC would have had the authority or temerity to attempt to order this strike package.

Neither Pompeo nor Bolton is in the chain of command and attempts by them to order such attacks would have been rejected by the military. BTW if Trump aborted the strikes only 10 minutes out from the targets he was cutting it too close. Communications can always fail.

The Twisted Genius , 21 June 2019 at 07:31 PM
The IRGC knuckle dragger at Hormuz wisely and prudently targeted the unmanned drone and not the manned P8 aircraft. Since it was the Iranians who recovered the wreckage, it will be hard for the US to maintain the drone was well outside Iranian airspace.

No, this action was appropriate in the face of our policy of maximum pressure to starve out the Iranian people and force a regime change.

I applaud Trump's decision not to engage in a shooting war. The way he got to that decision was messy, but the final decision was right. Those calling him weak for not engaging in a war of choice are craven fools. Chief among those is Bolton.

Trump should throw his ass and his mustache out of the WH before the sun goes down. Trump brought this situation upon himself with his pulling out of the JCPOA and initiating his "war" of maximum pressure. It is he who can deflate this crisis, not Kamenei.

eakens said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 22 June 2019 at 12:02 PM
This is all one big PsyOp imo. The US has no popular support for an attack on Iran, internally or externally. We are going to attack, but want to make it seem like they showed restraint and have been left with no choice.

I don't foresee the Iranians talking to Trump unless and until the US walks back its sanctions, or Trump himself goes and sits down with the Ayatollah.

And this nonsense about Iran allowing the US to make some window dressing attack on innocuous targets to save face/ All I can say is Iranians are not Arabs.

Artemesia , 21 June 2019 at 07:32 PM
PS -- C Span ramped up an orgy of war hysteria over Trump's threat, then stand-down over Iran's shoot-down of an un-manned drone. The public was, as usual, confined to a narrow frame of reference and range of responses: "Trump was a coward," vs. "Trump was wise." Congressmen who were interviewed emphasized that "no American was killed."

No one mentioned that Lyndon Johnson called back flights sent to rescue crewmen on the USS Liberty when Israel attacked the ship, strafed the wounded and those in life boats.

SAC Brat said in reply to Harlan Easley ... , 22 June 2019 at 01:13 PM
This seems like Professional Wrestling theater where you have the wrestlers hamming it up for the drama and you wonder what the script is. We only get to see what the camera frames.
NarcoRepublican , 21 June 2019 at 09:17 PM
I am thankful that our military acknowledges that our President is the Commander-in-Chief. He commanded, they obeyed. As for all the pundits on all sides, their lack of perspective or even understanding of history leaves me terrified. There seems to be no understanding of how Iran is capable of retaliation. An example:

Everyone remembers the shootdown of Iranian Air flight 655 on July 3, 1988 by the guided missile cruiser Vincennes, under the command of the late Captain Will Rogers, in which 290 people were killed. President Reagan said America will never apologize. President Clinton ultimately paid the Iranians $130 million.

Few remember what happened next -- some 8 months later, in March, 1989, Capt. Roger's spouse Sharon, was in her van stopped at a traffic light in San Diego. A pipe bomb went off under the back of the van. It was small -- she was unhurt, fortunately, but definitely shaken up, and the van did catch fire. Despite an intensive investigation, the FBI has never solved this case.

Never let us become so blind and arrogant in our strength that we are unable to conceive retaliation by those weaker.

blue peacock , 22 June 2019 at 01:47 AM
Tucker Carlson seems like the only realist in the MSM. https://youtu.be/Rf2cS4g0pes
ancientarcher , 22 June 2019 at 02:07 AM
Has anyone considered the possibility that the drone was sent there to be shot down by the Iranians?

It is no secret that the Neocons and the Israeli zionists (I am repeating myself here) do want a war between Iran and the United States. First, there were a few tanker attacks which were brushed off by Trump. Then this, which was more difficult to brush off. Is it possible that the drone actually went to Iranian airspace but GPS coordinates were spoofed (by insiders on the American side) so that Trump (and the administration) believed that it stayed in international airspace?

The Americans do seem to really believe that the drone was in international airspace and no one can make a point that it is to Iran's benefit to target an American asset in international airspace, especially now when tensions are so high. Iran has the most to lose in the event of a war with the Americans (no points for guessing which country has the most to win - Israel). And it is a coincidence that the guy heading the Iran mission Centre, Michael D'Andrea, was previously the head of drone operations. Or is it a coincidence?

What would I do if I were a neocon who wants war between the US and Iran, a war that Trump doesn't. For the start of hostilities, it is essential that both sides, US and Iran, feel that they are in the right - which of course this situation is. I would create a context, an excuse/rationale for the start of actual hostilities to the US administration (and of course for the consumption of the American public). Then I will make the case to Trump that we should have a 'limited' retaliation. I know that the Iranians will strike back after the 'small scale' bombing. And the Americans have to retaliate to that also. What chances are there that any retaliation by the Americans will not end up in total war with Iran??

Trump doesn't want war and probably saw through the machinations to get him to agree to a 'small' bombing campaign as retaliation that would surely lead to a larger conflagration and total war with Iran that the neocons want so much. This particular provocation was unsuccessful in its aim. However, I think that provocations by the neocons will continue and at an ever increasing pitch - enabled by the neocons within the administration and the Israelis. Trump doesn't want war but his administration filled with neocons does and they will find a way maneuver Trump into it. Israel will fight Iran till the last standing American in the Middle East.

blue peacock , 22 June 2019 at 02:15 AM
Sorry. Here's the ink to Tucker on the Iran war brink. https://youtu.be/3PQW2tMMn2A
blue peacock , 22 June 2019 at 01:17 PM
Why did Donald Trump hire neocons Bolton & Pompeo as well as torturer Gina Haspel? Couldn't he find people who shared his views (at least what he said during the last campaign) that our ME regime change wars were a disaster that we shouldn't repeat?

As Tucker noted in his segment yesterday Bolton & the neocons have been plotting a war with Iran for some time. They don't care if it sinks Trump's presidency. They have no loyalty to him only condescension.

Hopefully Trump learns from this near miss of a catastrophe for his presidency. But he has seemed weak and indecisive on these matters all along. He never fought back for example with all the tools at his disposal against the attempted coup by law enforcement & the intelligence agencies.

All he did was constantly tweet witch hunt. He's once again delegated it to Barr after Sessions sat on it.

He allowed Pompeo & Bolton to bring on fellow neocon Elliott Abrams who previously screwed up in Nicaragua to attempt another regime change in Venezuela, which has been another botched example of how everything that the neocons touch turns to shit.

Yet as Tucker notes in his segment yesterday the neocons are "bureaucratic tapeworms" that some how manage to survive failure after failure with the same regime change prescriptions. Trump better wise up like right now or he can kiss his re-election goodbye.

[Jun 22, 2019] US Empire faces a growing international coalition against its actions, which results from sentiments made at the rather many recent international conferences that have already occurred in June that will be topped by G-20 in 8 days.

Notable quotes:
"... That admission along with the stark mostly unreported economic realities of any armed conflict in the Gulf region is what restrains the war mongers. The Money Power and the Current Oligarchy won't allow war is what I see. And that makes this Friday morning pleasant despite the fog. ..."
"... The risks are just too great (for what the US public is prepared to accept). And we've just seen it happen again. They might be able to screw themselves up to go through with it, and accept the losses and stalemate that will come, but it will do no good at all for Trump's re-election chances. ..."
"... Netanyahu has reiterated his desire for war with Iran -- a war that the US will fight–and is meeting with his Arab allies to help bring it about. As Ha'aretz described Netanyahu's Iran dilemma last month, the goal is to get Trump to go to war without putting Israel on the front line. ..."
"... Listen to this horse manure coming from Brain Hook, "special" representative for Iran: "According to him, Washington was doing everything possible to defuse tensions with Iran and return the containment system in the region. ..."
"... The Zionists are smack dab in the middle of the front line with a massive crosshairs imprinted on their entirety. Occupied Palestine sits at Ground Zero, and it seems that the Zionists are finally waking up to the ultimate betrayal they'll experience at the hands of The Christian Rapturists -- they are to be Genocided in the pursuit of attempting to make a myth come to life. ..."
"... Watch the brilliant George Galloway on the consequences of war with Iran. Bottom line: only hardline Likudniks and FDD Likud USA types would approve such a disastrous move. ..."
"... If America attacks and destroys Iran after doing the same to Iraq, Palestine, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and Lebanon, the Islamic religion should semi-officially adopt anti-Americanism until the Empire falls, and it would be totally deserved. If we all go in, let us get a good thrashing. ..."
"... It is true that Trump needs to fire acting President Bolton. Bolton who was appointed to the NSA by Sheldon Adelson, the Israeli/American oligarch, will not allow Trump to fire Bolton; otherwise, he loses millions of $$$$. The pressure is also from Adelson and his neocon ilk. ..."
"... Iran is a big country, and won't be defeated unless the people are ready to abandon the regime. They aren't as far as I can detect. The exiles, and the middle class in Iran, hate the regime. I've just had a lot of that poured into my ears, during my visit to Iran a month ago. The popular feeling though doesn't seem to have abandoned the regime. I think we can expect a nationalist resistance, if indeed Trump does attack Iran. ..."
"... China has been complying with US sanctions on Iran, for example this article notes that China stopped buying oil from Iran . US direct trade with Iran isn't so much as issue as the US stopping Europe and China from trading with Iran. ..."
Jun 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 21, 2019 12:01:59 PM | 86

The most important Item I've read so far this morning is this report on the Ufa, Russia Security Conference that was attended by both Iranian and Outlaw US Empire officials. The entire article requires reading, but this is the most relevant excerpt that has some links in the original I won't duplicate:

"Given current global events, the most significant attendees in Ufa are a senior US National Security Council member and the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Ali Shamkhani.

As of now, the only official news comes from Ali Shamkhani's words concerning the possibility of mediation with the US and the possibility of Iran acquiring weapons systems to fend off US threats. Shamkhani stated:

"'We currently face demonstrative threats. Nevertheless, when it comes to air defense of our country, we consider using the foreign potential in addition to our domestic capacities Mediation is out of question in the current situation. The United States has unilaterally withdrawn from the JCPOA, it has flouted its obligations and it has introduced illegal sanctions against Iran. The United States should return to the starting point and correct its own mistakes. This process needs no mediation.'

"'This [gradually boosting of uranium enrichment and heavy water production beyond the levels outlined in the JCPOA] is a serious decision of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] and we will continue doing it step by step until JCPOA violators move toward agreement and return to fulfilling their obligations. [If JCPOA participants do not comply with the deal, Iran will be reducing its commitments] step by step within legal mechanisms that the JCPOA envisions.'"

It was noted by b that the Outlaw US Empire faces a growing international coalition against its actions, which results from sentiments made at the rather many recent international conferences that have already occurred in June that will be topped by G-20 in 8 days.

That admission along with the stark mostly unreported economic realities of any armed conflict in the Gulf region is what restrains the war mongers. The Money Power and the Current Oligarchy won't allow war is what I see. And that makes this Friday morning pleasant despite the fog.

Laguerre , Jun 21, 2019 12:05:23 PM | 88

Posted by: Anon | Jun 21, 2019 8:04:55 AM | 29 (boring that it's yet another Anon, who can't be bothered to distinguish himself all from the other thousands of Anons)
the stage is now maximum restraint and effort at co-operation, which Iran will be expected to respect. That means one more act against US (or false flag by US) and strikes will occur. Not comparable to hostage crisis, here US is projecting being reasonable, even if you read that as being weak.
It's not me who reading the US as weak. It will be the attitude of the Iranians, who haven't forgotten the US failure in 1980 (April 24, 1980), as opposed to the US public for whom it is so many crises ago that they've forgotten. And the Iranians are right.

Trump hesitated, as every previous attempt to launch a strike on Iran has finished finally in a stand-down.

The risks are just too great (for what the US public is prepared to accept). And we've just seen it happen again. They might be able to screw themselves up to go through with it, and accept the losses and stalemate that will come, but it will do no good at all for Trump's re-election chances.

Mikael Kallavuo , Jun 21, 2019 12:19:06 PM | 91 jsb , Jun 21, 2019 12:20:15 PM | 92
Well it looks like Elijah Magnier has finally written the piece he was hinting at releasing yesterday. Here it is:
Iran is pushing US President Donald Trump to the edge of the abyss, raising the level of tensions to new heights in the Middle East. After the sabotage of four tankers at al-Fujairah and the attack on the Aramco pipeline a month ago, and last week's attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC – now categorized by the USA as a terrorist body) yesterday shot down a US Navy drone, sending two clear messages. The first message is that Iran is ready for an all-out war, no matter what the consequences. The second message is that Iran is aware that the US President has cornered himself; the embarrassing attack came a week after Trump launched his electoral campaign.

According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf.

...

Moreover, Iran has established a joint operations room to inform all its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan of every step it is adopting in confronting the US in case of all-out war in the Middle East. Iran's allies have increased their level of readiness and alert to the highest level; they will participate in the war from the moment it begins if necessary. According to sources, Iran's allies will not hesitate to open fire against an already agreed on bank of objectives in a perfectly organised, orchestrated, synchronised and graduated response, anticipating a war that may last many months.

Sources confirmed that, in case of war, Iran aims to stop the flow of oil from the Middle East completely, not by targeting tankers but by hitting the sources of oil in every single Middle Eastern country, whether these countries are considered allies or enemies. The objective will be to cease all oil exports from the Middle East to the rest of the world.

...

Iran's economy is under attack by Trump's embargo on Iranian oil exports. Trump refuses to lift the embargo and wants to negotiate first. Trump, unlike Israel and the hawks in his administration, is trying to avoid a shooting war. Netanyahu has reiterated his desire for war with Iran -- a war that the US will fight–and is meeting with his Arab allies to help bring it about. As Ha'aretz described Netanyahu's Iran dilemma last month, the goal is to get Trump to go to war without putting Israel on the front line.

b , Jun 21, 2019 1:23:18 PM | 107
Trump just confirmed my hunch that there was no final decision to strike.
Meet the Press @MeetThePress - 16:50 UTC - 21 Jun 2019

EXCLUSIVE: In an exclusive interview with Chuck Todd, President Donald Trump says he hadn't given final approval to Iran strikes, no planes were in the air.

Also Elijah Magnier's piece is out:

Iran and Trump on the edge of the abyss

The first message is that Iran is ready for an all-out war, no matter what the consequences. The second message is that Iran is aware that the US President has cornered himself; the embarrassing attack came a week after Trump launched his electoral campaign. According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be allowed to bomb one or two clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf.
...
Iran has established a joint operations room to inform all its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan of every step it is adopting in confronting the US in case of all-out war in the Middle East. Iran's allies have increased their level of readiness and alert to the highest level; they will participate in the war from the moment it begins if necessary. According to sources, Iran's allies will not hesitate to open fire against an already agreed on bank of objectives in a perfectly organised, orchestrated, synchronised and graduated response, anticipating a war that may last many months.
...
Sources confirmed that, in case of war, Iran aims to stop the flow of oil from the Middle East completely, not by targeting tankers but by hitting the sources of oil in every single Middle Eastern country, whether these countries are considered allies or enemies. The objective will be to cease all oil exports from the Middle East to the rest of the world.

The NYT reports that the CentCom claim that the drone was in international airspace is in doubt: Trump Stopped Strike on Iran Because It Was 'Not Proportionate'

Still, there remained doubt inside the United States government over whether the drone, or another American surveillance aircraft, this one flown by a military aircrew, did violate Iranian airspace at some point, according to a senior administration official.
..
The delay by United States Central Command in publicly releasing GPS coordinates of the drone when it was shot down -- hours after Iran did -- and errors in the labeling of the drone's flight path when the imagery was released, contributed to that doubt, officials said.

A lack of provable "hard evidence" about the location of the drone when it was hit, a defense official said, put the administration in an isolated position at what could easily end up being the start of yet another war with a Middle East adversary -- this one with a proven ability to strike back.

Laguerre , Jun 21, 2019 1:29:48 PM | 109
b, how can you believe any of Trump's versions? I can't see that one is more trustworthy than another
Uncle Jon , Jun 21, 2019 2:53:41 PM | 131
Listen to this horse manure coming from Brain Hook, "special" representative for Iran: "According to him, Washington was doing everything possible to defuse tensions with Iran and return the containment system in the region.

However, Hook blamed Tehran for rising tension in the region because of the refusal of any diplomatic initiatives.

"Our diplomacy does not give Iran the right to respond with military force. Iran needs to meet diplomacy with diplomacy, not military force," the envoy added."

Diplomacy needs to be met with diplomacy......Really???

Iran should impose sanctions on all of SA, UAE and US oil exports. How's that for diplomacy Mr. Hook? In case you missed it that is exactly what they are doing. Meeting your brand of diplomacy head on.

We are living in the realm of absurd. How is it that we have left the welfare of our kids, families and the future of our country in the hands of these incompetent morons?

And why is the rest of the world sitting with their popcorn watching this horror show?

karlof1 , Jun 21, 2019 2:58:26 PM | 132
h @124--

After reading the wiki item on P-8s having a normal crew of 7, I got to thinking about the 35 number either being a botched translation or how many bodies were noted via thermal imaging radar, something I doubt Iran was thought to possess. As I wrote, Iran can see everything to its West, which is a very BigDeal.

I digested Magnier's latest. The following is an extremely important point:

"Ha'aretz described Netanyahu's Iran dilemma last month, the goal is to get Trump to go to war without putting Israel on the front line ."

Except that is an impossibility. The Zionists are smack dab in the middle of the front line with a massive crosshairs imprinted on their entirety. Occupied Palestine sits at Ground Zero, and it seems that the Zionists are finally waking up to the ultimate betrayal they'll experience at the hands of The Christian Rapturists -- they are to be Genocided in the pursuit of attempting to make a myth come to life.

Every writer, Magnier, b, Escobar, and most all barflies, etc, are saying the decision lies with Trump. As I've written before and again above, I disagree. The decision to go to war with Iran rests with the Current Oligarchy running the Outlaw US Empire. And it's my belief that such a war will not bring them A Few Dollars More and instead make their Fistful of Dollars evaporate rapidly. thanks to their great outstanding, naked, risks. For perhaps the very first time, the Current Oligarchy is exposed to the risks involved in a war it initially though it could win. Last night, it seemed to awaken to the potential consequences and blinked. The Philadelphia refinery blast may be shear coincidence or not, but it also has likely helped since its right down the street from the Current Oligarchies penthouses.

Now, it's just about the time of day when the Houthis launch their attacks.

Blooming Barricade , Jun 21, 2019 4:14:14 PM | 155
Watch the brilliant George Galloway on the consequences of war with Iran. Bottom line: only hardline Likudniks and FDD Likud USA types would approve such a disastrous move.

If America attacks and destroys Iran after doing the same to Iraq, Palestine, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and Lebanon, the Islamic religion should semi-officially adopt anti-Americanism until the Empire falls, and it would be totally deserved. If we all go in, let us get a good thrashing.
_____

George Galloway has warned the US and its allies in the Gulf that if they were to start "World War III" with an attack on Iran they will live to regret it because, unlike Iraq in 2003, they are capable of fighting back.

The Scottish firebrand, who famously took US lawmakers to task over the Iraq war when he testified in front of the senate in 2005, has given his take on the recent ratcheting-up of tension in the Gulf region after Iran shot down a US drone, which, it says, had entered its airspace.

Washington maintains its UAV was shot down while patrolling over international waters in an "unprovoked attack." On Friday President Donald Trump took to Twitter to claim the US were 10 minutes away from bombing three Iranian sites, before calling off the strikes.

Galloway believes that many Iranians would see it as a great "pleasure to fight the United States and its allies in the region."

In a stark warning to US allies such as Qatar, the UAE and Saudia Arabia, Galloway insisted that any country that allows "its land to be used for the launching for an American attack on Iran will itself be immediately in flames."

The former Labour MP concludes his passionate message to the world by declaring: "No more war. No more war in the Gulf. No war on Iran."

https://youtu.be/ejvTPVvj_IE

El Cid , Jun 21, 2019 4:36:44 PM | 160
It is true that Trump needs to fire acting President Bolton. Bolton who was appointed to the NSA by Sheldon Adelson, the Israeli/American oligarch, will not allow Trump to fire Bolton; otherwise, he loses millions of $$$$. The pressure is also from Adelson and his neocon ilk.
Laguerre , Jun 21, 2019 4:40:29 PM | 163
I don't think my opinion has changed. There've been several cases where they've been about to attack Iran, but then have drawn back. Spring 2018 (Israel), 2012, even the event of 1980, where they tried but failed. Trump's aborted attack is just another case.

Iran is a big country, and won't be defeated unless the people are ready to abandon the regime. They aren't as far as I can detect. The exiles, and the middle class in Iran, hate the regime. I've just had a lot of that poured into my ears, during my visit to Iran a month ago. The popular feeling though doesn't seem to have abandoned the regime. I think we can expect a nationalist resistance, if indeed Trump does attack Iran.

c1ue , Jun 21, 2019 4:54:59 PM | 165
@Oscar Peterson #151

China has been complying with US sanctions on Iran, for example this article notes that China stopped buying oil from Iran . US direct trade with Iran isn't so much as issue as the US stopping Europe and China from trading with Iran.

[Jun 22, 2019] this report on the Ufa, Russia Security Conference by both Iranian and Outlaw US Empire officials. The entire article requires reading, but this is the most relevant excerpt that has some links in the original I won't duplicate:

Jun 22, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

"Given current global events, the most significant attendees in Ufa are a senior US National Security Council member and the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Ali Shamkhani. As of now, the only official news comes from Ali Shamkhani's words concerning the possibility of mediation with the US and the possibility of Iran acquiring weapons systems to fend off US threats. Shamkhani stated:

"'We currently face demonstrative threats. Nevertheless, when it comes to air defense of our country, we consider using the foreign potential in addition to our domestic capacities Mediation is out of question in the current situation. The United States has unilaterally withdrawn from the JCPOA, it has flouted its obligations and it has introduced illegal sanctions against Iran. The United States should return to the starting point and correct its own mistakes. This process needs no mediation.'

"'This [gradually boosting of uranium enrichment and heavy water production beyond the levels outlined in the JCPOA] is a serious decision of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] and we will continue doing it step by step until JCPOA violators move toward agreement and return to fulfilling their obligations. [If JCPOA participants do not comply with the deal, Iran will be reducing its commitments] step by step within legal mechanisms that the JCPOA envisions.'"

It was noted by b that the Outlaw US Empire faces a growing international coalition against its actions, which results from sentiments made at the rather many recent international conferences that have already occurred in June that will be topped by G-20 in 8 days. That admission along with the stark mostly unreported economic realities of any armed conflict in the Gulf region is what restrains the war mongers. The Money Power and the Current Oligarchy won't allow war is what I see. And that makes this Friday morning pleasant despite the fog.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 21, 2019 12:01:59 PM | 86

Posted by: Anon | Jun 21, 2019 8:04:55 AM | 29 (boring that it's yet another Anon, who can't be bothered to distinguish himself all from the other thousands of Anons)
the stage is now maximum restraint and effort at co-operation, which Iran will be expected to respect. That means one more act against US (or false flag by US) and strikes will occur. Not comparable to hostage crisis, here US is projecting being reasonable, even if you read that as being weak.
It's not me who reading the US as weak. It will be the attitude of the Iranians, who haven't forgotten the US failure in 1980 (April 24, 1980), as opposed to the US public for whom it is so many crises ago that they've forgotten. And the Iranians are right. Trump hesitated, as every previous attempt to launch a strike on Iran has finished finally in a stand-down. The risks are just too great (for what the US public is prepared to accept). And we've just seen it happen again. They might be able to screw themselves up to go through with it, and accept the losses and stalemate that will come, but it will do no good at all for Trump's re-election chances.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 21, 2019 12:05:23 PM | 88

Posted by: Mikael Kallavuo | Jun 21, 2019 12:19:06 PM | 91 Well it looks like Elijah Magnier has finally written the piece he was hinting at releasing yesterday. Here it is:


Iran is pushing US President Donald Trump to the edge of the abyss, raising the level of tensions to new heights in the Middle East. After the sabotage of four tankers at al-Fujairah and the attack on the Aramco pipeline a month ago, and last week's attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC – now categorized by the USA as a terrorist body) yesterday shot down a US Navy drone, sending two clear messages. The first message is that Iran is ready for an all-out war, no matter what the consequences. The second message is that Iran is aware that the US President has cornered himself; the embarrassing attack came a week after Trump launched his electoral campaign.

According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf.

...

Moreover, Iran has established a joint operations room to inform all its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan of every step it is adopting in confronting the US in case of all-out war in the Middle East. Iran's allies have increased their level of readiness and alert to the highest level; they will participate in the war from the moment it begins if necessary. According to sources, Iran's allies will not hesitate to open fire against an already agreed on bank of objectives in a perfectly organised, orchestrated, synchronised and graduated response, anticipating a war that may last many months.

Sources confirmed that, in case of war, Iran aims to stop the flow of oil from the Middle East completely, not by targeting tankers but by hitting the sources of oil in every single Middle Eastern country, whether these countries are considered allies or enemies. The objective will be to cease all oil exports from the Middle East to the rest of the world.

...

Iran's economy is under attack by Trump's embargo on Iranian oil exports. Trump refuses to lift the embargo and wants to negotiate first. Trump, unlike Israel and the hawks in his administration, is trying to avoid a shooting war. Netanyahu has reiteratedhis desire for war with Iran -- a war that the US will fight–and is meeting with his Arab allies to help bring it about. As Ha'aretz described Netanyahu's Iran dilemma last month, the goal is to get Trump to go to war without putting Israel on the front line.


Posted by: jsb | Jun 21, 2019 12:20:15 PM | 92

Trump just confirmed my hunch that there was no final decision to strike.
Meet the Press @MeetThePress - 16:50 UTC - 21 Jun 2019

EXCLUSIVE: In an exclusive interview with Chuck Todd, President Donald Trump says he hadn't given final approval to Iran strikes, no planes were in the air.

Also Elijah Magnier's piece is out:

Iran and Trump on the edge of the abyss

The first message is that Iran is ready for an all-out war, no matter what the consequences. The second message is that Iran is aware that the US President has cornered himself; the embarrassing attack came a week after Trump launched his electoral campaign. According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be allowed to bomb one or two clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf.
...
Iran has established a joint operations room to inform all its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan of every step it is adopting in confronting the US in case of all-out war in the Middle East. Iran's allies have increased their level of readiness and alert to the highest level; they will participate in the war from the moment it begins if necessary. According to sources, Iran's allies will not hesitate to open fire against an already agreed on bank of objectives in a perfectly organised, orchestrated, synchronised and graduated response, anticipating a war that may last many months.
...
Sources confirmed that, in case of war, Iran aims to stop the flow of oil from the Middle East completely, not by targeting tankers but by hitting the sources of oil in every single Middle Eastern country, whether these countries are considered allies or enemies. The objective will be to cease all oil exports from the Middle East to the rest of the world.

The NYT reports that the CentCom claim that the drone was in international airspace is in doubt:
Trump Stopped Strike on Iran Because It Was 'Not Proportionate'

Still, there remained doubt inside the United States government over whether the drone, or another American surveillance aircraft, this one flown by a military aircrew, did violate Iranian airspace at some point, according to a senior administration official.
..
The delay by United States Central Command in publicly releasing GPS coordinates of the drone when it was shot down -- hours after Iran did -- and errors in the labeling of the drone's flight path when the imagery was released, contributed to that doubt, officials said.

A lack of provable "hard evidence" about the location of the drone when it was hit, a defense official said, put the administration in an isolated position at what could easily end up being the start of yet another war with a Middle East adversary -- this one with a proven ability to strike back.


Posted by: b | Jun 21, 2019 1:23:18 PM | 107 b, how can you believe any of Trump's versions? I can't see that one is more trustworthy than another

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 21, 2019 1:29:48 PM | 109

Listen to this horse manure coming from Brain Hook, "special" representative for Iran:

"According to him, Washington was doing everything possible to defuse tensions with Iran and return the containment system in the region.

However, Hook blamed Tehran for rising tension in the region because of the refusal of any diplomatic initiatives.

"Our diplomacy does not give Iran the right to respond with military force. Iran needs to meet diplomacy with diplomacy, not military force," the envoy added."

Diplomacy needs to be met with diplomacy......Really???

Iran should impose sanctions on all of SA, UAE and US oil exports. How's that for diplomacy Mr. Hook? In case you missed it that is exactly what they are doing. Meeting your brand of diplomacy head on.

We are living in the realm of absurd. How is it that we have left the welfare of our kids, families and the future of our country in the hands of these incompetent morons?

And why is the rest of the world sitting with their popcorn watching this horror show?

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 21, 2019 2:53:41 PM | 131 h @124--

After reading the wiki item on P-8s having a normal crew of 7, I got to thinking about the 35 number either being a botched translation or how many bodies were noted via thermal imaging radar, something I doubt Iran was thought to possess. As I wrote, Iran can see everything to its West, which is a very BigDeal.

I digested Magnier's latest. The following is an extremely important point:

"Ha'aretz described Netanyahu's Iran dilemma last month, the goal is to get Trump to go to war without putting Israel on the front line ."

Except that is an impossibility. The Zionists are smack dab in the middle of the front line with a massive crosshairs imprinted on their entirety. Occupied Palestine sits at Ground Zero, and it seems that the Zionists are finally waking up to the ultimate betrayal they'll experience at the hands of The Christian Rapturists--they are to be Genocided in the pursuit of attempting to make a myth come to life.

Every writer, Magnier, b, Escobar, and most all barflies, etc, are saying the decision lies with Trump. As I've written before and again above, I disagree. The decision to go to war with Iran rests with the Current Oligarchy running the Outlaw US Empire. And it's my belief that such a war will not bring them A Few Dollars More and instead make their Fistful of Dollars evaporate rapidly. thanks to their great outstanding, naked, risks. For perhaps the very first time, the Current Oligarchy is exposed to the risks involved in a war it initially though it could win. Last night, it seemed to awaken to the potential consequences and blinked. The Philadelphia refinery blast may be shear coincidence or not, but it also has likely helped since its right down the street from the Current Oligarchies penthouses.

Now, it's just about the time of day when the Houthis launch their attacks.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 21, 2019 2:58:26 PM | 132

Watch the brilliant George Galloway on the consequences of war with Iran. Bottom line: only hardline Likudniks and FDD Likud USA types would approve such a disastrous move.

If America attacks and destroys Iran after doing the same to Iraq, Palestine, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and Lebanon, the Islamic religion should semi-officially adopt anti-Americanism until the Empire falls, and it would be totally deserved. If we all go in, let us get a good thrashing.
_____

George Galloway has warned the US and its allies in the Gulf that if they were to start "World War III" with an attack on Iran they will live to regret it because, unlike Iraq in 2003, they are capable of fighting back.

The Scottish firebrand, who famously took US lawmakers to task over the Iraq war when he testified in front of the senate in 2005, has given his take on the recent ratcheting-up of tension in the Gulf region after Iran shot down a US drone, which, it says, had entered its airspace.

Washington maintains its UAV was shot down while patrolling over international waters in an "unprovoked attack." On Friday President Donald Trump took to Twitter to claim the US were 10 minutes away from bombing three Iranian sites, before calling off the strikes.

Galloway believes that many Iranians would see it as a great "pleasure to fight the United States and its allies in the region."

In a stark warning to US allies such as Qatar, the UAE and Saudia Arabia, Galloway insisted that any country that allows "its land to be used for the launching for an American attack on Iran will itself be immediately in flames."

The former Labour MP concludes his passionate message to the world by declaring: "No more war. No more war in the Gulf. No war on Iran."

https://youtu.be/ejvTPVvj_IE

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Jun 21, 2019 4:14:14 PM | 155

It is true that Trump needs to fire acting President Bolton. Bolton who was appointed to the NSA by Sheldon Adelson, the Israeli/American oligarch, will not allow Trump to fire Bolton; otherwise, he loses millions of $$$$. The pressure is also from Adelson and his neocon ilk.

Posted by: El Cid | Jun 21, 2019 4:36:44 PM | 160

I don't think my opinion has changed. There've been several cases where they've been about to attack Iran, but then have drawn back. Spring 2018 (Israel), 2012, even the event of 1980, where they tried but failed. Trump's aborted attack is just another case.

Iran is a big country, and won't be defeated unless the people are ready to abandon the regime. They aren't as far as I can detect. The exiles, and the middle class in Iran, hate the regime. I've just had a lot of that poured into my ears, during my visit to Iran a month ago. The popular feeling though doesn't seem to have abandoned the regime. I think we can expect a nationalist resistance, if indeed Trump does attack Iran.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 21, 2019 4:40:29 PM | 163

@Oscar Peterson #151
China has been complying with US sanctions on Iran, for example this article notes that China stopped buying oil from Iran .
US direct trade with Iran isn't so much as issue as the US stopping Europe and China from trading with Iran.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 21, 2019 4:54:59 PM | 165

[Jun 22, 2019] http://www.unz.com/tsaker/trump-claims-he-canceled-an-airstrike-against-iran-at-the-very-last-minute/

Jun 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

The first thing to say here is that we have no means to know what really happened. At the very least, there are two possible hypotheses which could explain what took place:

1) a US provocation: it is quite possible that somebody in the US chain of command decided that Iran should be put under pressure and that having US UAV fly right next to, or even just inside, the international border of Iran would be a great way to show Iran that the US is ready to attack. If that is the case, this was a semi-success (the Iranians had to switch on their radars and attack the UAV which is very good for US intelligence gathering) and a semi-failure (since the Iranians were clearly unimpressed by the US show of resolve).

2) an Iranian provocation: yup, that is a theoretical possibility which cannot reject prima facie : in this scenario it was indeed the Iranians who blew up the two tankers last week and they also deliberately shot down the US UAV over international waters. The goal? Simple: to show that the Iranians are willing and ready to escalate and that they are confident that they will prevail.

Now, in the real world, there are many more options, including even mixes of various options. What matters is now not this, as much as Trump's reaction:

Now, whether this was a US provocation or an Iranian one – Trump's reaction was the only correct one. Why? Because the risks involved in any US "more than symbolic strike" would be so great as to void any rationale for such a strike in the first place. Think of it: we can be very confident that the Iranian military installations along the Persian Gulf and the southern border of Iran are highly redundant and that no matter how successful any limited US missile strike would have been, the actual military capabilities of Iran would not have been affected. The only way for the US to effectively degrade Iranian capabilities would be to have a sustained, multi-day, attack on the entire southern periphery of Iran. In other words, a real war. Anything short of that would simply be meaningless. The consequences of such an attack, however, would be, in Putin's words "catastrophic" for the entire region.

If this was an Iranian provocation, then it was one designed to impress upon the Empire that Iran is also very much "locked, cocked and ready to rock". But if that is the case, there is zero change that any limited strike would achieve anything. In fact, any symbolic US attack would only signal to the Iranians that the US has cold feet and that all the US sabre-rattling is totally useless.

I have not said such a thing in many months, but in this case I can only admit that Trump did the right thing. No limited attack also makes sense even if we assume that the Empire has made the decision to attack Iran and is just waiting for the perfect time. Why? Because the longer the Iranian feel that an attack is possible, the more time, energy and money they need to spend remaining on very high alert.

The basic theory of attack and defense clearly states that the attacking side can gain as a major advantage if it can leave the other side in the dark about its plans and if the costs of being ready for a surprise attack are lower than the costs of being on high alert (those interested in the role and importance of surprise attack in the theory of deterrence can read Richard Betts' excellent book "


peterAUS says: June 21, 2019 at 8:30 pm GMT 100 Words

the longer the Iranian feel that an attack is possible, the more time, energy and money they need to spend remaining on very high alert.

Yep.
Men and material getting tired.
Tired men and material make mistakes.

Smart.

As I've said plenty of times before, the "beauty" of the setup is that TPTBs simply create a climate for a mistake resulting in loss of life of American personnel.
BANG.

Or, you put two combat forces next to each other and ramp up the tension.
Just a matter of time.

I am currently very slightly optimistic (48-52%) that the US will not attack Iran in the short term.
In the long term, however, I consider that an AngloZionist attack is a quasi certainty.

Yep.
Short term being 3 months (related to the first paragraph).

War for Blair Mountain , says: June 21, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT

Sean Hannity lives in the largest Mansion in Lloyd Neck I have driven past his Mansion to get a look as to just how big it is IT'S HUGE ..Lloyd Neck has the most expensive zip code in the US ..Hannity the Chicken-Hawk thinks he is even tougher Chicken-Hawk War Hawk now that he studies MMA Serra Brazilian Ji-jitsu on Jericho Turnpike ..Yesterday Sean Hannity"My philosophy is you hit me .I hit you back ten times harder" .of course, Sean will be hiding in his mega-Mansion in Lloyd Neck .as the US Cargo Planes land in Virginia with a 100 stainless steel coffins containing the bodies headless bodies of Native Born White American Working Class Young Men Donald and Melania step inside the cargo bay to view the stainless steel coffins ..

... ... ...

A123 , says: June 21, 2019 at 8:50 pm GMT

Military action needs to support the underlying political goals. And, the political goal is to stop the Iranian regime from threatening and destabilizing the region. Would killing 150+ Iranians help dislodge the violent regime? No. Thus, the proposed strike did not align with the political goal. Trump was right to cancel it.

Think of it as the Putin Playbook. Did Putin go for mass casualties when Turkey shot down one of its fighters in 2015? No. Both Putin and Trump show similar strength. Restraint against precipitous, ill conceived, and overly bloody actions.

_____

Trump realizes that the Iranian people are the victims of sociopath Kahmeni. There will be a response with minimal bloodshed. Instead it will focus on the regime. Deepening the divide between the Iranian people and their despotic leaders prepares the path for internal forces to replace those leaders.

Oil storage is a likely choice. The tanks are large and spilled oil is highly visible. It would demonstrate the inability of the regime to stop the U.S. Storage facilities are visible to the public, so the government would have trouble denying or misrepresenting the event. Port facilities would also be a good choice, although that would be harder to time for few to no casualties.

PEACE

El Dato , says: June 21, 2019 at 8:57 pm GMT

very slightly optimistic (48-52%)

That's going overboard on precision though. And what's with the oil refinery in Pennsylvania going up into balls of flame. I hope this won't get dragooned into an "Iranian sleeper cell attack".

2stateshmustate , says: June 21, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
@A123

Another Israeli telling Americans they will be welcomed in Iran with flower covered streets. This guy doesn't give a shit about the US.

Fran Macadam , says: June 21, 2019 at 9:26 pm GMT
The provocations have to be such that domestic acquiescence in elite war profit taking will not be disturbed. That requires a series of propaganda events ramping up for domestic consumption.
El Dato , says: June 21, 2019 at 9:46 pm GMT
https://news.antiwar.com/2019/06/21/trump-called-off-attack-on-iran-with-10-minutes-to-spare/

10 minutes from striking is worryingly close, and Trump's disclosures on the matter are troubling. Apparently it was only at this late hour that Trump came around to asking for specifics on how many Iranians his order would kill. The generals told him approximately 150.

This was the game-changer, and Trump was nominally ordering this attack over the shoot down of a single US surveillance drone, and he rightly noticed that killing 150 people was not very proportionate to that, fortunately, he called the attack off before the first missiles were fired.

Trump went on to issue a flurry of Tweets saying Iran would never be allowed to have nuclear weapons, which of course this entire almost-attack had not a thing to do with. He also bragged about how much damage the US sanctions have done to Iran and how weakened Iran already is.

Troublingly though, administration hawks were still able to get Trump to sign off on the attack earlier on Thursday, and his assurances on Twitter suggest that the loss of the single drone really didn't enter into it as a big issue for him. This raises ongoing concerns that having called off the Thursday attack, Trump might be sold on a lesser attack at any time, or at least something nominally different that gets carried out before he gets around to asking about the casualties.

HONK! HONK!

restless94110 , says: June 21, 2019 at 9:48 pm GMT
@A123

Why would you end your mis-analysis where you justify war with the word PEACE? Spelling it out in all CAPS? You are seriously proposing that the US has the right to judge the government of another country and to deliberately destabilize that country in order to oerturn its governemtn?

Do you realize that economic sanctions are considered to be acts of war? In other words, you support acts of war and think that is PEACE? Are you insane?

El Dato , says: June 21, 2019 at 9:51 pm GMT
@A123

Military action needs to support the underlying political goals. And, the political goal is to stop the Iranian regime from threatening and destabilizing the region.

Yeah. Makes total sense from an Israeli/Saudi perspective. When bullshit is all there is, Hollywood logic can be used to explain the world!

Trump realizes that the Iranian people are the victims of sociopath Kahmeni.

I hope you have been given a sheet with talking points, otherwise I pity you.

PEACE

Top Ironik.

El Dato , says: June 21, 2019 at 9:59 pm GMT
The Deep State never rests. Dual treason sandwich via Reuters for Mr. Trump. It's really like living in a Nazi regime, with Heydrich walking the corridors, blackmailing and manipulating and "disposing of" problem factors.

Iran's top national security official has denied a Reuters report claiming that Tehran had received a low-key message via Oman from the US warning of an imminent attack on the Islamic Republic.

"The US didn't send any message," Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman for the National Security Council, told Iranian television.

The comment dismissed a previous report by Reuters, which cited unnamed Iranian officials as saying that Donald Trump had warned Tehran of a military strike and also gave a time to respond. The message was reportedly delivered via Oman and followed the downing of a US spy UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) earlier in the week.

HEREDOT , says: June 21, 2019 at 10:06 pm GMT
A handful of psychopaths determine our destiny. What makes us different from animals?
Priss Factor , says: June 21, 2019 at 10:23 pm GMT
A political coitus interruptus. DR. STRANGELOVE lite.
kerdasi amaq , says: June 22, 2019 at 12:35 am GMT
Hmm, so they shot down a drone; would they be able to shoot down every American plane that entered their airspace? A good reason to call off the strike; if the Iranians had a missile lock on every American plane. Having all their planes shot down would be an even worse defeat for the United States than just calling off an attack. Putin checks Trump.
lavoisier , says: Website June 22, 2019 at 12:52 am GMT
@War for Blair Mountain

Sean Hannity is a PUSSY AND A FAGGOT!!!

Mostly just an idiot and a Zionist whore.

TheJester , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:10 am GMT
The Iranians might be deciding to stand firm against US sanctions and other provocations as de facto acts of war before the sanctions do materially impact the Iranian economy and its military capability.

Recall the chicanery through which the United States surreptitiously provoked Japan into attacking the United States at Pearl Harbor so that FDR, a committed Anglophile, could enter the European war through the back door to save his British friends.

1. Via economic sanctions, the United States and its European colonial allies systematically denied Japan the resources it needed to sustain its population and its industrial economy.

2. Japan decided that it would have to act to obtain those resources or, accept its eventual demise as a nation state.

3. FDR hinted to the Dutch that the newly-positioned naval resources at Pearl Harbor would attack and cut the Japanese lines-of-communication per chance Japan struck south to obtain oil, rubber, and other resources in Southeast Asia. This was intentionally leaked to the Japanese.

4. The United States monitored the locations and progress of the Japanese fleet en route to Pearl Harbor to protect its exposed flank per the above. Japanese naval resources were under a communications blackout. However, the Japanese merchant marine supporting those forces were not. The US monitored their locations as a proxy for the location of the Japanese fleet. The rest is history

The Iranians are in a similar position: either fight now at the peak of their military power or, fight for survival later at a significant economic and military disadvantage. Like the Japanese, the Iranians would be wise to do the former. This strategy optimizes their chances for national survival.

MarkinLA , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:32 am GMT
@kerdasi amaq

The first thing in is missiles that target air defense batteries. I doubt the US is worried about Iran shooting down every plane. The drone probably was flying a steady even course and took no evasive maneuvers unlike an attacking aircraft. The success rate of surface to air missiles is not very high.

MarkinLA , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:36 am GMT
@TheJester 1. Via economic sanctions, the United States and its European colonial allies systematically denied Japan the resources it needed to sustain its population and its industrial economy.

BS. The embargo was because Japan continued to occupy part of China. All they had to do was go back home. Did FDR do it to get us into the war? Maybe, but Hitler was under no obligation to declare war on the US since Japan did not declare war on the USSR when Hitler attacked the USSR.

Biff , says: June 22, 2019 at 3:03 am GMT

No limited attack also makes sense even if we assume that the Empire has made the decision to attack Iran and is just waiting for the perfect time. Why? Because the longer the Iranian feel that an attack is possible, the more time, energy and money they need to spend remaining on very high alert.

Then

this might also be a strategic PSYOP destined to lull the Iranians into a false sense of security. If that is the plan, it will fail: the Iranians have lived with a AngloZionist bullseye painted on their heads ever since 1979 and they are used to live under constant threat of war.

Make up your mind.

BengaliCanadianDude , says: June 22, 2019 at 3:32 am GMT
@A123

Tell your masters in Haifa that they really are not churning out the good ones. We see right through you.

Talha , says: June 22, 2019 at 5:11 am GMT

Trump Claims He Canceled an Airstrike Against Iran at the Very Last Minute

I one hundred percent support letting The Orange One continue on with his awesome cowboy delusions as long as it keeps a war from starting.

My reaction: "Wow, sir! You have such self-control! Those Iranians don't know how close they were to you just kicking them back to the Stone Age! It's great that the better (wiser and more patient) side of you won out in the end – you are awesome!"

Peace.

Ilya G Poimandres , says: June 22, 2019 at 5:34 am GMT
@A123

Iran – no aggressive use of force for over 200 years. Sorry, you're choosing the wrong people for your propaganda.

RobinG , says: June 22, 2019 at 5:44 am GMT
TUCKER CARLSON IS A HERO: Tucker: US came within minutes of war with Iran

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-c0jMsspE7Y?feature=oembed

RobinG , says: June 22, 2019 at 5:54 am GMT
@lavoisier https://politics.theonion.com/u-s-claims-drone-was-minding-own-business-on-its-way-t-1835695562

WASHINGTON -- Maintaining that the unmanned aerial vehicle was simply going about its day without posing a threat to anyone, U.S. Department of State officials claimed Thursday that one of their drones was minding its own business on its way to church when Iran attacked it out of nowhere. "This was an outrageous, unprovoked attack by the Islamic Republic of Iran on an innocent drone who merely wanted to attend mass in peace," said acting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, emphasizing the drone's upstanding moral character by pointing out its history of donating to charity, volunteering at soup kitchens, and making homemade cookies for school bake sales. "We're talking about a drone that sings in the church choir and coaches little league baseball games on the weekends -- an absolute pillar of the community. This is an upstanding family drone who did nothing to deserve any sort of attack. What kind of world do we live in where an innocent drone can't fly through Iranian air space on its way to church?" At press time, Department of Defense officials confirmed that their request for Iran to return the drone's body back to the U.S. for a proper burial had gone unanswered.

Miggle , says: June 22, 2019 at 6:08 am GMT
@MarkinLA Read Frazier Hunt, The Untold Story of Douglas MacArthur.

TheJester is right.

Yes, China was under Japanese occupation. The Chinese Communists were fighting the Japs. The USA was supporting the side that was not fighting the Japs but the Communists, being, the USA, fanatically anti-communist.

My guess is that the USA forced Japan into war because of the economic potential of China, i.e. they wanted to take Japan's place.

And the USA didn't side with Hitler but with the other side because they didn't know Indian independence would come immediately after the War. So they sided with the Brits because of the apparent economic potential of the British Empire. If India had gained independence just before the war the USA would have sided with Hitler, because then, without India, German Europe would have had a greater economic potential than the British Empire.

Alfred , says: June 22, 2019 at 6:18 am GMT
The Iranians claim that a manned spy plane was next to the drone (i.e. that it also was in their territory) but that they chose not to shoot it down since 35 soldiers were on board.

"Along with the American drone was an American P8 aircraft with 35 on board, and it was also violating our airspace and we could have downed it too," he said, adding, "But we did not do [shoot down] it, because our aim was to warn the terrorist forces of the US."

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980331000471

To me, a total cynic, it looks like the Americans attempted a repeat of the incident when they deliberately misled their sailors so that they sailed into Iranian territorial waters. I guess they messed up the GPS for them.

"Iran releases video of captured American sailor crying "

https://nypost.com/2016/02/10/iran-releases-video-of-captured-american-sailor-crying/

I too would cry if I realised that my superiors had set me up as a sacrificial lamb.

Let's not forget the attempt to sink the USS Liberty. That was a joint operation between the US Deep State and Israel to try and get the US to attack Egypt.

"'But Sir, It's an American Ship.' 'Never Mind, Hit Her!' When Israel Attacked USS Liberty"

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/but-sir-its-an-american-ship-never-mind-hit-her-1.5492908

Popeye , says: June 22, 2019 at 6:19 am GMT
@TheJester But why were sanctions imposed on Japan? Because Japan was acting in violation of international law? Well yes due to Japanese imperial aggression against China. In 1935-40 Japan was no angelic virgin. It committed unprovoked aggression against China, committed massive war crimes and crimes against humanity. Yes FDR likely wanted to have USA enter the Pacific war to enable war against Hitler but the crippling sanctions against Japan had a legitimate basis. To punish Japan for aggression in China
Alfred , says: June 22, 2019 at 6:21 am GMT
It looks like the Americans are having a false flag feast.

The positions in Iraq – whether directly or indirectly connected to the US interests in Iraq – for example Baghdad, Basra and al-Taji base to Northwest of Baghdad and Nineveh operations command headquarters in Northern Iraq have come under Katyusha missile attacks in recent day, the Al-Akhbar newspaper reported.

The paper reiterated that the missile attacks have taken place as a result of recent regional tensions, and said that the US officials are trying to portray the attacks as messages by Iran after al-Fujaira and the Sea of Oman mishaps.

It noted that no group has claimed responsibility for the recent missile attacks on Iraqi cities.

Sources close to Hashd al-Sha'abi Commander Abu Mohandes al-Mahdi, meantime, categorically dismissed any accusations against the Iraqi popular and resistance forces, and said that the Americans themselves are most probably behind some of these attacks because some of the missiles are made in the US.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980331000382

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: June 22, 2019 at 6:58 am GMT
Has there been any mention of ahem the need for a Congressional declaration before the President can act as Commander-In-Chief?

Further evidence that the Constitution is dead.

Greg Bacon , says: Website June 22, 2019 at 8:19 am GMT
@HEREDOT Mr. Saker left out the inconvenient fact that while that drone was indeed flying over Iranian air space, a much larger target, the Poseidon P8 was flying nearby. The P8 is a converted Boeing 737, making for a much larger radar profile for that missile. The P8 has many ASW capabilities, and also can control drones.

It's usual crew numbers nine, but this one had 35 sacrificial lambs packed onboard, to be murdered by the (((Deep State))) to push Trump into the corner, with the (((MSM))) screaming that it was Iran's fault, no proof needed or lies fabricated–just like the illegal invasion of Iraq–to give Israel what it's demanding that its American colony do: Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

My guess is that the American thugs behind this latest FF attempt were hoping the Iranian surface-to-air missile would of shifted its initial target–the drone– and went for the much larger P8.

That Butcher Boy Bolton and his fellow homicidal maniacs failed means that more Americans are being lined up in their cross-hairs, ready to be sacrificed for the glory of Apartheid Israel.

If that is the plan, it will fail: the Iranians have lived with a AngloZionist bullseye painted on their heads ever since 1979 and they are used to live under constant threat of war.

Wrong, Saker, the Iranians have been getting attacked by America and the Brits since we overthrew their democratically elected prez in 1953, because he had the audacity to think and say that the majority of Iran's oil revenues should be going to Iranians, not Wall Street .

Greg Bacon , says: June 22, 2019 at 8:23 am GMT
@BengaliCanadianDude Agreed. If Israel want to attack Iran, go ahead, but they won't, because they know they'd get their asses kicked unless Uncle Sucker was leading the way.

Or maybe Israel could send in its fearsome DIAPER BRIGADES to wreak havoc in Tehran?

The diaper reference is not a joke, it's fact that the IDF has issued combat nappies to their troops, who let loose their bladder anytime they engage REAL men with guns who shoot back. But let's give credit where its due, when it comes to shooting Palestinian kids with slingshots or medics, Israel is #1.

Rabbitnexus , says: June 22, 2019 at 8:25 am GMT
@peterAUS Iran has been living with the same threat since 1979. The result is a hugely popular military and IRGC which is one of the best career choices in the country. It's a way of life for the nation to be under siege by now and for Shia Muslims the idea of being ready to fight to the death always hovers due to the history of Islam with respect to the Sunni/Shia divide. This disagreement is extreme, to be a Muslim and understand it is to feel horror! ; and despair at the idea any reconciliation is even possible between the two sects and a shared history does not make for a shared point of view. Shias have always been outnumbered and it was us who were targeted for extreme violence in the end (or the begginning) when a dispute over leadership turned bitter. Successive Islamic powers have attempted to exterminate Shias and the latest incarnation of the Salafis begginning with Wahhabism (nurtured by the Rothschild controlled British SS at the end of the Ottoman Empire) and lately morphed into Takfirism which is Daesh and their ilk, have always sought out Shias first and foremost for attack.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is firstly an Islamic Republic in full revolutionary mode, (as opposed to 'fundamentalist') it is also in a close second the "Capital" of Shia Islam and what I have described is the history of Iran and the times the Persian state was not an Islamic one are no less a part of the historical memory of the nation. Even those times (which invariably ended in defeat for Persia) reinforce the idea that it is as an Islamic state Iran stands best chance of survival and the confidence that if they remain true to these principles they will prevail is backed by an unbroken history of successful defense as a righteous Islamic state. This may be beyond many of the younger generation and ignored by the wealthy older generation Iranians but it must be ingrained in the political and social cosnciousness of the political and religious and intellectual elite.

Iran is ready. They have always been ready in one sense. Saddan Hussein who attacked them when they were at their weakest and still lived to regret it could attest to that if he was still around to talk. That war in which the USA gave full and unconditional support to their protege Saddam who only became their enemy when he became a better man and leader later on in time, was a wake up call to Iranian leadership and the nation as one. They knew that they needed missiles and a very strong defensive posture and that is what they have. F^ck with them at your peril I say.

I doubt myself the USA will attack Iran, at least as long as they have ships and troops within 1000 miles of Iran. That includes towing their static aircraft carrier "Israel" out of range as well.

sally , says: June 22, 2019 at 8:34 am GMT
@2stateshmustate agree, the comment that "the USA is taking the events to the UN is loaded with false something or other..

Iran initiated the UN hearing AFAIK and IRAN says it will present evidence that it was the USA's intention.. to do the deeds ..<=personally, my feeling is neither Russia nor China will veto .. anything about these deeds.. the only veto will come from Article II of the COUS , present leader [one Mr. Trumpy]. who is elected not by popular vote of the govern people in America but instead by the hidden behind the scene, state to state vote of the electoral college.. .. <== you mean all that to-do every four years to elect a president: democrats vs republicans beating each other up, newspapers collecting billions in contribution dollars to publish fake I hate you slogans, and he saids, you saids: dey all be fake news, propaganda erotic ? yep.. sure enough is. dem guys dat rites dem Konstitutions ain't no dummies deys knows vat ve good fore dem. Read Article II, sections 2 and 3.. you see..
Popular vote elects the Article I folks ( 525 in all: 425 members of the house of congressional districts (Art. 1, Section 2), and 100 Senators (amendment 17, proposed 1912, approved 1913federal reserve(act of congress), income tax (amendment 16) both also 1913 ),

=>but Article I (section 2 and amendment 17 ) folks have no power to act.. as powerless buffoons ..they are authorized only to approve a few things, try cases of Treason, and make the laws, fund the actions, wants and needs demanded by Article II persons. It takes 2/3 of each a divided Senate and 2/3 of a divided House [Art. I, sec 7[2,3] to over-power the Art II privilege of veto.. and

==get this=> Article II persons are charged to enforce the law( Art II, section 2 [3] he[the President} shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Where is Hillary? I see no words making such duty to enforce the law optional (so does the AG have an option that the President does not, .) ?

misguided Saker ?

Zumbuddi , says: June 22, 2019 at 8:38 am GMT
@Fran Macadam . . . Timed to force Congress to vote on a declaration of war just before elections.
Zumbuddi , says: June 22, 2019 at 8:42 am GMT
@HEREDOT Have you ever seen an obese deer?
Rabbitnexus , says: June 22, 2019 at 8:53 am GMT
I am in full agreement with the author about who was most likely behind the attacks on the ships and how the two separate attacks were done. Even down to accepting the possibility Iran was behind some or all of this as provocation for the reasons given. If so it would mean they are hurting badly and need to bring things to a head fast. This does not fit with my observations of Iranian leadership which has always demonstrated a very long term and patient, typically oriental approach to logjams in diplomacy and nothing has happened to suggest they are suddenly feeling extremely more pain than previously. In short it is possible but I doubt it.

To my mind the things which speak against the Iranians having attacked the tankers the second time at least are substantial: Both ships were Japanese owned. This attack as such was against Japanese interests WHILST the Japanese PM (Japanese death cult and mafia associations and all) was making a historical visit to Tehran! What sort of dung for brains clowns would invite someone for dinner and then send the kids out to set fire to their car whilst they dined? Of course Washington would do something like this (shooting missiles at Syria whilst enjoying a lovely piece of cake with their Chinese ally ffs ) but Iran? Give me a break.

Secondly if Iran was guilty, how come the USA is lying like a cheap rug from the get go? The video the US Navy quickly produced is PROOF they are lying. The black and white imagery does NOT hide the distinctly different paint jobs on the ship depicted and the actual one involved. Whatever that video is, it is NOT a video of either of the ships involved in the second incident. So if Iran was guilty why is the USA using fabricated evidence to assert it?

The claim that the Iranians tried unsuccesfully to shoot down a Reaper drone which was according to the USA monitoring the ship BEFORE IT WAS ATTACKED was what stuck in my craw from the start. What the hell was a REAPER Drone doing monitoring that particular ship at that particular time? Is this a common practice? Reaper drones are NOT recon drones they carry hellfire missiles and kill things! When you consider the reports by the crew, as relayed by the Japanese company owner about a flying object just before the explosion and the pictures of the damage which clearly show fairly small holes about half way between the gunwale and waterline the conclusion these were small missiles is hard to avoid. Indeed HELLFIRE missiles would fit the bill nicely.

As for attacking Iran I do not believe that the USA will dare start anything, especially now, so long as they have troops and ships within range of Iranian missiles. Iranian missiles power is immense and an unknown because they do not know where it all is, and they do know much of it is very, very well hardened against attack. IF they do start a war with Iran whilst they have assets in the region, invluding "Israel" then they have completely lost their minds and I'd say the war will end very fast and hard for them. Not even going nuclear will do it. They are deluded if they think so. Nukes are not magic, they are just big bombs and even the radiation component is not a big deal these days. (few realise it but modern nukes are quite 'clean') Iran is a vast country and well dug in over millenia. However unleashing a full nuclear war against a non nuclear state will end the USA forever as a world citizen in every way. There is no solution for the USA except to make peace or back off. They can plan and scheme all they like but Allah is the best of planners.

Rabbitnexus , says: June 22, 2019 at 9:00 am GMT
@Fran Macadam Well if that line of turkeys pecking at the crumbs of provocations unfolding which purport to involve Iran keep on gobbling on cue they are going to realise too late they just walked into the slaughter house. Iran will send home many thousands of their boys and girls in body bags and sink their ships but the real hurt will be the end of the US economy. They'll be missing even allegorical crumbs when they only have dirt to eat.
El Dato , says: June 22, 2019 at 9:05 am GMT
@MarkinLA Japan continued to occupy part of China (and viciously so, clearly stamping on the foot of white-colonial interests with their homegrown late-comer colonialism) but i mainly started to challenge US power in the Pacific, and with strong determination.

Explainer:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/FTupV8o3mW4?start=7391&feature=oembed

China nowadays has this role. This is why the US is interested in a "first strike" nuclear posture. This is gonna be fun.

Sean , says: June 22, 2019 at 9:15 am GMT
Iran's War for higher Oil prices

Israel does not have the ability to deceive the US, and why would it need to with Trump in power? American fracking technology has greatly limited Iranian ability to cause trouble. If it was the Iranians that did the limpet mine attack on international shipping then what would their objective have been? Clearly they don't want more any real war or even more sanctions. What they do want is create demand for their oil and sell it at a good price. The price of oil is already up from the mere tension over the limpet mine and shootdown and had there been US military action oil prices would have gone much higher. I see this whole affair as a sign that the Iranian regieme is getting desperate, because America's slow smothering strategy is working. Iran wants to breack out of its current situation and Trump is walking them into that.

Israel will do nothing, the partisan supporters of Israel in the US can be kept quiet on the immigration Issue by throwing them a bone (as Trump has been doing). Iran want to rase oil prices and create demand for its oil, that is all. Hitting Iran, but quite lightly, is the best option for Trump if he wants to win reelection. And so he will hit Iran at a time of his choosing, which will probabally be closer to the election. The armed forces of America or any other country are not for enforcing international law or notions of fair play, but rather for defending that country's interests. Iran and Trump's agendas converge on a clash well short of all out war in the very near future.

The Alarmist , says: June 22, 2019 at 9:16 am GMT
Occam's Razor suggests Trump got news that the drone was indeed inside Iranian airspace and decided for once to call BS.

Besides, in the great scheme of things, one lost drone doesn't make up for the USS Vincennes killing 290 people on Iran Air 655 by shooting it down in Iranian Airspace. When the Empire warned that civil aircraft were not safe in the airspace, it wasn't the Iranian forces they were warning about.

El Dato , says: June 22, 2019 at 9:17 am GMT
@El Dato Pearl Harbor explained:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/FTupV8o3mW4?start=8008&feature=oembed

Miggle , says: June 22, 2019 at 9:19 am GMT
@Miggle Sorry, "My guess" covers all that follows. It's only my guess that the USA would have sided with Hitler if they'd known India would not be part of the British Empire.
Miggle , says: June 22, 2019 at 9:55 am GMT
@Colin Wright So, not insane, inzine.

Is there a difference?

Art , says: June 22, 2019 at 10:12 am GMT
Our hero Donald J Trump – a courageous man who saved 150 lives and avoided a war, will ride those lives into 2020.

There will be no war against Iran started by Trump.

Think Peace -- Art

EoinW , says: June 22, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@TheJester But it wasn't wise for the Japanese as they were completely defeated.

The key difference between Japan and Iran is that the Japanese Empire was an aggressor, endlessly invading its neighbours. Iran has not fought an offensive war in 40 years.

Also have to question you on the time element. Time is on the side of the Asian countries. It's countries, like Israel, who see this as peak time for military action. Iran has survived 40 years of sanctions and can certainly survive this time, especially with the support of Russia and China. Yet they still must react to military planes threatening their air space. Plus they have no control over oil tankers being targeted by third parties.

Amon , says: June 22, 2019 at 10:56 am GMT
The more I see of this, the more convinced I am that the US as a society is clinically insane.

Its borders are under attack by what can only be described as an invasion is taking place with millions off illegal immigrants pour across the border to commit crime, steal jobs or mooch of the welfare programs.

Its cities are decaying with armies of homeless, shit and drugs flooding the streets in ever greater numbers while the working class people flee in great waves.

Masked and armed criminals roam the streets of major US cities, attack anyone they deem to be a wrong thinker when not busy rioting, stealing and chanting for the deaths of others.

Its economy is in a bi-polar mood. On one hand the GDP is as high as ever with tons of new jobs getting created, on the other hand the physical economy is shrinking as stores closes and houses go unsold due to half the nation being unable to buy anything but food and clothes.

In the face of all of these problems, the US Government has decided to put its full attention on overthrowing the government of Venezuela and starting a war with Iran because somehow, those two nations who posed no danger to the US have been declared high priority targets that requires the full spectrum attention and political intervention by the US.

joeshittheragman , says: June 22, 2019 at 11:13 am GMT
@HEREDOT We can killed much more efficiently.
RVBlake , says: June 22, 2019 at 11:30 am GMT
@A123 "There will be a response with minimal bloodshed." Yes, we are noted for the delicate, nearly bloodless nature of our military reactions, merely focusing on regimes with the full-throated applause of the grateful populaces. It would be a cake-walk, to quote our valiant SecDef Rumsfeld prior to our 2003 Iraqi minimally bloody response.

And speaking of armchair generalship, I wonder where Trump's multi-starred consultant got the figure "150" in answer to the question of civilian casualties. This is the kind of clear-sighted strategic vision that has a U. S. victory in Afghanistan just around the corner, to quote our junior Clausewitz's.

SteveM , says: June 22, 2019 at 11:34 am GMT

But it is also plausible (if by no means certain) that at least two groups could have opposed such a strike:

1) The planners at CENTCOM and/or the Pentagon.

Yes, it's reported that the Pentagon advised Trump not to retaliate militarily for the drone shoot down.

Given advanced missile technologies, surface warships of any stripe are sitting ducks. I'm guessing that Iran has a plethora of missile batteries up and down its coast. If Iran launched a barrage of missiles simultaneously (10? 20? 30?) at a single surface warship in the Persian Gulf, what would be the probability that the ship's self-defense systems could neutralize them all?

If a single multi-billion dollar warship were sunk, the credibility of U.S. naval "power projection" would evaporate. In that context, the Pentagon's reluctance may be because they'd rather not establish that their hyper-expensive blue-water surface Navy is an anachronism.

alexander , says: June 22, 2019 at 11:49 am GMT
There is a very simple solution to all this, and the sooner it happens the better.

Everyone who conspired to defraud the US taxpayer into illegal wars (dating back to 2002), should be forced to pay for the cost of the wars they lied us into.

All the assets of these "deceivers" should be "seized" .to pay down the 22 trillion war debt their lies created.

If there is anything left over , it should be placed in an " Iran War Escrow Account ".

This would ensure that the burden of the war costs falls directly on "their" shoulders and NOT the US taxpayers.

This seems like a just and fair solution for everybody ., doesn't it ?

Justsaying , says: June 22, 2019 at 11:51 am GMT
@A123 If this is not proof of what some of these Washington criminals have on their agenda:

https://www.newsweek.com/mike-pompeo-says-iran-must-listen-us-if-they-want-their-people-eat-1208465

An authentic act of war before even before firing the first bullet. First, make the economy scream in the tradition of yet another thug masquerading as head of state (Nixon). Second, starve them into submission. Does the first Iraq war resulting in the death of an estimated half a million children denied essential medicines ring a bell? Venezuela is similarly being starved into surrender. Meanwhile Guaido is embezzling the humanitarian aid intended for his needy countrymen.

All said, the history of our country's lies and deception going back a long ways, more than speaks for itself.

anon [210] Disclaimer , says: June 22, 2019 at 12:10 pm GMT
@War for Blair Mountain Remember, the Holy Hook states that Working Class Native Born White Christian American Male Canon Fodder " owe it to the Jews ."
Zero , says: June 22, 2019 at 12:29 pm GMT
@Justsaying Of course, starvation is a favorite tactic of OUR international Communist overlords. They've used it for decades and killed hundreds of millions of people using it. It's cheap and easy.
Realist , says: June 22, 2019 at 12:42 pm GMT

Trump Claims He Canceled an Airstrike Against Iran at the Very Last Minute

That is just bullshit.

Realist , says: June 22, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT
@lavoisier

Mostly just an idiot and a Zionist whore.

Yes, and there are plenty of them.

sarz , says: June 22, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT
Saker, it would be good to see you spell out where you differ from Bernhard of Moon of Alabama's assumptions.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/06/white-house-pushes-trump-pulled-back-story-he-likely-never-approved-to-strike-iran.html

War for Blair Mountain , says: June 22, 2019 at 12:55 pm GMT
On direct orders from Donald Trump ..the US Military is illegally occupying the sovereign Nation of Syria .and Trump took a direct order from JEW ONLY ISRAEL to do this think about it

A case can be made that the US strategy is not to go to war with Iran .but rather, use the boogey man of Iran to justify a 100 year illegal US Military occupation of Syria on behalf of JEW ONLY ISRAEL .

The late Fat Cockroach Christopher Hitchens justified murdering thousands of Iraqis because it would be good for the Kurds Well, here is what I say:THE CRYPTO JEW KURDS WERE NEVER WORTH IT .Kurdish autonomy in northern Iraq always meant an IDF presence in Northern Iraq

Realist , says: June 22, 2019 at 12:58 pm GMT
@2stateshmustate Yep, A123 is as full of shit as you can get
Realist , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:03 pm GMT
@restless94110

Why would you end your mis-analysis where you justify war with the word PEACE?

Spelling it out in all CAPS?

Because he's a really, really dumbass.

Do you realize that economic sanctions are considered to be acts of war?

He doesn't realize what planet he's on.

Are you insane?

He's just really low IQ.

Biff , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:09 pm GMT
@Anonymous

learn the difference between tactics and strategy.

Hey Bill Clinton, is that you?

Dictionary.com gives almost identical definitions for those terms, so tell us oh wise one – what's the difference?

Jacques Sheete , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:11 pm GMT
@A123

And, the political goal is to stop the Iranian regime from threatening and destabilizing the region.

Oh, really! Tsk tsk.

Johnny Walker Read , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:14 pm GMT
The best analysis of the 225 million dollar MQ-4C drone(more expensive than the F-35) shoot down in my opinion is that of Jim Stone:
"The drone shot down was an MQ-4C, which is basically a more advanced clone of the Global Hawk. A better score for Iran than a Global Hawk. ADDITIONALLY IMPORTANT: Iran was the one that recovered the debris, the U.S. navy did not, which means Iran was telling the truth about where it was flying to begin with. If they got it, it fell on their turf. It is really blown to smithereens, a direct hit. That's good for Iran because it proves their missile systems can do it, but it is bad because they don't have any big pieces. Additionally, there was an American P-8 spy plane accompanying the drone, Iran was able to differentiate between the two, and hit the drone. The P-8 was a much easier target. Iran obviously opted not to hit it because killing it's crew would have meant war."

What everyone needs to be aware of here is "stealth" technology is a total farce, and can be defeated with long wave radar, basically the same system used by England during WWII. The drone shot down was considered a Max Stealth aircraft, same as the F-35. The F-35 and F-22 are basically "hanger queens"(many hours of maintenance required for every hour of flying time), and with their stealth capabilities being defeatable, they are pretty much worthless. Trump did not pull the trigger on this because he figured out the whole thing could go real bad real quick.

I urge all to read Jim Stones take on this mess: http://82.221.129.208/.wh7.html

Realist , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:15 pm GMT
@alexander

Everyone who conspired to defraud the US taxpayer into illegal wars (dating back to 2002), should be forced to pay for the cost of the wars they lied us into.

Everyone who conspired to defraud the US taxpayer into illegal wars, their heirs and all who profited from (dating back to 1812), should be forced to pay for the cost of the wars they lied us into.

FIFY

Jacques Sheete , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:16 pm GMT
@Justsaying You are correct. This is economic and siege warfare. Flying bullets, etc., add to the drama and consequences, but the war on Iran began many years ago. The vicious clowns are up to the same old tricks, but bullshitting only the willing gulls.
Jacques Sheete , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:18 pm GMT
@Zero

Of course, starvation is a favorite tactic of OUR international Communist overlords.

Yup. It's what empires do, and they don't even give a flip if their own people have to go without either.

Jacques Sheete , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
@El Dato

It's really like living in a Nazi regime

No, it's not. Clearly the Nazis were on the defensive . Lying Abe Lincoln was, in fact, much worse than the Nazis ever thought of being; in a totally different category even.

DESERT FOX , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:25 pm GMT
Iran has not started a war in over 300 years and is not a terrorist nation and does not export terrorism, that title belongs the the unholy trinity of the zio/US and Israel and Britain, the creators and funders and suppliers of AL CIADA aka ISIS and all the various off shoots thereof.

This war on Iran is a zionist project of the zionists who control the governments of the zio/US and zio/Britain as has been the case in every war in Iraq and Libya and Syria and Yemen and Lebanon , Israel has been the agent provocateur in every one of these wars!

The zionists have a goal of a satanic zionist NWO and are hell bent to get there if they have to kill off all the goyim and muslims to accomplish it and they are well on their way!

Read the book Blood In The Water by Joan Mellen on the zio/US and Israeli attack on the USS Liberty for a look at how these two terrorist nations operate!

Jacques Sheete , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:25 pm GMT
@HEREDOT

A handful of psychopaths determine our destiny. What makes us different from animals?

I don't think other animals have psychopaths of the same species ruling over them nor do they have hasbara clowns spouting sewage and doing worse 24/7, such as the alphanumeric zero, above.

Realist , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

Mr. Saker left out the inconvenient fact that while that drone was indeed flying over Iranian air space, a much larger target, the Poseidon P8 was flying nearby. The P8 is a converted Boeing 737, making for a much larger radar profile for that missile. The P8 has many ASW capabilities, and also can control drones.

If this is true the stupid bastards in control of this country better take note. If the missile, that Iran says they developed, is cabable of distinguishing between a P8 and a drone the US may have a big problem.

Johnny Walker Read , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:30 pm GMT
@SteveM Yup, Trump called this off because he knew America could pay dearly for an attack on Iran.
Realist , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:30 pm GMT
@joeshittheragman Excellent answer.
Johnny Walker Read , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:33 pm GMT
This is what our Air Force would look like if it was based on war fighting and not making all in the MIC extremely rich.
https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/03/f-35-replacement-f-45-mustang-ii-fighter-simple-lightweight/
Realist , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:39 pm GMT
@MarkinLA

The embargo was because Japan continued to occupy part of China.

True, but China has been occupied by both the British and US in the past .and not too distant past.

Fool's Paradise , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:43 pm GMT
More likely, Trump and his Neocons knew that Iran had proof that the spy drone was shot down over Iran's territory, that the truth would come out after the U.S. strike, earning the world's condemnation and making Trump et al look like warmongering fools. That's what they are, of course, but it gave Trump the chance to pose as a big humanitarian, stopping the strike because, since it was only a plane, with no Americans on board, he didn't want to "disproportionately" kill anybody. Yeah. Just wait until the Israeli puppets send another plane with Americans on board, it'll give Israel and our traitorous Neocons the war they've been lusting after for a decade or more.
Realist , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:45 pm GMT
@Art LOL
Jacques Sheete , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:50 pm GMT
@MarkinLA

All they had to do was go back home.

Proof?

In fact it's my understanding that the Japanese were bending over backwards in an attempt to avoid war with the US but the Wall Street Commie catamite FDR and his henchmen foiled and insulted them at every turn. The story of how they were repeatedly humiliated would raise the hackles of the least sensitive among us.

The big picture is that the Wall Street and London Commies were aiming for world hegemony even at their own populations' expense, of course, and Japan and Germany had to be castrated even if populated and run by angels and innocent choir boys to ensure that they could be turned into industrial slave states. It's apparent that the scum of the Earth won't rest until they've accomplished their goals as we can clearly see here.

Nancy Pelosi's Latina Maid , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
@War for Blair Mountain

Sean Hannity lives in the largest Mansion in Lloyd Neck I have driven past his Mansion to get a look as to just how big it is IT'S HUGE ..Lloyd Neck has the most expensive zip code in the US

A simple Google search reveals Hannity sold his Lloyd Neck home in 2014, and has lived in Oyster Bay for several years. Also, Lloyd Neck isn't even in Forbes' Top 50 Most Expensive Zip Codes; the list is headed by four communities in California and one in Florida.

I'm not saying Sean isn't a pussy and a faggot, but your facts are suspect.

Jacques Sheete , says: June 22, 2019 at 1:58 pm GMT
@Popeye Dear Sir,

This is the 21st century. Why do you persist in parroting nearly century-old war propaganda?

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[Jun 21, 2019] Is The U.S. Going To War With Iran

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May 28, 2019 | AJ+

Iran has been abiding by the nuclear agreement. So why does it feel like the Trump administration is edging the United States towards a war? #iran #iransanctions #trump


Jack Roth , 3 weeks ago

Israel is the biggest winner if USA goes to war with IRAN

Starman , 2 weeks ago

Ironic, politicians don't do any of the fighting but their soldiers do. The soliders don't know why are fighting and get killed, politicians do know why they are fighting but don't get killed. "War: A massacre of people who don't know each other for the profit of people who know each other but don't massacre each other" Paul Valery

Ali raza , 3 weeks ago

Saudi Arabia has made another 8 billion dollars weapon agreement with US. That means No WAR threat now till then next purchase agreement.

Tyler M , 5 hours ago (edited)

Its the old men who declare war but its are young men and woman that must face danger and death!!!god bless American armed forces!

Dunking Donut , 19 seconds ago

With America and Iran goes against each other, Iran will lose really bad because America is so big and stronger compare to a small country

Surrealist Idealist , 3 weeks ago

Bolton is such a traitorous, power-worshipping coward. He can only lie to himself about it by bullying others.

young yahye , 2 weeks ago

I feel bad for the brainwashed American citizens From school to military to sleeping ships that are entertained with consumption Very dumbed down society

Teta _98 , 1 day ago

Iran isn't easy USA they are not Iraq or Afghanistan .. USA will do very big mistake

Jai Nepal , 3 days ago div tabindex="0" role="article

"> This whole situation, is Americas last stand along with Saudi and their local cousins in Israel to maintain the Petro dollar system which , if Iran could trade its resources equitably would be finished...This is the system that pays for the thousands of US military bases surrounding China, Russia ,Iran etc...

that provides billions of dollars to maintain Israeli nuclear and military superiority in Palestine and Western Asia

..and maintains the Saudi monopoly and high crude prices, and so the Saudi dictator monarchist establishment...

Nobody is claiming Iran is perfect, yet lets see this for what it is..as with Trumps attacks , tariffs and sanctions leveled across global trade and industry...The desperate actions of a dying empire...

William Hanson , 3 hours ago

There is a reason is the Obama administration went back to negotiating. To keep them Iran busy while it was launching the Stuxnet Virus on the industrial control systems in Iran. Watch the documentary Zero Days. It is extremely eye opening.

VITA kyo , 1 day ago

BUSINESS IS WAR & WAR IS THE BEST BUSINESS .

JJ Sundra , 7 hours ago (edited) div tabindex="0" r

ole="article"> The World should stand together to stop this kind of bullying....! The Trump administration had already planned ... that it needs to invade IRAN to choke China, Korea, Japan & now India who gets their Oil from Iran. The unilateral tearing up of an International Agreement is evidenced that US will rather this World go to Hell and to give-up its No. 1 place in Commerce and Defence. This kind of arrogance & "superiorority" attitude is dangerous for one who claims the title "Sherif - of-the - World"..! USA via the Trump Administration is HELL BENT on invading IRAN. The tearing-up and dishonouring the wishes of the International Community in order to provoke IRAN to retaliate by also NOT complying with the provisions of the said Agreement is evidence that the USA had already decided to invade IRAN. They nearly did invade last year but probably decided that they can conspire to create more incidents to justify their attack. AN INVASION ON IRAN IS PRICELESS TO USA.... WHY..? 1) They get to plunder USD Tens/Hundreds of Trillions to enrich THEIR coffers/ economy. 2) IRAN has the 2nd largest oil reserves. Rebrand the Oil as "American Oil".. 3) Take control of the most important shipment ports in the world with regards to Oil Commodity.. 4) Get rid of Out-dsted Military wears and bill them to Saudi at a premium. 5) Introduce their latest Military Wears to the World and again Bill them to Saudi at a double premium ;and. - to get new orders from other countries. - to send a message to China of USA's military capabilities.. 6) To Warn China that it has a penchant to settle issues through the Military if negotiations do not work in favour of the USA.. 7) Choke East Asian countries who are a threat to USA's No. 1 position. 8 ) Take another step towards acknowledging ISREALS legitimate presence of the Middle East. 9) To help Isreal fulfill their prophesy to take control of the Middle East. Saudi will not know, what hits them when the time comes. 10) There is another 3 more serious points but I will leave it to you guys to challenge yourself to decipher it. 11) To put onto action his perspectives, opinion & views while he can, should he not be elected next Term. And if Trump is able to control the War, he will be popular enough to be elected next term. Or if the War gets out of hand, then the US Presidential Elections may be postpone. Therefore this invasion may be his best chance to continue on as President. THEREFORE, UNLESS THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY STEPS IN AND STRONGLY OBJECT TO THIS BULLYING... ;;; AMERICA WILL INVADE IRAN.....! USA PROVE ME & THE WORLD WRONG....

[Jun 21, 2019] Washington's Mighty Warriors Draft Dodgers and Scoundrels

Jun 21, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Bolton was notoriously a draft dodger during the Vietnam War, like his current boss, not due to any scruples regarding what was occurring, but out of concern for his own sorry ass.

[Jun 20, 2019] The Trump regime wants another pointless war by Ryan Cooper

Highly recommended!
A very good analysis. Trump essentially morphed into Hillary or worse. Essentially the same type of warmonger and compulsive liar.
Notable quotes:
"... The American people appear largely uninterested in this idea. But unless some real mass pressure is mounted against it, there is a good chance Trump will launch the U.S. into another pointless, disastrous war. ..."
"... At time of writing, the Washington Post has counted 10,796 false or misleading claims from Trump himself since taking office. Abject up-is-down lying is basically the sine qua non of modern conservative politics. ..."
"... Pompeo insists " there is no doubt " that Iran carried out the attacks -- the exact same words that Vice President Dick Cheney said in 2002 about Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction and his intention to use them on the United States, neither of which were true. (This is no doubt why several U.S. allies reacted skeptically to Trump's claims.) ..."
"... What's more, the downside risk here is vastly larger than tax policy. A great big handout to the rich might be socially costly in many ways, but it won't cause tens of thousands of violent deaths in a matter of days. War with Iran could easily do that -- or worse . ..."
"... Who else might have done the attacks? Saudi Arabia springs to mind. ..."
"... At a minimum, anybody with half a brain would want to be extremely certain about what actually happened before taking any rash actions. It's clear that Bolton and company, by contrast, just want a pretext to ratchet up pressure on Iran even further. ..."
"... On the other hand, sinking Iran's navy, as Stephens suggests in his column, would likely be a lot more dangerous than he thinks. Americans have long been fed a lot of hysterical nationalist propaganda from neocons like him about the invincibility of the U.S. military, and the ease with which any possible threat could be defeated. But while U.S. forces are indeed powerful, there is a very real risk that Iran's navy -- which is full of fast-attack boats, mini-subs, and disguised civilian vessels specifically designed to take out large ships with swarm attacks -- could inflict significant damage. Just a few lucky hits could kill thousands of sailors and cause tens of billions of dollars in damage. This is before you even get to the primary lesson of the Iraq War which is that an initial military victory is completely useless and probably counterproductive without a plan for what comes next. ..."
"... Finally, attacking Iran would be illegal. It would violate U.S. treaties , and thus the Constitution. The only justification is the claim that the 2001 authorization to attack Al Qaeda covers an attack on Iran . This is utterly preposterous -- akin to arguing it covers attacking New Zealand to roll back their gun control efforts -- but may explain Pompeo's equally preposterous attempt to blame Iran for a Taliban attack in Afghanistan. ..."
"... Pompeo and Bolton are clearly hell-bent on war. But Trump himself seems somewhat hesitant , sensing (probably accurately) that starting another war of aggression would tank his popularity even further. It's high time for everyone from ordinary citizens up to Nancy Pelosi to demand this rush to war be stopped. ..."
Jun 18, 2019 | theweek.com

The Trump regime is attempting to gin up a war with Iran. First Trump reneged on Obama's nuclear deal with the country for no reason, then he slapped them with more economic sanctions for no reason, and then, pushed by National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he moved massive military forces onto Iran's doorstep to heighten tensions further. Now, after a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman -- none of which were American -- that the administration blames on Iran, Pompeo says the U.S. is "considering a full range of options," including war. (Iran has categorically denied any involvement.)

The American people appear largely uninterested in this idea. But unless some real mass pressure is mounted against it, there is a good chance Trump will launch the U.S. into another pointless, disastrous war.

The New York Times ' Bret Stephens, for all his #NeverTrump pretensions, provides a good window into the absolute witlessness of the pro-war argument . He takes largely at face value the Trump administration's accusations against Iran -- "Trump might be a liar, but the U.S. military isn't," he writes -- and blithely suggests Trump should announce an ultimatum demanding further attacks cease, then sink Iran's navy if they don't comply.

Let me take these in turn. For one thing, any statement of any kind coming out of a Republican's mouth should be viewed with extreme suspicion. Two years ago, the party passed a gigantic tax cut for the rich which they swore up and down would " pay for itself " with increased growth. To precisely no one's surprise, this did not happen . Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) was just one flagrant example of many who got elected in 2016 while lying through their teeth about their party's efforts to destroy ObamaCare and its protections for preexisting conditions.

At time of writing, the Washington Post has counted 10,796 false or misleading claims from Trump himself since taking office. Abject up-is-down lying is basically the sine qua non of modern conservative politics.

Republican accusations of foreign aggression should be subjected to an even higher burden of proof. The Trump regime has provided no evidence of Iranian culpability aside from a video of a ship the Pentagon says is Iranians removing something they say is a mine from an oil tanker -- but a Japanese ship owner reported at least one attack came from a " flying object ," not a mine. Pompeo insists " there is no doubt " that Iran carried out the attacks -- the exact same words that Vice President Dick Cheney said in 2002 about Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction and his intention to use them on the United States, neither of which were true. (This is no doubt why several U.S. allies reacted skeptically to Trump's claims.)

What's more, the downside risk here is vastly larger than tax policy. A great big handout to the rich might be socially costly in many ways, but it won't cause tens of thousands of violent deaths in a matter of days. War with Iran could easily do that -- or worse .

And though this may be a shock to Troop Respecters like Bret Stephens, the military's record of scrupulous honesty is not exactly spotless. It has lied continually about the state of the Afghanistan occupation, just as it did in Vietnam . It lied about the effects of Agent Orange on U.S. troops and Vietnamese civilians. It lied about Pat Tillman being killed by friendly fire. Military recruiters even sometimes lie about enlistment benefits to meet their quotas.

Who else might have done the attacks? Saudi Arabia springs to mind. False flag attacks on its own oil tankers sound outlandish, but we're talking about a ruthless dictatorship run by a guy who had a Washington Post columnist murdered and chopped into pieces because he didn't like his takes. And the Saudis have already been conducting a years-long war in Yemen with catastrophic humanitarian outcomes in order to stop an Iran-allied group from coming to power. It's by no means certain, but hardly outside the realm of possibility.

At a minimum, anybody with half a brain would want to be extremely certain about what actually happened before taking any rash actions. It's clear that Bolton and company, by contrast, just want a pretext to ratchet up pressure on Iran even further.

But let's grant for the sake of argument that some Iranian forces actually did carry out some or all of these attacks. That raises the immediate question of why. One very plausible reason is that all of Trump's provocations have strengthened the hand of Iran's conservative hard-liners, who are basically the mirror image of Pompeo and Bolton. "It is sort of a toxic interaction between hard-liners on both sides because for domestic political reasons they each want greater tension," as Jeremy Shapiro of the European Council on Foreign Relations told the New York Times . This faction might have concluded that the U.S. is run by deranged fanatics, and the best way to protect Iran is to demonstrate they could choke off oil shipping from the Persian Gulf if the U.S. attacks.

This in turn raises the question of the appropriate response if Iran is actually at fault here. It would be one thing if these attacks came out of a clear blue sky. But America is very obviously the aggressor here. Iran was following its side of the nuclear deal to the letter before Trump reneged, and continued to do so as of February . So far the European Union (which is still party to the deal) has been unwilling to sidestep U.S. sanctions, prompting Iran to threaten to restart uranium enrichment . So Iran is a medium-sized country with a faltering economy, hemmed in on all sides by U.S. aggression. Backing off the threats and chest-thumping might easily strengthen the hand of Iranian moderates, and cause them to respond in kind.

On the other hand, sinking Iran's navy, as Stephens suggests in his column, would likely be a lot more dangerous than he thinks. Americans have long been fed a lot of hysterical nationalist propaganda from neocons like him about the invincibility of the U.S. military, and the ease with which any possible threat could be defeated. But while U.S. forces are indeed powerful, there is a very real risk that Iran's navy -- which is full of fast-attack boats, mini-subs, and disguised civilian vessels specifically designed to take out large ships with swarm attacks -- could inflict significant damage. Just a few lucky hits could kill thousands of sailors and cause tens of billions of dollars in damage. This is before you even get to the primary lesson of the Iraq War which is that an initial military victory is completely useless and probably counterproductive without a plan for what comes next.

Taken together, these factors strongly militate towards de-escalation and diplomacy even if Iran did carry out these attacks, which again, is not at all proven. The current standoff is almost entirely our fault, and Iranian forces are far from defenseless. America has a lot better things to do than indulge the deluded jingoist fantasies of a handful of armchair generals who want lots of other people to die in battle.

Finally, attacking Iran would be illegal. It would violate U.S. treaties , and thus the Constitution. The only justification is the claim that the 2001 authorization to attack Al Qaeda covers an attack on Iran . This is utterly preposterous -- akin to arguing it covers attacking New Zealand to roll back their gun control efforts -- but may explain Pompeo's equally preposterous attempt to blame Iran for a Taliban attack in Afghanistan.

Pompeo and Bolton are clearly hell-bent on war. But Trump himself seems somewhat hesitant , sensing (probably accurately) that starting another war of aggression would tank his popularity even further. It's high time for everyone from ordinary citizens up to Nancy Pelosi to demand this rush to war be stopped.

[Jun 19, 2019] War With Iran Would Make Trump A One-Term President The American Conservative

Jun 19, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

As President Donald Trump was in Florida kicking off his bid for a second term, his national security team was in Washington hatching plans that make that prospect much less likely.

The architects of the failed George W. Bush foreign policy rightly derided by Trump as a "big, fat mistake" on the campaign trail today exercise undue influence inside this White House. The end result could be a war with Iran.

Just as their last turn at the wheel wrecked the Bush presidency and eventually left Barack Obama in power alongside three-fifths Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, the Republican Party's wildest hawks could now ensure that Trump is a one-term president. The president once understood this, telling Jeb Bush, "Your brother and his administration gave us Barack Obama . Abraham Lincoln couldn't have won."

Trump defeated Jeb, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio, running on a foreign policy of "America First" and repudiating a decade and a half of unwinnable wars. He then won in an upset over Hillary Clinton, who voted to invade Iraq, pushed "kinetic military action" in Libya, and otherwise hasn't seen a war she hasn't liked since Vietnam.

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Now Trump is on the precipice of ceding the war issue to his political opponents, as the border crisis metastasizes and the suburbs turn blue. Joe Biden would be the third Democratic presidential nominee to have voted for the Iraq war -- the exception, Obama, twice won the White House -- just as Chuck Schumer is the third straight Senate Democratic leader to have done so.

If Trump follows Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Bush retread national security advisor John Bolton into a preventive war with Iran, he will make Biden and Schumer look like Tulsi Gabbard -- and perhaps pave the way for a different Democratic nominee against whom the anti-Hillary playbook of 2016 will prove less useful.

The president began the year promising to end the war in Syria, which Congress never authorized in the first place, and wind down the war in Afghanistan. Alongside low unemployment, the job growth that followed deregulation and tax cuts, and remaking the Supreme Court in Antonin Scalia's image, keeping ISIS at bay without launching a new war in the Middle East -- though he has surely escalated some ongoing conflicts -- stands among his top accomplishments.

Perhaps that is the soft bigotry of low expectations, to use a Bush-era phrase, but in an era of forever war, it counts for something. That is, it will count for something until the Trump team invokes the congressional authorization of force used for the Afghan war to start a new one in Iran, a move too brazenly unconstitutional for even the Bush-Cheney contingent of old.

Donald Trump Would Own a War With Iran Bret Stephens, Warmonger

The cakewalk crowd has reemerged to assure us that pinprick strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities are possible and that the regime in Tehran will prove a paper tiger. But everywhere their promises have turned to ash. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or cheering throngs greeting America's finest as liberators. Groups ideologically similar to the Islamists who attacked us on 9/11 emerged from Iraq and Libya as more powerful, not less.

Iran has long been the unprincipled exception to Trump's opposition to Middle Eastern quagmires. His desire to undo the Obama presidency predisposed him to unraveling the nuclear deal and led him to folly in Yemen. Now it might prompt him to redo the foreign policy mistakes that toppled the Bush dynasty, paving the way for a socialist to become the next commander-in-chief.

Still, there remains a powerful voice inside the White House who could halt this march to war. "The president, who campaigned against getting the U.S. bogged down in unnecessary foreign wars, is considered the primary internal obstacle to a counterattack," Politico reports .

Not even Trump's opinion should matter most. The Constitution vests the power to declare war in Congress. To justify a new war based on an outdated resolution passed nearly 20 years ago to authorize retaliation against the 9/11 attackers would be an unconscionable power grab by the executive branch that lawmakers should not countenance. Yet time and again, Congress has shirked its constitutional duties.

The Democrats in the House have an opportunity to put their money where their mouths are . But maybe they won't. An Iraq-like war in Iran would go a long way toward accomplishing their main goal: making Donald Trump a one-term president.

W. James Antle III is the editor of .

[Jun 19, 2019] How John Bolton Controls The Administration And Donald Trump

Notable quotes:
"... There are two possibilities. Trump wants a war with Iran and what we see is a good cop, bad cop strategy in which Trump plays the good guy for his voters until some 'grave incident' happens that lets him says that he has no choice but to 'hit back' at Iran. The other scenario is that Trump is a fool and that the war hawks use him as their tool to implement their preferred policies. ..."
"... Former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke says that the second scenario is the real one : ..."
"... Crooke describes how Bolton, and Netanyahoo behind him, outmaneuver the U.S. intelligence services over Iran. They stovepipe "intelligence" to the president and the media just like the crew of then Vice President Dick Cheney did in the run up to the war on Iraq: ..."
"... Bolton chairs at the NSC, the regular and frequent strategic dialogue meetings with Israel – intended to develop a joint action plan, versus Iran. What this means is that the Israeli intelligence assessments are being stovepiped directly to Bolton (and therefore to Trump), without passing by the US intelligence services for assessment or comment on the credibility of the intelligence presented (shades of Cheney confronting the analysts down at Langley). ..."
"... Bolton and Pompeo are representative of Trump's rabid evangelical base and Israel. The kabuki friction towards the shared goals is just that. To the degree that we are hearing shrillness from these folk reflects the increasing failure of their tactics to maintain control of the global narrative. ..."
"... I'm definitely of the good cop/bad cop belief. It fits with the entirety of his campaign and presidency: say one thing, do another, and blame somebody else. Trump wanted Bolton for NSA since the campaign. Both Bolton and Trump have had a position of confrontation with Iran for a long time ..."
"... Sheldon Adelson is Trumps biggest doner "Adelson's promotion of Bolton dates back at least to the days immediately after Trump's November 2016 election. According to The New York Times, Adelson strongly supported Bolton for the position of deputy secretary of state as Trump was putting together his cabinet" https://lobelog.com/trumps-choice-of-bolton-satisfies-his-biggest-donor/ So Trump could find it difficult to sack Bolton. ..."
"... It just seems like Iraq deja vu: GWB was the ignorant, dumb public face masking Lukidniks controlling US policy then, DJT the face masking the same now. ..."
"... US bombs falling on Iran seems awfully close to Moscow in my view. I cannot help wondering if one of Putin's cards is his own red line: not allowing Likudniks to subjugate US military power for their "interests" wrt Iran. ..."
"... It's about 1500 miles from Tehran to Moscow. That's about equal to the distance between Kansas City and San Francisco. ..."
"... As B (and many other media ) pointed out: the crew of the Japanese tanker all said the ship was hit by an air borne projectile. This was not a mine. Seems obvious if US was interested in the truth, they would recover and identify the projectile. ..."
"... IMO President's are just members of the Deep State team. Presidents lead the team that's "on the field" - like a quarterback in American football. But the Deep State 'coach' calls the plays. And the 'coach' is, in turn, ultimately responsible to the owners (capitalists) ..."
"... Sadly, I find that I disagree with both of b's latest theories: the "Iranian stealth attack" theory and the "President Bolton" theory. IMO these are propaganda narratives. ..."
"... "As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron". ..."
"... Now look at the U.S., the tanker was sitting their in broad daylight for about 10hrs and we couldn't even get ONE decent picture of an unexploded bomb sitting on the side of hull. And when the IRGC finally did show up, even our high resolution pictures were a joke and we are the SIGINT champions with hi-tech drones. Also, this means that the IRGC was able to slip into a port on the other side of the Persian Gulf and attack mines to 4 tankers undetected. ..."
"... By minimizing the Oman Gulf incidents, maybe it is way for the White House under Bolton's control to show that it is not impressed nor feeling threatened. it is also encouraging the perpetrators of the attacks to do more provocations and ideally to kill an American... ..."
"... That Iranian seaman who is alleged to have pulled off a possibly unstable, unexploded mine wearing nothing but a rubber life jacket thus endangering his life and all his crew mates and survivors in the small boat is the action of a lunatic. Or maybe it never happened. ..."
"... There's been a shift in the dialogue, to some degree, to a discussion of the overall US role in the Gulf area. ..."
"... A broadening of the security mission in the Gulf area would be a positive step. Imagine the navies of China, India and Japan taking a role! The price would be a removal of Iran sanctions, because these countries want Iran oil! . . .I can dream. ..."
Jun 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jeff Bezos' blog, the Washington Post , has some bits on the discussion and infighting in the Trump administration about the march towards war on Iran. The piece opens with news of a new redline the Trump administration set out:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has privately delivered warnings intended for Iranian leaders that any attack by Tehran or its proxies resulting in the death of even one American service member will generate a military counterattack, U.S. officials said.
...
While such attacks were common during the Iraq War, Pompeo told Iraqi leaders in a message he knew would be relayed to Tehran that a single American fatality would prompt the United States to hit back.

That warning was sent in May when Pompeo visited Baghdad. The issue may soon become critical. Throughout the last days there were rocket attacks in Iraq against targets where U.S. personnel is present. The AFP correspondent in Baghdad lists six of them:

Maya Gebeily - @GebeilyM - 10:20 UTC - 19 Jun 2019

Timeline of attacks on US interests in #Iraq
Fri: Mortars hit Balad base, where US troops based
Sun: Projectiles hit #Baghdad mil airport
Mon: Rockets on Taji, where coalition forces based
Tues: Mortars on #Mosul ops HQ
Wed: Rockets on housing/ops center used by IOCs near #Basra

#IRAQ: @AFP learns there were at least *two* attacks near US oil interests in #Basra in last 24 hours - ExxonMobil + Baker Hughes, a GE Company Their senior staff are being evacuated.

At least some of these attacks came from areas where Islamic State underground groups are still active. The weapons used were improvised and imprecise.

That shows how stupid the red line is that Pompeo set out. He would attack Iran if an errant ISIS rocket by chance kills some U.S. soldier? That is nuts.

Back to the WaPo piece:

Speaking during a visit to U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa on Tuesday, Pompeo said Trump "does not want war" but stressed the United States would act if assaulted. "We are there to deter aggression," he said.

The U.S. violated the nuclear agreement and is waging an economic war on Iran. That was the aggression that started the conflict. Anything that follows from that was caused by the Trump administration.

Colonel Pat Lang thinks that Pompeo was in Tampa to bring the military in line with his aggressive policies:

Ole First in his Class is down in Tampaland today jawboning the leaders of CENTCOM (Mideast), and SOCOM (badass commandos worldwide). Why is he there? The Secretary of State has no constitutional or legal role in dealing with the armed forces. That being the case one can only think that there is push-back from senior commanders over the prospect of war with Iran and that Trump has been persuaded to let him do this unprecedented visit to wheedle or threaten his way into their acquiescence.

WaPo again:

The sudden departure Tuesday of Patrick Shanahan, who has served as acting defense secretary since January, could further sideline the Pentagon, which has campaigned to reduce the potential for hostilities. Shanahan's withdrawal followed revelations of a complicated domestic dispute.

The 'complicated domestic dispute ' is not so complicate at all and the case is undisputed. In a several years long process Shanahan's ex-wife went crazy and physically attacked him and their kids. Finally one of the kids hit back at her with a baseball bat. In court Shanahan argued for a mild punishment for the kid. All the kids, mostly grown up now, are with him and do not want to see their mother. All that was documented by the police and by courts. Shanahan is not guilty of anything in that case. It was not a reason to resign.

Pat Lang believes that the real reason was Pompeo's trip to Tampa:

Shanahan withdrew his name from confirmation process today. IMO he did it because DJT let Pomp circumvent his authority.

The Pentagon was the last hold out against the aggressive anti-Iran policy says WaPo :

Concerns about an escalation are particularly pointed at the Pentagon, where the absence of a confirmed secretary has fueled worries that hawks in the White House and State Department could push the military beyond its specific mission of destroying the remnants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, raising the potential for conflict with Iran.

It has been reported several times and by different outlets that Trump is somewhat isolated from anti-war opinions in his administration. All he sees and hears is Fox News , Bibi Netanyahoo and John Bolton. The WaPo piece again confirms that:

Administration officials interviewed by The Washington Post said that national security adviser John Bolton has dominated Iran policy, keeping a tight rein on information that gets to the president and sharply reducing meetings in which top officials gather in the White House's Situation Room to discuss the policy.
...
The intensification of [the "maximum pressure"] campaign has triggered internal debates over how best to execute the president's orders. At the State Department this spring, an argument among officials over how hard to squeeze Iran with sanctions ended with those favoring the toughest possible approach prevailing. In particular, hard-liners at the White House squelched waivers that would have allowed Iran to keep selling oil after a May 1 deadline. White House aides also ended waivers that allowed Iran to swap its enriched uranium for natural uranium, an integral part of the nuclear deal.
...
While State Department officials sought to achieve a "sweet spot" that would weaken Iran through sanctions but not push so hard that Iran would withdraw from the nuclear deal, others have argued that Trump's goal is to destroy the accord at any cost and pursue a more expansive policy that seeks to cripple Iran's proxy forces throughout the region.

Pentagon and State Department officials have complained, however, about the difficulty of getting an adequate hearing for these debates under Bolton. As a result, arguments about policy frequently are not aired and do not reach the president. The process is "very exclusionary, and Bolton has very sharp elbows," the senior administration official said.
...
At the Pentagon, officials have quietly voiced concerns for months that the current trajectory might make military conflict a self-fulfilling prophecy.
...
One person familiar with the recent discussions said that Pentagon officials, including Shanahan, have been "the ones putting the brakes" on the State Department and the White House. "DOD is not beating the drums of war," the person said.

One can quibble with that. It is the regional military commander who always asks for more troops. More ships and more troops increase the chance for "accidents" and make a war more likely. That is why John Bolton uses each and every small incident to send more troops to the Middle East:

"Does the president want to send more troops? No. Will he be convinced to do it? Yes," the senior administration official said.

Trump, in contrast to some of his advisers, has seemed to downplay the significance of Iran's actions. In an interview published Tuesday by Time magazine, he said the recent oil tanker attacks were "very minor."

Trump is the president. He hired those people and is responsible for what they do. But does he know what they do?

There are two possibilities. Trump wants a war with Iran and what we see is a good cop, bad cop strategy in which Trump plays the good guy for his voters until some 'grave incident' happens that lets him says that he has no choice but to 'hit back' at Iran. The other scenario is that Trump is a fool and that the war hawks use him as their tool to implement their preferred policies.

Former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke says that the second scenario is the real one :

The consensus on 'no conflict' unfortunately, may turn out to have been overly sanguine. This is not because Trump consciously desires war, but because the hawks surrounding him, particularly Bolton, are painting him into a corner – from which he must either back down, or double down, if Iran does not first capitulate.

And here is the point: the main Trump misconception may be that he does believe that Iran wants, and ultimately, 'will seek a deal'.

Crooke describes how Bolton, and Netanyahoo behind him, outmaneuver the U.S. intelligence services over Iran. They stovepipe "intelligence" to the president and the media just like the crew of then Vice President Dick Cheney did in the run up to the war on Iraq:

Bolton chairs at the NSC, the regular and frequent strategic dialogue meetings with Israel – intended to develop a joint action plan, versus Iran. What this means is that the Israeli intelligence assessments are being stovepiped directly to Bolton (and therefore to Trump), without passing by the US intelligence services for assessment or comment on the credibility of the intelligence presented (shades of Cheney confronting the analysts down at Langley). And Bolton too, will represent Trump at the 'security summit' to be held later this month in Jerusalem with Russia and Israel. Yes, Bolton truly has all the reins in his hands: He is 'Mr Iran'.

'Mr Anti-Iran' is a more precise moniker. Or one may just call him President Bolton.

Posted by b on June 19, 2019 at 02:20 PM | Permalink


BraveNewWorld , Jun 19, 2019 2:39:12 PM | 2
The US is now saying that they will only protect ships in the gulf if the usual NATO suspects come along for the ride. If they do, then when the US attacks Iran they are committed for the regional war that follows. Bolton has done a great job of putting the band back together again.
so , Jun 19, 2019 2:45:26 PM | 3
Its all on Trump. No excuses. When the bodybags start to flow and the gas prices go to 8 or 9 dollars a gallon he will be toast. He'll never be able to show his face in public again without a small army around him. What a legacy.
Madison James , Jun 19, 2019 2:47:33 PM | 4
The similarities, to me, are a poor pantomime of Nixon and Kissinger. Milhaus was always the "madman" with his finger on the nuclear trigger which made the Nazi employment campaigner, Kissinger, seem like one to reason with if you didn't want nuclear annihilation.

There is an interesting book, "The Fire And The Fury", that has some insight into the administration. Trump never thought he would win and didn't intend to. He wanted to be "Crooked Hillary's" victim. Also, the book makes a great case for Israeli collusion, not Russia.

That said, the book makes a large showing of DJT's ignorance and indifference. Like many ignorant presidential hopefuls, I think DJT thought he could make a difference but we all know he's just a shill.

My favorite part of the book stated that DJT ate at Mickey D's because he's afraid of being poisoned, not because of a great love of fast food.

The present goobermint can run Donald up and down the flag pole and blame everything in the world on him and no one will know the difference.

ADKC , Jun 19, 2019 2:49:13 PM | 5
The war on Iran will be different to other US/Western wars.

Previously, it has only become apparent after the war has been going for some time (they never really end) that the war was a crime.

This time the whole of the US and the West knows full well that a war crime is being perpetrated. This will mean a definite end of the illusions that the West has held about it's self since WWII (or WWI). Can Empires and Civilisations continue if they no longer believe the stories they tell themselves?

Trump has not been fooled or misled, neither have the American people, neither the UK/European governments or peoples. We are destroying ourselves with this act.

Bolton has more brain cells than the entirety of the European peoples.

bjd , Jun 19, 2019 2:53:17 PM | 7
I bet soon we'll learn Shanahan was pushed out by the usual Bolton tactic of threats and extortion -- both on the personal and familial level.
Shanahan should blow the whistle -- soon!
uncle tungsten , Jun 19, 2019 2:54:09 PM | 8
Thanks b. Trump is likely both a fool and a barking mad President with a narcissistic personality. A dangerous mix open to malicious behaviour and vulnerable to manipulation. I have no doubt that he revels in the gravitas of it all, the Napoleonic pomp and ceremony etc. That the planet has to suffer this and Netanyahu and Pence Pentecostal ignorance is appalling.

There wont be any summit meeting between Iran and Trump, the insult would be intolerable and the outcome of no value to Iran. They know very well what the game is.

Bolton is just the killer for the job right where he is but will Trump find an equally malign player for his army? I am sure there is no shortage of 'suitable' candidates.

One bright side for the planet could well be a calamitous rise in oil price and a chaotic spin of global economic circumstances resulting in a drop in greenhouse gas emissions. On the dark side small pockets of survival.

bjd , Jun 19, 2019 2:56:57 PM | 9
@uncle tungsten (8)
One bright side for the planet could well be a calamitous rise in oil price and a chaotic spin of global economic circumstances resulting in a drop in greenhouse gas emissions. On the dark side small pockets of survival.

My thoughts exactly ;-)

psychohistorian , Jun 19, 2019 2:58:26 PM | 10
I am one of the supporters of the good cop/bad cop scenario.

While the existential question that has been on the table for some time is who owns the world of finance, here we are again following the spinning of the Iran plate by late empire.

Bolton and Pompeo are representative of Trump's rabid evangelical base and Israel. The kabuki friction towards the shared goals is just that. To the degree that we are hearing shrillness from these folk reflects the increasing failure of their tactics to maintain control of the global narrative.

Something stupid is coming and it will be sad.....very sad if is our extinction instead of difficult evolution.

james , Jun 19, 2019 3:04:49 PM | 11
thanks b... pompeo has the same agenda as israel with regard to attacks on the golan heights or americans - same messed up logic.. nothing like having your (usa-ksa-israel-uae) proxy army involved too.."these attacks came from areas where Islamic State underground groups are still active." the 500 lb gorilla is ''there to deter aggression''.. right!

as for trump.. the guy is a self serving twit and fool... perfect person to represent the usa at this point which is why so many hate him and like him, depending on where one lives.. whatever bolton does - it is on trump and the falling usa empire as i see it.. it can't fall soon enough..

Sorghum , Jun 19, 2019 3:10:30 PM | 12
I'm definitely of the good cop/bad cop belief. It fits with the entirety of his campaign and presidency: say one thing, do another, and blame somebody else. Trump wanted Bolton for NSA since the campaign. Both Bolton and Trump have had a position of confrontation with Iran for a long time. The fact that people still buy into the lies of *any* politician is a sad state of affairs. It sure does make the job of lying far easier.
Uncle Jon , Jun 19, 2019 3:16:20 PM | 13
@1 DG

Any tears for the Iranians or just like the Iraqis, their blood is not as red as the American soldiers?

Empathy: defined as getting our heads out of pseudo-patriotic asses and feel for the other side as well.

Peter AU 1 , Jun 19, 2019 3:18:17 PM | 14
Trump's tactical nukes mounted on Trident missiles will be ready in October - end of September according to the earlier news articles. I guess team Trump will be desperately trying to provoke a reaction from Iran so Trump can reluctantly use his nukes. (NPR specifically names Iran as a country that these may be used against). Good cop bad cop is Trump's game at the moment. He needs to be judged by the people he appoints and keeps on.
wagelaborer , Jun 19, 2019 3:23:21 PM | 15
DG @1
Don't feel too sorry for the American fatality. It will probably be a US soldier who volunteered to go overseas and kill for oil. Might be a female soldier. That would make for better press. Remember Nedā Āghā-Soltān? She was a beautiful Iranian woman, only 26 years old, shot in the head by a sniper in the 2009 Color (Green) Revolution attempt in Iran, a few blocks from the actual protests.

For some odd reason, a photographer was there to take pictures, and within a couple of hours, it was spread all over the world's media. We now call that "going viral". It takes a Mighty Wurlitzer to make a viral spread, I've noticed.

Uncle Jon , Jun 19, 2019 3:30:11 PM | 16
@15 wagelaborer

Neda Agha Soltan was shot in the chest.

karlof1 , Jun 19, 2019 3:40:10 PM | 18
"All he sees and hears is Fox News "

Tucker Carlson has interviewed Tulsi Gabbard several times and has generally been anti-war on many of his programs, and was certainly very anti-Russiagate. So, watching Fox News isn't as horrible as say CNN, NBC, MSNBC to name the three worst.

Yes, as I wrote on the last thread, Trump's boxed into several corners, Iran not being the only one. Really can't wait for the moment Pompeo clutches at his chest and crumples to the ground a la Morsi. Pompeo's clearly forgotten what Putin told him. Speaking of Putin, tomorrow he'll conduct the 17th edition of his Direct Line conversation with Russia's people and press. Information in Russian here :

"The programme will be broadcast live by Channel One, Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24, NTV, Public Television of Russia (OTR) and Mir TV, and by radio stations Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii."

Unfortunately, the start time isn't provided. Questions in Russian can be submitted at the above link.

For those that missed it, here's the Iranian limpet mine link I posted yesterday.

Would never have guessed there existed a Foundation for European Progressive Studies, but it does and its hosting a forum this Friday:

"On Friday #21June, #IAIEvent with @FEPS_Europe in #Brussels to mark the completion of our joint one-year research on #Europe-#Iran relations after the US withdrawal from the #JCPOA.

"With the participation of Seyed Sajjadpour, Deputy FM of Iran."

As far as the damage done to the two tankers, if an actual limpet mine of the sort Iran employs were used, the damage would be far more extensive than what was sustained. IMO, continuing attacks by the sort of kamikaze drones employed would be impossible to stop; and since the remains of the drone sink into the sea, virtually impossible to collect any evidence that might link Iran to the attack.

The Outlaw US Empire has no cards to play other than bluff and bluster.

Ma Laoshi , Jun 19, 2019 3:45:33 PM | 19
"That shows how stupid the red line is that Pompeo set out." Even b, one of the commenters I respect most, falls for the canard "Yanks R stoopid LOL". If you feverishly want an Iran war against the wishes of the majority of the planet, this is how it's done. Israel also drops some dud mortar shells into an empty patch on the Golan (itself or by proxy) any time it wants a mini casus belli in the Syria dossier.

I feel the Iranians have been pretty complicit propping up this image of Americans and Israelis as untouchable demigods, who only kill and can never be killed even once. The US should have gotten a steady stream of heroes coming home in boxes and wheelchairs the moment they crossed the Syrian border. Then the war fevers would've cooled considerably by now; that's how the Taliban made the orcs feel ... unwelcome in their slice of heaven. B opined at the time "This occupation is unsustainable", but nobody has properly contested it apart from a handful of ISIS holdouts. Eyes have been taken off balls it seems.

Pnyx , Jun 19, 2019 3:49:24 PM | 20
And again, no. That reminds of the old 'if the Führer knew'. No, Tronald is not - at least not in this sense - a fool. He has promoted these people now said to trick him into their respective position. Tronald is - and was - well informed about Boltons and Pompeo's views.

No, it's the first possibility that applies. Any moment now Act 3 is staged, an 'Iranian attack' on u.s. interests - and then Tronald will open Pandora's box - and suffer we will.

Laguerre , Jun 19, 2019 3:53:55 PM | 21
There were stories recently that Trump was about to sack Bolton. Whatever the truth of that, there's a fundamental problem that Trump doesn't want to spend his nights in the war room. He spends his time watching Fox News, tweeting, and his weekends at Mar-a Lago. A serious war is beyond him, and I think he'll say no, beyond a one night big bang.
murgen23 , Jun 19, 2019 3:56:40 PM | 22
May be the intention was never to sink the tanker - but just to draw attention with some heavy smoke. The limpet mines may exists in various size, so they may have intentionally used a small one for this. What were doing the IRGC along the tanker if not removing something from the hull. How do they even know there was something there of interest.
ken , Jun 19, 2019 3:57:37 PM | 23
The US has no leadership,,, just a bunch of mafioso hoods vying to be at the head of the Globalists table. The Europeons / West are little better going along to get a piece of the action... picture a Viking feast a few thousand years ago. Difference is we are the food they're devouring.

I am so happy 'b' explained the domestic violence attributed to Mr.Shanahan. I bit just like MSM wanted thinking he somehow abused his family. I imagine it was because it would have looked bad for the kind little woman.

Trump HAS drained the swamp,,, right into his administration. Look at what we in the US have to look forward to,,, tyrants on the left,,, tyrants on the right. I suppose we deserve this but it doesn't do well for my blood pressure.

Harry Law , Jun 19, 2019 3:57:50 PM | 24
Jeremy Hunt said that no other state or non state actor could possibly be responsible for the tanker explosions. That is the most ignorant statement any potential Prime Minister could make. There are so many potential culprits, any one of whom would find it more than tempting to take Pompeo at his word and lob a bomb at a US base. The same scenario applied to Syria, the US positively encouraged a gas attack by the head choppers by declaring such an attack would mean US intervention. Sheldon Adelson is Trumps biggest doner "Adelson's promotion of Bolton dates back at least to the days immediately after Trump's November 2016 election. According to The New York Times, Adelson strongly supported Bolton for the position of deputy secretary of state as Trump was putting together his cabinet" https://lobelog.com/trumps-choice-of-bolton-satisfies-his-biggest-donor/ So Trump could find it difficult to sack Bolton.
AriusArmenian , Jun 19, 2019 3:59:50 PM | 25
If this is mostly correct then the US is heading into a huge strategic catastrophe with epic blow back. That many millions in the MENA will suffer is as usual of no consequence to Americans but this time America will suffer a rapid irreversible decline and will deserve it.
jdmckay , Jun 19, 2019 4:00:57 PM | 26
b: Thanks for posting Lang's take on Shanahan being "outed" by Pompeo. Kind'a makes sense, given bigger picture you paint of Israeli "interests" being "stovepiped" through Bolton to DJT. Nothing I heard/read last night or this morning touched on this, it was all different takes on poor/no Shanahan vetting.

The irony of Shanahan being "dumped" for what the record seems to support: he did nothing wrong, maybe even showed noteworthy restraint vs. trump f***ing porn stars, stiffing sub-contractors for years (etc. etc.) is mind numbing.

...

Madison James @ Jun 19, 2019 2:47:33 PM

Also, the book makes a great case for Israeli collusion, not Russia.

More like CEDING Iran policy authority to hard line Likud hawks, as B describes in this post:

Bolton chairs at the NSC, the regular and frequent strategic dialogue meetings with Israel – intended to develop a joint action plan, versus Iran. What this means is that the Israeli intelligence assessments are being stovepiped directly to Bolton (and therefore to Trump), without passing by the US intelligence services for assessment or comment on the credibility of the intelligence presented ( shades of Cheney confronting the analysts down at Langley ).
(my emphasis)

It just seems like Iraq deja vu: GWB was the ignorant, dumb public face masking Lukidniks controlling US policy then, DJT the face masking the same now.

WRT war fears w/Iran: one little factoid rarely mentioned early on in Iraq "liberation"(did B write about this?): the PNAC crowd was openly advocating for a simultaneous military action towards Iran. Putin moved several battleships and destroyers right off the Iranian coast in a clear signal he would defend Iran. And that was the end of that.

Putin always holds his cards very close to his vest, but when he acts he does so decisively and with precision (aka his Syria military maneuvers). US bombs falling on Iran seems awfully close to Moscow in my view. I cannot help wondering if one of Putin's cards is his own red line: not allowing Likudniks to subjugate US military power for their "interests" wrt Iran.

ben , Jun 19, 2019 4:02:47 PM | 27
psycho @ 10 opined;"I am one of the supporters of the good cop/bad cop scenario."

Add me, to the believers column.

ADKC @ 5 said;"Trump has not been fooled or misled, neither have the American people, neither the UK/European governments or peoples. We are destroying ourselves with this act."

james @ 11 said;" it is on trump and the falling usa empire as i see it.. it can't fall soon enough.."

Yes, absolutely, to both above statements..

And I'll add another major player, to the joke, the U$A has become, the corporate MSM for it's failure to honestly inform the public of reality..

chu teh , Jun 19, 2019 4:16:07 PM | 28
...the IRGC along the tanker...
Could s/o kindly point-out a confirmation from Iran that [1] subject boat was operated/manned by the IRGC? I'll check back for your input; thanks in advance.
karlof1 , Jun 19, 2019 4:31:54 PM | 31
Magnier suggests watching this :

"This is a very balanced approach to the #US-#Iran crisis in the Gulf from an #EU point of view."

It links to a short CNN produced video. The few comments show the intensely high level of ignorance of my fellow Americans that are educational all by themselves.

Kristan hinton , Jun 19, 2019 4:37:46 PM | 32
It's about 1500 miles from Tehran to Moscow. That's about equal to the distance between Kansas City and San Francisco.

It is not in Russia's interest to have Iran attacked. Iran is a piece that offers a twofer to the Anglo Zio empire. It follows the edicts of the Yinon Plan and it antagonizes Russia.

joetv , Jun 19, 2019 4:38:38 PM | 33
If a war with Iran is orchestrated I will be very disappointed if Tel-Aviv is not destroyed. At some point in time Israel must pay for its' crimes.
I read today that an Egyptian news agency blamed Israel for the recent attacks on the 2 tankers. I find this heartening. However, I fear Israel is not beyond sinking an US naval vessel. re: USS LIBERTY. and albeit with Bolton's foreknowledge.
Shanahan was forced out. His family troubles pre-date today.
jdmckay , Jun 19, 2019 4:46:20 PM | 34
murgen23 @ Jun 19, 2019 3:56:40 PM:
May be the intention was never to sink the tanker - but just to draw attention with some heavy smoke. The limpet mines may exists in various size, so they may have intentionaly used a small one for this.

As B (and many other media ) pointed out: the crew of the Japanese tanker all said the ship was hit by an air borne projectile. This was not a mine. Seems obvious if US was interested in the truth, they would recover and identify the projectile.

Just for shits and giggles, a brief reminder of some of US "evidence" and false flags (all lies) in service of these "endeavors" previously:

- reading the several excellent books and released CIA docs of the CIA engineered Mosaddegh coup, among other things was CIA bombs set off in Mosques (this was before the Ayatollahs were political), then flooding media with "accesssments" Mosaddegh was responsable. Kermit Roosevelt literally boasted about this.

- Collin Powell's "clear and convincing" evidence of Sadam's mobile missile lauchers (aka mobile weather balloons). And the GWB admin's attempts to literally destroy Hans Blix' reputation, and as it turned out Blix was right about everything.

- Fake Satellite photos of Sadam's troops on Saudi border.

- "Incubator baby" lies to US Senate, swaying Desert Storm I approval by 1 vote (many senators said that fabrication was the difference in their vote). And this after Sadam's incursion into Kuwait was after 18 months of US vetoing Iraq UN resolutions seeking to condemn Kuwait's angle drilling into Iraq's largest southern oil fields.


That's just a few from memory. At what point do US lawmakers finally put all this together (especially given Bolton's association with those who drove GWB's Iraq invasion) and refuse to even consider the non persuasive evidence (not to mention contradictory... aka crew says air borne attack), remind their colleagues and America of the cost of these lies just in last 20 years, and DEMAND proof that can be verified with THEIR OWN EYES.

The surreal, Orwellian fog is descending again.

Jackrabbit , Jun 19, 2019 4:49:01 PM | 35
Judging from the headline and the quoting approvingly from "Former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke", I'd say b believe in the "President Bolton" theory.

Like other commenters, I believe in the bad cop/good cop theory. In fact I wrote of this only yesterday ( here and here , and here ):

The media promote Doublethink ...
... the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy and neutrality... Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance -- thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction.
... such that Trump is both peace-loving nationalist and empire-loving antagonist. Except that the latter is expressed as a positive: "staunch ally", "tough negotiator", "protector", etc instead of a negative. Some people fall for it (Kool-Aid drinkers) and MSM ignores those that talk about the meta issues of MSM complicity.

And it's not just Trump. Whenever a President does things that might cause cognitive dissonance, apologists and the feckless press explain it away as a positive or blame subordinates for "sabotaging" the hero President .

= = = =

IMO President's are just members of the Deep State team. Presidents lead the team that's "on the field" - like a quarterback in American football. But the Deep State 'coach' calls the plays. And the 'coach' is, in turn, ultimately responsible to the owners (capitalists)

= = = =

I sense that there's now an effort to essentially 'shout down' or otherwise sideline those that argue that the attacks are more likely to be a false flag by an anti-Iranian organization (probably connected to Mossad or CIA) and question the efficacy of a Iranian strategy stealth attacks.

karlof1 and Peter AU 1 described the likely subterfuge of the US claim that Iran attached a "limpet mine". But I haven't seen much desire to discuss or spread their theory. Reporting by Israeli media (picked up worldwide) about USA plans to bomb Iran (really just rumors) have worked their magic and turned the page on the question of who attacked the ships. How convenient!

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Sadly, I find that I disagree with both of b's latest theories: the "Iranian stealth attack" theory and the "President Bolton" theory. IMO these are propaganda narratives.

Shakesvshav , Jun 19, 2019 4:50:45 PM | 36
Long article reproduced in Russia Insider includes reference to mysterious escalation in the northern part of the Persian Gulf: https://russia-insider.com/en/declassified-sino-russian-masterplan-end-us-dominance-middle-east/ri27290
joetv , Jun 19, 2019 4:50:58 PM | 37
there is some confusion amongst commenters here; as to what the Iranian boat was doing next to the tanker? The first thing one should ask is; what is the source of the video? and when was it taken? Next, the Iranians have been credited with rescuing the crew from at least 1 tanker, if not both. Which explains the large # of persons on a boat that usually operates with a crew of 5.
Jay , Jun 19, 2019 4:54:51 PM | 39
Except the 2007 "Iranian proxy" attacks on US forces illegally occupying Iraq were never proven. Meaning the fable of Iranians being behind attacks in Iraq is hardly new. The infamous Michael Gordon--the lead "reporter" on the "Judith Miller" fall 2002 Iraqi WMDs "reporting" in the NY Times--claimed that such "attacks" were proven in the pages of the NYT in March 2007. (He wasn't fired–only leaving the NYT after 30 years in 2017.)

Except his "reporting" made bogus claims like the Iraqis weren't able to follow armor penetrating shell designs that had been worked out in the 1920s.

In early 2007, there was a push by Cheney to strike Iran, the rumor is that W said "no". So Pompeo can't even lie as well as Cheney, in that the NY Times' main Pentagon reporter reported the 2007 events as fact at the time. (A secondary reporter, James Glanz also in Iraq in 2007, did manage to point out that the "Iranian" shells were marked in English and the US commanders provided nothing more than unsupported assertions regards the shells' origins. Glanz only writes for the NY Times about once every 6 months now.)

karlof1 , Jun 19, 2019 5:02:19 PM | 40
Houthis attack Jizan--on Red Sea just North of Yemen -- power plant with cruise missile causing large fire to erupt. Yemeni Armed Forces Spokesman :

"There are big surprises coming soon, God willing, with higher sensitive impact on the Saudi regime, if its aggression continues."

Expect renewed attacks on oil infrastructure.

Not so long ago, it appeared the Saudi/UAE/Merc coalition had the initiative and was winning. That no longer appears to be the case with the invasion of Saudi territory by ground forces accompanied by missile and drone assaults that have reached as far as Riyadh. Earlier today, Southfront posted videos of two successful Houthi assaults that destroyed 11 armored vehicles and additional technicals--attacks Saudi appears incapable of stopping.

Apparently, Magnier knows more than he's written :

"In the coming days, I'll share more of #Iran's medium and long term plans to face the #US plans."

ben , Jun 19, 2019 5:04:42 PM | 41
Jrabbit @ 35 made this analogy;

"IMO President's are just members of the Deep State team. Presidents lead the team that's "on the field" - like a quarterback in American football. But the Deep State 'coach' calls the plays. And the 'coach' is, in turn, ultimately responsible to the owners (capitalists)"

IMO, the perfect analogy. Maybe the U$A posters will "get it."

Lochearn , Jun 19, 2019 5:35:35 PM | 42
Bolton is Trump's Colonel House. House was influential in plucking Woodrow Wilson out of academia and getting him elected President in 1912 and then he moved into the White House with Wilson. He became in Wilson's words his "alter ego." House was right next to Wilson when he signed the Federal Reserve Act, something Wilson later said he bitterly regretted doing. House was a most shadowy figure – he wasn't even a real colonel -, having performed similar roles with various governors of Texas as if in preparation for his moment on the big stage – and a long moment it was with an allegedly decisive role in Versailles in 1919.

I saw warning signals back on the campaign trail when Trump was asked who he admired in politics and he replied after a pause John Bolton. Then I thought of Obama and Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff. It struck me that maybe all of us are susceptible to somebody who can get a hold on us, who can grasp our insecurities and ingratiate themselves into our thinking processes. The elites work on this. Jack Kennedy had his brother as his sort of alter-ego so there was no opportunity there – which is maybe why he got shot.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 19, 2019 5:38:47 PM | 43
Trump's father became so frustrated with Donald's bullying and reckless behavior that he packed him off to military academy to learn some manners and self-control. Legend has it that Trump thrived in that environment and graduated in 1964. He also studied economics and has a Law degree. One imagines that a military academy graduate must have learned something about governance, leadership, pecking orders, power plays and the US Constitution. Anyone who assumes DJT is stupid or naive probably needs to do some homework...
Harry Law , Jun 19, 2019 6:06:58 PM | 44
Hoarsewhisperer "Anyone who assumes DJT is stupid or naiive probably needs to do some homework". I think prospective Private Donald 'bone spurs' Trump would have made a good General, [too late now, he is too old] maybe one of the greatest Generals in history. If only he had signed up. /S
Seems Rex Tillerson was right about Trump and agrees with this HL Mencken quote.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron".

John Merryman , Jun 19, 2019 6:07:29 PM | 45
The Middle East a smoking ruin. Floods of Arab refugees pouring into Europe. Russia and China sitting back and waiting to pick up the pieces. Do those people actually think beyond the next step? I wouldn't want to be a European Jew for the next few decades. You can be burnt from the bottom up, as easily as from the top down. Lets just go kick the hornets nest, cause we are tough guys. Where. Are. The. Brain. Cells?
Don Bacon , Jun 19, 2019 6:10:31 PM | 46
TIME: President Trump Calls Alleged Iranian Attack on Oil Tankers 'Very Minor'
Ash , Jun 19, 2019 6:24:15 PM | 47
Does it really matter if the good cop/bad cop scenario is true or if Trump is just their useful idiot? Thus far, the difference is academic.
karlof1 , Jun 19, 2019 6:26:37 PM | 48
Promotion of War Crimes: Wheat as a Weapon : "A fellow at a think tank bankrolled by the US gov, NATO, and arms industry insists that 'wheat is a weapon' that can 'be used to apply pressure on the Assad regime.' "The impact this would have on civilians was not mentioned, of course."

Now we know what nation's responsible for the recent firing of wheat and other agricultural fields in Syria--The Outlaw US Empire of course: Never met a War Crime it didn't want to employ itself as current and historic evidence proves. Such people ought to be lobotomized.

Christian J Chuba , Jun 19, 2019 6:31:07 PM | 49
Iran did it, they are competent, we can't find our rear end

CENTCOM gave a scenario that finally made sense, they said that an IRGC boat approached the two tankers at night and attacked the 'mines'. This would explain why it was above the waterline and it would take great skill to do this with no injury and without being detected.

Now look at the U.S., the tanker was sitting their in broad daylight for about 10hrs and we couldn't even get ONE decent picture of an unexploded bomb sitting on the side of hull. And when the IRGC finally did show up, even our high resolution pictures were a joke and we are the SIGINT champions with hi-tech drones. Also, this means that the IRGC was able to slip into a port on the other side of the Persian Gulf and attack mines to 4 tankers undetected.

Prediction: if we do get into a fight with the Iranians we are in for a very rude awakening. All of this talk about their rusted out military is total BS. If ONLY that fool Tom Cotton would be the one to pay the price instead of some 20 yr old kid.

jared , Jun 19, 2019 6:33:55 PM | 50
Perhaps the admin senses that the end is approaching and are trying to wreak maximum havoc and damage while they are able. Like Bolton will serve in next admin.
Virgile , Jun 19, 2019 6:45:17 PM | 51
By minimizing the Oman Gulf incidents, maybe it is way for the White House under Bolton's control to show that it is not impressed nor feeling threatened. it is also encouraging the perpetrators of the attacks to do more provocations and ideally to kill an American...

It is an open invitations to whoever wants to harm Iran to come out more brutally.

AntiSpin , Jun 19, 2019 6:52:05 PM | 52
@ Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 19, 2019 5:38:47 PM | 43

". . . [Trump] studied economics and has a Law degree."

He has a BA in economics and was given an honorary law degree from Liberty so-called "University," a diploma mill dedicated to churning out brain-dead, right-wing religious fanatics.

Jackrabbit , Jun 19, 2019 6:56:28 PM | 54
Ash @47: does it really matter?

Yes, it does matter. Millions of American are ready to send their loved ones to die for "freedom and democracy" that propaganda claims USA champions. Trump as "useful idiot" just means that they elected the wrong guy. Trump as complicit in the dog and pony show means there is no democracy.

Smart people have already described how the system is rigged so that we have a "managed democracy" that mostly works for the "those that matter". Research from Princeton economists have described America as a plutocracy with an "inverted totalitarian" form of government. I have written many times at MoA of a adjunct to that theory: the faux populist leadership model. Obama and Trump are the poster boys for this, though it was mostly developed in the Clinton years.

Harry Law , Jun 19, 2019 7:03:21 PM | 55
That Iranian seaman who is alleged to have pulled off a possibly unstable, unexploded mine wearing nothing but a rubber life jacket thus endangering his life and all his crew mates and survivors in the small boat is the action of a lunatic. Or maybe it never happened.
Jonathan , Jun 19, 2019 7:03:25 PM | 56
Hoarsewhisperer @43,

What is the particular childish naïveté of Americans who believe that learning a system inevitably leads to a willingness to support and uphold it instead of exploiting it for personal gain?

You have to go back.

wagelaborer , Jun 19, 2019 7:14:03 PM | 57
Uncle Jon @16
You are right. My apologies. The optics would be horrible in my version.
oglalla , Jun 19, 2019 7:30:33 PM | 58
>> Posted by: blues | Jun 19, 2019 6:52:22 PM | 53

Do tell!

With trillion dollar deficits pre-recession, the fiscal situation looks dire. Once recession hits, tax revenue will plummet. Then, either they QE even more trillions or they cut the MIC (measured in terms of purchasing power, if not nominally). Or both. But, the rest of the world will suffer nominally as well. So, the dollar might remain a "cleaner dirty shirt".

It's a difficult environment to invest in. Everything seems pricey. But, with currency depreciation via QE, everything might become even pricier.

karlof1 , Jun 19, 2019 7:38:28 PM | 59
Harry Law @55--

Life jackets aren't rubber! Try and get the story straight! Plus, you missed that the limpet mine comes with a cloaking device that once placed onto the deck of any Iranian boat it's rendered invisible! Honestly, we spend a lot of time dreaming up these narratives, so the very least you can do is copy/paste properly!

On a serious note, I scanned a great many pictures of small boats and didn't come up with one example of the one shown in the video. Finding one ought to be easy since it has numerous unique features, most of which I commented upon. Has USN released a complete undoctored video of the limpet removal yet? I thought not. As with the incident with the Russian ship where USN didn't release the entire video taken from the stand-off helo because it proved USN at fault, there won't be any release of this other video for the same reason--it proves zip, nada, nothing.

Otherwise, I'd like to get myself one of those Iranian boats, minus the machine gun, as it looks like an excellent fishing platform, although it lacks a cuddy and below deck stowage room.

Don Bacon , Jun 19, 2019 8:00:57 PM | 60
There's been a shift in the dialogue, to some degree, to a discussion of the overall US role in the Gulf area.

Speaking to TIME, Trump argued that the Gulf of Oman[sic] is less strategically important for the United States now than it used to be, citing China and Japan as nations that still rely on the region for significant proportions of their oil. "Other places get such vast amounts of oil there," Trump said. "We get very little. We have made tremendous progress in the last two and a half years in energy. And when the pipelines get built, we're now an exporter of energy. So we're not in the position that we used to be in in the Middle East where some people would say we were there for the oil." . . here

Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a roundtable that countries that benefit most from the movement of oil through the Gulf need to take an active role in its security. . . ."The circumstances are very different now than they were in the 1980s," Selva said. "If you think back to the reflagging operation, the 'Tanker War,' as it was nicknamed, where we reflagged and escorted tankers so that they could flow in and out of the Strait of Hormuz, we got a substantial amount of our oil from the Persian Gulf.. . ."We are now in a position where the bulk of that oil goes to countries in Asia, and none of those countries have shown any predilection to pressing Iran to stop what they are doing. What was true in the 1980s, is not true today. We are not wholly dependent on the movement of Saudi, Kuwaiti, Qatari and Emirati oil in and out of the Gulf to sustain our economy.". . here

A broadening of the security mission in the Gulf area would be a positive step. Imagine the navies of China, India and Japan taking a role! The price would be a removal of Iran sanctions, because these countries want Iran oil! . . .I can dream.

Jen , Jun 19, 2019 8:01:59 PM | 61
Hoarsewhisperer @ 43

". . . [Trump] studied economics and has a Law degree."

Hot damn! And Dubya attended and graduated from Yale University (Bachelor of Arts, majoring in history) and later Harvard Business School (MBA).

Helena C , Jun 19, 2019 8:05:58 PM | 62
In the current circs (esp after announcement of the latest Red Line) why write only about the possibility of an ISIS missile landing on a US position being that it wd be "errant"?
Jen , Jun 19, 2019 8:07:16 PM | 64
Wage Laborer @ 15, 57, Uncle Jon @ 16:

After reading WL's comments, I had a vision of the photographer contacting the sniper by mobile phone and berating the fellow for killing Neda Agha Soltan in the head and telling him to find another beautiful young Iranian woman protester and to shoot her in the chest.

[Jun 19, 2019] A Proactive Russia and China Could Prevent US War with Iran by Paul Craig Roberts

Jun 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

There is so much disinformation that it is difficult to judge the Israeli news report below that the US is planning a military attack on Iran. Israel wants the US to attack Iran and the report could be an attempt to push events in that direction.

There is no valid reason for Washington to serve Israeli interests.

It would be extremely irresponsible for Washington to risk starting another war.

As Russian and Chinese interests could be threatened by a US war with Iran, the situation could become uncontrollable.

If there is a real prospect of a US attack on Iran, it would be a responsible action for Russia and China to block it in advance by taking a firm position.

U.N. officials: U.S. planning a 'tactical assault' in Iran

By SHLOMO SHAMIR/MAARIV ONLINE

06/17/2019

The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.

Is the US going to attack Iran soon?

Diplomatic sources at the UN headquarters in New York revealed to Maariv that they are assessing the United States' plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran in response to the tanker attack in the Persian Gulf on Thursday.

According to the officials, since Friday, the White House has been holding incessant discussions involving senior military commanders, Pentagon representatives and advisers to President Donald Trump.

The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.

"The bombing will be massive but will be limited to a specific target," said a Western diplomat.

[Jun 18, 2019] War With Iran Would Become 'Trump's War' by Patrick J. Buchanan

It is not a secret that the USA have a very powerful MIC lobby that by-and-large defines the USA foreign policy. Israel can be considered as a yet another MIC lobbyist. This lobby in interesting in launching the war (especially pro-Israel faction of the MIC lobby)
The USA can definitely crush Iran military, but the cost might be higher that in case of Iraq. Also without occupation of the country that will not be anything like a decisive victory. In Iraq, the USA was helped by the fact that military quickly crumbed and was undermined by betrayals of several high ranking generals. Whether the same will be the case in Iran is difficult to predict.
Theocratic regimes tend to became more fragile with time, so at that stage is Iran now is difficult to predict without being in the country. So counting on the fragility of the regime might be a valid consideration. But the war typically unites nations so to exploit those weaknesses with war is more difficult task, then just waiting for the regime collapse.
That USA has at least two firm allied in such a war: Israel and Saudis.
Notable quotes:
"... It would widen the "forever war," which Trump said he would end, to a nation of 80 million people, three times as large as Iraq. It would become the defining issue of his presidency, as the Iraq War became the defining issue of George W. Bush's presidency. ..."
"... Trump's repudiation of the treaty was followed by his reimposition of sanctions and a policy of maximum pressure. This was followed by the designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist" organization. ..."
"... U.S. policy has been to squeeze Iran's economy until the regime buckles to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's 12 demands, including an end to Tehran's support of its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. ..."
"... Sunday, Pompeo said Iran was behind the attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman and that Tehran instigated an attack that injured four U.S. soldiers in Kabul though the Taliban claimed responsibility. ..."
"... Tehran has denied any role in the tanker attacks, helped put out the fire on one tanker, and accused its enemies of "false flag" attacks to instigate a war. ..."
"... Writing in The Wall Street Journal Monday were Ray Takeyh and Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a neocon nest funded by Paul Singer and Sheldon Adelson. In a piece titled, "America Can Face Down a Fragile Iran," the pair make the case that Trump should squeeze the Iranian regime relentlessly and not fear a military clash, and a war with Iran would be a cakewalk. ..."
"... "Iran's fragile theocracy can't absorb a massive external shock. That's why Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has, for the most part, adhered to the JCPOA (the nuclear pact) and why he is likely angling for negotiation over confrontation with the Great Satan." ..."
"... This depiction of Iran's political crisis and economic decline invites a question: If the Tehran regime is so fragile and the Iranian people are so alienated, why not avoid a war and wait for the regime's collapse? ..."
"... Who wants a U.S. war with Iran? Primarily the same people who goaded us into wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, and who oppose every effort of Trump's to extricate us from those wars. ..."
"... Should they succeed in Iran, it is hard to see how we will ever be able to extricate our country from this blood-soaked region that holds no vital strategic interest save oil, and America, thanks to fracking, has become independent of that. ..."
Jun 18, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

War With Iran Would Become 'Trump's War'

Posted on June 18, 2019 June 17, 2019 President Donald Trump cannot want war with Iran.

Such a war, no matter how long, would be fought in and around the Persian Gulf, through which a third of the world's seaborne oil travels. It could trigger a worldwide recession and imperil Trump's reelection.

It would widen the "forever war," which Trump said he would end, to a nation of 80 million people, three times as large as Iraq. It would become the defining issue of his presidency, as the Iraq War became the defining issue of George W. Bush's presidency.

And if war comes now, it would be known as "Trump's War."

For it was Trump who pulled us out of the Iran nuclear deal, though, according to U.N. inspectors and the other signatories – Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China – Tehran was complying with its terms.

Trump's repudiation of the treaty was followed by his reimposition of sanctions and a policy of maximum pressure. This was followed by the designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist" organization.

Then came the threats of U.S. secondary sanctions on nations, some of them friends and allies, that continued to buy oil from Iran.

U.S. policy has been to squeeze Iran's economy until the regime buckles to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's 12 demands, including an end to Tehran's support of its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Sunday, Pompeo said Iran was behind the attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman and that Tehran instigated an attack that injured four U.S. soldiers in Kabul though the Taliban claimed responsibility.

The war hawks are back.

"This unprovoked attack on commercial shipping warrants retaliatory military strikes," said Senator Tom Cotton on Sunday.

But as Trump does not want war with Iran, Iran does not want war with us. Tehran has denied any role in the tanker attacks, helped put out the fire on one tanker, and accused its enemies of "false flag" attacks to instigate a war.

If the Revolutionary Guard, which answers to the ayatollah, did attach explosives to the hull of the tankers, it was most likely to send a direct message: If our exports are halted by U.S. sanctions, the oil exports of the Saudis and Gulf Arabs can be made to experience similar problems.

Yet if the president and the ayatollah do not want war, who does?

Not the Germans or Japanese, both of whom are asking for more proof that Iran instigated the tanker attacks. Japan's prime minster was meeting with the ayatollah when the attacks occurred, and one of the tankers was a Japanese vessel.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal Monday were Ray Takeyh and Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a neocon nest funded by Paul Singer and Sheldon Adelson. In a piece titled, "America Can Face Down a Fragile Iran," the pair make the case that Trump should squeeze the Iranian regime relentlessly and not fear a military clash, and a war with Iran would be a cakewalk.

"Iran is in no shape for a prolonged confrontation with the U.S. The regime is in a politically precarious position. The sullen Iranian middle class has given up on the possibility of reform or prosperity. The lower classes, once tethered to the regime by the expansive welfare state, have also grown disloyal. The intelligentsia no longer believes that faith and freedom can be harmonized. And the youth have become the regime's most unrelenting critics.

"Iran's fragile theocracy can't absorb a massive external shock. That's why Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has, for the most part, adhered to the JCPOA (the nuclear pact) and why he is likely angling for negotiation over confrontation with the Great Satan."

This depiction of Iran's political crisis and economic decline invites a question: If the Tehran regime is so fragile and the Iranian people are so alienated, why not avoid a war and wait for the regime's collapse?

Trump seems to have several options:

One recalls: Saddam Hussein accepted war with the United States in 1991 rather than yield to Bush I's demand he get his army out of Kuwait.

Who wants a U.S. war with Iran? Primarily the same people who goaded us into wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, and who oppose every effort of Trump's to extricate us from those wars.

Should they succeed in Iran, it is hard to see how we will ever be able to extricate our country from this blood-soaked region that holds no vital strategic interest save oil, and America, thanks to fracking, has become independent of that.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com .

[Jun 17, 2019] Averting a Disastrous War with Iran by Daniel Larison

Jun 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

There is a report that the Trump administration may be preparing an attack on Iran:

Diplomatic sources at the UN headquarters in New York revealed to Maariv that they are assessing the United States' plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran in response to the tanker attack in the Persian Gulf on Thursday.

According to the officials, since Friday, the White House has been holding incessant discussions involving senior military commanders, Pentagon representatives and advisers to President Donald Trump.

The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.

If this report is true, that would mean that the worst of the Iran hawks in the administration are prevailing once again. The report goes on to say that "Trump himself was not enthusiastic about a military move against Iran, but lost his patience on the matter and would grant Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is pushing for action, what he wants." If that is true, that is an absurdly casual way to blunder into an unnecessary war. Trump should understand that if he takes the U.S. into a war against Iran, especially without Congressional authorization, it will consume the rest of his presidency and it should cost him his re-election. Starting an unnecessary war with Iran would go down as one of the dumbest, most reckless, illegal acts in the history of U.S. foreign policy.

Congress must make absolutely clear that the president does not have the authority to initiate hostilities against Iran. Both houses should pass a resolution this week saying as much, and they should block any funds that could be used to support such an action. There is no legal justification for attacking Iran, and if Trump approves an attack he would be violating the Constitution and should be impeached for it.

The risk of war with Iran is greater than it was six months ago, and it is much greater than it was two and a half years ago when Trump took office. The U.S. and Iran are in this dangerous position solely because of the determined efforts of Iran hawks in and around this administration to drive our country on a collision course with theirs. Those efforts accelerated significantly thirteen months ago with the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA and the reimposition of sanctions, and things have been getting steadily worse with each passing month. It is not too late to avert the collision, but it requires the U.S. to make a dramatic change in policy very soon. Since we know we can't count on the president to make the right decision, Congress and the public need to make him understand what the political price will be if he makes the wrong one.

[Jun 13, 2019] Yet another false flag: Today's Attacks On Ships In The Gulf Of Oman Are Not In Iran's Interest - Or Are They

Notable quotes:
"... Abe will be pissed because Japan needs continuing access to Iran's hydrocarbons and Bolton isn't smart enough to gain their complicity beforehand. ..."
"... At first I had simply typed a one word post: Israel but then thought, "what about Saudi Arabia?", then thought, "Saudi Arabia is known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up", then thought, "but Israel would get some-one else to do their dirty work". ..."
"... This is classic USA Gulf of Tonkin, Remember the Maine, WMD, Yellow Cake stuff.... ..."
"... The US threat to bring Iranian oil sales to zero is a act of war, if they were successful, [unlikely] Iran's population would starve and die in their millions, just as in Yemen. ..."
Jun 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dolores P Candyarse , Jun 13, 2019 6:02:02 AM | 2

Bolton's big moment 'the gulf of oman incident' will not work. It is a transperant attempt to stitch up Iran by insinuating that the Houtis did this to stop any deal between Iran and trump which Abe is trying to put together.
They cannot implicate Iran so they will fit up Yemen and then say "Iran encouraged them Mommy".

Abe will be pissed because Japan needs continuing access to Iran's hydrocarbons and Bolton isn't smart enough to gain their complicity beforehand.

librul , Jun 13, 2019 6:05:10 AM | 3

OZ @1

I was just about to post the same "One word" and then spotted your post.

At first I had simply typed a one word post: Israel but then thought, "what about Saudi Arabia?", then thought, "Saudi Arabia is known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up", then thought, "but Israel would get some-one else to do their dirty work".

The One we know for sure didn't do it is: Iran. The One group we have been witnessing attacking multiple countries will have their media shout in unison: Iran.

Ghost Ship , Jun 13, 2019 6:15:56 AM | 5
The Guardian goes for the guilt by association shit :
Iran and the Yemeni rebels both follow branches of the Shia sect of Islam but Tehran has always denied providing more than moral support to the rebels.

That's like saying that Northern Irish Catholics and Protestants both follow Christianity.

Meanwhile OT - all that stands between Julian Assange and the wrath of Washington are British and European judges :

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, has revealed he has signed a request for Julian Assange to be extradited to the US where he faces charges of computer hacking.

Speaking on the Today Programme on Thursday, Javid said: "He's rightly behind bars. There's an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow."

I always thought that Tory ministers were a bunch of sniveling little shits, and they've just proved me right. Don't think it was just Sajid David who made this decision, it was the entire cabinet including Theresa May .

The next time someone farts on about how oppressed the media is in Russia just remember the different outcomes (so far) for Ivan Golunov and Julian Assange. The Russians don't need disinformation operations to discredit western government and institutions, they only have to stand aside and let those western governments and institutions do it themselves.

Michael Droy , Jun 13, 2019 6:33:12 AM | 8
This report: Zerohedge
claims that one of the ships is Japanese owned.
The manager of one of the tankers, the Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, which had been carrying a cargo of methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore, said the vessel had been damaged as the result of "a suspected attack," though the manager added that the ship's cargo was secure.

"The hull has been breached above the water line on the starboard side," Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co KG said in a statement on its website.

Ironic - it makes direct Iranian involvement pretty unlikely

Ghost Ship , Jun 13, 2019 6:36:30 AM | 9
>>>> librul | Jun 13, 2019 6:05:10 AM | 3
"Saudi Arabia is known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up"

Pulease. Every now and then I get the urge to edit the internet and today is one of those days. Hope you don't mind.

"Saudi Arabia and Israel are both known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up"

Israel depends for its continued existence on a couple of hundred highly capable pilots some of whom might be American contractors, the rest of the IDF and Mossad are worth less than jack shit.

The UAE is slightly less incompetent than Saudi Arabia or Israel, so why not them. The UAE is part of the anti-Iran coalition of the morons and does have frontage on the Gulf of Oman, so that gives them motive and opportunity. As for means, there are reports the more severely damaged one was hit by a torpedo, and the UAE does have a navy with helicopters.

The Q , Jun 13, 2019 6:44:53 AM | 11
This has dual US/Israeli citizen John Bolton's fingerprints all over it, especially with the rumors of his potential ouster soon forcing him to ramp up his push for an attack on Iran. False flag attempt for sure. The real question is whether the world sees through it.
Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 6:52:20 AM | 15
@3 "then thought, 'Saudi Arabia is known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up',"

Well, heck, there are signs of incompetence here. One of the ships caught fire and will, in all likelihood, sink. The other, apparently, has not caught fire. That second ship is therefore going to be studied verrrrrry carefully.

If it took a torpedo hit then the damage will be below the waterline and the hull plates will be bent inwards.

If it is sabotage then the damage is more likely to be above the waterline and the hull plates will be bent outwards.

It is unlikely to be Iran if the damage indicates the latter rather than the former.

Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 7:11:55 AM | 17
@11 The Q "This has dual US/Israeli citizen John Bolton's fingerprints all over it,"

I have two comments on that.

1) Is Bolton an Israeli citizen? I've heard it repeated many times, without ever once having it confirmed by anything other than the rumour-mill. He is the wrong religion, for one thing.

2) According to the NYTimes (aka the paper of record) "On a visit to the U.A.E. about two weeks ago, John Bolton, President Trump's national security adviser, said ".... I don't really give a s**t what Bolton has to say, since it is almost certain to be a falsehood."

But he was chin-wagging with UAE officials "about" two weeks ago, which is more than enough time to gin up a false-flag operation.

Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 7:32:36 AM | 20
From the zerohedge article: "Another tanker, Norwegian-owned and Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair, sent a distress signal to the UAE port of Fujairah. It had loaded an oil shipment in Abu Dhabi not long before the incident. The ship was reportedly hit with three explosions. Officials said it appeared the ships had been attacked with torpedoes."

Bullllllllls**t.

This is what happens when a ship with a 12-inch armoured belt and anti-torpedo bulges is hit by three torpedoes:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HMS_Barham_explodes.jpg

Yet zerohedge expects us to accept that a fully-laden supertanker can be hit by three torpedoes and the result is this:
https://www.moonofalabama.org/images8/frontaltair3.jpg

Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 7:47:32 AM | 23
@18 b The key will be where the damage is: above the waterline, or below the waterline.

If Iran specifically targeted those two ships then we can rule out mines, unless it is limpet-mines attached while the ships were in harbour. But these ships were underway, which tends to make that unlikely, and were from different harbours, which makes it even more unlikely.

Torpedoes from a midget-submarine are still a possibility, but by definition the damage would be below the waterline. And the Iranian midget-subs have only two torpedoes, which means some mighty fine shootin'

Any indication of damage above the waterline would tend to rule out Iranian involvement. Certainly would rule out anti-ship missiles or shelling. And Iranian sabotage would mean they circumvented security in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which is doubly-difficult.

But a false-flag? That's another matter, as the UAE and the Saudis can both be in on it.

Damage below the waterline could be Iran, or a competent false-flag. Damage above the waterline suggests an incompetent false-flag.

ken , Jun 13, 2019 8:02:28 AM | 25
This is classic USA Gulf of Tonkin, Remember the Maine, WMD, Yellow Cake stuff....

If in fact Iran is the culprit then they have been forced into it and the blame again rests upon the USA.

Another war,,, just what we (USA) need. sigh.........

Harry Law , Jun 13, 2019 8:20:21 AM | 30
The US threat to bring Iranian oil sales to zero is a act of war, if they were successful, [unlikely] Iran's population would starve and die in their millions, just as in Yemen. In those circumstances Iran does have the right to say 'if we can't sell oil, our putative enemies Saudi Arabia, UAE et al will not be allowed to either. In those circumstances the Iranians should quietly arm any group wishing the Saudis harm, the Saudis are a bunch of US ass licking scumbags who deserve everything coming to them.
Ian Jonhson , Jun 13, 2019 8:27:21 AM | 33
I copied and pasted this very interesting comment below which was found on the Iranian News site 'Press TV'.

"The 'Rumours from the Dark Web team' (a Russian based group recently shut down on youtube and delisted on google) are reporting that prior to this incident they have heard chatter that there was more 'UUV activity in area than usual' (a UUV is an unmanned underwater vehicle / drone which can be used for exploration, spying, or for combat).

The team also mentioned that UUV's from various nations (including arms and drug smugglers) had been regularly entering and leaving the area under cover of hiding beneath tankers or sometimes actually attached to tankers.

Chatter suggests that a UUV or weaponised drone or smugglers drone of some description exploded or was taken out by another UUV or drone outside the Persian Gulf.

The team stressed that 'this incident occurred outside of the Persian Gulf for a specific reason' (not given).

The team also reminded people that several tankers had previously been armed with ATGM's of soviet era type for potential use in a planned false flag attack against a US warship, but they had already been taken out of service to prevent this (is this the previous tanker incident involving mines?).

The team suggested that it was possible that these tankers were again pre-emptively hit by a state actor to prevent another false flag involving them, or to simply destroy advanced Iranian or Saudi missiles and arms on route to Yemen or Syria.

The full report is not out yet but there is no mention on the Dark Web of Iran being responsible for this yet."

naiverealist , Jun 13, 2019 8:28:40 AM | 34
Don't rule out the MEK assistance in something like this. The MEK was formerly ruled a terrorist organization by the US. As soon as the US started using Jihadists (i. e. al-quada branches) to continue its battle against the government of Assad, the MEK were reclassified as a non-terrorist organization. I remember hearing reports about members of MEK trying to buy the sae fast boats used by the IRG.

This whole thing stinks.

Walter , Jun 13, 2019 8:39:30 AM | 36
"Naphtha" can be of various levels of volatility - from lighter fluid to more or less raw gasoline. Withal it is lighter than water, more or less. Methanol (CH3OH) is the simplest alcohol. It too is lighter than water.

It does not seem that tanker with either fluid can sink. They can burn quite well, however.

Insurance rates are going up...

Walter , Jun 13, 2019 9:02:36 AM | 38
Tankers are notoriously difficult to sink. Modern tankers are double bottom double hull, generally speaking. Yes indeed, a supertanker (these just now are small tankers not supertankers, but the facts are similar), can probably "take" three torpedoes and not sink, especially if loaded with fluid lighter than seawater.

The attacks seem to have been by flying objects, not torps.

The result is going to be something like escorts and vastly high insurance costs...jus'fer starters...

Walter , Jun 13, 2019 9:02:36 AM | 38 Walter , Jun 13, 2019 9:09:40 AM | 39
Assumption about plates bending in or out due to torps is not valid. Torps can detonate under ship, or inside it, or on contact. The under ship detonation breaks the ship in half. This was a big deal in 1940...

Again, flying object, not torp.

Circe , Jun 13, 2019 9:17:37 AM | 40
Thank-you for helping Trump with his dirty work! Honestly, do you think your article helps Iran in any way???

Do you have concrete proof? NO. Iran threatened many things in the past it never followed through on. Why don't you just apply for a job with Trump Ministry of Propaganda digging for dubious dirt Trump can tweet and act on?

Why didn't you just write that Iran has a right to defend itself? Why do you put statements in bold? How about putting up a billboard instead?

Speaking of billboard: The keyword here is "petrochemical". In quotes too!

Followed by your smoking torpedo:

Now we can apply the keyword Khamenei used today to these sentences:

What lying-ass Trump is doing is an ACT OF WAR. He is trying to destroy a sovereign nation!

U.S. President Trump tries to move Iran towards negotiations with him.

REALLY? You call an ACT OF WAR ne go tia tions ? Is cutting off a critical industry negotiation or mafia strongarm???

Then you follow up with: Even while Iran rejects negotiations with the U.S.

Good Trump wants to negotiate--baaad Iran doesn't.

Yeah-yeah you couched this hit-job in a couple of understated phrases like someone else might have initiated it and Iran has no interest in disturbing current diplomacy . But boy, you sure went out of your way to try to disprove it!

If Trump cut off Russia's oil industry, would you be so quick to provide him with unsubstantiated proof in bold of acts that could be JUSTIFIED even though TOTALLY UNPROVEN who committed them? Never mind, Russia wouldn't bother picking up the crew of whatever vessels it would blow sky high in retaliation AND NEITHER WOULD TRUMP, Commander-in-crime!

Yeah, you allude that it could be a false flag after you torpedo'd it in bold lettering!

Wow! Still carrying Emperor Trump's water here, I see. There is NOTHING redeeming in this tool expose, or the update that is merely a twist of the knife. Neocon Bolton is grinning all his yellow teeth under his bushy mustache: he couldn't have laid it out better himself! Hired!

So, what's next: yellow cake and aluminum tubes?

Such a gift at the service of Trump deception and destruction for total domination. I'm appalled. All this misguided effort to whitewash Trump that could be directed at Sanders who is trying to expose the Regime Change that Zionists had a hand in in Brazil.

Not a bad word about Trump in all this. Trump tries to negotiate...Is that what you call what he's doing? I call what he's doing casus belli, on second thought, this piece might be the casus belli Trump needs to carry out his plan for Iran in the next 4-year installment of high crimes. Ugh.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 13, 2019 9:21:53 AM | 41
This is my favourite part of the story...

"The Iranian Search and Rescue ship Naji picked up the 44 crews members of both ships and brought them to Bandar-E Jash."

Therefore, the potential witnesses are in Iranian custody, and can be interrogated at Iran's leisure. One wonders if Iran's accusers will tone down the rhetoric whilst the crew remain in Skripal-type custody, and whether Iran will delay their release until Iranian authorities and medical experts are confidant that their health is A-OK?

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 9:27:38 AM | 42
b: Iran might have this motive

b's argument for suspecting Iran involvement makes some sense because USA can just sit back and let sanctions take their toll, strangling Iran's economy and destabilizing the country.

Recall the oil sanctions against Japan in the 1040's. Ultimately, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

HOWEVER , USA+allies have a very real and pressing reason to ramp up tensions in the region: Idlib .

The war in Syria is NOT over. The Idlib occupation is strategic, not tactical (as are the other occupations in Syria). And a US response to the tanker attack might well be to show its strength elsewhere: Idlib.

If I'm right we will see some dramatic developments in Syria in the coming days.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 13, 2019 9:31:35 AM | 43
It's interesting that Iran was more concerned with the welfare of the crew of both ships than the perpetrators of the attacks...
Lysander , Jun 13, 2019 9:40:57 AM | 44
I'm not ready to say Iran did it, but will say that,

1) Iran has every right to hinder as much as possible the exports of KSA and UAE, since they are the second biggest instigators (after Israel) of hostility towards Iran.

2) If Abe is acting as Trump's pawn and not an honest mediator, then to hell with him. And it wouldn't be crazy for Iran to let him know they are completely unimpressed with his false mediation.

3) It would really be ironic if the world has suffered so much false flag fatigue that the very few times something isn't a false flag, the intended audience assumes that it is.

That said, I do not believe Iran did this. I do think it is a false flag and the authors of it are too tone deaf to realize people don't trust them anymore.

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 9:48:18 AM | 45
Circe

I agree that USA/Trump is not really interested in negotiation but only in the appearance of seeking peace.

b's belief that "... Trump tries to move Iran towards negotiations with him" doesn't adequately express the reality: USA/Trump offers to negotiate with 'no preconditions' after previously establishing the conditions required to force Iran's surrender (the oil embargo). Naturally, Iran's most important "pre-condition" for talks is for USA to release it's hostage (the Iranian economy).

Lysander , Jun 13, 2019 9:48:55 AM | 46
Forgot to add to my comment in 50, that it would be extremely easy for UAE and KSA to sabotage their own ships, since they would only have to pass through their own security, not penetrate someone else's. And they are exactly the types who would want to implicate Iran and also the ones to dumb to realize false flags aren't automatically believed anymore.
Michael Droy , Jun 13, 2019 9:58:12 AM | 47
Oil prices have barely moved - they have not even recovered yesterday's fall.Still well below levels of Mon/Tues
That is weird.
Don Wiscacho , Jun 13, 2019 10:00:05 AM | 48
Japan's PM is in Tehran for talks. This is by itself unusual. Then two tankers ultimately owned by Japan are attacked in the Gulf. Very unusual.
Bad timing wouldn't begin to describe this if Iran was to blame. They normally are quite cautious with international relations, especially with countries they are trying to woo away from ther US.
Just this would point to a false flag in my book.
But what else hit the news cycle in the last 24 hours? Britain relishes in its poodle status as it signs extradition order for Assange. Should be big news, but who cares about press freedom when we've got "a new Middle eastern war?"
What else? Turkish observation posts in Idlib come under attack and they reportedly call the coordinates in to the Russians to bomb them. Again, should be tectonic news, but "war war war!".
There is simply a snowball's chance in Trump's asscrack that Iran attacked those tankers.
somebody , Jun 13, 2019 10:02:56 AM | 49
It is the art of the deal :-))

Trump/Bolton/whatever_moron has now created a situation where US proxies (plus anybody depending on oil from the Strait of Hormuz) urgently need an agreement with Iran, whilst an isolationist US do not need this.

US proxies will now have to bribe Trump to have him step down from the brink or jump the fence.

In other news Houthis have taken positions in Saudi's Najran and bombed a Saudi airport.

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 10:36:34 AM | 53
I agree with those that have pointed out that attacking Japanese vessels while talking with the Japanese PM is nonsensical. Any country that does such a thing is acting against their own interest.

If Iran wants to "send a message", it's likely that they can do so without shooting themselves in the foot.

The attack pressures Iran, but IMO it ALSO offers an excuse for USA to stall/stop the SAA+Russia attack on Idlib by claiming to confront Iranian proxies.

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 10:41:34 AM | 54
CardD @52

Yeah. The first attacks seemed too minor to be a "message" but are a great backdrop (for propaganda purposes) to the attacks today which nonsensically occur while meeting with the Japanese PM.

[Jun 03, 2019] Bolton Brazenly Lies About Iran Again by DANIEL LARISON

Notable quotes:
"... From what I have read, including excerpts of JCPOA, it seems that Iran's move to restart some low level enrichment is captured in the agreement as something that Iran could do if the other party(ies) are in breach of the agreement. And at this time, the US is not a party any longer and the EU is in breach by stopping any economic intercourse with Iran. ..."
"... This should be reiterated again and again, because just mentioning that Iran unilaterally is starting enrichment puts a target on their back especially in the United States of Amnesia, while they are still just doing only what is prescribed by the JCPOA. ..."
"... Bolton's lying goes with his broad contempt for the American people. He treats us like contemptible sheep, he lies to us, and then he tries to manipulate Trump into sending our sons and daughters to fight wars for his foreign buddies. ..."
"... It is indeed remarkable in a very bad way that Bolton has any credibility to speak on issues. He has a very long track record of lie after lie after lie, going back to the build up for Iraq war. Indeed, he has never acknowledged that Iraq war a monumental tragedy. ..."
May 29, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

John Bolton repeats one of the Trump administration's biggest and most important lies:

Donald Trump's national security adviser said Wednesday there was "no reason" for Iran to back out of its nuclear deal with world powers other than to seek atomic weapons, a year after the U.S. president unilaterally withdrew America from the accord.

Bolton and other administration officials have promoted the lie that Iran seeks nuclear weapons for months. Unfortunately, members of Congress and the press have largely failed to call out these lies for what they are. There is no evidence to support the administration's claims, and there is overwhelming evidence that they are wrong, but if they can get away with saying these things without being challenged they may not need evidence to get the crisis that Bolton and others like him want.

In this case, the AP story just relays Bolton's false and misleading statements as if they should be taken seriously, and their headline trumpets Bolton's dishonest insinuations as if they were credible. This is an unfortunate case of choosing the sensationalist, eye-catching headline that misinforms the public on a very important issue. Bolton's latest remarks are especially pernicious because they use Iran's modest reactions to Trump administration sanctions as evidence of Iran's imaginary intent to acquire weapons. The U.S. has been trying to push Iran to abandon the deal for more than a year, and at the first sign that Iran begins to reduce its compliance in order to push back against the administration's outrageous economic warfare Bolton tries to misrepresent it as proof that they seek nuclear weapons. Don't fall for it, and don't trust anything Bolton says. Not only does he have a record of distorting and manipulating intelligence to suit his purposes, but his longstanding desire for regime change and his ties to the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) make him an exceptionally unreliable person when it comes to any and all claims about the Iranian government.

The story provides some context, but still fails to challenge Bolton's assertions:

Bolton said that without more nuclear power plants, it made no sense for Iran to stockpile more low-enriched uranium as it now plans to do. But the U.S. also earlier cut off Iran's ability to sell its uranium to Russia in exchange for unprocessed yellow-cake uranium [bold mine-DK].

Iran has set a July 7 deadline for Europe to offer better terms to the unraveling nuclear deal, otherwise it will resume enrichment closer to weapons level. Bolton declined to say what the U.S. would do in response to that.

"There's no reason for them to do (higher enrichment) unless it is to reduce the breakout time to nuclear weapons," Bolton said.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration ended the sanctions waivers that enabled Iran to ship its excess low-enriched uranium out of the country. They made it practically impossible for Iran to do what they have been reliably doing for years, and now Bolton blames Iran for the consequences of administration actions. The administration has deliberately put Iran in a bind so that they either give up the enrichment that they are entitled to do under the JCPOA or exceed the restrictions on their stockpile so that the U.S. can then accuse them of a violation. Left out in all of this is that the U.S. is no longer a party to the deal and violated all of its commitments more than a year ago. Iran has patiently remained in compliance while the only party to breach the agreement desperately hunts for a pretext to accuse them of some minor infraction.

Iran's record of full compliance with the JCPOA for more than three years hasn't mattered to Bolton and his allies in the slightest, and they have had no problem reneging on U.S. commitments, but now the same ideologues that have wanted to destroy the deal from the start insist on treating the deal's restrictions as sacrosanct. These same people have worked to engineer a situation in which Iran may end up stockpiling more low-enriched uranium than they are supposed to have, and then seize on the situation they created to spread lies about Iran's desire for nukes. It's all so obviously being done in bad faith, but then that is what we have come to expect from Iran hawks and opponents of the nuclear deal. Don't let them get away with it.

The reason that Iran is threatening to enrich its uranium to a higher level is that the U.S. has been relentlessly sanctioning them despite their total compliance with the terms of the JCPOA. The Trump administration has done all it could to deny Iran the benefits of the deal, and then Bolton has the gall to say that they have no other reason to reduce their compliance. Of course Iran does have another reason, and that is to put pressure on the other remaining parties to the deal to find a way to get Iran the benefits it was promised. It is a small step taken in response to the administration's own destructive policy, and it is not evidence of anything else. Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, and it is grossly irresponsible to treat unfounded administration claims about this as anything other than propaganda and lies.


Kouros, says: May 29, 2019 at 10:58 am

From what I have read, including excerpts of JCPOA, it seems that Iran's move to restart some low level enrichment is captured in the agreement as something that Iran could do if the other party(ies) are in breach of the agreement. And at this time, the US is not a party any longer and the EU is in breach by stopping any economic intercourse with Iran.

This should be reiterated again and again, because just mentioning that Iran unilaterally is starting enrichment puts a target on their back especially in the United States of Amnesia, while they are still just doing only what is prescribed by the JCPOA.

Braced , says: May 29, 2019 at 3:24 pm

Bolton's lying goes with his broad contempt for the American people. He treats us like contemptible sheep, he lies to us, and then he tries to manipulate Trump into sending our sons and daughters to fight wars for his foreign buddies.

Taras 77 , says: May 29, 2019 at 3:56 pm

It is indeed remarkable in a very bad way that Bolton has any credibility to speak on issues. He has a very long track record of lie after lie after lie, going back to the build up for Iraq war. Indeed, he has never acknowledged that Iraq war a monumental tragedy.

I think NK has it right to assert that Bolton is a defective human product.

But there he is stacking intell in trump's ear.

[May 27, 2019] The Pathology of John Bolton by Joe Lauria

In short Bolton is a neofascist.
Notable quotes:
"... Most diplomats, officials, and journalists were shocked that Bolton (evading confirmation with a recess appointment) had actually become the U.S. representative, given his long, public disdain for the UN ..."
"... It's been the strategy of Republican administrations to appoint the fiercest critic to head an agency or institution in order to weaken it, perhaps even fatally. ..."
"... Bolton possesses an abiding self-righteousness rooted in what seems a sincere belief in the myth of American greatness, mixed with deep personal failings hidden from public view. ..."
"... It is more than an ideology. It's fanaticism. Bolton believes America is exceptional and indispensible and superior to all other nations and isn't afraid to say so. ..."
"... Bolton's all too willing to make his bullying personal on behalf of the state. He implicitly threatened the children of José Bustani, who Vice President Dick Cheney wanted out of his job as head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons because Bustani had gotten Iraq to agree to join the chemical weapons protocol, thereby making it harder for the U.S. to invade Iraq. ..."
"... We saw a pattern of Mr. Bolton trying to manipulate intelligence to justify his views. If it had happened once, maybe. But it came up multiple times, and always it was the same underlying issue: he would stake out a position, and then, if the intelligence didn't support it, he would try to exaggerate the intelligence and marginalize the officials who had produced it." ..."
"... Bolton is no fan of democracy if things don't go his way. He is a vociferous instigator of the so-far failed U.S. coup in Venezuela and of course Bolton organized the "Brooks Brothers riot" that disrupted the recounting of votes in Florida in the disputed 2000 presidential election ..."
"... This is a common ruling class tactic in the U.S. to portray disobedient leaders ripe for overthrow as Hitler. Saddam was Hitler, Milosevic was Hitler, Noriega was Hitler and Hillary Clinton called Putin Hitler. It is a false revival of U.S. glory from World War II to paint foreign adventures as moral crusades, rather than naked aggression in pursuit of profits and power. ..."
"... Bolton is the distillation of the pathology of American power. He is unique only in the purity of this pathology. ..."
"... Two months after Bolton was appointed national security adviser, in June 2018, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the six-nation deal that has seen Tehran curtail its nuclear enrichment program in exchange for relaxation of U.S. and international sanctions. ..."
"... Both Israel and Saudi Arabia, lacking the military firepower of the United States, have long tried to get the U.S. to fight its wars, and one no more important than against its common enemy. ..."
"... It is the typical provocation of a bully: threaten someone with a cruise missile and the moment they pick up a knife in self-defense you attack, conveniently leaving the initial threat out of the story. It then becomes: "Iran picked up a knife. We have to blow them away with cruise missiles." ..."
"... The New York Times that day reported : "Privately, several European officials described Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo as pushing an unsuspecting Mr. Trump through a series of steps that could put the United States on a course to war before the president realizes it." ..."
"... Pompeo told a radio interviewer after the briefing that the U.S. had still not determined who attacked two Saudi, a Norwegian and an Emirati oil tanker in the Gulf last week, which bore the hallmarks of a provocation. Pompeo said "it seems like it's quite possible that Iran was behind" the attacks. ..."
"... But also last Sunday he told Fox News that the "military-industrial complex" is real and "they do like war" and they "went nuts" when he said he wanted to withdraw troops from Syria. Trump said he didn't want war with Iran, here possibly reflecting Israel's views. ..."
"... Joe, nice piece of work covering the psycho-pathology of America's leading nazi! ..."
"... To correct one of your statements: Trump DID NOT appoint him National Security Adviser, but Adelson and Mercer did. Trump is a brain-dead, blackmailed puppet who fancies himself as POTUS ..."
"... Everybody I know who is following the Washington Beltway histrionics of Trump et al know full-well that a certain intelligence agency of a small Middle East domiciled country have THE definitive dossier on Trump and have been building it for the last five decades. ..."
"... The Bolton-Pompeo-Pence presidency is destined to go down in history as one of infamy and treason. Trump? dead-man walking, more than likely by a stroke-heart attack when he's popping out one of his idiotic and manic tweets! ..."
"... John Bolton is a psychopath, He should be dismissed immediately, but I think that he should be institutionalized. ..."
"... Yeah Joe, it wasn't just you and other reporters who were stunned by Bolton's recess appt to the UN by W -- - many of us were staggered by the jaw-dropping inappropriateness of it, ..."
"... But, as you accurately mentioned, the Republicans had long-ago (I recall first hearing about it during Nixon's reign, with Earl Butz) used that gambit to effectively sabotage regulatory agencies & depts. Rather than try to dissolve an agency that most people want, they can neutralize it by appointing some hack or lobbyist for the entity being regulated so that nothing meaningful gets done, AND it has the 'beneficial' effect of discrediting the agency involved, and government in general, which is what many libertarian-inclined Republicans like. ..."
"... Israel doesnt want the US to attack Iran Well that is BS! Israel and its Fifth Column in the US have agitated for the US to attack Iran for years .we've all seen and heard it .and now they want to try to wipe our memories of their war mongering with their typical hasbara in the NYT and Netanyahu claiming .'oh we have nothing to do with it." ..."
"... Bolton is a psychopath but he is Sheldon Adelson's errand boy .who Bolton met with in Las Vegas the week before Trump appointed him and Adelson is the Orange carnival barker's 100 million dollar donor. ..."
"... Trump's incoherent mixture of neoconservative & isolationism almost make him a Bush! ..."
"... I assume Trump knows what a 'neocon' but is so indebted to Israel and intoxicated by Islamophobic rhetoric that he cannot free himself from his addiction to surrounding himself with more neo-cons ..."
"... The progression from Flynn to McMaster to Bolton was just selecting between neocon flavors for his National Security Advisers. What a joke of a nation! ..."
"... I appreciate the article, but it doesn't mention Israel, which is the fountainhead of the agenda to take out Iran, Iraq, and Syria. ..."
"... "Overall, 28 sitting senators have received sizable contributions from John Bolton PAC during the election cycle, as have nine representatives on the House defense, foreign affairs, and homeland security subcommittees." ..."
"... Don't forget who told Donald Trump to hire John Bolton. It was Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes. ..."
"... They like Bolton because he is "incapable of empathy and good on Israel." ..."
"... The NYT has indeed supported wars but it is not alone nor is this a recent trend. There is a very old trend of the commercial news establishments becoming war hawks and regurtitators of official propaganda whenever the USA wants to pick a fight. It goes back to the period after the establishment of the nation when expansionism set its roots down and what grew out of that is pretty much the same kind of nationalistic propaganda we see today. ..."
May 23, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Special to Consortium News 129 Comments

John Bolton has been saying for years he wants the Iranian government overthrown, and now he's made his move. But this time he may have gone too far, writes Joe Lauria.

I knew John Bolton and interacted with him on a nearly daily basis with my colleagues in the press corps at United Nations headquarters in New York when Bolton was the United States ambassador there from August 2005 to December 2006.

Most diplomats, officials, and journalists were shocked that Bolton (evading confirmation with a recess appointment) had actually become the U.S. representative, given his long, public disdain for the UN. But that turned out to be the point. It's been the strategy of Republican administrations to appoint the fiercest critic to head an agency or institution in order to weaken it, perhaps even fatally.

Bolton's most infamous quote about the UN followed him into the building. In 1994 he had said : "The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

But a more telling comment in that same 1994 conference was when he said that no matter what the UN decides the U.S. will do whatever it wants:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/VOINBs8eOdk?feature=oembed

Bolton sees such frank admissions as signs of strength, not alarm.

He is a humorless man, who at the UN at least, seemed to always think he was the smartest person in the room. He once gave a lecture in 2006 at the U.S. mission to UN correspondents, replete with a chalk board, on how nuclear enrichment worked. His aim, of course, was to convince us that Iran was close to a bomb, even though a 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate being prepared at the time said Tehran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

I thought I'd challenge him one day at the press stakeout outside the Security Council chamber, where Bolton often stopped to lecture journalists on what they should write. "If the United States and Britain had not overthrown a democratically elected government in Iran in 1953 would the United States be today faced with a revolutionary government enriching uranium?' I asked him.

"That's an interesting question," he told me, "but for another time and another place." It was a time and a place, of course, that never came.

More Than an Ideology

Bolton possesses an abiding self-righteousness rooted in what seems a sincere belief in the myth of American greatness, mixed with deep personal failings hidden from public view.

He seemed perpetually angry and it wasn't clear whether it was over some personal or diplomatic feud. He seems to take personally nations standing up to America, binding his sense of personal power with that of the United States.

It is more than an ideology. It's fanaticism. Bolton believes America is exceptional and indispensible and superior to all other nations and isn't afraid to say so. He'd have been better off perhaps in the McKinley administration, before the days of PR-sugarcoating of imperial aggression. He's not your typical passive-aggressive government official. He's aggressive-aggressive.

And now Bolton is ordering 120,000 troops to get ready and an aircraft carrier to steam towards Iran.

Bolton's all too willing to make his bullying personal on behalf of the state. He implicitly threatened the children of José Bustani, who Vice President Dick Cheney wanted out of his job as head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons because Bustani had gotten Iraq to agree to join the chemical weapons protocol, thereby making it harder for the U.S. to invade Iraq.

After Bolton's failed 2005 confirmation hearings, Tony Blinken, the then staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The New Yorker 's Dexter Filkins:

"We saw a pattern of Mr. Bolton trying to manipulate intelligence to justify his views. If it had happened once, maybe. But it came up multiple times, and always it was the same underlying issue: he would stake out a position, and then, if the intelligence didn't support it, he would try to exaggerate the intelligence and marginalize the officials who had produced it."

Bolton is no fan of democracy if things don't go his way. He is a vociferous instigator of the so-far failed U.S. coup in Venezuela and of course Bolton organized the "Brooks Brothers riot" that disrupted the recounting of votes in Florida in the disputed 2000 presidential election.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MbVtROU9J_E?feature=oembed

What is alarming about the above video is not so much that he justifies lying, but the example he gives: lying to cover up military plans like the invasion of Normandy. This is a common ruling class tactic in the U.S. to portray disobedient leaders ripe for overthrow as Hitler. Saddam was Hitler, Milosevic was Hitler, Noriega was Hitler and Hillary Clinton called Putin Hitler. It is a false revival of U.S. glory from World War II to paint foreign adventures as moral crusades, rather than naked aggression in pursuit of profits and power.

Bolton is the distillation of the pathology of American power. He is unique only in the purity of this pathology.

Regime Change for Iran

The U.S. national security adviser has been saying for years he wants the Iranian government overthrown, and now he's made his move. But this time John Bolton may have flown too high.

He was chosen for his post by a president with limited understanding of international affairs -- if real estate is not involved -- and one who loves to be sucked up to. Trump is Bolton's perfect cover.

But hubris may have finally bested Bolton. He had never before maneuvered himself into such a position of power, though he'd left a trail of chaos at lower levels of government. Sitting opposite the Resolute desk on a daily basis has presented a chance to implement his plans.

At the top of that agenda has been Bolton's stated aim for years: to bomb and topple the Iranian government.

Thus Bolton was the driving force to get a carrier strike force sent to the Persian Gulf and, according to The New York Times, on May 14 , it was he who "ordered" a Pentagon plan to prepare 120,000 U.S. troops for the Gulf. These were to be deployed "if Iran attacked American forces or accelerated its work on nuclear weapons."

Two months after Bolton was appointed national security adviser, in June 2018, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the six-nation deal that has seen Tehran curtail its nuclear enrichment program in exchange for relaxation of U.S. and international sanctions.

At the time of Bolton's appointment in April 2018, Tom Countryman, who had been undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, as had Bolton, predicted to The Intercept that if Iran resumed enrichment after the U.S. left the deal, it "would be the kind of excuse that a person like Bolton would look to to create a military provocation or direct attack on Iran."

In response to ever tightening sanctions, Iran said on May 5 (May 6 in Tehran) that it would indeed restart partial nuclear enrichment. On the same day, Bolton announced the carrier strike group was headed to the Gulf.

Bolton Faces Resistance

If this were a normally functioning White House, in which imperial moves are normally made, a president would order military action, and not a national security adviser.

"I don't think Trump is smart enough to realize what Bolton and [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo are doing to him,"

former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel told RT's Afshin Rattansi this week.

"They have manipulated him. When you get the national security adviser who claims that he ordered an aircraft carrier flotilla to go into the Persian Gulf, we've never seen that. In the days of Henry Kissinger, who really brought sway, he never ordered this, and if it was ordered it was done behind closed doors."

Bolton claimed he acted on intelligence that Iran was poised to attack U.S. interests close to Iran.

Both Israel and Saudi Arabia, lacking the military firepower of the United States, have long tried to get the U.S. to fight its wars, and one no more important than against its common enemy. An editorial on May 16 in the Saudi English-language news outlet, Arab News , called for a U.S. "surgical strike" on Iran. But The New York Times reported on the same day that though Israel was behind Bolton's "intelligence" about an Iranian threat, Israel does not want the U.S. to attack Iran causing a full-scale war.

The intelligence alleged Iran was fitting missiles on fishing boats in the Gulf. Imagine a government targeted by the most powerful military force in history wanting to defend itself in its own waters.

Bolton also said Iran was threatening Western interests in Iraq, which led eventually to non-essential U.S. diplomatic staff leaving Baghdad and Erbil.

It is the typical provocation of a bully: threaten someone with a cruise missile and the moment they pick up a knife in self-defense you attack, conveniently leaving the initial threat out of the story. It then becomes: "Iran picked up a knife. We have to blow them away with cruise missiles."

But this time the bully is being challenged. Federica Mogherini, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, resisted the U.S. on Iran when she met Pompeo in Brussels on May 13.

"It's always better to talk, rather than not to, and especially when tensions arise Mike Pompeo heard that very clearly today from us," said Mogherini. "We are living in a crucial, delicate moment where the most relevant attitude to take – the most responsible attitude to take – is and we believe should be, that of maximum restraint and avoiding any escalation on the military side."

The New York Times that day reported : "Privately, several European officials described Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo as pushing an unsuspecting Mr. Trump through a series of steps that could put the United States on a course to war before the president realizes it."

Ghika: No new threat from Iran. (YouTube)

British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika then said on May 14: "There has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria." Ghika was rebuked by U.S. Central Command, whose spokesman said, "Recent comments from OIR's Deputy Commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region."

A day later it was Trump himself, however, who was said to be resisting Bolton. On May 15 The Washington Post reported:

"President Trump is frustrated with some of his top advisers, who he thinks could rush the United States into a military confrontation with Iran and shatter his long-standing pledge to withdraw from costly foreign wars, according to several U.S. officials. Trump prefers a diplomatic approach to resolving tensions and wants to speak directly with Iran's leaders."

The Times reported the next day:

"President Trump has told his acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, that he does not want to go to war with Iran, according to several administration officials, in a message to his hawkish aides that an intensifying American pressure campaign against the clerical-led government in Tehran must not escalate into open conflict."

Then it was the Democrats who stood up to Bolton. On Tuesday Pompeo and Shanahan briefed senators and representatives behind closed doors on Capitol Hill regarding the administration's case for confronting Iran.

"Are they (Iran) reacting to us, or are we doing these things in reaction to them? That is a major question I have, that I still have," Sen. Angus King told reporters after the briefing. "What we view as defensive, they view as provocative. Or vice versa."

Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego told reporters after the briefing: "I believe there is a certain level of escalation of both sides that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The feedback loop tells us they're escalating for war, but they could just be escalating because we're escalating."

Pompeo told a radio interviewer after the briefing that the U.S. had still not determined who attacked two Saudi, a Norwegian and an Emirati oil tanker in the Gulf last week, which bore the hallmarks of a provocation. Pompeo said "it seems like it's quite possible that Iran was behind" the attacks.

Bolton was conspicuously absent from the closed-door briefing.

It's Up to Trump

Trump has pinballed all over the place on Iran. He called the Times and Post stories about him resisting Bolton "fake news."

"The Fake News Media is hurting our Country with its fraudulent and highly inaccurate coverage of Iran. It is scattershot, poorly sourced (made up), and DANGEROUS. At least Iran doesn't know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!" Trump tweeted on May 17.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

The Fake News Media is hurting our Country with its fraudulent and highly inaccurate coverage of Iran. It is scattershot, poorly sourced (made up), and DANGEROUS. At least Iran doesn't know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!

77.7K 9:44 AM - May 17, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy
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Then he threatened what could be construed as genocide against Iran. "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!" he tweeted on Sunday.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!

239K 4:25 PM - May 19, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy
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But also last Sunday he told Fox News that the "military-industrial complex" is real and "they do like war" and they "went nuts" when he said he wanted to withdraw troops from Syria. Trump said he didn't want war with Iran, here possibly reflecting Israel's views.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vc4vYWJfJnE?feature=oembed

On Monday he implied that the crisis has been drummed up to get Iran to negotiate.

"The Fake News put out a typically false statement, without any knowledge that the United States was trying to set up a negotiation with Iran. This is a false report ."

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

The Fake News put out a typically false statement, without any knowledge that the United States was trying to set up a negotiation with Iran. This is a false report....

80.8K 1:30 PM - May 20, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy
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John Bolton must be stopped before he gets his war. It is beyond troubling that the man we have to count on to do it is Donald Trump.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


Jym Allyn , May 26, 2019 at 19:27

Or as Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is US." As in the lies that created the Vietnam war and the waste of 58,000 American soldiers and thousand of Vietnamese. Or the lie that Iran is our enemy when we funded and encouraged Saddam to attack them and destroyed their attempt to have a secular government.

Or the lie of the WMD's and the 9/11 attack which was funded by Saudi Arabia, and run by Saudis and NOT Iraq.

Or the lies of Afghanistan which was economically and culturally better off when it was controlled by the USSR...

John Hawk , May 26, 2019 at 16:56

Joe, nice piece of work covering the psycho-pathology of America's leading nazi!

To correct one of your statements: Trump DID NOT appoint him National Security Adviser, but Adelson and Mercer did. Trump is a brain-dead, blackmailed puppet who fancies himself as POTUS.

It can't get any more delusional than this. Everybody I know who is following the Washington Beltway histrionics of Trump et al know full-well that a certain intelligence agency of a small Middle East domiciled country have THE definitive dossier on Trump and have been building it for the last five decades.

After all, deception is their game and they use it liberally, like feeding their agenda to Bolton as 'intelligence' info of the highest order. The Bolton-Pompeo-Pence presidency is destined to go down in history as one of infamy and treason. Trump? dead-man walking, more than likely by a stroke-heart attack when he's popping out one of his idiotic and manic tweets!

Zhu , May 26, 2019 at 03:20

If Bolton were struck by lightning tomorrow morning, would anything change much? I doubt it. We Americans are as warlike as the ancient Assyrian. We've been slaughtering Indians, Koreans, SE Asians, Central Americans, and multiple Middle Eastern people for a looong time. It is flattering to blame this individual or th t country, but no. We, as a community, are all responsible to some degree. Even me, on the far side of the world.

Alex , May 25, 2019 at 21:50

Bolton's choosing destroyed IRAN but staying friends with Saudi Arabia it's so contradicting, and so obvious that he is influenced to behave this way is because Israelies influence. Saudy Kingdom using Bolton to get IRAN so Saudy will be only country promote Extreme version of Wahhabi Islam which is didn't existed In Islam's history.

So Bolton's obsession with destruction of Iran is ignorance as its best. September 11th suspects were most of them Saudy nationals, yet nobody wanted to talk about it, because there is irony that, George W Bush was and probably still doing business with Saudy. So how can you explain that to American people? No you can not.

Perhaps collectively hypnotism !

OlyaPola , May 26, 2019 at 02:58

" So how can you explain that to American people?"

Given that useful fools are useful, why would you want to?

" No you can not."

An illustration of the benefits of dumbing down do not accrue solely to those actively engaged in dumbing down, facilitating the minimising of blowback during implementation of strategies based on "How to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blowback", given that many believe that critical mass is a function of linear notions of 50% +1 and above; a further conflation of quantity with quality to which the opponents are prone.

William , May 25, 2019 at 19:06

John Bolton is a psychopath, He should be dismissed immediately, but I think that he should be institutionalized. Put him in a strait jacket and keep him in a padded cell. He poses a threat to millions of people.

Eddie S , May 25, 2019 at 11:26

Yeah Joe, it wasn't just you and other reporters who were stunned by Bolton's recess appt to the UN by W -- - many of us were staggered by the jaw-dropping inappropriateness of it, IF it was assessed from a pro-peace perspective.

But, as you accurately mentioned, the Republicans had long-ago (I recall first hearing about it during Nixon's reign, with Earl Butz) used that gambit to effectively sabotage regulatory agencies & depts. Rather than try to dissolve an agency that most people want, they can neutralize it by appointing some hack or lobbyist for the entity being regulated so that nothing meaningful gets done, AND it has the 'beneficial' effect of discrediting the agency involved, and government in general, which is what many libertarian-inclined Republicans like.

Good article about a reprehensible politician.

renfro , May 25, 2019 at 11:18

"But The New York Times reported on the same day that though Israel was behind Bolton's "intelligence" about an Iranian threat, Israel does not want the U.S. to attack Iran causing a full-scale war. "
________________________________

Israel doesnt want the US to attack Iran Well that is BS!
Israel and its Fifth Column in the US have agitated for the US to attack Iran for years .we've all seen and heard it .and now they want to try to wipe our memories of their war mongering with their typical hasbara in the NYT and Netanyahu claiming .'oh we have nothing to do with it."

Bolton is a psychopath but he is Sheldon Adelson's errand boy .who Bolton met with in Las Vegas the week before Trump appointed him and Adelson is the Orange carnival barker's 100 million dollar donor.

Seriously, how stupid do they think we are? If we attack Iran it will be for the Zionist and Saudis and we all know it.

Luther Bliss , May 25, 2019 at 10:57

Trump's incoherent mixture of neoconservative & isolationism almost make him a Bush!

Remember it wasn't until Bush JR's second term that he asked his father, "What's A Neocon?" to which Pappy Bush replied, "Israel."

I assume Trump knows what a 'neocon' but is so indebted to Israel and intoxicated by Islamophobic rhetoric that he cannot free himself from his addiction to surrounding himself with more neo-cons.

The progression from Flynn to McMaster to Bolton was just selecting between neocon flavors for his National Security Advisers. What a joke of a nation!

Mark , May 25, 2019 at 02:30

I appreciate the article, but it doesn't mention Israel, which is the fountainhead of the agenda to take out Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Bolton stands out for his extremity among extremists, but he's a means rather than the end. The agenda is something into which he bought, passionately by all indications, but which a paucity of other people created strictly to advance their own, tiny, exclusive clan, not for the benefit of the United States.

Hank , May 25, 2019 at 09:43

To think that this administration campaigned on a promise to restrict future wasteful and needless interventions and then hired this dinosaur of a warmonger makes my blood curl! Everyone with half a brain knows what Bolton's agenda is yet here he is leading the USA into a war at the behest of a foreign nation led by a felon and terrorist! The American people who want peace and their tax dollars invested into improving the USA have once again been stabbed in the back by a conniving administration. Will this cycle of non-democracy ever end? Until it does, future administrations will continue on just like previous ones- kowtowing to special interests, in particular the military/industrial mafia and the apartheid criminal state of Israel! All this massive business of holding "elections" in the USA, all the talk about "Russian collusion" and the REAL collusion is right there in front of us all- the US administration has once again COLLUDED to go back on a campaign promise and once again open the money trough for the military/industrialist pigs!

Mark , May 26, 2019 at 05:31

I get the idea, but it's necessary to look 'behind' back-stabbing, conniving, colluding administrations, and Bolton, and the military/industrial complex, and to bring Israel and some barely known U.S. history, at least back to World War I, explicitly to the fore for public scrutiny. That's a monumental task, to say the least, owing to American attention spans and the contrary interests of the powers that be.

Taras77 , May 24, 2019 at 20:24

Bolton has his own well funded PAC, from which he is free to "contribute" (bribe) sychophant congress individuals. What a situation for the fix for war.

https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/05/interests-pushing-for-hard-line-against-iran/

"Overall, 28 sitting senators have received sizable contributions from John Bolton PAC during the election cycle, as have nine representatives on the House defense, foreign affairs, and homeland security subcommittees."

ricardo2000 , May 24, 2019 at 17:29

By far the most productive, and most verifiable, way to eliminate weapons is at a negotiating table. The easiest way to start a war is with ignorant blather.

O Society , May 24, 2019 at 16:09

Don't forget who told Donald Trump to hire John Bolton. It was Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes.

They like Bolton because he is "incapable of empathy and good on Israel."

Trump initially declined on Bolton because "he doesn't like Bolton's moustache."

Kool Aid drinkers and idiots. We're being lead by a cult of morons who worship the bombs, money, and a white separatist state.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/01/michael-wolff-fire-and-fury-book-donald-trump.html?gtm=bottom

Truth First , May 24, 2019 at 11:40

They don't call him, 'Bonkers' Bolton for nothin'.

Pedro Masculino Ghirotti , May 24, 2019 at 10:53

Nice piece Joe, but you just forgot to mention who Bolton actually works for, the Israelis.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , May 24, 2019 at 07:11

"Pathology." That's exactly the right word. But I think it has a wider application. See:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/john-chuckman-comment-why-trump-doesnt-rein-in-bolton-dismal-bolton-pompeo-and-abrams-are-part-of-the-price-trump-paid-for-political-support-against-threats-he-felt-and-getting-a-big-pile-of-ca/

old geezer , May 26, 2019 at 13:08

an accurate, concise review.

i doubt the iranians will test a nuke until after djt is out of office. after that you might wake up one morning and everything you knew before becomes quite obsolete.

my guess is israel has stealth cruise missiles with h bombs. it would be very foolish of them to not have them. those descendants of egyptian slaves are anything but foolish.

Sam , May 27, 2019 at 00:33

@ CitizenOne: Thank you for your long comment. I agree with much of what you wrote, but would like to know why you claimed, "Iran is surely guilty of vowing the destruction of Israel " . According to what I've read, Iran has not initiated hostilities with any nation for over a century – a clear, peaceful contrast to the rogue states of Israel & the U.S. Are you referring to the long-ago-debunked claim that Iran claimed to 'wipe Israel off the map'?
(See https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jun/14/post155 ? "So there we have it. Starting with Juan Cole, and going via the New York Times' experts through MEMRI to the BBC's monitors, the consensus is that Ahmadinejad did not talk about any maps. He was, as I insisted in my original piece, offering a vague wish for the future.

"A very last point. The fact that he compared his desired option – the elimination of "the regime occupying Jerusalem" – with the fall of the Shah's regime in Iran makes it crystal clear that he is talking about regime change, not the end of Israel. ")

Or perhaps you're referring to Revolutionary Guard deputy leader Hossein Salami's warning that if Israel starts an aggressive war against Iran, it 'will end with {Israel's} elimination from the global political map'? IMHO, warning an extremely aggressive, self-obsessed, Apartheid-practicing rogue state against trying to attack your nation is wise ;-) .

I look forward to your response. Thanks very much.

Sam F , May 27, 2019 at 06:12

Sam: please use an identifier initial as I do, to prevent confusion.
I have asked you twice before; perhaps not the same person.
It is unfair to expect others to make the clarification, and easy to prevent.

O Society , May 23, 2019 at 21:15

Neoconservative war pigs riding the bomb and the belligerence of Empire

http://opensociet.org/2019/05/23/the-belligerence-of-empire/

mike k , May 23, 2019 at 18:55

How is it that crazies like Bolton can end up high in our government hierarchy? It is because the whole damned government is crazy through and through

Joe , May 23, 2019 at 20:48

His Dad probably made a huge donation to Yale just like Bush's Dad. That's what happens when the system is gamed.

Art Thomas , May 25, 2019 at 09:22

Yes, in my opinion. The state stripped of patriotic rhetoric and other obfuscations that keep us devoted to it is nothing more than a criminal gang that hides behind the law.

Some basic examples. 1. The law: taxation, the crime: theft. 2. The law: monetary credit expansion, i.e. debt financing, the crime: counterfeiting, i.e. creating money out of thin air. 3. The invasion of countries not a threat to the invading state. Etc. etc.

Tiu , May 23, 2019 at 18:30

If the US "political establishment" was working for America's benefit, things would look very different.
They are instead working on the "globalist" agenda, which will, if successful, destroy all nations as we know them today and what remains will be ruled over by a bunch of sociopaths who are the same group that has inflicted John Bolton on the world.
Bolton's a tool, a bit like a hammer, to get their project done. The Democrats have equivalent tools e.g. H R Clinton.

Mark Thomason , May 23, 2019 at 18:04

The problem is if he hasn't gone too far. If he gets his war.

Vonu , May 23, 2019 at 16:53

John Bolton should get to ride the missile in the remake of Dr. Strangelove.

evelync , May 23, 2019 at 19:53

hah hah hah

I loved that movie :)

and yes Bolton is a perfect caricature of Slim Pickens AKA Dr Strangelove.

I also refer to him as Yosemite Sam

one difference for our current real life war monger is that the movie character was simply insane and didn't justify his craziness with explanations.

Bolton, OTOH, blames "national Security" and "the national interests" of this country .say what????

if we look at the horrific human costs and the enormous financial costs of the wars that were fought for U.S. "national interests" one would want to ask, once the rubble had cleared, what "interests" were actually served and whose "security" did they actually improve?
The answers always take us back to Eisenhower's MIC and Ray McGovern's MICIMATT (maybe I got a couple of these letters wrong?).
Whoever profited from the mayhem don't represent either our "national interest' or our "national security" IMO and yet those two phrases are used to shut down any discussion or criticism in the lead up .

whew

Mork D , May 25, 2019 at 01:20

Strictly about the movie – Slim Pickens plays the ranking officer on the B-52 (I think?) which is actually dropping the bomb. Dr Strangelove is a totally different character, one of a few played by Peter Sellers in that movie, and is a (mostly!) wheelchair-bound German scientist.

Jym Allyn , May 26, 2019 at 19:17

And the wheelchair bound psychopathic scientist of Dr. Strangelove was inspired by Kubrick meeting Henry Kissinger at a cocktail party and recognizing that Kissinger was the most evil person on this planet because he looked and sounded so responsible and rational.
Now that Saddam, bin Laden, Pol Pot, Stalin, and Hitler are dead, Kissinger holds the record of the person still alive who has needlessly killed more people, both Americans and non-Americans, than any other person on this planet.
Hillary's idea of destabilizing Libya and creating a political vacuum there was from her training when working for Kissinger.

Abe , May 23, 2019 at 16:51

The Pathology:

John Bolton
Senior fellow at American Enterprise Institute (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
Chairman of Gatestone Institute (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
Former board member of Project for the New American Century (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
Former Adviser to Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/john-bolton/

Richard Goldberg – Aide to John Bolton at NSC (2019 – )
Former Senior Adviser at Foundation for Defense of Democracies (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/richard-goldberg/

Frederick Fleitz – Bolton's Former Chief of Staff at NSC (2018)
CEO of Center for Security Policy ( (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/frederick-fleitz/

Abe , May 23, 2019 at 19:32

The Pathology, Part Duh:

Mike Pompeo
Christian Zionist: "We will continue to fight these battles, it is a never ending struggle until the Rapture."
Associate of Center for Security Policy (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
Sponsor of ACT! for America (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/mike-pompeo/

Sam , May 27, 2019 at 00:38

@ Abe: Thanks for the info!

Litchfield , May 23, 2019 at 16:42

John Bolton is obviously a very sick puppy.
This is patently obvious to any observer with the least desgree of psyhological sophistication and insight.
If he lived on your block and made such statements about his neighbors, or a woman living nearby, he would be looking at restraining orders.
He is an out-of-control abusive pig who belongs in an institution where a course of shock therapy might actually help him. I reckon any basic psychological test would find that he has a least borderline personality and at worst is actually insane and incapable of taking responsibility for the consequences of his action.
Bolton has permanent termporary insanity.
Letting this tortured, psychopathic individual run the military is itself an enormous crime, one of murderous negligence, one for which Trump truly should and could be impeached. Congress must take all possible steps to get this man out of the Executive Branch.

Threaten Trump with impeachment if he doesn't fire Bolton.
His appointment of Bolton is reckless negligence and endangers this country.

James , May 23, 2019 at 19:09

I wonder how good American politicians of the past, if there were any, would react to the appointment of this psychopath as what he is now. Whom should be blamed for it? Donald Trump? The pro-Israeli lobbies? Or the American nation? A glance at the man's face is enough to realize that he is deeply sick. To me, he doesn't look like a human being at all! He looks like a monkey out of a stuffy room. Why don't psychotherapists do anything about him? Shouldn't he be hospitalized for the safety/security of the world population? By the way, I wonder where Netanyahu, the psychopath's provoker, is. He has been very quiet for about a month or so. Maybe he is waiting for the war to ignite without getting himself directly involved in it. Let Americans and Iranians kill one another while he waits to pick up the fruit in the end.

Mork D , May 25, 2019 at 01:27

Where does the blame lie? Who hired him? Who's the chief of the executive branch? Who's a person who could actually fire him (as he's so famous for doing on reality TV shows) instead of wringing his hands on friendly TV networks declaring he doesn't want to actually go to war, but if he's 'forced' to, he'll erase Iran from the map?

Druid , May 26, 2019 at 03:16

He would have to get permission from Adelson and the Mercers first.

CitizenOne , May 24, 2019 at 20:52

Bolton and Pompeo are the only things keeping him from impeachment. As long as Trump satisfies the bloodthirsty war mongers and the insatiable appetite of the MIC and the Pro Israel lobby and the Oil Lobby or Koch Industries he cannot lose. So far Trump is bangin on all cylinders. I really think he knows what he needs to do to survive. All this impeachment talk is just fantasy by the left dreaming about getting him out of office "somehow".

bjd , May 23, 2019 at 16:13

That the mono-maniacal psychopath Bolton is a walking exhibit of the Dunning–Kruger effect is no surprise to me. It is extra frightening though.

Realist , May 23, 2019 at 16:00

What was Bolton's day job before he started mucking around in politics and foreign policy? Master waterboarder or testicular electrificator in extraordinary renditions for the CIA? He seems the sort to have spent much time at Abu Ghraib, and not just to take notes. Honestly, his major goals seem to be the eradication of entire cultures and societies, which will somehow redound to the magnificence of the United States of America. Clearly a sociopathic personality. A lot in common with Cheney.

Jimmy G , May 23, 2019 at 15:57

Again the panic is stirred by .. The NYT! (The source of such good info regarding Russia gate) .
The statement regarding Bolton " ordering" anything is just one more example of the media and the intel bureaucrats trying to put the President in a jam politically . (Remember how a month ago we were invading Venezuela?)

Bolton is doing nothing more than getting enough rope to hang himself, and the military intelligence service, congressional and media Trumpophobes are willing to stir this to the very edge, and we all know Congress could (if it could act in good Constitutional faith, rather than pretending to be the judicial branch) unite for the good of this country and Trump would be amenable to whatever they came up with. Trump is far less of a warmonger than any POTUS we've had in a very long time.

Realist , May 23, 2019 at 16:18

If Congress is the only branch of government with the constitutional power to declare a war, surely it has the power to FORBID the executive branch from fomenting such a war against their judgement.

In fact, wasn't the Boland Amendment such a legislative act passed with the intent of preventing the Reagan administration from pursuing military action in Central America, most notably Nicaragua and El Salvador?

What's to prevent the Congress, if it were so inclined (which I doubt it is) to instruct the president (especially if he seems trigger-happy) to refrain from initiating any unprovoked attacks upon Iran, Venezuela, North Korea or any other country, for that matter?

Vonu , May 23, 2019 at 16:56

Ollie North worked for Reagan, didn't he?

RnM , May 25, 2019 at 17:27

Trump is very aware that 'Stache Bolton and Mike "Mumbles" Pompeo are significant threats to his re-election. Would not be surprised to see them removed before January.

CitizenOne , May 25, 2019 at 21:02

The NYT has indeed supported wars but it is not alone nor is this a recent trend. There is a very old trend of the commercial news establishments becoming war hawks and regurtitators of official propaganda whenever the USA wants to pick a fight. It goes back to the period after the establishment of the nation when expansionism set its roots down and what grew out of that is pretty much the same kind of nationalistic propaganda we see today.

I agree with your statement that Trump is far less vulnerable based on his history but I am sure that the war planners are always concocting special information diets that are carefully prepared to appeal to the particular tastes of the leader of the day. Whatever Trumps opinion is he will be surrounded by the hand picked lunatics of the day who will entice and enjoin him to agree with plans for war based on their carefully prepared menu of propaganda specifically designed to be appealing to the palate of whoever is in charge.

It is less certain that Trump's long history of opposing military action will have real staying power as he is served up courses of a sumptuous meal prepared specially for his palate designed to engage him in support for military action all over the World.

Trump is particularly susceptible to flattery and appeals to his greatness and his very stable genius. He wants to be the great leader and for that he needs a plan to deal with the geopolitical situation in many countries.

Trump is a man who knows what to do too.

He advised Germany that it was a puppet of Russia until he didn't
He advised Teresa May how to do Brexit the right way until he didn't
He announced to the World he had forged deep connections with North Korea until he didn't
He had high hopes for an alliance with Russia until he didn't.
He specified the right type of fire fighting to be used to fight the Notre Dame Cathedral fire until he didn't
He wanted to walk away from the fight in Syria until he didn't
He wanted to walk away from the war in Syria again until he didn't
He wanted to cut the military budget until he didn't

Ordinarily if we were in the middle of a democratic presidency the press would be raising the "flip flopper" argument every second of their available airtime.

Democrats are the flip floppers but never a republican even when he is. It all depends on the way the flips and the flops land. If they land on conservative positions then a flop or a flip never occurred. With republicans, flip flopping is just a corrective action to realign the president on the correct course. If it is a democrat then their hypocrisy and flip flopping are broadcast 24/7 and are portrayed a fundamentally disqualifying events which demonstrate a fundamental lack of principles and weakness of character deserving of condemnation. When errant republicans flip flop over to the "correct" vision they are welcomed with open arms into the fold.

Trump wants to be accepted so badly that the democrats hounding him are in fact herding him into the fold of the conservatives who will shelter him and support him at all costs and the media will never ever ever never call this flip flopping.

In short, if a political candidate shifts to the left his integrity will be destroyed as his character will be portrayed as weak and built on shifting sands. He will be deemed not to be trusted like some loose cannon.

On the other hand, if a political candidate shifts to the right he will be greeted as a prodigal son returning to the fold and will be welcomed with open arms.

So I am not as sure as you that Trump's background will be any indicator of his future ideas about how to succeed in the environment he is in where both democrats by their antagonism and republicans by their defense of him both push him over to the right.

He may once have been far less of a war hawk but politicians on both sides of the aisle are pushing him further to the right every day.

Consortium News editor Joe Lauria may wish to contribute a follow up series of articles detailing the purity of pro-Israel Lobby pathology exemplified by Bolton, Pompeo, and the beyond troubling Trump preferably before the next war.

Litchfield , May 23, 2019 at 19:33

"the wider extent of pro-Israel Lobby pathology in the US government. "

That's it in a nutshell.

KiwiAntz , May 24, 2019 at 18:46

Thanks Joe for the great article. Bolton (aka the moustache) truly is a humourless, warmongering, depraved psycho? This is a cowardly man who dodged the Vietnam draft as he didn't want to die in some foreign patty field! But this lunatic has no qualms to send other peoples sons & daughters into a Iranian war zone as cannon fodder to satisfy his deluded & perverted bloodlust to destroy Iran? If "the moustache" wants a War with Iran he should be forced to fight on the frontlines with his troops along with POTUS Bonespurs Trump, another cowardly draft dodger? Let the moustache & the Dotard make a stand, like Jon Snow in the Battle of the bastards, sword in hand, facing down the so called Iranian, bogeyman enemy, but this would never happen as cowards & bastards like Bolton & Trump don't personally fight in the battles they start, they hide in safety in a Washington situation room, as far away from any War zone as possible! If Bolton gets his War with Iran, Trump will pay the price for this suicide mission because he would be blamed for the fallout of any Military defeat! America's already sorry record of Military humiliation & defeat in Regime change operations around the Globe would reach a crescendo if they ever dared to try to attack & overthrow Iran as it would be the endgame of the US Empire!

mark , May 23, 2019 at 22:28

Trump is just Israel's bitch.

incontinent reader , May 24, 2019 at 01:08

Good comment, Abe. We've missed you. Keep posting more of the same.

Zhu , May 25, 2019 at 01:37

We Americans were bloodthirsty long before Israel existed.

anon , May 25, 2019 at 06:35

What an absurd zionist troll post. Try it with someone dumb, Zhu.

Michael Steger , May 23, 2019 at 15:17

First Joe, McKinley did not implement American submission to British Imperialism, though it began with the end of Grant's administration as with the twice elected Groucher Cleveland, but it's confirmation as US policy began with Teddy Roosevelt. The Roosevelt Corollary destroyed JQA's Community of Principle in the Americas which should be known as the true Monroe Doctrine, contrary to popular opinion today which has incorrectly replaced the Monroe Doctrine with the Roosevelt Corollary (as Bolton is especially want to do). TR signalled the end of the Lincoln Era of American industrial development and global cooperation, which was best represented by Grant, the most overlooked of great Presidents (and perhaps we see similarities of Grant to Trump today). Bolton indeed is Captain Kangaroo, presiding over his Court as the Queen of No Hearts would in Alice's confrontation with British rule once she penetrates behind the facade of British Lockean empiricism. With insight only equalled to Lincoln's, who said "We can't fight two wars at once, so first the Confederacy and then the British," Trump has identified the fascist nexus within our government as that same British foe, a nexus led by Brennan, Rice, Clapper, Jarrett, et al, which works on behalf of what Eisenhower (another overlooked great President and General) called the Military Industrial Complex. The MIC is a British Intelligence deployment to fundamentally undermine our Constitution and put the US into a state of perpetual war and police surveillance. It is now over 70 years in the making, and is enforcing a new Cold War and attempted coup of our elected Government, and yet, it may have finally found its match, not just in Trump, but in Trump's intended cooperation with Putin of Russia and Xi of China. These three nations, along with Modi of India (just reelected) are a true threat to this rotten British system, from Fabian liberals to Bolton chickenhawks, the true enemy is this British System. If we move on that effectively, we may just have a chance to win this revolutionary moment now unfolding throughout the trans-Atlantic world. Let us return to JQA's community of principle for the entire world. Let us work with Trump to end this fascist British nexus. Let us celebrate our true heritage as Americans!

Litchfield , May 23, 2019 at 16:51

Your comments read with interesting and well taken.
BUT: The bottom line is that Trump hired Bolton (and Pompeo) and has wound him up and set him loose goosewalking across the globe.
Why?
The buck for Bolton's suicidal buffonery stops with Trump.
So, I can't see him as a genuine foe of the Deep State-MIC as you describe.

Michael Steger , May 23, 2019 at 18:10

Bolton is loyal to Trump, even though he is a failed chickenhawk. Look at McMaster, at the leaking, and outright betrayal of the President. Same with Tillerson, betrayal. Pompeo and Bolton have ridiculous views and bloated war rhetoric, but they're personally loyal, perhaps opportunistically, and even temporarily, but nonetheless right now they are, and when they're not, I bet they're gone. But Trump does control the policy. Look at North Korea, any war? Media said there would be, then worked to undermine a deal. Venezuela, war? They're talking in Norway now, how'd that happen? Syria, troops out? MIC, Dems and Media opposed, and Trump called them out for the first time since Eisenhower! Pompeo to Sochi to see Putin, progress. How'd that happen? Trump is fighting the MIC and too many good Americans are spinning so fast from the propaganda machine they can't see straight.

anon4d2 , May 24, 2019 at 18:40

Interesting, but it is easy for a president to fight the MIC: simply fire and arrest anyone who acts against efforts to control them. He could send any federal enforcement agency, FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, reserves, national guard, or even the Coast Guard, Secret Service, DC police, or private guards to arrest them and prosecute any resisters as traitors. It is not one man against the MIC.

And they cannot assassinate him once he has announced that intention, without exposing their hand and unleashing a generation of purges and strict controls. If he is surrounded by traitors, he has only to say that and fire the lot of them. He could leak that anonymously to Wikileaks or tweet it and they would be terrified.

Mork D , May 25, 2019 at 01:48

Bolton has been working DC bureaucracy like a pro for decades. He's using Trump like a marionette while he runs circles around the amateur. He was helping orchestrate foreign wars of choice back when Trump was still playing a pretend boss on TV. Bolton has no loyalty except as a facade for those he needs to suck up to.

Your examples of non-wars are terrific. Trump is amazing! – because he's running the government so badly that the State Dept doesn't know what the Pentagon is doing doesn't know and vice versa. He chose to ignore the Iran nuclear deal, which had prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons. So now, the Iranians declare (out of self defense) that they're now going to pursue nuclear weapons. Trump then says that he doesn't want to attack Iran, but they must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. This is a circular argument exactly of the type the MIC uses to engage in war. Pompeo then indicates that laughable, ineffectual attempts at sabotage are most likely Iranian. This grave threat to our nation can't even do enough damage to an oil tanker to make it take on water.

Just because someone fails to do something doesn't mean that they were against it the whole time. Maybe they're just awful at it. Sure, Trump says some things that are heartening to the anti-war and anti-interventionist crowd. But the next day he'll say something heartening to rabid neocons. He needs to grow a spine, but it's far too late. He's a dandy, a spoiled rich kid fop who's never had to answer for his mishaps, because why, when you have inherited money and a stout legal team?

anon4d2 , May 24, 2019 at 19:06

The idea that "the MIC is a British Intelligence deployment" is fantastical, as the US MIC is several times the size of UK's entire MIC, and such a secret could never be kept. The US MIC has engaged UK secret agencies to subvert the US Constitution by serving as agents to pass intercepted US communications back to the US to pretend that the MIC didn't do it, or that it was foreign intel. But that is a long way from UK controlling the US MIC.

There are certainly confluences of interests between the US and UK oligarchies, but I see no basis for the contention that "American submission to British Imperialism began with the end of Grant's administration" when the US prosecuted Britain for building the Alabama etc. to break the Union blockade, and was outraged that Britain considered recognition of the Confederacy until it lost at Gettysburg. The US under TR was not submitting to anyone when it sent the Great White Fleet on tour, or when it seized Cuba and the Philippines. Nor under Wilson when it stayed out of WWI until very late in the war, despite the Lusitania loss. Nor under FDR when it stayed out of WWII until attacked, despite the passionate pleas of Churchill.

Some detailed argument with credible references would be needed to support those assertions.

Zhu , May 25, 2019 at 01:44

Scapegoating is real popular with lefties & rughties alike. American Exceptionalism forbids we ever accept respobility for what we've done.

Zhu , May 25, 2019 at 01:45

No, the rest of humanity is not any better.

anon4d2 , May 25, 2019 at 06:48

The commenter was searching for causes, and some UK conspiracy is simply too far from any available evidence. In fact it much appears to be a wild attempt to distract from the obvious causes including zionism, which you pretend is "scapegoating." No, zionism is a principle corrupting factor in US politics, especially foreign policy.

If you don't see that, you must start learning the evidence, rather than relying on the presumption that it is mere scapegoating. Otherwise you are serving their wrongful and racist tribal purposes, and others will presume that you know that.

Oscar Shank , May 26, 2019 at 07:24

Zhu knows it.

Vera Gottlieb , May 23, 2019 at 14:56

How much more peaceful the life on our entire planet would be if the Americans weren't around.

Vonu , May 23, 2019 at 16:58

Extend that to all humans, and the head of PETA would support the project.

David G. Horsman , May 23, 2019 at 17:16

I doubt that. Nature hates a void.

Bethany , May 24, 2019 at 17:50

Exactly. Very well put.

Abe , May 23, 2019 at 14:19

Brazilian diplomat Jose Bustani, the first director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), only served about one year of his second term.

Bustani was forced out by the U.S. government in April 2002 because he wanted international chemical weapons monitors inside Iraq and thus was seen as impeding the US push for war against Iraq. The US accused Bustani of "advocacy of inappropriate roles for the OPCW".

Since 2011, the United Nations has stood by a US-Saudi-Israeli Axis financed and armed the mercenary terrorist forces attacked Syria. In addition to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, major support for terrorist mercenaries has provided via NATO-member state Turkey, as well as Jordan. Israel has launched repeated air attacks and provided direct support for terrorist forces in Syria.

From July 2010 to 2018, the Director-General of the OPCW was Turkish career diplomat Ahmet Uzumcu. Uzumcu served ambassador to Israel from 1999 to 2002, and as the Permanent Representative of Turkey to NATO between 2002 and 2004.

Turkey has been the primary channel for mercenary terrorist forces assaulting the Syrian state. The remaining terrorist forces in the Idlib Governorate continue to be supplied through Syria.

Since Uzumcu announced the creation of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria on 29 April 2014, not a single OPCW report has acknowledged these basic facts concerning the conflict in Syria.

Following a consensus recommendation by the OPCW Executive Council in October 2017. Spanish career diplomat Fernando Arias was appointed to replace Uzumcu as Director-General of the OPCW. Previously, Arias served as Ambassador of Spain to the Netherlands and the Permanent Representative of Spain to the OPCW. He also has served as Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations in New York.

Uzumcu, and now Bustani, obviously understand that the appropriate role of the OPCW is to provide propaganda support for "regime change" operations, and to say nothing contrary to the "narrative" endorsed by the US-Saudi-Israeli Axis.

David G. Horsman , May 23, 2019 at 17:52

The OPCW has certainly disgraced themselves in Syria. What a sham.

Randal Marlin , May 23, 2019 at 13:48

John Bolton's questioner in the second clip should have made the distinction between deception used to lead the country into war, and deception used to pursue a war already constitutionally declared and already underway.
In the first case there is a violation of democratic principle. When the people are the ultimate sovereign, they need to be properly informed. They can agree to deception, like where and when D-Day will occur, during war; but not in the case of leading the people into war. Lying to Congress is always unacceptable, and those who do lie to Congress should be made to suffer serious penalties.

zhenry , May 24, 2019 at 02:13

I read a report that the aircraft carrier strike force and preparation of 120,000 US troops, to Persian Gulf was ordered sometime ago and that Bolton took advantage of that fact to make it look that 'Bolton ordered it'?

vinnieoh , May 24, 2019 at 10:54

What I'd read is that the carrier strike force and bomber detachment were previously scheduled: there had been a previous drawdown and this deployment represents a return to a level similar to the end of the Iraq war, and that does sound like Bolton/Pompeo opportunism. The 120,000 troops plan sounds like something Bolton prodded pentagon scribes to produce. How to interpret when Bolton says that then Trump denies it, and then a new troop deployment (1% of the previous) is announced/suggested/leaked? I see it as Trump taking his dogs out for a walk to snarl at the neighbors.

David G , May 23, 2019 at 13:07

"Thus Bolton was the driving force to get a carrier strike force sent to the Persian Gulf and, according to The New York Times, on May 14, it was he who 'ordered' a Pentagon plan to prepare 120,000 U.S. troops for the Gulf."

That the National Security Advisor, irrespective of whether the job is currently held by a lunatic like Bolton, may be giving such orders should in and of itself be a subject of serious inquiry by Congress and the media.

The National Security Advisor is, as the title states, merely an advisor – not confirmed by the Senate, and therefore not, in constitutional terms, an "officer of the United States" with the authority to carry out the policy of the government. Other than his assistant fetching him lunch, nobody in government should be following Bolton's orders at all while he holds this job.

But this is nothing new. I had the same concern, on an even larger scale, during the first Bush Jr. administration when Cheney was running around reshaping the government in his own warped image. Despite the Vice President's elected status, he has no executive power under the Constitution – no power at all, in fact, except when sitting as President of the Senate. There was a time when everyone knew that.

With all the perennial crowing we see about the greatness of the Constitution, and the mewling about how Trump is degrading it, it would be nice if Congress and the media could spare a moment to care about whether the people giving orders to the world's largest military and covert/intelligence apparatus are legally empowered to do so.

Ash , May 23, 2019 at 17:17

> That the National Security Advisor, irrespective of whether the job is currently held by a lunatic like Bolton,
> may be giving such orders should in and of itself be a subject of serious inquiry by Congress and the media.

It does kind of have an Alexander Haig flavor to it, doesn't it?

David G , May 23, 2019 at 22:08

When Bolton gets up and says "I'm in control here", I'm definitely finding a rock to hide under.

Zenobia van Dongen , May 23, 2019 at 13:06

The question that Joe Lauria asked of John Bolton, i.e. "If the United States and Britain had not overthrown a democratically elected government in Iran in 1953 would the United States be today faced with a revolutionary government enriching uranium?" seems to imply that Iran seeks revenge against the US for the CIA's 1953 coup d'état against prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq.
However the current leaders of Iran are not entitled to consider themselves the heirs of Mossadeq, nor are they morally justified in avenging him, since the CIA coup relied largely on support from the very same clerical establishment that now rules Iran. As a matter of fact in the 1950s and 60s Shia clerics in Iran were routinely considered CIA agents. Consequently the Iranian elite's pretense of carrying on Mossadeq's anti-imperialist struggle is profoundly hypocritical. I grant that the current reactionary clique that governs Iran defends Iran's sovereignty against US imperialism as Mossadeq did. But the underlying concept of the Iranian nation is profoundly different. The present régime has no respect for the principles of democracy and popular sovereignty that pervaded Iran's anti-imperialist struggle in the 1950s and was derived from the democratic ideals of the Persian constitutionalist revolution of 1909.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Constitutional_Revolution
Indeed, Iran has no hesitation in crushing underfoot the aspirations to independence of other nations. It ruthlessly conducts ethnic cleansing in Syria, commits assassinations in South America, and in general behaves with imperialist ruthlessness that is moreover unmitigated by any concern for human rights or international law.

vinnieoh , May 23, 2019 at 14:27

As to your last paragraph please provide proof for your allegations. As to your second paragraph you assume to know the meaning behind the question Mr. Lauria asked. Could it be possible (this I believe is more likely) that what Mr. Lauria meant or realizes that absent the '53 coup would there now be an Islamic theocracy ruling Iran?

Again making the disclaimer that I'm no expert on the region or Iran particularly I have followed many leads of reading and investigation to understand the ramifications of that seminal event (the '53 coup.) What I believe I've understood is that Iran prior to and until the '53 coup was on its own unique trajectory of reclaiming its sovereignty and rejecting its status as a (UK) colonial vassal. There seemed to be a somewhat fluid acceptance of the rising democratic movement of Mosaddeq et. al., a fading nod to the former royal house, and an acceptance of Shiite religiosity of some considerable social legitimacy.

So, three centers of power and influence working its unique way to an unique Iranian future.

With the US/UK engineered coup the imperialists destroyed the legitimate democratic evolution happening there. With the re-installation of the Shah Reza Pahlavi as the puppet ruler of the US, that traditional center of power and legitimacy was likewise forever delegitimized in the eyes of most Iranians. That sentiment was cemented with the creation of SAVAK by the US, UK, and Israel to be the iron fist of the Shah and his new imperial master.

That left only one center of power or authority which retained legitimacy in the eyes of Iranians – the Shiite theocrats, and that is why when Iranians kicked the US out it was the Islamic theocracy doing the booting. You are correct that there was at least one Shiite cleric (I've forgotten his name,) jealous and fearful of the rising influence of democratic governance, who is a known and recorded collaborator with the US/UK machinations of the coup. Without the help of the US/UK his part in the affair would probably have been inconsequential.

It is not Iran that is funding and establishing Islamic madrasses in Pakistan, India, China, Indonesia, Africa and elsewhere. It is the Wahhabist Sunnis and they preach intolerance and violent jihad. Furthermore, of the total global population of adherents of Islam, 75% are Sunni affiliated, and 25% are Shiite affiliated. Those percentages hold true in the immediate region of the ME as well. The repeated claims of Iranian desires of empire are a shibboleth emanating from KSA and UAE.

Nick , May 23, 2019 at 15:36

The leaders of the Islamic Revolution used Mossadegh's image to help get people on board against the Shah, The National Front was allowed to be a party again for a short time, and a Street in Tehran was renamed post-revolution for Mohammad Mossadegh. This was a cynical ploy by the Mullahs to get people on board with their revolution and make people believe that they were indeed the true heirs of Mossadegh and committed to democracy. It was all a sham. The National Front was made illegal again at some point in the 80s, and the street named for Mossadegh was renamed around the same time. These people are the heirs of the Shah whether they like it or not.

anon4d2 , May 23, 2019 at 16:59

Joe's question points out that, had the US not overthrown Mossadegh, there would have been a secular democratic government. That is true throughout the Mideast, where in the 1950s-70s the US supported radical Islamic movements that suppressed secular movements and overthrew secular governments, pretending that the USSR was moving in. There was no evidence of USSR interest there, as it was preoccupied with such factions in its central Asian republics, and apparently only some arms from the USSR in Egypt were ever found as "evidence."

Similar US actions have continued to date, almost 30 years after the collapse of the USSR, the US always supporting fanatics against moderates like Assad and Ghaddafi, and pretending to support "democracy."

Compare the US support of Saudi Arabia, a fanatical fundamentalist monarchy engaged in terrorism throughout the region, including against their only neighbor that defends minority rights, Syria. Again falsely claiming the need to protect oil supply, which it can buy anywhere without bombing anyone, like any other oil buyer. Again falsely claiming to support democracy which it overthrows everywhere at the pleasure of its own oligarchy, always to "protect Israel" or attack socialism, which is always to get political bribes.

There is no evidence of any "ethnic cleansing" by Iran in Syria or elsewhere. Where do you get that idea? Iran is majority Shiah, defending the majority Sunni population of Syria from Sunni fundamentalists. You certainly have no evidence that Iran "commits assassinations in South America" or opposes "aspirations to independence of other nations" and made that up to deceive others. Your comments on this site have been knowingly false.

zhenry , May 24, 2019 at 03:44

The above, re the current Iranian religious govt, very informative, thankyou.
Re Joe's article I cannot take seriously that Trump is against war and the Deep State.
If Trumps rhetoric during his electioneering, supporting the middle class (deeply deprived after the US corporations abandoned them for low paid Chinese labour) was in any way honest he would not have chosen the cabinet he did (and keeps on choosing).
Trump has not chosen one cabinet member that would support that supposed sympathy for the middle class.
Reporting that assumes Trump is fighting for moderation (against his own cabinet) and to establish policies in the direction of that sympathy, is without evidence, it seems to me, regardless of what he might suggest to Fox News.

Vonu , May 23, 2019 at 17:00

"The present régime has no respect for the principles of democracy and popular sovereignty that pervaded Iran's anti-imperialist struggle in the 1950s and was derived from the democratic ideals of the Persian constitutionalist revolution of 1909."
And the American government has equal respect for the Constitution.

David , May 23, 2019 at 12:56

Bolton didn't order a carrier group to the Persian Gulf. He doesn't have the authority. The carrier group left because of the deployment was already planned. Bolton does not have the power that has been ascribed to him. He is a grandiose clown who knows how to play the press. I don't think he will have his job six months from now.

David G , May 23, 2019 at 12:16

"At the time of Bolton's appointment in April 2018, Tom Countryman predicted to The Intercept that if Iran resumed enrichment after the U.S. left the deal, it 'would be the kind of excuse that a person like Bolton would look to to create a military provocation or direct attack on Iran.' In response to ever tightening sanctions, Iran said that it would indeed restart partial nuclear enrichment."

Two problems with this part of the article:

• The link in the main text here goes to an Intercept article about Bolton, but it has no mention of Tom Countryman, or even of Iran.

• It isn't accurate to say that Iran may now, or is saying it will, "resume" or "restart" nuclear enrichment, since it never ceased, nor did it ever commit to cease, such activity. The JCPOA merely imposed strict *limits* and monitoring on nuclear enrichment and stockpiling, some of which Iran is saying it will now depart from.

I also disagree with the imputation elsewhere in the article that Donald Trump has a good understanding of real estate. His disastrous, decades-long record in that business suggests otherwise. But I suppose some people will always believe what they see on TV.

lou e , May 23, 2019 at 12:06

Creeping fascism works like fishing with a rod and reel. You hook the fish and it runs off 100 ft of line . You reel in 50 ft and the fish takes 30 feet back. Do the Math! Some times burning down the village IS the only way to get rid of the infestation. Bit hard on the USSA, but as Ben Franklin put it you have a democratic republic IF ypu can Keep It.

Herman , May 23, 2019 at 11:56

Remember at an earlier time with Bolton, someone described him as a kiss up kick down kind of guy, i.e., a real jerk. I defended Trump against Russiagate because it was a threat to the office of the president. Unless, he gets his head straight, his "political" moves in the Middle East and Southwest Asia can spin out of control. He is not negotiating a new deal with some city to build another hotel, and his rhetoric makes him sound like that is the way he thinks he should act with other countries.

One can defend him by saying maybe it will work, but then maybe not and it is not a matter of your target taking his papers and leaving the room.

Great article, Mr. Lauria. Have you posted your resume on your site? Interested in your confrontation with Bolton.

Trump wants to be reelected more that being the President but in his defense we know what he will face if he decides to enter into honest negotiations. He's going to have a heck of a time finding people to cover his back. He can count on one presidential aspirant, Tulsi Gabbard but she's on the other side.

Jeff Harrison , May 23, 2019 at 11:42

If we have to rely on Thump for anything other than social controls, we're screwed.

David G , May 23, 2019 at 11:40

These personal reminiscences of Bolton at the U.N. by Joe Lauria unfortunately only confirm the man's very public record. The fact that such a creature has been accepted for so long in the heart of U.S. foreign "policy" is yet more evidence that the country's crisis of political culture started long before Trump came on the scene.

I don't quite accept the slight comfort implied in the formulations here that this time Bolton has "gone too far", or "flown too high", since to me they imply that there is some moral or rational bedrock that he has struck beneath which the establishment is not willing to go.

I don't think that's true, as a general proposition. For example, the U.S. continues less noisily but inexorably on its long-term collision course with China, which will be even more catastrophic than war with Iran, not to mention the ultimate one with the planet's environmental limits.

For me it's enough that, for a number of contingent reasons, Bolton's (and MBS's and Netanyahu's) lunge at Iran has fallen flat with both U.S. and European policy and media elites – for now, and I hope forever.

jessika , May 23, 2019 at 11:26

I just called WH 202-456-1111 to tell President Trump that Bolton should be fired; had to wait 8 min to talk. Trump certainly has lots of problems, but he'll have plenty more if he starts a war! Pox Americana!

Litchfield , May 23, 2019 at 16:58

Great idea.
I'll do the same.

vinnieoh , May 23, 2019 at 11:04

Thank you Mr. Lauria. I'm tending to believe that not only has Bolton flown too high, but Trump's predictable method of trying to get what he wants was completely miscalculated wrt Iran. There is no better treaty or deal to be had concerning keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The failures of the JCPOA that Trump is probably griping about all have to do with matters of Iran's necessary and legitimate right to security and self-defense. No sane nation would willingly give in to this bullying. Thanks again.

vinnieoh , May 23, 2019 at 11:44

Also, wrt Trump's predictable patterns, note that little if anything has changed regarding the US and the DPRK, so if he is a crafty and effective negotiator I'm having a hard time seeing it.

David G. Horsman , May 23, 2019 at 18:22

Good example Vinnieoh. NK and SK are reaching out and (more importantly) shoving out the US. More winning.

I love Trump. He is useful. Fascism, NAFTA, generic racism you name it, he really shines a light on issues.

Here again. (Currently) SA, GAZA, Israel, Syria and of course Iran. Hell, the entire region. What a train wreck he is.

What about the dollar? The EU? Yikes.

By gosh this man could single handedly take down an empire! MAGA!

O Society , May 23, 2019 at 10:47

Well done, Joe Lauria. Of course our dilemma is Donald Trump says one thing and contradicts himself 5 minutes later. You could say he "changes his mind" but I do not think his mind is stable to begin with. He's far too nuts to put any faith in for "doing the right thing,"

Bolton and his neoconservative pox on the world serve the interests of the war machine and fossil fuel corporations. When will be rid of them? When We the People grow a set of testicles and throw them all into prison. Trump isn't going to save us, but he might let Bolton get us all killed.

Time for the people to rise.

http://opensociet.org/2019/05/19/the-interlocking-crises-of-war-climate-chaos

Piotr Berman , May 23, 2019 at 11:31

Seems that Trump is so small minded that what we observe cannot be explained mechanistically, we need quantum mechanics. Rather that a particular state of mind we have a stochastic distribution, wave patterns and spin.

Marc R Hapke , May 23, 2019 at 14:34

Great analogy

O Society , May 23, 2019 at 12:39

The expert says what's going on in Trump's mind is solipsism and I agree with him:

https://opensociet.org/2018/07/07/assault-on-reality-solipsism-whats-wrong-with-donald-trump-part-1/

Sam F , May 23, 2019 at 13:12

Yes, Joe Lauria has presented the problem very well.

A major factor is certainly the persuasiveness of the NSC and other MIC entities which surround the president, and comprise much of official DC. Try persuading anyone in the MIC that war is ever inappropriate: they are all full of extreme scorn and false accusations, and have endless "evidence" of threats behind every tree, and rationales to attack this or at least that, just to make "statements" and "warnings" to invisible foreign monsters. The MIC is a completely and permanently logic-proof subculture of bullying, which bullies every member of its own tribe to line up behind tyrants like Bolton and a million other puerile bullies devoid of humanity.

No doubt you know that this was all well understood by the founders of the US, who restricted federal military powers to repelling invasions and knew that any standing military was a threat to democracy. The Federalist Papers should be required reading in the US. All of those understandings were gradually lost after the War of 1812 and the 1820s, as the founders died off. As the US became confident that it could repel any invasion, it lost the sense of the necessity of unity and cooperation of regions, and Congress degenerated into a battle of intransigent factions leading to the completely unnecessary Civil War. With the ebullient emergence of the middle class, no effort was made to correct the defects of the Constitution in failing to protect the institutions of democracy from the rising power of economic concentrations. With WWI and WWII, the power of oligarchy over mass media was consolidated, and by WWII the oligarchy and MIC effectively controlled elections, mass media, and the judiciary, the tools of democracy. Democracy has been a facade ever since.

The US has zero security problems that the MIC has not created, and could at any time re-purpose 80% of the MIC to developing infrastructure in the poorest nations with positive effects upon its security. Had it done so since WWII, we would have rescued the poorest half of humanity from poverty, ignorance, malnutrition, and disease, and would have had a true American Century. Instead we have killed over 20 million innocents and mortgaged the lives of our children to serve the infantile psychopaths of the MIC.

The solution is not only to eliminate the 2000-member NSC, cut the military by at least 80 percent, prohibit acts of war or surveillance by the executive branch, tax the rich so that no one has income above upper middle class, and demand amendments to the Constitution restricting funding of the mass media and elections to limited and registered individual donations. We also desperately need a fourth branch of federal government, which I am calling the College of Policy Debate, to conduct moderated textual debates of policy issues in all regions, protecting and representing every viewpoint, in which all views are challenged and must respond, and all parties must come to common terms. The CPD should produce commented debate summaries available to the public with mini-quizzes and discussion groups. Without that rational analysis and access to the core debates, we do not have a democracy at all, we are all no more than the fools and pawns of these oligarchy scammers, who must be actively excluded from all government capacities.

Sorry for the lecture.

Linda Wood , May 24, 2019 at 01:59

Please don't apologize, Sam F. Your brilliant and humane words give me hope at a time in which I am in shock at the blatancy of fascism in our government.

Doggrotter , May 23, 2019 at 10:33

Where is a drone strike when you need one?

OlyaPola , May 23, 2019 at 10:23

" seemed to always think he was the smartest person in the room."

Useful fools are often most useful when they are believers that they are not fools.

Once upon a time there was a discussion of which of the opponents' should be proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize – the list being relatively long.

After extensive analysis and discussion the short-list consisted of two opponents in alphabetical order Mr. John Bolton and Mr. Karl Rove.

However in light of the notion "Do you think your opponents are as stupid as you are? " the proposal question was left in abeyance, not only as a function of decorum but also through understanding that "Useful fools are often most useful when they are believers that they are not fools." and that even small dogs can seem tall when you are lying on your stomach.

OlyaPola , May 24, 2019 at 17:33

Since omniscience can't exist perhaps Mr. Bolton was/is subject to misrepresentation and misunderstanding?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6l6vqPUM_FE&list=RDXIOSOlqMaj8&index=17

bobzz , May 23, 2019 at 10:12

"Pompeo told a radio interviewer after the briefing that the U.S. had still not determined who attacked two Saudi, a Norwegian and an Emirati oil tanker in the Gulf last week, which bore the hallmarks of a provocation. Pompeo said "it seems like it's quite possible that Iran was behind" the attacks."

What possible advantage could accrue to Iran from putting a few dents in the ships? Smells of another false flag.

Piotr Berman , May 23, 2019 at 11:46

I would not be so sure. A delicate signal that Iran has more capabilities concerning stopping in-out-Gulf traffic than naive people like Bolton realize has a sobering potential. By the way of contrast, what kind of black flag it is if it is instantly put in doubt, "we do not know" etc. When there were "chemical incidents" in Syria, no one in Washington claimed the need for more facts, uncertainty etc.

Instead, UAE initially denied that it happened at all, subsequently, together with KSA, they did not have any "certain knowledge". Somehow no government appears to promote the incident. Even USA.

BTW, the allegation that Iran is placing missiles on fishing boats staggers the mind. First of all, "missile boats" of which Iran has plenty are small ships, BUT NOT VERY small, ca. 500-800 tons, which are fast, 40 kt, but not as fast as their predecessors, torpedo boats (200-300 tons, 50-60 kt). They are still faster than any of the larger naval vessels, can trail them, and attack from small distance in the case of start of hostilities. That Iran places missiles on such boats can be learned from videos proudly provided by PressTV.ir.

Using "fishing boats" for that purpose is dubious, and the largest question mark would be: WHY? The reason that missile boats are larger and heavier than torpedo boats is that you need more stability to launch missiles than torpedoes. Then you need a radar etc. Placing missiles on fishing boats would be a waste of missiles. Hardly an escalation.

OlyaPola , May 23, 2019 at 12:47

"Hardly an escalation."

Perhaps you are being deflected by framing?

One of the escalations is the escalation of belief in, requirement of, and resort to, the dumbed-downess of the "target audience".

One of the salient questions being deflected is why, and as ever investigation requires some knowledge of Mr. Heisenberg and his principles.

mark , May 23, 2019 at 22:34

Perhaps the Iranians are putting missiles on fishing boats to stun the fish and catch them that way. Fishing boats aren't exactly very fast.

Thomas , May 23, 2019 at 12:21

Anyone who actually believes the oil tanker incidents were carried by Iran should seek an immediate consultation with their doctor. These blatant false flags clearly are the work of fools and Iranians are not fools.

Brian , May 23, 2019 at 17:22

Exactly. According navel personnel, Iran has been using fishing boats to transfer rockets from land to it's vessels for years, supposedly because the gulf is too shallow. I don't have hydrographic maps of the area, anyone know if this is true?

Piotr Berman , May 23, 2019 at 23:33

Clearly, Persian Gulf has routes for the largest ships on Earth, but the supply bases for missiles may be away from ports, and it would make sense to place them so they are not easily accessible to a big ship navy, and in general, to disperse them.

Tim , May 26, 2019 at 06:43

"Thomas"

> These blatant false flags clearly are the work of fools

Since neither you nor I know who did it, and there are a whole slew of plausible suspects, we don't know why they did it, either. So it is silly to claim they are fools.

Since the Saudis and UAE are in the midst of waging war on Yemen, the most obvious suspects are their enemies there, al-Ansara.

(And by the way, contrary to what another commentator claimed, it was not a "few dents", but a gaping hole in the hull just below the waterline. And since the local authorities spoke of an impact by an unidentified object, these were presumably torpedo strikes.)

OlyaPola , May 26, 2019 at 07:58

"What possible advantage could accrue to Iran from putting a few dents in the ships?"

Quite a few including but not limited to further data on the opponents' perception of what constitutes plausible belief for the opponents' target audience, and the opponents' increasing resort to, amplitude, scope and velocity of "misrepresentations".

As is the case with the benefits of dumbing down not accruing solely to those actively engaged in dumbing down, the benefits of creation and implementation of "false flags" do not accrue solely to those engaged in "false flags", and are enhanced when the creators and implementers of "false flags" are immersed in amalga of projection and notions of sole/prime agency, facilitating potential benefits to many others not restricted to Iran.

[May 20, 2019] Venezuela Exposes the Myth of John Bolton's "Genius" by Martin Sieff

May 20, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

The fiasco of the latest obviously unsuccessful US attempt to topple twice democratically-elected President Nicolas Maduro made a laughing stock of the US government throughout the world and is now exposing new splits in the Trump administration in Washington. It is also exposing a dangerous but also ridiculous myth that Washington has credulously swallowed for generations – the idea that National Security Adviser John Bolton is actually competent.

No one among the carefully trained castrated geldings of the US mainstream news media and their pseudo-liberal and libertarian outliers has ever dared to ask how able Bolton actually is. He is held in awe and even fear for his supposed brilliant intellect and for his undoubted energy and relentless determination to push the policies he supports with tunnel vision and fanatical relentlessness as hard as he can.

Yet given such undeniable "qualities" what is truly astonishing is how useless Bolton has been in pursuing his own primary foreign policy goals for more than 40 years. He failed to prevent the first president to take him seriously, Ronald Reagan to conduct sweeping nuclear arms reductions with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and to push ahead with Gorbachev to dismantle the Cold War. These policies were anathema to Bolton who prophesied – falsely – that war and catastrophe would flow from them. But Reagan ignored him and pushed them through anyway.

Now Bolton has destroyed Reagan's legacy of peace by convincing current President Donald Trump to scrap one of Reagan's greatest achievement, the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

He succeeded in helping provoke the US invasion, conquest and occupation of Iraq under President George W. Bush in 2003 but failed to persuade even Bush, Junior and his top foreign policy adviser, National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to pull out of any arms control treaties whatsoever.

Then, the Iraq misadventure was so appallingly bungled that Bolton failed to get any traction whatsoever for his priority project of toppling the government of Iran, even if it took a full scale war to do it.

In Washington, even Bolton's greatest critics among libertarians and paleo-conservatives have spoken for decades with awe of his supposed brilliant intellect, command of all details, endless energy and ability to read and keep track of everything. But now, the latest failed coup in Venezuela instead reveals an ignorant, simplistic rash adventurer and gambler who charges head on into dangerous situations and who relies on bullying and bluster alone to get his way.

Bolton showed none of the ruthless, devious subtlety of a Dwight D. Eisenhower in masterminding a coup and fragrant breach of international law without appearing to have anything to do with it (a skill which Ronald Reagan, though far less masterful than the revered Eisenhower also attempted in Iran-Contra).

Bolton's fingerprints were all over the hard-charging policy of propping up ridiculous Juan Guiado as America's cardboard cutout puppet to run Venezuela, even though he had no credibility whatsoever.

Bolton is in fact is an awesomely bad judge of choosing his own allies in other countries. His combination of recklessness and vanity means he is always a sucker for whatever smooth-talking sociopath can worm his way into his presence.

This explains how the late, unlamented Ahmed Chalabi was able to convince Bolton and his neocon friends that he (Chalabi)) would be welcomed by tens of millions of Iraqis as soon the US armed forces invaded ("liberated" was the politically approved term) his country and how Zalmay Khalizad, a catastrophic clown, was acclaimed as an infallible guru on Afghanistan.

Bolton is widely known to have no small talk, private interests, charm or social skills whatsoever. Far from confirming his "genius", as his many worshipful courtiers claim, this only confirms his haplessness.

If Bolton played poker he would be skinned alive. He cannot read people and being an obsessive courtier and flatterer himself, he always falls flat on his face for the flattery of others. The arch-manipulator is in reality the easiest of figures to manipulate.

Once the strange miasma of worshipful myth is stripped from Bolton, all the confusions and bungles of the April 30 Coup That Never Was in Venezuela become clear.

[May 18, 2019] Is John Bolton the most dangerous man in the world? by Ben Armbruster

May 18, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

The US is closer to war with Iran than it has been since the Bush years, or perhaps ever. And Bolton is largely to blame

But Bolton is on a fast track, seemingly aware that Trump's time in office may be limited.' Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton wants the United States to go to war with Iran .

We know this because he has been saying it for nearly two decades .

And everything that the Trump administration has done over its Iran policy, particularly since Bolton became Trump's top foreign policy adviser in April of 2018, must be viewed through this lens, including the alarming US military posturing in the Middle East of the past two weeks.

Just after one month on the job, Bolton gave Trump the final push he needed to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, which at the time was (and still is, for now) successfully boxing in Iran's nuclear program and blocking all pathways for Iran to build a bomb. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – as the Iran deal is formally known – was the biggest obstacle to Bolton's drive for a regime change war, because it eliminated a helpful pretext that served so useful to sell the war in Iraq 17 years ago.

Since walking away from the deal, the Trump administration has claimed that with a "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, it can achieve a "better deal" that magically turns Iran into a Jeffersonian democracy bowing to every and any American wish. But this has always been a fantastically bad-faith argument meant to obscure the actual goal (regime change) and provide cover for the incremental steps – the crushing sanctions, bellicose rhetoric, and antagonizing military maneuvers – that have now put the United States closer to war with Iran than it has been since at least the latter half of the Bush administration, or perhaps ever.

And Bolton has no qualms about manipulating or outright ignoring intelligence to advance his agenda, which is exactly what's happening right now.

In his White House statement 10 days ago announcing (an already pre-planned) carrier and bomber deployment to the Middle East, Bolton cited "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings" from Iran to justify the bolstered US military presence. But multiple sources who have seen the same intelligence have since said that Bolton and the Trump administration blew it "out of proportion, characterizing the threat as more significant than it actually was". Even a British general operating in the region pushed back this week, saying he has seen no evidence of an increased Iranian threat.

What's even more worrying is that Bolton knows what he's doing. He's "a seasoned bureaucratic infighter who has the skills to press forcefully for his views" – and he has a long history of using those skills to undermine American diplomacy and work toward killing arms control agreements.

As a senior official in the George W Bush administration, he played key role in the collapse of the Agreed Framework, the Clinton-era deal that froze North Korea's plutonium nuclear program (the North Koreans tested their first bomb four years later).

He said he "felt like a kid on Christmas day" after he orchestrated the US withdrawal from the international criminal court in 2002. And now as a senior official in the Trump administration, he pushed for the US to withdrawal from a crucial nuclear arms treaty with Russia.

While it's unclear how much of a role he played in scuttling Trump's negotiations with Kim Jong-un in Hanoi last year, he publicly called for the so-called "Libya model" with the North Koreans (in other words, regime change by force). Just months before joining the administration, he tried to make the legal case for a preventive war against Pyongyang. And if you think he cares about the aftermath of war with North Korea, he doesn't. Bolton was reportedly "unmoved" by a presentation during his time in the Bush administration of the catastrophic consequences of such a war. "I don't do war. I do policy," he said then.

So far, Bolton has been successful in moving the United States toward his desired outcome with Iran – if getting the Pentagon to draw up plans to send 120,000 US troops to the region to confront Iran is any indication. There are hopeful signs that we can avoid war, as US officials and our European allies, seemingly alarmed by what Bolton is up to, are sounding the alarm about the Trump administration skewing intelligence on Iran.

But Bolton is on a fast track, seemingly aware that Trump's time in office may be limited. The question, ultimately, is whether the president can stick to his instincts of avoiding more military conflict, or acquiesce to a man hellbent on boxing him into a corner with no way out other than war with Iran.

Ben Armbruster is the communications director for Win Without War and previously served as National Security Editor at ThinkProgress

[May 13, 2019] It's time for Trump to stop John Bolton and Mike Pompeo from sabotaging his foreign policy Mulshine

Bolton power over Trump is connected to Adelson power over Trump. To think about Bolton as pure advisor is to seriously underestimate his role and influence.
Notable quotes:
"... But I always figured you needed to keep the blowhards under cover so they wouldn't stick their feet in their mouths and that the public position jobs should go to the smoothies..You, know, diplomats who were capable of some measure of subtlety. ..."
"... A clod like Bolton should be put aside and assigned the job of preparing position papers and a lout Like Pompeo should be a football coach at RoosterPoot U. ..."
"... "Once he's committed to a war in the Mideast, he's just screwed," ..."
"... Not only Trump, at the same time the swamp creatures risk losing control over the Democrat primaries, too. With a new major war in the Mideast, Tulsi Gabbard's core message of non-interventionism will resonate a lot more, and that will lower the chances of the corporate DNC picks. A dangerous gamble. ..."
"... The other day I was thinking to myself that if Trump decides to dismiss Bolton or Pompeo, especially given how terrible Venezuela, NKorea, and Iran policies have turned out (clearly at odds with his non-interventionist campaign platform), who would he appoint as State Sec and NS adviser? and since Bolton was personally pushed to Trump by Adelson in exchange for campaign donation, would there be a backlash from the Jewish Republican donors and the loss of support? I think in both cases Trump is facing with big dilemmas. ..."
"... Tulsi for Sec of State 2020... ..."
"... Keeping Bolton and Pompeo on board is consistent with Trump's negotiating style. He is full of bluster and demands to put the other side in a defensive position. I guess it was a successful strategy for him so he continues it. Many years ago I was across the table from Trump negotiating the sale of the land under the Empire State Building which at the time was owned by Prudential even though Trump already had locked up the actual building. I just sat there, impassively, while Trump went on with his fire and fury. When I did not budge, he turned to his Japanese financial partner and said "take care of this" and walked out of the room. Then we were able to talk and negotiate in a logical manner and consumate a deal that was double Trump's negotiating bid. I learned later he was furious with his Japanese partner for failing to "win". ..."
"... You can still these same traits in the way that Trump thinks about other countries - they can be cajoled or pushed into doing what Trump wants. If the other countries just wait Trump out they can usually get a much better deal. Bolton and Pompeo, as Blusterers, are useful in pursuing the same negotiation style, for better or worse, Trump has used for probably for the last 50 years. ..."
"... I have seen this style of negotiations work on occasion. The most important lesson I've learned is the willingness to walk. I'm not sure that Trump's personal style matters that much in complex negotiations among states. There's too many people and far too many details. ..."
"... Having the neocons front & center on his foreign policy team I believe has negative consequences for him politically. IMO, he won support from the anti-interventionists due to his strong campaign stance. While they may be a small segment in America in a tight race they could matter. ..."
"... Additionally as Col. Lang notes the neocons could start a shooting match due to their hubris and that can always escalate and go awry. We can only hope that he's smart enough to recognize that. I remain convinced that our fawning allegiance to Bibi is central to many of our poor strategic decision making. ..."
"... I agree that this is Trump's style but what he does not seem to understand is that in using jugheads like these guys on the international scene he may precipitate a war when he really does not want one. ..."
"... "Perhaps the biggest lie the mainstream media have tried to get over on the American public is the idea that it is conservatives, that start wars. That's total nonsense of course. Almost all of America's wars in the 20th century were stared by liberal Democrats." ..."
"... Exceptions are: Korea? (Eisenhower); Grenada? (Reagan); Iraq? (Bush Sr.) ..."
"... So what exactly is Pussy John, then, just a Yosemite Sam-type bureaucrat with no actual portfolio, so to speak? I defer to your vastly greater knowledge of these matters, but at times it sure seems like they are pursuing a rear-guard action as the US Empire shrinks ..."
"... If were Lavrov, what would I think to myself were I to find myself on the other side of a phone call from PJ or the Malignant Manatee? ..."
May 12, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
It's time for Trump to stop John Bolton and Mike Pompeo from sabotaging his foreign policy | Mulshine

"I put that question to another military vet, former Vietnam Green Beret Pat Lang.

"Once he's committed to a war in the Mideast, he's just screwed," said Lang of Trump.

But Lang, who later spent more than a decade in the Mideast, noted that Bolton has no direct control over the military.

"Bolton has a problem," he said. "If he can just get the generals to obey him, he can start all the wars he wants. But they don't obey him."

They obey the commander-in-chief. And Trump has a history of hiring war-crazed advisors who end up losing their jobs when they get a bit too bellicose. Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley comes to mind."

" In Lang's view, anyone who sees Trump as some sort of ideologue is missing the point.

"He's an entrepreneurial businessman who hires consultants for their advice and then gets rid of them when he doesn't want that advice," he said.

So far that advice hasn't been very helpful, at least in the case of Bolton. His big mouth seems to have deep-sixed Trump's chance of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. And that failed coup in Venezuela has brought up comparisons to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion during the Kennedy administration." Mulshine

--------------

Well, pilgrims, I worked exclusively on the subject of the Islamic culture continent for the USG from 1972 to 1994 and then in business from 1994 to 2006. I suppose I am still working on the subject. pl

https://www.nj.com/opinion/2019/05/its-time-for-trump-to-stop-john-bolton-and-mike-pompeo-from-sabotaging-his-foreign-policy-mulshine.html


JJackson , 12 May 2019 at 04:11 PM

What is happening with Trump's Syrian troop withdrawal? Someone seems to have spiked that order fairly effectively.
tony , 12 May 2019 at 05:12 PM
I don't get it I suppose. I'd always thought that maybe you wanted highly opinionated Type A personalities in the role of privy council, etc. You know, people who could forcefully advocate positions in closed session meetings and weren't afraid of taking contrary positions. But I always figured you needed to keep the blowhards under cover so they wouldn't stick their feet in their mouths and that the public position jobs should go to the smoothies..You, know, diplomats who were capable of some measure of subtlety.

But these days it's the loudmouths who get these jobs, to our detriment. When will senior govt. leaders understand that just because a person is a success in running for Congress doesn't mean he/she should be sent forth to mingle with the many different personalities and cultures running the rest of the world?

A clod like Bolton should be put aside and assigned the job of preparing position papers and a lout Like Pompeo should be a football coach at RoosterPoot U.

turcopolier -> tony... , 12 May 2019 at 06:55 PM
No. I would like to see highly opinionated Type B personalities like me hold those jobs. Type B does not mean you are passive. It means you are not obsessively competitive.
ex-PFC Chuck said in reply to tony... , 12 May 2019 at 08:06 PM
What do you expect when the boss himself is a loud-mouthed blowhard?
rho , 12 May 2019 at 06:34 PM
"Once he's committed to a war in the Mideast, he's just screwed,"

Not only Trump, at the same time the swamp creatures risk losing control over the Democrat primaries, too. With a new major war in the Mideast, Tulsi Gabbard's core message of non-interventionism will resonate a lot more, and that will lower the chances of the corporate DNC picks. A dangerous gamble.

E Publius , 12 May 2019 at 06:55 PM
Interesting post, thank you sir. Prior to this recent post I had never heard of Paul Mulshine. In fact I went through some of his earlier posts on Trump's foreign policy and I found a fair amount of common sense in them. He strikes me as a paleocon, like Pat Buchanan, Paul Craig Roberts, Michael Scheuer, Doug Bandow, Tucker Carlson and others in that mold.

The other day I was thinking to myself that if Trump decides to dismiss Bolton or Pompeo, especially given how terrible Venezuela, NKorea, and Iran policies have turned out (clearly at odds with his non-interventionist campaign platform), who would he appoint as State Sec and NS adviser? and since Bolton was personally pushed to Trump by Adelson in exchange for campaign donation, would there be a backlash from the Jewish Republican donors and the loss of support? I think in both cases Trump is facing with big dilemmas.

My best hope is that Trump teams up with libertarians and maybe even paleocons to run his foreign policy. So far Trump has not succeeded in draining the Swamp. Bolton, Pompeo and their respective staff "are" indeed the Swamp creatures and they run their own policies that run against Trump's America First policy. Any thoughts?

Rick Merlotti said in reply to E Publius... , 13 May 2019 at 10:17 AM
Tulsi for Sec of State 2020...
jdledell , 13 May 2019 at 09:23 AM
Keeping Bolton and Pompeo on board is consistent with Trump's negotiating style. He is full of bluster and demands to put the other side in a defensive position. I guess it was a successful strategy for him so he continues it. Many years ago I was across the table from Trump negotiating the sale of the land under the Empire State Building which at the time was owned by Prudential even though Trump already had locked up the actual building. I just sat there, impassively, while Trump went on with his fire and fury. When I did not budge, he turned to his Japanese financial partner and said "take care of this" and walked out of the room. Then we were able to talk and negotiate in a logical manner and consumate a deal that was double Trump's negotiating bid. I learned later he was furious with his Japanese partner for failing to "win".

You can still these same traits in the way that Trump thinks about other countries - they can be cajoled or pushed into doing what Trump wants. If the other countries just wait Trump out they can usually get a much better deal. Bolton and Pompeo, as Blusterers, are useful in pursuing the same negotiation style, for better or worse, Trump has used for probably for the last 50 years.

Jack said in reply to jdledell... , 13 May 2019 at 02:14 PM
I have seen this style of negotiations work on occasion. The most important lesson I've learned is the willingness to walk. I'm not sure that Trump's personal style matters that much in complex negotiations among states. There's too many people and far too many details. I see he and his trade team not buckling to the Chinese at least not yet despite the intense pressure from Wall St and the big corporations.

Having the neocons front & center on his foreign policy team I believe has negative consequences for him politically. IMO, he won support from the anti-interventionists due to his strong campaign stance. While they may be a small segment in America in a tight race they could matter.

Additionally as Col. Lang notes the neocons could start a shooting match due to their hubris and that can always escalate and go awry. We can only hope that he's smart enough to recognize that. I remain convinced that our fawning allegiance to Bibi is central to many of our poor strategic decision making.

rho said in reply to jdledell... , 13 May 2019 at 04:33 PM
jdledell

Just out of curiosity: Did the deal go through in the end, despite Trump's ire? Or was Trump so furious with the negotiating result of his Japanese partner that he tore up the draft once it was presented to him?

turcopolier , 13 May 2019 at 11:17 AM
jdledell

I agree that this is Trump's style but what he does not seem to understand is that in using jugheads like these guys on the international scene he may precipitate a war when he really does not want one.

Outrage Beyond , 13 May 2019 at 11:51 AM
Mulshine's article has some good points, but he does include some hilariously ignorant bits which undermine his credibility.

"Jose Gomez Rivera is a Jersey guy who served in the State Department in Venezuela at the time of the coup that brought the current socialist regime to power."

Wrong. Maduro was elected and international observers seem to agree the election was fair.

"Perhaps the biggest lie the mainstream media have tried to get over on the American public is the idea that it is conservatives, that start wars. That's total nonsense of course. Almost all of America's wars in the 20th century were stared by liberal Democrats."

Exceptions are: Korea? (Eisenhower); Grenada? (Reagan); Iraq? (Bush Sr.)

O'Shawnessey , 13 May 2019 at 01:21 PM
So what exactly is Pussy John, then, just a Yosemite Sam-type bureaucrat with no actual portfolio, so to speak? I defer to your vastly greater knowledge of these matters, but at times it sure seems like they are pursuing a rear-guard action as the US Empire shrinks and shudders in its death throes underneath them, and at others it seems like they really have no idea what to do, other than engage in juvenile antics, snort some glue from a paper bag and set fires in the dumpsters behind the Taco Bell before going out into a darkened field somewhere to violate farm animals.

If were Lavrov, what would I think to myself were I to find myself on the other side of a phone call from PJ or the Malignant Manatee?

turcopolier , 13 May 2019 at 01:21 PM
O'Shaunessy - He is an adviser who has no power except over his own little staff. The president has the power, not Bolton.

[May 13, 2019] John Bolton is the problem

May 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

Sunburst says: May 10, 2019 at 3:22 am GMT

U.S. Foreign Policy used to have only two instruments in dealing with rest of the world, namely carrots and sticks. Since the fall of Soviet Union and certainly after 9/11, only sticks remain. Now the World including the so-called allies are getting tired of the threats and start ignoring the Empire, hence the diminishing effectiveness, paving the way for polymorphic World. This transition is fraught with dangers as pointed out by the Author.

SeekerofthePresence , says: May 10, 2019 at 11:18 pm GMT

Lovely post by Ret. Col. Douglas Macgregor on the end of empire:
"John Bolton is the problem"
"Trump's national security adviser is getting dangerous particularly to the president's ideals"
Douglas Macgregor
https://spectator.us/john-bolton-problem/

Could also be titled, "How to Exhaust an Empire."
Sun Tzu warned of the same demise in the "Art of War."
Didn't they used to teach that book at West Point?

FB , says: Website May 11, 2019 at 12:44 am GMT
@El Dato And also the 90 minute Trump-Putin phone call, where Venezuela was the main subject

From the way I understand Trump's comments afterward, it seems the military option is off the table the two presidents agreed that humanitarian aid is the priority

This is great news I have to give Trump credit here Justin Raimondo presciently opined a week ago that Trump may have been giving the 'walrus' just enough rope on Venezuela to hang himself

I have to wonder what Vlad whispered in carrot top's ear

'Come on man you can do it BE A BOSS '

LOL

J. Gutierrez , says: May 11, 2019 at 10:23 am GMT
When we take a close look at the American Government and it's elected officials, we can only come to one conclusion. The US is a thriving criminal enterprise that uses force to get what they want. The military's role is that of enforcers and the US President is no different than a Mafia Don. In no other time in US history has Government and Organized Criminal Gangs been so indistinguishable. George H.W. Bush with his New World Order announcements, his CIA drug dealing operations and military invasion of Panama to steal the drug cartel's money deposited in that county's banks, came close. Bill Clinton working with George H.W. Bush protecting drug shipments smuggled into Mena, AK, the cover up of murdered witnesses and numerous sexual assault allegations also came pretty close.

But when George W. Bush, Dick Chaney, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld came into power, that was a Mafia if there was ever one. That group of criminals stole more money and murdered more people than any criminal organization in history. They even conned the American people into believing some rag-heads in Afghanistan hiding in caves did it. It was the first time since Pancho Villa that anyone attacked the US on its own soil. Not only did they steal all the gold stored in bank vaults located in the Twin Towers, but they put money on the stock market. In true gangster fashion the next move was to retaliate against the Muslim Mafia who was fingered by Mayer Lanski (Benjamin Nuttenyahoo) and their own paid snitches (MSM). It was time to hit mattresses and send their enforcers to get payback so the Purple Gang (Israel) can take over their territory.

There is a big difference between the US Government and the Mafia when it comes to war, the Mafia adheres to a strict code of ethics, they do not target their enemies families.

In 2016 the American people elected a true gangster from New York city. A known con man, a swindler, a tax evader and known associate of the criminal underground. A man with numerous court cases and 23 accusations of sexual assault. A man who was screwing a porn star while his wife was given birth. A man who's mentor was Roy Cohen a mob attorney and practicing homosexual who died of AIDS. A man that surrounded himself with the most perverted group of people in New York such as: Roger Stone a well known swinger and gay pride participant. Paul Manafort a convicted criminal and swinger who attended the same clubs as Stone along with their wives. They liked to watch their wives get screwed by other men. Lets not forget John Bolton who was exposed by Larry Flint for also being a swinger. His ex-wife accused him of forcing her to perform sex acts with multiple men at the same clubs the other 2 cuckolds attended. A Russian agent once commented that the best place to find government people to blackmail was the New York swingers scene.

Jeffery Epstein tops the list of perverted friends of Donald Trump. Epstein is the worst kind of perverted human being. The predator pedophile that uses his money to lure young girls into his sick world. Epstein holds the key to uncovering the nation wide pedophile ring that include some of the most famous people in the US. This is Trump's Mafia, a Mafia not like the Gambinos or Luchesis. A Mafia full of Perverts, Criminals, Pedophiles and Cuckolds. These are just a few of the people in Trump's circle of friends. If these are your leaders, what does that say about the American people!

My dad used to tell me tell me who you hang around with, and I'll tell you who you are! Every single person in DC government is compromised! And this incompetent Mafia of Perverts want you to believe that Madurro is a corrupt leader and Iran is a threat to the US!

[May 13, 2019] Something about Bolton past and sexual preferences

May 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

FB , says: Website May 11, 2019 at 4:46 pm GMT

@J. Gutierrez Thanks for putting together this commentary J

Bolton a swinger ?

LOL that's a mental picture that's deeply disturbing yet funny at the same time

J. Gutierrez , says: May 11, 2019 at 10:42 pm GMT
@FB Yeah brother that POS was called out during his confirmation hearings during baby bush's presidency. Larry Flint had offered a Million dollars to anyone who had proof of republican sexual exploits. He was quickly fingered by someone who attended those clubs. He was forced to accept a temporary position and quietly resigned after a few months so as to avoid facing questions.

Someone said they saw him proposition a teenage girl outside one of the swinger clubs he frequented.

Glad you enjoyed the piece take care brother

J. Gutierrez , says: May 12, 2019 at 1:05 am GMT
@SeekerofthePresence Thank you your comment is very much appreciated. But I'm definitely not a spokesman for moral truth, just the truth. I just watch in amazement from Mexico at what the US government has become. A den of the most vile people ever assembled in the world far worse than the people that demanded the crucification of Jesus Christ. We just went through a serious political conversion, but the people had to hit the streets for it to succeed. I just don't think the American people feel they are in a do or die situation, and they couldn't more wrong.

[Apr 24, 2019] Bolton works for CIA.

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

Oh no its the Illuminati , says: April 23, 2019 at 3:56 pm GMT

ChuckO,

Bolton? NSA? Do you mean NSC? Everything we hear about Bolton lately is ideological labeling as a so-called Neocon, more ambiguous bullshit, or tainting him by association with Israelis. Funny how everybody just forgot what Bolton did at the UN, when Bush shoehorned him in there without congressional consent. Bolton personally constipated the drafting of the Summit Outcome Document to remove awkward mentions of the magic word impunity. The old perv put up 700 amendments to obstruct the process.

Now, who cares that much about impunity? And why would it be such a big deal, unless you had impunity in municipal law but the whole world was committed to ending impunity? Cause if you think about it, that's what the whole world has been doing for 70 years, codifying the Pre-CIA Nuremberg Principles as international criminal law and developing state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts as customary and then conventional international law. Who doesn't want that?

CIA. Impunity is CIA's vital interest. They go to war to keep it all the time.

Bolton works for CIA.

DESERT FOX , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:22 pm GMT
@Oh no its the Illuminati See Col. L. Fletcher Proutys book The Secret Team , the CIA is the zionist chain dogs that rule America!
ChuckOrloski , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:54 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX Wisely, DESERT FOX recalled Colonel Fletcher Prouty, and wrote: " the CIA is the zionist chain dogs that rule America!"

Dear DESERT FOX,

As you know, for some very dramatic time, Attorney Garrison held Clay Shaw's feet-to-the-fire while demonstrating the latter businessman's connection to the Israeli company, Permindex.

So naturally, a reasonable & respectful question arises, for which there is likely no available & conclusive determination.

Are CIA, Mossad, and M16 joined as one (1) ruling and globally unaccountable
"(Western) Zionist chain dog" link? Tough one, D.F., but am confident you can intelligently handle it. Thanks & salud!

DESERT FOX , says: April 23, 2019 at 5:27 pm GMT
@ChuckOrloski From what I have read, MI6 is under zionist control and is the template for the CIA and the Mossad and is the controller of both the CIA and the Mossad and all three are under zionist control.

Another good book is The Committee of 300 by Dr. John Coleman a former officer in MI6 and his videos on youtube.

[Apr 18, 2019] Ask yourself "Is this creature sane or rational?"

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 18, 2019 4:05:55 AM | link

John Bolton was interviewed on PBS Newshour on March 17. Look it up and watch it and ask yourself "Is this creature sane or rational?"

[Apr 12, 2019] John Bolton Took Money From Clinton Foundation Donor, Banks Tied To Cartels, Terrorists, Iran by William Craddick

Notable quotes:
"... On June 12, 2018 The Washington Post ran an overlooked story where they disclosed that National Security Advisor John Bolton had accepted money from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Deutsche Bank and HSBC to return for his participation in speeches and panel discussions ..."
"... John Bolton accepted $115,000 from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation to speak at multiple events hosted by the Foundation including one in September 2017 where Bolton assured his audience that President Donald Trump would not radically change US foreign policy despite his explicit campaign promises to do so. ..."
"... More broadly, John Bolton's work for the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, HSBC and Deutsche Bank shows that while he preaches hardline foreign policy approaches towards nations such as Iran and North Korea he has no issue tying himself to those who openly flaunt American sanctions and diplomatic attempts to pressure these states. For an individual who is the President's National Security Advisor to have taken money from banks who provide financial services to terror groups who have murdered thousands of Americans is totally unacceptable. ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Disobedient Media

On June 12, 2018 The Washington Post ran an overlooked story where they disclosed that National Security Advisor John Bolton had accepted money from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Deutsche Bank and HSBC to return for his participation in speeches and panel discussions. These three entities have been linked to various kinds of corruption including sanctions evasion for Iran, money laundering on behalf of drug cartels, provision of banking services to backers of Islamic terror organizations and controversial donations to the Clinton Foundation.

The financial ties between Bolton and these institutions highlight serious ethical concerns about his suitability for the position of National Security Advisor.

I. Victor Pinchuk Foundation

John Bolton accepted $115,000 from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation to speak at multiple events hosted by the Foundation including one in September 2017 where Bolton assured his audience that President Donald Trump would not radically change US foreign policy despite his explicit campaign promises to do so.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation was blasted in 2016 over their donation of $10 to $25 million to the Clinton Foundation between 1994 and 2005. The donations lead to accusations of influence peddling after it emerged that Victor Pinchuk had been invited to Hillary Clinton's home during the final year of her tenure as Secretary of State.

Even more damning was Victor Pinchuk's participation in activities that constituted evasions of sanctions levied against Iran by the American government. A 2015 exposé by Newsweek highlighted the fact that Pinchuk owned Interpipe Group, a Cyprus-incorporated manufacturer of seamless pipes used in oil and gas sectors. A now-removed statement on Interpipe's website showed that they were doing business in Iran despite US sanctions aimed to prevent this kind of activity.

Why John Bolton, a notorious war hawk who has called for a hardline approach to Iran, would take money from an entity who was evading sanctions against the country is not clear. It does however, raise serious questions about whether or not Bolton should be employed by Donald Trump, who made attacks on the Clinton Foundation's questionable donations a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign.

II. HSBC Group

British bank HSBC paid Bolton $46,500 in June and August 2017 to speak at two gatherings of hedge fund managers and investors.

HSBC is notorious for its extensive ties to criminal and terror organizations for whom it has provided illegal financial services. Clients that HSBC have laundered money for include Colombian drug traffickers and Mexican cartels who have terrorized the country and recently raised murder rates to the highest levels in Mexico's history . They have also offered banking services to Chinese individuals who sourced chemicals and other materials used by cartels to produce methamphetamine and heroin that is then sold in the United States. China's Triads have helped open financial markets in Asia to cartels seeking to launder their profits derived from the drug trade.

In 2012, HSBC was blasted by the US Senate for for allowing money from Russian and Latin American criminal networks as well as Middle Eastern terror groups to enter the US. The banking group ultimately agreed to pay a $1.9 billion fine for this misconduct as well as their involvement in processing sanctions-prohibited transactions on behalf of Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma.

Some of the terror groups assisted by HSBC include the notorious Al Qaeda. During the 2012 scrutiny of HSBC, outlets such as Le Monde , Business Insider and the New York Times revealed that HSBC had maintained ties to Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank. Al Rajhi Bank was one of Osama Bin Ladin's "Golden Chain" of Al Qaeda's most important financiers. Even though HSBC's own internal compliance offices asked for the bank to terminate their relationship with Al Rajhi Bank, it continued until 2010.

More recently in 2018, reports have claimed that HSBC was used for illicit transactions between Iran and Chinese technology conglomerate Huawei. The US is currently seeking to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou after bringing charges against Huawei related to sanctions evasion and theft of intellectual property. The company has been described as a "backdoor" for elements of the Chinese government by certain US authorities.

Bolton's decision to accept money from HSBC given their well-known reputation is deeply hypocritical. HSBC's connection to terror organizations such as Al Qaeda in particular is damning for Bolton due to the fact that he formerly served as the chairman of the Gatestone Institute , a New York-based advocacy group that purports to oppose terrorism. These financial ties are absolutely improper for an individual acting as National Security Advisor.

III. Deutsche Bank

John Bolton accepted $72,000 from German Deutsche Bank to speak at an event in May 2017.

Deutsche Bank has for decades engaged in questionable behavior. During World War II, they provided financial services to the Nazi Gestapo and financed construction of the infamous Auschwitz as well as an adjacent plant for chemical company IG Farben.

Like HSBC, Deutsche Bank has provided illicit services to international criminal organizations. In 2014 court filings showed that Deutsche Bank, Citi and Bank of America had all acted as channels for drug money sent to Colombian security currency brokerages suspected of acting on behalf of traffickers. In 2017, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay a $630 million fine after working with a Danish bank in Estonia to launder over $10 billion through London and Moscow on behalf of Russian entities. The UK's financial regulatory watchdog has said that Deutsche Bank is failing to prevent its accounts from being used to launder money, circumvent sanctions and finance terrorism. In November 2018, Deutsche Bank's headquarters was raided by German authorities as part of an investigation sparked by 2016 revelations in the "Panama Papers" leak from Panama's Mossack Fonseca.

Two weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, the Bush administration signed an executive order linking a company owned by German national Mamoun Darkazanli to Al Qaeda. In 1995, Darkazanli co-signed the opening of a Deutsche Bank account for Mamdouh Mahmud Salim. Salim was identified by the CIA as the chief of bin Laden's computer operations and weapons procurement. He was ultimately arrested in Munich, extradited to the United States and charged with participation in the 1998 US embassy bombings.

In 2017, the Office of the New York State Comptroller opened an investigation into accounts that Deutsche Bank was operating on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PFLP is defined by both the United States and the European Union as a terrorist organization. It is ironic that Bolton, who is a past recipient of the "Guardian of Zion Award" would accept money from an entity who provided services to Palestinian groups that Israel considers to be terror related.

IV. Clinton-esque Financial Ties Unbecoming To Trump Administration

Bolton's engagement in paid speeches, in some cases with well-known donors to the Clinton Foundation, paints the Trump administration in a very bad light. Donald Trump criticized Hillary Clinton during his 2016 Presidential campaign for speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs that were labeled by her detractors as "pay to play" behavior. John Bolton's acceptance of money from similar entities, especially the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, are exactly the same kind of activity and are an embarrassment for a President who claims to be against corruption.

More broadly, John Bolton's work for the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, HSBC and Deutsche Bank shows that while he preaches hardline foreign policy approaches towards nations such as Iran and North Korea he has no issue tying himself to those who openly flaunt American sanctions and diplomatic attempts to pressure these states. For an individual who is the President's National Security Advisor to have taken money from banks who provide financial services to terror groups who have murdered thousands of Americans is totally unacceptable.

It is embarrassing enough that Donald Trump hired Bolton in the first place. The next best remedy is to let him go as soon as possible.

[Mar 07, 2019] John Bolton Is Exploiting Donald Trump's Weakness - Bloomberg

Mar 07, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

Just how weak a president has Donald Trump become? For an illustration, see a terrific Washington Post article on the foreign-policy decision-making process since John Bolton became Trump's national security adviser. Or, rather, the absence of anything resembling a process.

As Heather Hurlburt pointed out when Bolton took the job, he's ill-suited for it. Bolton is a policy advocate, not the honest broker that the position calls for. That's a particular problem for Trump. Because the president is inexperienced in national-security matters, he doesn't know whether Bolton is speaking for the experts on a policy question or just advocating for his own preferences. Because Trump knows little about the executive branch, Bolton can use his bureaucratic skills to advance his own agenda -- including impeding Trump's plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

This isn't to say that Bolton's policies are necessarily wrong; that's for others to judge. But it creates a real problem for the presidency when top advisers are looking out for their own interests and not the president's.

On this point, Ronald Reagan's administration is instructive. By all accounts, Reagan was more informed about policy than Trump is. He was also a pragmatic politician, capable of compromising or even backing down entirely when it was in his interests. Reagan's weakness, however, was that he could be curiously passive at times, and (like many presidents) too easily swayed by anecdotes. That meant he needed high-level staffers who could serve as honest brokers. His first-term chief of staff, James Baker, allowed him to make good decisions. Baker's replacement, Donald Regan, failed to do so. Partly as a result, Reagan's presidency had almost completely collapsed by the time Regan was fired amid the Iran-Contra scandal.

[Feb 26, 2019] Bolton's financial disclosures show that between September 2015 and April 2018, he received $165,000 from the Counter-Extremism Project (CEP), a group with overlapping staffers, board members, and finances with UANI. According to the Bolton's disclosures, the payments were "consulting fees."

Feb 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

anon [228] Disclaimer , says: February 27, 2019 at 12:43 am GMT

@Thomm Bolton tweeted:

Attempts by Russian gov. to intimidate Amb. Wallace & @UANI are unacceptable. If President Putin is serious about stabilizing the Middle East, confronting terrorism & preventing a nuclear arms race in the region, he should stand with UANI & against Iran.

Why would the national security advisor care what the Russian Foreign Ministry has to say about a New York-based nonprofit's letter writing campaign, especially when those remarks got virtually no notice in the media?

Bolton's personal finances and the president's biggest campaign funder offer a couple clues.

Bolton's financial disclosures show that between September 2015 and April 2018, he received $165,000 from the Counter-Extremism Project (CEP), a group with overlapping staffers, board members, and finances with UANI. According to the Bolton's disclosures, the payments were "consulting fees."

https://lobelog.com/large-payments-to-bolton-might-explain-his-uani-tweet/

[Feb 22, 2019] 'Cheney wants you out,' Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. 'We can't accept your management style.'

Feb 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

AntiSpin , Feb 21, 2019 2:07:11 PM | link

@ Tom | Feb 21, 2019 1:29:28 AM | 84

"He threatened the head of OPCW I believe as well."

Your belief is correct; The one threatened was José Bustani, then --- head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

"Bolton -- then serving as under secretary of state for Arms Control and International Security Affairs -- arrived in person at the OPCW headquarters in the Hague to issue a warning to the organization's chief. And, according to Bustani, Bolton didn't mince words. 'Cheney wants you out,' Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. 'We can't accept your management style.'

Bolton continued, according to Bustani's recollections: 'You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don't comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you.'

There was a pause. 'We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York'."

https://theintercept.com/2018/03/29/john-bolton-trump-bush-bustani-kids-opcw/

The guy is a murdering thug -- a psychopath.

[Feb 11, 2019] The Making of Juan Guaidó How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela s Coup Leader by Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal

Dismal economic performance of Venezuelan economy and impoverishment of population created perfect environment for the color revolution...
Notable quotes:
"... But after a single phone call from from US Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself president of Venezuela. Anointed as the leader of his country by Washington, a previously unknown political bottom-dweller was vaulted onto the international stage as the US-selected leader of the nation with the world's largest oil reserves. ..."
"... CANVAS is a spinoff of Otpor, a Serbian protest group founded by Srdja Popovic in 1998 at the University of Belgrade. Otpor, which means "resistance" in Serbian, was the student group that gained international fame -- and Hollywood-level promotion -- by mobilizing the protests that eventually toppled Slobodan Milosevic. ..."
Jan 30, 2019 | grayzoneproject.com

Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization.

Before the fateful day of January 22, fewer than one in five Venezuelans had heard of Juan Guaidó. Only a few months ago, the 35-year-old was an obscure character in a politically marginal far-right group closely associated with gruesome acts of street violence. Even in his own party, Guaidó had been a mid-level figure in the opposition-dominated National Assembly, which is now held under contempt according to Venezuela's constitution.

But after a single phone call from from US Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself president of Venezuela. Anointed as the leader of his country by Washington, a previously unknown political bottom-dweller was vaulted onto the international stage as the US-selected leader of the nation with the world's largest oil reserves.

Echoing the Washington consensus, the New York Times editorial board hailed Guaidó as a "credible rival" to Maduro with a "refreshing style and vision of taking the country forward." The Bloomberg News editorial board applauded him for seeking "restoration of democracy" and the Wall Street Journal declared him "a new democratic leader." Meanwhile, Canada, numerous European nations, Israel, and the bloc of right-wing Latin American governments known as the Lima Group recognized Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

While Guaidó seemed to have materialized out of nowhere, he was, in fact, the product of more than a decade of assiduous grooming by the US government's elite regime change factories. Alongside a cadre of right-wing student activists, Guaidó was cultivated to undermine Venezuela's socialist-oriented government, destabilize the country, and one day seize power. Though he has been a minor figure in Venezuelan politics, he had spent years quietly demonstrated his worthiness in Washington's halls of power.

"Juan Guaidó is a character that has been created for this circumstance," Marco Teruggi, an Argentinian sociologist and leading chronicler of Venezuelan politics, told The Grayzone . "It's the logic of a laboratory – Guaidó is like a mixture of several elements that create a character who, in all honesty, oscillates between laughable and worrying."

Diego Sequera, a Venezuelan journalist and writer for the investigative outlet Misión Verdad, agreed: "Guaidó is more popular outside Venezuela than inside, especially in the elite Ivy League and Washington circles," Sequera remarked to The Grayzone, "He's a known character there, is predictably right-wing, and is considered loyal to the program."

While Guaidó is today sold as the face of democratic restoration, he spent his career in the most violent faction of Venezuela's most radical opposition party, positioning himself at the forefront of one destabilization campaign after another. His party has been widely discredited inside Venezuela, and is held partly responsible for fragmenting a badly weakened opposition.

"'These radical leaders have no more than 20 percent in opinion polls," wrote Luis Vicente León, Venezuela's leading pollster. According to León, Guaidó's party remains isolated because the majority of the population "does not want war. 'What they want is a solution.'"

But this is precisely why he Guaidó was selected by Washington: He is not expected to lead Venezuela toward democracy, but to collapse a country that for the past two decades has been a bulwark of resistance to US hegemony. His unlikely rise signals the culmination of a two decades-long project to destroy a robust socialist experiment.

Targeting the "troika of tyranny"

Since the 1998 election of Hugo Chávez, the United States has fought to restore control over Venezuela and is vast oil reserves. Chávez's socialist programs may have redistributed the country's wealth and helped lift millions out of poverty, but they also earned him a target on his back.

In 2002, Venezuela's right-wing opposition briefly ousted Chávez with US support and recognition, before the military restored his presidency following a mass popular mobilization. Throughout the administrations of US Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Chávez survived numerous assassination plots, before succumbing to cancer in 2013. His successor, Nicolas Maduro, has survived three attempts on his life.

The Trump administration immediately elevated Venezuela to the top of Washington's regime change target list, branding it the leader of a "troika of tyranny." Last year, Trump's national security team attempted to recruit members of the military brass to mount a military junta, but that effort failed.

According to the Venezuelan government, the US was also involved in a plot, codenamed Operation Constitution, to capture Maduro at the Miraflores presidential palace; and another, called Operation Armageddon , to assassinate him at a military parade in July 2017. Just over a year later, exiled opposition leaders tried and failed to kill Maduro with drone bombs during a military parade in Caracas.

More than a decade before these intrigues, a group of right-wing opposition students were hand-selected and groomed by an elite US-funded regime change training academy to topple Venezuela's government and restore the neoliberal order.

Training from the "'export-a-revolution' group that sowed the seeds for a NUMBER of color revolutions"

On October 5, 2005, with Chávez's popularity at its peak and his government planning sweeping socialist programs, five Venezuelan "student leaders" arrived in Belgrade, Serbia to begin training for an insurrection.

The students had arrived from Venezuela courtesy of the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies, or CANVAS. This group is funded largely through the National Endowment for Democracy , a CIA cut-out that functions as the US government's main arm of promoting regime change; and offshoots like the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. According to leaked internal emails from Stratfor, an intelligence firm known as the " shadow CIA ," CANVAS "may have also received CIA funding and training during the 1999/2000 anti-Milosevic struggle."

CANVAS is a spinoff of Otpor, a Serbian protest group founded by Srdja Popovic in 1998 at the University of Belgrade. Otpor, which means "resistance" in Serbian, was the student group that gained international fame -- and Hollywood-level promotion -- by mobilizing the protests that eventually toppled Slobodan Milosevic.

This small cell of regime change specialists was operating according to the theories of the late Gene Sharp, the so-called "Clausewitz of non-violent struggle." Sharp had worked with a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, Col. Robert Helvey , to conceive a strategic blueprint that weaponized protest as a form of hybrid warfare, aiming it at states that resisted Washington's unipolar domination.