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Non-Interventionism

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. – Issac Asimov
"War is the health of the State." -- Randolph Bourne

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Noninterventionism: A Primer

America's alternative to war and empire is not "isolationism."

By Daniel Larison June 11, 2014

Americans have grown understandably weary of foreign entanglements over the last 12 years of open-ended warfare, and they are now more receptive to a noninterventionist message than they have been in decades. According to a recent Pew survey, 52 percent of Americans now prefer that the U.S. “mind its own business in international affairs,” which represents the most support for a restrained and modest foreign policy in the last 50 years. That presents a challenge and an opportunity for noninterventionists to articulate a coherent and positive case for what a foreign policy of peace and prudence would mean in practice. As useful and necessary as critiquing dangerous ideas may be, noninterventionism will remain a marginal, dissenting position in policymaking unless its advocates explain in detail how their alternative foreign policy would be conducted.

A noninterventionist foreign policy would first of all require a moratorium on new foreign entanglements and commitments for the foreseeable future. A careful reevaluation of where the U.S. has vital interests at stake would follow. There are relatively few places where the U.S. has truly vital concerns that directly affect our security and prosperity, and the ambition and scale of our foreign policy should reflect that. A noninterventionist U.S. would conduct itself like a normal country without pretensions to global “leadership” or the temptation of a proselytizing mission. This is a foreign policy more in line with what the American people will accept and less likely to provoke violent resentment from overseas, and it is therefore more sustainable and affordable over the long term.

When a conflict or dispute erupts somewhere, unless it directly threatens the security of America or our treaty allies, the assumption should be that it is not the business of the U.S. government to take a leading role in resolving it. If a government requests aid in the event of a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis (e.g., famine, disease), as Haiti did following its devastating earthquake in 2010, the U.S. can and should lend assistance—but as a general rule the U.S. should not seek to interfere in other nations’ domestic circumstances.

LarisonIf parties to a dispute request outside arbitration, the U.S. should be in a position to act as a neutral mediator—which presupposes that the U.S. is not actively backing one side against another. We have seen the futility and absurdity of trying to act as an “honest broker” while providing lopsided support to one side in a conflict, and this should have no place in a noninterventionist foreign policy. There could be a potentially large and active role for U.S. diplomats abroad, but not one in which the U.S. was attempting to dictate terms or to promote a particular cause. International engagement could not and would not cease in a noninterventionist foreign policy, but it would be of a very different kind.

One of the priorities of a noninterventionist agenda would be the scaling back of America’s numerous commitments overseas. This would be accomplished mainly by shifting burdens gradually to current allies and regional powers: ceding regional influence in Central Asia to India and Russia, for example, and encouraging a more independent foreign policy for allies such as Japan and Germany. In general, the states that have the most at stake in maintaining regional stability should be given the responsibility for securing it. U.S. commitments have been building up over decades, so it is neither realistic nor desirable to end them suddenly. Nonetheless, there are also far more commitments than the U.S. can afford, and many of them are relics of the struggle with the Soviet Union or the remains of a “War on Terror” that has expanded beyond anything that most Americans imagined when it began a decade ago. Cutting back security entanglements is a long-delayed and necessary adjustment that the U.S. should have been making for the last 20 years. But it will not be sufficient simply to return to status quo ante at the start of the 21st century. The U.S. was already overcommitted around the world before the Bush era and will still be so after the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Ideally, the U.S. would reduce its overseas military presence in the Near East to at most what it was in the years before Desert Storm in 1991, and continue to reduce its presence in Europe as European governments bear more of the costs of their own defense. To date, wealthy allies have been able to skimp on their military spending, on the safe assumption that the U.S. would be ready and willing to make up the difference, but this arrangement is neither sustainable nor in our best interests. It not only creates an unhealthy dependence that ends up dragging unwilling Europeans into U.S. wars of choice, but as we saw in Libya, it perversely pulls the U.S. into European wars of choice because Europe’s governments cannot fight them on their own.

NATO is outdated and unnecessary, but provided that it functions purely as a defensive alliance it wouldn’t necessarily have to be dissolved. If the alliance continued to exist, the U.S. should not use it or permit it to be used as cover for members’ wars of choice and “out of area” missions. It should go without saying that there would be no further NATO expansion, which does nothing except antagonize Russia to the detriment of regional stability. If the alliance’s security guarantees to current members are to mean anything, they shouldn’t be extended to countries that the U.S. and other member nations are not actually willing to defend. To that end, U.S. and NATO officials should stop giving false encouragement to would-be member states that will never be admitted.

A noninterventionist U.S. would keep the major treaty allies it has for the time being but would also review its relationships with the many client states that neither act like nor deserve the name of ally. Clients that expose the U.S. to unnecessary conflicts or create dangerous tensions with other major powers are liabilities, and the U.S. should alter relations with them accordingly. That doesn’t require the U.S. to have poor relations with those states, but it does mean that they would stop receiving support and indulgence when their interests and ours clearly diverge. Many client state relationships would need to be downgraded as a result, and U.S. aid to them would be correspondingly reduced or eliminated.

In keeping with President Washington’s exhortation in his Farewell Address, the U.S. would seek to “observe good faith and justice toward all nations” and to “cultivate peace and harmony with all.” That means that a noninterventionist U.S. would work to maintain normal and full diplomatic relations with as many states as possible, and it would restrict or cut off trade with other states only in the most extreme cases. A noninterventionist foreign policy would very rarely rely on sanctions as a tool, and then only when they are targeted specifically against regime officials rather than the civilian population. In general, an America following Washington’s advice would promote both trade and diplomatic engagement rather than employing the tactics of embargo and isolation.

The U.S. would also refuse to take sides in the internal quarrels of other countries. The sovereignty of other states would be respected much more consistently than in past decades. The U.S. would refrain from destabilizing foreign governments or aiding in their overthrow, and it would not make a habit of siding with whichever protest movement happened to be in the streets of a foreign capital. Likewise, it would refrain from propping up and subsidizing abusive and dictatorial regimes and would condition U.S. aid on how a government treats its people. While there may be a need to cooperate with authoritarian states on certain issues, governments that torture or violently suppress peaceful protests, including the current Egyptian government, shouldn’t be supported in any way by American taxpayers.

War might be necessary at some point, but if so it would be waged only in self-defense or the defense of a treaty ally. A noninterventionist U.S. would never wage a preventive war— which is contrary both to international law and morality—and would generally be wary of using force even when it could be justified. The U.S. should always avoid giving allies and clients the impression that they have a blank check from Washington, since that will tend to make them more combative and unreasonable in disputes with their neighbors. Allies and clients that wanted to pursue reckless and provocative courses of action would be actively discouraged, and it would be the responsibility of the U.S. to pull these states back from avoidable conflicts. A noninterventionist U.S. would manage relations with other major powers by seeking to cooperate on matters of common interest and by avoiding unnecessary disagreements on those issues where the U.S. has relatively little at stake. The U.S. and other major powers are bound to have conflicting interests from time to time, but these unavoidable disagreements shouldn’t be compounded by picking fights over every issue where we differ. As long as the U.S. has allies on the borders of other major powers, there will always be a certain degree of mistrust and tension in our relations. However, the U.S. shouldn’t make this worse by seeking to enlarge our alliances or increase our influence in countries that have historically been in the orbit of another major power. The goal here should be to keep tensions with other major powers at a tolerable minimum and to reduce the possibility of renewed great power conflict in the new century.

As George Washington also said: “In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated.” For that reason, a noninterventionist U.S. would be one that doesn’t seek to demagogue or exaggerate foreign threats, nor would it cultivate either hostility towards or adoration of any other country. Above all, it won’t seek to make the U.S. the champion of any other country’s interests at our expense.

Noninterventionism is a rather clunky and unappealing label for a set of very appealing ideas: that the U.S. should mind its own business, act with restraint, respect other nations, refrain from unnecessary violence, and pursue peace. If future administrations took just a few of these as guiding principles for the conduct of foreign policy, America and the world would both be better off.

Senior editor Daniel Larison blogs at TheAmericanConservative.com/Larison.

Opposition to New American Militarism

Libertarians (along will less numerous and less influential paleoconservatives) are the only more or less influential faction of the US society that oppose what Basevich called New American Militarism. The foreign policy of the USA since the dissolution of the USSR was and is "open militarism". Recently  John Quiggin  tried to define militarism is came to the following definition (crookedtimber.org):

100 years after the Battle of the Somme, it's hard to see that much has been learned from the catastrophe of the Great War and the decades of slaughter that followed it. Rather than get bogged down (yet again) in specifics that invariably decline into arguments about who know more of the historical detail, I'm going to try a different approach, looking at the militarist ideology that gave us the War, and trying to articulate an anti-militarist alternative. Wikipedia offers a definition of militarism which, with the deletion of a single weasel word, seems to be entirely satisfactory and also seems to describe the dominant view of the political class, and much of the population in nearly every country in the world.

Militarism is the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively[^1] to defend or promote national interests

This new epidemic of the US militarism which started after Cold War ended was well analyzed by Professor Bacevich (who is former colonel of the US army) who called it New American Militarism. Bacevich's book  Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War  describe the "sacred trinity" of global military presence, global power projection, global interventionism is used to achieve those ends. 

Professor Bacevich had shown that the main driver of the US militarism is neocons domination of the US foreign policy, and, especially, neocons domination in State Department regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in power.  They profess that the US that we are uniquely qualified to take on the worldwide foes of peace and democracy, forgetting, revising, or ignoring the painful lessons of World War II, Vietnam, and beyond that might have taken the USA into periods of unprecedented peace, instead of numerous conflicts:

Bacevich scores a direct hit on the foundations of the American national security state with this scathing critique, and demolishes the unspoken assumptions that he believes have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual war. These assumptions take the form of the "credo" -- which holds that the United States has the unique responsibility to intervene wherever it wants, for whatever purpose it wants, by whatever means it wants -- and the supporting "trinity" of requirements for the U.S. to maintain a global military presence, to configure its military forces for global power projection, and to counter threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.

In other words they advocate permanent war for permanent peace. Lessons that the author shows President Obama is clearly in the midst of learning, using a modified sacred trinity. Written in engaging prose, his book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War is an excellent peace of research with sections that some may find very troubling. Here is the summary:

UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper CXXXVII: September 27, 2010, 7:00 p.m. 

Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, August 2010).

Thesis

The Washington consensus on national security policy that constitutes convention wisdom in American foreign policy began with the Cold War and survived, remarkably, the Vietnam War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, no longer serves American interests, but the failure of the Obama administration to alter it shows that change can only come from the American people.

Introduction: Slow Learner

The author's faith in orthodoxy began to crumble when visiting the BrandenburgGate in Berlin in the winter of 1990-1991(1-4). In October 1990 a visit to Jenarevealed the backwardness of EastGermany (4-6). During his years in the Army, Bacevich had kept down doubts; after the end of the Cold War he retired, and his loss of status freed him to educate himself (6-10).

"George W.Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition" (10). "This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom" (11). The past 60 years of American history shows continuity: a symbiotic "credo" (formulated by Henry Luce in 1941 as the "American Century") and a "sacred trinity" ("the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of  global interventionism") together define "the rules to which Washington adheres" (11-15).

In this book, "Washington" refers to the upper echelons of the three branches of government, the main agencies of the national security state, select think tanks and interest groups, "big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government" (15).

This book aspires to

(1) trace the history of the Washington rules;

(2) show who wins, who loses, and who pays under them;

(3) explain how itis perpetuated;

(4) show that the rules have lost what utility they might once have had;

and (5) re-legitimate "disreputable (or 'radical') views to our national security debates" (16).

The American Century is ending, and it "has become essential" to devise an "alternative to the reining national security paradigm" (16-18).

Ch. 1: The Advent of Semiwar.

As president, Barack Obama's efforts to change the U.S.'s exercise of power "have seldom risen above the cosmetic"(20). He made clear he subscribes to the "catechism of American statecraft," viz. that 1) the world must be organized, 2)only the U.S. can do it, 3) this includes dictating principles, and 4) not to accept this is to be a rogue or a recalcitrant (20-21).

It follows that the U.S. need not conform to the norms it sets for others and that it should maintain a worldwide network of bases (22-23).

Imagine if China acted in a comparable manner (23-25). The extraordinary American military posture in the world (25-27). To call this into question puts one beyond the pale(27). James Forrestal called this a permanent condition of semiwar, requiring high levels of military spending(27-28).

American citizens are not supposed to concern themselves with it (29-30). As to how this came about, the "standard story line" presents as the result of the decisions of a "succession of presidential administrations," though this conceals as much as it reveals (30-32).

Eisenhower's 1961 Farewell Address on the "military-industrial complex" was a rare exception (32-34). More important than presidents were Allen Dulles [1893-1969] and Curtis Lemay [1906-1990] (34-36).

Bacevich attributes the vision for an American-dominated post-World War II world with the CIA playing an active role to the patrician Dulles (36-43). The development of the U.S. military into a force capable of dominating the world, especially in the area of strategic weapons, he attributes to the hard-bitten Curtis LeMay, organizer of the StrategicAir Command (SAC) (43-52). Dulles and LeMay shared devotion to country, ruthlessness, a certain recklessness (52-55). They exploited American anxieties and insecurities in yin (Dulles's CIA) yang(LeMay's SAC) fashion, leaving the mainstay of American military power, the U.S. Army, in a relatively weak position(55-58).

Ch. 2: Illusions of Flexibility and Control

Kennedy kept Dulles and LeMay to signal continuity, but there was a behind-the-scenes struggle led by Gen. Maxwell Taylor to reassert the role of the U.S. Army by expanding and modernizing conventional forces that was "simultaneously masked by, and captured in, the phrase flexible response " (60; 59-63).

This agenda purported to aim at "resisting aggression" but really created new options for limited aggressive warfare by the U.S. (63-66).

McNamara engaged in a struggle with LeMay to control U.S. policy on nuclear weapons, but he embraced the need for redundancy based on a land-sea-air attack "triad" and LeMay et al. "got most of what they wanted" (66-72).

In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy instituted the morally and legally "indefensible" Operation Mongoose," in effect, a program of state-sponsored terrorism" against Cuba (80; 72-82 [but Bacevich is silent on its wilder elements, like Operation Northwoods]).

U.S. recklessness caused the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to his credit Kennedy acknowledged this (albeit privately) and "suspended the tradition" in defusing the crisis (82-87).

Bacevich rejects as a romantic delusion the view that in the aftermath of this crisis Kennedy turned against the military-industrial complex and the incipient Vietnam war and shows no interest in Kennedy's assassination itself (87-92).

He sees a parallel between escalation in Vietnam and post-9/11 aggression as "fought to sustain the Washington consensus" (107; 92-107).

Ch. 3: The Credo Restored.

William Fulbright's The Arrogance of Power (1966) urged a rethinking of the Washington rules (109-15). A radicalized David Shoup, a Medal of Honor winner and former commandant of the MarineCorps, argued in "The New American Militarism" (Atlantic, April 1969) that the U.S. had become "a militaristic and aggressive nation" (120; 115-21). The 1960s Zeitgeist shift made LeMay "an embarrassment, mocked and vilified rather than venerated," which showed that the Washington rules had incurred serious damage in Vietnam; the Army was in dire shape (122; 121-27).

Yet astonishingly, in the subsequent decade the "sacred trinity" (cf. 11-15) was "fully restored" (127). As in post-1918 Germany, élites looked for scapegoats and worked to reverse "the war's apparent verdict" (128). The Council on Foreign Relations 1976 volume entitled The Vietnam Legacy: The War, American Society, and the Future of American Foreign Policy is an expression of élite consensus that the Vietnam war was insignificant, an anomaly (129-34).

By 1980, Democrats and Republicans were again on the same page (134-36).Reagan's election "sealed the triumph of Vietnam revisionism" (136; 136-38). Andthe end of the Cold War posed no challenge to the Washington rules, as Madeleine Albright's pretentious arrogance exemplifies (138-45).

Ch. 4: Reconstituting the Trinity

 The period from 1980 to 2000 saw "not retrenchment but reconfiguration" (147). The 

Except from Macmillan

Introduction: Slow Learner Worldly ambition inhibits true learning. Ask me. I know. A young man in a hurry is nearly uneducable: He knows what he wants and where he's headed; when it comes to looking back or entertaining heretical thoughts, he has neither the time nor the inclination. All that counts is that he is going somewhere. Only as ambition wanes does education become a possibility.

My own education did not commence until I had reached middle age. I can fix its start date with precision: For me, education began in Berlin, on a winter's evening, at the Brandenburg Gate, not long after the Berlin Wall had fallen. As an officer in the U.S. Army I had spent considerable time in Germany. Until that moment, however, my family and I had never had occasion to visit this most famous of German cities, still littered with artifacts of a deeply repellent history. At the end of a long day of exploration, we found ourselves in what had, until just months before, been the communist East. It was late and we were hungry, but I insisted on walking the length of the Unter den Linden, from the River Spree to the gate itself. A cold rain was falling and the pavement glistened. The buildings lining the avenue, dating from the era of Prussian kings, were dark, dirty, and pitted. Few people were about. It was hardly a night for sightseeing. For as long as I could remember, the Brandenburg Gate had been the preeminent symbol of the age and Berlin the epicenter of contemporary history. 

Yet by the time I made it to the once and future German capital, history was already moving on. The Cold War had abruptly ended. A divided city and a divided nation had re united. For Americans who had known Berlin only from a distance, the city existed primarily as a metaphor. Pick a date— 1933, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1961, 1989—and Berlin becomes an instructive symbol of power, depravity, tragedy, defiance, endurance, or vindication. For those inclined to view the past as a chronicle of parables, the modern history of Berlin offered an abundance of material. The greatest of those parables emerged from the events of 1933 to 1945, an epic tale of evil ascendant, belatedly confronted, then heroically overthrown.

A second narrative, woven from events during the intense period immediately following World War II, saw hopes for peace dashed, yielding bitter antagonism but also great resolve. The ensuing stand-off—the "long twilight struggle," in John Kennedy's memorable phrase— formed the centerpiece of the third parable, its central theme stubborn courage in the face of looming peril. Finally came the exhilarating events of 1989, with freedom ultimately prevailing, not only in Berlin, but throughout Eastern Europe.

.... ... ...

Although commonly depicted as the most advanced and successful component of the Soviet Empire, East Germany more closely resembled part of the undeveloped world.

... ... ...

Briquettes of soft coal used for home heating made the air all but unbreathable and coated everything with soot. In the German cities we knew, pastels predominated—houses and apartment blocks painted pale green, muted salmon, and soft yellow. Here everything was brown and gray

... ... ...

Bit by bit, my worldview started to crumble. That worldview had derived from this conviction: that American power manifested a commitment to global leadership, and that both together expressed and affirmed the nation's enduring devotion to its founding ideals. That American power, policies, and purpose were bound together in a neat, internally consistent package, each element drawing strength from and reinforcing the others, was something I took as a given. That, during my adult life, a penchant for interventionism had become a signature of U.S. policy did not—to me, at least—in any way contradict America's aspirations for peace. Instead, a willingness to expend lives and treasure in distant places testified to the seriousness of those aspirations. That, during this same period, the United States had amassed an arsenal of over thirty-one thousand nuclear weapons, some small number of them assigned to units in which I had served, was not at odds with our belief in the inalienable right to life and liberty; rather, threats to life and liberty had compelled the United States to acquire such an arsenal and maintain it in readiness for instant use.2 I was not so naíve as to believe that the American record had been without flaws. Yet I assured myself that any errors or misjudgments had been committed in good faith. Furthermore, circumstances permitted little real choice. In Southeast Asia as in Western Europe, in the Persian Gulf as in the Western Hemisphere, the United States had simply done what needed doing. Viable alternatives did not exist. To consent to any dilution of American power would be to forfeit global leadership, thereby putting at risk safety, prosperity, and freedom, not only our own but also that of our friends and allies.

The choices seemed clear enough. On one side was the status quo: the commitments, customs, and habits that defined American globalism, implemented by the national security apparatus within which I functioned as a small cog. On the other side was the prospect of appeasement, isolationism, and catastrophe. The only responsible course was the one to which every president since Harry Truman had adhered. For me, the Cold War had played a crucial role in sustaining that worldview.

Given my age, upbringing, and professional background, it could hardly have been otherwise. Although the great rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had contained moments of considerable anxiety — I remember my father, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, stocking our basement with water and canned goods — it served primarily to clarify, not to frighten.

The Cold War provided a framework that organized and made sense of contemporary history. It offered a lineup and a scorecard. That there existed bad Germans and good Germans, their Germans and our Germans, totalitarian Germans and Germans who, like Americans, passionately loved freedom was, for example, a proposition I accepted as dogma. Seeing the Cold War as a struggle between good and evil answered many questions, consigned others to the periphery, and rendered still others irrelevant.

Back in the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, more than a few members of my generation had rejected the conception of the Cold War as a Manichean struggle. Here too, I was admittedly a slow learner. Yet having kept the faith long after others had lost theirs, the doubts that eventually assailed me were all the more disorienting. Granted, occasional suspicions had appeared long before Jena and Berlin

My own Vietnam experience had generated its share, which I had done my best to suppress. I was, after all, a serving soldier. Except in the narrowest of terms, the military profession, in those days at least, did not look kindly on nonconformity. Climbing the ladder of career success required curbing maverick tendencies. To get ahead, you needed to be a team player. Later, when studying the history of U.S. foreign relations in graduate school, I was pelted with challenges to orthodoxy, which I vigorously deflected. When it came to education, graduate school proved a complete waste of time — a period of intense study devoted to the further accumulation of facts, while I exerted myself to ensuring that they remained inert.

Now, however, my personal circumstances were changing. Shortly after the passing of the Cold War, my military career ended. Education thereby became not only a possibility, but also a necessity. In measured doses, mortification cleanses the soul. It's the perfect antidote for excessive self-regard. After twenty-three years spent inside the U.S. Army seemingly going somewhere, I now found myself on the outside going nowhere in particular. In the self-contained and cloistered universe of regimental life, I had briefly risen to the status of minor spear carrier. The instant I took off my uniform, that status vanished. I soon came to a proper appreciation of my own insignificance, a salutary lesson that I ought to have absorbed many years earlier. As I set out on what eventually became a crablike journey toward a new calling as a teacher and writer—a pilgrimage of sorts—ambition in the commonly accepted meaning of the term ebbed. This did not happen all at once. Yet gradually, trying to grab one of life's shiny brass rings ceased being a major preoccupation.

Wealth, power, and celebrity became not aspirations but subjects for critical analysis.

History—especially the familiar narrative of the Cold War—no longer offered answers; instead, it posed perplexing riddles. Easily the most nagging was this one: How could I have so profoundly misjudged the reality of what lay on the far side of the Iron Curtain? Had I been insufficiently attentive? Or was it possible that I had been snookered all along? Contemplating such questions, while simultaneously witnessing the unfolding of the "long 1990s"— the period bookended by two wars with Iraq when American vainglory reached impressive new heights—prompted the realization that I had grossly misinterpreted the threat posed by America's adversaries. Yet that was the lesser half of the problem. Far worse than misperceiving "them" was the fact that I had misperceived "us." What I thought I knew best I actually understood least. Here, the need for education appeared especially acute.

George W. Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition. Claims that once seemed elementary—above all, claims relating to the essentially benign purposes of American power— now appeared preposterous. The contradictions that found an ostensibly peace-loving nation committing itself to a doctrine of preventive war became too great to ignore. The folly and hubris of the policy makers who heedlessly thrust the nation into an ill-defined and open-ended "global war on terror" without the foggiest notion of what victory would look like, how it would be won, and what it might cost approached standards hitherto achieved only by slightly mad German warlords. During the era of containment, the United States had at least maintained the pretense of a principled strategy; now, the last vestiges of principle gave way to fantasy and opportunism. With that, the worldview to which I had adhered as a young adult and carried into middle age dissolved completely. *

What should stand in the place of such discarded convictions? Simply inverting the conventional wisdom, substituting a new Manichean paradigm for the old discredited version—the United States taking the place of the Soviet Union as the source of the world's evil—would not suffice. Yet arriving at even an approximation of truth would entail subjecting conventional wisdom, both present and past, to sustained and searching scrutiny. Cautiously at first but with growing confidence, this I vowed to do. Doing so meant shedding habits of conformity acquired over decades. All of my adult life I had been a company man, only dimly aware of the extent to which institutional loyalties induce myopia. Asserting independence required first recognizing the extent to which I had been socialized to accept certain things as unimpeachable. Here then were the preliminary steps essential to making education accessible. Over a period of years, a considerable store of debris had piled up. Now, it all had to go. Belatedly, I learned that more often than not what passes for conventional wisdom is simply wrong. Adopting fashionable attitudes to demonstrate one's trustworthiness—the world of politics is flush with such people hoping thereby to qualify for inclusion in some inner circle—is akin to engaging in prostitution in exchange for promissory notes. It's not only demeaning but downright foolhardy. This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom in its most influential and enduring form, namely the package of assumptions, habits, and precepts that have defined the tradition of statecraft to which the United States has adhered since the end of World War II— the era of global dominance now drawing to a close. This postwar tradition combines two components, each one so deeply embedded in the American collective consciousness as to have all but disappeared from view.

The first component specifies norms according to which the international order ought to work and charges the United States with responsibility for enforcing those norms. Call this the American credo. In the simplest terms, the credo summons the United States—and the United States alone—to lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world. In a celebrated manifesto issued at the dawn of what he termed "The American Century," Henry R. Luce made the case for this spacious conception of global leadership. Writing in Life magazine in early 1941, the influential publisher exhorted his fellow citizens to "accept wholeheartedly our duty to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." Luce thereby captured what remains even today the credo's essence.3 Luce's concept of an American Century, an age of unquestioned American global primacy, resonated, especially in Washington. His evocative phrase found a permanent place in the lexicon of national politics. (Recall that the neoconservatives who, in the 1990s, lobbied for more militant U.S. policies named their enterprise the Project for a New American Century.) So, too, did Luce's expansive claim of prerogatives to be exercised by the United States.

Even today, whenever public figures allude to America's responsibility to lead, they signal their fidelity to this creed. Along with respectful allusions to God and "the troops," adherence to Luce's credo has become a de facto prerequisite for high office. Question its claims and your prospects of being heard in the hubbub of national politics become nil. Note, however, that the duty Luce ascribed to Americans has two components. It is not only up to Americans, he wrote, to choose the purposes for which they would bring their influence to bear, but to choose the means as well. Here we confront the second component of the postwar tradition of American statecraft. With regard to means, that tradition has emphasized activism over example, hard power over soft, and coercion (often styled "negotiating from a position of strength") over suasion. Above all, the exercise of global leadership as prescribed by the credo obliges the United States to maintain military capabilities staggeringly in excess of those required for self-defense. Prior to World War II, Americans by and large viewed military power and institutions with skepticism, if not outright hostility. In the wake of World War II, that changed. An affinity for military might emerged as central to the American identity. By the midpoint of the twentieth century, "the Pentagon" had ceased to be merely a gigantic five-sided building.

Like "Wall Street" at the end of the nineteenth century, it had become Leviathan, its actions veiled in secrecy, its reach extending around the world. Yet while the concentration of power in Wall Street had once evoked deep fear and suspicion, Americans by and large saw the concentration of power in the Pentagon as benign. Most found it reassuring. A people who had long seen standing armies as a threat to liberty now came to believe that the preservation of liberty required them to lavish resources on the armed forces. During the Cold War, Americans worried ceaselessly about falling behind the Russians, even though the Pentagon consistently maintained a position of overall primacy. Once the Soviet threat disappeared, mere primacy no longer sufficed. With barely a whisper of national debate, unambiguous and perpetual global military supremacy emerged as an essential predicate to global leadership. Every great military power has its distinctive signature. For Napoleonic France, it was the levée en masse— the people in arms animated by the ideals of the Revolution. For Great Britain in the heyday of empire, it was command of the seas, sustained by a dominant fleet and a network of far-flung outposts from Gibraltar and the Cape of Good Hope to Singapore and Hong Kong. Germany from the 1860s to the 1940s (and Israel from 1948 to 1973) took another approach, relying on a potent blend of tactical flexibility and operational audacity to achieve battlefield superiority.

The abiding signature of American military power since World War II has been of a different order altogether. The United States has not specialized in any particular type of war. It has not adhered to a fixed tactical style. No single service or weapon has enjoyed consistent favor. At times, the armed forces have relied on citizen-soldiers to fill their ranks; at other times, long-service professionals. Yet an examination of the past sixty years of U.S. military policy and practice does reveal important elements of continuity. Call them the sacred trinity: an abiding conviction that the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism. Together, credo and trinity—the one defining purpose, the other practice—constitute the essence of the way that Washington has attempted to govern and police the American Century. The relationship between the two is symbiotic. The trinity lends plausibility to the credo's vast claims. For its part, the credo justifies the trinity's vast requirements and exertions.

Together they provide the basis for an enduring consensus that imparts a consistency to U.S. policy regardless of which political party may hold the upper hand or who may be occupying the White House. From the era of Harry Truman to the age of Barack Obama, that consensus has remained intact. It defines the rules to which Washington adheres; it determines the precepts by which Washington rules. As used here, Washington is less a geographic expression than a set of interlocking institutions headed by people who, whether acting officially or unofficially, are able to put a thumb on the helm of state. Washington, in this sense, includes the upper echelons of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government. It encompasses the principal components of the national security state— the departments of Defense, State, and, more recently, Homeland Security, along with various agencies comprising the intelligence and federal law enforcement communities. Its ranks extend to select think tanks and interest groups. Lawyers, lobbyists, fixers, former officials, and retired military officers who still enjoy access are members in good standing. Yet Washington also reaches beyond the Beltway to include big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

With rare exceptions, acceptance of the Washington rules forms a prerequisite for entry into this world. My purpose in writing this book is fivefold: first, to trace the origins and evolution of the Washington rules—both the credo that inspires consensus and the trinity in which it finds expression; second, to subject the resulting consensus to critical inspection, showing who wins and who loses and also who foots the bill; third, to explain how the Washington rules are perpetuated, with certain views privileged while others are declared disreputable; fourth, to demonstrate that the rules themselves have lost whatever utility they may once have possessed, with their implications increasingly pernicious and their costs increasingly unaffordable; and finally, to argue for readmitting disreputable (or "radical") views to our national security debate, in effect legitimating alternatives to the status quo. In effect, my aim is to invite readers to share in the process of education on which I embarked two decades ago in Berlin. The Washington rules were forged at a moment when American influence and power were approaching their acme. That moment has now passed. The United States has drawn down the stores of authority and goodwill it had acquired by 1945. Words uttered in Washington command less respect than once was the case. Americans can ill afford to indulge any longer in dreams of saving the world, much less remaking it in our own image. The curtain is now falling on the American Century. Similarly, the United States no longer possesses sufficient wherewithal to sustain a national security strategy that relies on global military presence and global power projection to underwrite a policy of global interventionism. Touted as essential to peace, adherence to that strategy has propelled the United States into a condition approximating perpetual war, as the military misadventures of the past decade have demonstrated.

To anyone with eyes to see, the shortcomings inherent in the Washington rules have become plainly evident. Although those most deeply invested in perpetuating its conventions will insist otherwise, the tradition to which Washington remains devoted has begun to unravel. Attempting to prolong its existence might serve Washington's interests, but it will not serve the interests of the American people.

Devising an alternative to the reigning national security paradigm will pose a daunting challenge—especially if Americans look to "Washington" for fresh thinking. Yet doing so has become essential. In one sense, the national security policies to which Washington so insistently adheres express what has long been the preferred American approach to engaging the world beyond our borders. That approach plays to America's presumed strong suit—since World War II, and especially since the end of the Cold War, thought to be military power. In another sense, this reliance on military might creates excuses for the United States to avoid serious engagement: Confidence in American arms has made it unnecessary to attend to what others might think or to consider how their aspirations might differ from our own.

In this way, the Washington rules reinforce American provincialism—a national trait for which the United States continues to pay dearly. The persistence of these rules has also provided an excuse to avoid serious self-engagement. From this perspective, confidence that the credo and the trinity will oblige others to accommodate themselves to America's needs or desires — whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods—has allowed Washington to postpone or ignore problems demanding attention here at home.

Fixing Iraq or Afghanistan ends up taking precedence over fixing Cleveland and Detroit. Purporting to support the troops in their crusade to free the world obviates any obligation to assess the implications of how Americans themselves choose to exercise freedom. When Americans demonstrate a willingness to engage seriously with others, combined with the courage to engage seriously with themselves, then real education just might begin.


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[Jan 21, 2020] Tulsi Gabbard and Rigged Elections by Kurt Nimmo

Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi is spot on about the "debates," which are nothing of the sort. Indeed, they are a form of televised bread and circuses -- bread because most Americans receive some kind of support from the government, and a circus because all circuses are comical, theatrical, and well-scripted. ..."
"... Elizabeth Warren will be unable to break the corporate stranglehold on America. It is pure insanity to believe otherwise. The Democrat and Republican parties -- one party disguised as two -- will not savage corporations with taxation and redoubled punitive regulation, not if they wish to remain in Congress and receive money to run obscenely expensive campaigns. ..."
"... It will take more than a "debate" boycott to send the message. It will take a revolution to finally drain Trump's swamp, end the endless wars, and force transnational corporations and foreign governments (most egregiously Israel) out of the bed they have shared for so long with our "representatives," who are largely nothing more than self-seeking sociopaths on short leashes ..."
"... Kurt Nimmo writes on his blog, Another Day in the Empire, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research. ..."
Oct 11, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

Tulsi Gabbard , who has at best minimal support by Democrats (around one percent), and zero from the corporate DNC, posted the following video earlier today.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dPcGFjyGxI4

There are so many of you who I've met in Iowa and New Hampshire who have expressed to me how frustrated you are that the DNC and corporate media are essentially trying to usurp your role as voters in choosing who our Democratic nominee will be.

This, of course, is nothing new, but thanks to Tulsi for reminding us of how "elections" are conducted. In fact, the state long ago corrupted the process and has selected candidates for long as anybody can remember.

How is it possible a cognitively challenged and corrupt hack like Joe Biden is number one in the running -- or was until Elizabeth Warren took that spot away from him? It's possible because Biden is a trusted asset eager to do whatever he is told, same as Obama, Bush the lesser, Clinton (a "brother by another mother"), Bush the elder, Reagan on and on, down the line. Like Hillary Clinton, the Democrat establishment believes it is Biden's "turn" to read the teleprompter. All the others, well, they're spoilers.

They are attempting to replace the roles of voters in the early states, using polling and other arbitrary methods which are not transparent or democratic, and holding so-called debates which are not debates at all but rather commercialized reality television meant to entertain, not inform or enlighten.

That replacement happened decades ago. Trump won the election because our rulers left the election process intact, arrogantly confident their handpicked candidates will win because only those who have come up through the system are permitted to run. It's left intact as a public relations gimmick designed to fool the proles who are, regrettably, all too easy to control -- or were until Trump appeared on the scene.

Just Rumors or Is Hillary Clinton Seriously Considering Another Run for U.S. President in 2020?

Tulsi is spot on about the "debates," which are nothing of the sort. Indeed, they are a form of televised bread and circuses -- bread because most Americans receive some kind of support from the government, and a circus because all circuses are comical, theatrical, and well-scripted.

As for being informed, that's the last thing the ruling elite want. They have us believe in fantasies so absurd they may as well be props in a Luis Buñuel film -- for instance, killing people in foreign lands is humanitarian and the economy is doing great (never mind the unemployed, the homeless, and record debt, both governmental and personal).

In order to bring attention to this serious threat to our democracy, and ensure your voice is heard, I am giving serious consideration to boycotting the next debate on October 15th. I will announce my decision within the next few days. With my deepest aloha, thank you all again for your support.

This is commendable, although, sadly, an almost transparent blip on the political radar screen. Big corporate media will certainly not take notice, and if they perchance do it will be with snide commentary.

The soft totalitarian machine rejects the socialist palliatives of Elizabeth Warren. She appears to be anti-corporatist, and that is inexcusable. Many of our political and social problems are related to the domination of corporations, most of the crony variety.

Elizabeth Warren will be unable to break the corporate stranglehold on America. It is pure insanity to believe otherwise. The Democrat and Republican parties -- one party disguised as two -- will not savage corporations with taxation and redoubled punitive regulation, not if they wish to remain in Congress and receive money to run obscenely expensive campaigns.

Warren will be overshadowed by the Hildabeast, Hillary Clinton , who is determined to be president. She will enter the race sometime next year, overturning the apple cart of other hopefuls, all spouting the same wealth distribution nonsense because, after all, a well-trained and ceaselessly indoctrinated public, most on a modern version of the Roman Cura Annona grain dole, love free stuff (stolen from others).

No way will the DNC accept Elizabeth Warren as the nominee. She will be subverted, the same way Bernie Sanders was.

Most Americans don't trust or like Hillary, but that hardly matters.

The days of Trump may soon be over. If he's not impeached on spurious grounds, he will enter the race under a toxic cloud of accusation and unproven high crimes and misdemeanors greatly amplified by a propaganda media. Polls consistently show he is losing traction, and the MAGA crowd is increasingly disillusioned, unable to realize its populist agenda.

I'm sorry, Tulsi. Your effort to unmask the subversion of the election system will largely fall on deaf ears. As of this morning, the above video garnered a mere 800 views.

It will take more than a "debate" boycott to send the message. It will take a revolution to finally drain Trump's swamp, end the endless wars, and force transnational corporations and foreign governments (most egregiously Israel) out of the bed they have shared for so long with our "representatives," who are largely nothing more than self-seeking sociopaths on short leashes.

*

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Kurt Nimmo writes on his blog, Another Day in the Empire, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

[Jan 21, 2020] Goldstein 2.0 ISIS has a new big bad leader

Notable quotes:
"... For starters, don't be surprised if his "fortification" of ISIS means Donald Trump can't pull out of Syria after all. Or maybe if ISIS attacks on Iraqi civilians/militias result in the Iraqi parliament revoking their request for the US to remove their troops from Iraqi soil. ..."
"... There's the possibility that ISIS will start a resurgence in Libya, meaning that NATO has to get in there and sort things out. Maybe some furious ISIS fighters will be the ones who assassinate Iranian generals in future. It's much less messy that way. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

For starters, don't be surprised if his "fortification" of ISIS means Donald Trump can't pull out of Syria after all. Or maybe if ISIS attacks on Iraqi civilians/militias result in the Iraqi parliament revoking their request for the US to remove their troops from Iraqi soil.

There's the possibility that ISIS will start a resurgence in Libya, meaning that NATO has to get in there and sort things out. Maybe some furious ISIS fighters will be the ones who assassinate Iranian generals in future. It's much less messy that way.

Or, hell, maybe we'll return to the hits of the 90s and early 2000s, and Islamic jihadists will get back to work in Chechnya.

Whatever happens, ISIS are back baby. And that means that some way, somehow, Mr al-Salbi is about to make the foreign policy goals of the United States much easier.

That's what Goldsteins are for.

harry law ,

.... The US have used Islamic state against both Syria and Iraq, [the enemy of my enemy is my friend].

There can be no doubt that the US are going to use Islamic state to disrupt Iraq, just as they had no qualms about watching [from satellites and spotter aircraft] Islamic state travel 100's of kilometres from Syria to Northern Iraq [Mosul] across the desert, whipping up tons of dust in their Toyota jeeps to put pressure on the Iraqi government. Also as they watched on with equanimity when the Islamic state transported thousands of tanker loads of oil from Syria to Turkey, that is until the Russians bombed those convoys, the US must think everyone is as stupid as they are. If the Iraqis don't drive the US out using all means including violence, they deserve to be slaves.

"Sergey Lavrov earlier called the US-led coalition's refusal to combat al-Nusra "absolutely unacceptable."

"Iraqi security expert Kazim al-Haaj said "US Army troops are preparing and training the ISIL militants in al-Qadaf and Wadi al-Houran regions of Al-Anbar province with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks and restarting insecurity in Iraq." https://stephenlendman.org/2020/01/trump-regime-shifting-isis-terrorists-from-syria-to-iraq/

[Jan 19, 2020] ISIS had become a proxy army of the CIA; that's likely why Soleimani had to be killed.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

michael888 , Jan 19 2020 13:19 utc | 114

Almost all of the "terrorism" affecting the West has been Wahabbi Salafist Sunni driven. Iran, despite their religious head, is a more modern sectarian nation than Saudi Arabia. ISIS had become a proxy army of the CIA; that's likely why Soleimani had to be killed. It is time to align with Iran and the Shia for a change. They also have oil! Would send a nice message to our "allies" Israel and Saudi Arabia as well.

Sasha , Jan 19 2020 13:23 utc | 115

Trump has given signals of opposition to the wisdom of the use of jihadi proxies,

@Posted by: BM | Jan 19 2020 11:09 utc | 107

Really?

Revealed: US moves IS leaders to Al-Anbar, Iraq

After only a week or so after this heinous crime, we are assisting already to a new campaign on whitewashing Trump at each of the US military blogs...SST at the head...as always...but following the rest...be it a editorial level, be it at commentariat level...

What part of Trump admitting he personally ordered the murder you have not understood?

What part of Soleimani and Al Muhandis being the main strategic heads of real anti-IS front have you not understood?

[Jan 19, 2020] The cost of Trump rabid militarism

Jan 19, 2020 | journal-neo.org

The United States has spent about $6 trillion on combat operations over the past 20 years, according to Brown University studies . If the warfare ends by 2023, researchers estimate the total cost will be $6.7 trillion at least, not counting the interest on debt.

In total, almost half a million people have died as a result of the wars.

The cost of 87 major programs for the purchase of weapons and military equipment conducted by the US Department of Defense exceeded $2 trillion in 2018, according to the Pentagon's Selected Acquisition Reports (SAR), which detail the implementation of major defense purchases. The combined cost of all procurement programs was determined by the Pentagon to be over $2 trillion. This is equivalent to almost 10% of the annual gross domestic product of the United States ($21.3 trillion).

Trying to justify such exorbitant spending on the army, the US military and political elites actively promote their interests, advertising the national armed forces as the main fighting force. Recently, Joseph F. Dunford, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, declared that 'there are no forces today capable of resisting an attack by the US Army.' Unsurprisingly, the Department of Defense (DoD) desires even more money, although there is no logical explanation as to why the most powerful army on the planet is in need of improvement when everyone else is clearly lagging behind.

But what is the real face of the US Army today and how does the public feel about it?

Global Research correctly remarked that, despite the largest military budget in the world (five times greater than in six other countries), the highest number of military bases in the world (over 180) and the most expensive military-industrial complex, the United States has failed to win a single war in the 21 st century.

Every year, Pew Research Center publishes hundreds of studies on a wide range of topics. Concerning the current problems of the US military, Pew studies note that most American veterans and the majority of the general US public believe that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting. Over 60% of the American public is convinced that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not paid off, when the costs and benefits are weighed. Responding to questions about the US military campaign in Syria, 55% of veterans and 58% of the American public said that this campaign failed to pay off as well.

Frustration with the country's military policy has now become a big problem among active US servicemen, veterans, and even among young soldiers who haven't participated in real combat.

The incautious question 'How has serving impacted you?' posted by the Pentagon's official Twitter account, has revealed the deep chasm of the US military's problems. So deep, in fact, that the Pentagon had to urgently close and remove a huge number of subsequent replies, most of which turned out to be very depressing in nature. US Army soldiers and officers shared the shocking consequences of their service, including drug addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders and nightmares – some admitting they had repeatedly wanted to commit suicide.

Currently there are up to 19 million retired veterans 'in the most belligerent democratic country in the world.' Every day, about 20 of them commit suicide. The causes of suicide cited by experts are diverse, the main ones being depressions, nervous breakdowns, spiritual and psychological devastation coupled with guilt for killing innocent people, post-traumatic stress disorder, increased military operations, medical abuse, and personal financial problems. Social media are full of horrific stories about how injured soldiers weren't provided necessary medical attention during military operations, which drove them to shooting themselves in the head. Meanwhile junior army members state that they are basically expendable for their commanders, and all of them combined present an endless means of earning money for the highest elite.

[Jan 19, 2020] Now BoneSpurs Opened the Pandora's Box of Open State Level Assassinations Not Ethical - Inhumane and Imbecilic, really. That's why I am voting for Gabbard this Time. A 2nd Gen Navy Vet. Been to War Zones in the Gulf.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

IronForge , Jan 18 2020 3:03 utc | 93

The MIC were running about without leashes.

Once they delved into "Conquest and Exploitation", the Military were OverScoped and Few People thought of rebuilding/modernizing Civil Infrastructure and Economy of the Conquered.

Also, IMHO, every Govt-Job that affect the Military and Veterans' Lives should be held by Veterans. Need them to be where the Rubber Meets the Road before sending others into harm's way. I'd go as far to require WH, Congress, Supremes to be Previously Assigned to Combat Units/Hot Zones (FatBoy Pompeo Fails here) - and have Combat Eligible Family be in Active Duty or Drilling Reserves - ready to be sent to the Front Lines should they call for War while running the Republic-turned-Hegemon.

That would include BoneShards' Adult Children and Spouses.

WH have been on a PetroUSD/MIC/PNAC7/AIPAC Bandwagon - which drive down Non-Yielding Nation-States with Sanctions.

Now BoneShards Opened the Pandora's Box of Open State Level Assassinations using Diplomatic Peace Missions as Venues. Worse? Against a Nation-State which can Respond in Kind - AND Develop+Deploy Nuclear WMDs. Not Ethical - Inhumane and Imbecilic, really. That's why I am voting for Gabbard this Time. A 2nd Gen Navy Vet. Been to War Zones in the Gulf.

lysias , Jan 18 2020 3:24 utc | 97

This retired Lieutenant Commander of the U.S. Navy has also been donating to Gabbard.

[Jan 19, 2020] The frantic attempt to deflect attention from US foreign wars and mainly derisive media coverage of Tulsi Gabbard is a case in point. Is she the harbinger of a growing political movement aiming to dismantle the military empire project?

Highly recommended!
Trump has been a kind of part deranged, part clever political monkey wrench thrown into the works of the USA military machine
Notable quotes:
"... I begin with the premise that the United States is a longstanding cultural catastrophe, and is far along the way in the process of destroying itself, after having destroyed or damaged the prospects of much of the planet. ..."
"... Within the context of the attack on Indochina, on the ground and taking place within the spaces left alive after the B52 bombers et al, there was the 'Phoenix Program'. euphemism for the CIA's ambitious program of technocratic torture, assassination, bribery, corruption, and so on, with tens of thousands of murdered victims. And the military destroyed uncounted villages, a la My Lai. ..."
"... Note then that Trump has almost patented the 'fake news' meme. The idea that the msm is lying about and hiding the truth, non-stop propaganda, is an idea that Trump has pushed repeatedly. Most people on the MofA etc are well aware of that. But for many 'normies', that's not quite as obvious. ..."
"... And yes, he himself could be described as the liar in chief. But doesn't deflect from the great collapse in the status of the msm propaganda machine. And that propaganda machine has been very much associated with the CIA via operation Mockingbird and its generations long progeny. ..."
"... So the attack on the media via fake news is a direct attack on the basic indispensable control mechanism of the deep state, and CIA. ..."
"... Note too that after three Years of Trump, the long standing criminality and corruption of the FBI has never looked as obvious. Again, we don't have to give Trump credit. But it happened on his 'watch'. ..."
"... We're not talking miracle cures here. But Trump has been a kind of part deranged, part clever political monkey wrench thrown into the works. As to whether his disruptive arrival has provided openings for more sensible political and cultural innovations remains to be seen. ..."
"... Many of the internal difficulties that the US faces are distinct from militarism, but related to militarism in the sense that a police state keeping control via surveillance and bs, etc, and spending its money on empire, is not going to prioritize clear honest discourse. In the end, one overarching question for the US like the rest of us is: can we achieve honesty and common sense? ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Robert Snefjella , Jan 17 2020 23:50 utc | 64
Previously, most discussions of the Trump presidency reflexively proceeded to either visceral disgust etc or accolades of some species. Trumps words and manners dominated. As things developed, and actual results were recorded, a body of more sober second thought developed. And a variation on these more experience/reality based assessments is what b has delivered above.

Some of my points that follow are repeats, some are new. On the whole I see Trump as a helpful and positive-result really bad President.

I begin with the premise that the United States is a longstanding cultural catastrophe, and is far along the way in the process of destroying itself, after having destroyed or damaged the prospects of much of the planet.

As one aspect of this cultural catastrophe, let's refer back to the United States attack on Indochina, which accomplished millions of dead and millions of wounded people, and birth defects still in uncounted numbers as a legacy of dioxin etc laden chemical warfare. The millions of dead included some tens of thousands of American soldiers, and even more wounded physically, and even more wounded 'mentally'.

Within the context of the attack on Indochina, on the ground and taking place within the spaces left alive after the B52 bombers et al, there was the 'Phoenix Program'. euphemism for the CIA's ambitious program of technocratic torture, assassination, bribery, corruption, and so on, with tens of thousands of murdered victims. And the military destroyed uncounted villages, a la My Lai.

When asked what it was all about, Kissinger lied in an inadvertently illuminating way: "basically nothing" was how he put it, if memory serves.

During and after the attack on Indochina, the US trained, aided, financed, etc active death squads in Central and South America, demonstrating that the United States was an equal opportunity death dealer.

Now this was a bit of a meander away from the Trump topic, but note that Trump came to power within the above cultural context and much more pathology besides, talking about ending the warfare state. Again, this is not an attempt to portray Trump as either sincere or insincere in that policy. In terms of ideas, it was roughly speaking a good idea.

Another main part of the Trump message was 'let's rebuild America'. And along with the de-militarization and national program of rejuvenation there was the 'drain the swamp' meme, which again resonated. And once again, I am not arguing that Trump was sincere, or for that matter insincere. That's irrelevant to the point I'm trying to make: which could essentially by reduced to: what will be the actual meaning and potential impact of Trump?

Note then that Trump has almost patented the 'fake news' meme. The idea that the msm is lying about and hiding the truth, non-stop propaganda, is an idea that Trump has pushed repeatedly. Most people on the MofA etc are well aware of that. But for many 'normies', that's not quite as obvious.

And yes, he himself could be described as the liar in chief. But doesn't deflect from the great collapse in the status of the msm propaganda machine. And that propaganda machine has been very much associated with the CIA via operation Mockingbird and its generations long progeny.

So the attack on the media via fake news is a direct attack on the basic indispensable control mechanism of the deep state, and CIA.

Note too that after three Years of Trump, the long standing criminality and corruption of the FBI has never looked as obvious. Again, we don't have to give Trump credit. But it happened on his 'watch'.

Now the deep cultural, including political, pathology in the United States, in its many manifestations remain. We're not talking miracle cures here. But Trump has been a kind of part deranged, part clever political monkey wrench thrown into the works. As to whether his disruptive arrival has provided openings for more sensible political and cultural innovations remains to be seen.

The frantic attempt to deflect attention from and give mainly derisive media coverage to Tulsi Gabbard is a case in point. Is she the harbinger of a growing political movement aiming to dismantle the military empire project?

Many of the internal difficulties that the US faces are distinct from militarism, but related to militarism in the sense that a police state keeping control via surveillance and bs, etc, and spending its money on empire, is not going to prioritize clear honest discourse. In the end, one overarching question for the US like the rest of us is: can we achieve honesty and common sense?

[Jan 19, 2020] The fact is, it's impossible to elect a real "populist outsider" as US President. The system is set up to ensure that NEVER happens.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jan 18 2020 1:32 utc | 83

I agree with everyone that doesn't believe the political farce/headfake/psyop.

The fact is, it's impossible to elect a real "populist outsider" as US President. The system is set up to ensure that NEVER happens.

I used to get very frustrated by b's failure to understand US politics but it's now clear to me that anti-USA/anti-Empire folks LOVE to talk up Trump because they think they can exploit a rift in USA power elite - a rift that doesn't really exist .

The standard push-back response to someone like me saying that Trump was selected as President is: bu..but Trump is not a puppet! LOL. That's right! He's a faux populist team player . Just like Obama.

I explain more at my blog. Start with this: https://jackrabbit.blog/2018/08/more-evidence-that-trump-was-the-deep-state-choice/ .

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Triangle of power ... corporate, executive government, and military factions

This is naive. It's an outdated theory. Anyone that knows American society knows that power has become concentrated since this theory was first proposed. And that concentration has put EMPIRE FIRST warmongers/neocons at the top of heap.

Furthermore, Russia's willingness to confront USA in 2013 and 2014 had a profound effect on the pampered Empire-builders that thought that they and their progeny would rule the world. The Trump psy-op is their answer to the challenge from Russia and China.

=
Afghanistan and Trump's "lecture" to the Generals

Well, Trump is STILL THERE (in Afghanistan), isn't he?

And I'd be very skeptical of anything WaPo had to say about Trump.

IMO Trump isn't looking to withdraw from Afghanistan, or NATO, or North Korea, or Syria, or anywhere else. He's looking for Generals that have a will to fight. And that's a very scary prospect.

=
the military faction did not concur with his 'America first' isolationist tendencies.

Sorry, virtually everybody that matters in USA ("the 1%") is EMPIRE FIRST. Trump's 'America First' is just a bullshit slogan to fool the masses. Just as much as Obama's "Change You Can Believe In" was.

Trump is NOT an isolationist. Why does this false narrative still persist? Trump's many acts of war attest to his belligerent interventionist nature:

> seizing Venezuelan government assets;

> seizing Syrian oil fields;

> the assassination of an Iranian General;

> reneging on peace terms with North Korean (IMO reneging on a peace deal with a country that you're still technically at war with is an act of war);

> Pulling out of Cold War I arms treaties with Russia and militarizing space;

> taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - going against UN resolutions to do so;

> recognizing Golan Heights as Israeli - going against UN resolutions to do so;

> support for the Saudi war against Yemen - which includes arms sales, training, and even targeting.


These countries haven't declared war only because it's impractical to do so.

Why can't people see what charlatans Obama and Trump are? What has Trump done to demonstrate that he will be true to his campaign rhetoric? Nothing! Trump:

- didn't prosecute Hillary;

- didn't "end Obamacare on day one";

- didn't exit from NATO;

- didn't exit from the Middle-east;

- hasn't ended the threat from North Korea;

- hasn't brought jobs back (we just have more low-end jobs);

- hasn't "drained the swamp".

=
Most of the 'dopes and babies' who were in that room have since been fired or retired.

Really? What about this: Obama's Military Coup Purges 197 Officers In Five Years .

b's oversight highlights how the focus on TRUMP!! obscures what the Deep State has really been up to. And how even smart people like b are drawn into false narratives.

=
... Trump seems to have a good chance to win the next election.

Many moa commenters have been saying much the same. But the reasoning that three power centers are lined up for Trump is a red-herring.

Plus, whether Trump wins the next election or not, USA is on a path to war.

!!

[Jan 18, 2020] Major Political Changes in Russia

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Major announcements in this State of the Nation speech on Jan 15, 2020.

Here is a very brief summary to get the conversation started.

Immediate politics :

who reduced uncollected VAT from 20% to 1%. Source tells me FM Sergey Lavrov rumored to be permanently retiring.

Constitutional changes :

Demographics :

continued fall in Russia's fertility rates to 1.5 children per woman this year (up from post-Soviet peak of close to 1.8 in mid-2000s), setting 1.7 children per woman as the new target for 2024. Reaffirmed demographics as the first national priority. Maternity capital to be increased by further 150,000 rubles and constitute 616,617 rubles (≈$10,000) for a family with two children, to be annually indexed.

***

Some very tentative thoughts :

(1) I have long thought now that Putin's end game is to transition into an overseeing "elder statesman" role, along the model of Lee Kuan Yew/PAP in Singapore [see 1 , 2 , 3 ]. This appears to be the final confirmation that this is happening.

(2) Questions about the succession revolved around (a) The Belarus variant, in which it effectively constitutes a new state with Russia, allowing Putin to become the supreme head of that state; (b) A constitutional reshuffle such as the one we're seeing here. This question has also been answered.


utu , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:16 pm GMT

" Putin's end game is to transition into an overseeing "elder statesman" role" – Not always does it work: King Lear, Benedict 16.

"Lear gave up a God-given duty and right to rule his people. His tragic flaw 'hamartia' is presumptuousness. He presumes that he can divest himself of what God invested him with (the Elizabethan idea of the divine rights of the ruler), he grows in tragic stature as the play progresses." – found on google.

AnonFromTN , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:28 pm GMT

Putin's end game is to transition into an overseeing "elder statesman" role

Looks more like he plans to become a powerful Prime Minister after 2024, rather than elder statesman. Might be good in the medium term: politicians of his caliber are rare. Still, in the longer term Russia needs a real successor: rule by committee never works, even in smaller and simpler countries.

Anatoly Karlin , says: Website January 15, 2020 at 5:42 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN I think (and it's already been said for years) that's he too tired for the role of PM, which is more intensive than the Presidency and involved dealing with boring domestic crap whereas the Presidency, at least, offers more in the way of Grand Strategy, diplomacy, etc.

I think the likeliest game plan is for him to chair a much more empowered State Council after 2024. (This is what Nazarbayev did with the Security Council after retiring last year).

Felix Keverich , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:42 pm GMT

Presidential candidates should have been resident in Russia for 25 years (previously 10 years) and never had a foreign citizenship. (This rules out a large proportion of Atlanticists and crypto-Atlanticists).

Does this imply, that they'll allow an actual election in 2024? I'm getting excited

Speaking of constitutional changes, they should just get rid of the entire Yeltsin's text, and write a new one. Yeltsin's constitution is a mishmash of French and American constitutions, completely detached from the country's realities and tradition.

So union with Belarus is still on the table right? But if that happens it would be Belarus joining a continuous RF, under the newly modified constitution?

My take on this is that Lukashenka told Putin to piss off, and he did. So no union.

JPM , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:44 pm GMT

Reaffirmed demographics as the first national priority.

How about not importing all of Central Asia, so that wages aren't depressed. Higher wages might boost that low TFR.

Maternity capital to be increased by further 150,000 rubles and constitute 616,617 rubles (≈$10,000) for a family with two children, to be annually indexed.

Will that will help subsidize the Chechens, Avars, Laks etc. the most relative to their population size because Russia is a "Multinational" state with equality for all of its "constituent" nations?

Speaking of which will Uzbek and Tajik guests be able to get in on that too? A future Russian Duma might need to grant more rights to them because Russia will need more workers to support its aging population. They speak Russian after all, and there is a shared history. So, they will integrate well into society. I feel like that is what a future Russian PM will be arguing a few years down the line.

AnonFromTN , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:46 pm GMT
@Boswald Bollocksworth s everything that is going to befall it.
Second, Lukashenko himself is a problem. He might be qualified to run a small agrobusiness, but certainly nothing greater than that. Yet his outsized ego (common among morons, think Bush Jr) won't let him fade away peacefully.
Third, Belarus is subsidized by Russia, and many Russian citizens believe that the money would be much better spent inside Russia or helping countries that deserve this aid, like Syria.
Maybe Putin thinks differently, but he does a lot to remain popular. So, after pension reform hit to his support I don't think he is going to do something most people disapprove of.
Anatoly Karlin , says: Website January 15, 2020 at 5:48 pm GMT
@JPM Fortunately, there's very little Central Asian breeding going on it Russia – the pattern is for them to make their money (5-10x what they can make at home) and raise families at home.

Chechens, Avars, etc. will benefit disproportionately, but the program is after all primarily intended as an incentive. Personally, I think a childlessness tax will be much more effective, since people react better to penalties than rewards – plus it will rake in a net profit – but I don't suppose its politically feasible in the modern age.

Thulean Friend , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:53 pm GMT
Seems like a good balance between a liberal direction – limiting any one president to two absolute terms while substantially increasing the say of the parliament – and some common sense requirements (like on citizenship).

Putting it to a referendum is also welcome. The will of the people should not only be heard but increased.

Putin bemoaned continued fall in Russia's fertility rates to 1.5 children per woman this year (up from post-Soviet peak of close to 1.8 in mid-2000s), setting 1.7 children per woman as the new target for 2024.
Reaffirmed demographics as the first national priority.
Maternity capital to be increased by further 150,000 rubles and constitute 616,617 rubles (≈$10,000) for a family with two children, to be annually indexed.

I doubt this will work.

The biggest problem for fertility all over the world is housing. As long as the housing sector is neoliberalised, it will be a major impediment. Affordable housing is per definition low-margin and hence not interesting to private developers. For them, a perpetual housing shortage pushes up the profit margin. All firms are constantly seeking to maximise profits, so their behaviour is rational from a purely market fundamentalist point of view. That's why market fundamentalism need to be overthrown. There has to be a massive building spree to lower the cost of housing to no more than 4-5 years of annual (net) wages for a median worker to buy without debt. That would be the real game changer. Import the churkas and get it done.

The second problem is ideology and religiosity. If you look at Israel, a major component of their high fertility is the massively increasing Haredi sector. Even outside the Haredis, they have a high share of genuinely religious jews. For the seculars, TFR is still a respectable 2.5, which is likely explained by nationalism. Whatever Russian nationalism is, it isn't very fecund. Russians aren't very religious either, though Putin seems to be. Church attendence in Russia is quite low. At this stage, I don't believe high fertility can be solved without going into artificial wombs and more exotic solutions. A cultural revolution doesn't seem to be on the cards.

(2) Questions about the succession revolved around (a) The Belarus variant, in which it effectively constitutes a new state with Russia, allowing Putin to become the supreme head of that state; (b) A constitutional reshuffle such as the one we're seeing here. This question has also been answered.

I still think Belarus will be swallowed by Russia within this decade.

[Jan 18, 2020] The new role of Russian Federation State Council in Putin plan

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Mitleser , says: January 15, 2020 at 6:13 pm GMT

@Aly so Chairman of the State Council.

The State Council includes the following members: the Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the Speaker of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoys to the federal districts, senior officials (heads of the highest executive agencies of state power) in Russia's federal constituent entities, and the heads of the political parties in the State Duma.

http://en.kremlin.ru/structure/state-council

[Jan 18, 2020] Mishustin is a genius at reforming bureaucracies with IT systems

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Philip Owen , says: January 15, 2020 at 6:28 pm GMT

Mishustin is a genius at reforming bureaucracies with IT systems. He is also an economist who thinks Russia should be less autarkic. He is in the Kudrin camp. For example, he is still scheduled to speak at the Gaidar forum. Shoigu seems to have fallen back. M is associated witht he Union of Right Forces.

There has been a huge Twitter storm of people/trolls posting this a Putin's effort to stay in power.

[Jan 18, 2020] More power to Parliament means Oligarchy control, like all western countries.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

nickels , says: January 15, 2020 at 6:59 pm GMT

More power to Parliament means Oligarchy control, like all western countries.
Not good.
Maïkl Makfaïl , says: January 15, 2020 at 11:47 pm GMT
@nickels Exactly . Kudrin and his friends want parliament to have more power so that the russian people have less of it. They know they have 0 legitimacy , that the people hate them and that they would never survive at the top of the political elite if a real and intelligent nationalist comes to power in Russia one day ( Putin is a half-disapointment whose main merit is to have benefited from the work of Primakov ). They want the presidency to be paralysed . I hope they wont succeed and that there will always be a strong statesman on their way in Russia.
Thulean Friend , says: January 16, 2020 at 4:50 am GMT
@nickels control away from oligarchs, but that is more due to his own force of personality rather than the system itself.

In brief, whether a country will be beholden to oligarchs is less due to the governance structure and more about the general culture. Some countries have a very corrupt citizenry/culture and that will produce bad outcomes in most situations in the long run regardless of the political system. This can only be suspended temporarily by a very strong leader – but you only get them infrequently.

The only hope to reduce power of oligarchs when Putin leaves power is to attack corruption in society, at both high levels and ground levels.

nickels , says: January 16, 2020 at 3:17 pm GMT
@Thulean Friend 'The only institution ever devised by men for mastering the money powers in the state is the Monarchy.'
Napolean.

Belloc, for one, writes over and over on this theme.

Most European histories are Whig histories, and, hence, worthless on this topic. Which is not to discount your valid point about princes becoming indebted to jews. Aristocracy had this problem to a greater extent.

Daniel Chieh , says: January 16, 2020 at 5:30 pm GMT
@nickels advantage. Contrary to Thulean, I believe that universal rule of law actually weakens the state and its ability to control merchantile factions. Of course, casual acceptance of "rule of power" is a form of corruption and if it isn't limited to the strongman himself, results in wasteful factionalism.

However, this essential snubbing of the merchantile factions has the very obvious result of them working against the state, for "rule of law"(which benefits them), and of course, not helping their rivals in the warrior factions. In the long run, lack of access to liquidity can severely cripple governments that don't play well with potential creditors.

nickels , says: January 16, 2020 at 7:56 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

I believe that universal rule of law actually weakens the state and its ability to control merchantile factions.

Yes, I think this is the key factor. Government by committee is no government, which means the parasites will rise to take over.

Additionally, the western stupidity of tying everything to high flown abstractions, i.e. universal law and principles, is both idiotic and impossible. History demands the intervention of the intellect, i.e. the mind of the monarch or the autocrat.

Thulean Friend , says: January 16, 2020 at 8:06 pm GMT
@nickels e was not particularly involved in planning the conquest and the company self-financed much of the early stages of the conquest itself, ironically enough often from wealthy Indians who were given attractive financing options. The company innovated many things we take for granted today, such as the joint stock company. Of course, the British state did step in eventually but by that time much of the groundwork had already been set. Adjusted for inflation, the EIC was many times larger than either Google or Apple is today at its peak, closer to 4+ trillion USD.

Too much of history blindly focuses on kings and rulers while ignoring many non-state actors.

nickels , says: January 16, 2020 at 9:01 pm GMT
@Thulean Friend Sounds interesting, thx.
'Why War' by Frederic Clemson Howe had a similar theme about how the 'flag followed the dollar' in the lead up to WWI.
Philip Owen , says: January 17, 2020 at 12:11 am GMT
@Thulean Friend money from private trading as company employees were allowed to do. The less rich one commanded three regiments of cavalry at the 3rd siege of Seringapatam. He was elected Prize Officer and thus had an extra share.

They returned and with other East India men built a canal to a coal mine they opened on the hill above an iron works eventually connecting Clydach Gorge to the sea thus launching the industrial revolution in South Wales. So there are very direct links between profits from trade and the industrial revolution. They fed off each other. South Wales at one time produced most of the world's copper. This was in great demand in India for making brass.

[Jan 18, 2020] Today's Russia is a product of several factors

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Today's Russia is a product of several factors:

[Jan 18, 2020] I don't know if Trump is in fact overplayed by the Israelis or, worst, being deceived and goaded by them.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Swedish Family , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:13 pm GMT

@Interested Bystander 2020

However, it is hard to miss Trump's style over the past three years, a consistently unconventional approach to problems that often seems illogical and rushed at the first glance, but upon a closer examination, his approaches usually have their own logic and underlying motivation that, on occasions, could be construed as the result of a broader strategic and tactical consideration.

I once believed this, but Michael Wolff's books quickly dispelled that fantasy. Here's what strategy meant during the campaign:

It was during Trump's early intelligence briefings, held soon after he captured the nomination, that alarm signals first went off among his new campaign staff: he seemed to lack the ability to take in third-party information. Or maybe he lacked the interest; whichever, he seemed almost phobic about having formal demands on his attention. He stonewalled every written page and balked at every explanation. "He's a guy who really hated school," said Bannon. "And he's not going to start liking it now."

[ ]

One of the ways to establish what Trump wanted and where he stood and what his underlying policy intentions were -- or at least the intentions that you could convince him were his -- came to involve an improbably close textual analysis of his largely off-the-cuff speeches, random remarks, and reflexive tweets during the campaign.

Bannon doggedly went through the Trump oeuvre highlighting possible insights and policy proscriptions. Part of Bannon's authority in the new White House was as keeper of the Trump promises, meticulously logged onto the white board in his office. Some of these promises Trump enthusiastically remembered making, others he had little memory of, but was happy to accept that he had said it. Bannon acted as disciple and promoted Trump to guru -- or inscrutable God.

Fire and Fury (Michael Wolff, 2018)

And here's Trump readying himself for the notorious Helsinki summit with Putin back in 2018:

On Friday, July 13, three days before the Helsinki summit, the president and his team arrived late in the day at Trump Turnberry golf resort in Scotland, after passing on their way from the airport cow pastures and cheering citizens -- but no protesters.

Mike Pompeo and John Bolton were carrying copious briefing books. This was meant to be a weekend of preparation interspersed with golf. John Kelly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Bill Shine, and several other aides had come along, too.

Saturday was sunny and in the mid-seventies, with nothing on the agenda except golf. But by now a few protesters had made their way to Turnberry. "No Trump, No KKK, No Racist USA," shouted a small group of them during the president's afternoon golf game.

Trump, energized by his NATO and UK meetings -- "we roughed them up" -- was in no mood to prepare for his Putin meeting. Even his typical, exceedingly casual level of preparation -- prep masked as gossip -- wasn't happening. Pompeo and Bolton reduced the boxed briefing binders to a one-pager. The president wouldn't focus on it.

He was fine. And why shouldn't he be? He had walked into his meeting with Kim unable to pick out North Korea on a map, but it didn't matter. He was in charge, a strong man making peace.

Don't box me in , he told his advisers. I need to be open , he kept repeating, as though this was a therapeutic process. Pompeo and Bolton urgently pressed him about the basic talking points for the summit, now just hours away -- but nothing doing.

The next morning he played golf, and then it started to rain.

Siege (Michael Wolff, 2019)

[Jan 18, 2020] Minutes before the crash caused by a missile strike, the AI pilots had also heard the controller give the Malaysian aircraft MH17 what is called "a direct routing". This permits an aircraft to fly straight, instead of tracking the regular route which is generally a zig-zag track that goes from one ground-based navigation aid or way point to another.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

barr , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:48 pm GMT

@JimDandy Hpw did the instruction to "Fly direct" prove fatal to MH 17

MUMBAI: The ministry of civil aviation's claim that there was no Air India flight near the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 when it was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday appears misleading.
An Air India Dreamliner flight going from Delhi to Birmingham was in fact less than 25km away from the Malaysian aircraft,

Minutes before the crash caused by a missile strike, the AI pilots had also heard the controller give the Malaysian aircraft MH17 what is called "a direct routing". This permits an aircraft to fly straight, instead of tracking the regular route which is generally a zig-zag track that goes from one ground-based navigation aid or way point to another. "Direct routing saves fuel and time and is preferred by pilots. In this case, it proved fatal," said an airline source.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Air-India-flight-was-90-seconds-away-when-missile-struck-Malaysia-Airlines-Flight-MH17/articleshowprint/38702536.cms

1 Was India pressurized to deny the close proximity and 2 was it under pressure to deny that it heard the controller giving the instruction to MH 17????

[Jan 18, 2020] Diaspora in the USA has an outsized influence on how their host country thinks of its interests in their regions of birth

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

wedish Family , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 11:10 pm GMT

@AP

1. The interests of these countries may be aligned.

2. Even if the immigrant may be mistaken, if his belief is sincere he may still provide valuable contact, intelligence, etc.

This is a very naive idea of how perceived "national interests" form. In real life, highly-motivated groups of immigrants will have an outsized influence on how their host country thinks of its interests in their regions of birth. This is basically a geopolitical example of Nassim Taleb's minority rule .

United States is especially vulnerable to such subversion since much of its conception of itself and its place in the world centers on elastic and easily abused ideas like freedom and human rights .

[Jan 18, 2020] events appear to have escalated from the 25 December killing of five PMF guys on the Syria-Iraq border by an unattributed drone or missile strike. Neoliberal MSM try to hide or obscure this fact.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Swedish Family , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:28 pm GMT

@Oscar Peterson

Significantly, events appear to have escalated from the 25 December killing of five PMF guys on the Syria-Iraq border by an unattributed drone or missile strike. Our media is doing its best to obscure this event as the probable starting point. Two days later on 27 December, the rocket fire near Kirkuk killed the US contractor. Then came the strike on KH troops back out in the West and now the assassination of Soleimani et al.

[ ]

So the trigger was the 25 December attack, and all the timing flows from that, not from any great real estate developer savvy. Frankly, in my view, you give Trump way to much credit for systematic thought. I don't think he really does that at all.

This is also the view of the Middle-East veterans over at Patrick Lang's blog:

Last weekend, in response to a rocket attack on a base outside Kirkuk that left one US contractor dead and four US servicemen wounded, we launched drone strikes on five Iraqi PMU outposts in Iraq and Syria near Abukamal killing 25 members and wounding scores more of the Kata'ib Hezbollah brigades of the PMU.

We blamed Iran and the Kata'ib Hezbollah for the rocket attack near Kirkuk. That may be true, but the Kata'ib Hezbollah is not some rogue militia controlled out of Teheran. It is an integral part of the PMU, its 46th and 47th brigades and has been for years. The PMU is an integral part of the Iraqi military and has been for years. The PMU played a major role in defeating IS in both Iraq and Syria. Our attack on the Kata'ib Hezbollah outposts was an attack on the Iraqi military and government. We informed PM Abdul-Mahdi of our intended attacks. Abdul-Mahadi warned us not to do it, but, of course, we conducted the attacks despite his warning. We were proud of the attacks. The Pentagon even released footage of the attacks. It was supposed to be a clear message to Teheran.

Unfortunately for us, the message was also heard by Iraqis. After the funerals of many of the victims of our attacks on the PMU outposts, a large crowd of protestors headed for the US Embassy in the Green Zone. For weeks prior to this, Iraqi security forces kept protestors from entering the Green Zone and approaching the US Embassy. Not this time. The crowds, including mourners fresh from the funerals of their family members and many PMU soldiers, unarmed but in uniform, poured into the Green Zone right to the gates of the Embassy itself. A reception area was entered and burned. Iraqi security forces of the PrimeMinister's Counter Terrorism Command were among the protestors. I surmise that PM Abdul-Mahdi was sending his own message back to the US.

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/01/our-embassy-in-baghdad-ttg.html

The protests at the American embassy, then, were over Iraqi servicemen murdered in American drone strikes

Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian soldier. He lived by the sword and died by the sword. He met a soldier's destiny. It is being said that he was a BAD MAN. Absurd! To say that he was a BAD MAN because he fought us as well as the Sunni jihadis is simply infantile. Were all those who fought the US BAD MEN? How about Gentleman Johhny Burgoyne? Was he a BAD MAN? How about Sitting Bull? Was he a BAD MAN? How about Aguinaldo? Another BAD MAN? Let us not be juvenile.

The Iraqi PMU commander who died with Soleimani was Abu Mahdi al Muhandis. He was a member of a Shia militia that had been integrated into the Iraqi armed forces. IOW, we killed an Iraqi general. We killed him without the authorization of the supposedly sovereign state of Iraq.

We created the present government of Iraq through the farcical "purple thumb" elections. That government holds a seat in the UN General Assembly and is a sovereign entity in international law in spite of Trump's tweet today that said among other things that we have "paid" Iraq billions of US dollars. To the Arabs, this statement that brands them as hirelings of the US is close to the ultimate in insult.

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/01/will-trump-welcome-the-ejection-of-the-us-from-iraq-he-should.html

and now the Americans went one better and murdered an Iraqi general.

[Jan 18, 2020] Who Targeted Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 Iran Shot It Down But There May Be More to the Story by Philip Giraldi

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

What seems to have been a case of bad judgments and human error does, however, include some elements that have yet to be explained. The Iranian missile operator reportedly experienced considerable "jamming" and the planes transponder switched off and stopped transmitting several minutes before the missiles were launched . There were also problems with the communication network of the air defense command, which may have been related.

The electronic jamming coming from an unknown source meant that the air defense system was placed on manual operation, relying on human intervention to launch. The human role meant that an operator had to make a quick judgment in a pressure situation in which he had only moments to react. The shutdown of the transponder, which would have automatically signaled to the operator and Tor electronics that the plane was civilian, instead automatically indicated that it was hostile. The operator, having been particularly briefed on the possibility of incoming American cruise missiles, then fired.

The two missiles that brought the plane down came from a Russian-made system designated SA-15 by NATO and called Tor by the Russians. Its eight missiles are normally mounted on a tracked vehicle. The system includes both radar to detect and track targets as well as an independent launch system, which includes an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system functionality capable of reading call signs and transponder signals to prevent accidents. Given what happened on that morning in Tehran, it is plausible to assume that something or someone deliberately interfered with both the Iranian air defenses and with the transponder on the airplane, possibly as part of an attempt to create an aviation accident that would be attributed to the Iranian government.

The SA-15 Tor defense system used by Iran has one major vulnerability. It can be hacked or "spoofed," permitting an intruder to impersonate a legitimate user and take control. The United States Navy and Air Force reportedly have developed technologies "that can fool enemy radar systems with false and deceptively moving targets." Fooling the system also means fooling the operator. The Guardian has also reported independently how the United States military has long been developing systems that can from a distance alter the electronics and targeting of Iran's available missiles.

The same technology can, of course, be used to alter or even mask the transponder on a civilian airliner in such a fashion as to send false information about identity and location. The United States has the cyber and electronic warfare capability to both jam and alter signals relating to both airliner transponders and to the Iranian air defenses. Israel presumably has the same ability. Joe Quinn at Sott.net also notes an interested back story to those photos and video footage that have appeared in the New York Times and elsewhere showing the Iranian missile launch, the impact with the plane and the remains after the crash, to include the missile remains. They appeared on January 9 th , in an Instagram account called ' Rich Kids of Tehran '. Quinn asks how the Rich Kids happened to be in "a low-income housing estate on the city's outskirts [near the airport] at 6 a.m. on the morning of January 8 th with cameras pointed at the right part of the sky in time to capture a missile hitting a Ukrainian passenger plane ?"

Put together the Rich Kids and the possibility of electronic warfare and it all suggests a premeditated and carefully planned event of which the Soleimani assassination was only a part. There have been riots in Iran subsequent to the shooting down of the plane, blaming the government for its ineptitude. Some of the people in the street are clearly calling for the goal long sought by the United States and Israel, i.e. "regime change." If nothing else, Iran, which was widely seen as the victim in the killing of Soleimani, is being depicted in much of the international media as little more than another unprincipled actor with blood on its hands. There is much still to explain about the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.


AnonStarter , says: Show Comment January 15, 2020 at 10:45 pm GMT

Given this news, any impartial observer would at least entertain the possibility of its truth, particularly given the lengthy track record of the United States/Israel in perpetrating such crimes.

It's a good litmus test for determining where one's sentiment lies. Even "alternative media" aren't likely to touch this story.

Bravo to Mr. Giraldi and Mr. Unz.

Sean , says: Show Comment January 15, 2020 at 11:10 pm GMT
The Iranian Ambassador to Britain, Hamid Baeidinejad said in an interview on the UK Channel 4 news hours ago that although Iran had needed time to determine what had happened, it had now accepted responsibility, would pay compensation, and the people who fired on the jet will be put on trial.

If nothing else, Iran, which was widely seen as the victim in the killing of Soleimani, is being depicted in much of the international media as little more than another unprincipled actor with blood on its hands.

Both Trump and the Iranian regime have good domestic disquiet reason to rethink the confrontational policy each are pursuing. Iran and the US could get closer over this. I think the predictable unpredictability of assassination and catastrophic loss of life events makes false flagging them of dubious value.

Why did I rob banks? Because I enjoyed it. I loved it. I was more alive when I was inside a bank, robbing it, than at any other time in my life. I enjoyed everything about it so much that one or two weeks later I'd be out looking for the next job. But to me the money was the chips, that's all.

(Sutton W, Linn E: Where the Money Was: The Memoirs of a Bank Robber. Viking Press (1976), p. 160)

I suppose it is possible there are people who get addicted to false flagging others' deaths. If half of what is said in this site is true, Mossad really needs to set up a 12 step program.

onebornfree , says: Website Show Comment January 15, 2020 at 11:49 pm GMT
" .the big question which many people on social media are asking is: why was this "videographer" standing in a derelict industrial area outside Tehran at around six o'clock in the morning with a mobile phone camera training on a fixed angle to the darkened sky? The airliner is barely visible, yet the sky-watching person has the camera pointed and ready to film a most dramatic event, seconds before it happened. That strongly suggests, foreknowledge."

"Iran Jet Disaster Setup – Who Is the Mysterious Videographer?:"
https://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/iran/3809-jet-disaster-setup.html

And I would add: how do we know the video[s] are even genuine? [Answer: we don't, it is only an unproven assumption at this time].

Regards, onebornfree

anonymous [150] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:36 am GMT
Hmmm, cameras waiting beforehand, transponders not working. Sort of sounds like 9-11, doesn't it?
The Alarmist , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 3:01 am GMT

The Iranian missile operator reportedly experienced considerable "jamming" and the planes transponder switched off and stopped transmitting several minutes before the missiles were launched.

I vaguely recall reports of transponder issues arising during the shootdown of MH-17.

anonymous [405] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 3:49 am GMT

Civilian passenger flights were still departing and arriving in Tehran, almost certainly an error in judgment on the part of the airport authorities. Inexplicably, civilian aircraft continued to take off and land even after Flight 752 was shot down.

The Iranian government is blameworthy for keeping planes in the air either because of diabolical reasons (delays a counter attack) or economic (nearly $1 billion a year in overflight fees).

However, the pilots of the airliners that took over during the morning between the first missile hitting Iraq and the downing of the Ukrainian airliner were dumb and irresponsible.

Anon [230] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 4:10 am GMT

The system includes both radar to detect and track targets as well as an independent launch system, which includes an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system functionality capable of reading call signs and transponder signals to prevent accidents.

Clearly you have no clue how an IFF operates and that no commercial airliner even has an IFF on board. Every commercial aircraft looks like the enemy to this SAM operator.

Also, you need to explain how spoofing a RADAR which creates a false track would cause the shoot down. The missile would simply target the false track instead of the real aircraft.

You also need to explain how an old SAM missile site can be hacked or spoofed to shoot down a civilian airliner. Especially this old one which has no Mode-S or ADS-B capability and only radio communication capability.

As Mark Twain said, it's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are an idiot rather than open it and remove all doubt.

Anon [200] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:20 am GMT
Even if this was a clear mistake on Iran's part, the US and Israel still have blood on their hands for the downing of this plane. The missiles were launched in response to a targeted killing of an Iranian general. If that didn't happen, these missiles never would've been launched.

Trump-Pence-Pompeo-Kushner-Netanyahu are ultimately responsible for these 176 lives lost. I suspect MBS is also part of the scheme. It was his fake peace offering that lured Soleimani to Iraq in the first place. I'm with Trudeau on this.

Onlooker , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:22 am GMT
@Anon Before calling someone an idiot it is better to follow Mark Twain's advice yourself. A more careful reading reveals no claim that IFF was onstalled on the airliner. The commenter does speculate that possible spoofing involved a false attribution of a real airliner not the creation of a false airliner and radar track. Perhaps you are familiar with "old" electronic countermeasures and not with the "new", "top secret" and spiffy versions hinted at by the U.S. military?
AnonStarter , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:30 am GMT
@Quartermaster /An Airliner can not legally launch with deadlined transponder, so the claim that it quit transmitting "several" minutes earlier would have placed it on the ground when it quit./

From the SoTT link :

As it climbed and reached 4,600ft above ground level, the plane's transponder suddenly stopped working at about 6.14am, 2 minutes or so after take off . [emphasis added]

The plane was already airborne when the transponder stopped working.

AnonStarter , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:45 am GMT
@Onlooker Less than twenty replies into the thread and we've already got two individuals attempting to distort the facts. Here's the key link that readers should visit:

https://www.sott.net/article/427303-Was-Iranian-Missile-Operator-Tricked-Into-Shooting-Down-The-Ukrainian-Airlines-Plane-Over-Tehran

Compare the information there against what the detractors say here.

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:16 am GMT
@Quartermaster

The airliner had not been in the air long at all when it was shot down. An Airliner can not legally launch with deadlined transponder, so the claim that it quit transmitting "several" minutes earlier would have placed it on the ground when it quit.

The flight departed Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport at 02:42 UTC ( 06:12 local time ) and the last ADS-B signal was received by the Flightradar24 network at 02:44 UTC( 06:14 local time) . According to the report the aircraft climbed to 8000 feet and turned right back toward the airport and crashed at 02:48 UTC ( 06:18 local time ) -- four minutes after the last ADS-B signal was received by the Flightradar24 network. – Source Flight Radar 24

Mr. Giraldi's original claim:

The Iranian missile operator reportedly experienced considerable "jamming" and the planes transponder switched off and stopped transmitting several minutes before the missiles were launched. There were also problems with the communication network of the air defense command, which may have been related.

4 minutes after the transponders were switches off, the plane crashed .

Without [proper] access to the FDR and CVR, it's impossible to determine when the plane was hit and how long it took to crash, exactly.

The plane was only flying at 8,000 feet [its normal {flight} ceiling is 30,000 feet and above], so it's speed relatively low [cruise speed is between about 400 and 500 knots (460 – 575 mph / 740 – 930 kph), but the Ukrainian plane was still climbing] and the fall back to Earth relatively quick.

On the clip where the plane is on fire and finally crashes, the downward angle looked to be about 25 to 30 %, which is relatively steep. Time of downfall can be calculated when the relative data is available.

Therefore, Mr Giraldi's claim " several minutes before the missiles were launched " is technically correct , until proven wrong by data from the FDR and CVR,

utu , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:31 am GMT
The Tor system is too primitive to be hacked. It is a stand alone, autonomous and mostly analog system. The radar signals it generates are shown on analog tube-screens.
Ghali , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:07 am GMT
Interesting theory by P. Giraldi. However, I am very surprised that Israel/Mossad role in these acts of terrorism never mentioned. We know that Trump is a Zionist servant and acts on instructions from his jewish fananciers. We know, Trump is incapable of serious thinking.

Here is a good article with some interesting observations:
https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202001131078026961-iran-jet-disaster-setup/

GMC , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:10 am GMT
The Iranians took the hit because their missiles took out the airliner. And then, they could stop the Western media crying for the next 6 mos. and this gave them time to bring in other neutral investigators to look at the evidence and come up with logical scenarios. There is a reason the black boxes weren't given to any one else to own – because they still remember the scam investigation of MH 17. I f lew planes for over 20 yrs – Every controlled/radared airport would ask me to turn on my transponder if it wasn't on – Everyone of them. This plane not only came from Ukraine but was an easy target for a hack from any of the big Intel countries. The BIG STORY here is that most every plane flying today – can have the same type consequences!!! because of the Western War Machine.
AZ , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 10:08 am GMT
Ask the Israelis. They are experts in these operations. The blood of the innocent on their heads

R D Steele has some interesting thoughts as well:

https://phibetaiota.net/2020/01/robert-steele-world-war-iii-was-ukrainian-flight-ps752-a-western-false-flag-combining-remote-hijacking-and-transponder-disabling-to-trigger-two-tor-m1-missiles/

lavoisier , says: Website Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
@Anon

Trump-Pence-Pompeo-Kushner-Netanyahu are ultimately responsible for these 176 lives lost. I suspect MBS is also part of the scheme. It was his fake peace offering that lured Soleimani to Iraq in the first place. I'm with Trudeau on this.

Trudeau showed some real courage criticizing Trump and his terrible decisions.

More Western allies have to stand up to the Zionist stooge and call him out on his treachery and stupidity.

UncommonGround , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:23 pm GMT
@bobhammer

The Democrats have gone too far.

I believe that P.G. has supported Trump until recently.

Besides, you could get some general information about such themes if you read articles like the following:

There's No Evidence Iran Is Responsible for the Deaths of Hundreds of Americans
by Stephen Zunes

https://progressive.org/dispatches/-no-evidence-iran-is-responsible-for-the-deaths-of-hundreds-of-americans-zunes-200107/

How the President Became a Drone Operator
by Allegra Harpootlian

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/16/how-the-president-became-a-drone-operator/

lavoisier , says: Website Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT
@bobhammer Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Turn off Fox News now.

We are not always the good guys and we are up to our necks in deceit, plunder, and evil. Our actions have harmed millions of people around the world and it has to stop.

It is time for more self-reflection as individuals and as a nation; and it is long past time for us to be comfortable with lies.

Anonymous [401] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 2:22 pm GMT
@bobhammer The "uninterruptible" autopilot can be activated – either by pilots or by on-board sensors, or by radio or satellite link<= connected to controls at the remote end. Government agencies, quasi government agencies, military brats and probably the entire group of privately operated NGOs and private party mobsters (bankers, corporations and private military armies and privateers) at the remote end, can take over control of in-flight Aircraft, and fly it, land it, take it off, whatever, even if the pilot sitting in the cockpit objects. and does all he can to retrieve control from the remote operator.

Several comments report says interrupt able remote control, allows, persons on the ground, to take from the pilot in a flying airplane, control of the airplane the pilot is suppose to be flying, in situations for example when terrorist are in the cockpit. I have not read the manufacture's literature nor do I have personal knowledge abut the equipment list of any of these aircraft, the list suggest they are all aircraft, not only equipped with the UAP but that they were all aircraft made by the same manufacturer. I am merely repeating what was on stated as fact on a website I visited.

Many are looking for proof that remotely equipped uninterruptible autopilots are being used as Remote Control weaponized drones . Imagine an pilot, located on the ground in London or somewhere parks his /her remote ground to air control vehicle and takes over flight control including turns on/off the transponder [<=which tells everyone where the plane is during its flight] on a plane that is flying, landing or taking off from say the Tehran airport in Iran?

My personal experience is that it generally takes less than 2 minutes after a transponder is turned off during a planes flight, before fighter jets arrive to escort the transponder disabled plane; so the whole system that protects civilian aircraft, and allows the military to know the aircraft is civilian, is dependent on the Transponder, installed in the airplane, to continuously squawk during flight, its exact position so that everyone can identify the flight, and track the aircraft during its flight. Every land based control tower, ATC control system center and military installation depends on that airborne squawking transponder to track the en-route progress of commercial and private aircraft flights from take off to landing.

Another comment made on that list referred to above claimed Uninterruptible Auto Pilot [UAP] equipped aircraft have been involved in unexplained flight accident/disappearance events (I have no personal knowledge about the equipment in these aircraft, I just repeated here what someone else said elsewhere, please verify these claims yourself or provide verification ) .

(4 @911) <=UAP allows pilot-less flights, no pilot need board the plane for its flight.
(PS752) (transponder turned off, destroyed by confused ground defense crews)
MH370 (vanished into thin air)
MH17 (had its flight path altered.)
Eyes focus on Uninterruptible Auto Pilot (UAP) .. to explain recent Tehran 160 person disaster?

This is really something to think about? Always the question has been how did four military officers from Iran, trained a few weeks in Florida to fly jets, manage to get through four differently located pilot screening TSA gates to fly the aircraft and passenger into the 9/11 events. Conspiracy theories suggest since no pilot is needed, there were no pilots for TSA to screening. Remote control on the ground flew the aircraft to their destinations.

Trinity , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 2:51 pm GMT
"By way of deception thou shalt do war."

Just about says it all doesn't it? What kind of people are we dealing with here? Of course only the morons out there are still being fooled by these kind of false flags. Even in the year 2020 these same morons still believe ZOG's 9-11 fairy tale and label any other theory as a "conspiracy." Speaking of conspiracies the biggest idiots out there, even bigger than the ones who believe ZOG's narrative or those type who believe the total wacktard stuff put out by ZIO controlled disinfo puppets like Alex Jones.

Ukrainian commercial airline? What other nation besides Iran does ZOG have it in for? Is it Russia?

War by deception? HARDLY to anyone with two brain cells left. These fools have been caught before, they aren't that clever. What they are is protected by a syndicate of bought and paid for politicians. They were caught attacking the USS Liberty, they were caught bombing American and British installations in Egypt, the Rosenbergs and Pollard were nailed, but of course despite all of this, America and her leaders continued the value Israel as a friend and an ally. With a friend like Israel, who needs enemies. Then of course we have the story of our 5 little dancing Israelis apprehended in NYC after being observed dancing and celebrating the WTC towers collapsing. So you mean a group of Israelis from Israel, nation that is ALLEGEDLY "friends" with America and America think it is hilarious and worth celebrating when America is attacked and thousands are burned alive or jump to their death from hundreds of feet above the street?? Of course "our" media quickly exonerated the celebrating Israelis and buried that story faster than your average house cat buries his own turds.

ZOG really thinks the average American has the IQ of a monkey. Even after the WMD caca they still think you people will believe anything they tell you to believe. The sad part is they are right about that with the majority of the population.

Pindos , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 4:01 pm GMT
@Anon Wrong anon

Identification, friend or foe (IFF) is a radar-based identification system designed for command and control. It uses a transponder that listens for an interrogation signal and then sends a response that identifies the broadcaster. It enables military and civilian air traffic control interrogation systems to identify aircraft, vehicles or forces as friendly and to determine their bearing and range from the interrogator. IFF may be used by both military and civilian aircraft.

unit472 , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 4:37 pm GMT
If such a capability exists would the US reveal and use it in such a minor circumstance. Occam's razor suggests this was just another case of 'better safe than sorry' during a time of military tensions. Not a whole lot different than the Vincennes shootdown of an Iranian airliner that came too close during a military confrontation in the Gulf.

I would hate to know how many 'friendly' aircraft were shot down by over zealous AAA gunners in WW2 but it wasn't just a handful.

scrub , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:24 pm GMT
Anybody who thinks that US-Israel wouldn't have been capable of staging such a horrific event as the shooting down of the airliner by Iran hasn't been following Whitney Webb's continuing articles which are available right here on UNZ. Israel seems to have insinuated itself into about every computer security program worldwide.

Webb's article mentions large scale defense contractor Dell Computer's close connection to the Israeli government. Dell computer head Michael Dell has personally made large contributions to that curious "charity" called The Friends of The Israeli Defense Forces as has Larry Ellison, head or Oracle Software. Interestingly enough, neither of them have made correspondingly large contributions to American veterans however.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friends_of_the_Israel_Defense_Forces

Michael Dell is probably one of the biggest (or the biggest) single contributors to the Republicans from Texas, home of Dell computer. Larry Ellison (also a large government computer contractor) is also one of the Republican Party's biggest contributors.

Ellison's $5.5 million dollar contribution to the Republican is dwarfed however, by his recent contributions to The Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces which seem to total (as of today) $31 million (or more).

https://www.timesofisrael.com/record-53-8-million-raised-for-idf-soldiers-at-beverly-hills-gala/

Are both men and their companies security risks? Is there any doubt of this or are contribution to charity connected to a foreign army now simply to be considered as being benign and innocent.

anon [230] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:35 pm GMT
@Pindos Wrong anon

Identification, friend or foe (IFF) is a radar-based identification system designed for command and control. It uses a transponder that listens for an interrogation signal and then sends a response that identifies the broadcaster. It enables military and civilian air traffic control interrogation systems to identify aircraft, vehicles or forces as friendly and to determine their bearing and range from the interrogator. IFF may be used by both military and civilian aircraft.

Your Wikipedia snippet is absolutely incorrect . IFF is only used for Military Aircraft. If you want to prove me wrong:

Provide a link to any civilian transponder with IFF capability
Provide a link to any civilian aircraft Minimum Equipment List that requires an IFF

Rurik , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:38 pm GMT
@unit472

Vincennes shootdown of an Iranian airliner that came too close during a military confrontation in the Gulf.

Doesn't it rile you, as a U.S. veteran, that American soldiers are dying in treasonous service to an enemy nation?

Doesn't it bother you in the least, that Americans are on the hook for untold trillions of dollars, so they can slaughter innocent people, thousands of miles away, whose only "crime" is that a certain shitty little country, wants to see them all sent reeling into the stone age, (which is exactly what they want for you too).

Have y0u ever bothered to notice just exactly whom it is that is driving all the liberal-progressive shit we all see daily, with the ubiquitous homomania and Hollywood sewage force-injected into America's culture?

I see you occasionally speak against that stuff, but then when it comes to American soldiers dying on behalf of those rats, there you are, defending the narrative of Iran as bad guys.

How many Iranians do you see pumping Hollywood sewage into America's veins?

How many Iranians do you see on Capital Hill, demanding Trump and all his Deplorables are irredeemably racists? And need to have their guns taken away?

How many Iranians do you see at Goldman Sachs, (and the other 'Too big to fail Banksters) looting the country dry?

How many Iranians do you see in our universities, force-feeding America's youth the progressive-liberal monkey shit, they're paying to consume daily?

You'd have to be very myopic not to notice who it is behind America's depraved descent into cultural and spiritual guano. (not to mention the Eternal Wars, that only an imbecile could pretend not to notice ((who)) are behind them).

And I have a clue for you, it isn't the Iranians. In fact, they had a nice good taste of ((Western)) culture under the Shah, and they decided they'd rather not see their women whored out, and their children spiritually dead husks.

It'd be good if people could lift the veils they willfully allow to cover their own eyes, in some kind of misguided machismo about how tough "our" military are, as they're killing and dying on behalf of their worst enemy.

barr , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:48 pm GMT
@JimDandy Hpw did the instruction to "Fly direct" prove fatal to MH 17

MUMBAI: The ministry of civil aviation's claim that there was no Air India flight near the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 when it was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday appears misleading.
An Air India Dreamliner flight going from Delhi to Birmingham was in fact less than 25km away from the Malaysian aircraft,

Minutes before the crash caused by a missile strike, the AI pilots had also heard the controller give the Malaysian aircraft MH17 what is called "a direct routing". This permits an aircraft to fly straight, instead of tracking the regular route which is generally a zig-zag track that goes from one ground-based navigation aid or way point to another. "Direct routing saves fuel and time and is preferred by pilots. In this case, it proved fatal," said an airline source.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Air-India-flight-was-90-seconds-away-when-missile-struck-Malaysia-Airlines-Flight-MH17/articleshowprint/38702536.cms

1 Was India pressurized to deny the close proximity and 2 was it under pressure to deny that it heard the controller giving the instruction to MH 17????

Saggy , says: Website Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:09 pm GMT
@Anon http://www.dean-boys.com/extras/iff/iffqa.html

FAA regulations require that all aircraft, military or civilian, flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet or higher in U.S. controlled airspace, must be equipped with an operating IFF transponder system capable of automatic altitude reporting (this is the reason that two of the modes are used by both military and civilian aircraft).

So, did the Ukrainian plane have an IFF transponder or not? Ref?

Marvin Sandnes , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm GMT
The guy with the camera aimed up into a dark sky on that morning worked for a Saudi Arabia news service. From the "grayzone" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBGw5GMXb4c&feature=em-uploademail
wdg , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:58 pm GMT
Cui bono? Israel and its NeoCon fifth column operating in the US and throughout the western world.
Iris , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:01 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

what Giraldi has published doesn't even rise to the level of the most idiotic conspiracy theory one can concoct.

It happened only a few months ago that an Israeli jet violated Syria's airspace and deliberately sheltered behind a Russian Iliouchine IL-20 to get it shot down by Syrian air defence.

It was so very clearly and simply explained by the Russian Chief of Staff than any imbecile could understand it; the idiot is definitely you.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45556290

A123 , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:02 pm GMT
@Saggy I believe you are correct.

https://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/iff

My understanding is:

A civilian transponder will respond to almost any inquiry (or even a non-coded radar pulse):
-- Standard civilian transponder code = USA military Mode 3.
-- Standard civilian transponder altitude reporting = USA military Mode C.

To reduce detectability in combat, the pilot can change the setting on a Military IFF system to only squawk when a correctly coded interrogation signal is recieved.

Saggy , says: Website Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:28 pm GMT
@Saggy Moon Of Alabama has the story –

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/01/was-the-shootdown-of-the-ukrainian-airplane-near-tehran-really-a-mistake.html

The Boeing jet broadcast the usual civil ADS-B signal but one has to expect that a U.S. cruise missile can and would do the same.

although 'one can expect ' seems like one hell of an assumption.

Frederick V. Reed , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:30 pm GMT
Transponders are turned on and off with switches in the cockpit. Is Giraldi suggesting that this transponder was equipped to be controlled from outside? Source of assertion that transponder was turned off? Can he name any commercial transponder with this feature? Does he know anythng about elctroic warfare? This sounds like the birthing of a conspiracy theory.
Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:07 pm GMT
@DaveE The hilarious thing in Britain is that many people on the comments sections of MSM will talk about 'Asian' or more specifically 'Muslim' child rape gangs, because these gangs were heavily Muslim they can be referred to using the adjective 'Muslim'.

But when you point out that the ones beating the drums for war in Iran and who successfully plunged America and UK into a long a protracted war in the Middle East are mostly Jewish, as evidenced by this article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz

they start getting all pissy, because of the Holocaust legend, Jews are now above scrutiny and Jewish power cannot be talked about. It is the slipperly slope fallacy, what is merely being advocated for here is not to trust a single thing that comes out of the mouth of a Jew regarding the Middle East as there is a clear conflict of interest, not genocide.

I also suspect that peoples understandable antagonism towards Muslims has somehow made them more sympathetic to Israel. Tommy Robinson is for example funded by rich Jews like Ezra Levant of Rebel Media and Robert J. Shillman – who sits on the board of Friends of Israel Defence Forces – shills for Israel. Now the Western goyim start frothing at the mouth when they hear Muslim and so think countries like Iran are evil and out to destory the West, a laughable claim.

Iris , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:11 pm GMT
@Z-man

stupid Christian Zionist dogma

You don't have to apologise. Christian Zionists are no Christians; they are uncultured, criminal country-bumpkins utilised by their Zionist handlers to justify the destruction of the twice-millenary Christian Arab community.

Here is what real Christians think:
Mor Maurice Amsih, Syrian Orthodox Bishop of Euphrates, demonstrating against the murder of General Soleimani, calling Soleimani and his companions " martyrs " who are now " Saints in the Heavenly Kingdom" for their blood shed freeing the Syrian people from Zio-sponsored terrorists. [@ 0:25]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1eH4djCP2mI?feature=oembed

Anonymous [230] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:18 pm GMT
@Saggy

Moon Of Alabama has the story –

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/01/was-the-shootdown-of-the-ukrainian-airplane-near-tehran-really-a-mistake.html

The Boeing jet broadcast the usual civil ADS-B signal but one has to expect that a U.S. cruise missile can and would do the same.

although 'one can expect ' seems like one hell of an assumption.

This is absolutely irrelevant since the Iranian SAM missile launcher is so old it can not even detect and decode ADS-B signals. Note that the requirement for ADS-B transponders only came into effect this year .

AnonStarter , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:22 pm GMT
Some additional information to consider:

IRGC Releases Details of Accidental Downing of Ukrainian Plane

https://ifpnews.com/irgc-releases-details-of-accidental-downing-of-ukrainian-plane

By the account of Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh:

1. Prior to the downing of the aircraft, Americans had threatened to hit 52 sites in Iran.
2. These threats placed Iran's air defense systems on the highest alert level.
3. There were reports that cruise missles had been fired at Iran.
4. In spite of IRGC requests that airspace be cleared of commercial flights, those requests were not met.
5. The air defense unit recognized Flight 752 as a cruise missle from a distance of 19 kilometers, but is still required to get approval to fire upon it.
6. When the operator attempts to get approval, he can not do so due to "disruption" of his communication system.
7. The operator is forced to make an independent decision in a 10 second window of time and fires upon the plane.

Russell Bentley , however, states that

1. the SA-15 system has an IFF interrogator built into its radar system,
2. Boeing 737 aircraft are equipped with two IFF transponders, which are set and activated prior to take off, and
3. it is possible for a plane to take off without an IFF transponder operating.
4. In spite of all this, the flight's recording on FLIGHTRADAR24.COM , proves that the transponder was on and working.
5. Even if there was no IFF signal, a SA-15/TOR M-1 operator could still determine the location, bearing, speed and size of the potential target.
6. The SA-15 also has an automatic all weather day/night NV/IR Electro Optical Targeting System (EOTS) used for target engagement and fire control by which the plane would have been easily identified.
7. Flight 752 should have been identifiable as a commercial airliner by its external lights alone.

From this information, he concludes that either there are traitors within Iran seeking to facilitate regime change or that the downing of Flight 752 was a false flag operation perpetrated by the usual suspects.

I'd like to see more information about this topic from those qualified to speak about it.

A123 , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 9:29 pm GMT
@AnonStarter

2. These threats placed Iran's air defense systems on the highest alert level
7. The operator is forced to make an independent decision in a 10 second window of time and fires upon the plane.

How long were the operators on alert? Tension and sleep deprivation are a bad mix. This looks like the crew on the ground had seconds to make a decision, and in the rush got it wrong.

I'm not sure how anyone on the outside could tell if the operator made the launch by mistake or from ill intent. No doubt the crew will be given the Richard Jewell treatment in an attempt to deflect blame from the religious hierarchy.

anonymous [393] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 9:40 pm GMT
@AnonStarter

1. the SA-15 system has an IFF interrogator built into its radar system,

Correct

2. Boeing 737 aircraft are equipped with two IFF transponders, which are set and activated prior to take off, and

Incorrect The Boeing 737 aircrfat has two ATC Transponders only one of which is activated prior to takeoff. The second ATC transponder is only activated if the first one fails. An ATC Transponder is NOT an IFF transponder.

3. it is possible for a plane to take off without an IFF transponder operating.

Incorrect . A functioning ATC transponder is part the Boeing 737 Minimum Equipment List which is available here . The only way the Ukraine Air crew could have gotten around this requirement was to get prior permission from the Iranian Civil Aviation Authority and EVERY other country's Cicil Aviation Authority in its flight path which I can guarantee you would not be forthcoming.

5. Even if there was no IFF signal, a SA-15/TOR M-1 operator could still determine the location, bearing, speed and size of the potential target.

Incorrect The operator could determine range, range rate. and bearing if the transponder was not function.

6. The SA-15 also has an automatic all weather day/night NV/IR Electro Optical Targeting System (EOTS) used for target engagement and fire control by which the plane would have been easily identified.

The plane was at least 1.5 miles away (8000 ft altitude). You go get yourself a pair of Night Vision/Infra Red scopes and see how well you do identifying different aircraft from that distance

Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 10:12 pm GMT
@Ron Unz One good article to show people in relation to the Israel Lobby's influence on America's decision to go to war in Iraq is an article in Israeli newspaper Haaretz titled White Man's Burden which carries the following subheading;

The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it's possible. But another journalist, Thomas Friedman (not part of the group), is skeptical.

This comes from a reputable newspaper from Israel so cannot be dismissed as the ravings of some neo-Nazis. I have found this to have the most success in getting people online to think about the Iraq War more, it is impossible for detractors to label a link to an Israeli newspaper article as "anti-Semitic" without looking absurd.

I would find the UN's review kind of hard to recommend to people in real life simple because of the provocative nature of the stories it runs. The American Pravda series is of course very informative but the articles require quite a bit of time to read through and check the hyperlinks within the article itself. Without sounding like someone with a superiority complex, most people cannot read this much information and grasp it. Many will not touch articles relating to Holocaust Denial or race.

But anyway, you sir are doing great work with the maintenance and story selection on this website and I wish you the best of luck in the future. It certainly has armed me with lots of information that I can use to counter mainstream narratives in a whole host of issues. Although my efforts in real life have not been very successful, I do seem to be getting some success in my cyber-activism on mainstream news websites, where I am able to provide a clear and cogent narrative with links to reputable websites and not come across as a nutjob who raves about da jooz .

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 10:19 pm GMT
@Anon Sharpen your reading skills. Civilian aircraft have different frequency transponders than military aircraft. Flight plans are filed, and the transponder signals correspond to filed flight plans. When attacking, military craft turn off their transponders. No transponder signal = no corresponding flight plan = unfriendly aircraft.
There is no need to "spoof" anything, once the transponder stops signalling. That aside, I found it curious that this particular airplane was on its first flight after major maintenance. Who knows what was done in servicing. If the computer in the car you drive can be hijacked to cause sudden acceleration or brake failurs, an airplane's certainly can.
Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 10:22 pm GMT
@lavoisier Unfortunately, Trudeau is just a different sort of Zionist stooge. His mentor, Irwin Cotler, is popular enough in Israel to be President.

[Jan 18, 2020] Putin plants to prohibit dual citizens to serve in government

Highly recommended!
Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Peripatetic Commenter , says: Show Comment January 17, 2020 at 9:43 pm GMT

I don't think it will be long before we see Congress in the US calling for invasion of Russia on the grounds of a lack of diversity, lack of respect for LGBTP and so forth.

[Jan 18, 2020] Lukashenko wants the prices for oil and natural gas for Belarus to be the same as for Russian regions, but refuses to behave like a Russian region.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

AnonFromTN , says: January 15, 2020 at 6:42 pm GMT

@Shitposter him some fighter planes for free and he will build an airbase of the Belarus army.
6. Belarus makes gasoline and other products from Russian oils and resells them at a huge profit. Besides, he wants to export it all via Baltic statelets, providing their ports business that Putin is taking away from them by building Russian deep-sea ports, like Ust-Luga.
7. Not to mention that he talks about 10 times more than is wise, saying mostly BS (the latter is natural for a moron).
There are many more, but these are enough to explain how most Russians feel about him. Belarus either gets rid of that idiot, or suffers because of his stupidity.

[Jan 18, 2020] Germany behaviour in Naftogas-Gasprom conflict makes zero sense unless you believe that Germany was acting as a proxy on behalf of a greater power

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

,

Thulean Friend , says: Show Comment December 23, 2019 at 5:34 am GMT
About this whole Ukraine-Russia gas transit thing that Felix is panicking about. It seems Germany had a key role in facilitating the deal.

However, that risk receded this week after Moscow and Kyiv concluded a landmark agreement that will ensure Russian gas continues to transit through Ukraine even after Nord Stream 2 is completed. Germany played a critical role in brokering the agreement and pressuring Russia to maintain Ukraine's transit status.

Why would Germany spend all this time and resources to construct these pipelines and then suddenly pressure Russia to maintain the transit fees? That makes zero sense unless you believe that Germany was acting as a proxy on behalf of a greater power. My pet theory: Germany most likely caved to US pressure and tried to triangulate at the last minute in a bid to stave off a larger German-US conflict.

Thulean Friend , says: Show Comment December 24, 2019 at 4:43 am GMT
@Swedish Family

What Germany wants, it seems to me, is (1) cheap energy for German industry, (2) a maximally weak Russian hand visavi Ukraine (which is now in effect a NATO/EU dependency), and (3) good enough relations with the Kremlin for Russia not to go rogue. Goals (1) and (3) obviously sit uneasily with goal (2), which is why we see so much back and forth.

I agree with (1) and (3) but I'd disagree over (2). I am not convinced Germany cares much about Ukraine's well-being. It is a very small economy (barely over 100 billion USD) and Germany's trade exposure to Ukraine is minimal. It isn't part of NATO, EU or any other major Western framework.

If Ukraine collapsed it would create significant refugee streams but Ukrainians are very easily assimilated into Western European countries, unlike Syrians or Turks, so even in a worse-case scenario the fallout would not be a major problem. If Croats or Serbs can mix into Germany easily, I don't see why Ukrainians would be a problem. Germany's shrinking work force would in fact even need such an influx. The only kink would be Russia's expanding borders if both Belarus+Ukraine was swallowed up but Germany probably would calculate that Russia wouldn't attack a NATO ally (and they wouldn't be wrong). I'm not saying Germany would want such an outcome, only that the worst-case scenario wouldn't be a big problem for them.

I think this has the fingerprints of the US all over it. Trump personally hates Ukraine, which has been documented in leaked documents during the impeachment process and major personalities of the Trumpist movement like Tucker Carlson openly cheers for Russia. So it wasn't Trump or his people who pushed for this but rather the permanent national-security state that was behind it and they are obsessed with keeping Russia down, or inventing fake Russiagate hoaxes to justify their paranoia. Germany made a 180 and suddenly pressured Russia to do something which Germany itself had no interest in keeping for the longest time. That suggests Germany caved to US pressure and tried to do a compromise. The US interest would be for NS2 to be scrapped completely. This was a German attempt at triangulating.

Either way, Ukraine got a big win purely because of Great Power politics over which they had no direct control.

[Jan 17, 2020] Russia fertility rate problem

Jan 17, 2020 | www.unz.com

Beckow says: January 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm GMT 200 Words @Anatoly Karlin All advanced countries need a no-children tax on free-loaders to survive. It is easy to implement and mostly fair (there are a few corner cases). It is not a penalty since it is a personal choice to be a parasite on the society and consume instead of raising children.

It can easily be implemented by including a number of children in retirement formula and in taxes. The no-kids parasites, the assorted barren women and gays, feminists and male scoundrels who abandon their families, would pay for the long-term support they get from the society – for the children that they will need to get pensions, medical care, etc Or we can just cut them off once they no longer work. No kids – no old-age benefits, unless you pay for them. This would be automatic in a normal society in the past.

Most modern people don't have children because they are lazy and because raising children is hard. It is a core role of any society to have families, so those who don't participate need to pay up.


Philip Owen , says: January 15, 2020 at 7:19 pm GMT

@Beckow The Soviet Union did have a tax on childless (or unmarried?) men for a while. It wasn't popular and didn't last.
Beckow , says: January 15, 2020 at 7:30 pm GMT
@Philip Owen opular with the parasites who have to pay, but all taxes are unpopular.

It is fundamentally the most fair way to handle generational issues – those who choose to be free-loaders, can't expect others' children to take care of them. This will happen regardless, all the pension obligations are imposed on people who never agreed to them, they will re-structure them in the future to benefit their own families.

In the West this is complicated by the diversity-migrant issue in the next generation – why should they pay for people who invited them for cheap labor? There is an assumption that they will pay, but why should they? This issue is coming.

AnonFromTN , says: January 15, 2020 at 8:08 pm GMT
@Philip Owen In Stalin's times that tax was imposed an all and gradually reduced with the number of children, so that only people who had three or more children did not pay "childless" tax. In Brezhnev's USSR that tax was on childless men and married childless women (on the assumption that marriage is male's choice, so a woman cannot be penalized when no one marries her).
inertial , says: January 15, 2020 at 8:23 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN Too many women whose potential husbands were killed in the war. Penalizing them with a tax on top of everything would've been heartless.
Abelard Lindsey , says: January 15, 2020 at 8:26 pm GMT
@Beckow The US already has this. One look at the IRS 1040 form and instructions will confirm this.
nonFromTN , says: January 15, 2020 at 8:30 pm GMT
@songbird Frankly, I don't know. I never lived in Stalin's times and never had enough siblings or three children. What I remember in the 1960s and 1970s, every school child in grade 1 (maybe 1 and 2) received a glass of free milk at school daily, and children from poorer families received free lunch (I never did).
Philip Owen , says: January 15, 2020 at 9:43 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN In the UK we had a small bottle, about a third of a pint, of free milk. The ones who needed it most never drank it. (My school was in a small town and contained all social classes). School meals were paid for by most but some had them free.

The Russian government has just introduced free school meals for all for certain years. I forget which.

[Jan 17, 2020] I knew that if you kept it up, Putler would get around to targeting you.

Jan 17, 2020 | www.unz.com

iffen , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:55 pm GMT

Ban PMs, Ministers, governors, some mayors and judges, from having second citizenships of foreign residencies; moreover, Presidential candidates should have been resident in Russia for 25 years (previously 10 years) and never had a foreign citizenship.

I knew that if you kept it up, Putler would get around to targeting you.

[Jan 16, 2020] Who Targeted Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 Iran Shot It Down But There May Be More to the Story by Philip Giraldi

Jan 16, 2020 | www.unz.com

What seems to have been a case of bad judgments and human error does, however, include some elements that have yet to be explained. The Iranian missile operator reportedly experienced considerable "jamming" and the planes transponder switched off and stopped transmitting several minutes before the missiles were launched . There were also problems with the communication network of the air defense command, which may have been related.

The electronic jamming coming from an unknown source meant that the air defense system was placed on manual operation, relying on human intervention to launch. The human role meant that an operator had to make a quick judgment in a pressure situation in which he had only moments to react. The shutdown of the transponder, which would have automatically signaled to the operator and Tor electronics that the plane was civilian, instead automatically indicated that it was hostile. The operator, having been particularly briefed on the possibility of incoming American cruise missiles, then fired.

The two missiles that brought the plane down came from a Russian-made system designated SA-15 by NATO and called Tor by the Russians. Its eight missiles are normally mounted on a tracked vehicle. The system includes both radar to detect and track targets as well as an independent launch system, which includes an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system functionality capable of reading call signs and transponder signals to prevent accidents. Given what happened on that morning in Tehran, it is plausible to assume that something or someone deliberately interfered with both the Iranian air defenses and with the transponder on the airplane, possibly as part of an attempt to create an aviation accident that would be attributed to the Iranian government.

The SA-15 Tor defense system used by Iran has one major vulnerability. It can be hacked or "spoofed," permitting an intruder to impersonate a legitimate user and take control. The United States Navy and Air Force reportedly have developed technologies "that can fool enemy radar systems with false and deceptively moving targets." Fooling the system also means fooling the operator. The Guardian has also reported independently how the United States military has long been developing systems that can from a distance alter the electronics and targeting of Iran's available missiles.

The same technology can, of course, be used to alter or even mask the transponder on a civilian airliner in such a fashion as to send false information about identity and location. The United States has the cyber and electronic warfare capability to both jam and alter signals relating to both airliner transponders and to the Iranian air defenses. Israel presumably has the same ability. Joe Quinn at Sott.net also notes an interested back story to those photos and video footage that have appeared in the New York Times and elsewhere showing the Iranian missile launch, the impact with the plane and the remains after the crash, to include the missile remains. They appeared on January 9 th , in an Instagram account called ' Rich Kids of Tehran '. Quinn asks how the Rich Kids happened to be in "a low-income housing estate on the city's outskirts [near the airport] at 6 a.m. on the morning of January 8 th with cameras pointed at the right part of the sky in time to capture a missile hitting a Ukrainian passenger plane ?"

Put together the Rich Kids and the possibility of electronic warfare and it all suggests a premeditated and carefully planned event of which the Soleimani assassination was only a part. There have been riots in Iran subsequent to the shooting down of the plane, blaming the government for its ineptitude. Some of the people in the street are clearly calling for the goal long sought by the United States and Israel, i.e. "regime change." If nothing else, Iran, which was widely seen as the victim in the killing of Soleimani, is being depicted in much of the international media as little more than another unprincipled actor with blood on its hands. There is much still to explain about the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.


AnonStarter , says: Show Comment January 15, 2020 at 10:45 pm GMT

Given this news, any impartial observer would at least entertain the possibility of its truth, particularly given the lengthy track record of the United States/Israel in perpetrating such crimes.

It's a good litmus test for determining where one's sentiment lies. Even "alternative media" aren't likely to touch this story.

Bravo to Mr. Giraldi and Mr. Unz.

Sean , says: Show Comment January 15, 2020 at 11:10 pm GMT
The Iranian Ambassador to Britain, Hamid Baeidinejad said in an interview on the UK Channel 4 news hours ago that although Iran had needed time to determine what had happened, it had now accepted responsibility, would pay compensation, and the people who fired on the jet will be put on trial.

If nothing else, Iran, which was widely seen as the victim in the killing of Soleimani, is being depicted in much of the international media as little more than another unprincipled actor with blood on its hands.

Both Trump and the Iranian regime have good domestic disquiet reason to rethink the confrontational policy each are pursuing. Iran and the US could get closer over this. I think the predictable unpredictability of assassination and catastrophic loss of life events makes false flagging them of dubious value.

Why did I rob banks? Because I enjoyed it. I loved it. I was more alive when I was inside a bank, robbing it, than at any other time in my life. I enjoyed everything about it so much that one or two weeks later I'd be out looking for the next job. But to me the money was the chips, that's all.

(Sutton W, Linn E: Where the Money Was: The Memoirs of a Bank Robber. Viking Press (1976), p. 160)

I suppose it is possible there are people who get addicted to false flagging others' deaths. If half of what is said in this site is true, Mossad really needs to set up a 12 step program.

onebornfree , says: Website Show Comment January 15, 2020 at 11:49 pm GMT
" .the big question which many people on social media are asking is: why was this "videographer" standing in a derelict industrial area outside Tehran at around six o'clock in the morning with a mobile phone camera training on a fixed angle to the darkened sky? The airliner is barely visible, yet the sky-watching person has the camera pointed and ready to film a most dramatic event, seconds before it happened. That strongly suggests, foreknowledge."

"Iran Jet Disaster Setup – Who Is the Mysterious Videographer?:"
https://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/iran/3809-jet-disaster-setup.html

And I would add: how do we know the video[s] are even genuine? [Answer: we don't, it is only an unproven assumption at this time].

Regards, onebornfree

anonymous [150] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:36 am GMT
Hmmm, cameras waiting beforehand, transponders not working. Sort of sounds like 9-11, doesn't it?
The Alarmist , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 3:01 am GMT

The Iranian missile operator reportedly experienced considerable "jamming" and the planes transponder switched off and stopped transmitting several minutes before the missiles were launched.

I vaguely recall reports of transponder issues arising during the shootdown of MH-17.

anonymous [405] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 3:49 am GMT

Civilian passenger flights were still departing and arriving in Tehran, almost certainly an error in judgment on the part of the airport authorities. Inexplicably, civilian aircraft continued to take off and land even after Flight 752 was shot down.

The Iranian government is blameworthy for keeping planes in the air either because of diabolical reasons (delays a counter attack) or economic (nearly $1 billion a year in overflight fees).

However, the pilots of the airliners that took over during the morning between the first missile hitting Iraq and the downing of the Ukrainian airliner were dumb and irresponsible.

Anon [230] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 4:10 am GMT

The system includes both radar to detect and track targets as well as an independent launch system, which includes an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system functionality capable of reading call signs and transponder signals to prevent accidents.

Clearly you have no clue how an IFF operates and that no commercial airliner even has an IFF on board. Every commercial aircraft looks like the enemy to this SAM operator.

Also, you need to explain how spoofing a RADAR which creates a false track would cause the shoot down. The missile would simply target the false track instead of the real aircraft.

You also need to explain how an old SAM missile site can be hacked or spoofed to shoot down a civilian airliner. Especially this old one which has no Mode-S or ADS-B capability and only radio communication capability.

As Mark Twain said, it's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are an idiot rather than open it and remove all doubt.

Anon [200] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:20 am GMT
Even if this was a clear mistake on Iran's part, the US and Israel still have blood on their hands for the downing of this plane. The missiles were launched in response to a targeted killing of an Iranian general. If that didn't happen, these missiles never would've been launched.

Trump-Pence-Pompeo-Kushner-Netanyahu are ultimately responsible for these 176 lives lost. I suspect MBS is also part of the scheme. It was his fake peace offering that lured Soleimani to Iraq in the first place. I'm with Trudeau on this.

Onlooker , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:22 am GMT
@Anon Before calling someone an idiot it is better to follow Mark Twain's advice yourself. A more careful reading reveals no claim that IFF was onstalled on the airliner. The commenter does speculate that possible spoofing involved a false attribution of a real airliner not the creation of a false airliner and radar track. Perhaps you are familiar with "old" electronic countermeasures and not with the "new", "top secret" and spiffy versions hinted at by the U.S. military?
AnonStarter , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:30 am GMT
@Quartermaster /An Airliner can not legally launch with deadlined transponder, so the claim that it quit transmitting "several" minutes earlier would have placed it on the ground when it quit./

From the SoTT link :

As it climbed and reached 4,600ft above ground level, the plane's transponder suddenly stopped working at about 6.14am, 2 minutes or so after take off . [emphasis added]

The plane was already airborne when the transponder stopped working.

AnonStarter , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:45 am GMT
@Onlooker Less than twenty replies into the thread and we've already got two individuals attempting to distort the facts. Here's the key link that readers should visit:

https://www.sott.net/article/427303-Was-Iranian-Missile-Operator-Tricked-Into-Shooting-Down-The-Ukrainian-Airlines-Plane-Over-Tehran

Compare the information there against what the detractors say here.

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:16 am GMT
@Quartermaster

The airliner had not been in the air long at all when it was shot down. An Airliner can not legally launch with deadlined transponder, so the claim that it quit transmitting "several" minutes earlier would have placed it on the ground when it quit.

The flight departed Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport at 02:42 UTC ( 06:12 local time ) and the last ADS-B signal was received by the Flightradar24 network at 02:44 UTC( 06:14 local time) . According to the report the aircraft climbed to 8000 feet and turned right back toward the airport and crashed at 02:48 UTC ( 06:18 local time ) -- four minutes after the last ADS-B signal was received by the Flightradar24 network. – Source Flight Radar 24

Mr. Giraldi's original claim:

The Iranian missile operator reportedly experienced considerable "jamming" and the planes transponder switched off and stopped transmitting several minutes before the missiles were launched. There were also problems with the communication network of the air defense command, which may have been related.

4 minutes after the transponders were switches off, the plane crashed .

Without [proper] access to the FDR and CVR, it's impossible to determine when the plane was hit and how long it took to crash, exactly.

The plane was only flying at 8,000 feet [its normal {flight} ceiling is 30,000 feet and above], so it's speed relatively low [cruise speed is between about 400 and 500 knots (460 – 575 mph / 740 – 930 kph), but the Ukrainian plane was still climbing] and the fall back to Earth relatively quick.

On the clip where the plane is on fire and finally crashes, the downward angle looked to be about 25 to 30 %, which is relatively steep. Time of downfall can be calculated when the relative data is available.

Therefore, Mr Giraldi's claim " several minutes before the missiles were launched " is technically correct , until proven wrong by data from the FDR and CVR,

utu , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:31 am GMT
The Tor system is too primitive to be hacked. It is a stand alone, autonomous and mostly analog system. The radar signals it generates are shown on analog tube-screens.
Ghali , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:07 am GMT
Interesting theory by P. Giraldi. However, I am very surprised that Israel/Mossad role in these acts of terrorism never mentioned. We know that Trump is a Zionist servant and acts on instructions from his jewish fananciers. We know, Trump is incapable of serious thinking.

Here is a good article with some interesting observations:
https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202001131078026961-iran-jet-disaster-setup/

GMC , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:10 am GMT
The Iranians took the hit because their missiles took out the airliner. And then, they could stop the Western media crying for the next 6 mos. and this gave them time to bring in other neutral investigators to look at the evidence and come up with logical scenarios. There is a reason the black boxes weren't given to any one else to own – because they still remember the scam investigation of MH 17. I f lew planes for over 20 yrs – Every controlled/radared airport would ask me to turn on my transponder if it wasn't on – Everyone of them. This plane not only came from Ukraine but was an easy target for a hack from any of the big Intel countries. The BIG STORY here is that most every plane flying today – can have the same type consequences!!! because of the Western War Machine.
AZ , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 10:08 am GMT
Ask the Israelis. They are experts in these operations. The blood of the innocent on their heads

R D Steele has some interesting thoughts as well:

https://phibetaiota.net/2020/01/robert-steele-world-war-iii-was-ukrainian-flight-ps752-a-western-false-flag-combining-remote-hijacking-and-transponder-disabling-to-trigger-two-tor-m1-missiles/

lavoisier , says: Website Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
@Anon

Trump-Pence-Pompeo-Kushner-Netanyahu are ultimately responsible for these 176 lives lost. I suspect MBS is also part of the scheme. It was his fake peace offering that lured Soleimani to Iraq in the first place. I'm with Trudeau on this.

Trudeau showed some real courage criticizing Trump and his terrible decisions.

More Western allies have to stand up to the Zionist stooge and call him out on his treachery and stupidity.

UncommonGround , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:23 pm GMT
@bobhammer

The Democrats have gone too far.

I believe that P.G. has supported Trump until recently.

Besides, you could get some general information about such themes if you read articles like the following:

There's No Evidence Iran Is Responsible for the Deaths of Hundreds of Americans
by Stephen Zunes

https://progressive.org/dispatches/-no-evidence-iran-is-responsible-for-the-deaths-of-hundreds-of-americans-zunes-200107/

How the President Became a Drone Operator
by Allegra Harpootlian

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/16/how-the-president-became-a-drone-operator/

lavoisier , says: Website Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT
@bobhammer Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Turn off Fox News now.

We are not always the good guys and we are up to our necks in deceit, plunder, and evil. Our actions have harmed millions of people around the world and it has to stop.

It is time for more self-reflection as individuals and as a nation; and it is long past time for us to be comfortable with lies.

Anonymous [401] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 2:22 pm GMT
@bobhammer The "uninterruptible" autopilot can be activated – either by pilots or by on-board sensors, or by radio or satellite link<= connected to controls at the remote end. Government agencies, quasi government agencies, military brats and probably the entire group of privately operated NGOs and private party mobsters (bankers, corporations and private military armies and privateers) at the remote end, can take over control of in-flight Aircraft, and fly it, land it, take it off, whatever, even if the pilot sitting in the cockpit objects. and does all he can to retrieve control from the remote operator.

Several comments report says interrupt able remote control, allows, persons on the ground, to take from the pilot in a flying airplane, control of the airplane the pilot is suppose to be flying, in situations for example when terrorist are in the cockpit. I have not read the manufacture's literature nor do I have personal knowledge abut the equipment list of any of these aircraft, the list suggest they are all aircraft, not only equipped with the UAP but that they were all aircraft made by the same manufacturer. I am merely repeating what was on stated as fact on a website I visited.

Many are looking for proof that remotely equipped uninterruptible autopilots are being used as Remote Control weaponized drones . Imagine an pilot, located on the ground in London or somewhere parks his /her remote ground to air control vehicle and takes over flight control including turns on/off the transponder [<=which tells everyone where the plane is during its flight] on a plane that is flying, landing or taking off from say the Tehran airport in Iran?

My personal experience is that it generally takes less than 2 minutes after a transponder is turned off during a planes flight, before fighter jets arrive to escort the transponder disabled plane; so the whole system that protects civilian aircraft, and allows the military to know the aircraft is civilian, is dependent on the Transponder, installed in the airplane, to continuously squawk during flight, its exact position so that everyone can identify the flight, and track the aircraft during its flight. Every land based control tower, ATC control system center and military installation depends on that airborne squawking transponder to track the en-route progress of commercial and private aircraft flights from take off to landing.

Another comment made on that list referred to above claimed Uninterruptible Auto Pilot [UAP] equipped aircraft have been involved in unexplained flight accident/disappearance events (I have no personal knowledge about the equipment in these aircraft, I just repeated here what someone else said elsewhere, please verify these claims yourself or provide verification ) .

(4 @911) <=UAP allows pilot-less flights, no pilot need board the plane for its flight.
(PS752) (transponder turned off, destroyed by confused ground defense crews)
MH370 (vanished into thin air)
MH17 (had its flight path altered.)
Eyes focus on Uninterruptible Auto Pilot (UAP) .. to explain recent Tehran 160 person disaster?

This is really something to think about? Always the question has been how did four military officers from Iran, trained a few weeks in Florida to fly jets, manage to get through four differently located pilot screening TSA gates to fly the aircraft and passenger into the 9/11 events. Conspiracy theories suggest since no pilot is needed, there were no pilots for TSA to screening. Remote control on the ground flew the aircraft to their destinations.

Trinity , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 2:51 pm GMT
"By way of deception thou shalt do war."

Just about says it all doesn't it? What kind of people are we dealing with here? Of course only the morons out there are still being fooled by these kind of false flags. Even in the year 2020 these same morons still believe ZOG's 9-11 fairy tale and label any other theory as a "conspiracy." Speaking of conspiracies the biggest idiots out there, even bigger than the ones who believe ZOG's narrative or those type who believe the total wacktard stuff put out by ZIO controlled disinfo puppets like Alex Jones.

Ukrainian commercial airline? What other nation besides Iran does ZOG have it in for? Is it Russia?

War by deception? HARDLY to anyone with two brain cells left. These fools have been caught before, they aren't that clever. What they are is protected by a syndicate of bought and paid for politicians. They were caught attacking the USS Liberty, they were caught bombing American and British installations in Egypt, the Rosenbergs and Pollard were nailed, but of course despite all of this, America and her leaders continued the value Israel as a friend and an ally. With a friend like Israel, who needs enemies. Then of course we have the story of our 5 little dancing Israelis apprehended in NYC after being observed dancing and celebrating the WTC towers collapsing. So you mean a group of Israelis from Israel, nation that is ALLEGEDLY "friends" with America and America think it is hilarious and worth celebrating when America is attacked and thousands are burned alive or jump to their death from hundreds of feet above the street?? Of course "our" media quickly exonerated the celebrating Israelis and buried that story faster than your average house cat buries his own turds.

ZOG really thinks the average American has the IQ of a monkey. Even after the WMD caca they still think you people will believe anything they tell you to believe. The sad part is they are right about that with the majority of the population.

[Jan 16, 2020] Tulsi: Truth scares those who traffic in lies

Jan 16, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star

January 14, 2020 at 5:03 pm

https://www.youtube.com/embed/BG5sG2Ou-vY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Jan 16, 2020] Good (long) discussion with Tulsi who talks IRAN with Guests Stephen Kinzer Dennis Kucinich - Intro by Kim Iversen - Concord, NH

Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Krollchem , Jan 15 2020 7:25 utc | 135

Good (long) discussion with Tulsi who talks IRAN with Guests Stephen Kinzer & Dennis Kucinich - Intro by Kim Iversen - Concord, NH
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-W9b-_K_Xo&feature=youtu.be

Bernie , Jan 15 2020 8:04 utc | 137

Gen Wesley Clark on US going to war in 7 countries in 5 yrs. This is an interesting YouTube video. It's not if we go to war with Iraq...but when. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTbg11pCwOc


/div>

[Jan 15, 2020] Trump Officials Stumble and Bumble Over 'Imminent Threats'

Jan 15, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

s the debate over presidential war powers intensifies in Congress, a coterie of key Trump officials hit the Sunday talk shows last weekend to ratchet up the rhetoric on the "imminence" of the attack Iranian General Qassem Soleimani had allegedly planned.

The debate took on added significance after an intelligence briefing provided to House and Senate officials laying out the justification for Soleimani's killing was blasted by members on both sides of the aisle as "insulting," "demeaning," " dismissive " of Congress, and " disdainful ."

"It was this attitude that we don't have to tell Congress, we don't have to include Congress," said Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia. He added that after various scenarios were presented by senators, the administration refused to provide any "commitment to ever come to Congress" no matter what the circumstances.

The president cannot take military action against another nation without Congress's approval, unless it is to defend against an imminent threat to U.S. territories, possessions, or citizens.​

The U.S. is not officially at war with Iran. Yet the Trump administration took the unprecedented step of openly ordering the killing of an Iranian senior state official of a country, without an authorization of military force against that country and without briefing Congress.

On Friday, Pompeo said the attacks were justified because there was "a series of imminent attacks that were being plotted by Qasem Soleimaini, we don't know precisely when and we don't precisely where."

Members of Congress and the media seized upon the quote, charging that it does not sound like the definition of "imminent."

President Trump himself seemed to grasp the importance of stressing that the attack was "imminent" when he added details Friday on Fox News, asserting that Soleimani was plotting attacks on four U.S. embassies.

"I think it would have been four embassies," Trump said. "Could have been military bases, could have been a lot of other things too. But it was imminent."

"We did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy," Trump added. "He was looking very seriously at our embassies, and not just the embassy in Baghdad. I can reveal that I believe it would have been four embassies."

But members of Congress say they were not told that four embassies had been targeted. And when Trump officials were asked Sunday whether that claim was true, one by one they were left sputtering.

Pentagon Chief Mark Esper conceded he "didn't see" intelligence indicating that on CBS's Face the Nation .

"I didn't see one with regard to four embassies," Esper said . "What I'm saying is I share the president's view."

"What the president said was he believed there probably and could've been attacks against additional embassies. I shared that view," said Esper.

National Security adviser Robert O'Brien seemed to imply that members of Congress were at fault for not extracting that information from their intelligence briefing.

"It does seem to be a contradiction. [Trump is] telling Laura Ingraham [about imminent attacks], but in a 75-minute classified briefing, your top national security people never mentioned this to members of Congress. Why not?" Chris Wallace asked O'Brien on Fox News Sunday .

"I wasn't at the briefing," O'Brien answered, "and I don't know how the Q&A went back and forth. Sometimes it depends on the questions that were asked or how they were phrased."

On Meet the Press , O'Brien asserted that "exquisite" intelligence he was privy to showed that "the threat was imminent."

When pressed by Chuck Todd about what the U.S. did to protect the other three embassies under alleged imminent threat, O'Brien declined to give details.

"Is 'imminent' months, not weeks? Are people misinterpreting that word?" asked Todd.

"I think imminent, generally, means soon, quickly, you know, in process. So you know, I think those threats were imminent. And I don't want to get into the definition further than that," said O'Brien.

Pompeo's claim that an attack could be "imminent" even though the U.S. did not "know where or when" it would come is "pretty inconsistent," Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, replied Sunday on Meet the Press.

"To me there's a bigger question too. This is what really infuriated me about the briefing [Trump officials] maintain both in private and in public that a vote by Congress in 2003 or 2002 to go after Saddam Hussein was a vote that now allows them to still be in Iraq and do whatever they want, including killing a foreign general from Iran," said Paul. "And I don't think that's what Congress meant in 2002. We really need to have a debate about whether we should still be in Iraq or in Afghanistan. There needs to be authorization from Congress."

Paul argued that presidents from both parties have, for decades, usurped Congress's war powers, and that it is time for Congress to claw them back.

Said Paul, the founders "wanted to make it difficult to go to war, and I think we've been drifting away from that for a long time, but that's why I'm willing to stand up, not because I distrust President Trump -- actually think he has shown remarkable restraint -- but I'm willing to stand up even against a president of my party because we need to stand up and take back the power."

While the debate over war powers continues, Trump supporters have counter-attacked by questioning the patriotism of those who don't fall in line with their narrative.

Former White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee-Sanders "can't think of anything dumber" than Congress deciding matters of war and peace. Nikki Haley accused Democrats of "mourning" General Soleimani. Congressman Doug Collins said Democrats are " in love with terrorists ." And Lindsey Graham said senators like Lee and Paul are "empowering the enemy" by trying to rein in Trump's war powers.

On Monday, Trump added on Twitter: "The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was 'imminent' or not, & was my team in agreement. The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn't really matter because of his horrible past!" If Trump's team was really in agreement, they sure had a good way of hiding it. about the author Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill , UK Spectator , and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .

=marco01= 4 hours ago

Trump supporters literally do not care if the Trump admin lies to them.

They trust Trump 100%, he can lie to them as much as he wants.

[Jan 14, 2020] Craig Murray

Jan 14, 2020 | www.unz.com

January 4, 2020 2,300 Words 73 Comments Reply Email This Page to Someone
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In one of the series of blatant lies the USA has told to justify the assassination of Soleimani, Mike Pompeo said that Soleimani was killed because he was planning "Imminent attacks" on US citizens. It is a careful choice of word. Pompeo is specifically referring to the Bethlehem Doctrine of Pre-Emptive Self Defence .

Developed by Daniel Bethlehem when Legal Adviser to first Netanyahu's government and then Blair's, the Bethlehem Doctrine is that states have a right of "pre-emptive self-defence" against "imminent" attack. That is something most people, and most international law experts and judges, would accept. Including me.

What very few people, and almost no international lawyers, accept is the key to the Bethlehem Doctrine – that here "Imminent" – the word used so carefully by Pompeo – does not need to have its normal meanings of either "soon" or "about to happen". An attack may be deemed "imminent", according to the Bethlehem Doctrine, even if you know no details of it or when it might occur. So you may be assassinated by a drone or bomb strike – and the doctrine was specifically developed to justify such strikes – because of "intelligence" you are engaged in a plot, when that intelligence neither says what the plot is nor when it might occur. Or even more tenuous, because there is intelligence you have engaged in a plot before, so it is reasonable to kill you in case you do so again.

I am not inventing the Bethlehem Doctrine. It has been the formal legal justification for drone strikes and targeted assassinations by the Israeli, US and UK governments for a decade. Here it is in academic paper form, published by Bethlehem after he left government service (the form in which it is adopted by the US, UK and Israeli Governments is classified information ).

So when Pompeo says attacks by Soleimani were "imminent" he is not using the word in the normal sense in the English language. It is no use asking him what, where or when these "imminent" attacks were planned to be. He is referencing the Bethlehem Doctrine under which you can kill people on the basis of a feeling that they may have been about to do something.

The idea that killing an individual who you have received information is going to attack you, but you do not know when, where or how, can be justified as self-defence, has not gained widespread acceptance – or indeed virtually any acceptance – in legal circles outside the ranks of the most extreme devoted neo-conservatives and zionists. Daniel Bethlehem became the FCO's Chief Legal Adviser, brought in by Jack Straw, precisely because every single one of the FCO's existing Legal Advisers believed the Iraq War to be illegal. In 2004, when the House of Commons was considering the legality of the war on Iraq, Bethlehem produced a remarkable paper for consideration which said that it was legal because the courts and existing law were wrong , a defence which has seldom succeeded in court.

(b) following this line, I am also of the view that the wider principles of the law on self-defence also require closer scrutiny. I am not persuaded that the approach of doctrinal purity reflected in the Judgments of the International Court of Justice in this area provide a helpful edifice on which a coherent legal regime, able to address the exigencies of contemporary international life and discourage resort to unilateral action, is easily crafted;

The key was that the concept of "imminent" was to change:

The concept of what constitutes an "imminent" armed attack will develop to meet new circumstances and new threats

In the absence of a respectable international lawyer willing to argue this kind of tosh, Blair brought in Bethlehem as Chief Legal Adviser, the man who advised Netanyahu on Israel's security wall and who was willing to say that attacking Iraq was legal on the basis of Saddam's "imminent threat" to the UK, which proved to be non-existent. It says everything about Bethlehem's eagerness for killing that the formulation of the Bethlehem Doctrine on extrajudicial execution by drone came after the Iraq War, and he still gave not one second's thought to the fact that the intelligence on the "imminent threat" can be wrong. Assassinating people on the basis of faulty intelligence is not addressed by Bethlehem in setting out his doctrine. The bloodlust is strong in this one.

There are literally scores of academic articles, in every respected journal of international law, taking down the Bethlehem Doctrine for its obvious absurdities and revolting special pleading. My favourite is this one by Bethlehem's predecessor as the FCO Chief Legal Adviser, Sir Michael Wood and his ex-Deputy Elizabeth Wilmshurst.

I addressed the Bethlehem Doctrine as part of my contribution to a book reflecting on Chomsky 's essay "On the Responsibility of Intellectuals"

In the UK recently, the Attorney General gave a speech in defence of the UK's drone policy, the assassination of people – including British nationals – abroad. This execution without a hearing is based on several criteria, he reassured us. His speech was repeated slavishly in the British media. In fact, the Guardian newspaper simply republished the government press release absolutely verbatim, and stuck a reporter's byline at the top.

The media have no interest in a critical appraisal of the process by which the British government regularly executes without trial. Yet in fact it is extremely interesting. The genesis of the policy lay in the appointment of Daniel Bethlehem as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Chief Legal Adviser. Jack Straw made the appointment, and for the first time ever it was external, and not from the Foreign Office's own large team of world-renowned international lawyers. The reason for that is not in dispute. Every single one of the FCO's legal advisers had advised that the invasion of Iraq was illegal, and Straw wished to find a new head of the department more in tune with the neo-conservative world view. Straw went to extremes. He appointed Daniel Bethlehem, the legal 'expert' who provided the legal advice to Benjamin Netanyahu on the 'legality' of building the great wall hemming in the Palestinians away from their land and water resources. Bethlehem was an enthusiastic proponent of the invasion of Iraq. He was also the most enthusiastic proponent in the world of drone strikes.

Bethlehem provided an opinion on the legality of drone strikes which is, to say the least, controversial. To give one example, Bethlehem accepts that established principles of international law dictate that lethal force may be used only to prevent an attack which is 'imminent'. Bethlehem argues that for an attack to be 'imminent' does not require it to be 'soon'. Indeed you can kill to avert an 'imminent attack' even if you have no information on when and where it will be. You can instead rely on your target's 'pattern of behaviour'; that is, if he has attacked before, it is reasonable to assume he will attack again and that such an attack is 'imminent'.

There is a much deeper problem: that the evidence against the target is often extremely dubious. Yet even allowing the evidence to be perfect, it is beyond me that the state can kill in such circumstances without it being considered a death penalty imposed without trial for past crimes, rather than to frustrate another 'imminent' one. You would think that background would make an interesting story. Yet the entire 'serious' British media published the government line, without a single journalist, not one, writing about the fact that Bethlehem's proposed definition of 'imminent' has been widely rejected by the international law community. The public knows none of this. They just 'know' that drone strikes are keeping us safe from deadly attack by terrorists, because the government says so, and nobody has attempted to give them other information

Remember, this is not just academic argument, the Bethlehem Doctrine is the formal policy position on assassination of Israel, the US and UK governments. So that is lie one. When Pompeo says Soleimani was planning "imminent" attacks, he is using the Bethlehem definition under which "imminent" is a "concept" which means neither "soon" nor "definitely going to happen". To twist a word that far from its normal English usage is to lie. To do so to justify killing people is obscene. That is why, if I finish up in the bottom-most pit of hell, the worst thing about the experience will be the company of Daniel Bethlehem.

Let us now move on to the next lie, which is being widely repeated, this time originated by Donald Trump, that Soleimani was responsible for the "deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans". This lie has been parroted by everybody, Republicans and Democrats alike.

Really? Who were they? When and where? While the Bethlehem Doctrine allows you to kill somebody because they might be going to attack someone, sometime, but you don't know who or when, there is a reasonable expectation that if you are claiming people have already been killed you should be able to say who and when.

The truth of the matter is that if you take every American killed including and since 9/11, in the resultant Middle East related wars, conflicts and terrorist acts, well over 90% of them have been killed by Sunni Muslims financed and supported out of Saudi Arabia and its gulf satellites, and less than 10% of those Americans have been killed by Shia Muslims tied to Iran.

This is a horribly inconvenient fact for US administrations which, regardless of party, are beholden to Saudi Arabia and its money. It is, the USA affirms, the Sunnis who are the allies and the Shias who are the enemy. Yet every journalist or aid worker hostage who has been horribly beheaded or otherwise executed has been murdered by a Sunni, every jihadist terrorist attack in the USA itself, including 9/11, has been exclusively Sunni, the Benghazi attack was by Sunnis, Isil are Sunni, Al Nusra are Sunni, the Taliban are Sunni and the vast majority of US troops killed in the region are killed by Sunnis.

Precisely which are these hundreds of deaths for which the Shia forces of Soleimani were responsible? Is there a list? It is of course a simple lie. Its tenuous connection with truth relates to the Pentagon's estimate – suspiciously upped repeatedly since Iran became the designated enemy – that back during the invasion of Iraq itself , 83% of US troop deaths were at the hands of Sunni resistance and 17% of of US troop deaths were at the hands of Shia resistance, that is 603 troops. All the latter are now lain at the door of Soleimani, remarkably.

Those were US troops killed in combat during an invasion. The Iraqi Shia militias – whether Iran backed or not – had every legal right to fight the US invasion. The idea that the killing of invading American troops was somehow illegal or illegitimate is risible. Plainly the US propaganda that Soleimani was "responsible for hundreds of American deaths" is intended, as part of the justification for his murder, to give the impression he was involved in terrorism, not legitimate combat against invading forces. The idea that the US has the right to execute those who fight it when it invades is an absolutely stinking abnegation of the laws of war.

As I understand it, there is very little evidence that Soleimani had active operational command of Shia militias during the invasion, and in any case to credit him personally with every American soldier killed is plainly a nonsense. But even if Soleimani had personally supervised every combat success, these were legitimate acts of war. You cannot simply assassinate opposing generals who fought you, years after you invade.

The final, and perhaps silliest lie, is Vice President Mike Pence's attempt to link Soleimani to 9/11. There is absolutely no link between Soleimani and 9/11, and the most strenuous efforts by the Bush regime to find evidence that would link either Iran or Iraq to 9/11 (and thus take the heat off their pals the al-Saud who were actually responsible) failed. Yes, it is true that some of the hijackers at one point transited Iran to Afghanistan. But there is zero evidence, as the 9/11 report specifically stated, that the Iranians knew what they were planning, or that Soleimani personally was involved. This is total bullshit. 9/11 was Sunni and Saudi led, nothing to do with Iran.

Soleimani actually was involved in intelligence and logistical cooperation with the United States in Afghanistan post 9/11 (the Taliban were his enemies too, the shia Tajiks being a key part of the US aligned Northern Alliance). He was in Iraq to fight ISIL.

The final aggravating factor in the Soleimani murder is that he was an accredited combatant general of a foreign state which the world – including the USA – recognises. The Bethlehem Doctrine specifically applies to "non-state actors". Unlike all of the foregoing, this next is speculation, but I suspect that the legal argument in the Pentagon ran that Soleimani is a non-state actor when in Iraq, where the Shia militias have a semi-official status.

But that does not wash. Soleimani is a high official in Iran who was present in Iraq as a guest of the Iraqi government, to which the US government is allied. This greatly exacerbates the illegality of his assassination still further.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. (Republished from CraigMurray.org by permission of author or representative)


utu , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 6:16 am GMT

Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations by Ronen Bergman

The book's title is inspired by a statement in the Talmud: "If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first".

And there is another dictum in Talmud: Tob Shebbe Goyim Harog ("Kill the Best Gentiles").

Igor Bundy , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 7:16 am GMT
We know Israel does this all the time but to non state actors. I dont think in recent history anyone has openly target a state actor in such a criminal fashion because it is an act of war and not only that but considered barbaric. To ask for mediation and then to assassinate the messengers is an act that not even the mongols took part in and they considered it enough to wipe out any such parties..
Parfois1 , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 7:25 am GMT
Good expose about the creative criminal minds twisting language and decency to justify murder and war crimes...

A new legal doctrine to justify crimes in an industrial scale for the good of UK-USrael.

However they might be right in claiming that Gen. Soleimani had killed or was about to kill many "Americans" – not strictly US citizens – but the honorary American terrorist foot soldiers fighting American wars in the Middle East.

Ghali , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 7:56 am GMT
Do terrorists act legally? The U.S. is a terrorist organisation. It is misleading to call the US a nation or a country. Soleimani is widely-acknowledged as the architect of the successful campaign to defeat the U.S.-Israel sponsored terrorists (ISIS and al-Qaeda) in Syria and Iraq. The sad irony is that Iran was a major U.S. "ally" during the U.S. aggression against Afghanistan and more importantly against Iraq. Without Iran (the Eastern front) the U.S. would not have invaded Iraq. Iran played a major military role helping the U.S. against the Iraqi Resistance.
Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 8:18 am GMT
Hollywood creatures are the vilest scum.

Hollywood's fake history vs. actual history on Israel's role in the Iraq war.

Hollywood's fake history vs. actual history on Israel's role in the Iraq war. for more https://t.co/lTonBw8VGF pic.twitter.com/1pxVcmIqhq

-- Adam Green (@Know_More_News) January 12, 2020

Dube , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 9:12 am GMT
While Ahmadinejad never actually said that Israel would be driven into the sea, that statement was imminent, therefore it was legitimate to quote it.
Zumbuddi , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 9:41 am GMT
How hideous that this is named Bethlehem, "The place of healing; place of birth of the Prince of Peace.'

More appropriate to call it the ESTHER doctrine, or PURIM doctrine.

The Hebrew text provides no solid evidence that Haman sought to kill Jews: the notion is based on Mordecha the Spy and self-serving Snitch.

Netanyahu has made public statements linking today's Iran to the Purim doctrine that Jews celebrate to this day.

In other words, Jews demonstrate a clear patter of "imminent threat" to kill those who resist Zionist – Anglo dominence.

Under this Purim (Bethlehem) doctrine, therefore, it is not only legitimate, it is necessary -- a Constitutional obligation -- that the American government Kill Jews who pose an Imminent Threat to the American -- and Iranian -- people.

tim hardacre , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 9:47 am GMT
As a retired international lawyer I am of the opinion Mr. Murray sets out fact and law impressively . He says everything that is needed to be said

Good for the FCO legal team in resisting the invasion of Iraq. I do know at least one British regiment sought independent legal advice before accepting orders.

Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 9:50 am GMT
Great article Mr. Murray, very needed in these times of almost universal deceit.

Mr. Bethlehem displays the famous Jewish quality of chutzpah – the quality of a bit who has killed his parents in cold blood but begs the judge for mercy because he is an orphan – when he decided to simply change the law.

I wish I had some of that Jewish privilege, that way I too could go around robbing and killing and then simply change the law to get away Scot free.

Gallum , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 9:52 am GMT
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani attended Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, graduating in 1995 with an M.Phil. degree in Law. Rouhani is close to Jack Straw and Straw is very close to Lord Levy. And Lord Levy is very close to Lord Rothschild. Jack Straw says "in Hassan Rouhani's Iran, you can feel the winds change." "Winds changing" is an understatement. They are gust winds blowing at high velocity directly from the City of London and from Israel's direction. All very high level British intrigue going on here in Iran. It was Jack Straw who appointed Daniel Bethlehem who developed the "Bethlehem Doctrine" used in justifying the assassination of General Soleinami under false pretenses Pompeo probably knew about when he informed President Trump. From 1979 to 2013, Rouhani held a number of important positions in the Velayat-e Faqih's key institutions, as "the man in power but in the shadows." Hassan Rouhani's job it appears considering his education and position is through Shia law is to continue to perpetuate the spread of the "revolution." The "revolution" is designed to keep confrontation in place. Why not gradually move from "revolutionary Shia" to a more conciliatory peaceful religious position? Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif who is now an Iranian career diplomat, spent 20 years from the age of 17 studying in the United States. Kind of makes us look harder at John Kerry and whether or not his connections to Mohammad Javad Zarif have anything to do with all that is unfolding here?
Nonny Mouse , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 10:41 am GMT
They all have fake names. Netanyahu is really Mileikowski. Ben Gurion was really Gruen. But for a British Jew to grab the name Bethlehem is a real attack on Christianity.
Parfois1 , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 10:43 am GMT
@Ghali

The sad irony is that Iran was a major U.S. "ally" during the U.S. aggression against Afghanistan and more importantly against Iraq. Without Iran (the Eastern front) the U.S. would not have invaded Iraq. Iran played a major military role helping the U.S. against the Iraqi Resistance.

Well, what can one say? First, there is the official narrative; then there are the alternative narratives in their many fashions and narrations; and then there is the oddball narrative that defies logic and reason. Iran allied with Usrael?

It may look (and is) an exorbitant stretch of imagination to come to such a view. But it is not unique; it is not much different from the often-heard impossible claim here at UR that Nazi Germany was allied with the Soviet Union in 1939!

anonymous [382] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 10:51 am GMT
@RouterAl

Can I be the only person to think that from the moment Hitler transported his first shipment of Haavara Agreement Jews to Palestine there has not been a moments piece in that corner of the globe.

Can you be the only person . . .?

Possibly.

"There has not been a moment's piece [sic] in that corner of the globe" since Herzl began attempting to co-opt the Ottoman Empire in ~1895.

Balfour ramped it up a notch in 1917; at the urging of Louis Brandeis, Woodrow Wilson endorsed Balfour's plan.

NoseytheDuke , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 11:01 am GMT
@Wally Note here that Wally fails to condemn Trump's illegal act of war on a national of a nation which Congress has not declared war upon.

Yes Wally, Obama was a war criminal who deserves to hang for his crimes, but if you are to retain any credibility with which to continue your mission to expose the Holohoax, you should also acknowledge that Trump is a war criminal too who, based on precedent, also deserves to hang. Your loyalty is clearly misplaced.

NoseytheDuke , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 11:09 am GMT
@Dube I believe that what he actually said was that, "Israel would disappear from the pages of history". The usual liars reported this as "Iran would wipe Israel off the map".

If the West is to fight back and survive then the first battle should surely be against the lying media organs that bear so much responsibility for the shit-storm that is on the way.

SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 11:29 am GMT
@Parfois1 Hillary Mann Leverett negotiated with Iranian counterparts at United Nations and gained Iranian assistance in finding partners to defeat Taliban
March 31, 2015

~15 min:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?325094-3/washington-journal-hillary-mann-leverett-mark-dubowitz-iran-nuclear-negotiations

Leverett:

"Unlike Mr. Dubowitz and many in Washington, I have actually negotiated with current Iranian officials, and it was an effective negotiation. [it resulted] in a state enormously not only overthrow the Taliban, but set up a proper government in Afghanistan. There is just no evidence whatsoever that continuing to bludgeon them and pressure them is going to do anything to give us concessions."

Leverett participated in a 'round-table discussion' with Mark Dubowitz of Foundation for Defense of Democracy (FDD).

Dubowitz's spiel was boilerplate: "Saddam killed 200,000 of his own people, he is pursuing nuclear weapons," blah blah blah.

On Jan 12 2020 on C Span, https://www.c-span.org/event/?467915/washington-journal-01122020 first Ilan Goldenberg of Center for New American Security (George Soros, major funder), then Michael Rubin of American Enterprise Institute * recited the same talking points: only the names were changed, a tacit acknowledgement that the original, Iraqi-based set of names were dead.

*AEI Board of Trustees:
AEI is governed by a Board of Trustees, composed of leading business and financial executives.
Daniel A. D'Aniello, Chairman
Cofounder and Chairman
The Carlyle Group

Clifford S. Asness
Managing and Founding Principal
AQR Capital Management, LLC

The Honorable Richard B. Cheney

Peter H. Coors
Vice Chairman of the Board
Molson Coors Brewing Company

Harlan Crow
Chairman
Crow Holdings

Ravenel B. Curry III
Chief Investment Officer
Eagle Capital Management, LLC

-- also interesting comments from the audience @ 11 min

Leverett has also repeated, on numerous occasions, that sanctions –" a weapon of war" -- are counterproductive and, in the case of Iraq, "killed a million Iraqis, half of them children."

Biff , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 11:31 am GMT
@NoseytheDuke

I believe that what he actually said was that, "Israel would disappear from the pages of history".

More precisely the quote says "The Israel regime would disappear .." meaning the Israel government – not the country and its' people.

dimples , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 11:34 am GMT
@Dube Indeed, the Jews cunningly arranged for the Arab states to look like they might attack them in 1967. Then they swooped like a prescient eagle and blew up all the Egyptian planes on the ground before this attack, which might not have happened otherwise, actually happened. Its definitely a winning philosophy, but only if you are sure you are going to win in the first place.
Art , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 11:45 am GMT
Leave it to a Jew and his Bethlehem Doctrine, to crush the four centuries old Treaty of Westphalia where the principle of national sovereignty was instituted. Killing the leaders of a sovereign nation breaks the treaty.

Assassination is a Jew tool. Killing is the Jew way.

Stop the Jew – Think Peace

YetAnotherAnon , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 12:02 pm GMT
@RouterAl "Jew Jack Straw was everything you would expect from Jew"

I seem to recall a piece in an Israeli paper saying he wasn't Jewish. It was quite witty, saying IIRC that although he looked like a shul trustee and his career trajectory (student politics then law then media) was classically Jewish, he has (as wiki says) only one Jewish great-grandparent.

From wiki

"In 2013, at a round table event of the Global Diplomatic Forum at the UK's House of Commons, Straw (who has Jewish heritage) was quoted by Israeli politician Einat Wilf, one of the panelists at the forum, as having said that among the main obstacles to peace was the amount of money available to Jewish organizations in the US, which controlled US foreign policy, and also Germany's "obsession" with defending Israel."

YetAnotherAnon , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 12:12 pm GMT
@dimples "Its definitely a winning philosophy, but only if you are sure you are going to win in the first place."

Yes, it didn't do the losers much good at Nuremberg, although Germany had explained the attack of June 22 as a pre-emptive strike – " Therefore Russia has broken its treaties and is about to attack Germany. I have ordered the German armed forces to oppose this threat with all their strength ".

Cowboy , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 12:18 pm GMT

"The Bethlehem Doctrine is that states have a right of "pre-emptive self-defence" against "imminent" attack. That is something most people, and most international law experts and judges, would accept."

So Operation Barbarossa was legal. But we knew that already because not only Germany, but Romania, Finland, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia ( wiki doesn't mention the Spanish Azul division) all attacked due to the "imminent threat" of Stalin, who certainly had a long history of war crimes, the most recent being his invasions of Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and even Finland.

Additionally, 400,000 of the Waffen SS were non-Germanic, yet wiki prefaces its description of Barbarossa as "The operation put into action Nazi Germany's ideological goal of conquering the western Soviet Union so as to repopulate it with Germans." .

The more things change, the more the lies stay the same. Like Hitler, Soleimani was a "bad, hateful terrorist" who they smear by claiming "he deserved to die". In the end this is really about the mother of all modern jewish lies, the "holocaust".

John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 12:58 pm GMT
"The Bethlehem Doctrine"

Just one additional bit of evidence for the sick, corrupting influence of empire on law and human affairs.

This what what happens when you have an empire instead of a country.

Jake , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 12:59 pm GMT
#1 – "When Pompeo says Soleimani was planning "imminent" attacks, he is using the Bethlehem definition under which "imminent" is a "concept" which means neither "soon" nor "definitely going to happen". To twist a word that far from its normal English usage is to lie. To do so to justify killing people is obscene. That is why, if I finish up in the bottom-most pit of hell, the worst thing about the experience will be the company of Daniel Bethlehem."

#2 – [1] Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise? [2] And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat: [3] But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die. [4] And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death. [5] For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.

What do we get when we add #1 and #2?

#3 – The CIA, the Mossad, and the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency are all offshoots from, are all in origin product of, Brit WASP secret service.

When we add the answer to the above question to #3, what then is the sum?

Jake , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 1:06 pm GMT
@Biff It is 100% true.

Offhand, I think 19 of the 21 highjackers were Saudi born and raised. All 21 were Arab Sunnis.

9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 1:06 pm GMT
@Biff Agree that 9/11 had " nothing to do with Iran" but to say that "9/11 was Sunni and Saudi led " is disinformation . Is Craig Murray , a former British Diplomat , a 9/11 gatekeeper? Murray has written
"I do not believe that the US government or any of its agencies were responsible for 9/11." Like Noam Chomsky , Murray fails the 9/11 "litmus test ".
Trump is continuing the state terrorism by drone as carried out by Bush and Obama : "Why is Obama still killing children [by drome] ?" cato.org :
.".. thousands of civilians , including hundreds of children , have fallen victim to his preemptive drone strikes over the last seven years 'America's actions are legal ', Obama said ,'we were attacked on 9/11′"
So Obama had the chutzpah to blame his murder of civilians on 9/11. The Democratic and Republican parties are truly wings which belong to the same bird of prey .
Fuerchtegott , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 1:09 pm GMT
A very feministy Doctrine.
peter mcloughlin , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 1:10 pm GMT
Historically, nations act in what serves their interests. Western involvement in the Middle East has been primarily about energy security and commerce. They seek to justify it through different means, including legalistic sophistry. The real danger of the US-Iran confrontation is consequences that lead to no alternative but escalation. One scenario, a Tehran 79 type hostage stand-off in Baghdad where President Trump (in an election year) could find himself with no choice but up the ante. The spector of humiliation and defeat convincing him the only hope is to persevere. But that could be an illusion, moving deeper into a sequence of events leading unstoppably to the real danger in the Middle East – confrontation with Russia. Many say it couldn't happen. History suggests otherwise. Living by the law might be the future: learning from history the way to create that future.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
Johnny Walker Read , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 1:15 pm GMT
It's all about interpretation . As Bill Clinton taught us about words and their meaning:
"it depends on what the meaning of 'is' is"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/j4XT-l-_3y0?feature=oembed

anonymous [582] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 1:23 pm GMT
Sunni this, Sunni that !@# You, Craig Murray, you whitrash piece of shit!!

If this scum was a career diplomat of that pissant island, which has never been up to any good, then he must fundamentally be an evil scumbag, working for the pleasure of that old thieving witch.

Just various masks of controlled opposition. Mofers all!!

Been_there_done_that , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 1:40 pm GMT
Yet another mixed bag. Invoking an official government lie, thus poisoning the well.

" Yes, it is true that some of the hijackers at one point transited Iran to Afghanistan. "

" The hijackers "?
I suppose this is an inserted reference to the alleged "hijackers" that were not even on the airline flight manifests yet became central to the phony 9/11 story that no serious person believes.

Desert Fox , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 1:48 pm GMT
Israel and its colony the ZUS are the most dangerous countries in the world because of their total disregard of international law as evidenced by their joint attack on the WTC on 911 and their using this as the excuse to destroy the middle east for Israel, which has killed millions and kept America at war for Israel for decades!

The ZUS and Israel are in the same league as Stalin and Hitler and are a blight on humanity!

SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 2:50 pm GMT
@Desert Fox

The ZUS and Israel are in the same league as Stalin and Hitler and are a blight on humanity!

What is your criterion for comparison, Desert Fox?

I don't know much about Stalin, so can't deal with that.

Hitler was defending Germany: he told Herbert Hoover that his three " idees fixes " were:

"to unify Germany from its fragmentation by the Treaty of Versailles;

to expand its physical resources by moving into Russia or the Balkan States . . .[to prevent a recurrence of] the famine;

to destroy the Russian Communist government . . .[consequent to] the brutalities of the Communist uprisings in German cities during the Armistice period." ( Freedom Betrayed, by Herbert Hoover).

ZUS and Israel are aggressing, invading, occupying, displacing and ethnically cleansing forces; they are not acting defensively, as NSDAP was, by any application of logic.

Mulegino1 , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 3:02 pm GMT

This is total bullshit. 9/11 was Sunni and Saudi led, nothing to do with Iran.

The Saudis may have enabled the creation of the legends of the hijackers, but had little or nothing to do with the execution of the operation. 9/11 certainly was carried out preponderantly by Israeli operatives for the economic benefit of Zionist Jews and their criminal co-conspirators in the world of finance and the councils of government.

The sentence ought to be reordered thus:

'9/11 was Sunni and Saudi led. ' That is total bullshit. In any case, it had nothing to do with Iran.

Number 2 , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 3:21 pm GMT
Sean promptly serves up the CIA line, more slogans for people who are not too bright. Today it's a little pun to muddle up the law and give CIA a desperately-sought loophole for the crime of aggression, for which there is no justification. Sean is thinking fast as he can to try and distract you from the necessity and proportionality tests which accompany any use of force and govern the status of the act as countermeasure, internationally wrongful act, or crime. Sean's indoctrination has protected his stationary hamster-wheel mind from the black letter law of Chapter VII, including Articles 47 and 51, which place self-defense forces at the disposal of the UNSC under direction of the Military Staff Committee. Sean also seizes up with Orwellian CIA CRIMESTOP when he hears anything about the case law governing use of force, such as the minimal indicative examples below.

https://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-vii/
https://www.icj-cij.org/en/case/70/summaries
https://www.icj-cij.org/en/case/90/summaries

CIA has been running from the law for 85 years now, but despite their wholesale corruption of the Secretariat, they're losing control of the UN charter bodies and treaty bodies. Some SIS scapegoats are going to be faking palsy in the dock to get a break. Brennan first.

Desert Fox , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 3:22 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus Recommend you do the research, Hitler was put into power by the zionist banking kabal, the same kabal that rules the ZUS, read the book Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, and they wanted Hitler and Stalin to destroy each other, that was the zionist plan and they used the ZUS and Britain to do it, just as they have destroyed the mideast for Israels greater Israel agenda.

The ZUS is just like Hitler invading and destroying the mideast for Israel using the attack on WTC as an excuse, which was a joint attack on the WTC on 911 by traitors in the ZUS and Israel, the whole deal is a zionist driven holocaust on the people of the middle east.

By the way Israel is perpetrating a holocaust of the people of Palestine and this holocaust is backed by the ZUS, which is Israels military arm ie a subsidiary of the IDF.

Recommend the archives section on henrymakow.com on Hitler and Stalin.

Harry

9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 3:29 pm GMT
@Jake There were no hijackers , there were no planes , they were likely CGI's in videos produced in a "Holywood production" prior to 9/11 , see septemberclues. info "The central role of the news media on 9/11" .
Truth3 , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 3:35 pm GMT
@Biff 9/11 was a Jewish operation from Day One.

PNAC, anyone?

Silverstein?

c matt , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 3:46 pm GMT
@Wally I am sure, if asked, he would condemn Obama's war crimes as well (and Bush I, Bush II, Clinton, etc. probably going back to Lincoln at least). But the subject was about Soleimani's assassination, which, as much as I am sure you would like to do, cannot be pinned on Obama.
Wally , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 3:55 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke LOL

– There hasn't been a US declaration of war since WWII, and there have been countless US military actions.
Your Pelosi talking point refuted.

– Your double standard is on parade. Again, no mention of "war criminal" Obama.

– You clearly prefer to ignore my many posts critical of Trump.

– And of course you cannot refute anything I have posted about the fake & impossible "holocaust".

Ah.

Rev. Spooner , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Igor Bundy Right. The Mongols rolled the murderers of their emissaries or ambassadors in carpets and had them trampled to death by horses. This was followed by razing the city/state. I'm told Nuttyyahoo of Israel provided the info and encouraged it.
Really No Shit , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 3:58 pm GMT
My two cents worth:

1) Elizabeth Warren has lied about her ethnicity and has benefited from it thus lying can be natural for her she would most likely give a lap dance to Bibi if demanded to get elected,

2) Arabs are being absolved of 9/11 by their Ashkenazi cousins who mistakenly believe that they are semites despite having overwhelmingly slavic blood there must be trace amounts of meshuggah genes mixed up with the Indo-European and thus the hatred of Iranians,

3) Jesus came once before, therefore it must reason that he is coming back the second time and now the arrival is imminent so Daniel Bethlehem must become Christian now or go to hell

Rev. Spooner , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 4:05 pm GMT
@Priss Factor Adam Green is a true American patriot.
Buck Ransom , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 4:20 pm GMT
@Biff " every jihadist terrorist attack in the USA itself, including 9/11, has been exclusively Sunni ,"
LOL.
Z-man , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 4:37 pm GMT
@Jake 20 Hijackers. One, a black Moroccan Muslim, chickened out and is in jail somewhere in the USA. The leader, Atta, was from Egypt. The lead guy to the flight that only had four hijackers because of the Moroccan, which crashed in PA, was from Lebanon and could pass for an American/Jew. Two were from the United Arab Emirates and the rest, 15 , were Saudis.
AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 4:46 pm GMT
Mafia-style assassination of Soleimani was undoubtedly an act of state terrorism. What's more, it was an act of war against Iran. It was a crime committed by the US military on orders of Trump, who publicly confessed that he gave that criminal order.

Limited Iranian response just shows that Iran government is sane, in sharp contrast to the US government.

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 4:54 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus

"to unify Germany from its fragmentation by the Treaty of Versailles;
to expand its physical resources by moving into Russia or the Balkan States . . .[to prevent a recurrence of] the famine;
to destroy the Russian Communist government . . .[consequent to] the brutalities of the Communist uprisings in German cities during the Armistice period." (Freedom Betrayed, by Herbert Hoover).

Your #2 and #3 are naked aggression. Exactly as Soleimani murder.

Agent76 , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 5:13 pm GMT
May 8, 2019 Afghanistan, the Forgotten Proxy War. The Role of Osama bin Laden and Zbigniew Brzezinski

The original "moderate rebel"

One of the key players in the anti-Soviet, U.S.-led regime change project against Afghanistan was Osama bin Laden, a Saudi-born millionaire who came from a wealthy, powerful family that owns a Saudi construction company and has had close ties to the Saudi royal family.

https://llco.org/afghanistan-the-forgotten-proxy-war/

June 6, 2018 Why the US shouldn't build more foreign bases

The United States maintains almost 800 military bases in over 70 countries, which far exceeds our modern day security requirements.

https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2018/06/06/why-the-us-shouldnt-build-more-foreign-bases/

Mar 28, 2014 VICE on HBO Debrief: Children of the Drones

Suroosh Alvi went to Pakistan and found out that American drones there are doing more harm than good.

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

GeeBee , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 5:19 pm GMT
@Been_there_done_that While I am sure that the official story of the September 11th 2001 'attack' is false, I frequently wonder why the 'truthers' seem never to be able to get all their ducks in a row. Many claim that the film footage of the aircraft strikes were pre-manufactured CGIs, issued to the media in order to mask the real culprits which they allege were cruise missiles. But a cruise missile doesn't have a flight manifest. Either those four flights that the official story says were hijacked took off that day, or they did not. The CGI theory rests, of course, on there being no such flights. Yet you claim that 'the hijackers' were not on flight manifests for those flights. This is surely the craziest interpretion: either the flights were fictional (as in the CGI theory) and thus there were no manifests, or they really did take place, and therefore had manifests, and were hijacked. If, as you claim, the flights actually took place, but no hijackers boarded them, how on earth did they fly into the twin towers? It makes no sense at all I fear.
CanSpeccy , says: Website Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 5:27 pm GMT

every jihadist terrorist attack in the USA itself, including 9/11

Generally interesting comment. But why distract from the issue of the Soleimani assassination with such a ridiculous comment ab0ut 9/11?

nsa , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 5:28 pm GMT
Americans are now as gods. asserting their inherent right to kill anyone, anytime, anywhere, for any reason.
"Did we just kill a kid?" In 2012 a USAF drone operator named Bryant reported he was "flying" drones out of New Mexico and painted a 6000 mile away Afghan shack with his laser, and with permission released a Hellfire missile. During the time the missile took to arrive, he saw on his screen a child toddle from behind the shack. Mesmerized, in slow motion, he saw the shack explode and the child disappear. Having killed hundreds remotely, he still wasn't ready for this and asked his copilot: "Did we just kill a kid?". The operator answered: "I guess so". Suddenly on the screen appeared the words of some unknown anonymous supervisor: "No, it was a dog". Bryant responded: "A dog on two legs?"
Even the resident boomer Nam hero, Rich, might have trouble justifying this kind of activity .but then again in a jewed out society ..maybe not.
GeeBee , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 5:28 pm GMT
@Desert Fox 'The ZUS and Israel are in the same league as Stalin and Hitler and are a blight on humanity!'

Ah. I see that you are still drinking the Kool Aid regarding Herr Hitler. I used to believe it all too. You'll learn in time, as will enough people. Only then will the gigantic criminal enterprise fomented by 'the International Race' that we call World War II be seen for the monstrous crime against humanity that it was. Perhaps – just perhaps – that same sick and depraved race will then finally be so deservedly called to account for its foul deeds.

Make no mistake: understanding just who and what Adolf Hitler really was, and especially his role in saving at least part of the West from Communism, is absolutely central to an appreciation of this awful world in which we now live.

Desert Fox , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 5:54 pm GMT
@GeeBee I am under no illusions about Hitler or Stalin as both were funded by the international zionist banking kabal, read the book Hitlers Secret Bankers by Sidney Warburg and Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler and Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution,by Anthony Sutton, zionists were behind the whole deal.

Recommend henrymakow.com and his archive section on Hitler and Stalin.

Paul , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 6:41 pm GMT
Noam Chomsky has pointed out that if the United States is truly against terrorism, it should stop engaging in it.
Art , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 7:09 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN Limited Iranian response just shows that Iran government is sane, in sharp contrast to the US government.

There is great tension in the world, tension toward a breaking point, and men are unhappy and confused. At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions. What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against?"
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

This is one of those times.

Lol , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 7:25 pm GMT
What's ironic is that Pompeo and his fellow Americans would cry like the little girls they are if the rest of the world starting assassinating Americans based on the same grounds. Lol
anonymous [283] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 7:31 pm GMT
There is no such thing as international law or legality. Might makes right as shown by the US doing as it pleases and thumbing it's nose at everyone. Some person with legal credentials gets trotted out to declare whatever has been done is legal, just rubber-stamping it. It's too bad but that's the reality.
2stateshmustate , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 7:42 pm GMT
@Z-man With all due respect which is 0. How pray tell did the those "hijackers" manage to plant the explosives in the 3 World Trade towers buildings with which to imploded them? Of course they didn't. Israel and Jews have their fingerprints all over the 911 attack.

911 was an Israeli/ Jew false flag attack that resulted in the murder of 3000 innocent goyim before noon that day. It's purpose was to create hatred towards Arabs, Muslims and Persians so that stupid Americans would send their children to die for the squatter colony of Israel.

Folks the Jew controlled US government is saying that those 3 sky-scrapers collapsed into their own footprint at free fall speed due to one cause: office furniture fires. Not the impact of the "plane" and not the fuel carried by the "planes". This has never happened before or since in the history of the world. It is complete bullshit. The JewSA's story is totally impossible and defies the laws of physics. Namely the Law of the conservation of energy.

As anyone who observers the fall of all 3 towers can see those building fall at free fall speed. For this to happen it means that the underlying structure is offering NO resistance to the above falling structure. How can this be? The many floors below the impact zone were in no way effected by the fire. Yet we see them vaporized into dust as the buildings collapse into their own footprint.

No folks this is impossible. Therefore the entire government's story is suspect and I would suggest total bullshit.
I'll admit that in the heat of the moment I fell for this lie. But what really got my attention was when I found out about the collapse of Building 7. A 57 story that was not hit by any "plane". And yet it followed the same script as the Twin Towers. Use critical thinking Americans.

I realize for many the truth about 911 is going to blow up their entire world view regarding the exceptionalness of the US and our good buddy Israel. But it is vital for the survival of our nation that the real criminals behind 911 be held accountable.

Israel did 911 and they are our number one enemy.

SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 7:42 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN If so, AnonFromTn, while begging pardon for a Whataboutery argument, How does #2 differ from the activities of Israelis, that are supported by American taxpayers; and how does #3 differ from the activities of Americans toward Iran, whose government US / Israel has been seeking to topple and re-form to "western" preferences, since at least 1979? *

Moreover, Desert Fox is partly (but only minimally-partly) correct in that zionist Jews and Allies set-up or duped or manipulated or otherwise used Germany to attempt to destroy Bolshevism in Russia, similar to the way that US used Saddam against Iran, then killed Saddam; used Soleimani against ISIS in Iraq, then killed Soleimani.

So are the actions of USA / ZUSA excusable, unaccountable, but those of Germany were demonstrably not?

Or should the American people remain warily alert for the next shoe to drop, when that "arc of justice" bends inexorably their way?

* I still, perhaps stubbornly, maintain that Germany had far more justification for its actions in seeking to vanquish a political regime that was observably committing mass murder with the "imminent" danger of carrying out the same against the German people -- as, in fact, was done; and that seeking to protect its people from starvation, of which 800,000 people had died within the present memory of surviving Germans, is an obligation of the state, a far more compelling obligation than that of "protecting American interests" 7000 miles from the homeland, when the homeland has more than adequate capacity to provide for its people, and when the interests being protected are those of a very few very rich individuals or corporations.
Competing and trading fairly is far less costly than waging war, and not nearly so ignoble.

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 8:18 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus I am not trying to whitewash the Empire. Many of its actions are clearly criminal, including bombing of Serbia, the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, assisting murderous Saudis in Yemen, etc. Assassination of Soleimani is yet another similarly criminal action, not the first and likely not the last.

However, the criminality of the Empire does not justify Hitler in any way. His troops behaved in a totally barbaric manner in the former Soviet Union. I know that not from propaganda, but from the accounts of real people who lived through German occupation in 1941-44.

The Empire being a criminal enterprise does not make the Third Reich any less criminal. FYI, bandits often clash with each other, and both sides in those clashes remain bandits.

Agent76 , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 8:20 pm GMT
Jan 13, 2020 Assassination-gate! Trump Officials Say No 'Imminent Threat.' With Guest Phil Giraldi

Trump officials – including Trump himself today – have been steadily pulling back from initial claims after the January 3rd assassination of Iranian top general Soleimani that he was killed because of "imminent threats" of attack led by the Iranian.

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

JamesinNM , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 8:47 pm GMT
Pray for Christ's return and the destruction of all evil.
9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 8:47 pm GMT
@Paul "Noam Chomsky and the gatekeepers of the left " is a chapter in Barrie Zwicker's book "Towers of Deception ", this chapter is available in pdf format at 9/11conspiracy.tv .
Zwicker argues that Chomsky " In supporting the official story is at one with the right-wing gatekeepers such as Judith Miller of the New York Times Chomsky's function is identical to Miller's: support the official story Chomsky systematically engages in deceptive discourse on certain key topics such as 9/11 , the Kennedy assassination and with regard to the CIA . ..A study of Chomsky's stands show him to be a de facto defender of the status quo's most egregious outrages and their covert agency engines To the New World Order he is worth 50 armored divisions ."
As filmmaker Roy Harvey has stated " the single greatest obstacle to the spread of 9/11 truth is the Left media ."
JamesinNM , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 8:52 pm GMT
@Sean Make that plea as justification to Christ at the final judgement when your eternal destiny is being determined.
Zumbuddi , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 9:30 pm GMT
@JamesinNM Years ago I was given the book, Prayers, by Michel Quoist.
IIRC, the first page said, "Prayer is political action."
Been_there_done_that , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 9:35 pm GMT
@GeeBee

"If, as you claim, the flights actually took place, but no hijackers boarded them, how on earth did they fly into the twin towers?"

Remote control – a proven and trusted technology.

It could have been possible that some of the airline planes were electronically "switched" in mid-air, remotely flown with their beacons turned off, to simply disappear into the South Atlantic Ocean once their fuel ran out, while replaced by a fuel tanker in one case, to create a bigger fireball upon impact in Manhattan, or a much smaller plane to penetrate into the Pentagon.

The public ought to demand a thorough investigation resulting in concrete answers and prosecutions.

Some of the alleged hijackers were actually alive after the event and outraged to have had their identities stolen and misused.

Herald , says: Show Comment January 13, 2020 at 9:42 pm GMT
@Biff Great article, but Craig is taking the easy way out on 9/11. Of course, the Arabs were Sunnis, but were bit players only, and no way was 9/11 Saudi led.

[Jan 14, 2020] Trump's Killing of Soleimani New "Worst Mistake in US History" by Kevin Barrett

Jan 14, 2020 | www.unz.com

Kevin Barrett January 12, 2020 2,000 Words 135 Comments Reply Email This Page to Someone
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Donald Trump occasionally utters unspeakable truths. In March 2018 he called Bush Jr.'s decision to invade Iraq "the worst single mistake in US history." Earlier, Trump had said that Bush should have been impeached for launching that disastrous war.

Yet on January 2 2020 Trump made a much bigger mistake: He launched all-out war with Iran -- a war that will be joined by millions of anti-US non-Iranians, including Iraqis -- by murdering Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the legendary hero who defeated ISIS, alongside the popular Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Gen. Soleimani was by far the most popular figure in Iran, where he polled over 80% popularity, and throughout much of the Middle East. He was also adored by millions even outside that region, non-Muslims as well as Muslims. Many Christians throughout the world loved Gen. Soleimani, whose campaign against ISIS saved the lives of thousands of their co-religionists. Even Sunni Muslims (the people, not the billionaire playboy sheikhs) generally loved and admired the Shia Muslim Gen. Soleimani, a saintly warrior-monk who was uncommonly spiritual, morally impeccable, and the most accomplished military genius of this young century.

The strategic stupidity of Trump's order to murder Soleimani cannot be exaggerated. This shocking, dastardly murder, committed while Soleimani was on an American-encouraged peace mission, has unleashed a "Pearl Harbor effect" that will galvanize not just the nation of Iran, but other forces in the region and around the world. Just as the shock effect of Pearl Harbor helped the American war party overcome domestic political divisions and unite the nation in its resolve for vengeance, so has the Soleimani murder galvanized regional groups, led by Islamic Iran and Iraq, in their dedication to obliterate every last trace of any US-Israeli presence in the region, no matter how long it takes, by any means necessary.

Most Americans still don't understand the towering stature of Soleimani. Perhaps some comparisons will be helpful.

To understand the effect on Iran and the region, imagine that Stalin had succeeded in murdering George Patton, Dwight Eisenhower, and Douglas MacArthur, all on the same day, in 1946. These US generals, like Soleimani, were very popular, in part because they had just won a huge war against an enemy viewed as an embodiment of pure evil. How would Americans have reacted to such a crime? They would have united to destroy Stalin and the Soviet Union, no matter how long it took, no matter what sacrifices were necessary. That is how hundreds of millions of people will react to the martyrdom of Gen. Soleimani.

But even that comparison does not do justice to the situation. Patton, Eisenhower, and MacArthur were secular figures in an increasingly secular culture. Had Stalin murdered them, their deaths would not have risen to the level of religious martyrdom. Americans' motivation to avenge their deaths would not have been as deep and long-lasting, nor as charged with the avid desire to sacrifice everything in pursuit of the goal, in comparison with the millions of future avengers of the death of Gen. Soleimani.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4nKSlbFCJwo?feature=oembed

The tragedy, from the US point of view, is that this didn't need to happen. Iran, a medium-sized player in a tough neighborhood, is a natural ally of the United States. As Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in The Grand Chessboard , "Iran provides stabilizing support for the new political diversity of Central Asia. Its independence acts as a barrier to any long-term Russian threat to American interests in the Persian Gulf region." (p. 47) Obama, guided by Brzezinski and his acolytes, set the US on a sensible path toward cordial relations with Iran -- only to see his foreign policy triumph sabotaged by the pro-Zionist Deep State and finally shredded by Netanyahu's puppets Trump and Pompeo. Iran, dominated by principled anti-Zionists, is a thorn in the side of Israel, so the unstable Iranophobe Trump was inserted into the presidency to undo Obama's handiwork and reassert total Israeli control over US policy -- the same total control initially cemented by the 9/11 false flag.

If the murder of Soleimani bears comparison to Pearl Harbor, it also echoes the October 1914 killing of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the first domino in a series that ended in a world war. The dominos are lined up the same way today, though it may take longer for all of them to fall. Due to the enormity of its psychological effect, the Soleimani assassination irreversibly sets the US at permanent war with Iran and the rest of the Axis of Resistance. That war can end in only two ways: The destruction of Islamic Iran, or the complete elimination of the US military presence in the region. The first alternative is unacceptable not only to Iran, its regional friends, and the conscience of the world, but also to Russia and China, who would be next in line for destruction if Iran is annihilated. The second alternative is probably unacceptable to the permanent National Security State that governs the US no matter who is in office, and to Israel and its global network (and its agents in the "US" National Security State). So the irresistible force will soon be meeting the immovable object. It is difficult to see how this could possibly end well.

Ironically, given Trump's well-justified scorn for Bush's invasion of Iraq, the first front of the world war unleashed by Soleimani's killing will be in that long-suffering nation, whose government has just ordered US troops to depart posthaste. If Trump wants to keep US forces in Iraq he is going to have to re-invade that nation, attack and destroy its government and military, fight a long-term counterinsurgency (this time against the vast majority of the population) and take far more casualties than Bush Jr. did.

Trump's decision to martyr the great Iranian general and the celebrated Iraqi commander was perfectly timed to unite Iraq against the American occupation. Prior to the murder, Iraq was in the midst of color-revolution chaos, as demonstrators protested against not just the US and Israel, the real culprits in the destruction of their country, but also Iran, Iraqi politicians, and other targets. Those demonstrations, and the murders that marred them, were orchestrated by Gladio style covert US forces. As Iraqi Prime Minster Abdul Mahdi explained :

" I visited China and signed an important agreement with them to undertake the construction instead (of an American company). Upon my return, Trump called me to ask me to reject this agreement. When I refused, he threatened to unleash huge demonstrations against me that would end my premiership.

"Huge demonstrations against me duly materialized and Trump called again to threaten that if I did not comply with his demands, then he would have Marine snipers on tall buildings target protesters and security personnel alike in order to pressure me. I refused again and handed in my resignation. To this day the Americans insist on us rescinding our deal with the Chinese.

"After this, when our Minister of Defense publicly stated that a third party was targeting both protestors and security personnel alike (just as Trump had threatened, he would do), I received a new call from Trump threatening to kill both me and the Minister of Defense if we kept on talking about this 'third party'.

"I was supposed to meet him [Soleimani] later in the morning when he was killed. He came to deliver a message from Iran in response to the message we had delivered to the Iranians from the Saudis (as part of a peace initiative)."

So Trump lured Soleimani to Tehran with a peace initiative, then ambushed him. That's why Soleimani was traveling openly on a commercial flight to Baghdad International Airport. He thought he was under US protection.

Abdul Mahdi's explanation rings true. It reflects the views of most Iraqis, who will be galvanized by Trump's atrocious actions to resume their insurgency against US occupation.

As Iraqis continue to attack the hated US presence in their country, Trump will undoubtedly blame Iran, whatever its actual role. So this time the Iranians will have no motivation to avoid helping the Iraqi liberation struggle -- they would be blamed even if they didn't. Though Soleimani was a relatively America-friendly stabilizing force after the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan -- the claim that he was behind IEDs that killed US troops is a ridiculous lie -- in the wake of his death Iran will respond positively to Iraqi requests for help in its national liberation struggle against the hated US occupier.

A rekindled anti-US insurgency in Iraq, and various forms of ambiguous/deniable retaliation for the murder of Gen. Soleimani throughout the region and the world, will force Trump up the escalation ladder. Iran, and the larger eject-the-US-from-the-Mideast project, will not back down, though they may occasionally stage tactical retreats for appearance's sake. The only way Trump could "win" would be by completely destroying Iran. Even if Russia and China allowed that, an unlikely prospect, Trump or any US president who "won" that kind of war would be remembered as the worst war criminal in world history, and the US would lose all its soft power and with it its empire.

Russia now faces the same kind of decision it had to make when the Zionist-dominated US tried to destroy Syria: stand by and let Tehran be annihilated, with Moscow next in line; or use its considerable military power to save its ally. Putin will have no choice but to support Iran, just as he supported Syria. China, too, will need to ensure that the USA loses its Zionist-driven war on Iran. Otherwise Beijing would risk facing the same fate as Tehran.

Even if the only help it gets from Russia and China is covert, Iran is in a strong position to wage asymmetric war against the US presence in the Middle East. Almost two decades ago, the $250 million war game Millennium Challenge 2002 blew up in the neocons' faces, as Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper commanded Iranian forces against the US and steered them to victory. Though some technological developments since then may favor the US, as Dr. Alan Sabrosky recently pointed out on my radio show , others favor Iran, which now has missiles of sufficient quality and quantity to rain down hell on US bases, annihilate much of if not all of Israel, and send every US ship anywhere near the Persian Gulf to the bottom of the ocean. (Anti-ship missiles have far outstripped naval defenses, and Iran has concealed immense reserves of them deep in the Zagros Mountains overlooking the Persian Gulf.)

So Trump or whoever follows him will eventually face a choice: Accept defeat and withdraw all American bases and forces in the region; or continue up an escalation ladder that inexorably leads to World War III. The higher up the ladder he goes, the harder it will be to jump off.

The apocalyptic scenario may not be accidental. Mike Pompeo, who is widely believed to have duped Trump into ordering the killing of Gen. Soleimani, may have done so not only on behalf of the extremist Netanyahu faction in Israel, but also in service to an apocalyptic Christian Zionist program that yearns for planetary nuclear destruction . Pompeo is ardently awaiting "the rapture," the culmination of Christian Zionist history, when a global nuclear war begins at Megiddo Hill in Occupied Palestine and consumes the planet, sending everyone to hell except the Christian Zionists themselves, who are "beamed up" Star Trek fashion by none other than Jesus himself.

Whether it goes down in radioactive flames or in a kinder and gentler way, the US empire, as unstable as its leaders, is nearing the final stages of collapse. "Very stable genius" Trump and Armageddonite Pompeo may have hastened the inevitable when they ordered the fateful killing of Gen. Soleimani.

[Jan 12, 2020] MIC along with Wall Street controls the government and the country

Highly recommended!
Jan 12, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
  1. likbez , January 12, 2020 5:30 pm

    Everyone keeps dancing around it: Iraqi PM Abdul-Mahdi has reported that Soleimani was on the way to see him with a reply to a Saudi peace proposal. Who profits from Peace? Who does not?

    The killing of Soleimani, while a tragic even with far reaching consequences, is just an illustration of the general rule: MIC does not profit from peace. And MIC dominates any national security state, into which the USA was transformed by the technological revolution on computers and communications, as well as the events of 9/11.

    The USA government can be viewed as just a public relations center for MIC. That's why Trump/Pompeo/Esper/Pence gang position themselves as rabid neocons, which means MIC lobbyists in order to hold their respective positions. There is no way out of this situation. This is a classic Catch 22 trap.

    The fact that a couple of them are also "Rapture" obsessed religious bigots means that the principle of separation of church and state does no matter when MIC interests are involved.

    The health of MIC requires maintaining an inflated defense budget at all costs. Which, in turn, drives foreign wars and the drive to capture other nations' resources to compensate for MIC appetite. The drive which is of course closely allied with Wall Street interests (disaster capitalism.)

    In such conditions fake "imminent threat" assassinations necessarily start happening. Although the personality of Pompeo and the fact that he is a big friend of the current head of Mossad probably played some role.

    It's really funny that Trump (probably with the help of his "reference group," which includes Adelson and Kushner), managed to appoint as the top US diplomat a person who was trained as a mechanic engineer and specialized as a tank repair mechanic. And who was a long-time military contractor. So it is quite natural that he represents interests of MIC.

    IMHO under Trump/Pompeo/Esper trio some kind of additional skirmishes with Iran are a real possibility: they are necessary to maintain the current inflated level of defense spending.

    State of the US infrastructure, the actual level of unemployment (U6 is ~7% which some neolibs call full employment ;-), and the level of poverty of the bottom 33% of the USA population be damned. Essentially the bottom 33% is the third world country within the USA.

    "If you make more than $15,000 (roughly the annual salary of a minimum-wage employee working 40 hours per week), you earn more than 32.2% of Americans

    The 894 people that earn more than $20 million make more than 99.99989% of Americans, and are compensated a cumulative $37,009,979,568 per year. "

    ( https://www.huffpost.com/entry/income-inequality-crisis_n_4221012 )

[Jan 12, 2020] When the bullets start flying and the bombs start dropping, terrible things can happen that no one has planned for. This is one of the great tragedies of war. Unintended consequences and so-called "collateral damage."

Jan 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Jan 12 2020 8:46 utc | 389

Tulsi Gabbard:

When the bullets start flying and the bombs start dropping, terrible things can happen that no one has planned for. This is one of the great tragedies of war. Unintended consequences and so-called "collateral damage."

[VIDEO]

https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1216173675998633984

[Jan 12, 2020] People voice is ignored, there trust constantly abused and their hopes ultimately forsaken.

Jan 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Jan 12 2020 10:48 utc | 403

Populism

If the concerns of ordinary people were not overlooked, if their interests were not neglected and their desires not betrayed, there would be no opportunity for anyone to come along and finally give them the acknowledgement and representation that they deserve since they would already be satisfied.

But their voice is ignored, there trust constantly abused and their hopes ultimately forsaken.

If the public was cared for at all, what reason would there be for them to feel indignation or disappointment? How could there be anything to appeal to at all? How could there be any unspoken sentiment to tap into and arouse? Those who pledge to pull the rug out from under the feet of the establishment criminals that call themselves politicians are smeared and threatened. There cannot be a restoration of positive values and policies, and the public most definitely cannot have their needs not just insincerely addressed, but positively fulfilled. In what kind of world is someone who sympathizes with popular opinion fervently attacked? What does it say about a society that condemns a truly popular leader who is confided in and adored? A leader that vows to give the people their pride and dignity back? To reinstate a semblance of order? To persecute the traitors that have sacrificed their future on the alter of usury and greed? No. The clique must not be held to account for their crimes, and the concept of justice must remain theoretical. The term populist is perceived negatively. But why? I will tell you why. Because the charlatans that call themselves leaders today fear their milk and honey being wrested from their grimy little paws.

Alan Sabrosky

[Jan 12, 2020] US has been preaching human rights while mounting wars and lying.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Over $7 trillion spent while homelessness is rampant. Healthcare is unaffordable for the 99% of the population. ..."
Jan 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Jan 11 2020 17:48 utc | 201

At 2016, here is the long bombing list of the 32 countries by the late William Blum. Did I mention sanctions is an Act of War?

Little u.s. has been preaching human rights while mounting wars and lying. Albright thought the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children were worth it. !!! it was worth killings and maiming.

Over $7 trillion spent while homelessness is rampant. Healthcare is unaffordable for the 99% of the population.

The u.s. will leave Iraq and Syria aka Saigon 1975 or horizontal. It's over.

2020: u.s. Stands Alone.

Searching for friends. Now, after Russiagate here is little pompous: "we want to be friends with Russia." Sanctions much excepting we need RD180 engines, seizure of diplomatic properties. Who are you kidding?

"we seek a constructive and productive relationship with the Russian Federation".

What a bunch of hypocrites? How dare you criticize commenters who see little u.s. in the light of day, not a shining beacon on the hill..

[Jan 12, 2020] Our Orwellian surveillance state the term imminent has been redefined ala doublespeak to mean at any time possible.

Jan 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

UserFriendly , Jan 12 2020 0:53 utc | 338

Can there be any "imminent threat" when one does not know the "who, what, when, where" of the threat?

Ahh you made the common mistake of thinking words have meaning. Just like our Orwellian surveillance state the term imminent has been redefined ala doublespeak to mean at any time possible.
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/01/lies-the-bethlehem-doctrine-and-the-illegal-murder-of-soleimani/

[Jan 12, 2020] The petrodollar is the way in which the US gets the rest of the world to fund its wars

Notable quotes:
"... Economic growth is more about financialising goods and services that were previously free or are/were social goods. There is no real growth; just taxing the living. ..."
"... So, in my view, the only restraint on destroying Iran is capability, is the cost and the risk of retaliation (not just from Iran) - not the destruction of Iran's capital - better for Iran's capital to be destroyed than for Iran to be independent or a competitor. ..."
Jan 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ADKC , Jan 12 2020 2:10 utc | 359

vk @334

My comment @342 should have read: "The petrodollar is the way in which the US gets the rest of the world to fund its wars,"

---------

Your comment about capitalist accumulation doesn't hold (as a motivator for the US) when we have a capitalist monopolist situation. Rate of profit is not about growth (of real goods); it is about reducing competition and scarcity. When you are the monopolist you can charge what you like but profit becomes meaningless - the monopolist power comes from the control of resources - the monopolistic capitalist becomes a ruler/monarch. You no longer need ever-increasing customers so you can dispense with them if you so chose (by reducing the population). One bottle of water is far more valuable and a lot less trouble to produce that 100 millions bottles of water. There is no point in AI to provide for the needs of "the many"; AI becomes a means to dispense with "the many" altogether.

Economic growth is more about financialising goods and services that were previously free or are/were social goods. There is no real growth; just taxing the living.

So, in my view, the only restraint on destroying Iran is capability, is the cost and the risk of retaliation (not just from Iran) - not the destruction of Iran's capital - better for Iran's capital to be destroyed than for Iran to be independent or a competitor.

[Jan 12, 2020] Reflecting on 20 years of anti-war failures by PaulR

www.nytimes.com

16 Comments

Back in Autumn 1999, the International Journal published what was either my first or my second academic article (I produced another in the same year and can't remember which came first). It's title was '"Ready to Kill but not to Die": NATO Strategy in Kosovo'. As you might gather from the title, it wasn't altogether sympathetic to what NATO did during its 1999 bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. The Kosovo war was, you might say, my 'red pill' moment, when I went from being the loyal military officer of my youth into someone who realized that his own countries weren't above a bit of military aggression allied to a hefty dose of falsehood and propaganda.

Since then I have repeatedly argued firmly against war (or 'military intervention', 'peace enforcement', or whatever other term people prefer to use to make it look like it's not war) whenever it's been proposed. I have argued in favour of substantial cuts in defence spending in the countries in which I have lived and of which I am a citizen (the UK and Canada). I published academic articles and chapters in scholarly books laying out the case against 'humanitarian intervention', the 'responsibility to protect', the 'obligation to rebuild', and so on. I even wrote a short book ( Doing Less with Less ), arguing that the UK would not only save money but would also be much more secure if it spent less on defence and was less involved in trying to set the world to rights through the use of military power. I repeated this argument again several years later in a couple of works for a British think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs.

At the same time, exploiting my position as a 'public intellectual', I moved into the world of op-eds and political writing in an effort to influence public opinion outside of academia. In December 2002, for instance, I wrote a piece for The Spectator denouncing the impending invasion of Iraq and pouring scorn on the idea that Iraq was knee-deep in weapons of mass destruction, if only the UN inspectors could find them. And later, in pieces for the Ottawa Citizen and other outlets, I expressed scepticism about NATO's military and humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, the likelihood of military success in Iraq, the bombing campaign against Libya, and the desire to topple Bashar al-Assad in Syria, among other things.

I never expected that any of this would have an immediate impact on public policy. But I felt that someone had to say something, and hoped that my writings might in some small way contribute to a gradual change in the intellectual climate. If nothing else, they would put ideas on the table which could be picked up by others at some later point in time when external circumstances altered to such an extent that it became clear that a change in direction was needed. 'Surely', I thought to myself, 'those in charge will eventually realize what a mess their policies have created and will want to find an alternative. So, we need to prepare the ground now.'

Looking back at it all, I don't see that I got anything seriously wrong about the immoral and counterproductive nature of the military policies pursued by Western states in the past 20 years. But I was completely wrong on that last point – the idea that those in charge would one day wake up to the folly of their policies. These have been two decades of total failure, not only for me but also for everyone else who has been arguing the counter-interventionist case. It is not just that our governments continue to invest vast amounts of money into pointless military endeavours. More broadly, there has been absolutely no accountability for the multiple failures which have accompanied those endeavours. The op-ed pages of major media outlets, for instance, remain dominated by the same rhetoric, and in many cases even the same people, as brought us the war in Iraq, the quagmire in Afghanistan, and the chaos of contemporary Libya. The belief that Western powers represent 'good' in the world, and have a moral right, even a duty, to use military power against those who represent 'evil', seems to be as entrenched as ever. The post-Cold War alliance forged between hard-line hawks on the right and liberal human rights interventionists on the left has a seemingly iron grip on public policy.

How has this come about? How is that even the catastrophic mess which the United States and its allies (most notably the Brits) have made of Iraq hasn't allowed us to make even a dent in public policy, to such an extent that we have found ourselves this week seriously contemplating the prospect of a war between the USA and Iran? Twenty years of thinking about the causes of war provide me with the following possible explanations, in no particular order:

It's a heady mixture, and it leads me to something of a revolutionary conclusion. For 20 years, I've taken the view that we can argue our way out of the mania for military intervention; that we can logically persuade our leaders to change course. In the midst of this week's war scare, I'm no longer so sure. The problem goes much deeper than political reason. The multiple wars of the last two decades are rooted in structural deficits in our domestic political systems, in the dominant political ideology, in the system of media ownership and control, and in the broader international system. If we really want to bring these wars to an end, we need to move beyond pointing out how futile and counterproductive they are, and begin to address these wider structural issues. It will not be an easy task.

[Jan 11, 2020] Ex-Trump official calls BS on Pompeo's claim that Suleimani killing makes the world 'safer' Raw Story

Jan 11, 2020 | www.rawstory.com

me name=

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday claimed that the killing of Iranian military leader Qassim Suleimani had made the world "safer" -- even though the actions of Pompeo's own State Department directly contradict his words.

David Lapan, who served as the spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security under President Donald Trump , shredded Pompeo for his rosy assessment of the Suleimani killing even as the State Department frantically works to evacuate Americans from Iraq in anticipation of expected retaliation from Iran.

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"The State Dept alert sends a much different message than this one from the leader of the State Dept, Secretary Pompeo: 'The world is a much safer place today. I can assure you that Americans in the region are much safer,'" he writes on Twitter. "Which is it? (Answer: more dangerous, not less)."

The State Department on Friday advised Americans in Iraq to depart the country immediately, and even went so far as to suggest they travel to neighboring countries by land if they could not secure passage out of Iraq through airlines. The State Department also advised Americans in the country to not approach the American embassy in Iraq.

The State Dept alert below sends a much different message than this one from the leader of the State Dept, Secretary Pompeo: "The world is a much safer place today. I can assure you that Americans in the region are much safer."

Which is it? (Answer: more dangerous, not less) https://t.co/bw7Py2y5WH

-- David Lapan (@DaveLapanDC) January 3, 2020

[Jan 11, 2020] We Need a Strong Anti-War Movement -- Yesterday - FPIF

Jan 11, 2020 | fpif.org

We Need a Strong Anti-War Movement -- Yesterday

As we spiral toward a confrontation between the U.S. and Iran, it's worth reflecting on the failures to rein in U.S. aggression along the way.

By Khury Petersen-Smith , January 8, 2020 .

Print Friendly, PDF & EmailPrint iran-iraq-war-protest

Antiwar protesters rally in Seattle (Shutterstock)

This commentary is a joint publication of Foreign Policy In Focus and InTheseTimes.com .

The new year opened with the United States committing an extrajudicial assassination in a foreign country by drone.

I'm not talking about the January 3, 2020 rocket attack that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. I'm talking about the January 1, 2019 drone strike that killed Jamal Al Badawi, an alleged Al Qaeda plotter, in Yemen.

The U.S. carrying out assassinations from above -- without trial, without warning -- is nothing new. What was different about the killing of Al Badawi was that the U.S. military was public about it, announcing the killing via Twitter on January 6.

For years, activists, journalists, scholars, and others have been calling for transparency regarding the notoriously clandestine Defense Department and CIA-run drone programs. How one ends up on the lists of people targeted, to whom one appeals to get off of such a list, where the drones are based, and even when they strike are matters that were shrouded in secrecy during the Bush and Obama administrations.

That's largely remained true under Trump -- in fact, it's even more difficult to get information about civilian casualties now. But here was an example of an assassination by drone being done in the open.

Presumably, the reason to have more information about the drone war is so the people running it can be held accountable for their actions. And yet, given the opportunity to ask questions about the New Year's Day attack, precious few were asked by Congress or the mainstream media.

Today, as we spiral perilously toward direct military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran, it is worth reflecting on the failures to rein in Trump's aggression along the way. Given the obvious signs that Trump has been keen to escalate the United States' many wars -- and begin new ones -- the complicity of other institutions in Trump's belligerence, particularly Congress, is stunning.

Crickets from Congress

Trump's unilateral withdrawal from -- and efforts to destroy -- the nuclear deal sparked a predictable trajectory of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Many have pointed that out, most recently former National Security Adviser Susan Rice . What we need to examine more deeply are the decisions between then and now that enabled Trump to pursue such a path.

At several key junctures, lawmakers simply failed to challenge acts of U.S. aggression carried out without even a pretense of accountability, as when Amnesty International documented the fact that the U.S. killed civilians in its escalating air war in Somalia, in a report that received too little attention. Or when journalists reported that the U.S.-led siege against ISIS in the Syrian city of Raqqa was devastating for civilians of that city -- whom the U.S. then abandoned , after saying it would help rebuild.

Other times, lawmakers and other officials did raise their voices in opposition to Trump's foreign policy moves -- by saying that he wasn't committed enough to pursuing U.S. wars. Such was the response when Trump announced that he was withdrawing troops from the Turkish border with Syria. Critics advocated maintaining the open-ended military presence throughout Syria.

But we don't even have to look back that far.

On December 9 -- barely a month ago -- the Washington Post began publishing a series of articles known as the Afghanistan Papers , which documented years of lies by U.S. officials and catastrophes caused by U.S. actions in its 18-year occupation of that country. Two weeks later, the New York Times released documents and video, principally testimony from U.S. Navy SEALs, that confirmed the unmistakable war crimes committed by Navy SEAL chief Eddie Gallagher, who had been recently acquitted of the most serious charges -- and pardoned by the president.

Here were the major newspapers of record running front-page coverage of serious abuses people should be called to account for. Yet where were the congressional hearings?

Instead of taking steps toward that accountability, Congress did the opposite: It passed a new $738 billion military spending bill, effectively approving and fueling the wars. Despite vocal condemnation of the bill from California Democrats Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee, just 41 House Democrats voted against it, compared to 188 who joined Republicans in passing it.

Among the provisions that Khanna called attention to for being stripped away from the legislation that passed: an amendment he sponsored that denied the president authority to wage war on Iran .

Movements matter iraq-protests-baghdad-corruption

Antigovernment protests in Baghdad, November 2019 (Shutterstock)

In a national address today, Trump threatened even more sanctions against Iran. As his rhetoric becomes more belligerent -- and as he deploys even more troops to the Middle East to set the stage for attacks on Iran -- members of Congress' calls to bring the president into compliance with the War Powers Act are certainly welcome. But the questions that lawmakers are raising now, after the U.S. has already committed an act of war in assassinating Soleimani in Iraq, run contrary to their actions up to this point.

Going into the new year, Congress had already sent the message that Trump and the Pentagon could do whatever they please. And whatever misgivings members of Congress have about military attacks on Iran, the body has supported the sanctions imposed on that country by the United States -- which have been disastrous for the Iranian population , and which act as precursors to war.

The so-called War on Terror is completely out of control. What is needed is for the widespread opposition in the U.S. to the wars waged in our names -- including attacking Iran -- to be turned into a fighting resistance.

We have seen mass protest under Trump -- even in its brief moments -- have significant impacts. The Women's Marches may not have ended sexual violence, but they, along with the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, opened the most wide reaching and serious conversations about gender-based abuse in recent memory, and some high profile abusers have been made to account for their actions. (Even a UN convention was passed , though the U.S. hasn't ratified it.) The spontaneous, mass mobilizations to airports against Trump's Muslim Ban set back those plans for a time as well.

We need to extend that resistance to a U.S. military machine that's moving like a runaway train, undeterred by the human costs of its destruction, or even the apparent lack of a strategy from a military perspective.

Popular power matters. There was, in fact, a moment where there was a conversation in Congress about ending U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's cataclysmic war in Yemen -- a war that has only been made possible with U.S. weapons, intelligence, and other forms of support. Despite votes in both houses to stop that assistance, Trump was able to veto the legislation , and the moment passed.

What if there had been mass actions in the streets? Could that effort have been pushed over the line?

We need to ask these questions, and imagine the answers. In doing so, we will be joining in solidarity with various efforts in the Middle East to challenge governments and the foreign powers -- particularly the United States -- backing them.

After all, the news that dominated headlines out of Iraq for the months prior to the U.S. assassination of Soleimani was that Iraqis were mobilizing en masse against a government whose origins lie in the 2003 U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation, and whose forces are armed and trained by billions of dollars in U.S. aid. (There were Iraqi protests that also targeted Iranian influence in the country.)

In fact, focusing on the movements of people throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia who find themselves in the crosshairs of the War on Terror must be essential to a movement here that challenges U.S. wars. Imagine the power, for example, of massive U.S. rallies coinciding with the movement inside Iraq to remove U.S. troops from the country. Imagine if more members of the U.S. Congress were compelled to follow Iraq's parliament in calling for those soldiers to come home.

Behind every Baghdadi

For the few conversations that do take place about our wars, it's distressingly typical for the people having them forget about the people bearing the brunt of those wars.

After the October 26 killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, for example, Defense Department officials held a press conference at the Pentagon. You can read the transcript . Journalists in the room asked two questions about the storied dog who assisted in the killing operation, and several more about the prospect of U.S. personnel securing Syrian oil fields.

The reporters in the room didn't ask a single question about whether others besides Al Baghdadi, including civilians, were wounded or killed in the mission.

Thankfully, other journalists did ask. NPR reporters learned that in the same raid where Baghdadi was killed, the Syrian farmer Barakat Ahmad Barakat saw his two friends killed by U.S. rockets -- and his own hand severed from his body -- as they were caught up in the attack while driving in van.

The three farmers were unarmed. Aside from the trauma of being maimed and seeing his friends killed, Barakat's work is impossible without his hand. His life as he knew it ended.

Behind every "bad guy" like Baghdadi are masses of ordinary people suffering the endless grind of war -- a grind that this country has made ever more brutal, with ever fewer constraints or accountability from the U.S. political system.

It is crucial that we are all talking about Iran now, as we stand on the verge of a new chapter of catastrophes -- and work to prevent it. But the killing and destruction of the War on Terror is happening around the world, every day. The lack of attention to it is part of what keeps it going, and sets the stage for the current situation involving Iran, Iraq, and the United States.

The truth is, these wars are criminal, and any conversation about them that doesn't center the people most impacted is unacceptable. That conversation won't start in the U.S. government. Instead, it must be raised by those of us outraged by wars that have devastated generations, and who believe that people from Somalia to Afghanistan, and now to Iran -- indeed, all of us -- deserve a better world.

Khury Petersen-Smith is the Michael Ratner Middle East Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

[Jan 10, 2020] The Saker interviews Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
Looks like Iran is Catch22 for the USA: it can destroy it, but only at the cost of losing empire and dollar hegemony...
Notable quotes:
"... The United States is now turning on the screws demanding that other countries sacrifice their growth in order to finance the U.S. unipolar empire. In effect, foreign countries are beginning to respond to the United States what the ten tribes of Israel said when they withdrew from the southern kingdom of Judah, whose king Rehoboam refused to lighten his demands (1 Kings 12). They echoed the cry of Sheba son of Bikri a generation earlier: "Look after your own house, O David!" The message is: What do other countries have to gain by remaining in the US unipolar neoliberalized world, as compared to using their own wealth to build up their own economies? It's an age-old problem. ..."
"... The dollar will still play a role in US trade and investment, but it will be as just another currency, held at arms length until it finally gives up its domineering attempt to strip other countries' wealth for itself. However, its demise may not be a pretty sight. ..."
"... Conflict in the ME has traditionally almost always been about oil [and of course Israel]. This situation is different. It is only partially about oil and Israel, but OVERWHHEMINGLY it is about the BRI. ..."
"... The salient factor as I see it is the Oil for Technology initiative that Iraq signed with China shortly before it slid into this current mess. ..."
"... This was a mechanism whereby China would buy Iraq oil and these funds would be used directly to fund infrastructure and self-sufficiency initiatives and technologies that would help to drag Iraq out of the complete disaster that the US war had created in this country. A key part of this would be that China would also make extra loans available at the same time to speed up this development. ..."
"... "Iraq's Finance Ministry that the country had started exporting 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to China in October as part of the 20-year oil-for-infrastructure deal agreed between the two countries." ..."
"... "For Iraq and Iran, China's plans are particularly far-reaching, OilPrice.com has been told by a senior oil industry figure who works closely with Iran's Petroleum Ministry and Iraq's Oil Ministry. China will begin with the oil and gas sector and work outwards from that central point. In addition to being granted huge reductions on buying Iranian oil and gas, China is to be given the opportunity to build factories in both Iran and Iraq – and build-out infrastructure, such as railways – overseen by its own management staff from Chinese companies. These are to have the same operational structure and assembly lines as those in China, so that they fit seamlessly into various Chinese companies' assembly lines' process for whatever product a particular company is manufacturing, whilst also being able to use the still-cheap labour available in both Iraq and Iraq." ..."
"... Hudson is so good. He's massively superior to most so called military analysts and alternative bloggers on the net. He can clearly see the over arching picture and how the military is used to protect and project it. The idea that the US is going to leave the middle east until they are forced to is so blind as to be ridiculous. ..."
"... I'd never thought of that "stationary aircraft carrier" comparison between Israel and the British, very apt. ..."
"... Trump et al assassinated someone who was on a diplomatic mission. This action was so far removed from acceptable behavior that it must have been considered to be "by any means and at all costs". ..."
"... This article, published by Strategic Culture, features a translation of Mahdi's speech to the Iraqi parliament in which he states that Trump threatened him with assassination and the US admitted to killing hundreds of demonstrators using Navy SEAL snipers. ..."
"... This description provided by Mr Hudson is no Moore than the financial basis behind the Cebrowski doctrine instituted on 9/11. https://www.voltairenet.org/article ..."
"... "The leading country breaking up US hegemony obviously is the United States itself. That is Trump's major contribution The United States is now turning on the screws demanding that other countries sacrifice their growth in order to finance the U.S. unipolar empire." ..."
"... The US govt. have long since paid off most every European politician. Thusly, Europe, as separate nations that should be remain still under the yolk of the US Financial/Political/Military power. ..."
"... In any event, it is the same today. Energy underlies, not only the military but, all of world civilization. Oil and gas are overwhelmingly the source of energy for the modern world. Without it, civilization collapses. Thus, he who controls oil (and gas) controls the world. ..."
"... the link between the US $$$ and Saudi Oil, is the absolute means of the American Dollar to reign complete. This payment system FEEDS both the US Military, but WALL STREET, hedge funds, the US/EU oligarchs – to name just a few entities. ..."
Jan 09, 2020 | thesaker.is

[this interview was made for the Unz Review ]

Introduction: After posting Michael Hudson's article " America Escalates its "Democratic" Oil War in the Near East " on the blog, I decided to ask Michael to reply to a few follow-up questions. Michael very kindly agreed. Please see our exchange below.

The Saker

-- -- -

The Saker: Trump has been accused of not thinking forward, of not having a long-term strategy regarding the consequences of assassinating General Suleimani. Does the United States in fact have a strategy in the Near East, or is it only ad hoc?

Michael Hudson: Of course American strategists will deny that the recent actions do not reflect a deliberate strategy, because their long-term strategy is so aggressive and exploitative that it would even strike the American public as being immoral and offensive if they came right out and said it.

President Trump is just the taxicab driver, taking the passengers he has accepted – Pompeo, Bolton and the Iran-derangement syndrome neocons – wherever they tell him they want to be driven. They want to pull a heist, and he's being used as the getaway driver (fully accepting his role). Their plan is to hold onto the main source of their international revenue: Saudi Arabia and the surrounding Near Eastern oil-export surpluses and money. They see the US losing its ability to exploit Russia and China, and look to keep Europe under its control by monopolizing key sectors so that it has the power to use sanctions to squeeze countries that resist turning over control of their economies and natural rentier monopolies to US buyers. In short, US strategists would like to do to Europe and the Near East just what they did to Russia under Yeltsin: turn over public infrastructure, natural resources and the banking system to U.S. owners, relying on US dollar credit to fund their domestic government spending and private investment.

This is basically a resource grab. Suleimani was in the same position as Chile's Allende, Libya's Qaddafi, Iraq's Saddam. The motto is that of Stalin: "No person, no problem."

The Saker: Your answer raises a question about Israel: In your recent article you only mention Israel twice, and these are only passing comments. Furthermore, you also clearly say the US Oil lobby as much more crucial than the Israel Lobby, so here is my follow-up question to you: On what basis have you come to this conclusion and how powerful do you believe the Israel Lobby to be compared to, say, the Oil lobby or the US Military-Industrial Complex? To what degree do their interests coincide and to what degree to they differ?

Michael Hudson: I wrote my article to explain the most basic concerns of U.S. international diplomacy: the balance of payments (dollarizing the global economy, basing foreign central bank savings on loans to the U.S. Treasury to finance the military spending mainly responsible for the international and domestic budget deficit), oil (and the enormous revenue produced by the international oil trade), and recruitment of foreign fighters (given the impossibility of drafting domestic U.S. soldiers in sufficient numbers). From the time these concerns became critical to today, Israel was viewed as a U.S. military base and supporter, but the U.S. policy was formulated independently of Israel.

I remember one day in 1973 or '74 I was traveling with my Hudson Institute colleague Uzi Arad (later a head of Mossad and advisor to Netanyahu) to Asia, stopping off in San Francisco. At a quasi-party, a U.S. general came up to Uzi and clapped him on the shoulder and said, "You're our landed aircraft carrier in the Near East," and expressed his friendship.

Uzi was rather embarrassed. But that's how the U.S. military thought of Israel back then. By that time the three planks of U.S. foreign policy strategy that I outlined were already firmly in place.

Of course Netanyahu has applauded U.S. moves to break up Syria, and Trump's assassination choice. But the move is a U.S. move, and it's the U.S. that is acting on behalf of the dollar standard, oil power and mobilizing Saudi Arabia's Wahabi army.

Israel fits into the U.S.-structured global diplomacy much like Turkey does. They and other countries act opportunistically within the context set by U.S. diplomacy to pursue their own policies. Obviously Israel wants to secure the Golan Heights; hence its opposition to Syria, and also its fight with Lebanon; hence, its opposition to Iran as the backer of Assad and Hezbollah. This dovetails with US policy.

But when it comes to the global and U.S. domestic response, it's the United States that is the determining active force. And its concern rests above all with protecting its cash cow of Saudi Arabia, as well as working with the Saudi jihadis to destabilize governments whose foreign policy is independent of U.S. direction – from Syria to Russia (Wahabis in Chechnya) to China (Wahabis in the western Uighur region). The Saudis provide the underpinning for U.S. dollarization (by recycling their oil revenues into U.S. financial investments and arms purchases), and also by providing and organizing the ISIS terrorists and coordinating their destruction with U.S. objectives. Both the Oil lobby and the Military-Industrial Complex obtain huge economic benefits from the Saudis.

Therefore, to focus one-sidedly on Israel is a distraction away from what the US-centered international order really is all about.

The Saker: In your recent article you wrote: " The assassination was intended to escalate America's presence in Iraq to keep control the region's oil reserves ." Others believe that the goal was precisely the opposite, to get a pretext to remove the US forces from both Iraq and Syria. What are your grounds to believe that your hypothesis is the most likely one?

Michael Hudson: Why would killing Suleimani help remove the U.S. presence? He was the leader of the fight against ISIS, especially in Syria. US policy was to continue using ISIS to permanently destabilize Syria and Iraq so as to prevent a Shi'ite crescent reaching from Iran to Lebanon – which incidentally would serve as part of China's Belt and Road initiative. So it killed Suleimani to prevent the peace negotiation. He was killed because he had been invited by Iraq's government to help mediate a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia. That was what the United States feared most of all, because it effectively would prevent its control of the region and Trump's drive to seize Iraqi and Syrian oil.

So using the usual Orwellian doublethink, Suleimani was accused of being a terrorist, and assassinated under the U.S. 2002 military Authorization Bill giving the President to move without Congressional approval against Al Qaeda. Trump used it to protect Al Qaeda's terrorist ISIS offshoots.

Given my three planks of U.S. diplomacy described above, the United States must remain in the Near East to hold onto Saudi Arabia and try to make Iraq and Syria client states equally subservient to U.S. balance-of-payments and oil policy.

Certainly the Saudis must realize that as the buttress of U.S. aggression and terrorism in the Near East, their country (and oil reserves) are the most obvious target to speed the parting guest. I suspect that this is why they are seeking a rapprochement with Iran. And I think it is destined to come about, at least to provide breathing room and remove the threat. The Iranian missiles to Iraq were a demonstration of how easy it would be to aim them at Saudi oil fields. What then would be Aramco's stock market valuation?

The Saker: In your article you wrote: " The major deficit in the U.S. balance of payments has long been military spending abroad. The entire payments deficit, beginning with the Korean War in 1950-51 and extending through the Vietnam War of the 1960s, was responsible for forcing the dollar off gold in 1971. The problem facing America's military strategists was how to continue supporting the 800 U.S. military bases around the world and allied troop support without losing America's financial leverage. " I want to ask a basic, really primitive question in this regard: how cares about the balance of payments as long as 1) the US continues to print money 2) most of the world will still want dollars. Does that not give the US an essentially "infinite" budget? What is the flaw in this logic?

Michael Hudson: The U.S. Treasury can create dollars to spend at home, and the Fed can increase the banking system's ability to create dollar credit and pay debts denominated in US dollars. But they cannot create foreign currency to pay other countries, unless they willingly accept dollars ad infinitum – and that entails bearing the costs of financing the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit, getting only IOUs in exchange for real resources that they sell to U.S. buyers.

This is the situation that arose half a century ago. The United States could print dollars in 1971, but it could not print gold.

In the 1920s, Germany's Reichsbank could print deutsche marks – trillions of them. When it came to pay Germany's foreign reparations debt, all it could do was to throw these D-marks onto the foreign exchange market. That crashed the currency's exchange rate, forcing up the price of imports proportionally and causing the German hyperinflation.

The question is, how many surplus dollars do foreign governments want to hold. Supporting the dollar standard ends up supporting U.S. foreign diplomacy and military policy. For the first time since World War II, the most rapidly growing parts of the world are seeking to de-dollarize their economies by reducing reliance on U.S. exports, U.S. investment, and U.S. bank loans. This move is creating an alternative to the dollar, likely to replace it with groups of other currencies and assets in national financial reserves.

The Saker: In the same article you also write: " So maintaining the dollar as the world's reserve currency became a mainstay of U.S. military spending. " We often hear people say that the dollar is about to tank and that as soon as that happens, then the US economy (and, according to some, the EU economy too) will collapse. In the intelligence community there is something called tracking the "indicators and warnings". My question to you is: what are the economic "indicators and warnings" of a possible (probable?) collapse of the US dollar followed by a collapse of the financial markets most tied to the Dollar? What shall people like myself (I am an economic ignoramus) keep an eye on and look for?

Michael Hudson: What is most likely is a slow decline, largely from debt deflation and cutbacks in social spending, in the Eurozone and US economies. Of course, the decline will force the more highly debt-leveraged companies to miss their bond payments and drive them into insolvency. That is the fate of Thatcherized economies. But it will be long and painfully drawn out, largely because there is little left-wing socialist alternative to neoliberalism at present.

Trump's protectionist policies and sanctions are forcing other countries to become self-reliant and independent of US suppliers, from farm crops to airplanes and military arms, against the US threat of a cutoff or sanctions against repairs, spare parts and servicing. Sanctioning Russian agriculture has helped it become a major crop exporter, and to become much more independent in vegetables, dairy and cheese products. The US has little to offer industrially, especially given the fact that its IT communications are stuffed with US spyware.

Europe therefore is facing increasing pressure from its business sector to choose the non-US economic alliance that is growing more rapidly and offers a more profitable investment market and more secure trade supplier. Countries will turn as much as possible (diplomatically as well as financially and economically) to non-US suppliers because the United States is not reliable, and because it is being shrunk by the neoliberal policies supported by Trump and the Democrats alike. A byproduct probably will be a continued move toward gold as an alternative do the dollar in settling balance-of-payments deficits.

The Saker: Finally, my last question: which country out there do you see as the most capable foe of the current US-imposed international political and economic world order? whom do you believe that US Deep State and the Neocons fear most? China? Russia? Iran? some other country? How would you compare them and on the basis of what criteria?

Michael Hudson: The leading country breaking up US hegemony obviously is the United States itself. That is Trump's major contribution. He is uniting the world in a move toward multi-centrism much more than any ostensibly anti-American could have done. And he is doing it all in the name of American patriotism and nationalism – the ultimate Orwellian rhetorical wrapping!

Trump has driven Russia and China together with the other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), including Iran as observer. His demand that NATO join in US oil grabs and its supportive terrorism in the Near East and military confrontation with Russia in Ukraine and elsewhere probably will lead to European "Ami go home" demonstrations against NATO and America's threat of World War III.

No single country can counter the U.S. unipolar world order. It takes a critical mass of countries. This already is taking place among the countries that you list above. They are simply acting in their own common interest, using their own mutual currencies for trade and investment. The effect is an alternative multilateral currency and trading area.

The United States is now turning on the screws demanding that other countries sacrifice their growth in order to finance the U.S. unipolar empire. In effect, foreign countries are beginning to respond to the United States what the ten tribes of Israel said when they withdrew from the southern kingdom of Judah, whose king Rehoboam refused to lighten his demands (1 Kings 12). They echoed the cry of Sheba son of Bikri a generation earlier: "Look after your own house, O David!" The message is: What do other countries have to gain by remaining in the US unipolar neoliberalized world, as compared to using their own wealth to build up their own economies? It's an age-old problem.

The dollar will still play a role in US trade and investment, but it will be as just another currency, held at arms length until it finally gives up its domineering attempt to strip other countries' wealth for itself. However, its demise may not be a pretty sight.

The Saker: I thank you very much for your time and answers! ­


Col...'the farmer from NZ' on January 09, 2020 , · at 5:19 pm EST/EDT

What a truly superb interview!

Another one that absolutely stands for me out is the below link to a recent interview of Hussein Askary.

As I wrote a few days ago IMO this too is a wonderful insight into the utterly complicated dynamics of the tinderbox that the situation in Iran and Iraq has become.

Conflict in the ME has traditionally almost always been about oil [and of course Israel]. This situation is different. It is only partially about oil and Israel, but OVERWHHEMINGLY it is about the BRI.

The salient factor as I see it is the Oil for Technology initiative that Iraq signed with China shortly before it slid into this current mess.

This was a mechanism whereby China would buy Iraq oil and these funds would be used directly to fund infrastructure and self-sufficiency initiatives and technologies that would help to drag Iraq out of the complete disaster that the US war had created in this country. A key part of this would be that China would also make extra loans available at the same time to speed up this development.

In essence, this would enable the direct and efficient linking of Iraq into the BRI project. Going forward the economic gains and the political stability that could come out of this would be a completely new paradigm in the recovery of Iraq both economically and politically. Iraq is essential for a major part of the dynamics of the BRI because of its strategic location and the fact that it could form a major hub in the overall network.

It absolutely goes without saying that the AAA would do everything the could to wreck this plan. This is their playbook and is exactly what they have done. The moronic and extraordinarily impulsive Trump subsequently was easily duped into being a willing and idiotic accomplice in this plan.

The positive in all of this is that this whole scheme will backfire spectacularly for the perpetrators and will more than likely now speed up the whole process in getting Iraq back on track and working towards stability and prosperity.

Please don't anyone try to claim that Trump is part of any grand plan nothing could be further from the truth he is nothing more than a bludgeoning imbecile foundering around, lashing out impulsively indiscriminately. He is completely oblivious and ignorant as to the real picture.

I urge everyone involved in this Saker site to put aside an hour and to listen very carefully to Askary's insights. This is extremely important and could bring more clarity to understanding the situation than just about everything else you have read put together. There is hope, and Askary highlights the huge stakes that both Russia and China have in the region.

This is a no brainer. This is the time for both Russia and China to act and to decisively. They must cooperate in assisting both Iraq and Iran to extract themselves from the current quagmire the one that the vicious Hegemon so cruelly and thoughtlessly tossed them into.

Cheers from the south seas
Col

And the link to the Askary interview: . https://youtu.be/UD1hWq6KD44

Col...'the farmer from NZ' on January 09, 2020 , · at 8:22 pm EST/EDT
Also interesting is what Simon Watkins reports in his recent article entitled "Is Iraq About To Become A Chinese Client State?"

To quote from the article:

"Iraq's Finance Ministry that the country had started exporting 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to China in October as part of the 20-year oil-for-infrastructure deal agreed between the two countries."

and

"For Iraq and Iran, China's plans are particularly far-reaching, OilPrice.com has been told by a senior oil industry figure who works closely with Iran's Petroleum Ministry and Iraq's Oil Ministry. China will begin with the oil and gas sector and work outwards from that central point. In addition to being granted huge reductions on buying Iranian oil and gas, China is to be given the opportunity to build factories in both Iran and Iraq – and build-out infrastructure, such as railways – overseen by its own management staff from Chinese companies. These are to have the same operational structure and assembly lines as those in China, so that they fit seamlessly into various Chinese companies' assembly lines' process for whatever product a particular company is manufacturing, whilst also being able to use the still-cheap labour available in both Iraq and Iraq."

and

"The second key announcement in this vein made last week from Iraq was that the Oil Ministry has completed the pre-qualifying process for companies interested in participating in the Iraqi-Jordanian oil pipeline project. The U$5 billion pipeline is aimed at carrying oil produced from the Rumaila oilfield in Iraq's Basra Governorate to the Jordanian port of Aqaba, with the first phase of the project comprising the installation of a 700-kilometre-long pipeline with a capacity of 2.25 million bpd within the Iraqi territories (Rumaila-Haditha). The second phase includes installing a 900-kilometre pipeline in Jordan between Haditha and Aqaba with a capacity of 1 million bpd. Iraq's Oil Minister – for the time being, at least – Thamir Ghadhban added that the Ministry has formed a team to prepare legal contracts, address financial issues and oversee technical standards for implementing the project, and that May will be the final month in which offers for the project from the qualified companies will be accepted and that the winners will be announced before the end of this year. Around 150,000 barrels of the oil from Iraq would be used for Jordan's domestic needs, whilst the remainder would be exported through Aqaba to various destinations, generating about US$3 billion a year in revenues to Jordan, with the rest going to Iraq. Given that the contractors will be expected to front-load all of the financing for the projects associated with this pipeline, Baghdad expects that such tender offers will be dominated by Chinese and Russian companies, according to the Iran and Iraq source."

Cheers
Col

And the link https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Middle-East/Is-Iraq-About-To-Become-A-Chinese-Client-State.html#

Anonymouse on January 09, 2020 , · at 5:20 pm EST/EDT
Hudson is so good. He's massively superior to most so called military analysts and alternative bloggers on the net. He can clearly see the over arching picture and how the military is used to protect and project it. The idea that the US is going to leave the middle east until they are forced to is so blind as to be ridiculous.

They will not sacrifice the (free) oil until booted out by a coalition of Arab countries threatening to over run them and that is why the dollar hegemonys death will be slow, long and drawn out and they will do anything, any dirty trick in the book, to prevent Arab/Persian unity. Unlike many peoples obsession with Israel and how important they feel themselves to be I think Hudson is correct again. They are the middle eastern version of the British – a stationary aircraft carrier who will allow themselves to be used and abused whilst living under the illusion they are major players. They aren't. They're bit part players in decline, subservient to the great dollar and oil pyramid scheme that keeps America afloat. If you want to beat America you have to understand the big scheme, that and the utter insanity that backs it up. It is that insanity of the leites, the inability to allow themselves to be 'beaten' that will keep nuclear exchange as a real possibility over the next 10 to 15 years. Unification is the only thing that can stop it and trying to unite so many disparate countries (as the Russians are trying to do despite multiple provocations) is where the future lies and why it will take so long. It is truly breath taking in such a horrific way, as Hudson mentions, that to allow the world to see its 'masters of the universe' pogram to be revealed:

"Of course American strategists will deny that the recent actions do not reflect a deliberate strategy, because their long-term strategy is so aggressive and exploitative that it would even strike the American public as being immoral and offensive if they came right out and said it."

Would be to allow it to be undermined at home and abroad. God help us all.

Little Black Duck on January 09, 2020 , · at 7:01 pm EST/EDT
They're bit part players in decline, subservient to the great dollar and oil pyramid scheme that keeps America afloat.

So who owns the dollar? And who owns the oil companies?

Osori on January 09, 2020 , · at 8:06 pm EST/EDT
I'd never thought of that "stationary aircraft carrier" comparison between Israel and the British, very apt.
Zachary Smith on January 09, 2020 , · at 9:53 pm EST/EDT
Clever would be a better word. Looking at my world globe, I see Italy, Greece, and Turkey on that end of the Mediterranean. Turkey has been in NATO since 1952. Crete and Cyprus are also right there. Doesn't Hudson own a globe or regional map?

That a US Admiral would be gushing about the Apartheid state 7 years after the attempted destruction of the USS Liberty is painful to consider. I'd like to disbelieve the story, but it's quite likely there were a number of high-ranking ***holes in a Naval Uniform.

44360 on January 09, 2020 , · at 5:34 pm EST/EDT
The world situation reminds us of the timeless fable by Aesop of The North Wind and the Sun.

Trump et al assassinated someone who was on a diplomatic mission. This action was so far removed from acceptable behavior that it must have been considered to be "by any means and at all costs".

Perhaps the most potent weapon Iran or anyone else has at this critical juncture, is not missiles, but diplomacy.

Ahmed on January 09, 2020 , · at 5:37 pm EST/EDT
"Therefore, to focus one-sidedly on Israel is a distraction away from what the US-centered international order really is all about."

Thank you for saying this sir. In the US and around the world many people become obsessively fixated in seeing a "jew" or zionist behind every bush. Now the Zionists are certinly an evil, blood thirsty bunch, and certainly deserve the scorn of the world, but i feel its a cop out sometimes. A person from the US has a hard time stomaching the actions of their country, so they just hoist all the unpleasentries on to the zionists. They put it all on zionisim, and completly fail to mention imperialism. I always switced back and forth on the topic my self. But i cant see how a beachead like the zionist state, a stationary carrier, can be bigger than the empire itself. Just look at the major leaders in the resistance groups, the US was always seen as the ultimate obstruction, while israel was seen as a regional obstruction. Like sayyed hassan nasrallah said in his recent speech about the martyrs, that if the US is kicked out, the Israelis might just run away with out even fighting. I hate it when people say "we are in the middle east for israel" when it can easily be said that "israel is still in the mid east because of the US." If the US seized to exist today, israel would fall rather quickly. If israel fell today the US would still continue being an imperalist, bloodthirsty entity.

Azorka1861 on January 09, 2020 , · at 5:57 pm EST/EDT
The Deeper Story behind the Assassination of Soleimani

This article, published by Strategic Culture, features a translation of Mahdi's speech to the Iraqi parliament in which he states that Trump threatened him with assassination and the US admitted to killing hundreds of demonstrators using Navy SEAL snipers.

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/01/08/vital-the-deeper-story-behind-the-assassination-of-soleimani/

..

Nils on January 09, 2020 , · at 6:05 pm EST/EDT
This description provided by Mr Hudson is no Moore than the financial basis behind the Cebrowski doctrine instituted on 9/11. https://www.voltairenet.org/article

I wish the Saker had asked Mr Hudson about some crucial recent events to get his opinion with regards to US foreign policy. Specifically, how does the emergence of cryptocurrency relate to dollar finance and the US grand strategy? A helpful tool for the hegemon or the emergence of a new currency that prevents unlimited currency printing? Finally, what is global warming and the associated carbon credit system? The next planned model of continuing global domination and balance of payments? Or true organic attempt at fair energy production and management?

Much thanks for this interview, Saker

Col...'the farmer from NZ' on January 09, 2020 , · at 6:26 pm EST/EDT
With all due respect, these are huge questions in themselves and perhaps could to be addressed in separate interviews. IMO it doesn't always work that well to try to cover too much ground in just one giant leap.

Regards
Col

Mike from Jersey on January 09, 2020 , · at 7:26 pm EST/EDT
I have never understood the Cebrowski doctrine. How does the destruction of Middle Eastern state structures allow the US to control Middle East Oil? The level of chaos generated by such an act would seem to prevent anyone from controlled the oil.
Outlaw Historian on January 09, 2020 , · at 7:48 pm EST/EDT
Dr. Hudson often appears on RT's "Keiser Report" where he covers many contemporary topics with its host Max Keiser. Many of the shows transcripts are available at Hudson's website . Indeed, after the two Saker items, you'll find three programs on the first page. Using the search function at his site, you'll find the two articles he's written that deal with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, although I think he's been more specific in the TV interviews.

As for this Q&A, its an A+. Hudson's 100% correct to playdown the Zionist influence given the longstanding nature of the Outlaw US Empire's methods that began well before the rise of the Zionist Lobby, which in reality is a recycling of aid dollars back to Congress in the form of bribes.

RR on January 09, 2020 , · at 7:59 pm EST/EDT
Nils: Good Article. The spirit of Nihilism.
Quote from Neocon Michael Ladeen.

"Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence -- our existence, not our politics -- threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission."

Frank on January 09, 2020 , · at 10:27 pm EST/EDT
@NILS As far as crypto currency goes it is a brilliant idea in concept. But since during the Bush years we have been shown multiple times, who actually owns [and therefore controls] the internet. Many times now we have also been informed that through the monitoring capability's of our defense agency's, they are recording every key stroke. IMO, with the flip of a switch, we can shut down the internet. At the very least, that would stop us from being able to trade in crypto, but they have e-files on each of us. They know our passwords, or can easily access them. That does not give me confidence in e=currency during a teotwawki situation.
Anonymous on January 09, 2020 , · at 6:34 pm EST/EDT
A truly superb interview, thanks Michael Hudson.
David on January 09, 2020 , · at 6:39 pm EST/EDT
One thing that troubles me about the petrodollar thesis is that ANNUAL trade in oil is about 2 trillion DAILY trade in $US is 4 trillion. I can well believe the US thinks oil is the bedrock if dollar hegemony but is it? I see no alternative to US dollar hegemony.
Mike from Jersey on January 09, 2020 , · at 7:17 pm EST/EDT
Excellent article.

The lines that really got my attention were these:

"The leading country breaking up US hegemony obviously is the United States itself. That is Trump's major contribution The United States is now turning on the screws demanding that other countries sacrifice their growth in order to finance the U.S. unipolar empire."

That is so completely true. I have wondered why – to date – there had not been more movement by Europe away from the United States. But while reading the article the following occurred to me. Maybe Europe is awaiting the next U.S. election. Maybe they hope that a new president (someone like Biden) might allow Europe to keep more of the "spoils."

If that is true, then a re-election of Trump will probably send Europe fleeing for the exits. The Europeans will be cutting deals with Russia and China like the store is on fire.

Rubicon on January 09, 2020 , · at 10:22 pm EST/EDT
The critical player in forming the EU WAS/IS the US financial Elites. Yes, they had many ultra powerful Europeans, especially Germany, but it was the US who initiated the EU.

Purpose? For the US Financial Powerhouses & US politicians to "take Europe captive." Notice the similarities: the EU has its Central Bank who communicates with the private Banksters of the FED. Much austerity has ensued, especially in Southern nations: Greece, Italy, etc. Purpose: to smash unions, worker's pay, eliminate unions, and basically allowing US/EU Financial capital to buy out Italy, most of Greece, and a goodly section of Spain and Portugal.

The US govt. have long since paid off most every European politician. Thusly, Europe, as separate nations that should be remain still under the yolk of the US Financial/Political/Military power.

Craig Mouldey on January 09, 2020 , · at 8:19 pm EST/EDT
I have a hard time wrapping my head around this but it sounds like he is saying that the U.S. has a payment deficit problem which is solved by stealing the world's oil supplies. To do this they must have a powerful, expensive military. But it is primarily this military which is the main cause of the balance deficit. So it is an eternally fuelled problem and solution. If I understand this, what it actually means is that we all live on a plantation as slaves and everything that is happening is for the benefit of the few wealthy billionaires. And they intend to turn the entire world into their plantation of slaves. They may even let you live for a while longer.
Mike from Jersey on January 09, 2020 , · at 9:25 pm EST/EDT
Actually, oil underlies everything.

I didn't know this until I read a history of World War I.

As you know, World War One was irresolvable, murderous, bloody trench warfare. People would charge out of the trenches trying to overrun enemy positions only to be cutdown by the super weapon of the day – the machine gun. It was an unending bloody stalemate until the development of the tank. Tanks were immune to machine gun fire coming from the trenches and could overrun enemy positions. In the aftermath of that war, it became apparently that mechanization had become crucial to military supremacy. In turn, fuel was crucial to mechanization. Accordingly, in the Sykes Picot agreement France and Britain divided a large amount of Middle Eastern oil between themselves in order to assure military dominance. (The United States had plenty of their own oil at that time.)

In any event, it is the same today. Energy underlies, not only the military but, all of world civilization. Oil and gas are overwhelmingly the source of energy for the modern world. Without it, civilization collapses. Thus, he who controls oil (and gas) controls the world.

That is one third of the story. The second third is this.

Up till 1971, the United States dollar was the most trusted currency in the world. The dollar was backed by gold and lots and lots of it. Dollars were in fact redeemable in gold. However, due to Vietnam War, the United States started running huge balance of payments deficits. Other countries – most notably France under De Gaulle – started cashing in dollars in exchange for that gold. Gold started flooding out of the United States. At that point Nixon took the United States off of the gold standard. Basically stating that the dollar was no longer backed by gold and dollars could not be redeemed for gold. That caused an international payments problem. People would no longer accept dollars as payment since the dollar was not backed up by anything. The American economy was in big trouble since they were running deficits and people would no longer take dollars on faith.

To fix the problem, Henry Kissinger convinced the Saudis to agree to only accept dollars in payment for oil – no matter who was the buyer. That meant that nations throughout the world now needed dollars in order to pay for their energy needs. Due to this, the dollars was once again the most important currency in the world since – as noted above – energy underlies everything in modern industrial cultures. Additionally, since dollars were now needed throughout the world, it became common to make all trades for any product in highly valued dollars. Everyone needed dollars for every thing, oil or not.

At that point, the United States could go on printing dollars and spending them since a growing world economy needed more and more dollars to buy oil as well as to trade everything else.

That leads to the third part of the story. In order to convince the Saudis to accept only dollars in payments for oil (and to have the Saudis strong arm other oil producers to do the same) Kissinger promised to protect the brutal Saudi regime's hold on power against a restive citizenry and also to protect the Saudi's against other nations. Additionally, Kissinger made an implicit threat that if the Saudi's did not agree, the US would come in and just take their oil. The Saudis agreed.

Thus, the three keys to dominance in the modern world are thus: oil, dollars and the military.

Thus, Hudson ties in the three threads in his interview above. Oil, Dollars, Military. That is what holds the empire together.

Rubicon on January 09, 2020 , · at 10:26 pm EST/EDT
Thank you for thinking through this. Yes, the link between the US $$$ and Saudi Oil, is the absolute means of the American Dollar to reign complete. This payment system FEEDS both the US Military, but WALL STREET, hedge funds, the US/EU oligarchs – to name just a few entities.
Stanislaw Janowicz on January 09, 2020 , · at 8:58 pm EST/EDT
I should make one note only to this. That "no man, no problem" was Stalin's motto is a myth. He never said that. It was invented by a writer Alexei Rybnikov and inserted in his book "The Children of Arbat".
Greg Horrall on January 09, 2020 , · at 9:42 pm EST/EDT
Wow! Absolutely beautiful summation of the ultimate causes that got us where we are and, if left intact, will get us to where we're going!

So, the dreamer says: If only we could throw-off our us-vs-them BS political-economic ideology & religious doctrine-faith issues, put them into live-and-let-live mode, and see that we are all just humans fighting over this oil resource to which our modern economy (way of life) is addicted, then we might be able to hammer out some new rules for interacting, for running an earth-resource sustainable and fair global economy We do at least have the technology to leave behind our oil addiction, but the political-economic will still is lacking. How much more of the current insanity must we have before we get that will? Will we get it before it's too late?

Only if we, a sufficient majority from the lowest economic classes to the top elites and throughout all nations, are able to psychologically-spiritually internalize the two principles of Common Humanity and Spaceship Earth soon enough, will we stop our current slide off the cliff into modern economic collapse and avert all the pain and suffering that's already now with us and that will intensify.

The realist says we're not going to stop that slide and it's the only way we're going to learn, if we are indeed ever going to learn.

Ann Watson on January 09, 2020 , · at 10:42 pm EST/EDT
So now we know why Michael Hudson avoids the Israel involvment – Like Pepe.
Лишний Человек on January 09, 2020 , · at 11:02 pm EST/EDT
Thank you for this excellent interview. You ask the kind of questions that we would all like to ask. It's regrettable that Chalmers Johnson isn't still alive. I believe that you and he would have a lot in common.

Naxos has produced an incredible, unabridged cd audiobook of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. One of Gibbon's observations really resonates today: "Assassination is the last resource of cowards". Thanks again.

[Jan 09, 2020] Imagine that, the President of the United States is now viewed as no better than a backstabbing POS by the whole Muslim world, all the way from Morocco to Indonesia.

Jan 09, 2020 | www.unz.com

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 11:59 pm GMT

No Wall has been built in America BUT the U.S. Embassy is in Jerusalem.
No Immigration Solution. Record numbers of f-1's and b1's.
National Debt Level WORSE than in summer 2008 Right Before Financial Meltdown.
No End to the 'Endless' Wars (Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq)
Israel got the Golan Heights. Jews have gotten an E.O. recognizing them as a Nation. All the big Jew Wall St. Firms have had easy money and tax credits from Trump.

What did America get? How can anyone believe anything other than: 'Israel first, last and always' from Donald J. Trump? He endlessly blathers about the evils of antisemitism while 80% of Jews continue to vote Democrat.
I can do nothing except conclude the man's soul has been completely and utterly drained from him through his never ending fellating of Israel and the incessant pounding BoBo Satanyahoo gives him.
At this point, it is just an embarrassment to watch Trump. I saw his press conference this afternoon and I couldn't believe the difference between that monotone, babbling idiot I saw today and the guy who used to fill Stadiums.
The America government has become the Great Satan.
Israel is it's helper.
Trump is the Great Betrayer.

[Jan 09, 2020] Protecting the Dollar Standard is the main national security objective of the USA

Jan 09, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 9 2020 19:35 utc | 43

@ Posted by: Cynica | Jan 9 2020 19:20 utc | 38

I agree that, today, protecting the Dollar Standard is the main national security objective of the USA. That is so because issuing the universal fiat currency is a conditio sine qua non of keeping the financial superpower status.

I also agree that the Petrodollar is the base that sustains the Dollar Standard.

But I disagree with the rest:

1) the Cold War didn't begin in 1945, but in 1917 - right after the October Revolution. There's overwhelming documental evidence of that and, in fact, the years of 1943-1945 was the only break it had. Until Stalingrad, the Western allies were still waiting to see if the USSR and the Third Reich could still mutually anihilate themselves (yes, it is a myth the Allies were really allies from 1939, but that's not a very simple demonstration);

2) in the aftermath of WWII, the USA emerged as both the industrial and financial superpower in the capitalist world (i.e. the West). But this was an accidental - and very unlikely - alignment of events. The USA always had imperial ambitions from its foundation (the Manifest Destiny), but there's no evidence it was scheming to dominate the world before 1945. The American ascension was more a fruit of the European imperial superpowers destroying themselves than by any American (or Jewish, as the far-right likes to speculate) design;

3) the USSR had nothing to do with Bretton Woods. BW was a strictly capitalist affair. And it could not be any difference: the USSR was a socialist country, therefore, it didn't have money-capital (money in the capitalist system has three functions: reserve of value, means of exchange and means of payment). The only way it had to trade with the capitalist half of the world was to exchange essential commodities (oil) for hard currency, with which it bought what it needed for its own development (mainly, high technological machines which it could copy and later develop on). So, the USSR didn't "balk" at BW - it was literally impossible for it to pertain to the agreement.


Cynica , Jan 9 2020 19:20 utc | 39

@Kali #22

Michael Hudson is not the only one who's come to understand that maintaining the reserve-currency status of the US dollar (the "dollar hegemony") is the primary goal of US foreign policy. Indeed, it's been the primary goal of US foreign policy since the end of World War II, when the Bretton Woods agreement was put into effect. Notably, the Soviets ended up balking at that agreement, and the Cold War did not start until afterwards. This means that even the Cold War was not really about ideology - it was about money.

It's also important to note that the point of the "petrodollar" is to ensure that petroleum - one of the most globally traded commodities and a commodity that's fundamental to the global economy - is traded primarily, if not exclusively, in terms of the US dollar. Ensuring that as much global/international trade happens in US dollars helps ensure that the US dollar keeps its reserve-currency status, because it raises the foreign demand for US dollars.

vk , Jan 9 2020 19:35 utc | 43
@ Posted by: Cynica | Jan 9 2020 19:20 utc | 38

I agree that, today, protecting the Dollar Standard is the main national security objective of the USA. That is so because issuing the universal fiat currency is a conditio sine qua non of keeping the financial superpower status.

I also agree that the Petrodollar is the base that sustains the Dollar Standard.

But I disagree with the rest:

1) the Cold War didn't begin in 1945, but in 1917 - right after the October Revolution. There's overwhelming documental evidence of that and, in fact, the years of 1943-1945 was the only break it had. Until Stalingrad, the Western allies were still waiting to see if the USSR and the Third Reich could still mutually anihilate themselves (yes, it is a myth the Allies were really allies from 1939, but that's not a very simple demonstration);

2) in the aftermath of WWII, the USA emerged as both the industrial and financial superpower in the capitalist world (i.e. the West). But this was an accidental - and very unlikely - alignment of events. The USA always had imperial ambitions from its foundation (the Manifest Destiny), but there's no evidence it was scheming to dominate the world before 1945. The American ascension was more a fruit of the European imperial superpowers destroying themselves than by any American (or Jewish, as the far-right likes to speculate) design;

3) the USSR had nothing to do with Bretton Woods. BW was a strictly capitalist affair. And it could not be any difference: the USSR was a socialist country, therefore, it didn't have money-capital (money in the capitalist system has three functions: reserve of value, means of exchange and means of payment). The only way it had to trade with the capitalist half of the world was to exchange essential commodities (oil) for hard currency, with which it bought what it needed for its own development (mainly, high technological machines which it could copy and later develop on). So, the USSR didn't "balk" at BW - it was literally impossible for it to pertain to the agreement.

vk , Jan 9 2020 19:40 utc | 45
@ Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 19:35 utc | 42

Correction: the three functions of money in capitalism are reserve/store of value, means of exchange and unit of account . I basically wrote "means of exchange" twice in the original comment.

karlof1 , Jan 9 2020 19:45 utc | 47
Cynica @38--

Hello! Michael Hudson first set forth the methodology of the Outlaw US Empire's financial control of the world via his book Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire in 1972. In 2003, he issued an updated edition which you can download for free here .

If you're interested, here's an interview he gave while in China that's autobiographical . And here's his most recent Resume/CV/Bibliography , although it doesn't go into as much detail about his recent work as he does in and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure, and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year , which for me is fascinating.

His most recent TV appearances are here and here .

karlof1 , Jan 9 2020 19:55 utc | 48
Walter @39--

Bingo! You're the first person here to make that connection aside from myself. You'll note from Hudson's assessment of Soleimani's killing he sees the Outlaw US Empire as using the Climate Crisis as a weapon:

"America's attempt to maintain this buttress explains U.S. opposition to any foreign government steps to reverse global warming and the extreme weather caused by the world's U.S.-sponsored dependence on oil. Any such moves by Europe and other countries would reduce dependence on U.S. oil sales, and hence on the U.S's ability to control the global oil spigot as a means of control and coercion. These are viewed as hostile acts.

"Oil also explains U.S. opposition to Russian oil exports via Nordstream. U.S. strategists want to treat energy as a U.S. national monopoly. Other countries can benefit in the way that Saudi Arabia has done – by sending their surpluses to the U.S. economy – but not to support their own economic growth and diplomacy. Control of oil thus implies support for continued global warming as an inherent part of U.S. strategy....

"This strategy will continue, until foreign countries reject it. If Europe and other regions fail to do so, they will suffer the consequences of this U.S. strategy in the form of a rising U.S.-sponsored war via terrorism, the flow of refugees, and accelerated global warming (and extreme weather)."

c1ue , Jan 9 2020 19:58 utc | 49
@Cynica #38
Financially, the US dollar as reserve currency is enormously beneficial to the US government's ability to spend.
And oil has historically been both a tactical and a strategic necessity; when the US was importing half its oil, this is a lot of money. 8 million bpd @ $50/barrel = $146B. Add in secondary value add like transport, refining, downstream industries, etc and it likely triples the impact or more - but this is only tactical.
Worldwide, the impact is 10X = $1.5 trillion annually. Sure, this is a bit under 10% of the $17.7T in world trade in 2017, but it serves as an "anchor tenant" to the idea of world reserve currency. A second anchor is the overall role of US trade, which was $3.6T in 2016 (imports only).
If we treat central bank reserves as a proxy for currency used in trade, this means 60%+ of the $17.7T in trade is USD. $3.6T is direct, but the $7 trillion in trade that doesn't impact the US is the freebie. To put this in perspective, the entire monetary float of the USD domestically is about $3.6T.
USD as world reserve currency literally doubles (at least) the float - from which the US government can issue debt (money) to fund its activities. In reality, it is likely a lot more since foreigners using USD to fund trade means at least some USD in Central Banks, plus the actual USD in the transaction, plus corporate/individual USD reserves/float.
Again, nothing above is formally linked - I just wanted to convey an idea of just how advantageous the petrodollar/USD as world trade reserve currency really is.

[Jan 09, 2020] The USA geopolitical interest lie in destroying and robbing other nations and keeping their own people in fear and poverty

Jan 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

ombon , 59 minutes ago link

The credo of British politics is the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Henry Palmerston, uttered in his speech in the House of Commons on March 1, 1858: "We do not have eternal allies and we do not have constant enemies; our interests are eternal and permanent. Our duty is to protect these interests. " And these interests lie in destroying and robbing other nations and keeping their own people in fear.
It more accurately than ever describes the current state of the United State

has bear r us , 1 hour ago link

whitehead is clearly antisemitic and should be banned from the internet. Abandoning the only friend the usa has in the mideast will have severe consequences for the usa empire.

Let it Go , 1 hour ago link

When America put Trump in office many of us were seeking a world where the leadership in Washington would focus on bringing both jobs and money home rather than squandering it on foreign wars. Simply put, Trump did not come across as a warmonger during the presidential campaign. If David Stockman is right it could be that the power of the swamp is too strong and simply cannot be drained.

Stockman, who served as a Republican U.S. Representative from the state of Michigan and as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, contends that President Trump has become a hostage of those occupying the very swamp he promised to drain.

http://America Did Not Vote For More Death And Destruction!html

frankthecrank , 1 hour ago link

Come Home, America: Stop Policing The Globe And Put An End To Wars-Without-End

NO--we have nowhere to park all of that stuff and nowhere to house all of those troops. It would help immensely if we just got this over with and started taxing and outright administering these places we occupy. If we're going to be an empire (which no one ever voted for) then we need to start acting like it. Rome, Byzantium, England, Spain, France, etc. Just do it and be done with it.

hoytmonger , 1 hour ago link

That's because Fox News is a subsidiary of the MIC.

GoFuqYourself , 1 hour ago link

Falling on deaf ears. America is not policing the globe; they are plundering then destroying it at the behest of the rottenchilds.

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

In fact, the United States military spends about $81 billion a year just to protect oil supplies around the world .

And there's no outcry. God forbids if that money is used to subsidize education, medical care or build infrastructures. That would be evil socialism.

uhland62 , 1 hour ago link

War spending is bankrupting America.

I wish - not happening yet. Instead they harrass NATO countries to abandon some economic projects to do more damage to them on top of sanctions. If Iraq sells oil to China it's a problem for them, even though that could reduce US costs for Iraq. US policies are cookoo.

All Presidents get turned once in the WH. Maybe it's as simple as threatening to be kennedy'd.

luffy0212 , 5 minutes ago link

Frank...Frank-Frank...IT always been about Zionist, Banksters, and the families that run your world. When will you get it through you little pea size brain you are nothing but expendable Xenophobe fodder allowed to thrive and be ripped the moment they deem it so.

gazmann , 1 hour ago link

It has nothing to do win policing. It has to do with CONTROL

Illegal , 1 hour ago link

Maybe if they took the American flag off of every military uniform, plane and embassy and replaced it with the Rothschild red shield things might become more obvious.

alexcojones , 21 minutes ago link

BTW John Whitehead, you wrote: "The 9/11 attacks were blowback . The Boston Marathon Bombing was blowback . The attempted Times Square bomber was blowback. The Fort Hood shooter, a major in the U.S. Army, was blowback ."

Most, if not ALL, of those were CIA orchestrated false flag events.

LeadPipeDreams , 7 minutes ago link

Correct - statements like those are of course huge red flags - Whitehead is likely a controlled op.

[Jan 09, 2020] Come Home, America Stop Policing The Globe And Put An End To Wars-Without-End by John Whitehead

Highly recommended!
Global dominance means you can "solve" all internal problems with infinite money printing and don't suffer its consequences (for a while) It does comes for free. You need to pay in blood (which with contractors is cheap; US losses on the battlefields of colonial wars are less the losses from car crashes or gun-inflicted deaths in the USA by a wide margin ) and outsized MIC, which is very expensive. Neoliberalism was created by the USA to crush Soviets (or more correctly to buy out Nomenklatura, including KGB which they achieved with Gorbachov)
Jan 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Wed, 01/08/2020 - 22:45 0 SHARES

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

" Let us resolve that never again will we send the precious young blood of this country to die trying to prop up a corrupt military dictatorship abroad. This is also the time to turn away from excessive preoccupation overseas to the rebuilding of our own nation. America must be restored to a proper role in the world. But we can do that only through the recovery of confidence in ourselves . together we will call America home to the ideals that nourished us from the beginning. From secrecy and deception in high places; come home, America. From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation; come home, America ."

- George S. McGovern, former Senator and presidential candidate

I agree wholeheartedly with George S. McGovern, a former Senator and presidential candidate who opposed the Vietnam War, about one thing: I'm sick of old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.

It's time to bring our troops home.

Bring them home from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Bring them home from Germany, South Korea and Japan. Bring them home from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Oman . Bring them home from Niger, Chad and Mali. Bring them home from Turkey, the Philippines, and northern Australia.

That's not what's going to happen, of course.

The U.S. military reportedly has more than 1.3 million men and women on active duty, with more than 200,000 of them stationed overseas in nearly every country in the world. Those numbers are likely significantly higher in keeping with the Pentagon's policy of not fully disclosing where and how many troops are deployed for the sake of " operational security and denying the enemy any advantage ." As investigative journalist David Vine explains, "Although few Americans realize it, the United States likely has more bases in foreign lands than any other people, nation, or empire in history ."

Don't fall for the propaganda, though: America's military forces aren't being deployed abroad to protect our freedoms here at home. Rather, they're being used to guard oil fields, build foreign infrastructure and protect the financial interests of the corporate elite. In fact, the United States military spends about $81 billion a year just to protect oil supplies around the world .

The reach of America's military empire includes close to 800 bases in as many as 160 countries , operated at a cost of more than $156 billion annually. As Vine reports, "Even US military resorts and recreation areas in places like the Bavarian Alps and Seoul, South Korea, are bases of a kind. Worldwide, the military runs more than 170 golf courses ."

This is how a military empire occupies the globe.

Already, American military servicepeople are being deployed to far-flung places in the Middle East and elsewhere in anticipation of the war drums being sounded over Iran .

This Iran crisis, salivated over by the neocons since prior to the Iraq War and manufactured by war hawks who want to jumpstart the next world war, has been a long time coming.

Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton: they all have done their part to ensure that the military industrial complex can continue to get rich at taxpayer expense.

Take President Trump, for instance.

Despite numerous campaign promises to stop America's "endless wars," once elected, Trump has done a complete about-face, deploying greater numbers of troops to the Middle East, ramping up the war rhetoric, and padding the pockets of defense contractors. Indeed, Trump is even refusing to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in the face of a request from the Iraqi government for us to leave.

Obama was no different: he also pledged -- if elected -- to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and reduce America's oversized, and overly costly, military footprint in the world. Of course, that didn't happen.

Yet while the rationale may keep changing for why American military forces are policing the globe , these wars abroad (in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and now Iran) aren't making America -- or the rest of the world -- any safer, are certainly not making America great again, and are undeniably digging the U.S. deeper into debt.

War spending is bankrupting America.

Although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world's population, America boasts almost 50% of the world's total military expenditure , spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined.

In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety.

The American military-industrial complex has erected an empire unsurpassed in history in its breadth and scope, one dedicated to conducting perpetual warfare throughout the earth.

Since 2001, the U.S. government has spent more than $4.7 trillion waging its endless wars .

Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America's expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $32 million per hour .

In fact, the U.S. government has spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earns in a year.

Future wars and military exercises waged around the globe are expected to push the total bill upwards of $12 trillion by 2053 .

Talk about fiscally irresponsible: the U.S. government is spending money it doesn't have on a military empire it can't afford.

As investigative journalist Uri Friedman puts it, for more than 15 years now, the United States has been fighting terrorism with a credit card , "essentially bankrolling the wars with debt, in the form of purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds by U.S.-based entities like pension funds and state and local governments, and by countries like China and Japan."

War is not cheap, but it becomes outrageously costly when you factor in government incompetence, fraud, and greedy contractors . Indeed, a leading accounting firm concluded that one of the Pentagon's largest agencies " can't account for hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of spending ."

Unfortunately, the outlook isn't much better for the spending that can be tracked.

A government audit found that defense contractor Boeing has been massively overcharging taxpayers for mundane parts, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in overspending. As the report noted, the American taxpayer paid :

$71 for a metal pin that should cost just 4 cents; $644.75 for a small gear smaller than a dime that sells for $12.51: more than a 5,100 percent increase in price. $1,678.61 for another tiny part, also smaller than a dime, that could have been bought within DoD for $7.71: a 21,000 percent increase. $71.01 for a straight, thin metal pin that DoD had on hand, unused by the tens of thousands, for 4 cents: an increase of over 177,000 percent.

That price gouging has become an accepted form of corruption within the American military empire is a sad statement on how little control "we the people" have over our runaway government.

Mind you, this isn't just corrupt behavior. It's deadly, downright immoral behavior.

Americans have thus far allowed themselves to be spoon-fed a steady diet of pro-war propaganda that keeps them content to wave flags with patriotic fervor and less inclined to look too closely at the mounting body counts, the ruined lives, the ravaged countries, the blowback arising from ill-advised targeted-drone killings and bombing campaigns in foreign lands, or the transformation of our own homeland into a warzone.

That needs to change.

The U.S. government is not making the world any safer. It's making the world more dangerous. It is estimated that the U.S. military drops a bomb somewhere in the world every 12 minutes . Since 9/11, the United States government has directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000 human beings. Every one of those deaths was paid for with taxpayer funds.

The U.S. government is not making America any safer. It's exposing American citizens to alarming levels of blowback, a CIA term referring to the unintended consequences of the U.S. government's international activities. Chalmers Johnson, a former CIA consultant, repeatedly warned that America's use of its military to gain power over the global economy would result in devastating blowback .

The 9/11 attacks were blowback . The Boston Marathon Bombing was blowback . The attempted Times Square bomber was blowback. The Fort Hood shooter, a major in the U.S. Army, was blowback .

The assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by a U.S. military drone strike will, I fear, spur yet more blowback against the American people.

The war hawks' militarization of America -- bringing home the spoils of war (the military tanks, grenade launchers, Kevlar helmets, assault rifles, gas masks, ammunition, battering rams, night vision binoculars, etc.) and handing them over to local police, thereby turning America into a battlefield -- is also blowback.

James Madison was right:

"No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." As Madison explained, "Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few."

We are seeing this play out before our eyes.

The government is destabilizing the economy, destroying the national infrastructure through neglect and a lack of resources, and turning taxpayer dollars into blood money with its endless wars, drone strikes and mounting death tolls.

Clearly, our national priorities are in desperate need of an overhauling .

At the height of its power, even the mighty Roman Empire could not stare down a collapsing economy and a burgeoning military. Prolonged periods of war and false economic prosperity largely led to its demise. As historian Chalmers Johnson predicts:

The fate of previous democratic empires suggests that such a conflict is unsustainable and will be resolved in one of two ways. Rome attempted to keep its empire and lost its democracy. Britain chose to remain democratic and in the process let go its empire. Intentionally or not, the people of the United States already are well embarked upon the course of non-democratic empire.

This is the "unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" that President Dwight Eisenhower warned us more than 50 years ago not to let endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

Eisenhower, who served as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II, was alarmed by the rise of the profit-driven war machine that emerged following the war -- one that, in order to perpetuate itself, would have to keep waging war.

We failed to heed his warning.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , there's not much time left before we reach the zero hour.

It's time to stop policing the globe, end these wars-without-end, and bring the troops home before it's too late.


g3h , 23 minutes ago link

Bottom line, doesn't seem the America people care. They are busy doing min wage jobs. Perhaps not happy, but hey they don't complain. Not one takes away their freedom.

Thom Paine , 26 minutes ago link

A safe world would make the US poor

Normal , 32 minutes ago link

The elite of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel are the enemies of the world. And, they are Stupid.

spam filter , 34 minutes ago link

It's already too late. We'll never dig ourselves out of this hole. Our Government is a runaway trainwreck, and the track ends at world war.

Youri Carma , 51 minutes ago link

All true but the problem is we're preaching before the choir here. How do we reach at least a few percentage of those 1.3 million men on active duty? Asking myself this question a lot lately.

[Jan 09, 2020] West Point teaches people they have the right to drop bombs on civilians and torture them in Guantanamo. Of course these folks think of themselves as the smartest people who ever lived.

Jan 09, 2020 | www.unz.com

Steve Gilbert , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 7:29 pm GMT

@Authenticjazzman The US could afford lots of things if we cut the military budget by 99%, as we should have done after WWII.
The military works for the plutocrats, stealing money from the taxpayers. The ruling class turned Vietnam from an agricultural nation into a low paid factory nation which took thousands of textile jobs from Americans – i.e winning the Vietnam war. The problem lies in the taxpayers not understanding what winning means. Manufacturing havens with super low wages and homeless veterans begging at every intersection. West Point teaches people they have the right to drop bombs on civilians and torture them in Guantanamo. Of course these folks think of themselves as the smartest people who ever lived.

[Jan 08, 2020] "Isolationist" is a imperialist label put on someone against war.

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

SharonM , Jan 8 2020 17:59 utc | 153

@145 vk

"Isolationist" is a imperialist label put on someone against war. And the U.S. has always been an imperialist nation. There's no such thing as a limited era of imperialism for the U.S.

[Jan 08, 2020] The lady doth protest too much

Jan 08, 2020 | www.unz.com

Robert Dolan , says: Show Comment January 7, 2020 at 5:31 am GMT

Zion Don is not just a fuckup ..he's a DANGEROUS fuckup.
Cloak And Dagger , says: Show Comment January 7, 2020 at 5:59 am GMT
The lady doth protest too much:

On Monday, as the meeting ended, several ministers transmitted Netanyahu's declaration distancing Israel from the Soleimani hit.

"The assassination of Soleimani isn't an Israeli event but an American event. We were not involved and should not be dragged into it," he said, according to Israeli news outlets.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/netanyahu-distances-from-soleimani-slaying-says-israel-shouldnt-be-dragged-into-it-report

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment January 7, 2020 at 7:43 am GMT

Netanyahu backs away from Soleimani assassination, warns ministers to ' stay out' of purely 'American event

.'
Does the word 'backpedaling' ring a bell, Bibi?

You'll reap what you sow, oh grand Master of Conception. I sincerely hope it'll be an abundant and infinite harvest. And, of course, mazel tov, ol' boy. You're gonna need it by the bushel

[Jan 08, 2020] The Donald's Assassination Of General Soleimani -- As Stupid As It Gets by David Stockman

Jan 08, 2020 | www.unz.com

During more than a half-century of Washington watching we have seen stupidity rise from one height to yet another. But nothing -- just plain nothing -- compares to the the blithering stupidity of the Donald's Iran "policy", culminating in the mindless assassination of its top military leader and hero of the so-called Islamic Revolution, Major General Qassem Soleimani.

To be sure, we don't give a flying f*ck about the dead man himself. Like most generals of whatever army (including the US army), he was a cold-blooded, professional killer.

And in this day and age of urban and irregular warfare and drone-based annihilation delivered by remote joy-stick, generals tend to kill more civilians than combatants. The dead civilian victims in their millions of U.S. generals reaching back to the 1960s surely attest to that.

Then again, even the outright belligerents Soleimani did battle with over the decades were not exactly alms-bearing devotees of Mother Theresa, either. In sequential order, they were the lethally armed combatants mustered by Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush, the Sunni jihadists of ISIS and the Israeli and Saudi air forces, which at this very moment are raining high tech bombs and missiles on Iranian allies and proxies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

The only reason these years of combat are described in the mainstream media as evidence of Iranian terrorism propagated by its Quds forces is that the neocons have declared it so. That is, by Washington's lights Iran is not allowed to have a foreign policy and its alliances with mainly Shiite co-religionists in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen are alleged per se to be schemes of aggression and terror, warranting any and all retaliations including assassination of its highest officials.

But that's just colossal nonsense and imperialistic arrogance. The Assad government in Syria, the largest political party in Lebanon (Hezbollah), the dominant population of northern Yemen (Houthis) and a significant portion of the Iraqi armed forces represented by the Shiite militias (the PMF or Popular Mobilization Forces) are no less civilized and no more prone to sectarian violence than anybody else in this woebegone region. And the real head-choppers of ISIS and its imitators and rivals have all been Sunni jihadist insurrectionists, not Shiite-based governments and political parties.

The truth is, America has no dog in the Shiite versus Sunni hunt, which has been going on for 1300 years in the region. And when it comes to spillover of those benighted forces into Europe or America, recent history is absolutely clear: 100% of all Islamic terrorist incidents in the US since they began in the 1990s were perpetrated or inspired by Sunni jihadists, not Iran or its Shiite allies and proxies in the region.

So we needs be direct. The aggression in the Persian Gulf region during the last three decades has originated in the Washington DC nest of neocon vipers and among Bibi Netanyahu's proxies, collaborators and assigns who rule the roost in the Imperial City and among both political parties. And the motivating force has all along been the malicious quest for regime change -- first in Iraq and then in Syria and Iran.

Needless to say, Washington instigated "regime change" tends to provoke a determined self-defense and a usually violent counter-reaction among the changees. So the truth is, the so-called Shiite crescent is not an alliance of terrorists inflicting wanton violence on the region; it's a league of regime-change resisters and armed combatants who have elected to say "no" to Washington's imperial schemes for remaking the middle eastern maps.

So in taking out Soleimani, the usually befuddled and increasingly belligerent occupant of the Oval Office was not striking a blow against "terrorism". He was just dramatically escalating Washington's long-standing regime-change aggression in the region, thereby risking an outbreak of even greater violence and possibly a catastrophic conflagration in the Persian Gulf where one-fifth of the world's oil traverses daily.

And most certainly, the Donald has now crushed his own oft-repeated intent to withdraw American forces from the middle east and get out of the regime change business -- the very platform upon which he campaigned in 2016. There are now upwards of 50,000 US military personnel in the immediate Persian Gulf region and tens of thousands of more contractors, proxies and mercenaries. After Friday's reckless maneuver, that number can now only go up -- and possibly dramatically.

In joy-sticking Soleimani while lounging in his plush digs at Mar-a-Lago, the Donald was also not avenging the innocent casualties of Iranian aggression -- Americans or otherwise. He was just jamming another regime-change stick in the hornets nest of anti-Americanism in the region that Washington's bloody interventions have spawned over the decades, and which will now intensify by orders of magnitude.

Sometimes a picture does tell a thousand words, and this one from the funeral procession in Tehran yesterday surely makes a mockery of Secretary Pompeo's idiotic claim that the middle east is now safer than before. If there was ever a case that this neocon knucklehead should be immediately dispatched to his hog and corn farm back in Kansas, this is surely it.

Iranians carried the coffins of top general Qassem Soleimani and his allies in Kerman, Iran

The larger point here is that Imperial Washington and its mainstream media megaphones have so egregiously and relentlessly vilified Iran and falsified the middle east narrative that the Iranian side of the story has been completely lost -- literally airbrushed right off the pages of contemporary history in Stalineseque fashion.

Not that the benighted, mullah-controlled Iranian regime is comprised of anything which resembles white hats. One of the great misfortunes of the last four decades is that the long-suffering people of Iran have not been able to throw-off the cultural and religious shackles imposed by this theocratic regime or escape the economic backwardness and incompetence of what is essentially rule by authoritarian clerics.

But that's exactly the crime of Washington's neocon-inspired hostility and threats to the Iranian regime. It merely rekindles Iranian nationalism and causes the public to rally to the support of the regime, as is so evident at the current moment.

Worse still, the underlying patriotic foundation of this pro-regime sentiment is completely lost on Imperial Washington owing to its false narrative about post-1979 history. Yet the fact is, in the eyes of the Iranian people the Quds forces and Soleimani have plausible claims to having been valiant defenders of the nation.

In the original instance, of course, Soleimani earned his chops on the battlefield contending with the chemical weapons-dropping air force of Saddam Hussein during the 1980s. And Saddam was the invader whose chemical bombs achieved especially deadly accuracy against often barely armed teenage Iranian soldiers owing to spotting and targeting assistance rendered by the U.S. air force -- a Washington assisted depredation that a whole generation of Iranians know all about, even if present day Washington feints ignorance.

Then after Bush the Younger visited uninvited and unrequested Shock & Awe upon Baghdad and much of the Iraqi countryside, it transpired that the nation's majority Shiite population didn't cotton much to being "liberated" by Washington. Indeed, the more radical elements of the Iraqi Shiite community in Sadr City and other towns of central and south Iraq took up arms during 2003-2011 against what they perceived to be the American "occupiers" because, well, it was their country.

Needless to say, their Shiite kinsman in Iran were more than ready to give aid and comfort to the Iraqi Shiite in their struggle against what by then was perceived as Iran's own mortal enemy. After all, a full year before Bush the Younger launched the utterly folly of the second gulf war in March 2003, his demented neocon advisors and speechwriters, led by the insufferable David Frum, had concocted a bogeyman called the Axis of Evil, which included Iran and marked it as next in line for Shock & Awe.

But the idea that the Iraqi people and especially its majority Shiite population would have been dancing in the streets to welcome the US military save for the insidious interference of Iran is just baseless War Party propaganda.

Stated differently, Washington sent 158,000 lethally armed fighters into a country that had never threatened America's homeland security or harbored its enemies, and had no capacity to do so in any event. But contrary to the glib assurances of Rumsfeld, Cheney and the rest of the neocon jackals around Bush, these U.S. fighters soon came to be widely viewed as "invaders", not liberators, and met resistance from a wide variety of Iraqi elements including remnants of Saddam's government and military, radicalized Sunni jihadists and a motley array of Shiite politicians, clerics and militias.

Foremost among these was the Sadr clan which emerged as the tribune of the the dispossessed Shiite communities in the south and Baghdad. They rose to prominence after Bush the Elder urged the Shiite to rise up against Saddam after the 1991 Gulf War, and then left them dangling in the wind.

No U.S. support materialized as the regime's indiscriminate crackdown on the population systematically arrested and killed tens of thousands of Shiites and destroyed Shiite shrines, centers of learning, towns and villages. According to eyewitness accounts, Baathist tanks were painted with messages like "No Shiites after today," people were hanged from electric poles, and tanks ran over women and children and towed bodies through the streets.

From this horror and brutality emerged Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, the founder of the Sadrist movement that today, under the leadership of his son Muqtada, constitutes Iraq's most powerful political movement. After the collapse of the Baathist regime in 2003, the Sadrist movement formally established its own militia, known as the Jaysh al-Mahdi, or the Mahdi Army .

The vast Shiite underclass needed protection, social services and leadership, and the Sadrist movement stepped into these gaps by reactivating Sadeq al-Sadr's network. In the course of U.S. occupation, the Mahdi Army's ranks of supporters, members and fighters swelled, particularly as sectarian conflict intensified and discontent towards the occupation grew out of frustration with the lack of security and basis services.At one point the Mahdi Army numbered more than 60,000 fighters, and especially as Iraq degenerated into total sectarian chaos after 2005, it became a deadly thorn in the side of U.S. forces occupying a country where they were distinctly unwelcome.

But the Mahdi Army was homegrown; it was Arab, not Persian, and it was fighting for its own homes and communities, not the Iranians, the Quds or Soleimani. In fact, the Sadrists strongly opposed the Iranian influence among other Shiite dissident groups including the brutal Badr Brigade and the Iran-aligned Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (SCIRI). As the above study further noted,

I raqis today refer to the Sadrist Movement's Peace Brigades as the "rebellious" militias, because of their refusal to submit not only to Iran , but also to the federal government and religious establishment. Muqtada al-Sadr has oriented his organization around Iraqi nationalistic sentiments and derided the Iran-aligned militias . In line with the true political outlook of his father and his followers, Muqtada's supporters chanted anti-Iranian slogans and stormed the offices of the Dawa Party, ISCI and the Badr Brigade when they protested against the government in May 2016.

As it happened, the overwhelming share of the 603 US servicemen the Pentagon claims to have been killed by Iranian proxies were actually victims of the Mahdi Army uprisings during 2003-2007. These attacks were led by the above mentioned Iraqi nationalist firebrand and son of the movements founder, Muqtada al-Sadr.

In fact, however, the surge in U.S. deaths at that time was the direct result of subsequently disgraced General David Petraeus' infamous "surge" campaign. Among others, it targeted al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in the hope of weakening it. Beginning in late April 2007, the U.S. launched dozens of military operations aimed solely at capturing or killing Mahdi Army officers, causing the Mahdi Army to strongly resist those raids and impose mounting casualties on U.S. troops.

So amidst the fog of two decades of DOD and neocon propaganda, how did Iran and Soleimani get tagged over and over with the "killing Americans" charge, as if they were attacking innocent bystanders in lower Manhattan on 9/11?

It's just the hoary old canard that Iran was the source of the powerful roadside bombs called Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs) that were being used by many of the Shiite militias, as well as the Sunni jihadists in Anbar province and the west. Yet that claim was debunked more than a decade ago by evidence that the Mahdi Army and other Shiite militias were getting their weapons not just from the Iranians but from wherever they could, as well as manufacturing their own.

As the estimable Iran export, Gareth Porter, recently noted:

The command's effort to push its line about Iran and EFPs encountered one embarrassing revelation after another. In February 2007 a US command briefing asserted that the EFPs had "characteristics unique to being manufactured in Iran." However, after NBC correspondent Jane Arraf confronted the deputy commander of coalition troops, Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, with the fact that a senior military official had acknowledged to her that US troops had been discovering many sites manufacturing EFPs in Iraq, Odierno was forced to admit that it was true.

Then in late February 2007, US troops found another cache of parts and explosives for EFPs near Baghdad, which included shipments of PVC tubes for the canisters that contradicted its claims . They had come not from factories in Iran, but from factories in the UAE and other Arab countries, including Iraq itself. That evidence clearly suggested that the Shiites were procuring EFP parts on the commercial market rather than getting them from Iran.

Although the military briefing by the command in February 2007 pointed to cross-border weapons smuggling, it actually confirmed in one of its slides that it was being handled by "Iraqi extremist group members" rather than by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). And as Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the US commander for southern Iraq, admitted in a July 6 press briefing , his troops had not "captured anybody that we can directly tie back to Iran."

On the other hand, what the Iranian Quds forces have actually accomplished in Iraq and Syria has been virtually expunged from the mainstream narrative. To wit, they have been the veritable tip of the spear in the eradication of the Islamic State.

Indeed, in Iraq it was the wobbly Iraqi national army that Washington stood up at a cost of billions, which turned tail and ran when ISIS emerged in Anbar province in 2014. So doing, they left behind thousands of US armored vehicles, mobile artillery and even tanks, as well as massive troves of guns and ammo, which enabled the Islamic State to briefly thrive and subjugate several million people across the Euphrates Valley.

It was also Washington that trained, equipped, armed and funded the so-called anti-Assad rebels in Syria, which so weakened and distracted Damascus that that the Islamic State was briefly able to fill the power vacuum and impose its barbaric rule on the citizens of Raqqa and its environs. And again, it did so in large part with weaponry captured from or sold to ISIS by the so-called moderate rebels.

To the contrary, the panic and unraveling in Iraq during 2014-2015 was stopped and reversed when the Iranians at the invitation of Baghdad's Shiite government helped organize and mobilize the Iraqi Shiite militias, which eventually chased ISIS out of Mosul and Anbar.

Likewise, outside of the northern border areas liberated by the Syrian Kurds, it was the Shiite alliance of Assad, Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds forces that rid Syria of the ISIS plague.

Yes, the U.S. air force literally incinerated two great cities temporarily occupied by the Islamic State -- Mosul and Raqqa. But it was the Shiite fighters who were literally fighting for their lives, homes and hearth who cleared that land of a barbaric infestation that had been spawned and enabled by the very Washington neocons who are now dripping red in tooth and claw.

So we revert to the Donald's act of utter stupidity. On the one hand, it is now evident that the reason Soleimani was in Baghdad was to deliver an official response from Tehran to a recent Saudi de-escalation offer. And that's by the word of the very prime minister that Washington has stood up in the rump state of Iraq and who has now joined a majority of the Iraqi parliament in demanding that Iraq's putative liberators -- after expending trillions in treasure and blood -- leave the country forthwith:

Before the vote Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi told the parliament that he was scheduled to meet with Soleimani a day after his arrival to receive a letter from Iran to Iraq in response to a de-escalation offer Saudi Arabia had made. The U.S. assassinated Soleimani before the letter could be delivered by him. Abdul-Mahdi also said that Trump had asked him to mediate between the U.S. and Iran. Did he do that to trap Soleimani? It is no wonder then that Abdul-Mahdi is fuming.

At the same time, the positive trends that were in motion in the region just days ago -- -ISIS gone, Syria closing in on the remaining jihadists, Saudi Arabia and Iran tentatively exploring a more peaceful modus vivendi, the Yemen genocide winding to a close -- may now literally go up in smoke. As the always sagacious Pat Buchanan observed today,

What a difference a presidential decision can make.

Two months ago, crowds were in the streets of Iraq protesting Iran's dominance of their politics. Crowds were in the streets of Iran cursing that regime for squandering the nation's resources on imperial adventures in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen. Things were going America's way.

Now it is the Americans who are the targets of protests.

Over three days, crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands and even millions have packed Iraqi and Iranian streets and squares to pay tribute to Soleimani and to curse the Americans who killed him.

We have long believed that there is nothing stupider in Washington than the neocon policy mafia that has wrecked such unspeakable havoc on the middle east as well as upon American


Sasha , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:41 am GMT

"Not that the benighted, mullah-controlled Iranian regime is comprised of anything which resembles white hats. One of the great misfortunes of the last four decades is that the long-suffering people of Iran have not been able to throw-off the cultural and religious shackles imposed by this theocratic regime or escape the economic backwardness and incompetence of what is essentially rule by authoritarian clerics."

I get it that maybe Iranians don't have a Walmart in every town, and may not have the privilege of mortgaging their lives on a Visa or MC – but that's not what I call backwardness, rather progress. If times are tough, is it the backwardness of their system, or might crippling sanctions play a small role in that? What "cultural and religious shackles" might these be? Please be more specific, or I might think you mean that they don't have instant access to Hollywood blockbusters or something. The horror! Finally – if you want to use the term "regime", please apply it with a broad brush, maybe even broad enough to touch on the oh-so-democratic West. Let's just call them "governments", OK?

Carlton Meyer , says: Website Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:21 am GMT
Nice to see the great David Stockman appear at Unz. Watch him teach Fox Business News blabbers economics and political realities. Then he stuns them by saying the Pentagon's budget must be cut:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_-fUmMrzzJc?feature=oembed

Haxo Angmark , says: Website Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:26 am GMT
well said by Stockman, though it's all water under the bridge now.

Drumpf, a life-long Zion-stooge, and the (((neo-conz))) and their cucks

have got their War of Choice. Depending how the Greater MidEast War goes,

it may help solve all sorts of outstanding problems, there

and here. Right now it's just after dawn in Tehran .let's see how far

Drumpf et al. up the bloody ante today.

Justsaying , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:30 am GMT
@Sasha Well and truly spoken. American pop and consumerist culture along with pop drinks and endless fads, crude music and fast foods are being peddled as markers of serious culture. They are shoved down the throats of unsuspecting minds in asymmetric commerce as part of an aggressive campaign to turn the planet into a consumerist backyard for American junk and to consolidate American hegemony.
Justsaying , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:41 am GMT

The larger point here is that Imperial Washington and its mainstream media megaphones have so egregiously and relentlessly vilified Iran and falsified the middle east narrative that the Iranian side of the story has been completely lost --

Iran's foreign minister Zarif has been denied entry into the United States to attend a UN meeting. Speaking of idiocy in denying Iranians their side of the story. That has been the imperial modus operandi in appropriating narratives with the complicity of our poor excuse for journalism, the servile MSM.

JUSA , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:55 am GMT
@Sasha I agree. If Iranians are really that disgusted by the "cultural and religious shackles imposed by this theocratic regime or the economic backwardness and incompetence of what is essentially rule by authoritarian clerics", those clerics wouldn't still be in power. All they have to do is look at the degeneration of the West from drugs, alcohol, money, power, coarsening pop culture, pornography, all manners of sexual perversion and they know they are wise to take a different path.

Culturally, economically, politically, even technologically, the US is on a downward spiral, courtesy of the Jews. This warmongering perpetuated by the same tribe will eventually finish us off. China, Russia and Iran have existed for thousands of years. They will have the last laugh.

A123 , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:05 am GMT

Before the vote Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi told the parliament that he was scheduled to meet with Soleimani a day after his arrival to receive a letter from Iran to Iraq in response to a de-escalation offer Saudi Arabia had made. The U.S. assassinated Soleimani before the letter could be delivered by him.

So, Iranian de-escalation was based on a sneak attack against the U.S. Embassy? No. Simple logic shows that Mahdi is lying. Iran *escalated* by attacking the embassy.

-- What does Stockman suggest as a response to the Iranian sneak attack on the U.S. Embassy?
-- Why are the voices that are always screaming about 'International Law' not outraged by Iran's violations?

Given the history of such actions from the Carter era, a strong response was necessary and inevitable. Iran offered war. And, Trump responded prudently and proportionally.
________

Based on tonight's news, Khameni made a 'show' reprisal that had little impact on U.S. Forces. (1)

Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops, but preliminary reports suggest there are no U.S. casualties yet, two sources with direct knowledge of actions on the ground told Military Times Tuesday night.

Khameni's attack on the embassy was a failure that backfired badly. He is now desperately trying to back down, because he knows that Iran has no effective defense against U.S. Military options.

PEACE

______

(1) https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2020/01/08/no-us-casualties-in-iran-missile-strike-preliminary-reports-say/

Mark James , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:09 am GMT
Stockman knew Reagan's first budget was a joke. He wrote it: telling the late Bill Greider –in real time– that it was a 'Trojan Horse.'

Now he's telling Pompeo to go back to the pig farm but word is the Sec.State is now not running for a Senate seat. But I tend to believe Pompeo is not directing things it's coming from Trump's inner circle. Kushner strikes me as more of a neocon and he's obviously down with what they want in Tel Aviv. Which I think is an attack on Iran Nuclear capabilities before the end of the summer.

I heard Andrea Mitchell praising Stephen Hadley (Bush Neocon) as a "wise man" who called this an opportunity for negotiation. That's g one Andrea: it went out when Trump got rid of the deal Iran was adhering to, which the neocons and Israel didn't want.

freedom-cat , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:14 am GMT
I was reading earlier today that American Military Contractor company's stock began soaring right after the assassination; Ratheon, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed, Boeing, etc etc

Now Asian market defense contracting company stocks are soaring because Iran has fired missiles at a couple US bases in Iraq.

Insanity. Hitting your head over and over on a brick wall, while thinking you'll start feeling better.

I'm sorry to say I voted for this moron; and all because I hated the alternative and he was flapping his jaws about ending the warring in M.E. I had my doubts from the beginning but I was willing to give him a chance. Won't be voting in this fall's election. There is not one candidate worth voting for; none.

Geez, by November we might be in full blown WW3 & elections suspended. who the hell knows at this point.

gotmituns , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:16 am GMT
As stupid as it gets
-- -- -- -- -- -- –
Well, the Iranians really loused up now. Now Trump and his Israeli loving friends can finally kick their butts really good. Very bad idea attacking us.
Biff , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:31 am GMT
After the latest round of shit-slinging, Washington stinks, Tehran stinks, but Israel is still smelling like a rose even though they are the instigator of the whole affair.
How do they keep getting away with it each and every time?
Mr. Allen , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:38 am GMT
This is absurd. Don't lump all generals in together as the same. You might as well say Nazi generals and Russian generals and British generals and American generals and Japanese generals are all the same – all equally culpable of equal war crimes in WWII.

Unless you truly believe there is no good and bad sides in all these Middle Eastern wars this can't be true.

The Americans are aggressors and invaders in the Middle East. For the Iraqis to turn on the Americans it must mean something.

We get closer to the truth when we see Soleimani as a freedom fighter and Americans as terrorists.

To lump Soleimani with the American lot is devoid of morals and common sense

Lockean Proviso , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:59 am GMT
@JUSA

All they have to do is look at the degeneration of the West from drugs, alcohol, money, power, coarsening pop culture, pornography, all manners of sexual perversion and they know they are wise to take a different path.

Yes, although it is interesting to note that the Iran has been one of the top nations for sex-change surgeries because the regime would rather change tomboys and sissies into "boys" and "girls" rather than allow homosexuality or even atypical gender affect. They do avoid having a pernicious and culturally radicalizing gay lobby though.

Anyway, it's none of our business and if we really had to choose sides in the Saudi vs Iran conflict then Iran would be the rational choice. Maybe neocon stupidity will help bring that conflict to a truce as they unite against the USA.

Passer by , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 7:22 am GMT
Pretty bad news for the US:

Signed:

YOUR ENEMY MOQTADA AL-SADR #Iraq #US #USA_غادروا_العراق pic.twitter.com/CcSmNOHqUu

-- Elijah J. Magnier (@ejmalrai) January 6, 2020

Moqtada al-Sadr, the most influential person in Iraq, is now calling the US an enemy and threatening Trump personally. If Mahdi Army joins the other Shia groups around the world, big damage will be done to the US via many means and no american will be able to stay in Iraq. Embassy could be gone too. US companies working on oil and gas will be kicked out. The country will move strongly towards Russia and China. All US investment in the Iraq adventure will be totally lost.

Angering iraqi shia is very stupid US move. They are an ascending force, with young combat ready population and young and expanding demographics. Last time the US angered the iraqi shia (2004), it lost the war in Iraq even before it knew it.

This is the result of a declining power not recognizing its decline and making enemies everywhere.

The 2020s will be a turbulent period of power transition where the US and Europe decline and the rest of the world rises, the end of the superpower moment and the beginning of a multipolar world.

JackOH , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 8:16 am GMT
That David Stockman? Kudos, Ron.
CBTerry , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 8:16 am GMT
Excellent article by a man so principled that as a representative from Michigan he voted against the Chrysler bail-out.
So please forgive me for pointing out this error:

From the interweb:

A feint (noun) is primarily a deceptive move, such as in fencing or military maneuvering. It can also mean presenting a feigned appearance. Feint can also be a verb, but in that case it simply means to execute a feint.
To feign (verb) is to deceive; either by acting as if you're something or someone you're not, or lying.
There is some overlap between particular meanings of the two words (For example, his ignorance was a feint, he was feigning ignorance), but mostly they are separate.
Both words come from the French feindre, which means to "pretend, represent, imitate, shirk".

Hans Vogel , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 9:03 am GMT
Thanks for this well-written, passionate but nevertheless lucid analysis.

Yet I feel mention should always be made of US corporate and imperial greed as a main motive for intervention anywhere in the world. It is about the oil and the profits and it is highly illuminating to turn to works by non-US authors. A good starting point would be Pino Solanas classic masterpiece La hora de los hornos (The Hour of the Furnaces) from 1968.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jQOXKoMHOE0?feature=oembed

Also read Alfons Goldschmidt's eloquent and committed Die dritte Eroberung Amerikas (1929). And the recent magnificent overview by Matthieu Auzanneau, Or noir. La grande histoire du pétrole (2015).

Here is the best short analysis of the crime that was the invasion and conquest of Iraq:

eah , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 9:04 am GMT

The Trump presidency has been nothing but neoliberalism and Zionism on steroids and shouldn't be renewed for a second season. Feel free to convince me otherwise

-- EMPEROR WHITEPILL (@CptBlackPill) January 8, 2020

Hans Vogel , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 9:04 am GMT
@Justsaying Spot on!
swamped , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 9:08 am GMT
"In the original instance, of course, Soleimani earned his chops on the battlefield contending with the chemical weapons-dropping air force of Saddam Hussein during the 1980s. And Saddam was the invader whose chemical bombs achieved especially deadly accuracy against often barely armed teenage Iranian soldiers owing to spotting and targeting assistance rendered by the U.S. air force -- a Washington assisted depredation that a whole generation of Iranians know all about, even if present day Washington feints (sic) ignorance" and a whole generation (and more) know that this Washington-assisted depredation was carried out by the U.S. Administration in which Mr.Stockman served, whether or not he prefers now to "feint" ignorance of that, too. An Administration which also gave us the Nicaraguan Contra terrorists, the infamous Iran-Contra deal, Central American death squads, Israel's invasion of Lebanon & much more. Funny how Mr. Stockman was mum on such matters at the time. Maybe, like Jimmy Carter, he's found his moral compass since leaving government but wish he had found it a whole lot sooner. Hate to see a good Harvard Divinity School education go to waste. No matter, the article makes perfect sense even if it comes a little late.
GeeBee , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 9:23 am GMT
'The dead civilian victims in their millions of U.S. generals reaching back to the 1960s 1944 surely attest to that.'

There, fixed it for you.

Sabretache , says: Website Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 10:15 am GMT
Whenever I see the kind of absurd foul language employed here by Stockman, I simply stop reading. What on earth is a "flying f ** ck' anyway, other than a supposed macho signal of just how big and angry a 'BSD' (to use another swaggering obscenity prevalent on his home turf) he thinks he is. Perhaps he'd care to explain.
Ronnie , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 10:40 am GMT
The recent and nearly simultaneous crash of the newish Ukranian 737 in Tehran (with the 15 missiles launched from Iran) may be quite significant – indirect way to hurt the US (Boeing) again and Israel too – owned by Ukraine's most notorious billionaire Kolomoisky – and the guy who selected the new comedian President – and amazingly no US or Israeli passengers on board. Was it an accident or an exquisite punishment?
Vaterland , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 11:11 am GMT

And when it comes to spillover of those benighted forces into Europe or America, recent history is absolutely clear: 100% of all Islamic terrorist incidents in the US since they began in the 1990s were perpetrated or inspired by Sunni jihadists, not Iran or its Shiite allies and proxies in the region.

It is especially hard to overlook that the terrorists and self-radicalized (mass-)murders who killed hundreds of Europeans, including my own countrymen, were adherents to the wahhabist ideology, created, funded and often staffed by the very countries which are the closest allies of the USA and Israel. And whom they sell hundreds of billions of weapons to as they wage their so called "war on terror" which is mostly the war to take out Israel's and Saudi-Arabias enemies.

David Stockman may be at the center of the intelligentsia which built the empire that many in the world looked up to and admired, and which crude figures like Pompeo, Bolton, Shapiro, Perle and Nuland are tearing down. But the problems and outright evilness of the empire now are inherent to its system and not merely a question of sophistication versus brutishness.

It's past time to close Rammstein.

ben sampson , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 11:15 am GMT
@Sabretache Stockman is just guilty and fake thats all..why he uses such language.

there is not a sincere word in all that he wrote above there, save that there is somethng important in there that Stockman is losing or wants..and is trying to set up to get

Ipostle , says: Website Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 11:21 am GMT
@Sasha You can't fault David Stockman for calling Islam a shackle. Unless you want to agree with Bush that Islam is peaceful.
Biff , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 11:28 am GMT
@A123

Iran *escalated* by attacking the embassy.

And you have proof of this where?

Amon , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 11:33 am GMT
@A123 So this is what a paid shill looks like.
Proud_Srbin , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 11:49 am GMT
Mass murderer and Assassin in Chief is SIMPLY continuing to execute blood lusty and genocidal policies established by alliance of TERROR which calls itself 5 eyes but Sovereign, FREEDOM loving people call 5 headed BEAST.
God Bless Axis of Resistance!
Resist Slavery, TERROR and neoNazis!
Hans Vogel , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 11:53 am GMT
@Mr. Allen

This is absurd. Don't lump all generals in together as the same. You might as well say Nazi generals and Russian generals and British generals and American generals and Japanese generals are all the same – all equally culpable of equal war crimes in WWII.

Yes indeed, all generals are fundamentally the same. War crimes are not the exclusive realm of any one nationality or political or religious category.

Hollywood says otherwise, but what Hollywood says is little to do with historical fact and accuracy.

9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 11:54 am GMT
David Stockman blames "neocon stupidity", but Trump's foreign policy has nothing to do with stupidity it's planned and it's all about Israel ,"endless wars" , arms manufacturing and sales , and ensuring that the "war on terror" continues . We live in a Pathocracy and are governed by psychopaths and narcissists who have no compunction about the killing of civilians (collateral damage ) ,murder by drone , the destruction of cultural sites, the killing of 500,000 Iraqui children by sanctions (it was worth it – Madeleine Albright) and the murder of populist leaders such as Allende .
barr , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 12:09 pm GMT
@Sasha How does the mind develop? A boy grows up loving baseball ,because he grew up watching it since age 3 or 10 . If he watched soccer or Tennis, that would have been his favorite game . A blank page is ready for description of murder or love in English or Iranian language .
It is same about religion ,participation in civic rituals ,enjoying certain shows or music or theaters, food,consumption,and giving into outside demands rather than to self restraint self reflection and self observation and self evaluation of the imposed needs .
Mind learns to praise hollow words and illegal amoral immoral activities . Because we don't appreciate the converse and don't reward the opposite. Gradually society eliminates those thinkers Very soon we have one sort of thinking everywhere . Very soon adult bullying is copied by kids from TV and from watching the praise heaped on psychopaths.
This also means IQ gets distorted . Capacity to analyze gets impaired .
,American mind is manufactured mind by outside . BUt the process never stops. It doesn't get that chance to take internal control at any stage . In childhood and adolescence, when the time is right to inculcate this habit and enforce this angle or build this trait ,it is not done at all. Other nations try and other cultures do. Here is the difference between self assured content mind and nervous expectant mind always on a shopping outing . Most of our problems in society come from this situation,
anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 12:29 pm GMT
@JackOH Hmm.

I enjoyed reading someone with a Washington resume' tearing into the current crew, too. And it was a relief to see addressed the accusation about the Iranian official being not only killed for, but set up by feigned US interest in, peace. Those with a public voice -- especially "journalists" -- who won't even mention this are either inept or corrupt.

But note the condescension towards the people of the Middle East and their "regimes" noted above, starting with comment #1. Read the column carefully, and you'll see that the criticism from Mr. Stockman is tactical, not principled. That's because he puts himself above all of those people over there, including the group shown relative sympathy, who "are no less civilized and no more prone to sectarian violence than anybody else in this woebegone region." Ask yourself the writer's purpose of those last four words, and in his use of "sectarian." Would a more concise "are no less civilized and no more prone to violence than anybody else" be a little too truthful?

I wonder whether this columnist is being brought in to buttress and/or replace the discredited one who he describes as "the always sagacious Pat Buchanan." (Those who haven't should read Mr. Paleoconservative's latest "If Baghdad Wants Us Out, Let's Go!" and the overwhelmingly negative comments it has drawn.) Heretical to their extents, but both remain devout Exceptionalians.

unit472 , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 12:34 pm GMT
After more than a decades worth of failed economic prognostications ( that cost anyone who listened to him dearly) Stockman is now going to give us foreign policy advice? Remember this guys only official role was as an OMB appointee in the first term of Ronald Reagan.
Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 12:35 pm GMT
@Ronnie Interestingly the plane just happened to be Ukrainian. Could this be the casus belli the West needs to go ham on Iran? More strikes on Iran justified by this plane crash and perhaps even sanctions on Russa as no doubt they will try an pin it on them as well?
Realist , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 12:35 pm GMT
@Sasha Stockman is notorious for defending cultures and countries (Russia, China, Iran, Islam) by belittling them. Paraphrasing: It is wrong for the US to confront Russia, because they have a third rate economy. or it is wrong for the US to confront China because China can't project power across the world. . He always takes the elitist position the US should not attack lessers like Russia, China, etc'. It seems he is trying to cover his ass against the dreaded charge that he is taking 'the enemy's side'.
SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 12:38 pm GMT
@Justsaying Blast from the past:

"What you want to do is just beam in Melrose Place and 90250 into Tehran because that is subversive stuff. The young kids watch this, they want to have nice clothes, nice things . . and these internal forces of dissension beamed into Iran which is, paradoxically, the most open society, a lot more open than Iraq . . . therefore you have more ability to foment this dynamic against Iran. The question now is, Choose: beam Melrose Place -- it will take a long time (ha ha).
On the other hand if you take out Saddam I guarantee you it will have ENORMOUS positive reverberations that people sitting right next door, young people, in Iran, and many others will say, The time of such despots is gone, it's a new age."

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

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fpQdg4D78Jc?feature=oembed
"A nuclear armed Saddam will place the entire world at risk"

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4501196/user-clip-netanyahu-iran-regime-change

PS C Span broadcast a PSA of Peggy Orenstein who will discuss her book about value of easy access to porn and discussion of masturbation.

anon [876] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 1:10 pm GMT
How could a plane crash and several mega sky scapers not implode in seconds? Luchy Siverstein had another proctologist appointment?
DanFromCT , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 1:15 pm GMT
@Haxo Angmark What a trap DJT fell into! The president has proved himself more of a neocon patsy, as he was as much set up as the Iranian general, whose name will be forgotten by week's end in America. The neocons feeding the President a straight diet of cooked intel and their "never Trump" flunkies in the Senate have killed two birds with one stone inasmuch as the President's boasting he'd take out Iran's main cultural landmarks will be cast as a threat of genocide, which the Dems will now use to tar DJT as an intemperate megalomaniac in the minds of independents, probably ending his chances of winning reelection later this year.
Sean , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 1:15 pm GMT

The truth is, America has no dog in the Shiite versus Sunni hunt, which has been going on for 1300 years in the region. [ ] Needless to say, their Shiite kinsman in Iran were more than ready to give aid and comfort to the Iraqi Shiite in their struggle against what by then was perceived as Iran's own mortal enemy

The Sunni regime in Riyadh ceaselessly complain about the treatment of the Arab minority in Iran even though these are Shia Arabs, The Shia in Iraq are likewise Arabs. Iran is almost as big as Egypt or Turkey. Being a country of 80 million Shia Persians Iran could not possibly be conquered by the US without a massive effort, even if the deep state and joint chiefs wanted to, which they do not. The only time Iran runs into trouble is when it tries to act abroad as a power independent of both the US and Russia.

After the Iranian revolution the US was regarded as an all powerful enemy that would stage a coup, and so the Embassy staff, thought to be spies, were taken hostage. America was totally paralyzed and humiliated. Its raid to rescue the hostages was pathetic and exposed a total lack of special forces capability. the Islamic republic repudiated the Shah's role as America's cop on the beat, but it wanted to remain the most dominant power in the region nonetheless. Already worried by the arms given to Iran under the Shah who also supplied the Kurds fighting in Iraq, the 1974-75 Shatt al-Arab clashes between the Shah and Saddam's forces that led to led to 1000 KIAs, Saddam was faced with a radical Shia Iran appealing to his own oppressed Shia majority. After a series of border clashes with the aggressive Revolutionary Guards, Saddam predictably decided on an all out attack on Iran. The US backed Saddam and there was massive support for Iraq from the Soviet Union in the final phase of the war.

The Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran made use of suicide squads of schoolboys to clear minefields and in human wave attacks and by the end the front lines were well within Iraqi territory and Saddam had to settle for merely surviving. Iran had linked up with Assad's minority Alawite regime ruling a Sunni majority, and his Shia allies in Lebanon. Israeli defence minister and former general Ariel Sharon moved Israeli forces into West beirut then allowed Phalange gunmen let into palestinian refugee camps (PLO fighters had already left the city) where they slaughtered thousands of non combatants.

Under the influence of Iranian clerics' interpretations from the war with Saddam justifying suicide if the enemy was killed in the act, Assad's cat's paw Lebanese Shia suicide bombed the US marines out of Beirut. Then Palestinians learnt how suicide bombing was a powerful weapon and in the aftermath of the failure of Camp David 2000 embarked a vicious series of suicide massacres that destroyed Ehud barak and brought Sharon to power. Iran has gained influence in the region but ti is difficult to see what the Palestinians have got ot out of the patronage of Iran, which is first and mainly concerned with itself.

Due entirely to side effects of actions the US took against Saddam's Iraq taken to protect the current regime in Saudi Arabia Iran has went from strength to strength and they seem to think that run of luck will continue. Unfortunately for Iran, they are now a very real threat to Saudi Arabia, and the US knows it cannot put an army in Saudi Arabia to guard it with outraging Islamic nationalist opinion in that country

Instead of poking its nose into Arab affairs why does Iran, which managed to impoverish its own middle class in the last three decades and recently had to cut fuel subsidies, not concentrate on its own business? It seems to be calculating that Trump cannot afford to the bad publicity of starting a war too close to an election, and so they can make hay while the sun shines. Or perhaps they are pressing their luck like any good gambler on a roll. The assassination of Soleimani was intended to be taken a sign that Dame Fortune in the shape of America has grown tired of their insouciance. I think Iran should cut their losses although such is not human nature. The dictates of realism according to Mearsheimer mandate endless offence to gain even the slightest advantage, but he also says a good state must know its limitations.

RichardTaylor , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 1:16 pm GMT
@Justsaying America's problems don't have anything to do with soda pop or fast food. Nor is "consumerism" a serious problem that the world needs to worry about. I like having new smartphones, fast internet, and the convenience of getting things quickly.
Miro23 , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 1:26 pm GMT
A very good summary by David Stockman of the bad place that the US finds itself in.

With an old and confused Presidential tweeter surrounded by Zionist gangsters.

Desert Fox , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 1:32 pm GMT
Trump is insane as is the ZUS government and its dual citizens who are calling the shots. Trump is the reincarnation of the Roman emperor Caligula.

All of this was brought on by the joint attack by Israel and traitors in the ZUS government on the WTC on 911, blamed on the muslims to give the ZUS the excuse to destroy the middle east for zionist Israel and their greater Israel agenda.

Anon [398] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 1:47 pm GMT
Isn't Stockman the guy pumping a large investment newsletter scam? Is Unz getting a % of the scam to promote him? And how about these dumbo boomers who support him. Lmao
Chris Mallory , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:03 pm GMT

Like most generals of whatever army (including the US army), he was a cold-blooded, professional killer.

Modern US Army generals are more likely to be lying, azz kissing politiicans than cold blooded killers.

Z-man , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:04 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

Nice to see the great David Stockman appear at Unz. Watch him teach Fox Business News blabbers economics and political realities. Then he stuns them by saying the Pentagon's budget must be cut:

Yes, I was slightly surprised and gratified by his views.
'Maria' Bartiromo is/was married to a Joo . 'Nuff said.
That other one, the shrill Daegen McDowell, is also married to a Jew but is even more Zionist than your average 'Likudnik'. She was a regular on 'Imus in the Morning' but then had a falling out with Imus and was never back. I hope he haunts her until her demise. (Purple grinning Satan here)

Z-man , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:08 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus Netanyahoo should be taken out with extreme prejudice .
Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:11 pm GMT
@freedom-cat – Hitting your head over and over on a brick wall, while thinking you'll start feeling better.-

More aptly: Hitting yourself on the head with a hammer because it feels so good when you stop.

Carlton Meyer , says: Website Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:12 pm GMT
@Mr. Allen

This is absurd. Don't lump all generals in together as the same. You might as well say Nazi generals and Russian generals and British generals and American generals and Japanese generals are all the same – all equally culpable of equal war crimes in WWII.

American censorship ensures that Americans only hear of the greatness of American Generals. American Generals killed far more civilians with weaponry than opposing Generals in World War II, in Korea, and in Vietnam. Few know about mass slaughters they were responsible for, like:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/XVee6taH0iw?feature=oembed

Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:30 pm GMT
@Z-man Taking him out would be boring, if we are talking about hypotheticals, then better to start isolating Israel and sanctioning them. It will be funny watching them kvetch
TomSchmidt , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:34 pm GMT
@barr "A blank page"

Hmmm, not keeping up with the times in mind Research, are we? Start here:

https://read.amazon.com/kp/card?preview=inline&linkCode=kpd&ref_=k4w_oembed_mmOnQFKZcLfUYP&asin=B000QCTNIM&tag=kpembed-20

Hail , says: Website Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:37 pm GMT
@freedom-cat

I'm sorry to say I voted for this moron

I remember 2016. I remember many saying they were voting (or had voted) for Trump to get out of the endless/pointless Forever Wars, and as often as not they would mention Iran (the need to not go to war with).

During the slow death of Nationalist-MAGA in 2017 and 2018 , many holdouts continued to say "At least we didn't elected Hillary, or we'd for sure be at war with Iran!"

_______

Steve Sailer's six-word summary of US guiding policy from ca. the 1990s to 2010s (and 2020s, so far), " Invade the World, Invite the World (to resettle in the US)," was the core of DJT's campaign (opposition to them, of course); his core supporter base was motivated by both, some more one than the other, others strongly by both together.

I'd propose the core Trump base in 2016 was:

– 20%: primarily against "Invade the World" (soft, or neutral, or otherwise on "Invite")
– 40%: primary against "Invite the World" (soft, neutral, or even supportive of "Invade")
– 40%: against both Invade and Invite, seeing them as a package deal

I count myself in the third category.

(The proprietor of the Unz Review himself has written that he was for Trump primarily because of foreign policy, putting him in the first category.)

This Jan. 2020 assassination affair, we are told over the death of an Iraqi 'contractor' named Nawres Hamid who had recently handed that debased-currency known as a US passport , shows in dramatic form how much Trump has failed at both Invade and Invite. (Nawres Hamid as personification of Invade-Invite; he and three family members were sponsored to resettle in Sacramento some time in the 2010s.)

TomSchmidt , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:41 pm GMT
@freedom-cat "he was flapping his jaws about ending the warring in M.E. I had my doubts from the beginning but I was willing to give him a chance."

To be fair, he was explicit about getting tough with Iran. That's basically the only foreign pledge he has kept. All the dialing down of hostilities was a lie.

He has at least killed fewer people in drone strikes than Obama and Bush.

SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:46 pm GMT
@Sean Sean, your propaganda is old and tired and boring.

You're still shopping at F W Woolworth.

After the Iranian revolution the US was regarded as an all powerful enemy that would stage a coup, and so the Embassy staff, thought to be spies, were taken hostage.

One major precipitant was the information revealed about how US embassy had been spying on Iran, when Iranian weavers re-assembled massed of documents that embassy staff had shredded.

the rest of your screed = hasbara boilerplate. skewing information

Larry Johnson posted this more balanced overview of The Whole Offense:

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/01/there-will-be-blood-by-larry-c-johnson.html

Key sentence in the middle of the essay:

Since the terrorist attacks of 9-11, the United States has done a lot of killing of terrorists, real and imagined. Yet, the threat of terrorism has not been erased.

I submit that " the threat of terrorism has not been erased " because the wrong terrorists were being killed.
The real terrorists hive in TelAviv and Washington, DC.

George F. Held , says: Website Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Mr. Allen BS. The Nazi generals were trying to save the western world and civilization from the jews; the other generals, whether they knew it or not, were working for the jews to destroy both. The jews won and have largely obtained their desired end. Just look at Europe today
TomSchmidt , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:49 pm GMT
@Vaterland Do it. Complete Nordstream2. Withdraw from NATO. It was 1907 that Britain turned Russia from focusing on Asia to Europe and kicked off the new 30-years war. German organization and Russian spirit and resources would be a fearsome combination.

Putin speaks German, doesn't he?

barr , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:49 pm GMT
@TomSchmidt Is it less than 1oo pages ,?then I am try.
Cross Product of Spider-Man , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:49 pm GMT
If you live in a GOLDen cage, eventually you may develop Stockman syndrome.

This Trump Iran policy seems like pure genius to me. He may be able to obliterate Israel, Hezbollah and Iran, by goading them with one check-mark on the Obama er um Trump Disposition Matrix.

When I was a young teen I used to like that song, "Storm the Embassy", by the Stray Cats, before they had any fame in the states. Decades later the Offspring scored a hit called "The Kid's Aren't Alright", written in a similar key and chord progression. Groovy

Derp , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:50 pm GMT
This is the all-encompassing delusion, the stickiest residual brainwashing of old big shots. The Biggest Big Lie. And you old timers play along with it. Every time.

Stupidity. Stupid my ass.

Wartorn countries are ideal arms-trade entrepots. All the unauditable trillions of stuff that falls off DoD trucks, it's flooding into Syria and Iraq. CIA sells it. And most of it sits in safe caches until the next war. Then CIA sells it again. This is CIA's second biggest profit center, after drugs. And you know this is CIA's war, Right? Right? This is dumb jarheads dumped in there to hold the bag for TIMBER SYCAMORE. Trump has less workplace discretion than a McDonald's fry cook. He's CIA's puppet ruler. Puppets are not stupid, they're inert.

If you're CIA and you've got impunity in municipal law, this is not stupid, this is smart. This is brilliant. Steal arms from the troops, start a war, sell em to wogs, steal em from the wogs, sell to other wogs. Repeat. This is the policy and vital interest of the CIA criminal enterprise that runs your country.

You know it. Say what you actually think ffs. What are they gonna do, send you to Vietnam?

Sick of Orcs , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 2:55 pm GMT
The Orange Fugazi's autonomy is limited to golf and tweets about closely monitoring situations.

It's a lowdown dirty shame.

DanFromCT , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:05 pm GMT
@Anon If I'm not mistaken, Stockman has been forecasting a market collapse since 2010 or so. I just checked and in 2013 he recommended selling stocks with end-of-the-world fear mongering. At some point he and the libertarians' advice will coincide with a major adjustment or collapse and the scam perpetuates itself. I'm no expert in market timing myself, but my conclusion is that these guys are basically shills for gold and silver trading interests, using political scare tactics to drive sales, and in the process shamelessly costing naive investors to miss the market time and again since it's low in late 2008.
follyofwar , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:05 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer God, if there is one, please save us from such shrill, hysterical female defenders of the military-industrial-complex as Maria Bartiromo and Degan McDowell. I wonder how screechy-voiced Maria could say with a straight face that we were, prior to Trump, "starving the military." Such women, and let's include the women of The View, make good advertisements for why the 19th Amendment should never have been passed.

David Stockman, though I oppose his libertarianism, is worthy of much credit for going into the den with such venomous vipers.

Mike P , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:06 pm GMT
@Hans Vogel

Yes indeed, all generals are fundamentally the same. War crimes are not the exclusive realm of any one nationality or political or religious category.

Still, America leads the world when it comes to killing civilians, POWs, and other war crimes.

I am with Mr. Allen – we shouldn't lump them all together. American generals, and the prostitute "statesmen" that give their orders, deserve a special place in hell – with a guest room, of course, for the likes of Winston Churchill and Bomber Harris.

Sick of Orcs , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:10 pm GMT
@Hail The earliest sign we were betrayed was when post-election, pre-Inauguration Trump said he wouldn't go after Cankles. Most people didn't even notice, or still believed he was playing 32-dimensional underwater quantum chess.
Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:14 pm GMT
@Vaterland Germany still under American (see Jewish) occupation huh? I still here Americans tell me that those European countries are begging for American defence. This is an American trait of arrogance, they think Europeans actually want Americans occupying us and that they are doing us a favour.

I bet they would hit our countries with sanctions and other punishment if we threatened to kick them out just like is the case with Trump demanding billions from Iraq to pay for an air force base that Yankeed built to launch terror raids against Iraqis.

I bet most Germans do not even know about the terrorist occupation of Deutschland by America where they staved and raped with impunity. Americans are truly sickening and nobody would care if they got nuked save for a few Anglos

Alistair , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:18 pm GMT
Regardless of our opinion about General Qassem Soleimani, Trump targeted killing him was for his own personal grudge against Soleimani -- that was independent of the official US policy toward Iran.

Over the last couple of years, in the heat of twitter exchanges between Trump and President Rouhani, Trump was using his usual colorful language – street mob style – he was insulting Rouhani on twitter while president Rouhani kept his cool – restraining himself to engage at the street level exchange with Trump -- meanwhile, Gen. Soleimani seized on the occasion and replied to Trump's insults; he taunted Trump, called him "Bartender, Casino manager, Mobster" etc. and threatened to go after his properties worldwide -- you can check Online history of Soleimani's tweets about Donald Trump. Here is a sample that New York Post had published;

https://nypost.com/2020/01/04/iranian-general-qassem-soleimani-once-taunted-trump-in-fiery-speech/

As we all know Donald Trump does not appreciate threats, and if he gets the chance he punch back harder, and that's what has really happened; Donald Trump's personal grudge against Soleimani had led to his assassination; just the way Street Mobs eliminate their opponents; surely, that seems trivial, but these days, the world is governed by fake leaders who won't hesitate to use the power of their office to boost their own ego -- even at their own nation's expense.

Regardless of our opinion; General Soleimani was a brave soldier, a principled man who has dedicated his life to his nation, and that deserves respect -- just as Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Neilson Manddala did.

follyofwar , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:20 pm GMT
@Miro23 To perhaps soon be replaced by an even older, and definitely more confused successor come next January. The only saving grace would be if Biden doesn't know how to tweet. But he's every much the Zionist as is Trump, and has said so in the past. With a non-working brain, which is where Trump's lost brain is heading, Biden will believe whatever bullshit his neoliberal advisors feed him. Who is there to save us?
JackOH , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:23 pm GMT
@anonymous a#245, thanks for your reply.

You bet, I'm happy to see a Washington name on these pages, because I've been convinced for years a lot of the stuff we talk about here is pretty much mainstream or mainstreamable thought that's been shoved aside by high-motivation rent-seekers of all sorts.

" . . . [N]ote the condescension towards the people of the Middle East . . .". Yes, I did. I don't know squat about foreign policy, but people who sense they're being looked down on or feel they're being used will sometimes want to get back at those who've patronized them when the opportunity arises. I wish our leaders would take that platitude to heart.

America1st , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:26 pm GMT
Foolish elitists like Stockman advocate for the failed policies of the past.

From 1979 to 2020, 41 years most of our politically astute appeased Iran. In the early 80's Reagan sunk half of Iran's navy and they quieted down fora few years.

Since 1988 foolish political elites who thought they new better began appeasing again.

Seems only Reagan learned from History how appeasement helped Hitler.

Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2 and Obama all used appeasement. Iran grew stronger and more influential.

Obama foolishly tried to buy peace by releasing $150 billion of frozen Iranian assets, Iran spent it on Missle, Nuclear technologies and funded terrorism.

President Trump is reverting back to the lessons of Historyand trying to clean up Obama's mess.

I pray we reelect him in 2020 and give him 4 more years to save America from the deluded academics.

America1st , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:28 pm GMT
@Haxo Angmark How foolish Liberals are.
Hail , says: Website Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:39 pm GMT
@America1st

From 1979 to 2020, 41 years most of our politically astute appeased Iran. In the early 80's Reagan sunk half of Iran's navy and they quieted down fora few years.

Since 1988 foolish political elites who thought they new better began appeasing again.

Why not just save time and write Iran Delenda Est , maybe in all-caps, a few times?

Vaterland , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:39 pm GMT
@TomSchmidt Yes he does. He was married to a German teacher and was stationed in Dresden. He touched on many of the issues of trust and fear in this speech to the Bundestag. Years before Merkel took office. Different times. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NZQZQLV7tE
Derp , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:43 pm GMT
The other mandatory ritual incantation of US public Juche is to vilify the official enemy. Even pseudo-gonzo mavericks like Taibbi find they must do this. Stockman's new tweak of the government-issue boilerplate is admirable for its subtlety, by comparison with Taibbi's abject obeisance to the war line.

"Not that the benighted, mullah-controlled Iranian regime is comprised of anything which resembles white hats. One of the great misfortunes of the last four decades is that the long-suffering people of Iran have not been able to throw-off the cultural and religious shackles imposed by this theocratic regime or escape the economic backwardness and incompetence of what is essentially rule by authoritarian clerics."

As a founding member of the G-77 Iran brought together 80 per cent of the world's population. When the US took to manifest aggression after the WTC fell down, who did the G-77 choose to lead it? Iran. Iran brokered the Tehran Consensus, which unites more countries and people than NATO and doesn't blow shit up. The Non-Aligned Movement made Iran their nuclear/chemical disarmament envoy for peaceful coexistence. Half the world's people and two-thirds of its countries have made Iran a leader of the world. Why? Because they defend the UN Charter. They actually know what's in Article 2(4) and Article 39 and Article 41. Do you?

In objective human rights terms, Iran sucks about as much as the US in terms of three of the highest-level human rights indicators, outperforms the US in terms of openness to external human rights scrutiny, and falls short of US in terms of reporting compliance (although the US got graded very leniently on its delinquent CAT reporting while it ran its worldwide torture gulag.) So you don't have to do new vocal stylings on BAD BAD DOUBLEPLUSBAD ENEMY BAD. You can actually consult the facts. Imagine that.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Indicators/Pages/HRIndicatorsIndex.aspx

Vaterland , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:51 pm GMT
@Just passing through I have very ambivalent feelings towards the USA, in the past and present. Complex topic. Simple analogy: George C. Marshall looks like the twin-brother of my grandfather who served in the Wehrmacht. Sons of Europe, at war with Europe; now increasingly no longer European and a threat to Europe as their empire degrades. I see no reason to hate the American people as a whole, there's millions of good hearted, compassionate and reasonable people living in America today. Just look at Tulsi Gabbard's events. But they, too, are held hostage of this evil Empire. Separate peoples and governments; Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn too lived under the Soviet regime.

I do hate Mike Pompeo though. And I'm not ashamed of it.

A123 , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:58 pm GMT
@America1st

President Trump is reverting back to the lessons of Historyand trying to clean up Obama's mess.

You are correct. Trump inherited problems from the prior Obama and Bush administrations. Fortunately, Trump is winning.

Khameni's "retaliation" caused no damage. The high visibility launch covered live by FARS was a PR stunt to placate his domestic audience. (1)

"Optically Quite Dramatic" But Officials Confirm No US Casualties From Iranian Missile Strike

[Iran launched] missiles and purposely miss their intended targets.

Iran has superior missile technology that can hit whatever they want – this could be in an attempt to save face as a public relations event for its citizens while attempting to de-escalate the situation and avoid war.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/no-us-casualties-iranian-missile-strike

aandrews , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 3:58 pm GMT
If War is to Begin, You're Going to Want to Not Commit Sedition

Andrew Anglin
Daily Stormer
January 8, 2020


At time of writing, it is unclear if we're headed to open war with Iran, though it is seeming more and more likely by the hour.

So, I feel the need to remind everyone that they need to be careful not to commit sedition.

In wartime, sedition can be a very serious crime.

Largely, we have not had people in the United States going to jail for anti-war protests since the World Wars, but a war with Iran will be the biggest war the US has been involved in since World War Two, and there is going to be a lot of opposition to it, so it is probable that there will be actions done to chill speech by making examples of people who protest the war too hard.

[ ]

Nobody Really Knows , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:11 pm GMT
Stockman is a curious gloom and doomer. He reliably rants about the permanent war economy and the biggest defense budget in the world but that's as far as he goes. Like Paul Craig Roberts, his propaganda delivering contemporary, he offers a childish oversimplification of how things work.

When things fall apart the cops and the troops will shoot the citizens and protect the rich. Meanwhile, before things fall completely apart, propaganda specialists like Stockman shoot the unsuspecting citizens with propaganda to protect the rich.

The rich learned long ago to divide the lower classes into the obedient subservient voters who love them and the rest of the poor who don't matter because their brothers and sisters protect the rich. What better time to divide, conquer and stage more international tensions than right now?

Paul , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:23 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Bloated "defense" spending is socialism-for-the-rich and military Keynesianism. ISIS does not even have a rowboat.
Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:30 pm GMT
@A123 Another fine example of American exceptionalism.
There is zero evidence that the American contractor killed, was killed by Kata'ib Hezbollah. It fits the classic Israeli false flag.
The US "retaliates" by killing Iraqis who are the Kata'ib Hezbollah.
It is inconceivable to you that Iraqis may be upset that the country who invaded Iraq in 2003, completely destroyed the infrastructure, built a massive fortified Embassy, and sold off its assets to Jewish interests, primarily, just might be upset that that same country has just massacred the Iraqis who saved the country from ISIS. It had to be Iran behind it, because all Iraqis are grateful for the 2003 US invasion and all of the benefits of occupation that flowed from that. The million Iraqis that died are irrelevant.

Even Stockman doesn't get the Baathists. They don't care about your religious beliefs. They care that your religious beliefs become politicized. Sure Saddam and Assad were minorities, but one was a Sunni, the other a Shi'ite, but both Ba'athists. Both kept the lid on extremists irrespective of religious beliefs. Stockman's reference to Bush 41 incitement and the subsequent backlash is held up as some sort of proof of bad Sunnis. If the Pope successfully goaded German Roman Catholics to take up arms against Protestants, do you think that it just may be, that a Protestant backlash might be severe in places where Protestants were the majority? Nope, it's got to be Hitler's fault, or maybe even Iran's.

Sean , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:37 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus The assassination of was Soleimani was a deliberately stupid and counterproductive act by America because that is the way to send a message that you are a force to be reckoned with and mean what you say. Costly signalling is honest signalling. In this case the US is signalling they are beyond the rhetoric of the last thirty years and willing to get kinetic .

Iran and their theology of suicide martyrs is the greatest thing that ever happened to the Israeli right, influenced by Shia suicide bombing driving the US marines out of Lebanon the Palestinian massacres of Israeli civilians non combatants got a wall built pening them up, took Sharon to the premiership, and made Israelis turn their back on Ehud Barak. No Israeli leader would now dream of offering what Barak did while he was PM.

Iran is to big to be occupied and that is a fact. What can they be so worried about except ceasing to play independent great power in the Arab mainly Sunni Middle East. Well they are not that powerful. I think the leadership of Iran is taking the free ride they have been getting getting for granted. They did not overthrow Saddam, America did and Iran gained got a windfall.

Saddam was overthrown because the threat he represented to Saudi Arabia had to be neutralised so the US army could be withdrawn from Saudi Arabia, where its infidel presence was causing outrage and resentment. John Bolton got sacked, and a few days later, Iran gets the bright idea to not just threaten Saudi Arabia, but launch–or at least not forbid their Houthie protégés to launch–blatant drone attacks on vital Saudi oil facilities (Sept 2019) thus forcing Trump to send more and more troops there. Iran was sending a message: we can and we will.

My reading of the American government is that their killing of Soleimani was a sign that for them Iran has entered the danger zone where something more that rhetoric and sanctions will be used. Iran can still turn back and be forgiven, but if they choose to go on and take the consequences of ignoring the costly (and therefore sincere) signal that the US has sent, so be it.

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:41 pm GMT
This was as stupid as it gets so far. Confidently expect even stupider actions of the Empire in its impotent rage, now that it is losing its grip. Ever since Iraq invasion, the Empire was undermining itself more efficiently than its worst enemies could have hoped for.
TomSchmidt , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:42 pm GMT
@barr Longer. But try the audiobook while you're doing time-wasting activities like driving. It's how I finally read War and Peace.
TKK , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:44 pm GMT
Hmmm . the best way to prevent more American soldiers being killed is to keep alive the man who has been killing so many of them for 20 years?
TomSchmidt , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:45 pm GMT
@America1st When is appeasement the right policy?
Greg Bacon , says: Website Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:47 pm GMT
Since it's apparent that Israel is making our MENA foreign policy and that the foaming at the mouth Zionists want to start a hot shooting war with Iran, using their American mercs, which US city should be sacrificed to Moloch, the G-d of Israel, to start this war?

New York is the safest bet, since there are tens of thousands loyal Jew sayanim living there who would gladly give all to start a war against Iran. Using the time-tested technique of staging a false flag.

Hail , says: Website Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:48 pm GMT
@Curmudgeon

There is zero evidence that the American contractor killed, was killed by Kata'ib Hezbollah.

And that so-called American was actually a 33-year-old Iraqi named Nawres Hamid .

Hamid was only recently (2017) handed a (cheap) US-citizenship for services rendered to the empire, along with a free pass to settle his family in the US (Sacramento).

War-nut, dump-refugees-on-Middle-America-advocate, and empire-pusher John McCain is, I am sure, saluting the flag of Empire in his grave, a tear in his eye at the perfect alignment of every aspect of this saga of Nawres Hamid.

Tom Walsh , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:48 pm GMT
@Mr. Allen What about the RAF generals and 8th airforce generals who killed millions of German women and children in WW2? Were they more civilized than Soleimani?
Paul , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:50 pm GMT
A war between the United States and Iran is wanted by the Israel First people.
Rich , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:51 pm GMT
@Alistair One thing you got right is that the dead Iranian general belongs with murderers and terrorists like Mandela and Che. He was as much a piece of garbage as them.
TomSchmidt , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:51 pm GMT
@America1st Was the Iraq war in 2003 a success or a failure, by the way? Just so we have a reference point on success or failure with you.
Agent76 , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:52 pm GMT
June 6, 2018 Why the US shouldn't build more foreign bases

The United States maintains almost 800 military bases in over 70 countries, which far exceeds our modern day security requirements.

https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2018/06/06/why-the-us-shouldnt-build-more-foreign-bases/

Jun 18, 2019 4 Times the US Threatened to Stage an Attack and Blame it on Iran

The US has threatened to stage an attack and blame it on Iran over and over in the last few years. Don't let a war based on false pretenses happen again.

Mar 27, 2019 The MIC and Wall Street Rule The World: Period!

SteveK9 , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:54 pm GMT
To dismiss Suleimani as yet another thug, then praise the Shiite militia for driving ISIS from Iraq without acknowledging that it was Soleimani that organized and led that battle (from the front) is a little unfair.
JUSA , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:54 pm GMT
@A123 Says the warmonger. The US needs to get the hell out of the Mideast, period. We are fighting (((someone else's))) war.

@Mark James

Kushner strikes me as more of a neocon and he's obviously down with what they want in Tel Aviv. Which I think is an attack on Iran Nuclear capabilities before the end of the summer.

Ya think? The Kushner family from father to son have publicly declared themselves Israel's most loyal sons. They couldn't have found a better man to be president, a stupid puppet goy as part of the family so they can continue to pull the puppet strings in the background. It's the way (((these people))) operate, for thousands of years. Never the front man, always directing things from the shadow.

Hans Vogel , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:55 pm GMT
@Mike P This stance is very understandable but I believe common sense should tell us otherwise. There can be little doubt that since its colonial war in the Philippines, the US has led the pack in terms of numbers of people killed in what used to be called the Third World.

However, I am quite certain the way many people look at the US today (based on all those millions of poor devils killed in the colonies), wishing their leaders a special place in hell, is no different from how one could look at the English a little over a century ago (Sepoy Mutiny, Sudan, Opium War, etc.). Or, for that matter, how the inhabitants of the Italian states might look at the French during the late 1400s and early 1500s. And what about the German Order in the Baltic, the Byzantines, the Romans etc. etc.?

In other words the US can point to a venerable but sad number of precedents to their own criminal operations abroad. It is impossible to define the worst offender among all those included in the long list of evildoers.

Anyone who enters another country, carrying arms and without the permission of the local inhabitants, deserves to be killed. It is that simple. Unfortunately, because since times immemorial most who do that somehow escape their just fate, one sees the same thing happening again and again.

TKK , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 4:57 pm GMT
As usual, this has been turned into an Israel and Jew demonizing circle jerk, save a few sane commenters.

Let's examine the imbecility of this site:

A Jewish, gay, open borders advocate multimillionaire selects "chosen ones", the gold star commenters who are posting wily nilly to dominate the discourse –

who all happen to be Muslim, Latino, foreign born or rabidly Anti- American?

As commenters rage about the take over of the world by Jews, who flood America with -- –

Muslims, Latinos, and foreign borns, and shove the Alphabet Mafia down our throats.

You couldn't sell this as a straight to DVD screenplay. It's that absurd.

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:00 pm GMT
@Sean

Instead of poking its nose into Arab affairs why does Iran, which managed to impoverish its own middle class in the last three decades and recently had to cut fuel subsidies, not concentrate on its own business?

Have you been living under a rock?
The US froze (stole) billions in Iranian assets post revolution. The complaints about Obama "paying" Iran for the JCPOA, were nothing but a partial return of Iranian assets. So, the Iranians were short billions for 30 years, which could have been used to rebuild. It's kind of like building a house and finding out a big chunk of the cash in your bank account has been frozen, illegally, by the bank. It's there, but you have no access to, or benefit of, it.
Of course all of the sanctions have nothing to do with Iran's problems. In particular, any country that bought oil from Iran would also be sanctioned, causing a massive drop in revenue, plays no part in the economic difficulties. Additionally, Iran exercising its rights under an international treaty – the NPT, which the US repudiates in Iran's case, thereby removing another large source of revenue, is not a factor either. At least, not to you.

CyrusTheGreat , says: Website Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:11 pm GMT
@Realist You have done the greatest description of Stockman.
SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:21 pm GMT
@TKK

The best way to prevent more American soldiers being killed is to keep alive the man who has been killing so many of them for 20 years? [irony]

That's exactly what is being done -- men most responsible for American soldiers being killed are being kept alive:

David Petraeus -- still alive
Robert Kagan -- -still alive
Benjamin Netanyahu -- still alive
George Bush -- – still alive

A year or so ago Mike Morrell commented that "US needs to send maps and crayons to Iran, to demonstrate to them where their borders are: 'Iran HERE, Iran, NOT there.' "

I couldn't get over the irony: USA circles Iran, 7000 miles from continental USA, and somehow Iran is trespassing outside its borders?

Morrell:

"Have the Iranians and the Russians pay a little price. . . . They were supplying weapons that killed Americans . . . kill them covertly . . . I want to scare Assad . . . I want to bomb his offices in the middle of the night, I want to destroy his presidential aircraft . . . I want to destroy his helicopter. . . . I am not advocating assassinating him – I'm not advocating that: I'm advocating going after what he thinks is his power base . . ."

One question: BY WHAT RIGHT?

Desert Fox , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:26 pm GMT
@SteveK9 AL CIADA aka ISIS is a creation of the CIA and the Mossad and MI6 and NATO aka the ZUS and Israel and Britain.

This war in the mideast was brought on by the JOINT Israeli and ZUS attack on the WTC on 911, which was blamed on the muslims to give the ZUS the excuse to destroy the mideast for Israel.

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:32 pm GMT
@Alistair

just as Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Neilson Manddala did.

Would that be the same "Che" Guevara that thought Negroes were inferior, and Nelson Mandela who was convicted of attempting to blow up a power station that would have killed dozens of innocent people?

Soleimani rarely targeted civilians. For those who would point to the suicide bombings in Israel, I would remind you that all Israelis over the age of 18 will be, or have been, in the armed forces, and are subject to call up even after discharge.

Bitindawg , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:37 pm GMT
It's all about Israel. Netanyahu has been plotting scheming and demanding that we, that the U.S. bomb Iran back to the stone ages for nigh onto twenty years. He has even issued coded and veiled threats to nuke Iran himself.

Trump is a Zionist collaborator and he is Netanyahu's shabbos goy. He has willingly co-operated in turning over the U.S. military to be Israel's running dog.

America is a Christian majority country, and Bret Stephens is absolutely correct. The Jews are an intellectually superior people. Us mere Goyim, are by comparison, utterly stupid.

America does not genuinely and honestly support Israel. America has been hornswoggled by the superior intelligence and guile of the Jewish people to support the Jew state.

When the Jews decided to set up their own country at the turn of the twentieth century, they knew that they would need the support of Christendom. To that end they initiated a psy-op, a psychological operation tasked with rewriting Christian theology.

Up until the turn of the twentieth century Christian theology had held that the coming of Jesus Christ had negated all of God's covenants with the Jews. This was known as, replacement theology. That, in essence, Christians had become God's chosen people.

As a consequence, down through the ages, Christians and Jews had been at odds. Christ killer was a common epithet and there were many pogroms.

Jews would have been aware that there was an obscure Christian theology that held, that God had not revoked his covenants with the Jews. That God's covenants with the Jews remained intact and were still in force.

This obscure theology was being preached by a ne'er do well preacher named Cyrus Scofield. What the Jews did, and surely this was, what is known as, "Jew genius", they financed Cyrus on two trips to Europe.

What the Jews did, was to take this obscure dispensationalist christian theology and write it into the King James version of the bible as study notes. When Scofield returned from Europe, he had the manuscript of the Scofield study bible. It is presumed that Rabbi's and yeshiva students produced it.

It was published, produced and distributed by the very Jewish Oxford University Press, which still holds the patent on it, and periodically updates it to keep up with changing times in the Middle East.

There is an ample historical trail that validates this thesis.

There is also an historical trail that reveals that today's Jews, Ashkenazim Jews, are not descendants of the biblical era Jews, that they are Jewish converts from the land of Khazar.

More, that the circumstances of their conversion to Judaism was a process that selected for intelligence and drive and that is why today's Jews are an intellectually superior, driven and successful, albeit, artificial people.

Artificial, as they are not a people that occurred naturally, over time and in a land of their own.

Liberty Mike , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:38 pm GMT
@follyofwar What specific libertarianism of Stockman do you oppose?
Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:38 pm GMT
@JackOH

" . . . [N]ote the condescension towards the people of the Middle East . . .". Yes, I did. I don't know squat about foreign policy, but people who sense they're being looked down on or feel they're being used will sometimes want to get back at those who've patronized them when the opportunity arises. I wish our leaders would take that platitude to heart.

This is a product of American exceptionalism, and it is not confined to the Middle East. The overwhelming majority of Americans refuse to accept that others may be just fine with their own form of government, economic system, and culture.

Agent76 , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:39 pm GMT
Jan 7, 2020 Qassem Soleimani, short biography from South Front

Short biography of the Iranian General, murdered by the Trump regime on 3 January 2020.

Liberty Mike , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:42 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus Note that it has been the white man, not the jew, not the nigger, and not the tranny, who has been the principle architect of such death and destruction.
Agent76 , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:42 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus You are all over it Croesus!

Aug 8, 2016 "I want to scare Assad" Mike Morell on Charlie Rose

Mike Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, discusses the need to put pressure on Syria and Russia. The full conversation airs on PBS on August 8th, 2016.

SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:43 pm GMT
@Rich In the super-liberal town where I live, garbage gets separated: plastics here, paper there, banana peels there.

If Solemeini is "as much a piece of garbage as Mandela, Che," then what category of garbage were Churchill and Stallin?
FDR -- same piece of garbage as Churchill – Stalin, or more like Solemeini?

How about Arthur "Bomber" Harris -- same garbage, or different?

When Solemeini is coordinating military engagements with US military leaders, is he "as much a piece of garbage as Mandela, Che" or is he more like Kagan and Lady Lindsey?

Rev. Spooner , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:45 pm GMT
@9/11 Inside job You are right, stupidity has nothing to do with it, its well thought out and dictated by Israel. The 'tail actually wags the dog.' Americans (most) will never get it as they are trapped in a bubble while the rest of the world has realized it. In Europe the common folks have while the politicians still have to pretend.
When the hour of awakening arrives, I will have no sympathy for the common Jews as they remain silent today. And Jeffery Epstein didn't kill himself.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 5:50 pm GMT
It all started with elimination of Mosadeh so US is guilty!
Rurik , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:02 pm GMT
@Sasha

What "cultural and religious shackles" might these be? Please be more specific, or I might think you mean that they don't have instant access to Hollywood blockbusters or something. The horror!

The Shah was notorious for encouraging young women to emulate the West and wear miniskirts and such.

At first glance, it seemed like a positive change for the better. (who approves of burkas, for instance). But as we all know by now, the ((cultural elites)) of the West, are feverishly using liberalism to transform the societies they dominate into moral and spiritual sewers.

[insert here photo of Madonna or Miley or some other gutter skank as role model for little girls)

In a well-known case, the 'brutal' rapist of a ten year old Austrian boy, at a public swimming pool, had his conviction set aside by the high court, because not enough sympathy was shown to the rapist's cultural proclivities. This is a society that is spiritually dead. Contrast that with Iran's equally well-known treatment of men who rape boys, by hanging them by their necks from cranes, for all to witness.

Iran, clearly has a lot to teach the dying ((murdered)) West.

If headscarves are the price of female dignity and honor, then I suppose it really isn't all that big of a deal, especially when you consider the alternative in the West.

[I'm not posting a photo of Kardashian or some other skank, because you all know what I mean]

9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:05 pm GMT
@Sean bbs.chinadaily.com .cn :"Beirut marine [barracks]bombing was Mossad false flag operation "
'I reported that Marines had been sent there to become the focus of a major incident . The Mossad is to arrange for a number of our Marines to be killed in an accident to be blamed on the Arabs! This will be used to inflame American public opinion to help lead us into war ' Dr. Beter, a Pentagon analyst .
Talha , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:12 pm GMT
Not possibly as stupid as declaring openly that you want to deliberately commit war crimes on public record.

Of course, when you have guys cheer leading you that couldn't find Iran on a map if their life depended on it, you might not notice:

Fox host defends America committing war crimes: "I don't care about Iranian cultural sites and I'll tell you why. If they could they would destroy every single one of our cultural sites and build a mosque on top of it" pic.twitter.com/AJolDVtzJR

-- Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) January 6, 2020

For everyone who wants a refresher on how this is defined as a war crime, the Red Cross has a great section on the evolution of these particular protocols in history. I would highly recommend the section titled:
"Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property"

Which starts:
"Article 1 of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property defines cultural property, for the purposes of the Convention, irrespective of origin or ownership, as:
(a) movable or immovable property of great importance to the cultural heritage of every people, such as monuments of architecture, art or history, whether religious or secular; archaeological sites; groups of buildings which, as a whole, are of historical or artistic interest; works of art; manuscripts, books and other objects of artistic, historical or archaeological interest; as well as scientific collections and important collections of books or archives or of reproductions of the property defined above "
https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v2_rul_rule38

Note that both Iran and we (the US) are signatories:
http://www.unesco.org/eri/la/convention.asp?KO=13637&language=E&order=alpha

Note also that the US did not sign until 2009. The reasons given are outlined here – main one being*:
"The objections raised by DoD at the time were based on the perceived inability to meet the Convention's obligations in the event of nuclear warfare. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, DoD removed its objection to ratification."
http://usicomos.org/hague-convention-and-usicomos/

Peace.

*Note: This is actually a great starting point for those of us who want to prevent preemptive use of nuclear weapons by our government. The DoD is fully aware that nuclear strikes against population centers will be in violation of the very treaties that they have signed onto in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Mr. Allen , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:13 pm GMT
@Tom Walsh

What about the RAF generals and 8th airforce generals who killed millions of German women and children in WW2? Were they more civilized than Soleimani?

I guess I opened a can of worms I didn't mean to I am an American and understand that Americans are not as innocent or as magnanimous as our history books may make it.

But I had also assumed most people would agree that in general, American generals (and Russian generals) would be seen as on the "right side of history" and hence morally infinitely better as compared to Japanese or Nazi generals.

To the extent that is true, we shouldn't be lumping them morally together as the author here is trying to lump American and Iranian generals together.

In my world view, Americans are aggressors in the Middle East today, Iranians are not. So lumping them together is to refuse to see right and wrong .

Back to WWII: most people in the world today are probably happy they are not under Japanese or German rule. So I assume my statements about Nazis and ally generals were correct.

As for whether most people in the world today would be happy from American / Western imperial rule, I would say yes to that. BUT does that REALLY make WWII just another evil war where evil won and where Nazi generals and American and RAF and Russian generals are the same as Japanese and Nazi generals???

9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:17 pm GMT
@Sean bbs.chinadaily.com .cn:" Beirut Marine[barracks]bombing was a Mossad false flag operation"
" I reported that Marines had been sent there to become the focus of a major incident . The Mossad is to arrange for a number of our Marines to be killed in an incident to be blamed on Arabs! This will be used to inflame American public opinion to help us lead into war " Dr. Beter , a Pentagon analyst
AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:17 pm GMT
Looks like the Empire decided not to escalate further the war it started with Iran. Optimists would say that Trump at least shows some wisdom after utter stupidity of engaging in terrorism. Pessimists would say that the Empire is simply afraid. I am on the fence.
9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:22 pm GMT
streetwisereports.com : "Israel made the [false flag] attack on the Saudi Oil fields " Special Opinion Piece by Bob Moriarty
MLK , says: Show Comment January 8, 2020 at 6:27 pm GMT
@A123 Thanks for doing your part to introduce some sanity here.

Rather obviously, Iran needs to get it together. I get that it's unhappy that Trump was elected, and wasn't removed from office as the Democrats promised them, so they could get back to the Obama giveaway.

But, hands down, Iran wins the competition for the worst handling of relations with the United States since Trump took the oath.

Now, the ayatollah's train wreck has resulted in the death of his beloved Soleimani.

[Jan 08, 2020] As Michael Flynn relates in his interview with Mehdi Hassan, once kicked out, the Obama Administration took steps that they knew would lead to the creation of ISIS in the region, and fired him as the head of the DIA after he had written them a memo warning them about this.

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

masoud , Jan 7 2020 0:50 utc | 143

@Dan

Iran was definitely involved in organizing, supplying, and even to some extent arming(with small arms) various Iraqi militias. But the best way we know that it wasn't directly involved in attacking US patrols, was that so few soldiers died. Iran has no need to improvise explosive devices, it manufactures landmines on a mass scale which are much more reliable and orders of magnitude more deadly, and operationally easier to use.

Most of the resistance to the US occupation in the Shia regions of Iraq were in the form of non violent demonstrations spearheaded by Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani(who btw is also Iranian).

The nonviolent demonstrators were routinely massacred for their trouble, by both the takfiri resistance and the occupation troops, but eventually succeeded in their demands for a democratic vote wherein they elected a government that demanded the US leave.

And as Michael Flynn relates in his interview with Mehdi Hassan, once kicked out, the Obama Administration took steps that they knew would lead to the creation of ISIS in the region, and fired him as the head of the DIA after he had written them a memo warning them about this.

Michael Flynn, who btw is rabidly anti Iranian, then became the first victim of the Russiagaters when Trump was elected into office.

[Jan 07, 2020] The neocon foreign policy brings only bankruptcy moral and financial by Ron Paul

Jan 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

President Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told us the US had to assassinate Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani last week because he was planning "Imminent attacks" on US citizens. I don't believe them.

Why not? Because Trump and the neocons – like Pompeo – have been lying about Iran for the past three years in an effort to whip up enough support for a US attack. From the phony justification to get out of the Iran nuclear deal, to blaming Yemen on Iran, to blaming Iran for an attack on Saudi oil facilities, the US Administration has fed us a steady stream of lies for three years because they are obsessed with Iran.

And before Trump's obsession with attacking Iran, the past four US Administrations lied ceaselessly to bring about wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Serbia, Somalia, and the list goes on.

At some point, when we've been lied to constantly and consistently for decades about a "threat" that we must "take out" with a military attack, there comes a time where we must assume they are lying until they provide rock solid, irrefutable proof. Thus far they have provided nothing. So I don't believe them.

President Trump has warned that his administration has already targeted 52 sites important to Iran and Iranian culture and the US will attack them if Iran retaliates for the assassination of Gen. Soleimani. Because Iran has no capacity to attack the United States, Iran's retaliation if it comes will likely come against US troops or US government officials stationed or visiting the Middle East. I have a very easy solution for President Trump that will save the lives of American servicemembers and other US officials: just come home. There is absolutely no reason for US troops to be stationed throughout the Middle East to face increased risk of death for nothing.

In our Ron Paul Liberty Report program last week we observed that the US attack on a senior Iranian military officer on Iraqi soil – over the objection of the Iraq government – would serve to finally unite the Iraqi factions against the United States. And so it has: on Sunday the Iraqi parliament voted to expel US troops from Iraqi soil. It may have been a non-binding resolution, but there is no mistaking the sentiment. US troops are not wanted and they are increasingly in danger. So why not listen to the Iraqi parliament?

Bring our troops home, close the US Embassy in Baghdad – a symbol of our aggression – and let the people of the Middle East solve their own problems. Maintain a strong defense to protect the United States, but end this neocon pipe-dream of ruling the world from the barrel of a gun. It does not work. It makes us poorer and more vulnerable to attack. It makes the elites of Washington rich while leaving working and middle class America with the bill. It engenders hatred and a desire for revenge among those who have fallen victim to US interventionist foreign policy. And it results in millions of innocents being killed overseas.

There is no benefit to the United States to trying to run the world. Such a foreign policy brings only bankruptcy – moral and financial. Tell Congress and the Administration that for America's sake we demand the return of US troops from the Middle East! (Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)

[Jan 07, 2020] As long as Neocons and Christian Zionists run our foreign policy we're screwed.

Jan 07, 2020 | www.unz.com

Z-man , says: Show Comment January 7, 2020 at 1:27 pm GMT

Yes, as long as Neoco hens and Christian Zionists run our foreign policy we're screwed.
BTW, Mike Pompeo or as I affectionately call him; Lard face, Plump'eo, crazed CZ-zealot fat boy, etc., is now a legitimate target of the Iranians. May Allah provide justice to the family of Soleimani. (Grin) And look, I'm wishing 'ill will' on a zealot 'goy' (gentile) instead of a typical Neo-cohen snake, how ironic. (Another grin)
A positve spin:
With the 'incorrect' memo leaked by the Pentagon about an orderly exit from Iraq this can be the silver lining in all this mess. This assassination might actually accelerate the exiting of US forces from Iraq and the surrounding quagmires. Who knows, Trump might be a genius.
Again, NO MORE WARS FOR ZION, BDS NOW, ONE STATE SOLUTION-PALESTINE.
And to really stick it to Neo cohens (My apologies to Prof. Steven Cohen ), Trump-Putin Axis Da!! Destroy the Deep State and the CABAL .

[Jan 06, 2020] While Donald Trump is indeed a pathological liar and monumental fraud and it seems that the vast majority of his deplorables (I'm an ex-deplorable) have tripled down on their love and support of him despite his broken promise of ending "these stupid wars".

Jan 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

KenH , says: Show Comment January 4, 2020 at 7:46 pm GMT

Much as been made about Soleimani's alleged responsibility for the deaths of 600 American servicemen but what people forget is that Iranian military personnel would be legitimate targets if they invaded Mexico or Canada. That 600 figure is probably a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people Trump has killed with his unprecedented number of drone strikes since taking office.

Whatever the case Donald Trump is indeed a pathological liar and monumental fraud and it seems that the vast majority of his deplorables (I'm an ex-deplorable) have tripled down on their love and support of him despite his broken promise of ending "these stupid wars".

[Jan 06, 2020] US-NATO-backed Israeli think tank Don't destroy ISIS; it's a 'useful tool' against Iran, Hezbollah, Syria The Grayzone

Notable quotes:
"... Several days after Efraim Inbar's paper was published, David M. Weinberg, director of public affairs at the BESA Center, wrote a similarly-themed op-ed titled "Should ISIS be wiped out?" in Israel Hayom, a free and widely read right-wing newspaper funded by conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson that strongly favors the agenda of Israel's right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . ..."
"... On his website, Weinberg includes BESA in a list of resources for " hasbara ," or pro-Israel propaganda. It is joined by the ostensible civil rights organization the Anti-Defamation League and other pro-Israel think tanks, such as the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). ..."
"... In the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the CIA and U.S. allies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia armed, trained and funded Islamic fundamentalists in their fight against the Soviet Union and Afghanistan's Soviet-backed socialist government. These U.S.-backed rebels, known as the mujahideen, were the predecessors of al-Qaida and the Taliban. ..."
Jan 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

The director of an Israeli think tank backed by the US government and NATO, BESA, wrote that ISIS "can be a useful tool in undermining" Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, and Russia and should not be defeated. By Ben Norton / Salon

According to a US-backed think tank that does contract work for NATO and the Israeli government, the West should not destroy ISIS, the fascist Islamist extremist group that is committing genocide and ethnically cleansing minority groups in Syria and Iraq.

Why? The so-called Islamic State "can be a useful tool in undermining" Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and Russia, argues the think tank's director.

"The continuing existence of IS serves a strategic purpose," wrote Efraim Inbar in "The Destruction of Islamic State Is a Strategic Mistake," a paper published on Aug. 2.

By cooperating with Russia to fight the genocidal extremist group, the United States is committing a "strategic folly" that will "enhance the power of the Moscow-Tehran-Damascus axis," Inbar argued, implying that Russia, Iran and Syria are forming a strategic alliance to dominate the Middle East.

"The West should seek the further weakening of Islamic State, but not its destruction," he added. "A weak IS is, counterintuitively, preferable to a destroyed IS."

BESA Israeli think tank ISIS useful tool

US government and NATO support for ISIS-whitewashing Israeli think tank

Efraim Inbar, an influential Israeli scholar, is the director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, a think tank that says its mission is to advance "a realist, conservative, and Zionist agenda in the search for security and peace for Israel."

The think tank, known by its acronym BESA, is affiliated with Israel's Bar Ilan University and has been supported by the U.S. embassy in Israel, the NATO Mediterranean Initiative, the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, and the Israeli government itself.

BESA also says it "conducts specialized research on contract to the Israeli foreign affairs and defense establishment, and for NATO."

In his paper, Inbar suggested that it would be a good idea to prolong the war in Syria, which has destroyed the country, killing hundreds of thousands of people and displacing more than half the population.

'Stability is not a value in and of itself. It is desirable only if it serves our interests.'

As for the argument that defeating ISIS would make the Middle East more stable, Efraim Inbar maintained: "Stability is not a value in and of itself. It is desirable only if it serves our interests."

"Instability and crises sometimes contain portents of positive change," he added.

Inbar stressed that the West's "main enemy" is not the self-declared Islamic State; it is Iran. He accused the Obama administration of "inflat[ing] the threat from IS in order to legitimize Iran as a 'responsible' actor that will, supposedly, fight IS in the Middle East."

Despite Inbar's claims, Iran is a mortal enemy of ISIS, particularly because the Iranian government is founded on Shia Islam, a branch that the Sunni extremists of ISIS consider a form of apostasy. ISIS and its affiliates have massacred and ethnically cleansed Shia Muslims in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

Inbar noted that ISIS threatens the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. If the Syrian government survives, Inbar argued, "Many radical Islamists in the opposition forces, i.e., Al Nusra and its offshoots, might find other arenas in which to operate closer to Paris and Berlin." Jabhat al-Nusra is Syria's al-Qaida affiliate, and one of the most powerful rebel groups in the country. (It recently changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.)

Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based militia that receives weapons and support from Iran, is also "being seriously taxed by the fight against IS, a state of affairs that suits Western interests," Inbar wrote.

"Allowing bad guys to kill bad guys sounds very cynical, but it is useful and even moral to do so if it keeps the bad guys busy and less able to harm the good guys," Inbar explained.

More Israeli think tankers warn against defeating 'useful idiot' ISIS

Several days after Efraim Inbar's paper was published, David M. Weinberg, director of public affairs at the BESA Center, wrote a similarly-themed op-ed titled "Should ISIS be wiped out?" in Israel Hayom, a free and widely read right-wing newspaper funded by conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson that strongly favors the agenda of Israel's right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu .

In the piece, Weinberg defended his colleague's argument and referred to ISIS as a "useful idiot." He called the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran "rotten" and argued that Iran and Russia pose a "far greater threat than the terrorist nuisance of Islamic State."

Weinberg also described the BESA Center as "a place of intellectual ferment and policy creativity," without disclosing that he is that think tank's director of public affairs.

After citing responses from two other associates of his think tank who disagree with their colleague, Weinberg concluded by writing: "The only certain thing is that Ayatollah Khamenei is watching this quintessentially Western open debate with amusement."

On his website, Weinberg includes BESA in a list of resources for " hasbara ," or pro-Israel propaganda. It is joined by the ostensible civil rights organization the Anti-Defamation League and other pro-Israel think tanks, such as the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP).

Weinberg has worked extensively with the Israeli government and served as a spokesman for Bar Ilan University. He also identifies himself on his website as a "columnist and lobbyist who is a sharp critic of Israel's detractors and of post-Zionist trends in Israel."

'Stress the "holy war" aspect': Long history of the US and Israel supporting Islamist extremists

Efraim Inbar boasts an array of accolades. He was a member of the political strategic committee for Israel's National Planning Council, a member of the academic committee of the Israeli military's history department and the chair of the committee for the national security curriculum at the Ministry of Education.

He also has a prestigious academic record, having taught at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown and lectured at Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Oxford and Yale. Inbar served as a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and was appointed as a Manfred Wörner NATO fellow.

The strategy Inbar and Weinberg have proposed, that of indirectly allowing a fascist Islamist group to continue fighting Western enemies, is not necessarily a new one in American and Israeli foreign policy circles. It is reminiscent of the U.S. Cold War policy of supporting far-right Islamist extremists in order to fight communists and left-wing nationalists.

In the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the CIA and U.S. allies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia armed, trained and funded Islamic fundamentalists in their fight against the Soviet Union and Afghanistan's Soviet-backed socialist government. These U.S.-backed rebels, known as the mujahideen, were the predecessors of al-Qaida and the Taliban.

In the 1980s, Israel adopted a similar policy. It supported right-wing Islamist groups like Hamas in order to undermine the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, a coalition of various left-wing nationalist and communist political parties.

"Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel's creation," Avner Cohen, a retired Israeli official who worked in Gaza for more than 20 years, told The Wall Street Journal.

As far back as 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower insisted to the CIA that, in order to fight leftist movements in the Middle East, "We should do everything possible to stress the 'holy war' aspect."

Ben Norton Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton . bennorton.com Share Tweet Filed under: Bashar al-Assad , BESA , David M Weinberg , Efraim Inbar , hasbara , Hezbollah , Iran , ISIS , NATO , Russia , Syria

[Jan 06, 2020] Soleimani murder what could happen next by The Saker

Jan 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

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First, a quick recap of the situation

We need to begin by quickly summarizing what just happened:

General Soleimani was in Baghdad on an official visit to attend the funeral of the Iraqis murdered by the US on the 29th The US has now officially claimed responsibility for this murder The Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has officially declared that " However, a severe retaliation awaits the criminals who painted their corrupt hands with his and his martyred companions' blood last night "

The US paints itself – and Iran – into a corner

The Iranians simply had no other choice than to declare that there will be a retaliation. There are a few core problems with what happens next. Let's look at them one by one:

First, it is quite obvious from the flagwaving claptrap in the US that Uncle Shmuel is "locked and loaded" for even more macho actions and reaction. In fact, Secretary Esper has basically painted the US into what I would call an "over-reaction corner" by declaring that " the game has changed " and that the US will take " preemptive action " whenever it feels threatened . Thus, the Iranians have to assume that the US will over-react to anything even remotely looking like an Iranian retaliation. No less alarming is that this creates the absolutely perfect conditions for a false flag à la " USS Liberty " . Right now, the Israelis have become at least as big a danger for US servicemen and facilities in the entire Middle-East as are the Iranians themselves. How? Simple! Fire a missile/torpedo/mine at any USN ship and blame Iran. We all know that if that happens the US political elites will do what they did the last time around: let US servicemen die and protect Israel at all costs (read up on the USS Liberty if you don't know about it) There is also a very real risk of "spontaneous retaliations" by other parties (not Iran or Iranian allies) . In fact, in his message, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has specifically declared that " Martyr Suleimani is an international face to the Resistance and all lovers of the Resistance share a demand in retaliation for his blood. All friends – as well as all enemies – must know the path of Fighting and Resistance will continue with double the will and the final victory is decidedly waiting for those who fight in this path. " He is right, Soleimani was loved and revered by many people all over the globe, some of whom might decided to avenge his death. This means that we might well see some kind of retaliation which, of course, will be blamed on Iran but which might not be the result of any Iranian actions at all. Finally, should the Iranians decide not to retaliate, then we can be absolutely sure that Uncle Shmuel will see that as a proof of his putative "invincibility" and take that as a license to engage in even more provocative actions. A spiritual father kisses his beloved son

If we look at these four factors together we would have to come to the conclusion that Iran HAS to retaliate and HAS to do so publicly .

Why?

Because whether the Iranian do retaliate or not, they are almost guaranteed another US attack in retaliation for anything looking like a retaliation, whether Iran is involved or not .

The dynamics of internal US politics

Next, let's look at the internal political dynamics in the US:

I have always claimed that Donald Trump is a "disposable President" for the Neocons . What do I mean by that? I mean that the Neocons have used Trump to do all sorts of truly fantastically dumb things (pretty much ALL his policy decisions towards Israel and/or Syria) for a very simple reason. If Trump does something extremely dumb and dangerous, he will either get away with it, in which case the Neocons will be happy, or he will either fail or the consequences of his decisions will be catastrophic, at which point the Neocons will jettison him and replace him by an even more subservient individual (say Pence or Pelosi). In other words, for the Neocons to have Trump do something both fantastically dangerous and fantastically stupid is a win-win situation !

Right now, the Dems (still the party favored by the Neocons) seem to be dead-set into committing political suicide with that ridiculous (and treacherous!) impeachment nonsense. Now think about this from the Neocon point of view. They might be able to get the US goyim to strike Iran AND get rid of Trump. I suppose that their thinking will go something like this:

Trump looks set to win 2020. We don't want that. However, we have been doing everything in our power to trigger a US attack on Iran since pretty much 1979. Let's have Trump do that. If he "wins" (by whatever definition – more about that further below), we win. If he loses, the Iranians will still be in a world of pain and we can always jettison him like a used condom (used to supposedly safely screw somebody with no risks to yourself). Furthermore, if the region explodes, this will help our beloved Bibi and unite US Jewry behind Israel. Finally, if Israel gets attacked, we will immediately demand (and, of course, obtain) a massive US attack on Iran, supported by the entire US political establishment and media. And, lastly, should Israel be hit hard, then we can always use our nukes and tell the goyim that "Iran wants to gas 6 million Jews and wipe the only democracy in the Middle-East off the face of the earth" or something equally insipid.

Ever since Trump made it into the White House, we saw him brown-nose the Israel Lobby with a delectation which is extreme even by US standards. I suppose that this calculation goes something along the lines of "with the Israel Lobby behind me, I am safe in the White House". He is obviously too stupidly narcissistic to realize that he has been used all along. To his (or one of his key advisor's) credit, he did NOT allow the Neocons to start a major war against Russia, China, the DPRK, Venezuela, Yemen, Syria, etc. However, Iran is a totally different case as it is the "number one" target the Neocons and Israel wanted strike and destroy. The Neocons even had this motto " boys go to Baghdad, real men go to Tehran ". Now that Uncle Shmuel has lost all this wars of choice, now that the US armed forces have no credibility left, now is the time to restore the "macho" self-image of Uncle Shmuel and, indeed, "go to Tehran" so to speak.

The Dems (Biden) are already saying that Trump just " tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox ", as if they cared about anything except their own, petty, political goals and power. Still, I have to admit that Biden's metaphor is correct – that is exactly what Trump (and his real bosses) have done.

If we assume that I am correct in my evaluation that Trump is the Neocon's/Israeli's "disposable President", then we also have to accept the fact that the US armed forces the Neocon's/Israeli's "disposable armed forces" and that the US as a nation is also the Neocon's/Israeli's "disposable nation". This is very bad news indeed, as this means that from the Neocon/Israeli point of view, there are no real risks into throwing the US into a war with Iran .

In truth, the position of the Dems is a masterpiece of hypocrisy which can be summed up as follows: the assassination of Soleimani is a wonderful event, but Trump is a monster for making it happen .

A winner, no?

What would the likely outcome of a US war on Iran be?

I have written so often about this topic that I won't go into all the possible scenarios here. All I will say is the following:

This is a HUGE asymmetry which basically means that the US cannot win and Iran can only win.

And, not, the Iranians don't have to defeat CENTCOM/NATO! They don't need to engage in large scale military operations. All they need to do is: remain "standing" once the dust settles down.

ORDER IT NOW

Ho Chi Minh once told the French " You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win ". This is exactly why Iran will eventually prevail, maybe at a huge cost (Amalek must be destroyed, right?), but that will still be a victory.

Now let's look at the two most basic types of war scenarios: outside Iran and inside Iran.

The Iranians, including General Soleimani himself, have publicly declared many times that by trying to surround Iran and the Middle-East with numerous forces and facilities the US have given Iran a long list of lucrative targets. The most obvious battlefield for a proxy war is clearly Iraq where there are plenty of pro and anti Iranian forces to provide the conditions for a long, bloody and protracted conflict (Moqtada al-Sadr has just declared that the Mahdi Army will be remobilized). But Iraq is far from being the only place where an explosion of violence can take place: the ENTIRE MIDDLE-EAST is well within Iranian "reach", be it by direct attack or by attack by sympathetic/allied forces. Next to Iraq, there is also Afghanistan and, potentially, Pakistan. In terms of a choice of instruments, the Iranian options range from missile attacks, to special forces direct action strikes, to sabotage and many, many more options. The only limitation here is the imagination of the Iranians and, believe me, they have plenty of that!

If such a retaliation happens, the US will have two basic options: strike at Iranian friends and allies outside Iran or, as Esper has now suggested, strike inside Iran. In the latter case, we can safely assume that any such attack will result in a massive Iranian retaliation on US forces and facilities all over the region and a closure of the Strait of Hormuz.

Keep in mind that the Neocon motto " boys go to Baghdad, real men go to Tehran " implicitly recognizes the fact that a war against Iran would be qualitatively (and even quantitatively) different war than a war against Iraq. And, this is true, if the US seriously plans to strike inside Iran they would be faced with an explosion which would make all the wars since WWII look minor in comparison. But the temptation to prove to the world that Trump and his minions are "real men" as opposed to "boys" might be too strong, especially for a president who does not understand that he is a disposable tool in the hands of the Neocons.

Now, let's quickly look at what will NOT happen

Russia and/or China will not get militarily involved in this one. Neither will the US use this crisis as a pretext to attack Russia and/or China. The Pentagon clearly has no stomach for a war (conventional or nuclear) against Russia and neither does Russia have any desire for a war against the US. The same goes for China. However, it is important to remember that Russia and China have other options, political and covert ones, to really hurt the US and help Iran. There is the UNSC where Russia and China will block any US resolution condemning Iran. Yes, I know, Uncle Shmuel does not give a damn about the UN or international law, but most of the rest of the world very much does. This asymmetry is further exacerbated by Uncle Shmuel's attention span (weeks at most) with the one of Russia and China (decades). Does that matter?

Absolutely!

If the Iraqis officially declare that the US is an occupation force (which it is), an occupation force which engages in acts of war against Iraq (which it does) and that the Iraqi people want Uncle Shmuel and his hypocritical talking points about "democracy" to pack and leave, what can our Uncle Shmuel do? He will try to resist it, of course, but once the tiny figleaf of "nation building" is gone, replaced by yet another ugly and brutal US occupation, the political pressure on the US to get the hell out will become extremely hard to manage, both outside and even inside the US.

In fact, Iranian state television called Trump's order to kill Soleimani " the biggest miscalculation by the U.S." since World War II. "The people of the region will no longer allow Americans to stay," it said.

Next, both Russia and China can help Iran militarily with intelligence, weapons systems, advisors and economically, in overt and covert ways.

Finally, both Russia and China have the means to, shall we say, "strongly suggest" to other targets on the US "country hit list" that now is the perfect time to strike at US interests (say, in Far East Asia).

So Russia and China can and will help, but they will do so with what the CIA likes to call "plausible deniability".

Back The Big Question: what can/will Iran do next?

The Iranians are far most sophisticated players than the mostly clueless Americans. So the first thing I would suggest is that the Iranians are unlikely to do something the US is expecting them to do. Either they will do something totally different, or they will act much later, once the US lowers its guard (as it always does after declaring "victory").

I asked a well-informed Iranian friend whether it was still possible to avoid war. Here is what he replied:

Yes I do believe fullscale war can be avoided. I believe that Iran can try to use its political influence to unite Iraqi political forces to officially ask for the removal of US troops in Iraq. Kicking the US out of Iraq will mean that they can no longer occupy eastern Syria either as their troops will be in danger between two hostile states. If the Americans leave Syria and Iraq, that will be the ultimate revenge for Iran without having fired a single shot.

I have to say that I concur with this idea: one of the most painful things Iran could do next would be to use this truly fantastically reckless event to kick the US out of Iraq first, and Syria next. That option, if it can be exercised, might also protect Iranian lives and the Iranian society from a direct US attack. Finally, such an outcome would give the murder of General Soleimani a very different and beautiful meaning: this martyr's blood liberated the Middle-East!

Finally, if that is indeed the strategy chosen by Iran, this does not at all mean that on a tactical level the Iranians will not extract a price from US forces in the region or even elsewhere on the planet. For example, there are some rather credible rumors that the destruction of PanAm 103 over Scotland was not a Libyan action, but an Iranian one in direct retaliation for the deliberate shooting down by the USN of IranAir 655 Airbus over the Persian Gulf. I am not saying that I know for a fact that this is what really happened, only that Iran does have retaliatory options not limited to the Middle-East.

Conclusion: we wait for Iran's next move

The Iraqi Parliament is scheduled to debate a resolution demanding the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. I will just say that while I do not believe that the US will gentlemanly agree to any such demands, it will place the conflict in the political realm. That is – by definition – much more desirable than any form of violence, however justified it might seem. So I strongly suggest to those who want peace that they pray that the Iraqi MPs show some honor and spine and tell Uncle Shmuel what every country out there always wanted from the US: Yankees, go home!

If that happens this will be a total victory for Iran and yet another abject defeat (self-defeat, really) by Uncle Shmuel. This is the best of all possible scenarios.

But if that does not happen, then all bets are off and the momentum triggered by this latest act of US terrorism will result in many more deaths.

As of right now (19:24 UTC) I still think that there is a roughly 80% chance of full scale war in the Middle-East and, again, will leave 20% of "unexpected events" (hopefully good ones).

PS: this is a text I wrote under great time pressure and it has not be edited for typos or other mistakes. I ask the self-appointed Grammar Gestapo to take a break and not protest again. Thank you


Harbinger , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:17 pm GMT

I'm just waiting for the usual suspects to come on here denying it had anything to do with Israel and Judaism.
Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:23 pm GMT
Scenarios 3 and 4 look the most likely in this no-win scenario for Iran at the moment. It would probably be advantageous to Iran to let proxies retaliate, although that would further provoke the blatant US aggression of scenario 4.

The best we can hope for, aside from Russia and China covertly assisting Iran with intelligence and materiel, is for the latter to possibly trigger a Suez Crisis-style scenario by threatening to dump its holdings of US sovereign debt. (The former country used to hold something like $160 billion in US bonds, but has since 2013 sold off all but approximately $15 billion.) However, I doubt the Chinese have the appetite for that -- they still depend vitally on the US market for their goods. And Japan, which holds about as much of that debt as China, will never follow suit. They willingly tanked their own economy to prop up the US with the Plaza Accord; and will likely continue to be a bootlick to American power to the bitter end.

Rich , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:36 pm GMT
The Iranians could not defeat the ragtag forces of Saddam Hussein, but they can defeat the United States? Preposterous. The Iranians will do nothing. Their dead general was a member of the military and a legitimate target. If they are foolish enough to attack the US, or its interests, they will suffer enormous losses. I understand that reality can sometimes conflict with a person's wishes, but the reality here is that as long as the US doesn't try to occupy Iran, they can cripple their military and destroy their infrastructure. Iran will do nothing,.
JimDandy , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:47 pm GMT
80%, eh?
Anonymous [607] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:51 pm GMT
@Rich I understand that reality can sometimes conflict with a person's wishes

Are you really sure about that? LOL!!

A123 , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:52 pm GMT

I have written so often about this topic that I won't go into all the possible scenarios here. All I will say is the following:

-- For the US, "winning" means achieving regime change or, failing that, destroying the Iranian economy.
-- For Iran, "winning" simply means to survive the US onslaught.

This is a HUGE asymmetry which basically means that the US cannot win and Iran can only win.

Apparently the author has forgotten what happened a couple months ago. The economic situation is so bad in Iran, people are rioting against the corrupt Ayatollah. (1). Thousands arrested and over a hundred dead.

All the U.S. has to do to win is hold the line. The situation is indeed assymetrical:

-- By refusing to put boots on the ground in Iran, there are few options open to Iran that will hurt the U.S.
-- The U.S. can freely strike against government elites like Soleimani if the Ayatollah tries to escalate.

Attacking the embassy was clearly Khameni's desperate effort to shore up personal weakness at home. Not only did he fail to keep the embassy, he also lost a key terrorist. The weak leader just became much weaker.

How long will the IRGC remain willing to die for a sociopathic Ayatollah?

One has to believe at some point, elements of the IRGC will dispatch Khameni to save their own lives. Iran under military rule is unlikely to become friendly with the U.S. However, for their own personal goals they will bring troops home and suspend funding to groups like al'Hezbollah and al'Hamas. These steps would do much to improve regional stability.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://iranian.com/2019/11/27/iran-arrests-7000-fuel-protesters-in-one-week/

Ilya G Poimandres , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:53 pm GMT
@Rich The Iranians were not trying to defeat the Iraqis, nor will they the US. They aim to survive the violent onslaught of aggressors, and damage them enough so they won't think to try again.

Soleimani was a legitimate target if Iran and the US were in a state of declared war. They are not.

Here, I know this is UK law, but it strikes the right tone: this action was pure terrorism.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/section/1

Eighthman , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:55 pm GMT
@Rich ragtag forces in Afghanistan ( even more rag tag than Iraq) have defeated the US.

The US must bomb and kill – apart from actually encountering another irregular war that they keep losing.

I can think of some Iranian responses. Hostage taking by allied but deniable groups of US personnel. Build out intercontinental missiles in quantity and shield them. Buy Russian weapons like S-400 in a few months.

TaintedCanker , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:56 pm GMT
There's a lot of meaningful content in this article. The only problem is that it is one-sided with more of a dislike of Israel and USA individually than Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Yemen, UAE, Qatar combined.

Where Saker would lead us is to the same inaction of Ben Rhodes.

The problem is that Ben Rhodes would want to collaborate with Suleimani more than Republicans and conservatives or allies such as Israel, UK, Poland.

This leaves the Obama galaxy of superstar stateswomen and statesmen with an unrealistic vision of the world.

This turns into Gaddafi being killed because he is easy to kill, triggering a vacuum and pulling in ISIS and Iran, as well as turning loose 1M people to run try to sneak into Europe.

This same myopic worldview leads to pushing Russia to the breaking point by working with similar minded EU leaders to "flip" Ukraine. That turned out badly and now Obama's statesmen want to hide it.

Don't forget that Kerry is married into Iranian diplomats at the top level.

Paul holland , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:57 pm GMT
Best idea would be to murder a Trump Yahoo like Sheldon Aidelson or Alan Douchewitz.

Would humiliate trump personally but he could not react

bruce county , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:57 pm GMT
@Rich Wishful thinking
Thre are many other scenarios and players to consider. America will not be allowed to arbitrarily mass forces and engage their enemy at free will.
Ignatius , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:58 pm GMT
My take is that the timing of death of General Soleimani and the fact that President Trump is pending impeachment in the US Senate is not a mere coincidence. Part of me thinks that TPTB set Trump up to be impeached and gave him an ultimatum to facilitate a military conflict with Iran or lose his presidency by way of impeachment.

What seems more bogus, the pretense for impeachment or the pretense for war with Iran?

Tulip , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:01 pm GMT
There will be a war with Iran if Trump wants a war with Iran.

But its not clear that Trump wants a full-on war. He could have had one by now if he wanted it. He is more of a business man than a warlord at heart, and lacks the insecurity of a W. He doesn't need to pose in uniform on an aircraft carrier to feel virile, he can just bang Melania.

On the other hand, he won't allow himself to look weak, and he will retaliate. In addition, there is lots of evidence in the public record that Trump has a long-standing antipathy to Iran and its government. And Trump has many "friends" that would be thrilled by an Iran expedition.

Iran would be crazy to provoke Trump in a way that would likely lead to war. Iraq showed the U.S. can take down a government and leave the country wrecked. Sure, the U.S. won't "win" in Iraq, but that doesn't mean Saddam won or the Iraqi people. Iran would be messier, but I lack the Saker's "optimism". The Iranian government will want to survive, not gamble. [Ho Chi Mihn didn't actively seek an American invasion.] The question is whether Iran can de-escalate while saving face (and while other forces, who would love to see the U.S. invade Iran, do everything to escalate affairs).

Leaving aside "winning the war", it would look great on T.V. heading into the 2020 election even if it ends in disaster, and permit cheap attacks on the Democrats in the climate of jingoism sure to follow the first bombs. If Trump is any politician worth his salt, he is more interested in winning the next election than in America winning some long-term ME war.

Not Raul , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:06 pm GMT
Let's say the Saudis attack the USA again like they did on 9-11, Iran gets blamed (of course), and Trump responds by nuking Iran, killing half of the population within a few hours, and 95% within a year.

How exactly does Iran "win" after that?

JamesinNM , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:07 pm GMT
You must understand, Israel would surreptitiously nuke the U.S. if they believed it was needed to adequately control the U.S.
JamesinNM , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:10 pm GMT
@Harbinger Zionism, not Judaism. Two entirely separate things. Compare Romans 2:28-29 versus Revelation 2:9 and 3:9. Research the reader survey "Defense of True Israel" to identify today's true Israel.
journey80 , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:13 pm GMT
It doesn't matter whether Iran decides to retaliate – Israel will retaliate for them. Netanyahu will have his president-for-life, get-out-of-jail war. This could have been an Israeli strike that Trump was forced, or manipulated, into taking credit for. Nothing would be surprising, so long as that shabby little grifter controls U.S. foreign policy.
nokangaroos , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:19 pm GMT
If Russia and China had any itch to go in, they would have done so in Afghanistan at next to no cost to themselves (of course this only emboldened the Empire of Evil).
And with the exception of Mohammed Reza Shah (installed by coup in 1941 because his daddy, an old-school Kurdish brigand, was way too reasonable – something that is conveniently forgotten) Iran has always taken pains to hold both the Anglos and the Russians at arm´s length.

That much at least is going to change.

Desert Fox , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:20 pm GMT
Not only was the joint Israeli and ZUS attack on the USS Liberty a false flag, but even worse than that was the false flag joint Israeli and ZUS attack on the WTC on 911 , and since they have gotten away with these false flags, no doubt, they will do another to get the excuse to finish off Iran.

The only nation standing in the way of the attack on Iran is Russia, and Russia is not going to let Iran be destroyed as Russia threw down the gauntlet in Syria and Russia's top generals ie Gerasimov and Shoygu know that Russia is next and will not stand by and let Iran go down, even if Putin is reluctant to save Iran, which I believe Putin will also know Russia is next on the list.

Israel and the ZUS want a nuclear war with Russia and I believe they will cause a false flag to have it and they believe they can ride out a nuclear exchange in their DUMBS ie deep underground military bases which they have throughout the ZUS and ZEurope and Israel.

Israel and the ZUS are not content with destroying the middle east, they now want to destroy the world.

SeekerofthePresence , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:22 pm GMT
In a land of bravado
You can't get any dumber;
To history and morals
Mind and heart any number.
annamaria , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:28 pm GMT
@Rich "Their dead general was a member of the military and a legitimate target."

-- Let's name all Israeli generals, one by one, and call them legitimate targets.

Your puny theocratic state of Israel has been the cause of the ongoing mass slaughter in the Middle East. Each of Israeli citizens took a bath full of blood of innocent civilians of all ages, figuratively speaking.

Iran has not attacked any country. Israel has. It was the perfidious AIPAC of Israel-firsters that has been working non-stop on promoting the wars of aggression in the name of Eretz Israel. Iraq, Syria, Libya have been destroyed in accordance with Oded Yinon subhuman plan. Iran is the next.

The hapless Europeans and Americans are finally learning about the viciousness of Jewish sadists. Instead of "almost truthful" holobiz stories forged by Eli Wiesel and Anne Frank' dad, the schools should have been teaching the biographies of Jewish mega-criminals such as Lazar Kaganovich (Stalin's right hand and organizer of Holodomor in Ukraine), Naftali Frenkel (an inventor of "industrialized" death in the GULAG), and the despicable mass-murderess Rozalia Zalkind.

The State of Israel has been founded by self-proclaimed terrorists and remains the nest of terrorists. Even the zionized Wikipedia admits that the Jewish State sponsors terrorism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_state-sponsored_terrorism

In case you do not know what Baby Yar means, here a picture for you: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/rights-groups-demand-israel-stop-arming-neo-nazis-in-the-ukraine-1.6248727
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/babi-yar

Ilya G Poimandres , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:31 pm GMT
@A123

The economic situation is so bad in Iran, people are rioting against the corrupt Ayatollah.

The rapists strangle their victim and blame them for their lack of oxygen.

Attacking the embassy was clearly Khameni's desperate effort to shore up personal weakness at home. Not only did he fail to keep the embassy, he also lost a key terrorist. The weak leader just became much weaker.

All I can say is.. Wimp Lo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d696t3yALAY

Valley Forge Warrior , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:39 pm GMT
The Iranians won't do jack. If they try anything, Trump will exterminate the Iranians.
Harbinger , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:39 pm GMT
@JamesinNM Zionism is Judaism is communism.

Judaism is a cult, not a religion. It's the self worship of Jews, hatred of non Jews (racism) and supremacist beliefs over all other peoples on this earth. In effect, Judaism is the Jewish KKK/Black Panthers. It's perfectly ok to go around saying "we're god's chosen" (blatant supremacism and racism) and yet they go crazy when some white person puts up a poster saying "it's ok to be white" ? The former is ignored and worse, accepted by many idiots while the latter is vehemently attacked. Think about that for a moment?

Don't let the red herrings of "It's not Judaism, it's Zionism" or "it's not the real Jews, but the fake Ashkenazis" crap lead you astray from the situation. The problem IS what it always has been and always will be until people wake up and do something about it. That problem is Judaism. It's never changed.

Alfred , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:44 pm GMT
If the Americans leave Syria and Iraq, that will be the ultimate revenge for Iran without having fired a single shot

Correct.

And that is precisely the real objective of Trump. Trump is greatly underestimated. He gives the Zionists everything they want – which results in outcomes that are very much against their interests.

Agent76 , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:47 pm GMT
Jan 3, 2020 Iran has the 'right to retaliate' over US 'act of war'

Tehran University's Mohammed Marandi says the US' "murder" of a senior Iranian military commander is "definitely an act of war".

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

Jul 4, 2019 Iran-Iraq-Syria rail link revived.

As imperial forces are defeated in the region but economic war continues, economic integration between Iran, Iraq and Syria becomes even more necessary, for a decent future.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/nQIIXQ7V2Dc?feature=oembed

Sep 11, 2011 General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years

"This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran." I said, "Is it classified?" He said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Well, don't show it to me." And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, "You remember that?" He said, "Sir, I didn't show you that memo! I didn't show it to you!"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9RC1Mepk_Sw?feature=oembed

niteranger , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:53 pm GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro You missed the boat .! This is about Israel and its control of Trump. Israel wants eternal war..they care not how many are killed because it will be Americans not Jews. The scenarios presented here are limited and simplistic. The real scenarios present much greater challenges for the US Intelligence Agencies. These include false flags by Israel and the Jewish controlled Congress for excuses to bomb Iran. But even a greater risk would be splinter Muslim groups around the world and especially in the US that will retaliate against Americans. The estimate of at least 20% of Muslims in the US are terrorists waiting to happen may come to fruition. Trump the idiot has just thrown a cigar into the punch bowl. Michael Scheuer former CIA put it this way:

"The crux of my argument is simply that America is in a war with militant Islamists that it cannot avoid; one that it cannot talk or appease its way out of; one in which our irreconcilable Islamist foes will have to be killed, an act which unavoidably will lead to innocent deaths; and one that is motivated in large measure by the impact of U.S. foreign policies in the Islamic world, one of which is unqualified U.S. support for Israel."

In his second book, Imperial Hubris, a New York Times bestseller, Scheuer writes that the Islamist threat to the United States is rooted in "how easy it is for Muslims to see, hear, experience, and hate the six U.S. policies bin Laden repeatedly refers to as anti-Muslim:

U.S. support for apostate, corrupt, and tyrannical Muslim governments.
U.S. and other Western troops on the Arabian Peninsula.
U.S. support for Israel that keeps Palestinians in the Israelis' thrall.
U.S. pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low.
U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. support for Russia, India, and China against their Muslim militants

The US will experience the wrath of these people over and over again because we keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Trump is nothing more than figure head president under complete control of Israel. Civilization is doomed if Israel continues complete control of most the US government and most of the world. The American citizenry are nothing more than blind little animals waiting to be slaughter by Israel.

Igor Bundy , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:56 pm GMT
The gerbils of feeble minds are out in force to show their arrogance and illiteracy t seems. Throughout time, Iran has emboldened the oppressed to fight the imperialists. Just like the support they show the people of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and to an extent Yemen.. They wont destroy all that they have built unless the US uses some excuse to attack inside iran at which point all bets are off and so are all places in the ME with US military.. This blatant act of terrorism is the worst a civilised nation can do and the ultimate hypocrisy of calling itself run by the rule of law.. Almost all rules and laws were violated and so is the rules of war itself which is mostly non existent but even in war there are some things you do not do like taking out the leadership because the men will then have no choice but to keep fighting without anyone to order them to stand down.. Only imbeciles will do unthinkable things like this and such blatant violations of international laws in front of the entire world and then take credit for it..
Truth3 , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:59 pm GMT
@Rich

Their dead general was a member of the military and a legitimate target.

Spoken like a true hasbarite.

anonymous [178] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:59 pm GMT

Conclusion: we wait for Iran's next move

In this statement the most potent word is "wait."

Iran doing nothing = psychological torment.

Badly forged Warrior wrote:
The Iranians won't do jack. If they try anything, Trump will exterminate the Iranians.

maybe not on your timeline, forge, but someday . . .

Trump should maybe take Barron's college fund out of long-term investments.

anon [399] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:00 pm GMT
@Rich It's not the duty of Iran to rescue American from the hog nosed Zionist and from rotting cadaver ( rotting carcass) of the boar faced Adelshon .

That's American have to get done

nickels , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:01 pm GMT
Its pretty clear that the dem's impeachment scam was a collaboration with the neocons to corner Trump into having to obey McConnell, Graham and the rest of the criminals.
A few months back the great Orange King was going to pull out of Syria, right?
It is almost patently obvious Trump was handed the option of starting war with Iran or having the senate slowly turn against him (through a well orchestrated media campaign, of course), ending up with him in prison or worse.
Can't have that. Donny boy serves only Donny boy, and the country's arse isn't worth choosing over his own.
Anon [399] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:02 pm GMT
@Harbinger NPR now : Israel has been pushing America to confront Iran . But Israel doesn't want to be seen as the power behind the American aggression against Iran .
Alfred , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:07 pm GMT
there are some rather credible rumors that the destruction of PanAm 103 over Scotland was not a Libyan action, but an Iranian one in direct retaliation for the deliberate shooting down by the USN of IranAir 655 Airbus over the Persian Gulf

This was obviously the case. All the accusations against Libya were patently false. The Scottish court case was a scam from A to Z. All the "evidence" against Libya could have been concocted by a 12 year old. "Finding" a bit of clockwork in a field and claiming that someone bought a certain "suitcase" in Malta is a piece of cake.

Despite the destruction of Libya and access to all their files and bureaucrats, no effort was ever made to search their records and to substantiate the accusations against Libya. Lockerbie and Pan Am 103 simply disappeared from the media.

If Libya had been behind the explosion of Pan Am 103, they would have relished producing the evidence and a lot of Libyans would have been accused and put on trial. It would have helped their accusations that "Libya was a rogue state"

The only facts that everyone agrees on is that the Americans shot down an Iranian airliner on 3 July 1988 with 290 people on board. And that a US airliner with 259 people was blown up on 21 December 1988. Some coincidence!

Since PA103, no Iranian civilian aircraft of any sort has been attacked or threatened by the USA or any other country. I guess that is a strong hint as to what intelligence services believe the true story to be.

TG , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:09 pm GMT
The nerve of Donald Trump! I mean, who does he think he is, Hillary Clinton?
Anonymous [422] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:10 pm GMT
@Valley Forge Warrior "Valley Forge Warrior"

Sounds like one of the Christ-killer handles you see over at Hasbara Central (aka, Free Republic).

FReepers with handles like "ProudMarineMomEagleUSALibertyLoverArmyVetMAGAGalAirborneTexasFreedom" posting articles on inside baseball of Knesset politics.

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:16 pm GMT
It's time for Iran to get insurance in the form of multiple nuclear warheads. I doubt Russia or China will sell them but Pakistan, a fellow Muslim country, or N. Korea might. All they need is a few nukes that would be include in a barrage of hundreds of missiles aimed at Tel Aviv. No Iron Dome (which is useless anyway) would stop the attack. Israel would never allow (since we know they control Congress and the President) an attack on Iran if there was even the slightest possibility of a nuke on Israel. Let's face it, the Israelis are only "brave" when they slaughter defenseless Palestinian women and children. They were driven out of Lebanon by a rag tag civilian militia.

Forget the Fatwa, get nukes!

Passer by , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:18 pm GMT
You are naive and poorly educated murican from declining Amerikanistan who lives in the past. The Unipolar era is over. The Iranians have the capacity to destroy all US bases in 2000km radius (in the Middle East) with ballistic missile salvos, it and its shia allied groups in the region have plenty of attack drones and long range cruise missiles too (and US land anti-air capability is poor), all US soldiers in Iraq will be killed by shia millitias, drones and long range missiles (unless the US would try to invade Iraq again and restart the occupation with 300 000 soldiers in Iraq, for which it no longer has the money, too much debt and shaky economy), Russia can supply the country with high tech anti-air systems, Iran can supply manpads and long range missiles to the Taliban which will lead to siege of US bases in Afghanistan and bombardment/capture of americans there, (taliban are already winning there without any help). Iran can also destroy most oil and gas infrastructure in the Middle East.

Estimation:
all US bases in the Middle East will be leveled.
US bases will be besieged in Afghanistan and Taliban will fully take over that country.
The biggest US embassy in the world – in Iraq, will be captured, together with the US diplomats in it.
Shia Millitia Proxies will attack and capture/destroy many US embassies in the region.
Oil price will reach 150 – 200 $ leading to global economic crisis.
Israel will be attacked by Hizbulla and many israeli cities will be damaged, keeping it busy.
No european country will support such attack and this will lead to the EU marginalising NATO and replacing it with its own independent european military pact, moving away from the US.
Whole world will condemn the US and will start moving away from dependency on that country, as no one wants such a war in the Gulf.
30 000 americans (almost all in the middle east) killed and all of their objects in the Middle East destroyed.
US companies infrastructure in the Middle East and in Iraq destroyed.
Big uprising against the US in Iraq.
US economy enters recession.
US is crippled by war debt.

For that large price to pay, the only US option will be US long range attacks via bombers, carriers and subs, who will not be very effective vs russian anti-air systems. It will take a long time for Iran to be destroyed if they have modern russian anti-air. Meanwhile the global economy will enter recession until the war is over. There will be massive anti-US protests all over the world blaming it for the resulting global economic crisis and recession.

In the long run, the US will be able to destroy most of Iran by conventional means, but the US itself will be crippled by debt and will lose its superpower status. In other words, it will be the Suez Moment for the US.

Ultimately though, there will be no large scale war because the US does not have the money for it. It is crippled by debt. Picture underestimates US debt by 10 % and already estimates hyperinflation by 2050 (10 % and growing annual budget deficits, which is a disaster).

Then there is the possibility for the US to use nuclear weapons to destroy Iran but then the US will be declared a rogue state by the world and every other state will get nukes too and NPT regime will be dead, leading to the end of US influence and capacity to wage war in the world.

Z-man , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:19 pm GMT
@Paul holland That's a good suggestion but I still think they should go after Pompeo. If you really want to keep it 'tit for tat' with even less retaliation then poor Gen. Milley should be splashed. (Evil grin)
Anon [209] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:25 pm GMT

For example, there are some rather credible rumors that the destruction of PanAm 103 over Scotland was not a Libyan action, but an Iranian one

Absolutely ridiculous. It was not a Libyan action. And it was not an Iranian one.

Z-man , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:27 pm GMT
@Harbinger Yes and the Jews follow the TALMUD not the Bible. The Talmud is a Jew Supremist manual.
Z-man , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:28 pm GMT
@Alfred From your keyboard to God's ears.
NTG , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:31 pm GMT
@bruce county Will not be allowed? then look what they did in this very moment. They already mass their forces in iraq and surounding bases. Their are considerable more Galaxy C17 traffic in Ramstein/Germany and the whole C17 (as far as you can identify them)look like a swarm of bees on the way to the middle east.
the grand wazoo , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:31 pm GMT
I have one wish for 2020, and it is this: That everyone stop referring to this group of bastards claiming to great American patriots and thinkers (both a flagrant lie) as 'neocons', and call them what they are; 99% are dual citizen Israeli firsters. Fostering the acronym neocon allows them to remain hidden behind a mask of their own design, and is a great disservice and a threat to every American. These traitors with their Israel first attitude, have but one job, and it is to dream up fake threats to America's security, (i.e. Iraq's WMD's), in order to insure America's defense budget remains huge, and US soldiers all over the ME making Israel feel safe and secure; not so much America. truth is they care nothing of America and have perfected the art of subterfuge, as evidenced by this quote by self described paleo-neoconservative Norman Podhertz in his work Breaking Ranks:

"An Israeli within the Jewish community, and an American on the public goy stage".

anon [183] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:33 pm GMT
Netanyahu, aka Benzion Mileikowsky is holed up in that land of his idle, "Hitler's Argentinian Patagonia"?

or,

Brave Sir Robin ran away.
("No!")
Bravely ran away away.
("I didn't!")
When danger reared it's ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
("I never!")

Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.
("You're lying!")

Swiftly taking to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat.
Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin!

Songwriters: Adam Patrick Devlin / Edward Daniel Chester / Eric Idle / Graham Chapman / John Cleese / Mark James Morriss / Michael Palin / Neil Innes / Scott Edward Morriss / Terry Gilliam
Brave Sir Robin lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Artist: Monty Python
Album: The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Released: 1975

sally , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:36 pm GMT
@Rich I think the Iranians have already won on this round ..Iran stepped back and gave notice that when you are up against a guy bigger than you are, you wait until something happens to even the odds.

The domestic deplorable don't understand bullet in the brain diplomacy.. What is in Iraq or Iran that Americans want <=nothing. absolutely nothing that I can tell. so for whom is all of this?

UninformedButCurious , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:36 pm GMT
"a president who does not understand that he is a disposable tool in the hands of the Neocons."

Can that possibly be true? I hope a lot of people who can support an opinion about that will reply.

John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:36 pm GMT
Hard to know what Trump's thinking here is. War before an election does not seem a good idea, especially if you are a candidate who has failed so far to achieve anything of substance around past promises to reduce America's involvement in Mideast wars.

Remember that a crucial slice of the votes that put the man into office were not from his prime political base, the "pick-up truck and Jesus" set, but from those concerned with peace and better relations with Russia.

But prodding Iran to attack could allow Trump to play commander-in-chief defending the country. And Americans just instinctively support even the worst possible presidents at war. You might call it the George Bush Effect. The frightened puppy grabbing the nearest pantleg after a loud noise.

Of course, now when it comes to campaign contributions from American Oligarchs whose chief political concern is what Israel wants, Trump's coffers will be overflowing.

I suspect Iran will take its time and carefully plan a response, and that response may not be clear and unambiguous, and it might be multi-faceted and done over time.

The men running Iran are careful men, none of them impetuous. Chess players. The United States has more than forty years of bellowing, open hostility towards the country, and we have not seen Iran's leaders act foolishly in all that time despite many provocations.

I do not believe Iran will be driven to war – that would be playing the Israeli-American game with Israeli-American rules.

Clandestine and hybrid efforts, that is what Iran is best at. They have serious capabilities these days, and the United States, with all its bases abroad, has great vulnerabilities.

Of course, there's also the option of Iran's just leaving the nuclear agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) that Trump idiotically tore-up and proceeding quietly with weapons development. Iran, despite Israel's dishonest claims, never has pursued weapons development, only efficient use of nuclear power and legitimate scientific research. Perhaps it is time to reconsider that policy

Iran has substantial deposits of uranium, and the enriched-uranium bomb is simpler to build than the plutonium bomb. Maybe there is some possibility for covert assistance from North Korea, another country treated like crap by Trump's Washington Braintrust?

Rurik , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:39 pm GMT

4.Finally, should the Iranians decide not to retaliate, then we can be absolutely sure that Uncle Shmuel will see that as a proof of his putative "invincibility" and take that as a license to engage in even more provocative actions.

For what it's worth, I vote for 4.

Gandhi and MLK are household names because they used non-violent protest to bring attention to widespread injustice.

As long as Iran responds in a non-violent way, they retain the moral high ground. The world is watching, if Iran puts out a statement to the fact that the US is using assassinations to provoke Iran into an open (obviously one-sided) war, who on the planet won't sympathize with Iran?

We all know the ZUS is a murderous, war criminal rogue regime under occupation by Zionists. Duh.

We all know the ((neocons)) and Zionists have demanded the destruction of Iran for what, decades now. We all know of Bibi's unhinged frothing. It's more than obvious to the entire world.

What we don't need is bravado or chest thumping on the part of Iran. That is exactly what the fiend is hoping for. Praying for. It's hands rubbing together and hissing 'they can't ignore this one, we slaughtered their beloved general'.

If this were all being contained by the world's media and diplomatic channels, then it might be different.

But EVERYBODY knows the score. Everybody knows who is the aggressor and who is the victim.

Iran should assume the posture of a victim, and allow all the world's people to watch in disgust as it's menaced by the world's super-power coward, who NEVER picks on anyone it's own size, but always attacks nations far weaker than it is.

What an embarrassment to be an American today, in slavish obeisance to the world's most revolting den of snakes.

God bless and save the people of Iran.

It is with profound shame that I lament my nations depraved servility to a criminal regime.

Please, don't escalate the conflict. That is EXACTLY what ((they)) want you to do.

NTG , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:41 pm GMT
Funny how even you seems to forget that Trump KNOWN that he is a "tool" and that he have to play like one. But every play he did on behalf of the Neocons did he in such a worst way that he everytime reaches the excat opposite of what the neocons wanted to reach. North Stream 2 anyone? It's done, up runnig by now.
2% spending? how have done this yet?
buy exclusiv or also by US MIC company's? Hmm the turks buy now Russian AA.
India is also in shambles about the militray topic.

NOTHING, what the neocons want from him and he allegedly did seems to work really and not because he is a moron this is ON PURPOSE.
I strongly believe that he known what he does and that he does this exactly like he or the ones behind him wanted. Trmup isn't a neocon. He is a nationalist and plays a very dangerous doubbleplay with the Deep State and their neocons/Zionists.

NTG , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:44 pm GMT
@Passer by No war because of debt? what? as if the US gov has ever cared about debt.
War is the profitables solution to debt look in history.
the grand wazoo , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:53 pm GMT
I still think that there is a roughly 80% chance of full scale war in the Middle-East and, again, will leave 20% of "unexpected events"

I believe this estimate is rather correct. Personally, I believe the odds are 100% in favor of WAR. It has taken the Israelis 35 years, since the Iraq Iran war, to get America this close. They will not allow something as trivial as peace to interfer.

lysias , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:55 pm GMT
@Rurik Cyberattacks on U.S. infrastructure would be nonviolent.
Sean , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:56 pm GMT
Donald Trump is hardly a "disposable President" for Israel. The sky's the limit for Israel while Trump is in power and they will never get anyone quite like him again. The Neocons won't go against Israel.

The death of Soleimani was not long in coming after his masterminding of the successful attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, and him making the fatal error of ordering demonstrators in Baghdad to be shot. I think the combination of threatening Saudi Arabia at its weakest point and alienating the Shiite community in Iraq is why the US decided now was the perfect time to target Soleimani.

Kiza , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Not Raul Hmmm, nuke Iran . I wonder how US would feel if Russia justifiably nuked the Mexican drug cartels in Tijuana. Probably take it just as a friendly and helpful gesture in the war on drugs, right? Or Russia nukes those pesky Quebec secessionists not far from DC?

Obviously, there is no place on the planet with more cretins per head of population than US, lead by the Cretin in Chief. All itching to use those nukes just sitting there, collecting dust since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Why did cretins spend all that money on them when they cannot use them?

One totally unrelated question. ISIS has chopped off a large number of non-Sunni Muslim heads and a few heads of Westerners. Does anyone know even one example where an Israeli's head or head of a Western Jew has been chopped off?

USrael is like a tradesman who declares war on a screwdriver or hammer in his toolbox.

Lang Doniger , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 11:00 pm GMT
The purpose of the drone strike false flag was to coronate a new, massive trauma based mind control effort by the US Government aimed at her own domestic slaves. The CIA opinion makers are out in full force: Sjursen, Engelhardt, Bacevich, Hedges, Cole, NYT, WaPo, AI – you name it, all delivering the message of peace because they were trained for war. Quickly form all the public opinions to make sure the people are divided.

The voting class has given us 100% of the war, 100% of the inequality, 100% of the misery that the poor suffer daily. Accordingly, the CIA has to assassinate wrong thinking in the voting class before it threatens the status quo of war, inequality and suffering.

The only thing missing is a Pat Tillman character – a patriotic zombie athlete, tatted and geared up to kick ass for the right reasons as a hero until the sham that everyone knew all along – except for poor Pat – reveals itself.

Thim , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 11:03 pm GMT
@the grand wazoo Neocohens then.
the grand wazoo , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 11:05 pm GMT
@Ignatius I read this same theme at the VT site. Either Robert David Steel's piece or in a comment. Rather far fetched idea, but not so far out that the dual citizen cretins in DC wouldn't use.
Monty Ahwazi , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 11:06 pm GMT
Thanks Saker!
The officials in Tehran have been and will continue to be calm, calculating, rational and making decisions collectively! The Two Fat Guys and skinny dip" have been defeated by Iran in their Cold War with Iran for 4 decades! Iranians' mail goal is to force the US to run away from the ME region w/o confronting it! They would like to achieve their goal as the Vietnamese did in 1973 if anyone remembers that! So far they have been successful and their actions in the future will show their intentions more clearly!
With all due respect the Chinese and Russians would love to see the US humiliated so she's forced to leave and they don't mind using Iran as a front to achieve their goal without confronting the US!
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 11:07 pm GMT
@Harbinger

I'm just waiting for the usual suspects to come on here denying it had anything to do with Israel and Judaism.

It's hard to make that claim when every chosenite from Benjamin Shapiro to Israeli citizen and fake "national conservative" Yoram Hazony is celebrating on Twitter.

Example:

To all the jerks saying Trump did this "for Israel":

1. No American should die for Israel.

2. If you can't feel shame when your country is shamed and want to act when your own people are killed, your problem isn't Israel. Your problem is you.

-- Yoram Hazony (@yhazony) January 3, 2020

Do these scum ever not lie? No American was killed by Iranians or Iranian-backed proxies before this incident, not for at least a decade. And Trump totally did this for Israel. His biggest donors have been demanding he do this for years and suddenly he does it. It's not hard to see the connection, especially amid all the Jews celebrating on Twitter today.

Further, he goes on to beat his chest as a fake patriotic American (while being an Israeli citizen); it's clear he's just celebrating an attack on his country's enemy, but wants you to think it has something to do with America.

You can be darned sure no in the world thinks seizing an American embassy is a genius tactical move right now. Not in Iran -- and not anywhere else.

-- Yoram Hazony (@yhazony) January 3, 2020

You can be damned sure no on in the world thinks this empire is anything but lawless and dangerous right now -- headed by an irrational imbecile beholden to the interests of a racist apartheid state. Not in Europe -- and not anywhere else.

http://www.occi