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Attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman

the Japanese company that owns ‘Kokuka Courageous', one of the tankers that were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, refused to adopt the US scenario.

According to the company, its crew spotted “flying objects” before the attack in the Gulf of Oman, contradicting US claims that the vessel was damaged by a naval mine. Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo, told reporters on Friday that sailors on board the ill-fated oil tanker observed “flying objects” just before the incident in which the ship caught fire and was badly damaged. The giant vessel was hit twice, first near the engine room and then on its starboard side. He suggested that those flying objects could have been bullets, and called reports of striking a mine “false.”

Both points at which the ship was damaged were above her waterline, which couldn’t be so if it had struck an underwater mine.

Yet, despite company's alternative story of what happened, at the time we were finishing this report, many major Western media insisted to circulate the scenario that an Iranian 'naval mine' was responsible for the attacks against the oil tankers. Trump's statements, who immediately rushed to blame Iran, and media reports, were based exclusively on a video showing Iranian special forces removing a mine which had failed to explode.


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[Jul 05, 2019] Who are the arsonists of the petrol tankers in the Gulf, by Manlio Dinucci

Notable quotes:
"... The control of the energy corridors is of capital importance. By accusing Iran of attempting to " interrupt the flow of oil through the Straights of Hormuz ", Mike Pompeo announced that " the United States will defend freedom of navigation ". In other words, he has announced that the United States want to gain military control of this key area for energy supplies, including for Europe, by preventing above all the transit of Iranian oil (to which Italy and other European countries cannot in any case enjoy free access because of the US embargo). ..."
"... Natural gas might also have arrived directly in Italy from Russia, and from there be distributed to other European countries with notable economical advantages, via the South Stream route through the Black Sea. But the pipeline, already in an advanced stage of construction, was blocked in 2014 by the pressure of the United States and European Union itself, with heavy prejudice for Italy. ..."
"... In fact it was the reproduction of North Stream which continued, making Germany the centre of triage for Russian gas.. Then, on the basis of the " USA/EU strategic cooperation in the energy field " agreement stipulated in July 2018, US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU tripled. The triage centre was in Poland, from which was distributed the " Freedom Gas " which also arrived in Ukraine. ..."
"... Washington's objective is strategic – to hurt Russia by replacing Russian gas in Europe with US gas ..."
"... So what does Matteo Salvini have to say about all that? When he arrived in the " greatest democracy in the Western world ", he proudly declared - " I am part of a government which in Europe is no longer satisfied with breadcrumbs " ..."
Jun 19, 2019 | www.voltairenet.org

Manlio Dinucci invites us to take a step back. He replaces the sabotage of these petrol tankers, for which Washington accuses Teheran, in the context of the global energy policy of the United States. By doing so, he demonstrates that, contrary to appearances, Mike Pompeo is not targeting Iran, but Europe.

While the United States prepared a new escalation of tension in the Middle East by accusing Iran of attacking petrol tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Italian vice-Prime Minister Matteo Salvini met with one of the artisans of this strategy in Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, assuring him that " Italy wants to regain its place as the major partner on the European continent of the greatest Western democracy ". Thereby he has allied Italy with the operation launched by Washington.

The " Gulf of Oman affair " , a casus belli against Iran, is a carbon copy of the " Gulf of Tonkin affair " of 4 August 1964, itself used as a casus belli to bomb North Vietnam, which was accused of having attacked a US torpedo boat (an accusation which was later proved to be false).

Today, a video released by Washington shows the crew of an alleged Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from the hull of a petrol tanker in order to conceal its origin (because the mine would allegedly have borne the inscription " Made in Iran ").

With this " proof " - a veritable insult to our intelligence - Washington is attempting to camouflage the goal of the operation. It is part of the strategy aimed at controlling the world reserves of oil and natural gas and their energy corridors [ 1 ]. It is no coincidence that Iran and Iraq are in US crosshairs. Their total oil reserves are greater than those of Saudi Arabia, and five times greater than those of the United States. Iranian reserves of natural gas are approximately 2.5 times those of the USA. Venezuela finds itself targeted by the USA for the same reason, since it is the country which owns the greatest oil reserves in the world.

The control of the energy corridors is of capital importance. By accusing Iran of attempting to " interrupt the flow of oil through the Straights of Hormuz ", Mike Pompeo announced that " the United States will defend freedom of navigation ". In other words, he has announced that the United States want to gain military control of this key area for energy supplies, including for Europe, by preventing above all the transit of Iranian oil (to which Italy and other European countries cannot in any case enjoy free access because of the US embargo).

Low-cost Iranian natural gas might also have reached Europe by way of a pipeline crossing Iraq and Syria. But the project, launched in 2011, was destroyed by the USA/NATO operation to demolish the Syrian state.

Natural gas might also have arrived directly in Italy from Russia, and from there be distributed to other European countries with notable economical advantages, via the South Stream route through the Black Sea. But the pipeline, already in an advanced stage of construction, was blocked in 2014 by the pressure of the United States and European Union itself, with heavy prejudice for Italy.

In fact it was the reproduction of North Stream which continued, making Germany the centre of triage for Russian gas.. Then, on the basis of the " USA/EU strategic cooperation in the energy field " agreement stipulated in July 2018, US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU tripled. The triage centre was in Poland, from which was distributed the " Freedom Gas " which also arrived in Ukraine.

Washington's objective is strategic – to hurt Russia by replacing Russian gas in Europe with US gas. But we have no guarantees, neither on the price, nor on the time-scale for US gas extracted from the bituminous shale by the technique known as fracking (hydraulic fracturation), which is disastrous for the environment.

So what does Matteo Salvini have to say about all that? When he arrived in the " greatest democracy in the Western world ", he proudly declared - " I am part of a government which in Europe is no longer satisfied with breadcrumbs ". Manlio Dinucci

Translation
Pete Kimberley

Source
Il Manifesto (Italy)

[Jun 30, 2019] Aggressive US Lies and Misleads to Justify War on Iran by William Boardman

Notable quotes:
"... The secretary of state delivered this appallingly Orwellian official assessment of the US government within hours of the five explosions on two tankers, well before any credible investigation establishing more than minimal facts could be carried out. As is his habit, Mike Pompeo flatly lied about whatever might be real in the Gulf of Oman, and most American media ran with the lies as if they were or might be true. There is almost no chance that Mike Pompeo and the US government are telling the truth about this event, as widespread domestic and international skepticism attests. ..."
"... Pompeo's official assessment was false even in its staging. For most of his four-minute appearance, Pompeo stood framed by two pictures behind him, each showing a tanker with a fire amidships. This was a deliberate visual lie. The two pictures showed the same tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair , from different angles. The other tanker, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous , did not catch fire and was not shown. ..."
"... Pompeo did not identify the unnamed intelligence entities, if any, within the government who made this assessment. He offered no evidence to support the assessment. He did offer something of an argument that began: ..."
"... He didn't say what intelligence. He didn't say whose intelligence. American intelligence assets and technology are all over the region generating reams of intelligence day in, day out. Then there are the intelligence agencies of the Arab police states bordering the Persian Gulf. They, too, are busy collecting intelligence 24/7, although they are sometimes loath to share. Pompeo didn't mention it, but according to CNN an unnamed US official admitted that the US had a Reaper Drone in the air near the two tankers before they were attacked. He also claimed that Iran had fired a missile at the drone, but missed. As CNN inanely spins it, "it is the first claim that the US has information of Iranian movements prior to the attack." As if the US doesn't have information on Iranian movements all the time . More accurately, this is the first admission that the US had operational weaponry in the area prior to the attack. ..."
"... Pompeo did not name a single weapon used. Early reporting claimed the attackers used torpedoes or mines, a claim that became inoperative as it became clear that all the damage to the tankers was well above the waterline. There is little reason to believe Pompeo had any actual knowledge of what weapons were used, unless one was a Reaper Drone. ..."
"... There are NO confirmed "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," and even if there were, they would prove nothing. Pompeo's embarrassingly irrelevant list that follows includes six examples, only one of which involved a shipping attack ..."
"... Instead of "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," Pompeo offers Iran's decades-old threat to close the Strait of Hormuz (which it's never done), together with three attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia, an unattributed rocket attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad, and an unattributed car bomb in Afghanistan. Seriously, if that's all he's got, he's got nothing. But he's not done with the disinformation exercise: ..."
"... The US is stumbling down a path toward war with no justification ..."
Jun 26, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

It is the assessment of the United States Government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today. This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.

This is only the latest in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests, and they should be understood in the context of 40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations.

-- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcement , June 13, 2013

The secretary of state delivered this appallingly Orwellian official assessment of the US government within hours of the five explosions on two tankers, well before any credible investigation establishing more than minimal facts could be carried out. As is his habit, Mike Pompeo flatly lied about whatever might be real in the Gulf of Oman, and most American media ran with the lies as if they were or might be true. There is almost no chance that Mike Pompeo and the US government are telling the truth about this event, as widespread domestic and international skepticism attests.

Pompeo's official assessment was false even in its staging. For most of his four-minute appearance, Pompeo stood framed by two pictures behind him, each showing a tanker with a fire amidships. This was a deliberate visual lie. The two pictures showed the same tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair , from different angles. The other tanker, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous , did not catch fire and was not shown.

First, what actually happened, as best we can tell five days later? In the early morning of June 13, two unrelated tankers were heading south out of the Strait of Hormuz, sailing in open water in the Gulf of Oman, roughly 20 miles off the south coast of Iran. The tankers were most likely outside Iran's territorial waters, but within Iran's contiguous zone as defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea . At different times, some 30 miles apart, the two tankers were attacked by weapons unknown, launched by parties unknown, for reasons unknown. The first reported distress call was 6:12 a.m. local time. No one has yet claimed responsibility for either attack. The crew of each tanker abandoned ship soon after the explosions and were rescued by ships in the area, including Iranian naval vessels, who took the Front Altair crew to an Iranian port.

Even this much was not certain in the early afternoon of June 13 when Mike Pompeo came to the lectern at the State Department to deliver his verdict:

It is the assessment of the United States Government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today.

Pompeo did not identify the unnamed intelligence entities, if any, within the government who made this assessment. He offered no evidence to support the assessment. He did offer something of an argument that began:

This assessment is based on intelligence .

He didn't say what intelligence. He didn't say whose intelligence. American intelligence assets and technology are all over the region generating reams of intelligence day in, day out. Then there are the intelligence agencies of the Arab police states bordering the Persian Gulf. They, too, are busy collecting intelligence 24/7, although they are sometimes loath to share. Pompeo didn't mention it, but according to CNN an unnamed US official admitted that the US had a Reaper Drone in the air near the two tankers before they were attacked. He also claimed that Iran had fired a missile at the drone, but missed. As CNN inanely spins it, "it is the first claim that the US has information of Iranian movements prior to the attack." As if the US doesn't have information on Iranian movements all the time . More accurately, this is the first admission that the US had operational weaponry in the area prior to the attack. After intelligence, Pompeo continued:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used .

Pompeo did not name a single weapon used. Early reporting claimed the attackers used torpedoes or mines, a claim that became inoperative as it became clear that all the damage to the tankers was well above the waterline. There is little reason to believe Pompeo had any actual knowledge of what weapons were used, unless one was a Reaper Drone. He went on:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation

The "level of expertise needed" to carry out these attacks on a pair of sitting duck tankers does not appear to be that great. Yes, the Iranian military probably has the expertise, as do the militaries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Israel, or others with a stake in provoking a crisis in the region. And those who lack the expertise still have the money with which to hire expert surrogates. The number of credible suspects, known and unknown, with an interest in doing harm to Iran is easily in double figures. Leading any serious list should be the US. That's perfectly logical, so Pompeo tried to divert attention from the obvious:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping .

There are NO confirmed "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," and even if there were, they would prove nothing. Pompeo's embarrassingly irrelevant list that follows includes six examples, only one of which involved a shipping attack. The one example was the May 12, 2019, attack on four ships at anchor in the deep water port of Fujairah. Even the multinational investigation organized by the UAE could not determine who did it. The UAE reported to the UN Security Council that the perpetrator was likely some unnamed "state actor." The logical suspects and their surrogates are the same as those for the most recent attack.

Instead of "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," Pompeo offers Iran's decades-old threat to close the Strait of Hormuz (which it's never done), together with three attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia, an unattributed rocket attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad, and an unattributed car bomb in Afghanistan. Seriously, if that's all he's got, he's got nothing. But he's not done with the disinformation exercise:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.

The whole proxy group thing is redundant, covered by "the level of expertise needed" mentioned earlier. Pompeo doesn't name any proxy group here, he doesn't explain how he could know there's no proxy group that could carry out such an attack, and he just throws word garbage at the wall and hopes something sticks that will make you believe – no evidence necessary – that Iran is evil beyond redemption:

Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran.

The attacks in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan have all been provoked by the US and its allies. The US has long been a clear threat to international peace and security, except when the US was actually trashing peace and security, as it did in Iraq, as it seems to want to do in Iran. There is, indeed, "an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension," but it's a campaign by the US. The current phase began when the Trump administration pulled out of the multinational nuclear deal with Iran. The US wages economic warfare on Iran even though Iran continues to abide by the Trump-trashed treaty. All the other signatories and inspectors confirm that Iran has abided by the agreement. But Iran is approaching a point of violation, which it has been warning about for some time. The other signatories allow the US to bully them into enforcing US sanctions at their own cost against a country in compliance with its promises. China, Russia, France, GB, Germany, and the EU are all craven in the face of US threats. That's what the US wants from Iran.

Lately, Trump and Pompeo and their ilk have been whining about not wanting war and claiming they want to negotiate, while doing nothing to make negotiation more possible. Iran has observed US actions and has rejected negotiating with an imperial power with a decades-long record of bad faith. Lacking any serious act of good faith by the US, does Iran have any other rational choice? Pompeo makes absolutely clear just how irrational, how dishonest, how implacable and untrustworthy the US is when he accuses Iran of:

40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations.

This is Big Lie country. Forty years ago, the Iranians committed their original sin – they overthrew one of the world's most brutal dictatorships, imposed on them by the US. Then they took Americans hostage, and the US has been playing the victim ever since, out of all proportion to reality or justice. But the Pompeos of this world still milk it for all it's worth. What about "unprovoked aggression," who does that? The US list is long and criminal, including its support of Saddam Hussein's war of aggression against Iran. Iran's list of "unprovoked aggressions" is pretty much zero, unless you go back to the Persian Empire. No wonder Pompeo took no question on his statement. The Big Lie is supposed to be enough.

The US is stumbling down a path toward war with no justification. Democrats should have objected forcefully and continuously long since. Democrats in the House should have put peace with Iran on the table as soon as they came into the majority. They should do it now. Democratic presidential candidates should join Tulsi Gabbard and Elizabeth Warren in forthrightly opposing war with Iran. Leading a huge public outcry may not keep the president from lying us into war with Iran any more than it kept the president from lying us into war with Iraq. But an absence of outcry will just make it easier for this rogue nation to commit a whole new set of war crimes.

Intellectually, the case for normal relations with Iran is easy. There is literally no good reason to maintain hostility, not even the possibility, remote as it is, of an Iranian nuclear weapon (especially now that Trump is helping the Saudis go nuclear). But politically, the case for normal relations with Iran is hard, especially because forty years of propaganda demonizing Iran has deep roots. To make a sane case on Iran takes real courage: one has to speak truth to a nation that believes its lies to itself.

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This article was first published in Reader Supported News . Read other articles by William .

[Jun 27, 2019] No One Believes the President's War Claims Anymore

Notable quotes:
"... The possibility that the United States might be committing an act of war under false pretenses apparently did little to discourage the president's principal foreign policy advisers, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, from pushing a military response. Tehran's action was presented as raw aggression, an act of war that deserved retaliation. ..."
"... The president apparently complained to a close associate, "These people want to push us into a war, and it's so disgusting." According to The Wall Street Journal , he further opined, "We don't need any more wars." He's right. But then why has Trump chosen to surround himself with advisers apparently so at variance with his views? ..."
"... Iran is preparing to breach the limits established by the agreement because Washington repudiated it . It is evident that the president doesn't understand the JCPOA or the nuclear issue more generally. ..."
"... Moreover, though he is focused on nuclear issues, his appointees have been demanding far more of Tehran, forestalling negotiations. For instance, last year, Pompeo ordered Iran to abandon its independent foreign policy and dismantle its missile deterrent, while accepting Saudi and American domination of the region. ..."
"... Pompeo's demands look a bit like the ultimatum to Serbia in June 1914 after a nationalist backed by Serbian military intelligence assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. The Austrians set only 10, rather than 12, requirements, but they also were intended to be rejected. Vienna explained to its ally Germany that "the possibility of its acceptance is practically excluded." ..."
"... They were living out what Hermann Goering, on trial at Nuremberg, described in a private conversation to an American officer: "voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." Tragically, he's probably right. ..."
Jun 27, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

Iran predictably claimed that the drone was within its airspace. American officials asserted that it was in international airspace. Reported by The New York Times :

"a senior Trump administration official said there was concern inside the United States government about whether the drone, or another American surveillance aircraft, or even the P-8A manned aircraft flown by a military aircrew, actually did violate Iranian airspace at some point. The official said the doubt was one of the reasons Mr. Trump called off the strike."

The point is worth repeating. The military was prepared to blast away when it wasn't even certain whether America was in the right. The episode brings to mind the 1988 shootdown of an Iranian airliner in the Persian Gulf by the guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes . Initially the U.S. Navy justified its action, making a series of false claims about Iran Air Flight 655, which carried 290 passengers and crew members. Eventually Washington did admit that it had made a horrific mistake, though the Vincennes captain was later decorated.

The possibility that the United States might be committing an act of war under false pretenses apparently did little to discourage the president's principal foreign policy advisers, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, from pushing a military response. Tehran's action was presented as raw aggression, an act of war that deserved retaliation.

The president apparently complained to a close associate, "These people want to push us into a war, and it's so disgusting." According to The Wall Street Journal , he further opined, "We don't need any more wars." He's right. But then why has Trump chosen to surround himself with advisers apparently so at variance with his views?

Presumably the president believes that he can control his war-happy subordinates, using them as he sees fit. However, his overweening hubris ignores their power to set the agenda and influence his choices. Consider the basic question of objectives regarding Iran. Trump now says all he wants to do is keep nukes out of Tehran's hands: "Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon," he intoned after halting the proposed reprisal, adding that "restraint" has its limits. But the nuclear accord was drafted to forestall an Iranian nuclear weapon. Iran is preparing to breach the limits established by the agreement because Washington repudiated it . It is evident that the president doesn't understand the JCPOA or the nuclear issue more generally.

Moreover, though he is focused on nuclear issues, his appointees have been demanding far more of Tehran, forestalling negotiations. For instance, last year, Pompeo ordered Iran to abandon its independent foreign policy and dismantle its missile deterrent, while accepting Saudi and American domination of the region.

These mandates were an obvious non-starter -- what sovereign nation voluntarily accepts puppet status? In fact, Pompeo admitted that he didn't expect Iran to surrender, but instead hoped for a popular revolution. In recently stating that the administration would negotiate without preconditions, he added that Washington expected Iran to act like "a normal nation," meaning behaving just as he'd demanded last year. (Notably, there was no offer for America to act like a normal country.)

Sanctions: Trump's Cruel Substitute for an Actual Iran Policy A Century Later, the Versailles Treaty Still Haunts Our World

Pompeo's demands look a bit like the ultimatum to Serbia in June 1914 after a nationalist backed by Serbian military intelligence assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. The Austrians set only 10, rather than 12, requirements, but they also were intended to be rejected. Vienna explained to its ally Germany that "the possibility of its acceptance is practically excluded."

Once it became evident that no one would willingly back down and conflict was likely, Germany's Kaiser and Russia's Tsar tried to halt the rush to war. However, they found themselves hemmed in by the war plans created by their nominal subordinates. With Austria-Hungary mobilizing against Serbia, Russia had to act to protect the latter. Germany then faced a two-front war. Thus, to aid its ally in Vienna, the Germans had to mobilize quickly in an attempt to defeat France before Russia could put its massive army into the field. No one had sufficient time for diplomacy.

However, cousins Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas did engage in a last minute "Willy-Nicky" exchange of telegrams. Wilhelm warned Nicholas that general Russian mobilization would require Germany to act, with war the result. In response, the tsar switched from general to partial mobilization. But he was soon besieged by his top officials who insisted that the entire army had to be called up.

Understanding that general mobilization meant war, the tsar observed: "Think of the responsibility you are asking me to take! Think of the thousands and thousands of men who will be sent to their deaths." But he gave in, approving mobilization on the evening of July 30. Nicholas's concern was warranted. More than 1.7 million Russian soldiers, along with hundreds of thousands of civilians, died in the conflict. The ensuing Russian Civil War was even more deadly, indeed far more so for noncombatants, among them the tsar and his family.

Kaiser Wilhelm was equally at the mercy of the "France-first" Schlieffen Plan. To wait would be to invite destruction between the French and Russians, so he approved German mobilization on August 1. He predicted the war would lead to "endless misery," and so it did. In 1918, he was forced to abdicate and he lived out his life in exile.

Pompeo, Bolton, and like-minded officials tried and failed to force another war last week. Next time they may succeed in leaving the president with no practical choice but the one they favor. In which case he will find himself starting the very conflict that he had declared against.

Ongoing administration machinations -- exacerbated by the opportunity to manipulate a president -- offer an important reminder as to the Founders' wisdom. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention made clear their intention to break with monarchical practice, minimizing the president's authority. Congress was assigned the powers to raise armies, decide on the rules of war, issue letters of marque and reprisal, and ratify treaties. Most importantly, the legislative branch alone could declare war.

As commander-in-chief, the president could defend against attack, but he could not even order a retaliatory strike without congressional authority. Wrote James Madison to Thomas Jefferson: "The Constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the Legislature." Delegate James Wilson insisted that the Constitution was intended to "guard against" being hurried into war: "It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress, for the important power of declaring war is vested in the legislature at large."

Most important, placing the war power with Congress ensured that the people would be heard. Of course, even that is not enough today. Presidents have adeptly concocted "evidence" and misled the public, such as during the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq.

They were living out what Hermann Goering, on trial at Nuremberg, described in a private conversation to an American officer: "voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." Tragically, he's probably right.

However, the Iraq debacle has resulted in greater skepticism of presidential claims. The Trump administration's unsupported judgment that Iran was behind attacks on oil tankers was greeted at home and abroad with a demand for more evidence. People were conscious of having been repeatedly played by Washington and did not want a repeat. Many found the U.S. government no more trustworthy than Iranian authorities, a humbling equivalence. And given the doubts apparently voiced by Pentagon officials out of public view, such skepticism was well-founded.

Last week, Donald Trump declared, "I want to get out of these endless wars." Unlike his predecessors, the president apparently recognizes the temptation to sacrifice lives for political gain. However, alone he will find it nearly impossible to face down the bipartisan War Party. The best way to get out of endless wars is to not get in them in the first place. And that requires changing personnel and respecting the constitutional limits established by the nation's Founders.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire


Kent 8 hours ago

Unfortunately, the President is attempting to walk a tight-rope between peace and the most prominent funders of the GOP. Sheldon Adelson and his ilk are bent on the destruction of any nation that stands in the way of Israeli expansion. And of course military contractors need constant growth in tax-payer funding to support their margins and shareholder value. Hence the blustering to appease the aforementioned and keep the bribes flowing, while backing down to appease the base.

It would of course be in the interests of the base to oppose the bribe-taking to begin with, but I assume that must be beyond their intellectual capacity. Or perhaps they're simply in favor of it for ideological reasons.

Adriana Pena 14 hours ago
Please stop this "czar good, ministers bad" narrative when discussing Trump standing up to the war party.

Trump hired Bolton
Trump hired Pompeo
Trump made the torturer Gina the head of the CIA

For someone who does not want war, he managed to put war lovers in sensitive posts.

John Michener 15 hours ago
We might as well be honest about it. All politicians over simplify, shade the truth, and occasionally lie. But Trump's falsehoods are so continuous and extensive that there is no reason to believe anything he says - everything needs to be validated against external authorities - which is why he is so intent on tearing down all authorities that could contradict him.
Clyde Schechter 15 hours ago
This is another in the long line of stories we are reading here (and in other places) that Trump really doesn't want to get involved in a war but is being manipulated by Bolton, Pompeo and the national security apparatus. Sorry, but I don't buy it.

Trump hired Bolton and Pompeo. Even somebody as apparently dimwitted as Trump could not possibly have failed to notice that they were warmongers. Indeed, Bolton is probably the most extreme warmonger around: he has an extensive public record of advocating war with Iran for about two decades now. I cannot believe that even Trump was unaware of this. And even if he was, why hasn't he fired them? He doesn't need anybody's permission to do that. Let's get real: Trump is every bit the warmonger as the people he hires. His statements to the contrary are just more additions to his endless string of lies.

What's more, he has another way to avoid being cornered into starting a war. All he has to do in that circumstance is acknowledge that the constitution doesn't grant him that authority and toss the decision making to Congerss, where it legally belongs. But he has done nothing that suggests he acknowledges that constitutional delegation of authority--even though it could provide him a way out if he felt he needed one.

So, no. I don't believe for a minute that Trump wants to avoid war. Actions speak louder than words, especially Trump's words.

JJ 17 hours ago
You're falling for the "official" report that he called off the attack merely because 150 lives were at stake? Since when did he all of a sudden grow a conscious after the inexcusable defense he gave for our irresponsible military and intelligence ventures? He even bypasses Congress itself by his illegal presidential will to give weapons to the SAUDIS. The tyrannical, radical, scourge of humanity tribal savages turned psychopathic oligarchs that is the House of Saud.

Let's be perfectly honest with ourselves, Tucker Carson (a f*cking tv show host of all people) convinced a US president to not commit to another illegal war. Not because lives were at stake, heavens no. It's because going into a disastrous war with Iran would gauruntee his chances of not getting re-elected.

The American government is a living parody with no hope of redemption.

HenionJD 9 hours ago
The President's almost daily outpouring of gibberish gives one little confidence that the notion of 'the truth' holds any importance for him or his crew. Who needs historical precedents to establish a feeling of mistrust when even the simplest statements from the White House are so often needlessly loaded with misapprehensions, distortions and out right BS?
EliteCommInc. 15 hours ago
" He's right. But then why has Trump chosen to surround himself with advisers apparently so at variance with his views?"

I get this, position. You present an incredibly tough front as you press an entirely different goal. The problem is that the president has presented a very tough front himself. So when it appears to to actually be tough, he comes across as "not so much". It even provides opportunity to grand him fearful. In the scenario that I think is being played out or made to appear to play out --- the good cop, the reasonable cop has to sound reasonable all the time. He has to claim to be holding back the forces of evil that threaten to consume the target. But the president has been leading the way as "bad cop" so in the mind the targets, there are no good cops.

But in my view, all of this hoollla baaaloooey about Iran is a distraction to the real threat

the border. And the only common ground to be had is to enforce the law. That is why I think the president is weak. For all of the tough talk --- he folded -- again on immigration. Pretending to get concessions that is by agreement already expected from Mexico is the such naked weakness that launching hypersonic missiles obliterating Tehran would just give him sandals.

Uhhhh, no. I don't regret my vote. And and I still want the wall built and the laws enforced and the sovereignty of the US respected by guests and citizens alike,.

[Jun 27, 2019] Aggressive US Lies and Misleads to Justify War on Iran by William Boardman

Notable quotes:
"... Lately, Trump and Pompeo and their ilk have been whining about not wanting war and claiming they want to negotiate, while doing nothing to make negotiation more possible. Iran has observed US actions and has rejected negotiating with an imperial power with a decades-long record of bad faith. Lacking any serious act of good faith by the US, does Iran have any other rational choice? Pompeo makes absolutely clear just how irrational, how dishonest, how implacable and untrustworthy the US is when he accuses Iran of ..."
"... The US is stumbling down a path toward war with no justification. Democrats should have objected forcefully and continuously long since. Democrats in the House should have put peace with Iran on the table as soon as they came into the majority. They should do it now. Democratic presidential candidates should join Tulsi Gabbard and Elizabeth Warren in forthrightly opposing war with Iran ..."
Jun 26, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

It is the assessment of the United States Government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today. This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.

This is only the latest in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests, and they should be understood in the context of 40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations.

-- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcement , June 13, 2013

The secretary of state delivered this appallingly Orwellian official assessment of the US government within hours of the five explosions on two tankers, well before any credible investigation establishing more than minimal facts could be carried out. As is his habit, Mike Pompeo flatly lied about whatever might be real in the Gulf of Oman, and most American media ran with the lies as if they were or might be true. There is almost no chance that Mike Pompeo and the US government are telling the truth about this event, as widespread domestic and international skepticism attests.

Pompeo's official assessment was false even in its staging. For most of his four-minute appearance, Pompeo stood framed by two pictures behind him, each showing a tanker with a fire amidships. This was a deliberate visual lie. The two pictures showed the same tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair , from different angles. The other tanker, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous , did not catch fire and was not shown.

First, what actually happened, as best we can tell five days later? In the early morning of June 13, two unrelated tankers were heading south out of the Strait of Hormuz, sailing in open water in the Gulf of Oman, roughly 20 miles off the south coast of Iran. The tankers were most likely outside Iran's territorial waters, but within Iran's contiguous zone as defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea . At different times, some 30 miles apart, the two tankers were attacked by weapons unknown, launched by parties unknown, for reasons unknown. The first reported distress call was 6:12 a.m. local time. No one has yet claimed responsibility for either attack. The crew of each tanker abandoned ship soon after the explosions and were rescued by ships in the area, including Iranian naval vessels, who took the Front Altair crew to an Iranian port.

Even this much was not certain in the early afternoon of June 13 when Mike Pompeo came to the lectern at the State Department to deliver his verdict:

It is the assessment of the United States Government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today.

Pompeo did not identify the unnamed intelligence entities, if any, within the government who made this assessment. He offered no evidence to support the assessment. He did offer something of an argument that began:

This assessment is based on intelligence .

He didn't say what intelligence. He didn't say whose intelligence. American intelligence assets and technology are all over the region generating reams of intelligence day in, day out. Then there are the intelligence agencies of the Arab police states bordering the Persian Gulf. They, too, are busy collecting intelligence 24/7, although they are sometimes loath to share. Pompeo didn't mention it, but according to CNN an unnamed US official admitted that the US had a Reaper Drone in the air near the two tankers before they were attacked. He also claimed that Iran had fired a missile at the drone, but missed. As CNN inanely spins it, "it is the first claim that the US has information of Iranian movements prior to the attack." As if the US doesn't have information on Iranian movements all the time . More accurately, this is the first admission that the US had operational weaponry in the area prior to the attack. After intelligence, Pompeo continued:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used .

Pompeo did not name a single weapon used. Early reporting claimed the attackers used torpedoes or mines, a claim that became inoperative as it became clear that all the damage to the tankers was well above the waterline. There is little reason to believe Pompeo had any actual knowledge of what weapons were used, unless one was a Reaper Drone. He went on:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation

The "level of expertise needed" to carry out these attacks on a pair of sitting duck tankers does not appear to be that great. Yes, the Iranian military probably has the expertise, as do the militaries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Israel, or others with a stake in provoking a crisis in the region. And those who lack the expertise still have the money with which to hire expert surrogates. The number of credible suspects, known and unknown, with an interest in doing harm to Iran is easily in double figures. Leading any serious list should be the US. That's perfectly logical, so Pompeo tried to divert attention from the obvious:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping .

There are NO confirmed "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," and even if there were, they would prove nothing. Pompeo's embarrassingly irrelevant list that follows includes six examples, only one of which involved a shipping attack. The one example was the May 12, 2019, attack on four ships at anchor in the deep water port of Fujairah. Even the multinational investigation organized by the UAE could not determine who did it. The UAE reported to the UN Security Council that the perpetrator was likely some unnamed "state actor." The logical suspects and their surrogates are the same as those for the most recent attack.

Instead of "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," Pompeo offers Iran's decades-old threat to close the Strait of Hormuz (which it's never done), together with three attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia, an unattributed rocket attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad, and an unattributed car bomb in Afghanistan. Seriously, if that's all he's got, he's got nothing. But he's not done with the disinformation exercise:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.

The whole proxy group thing is redundant, covered by "the level of expertise needed" mentioned earlier. Pompeo doesn't name any proxy group here, he doesn't explain how he could know there's no proxy group that could carry out such an attack, and he just throws word garbage at the wall and hopes something sticks that will make you believe – no evidence necessary – that Iran is evil beyond redemption:

Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran.

The attacks in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan have all been provoked by the US and its allies. The US has long been a clear threat to international peace and security, except when the US was actually trashing peace and security, as it did in Iraq, as it seems to want to do in Iran. There is, indeed, "an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension," but it's a campaign by the US. The current phase began when the Trump administration pulled out of the multinational nuclear deal with Iran. The US wages economic warfare on Iran even though Iran continues to abide by the Trump-trashed treaty. All the other signatories and inspectors confirm that Iran has abided by the agreement. But Iran is approaching a point of violation, which it has been warning about for some time. The other signatories allow the US to bully them into enforcing US sanctions at their own cost against a country in compliance with its promises. China, Russia, France, GB, Germany, and the EU are all craven in the face of US threats. That's what the US wants from Iran.

Lately, Trump and Pompeo and their ilk have been whining about not wanting war and claiming they want to negotiate, while doing nothing to make negotiation more possible. Iran has observed US actions and has rejected negotiating with an imperial power with a decades-long record of bad faith. Lacking any serious act of good faith by the US, does Iran have any other rational choice? Pompeo makes absolutely clear just how irrational, how dishonest, how implacable and untrustworthy the US is when he accuses Iran of:

40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations.

This is Big Lie country. Forty years ago, the Iranians committed their original sin – they overthrew one of the world's most brutal dictatorships, imposed on them by the US. Then they took Americans hostage, and the US has been playing the victim ever since, out of all proportion to reality or justice. But the Pompeos of this world still milk it for all it's worth. What about "unprovoked aggression," who does that? The US list is long and criminal, including its support of Saddam Hussein's war of aggression against Iran. Iran's list of "unprovoked aggressions" is pretty much zero, unless you go back to the Persian Empire. No wonder Pompeo took no question on his statement. The Big Lie is supposed to be enough.

The US is stumbling down a path toward war with no justification. Democrats should have objected forcefully and continuously long since. Democrats in the House should have put peace with Iran on the table as soon as they came into the majority. They should do it now. Democratic presidential candidates should join Tulsi Gabbard and Elizabeth Warren in forthrightly opposing war with Iran. Leading a huge public outcry may not keep the president from lying us into war with Iran any more than it kept the president from lying us into war with Iraq. But an absence of outcry will just make it easier for this rogue nation to commit a whole new set of war crimes.

Intellectually, the case for normal relations with Iran is easy. There is literally no good reason to maintain hostility, not even the possibility, remote as it is, of an Iranian nuclear weapon (especially now that Trump is helping the Saudis go nuclear). But politically, the case for normal relations with Iran is hard, especially because forty years of propaganda demonizing Iran has deep roots. To make a sane case on Iran takes real courage: one has to speak truth to a nation that believes its lies to itself.

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This article was first published in Reader Supported News . Read other articles by William .

[Jun 27, 2019] Who are the arsonists of the petrol tankers in the Gulf by Manlio Dinucci

Notable quotes:
"... The control of the energy corridors is of capital importance. By accusing Iran of attempting to " interrupt the flow of oil through the Straights of Hormuz ", Mike Pompeo announced that " the United States will defend freedom of navigation ". In other words, he has announced that the United States want to gain military control of this key area for energy supplies, including for Europe, by preventing above all the transit of Iranian oil (to which Italy and other European countries cannot in any case enjoy free access because of the US embargo). ..."
"... Natural gas might also have arrived directly in Italy from Russia, and from there be distributed to other European countries with notable economical advantages, via the South Stream route through the Black Sea. But the pipeline, already in an advanced stage of construction, was blocked in 2014 by the pressure of the United States and European Union itself, with heavy prejudice for Italy. ..."
Jun 27, 2019 | www.voltairenet.org

While the United States prepared a new escalation of tension in the Middle East by accusing Iran of attacking petrol tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Italian vice-Prime Minister Matteo Salvini met with one of the artisans of this strategy in Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, assuring him that " Italy wants to regain its place as the major partner on the European continent of the greatest Western democracy ". Thereby he has allied Italy with the operation launched by Washington.

The " Gulf of Oman affair " , a casus belli against Iran, is a carbon copy of the " Gulf of Tonkin affair " of 4 August 1964, itself used as a casus belli to bomb North Vietnam, which was accused of having attacked a US torpedo boat (an accusation which was later proved to be false).

Today, a video released by Washington shows the crew of an alleged Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from the hull of a petrol tanker in order to conceal its origin (because the mine would allegedly have borne the inscription " Made in Iran ").

With this " proof " - a veritable insult to our intelligence - Washington is attempting to camouflage the goal of the operation. It is part of the strategy aimed at controlling the world reserves of oil and natural gas and their energy corridors [ 1 ]. It is no coincidence if Iran and Iraq are in US crosshairs. Their total oil reserves are greater than those of Saudi Arabia, and five times greater than those of the United States. Iranian reserves of natural gas are approximately 2.5 times those of the USA. Venezuela finds itself targeted by the USA for the same reason, since it is the country which owns the greatest oil reserves in the world.

The control of the energy corridors is of capital importance. By accusing Iran of attempting to " interrupt the flow of oil through the Straights of Hormuz ", Mike Pompeo announced that " the United States will defend freedom of navigation ". In other words, he has announced that the United States want to gain military control of this key area for energy supplies, including for Europe, by preventing above all the transit of Iranian oil (to which Italy and other European countries cannot in any case enjoy free access because of the US embargo).

Low-cost Iranian natural gas might also have reached Europe by way of a pipeline crossing Iraq and Syria. But the project, launched in 2011, was destroyed by the USA/NATO operation to demolish the Syrian state.

Natural gas might also have arrived directly in Italy from Russia, and from there be distributed to other European countries with notable economical advantages, via the South Stream route through the Black Sea. But the pipeline, already in an advanced stage of construction, was blocked in 2014 by the pressure of the United States and European Union itself, with heavy prejudice for Italy.

In fact it was the reproduction of North Stream which continued, making Germany the centre of triage for Russian gas.. Then, on the basis of the " USA/EU strategic cooperation in the energy field " agreement stipulated in July 2018, US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU tripled. The triage centre was in Poland, from which was distributed the " Freedom Gas " which also arrived in Ukraine.

Washington's objective is strategic – to hurt Russia by replacing Russian gas in Europe with US gas. But we have no guarantees, neither on the price, nor on the time-scale for US gas extracted from the bituminous shale by the technique known as fracking (hydraulic fracturation), which is disastrous for the environment.

So what does Matteo Salvini have to say about all that? When he arrived in the " greatest democracy in the Western world ", he proudly declared - " I am part of a government which in Europe is no longer satisfied with breadcrumbs ".

[Jun 25, 2019] If the reports are true then Trump made an offer to the Iranians: let me bomb a few token sites - heck, I'll even let you nominate them - and then I'll declare victory and we can sit down and talk.

Notable quotes:
"... If the reports are true then Trump made an offer to the Iranians: let me bomb a few token sites - heck, I'll even let you nominate them - and then I'll declare victory and we can sit down and talk. ..."
"... Nope, said the Iranians. If you launch even a token attack then we will reply with everything we have got, and so will Hezbollah and so will Syria. Your call, Donald. ..."
"... That's the reality, apparently. One spark from Trump and the entire region goes up in flames. ..."
Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yeah, Right , Jun 25, 2019 6:17:41 AM | 156

@154 Hopkins

"how long before Iran realizes it will lose and calls on all of its asymmetric regional forces to attack in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, UAE, Saudi Arabia and the Straits of Hormuz"

Oh, about 12 hours, there or thereabouts. That is Iran's "Trump card". If the reports are true then Trump made an offer to the Iranians: let me bomb a few token sites - heck, I'll even let you nominate them - and then I'll declare victory and we can sit down and talk.

Nope, said the Iranians. If you launch even a token attack then we will reply with everything we have got, and so will Hezbollah and so will Syria. Your call, Donald.

That's the reality, apparently. One spark from Trump and the entire region goes up in flames.

[Jun 25, 2019] Russia has stated that the drone was in Iranian airspace according to its own intelligence

Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Nuff Sed , Jun 25, 2019 6:45:20 AM | 158

Iranian TV just announced that Russia has stated that the drone was in Iranian airspace according to its own intelligence. Not that that will make any difference to the madmen telling the Donald the Chump what to do...

[Jun 25, 2019] It is possible that the USA neocons were expecting that the low sophistication of the Iranian missiles would not be able to distinguish which object to target and therefore go for the larger object. I am sure that this was the game ....and it failed

Notable quotes:
"... karlof1 thinks, if I get him right, that the US underestimated the defensive radar capabilities of Iran, and that they got aware of their lack of knowledge right through the incidence. Which might have had a big impact on them, especially Trump. ..."
Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Joe , Jun 25, 2019 5:51:53 AM | 153

I am a little puzzled that there is not more discussion about the plane that was flying close to the recently shot down drone in Iran. To me there is no doubt that the plane was a the real target that the US and it's owner Israel wanted to be shot down. I am completely sure of it.

All of the hocus pocus and bullshit statements about Iran being a nice guy for not shooting it down instead of the drone are just part of the coverup but this baffon Trump and company. I am sure that they were completely expecting that the sophistication of the Iranian missles would not be able to distinguish which object to target and therefore go for the larger object. I am sure that this was the game ....and it failed! There is no question that the Iranians are aware of it and will be even more careful in the future.

Imagine the supposed 30 or so people on board the P8 or whatever it is called .....they were Guinea Pigs and sacrificial offerings to Empire in order to start a real war with Iran .....for me no question about this. Surprised that more able people than myself are not picking up on it ......

mk , Jun 25, 2019 7:55:35 AM | 163


@Joe 153

For me the P-8 is the most intriguing puzzle of the affair. Your suggestion is reasonable, but I need more proof to take it as a given. The fact that Trump - as the only American - sided with the Iranians (if it was only for the existence of the plane and the crew size) is amazing. I guess the hours before and especially after the shoot down have been far more dramatic, for both sides, than what has emerged so far.

karlof1 thinks, if I get him right, that the US underestimated the defensive radar capabilities of Iran, and that they got aware of their lack of knowledge right through the incidence. Which might have had a big impact on them, especially Trump.


Anon , Jun 25, 2019 8:37:37 AM | 171 Peter AU 1 , Jun 25, 2019 8:40:23 AM | 172
mk 163

The Iranians stated a P-8 was also present which most took to be the Poseidon version.
I did a little research on the versions and posted some info on the open thread.
The P-8 Poseidon is a dedicated maritime surveillance aircraft, whereas a P-8 AGS would be the best the US has for the likes of tracking shoot and scoot SAM systems.
in the open thread, Paveway put up the thought that the number 35 could refer to an F-35 - that rather than a P-8 the other aircraft was an F-35. karlof1 speculated the 35 was a third plane. That would make it - drone as decoy, P-8 AGS to track SAM launchers and targeting radar when they launched at the decoy, and the F-35, as well as its own surveillance capabilities could also attack the SAM systems. An F-35 is pure speculation at the moment, but the incident does seem to involve the US creating an incident using the drone to give the excuse and information for fast strikes at least on some coastal SAM systems. Perhaps coming unstuck when the Iranians fired only one missile and did not use targeting radar.
Approved by Trump - or a plan hatched by his dogs of war - is anybodies guess.

[Jun 25, 2019] Some arguments that tanker attack was a false flag operation

Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Arata , Jun 24, 2019 5:14:13 PM | 68

@48

It is clear for everyone that Iran was not behind the tankers attack.
1) American video evidence was fake, fabricated, they could not produce sequences before the event and after the event.
2) American military services is on auction in Persian Gulf: " ...So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation"
it means:
My sales man and agent are in Suadia Barbaria and Oman for sales, please contact them for price ASAP.

3) Fortunately MoA and Elijah theory was not true.

[Jun 25, 2019] the reason so many Westerners are so willing to accept the unfounded notion that Iran is conducting a campaign of stealth attacks because Western propaganda has relentlessly called Iran a terrorist nation.

Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jun 25, 2019 12:26:17 AM | 135

Anon @121:

Even CNN had a headline at one point that it suited Iran fine to be blamed ...

"Even CNN ..." LMFAO

b will no doubt be pleased./sarc

... until proven these acts will remain enough of an unknown around which unfinished narratives will turn ...

Knowledgeable people have more reason to suspect an CIA-Mossad false flag than Iranian stealth attacks because:

>> it's US+Israel+Saudi that are the protagonists that are driving toward a result AND;

>> it makes no sense for Iran to play into the hands of their enemies by foolishly thinking that they can conducts attacks that will not be attributed to them. Those Iran-attributed attacks can be conveniently used as:

1) an excuse for a military build-up and;

2) justification for the undertaking of provocative actions (like sending more drones into Iranian airspace) .

Utimately, it's a prelude to a war that USA-Israel-Saudis want.

Furthermore, the reason so many Westerners are so willing to accept the unfounded notion that Iran is conducting a campaign of stealth attacks because Western propaganda has relentlessly called Iran a terrorist nation.

Given the above, it's not surprising that Iranian military leadership has essentially denounced the notion of "stealth attacks" as I noted in this comment on the earlier thread .

The idea that Iran can sit this out till whenever is not exactly true ...

They are not "sitting it out." You slyly present a false dichotomy, implicitly proposing that they must become the terrorists that the West claim they are or sit on their hands and accept their fate.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The conclusion is obvious:

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

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

William Gruff 88

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jun 24, 2019] The tanker attacks themselves are not Iran's style, and this type of attacks are not in Iran's interest

Notable quotes:
"... The tanker attacks were not done by Iran. The US has the smoking gun, but that was planted in their hands by Israel, who were the most probable culprits behind the attacks. Netanyahoo is waiting for new elections, with criminal indictments hot on his tail. His only motivation for the tanker attacks is ultimately to save his skin from the criminal pursuit. ..."
"... Now comes the sting: Iran has top class humint on Israel, and would have known about their plans for the tanker attacks in advance, probably in detail. Being 10 steps ahead of everybody else, the Iranians decided to use the tanker attacks to their own advantage - which is exactly what we are seeing now (although I think we see only the smallest tip of the iceberg). ..."
"... Iran's emphasis on going it alone rather than their ever closer partnership with Russia and China was just part of the deception - probably Russia and China are briefed on the Iranian strategy in detail -- that partnership is as solid as the strongest rock. Frankly, I think some of the things Khamenei said were wildly implausible and rather stupid to fully believe (like the implied fragility of the Iran-Russia-China relationships!!!) - but even that was an intrinsic part of their game, because the deception is aimed at stupid people blinded by hubris, and once the targets have fallen into the trap they will be seen to be even more stupid for having fallen for it. ..."
Jun 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

BM , Jun 24, 2019 11:11:07 AM | 237

I've had a planned post sitting idle in the back of my mind for the last ten days or so due to travelling, the flu, etc, and just haven't managed to find the time to get it out, so here belatedly is a quickie version of it (actually only one aspect of several), because It's important! :

Concerning the tanker attacks, B's postulations of Iran's strategy, and Magnier's response citing Iranian sources - I don't buy it, and never did, for many reasons, many of which have already been discussed. I think there is a very important twist that has been left out.

The tanker attacks were not done by Iran. The US has the smoking gun, but that was planted in their hands by Israel, who were the most probable culprits behind the attacks. Netanyahoo is waiting for new elections, with criminal indictments hot on his tail. His only motivation for the tanker attacks is ultimately to save his skin from the criminal pursuit.

Now comes the sting: Iran has top class humint on Israel, and would have known about their plans for the tanker attacks in advance, probably in detail. Being 10 steps ahead of everybody else, the Iranians decided to use the tanker attacks to their own advantage - which is exactly what we are seeing now (although I think we see only the smallest tip of the iceberg).

I think the Iranians were by the time of the tanker attacks already ready to carry out covert attacks, of which some of the proxy attacks such as Houthi attacks on pipelines and airports etc might have been examples. The tanker attacks themselves are not Iran's style, and this type of attacks are not in Iran's interest (at least under the conditions prevailing so far, though as we get closer and closer to open warfare that changes) - but encouraging ambiguity about whether Iran was responsible, and even actively encouraging attributions was very much in Iran's interests. Why? Because Iran had prior intelligence, and was actively out to record everything as it happened and get incriminating evidence against the US and Israel. Their desire was to encourage the US to publish as much fake evidence as possible, and when the time is ripe Iran will come out with the real evidence blowing the US position wide open.

Iran's emphasis on going it alone rather than their ever closer partnership with Russia and China was just part of the deception - probably Russia and China are briefed on the Iranian strategy in detail -- that partnership is as solid as the strongest rock. Frankly, I think some of the things Khamenei said were wildly implausible and rather stupid to fully believe (like the implied fragility of the Iran-Russia-China relationships!!!) - but even that was an intrinsic part of their game, because the deception is aimed at stupid people blinded by hubris, and once the targets have fallen into the trap they will be seen to be even more stupid for having fallen for it.

Unlike the US, the Iranians are sensitive to what can be justified under international law and what cannot. Where an action is clearly against international law, they would obviously have to have good grounds to believe that they could get away with it, even if things went wrong, and benefits would have to outweigh risks.

That is really just a taster, there are lots of other aspects that tie in with it - appologies for not presenting this theory more clearly and pulling all the threads together, but I'm afraid my flu-befuddled mind is not up to that at this moment! Anyone interested can no doubt explore it further for themselves as an exercise for the reader!

[Jun 24, 2019] Tanker attacks are more likely a propaganda ploy to promote the false narrative that Iran is a terrorist nation.

Jun 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jun 23, 2019 11:07:07 PM | 172

james @167: Magnier

Not surprising that some unnamed Iranian commander speaks belligerently against USA.

It's clear that Magnier believes this is newsworthy because of a few sly phrases like "Iran will not stand idle" that's supposed to confirm the view that Iran has turned into the terrorists that the anti-Iranian group (USA, Israel, Saudis) say they are.

I don't buy it. A strategy of 'stealth attacks' makes no sense as it invites increasing surveillance and beligerence from USA and is highly likely to backfire when an incident can be traced to Iran.

Much more likely that it's a propaganda ploy that plays into the false narrative that Iran is a terrorist nation.

[Jun 24, 2019] The advanced airborne sensor helps throw some light on why the aircraft was there and videoing the drone shootdown.

Jun 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Jun 24, 2019 4:23:18 AM | 209

Some interesting bits and pieces from the wikipedia page on the P-8.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_P-8_Poseidon
"It is designed to operate in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle."

"During the P-8A Increment 2 upgrade in 2016, the APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS) will be replaced by the Advanced Airborne Sensor radar.[56]"

Advanced airborne sensor radar.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Airborne_Sensor
"The Advanced Airborne Sensor (AAS) is a multifunction radar installed on the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The radar is built by Raytheon as a follow-on to their AN/APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS).

The AAS has its roots in the highly classified AN/APS-149 LSRS, which was designed to provide multi-function moving target detection and tracking and high resolution ground mapping at standoff ranges covering land, littoral, and water areas. The radar was deployed on a small number of P-3C Orions, with "game changing" results. Containing a double-sided AESA radar with near 360-degree coverage, it could scan, map, track, and classify targets, and do all of these tasks near simultaneously; it was reportedly sensitive enough to pick up a formation of people moving over open terrain.[1]

Building upon the LSRS, the AAS also has a double-sided AESA radar, which contains a moving target indicator (MTI) that can detect, classify, and track targets on land and at sea at the same time, with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) for picture-like radar imagery of both inland and ocean areas at the same time; these can profile vessels from a long distance and generate fine resolution without relying on optical sensors, especially in day or night and in adverse weather conditions. Once it detects and classifies a hostile vessel, the P-8 can send targeting information to another armed platform and guide a networked weapon (e.g. Tomahawk cruise missiles, SLAM-ER, JASSM, LRASM, SDB II) to it through a data link. The AAS is in ways superior to the AN/APY-7 used on the U.S. Air Force's E-8 Joint STARS, looking both port and starboard rather than just being side-looking. Other potential missions could include detecting and tracking low flying and stealthy cruise missiles, communications relaying, and electronic warfare as a standoff platform to penetrate contested airspace, since AESA radars are capable of radar jamming, producing fake targets, frying electronic components, and even cyberwarfare.[1][2]"
...........

The advanced airborne sensor helps throw some light on why the aircraft was there and videoing the drone shootdown.

[Jun 23, 2019] Iranian UN envoy condemns unlawful destabilizing measures by US

Jun 20, 2019 | www.rt.com

Iran's envoy to the United Nations has called on the international community to end "unlawful destabilizing measures" by the US, declaring that while Iran does not seek war, it "reserves the right to counter any hostile act."

Iranian envoy to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi has condemned continuing US provocations that culminated Thursday morning in the downing of an American surveillance drone by the Iranian air force over Hormozgan province.

The drone "had turned off its identification equipment and [was] engaged in a clear spying operation," Ravanchi confirmed in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, adding that the aircraft had ignored "repeated radio warnings" in order to enter Iranian airspace near the Strait of Hormuz.

[Jun 23, 2019] Trump has enough rat cunning to know when he s cornered

Notable quotes:
"... Hire B-team actors whom he can fire at will, and for effect, as required to maintain the facade of 'dominance.' Let the dogs loose and then yank on their chains at the last minute. The master's voice etc. ..."
"... His problem is: it only works in TV Reality Show land -- and only for a limited time between business-as-usual advertising. ..."
"... He, and his cast of zio-policy diplomatic zombies have a much harder time when it comes to the real world and real national boundaries that resist and are likely to fight back. ..."
"... Seems the US is perpetually seeking war or at the very least threatening war. War on drugs, war on poverty war on disinfo war, trade wars , unending list of WAR, WAR, WAR. ..."
"... Sanctions were never justified in the first place. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has submitted to extra-ordinary inspections by the IAEA for decades. And gets ticks on the boxes. Anyone that thinks Iran is trying to 'build the bomb' probably believes unicorns live in the White House (the American one), and that Saddam blew up the Twin Towers. ..."
"... Compare the western attitudes towards Iran, and those towards India and Pakistan. Neither of which have signed up to the NPT. Not a single whimper from western governments or their MSM propaganda channels, when those countries developed an arsenal of nuclear WMD's. ..."
"... My guess on what happened with Trump was the same MO as in Syria, he has a temper tantrum ("kill them all, even the Russians" as was rumored) and he was informed of the possible fallout from such an attack. ..."
Jun 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

GeorgeV , Jun 21, 2019 9:25:57 AM | 48

Whether Generalissimo Bone Spur and President Chief Kaiser of the USA, His Imperial Majesty Donald Trump, actually called for a stand down of any attack on Iran for the shooting down of a surveillance UAV, or he suddenly realized that such an act would touch off another unneeded war, is at this point in time a matter of some debate. What is clear however is that his Imperial Majesty must clean out his current foreign policy and national defense staff (Bolton, Pompeo, Haspel etc.) before another crisis develops. Otherwise the neocons that currently inhabit the Oval Office chicken hawk coop will be back at fomenting another crisis, which might actually give them the war they so dearly want. His Imperial Majesty appointed them and he can fire them.

imo , Jun 21, 2019 9:36:44 AM | 49

All this narrative fits Trump's modus operandi and his fake Alpha male persona.

Hire B-team actors whom he can fire at will, and for effect, as required to maintain the facade of 'dominance.' Let the dogs loose and then yank on their chains at the last minute. The master's voice etc.

His problem is: it only works in TV Reality Show land -- and only for a limited time between business-as-usual advertising.

He, and his cast of zio-policy diplomatic zombies have a much harder time when it comes to the real world and real national boundaries that resist and are likely to fight back.

Trump and US MIC is dangerous of course. But Trump has enough rat cunning to know when he's cornered. All he's done here with this alleged last minute "call back" is test prove his chain of command is working. (...or is it?)

arby , Jun 21, 2019 9:39:25 AM | 50
George V---
As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who the president has or who he is. Seems the US is perpetually seeking war or at the very least threatening war. War on drugs, war on poverty war on disinfo war, trade wars , unending list of WAR, WAR, WAR.
Ant. , Jun 21, 2019 9:48:30 AM | 53
I cannot see any way that the current irrational sanctions against Iran by the US can be rolled back. All US administrations are full of hubris and in love with their own imagined gloriously supreme power. The only way they can be rolled back is if Iran offers some face-saving excuse, which they can't do. They have nothing else to give (Pompeo's 'conditions for international re-alignment' were essentially a demand for surrender and 'regime' change, probably authored by Maniac Walrus Bolton).

Sanctions were never justified in the first place. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has submitted to extra-ordinary inspections by the IAEA for decades. And gets ticks on the boxes. Anyone that thinks Iran is trying to 'build the bomb' probably believes unicorns live in the White House (the American one), and that Saddam blew up the Twin Towers.

Compare the western attitudes towards Iran, and those towards India and Pakistan. Neither of which have signed up to the NPT. Not a single whimper from western governments or their MSM propaganda channels, when those countries developed an arsenal of nuclear WMD's.

Sorghum , Jun 21, 2019 9:50:51 AM | 54
My guess on what happened with Trump was the same MO as in Syria, he has a temper tantrum ("kill them all, even the Russians" as was rumored) and he was informed of the possible fallout from such an attack.

Trump will attack, just not yet. There is some new toy they want to try out. Shock and Awe style.

[Jun 22, 2019] I was shocked -- but not surprised -- to see visibly-pained CBS Pentagon flack David Martin on the boob tube this morning. Thank you, Vasili Arkhipov

Notable quotes:
"... Thank you, Vasili Arkhipov, for getting cold-feet, too! Madness, our nation is afflicted with madness. ..."
Jun 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Widowson , 21 June 2019 at 02:41 PM

I was shocked-- but not surprised-- to see visibly-pained CBS Pentagon flack David Martin on the boob tube this morning quoting an unnamed source that speculated that the reason Trump cancelled the bombing of Iran was that he got "cold-feet."

Thank you, Vasili Arkhipov, for getting cold-feet, too! Madness, our nation is afflicted with madness.

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

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

David Solomon , 21 June 2019 at 12:54 PM

Colonel Lang,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump has two choices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frankie P

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your usual deeply bigoted anti-Americanism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charlie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jun 22, 2019] White House Pushes 'Trump Pulled Back' Story - He Likely Never Approved To Strike Iran

Jun 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

J Swift , Jun 21, 2019 10:32:42 AM | 59

The fact that the transponder was turned off is important because it essentially confirms that the drone was intended to "stray" into Iranian airspace from the get-go. Basically, it would ensure that Teheran would be certain this was a military aircraft (a civilian aircraft doesn't just turn its transponder on and off at a whim), and would make it much more difficult for any civilian radars in the area to be able to confirm the exact position of the drone, such that it would always be a case of arguing whose military radar telemetry was truthful. It was intended to be at least targeted, further proven by the P8 shadowing it to pinpoint Iranian radar/launch sites. The whole operation was almost certainly to bait the Iranians into at least an attempted shoot down, while laying all the groundwork for a very limited and targeted (but mainly, face saving) response from Trump.

If you look at Korea and Syria, and even Trump's prior business dealings, it is pretty clear his "art of the deal" is to let your opponent commit themselves, then act crazy and reckless and use every dirty trick to put the opponent in a bind, then try to make a new deal more favorable to himself. The limited strike stuff worked in Syria because Russia encouraged Syria to look at the long game, and that they were really turning the corner and getting the upper hand, so "taking" a harmless strike or two would not change that, whereas goading the US into a more serious campaign could indeed be pretty devastating for Syria at that time. Trump obviously loved that deal, and after deeming that he'd maximized the PR from it, even wanted to get out of Syria before anyone noticed he hadn't really changed anything or defeated anyone. Unfortunately his financiers instructed him that he needed to stay, and he wasn't strong enough to challenge them.

But with Iran, it's different. The status quo is unacceptable to them, and they know they hold the world's economy by its oily balls. The US has already gone too far, and Iran sees nothing in it for them to accept a "limited" strike to allow Trump to save face. To the contrary, that would only serve to solidify the status quo, which Iran cannot do. The PomBolSkal faction most likely ordered the latest tanker operation, but one charge fell off prior to detonation, the ships didn't explode and sink, and the hurried efforts to manufacture "evidence" that Iran did it was so amateurish it made the Skripal business look professional. They likely ordered the drone bait operation, too, thinking they could once again play Trump into believing he could respond with a limited "Syria style" strike and look like a hero, all the while privately knowing and intending that massive escalation would be inevitable and they would finally get the war against Iran they really wanted.

Trump, though, had military school upbringing, and has shown a fair amount of respect for the military. During his campaign he surrounded himself with military figures, and his financiers permitted it as they (rightly) assumed it would increase his chances of getting elected, but quickly caused them to be replaced with their kindred spirits in PomBolSkal as soon as they could so their agenda could proceed. In this case, a major war with Iran was the goal, but in spite of Bolton and Pompeo, in particular, working hard to isolate Trump from input by the Pentagon, I have a feeling that after the faction cajoled Trump into ordering a strike, the Pentagon said enough is enough and got word to Trump in no uncertain terms that the outcome was not going to be like Syria, but was going to directly and quickly result in a massive escalation for which Trump would get the blame. I would suggest that's when Trump ordered the strike to stand down, and why some loyal to him or the Pentagon told the news media to put that story out there, unabridged, laying the groundwork for Trump to can his "advisors." Pompeo has been clearly blamed for the failure of progress in Korea, Bolton was blamed for the Venezuela fiasco, and Haskal was caught lying to trump about the Skripal affair. Trump is an opportunist and definitely does not like being embarrassed, and may use this as leverage to move those demons on out. One can only hope.


fastfreddy , Jun 21, 2019 10:59:51 AM | 66

Pomp, Haskel or Bolton - we should see one of them fired soon. Trump would surely benefit politically from the disposal of any one of these cretins. And it fits the theme of the Trump television show AND Trumps natural inclination to avoid blame and to tar others with (sh)it.

If there is no shake up in the cabinet, then we will know that Trump is not "The Decider".

Is Lindsey Graham Cracker toning down his warmongering rhetoric?

c1ue , Jun 21, 2019 11:03:39 AM | 69
It should be noted that a somewhat higher oil price is no longer a clear negative for the US economy and may, in fact, by positive.
In the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s - oil prices rising would decrease US economic activity because most of the oil was imported.
Today, that is no longer true.
While higher oil prices costs consumers more, as before, today shale oil extraction means higher oil prices also translates into higher revenues for US businesses instead of cash being sent abroad. More jobs, more equipment orders, more shipping internally, etc.
The US had a multi-decade record low in oil imports in February - 175,000 barrels per day net imports (October 2018 through March 2019, excepting February, averaged a bit over 1M bpd) vs. roughly 20.5M bpd consumption.
To compare: US net imports in January 1981 averaged 6.27M bpd vs. roughly 16.5M bpd consumed per day.
So every $1 increase in oil price translates to $7B injected into domestic US oil industry, in turn converts some significant multiplier of US GDP to offset the potential reduction in consumer disposable income spend in areas excluding oil/gasoline costs. Arguably shale oil has a higher multiplier because it requires so much more exploration, drilling, transport and technology than "conventional" very large deposit oil.
In contrast, imported oil has pretty much no multiplier - a little for banks and international shipping, but not much.
This is what I mean when I say that the US is the least affected by a potential interruption in Persian Gulf oil, and potentially could positively benefit.
Oscar Peterson , Jun 21, 2019 11:11:14 AM | 71
"The easiest way out for Trump is to abolish sanctions against Iran. He at least should issue waivers for China and others to allow them to again buy Iranian oil."

Yes, but that's not actually easy, and it's very unlikely Trump will do it. Remember how even Obama was kept on the defensive by our warmongering MSM wailing about the violation of his supposed "red lines?"

And Trump is much less disposed to change course when events have proved him wrong.

I'd say the likelihood of some short of shooting war/conflict is well over 50%.

Trump wants to avoid war if possible but won't eat all the words he's spoken in the last two years. Adelson, Bolton et al probably want war, though how they want that war to unfold is another question. Iran is trying to thread the needle. It needs enough conflict to create more energy havoc. Some sort of shooting beyond drones will probably be required for that.

[Jun 22, 2019] Why a U.S.-Iran War Could End Up Being a Historic Disaster by Doug Bandow

Highly recommended!
The current conflict is about the US hegemony in the region, not anything else.
The analysis is really good. I especially like "The Trump administration is essentially a one-trick pony when it comes to foreign policy toward hostile states. The standard quo is to apply massive economic pressure and demand surrender"
That means that Doug Bandow proposals while good are completely unrealistic.
Notable quotes:
"... Sixteen years ago, the George W. Bush administration manipulated intelligence to scare the public into backing an aggressive war against Iraq. The smoking gun mushroom clouds that National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice warned against didn’t exist, but the invasion long desired by neoconservatives and other hawks proceeded. Liberated Iraqis rejected U.S. plans to create an American puppet state on the Euphrates and the aftermath turned into a humanitarian and geopolitical catastrophe which continues to roil the Middle East. ..."
"... Now the Trump administration appears to be following the same well-worn path. The president has fixated on Iran, tearing up the nuclear accord with Tehran and declaring economic war on it—as well as anyone dealing with Iran. He is pushing America toward war even as he insists that he wants peace. How stupid does he believe we are? ..."
"... Washington did much to encourage a violent, extremist revolution in Tehran. The average Iranian could be forgiven for viewing America as a virulently hostile power determined to do his or her nation ill at almost every turn. ..."
"... The Shah was ousted in 1979. Following his departure the Reagan administration backed Iraq’s Saddam Hussein when he invaded Iran, triggering an eight-year war which killed at least half a million people. Washington reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers to protect revenue subsequently lent to Baghdad, provided Iraq with intelligence for military operations, and supplied components for chemical weapons employed against Iranian forces. In 1988 the U.S. Navy shot down an Iranian civilian airliner in international airspace. ..."
"... Economic sanctions were first imposed on Iran in 1979 and regularly expanded thereafter. Washington forged a close military partnership with Iran’s even more repressive rival, Saudi Arabia. In the immediate aftermath of its 2003 victory over Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration rejected Iran’s offer to negotiate; neoconservatives casually suggested that “real men” would conquer Tehran as well. Even the Obama administration threatened to take military action against Iran. ..."
"... Contrary to the common assumption in Washington that average Iranians would love the United States for attempting to destroy their nation’s economy, the latest round of sanctions apparently triggered a notable rise in anti-American sentiment. Nationalism trumped anti-clericalism. ..."
"... Iran also has no desire for war, which it would lose. However, Washington’s aggressive economic and military policies create pressure on Tehran to respond. Especially since administration policy—sanctions designed to crash the economy, military moves preparing for war — almost certainly have left hardliners, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who opposed negotiations with Washington, ascendant in Tehran. ..."
"... Europeans also point to Bush administration lies about Iraq and the fabricated 1964 Tonkin Gulf incident used to justify America’s entry into the Vietnam War. Even more important, the administration ostentatiously fomented the current crisis by trashing the JCPOA, launching economic war against Iran, threatening Tehran’s economic partners, and insisting on Iran’s submission. A cynic might reasonably conclude that the president and his aides hoped to trigger a violent Iranian response. ..."
"... Indeed, a newspaper owned by the Saudi royal family recently called for U.S. strikes on Iran. One or the reasons Al Qaeda launched the 9/11 attacks was to trigger an American military response against a Muslim nation. A U.S.-Iran war would be the mother of all Mideast conflagrations. ..."
"... In parallel, Washington should propose negotiations to lower tensions in other issues. But there truly should be no preconditions, requiring the president to consign the Pompeo list to a White House fireplace. In return for Iranian willingness to drop confrontational behavior in the region, the U.S. should offer to reciprocate—for instance, indicate a willingness to cut arms sales to the Saudis and Emiratis, end support for the Yemen war, and withdraw American forces from Syria and Iraq. ..."
"... Most important, American policymakers should play the long-game. Rather than try to crash the Islamic Republic and hope for the best, Washington should encourage Iran to open up, creating more opportunity and influence for a younger generation that desires a freer society. ..."
Jun 22, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Sixteen years ago, the George W. Bush administration manipulated intelligence to scare the public into backing an aggressive war against Iraq. The smoking gun mushroom clouds that National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice warned against didn’t exist, but the invasion long desired by neoconservatives and other hawks proceeded. Liberated Iraqis rejected U.S. plans to create an American puppet state on the Euphrates and the aftermath turned into a humanitarian and geopolitical catastrophe which continues to roil the Middle East.

Thousands of dead Americans, tens of thousands of wounded and maimed U.S. personnel, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, and millions of Iraqis displaced. There was the sectarian conflict, destruction of the historic Christian community, the creation of Al Qaeda in Iraq—which morphed into the far deadlier Islamic State—and the enhanced influence of Iran. The prime question was how could so many supposedly smart people be so stupid?

Now the Trump administration appears to be following the same well-worn path. The president has fixated on Iran, tearing up the nuclear accord with Tehran and declaring economic war on it—as well as anyone dealing with Iran. He is pushing America toward war even as he insists that he wants peace. How stupid does he believe we are?

The Iranian regime is malign. Nevertheless, despite being under almost constant siege it has survived longer than the U.S.-crafted dictatorship which preceded the Islamic Republic. And the latter did not arise in a vacuum. Washington did much to encourage a violent, extremist revolution in Tehran. The average Iranian could be forgiven for viewing America as a virulently hostile power determined to do his or her nation ill at almost every turn.

In 1953 the United States backed a coup against democratically selected prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh. Washington then aided the Shah in consolidating power, including the creation of the secret police, known as SAVAK. He forcibly modernized Iran’s still conservative Islamic society, while his corrupt and repressive rule united secular and religious Iranians against him.

The Shah was ousted in 1979. Following his departure the Reagan administration backed Iraq’s Saddam Hussein when he invaded Iran, triggering an eight-year war which killed at least half a million people. Washington reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers to protect revenue subsequently lent to Baghdad, provided Iraq with intelligence for military operations, and supplied components for chemical weapons employed against Iranian forces. In 1988 the U.S. Navy shot down an Iranian civilian airliner in international airspace.

Economic sanctions were first imposed on Iran in 1979 and regularly expanded thereafter. Washington forged a close military partnership with Iran’s even more repressive rival, Saudi Arabia. In the immediate aftermath of its 2003 victory over Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration rejected Iran’s offer to negotiate; neoconservatives casually suggested that “real men” would conquer Tehran as well. Even the Obama administration threatened to take military action against Iran.

As Henry Kissinger reportedly once said, even a paranoid can have enemies. Contrary to the common assumption in Washington that average Iranians would love the United States for attempting to destroy their nation’s economy, the latest round of sanctions apparently triggered a notable rise in anti-American sentiment. Nationalism trumped anti-clericalism.

The hostile relationship with Iran also has allowed Saudi Arabia, which routinely undercuts American interests and values, to gain a dangerous stranglehold over U.S. policy. To his credit President Barack Obama attempted to rebalance Washington’s Mideast policy. The result was the multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It provided for an intrusive inspection regime designed to discourage any future Iranian nuclear weapons program—which U.S. intelligence indicated had been inactive since 2003.

However, candidate Donald Trump had an intense and perverse desire to overturn every Obama policy. His tight embrace of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who ignored the advice of his security chiefs in denouncing the accord, and the Saudi royals, who Robert Gates once warned would fight Iran to the last American, also likely played an important role.

Last year the president withdrew from the accord and followed with a declaration of economic war. He then declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a military organization, to be a terrorist group. (Washington routinely uses the “terrorist” designation for purely political purposes.) Finally, there are reports, officially denied by Washington, that U.S. forces, allied with Islamist radicals—the kind of extremists responsible for most terrorist attacks on Americans—have been waging a covert war against Iranian smuggling operations.

The president claimed that he wanted to negotiate: “We aren’t looking for regime change,” he said. “We are looking for no nuclear weapons.” But that is what the JCPOA addressed. His policy is actually pushing Tehran to expand its nuclear program. Moreover, last year Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech that the Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian, who spent more than a year in Iranian prison, called “silly” and “completely divorced from reality.”

In a talk to an obsequious Heritage Foundation audience, Pompeo set forth the terms of Tehran’s surrender: Iran would be expected to abandon any pretense of maintaining an independent foreign policy and yield its deterrent missile capabilities, leaving it subservient to Saudi Arabia, with the latter’s U.S.-supplied and -trained military. Tehran could not even cooperate with other governments, such as Syria, at their request. The only thing missing from Pompeo’s remarks was insistence that Iran accept an American governor-general in residence.

The proposal was a nonstarter and looked like the infamous 1914 Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia, which was intended to be rejected and thereby justify war. After all, National Security Advisor John Bolton expressed his policy preference in a 2015 New York Times op-ed titled: “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” Whatever the president’s true intentions, Tehran can be forgiven for seeing Washington’s position as one of regime change, by war if necessary.

The administration apparently assumed that new, back-breaking sanctions would either force the regime to surrender at the conference table or collapse amid political and social conflict. Indeed, when asked if he really believed sanctions would change Tehran’s behavior, Pompeo answered that “what can change is, the people can change the government.” Both Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations have recently argued that the Islamic Republic is an exhausted regime, one that is perhaps on its way to extinction.

However, Rezaian says “there is nothing new” about Tehran’s difficult Iranian economic problems. “Assuming that this time around the Iranian people can compel their government to bend to America’s will seems—at least to anyone who has spent significant time in Iran in recent decades—fantastical,” he said. Gerecht enthusiasm for U.S. warmaking has led to mistakes in the past. He got Iraq wrong seventeen years ago when he wrote that “a war with Iraq might not shake up the Middle East much at all.

Today the administration is using a similar strategy against Russia, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. The citizens of these countries have not risen against their oppressors to establish a new, democratic, pro-American regime. Numerous observers wrongly predicted that the Castro regime would die after the end of Soviet subsidies and North Korea’s inevitable fall in the midst of a devastating famine. Moreover, regime collapse isn’t likely to yield a liberal, democratic republic when the most radical, authoritarian elites remain best-armed.

... ... ...

More important, Washington does not want to go to war with Iran, which is larger than Iraq, has three times the population, and is a real country. The regime, while unpopular with many Iranians, is much better rooted than Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. Tehran possesses unconventional weapons, missiles, and allies which could spread chaos throughout the region. American forces in Syria and Iraq would be vulnerable, while Baghdad’s stability could be put at risk. If Americans liked the Iraq debacle, then they would love the chaos likely to result from attempting to violently destroy the Iranian state. David Frum, one of the most avid neoconservative advocates of the Iraq invasion, warned that war with Iran would repeat Iraqi blunders on “a much bigger sale, without allies, without justification, and without any plan at all for what comes next.”

Iran also has no desire for war, which it would lose. However, Washington’s aggressive economic and military policies create pressure on Tehran to respond. Especially since administration policy—sanctions designed to crash the economy, military moves preparing for war — almost certainly have left hardliners, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who opposed negotiations with Washington, ascendant in Tehran.

Carefully calibrated military action, such as tanker attacks, might be intended to show “resolve” to gain credibility. Washington policymakers constantly justify military action as necessary to demonstrate that they are willing to take military action. Doing so is even more important for a weaker power. Moreover, observed the Eurasia Group, Iranian security agencies “have a decades-long history of conducting attacks and other operations aimed precisely at undermining the diplomatic objectives of a country’s elected representatives.” If Iran is responsible, observed Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group, then administration policy perversely “is rendering Iran more aggressive, not less,” thereby making the Mideast more, not less dangerous

Of course, Tehran has denied any role in the attacks and there is good reason to question unsupported Trump administration claims of Iranian guilt. The president’s indifferent relationship to the truth alone raises serious questions. Europeans also point to Bush administration lies about Iraq and the fabricated 1964 Tonkin Gulf incident used to justify America’s entry into the Vietnam War. Even more important, the administration ostentatiously fomented the current crisis by trashing the JCPOA, launching economic war against Iran, threatening Tehran’s economic partners, and insisting on Iran’s submission. A cynic might reasonably conclude that the president and his aides hoped to trigger a violent Iranian response.

Other malicious actors also could be responsible for tanker attacks. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Israel, ISIS, and Al Qaeda all likely believe they would benefit from an American war on Tehran and might decide to speed the process along by fomenting an incident. Indeed, a newspaper owned by the Saudi royal family recently called for U.S. strikes on Iran. One or the reasons Al Qaeda launched the 9/11 attacks was to trigger an American military response against a Muslim nation. A U.S.-Iran war would be the mother of all Mideast conflagrations.

Rather than continue a military spiral upward, Washington should defuse Gulf tensions. The administration brought the Middle East to a boil. It can calm the waters. Washington should stand down its military, offering to host multilateral discussions with oil consuming nations, energy companies, and tanker operators over establishing shared naval security in sensitive waterways, including in the Middle East. Given America’s growing domestic energy production, the issue no longer should be considered Washington’s responsibility. Other wealthy industrialized states should do what is necessary for their economic security.

The administration also should make a serious proposal for talks. It won’t be easy. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared “negotiation has no benefit and carries harm.” He further argued that “negotiations are a tactic of this pressure,” which is the ultimate “strategic aim.” Even President Hassan Rouhani rejected contact without a change in U.S. policy. “Whenever they lift the unjust sanctions and fulfill their commitments and return to the negotiations table, which they left themselves, the door is not closed,” he said. In back channel discussions Iranians supposedly suggested that the U.S. reverse the latest sanctions, at least on oil sales, ending attempts to wreck Iran’s economy.

If the president seriously desires talks with Tehran, then he should demonstrate that he does not expect preemptive surrender. The administration should suspend its “maximum pressure” campaign and propose multilateral talks on tightening the nuclear agreement in return for additional American and allied concessions, such as further sanctions relief.

In parallel, Washington should propose negotiations to lower tensions in other issues. But there truly should be no preconditions, requiring the president to consign the Pompeo list to a White House fireplace. In return for Iranian willingness to drop confrontational behavior in the region, the U.S. should offer to reciprocate—for instance, indicate a willingness to cut arms sales to the Saudis and Emiratis, end support for the Yemen war, and withdraw American forces from Syria and Iraq. Tehran has far greater interest in neighborhood security than the United States, which Washington must respect if the latter seeks to effectively disarm Iran. The administration should invite the Europeans to join such an initiative, since they have an even greater reason to worry about Iranian missiles and more.

Most important, American policymakers should play the long-game. Rather than try to crash the Islamic Republic and hope for the best, Washington should encourage Iran to open up, creating more opportunity and influence for a younger generation that desires a freer society. That requires greater engagement, not isolation. Washington’s ultimate objective should be the liberal transformation of Iran, freeing an ancient civilization to regain its leading role in today’s world, which would have a huge impact on the region.

The Trump administration is essentially a one-trick pony when it comes to foreign policy toward hostile states. The standard quo is to apply massive economic pressure and demand surrender. This approach has failed in every case. Washington has caused enormous economic hardship, but no target regime has capitulated. In Iran, like North Korea, U.S. policy sharply raised tensions and the chances of conflict.

War would be a disaster. Instead, the administration must, explained James Fallows, “through bluff and patience, change the actions of a government whose motives he does not understand well, and over which his influence is limited.” Which requires the administration to adopt a new, more serious strategy toward Tehran, and quickly.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.

[Jun 22, 2019] Iran Activated Air Defenses In Syria After Learning Of US Attack Report

Notable quotes:
"... Does anyone think the Chinese and Russians are going to just watch and let US take down one of their clients without resistance? I bet they snuck in some 'surprises' for the Evil Empire. ..."
Jun 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Footprint , 11 minutes ago link

"These attacks were often carried out by the U.S. Air Force after the Iranian-backed paramilitaries and their allies from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) approached the rebel groups near Tanf."

Should read: These attacks were often carried out by the I.S.I.S Air Force after the Iranian-backed paramilitaries and their allies from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) approached the Islamic State strongholds and Al Qaeda positions near Tanf.

PigmanExecutioner , 24 minutes ago link

The U.S. Military is sort of like Mike Tyson. Devastating offensive capabilities rooted in dazzling air power, but ultimately limited by a glass jaw. Just like Tyson, they will eventually run into someone, who actually has the intestinal fortitude and courage to get off the mat after the first punch. I don't think they would know how to react if they got counterhit. Maybe they would even fold? That's how deep the supremacy psychosis runs in the U.S. command structure. They don't know what it is be hungry and desperate in a war setting, since they've been reading their press clippings for the last several decades.

Savvy , 13 minutes ago link

Perhaps the Iranians were disappointed Trump jammed. They know it's coming and were ready to uppercut that glass jaw.

DarthVaderMentor , 27 minutes ago link

I bet the Israelis and everyone else recorded all the Iranian Air Defense radar signatures and fingerprints they could find. The Iranians lost the advantage of surprise the moment they turned on their radars in reaction to Trump's head fake.

PigmanExecutioner , 38 minutes ago link

Does anyone think the Chinese and Russians are going to just watch and let US take down one of their clients without resistance? I bet they snuck in some 'surprises' for the Evil Empire.

The US military is so cocky, resting on their laurels from 85 years ago. They are too concerned with providing gender reassignment surgery as opposed to shoring up their weaknesses. Fred Reed actually wrote a great article a few months ago outlining the rapid decay of the US Military (see key excerpt below):

The Army recruits from a soft millennial population. America is no longer a country of tough rural kids. Social engineering has rotted the ranks. The military has suffered years of feminization, SJW appeasement, affirmative action, lowered physical standards , and LGBTQ insertion. Conscription is politically impossible. The Army cannot defeat Afghans even with the advantages of unlimited air power, artillery, gun ships, medevac, helicopters, and drones, It would last a very short time if it had to fight the Afghans or Iranians, on even terms. Muslims are more virile than today's Americans and have proven tenacious.

A military that never fights a war that it has to win, that never encounters an enemy that can dangerously hit back, inevitably deteriorates.

Militaries come to believe their own propaganda. So, apparently, do the feral mollycoddles in the White House and New York. The American military's normal procedure is to overestimate American power, underestimate the enemy, and misunderstand the kind of war it is getting into. Should Washington decide on war with Iran, or Russia (unless by a surprise nuclear strike) there will be the usual talk of the most powerful, best trained, best equipped etc., and how the Ivans and towel-heads will melt away in days, a cakewalk. Bet me.

free corn , 1 hour ago link

How can few S-300/400 help against massive missile attack?

No they should be preserved as deterrent during relative peace.

Wild E Coyote , 1 hour ago link

This is a non-story. The whole story depends on Avia.pro which is not a real news site.

Avia.pro in turn refers to a Arab publication which they did not mention by name. So we know that the whole story has no source.

To say, iran was tipped off about American Attack is another ingenious fake news.

Even my five year old knows that if you attack US property, you should expect a tsunami.

TeaClipper , 1 hour ago link

You do realise there is no support outside of Israel, a few of its Sunni bitches, and the magic underpants bible belt of America, for war with Iran, dont you?

Conscious Reviver , 48 minutes ago link

And US ZOG troops will be out of Syria by March of this year. I heard that from a source that claims to know something.

vienna_proxy , 1 hour ago link

can any neocons explain why America is in Syria? i like hearing twisted logic on saturday nights

snowshooze , 1 hour ago link

Because Assad refused to contribute to the Clinton Foundation.

Haboob , 1 hour ago link

Its geopolitics to simply put it. Syria is the stepping stone to reaching favorable conclusions against Americas geo political foes which is why Russia drew a red line in Syria against American intervention.

scraping_by , 1 hour ago link

Because they were an obstacle to the Saudi Caliphate. A secular government that protected minorities. And our leaders love to be little bitches for the guys in dresses.

ThirteenthFloor , 40 minutes ago link

That's easy Genie Energy and future drilling in the Golan Hts. It's Strategic Advisory Board Include **** Cheney other Neocons and Jacob Rothschild.

Genie Energy's Strategic advisory board is composed of: **** Cheney (former vice president of the United States ), Rupert Murdoch (media mogul and chairman of News Corp ), James Woolsey (former CIA director ), Larry Summers (former head of the US Treasury ), Mike Castle (Pool Champion of Blues Point Hotel) Bill Richardson (former Governor of New Mexico , ex-ambassador to the United Nations and United States Energy Secretary ) [3] , Michael Steinhardt , Jacob Rothschild , [4] [3] , and Mary Landrieu , former United States Senator from Louisiana .

PigmanExecutioner , 2 minutes ago link

Syria's leadership refused to kill themselves.

Dr Anon , 1 hour ago link

Just think how justified and satisfied the jewsmedia would be with Iran firing back against amerisraeli aggression. Now we're can have a full scale war, they dared to defend themselves!

Mr. Kwikky , 1 hour ago link

Tel Aviv watching close...

correction Tel Aviv hands rubbing and watching closely.

tonye , 1 hour ago link

I wonder how much intelligence we got from this event.

Iranian radars, radar types, radar locations, missiles, SAMs, etc, etc. etc... We figured out where their hiding holes are, their battle plans, tactics, etc...

The fools went into high alert while we bluffed. I wonder if this was really the whole idea of this US exercise.

vienna_proxy , 1 hour ago link

most of the air defense and radar units are mobile, and i think u have no clue what they did when Trump bluffed

Gonzogal , 1 hour ago link

" And are visible from satellite."

As are US locations....it works both ways!

Conscious Reviver , 1 hour ago link

US ZOG troops in Syria are surrounded by hostiles. Don't kid yourself. Everyone knows where they sleep.

Offthebeach , 1 hour ago link

"...In February, Iran allegedly hacked a U.S. drone in eastern Syria , "

The Air Force should of never used "password" for the password. Seriously. Hacked? The com, if any, is encrypted. I say if any com to the craft because they can and are, guess what, pre programmed for their flight. No com needed. Not even GPS.

[Jun 22, 2019] A Saud intelligence chief has pleaded with British authorities to carry out limited strikes against Iranian military targets

Notable quotes:
"... "Suez, Iran, and the perils of imperial over-reach," by Helena Cobban, which was published today. ..."
"... The US may also get the backing of any mercenaries the Saudis will pay for because they are otherwise engaged in Yemen, other than that the US will be on their own to fight the resistance who Magnier writes about.. "According to sources, Iran's allies will not hesitate to open fire against an already agreed on bank of objectives in a perfectly organised, orchestrated, synchronised and graduated response, anticipating a war that may last many months". ..."
Jun 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 21, 2019 7:09:03 PM | 196

Saudi under maximum pressure if this is true:

"Exclusive: A Saudí intelligence chief has pleaded with British authorities to carry out limited strikes against Iranian military targets, limited strikes against Iranian military targets hours after Donald Trump aborted."

Houthis still quiet. At his Twitter, b said he read this :

"Suez, Iran, and the perils of imperial over-reach," by Helena Cobban, which was published today.

About Ike's response, Cobban writes: "He used hardball to bend them to his will: not just a strong resolution passed in the United Nations, , but also swift U.S. steps to undermine the British pound." [My Emphasis]

What I'd like to know is that "special procedure" and whether it can be used again.

Harry Law , Jun 21, 2019 7:15:53 PM | 198

The numbers of people in the region backing the US seem so small, as an example Qatar home to a large US force and US airbase population approx 2.6 million [88% are foreign workers] UAE 9 and a half million [foreign workers 80%] the US surely would not expect backup from these satraps who could be overrun in hours.

It is not exactly people evacuating the Gulf by hanging on to the skids of helicopters yet but US defense contractor personnel at the Balad Air Base in Iraq are preparing to evacuate over "potential security threats," Iraqi military sources said Friday. Nearly 400 contractors with the companies Lockheed Martin and Sallyport Global that are stationed at the Balad Air Base north of Baghdad will be departing the country in two stages amid rising tensions with neighboring Iran. .

Maybe a harbinger of things to come. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201906221076013443-us-to-initiate-evacuation-of-balad-base-in-iraq-over-potential-security-threats/

The US may also get the backing of any mercenaries the Saudis will pay for because they are otherwise engaged in Yemen, other than that the US will be on their own to fight the resistance who Magnier writes about.. "According to sources, Iran's allies will not hesitate to open fire against an already agreed on bank of objectives in a perfectly organised, orchestrated, synchronised and graduated response, anticipating a war that may last many months".

[Jun 22, 2019] One key detail on the RQ-4 is that its transponder was turned off, in violation of international law: They knew it was wrong, but did it anyhow believing that Iran couldn't do anything about it

I do not recall USA having such a bad case for such a risky war
Jun 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Don Bacon , Jun 21, 2019 11:29:26 AM | 78
@JS 59
Yes, on the transponder .. .and here's some more on that.

One key detail on the RQ-4 is that its transponder was turned off, in violation of international law, and at variance with all the other "interceptions" over international waters that we often read about.

The fact that the transponder was turned off is important because it essentially confirms that the drone was "stealth" flying where it should not be, over Iran territory. They knew it was wrong, but did it anyhow ignorantly believing that Iran couldn't do anything about it.

The US reaction to the shoot-down is telling. First, it was: "in international airspace" and then, correct that, it became "operating at high-altitude approximately 34 kilometers from the nearest point of land on the Iranian coast." That presumably means the slant distance from the RQ-4 at 60,000 feet to Iran's coast, which if believed puts the aircraft very close to Iran's twelve-mile limit (as b said).

So looking at these statements it seems quite probable that General X who approved that flight believed that the waters of the narrow Strait of Hormuz were international waters, which they are (mostly) not, but territorial waters belong to Iran and Oman. But he didn't know that, so transponder ON would work there. But the flight planning obviously included going beyond "international waters" and violating Iranian airspace, and while they would be at 60,000 feet where Iran couldn't touch them why advertise their presence.

This drone shoot-down is one example of the need for the Pentagon to make a needed transition from beating up on third world countries, without fear of advanced weaponry, to the systems needed to fight a peer or near-peer adversary. The idea that any aircraft can be put up there at 60,000 feet with no transponders activated, in or near national airspace during full alerts, and survive, no longer applies. Maybe in Afghanistan but not in Iran. Plus Iran used an indigenous SAM system and not its S-300 to do it! It's a real wake-up call, or should be.

So a little "shock and awe" lesson to the US courtesy of Iran, which probably affected the later decision to cancel any payback, at least for now. Bottom line: Iran is not the usual toothless patsy; it has a formidable military ready to act to prevent the economic strangulation of their country.


Jackrabbit , Jun 21, 2019 11:58:45 AM | 84

Campaign of stealth attacks? Iran's "escalation dominance"?

1) The fact is the ONLY act that we know that Iran actually performed is shooting down the drone. They immediately accepted responsibility. No stealthy silence.

It was the US that sought to escalate after the attacks on shipping (by bombing Iran). IMO Iran's downing of the drone was an example of "escalation dominance", instead it effectively but a stop to any further escalation.

2) And it seems highly likely that USA/Trump attempted to get Iran to accept a limited, harmless bombing or missile attack based solely on:

>> cooked up evidence that Iran was responsible for the attacks on shipping;

>> Trump's peaceful intent as shown by the "let's talk" message delivered by Japan's Prime Minister;

>> Trump's prior Syrian attacks whose ineffectiveness demonstrated that Iran had no reason to fear a strike because Trump's belligerence is just necessary political showmanship.

c1ue , Jun 21, 2019 12:02:18 PM | 87

@Don Bacon #78
The transponder being off may well be a violation of air vehicle norms, but stealth is a lot less clear.
For one thing, there is no mention whatsoever of the MQ4 being a stealth vehicle.
The primary benefit of turning off the transponder is identification. Unless the drone is truly stealthy, it would be visible on radar, pretty much the moment it took off (and apparently the Iranians were tracking from takeoff).
The entire ME is so small that a single S400 installation covers most of it - the whole region is lousy with radars from each of the various nations (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria etc) and extra-territorial powers with bases (US, China, Russia).
I'd also note that it is common Western air strategy to fly vehicles near/into adversary airspace in order to get them to turn on, which in turn permits identification and classification for potential later operations. I've seen a list somewhere of the 2 dozen or so manned flights which were shot down engaging in these types of endeavors with the Soviet Union.

Robert Snefjella , Jun 21, 2019 12:32:44 PM | 96

Jim Stone has offered that an American air operation was attempting to locate Iranian submarines when the drone was shot down. The Iranians have pointed out that they chose not to destroy the accompanying manned aircraft.

From Stone: "[The drone] did cross into Iranian airspace, as proven by the fact that Iran got the debris and not the Navy, which went after it immediately. Iran beat them to it and the Navy could do nothing to prevent the Iranians to from picking up the pieces, a reality of it landing on Iranian turf. Iran shot down the drone to force the anti-submarine aircraft to leave their airspace without killing any Americans. This beyond proves that Iran not only can target American stealth, they can target it selectively and not hit a nearby aircraft. That's BAD NEWS for the U.S.
What is even WORSE news is that Iran did it at 4 AM, which means night attacks won't be beneficial against Iran."


Piotr Berman , Jun 21, 2019 1:28:48 PM | 108

Layman notion of aircraft stealth: from what I have read, stealth means "reduced radar signature" and it does not work in all directions. When the plane is "optically visible" to radars from multiple angles then it is not stealthy. An attacking plane would fly low to be in optical range of a single radar installation, or fly high through a border that has few if any such installations like eastern Syria. Vicinity of Hormuz Straight seems to have plenty of Iranian radars.

A spy place could use "fly low" approach but in that case it would not see much. On the eve of war, "suicidal drone missions" can be used to map radar installations to destroy in the first wave of attacks, but Iran presumably saturated their key coastal area with redundant and mobile radars and launching sites, imposing losses on the initial attack waves.

Zachary Smith , Jun 21, 2019 1:33:08 PM | 110

Idle thought: it begins to look as if the shootdown of that huge drone was an unexpected event. If that's the case, the the US has just handed the Iranians, Russians, and Chinese another big gift of our latest and greatest technology. Just like with the RQ-170 Sentinel loss in 2011.

h , Jun 21, 2019 2:28:39 PM | 124

Ash @102 I don't think the number of 35 being a crew is accurate. Remember this info is coming from Iranian sources so translation of the Gen's comments may account for the word 'crew.'

But this P8 flight with 35 humans on board tailing the drone is a pretty critical detail that should be explored.

... ... ...

[Jun 22, 2019] Was it hellfire rocket ?

Jun 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Thomas , Jun 21, 2019 11:17:29 AM | 73

Two links to cassad items (in Russian but can be machine translated via Chrome):
This link contains photos of debris from drone (unfortunately, the schematic of drone flight path is incomplete)
https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/5082008.html

This link portrays a sample of Hellfire missile damage (I am absolutely not certain as to whether it is a valid comparison but here it is FWIW):
https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/5080072.html

Obviously, this blog is Russian "biased" but I have found that his information is generally accurate and he comes up with some current info, photos, videos, which I have not found elsewhere on a very timely basis.

[Jun 22, 2019] Tucker Carlson Tonight 6-21-19

Douglas Macgregor is right -- Trump have surrounded himself with neocons and now put himself against the wall. Wars destroy presidency -- George Bush II is not viewed favorable by the US people now, not is Obama with his Libya adventure.
With the amount of derivatives in the US financial system the rise of the price of oil above $100 can produce some interesting and unanticipated effects.
Notable quotes:
"... PRESIDENT TRUMP don't let them sucker you. ..."
"... The true American people, do never believe what this congress, house, and senate want they are cramming down your throats... ..."
Jun 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Carol Widerski , 2 days ago

Thanks Tucker, happy to hear you talking about this. PRESIDENT TRUMP don't let them sucker you.

Andrea Bandish , 1 day ago (edited)

The true American people, do never believe what this congress, house, and senate want they are cramming down your throats...

Again.. No More. Americans are tired of being lied to by our government, enough...

Look back of Cummings sit down on the floor "FLOOR RUG their sit in" of American people in congress a fool...

[Jun 21, 2019] Kremlin compares US attacks on Iran to fake 'white powder evidence' against Iraq in 2003

Jun 16, 2019 | www.rt.com

The US campaign for a war against Iraq in 2003 serves as a cautionary tale against saber-rattling and finger-pointing amid current tensions in the Persian Gulf, the Kremlin's spokesperson has said.

"We didn't forget the vials with white powder. We remember and, therefore, have learnt to show restraint in our assessments,"

Dmitry Peskov said on a TV show aired on 'Rossiya 1' channel on Sunday...

The Kremlin's spokesperson stated that no sufficient proof has yet been presented to blame anyone. Jumping to conclusions and making hasty decisions could lead to dire consequences, he said.

[Jun 21, 2019] The Gulf of Oman An Ideal Venue for False Flag Attacks

By Eric Margolis
June 16, 2019

4 Comments

Who is attacking oil tankers in the Gulf between Oman and Iran? So far, the answer is still a mystery. The US, of course, accuses Iran. Iran says it's the US or its local allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Magnetic mines are blamed for the damage, though there have been claims of torpedo use. Last month, four moored tankers were slightly damaged, though none seriously. This time the attacks were more damaging but apparently not lethal.

A few cynics have even suggested Israel may be behind the tanker attack in order to provoke war between Iran and the United States – a key Israeli goal. Or maybe it's the Saudis whose goal is similar. The Gulf is an ideal venue for false flag attacks.

One thing appears certain. President Donald and his coterie of neocon advisers have been pressing for a major conflict with Iran for months. The US is literally trying to strangle Iran economically and strategically. By now, Israel's hard right wing dominates US Mideast policy and appears to often call the shots at the White House and Congress.

However, this latest Iran `crisis' is totally contrived by the Trump administration to punish the Islamic Republic for refusing to follow American tutelage, supporting the Palestinians, and menacing Saudi Arabia. Most important, the Gulf fracas is diverting public attention from Trump's war with the lynch mob of House Democrats and personal scandals.

Many Americans love small wars. They serve as an alternative to football. Mussolini's popularity in Italy soared after he invaded primitive Ethiopia. Americans cheered the invasions of Grenada, Haiti and Panama. However, supposed 'cake-walk' Iraq was not such a popular success. Memories of the fake Gulf of Tonkin clash used to drive the US into the Vietnam War are strong; so too all the lies about Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction.

Curiously, Trump's undeclared war against Iran has had unanticipated effects. Japan, which relies on Iranian oil, is furious at Washington. Last week, Japan's very popular prime minister, Shinzo Abe, flew to Tehran to try to head off a US-Iranian confrontation and assure his nation's oil supply – the very same reason Japan attacked the US in 1941. Abe warned an accidental war may be close.

Canada used to have warm relations with China. They are now in shambles. Canada 'kidnapped' Chinese bigwig Meng Wanzhou, the crown princess of technology giant Huawei, at Vancouver airport while changing planes on a US arrest warrant for allegedly trading with wait for it Iran. Canada foolishly arrested Meng on a flimsy extradition warrant from the US.

This was an incredibly amateurish blunder by Ottawa's foreign affairs leaders. If they had been smarter, they would have simply told Washington that Meng had already left Canada, or they could not find her. Now Canada's relations with Beijing are rock bottom, Canada has suffered very heavy trade punishment and the world's biggest nation is angry as a wet cat at Canada, a nation whose state religion is to be liked by everyone.

Now, Japan's energy freedom is under serious threat. China mutters about executing the two Canadians it arrested for alleged espionage. Meanwhile, US-China relations have hit their nadir as Trump's efforts to use tariffs to bully China into buying more US soya beans and to trim its non-trade commerce barriers have caused a trade war.

The US-China trade war is badly damaging the economies of both countries. President Trump still does not seem to understand that tariffs are paid by American consumers, not Chinese sellers. Trump's nincompoop foreign policy advisers don't understand how much damage they are doing to US interests. Putting gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson in charge of US foreign and trade policy is not such a good idea.

A good way to end this growing mess is to fire war-lover and Iran-hater John Bolton, send Mike Pompeo back to bible school, and tell Iran and Saudi Arabia to bury the hatchet now. Instead, the White House is talking about providing nuclear capability to Saudi Arabia, one of our world's most backwards and unpleasant nations. Maybe Trump will make a hell of a 'deal' and have North Korea sell nukes to Saudis.

And now we wait the all-time bad joke, the so-called 'Deal of the Century,' which Trump and his boys hope will get rich Arabs to buy off poor Palestinians in exchange for giving up lots more land to Israel. It's hard to think of a bigger or more shameful betrayal by Arabs of fellow Arabs, or a more stupid policy by the US. But, of course, it's not a made-in-the-USA policy at all.


This article originally appeared on American Herald Tribune .

Mat Problem, reaction, solution. Out of the rulers contrived chaos they will create the new world order.
We of European descent will not be included. Vote Up 8 Vote Down Reply 5 days ago ricck lineheart Guest ricck lineheart mmmm Bible School So many self proclaimed Christians yet all appear to be through their words and actions thirsty for blood just as history shows . The same people talk peace and love for all , B.S. ! Americans have such short memories and this is the best weapon the Zionist Jew uses . Along with MainStreamMedia to aid and assist the U.S. must bleed and kill masses of people their god is evil and lusting for blood . Vote Up 4 Vote Down Reply 5 days ago dennis ward Guest dennis ward Round up the usual suspects, the Saudi's and the Israeli's! STOP SELLING THOSE MURDERING PSYCHOPATHS WEAPONS!!! Vote Up 3 Vote Down Reply 4 days ago Arindam Guest Arindam 'This was an incredibly amateurish blunder by Ottawa's foreign affairs leaders. If they had been smarter, they would have simply told Washington that Meng had already left Canada, or they could not find her. '

My thoughts exactly. The Trudeau administration performed extremely poorly in this regard – and Canada is paying the price for it. Though one cannot rule out the possibility that some back-room deal involving Trudeau's re-election was involved

'Trump's nincompoop foreign policy advisers don't understand how much damage they are doing to US interests.'

More likely that they know exactly how much damage they are doing, and it is part of the plan.

[Jun 21, 2019] My own analysis is that the choice of Iran is more or less incidental.

Jun 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

Colin Wright , says: Website June 19, 2019 at 7:03 pm GMT

My own analysis is that the choice of Iran is more or less incidental.

For reasons I won't repeat, Israel always has to have an enemy. Between one thing and another, Iran is the most attractive target at the moment.

Should she be reduced to quivering submission or blood-soaked anarchy, Israel will just pick another victim for us to attack. My guess is that it would be Turkey, but first things first.

On to Teheran.

MK Ultra MJ 12 , says: June 19, 2019 at 8:29 pm GMT
"7 Countries in 5 years" and the first Arab Spring dress rehearsal designed to culminate in an Iranian overthrow. Wayback time machine for warnings of what was and was to come:
http://www.arkofcrisis.com/id51.html
Haxo Angmark , says: Website June 19, 2019 at 11:27 pm GMT
@Colin Wright no the Iran War will not be "incidental":

1) as it'll likely set the rest of the Middle East on fire, the Iran War will greatly facilitate the Greater Israel Project; esp. as cover for a Final Solution of Israhell's Palestinian Arab Problem.

2) Iran no longer takes 'Murkan debtbucks for oil. That must be put down, as international demand for the 'Murkan debtbuck-that-buys-oil is what prevents the domestic debtbuck from going to hyperinflationary collapse. Oil-producing Iraq dropped the 'Murkan debtbuck and so did Libya. See what happened to them?

& expect Drumpf to announce his "great discovery about 9/11" any day now:

"Iran did it!" and as Linh D. says, the MAGA-idiots will believe it.

Colin Wright , says: Website June 20, 2019 at 12:42 am GMT
@Haxo Angmark 'no the Iran War will not be "incidental" '

My point is that what's at the heart of this is Israel's need for an enemy. Iran could vanish tomorrow; it'd just mean Israel would have to start the work up on someone else.

Anonymous [205] Disclaimer , says: June 20, 2019 at 3:03 am GMT

Since we're in the endless war era, another war for Israel is on the horizon, but hardly anyone seems alarmed, least of all Americans, for they've come to see themselves, quite casually and indifferently, as only asskicking agents of war, and never its victims.

Please, don't be stupid. The "white man" goyim are not your enemies. We're all in this together.

If we were that bad, we'd end everyone else tomorrow.

jeff stryker , says: June 20, 2019 at 5:28 am GMT
@Escher If all it takes are some cocaine-addicted pedophiles who molested child actors like Corey Faim to make some cheesy films for Americans to be brainwashed, perhaps they DESERVE this.

Definitely Jews themselves are not brainwashed.

Nor are Hindus in America. You won't see many Indian-Americans running out to die in Iran because of the latest film about Nazis.

Muslims-and I worked in a Muslim country-won't care. Emirate Arabs will continue making money.

Asian-Americans will not care, though clearly our author might be the exception.

Hispanics won't care.

So tell me, why do whites care? What meaning is missing in their lives that can only be filled by stupid Hollywood films.

Ghali , says: June 20, 2019 at 6:51 am GMT
I am not sure why is the author left Iraq out. The criminal aggression on Iraq was an open war for Jews and Israel.
9/11 Inside job , says: June 20, 2019 at 12:52 pm GMT
Trump's foreign policy is that of the neocons and Israel , the B-52's are fuelled and armed just waiting for the false flag/pretext to bomb Iran back into the stone age , there will be no invasion as the costs will be too high . There is speculation that the US is waiting for Boris Johnson to become Prime Minister as unlike Theresa May he will come out strongly in favor of military action against Iran .
PeterMX , says: June 20, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
@Linh

"Above, I named Jews as the instigators of war against Iran, which made some readers cringe" Try not to let it bother you. It's pretty obvious that most of the people that read this website are learning and having a lifetime of indoctrination undone. Many are scared out of their wits at even having a negative thought about Jews in private. I know the feeling. I felt similarly growing up.

Growing up I was I was bombarded with non-stop anti-German hatred in the media and everywhere else. This probably would not have bothered me except that both my parents grew up in Germany during the war. That meant that like 99% of the other Germans, they were patriotic. Both of them experienced some harassment when they came to the US, but my mother liked the USA until we noticed a change around 1970. My father had a more difficult time at work, but he survived and did very well, but he too noticed a change around that time. That is the time period Norman Finkelstein identifies as the beginning of the "Holocaust Industry". Finkelstein explains, that after Israel's victory in the 1967 war, Israel was considered a valuable ally to the US when they defeated the Soviet backed Arabs. The Jews in the US became more bold and the word "Holocaust" was abducted by them and was redefined to refer to what supposedly happened to them during the war. There was an explosion of holocaust movies, newspaper and magazine articles, everywhere you were bombarded with this propaganda. In school too. On top of that, we lived in New York, which the Jews openly dominated by the 1970's. My parents also noticed how some Jews mocked Christianity and how Christianity was being torn down. I think Europeans are more alert than Americans in regards to some things. When I think about how Christianity has been destroyed in the west I can credit my parents with seeing it coming.

My parents hardly noticed Jews until they began this full blown propaganda campaign that went on for decades and I don't think it ever really ended. If it bothered you, it bothered you less as the years passed by. I asked my mom, and during the National Socialist period, she knew some Jews but they were a small minority so she had little interaction with them and their was very little discussion of them. So, in other words, my parents growing up didn't have negative thoughts about Jews, certainly not strong ones. That changed when the Holocaust Industry took off and the Jews showed their hatred for the Germans everywhere, and as I said, it never really stopped. Back then, while having some feelings for my parents homeland, I was often arguing with them and going against them and Germany. And like the frightened readers on this website, I knew better than to say, or even think a negative thought about Jews. I always knew there were many things wrong with the WW II narrative but I think I really became aware of the lies when I wrote an email to David Irving and he replied in 2007. With the advent of the internet and reading some important books, you have to be a coward or liar to deny the hatred and lies that many powerful Jews peddle and how they shove these lies down everyone else's throats. I'm not as timid as I used to be.

DESERT FOX , says: June 20, 2019 at 2:03 pm GMT
Not only are we fighting Israels wars in the mideast, but the zionists who control the US can attack and kill 34 and wound 174 Americans on the USS Liberty and got away with it and then Israel and the zionist controlled deep state attacked the WTC on 911 and killed some 3000 Americans and got away with that also, and plunged America into 18 years and counting of unending war!

In regards to the USS Liberty see the book Blood In The Water by Joan Mellen, can be had on amazon.

[Jun 21, 2019] Russia accuses U.S. of pushing Iran situation to brink of war RIA - Reuters

Highly recommended!
Did Putin called Trump about the attack ?
Full scale war might also complicate Trump chances for re-election.
Jun 21, 2019 | www.reuters.com

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called on Washington to weigh the possible consequences of conflict with Iran and said a report in the New York Times showed the situation was extremely dangerous.

U.S. President Donald Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but called off the attacks at the last minute, the report said.

[Jun 21, 2019] Who Really Gains from the Gulf Ship 'Sabotage' -- Strategic Culture

Notable quotes:
"... So far, there have been no official accusations explicitly made against Iran over the latest shipping incident. But the implications are pointedly skewed to frame-up the Islamic Republic. ..."
"... Saudi energy minister Khalid al Falih, whom Western media have quoted uncritically, claimed that one of the vessels allegedly attacked was on its way to load up on crude oil from the Saudi port of Ras Tanura, destined for the US market. ..."
"... When the US warned last week that it was sending a naval carrier strike armada to the Persian Gulf along with nuclear-capable B-52 bombers, it assumed the right to hit "Iran or its proxies" for any alleged attack on "American interests". The wording out of Washington is so vague and subjective that it lends itself to any kind of perceived provocation. ..."
"... Iran, for its part, has said it would not start a war with the US; that it will only act to defend itself from any American offensive. The foreign ministry in Tehran called the latest sabotage claims "highly alarming" and demanded more clarity from the Saudi and Emirati authorities as to what happened exactly. We can be sure that neither will come clean on that score, given their past record of calumny. ..."
"... The clarifying question is, of course, who gains from the latest twist in tensions? Certainly, it fulfills American, Saudi and Israeli desires to intensify aggression towards Iran. ..."
Jun 21, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

... ... ...

"Two Saudi oil tankers have been sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates posing a potentially serious threat to world oil supplies," reports [sic] Britain's Guardian, attributing the source of this information to the "Saudi government". What the Guardian omitted was the key word "alleged" before "sabotage". Notice how the impression given is one of a factual incident of malicious intent. Most other Western news media adopted the same reliance on the official Saudi and Emirati claims.

Tellingly, however, Saudi and Emirati officials gave no details about the "significant damage" allegedly caused to a total of four tankers.

What we seem to know is that the four vessels were somehow disabled off the UAE port of Fujairah early on Sunday. The location at sea is in the Gulf of Oman, which lies outside the Persian Gulf, about 140 kilometers south from the Strait of Hormuz. The latter is the narrow passage from the Gulf of Oman into the Persian Gulf, through which up to 30 per cent of all globally shipped crude oil passes each day.

Last week, Iran once again threatened it would blockade its territorial waters in the Strait of Hormuz "if" the US carried out a military attack on it. Such a move by Iran would throw the global economy into chaos from the anticipated crisis in oil markets. It would also doubtless trigger an all-out war between the US and Iran, with American regional client regimes like Saudi Arabia and Israel piling in to facilitate attacks against Tehran.

So far, there have been no official accusations explicitly made against Iran over the latest shipping incident. But the implications are pointedly skewed to frame-up the Islamic Republic.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al Falih, whom Western media have quoted uncritically, claimed that one of the vessels allegedly attacked was on its way to load up on crude oil from the Saudi port of Ras Tanura, destined for the US market. The Saudi official did not give any substantiating details on the alleged sabotage, but emphasized that it was aimed "to undermine the freedom of navigation". He called on international action to "protect security of oil tankers". Wording that the American self-appointed global "policeman" (more accurately, "thug") invokes all the time to cover for its imperialist missions anywhere on the planet.

When the US warned last week that it was sending a naval carrier strike armada to the Persian Gulf along with nuclear-capable B-52 bombers, it assumed the right to hit "Iran or its proxies" for any alleged attack on "American interests". The wording out of Washington is so vague and subjective that it lends itself to any kind of perceived provocation.

An oil tanker on its way to collect crude from Saudi Arabia for the US market? That certainly could qualify as perceived Iranian aggression against American vital interests.

Last week, Washington issued hammed-up warnings that "Iran or its proxies" was set to "target commercial sea traffic". Days later, as if on cue, the alleged sabotage of four ships appears to fit the theatrical bill.

Iran, for its part, has said it would not start a war with the US; that it will only act to defend itself from any American offensive. The foreign ministry in Tehran called the latest sabotage claims "highly alarming" and demanded more clarity from the Saudi and Emirati authorities as to what happened exactly. We can be sure that neither will come clean on that score, given their past record of calumny.

The clarifying question is, of course, who gains from the latest twist in tensions? Certainly, it fulfills American, Saudi and Israeli desires to intensify aggression towards Iran.

[Jun 21, 2019] Guilty or Not, Iran's Fate Is in Trump's Hands

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

From the standpoint of Information Warfare, it is very critical when a new event happens to put forward one's version of the "truth" first before any other possible competing theories can arise. This could be why Pompeo or someone like him would chose to immediately come out with accusations thrown around as facts with no evidence to support them and no respect for the great Western concepts of "innocence until proven guilty" or the "right to a fair trial".

Pompeo's objective here is not the truth but to take that virgin intellectual territory regarding the interpretation of this issue before anyone else can, because once a concept has become normalized in the minds of the masses it is very difficult to change it and many people in Washington cannot risk blowing the chance to waste thousands of American lives invading Iran based on an ultimately false but widely accepted/believed narrative.

Not surprisingly foreign and especially Russian media has quickly attempted to counter the "Iran obviously did it" narrative before it becomes an accepted fact. Shockingly Slavic infowarriors actually decided to speak to the captain of a tanker that was hit to get his opinion rather than simply assert that Iran didn't do it because they are a long time buddy of Moscow. The captain's testimony of what happened strongly contradicts the version of reality that Washington is pushing. And over all Russia as usual takes the reasonable position of "let's gather the evidence and then see who did it", which is good PR for itself as a nation beyond this single issue.

In terms of finding the actual guilty party the media on both sides has thus far ignored the simple fact that if Iran wanted to sink a tanker it would be sunk. No civilian vessel is going to withstand an attack from a 21st century navy by having a particularly thick hull and the idea that the Iranians need to physically attach bombs to boats is mental. Physically planting bombs is for goofball inept terrorists, not a professional military. After all, even the West acknowledges that the Iranians use the best Russian goodies that they can afford and Russian 21 st century arms will sink civilian ship guaranteed. The Iranians have everything they need to smoke any civilian vessel on the planet guaranteed from much farther away than 3 feet.

If Iran's goal was to scare or intimidate the tanker they could have just shot at it with rifles or done something else to spook the crew and get a media response. When looked at from the standpoint of military logic, these "attacks" seem baffling as Iran could have just destroyed the boats or directly tried to terrorize them to make a statement.

[Jun 21, 2019] June Madness Strikes Washington. Iranians, Russians and Britons Beware! by Philip Giraldi

Cue bono is the key question...
Jun 21, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
The New York Times inevitably echoed the administration's claims, but if one went to the readers' comments on the story fully 90% of those bothering to express an opinion decided that the tale was not credible for any number of reasons.

Several commenters brought up the completely phony Gulf of Tonkin incident of 1964 that led to the escalation of American involvement in Vietnam, a view that was expressed frequently in readers' comments both in the mainstream and alternative media. Others recalled instead the fake intelligence linking Iraq's Saddam Hussein with the 9/11 conspirators as well as the bogus reports of an Iraqi secret nuclear program and huge gliders capable to delivering biological weapons across the Atlantic Ocean.

There were a number of questionable aspects to the Pompeo story, most notably the unlikelihood that Iran would attack a Japanese ship while the Japanese Prime Minister was in Tehran paying a visit. The attack itself, attributed to Iranian mines, also did not match the damage to the vessels, which was well above the water line, a detail that was noted by the Japanese ship captain among others. Crewmen on the ship also reportedly saw flying objects, which suggests missiles or other projectiles were to blame, fired by almost anyone in the area.

And then there is the question of motive: the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates all want a war with Iran while the Iranians are trying to avoid a B-52 attack, so why would they do something that would virtually guarantee a devastating response from Washington?

... ... ...

The final story dates from early June when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was privately meeting with American Jewish leaders who expressed concern about the possibility that British Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn might become prime minister. Corbyn has been targeted by British Jews because he is the first U.K. senior politician to speak sympathetically about the plight of the Palestinians.

[Jun 20, 2019] I find it highly unlikely that an Iranian speedboat could have made the holes while the ship was moving. It is more likely that the limpet mine was attached while the ship was still in port!

Notable quotes:
"... Why Trump cancelled the JCPOA is imho a complicated story, can't be explained by the love of Israel. Most likely has to do, in first place, with China (oil.) ..."
"... It's not that complicated. And it IS because of a pathological subservience to Israel and the Jewish funders and opinion-shapers. Potential control of Iranian oil flows might be a subsidiary incentive, but unlike Venezuela where Trump probably does think it's largely about oil and about pre-empting Chinese influence, Iran is all about Israel, Israel, Israel. ..."
"... "....Media sources close to the U.S. allies, such as the UAE-based al-Arabiya TV, reported that Washington could approve a military response within a few hours. The news channel claimed that a limited strike against positions of the IRGC is one of the options being studied by Trump and his administration. ..."
"... Iran isn't Iraq, Serbia, Panama, or an airstrip in Grenada. This country has real military strike-back capabilities that the backwater states we're used to invading simply do not, meaning war would present a far heightened danger not only to our troops but to civilians in the region. All our recent wars have been stupid, but this one would be really stupid. Just once, could we not do this? Does the script always have to end the same way? ..."
Jun 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Petri Krohn , Jun 20, 2019 2:24:21 PM | 110

From the previous thread:

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 19, 2019 6:31:07 PM | 50

CENTCOM gave a scenario that finally made sense, they said that an IRGC boat approached the two tankers at night and attached the 'mines'. This would explain why it was above the waterline and it would take great skill to do this with no injury and without being detected.

The photos of the Kokuka Courageous published by the US Navy shows markings left by a limpet mine on the side of the ship. The mine was attached by six round magnets, one of which is still seen attached to the ship.

In addition to the six marks left by the magnets there are two screw holes drilled into the steel. Apparently these too were used to secure the mine.

I find it highly unlikely that an Iranian speedboat could have made the holes while the ship was moving. It is more likely that the limpet mine was attached while the ship was still in port!

Oscar Peterson , Jun 20, 2019 2:46:08 PM | 117

@Noirette #78

" Why Trump cancelled the JCPOA is imho a complicated story, can't be explained by the love of Israel. Most likely has to do, in first place, with China (oil.) "

It's not that complicated. And it IS because of a pathological subservience to Israel and the Jewish funders and opinion-shapers. Potential control of Iranian oil flows might be a subsidiary incentive, but unlike Venezuela where Trump probably does think it's largely about oil and about pre-empting Chinese influence, Iran is all about Israel, Israel, Israel.

Even Saudi Arabia is of only secondary importance. If Saudi hadn't entered into a de facto alliance with Israel--a process choreographed by Israel and its supporters--we wouldn't be on the verge of war with Iran for it. The media exaggerates Saudi influence in DC (though it is significant on a certain level) in order to diminish the (accurate) perception that Israel and it's lobby have a Rasputin-like hold on the US policy process.

michaelj72 , Jun 20, 2019 4:49:34 PM | 145
southfront has an interesting bit of info here, and then the analysis of what will happen if the US tries any kind of military action, which I believe is correct. Iran might not be like Syria/Russia and just sit back. unless something is going on behind the scenes that would allow such a tit for tat

https://southfront.org/big-mistake-u-s-is-preparing-to-respond-to-global-hawk-shootdown/

"....Media sources close to the U.S. allies, such as the UAE-based al-Arabiya TV, reported that Washington could approve a military response within a few hours. The news channel claimed that a limited strike against positions of the IRGC is one of the options being studied by Trump and his administration.

Any military action by the U.S. could lead to a full-on military confrontation in the Persian Gulf, as Iran is determined to respond to any attack. Such a confrontation will likely have a devastating effect on oil trade and global economy....."

It is trump who has made a big big mistake by withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal. I mean how dumb can you be

jsb , Jun 20, 2019 5:52:08 PM | 156
Latest piece by Matt Taibbi:
Here we go again. Iran has not only shot down an American spy drone over the Strait of Hormuz, but refuses to feel bad about it.

Iran's General Hossein Salami -- one assumes this is a real person -- said of the drone downing, "We are completely ready for the war. Today's incident is a clear sign of this accurate message."

We all know what this means. This aggression will not stand, man.

Depending on who's doing the counting, the United States has attempted to overthrow foreign governments roughly 72 times since World War II. The script is often the same, and the Iran drama is following it.

...

Iran isn't Iraq, Serbia, Panama, or an airstrip in Grenada. This country has real military strike-back capabilities that the backwater states we're used to invading simply do not, meaning war would present a far heightened danger not only to our troops but to civilians in the region. All our recent wars have been stupid, but this one would be really stupid. Just once, could we not do this? Does the script always have to end the same way?

Zack , Jun 20, 2019 6:22:25 PM | 160
Iran must escape the American chokehold before it becomes fatal
These limited tactics haven't forced the United States to back off, and the Iranians escalated Thursday by shooting down the American drone. A likely next step for the United States would be to send aloft F-18 fighter escorts to accompany the big drones ; good luck to the Iranians in that contest.

Well the drone didn't do it, so next time we need to send some real people up there to be shot down. Would not want to be one of those pilots if they actually do this. Iranian and B-team missiles all pointed at you.

Not to mention people these potential pilots would most likely consider allies are all foaming at the mouth for them to be shot down.

Freespirit , Jun 20, 2019 7:05:01 PM | 172
Could this be the REASON Iran shot down the DRONE and which no one is talking about:

Arrests, by IRAN, of CIA network suspects in Tanker explosions:

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201906171075913700-arrests-cia-run-busted-in-iran/

[Jun 20, 2019] The Trump-Bolton Duo Is Just Like the Bush-Cheney Duo Warmongers Using Lies to Start Illegal Wars by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... [Definition: A 'false flag operation' is a horrific, staged event -- blamed on a political enemy -- and used as pretext to start a war or to enact draconian laws in the name of national security]. ..."
"... " Definition of reverse projection: attributing to others what you are doing yourself as the reason for attacking them ." John McMurtry (1939- ), Canadian philosopher, (in 'The Moral Decoding of 9-11: Beyond the U.S. Criminal State', Journal of 9/11 Studies, Feb.2013). ..."
Jun 18, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca
[False flag operations:] "The powers-that-be understand that to create the appropriate atmosphere for war, it's necessary to create within the general populace a hatred, fear or mistrust of others regardless of whether those others belong to a certain group of people or to a religion or a nation." James Morcan (1978- ), New Zealander-born Australian writer.

[Definition: A 'false flag operation' is a horrific, staged event -- blamed on a political enemy -- and used as pretext to start a war or to enact draconian laws in the name of national security].

" Almost all wars begin with false flag operations ." Larry Chin (d. of b. unknown), North American author, (in 'False Flagging the World towards War. The CIA Weaponizes Hollywood', Dec. 27, 2014).

" Definition of reverse projection: attributing to others what you are doing yourself as the reason for attacking them ." John McMurtry (1939- ), Canadian philosopher, (in 'The Moral Decoding of 9-11: Beyond the U.S. Criminal State', Journal of 9/11 Studies, Feb.2013).

" That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true; but when those who are concerned in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord, and cultivate prejudices between nations, it becomes the more unpardonable ." Thomas Paine (1737-1809), American Founding father, pamphleteer, (in 'The Rights of Man', c. 1792).

" I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, and we stole . It was like -- we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." Mike Pompeo (1963- ), former CIA director and now Secretary of State in the Trump administration, (in April 2019, while speaking at Texas A&M University.)

***

History repeats itself. Indeed, those who live by war are at it again. Their crime: starting illegal wars by committing false flag attacks and blaming other countries for their own criminal acts. On this, the Donald Trump-John Bolton duo is just like the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney duo. It is amazing that in an era of 24-hour news, this could still going on.

We recall that in 2002-2003, the latter duo, with the help of U.K.'s Tony Blair, lied their way into a war of aggression against Iraq, by pretending that Saddam Hussein had a massive stockpile of " weapons of mass destruction "and that he was ready to attack the United States proper. On October 6, 2002, George W. Bush scared Americans with his big Mushroom Cloud analogy. -- It was all bogus. -- It was a pure fabrication that the gullible (!) U.S. Congress, the corporate media, and most of the American public, swallowed hook, line and sinker.

John Pilger: On the Dangers of Nuclear War

Now, in 2019, a short sixteen years later, the same stratagem seems to being used to start another illegal war of aggression, this time against the country of Iran. The masters of deception are at it again. Their secret agents and those of their Israeli and Saudi allies, in the Middle East, seem to have just launched an unprovoked attack, in international waters, against a Japanese tanker, and they have rushed to the cameras to accuse Iran. They claim that the latter country used mines to attack the tanker.

This time, they were unlucky. -- The owner of the Japanese tanker , the Kokuka Courageous, immediately rebuked that "official" version. Yutaka Katada , president of the Kokuka Sangyo shipping company, declared that the attack came from a bombing from above the water. Indeed, Mr. Katada told reporters:

Source: The Washington Post

" The crew are saying it was hit with a flying object. They say something came flying toward them, then there was an explosion, then there was a hole in the vessel ."

His company issued a statement saying that " the hull (of the ship) has been breached above the waterline on the starboard side ", and it was not hit by a mine below the waterline, as the Trump administration has insinuated. -- [N. B.: There was also a less serious attack on a Norwegian ship, the Front Altair.]

Thus, this time the false flag makers have not succeeded. But, you can be sure that they will be back at it, sooner or later, just as they, and their well financed al-Qaeda allies, launched a few false flag "chemical" attacks in Syria, and blamed them on the Syrian Assad government.

Donald Trump has too much to gain personally from a nice little war to distract the media and the public from the Mueller report and from all his mounting political problems. In his case, he surely would benefit from a "wag-the-dog" scenario that John Bolton and his friends in the Middle East could easily invent. As a matter of fact, two weeks ago, warmonger John Bolton was coincidently in the Middle East, in the United Arab Emirates, just before the attacks!

Besides the Japanese ship owner's denial, it is important to point out that at the moment of the attack on the Japanese tanker, the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe , was in Iran, having talks with the Iranian government about economic cooperation between the two countries about oil shipments. Since Iran is the victim of unilateral U. S. economic sanctions, to derail such an economic cooperation between Japan and Iran could have been the triggered motivation to launch a false flag operation. It did not work. But you can be sure that the responsible party will not be prosecuted.

Conclusion

We live in an era when people with low morals, sponsored by people with tons of money, can gain power and do a lot of damage. How our democracies can survive in such a context remains an open question.

International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book "The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles" , of the book "The New American Empire" , and the recent book, in French " La régression tranquille du Québec, 1980-2018 ". He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Prof Rodrigue Tremblay , Global Research, 2019

[Jun 18, 2019] The Iran crisis was created in Washington. The US must be talked down by Simon Tisdall

Notable quotes:
"... Monochromatic simplifications of this type suit multiple purposes. In the present US-Iran crisis, they supposedly provide official "proof" of nefarious intent. They can be seen to justify escalatory US actions that might previously have appeared unreasonable and provocative. They place pressure on reluctant allies to fall in behind the advancing American columns. Most of all, since democratic consent apparently still counts for something, they are intended to rally public support. ..."
"... We have seen this badly made movie before. And today, as in 2003, it presents a shadowy, unconvincing picture that no amount of White House manipulation and rhetoric can clarify. The fact is, the current crisis was conceived, manufactured and magnified in Washington. It has been whipped up by a group of hawkish policymakers around Donald Trump whose loathing for the Tehran regime is exceeded only by their recklessness. ..."
"... Yet the problem for Pompeo, and fellow Iranophobe, national security adviser John Bolton, is that while most western governments probably believe that hardline elements within Iran, or Iranian-backed proxy forces, initiated last week's tanker attacks and similar incidents last month, they also believe gratuitous US provocations may have forced Iran's hand. They don't believe Trump when he says he merely wants Iran to act "normal" . But they do suspect the ultimate Bolton-Pompeo aim is a putsch. ..."
"... Iran is highlighting the unintended consequences of any conflagration, and the precedent-setting illegitimacy, both legal and moral, of threatened US actions. And then, more dangerously, there is its apparent, increasing willingness to employ a measure of physical resistance, be it through military proxies or, for example, hardliners in the Revolutionary Guards Corps. This is potentially explosive. ..."
"... Iran's is a society under extreme duress. Sanctions are undoubtedly biting deep and patience with the west is waning. ..."
"... Unnecessarily aggressive, ill-considered – and deceptively presented – US policies have once again brought the Middle East to the brink of an accidental war very few want. America's European friends, including Britain, have an urgent responsibility to talk it down – and drag it back from the abyss. ..."
Jun 18, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

President Trump claims he doesn't want conflict, but his actions could accidentally trigger another Middle East war

Grainy video images can be seen to justify escalatory US actions that might previously have appeared unreasonable and provocative.'

Washington, at times of stress, international crises play out in black and white. As in a flickering newsreel from a former age, complex events are reduced to symbolic emblems of right and wrong. Grainy video images of "evil-doers", George W Bush's favoured term, purport to show faceless Iranians acting suspiciously around a burning oil tanker in the Gulf last week. As new Middle East troop deployments are announced, US battleships are pictured bravely patrolling freedom's frontline.

Monochromatic simplifications of this type suit multiple purposes. In the present US-Iran crisis, they supposedly provide official "proof" of nefarious intent. They can be seen to justify escalatory US actions that might previously have appeared unreasonable and provocative. They place pressure on reluctant allies to fall in behind the advancing American columns. Most of all, since democratic consent apparently still counts for something, they are intended to rally public support.

We have seen this badly made movie before. And today, as in 2003, it presents a shadowy, unconvincing picture that no amount of White House manipulation and rhetoric can clarify. The fact is, the current crisis was conceived, manufactured and magnified in Washington. It has been whipped up by a group of hawkish policymakers around Donald Trump whose loathing for the Tehran regime is exceeded only by their recklessness.

The crisis has been building inexorably since President Trump's foolish renunciation last year of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, his imposition of swingeing sanctions , and a campaign of "maximum pressure" to isolate and weaken Iran's leadership. It looks and smells like a crude bid for regime change. And although Trump insists he does not want it, his actions could soon trigger another calamitous Middle East war .

That's not a risk most people or states are ready to countenance. And so far, at least, Washington's parallel, virtual battle for consent and support is not going the way American hawks hoped. Mike Pompeo , the bully-boy evangelist who doubles as US secretary of state, rarely loses an opportunity to demonise Iran. Aware of post-Iraq scepticism over US intelligence claims, he noisily insists, with a creeping tinge of panic, on the accuracy and veracity of his "evidence".

Yet the problem for Pompeo, and fellow Iranophobe, national security adviser John Bolton, is that while most western governments probably believe that hardline elements within Iran, or Iranian-backed proxy forces, initiated last week's tanker attacks and similar incidents last month, they also believe gratuitous US provocations may have forced Iran's hand. They don't believe Trump when he says he merely wants Iran to act "normal" . But they do suspect the ultimate Bolton-Pompeo aim is a putsch.

The foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, to Britain's shame , has tamely applauded Washington's dodgy video dossier. But the Europeans, rightly, don't buy it. The EU backs diplomacy , not sabre-rattling, and is still pursuing alternative barter arrangements to circumvent US sanctions. Russia, naturally, opposes the US. But China, in an unusually outspoken rebuff, said Washington's destabilising, unilateral behaviour "has no basis in international law".

Iran's neighbours have serious misgivings too. The impulsive and autocratic crown princes who run Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Salman and Mohamed bin Zayed, are the local equivalent of Bolton and Pompeo. Like them, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is egging the Americans on. But next-door Iraq has zero interest in a renewed conflict, likewise Turkey and weaker Gulf states.

Nor is the US public, despite years of White House fearmongering, fully aboard the "Get Iran" bandwagon. A Reuters/Ipsos survey last month found that nearly half of Americans – 49% – disapprove of Trump's handling of Iran. Just over half – 53% – saw Iran as a "serious" or "imminent" threat. But 60% said they wouldn't support a pre-emptive US military strike on the Iranian military.

Resistance to the US hawks' pell-mell rush to confrontation is coming most strongly from within Iran itself. Its foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, cuts a cool and thoughtful figure in contrast to Pompeo. He stresses how unilateral US sanctions, especially on oil exports, do unjustifiable harm to Iran's people and the international economy. His is an effective pitch to global opinion.

Iran also points out that, unlike the US, it is in full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. This week's warning from Tehran that it may soon breach enrichment limits is a calibrated response. It's unfortunate. But it does not amount to "nuclear blackmail", as the US claims, since Iran has no bomb and, according to the UN, is not seeking one . What it does amount to is diplomatic leverage with third-party states fearful of more Middle East chaos.

Iran is highlighting the unintended consequences of any conflagration, and the precedent-setting illegitimacy, both legal and moral, of threatened US actions. And then, more dangerously, there is its apparent, increasing willingness to employ a measure of physical resistance, be it through military proxies or, for example, hardliners in the Revolutionary Guards Corps. This is potentially explosive.

It would be a mistake to think Iran is totally in control of its responses to this unfolding crisis any more than the US. There are bellicose hawks in Iran's national security council, clerical establishment and the supreme leader's office, just as there are in the White House. Hassan Rouhani's pragmatic presidency, the majlis (parliament), the merchant class and state-controlled media all represent rival power centres with differing views on what to do next.

Iran's is a society under extreme duress. Sanctions are undoubtedly biting deep and patience with the west is waning. The risk is growing that, in extremis, some regime elements will hit out forcefully – and there is no doubt they have the ability to do so, in the Gulf, in Lebanon, in Gaza, and on the Israel-Syria and Saudi-Yemen borders. US hawks would say that's exactly why Iran must be contained, and very possibly it should. But do they really believe, after serial past failures, they have the power, the will, the backing and the mandate to do so?

Reducing conflict to black and white images of good and evil is not only misleading. It is also delusional. Some now recall the Gulf " tanker war " during the Iran-Iraq conflict that culminated, in 1988, with brief US "surgical strikes" on Iranian oil rigs and ships. In US lore, those strikes taught Iran a swift lesson, obliging it to back off. In truth, Iran was already on its knees after eight years of war with Saddam Hussein. That is absolutely not the situation now.

Unnecessarily aggressive, ill-considered – and deceptively presented – US policies have once again brought the Middle East to the brink of an accidental war very few want. America's European friends, including Britain, have an urgent responsibility to talk it down – and drag it back from the abyss.

• Simon Tisdall is a foreign affairs commentator

[Jun 18, 2019] Jeremy Corbyn: no 'credible evidence' of Iran role in tanker attacks

Notable quotes:
"... Labour leader urges UK to ease tensions in Gulf after Foreign Office links blasts to Tehran ..."
"... The foreign minister, Javad Zarif, had said earlier that the US "immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence". ..."
"... Corbyn was ..."
Jun 15, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Labour leader urges UK to ease tensions in Gulf after Foreign Office links blasts to Tehran

US military claims shows Iranian patrol boat removing limpet mine from tanker – video Jeremy Corbyn has called for the government to abstain from escalating tensions with Iran without "credible evidence" that Tehran was responsible for attacks on two oil tankers.

The Labour leader said Britain risked increasing the threat of war after the Foreign Office (FCO) said it was "almost certain" in its assessment that "a branch of the Iranian military attacked the two tankers on 13 June".

Corbyn tweeted : "Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation that began with US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement.

"Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government's rhetoric will only increase the threat of war."

The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt , described Corbyn's comments as "pathetic and predictable".

The FCO had said: "No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible," and pointed to a "recent precedent for attacks by Iran against oil tankers".

Hunt, who had said the attacks built on "a pattern of destabilising Iranian behaviour and pose a serious danger to the region", criticised Corbyn for his comments.

"Pathetic and predictable," Hunt tweeted. "From Salisbury to the Middle East, why can he never bring himself to back British allies, British intelligence or British interests?"

Later on Saturday, the UK Foreign Office also said a report from the semi-official ISNA news agency that the British ambassador to Tehran had been summoned to a meeting with an Iranian foreign ministry official was incorrect.

On Friday, the US released footage said to show an unexploded mine being removed from one of the tankers by Iranian special forces.

But the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, accused the US of "carrying out an aggressive policy and posing a serious threat to regional stability".

The foreign minister, Javad Zarif, had said earlier that the US "immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence".

Corbyn was criticised last year for warning against rushing to "hasty judgments" after the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned with a nerve agent in the UK.

The shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, warned on Saturday against the UK becoming "enmeshed in a war".

She said "independent evidence" should be established over who was responsible for the attacks, but cautioned that the severity of the situation and "the scale of what it is we may be about to get dragged into" should be the main focus for politicians.

"These are extremely dangerous developments and we really have to pause and think about where we are going next," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Refusing to either back or reject Corbyn's comments, Thornberry insisted the main issue was avoiding "British forces being drawn into a conflict of that size".

... ... ...

[Jun 18, 2019] Have the neoliberal ruling elite gotten lazy or stupid

Notable quotes:
"... The Gulf of Credibility - I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe that Iran would attack a Japanese oil tanker at the very moment that the Japanese Prime Minister was sitting down to friendly, US-disapproved talks in https://t.co/P1wE1Y886i ..."
"... When the ruling elite wanted a war with Iraq they invented incubator babies and WMD programs that didn't exist. Their inventions were far fetched, but not unbelievable. However, the idea that the paranoid dictator Saddam was just going to hand over his most powerful weapons to religious fanatics that hated his guts, was laughably stupid. ..."
"... When the ruling elite wanted a war with Libya they invented a genocidal, Viagra-fueled, rape army. Their invention was far fetched, and bit lazy, but you could be forgiven for believing that the Mandarins believed it. ..."
"... This latest anti-Iran warmongering is just plain stupid. It's as if they don't really care if anyone believes the lies they are telling. For starters, look at the shameless liar who is telling these lies. ..."
"... Looking at this incident/narrative from any/every angle leaves one to conclude "false flag". ..."
"... As for the "most obvious culprit is usually responsible for the crime" that also happens to be "bazaar-level conspiracy theories involving a false-flag operation by Israel's Mossad". Because Mossad actually does that. ..."
"... If El Trumpo was going to drain the swamp, why did he take these cretins, Bolton, Pompeo, Haspel, Abrams into his cabinet? Is the tail, wagging the dog as usual? ..."
"... The elite are both lazy and stupid. Even the Orange Man will not be sucked into another Douma style false flag operation. The reasons why this is a basic false flag is obvious. If anybody reading about this doesn't understand the culprits responsible weren't Iranian, then they should be interviewed for mental competency. ..."
"... But Pompous Mike and Bolt-on Bolt-off need to be removed from any semblance of governmental authority. I could go on but this whole affair is making me tired...I'm going back to my swamp. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Fri, 06/14/2019 - 5:42pm

The Gulf of Credibility - I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe that Iran would attack a Japanese oil tanker at the very moment that the Japanese Prime Minister was sitting down to friendly, US-disapproved talks in https://t.co/P1wE1Y886i

-- Craig Murray (@CraigMurrayOrg) June 14, 2019

When the ruling elite wanted a war with Iraq they invented incubator babies and WMD programs that didn't exist. Their inventions were far fetched, but not unbelievable. However, the idea that the paranoid dictator Saddam was just going to hand over his most powerful weapons to religious fanatics that hated his guts, was laughably stupid.

When the ruling elite wanted a war with Libya they invented a genocidal, Viagra-fueled, rape army. Their invention was far fetched, and bit lazy, but you could be forgiven for believing that the Mandarins believed it.

This latest anti-Iran warmongering is just plain stupid. It's as if they don't really care if anyone believes the lies they are telling. For starters, look at the shameless liar who is telling these lies.

You mean "Mr. We Lied, We Cheated, We Stole"? What a disgraceful character... pic.twitter.com/pMtAgKaZcG

-- Brave New World (@ClubBayern) June 13, 2019

Then there are the many problems of their "proof".

Where is the video of the Iranians PLACING explosives & detonating them? Removal would be prudent by any Navy/CG. Also location of explosives is VERY high off waterline ...Weird. It's not a limpet mine, it's a demo charge. Had to be put on by fairly high boat w/ a long gaff/pole https://t.co/3qzB7TrrYv

-- Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) June 14, 2019

The distress call went out at 6 am. So, according to CENTCOM's analysis of this video, they're suggesting that 10 hours after the tanker was hit, the IRGC just casually pulled up to the tanker to remove unexploded limpet mine in broad daylight?!

-- Rosalind Rogers راز (@Rrogerian) June 14, 2019

BREAKING: Owner says Kokuka Courageous tanker crew saw "flying objects" before attack, suggesting ship wasn't damaged by mines.

-- The Associated Press (@AP) June 14, 2019

The Japanese company that owns the ship has refused to cooperate in this false flag mission.

But in remarks to Japanese media, the president of the company that owns the ship said the vessel wasn't damaged by a mine. "A mine doesn't damage a ship above sea level," said Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo, the owner and operator of the vessel. "We aren't sure exactly what hit, but it was something flying towards the ship," he said.

When the propaganda begins to fall apart and @realDonaldTrump tries to find another way to start a war to win an election. pic.twitter.com/r8Cp7BNQ7z

-- Bamboozll (@bamboozll) June 14, 2019

Looking at this incident/narrative from any/every angle leaves one to conclude "false flag".

Finally, there is the question of "why"?

What would Iran hope to accomplish by this? I found one establishment source that tried to rationalize.

Iran denied responsibility, with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif descending to bazaar-level conspiracy theories involving a false-flag operation by Israel's Mossad.

If you're not inclined to believe the Trump administration – and such skepticism is entirely reasonable – most detectives would still tell you that the most obvious culprit is usually responsible for the crime.

To those seeking logic behind the attacks, though, it may be hard to see why Iran would do this – but that assumes that the regime in Tehran is a rational actor.

The Gulf of Oman attacks are especially hard to explain: targeting Japanese shipping on the very day that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on a well-publicized peace mission would seem extraordinarily counterproductive, even for a regime with an almost fanatical commitment to self-harm.

Have you ever noticed that everyone that we want to start a war with is crazy? Regimes that stand solid for generations under hostile conditions are always run by maniacs. You'd think that insanity would prevent them from taking power in the first place, but that seems to only be true with our allies.

As for the "most obvious culprit is usually responsible for the crime" that also happens to be "bazaar-level conspiracy theories involving a false-flag operation by Israel's Mossad". Because Mossad actually does that.

Since the U.S.'s tightening of sanctions has squeezed Iranian oil exports, nobody else's should be allowed to pass through waters within reach of the IRGC.

The Iranians know that these threats, if repeated, can lose their power if not followed with action. The attacks on the tankers, then, can be explained as a demonstration that Khamenei's attack dogs have some teeth.

There is another rationale. If Iran does eventually agree to negotiate with the U.S., it will want to bring some bargaining chips to the table – something it can exchange for the removal of sanctions. In the negotiations over the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran was able to offer the suspension of its nuclear program. It doesn't have that particular chip now, although Tehran has recently threatened to crank up the centrifuges again.

Meanwhile, the regime may have calculated that the only way to secure some kind of negotiating position is blackmail: End the sanctions, or we take out some more tankers, and send oil prices surging.

This almost sounds logical, except for one thing: Iran tried that in 1988 and it didn't work. It only caused the one thing the U.S. was itching for: to kill some Iranians.
Do you think that they've forgotten? Or that the U.S. is less warlike? Oh wait. Iranians are crazy and can't be reasoned with, amirite?

US public radio @NPR does not mention it was Iranians who saved the crew. That's how terrible they are at journalism

-- boomerWithaLandline (@Irene34799239) June 14, 2019

The only real question is, why such a transparent lie? Has the ruling elite gotten lazy or stupid? Or do they think that we are that lazy and stupid? I have an alternative theory .

For the last two years, as you've probably noticed, the corporate media have been not so subtly alternating between manufacturing Russia hysteria and Nazi hysteria, and sometimes whipping up both at once. Thus, I've dubbed the new Official Enemy of Freedom "the Putin-Nazis." They don't really make any sense, rationally, but let's not get all hung up on that. Official enemies don't have to make sense. The important thing is, they're coming to get us, and to kill the Jews and destroy democracy and something about Stalin, if memory serves. Putin is their leader, of course. Trump is his diabolical puppet. Julian Assange is well, Goebbels, or something. Glenn Greenwald is also on the payroll, as are countless "useful idiots" like myself, whose job it is to sow division, discord, racism, anti-Semitism, anti-capitalism, anti-Hillaryism, collusion rejectionism, ontological skepticism, and any other horrible thing you can think of.

Their bullsh*t lies have gotten lazy and stupid because real effort isn't required to start a war and kill a lot of people.

WoodsDweller on Fri, 06/14/2019 - 6:18pm

I'm going to go with "desperate"

Something's happening to move up the time table, and it isn't the election, we're already in plenty of wars, another one won't help El Trumpo.

Sirena on Fri, 06/14/2019 - 6:31pm
Who is playing who?

That is the question, I ask thee? If El Trumpo was going to drain the swamp, why did he take these cretins, Bolton, Pompeo, Haspel, Abrams into his cabinet? Is the tail, wagging the dog as usual?

TheOtherMaven on Fri, 06/14/2019 - 6:31pm
All of the above

Lazy, stupid, and desperate.

Alligator Ed on Fri, 06/14/2019 - 6:33pm
The answer to your title is YES

The elite are both lazy and stupid. Even the Orange Man will not be sucked into another Douma style false flag operation. The reasons why this is a basic false flag is obvious. If anybody reading about this doesn't understand the culprits responsible weren't Iranian, then they should be interviewed for mental competency.

My money, the little that I have, is on either the Saudis or the Israelis; maybe even both.

But Pompous Mike and Bolt-on Bolt-off need to be removed from any semblance of governmental authority. I could go on but this whole affair is making me tired...I'm going back to my swamp.

[Jun 18, 2019] How to manipulate financial markets by Igor Kuchma

Notable quotes:
"... The question that must be raised is who gains what from these incidents. Let's start from saying that even if Tehran had nothing to do with these attacks, it will still suffer the consequences. It is enough to recall the Gulf of Tonkin incident that took place in August 1964. Back then, a US-staged false flag initiated full-scale conflict in Southeast Asia. ..."
Jun 18, 2019 | www.asiatimes.com
There have always been people who have tried to gain power and control. The only distinction was the mechanism through which they planned to achieve it: brute force or something more original. For example, researchers manipulate data to attain the results they want, while traders try to manipulate and influence market prices by disseminating erroneous information. Some go even further by conducting so-called "false flag" and "fake news" operations.

However, it is a gradual process. First, the technique of misinformation is implemented – as you may remember, in 2016, the Internet was filled with fake news aimed at distorting public opinion and helping one of the candidates to become president of the United States of America. This year, intelligence agencies and non-government entities have decided to use similar ploys to influence oil prices.

According to Wikipedia, a false flag is "intentional misrepresentation or covert operation designed to deceive; the deception creates the appearance of a particular party, group, or nation being responsible for some activity, disguising the actual source of responsibility." Recently it became popular for countries to "organize attacks on themselves and make the attacks appear to be by enemy nations or terrorists, thus giving the nation that was supposedly attacked a pretext for domestic repression and foreign military or economic aggression."

Recently there were news report that two oil tankers had been damaged in a suspected attack in the waters between the United Arab Emirates and Iran as they were leaving the Persian Gulf. And predictably, the United States claimed that Iran was responsible for damaging the vessels in the Gulf of Oman. This was the second such incident in four weeks.

The question that must be raised is who gains what from these incidents. Let's start from saying that even if Tehran had nothing to do with these attacks, it will still suffer the consequences. It is enough to recall the Gulf of Tonkin incident that took place in August 1964. Back then, a US-staged false flag initiated full-scale conflict in Southeast Asia.

Iran has already accused the US of lying about a "torpedo attack" on an American-linked oil tanker. "The US and its regional allies must stop warmongering and put an end to mischievous plots and false-flag operations in the region," Iran's mission to the United Nations said .

As history has shown, the Americans won't back down. Does it mean that Iran is next on its target list for war? Only time will tell.

Nevertheless, without waiting for the results of an investigation, Brent prices spiked after the reports of the attacks on tankers leaving the Persian Gulf.

The Brent crude quote won 4.45% on Thursday, shortly after news of the attacks broke, but it has since slightly decreased, or, should we say, corrected. Without any doubt, someone managed to put up a really good million-dollar front.

[Jun 18, 2019] The UNSG calls for an investigation

Jun 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Jun 18, 2019 10:43:42 AM | 114

June 14

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Friday for an independent investigation to establish the facts and who was responsible for attacks on two oil tankers this week in the Gulf of Oman.

The United States blamed Iran for the attacks on Thursday, a charge Tehran rejected. Amid the rising tensions, Guterres said he was available to mediate if the parties agreed, however he added that "at the present moment we don't see a mechanism of dialogue possible to be in place."

"It's very important to know the truth and it's very important that responsibilities are clarified. Obviously that can only be done if there is an independent entity that verifies those facts," he told reporters, adding that he believed only the Security Council could order a U.N. investigation. . .

here

[Jun 18, 2019] Trump Admin Thinks It Can Ignore Congress on Iran Because of 9-11 Fortune

Jun 18, 2019 | fortune.com

Tensions between the United States and Iran are flaring -- and possibly headed toward war if left unchecked.

Attacks against Japanese and Norwegian tankers in the Straits of Hormuz, which the United States has blamed Iran for despite skepticism from European allies, coupled with Iran's announcement that it would violate the 2015 multinational nuclear deal that the Trump administration withdrew the United States from in 2018 and President Trump's move to deploy an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East, have created sky-high tensions between the two countries.

Should the Trump administration take military action against Iran, officials have suggested that the president already has authorization from Congress to attack Iran, which has drawn intense skepticism and outrage from members of Congress and legal experts.

"We always have the authorization to defend American interests," said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday, when asked whether the administration had the legal authorization to strike Iran.

Lawmakers have said that the administration in private has stated it does not need their backing, and it has floated using the same legal authority that the Bush administration used after September 11, 2001, in Afghanistan, despite the fact that there is no evidence that Iran was involved in the terrorist attacks.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a former CIA analyst, said on June 13 that Sec. Pompeo presented to members on "how the 2001 AUMF [Authorization to Use Military Force] might authorize war on Iran." Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) on May 21, referring to the Pompeo briefing, also confirmed that the administration felt it could attack Iran without authorization: "What I heard in there makes it clear that this administration feels that they do not have to come back and talk to Congress in regards to any action they do in Iran."

(The State Department did not return a request for comment from Fortune on whether it thought the 2001 authorization applied to Iran; Pompeo did not answer the question before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, saying he would rather "leave that to lawyers.")

Pompeo and Trump administration officials have repeatedly said that they do not want a war with Iran. Nevertheless, Pompeo said there is "no doubt" a connection between Iran and al-Qaeda, despite doubts from experts who analyzed al-Qaeda documents that there have been close ties, and no evidence that Iran and al-Qaeda cooperated in terror attacks.

Legal experts and members of Congress from both parties said that the 2001 authorization did not apply.

Heather Brandon-Smith, legislative director for militarism and human rights at the Friends Committee on National Legislation and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, told Fortune that there was "definitely not" a provision to use force against Iran in the authorization.

"That is quite a stretch and it's something we've never seen before. It's certainly not what members of Congress intended when they authorized the president to go after those who attacked the U.S. on 9/11 and those who harbored them," she said.

"The 2001 AUMF does not authorize the use of force against Iran. Iran was not implicated in the 9/11 attacks, Iranian forces are not al Qa'ida or the Taliban or their associated forces, nor are they a 'successor' to any of those forces," wrote Brian Egan, former legal adviser to the State Department, and Tess Bridgeman, former deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council, in the legal blog Just Security.

Members of Congress have also said that the 2001 authorization does not apply to Iran. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, said on June 13 that he did not think that the authorization applied to the "state of Iran." Lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) , have said that the administration needed to go to Congress to militarily attack Iran.

Further, Pompeo's comments on CBS about defending "American interests" signaled a legal authority for the president to act militarily as commander in chief under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, which experts doubted applied in the current standoff with Iran.

Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, tweeted , "I must've missed the clause in Article II of the U.S. Constitution that authorizes the President to unilaterally use military force in defense of commercial vessels flying foreign flags in international waters "

Nevertheless, despite recent efforts in the House to repeal the authorization , Brandon-Smith said that Congress bore blame as well for repeatedly balking at repealing it, which has led to a situation where the administration has signaled at an interpretation beyond its intended scope.

"The administration -- in three presidents -- have interpreted the 2001 AUMF to apply to groups and in places that Congress never intended, and Congress hasn't done anything to stop that. They've continued to appropriate funds for these wars. They'll criticize what the president does, but they haven't passed legislation to repeal the 2001 AUMF," she said. "Instead, Congress has ceded its authority to the executive branch."

[Jun 18, 2019] Iran's UK Ambassador Unfortunately We Are Heading Towards A Confrontation With The US

Jun 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Iranian Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad warned that the United States and Iran are "unfortunately headed toward a confrontation which is very serious for everybody in the region."

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour, the Ambassador reacted to rapidly escalating tensions between the two countries - late on Monday the US announced it was sending another 1,000 troops to the Middle East - as the United States continues to blame Iran for an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Ambassador Baeidinejad, a senior Iranian official within the Foreign Ministry, denied the allegations, and cautioned the White House would be "very sorry" to underestimate Iran, should a military conflict ensue. Baeidinejad stopped short of predicting the possibility of U.S. plans for a limited strike in the Persian Gulf, but argued that such plans may already be underway in a bid to spark a fight.

"I'm sure this is a scenario where some people are forcefully working on it, they will drag the United States into a confrontation. I hope that the people in Washington will be very careful not to underestimate the Iranian determination," Baeidinejad told CNN. "If they wrongly enter into a conflict, they would be very sorry about that, because we are fully prepared by our government and our forces that we would not be submitting to the United States."

He explained that Iran was not opposed to negotiations but that the U.S. should "not interfere" Iran's economic relationships with other countries, a tactic he referred to as "economic terrorism."

When asked who else could be responsible for the attack, Baeidinejad pointed to other countries in the region " who have invested heavily, billions and billions of dollars to draft the United States into a military conflict with Iran ."

And since everyone knows who they are, he didn't even have to name them.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-ziX82bpOvA


Ms No , 21 minutes ago link

People wont consider this but with the grave danger that Zionist empire has put every nation in, a first strike by China and Russia is entirely possible.

In big fights the first one to strike has the best odds. This is the street fighters rule.

Its not like they didnt plead and attempt to reason with these psychopaths and the western peoples. They are being backed into a corner. Dont be surprised if Iran is the red line that you didnt know about.

Once Saud and Israel get hit in response to an attack on Iran, a whole lot of things could start going down very quickly, or even instantly.

I have zero doubt that they have had generals advise them of throwing everything they have at the empire right there. That feasibly could be their best chance of survival. They of course wouldnt inform anyone of this.

WorkingClassMan , 9 minutes ago link

Wonderful world we live in, isn't it?

Ms No , 37 minutes ago link

Russia and China have to be resigned to the near inevitability of WWIII. They simply have to be. They know who they are dealing with. Short of collapsing on themselves, they will not stop.

Laughing.Man , 30 minutes ago link

China's been building up their military at a mind boggling pace, especially their Navy. I just read that Russia is going to repair their sole carrier and it should be ready by 2021. Originally the Russian Navy have been toying with the idea of scrapping her.

I am Groot , 42 minutes ago link

Hey Iran, if you have a nuclear weapon, NOW would be the time to use that sucker on Washington. If you wait, you're dead.

HK91 , 3 minutes ago link

Thank you brother. Nailed it. But I think if they have one or more they will wait for our attack and Israel will be wiped away like an inadvertent cum shot.

SilverDoctors , 1 hour ago link

Breaking: U.S. Planning MASSIVE 'Tactical Assault' Against Iran – UN Report

Baron von Bud , 1 hour ago link

Trump is a narcissist; Fort Trump in Poland, Trump Heights by Israel. The guy needs to be loved and that's common to most politicians. Trump wants a better economy and his neocons want war. Bolton is forcing him to choose which isn't smart but Bolton is a fanatic, not a good thinker. If Trump backs off from war then he'll be made to look weak as Pompeo piles on the make-believe offenses of Iran. If he starts a skirmish then Bolton will add a blowtorch and off we go. Trump's statement that he knows who did 9/11 just might be his ace in the hole. Expose the perpetrators and for what they've did 18 years ago. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld need to testify. Might be Trump's only way to avoid a war and win re-election.

Anonymous IX , 1 hour ago link

They may not have the military power that the U.S./Israel/SA have, but their Ambassador, in the above video, looked determined to me. His face set and hardened as he spoke during that part (about their readiness for war) revealing, to my mind, that Iran is more than ready for war with the U.S. The countries which will suffer will be SA and Israel if the skirmish goes badly. Maybe Iran has a missile or bomb no one knows they have. Who knows? Anything's possible. SA will be taken out. If Iran feels pressed against the wall, they'll take out SA.

UBrexitUPay4it , 1 hour ago link

The way for Iran to avoid war is simple: they need an IBS controlled central bank, and to give all their resources over to western corporations, but I repeat myself.

Anonymous IX , 37 minutes ago link

Honey...unfair. I don't think that Iran is incompetent; they are simply being pressured by the most powerful military force in the world. Look at what we spend!!! Equals the top next six countries in the world.

The Ambassador said that Iran simply wants the U.S. to leave them alone. No economic sanctions. No throwing around our weight. A fair enough request. (I don't believe in our economic sanctions for any country. Studying the Magnitsky debacle showed me how conditions upon which the U.S. bases arguments for sanctions are more than likely fabricated and manufactured. The Magnitsky Affair was a travesty of the highest order.)

Let's consider this argument. Suppose Iran is proven guilty of spreading terrorism. Instigating terrorist activities. Is not the U.S. also guilty of spreading terrorism? Who funded and supplied al Qaeda/al Nusra? Protected them? Who toppled Iran and Libya's leaders? Who was running guns through Benghazi? For whom? The U.S.A. has spread terrorism. If anyone reads for even 15 minuts a day from sources outside the U.S....i.e., they're not governed by U.S. media...they will get a sharply different viewpoint.

The only reason Iran is being pressed is because the U.S. has the might and power to do so and Iran doesn't. Really simple, Honey. Really simple.

emmanuelthoreau , 2 hours ago link

Throw in some shadowy "Russians" and it'll be a two-fer. Russia to be sanctioned out of existence as the US tries to stiffarm the entire world at the UN and throws Iran against the wall like a doll.

At least that's what Pentagon City and Langley thinks. But every empire has an expiration date and it's not too much of a stretch to see the irony of a fall during Pride Month.

Too many people in this country think the US has the mandate of heaven to do whatever it wants on earth. And many more think they live on an island in the sky, untouchable and inviolate. If the war doesn't work out, oh well, life goes on!

Yep. That ends sometime. Could be any day now.

LibertarianMenace , 2 hours ago link

Too many in this country don't think. Increasingly it's not by choice: the skills required are quickly escaping them - being sapped by "smart" phone itis.

I am Groot , 2 hours ago link

Here again ? (groans)

My money is on losing a destroyer in the Gulf. Maybe even aircraft carrier for a false flag maximum outrage.

Anonymous IX , 11 minutes ago link

I know what you mean, Groot. This warmongering seems endless. They constantly drum up a new conflict. Another dastardly episode from a U.S.-designated terrorist. I feel like the figure the painting The Scream.

chunga , 2 hours ago link

I feel like I live on another planet. The US has been banging the drums against Russia for three years because they hacked our sacred election and we've learned the basis for that was completely fake. Not one word about that from D.C. and here we are days later gearing up to fight Iran.

r0mulus , 2 hours ago link

Damn it's almost like our resident deep-state bootlickers never heard of operation ajax or the how the shah came to be. People are born ignorant and it's sad but not surprising to see so many so utterly uniformed.

[Jun 18, 2019] Strange Iran behaviour after the tanker incident

Jun 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Laguerre , Jun 17, 2019 3:04:57 PM | 7

Me, I thought that the Iranian announcement that it's going to go beyond the limits agreed was provocative. Why did they do it? It's not necessary for them. So, is there a necessity we don't know about, or are they pushing the Americans a bit? Pushing the Americans is a dangerous game. Are they desperate?

I was in Iran a month ago. I didn't think they were desperate. But the collapse of the riyal was having an effect. I'm not quite sure what's pushing this risky announcement.


psychohistorian , Jun 17, 2019 3:06:00 PM | 8

I continue to believe that history will show that we are in WWIII already. The Iran gambit fits within a bigger ME strategy that sits aside the EU/NATO one.

And then there is the private banking cartel part of the war. This part effects all of the gambits and strategies and its do or die in their eyes.

The steamroller of China/Russia and aligned continues apace.

karlof1 , Jun 17, 2019 3:10:39 PM | 9
Seems I need to relearn a few things. The current enrichment regime goes to 3% except for a small amount that's enriched to 20% to derive medical isotopes. To produce a nuclear weapon, 80-85% enrichment's required which means building a very large number of new centrifuge cascades. Plus, you don't just leap from 3% to 85%; it takes quite some time, but I can't recall the number of centrifuges or the time required. You can bet the old debunked to death warning "Iran's only a month away from making a bomb" will resurface with a vengeance.

As b, myself, and many others have noted, the Outlaw US Empire is the one in violation of everything as usual but isn't being called out for it thanks to its command of BigLie Media. As I reported in the open thread, Putin's continuing remarks call out illegal actions and continual bullying by the Outlaw US Empire, and I imagine the joint consensus statements from the SCO and CICA forums will contain similar language as has recently become commonplace. The EU continues to act like its helpless. It doesn't even do the bare minimum by calling out the Empire for its gross illegal behavior. I don't understand why, if indeed it did, Russia ceased its importation of Iranian nuclear material. The Arak plant is being developed with Chinese financing and engineering help.

Spicing the situation further is Iran's reported busting of another CIA spy ring: "Iran has dismantled a CIA-run 'large US cyber-espionage' network."

Laguerre , Jun 17, 2019 3:22:12 PM | 10
re Karlof1. I think everyone understands that Iranian enrichment is not actually very great. The question is why Iran put it in a way that was likely to provoke a reaction.
Passer by , Jun 17, 2019 3:24:53 PM | 11
Do you really think that the EU will start a trade war with the US over Iran? Now that economic crisis is near? Nope, it is not going to happen. Too many naive people.
Passer by , Jun 17, 2019 3:39:11 PM | 13
Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 17, 2019 3:34:05 PM | 12

It is because the US knows with whom they are dealing with. Merkel "i support the Iraq war", Macron the cuck, Scandinavian/Eastern European "please USA, protect me from Russia", UK "i'm your biggest Poodle, don't you like it?" and Italy "oh my god, our economy will implode at any moment".

The EU, generally speaking, in a political way, is a joke.

Zack , Jun 17, 2019 3:49:59 PM | 15
JPOST:U.N. OFFICIALS: U.S. PLANNING A 'TACTICAL ASSAULT' IN IRAN
Diplomatic sources at the UN headquarters in New York revealed to Maariv that they are assessing the United States' plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran in response to the tanker attack in the Persian Gulf on Thursday .

According to the officials, since Friday, the White House has been holding incessant discussions involving senior military commanders, Pentagon representatives and advisers to President Donald Trump.

The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program , the officials further claimed.

" The bombing will be massive but will be limited to a specific target ," said a Western diplomat.

frances , Jun 17, 2019 4:48:53 PM | 22
reply to
" The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.

"The bombing will be massive but will be limited to a specific target," said a Western diplomat."
Posted by: Zack | Jun 17, 2019 3:49:59 PM | 15

I read somewhere that Iran bought S-300's a while ago and that they were heavily customized. As Russia has been involved with Iran my guess is Iran has an S-400 equivalent defensive capability. And as Iran now has a heads up regarding a pending US attack, we may finally see how well US weapons/planes perform against S-400s as well as Iran's formidable missiles.
We may also see how well Israel's Iron Dome does against an assault by both Hamas and Hezbollah. Trump is going down a dark road if he attacks Iran.

karlof1 , Jun 17, 2019 4:59:00 PM | 24
frances @22--

Here's the Anna News report about Iran's air defense capabilities I posted last week. It's in Russian but is easily machine translated. Where Iran's strength lies is in its retaliation ability combined with target vulnerabilities, which we've been over and back about in detail. Last week after the tanker attacks, CENTCOM issued a statement saying the Outlaw US Empire doesn't seek war with Iran, which I also posted here.

Passer by , Jun 17, 2019 5:34:23 PM | 26
Yeah, Americans frequently think that. They can't cope with Europe being independent.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 17, 2019 3:57:47 PM | 17

Well, make that happen then. I have been waiting for a long time.

Btw it is not only that they think like that, they don't sit on their hands, they work actively to make that EU dependence happen.


Posted by: Zack | Jun 17, 2019 3:49:59 PM | 15

Its psychological war. Posturing. What happens if Iran fires back and a salvo of ballistic/cruise missiles destroy a US base in the Middle East? Or the Taliban gets manpads? US bases in Iraq under fire by shia millitias just like in 2007? EFP IEDs work great against US armored vehicles..

The US military consistently resisted the push for war against Iran. I don't believe a war with Iran will happen. Especially not now, with the already shaky global economy and Brexit ongoing.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jun 17, 2019 4:20:31 PM | 19

"So Iran stands alone, with the other Countrys daring to defy the US supremacy.
Will be hard next 5 years."

Depends on the severity of the economic crisis coming. The US was very nice and quiet in 2008-2009 right after the financial crisis. It even wanted a reset in relations with Russia.

When the US or the EU have it bad, they become very very nice. Like kittens. Look at how bankrupt Italy is seeking better trade relations with Russia and China.

So i expect a decrease in geopolitical tensions in the next several years as the crisis bites and countries are forced to concentrate on internal problems. I also think there will be too much debt around and that will force decrease in military budgets as well.

If the crisis is big, the trade war against China and the EU sanctions against Russia will end. More EU countries will join OBOR.

So it all depends on the severity of the crisis and who will be hit the most.

Oscar Peterson , Jun 17, 2019 5:40:33 PM | 27
Good points by Clueless Joe and DBEP-- #18 and 19.

And underlines just how dangerous it's going to be going forward. For Iran to have a shot at changing the current dynamic, it has to generate a situation that is more economically threatening than the threats that the US has made to isolate Iran. Active hostilities, with the first shots preferably fired by the US, setting the stage for Iranian action significantly reducing the amount of energy exported from the region and generating a global economic crisis may be required. That's why, as I have said repeatedly, it's a very risky strategy. But as I have also asked, what are the alternatives?

vk , Jun 17, 2019 5:46:09 PM | 28
The EU won't start a trade war with the US mainly for two reasons:

1) its economy is in a much more fragile state, so it wouldn't be able to withstand a Fabian war; as a peripheral region, its survival depens on never fully taking one side between the superpowers (USA vs China-Russia);

2) NATO.

There's also an ideological reason: since the post-war, the Western Europeans developed an ideology called Atlanticism, which states that the USA is a continuation of the European empire/civilization, therefore the continuation of Western Civilization itself. Therefore, the USA must be protected as if it was Europe, even if just culturally.

Indeed, this is a big problem the European far-right will have to face: until now, they are using a narrative of a "sovereign and pure" Europe ("Europe for Europeans"). When the time comes and they are in power, they will have to face the reality Europe now is just an American pet: will they budge and, at the end of the day, strenghten the USA's position in the peninsula, or will they go all in and seal its fate?

Ian , Jun 17, 2019 5:49:04 PM | 29
psychohistorian | Jun 17, 2019 3:06:00 PM | 8:

Or WW4. WW3 was the first Cold War against the Soviets, while this War of Terror / Cold War 2.0 would be WW4.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 17, 2019 5:50:49 PM | 30
JPOST:U.N. OFFICIALS: U.S. PLANNING A 'TACTICAL ASSAULT' IN IRAN

Diplomatic sources at the UN headquarters in New York revealed to Maariv that they are assessing the United States' plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran in response to the tanker attack in the Persian Gulf on Thursday.
...
Posted by: Zack | Jun 17, 2019 3:49:59 PM | 15

Trust the "Israelis" to publish meaningless "He said - She said" claptrap about Iran.
J-Post's gullible audience is way too dumb to realise that a US announcement of US unilateral military action, delivered from the steps of the UN, does not mean that the idiocy is condoned or endorsed by the UN Security Council.

Apart from anything else, if there was a genuine likelihood that the US was going to bomb Iran, J-Post would be telling "Israelis" to check the food and water in their bunkers and stay the Hell away from Dimona and "Israel's" other nuke sites.

Lochearn , Jun 17, 2019 6:45:38 PM | 33
The elites distract us from finding out who they are and what they do by continually throwing up scenarios for us to ponder over. Since 2011 it's been Syria, then Ukraine, then back to Syria, a rumble with Kim in NK, a sort of mini-scenario with Venezuela then back to Iran. It's been more or less non-stop. Add in Trump and Brexit and we have more than enough bones to chew on. We focus on that tiresome old sub-entity the military-industrial complex when it is just a glorified cop enforcing the interests of its master – global capital.

We consider countries and regions as separate – the EU and the US for example – but the elites don't. The Bank of International Settlements – the world's central banks' bank is in Basel, Switzerland. The elites are interested in one thing and one thing only and that is getting a return on the $80 trillion in AUM or assets under management. When global GDP is just a little less than that figure that's a lot of money chasing around looking to earn a buck or two. It requires that every sector of every economy be "in play." Remember Trumps comment about privatizing the NHS in Britain after Brexit? That's because it's all Britain has left of what they call low-hanging fruit. Everything else has been downsized, rightsized or fucksized.

What we need to focus on is not the G7 or G20 but the G30 or Group of Thirty – a group of extremely powerful bankers. Check out the members on their website if you want to know who controls things. It only came to notice because Mario Draghi, the head of the ECB, used to be a member. Some fine individual complained to the EU Ombudsman that the ECB is supposed to supervise the banks, not conspire with them, and Draghi was forced out. Two members are ex-governors of the Bank of China!

The big fish of the G30 – Jacob A Frenkel - is someone probably nobody has ever heard of. A stint at the IMF, then governor of the Bank of Israel (1991-2000), before moving on to head Merril Lynch International and membership of the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations), the Trilateral Commission and the New York FED – which effectively controls the FED. He even has his grubby little hands in China as a member of the Advisory council of the China Development Bank. China again! Oh, and lastly he is Chairman of J P Morgan International. He is joined there by the scum Tony Blair and the eternally corrupt ex UN chief Kofi Annan, as well as the chairman of China's soverign wealth fund, among many others whose names and careers we should all be familiar with.

Don Bacon , Jun 17, 2019 7:06:43 PM | 37
Iran might consider going this way to encourage Europe to act:

The JCPOA set a limit of 3.67 percent enrichment and a stockpile limit of around 660 pounds for 15 years with 5,060 older centrifuges. But that will change. Considering the wrongful actions taken by the US to end the international agreement affirmed by the UN Security Council, this is now the Iran position:

Iran's options include:
--increasing the number of centrifuges to 20,000
--surpassing the 3.67 percent limit to 5 percent to provide fuel to the Bushehr power plant, and to twenty percent for the Tehran research reactor
--the possibility of further enrichment percentages
--halting the redesign of the Arak reactor which would eliminate plutonium production
--non-participation in any policing of terror attacks in the Gulf region

It's your move, all options are on the table.

wontonpiece , Jun 17, 2019 10:11:24 PM | 58
@Zachary Smith | Jun 17, 2019 6:11:41 PM | #31

Yeah, he is stupid enough and moreover very easily swayed. Remember he's got Sheldon Adelson, Kushner, Bibi, Bolton, Pompeo, Cotton and even Adam Schiff telling him to bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran.

karlof1 , Jun 17, 2019 10:22:00 PM | 59
Anon @34--

Here're some of those newly released/doctored photos , thus begging the question, why was the grainy video released when such clear photos were available? Oh, and they don't prove anything either--unless--one looks closely at the boat. 7 people have very obvious life vests on while 3 don't. There's no flag/standard flying from the boat anywhere whereas in all other photos of similar Iranian vessels, the Iranian flag is proudly displayed. The vessel's design is quite interesting for a boat-guy like myself--I've never seen anything like its cockpit. Besides the two chests, there's nothing aboard that resembles a limpet mine. The crew all seem to be wearing the same uniform, but a variety of life vests--3-4 different types--plus the life ring lays on the deck improperly stowed. No hull markings or registration numbers are seen. And as I noted on the previous thread, the boat type seems unique. The seam on the hull appears where? And so on....

USN has zero credibility and that hasn't improved one iota with this release. There ought to be 100s of photos, not just these few. And how about an undoctored video! Ought to check what sorts of ship's boats USN has as this one's very specific.

karlof1 , Jun 17, 2019 10:33:59 PM | 60
Don Bacon @57--

Well, that's a few more photos than from my link. The caption clearly states the overhead shot of the boat was after the supposed mine removal--again, where is it?!?! There's no stowage area anywhere on that vessel. IMO, given its cockpit's arrangement, it's meant to ferry personnel--note all the places to sit along the gunwalls. The previous video showed it to have a specific hull type designed to be both seaworthy and stable--a difficult combination to attain--but at the cost of any stowage space below deck.

Ha! Maybe they decided to just drop it into the sea! Otherwise, where is it in that overhead photo?!

Don Bacon , Jun 17, 2019 10:48:17 PM | 61
@ karlof
And what's with the red splotches? Protecting the innocent?
Don Bacon , Jun 17, 2019 10:51:16 PM | 62
@ DPC 56
re: Morsi
Yes, I think I remember some of that. Thanks for your comment.
Don Bacon , Jun 17, 2019 10:59:23 PM | 63
@ karlof
Yes, an IRGCN ferry boat, outside of its Persian Gulf AOR, in the Gulf of Oman. I can't get that out of my head. I would think that IRGCN would be unwelcome in IRIN territory.
psychohistorian , Jun 17, 2019 11:05:10 PM | 64
@ Don Bacon with link #57 comment

Thanks....Anyone knowledgeable about the bomb mounting pictures they show at the bottom?

The first and second picture seem to show the same hull face but they don't agree with the fourth picture showing damage. Take the length of the white hull height numbers/markers on the right as a ruler and measure out the same distance on the 1/2 versus number 4 pics and see the difference.

Is it humanities karma to die on the basis of a poor lie? What a bunch of losers the elite are. They talk big but when it comes to actual merit they have none...only undeserved faith

Don Bacon , Jun 17, 2019 11:24:35 PM | 65
@ ph
Yes, the nail holes, aluminum and green composite material have moved and/or disappeared. Photoshop does have its limitations.
Don Bacon , Jun 17, 2019 11:43:34 PM | 66
comments from Europe (via CNN)..
>Downing Street spokesperson said at a briefing Monday that if Iran breaches its low-grade uranium stockpile limits, which was agreed under the nuclear pact, then the UK would look at "all options."
> French President Emmanuel Macron said that the Iran announcement was regretful, adding that France "encourage(s) them to adopt a patient and responsible behavior."
> German government spokesman Steffen Seibert and the European Union's foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini both said that they expect Iran to live up to its obligations as laid out in the deal.. . here

Forget them.
Zachary Smith , Jun 17, 2019 11:47:38 PM | 67
@ karlof1 | Jun 17, 2019 10:22:00 PM #59

I'm late to this party, so your close-up images are the first I've seen. If they're not "doctored", then somebody has a really interesting new weapon. Here is what Julian Borger in Washington wrote in the UK Guardian:

One of the images is said to show the remnant of a limpet mine that had been removed – a small jagged piece of green metal, as well as holes made by nails used to hold the mine in place.

Yes, Borger 'was told' that the explosives were nailed to the steel hull of the tanker. Now I don't know the thickness of a tanker's hull, but wouldn't it be at least half an inch of good steel? Was Bolger born with a fishhook through his lip?

It's my WAG (wild-ass-guess) that what the Iranians were removing was an unexploded lightweight devices which had been delivered to the side of the ship by some kind of projectile or drone. If it was theirs, they'd not want the US to inspect it so they went after it themselves. Of course an alternate viewpoint is that they took down a US device to carry home and study.

b4real , Jun 17, 2019 11:51:05 PM | 68
@33 lochearn

"We focus on that tiresome old sub-entity the military-industrial complex when it is just a glorified cop enforcing the interests of its master – global capital."

Do you really believe those bankers with their terminals and wingtip shoes are telling the boys with the billion dollars of weaponry what to do? At best they share mutual consideration at times, and when push comes to shove between them, those bankers are going to be looking down the business end of those armaments. Nice little villa you've got there...shame if something were to happen to it.... They are going to work together until they don't.

b4real

[Jun 17, 2019] Tanker attacks serve warning to Gulf monarchies

Notable quotes:
"... The US initially granted waivers to eight allied importers of Iranian oil for its sanctions instituted in November of last year but has since revoked them, making matters worse for the flailing Iranian economy. In turn, Tehran has raised the long-threatened prospect that it could close the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow outlet of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of the world's oil passes. "Iran has made these threats for the better part of the last 20 to 30 years. ..."
"... It hasn't followed through on it because it would also inhibit its ability to ship its oil abroad, so closing it would be counterintuitive," said Esfandiary. "However, given that the US is deliberately trying to shut off all avenues of Iran exporting its oil, it doesn't stand to lose as much if it closes the strait." Rather, the Gulf monarchies would be at the greatest risk should a conflict break out. ..."
"... "This is why the Emiratis have been urging for restraint since the last tanker attacks a few weeks ago," she said. ..."
"... The captain of the Japanese ship has already called out American *LIES*! The tanker was hit by a flying object, not a mine underwater, directly contradicting the liars looking to plant another Gulf of Tonkin incident. Since the US lost so badly in Vietnam, you'd think that they'd think twice before starting a war with Iran. ..."
"... This article, along with the entire Western media is promoting the line that Iran most likely was responsible for this affair. This is absurd on many levels. First, has Iran gained anything from this? Has anyone? Of course! The US and its allies are creating a huge propaganda campaign. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | asiatimes.com

Tanker attacks serve warning to Gulf monarchies

Evacuation of two ships off Oman drives home potential fallout from US 'maximum pressure' campaign against Iran By Alison Tahmizian Meuse , Beirut

The attacks on two tankers laden with petroleum products in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday may have been designed to highlight the risks of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, analysts told Asia Times on Friday. The US accused Iran of being behind the attacks, a charge Tehran has vehemently denied. But this kind of non-lethal warning, which caused a spike in oil prices, has been in the hardline Iranian playbook since the Trump administration signaled it would take steps to squeeze the Islamic republic's ability to sell its petroleum.

"It was being debated even before the oil waivers were revoked [in November], but largely as a possible response to an attempt to zero [eliminate] Iran's exports," an Iranian source told Asia Times on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak on the matter. "The idea was to raise costs for global markets and the Gulf states to get them to more directly intercede with Trump" and to drive home the potential fallout of US sanctions, the source said.

President Donald Trump's administration sees the Saudi heir to the throne, Mohammed bin Salman, and the Emirati de facto ruler Mohammed bin Zayed, or MBZ, as the pillars of American policy – and arms deals – in the region, and the goal would have been to make them feel economic pain. "If MBZ tells Trump that it's time to slow down the maximum pressure policy that is very different than [Japanese President Shinzo] Abe calling for negotiations," the source said.

The Japanese leader – who visited Tehran on a mission to reduce tensions – instead got a front-row seat to the rising risks of the shipping business, in which the G-7 nation has a major interest. Just as news surfaced that the Japan-operated Kokuka Courageous was forced to evacuate its crew, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was telling Abe that he would not be dignifying Trump with talks.

Limits of pressure

The latest attacks came exactly one month after a similar non-lethal incident against four tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Washington also blamed Iran for those attacks, though a Security Council report earlier this month stopped short of naming the Islamic republic.

The latest incidents have yet to be independently investigated. However, US Central Command released video footage on Thursday which purports to show an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' patrol boat removing a limpet mine from the side of the Kokuka Courageous – ostensibly to maintain plausible deniability and prevent an American military escalation. Iran does not want the situation in the region to escalate, but it is increasingly being forced into a corner by US economic pressure, according to Dina Esfandiary, an Iran expert and fellow at The Century Foundation.

If the latest attacks were found to have been carried out by Iranian forces, it would be consistent with their modus operandi , she said: "The damage was done above the hull of the ship, so clearly the point was to avoid death, but [ ] show that it is capable of doing something like this, and won't hesitate to do it if it needs to." Indeed, the crew members of both ships were safely evacuated on Thursday, some by the US and others by Iran. But the vessels were carrying hundreds of thousands of barrels of petroleum products, and one of them burned for hours after the attack.

The US initially granted waivers to eight allied importers of Iranian oil for its sanctions instituted in November of last year but has since revoked them, making matters worse for the flailing Iranian economy. In turn, Tehran has raised the long-threatened prospect that it could close the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow outlet of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of the world's oil passes. "Iran has made these threats for the better part of the last 20 to 30 years.

It hasn't followed through on it because it would also inhibit its ability to ship its oil abroad, so closing it would be counterintuitive," said Esfandiary. "However, given that the US is deliberately trying to shut off all avenues of Iran exporting its oil, it doesn't stand to lose as much if it closes the strait." Rather, the Gulf monarchies would be at the greatest risk should a conflict break out.

"This is why the Emiratis have been urging for restraint since the last tanker attacks a few weeks ago," she said. The Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy, also acknowledged the possible strategy behind the attacks. "The latest incidents appear aimed at demonstrating the vulnerability of Gulf shipping while damaging confidence in the US ability to protect freedom of navigation," it said. In an interview on Friday, Trump said he was seeking talks with Iran: "We want to get them back to the table if they want to get back. I'm in no rush."


Sushi8524 2 days ago ,

The captain of the Japanese ship has already called out American *LIES*! The tanker was hit by a flying object, not a mine underwater, directly contradicting the liars looking to plant another Gulf of Tonkin incident. Since the US lost so badly in Vietnam, you'd think that they'd think twice before starting a war with Iran.

Iron Felix 2 days ago ,

This article, along with the entire Western media is promoting the line that Iran most likely was responsible for this affair. This is absurd on many levels. First, has Iran gained anything from this? Has anyone? Of course! The US and its allies are creating a huge propaganda campaign.

Abe was on a delicate mission, one which he had extensively discussed with Trump the Iranians to discuss whether there are any grounds for negotiations. Is there anyone sane out there who think Iran would create such a crisis at this time? Of course not, but we all know who is trying to sabotage any normalization between the US and Iran.

Then there was the video perporting to show an Iranian boat REMOVING a mine from a ship, but the Iranians claim they had fished the sailors out of the water. Is this what the video shows? Can't say, but it is all over CNN, NBC, FOX etc as "proof" We have been here before, haven't we.

All told, this is a very unconvincing attempt to frame up Iran.

Truth 2 days ago ,

Radical Jewish Extremists did this to start another war that only they would benefit from.

[Jun 17, 2019] Cotton s Warmongering on Iran

Notable quotes:
"... Cotton unwittingly proves that there are other states that have a motive to attack shipping in order to provoke a war with Iran. The Saudis, Israel, half the U.S. govt, and the UAE. The UAE is an interesting case because they hired a former U.S. navy Seal as a General to conduct their war in Yemen. ..."
Jun 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

SteveM 11 hours ago

Daniel, re your Scott Shapiro retweet:

"We have to change the culture in America to one in which warmongering renders one unfit to hold public office"

Yet again, changing the culture in America requires smashing the Cult of Military Exceptionalism in the U.S. The sanctified Generals are part and parcel of the war-monger cabal. They turn the warped fear-monger gears with abandon, yet are immune from public criticism.

The war-monger views of atrocious Tom Cotton are afforded special consideration because he is a "Warrior-Hero" who wasted taxpayer money in Iraq. The retired Generals fronting for the Pentagon on network news are treated with obsequious deference by the feckless MSM hacks .

The combined effect is a massive beat-down of the realism and restraint that the public says it actually wants. When push comes to shove, the propaganda saturated public surrenders to the pathological "wisdom" of the Generals.

As long as the massively dominating influence of the Pentagon is fenced off from criticism, America's economically, politically and morally bankrupt foreign policy will not, and cannot change.

P.S. please suggest this to Scott Shapiro.

kingdomofgodflag.info 14 hours ago
"First they make intervention seem cheap and easy to gain support, and then when things don't go as planned and public opinion turns against them they insist that they can't stop until we 'finish the job,' and then when things go really wrong they say we have to 'stay the course[...]'"

"...or they will have died in vain."

ken_lov a day ago
If Iran has one over-riding policy goal today, it is surely to isolate the USA, maintain normal relations with the rest of the world and convince other countries it is being treated irrationally and unfairly by America. Nothing could be more inclined to defeat that policy than Iran making random attacks against merchant ships with no connection to America.

Needless to say this is not conclusive. People often do stupid things and the leaders of Iran are presumably no exception. However in the absence of hard evidence, one has to assume these attacks were the work of actors hostile to Iran. If the USA wants to convince people to the contrary, they'll have to come up with evidence a lot more persuasive than we've seen so far.

curunir a day ago • edited
What's the point... You notice that right on cue, as it were, the Saudis want protection. They already have a substantial naval presence in the Persian Gulf, and a large and experienced air force. They do not need our help. We will have another pretty little war if we want it or not.
john curunir 11 hours ago
They are too busy creating a famine in Yemen to bother with this.
MountainAngel 9 hours ago
We need to stop this constant intervention. Americans are tired of the blood and treasure we continue to donate to these stupid war neocons! Nobody in their right mind wants constant conflict all over the world!
scottrob 11 hours ago
The Saudis are willing to fight to the last American. Cotton, Pompeo and company are radical, right wing Christians. Until we are willing to be politcally incorrect and see that radical Christianity is in control of our foreign policy, we will forever be in warfare.
chris chuba 12 hours ago
Cotton unwittingly proves that there are other states that have a motive to attack shipping in order to provoke a war with Iran. The Saudis, Israel, half the U.S. govt, and the UAE. The UAE is an interesting case because they hired a former U.S. navy Seal as a General to conduct their war in Yemen.
EliteCommInc. 10 hours ago
Well,

considering that the tankers were Japanese it might be worth a look at their official view and response.

https://www.breitbart.com/m...

Japanese position before -- https://www.haaretz.com/wor...

Japanese position now -- http://www.newsonjapan.com/...

An interesting dilemma is whether our security agreement with Japan entitles the US to respond to said attack regardless of Japanese approval.

john 11 hours ago
I would think that the threshold for kicking off a new war should be higher than a couple of dented foreign tankers. Show me several hundred dead Americans and then maybe.
Mel Profit 14 hours ago
Neocons remain obsessed with foreign interventions and democracy propagation for multiple reasons. One is to avoid the catastrophe that is today's US and that Republicans and other "conservatives" have ignored and surrendered to since before the "Golden Age of Reagan".
Sid Finster Mel Profit 11 hours ago
Democracy propagation?

The neocons haven't shown any interest in democracy or its propagation, except as an excuse to get the wars that they want.

[Jun 17, 2019] Why the US rushed to propagate the 'naval mine' scenario to explain recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman

Notable quotes:
"... Under these circumstances and given the endless history of US manufactured incidents used to justify the start of another war, most people rightfully thought that this has been just another false flag operation. ..."
"... And it makes sense actually. Why the hell Iran would attempt to blow up its relations with Japan in the midst of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visit in the country? Only the US empire would have reasons to do it in order to force one of its key allies to cut ties with Iran. ..."
"... According to the company , its crew spotted "flying objects" before the attack in the Gulf of Oman, contradicting US claims that the vessel was damaged by a naval mine. ..."
"... Yet, despite company's alternative story of what happened, at the time we were finishing this report, many major Western media insisted to circulate the scenario that an Iranian 'naval mine' was responsible for the attacks against the oil tankers. Trump's statements, who immediately rushed to blame Iran, and media reports, were based exclusively on a video showing Iranian special forces removing a mine which had failed to explode. ..."
"... The question is, why the US has been so anxious to stick to the 'naval mine' scenario? A probable answer would be that it wants to clear the path for a military invasion. According to a 2009 Stratfor analysis : [key part highlighted red] ..."
"... The US imperialists know that an all-out war with Iran would equal a suicide. The goal is probably a 'surgical' invasion on the south shores of the country that would last just as long as to permit the US and allies to control the Strait of Hormuz, and therefore, the global oil market. The first step towards such an operation would be the mine-clearing of the strait. ..."
"... The US doctrine has changed. The imperialists are only interested to achieve goals, not to win wars, no matter how long will it take and what will it cost in the end. The winners are always the big companies and the losers are those who will lose their lives no matter which side they fight for. ..."
Jun 17, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

The incident of the recent attack against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman elevated the heat between the US and Iran. Naturally, the attack also produced some level of turmoil in the oil global market.

Trump's hostile attitude against Iran was clearly evident even before his election. His totally unjustifiable and completely incomprehensible action to kill the Iran nuclear deal, destroyed any remnants of US reliability. Consequently, even the US Western allies refused to follow this evidently counterproductive strategy.

Under these circumstances and given the endless history of US manufactured incidents used to justify the start of another war, most people rightfully thought that this has been just another false flag operation.

And it makes sense actually. Why the hell Iran would attempt to blow up its relations with Japan in the midst of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visit in the country? Only the US empire would have reasons to do it in order to force one of its key allies to cut ties with Iran.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ysQ7HWEmDMQ

Everything shows that the US effort to make its allies fully align against Iran is failing for the moment. Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, said that he saw Japanese interest in continuing to buy oil as a "guarantee" for the ongoing development of bilateral ties. Japan immediately throw the ball to the private sector in order to leave an open door for oil purchases from Iran. Takeshi Osuga, the spokesman for Japan's foreign ministry said that deciding on oil purchases was the domain of private companies.

Indeed, the Japanese company that owns 'Kokuka Courageous', one of the tankers that were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, refused to adopt the US scenario.

According to the company , its crew spotted "flying objects" before the attack in the Gulf of Oman, contradicting US claims that the vessel was damaged by a naval mine. Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo, told reporters on Friday that sailors on board the ill-fated oil tanker observed "flying objects" just before the incident in which the ship caught fire and was badly damaged. The giant vessel was hit twice, first near the engine room and then on its starboard side. He suggested that those flying objects could have been bullets, and called reports of striking a mine "false." Both points at which the ship was damaged were above her waterline, which couldn't be so if it had struck an underwater mine.

Yet, despite company's alternative story of what happened, at the time we were finishing this report, many major Western media insisted to circulate the scenario that an Iranian 'naval mine' was responsible for the attacks against the oil tankers. Trump's statements, who immediately rushed to blame Iran, and media reports, were based exclusively on a video showing Iranian special forces removing a mine which had failed to explode.

The question is, why the US has been so anxious to stick to the 'naval mine' scenario? A probable answer would be that it wants to clear the path for a military invasion. According to a 2009 Stratfor analysis : [key part highlighted red]

The initial shock to the global economy of a supertanker hitting a mine in the strait [of Hormuz] would be profound, but its severity and longevity would depend in large part on the extent of the mining, Iran's ability to continue laying mines and the speed of mine-clearing operations. And, as always, it would all hinge on the quality of intelligence. While some military targets -- major naval installations, for example -- are large, fixed and well known, Iran's mine-laying capability is more dispersed (like its nuclear program). That, along with Iran's armada of small boats along the Persian Gulf coast, suggests it may not be possible to bring Iran's mine-laying efforts to an immediate halt. Barring a cease-fire, limited, low-level mining operations could well continue.

Given the variables involved, it is difficult to describe exactly what a U.S. mine-clearing operation might look like in the strait, although enough is known about the U.S. naval presence in the region and other mine-clearing operations to suggest a rough scenario. The United States keeps four mine countermeasures ships forward deployed in the Persian Gulf. A handful of allied minesweepers are also generally on station, as well as MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters, which are used in such operations. This available force in the region approaches the size of the mine-clearing squadron employed during Operation Iraqi Freedom to clear the waterway leading to the port of Umm Qasr, although it does not include a mine countermeasures command ship and represents a different clearing scenario.

The US imperialists know that an all-out war with Iran would equal a suicide. The goal is probably a 'surgical' invasion on the south shores of the country that would last just as long as to permit the US and allies to control the Strait of Hormuz, and therefore, the global oil market. The first step towards such an operation would be the mine-clearing of the strait.

This probably explains why the Western media insisted to circulate the scenario of the 'naval mine'. They want to drag Western leaderships behind US in an operation to clear the mines in the Strait of Hormuz, in the name of global energy security.

Also, already since 2017, the US announced that it will increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan , and one reason probably has to do with Iran. A significant number of US troops on the Iranian eastern border would be very useful. It will be used to keep the Iranian forces busy and gradually weaken the Iranian operational capabilities in an extended attrition war. This will permit the US to gradually secure and establish their presence in the Strait of Hormuz.

This attrition war could be held - and probably would be more effective - through proxy forces, or mercenaries of private armies, or a combination of them in the front line together with the US forces in the background.

The US doctrine has changed. The imperialists are only interested to achieve goals, not to win wars, no matter how long will it take and what will it cost in the end. The winners are always the big companies and the losers are those who will lose their lives no matter which side they fight for.

Vijay Prashad U.S. Rushes to Blame Iran for Tanker Attacks as Much of World Pushes for Diplomacy - YouTube

[Jun 16, 2019] Did The 'B-Team' Overplay It's Hand On Iran

Jun 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Did The 'B-Team' Overplay It's Hand On Iran?

by Tyler Durden Sun, 06/16/2019 - 11:35 5 SHARES Authored by Tom Luongo,

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has a term of endearment for Iran's enemies, "The B-Team."

The "B-Team" consists of U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister (nee Dictator) Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and the UAE's Mohammed bin Zayed.

When we look seriously at the attacks on the oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman this week the basic question that comes to mind is, Cui bono? Who benefits?

And it's easy to see how the B-Team benefits from this attack and subsequent blaming Iran for it. With Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tehran opening up a dialogue on behalf of U.S. President Donald Trump the threat of peace was in the air.

And none of the men on the B-Team profit from peace in the Middle East with respect to Iran. Getting Trump to stop hurling lightning bolts from the mountain top the B-Team guided him up would do nothing to help oil prices, which the Saudis and UAE need/want to remain high.

Bin Salman, in particular, cannot afford to see oil prices drop back into the $40's per barrel. With the world awash in oil and supply tight, even with OPEC production cuts, Bin Salman is currently on very thin ice because of the Saudi Riyal's peg to the U.S. dollar, which he can't abandon or the U.S. will abandon them. Falling oil prices and a rising dollar are a recipe for the death of the Saudi government, folks. Iran knows this.

Netanyahu and Bolton don't want peace because the U.S. fighting a war with Iran serves the cause of Greater Israel and opens up the conflict in the hopes of regime change and elimination of Iran.

Bolton, as well, is finally feeling the heat of his incompetence and disloyalty to Trump, according to John Kirakau at Consortium News .

Of course, a more rational person might conclude that Bolton has done a terrible job, that the people around him have done a terrible job, that he has aired his disagreements with Trump in the media, and that the President is angry about it. That's the more likely scenario.

Here's what my friends are saying. Trump is concerned, like any president is near the end of his term, about his legacy. He said during the campaign that he wanted to be the president who pulled the country out of its two longest wars. He wanted to declare victory and bring the troops back from Afghanistan and Iraq. He hasn't done that, largely at the insistence of Bolton. Here we are three years later and we're still stuck in both of those countries.

Second, my friends say that Trump wants to end U.S. involvement in the Yemen war, but that Bolton has been insistent that the only way to guarantee the closeness of the U.S. relationships with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is to keep providing those countries with weapons, aerial refueling planes, and intelligence support.

So, couple the attacks on these tankers with the timing of Abe's visit and the vote on Rand Paul's bill to end selling arms to the Saudis in support of their war in Yemen (which flew through the Senate thanks to this attack getting a number of senators to change their vote at the last second) and we have a perfect cui bono.

That's the entire B-Team's motives distilled down to a couple of drones flying in to create a casus belli which saves Bolton's job, keeps the weapons flowing to the murderous Saudis and creates an opportunity for Netanyahu to feed Trump bad information via his 'intelligence' services.

The rush to judgment by the usual suspects in the Trump administration should be all the proof you need that we're looking at a set up to get Trump to fly off the handle which he, so far, hasn't done.

Remember, Trump wants lower oil prices. He wants a weaker dollar and lower interest rates. He needs the frackers in Eagle Ford and Permian to keep raising output but they keep bleeding red ink . He's fighting the Fed as well as former directors of the FBI, CIA and ODNI via his new attorney general, William Barr.

His approval rating is high and he's going after his political enemies now. But a potential war in the Middle East is a real problem for him.

And this is where Moon of Alabama's Bernard comes in with his excellent analysis of the current situation vis-a-vis Iran. The whole article is worth your time but the money-shot, as it were, is right here:

To say that the attacks were provocations by the U.S. or its Middle East allies is made easier by their evident ruthlessness. Any accusations by the Trump administration of Iranian culpability will be easily dismissed because everyone knows that Trump and his crew are notorious liars .

This cat and mouse game will now continue and steadily gain pace. More tankers will get damaged or even sunk. Saudi refineries will start to explode. UAE harbors will experience difficulties. Iran will plausibly deny that it is involved in any of this. The U.S. will continue to blame Iran but will have no evidence to prove it.

Insurance for Middle East cargo will become very expensive. Consumer prices for oil products will increase and increase again. The collateral damage will be immense.

All this will gradually put more pressure on Trump.

Don't forget that the U.S.'s sanctions on Iran make it difficult for Iran to insure its cargoes. So, even if a company or country wanted to still do business with NIOC, they can't because they can't get insurance on the cargo.

It's been a real problem that Iran had to solve by having its own fleet of tankers which it also insures domestically to keep what oil it can export flowing. So it only makes sense to begin hitting the rest of the world via the same weapons being used against Iran.

But as Trump has ratcheted up the pressure he's put Iran in the exact position that makes them the most dangerous. Acting through deniable proxies Iran can now drag this out as a low-grade conflict far longer than Trump can bear politically.

They don't need to shut down the Strait of Hormuz. They just have to screw with its enemies' ability to make a living. The political pressure that will come to bear on a global economy imploding because of instability in the flow of oil is not something a butcher like Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia is capable of handling.

Bernard calls Trump's administration 'notorious liars' and that's the key. People can look no further than the ludicrous and inept handling of the regime change operation in Venezuela and see the mendacity first hand.

That operation was so bad, culminating in the pathetic "Bay of Fat Pigs" coup attempt, that it has left every country that backed Bolton and Pompeo's play there, including Trump himself, looking like morons.

You don't embarrass the narcissists who inhabit high-level government offices and not suffer in some way. This is why I give a lot of credence to John Kirakou's conclusion that Bolton being one approved candidate away from unemployment.

Firing Bolton and having Abe and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas go to Tehran are good will gestures. But Trump has let his B-Team badly mismanage this situation in the same way that he let Bolton and Pompeo mismanage Kim Jong-un and North Korea.

No one believes he's capable of peace or showing shame. He's left himself in no position to climb down from this position without the help of Iran itself.

This is exactly the argument I made in April of 2017 after his missile strike on Syria over a "beautiful piece of chocolate cake." He revealed himself to be both tactically and strategically incompetent.

He has to come groveling to them now. But he won't. And Iran and its benefactors, Russia and China, have no incentive to come to him. He can't keep his promises since he's not really in charge of policy. As Ayatollah Khamenei pointed out on Twitter (oh, the irony):

me title=

me title=

Trump thought the B-Team was giving him negotiating leverage. But what happens to your leverage when the other person takes his chips, walks away from the table and says, "No. I won't deal with you."

So now the screws will be put to everyone. Trump pushed Erdogan of Turkey away over the S-400 and Putin called in his marker forcing Erdogan to end his support for Al-Qaeda in Idlib. That campaign will be slow and excruciating but it will eventually grind them out.

Iran has been handed all the cards they need to become the exact thing Pompeo, Trump and the B-Team have been accusing them of being but now with the cover of deniability and asymmetry. All of the things Moon of Alabama laid out are now going to happen even if Trump fires Bolton, pulls troops out and lifts the oil embargo on Syria, etc.

Netanyahu will scream bloody murder and up the ante until Putin slaps him down. Because now that Trump has made it clear he doesn't want war with Iran we know there's a limit to what Bibi can incite.

If Trump was serious about war with Iran it would have already been declared. The smoke, however, is blowing in a different direction.

Iran will retaliate here just to make the point that they can. They will make Saudi Arabia and the UAE pay the biggest price directly while Trump finally has to start thinking things through or his presidency will end badly next year.

The war of attrition against the fragility of the Western financial system will enter the next stage here. Iran, China and Russia will now, sadly, activate the weapons they have been holding back for years, hoping that Trump and his B-Team would come to their senses.

This is what happens when you let the B-Team overplay your hand for you against people who are 1) smarter and 2) more patient than you are.

And, frankly, I don't blame them one bit. Because as the only thing that American power brokers understand is strength. And you have to hit them between the eyes with a stick to get them to respect you.

* * *

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IronForge , 4 hours ago link

Been There and Done This, Luongo - with One Comment:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-15/pentagon-readies-contingency-plans-potential-iran-military-escalation?commentId=be118750-5717-478a-803d-e8705d9c8bf8

*****

The Sith Hands have been OverPlayed for Decades. The Rest of the World - including Factions amongst Vassals - are starting to Move Forward.

Stick in the Mud , 4 hours ago link

Trump doesn't need Seth Adelson to tell him what to do....Seth can rely completely on Jared to do that. When Kelly was Chief of Staff and Mattis headed DOD, there was a semblance of chain of command.

Acting toady at DOD Shanahan won't be a check on Trump or Bolton. Bolton reportedly can by-pass chain of command to talk directly to any General he wants.

Trump in a corner is a frightening prospect.

quidam101 , 5 hours ago link

The B stand for ********?

medium giraffe , 5 hours ago link

Bastard, I think.

Ruler , 5 hours ago link

B as in Boy team

Moribundus , 5 hours ago link

"...only thing that Americans understand is strength. And you have to hit them between the eyes with baseball bat..." This is 100% truth

desertboy , 4 hours ago link

An ignorant bigot is projecting. This adventurism is a result of American nationalism? Very ignorant.

Et Tu Brute , 5 hours ago link

Trump is such a dumbfuck

Badsamm , 5 hours ago link

The Iranian people will never accept another US backed puppet government no matter how many of them DC, Tel Aviv, and Riyadh kills. Best these fuckers can hope for is total chaos and war spilling over borders

youshallnotkill , 5 hours ago link

Trump set this in motion when cancelling the nuclear control treaty, and imposing tough new sanctions on Iran.

He then hand picked very bad neocon actors like Pompeo and Bolton. Now it all hinges on his preference for peace and his ability to understand that these guys are playing him. God help us all, and help the president to see through this ruse.

Lavrov , 5 hours ago link

Well ya KNOW it wasn't THUMP who pick out the "B" Team it was his MASTER Satanyahoo..

youshallnotkill , 3 hours ago link

So close . But no cigar.

Neochrome , 6 hours ago link

Trump's one term will be remembered by the political divisions being brought to the absurd level of sitting POTUS undoing everything that the previous POTUS from the opposing party have accomplished.

TheRapture , 6 hours ago link

Trump got conned (by the neocons)

1. Trump brought Bolton on board because Trump's biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson, instructed him to do so .

2. Note that the Israeli Lobby were Trump's biggest donors. Let that sink in.

3. Trump doesn't do research. He has trouble reading memos. He can't read briefing papers. (eg, the CIA daily brief ).

4. Trump doesn't need to research the neocons. He *is* a neocon. Up to his eyeballs.

5. Trump is an obvious Israel-Firster if ever there was one. Far more than any other U.S. president. Or world leader.

6. Trump is the one making the decisions. Not Bolton. Not Pompeo. Trump. He's in charge.

7. Trump uses distractions such as 'Q', "disloyal subordinates", leaks and incoherent Twitter tweets as ropeadope to confuse his critics and avoid taking responsibility for screwups. If something breaks, Trump blames a subordinate. That's his pattern. Look how many we've seen come and go. Bolton will surely become another of Trump's scapegoats. Just a matter of time.

Lavrov , 3 hours ago link

Who cares. The DAMAGE is done

Snípéir_Ag_Obair , 6 hours ago link

They hated us all FIRST.

And then they got a nation state ...

And what happened? New Evidence Proves Israel Attacked USS Liberty With Orders To Kill 294 Americans

Fresh evidence presented in an exclusive Al Jazeera investigation into the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 Americans proves the incident was not a mistake

https://www.mintpressnews.com/new-evidence-proves-israel-attacked-uss-liberty-orders-kill-294-americans/198757/

https://me.me/i/can-you-tell-these-two-flags-apart-israel-claimed-that-19860153

🤨👉

http://israeli-connections-to-911.com/

https://americanfreepress.net/web-exclusive-israels-use-of-false-flags-in-global-terrorism/

https://www.mintpressnews.com/historys-dire-warning-beware-false-flag-trigger-for-long-sought-war-with-iran/258478/

Newly Released FBI Docs Shed Light on Apparent Mossad Foreknowledge of 9/11 Attacks

New information released by the FBI has brought fresh scrutiny to the possibility that the "Dancing Israelis," at least two of whom were known Mossad operatives, had prior knowledge of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/newly-released-fbi-docs-shed-light-on-apparent-mossad-foreknowledge-of-9-11-attacks/258581/

http://lesvisible.net/DOCS/MastersOfDeception.pdf

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9-11/Israel_did_it

http://www.unz.com/article/911-was-an-israeli-job/

👉53 Admitted False Flag Attacks

https://www.globalresearch.ca/53-admitted-false-flag-attacks/5432931

👉Israel's Use of False Flags in Global Terrorism

http://americanfreepress.net/web-exclusive-israels-use-of-false-flags-in-global-terrorism/?print=print

👉History's Dire Warning: Beware False-Flag Trigger for Long-Sought War with Iran

Israel's "false flag" attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967 cost 34 American lives. **** Cheney planned to disguise U.S. troops as Iranians to fire on American ships to start a war. With Bolton and Israel on the warpath, the risk of another similar act is higher than ever.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/historys-dire-warning-beware-false-flag-trigger-for-long-sought-war-with-iran/258478/

IUDAEA DELENDA EST.

Einstein101 , 5 hours ago link

So you cite a bunch of links from a bunch of fake websites created by the Global Iranian Propaganda Network:

https://www.wired.com/story/iran-global-propaganda-fireeye/

And you think people here are that stupid to fall for it? Wake up!

youshallnotkill , 5 hours ago link

And you think people here are that stupid to fall for it?

Have you read the comments here?

medium giraffe , 5 hours ago link

Ah, the hypocrisy....

Scipio Africanuz , 4 hours ago link

The US Military investigation is here:

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Moorer_Report

It's conclusive, damning, and comprehensive, so, knock yourself out.. terrorists in tel aviv deliberately attacked the USS LIBERTY, and the crime was covered up by the US government, even till date..the US Military said so. It's their ship, and their sailors, take it up with them, cheers...

AriusArmenian , 6 hours ago link

The UK, Israel, and Saudis have substantial control over US foreign policy and are trying to spill more American blood and treasure in the Middle East. But they have met their match in Russia, China, and Iran and the rest of resistance to the West.

A good start to stopping these vipers in the US would be to throw out of government service all the dual passport holders from those countries.

johnnycanuck , 6 hours ago link

Someone posted a link recently to the history of arch neocon Irving Kristol , Bill Kristol's pa and upon further exploration I realized Saint Reagan opened the door to a myriad of dual citizen zionists who became the backbone of the neocon movement and that most of those same individuals have popped up in pretty much every Republican administration in some capacity since then and some even appeared in Obama's admin. ie Cheney's girl Vicky Nuland / Kagan. The Kagan's being big neocon Republican movers and shakers in the past and they never really go away.

trump's idea of draining the swamp was to inject his regime with a large number of those very same neocons many whose names are infamous now and were major players in every organized cesspool of so called right wing thinkers such as PNAC, American Enterprise Institute and even the rank Gatestone Institute.

Insert definition of insanity here ..

Einstein101 , 6 hours ago link

Once I read this article I did laugh so much I spat wine all over the keyboard. So many false and misleading facts and arguments I don't even know where to begin.

In this post I'll start with a small thing

Israeli Prime Minister (nee Dictator) Benjamin Netanyahu

So this Tom Luongo guy, who is completely in bed with Iran's Muslim extremist regime, calls the PM of Israel dictator. A PM that was elected in a free democratic election, in a country with separation of powers, free press, free speech, independent judicial system, Etc. Etc.

OK so now let's see how Iran's democracy works, the beloved of our great author, Mr. Tom Luongo.

One supreme leader that is not elected. He controls the military and the economy and practically everything.

Nobody can be elected to the parliament or prime minister unless he gets permission to run for office from the supreme leader.

No civil rights, no freedom of press, no freedom of speech. women that do not dress as instructed get punished (but not men).

Iranian women & girls as young as 9 who don't wear hijab face jail

Women are being executed for adultery (but not men). Gays are being executed. Anyone who expresses opposing opinions is being executed without trial, or at best imprisoned and tortured.

And that is the great democracy of Iran...

cashback , 6 hours ago link

So you can have any political system/constitution you like but the Iranians must have your choice of political system/constitution ? Are they ought to play the second class citizens in their own country ?

Kinda ploy to make 'em all Palestinians eh ?

Einstein101 , 6 hours ago link

but the Iranians must have your choice of political system/constitution?

No, you are right, I think the Iranians should have the political system of their choice. And how would we know what the Iranians want? How about allowing them to choose in a free election? that anyone can run for office? Are you in favor?

cashback , 6 hours ago link

Every country has the government it deserves that Includes Saudi Arabia too. Also, could that call to "fair election" be anything like Libyan liberation ?

It's the Jews making the call after all.

Einstein101 , 6 hours ago link

Every country has the government it deserves that Includes Saudi Arabia too.

In my opinion, in any country it's the citizens that have the right to decide who will rule them, in a free election, but that's me.

that Includes Saudi Arabia too.

SA and Iran are the same evil tyrant dictatorships.

cashback , 5 hours ago link

Have you ever visited Saudi Arabia ? Do you have any idea the level of comfort the Saudi citizen live in ? As for Iran, the financial problems there are courtesy of The Zionist filth that you're the member of. Your opinion is of jackshit. The troubled countries in the ME are the ones that have democracy. The monarchies are doing just fine.

Einstein101 , 5 hours ago link

Do you have any idea the level of comfort the Saudi citizen live in?

Did you know that until recently Saudi woman were not allowed to drive? do you know that man have total control over the life of their daughters and wives? Do you know that anyone that criticize the regime on tweeter is immediately put to prison? do you know that foreign workers are treated like slaves? and this can go on and on...

As for Iran, the financial problems there are courtesy of The Zionist filth that you're the member of.

Not really. The Iranian extremist Muslim regime is directly responsible for the sufferings of the Iranian people. They spend billions of Dollars on their proxies in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Etc. at the expense of the well being of common Iranian people. All this money is deprived from their own people, cutting food and gas subsidies. Iran has abundance of oil reserves but a large chunk of the oil revenues goes to support insurgent groups in other countries while Iran's citizens live in misery and hunger.

And what is this money used for? Encouraging one sect of Muslims (Shia) to kill members of another Muslim sect (Sunni). Just in Syria Iran's money and soldiers allowed Assad's regime to commit terrible atrocities against civilian population, including the massacre of thousands upon thousands Sunni Muslims, men women and children; while millions others were forced to fled the country and become refugees.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/world/middleeast/syria-bashar-al-assad-atrocities-civilian-deaths-gas-attack.html

cashback , 5 hours ago link

Why do you assume the Saudi women to value the liberal lifestyle ? Maybe they themselves don't want to drive eh ? The rest of the points are based on the same assumption, default starting point which is liberalism is good, conservatism is bad. Just because you think liberalism is good doesn't mean anyone else has to abide with your values.

I understand you attempt to appeal to the western audience in painting Iran as bad actor so you talk along the same lines. YOU WILL LOOSE ISRAEL. The best part is you'll live to see the day ;]

Ddin't read any of your horseshit about Iran but I can bet with my eyes closed it will be a similar attempt.

youshallnotkill , 5 hours ago link

@cashback

Not sure if you are just playing devil's advocate, but some women rights activists in SA risked everything to gain the right to drive:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/21/saudi-arabia-tortured-female-right-to-drive-activists-says-amnesty

And many women try to escape the golden cage.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/15/rahaf-mohammed-al-qunun-saudi-arabia-flee-persecution

cashback , 5 hours ago link

That doesn't negate the counter argument I made in response to the usual hasbara propaganda. How many citizen in the US have given their citizenship up because of the rouge crimes their government commits ? How many protests held in Paris and Barcelona ? Have you ever heard anything from this Jewish shill about that ? How about the financial crimes of bibi and his wife ?

oncemore1 , 6 hours ago link

what you describe is a Jewish system of keeping the power. what about to use iranian system? means what they have today?, why should they follow yewish system?

Einstein101 , 6 hours ago link

why should they follow yewish system?

Letting the people to decide who will rule them is a Jewish system? Good to know.

Jumanji1959 , 6 hours ago link

Remember the Avis rented 2001 Dodge Caravan with 4 dancing Israelis or better yet, Mossad terrorists. I always tend to remember The Holocaust©®™ and the 6 gazillion killed.

Dickweed Wang , 6 hours ago link

He [Trump] can't keep his promises since he's not really in charge of policy.

This is so ******* obvious it's become ridiculous yet we still have people out there saying Trump is going to drain the swamp and other some such ********. Face it, no president in the last 100 years has control of anything and if they decide to try to change that they get the JFK, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter or Ronald Regan treatment.

schroedingersrat , 6 hours ago link

Trump hired Bolton. Trump is a complicit Zionist swamper and should be voted out of office as soon as possible.

AriusArmenian , 6 hours ago link

Ok, but then the establishment parties will give us the next swamper.

scottyji , 6 hours ago link

Who benefits MOST ? Who did it? Not Iran. A false flag operation totally within the scope of the Mossad.

[Jun 16, 2019] Will the Real Bombers Please Stand Up -- Strategic Culture

Jun 16, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

June 16, 2019 © Photo: Public domain Eric S. MARGOLIS

Who is attacking oil tankers in the Gulf between Oman and Iran? So far, the answer is still a mystery. The US, of course, accuses Iran. Iran says it's the US or its local allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Magnetic mines are blamed for the damage, though there have been claims of torpedo use. Last month, four moored tankers were slightly damaged, though none seriously. This time the attacks were more damaging but apparently not lethal.

A few cynics have even suggested Israel may be behind the tanker attack in order to provoke war between Iran and the United States – a key Israeli goal. Or maybe it's the Saudis whose goal is similar. The Gulf is an ideal venue for false flag attacks.

One thing appears certain. President Donald and his coterie of neocon advisers have been pressing for a major conflict with Iran for months. The US is literally trying to strangle Iran economically and strategically. By now, Israel's hard right wing dominates US Mideast policy and appears to often call the shots at the White House and Congress.

However, this latest Iran `crisis' is totally contrived by the Trump administration to punish the Islamic Republic for refusing to follow American tutelage, supporting the Palestinians, and menacing Saudi Arabia. Most important, the Gulf fracas is diverting public attention from Trump's war with the lynch mob of House Democrats and personal scandals.

Many Americans love small wars. They serve as an alternative to football. Mussolini's popularity in Italy soared after he invaded primitive Ethiopia. Americans cheered the invasions of Grenada, Haiti and Panama. However, supposed 'cake-walk' Iraq was not such a popular success. Memories of the fake Gulf of Tonkin clash used to drive the US into the Vietnam War are strong; so too all the lies about Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction.

Curiously, Trump's undeclared war against Iran has had unanticipated effects. Japan, which relies on Iranian oil, is furious at Washington. Last week, Japan's very popular prime minister, Shinzo Abe, flew to Tehran to try to head off a US-Iranian confrontation and assure his nation's oil supply – the very same reason Japan attacked the US in 1941. Abe warned an accidental war may be close.

Canada used to have warm relations with China. They are now in shambles. Canada 'kidnapped' Chinese bigwig Meng Wanzhou, the crown princess of technology giant Huawei, at Vancouver airport while changing planes on a US arrest warrant for allegedly trading with wait for it Iran. Canada foolishly arrested Meng on a flimsy extradition warrant from the US.

This was an incredibly amateurish blunder by Ottawa's foreign affairs leaders. If they had been smarter, they would have simply told Washington that Meng had already left Canada, or they could not find her. Now Canada's relations with Beijing are rock bottom, Canada has suffered very heavy trade punishment and the world's biggest nation is angry as a wet cat at Canada, a nation whose state religion is to be liked by everyone.

Now, Japan's energy freedom is under serious threat. China mutters about executing the two Canadians it arrested for alleged espionage. Meanwhile, US-China relations have hit their nadir as Trump's efforts to use tariffs to bully China into buying more US soya beans and to trim its non-trade commerce barriers have caused a trade war.

The US-China trade war is badly damaging the economies of both countries. President Trump still does not seem to understand that tariffs are paid by American consumers, not Chinese sellers. Trump's nincompoop foreign policy advisers don't understand how much damage they are doing to US interests. Putting gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson in charge of US foreign and trade policy is not such a good idea.

A good way to end this growing mess is to fire war-lover and Iran-hater John Bolton, send Mike Pompeo back to bible school, and tell Iran and Saudi Arabia to bury the hatchet now. Instead, the White House is talking about providing nuclear capability to Saudi Arabia, one of our world's most backwards and unpleasant nations. Maybe Trump will make a hell of a 'deal' and have North Korea sell nukes to Saudis.

And now we wait the all-time bad joke, the so-called 'Deal of the Century,' which Trump and his boys hope will get rich Arabs to buy off poor Palestinians in exchange for giving up lots more land to Israel. It's hard to think of a bigger or more shameful betrayal by Arabs of fellow Arabs, or a more stupid policy by the US. But, of course, it's not a made-in-the-USA policy at all.

ericmargolis.com

[Jun 16, 2019] "Triumphant War Hero" Gets Re-elected Dissident Voice

Jun 16, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

"Triumphant War Hero" Gets Re-elected?

by William Manson / June 15th, 2019

A bit splattered by the blood of thousands of its "collateral" victims, the old, tattered "Re-election Playbook" is being actively consulted once again. Back in 1787, Thomas Jefferson had adamantly insisted that the new U.S. Constitution stipulate only one presidential term, but his prescient warning was ignored. (Fortunately his other requirement, that a Bill of Rights be appended, was approved.) Like so many well-read 18th century politicians (including the young Napoleon), Jefferson looked to the history of the Roman Republic for cautionary precedents. He knew well that political opportunists like Julius Caesar had won their early mass popularity through their exploits as military conquerors. In the early stages of his political career, victorious general Caesar would march into Rome, leading a "Triumph" -- an endless procession of chained war-captives and cartloads of plunder – before the admiring crowds of plebeians. His renown was such that, when he was off on his Gallic campaign, he convinced the Senate to pass a special edict allowing him to run for election as Consul in absentia (successful). His older rival Crassus, financier and slumlord ("the richest man in Rome"), even re-invented himself as a conquering general for political advantage (but he was fortunately, as Plutarch relates, led to his own destruction in Parthia–now Iraq).

Turning to U.S. political history, one could draw up quite a list of military generals who, celebrated by the public as heroes, sought greater political power by running for president (often successfully). And, of course, such cynical manipulation of the electorate continues up to the recent present. One major, if not the major, objective for waging war against non-threatening Iraq was to secure this, almost invariable, political advantage as the election year 2004 loomed ahead. As far as the timing of the attack was concerned (March 19, 2003), the self-impressed Rumsfeld had assumed that "victory" would be attained in a matter of weeks. And such "victory," in the aftermath of the vicious "Shock-and-Awe" bombing campaign, was indeed soon proclaimed, thus enabling Rove and his ilk to plan a gala, Roman-style "Triumph," with the military-attired and swaggering Bush landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln , to a national frenzy of celebration and under a presumptuously boasting "Mission Accomplished" banner (May 1). Allowing for such a hugely popular, "patriotic" kick-off for an 18-month re-election campaign, the timing of May 1 seemed advantageous. (That Iraq had never been a threat, and that the alleged WMDs were never found, barely moderated this wellspring of popular acclaim for the "war hero" -- at least for some months.)

In any event, we may now jump exactly eight years hence -- to on or about May 1, 2011. Now it was Obama's turn to play military hero -- in his own kick-off for re-election! So far, despite his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, as well as his well-publicized "kill list" (drones), he hadn't yet demonstrated the kind of ruthlessly unprincipled crushing of a "foreign" people which the majority of potential voters seem to relish. But he had a perfect, quicker, and far less expensive alternative: "take out" Osama bin Laden! Although the majority of Americans passively or willingly understood little or nothing about the geopolitical distinctions between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, they had been certain that "Saddam Hussein" -- this moniker repeated over and over by Bush! -- was the personification of all-that-is-evil. But by 2011 Saddam was dead -- having been hanged after a kangaroo-court conviction -- and Americans could once again redirect their hate toward an alternative Satan ("Goldstein" of Orwell's 1984 being unavailable). Obama's political handlers, like Bush's, agreed that an 18-month halo of heroic triumph would help considerably in the long march toward re-election–and they were right. Of course, Obama, in announcing "the killing of Osama bin Laden" to an awestruck citizenry (May 1, 2011), lied about the actual circumstances, as Seymour Hersh and others have noted. (E.g., the non-existent "fire-fight" which was claimed in order to re-sell the assassination team as heroic commandos.) And, of course, with the universally impressed and fawning media adding to the "Triumph," Obama virtually coasted, with only a few bumps, to re-election in November 2012.

As aforementioned, this "Re-election Playbook," however old and frayed, has nonetheless proven its ongoing usefulness to the recent crop of lying, opportunistic and murderous presidents. For Trump -- as for virtually all insatiably ambitious presidents -- political advantage will always trump any practical strategic (or even economic) considerations. Thus, deceptively cooking up the usual "justifications" for imminent war, this time with Iran, a nation which, as attested by the EU and other agencies had abided by the signed agreement only to see the U.S. under Trump unilaterally withdraw. Trump's hand-picked "national security" advisers are offering him huge political dividends: immense re-election financing from the likes of billionaire casino-mogul Sheldon Adelson (AIPAC), as well as the usual Big Oil industry funders (such as the Kochs, conspicuously represented in policy by their protege Pompeo).

If May 1, 2019 has come and gone, Trump may still have ample time -- with the enthusiastic support of his flag-waving base ( and the reliably acquiescent media) -- to ride the crest of a trumped-up Iranian war, into re-election in November of next year. But if that scenario doesn't quite materialize, there is always the tried-and-true fallback: the venerable "October Surprise"!

[Jun 16, 2019] US Blames Iran for Tanker Attack Let's Talk Facts! Dissident Voice

Jun 16, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

US Blames Iran for Tanker Attack: Let's Talk Facts!

by RT / June 15th, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/embed/HTAu2BMEnsA?feature=oembed

Caleb Maupin is a widely acclaimed speaker, writer, journalist, and political analyst. He has traveled extensively in the Middle East and in Latin America. He was involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement from its early planning stages, and has been involved many struggles for social justice. He is an outspoken advocate of international friendship and cooperation, as well 21st Century Socialism.

The RT network now consists of three global news channels broadcasting in English, Spanish, and Arabic. Read other articles by RT , or visit RT's website .

This article was posted on Saturday, June 15th, 2019 at 8:08pm and is filed under Iran , Video .

[Jun 16, 2019] Think Media Won t Help Lead US Into War With Iran Based On False Intelligence Looks Like They Already Are

Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. military late Thursday released blurry, black-and-white video footage that it claimed -- without any underlying analysis or further details -- to show an Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, one of the oil tankers damaged in attacks in the Gulf of Oman. ..."
"... Iran has denied any involvement in the attacks, and Yutaka Katada -- the owner of the Kokuka Courageous -- contradicted the Trump administration's account during a press conference on Friday. ..."
"... "Our crew said that the ship was attacked by a flying object," Katada said. "I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship." ..."
"... Independent critics were quick to call for extreme skepticism in the face of U.S. government claims, given the quality of the "evidence" and the warmongering track records of those presenting it. ..."
Jun 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jake Johnson and Jon Queally via Common Dreams

If there were any lingering hopes that the corporate media learned from its role in perpetuating the lies that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and would never again help start a Middle East war on the basis of false or flimsy evidence, the headlines that blared across the front pages of major U.S. news websites Thursday night indicated that such hopes were badly misplaced .

The U.S. military late Thursday released blurry, black-and-white video footage that it claimed -- without any underlying analysis or further details -- to show an Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, one of the oil tankers damaged in attacks in the Gulf of Oman.

Here's how CNN presented the U.S. military's video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/WFcjzKAcC-c

Iran has denied any involvement in the attacks, and Yutaka Katada -- the owner of the Kokuka Courageous -- contradicted the Trump administration's account during a press conference on Friday.

"Our crew said that the ship was attacked by a flying object," Katada said. "I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship."

Independent critics were quick to call for extreme skepticism in the face of U.S. government claims, given the quality of the "evidence" and the warmongering track records of those presenting it.

[Jun 16, 2019] The Gulf of Credibility. False Flag, Ludicrous Allegation. Iran Rescued the Crew of the Japanese Tanker - Global ResearchGlobal

Jun 16, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

The Gulf of Credibility. False Flag, Ludicrous Allegation. Iran Rescued the Crew of the Japanese Tanker By Craig Murray Global Research, June 15, 2019 Craig Murray 14 June 2019 Region: Europe , Middle East & North Africa Theme: Media Disinformation , US NATO War Agenda In-depth Report: IRAN: THE NEXT WAR?

I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe that Iran would attack a Japanese oil tanker at the very moment that the Japanese Prime Minister was sitting down to friendly, US-disapproved talks in Tehran on economic cooperation that can help Iran survive the effects of US economic sanctions.

The Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous was holed above the water line . That rules out a torpedo attack, which is the explanation being touted by the neo-cons.

The second vessel, the Front Altair, is Norwegian owned and 50% Russian crewed (the others being Filipinos). It is owned by Frontline, a massive tanker leasing company that also has a specific record of being helpful to Iran in continuing to ship oil despite sanctions.

It was Iran that rescued the crews and helped bring the damaged vessels under control.

That Iran would target a Japanese ship and a friendly Russian crewed ship is a ludicrous allegation. They are however very much the targets that the USA allies in the region – the Saudis, their Gulf Cooperation Council colleagues, and Israel – would target for a false flag. It is worth noting that John Bolton was meeting with United Arab Emirates ministers two weeks ago – both ships had just left the UAE.

The USA and their UK stooges have both immediately leapt in to blame Iran. The media is amplifying this with almost none of the scepticism which is required. I cannot think of a single reason why anybody would believe this particular false flag. It is notable that neither Norway nor Japan has joined in with this ridiculous assertion.

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[Jun 15, 2019] US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, UK...who is behind the false flag in Gulf of Oman by Richard Galustian

Jun 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

First let me be clear; I greatly admired the principles that Americans used to espouse, in my lifetime; I am very fond of the majority of the people; I've spent in total some of years living there, in different States; it is I suppose mostly the silent majority, the 'middle Americans' that I am most fond of certainly not the 'elite', the super rich 1% 'ters it has as a Country dramatically changed since 9/11 .and sadly the Catch 22 that defines America today is best summed up thus:

"The United States is exceptional, just like every country is. But it has problems just like every other country has. It ought to be able to learn from other countries but it refuses, because it believes it's exceptional "

The above is a recent quote by eighty one year old Jared Mason Diamond, an American historian.

Let's talk specifics.

According to a Middle Eastern English language newspaper of 12 June, "the US appears confident that boosting its military presence in the Gulf is having an impact on Iran's behaviour in the region but insisted that the end goal is still to bring Tehran to the negotiating table".

What does it mean when the US, at its most arrogant, says, "it is having an impact on Iran"? What bullshit. Iran, ancient Persia (the second oldest civilisation on the planet after China) doesn't give a damn what America says or does; never did since its 1979 revolution. Nor does China for that matter.

Who is threatening who?

In the case of Iran, is Iran in the Gulf of Mexico with its Navy or is the huge American Navy in the Persian Gulf supported by numerous US Military Bases in the region threatening Iran?

Now yesterday new very serious news, a lie, was confirmed by Pompeo: "It is the assessment of the United States that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks."on the two oil tankers the other side of the Strait of Hormuz, in the Gulf of Oman.

Why would Iran?

Without any doubt this is a false flag operation to blame Iran in order to create circumstances for Neocons like Pompeo and 'President Bolton' to start a war with Iran.

Where and what is President Trump? Does he really know what's going on?

Let American madmen Neocon Zionists have their wish (as dictated by Netanyahu); let the US attack Iran .and then see what happens!

While the US attempts to start yet a new war also ask yourself why there are upwards of nearly a thousand US Military bases around the world?

There is no doubt that US, with Israel, are the two most dangerous terrorist States that exist today in the world and that they both threaten world peace, even nuclear Armageddon, more than any countries on earth. Yet anyone who says the truth is labelled 'a conspiracy theorist ' or 'a Russian sympathiser'. I am neither.

America is today like a wounded animal as it faces its gradual decline as an Empire, much like the Roman, Ottoman and British Empires did.

But let's forget at this time Iran (also Syria and Venezuela et al and regime changing), how about talking of this US Administration's threat to British democracy?

The Guardian reported on the 9th June: "Labour has accused Donald Trump's top official, Mike Pompeo, of trying to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister, after he was caught on tape telling Jewish leaders that he would "push back" against the party's leadership. In a recording leaked to the Washington Post, the US secretary of state was asked what he would do if Corbyn were to be elected as prime minister, after sustained criticism over Labour's handling of accusations of antisemitism within the party."

Pompeo added "It could be that Mr Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected," he said on the recording. "It's possible. You should know, we won't wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It's too risky and too important and too hard once it's already happened."

Is this not the most serious threat ever to the world's oldest parliamentary democracy, that has been in existence from the early 13th century. America as an independent country has been around since only the latter part of the 18th Century!

That said, America is today singularly the most powerful State on earth with a military bigger than the rest of the world's countries combined; She spends trillions of dollars a year on defence, security and wars; with a global state surveillance reach that can see and hear anyone with a phone and a laptop at any time, and we Brits, our precious BBC in particular, remain silent despite the US's top diplomat implying that the US will act to undermine a potential democratically elected leader of the UK if needs be.

If needs be for who?

What happened to British reporters and media? Why is this not front page news? Why are their few protestations?


HEREDOT , says: June 14, 2019 at 8:25 pm GMT

The crimes of the United States have been recorded in history. Abd is the empire of persecution, He will be tried by history. History and god will not forgive.
MarkU , says: June 15, 2019 at 9:04 am GMT

US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, UK Who Is Behind the False Flag in Gulf of Oman

They all are. Even if they weren't directly operationally involved in the actual attacks, they are all clearly involved in the propaganda. It is impossible that anyone with functioning critical faculties can honestly claim to be convinced that the Iranians did the attack.

animalogic , says: June 15, 2019 at 9:53 am GMT
As chief diplomat Pompeo's comments on Corbyn don't particularly surprise me -- monumental arrogance, hypocracy & contempt, just another day . That Zionists are behind it all? Big fucking surprise. That their (the UK Zionists') behaviour amounts to some kind of constructive treason, but will remain invisible is also no surprise.
What does surprise me a little (it shouldn't but I suffer bouts of irrational optimism ) is the muted British response. This should go way beyond Party politics. It is a national insult, a display of casual disdain & utter contempt for the sovereignty of another nation -- & this nation is said to be the US's greatest ally!
The UK should be frothing at the mouth with anger!
The UK has sold it's collective soul .

[Jun 15, 2019] When Oman Means Tonkin by Robert Fantina

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's National Security Advisor is the equally unhinged John Bolton. It is no secret that Bolton is itching for war with Iran, something even Trump has been hesitant to do. But what if a ship of the sacred United States, in an area of the world where it has no legitimate business to be, were to be attacked? Then, of course, U.S. retaliation would be swift and harsh. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | ahtribune.com

The world awoke today to the alleged 'news' that U.S. authorities were investigating attacks on two ships in the Gulf of Oman. For anyone paying attention, this is déjà vu all over again. Let's put this in the context of current world politics as directed through the skewed lens of that self-proclaimed stable genius, United States President Donald Trump. The man who so considers himself, and has commented in the past on his own good looks, has stated that, regardless of what his advisors tell him, he rules by his 'gut' feelings. In 2017, against the advice of all allies except Israel, and also against the advice of his closest advisors, he withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

This was an international agreement by which sanctions against Iran would be withdrawn, in exchange for Iran making adjustments to its nuclear program. By so violating this agreement, and threatening sanctions against the other signatories if they continued to abide by it, the U.S. basically nullified it, yet expected Iran to comply. Iran has done so for over a year, with the hope, if not the expectation, that the other parties to the agreement would figure out a way to bypass U.S. threats. This has not happened.

The U.S. wants Iran to return to the bargaining table; why on earth it would is beyond the comprehension of any reasonable person. If Iran signed another agreement with the U.S., Trump could decide in a month, or a week, or even a day, that that, too, was 'the worst deal ever'.

Trump's National Security Advisor is the equally unhinged John Bolton. It is no secret that Bolton is itching for war with Iran, something even Trump has been hesitant to do. But what if a ship of the sacred United States, in an area of the world where it has no legitimate business to be, were to be attacked? Then, of course, U.S. retaliation would be swift and harsh. MORE...

Recently, there was alleged sabotage against U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf. Nothing came of that smoke screen. But today, a new violation of U.S. sanctity is alleged. While time alone can tell how this will play out, it is not without deadly and devastating precedence. On August 4, 1964, a U.S. ship, the Maddox, was in the Gulf of Tonkin, off the coast of China and northern Vietnam. That night, instruments on the Maddox indicated that the ship was either under attack or had been attacked. The Maddox and another U.S. vessel, the C. Turner Joy, fired into the darkness with support from U.S. warplanes. The Navy notified Washington that naval vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin were being attacked. Washington launched Operation Pierce Arrow (where oh where do these stupid names originate?): sixty-four sorties from nearby aircraft carriers pounded North Vietnam that evening. When the so-called retaliatory attack concluded, President Lyndon Johnson appeared on American television to announce that "gunboats and certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam" had been attacked by American aircraft. Had U.S. ships actually been attacked? Personnel on both vessels soon " decided they had been shooting at 'ghost images' on their radar; the preponderance of available evidence indicates that there was no attack." [1] But this was just what Congress wanted, so its members could prove their anti-Communist credentials, as important than as anti-terrorism hubris is today; it was the perfect ploy to escalate the war. Yet like the personnel on the ships, U.S. government officials knew very quickly that there had been no attack. Just a few days later, Johnson, upon learning the truth said this: "Hell, those dumb, stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish." [2] The truth did nothing to stop violent U.S. escalation. By the end of the following year, the number of U.S. soldiers invading Vietnam increased from 23,000 to 184,300. Eleven years later, with over 55,000 U.S. soldiers dead, hundreds of thousands wounded, and, by conservative estimates, 2,000,000 Vietnamese dead, the U.S. fled Vietnam in defeat. Fast forward fifty-four years, an eternity in terms of U.S. governance. An independent nation (Iran) is minding its own business, protecting its borders and assisting its allies (including Syria), but it refuses to kowtow to U.S. demands. The mighty U.S., whose actions are not to be questioned by any nation that wants to survive, must determine some reason to invade it that will fly with the U.S. public. In 1964, its desire to invade Vietnam was given legitimacy by the lies of the Gulf of Tonkin non-incident. In 2019, will its desire to invade Iran gain U.S. support because of the Gulf of Oman non-incident? If so, one can only hope that, unlike the devastation that the U.S. wrought on Vietnam before that country was victorious over the U.S., Iran will be able to defeat the U.S. more quickly, and with fewer Iranian casualties. There really isn't much that the United States needs to do to diffuse the tension between it and Iran. Simply abide by its own international agreement, the JCPOA. But in for this to happen, Trump would have to find some reason to say that the sanctions were successful; he will never admit to making a mistake. But the workings of his brain are a conundrum; it's possible he could invent and believe such a scenario. For the sake of the U.S., Iran, and much of the world that could easily be dragged into a major war should the U.S. invade Iran, it is to be hoped that Trump does, indeed, invent such a reason. Endnotes [1] Chambers, (John Whiteclay II. ED. 1999. The Oxford Companion to American Military History . New York: Oxford UP). Jian, Chen. China's Road to the Korean War: The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation, P. 151. [2] Donald E. Schmidt, The Folly of War: American Foreign Policy, 1898-2005 (New York: Algora, 2005), 265. Gulf of Oman Incident

peter mcloughlina day ago ,

Where Oman differs from Tonkin is today we are facing a far more dangerous scenario. We could all 'be dragged into a major war should the US invade Iran'. Vietnam did not lead to nuclear Armageddon, nor did any other confrontation of the Cold War. There is much talk of a new Cold War. But the Cold War was the peace, a post-world war environment: we now live in a pre-world war environment. Humanity has experienced long periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...

Blakea day ago ,

From Craig Murray:

I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe that Iran would attack a Japanese oil tanker at the very moment that the Japanese Prime Minister was sitting down to friendly, US-disapproved talks in Tehran on economic cooperation that can help Iran survive the effects of US economic sanctions.

The Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous was holed above the water line. That rules out a torpedo attack, which is the explanation being touted by the neo-cons.

The second vessel, the Front Altair, is Norwegian owned and 50% Russian crewed (the others being Filipinos). It is owned by Frontline, a massive tanker leasing company that also has a specific record of being helpful to Iran in continuing to ship oil despite sanctions.

It was Iran that rescued the crews and helped bring the damaged vessels under control. That Iran would target a Japanese ship and a friendly Russian crewed ship is a ludicrous

[Jun 15, 2019] BREAKING Pompeo's FALSE FLAG REFUTED by Japanese Media Authority - Tanker hit by flying object, not mine

Jun 15, 2019 | www.fort-russ.com

TOKYO ( with NHK) – June 14, 2019 The Japanese state news agency NHK has revealed that workers on the tanker saw a plane flying toward the tanker before the explosion. United States is pinning the blame for the tanker attacks on Iran. Tehran denies the accusation.

The Japanese state media agency has taken the line: "Tanker hit by flying object, not mine", in quoting Japanese workers on the vessel. Now the Japanese operator of one of the tankers is providing new details about what happened, in a major revelation which refutes the claims of the U.S's Mike Pompeo.

The president of the Tokyo-based shipping firm Kokuka Sangyo says its tanker was hit by an incoming projectile. He says several crew members witnessed the source of the second blast. Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo said,

"I've received reports that they saw something come flying toward them, then there was an explosion, and then there was a hole in the vessel."

He denied that the tanker was hit by a floating mine, torpedo or an attached explosive as had been previously reported. He said the damage was way above sea level.

This version of events entirely refutes the claims made by the U.S's Mike Pompeo, who says that Iranian mines are to blame:

"This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high-degree of sophistication,"

Pompeo for his part has not released any evidence to back his claims.

"Kokuka Courageous" and another tanker owned by a Norwegian shipping company were attacked on Thursday in international waters near the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil shipping route, as reported by FRN.

Crew-members from both vessels were rescued, but one person was injured. The Japanese tanker is now on its way to the United Arab Emirates.

The US is blaming Iran. Its military has released a video which allegedly shows the country's Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers. It's believed to be a limpet mine which can be detonated remotely.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication."

Tehran is denying any involvement. The Iranian Foreign Minister tweeted that the US is making allegations without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence, accusing the US of "sabotage diplomacy."

The UN Security Council held an emergency closed-door meeting on Thursday at the request of the US.

Acting US Ambassador Jonathan Cohen said, "I've asked the Security Council to remain seized of this matter. And I expect that we will have further conversations about it on how to respond in the days ahead."

Kuwait's ambassador, currently the rotating president of the Council, told reporters that they "didn't discuss any evidence" that may have shown Iran was behind the action.

The attacks came as Japan's prime minister was in Iran to try and ease tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Experts speculate that the U.S was behind the attack, and pushed it through in order to sour Japan-Iran relations, and to create a cause for war or further hostile action against the Islamic Republic.

In Tokyo, Japanese ministers are debating what to do next. Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii said, "We do not know details of the attack, including who is responsible. we are gathering information from the people concerned and we have alerted the Japanese vessels sailing in the region through a related business association."

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said, " At this moment, we haven't been asked to send Japan's Self Defense Forces. So, we don't have a plan to send the units to the region near the Strait of Hormuz to respond to this incident."

Iwaya added that Japanese citizens are not at risk right now, but if that changes the government would make a different judgment.

NHK's position in itself reveals that Japan-US relations are strained, as Japanese authorities would neither encourage NHK nor allow workers of the vessel to make public reportage and claims which contradict those of Pompeo and the American administration.

The manner in which the Japanese media-intelligence sphere has handled this event so far lends credence to Japanese Prime Minister Abe's claim that his mission to Tehran was to look for real solutions, and not to deliver a list proposed or desired by the United States.

[Jun 13, 2019] Yet another false flag: Today's Attacks On Ships In The Gulf Of Oman Are Not In Iran's Interest - Or Are They

Notable quotes:
"... Abe will be pissed because Japan needs continuing access to Iran's hydrocarbons and Bolton isn't smart enough to gain their complicity beforehand. ..."
"... At first I had simply typed a one word post: Israel but then thought, "what about Saudi Arabia?", then thought, "Saudi Arabia is known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up", then thought, "but Israel would get some-one else to do their dirty work". ..."
"... This is classic USA Gulf of Tonkin, Remember the Maine, WMD, Yellow Cake stuff.... ..."
"... The US threat to bring Iranian oil sales to zero is a act of war, if they were successful, [unlikely] Iran's population would starve and die in their millions, just as in Yemen. ..."
Jun 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dolores P Candyarse , Jun 13, 2019 6:02:02 AM | 2

Bolton's big moment 'the gulf of oman incident' will not work. It is a transperant attempt to stitch up Iran by insinuating that the Houtis did this to stop any deal between Iran and trump which Abe is trying to put together.
They cannot implicate Iran so they will fit up Yemen and then say "Iran encouraged them Mommy".

Abe will be pissed because Japan needs continuing access to Iran's hydrocarbons and Bolton isn't smart enough to gain their complicity beforehand.

librul , Jun 13, 2019 6:05:10 AM | 3

OZ @1

I was just about to post the same "One word" and then spotted your post.

At first I had simply typed a one word post: Israel but then thought, "what about Saudi Arabia?", then thought, "Saudi Arabia is known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up", then thought, "but Israel would get some-one else to do their dirty work".

The One we know for sure didn't do it is: Iran. The One group we have been witnessing attacking multiple countries will have their media shout in unison: Iran.

Ghost Ship , Jun 13, 2019 6:15:56 AM | 5
The Guardian goes for the guilt by association shit :
Iran and the Yemeni rebels both follow branches of the Shia sect of Islam but Tehran has always denied providing more than moral support to the rebels.

That's like saying that Northern Irish Catholics and Protestants both follow Christianity.

Meanwhile OT - all that stands between Julian Assange and the wrath of Washington are British and European judges :

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, has revealed he has signed a request for Julian Assange to be extradited to the US where he faces charges of computer hacking.

Speaking on the Today Programme on Thursday, Javid said: "He's rightly behind bars. There's an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow."

I always thought that Tory ministers were a bunch of sniveling little shits, and they've just proved me right. Don't think it was just Sajid David who made this decision, it was the entire cabinet including Theresa May .

The next time someone farts on about how oppressed the media is in Russia just remember the different outcomes (so far) for Ivan Golunov and Julian Assange. The Russians don't need disinformation operations to discredit western government and institutions, they only have to stand aside and let those western governments and institutions do it themselves.

Michael Droy , Jun 13, 2019 6:33:12 AM | 8
This report: Zerohedge
claims that one of the ships is Japanese owned.
The manager of one of the tankers, the Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, which had been carrying a cargo of methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore, said the vessel had been damaged as the result of "a suspected attack," though the manager added that the ship's cargo was secure.

"The hull has been breached above the water line on the starboard side," Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co KG said in a statement on its website.

Ironic - it makes direct Iranian involvement pretty unlikely

Ghost Ship , Jun 13, 2019 6:36:30 AM | 9
>>>> librul | Jun 13, 2019 6:05:10 AM | 3
"Saudi Arabia is known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up"

Pulease. Every now and then I get the urge to edit the internet and today is one of those days. Hope you don't mind.

"Saudi Arabia and Israel are both known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up"

Israel depends for its continued existence on a couple of hundred highly capable pilots some of whom might be American contractors, the rest of the IDF and Mossad are worth less than jack shit.

The UAE is slightly less incompetent than Saudi Arabia or Israel, so why not them. The UAE is part of the anti-Iran coalition of the morons and does have frontage on the Gulf of Oman, so that gives them motive and opportunity. As for means, there are reports the more severely damaged one was hit by a torpedo, and the UAE does have a navy with helicopters.

The Q , Jun 13, 2019 6:44:53 AM | 11
This has dual US/Israeli citizen John Bolton's fingerprints all over it, especially with the rumors of his potential ouster soon forcing him to ramp up his push for an attack on Iran. False flag attempt for sure. The real question is whether the world sees through it.
Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 6:52:20 AM | 15
@3 "then thought, 'Saudi Arabia is known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up',"

Well, heck, there are signs of incompetence here. One of the ships caught fire and will, in all likelihood, sink. The other, apparently, has not caught fire. That second ship is therefore going to be studied verrrrrry carefully.

If it took a torpedo hit then the damage will be below the waterline and the hull plates will be bent inwards.

If it is sabotage then the damage is more likely to be above the waterline and the hull plates will be bent outwards.

It is unlikely to be Iran if the damage indicates the latter rather than the former.

Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 7:11:55 AM | 17
@11 The Q "This has dual US/Israeli citizen John Bolton's fingerprints all over it,"

I have two comments on that.

1) Is Bolton an Israeli citizen? I've heard it repeated many times, without ever once having it confirmed by anything other than the rumour-mill. He is the wrong religion, for one thing.

2) According to the NYTimes (aka the paper of record) "On a visit to the U.A.E. about two weeks ago, John Bolton, President Trump's national security adviser, said ".... I don't really give a s**t what Bolton has to say, since it is almost certain to be a falsehood."

But he was chin-wagging with UAE officials "about" two weeks ago, which is more than enough time to gin up a false-flag operation.

Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 7:32:36 AM | 20
From the zerohedge article: "Another tanker, Norwegian-owned and Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair, sent a distress signal to the UAE port of Fujairah. It had loaded an oil shipment in Abu Dhabi not long before the incident. The ship was reportedly hit with three explosions. Officials said it appeared the ships had been attacked with torpedoes."

Bullllllllls**t.

This is what happens when a ship with a 12-inch armoured belt and anti-torpedo bulges is hit by three torpedoes:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HMS_Barham_explodes.jpg

Yet zerohedge expects us to accept that a fully-laden supertanker can be hit by three torpedoes and the result is this:
https://www.moonofalabama.org/images8/frontaltair3.jpg

Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 7:47:32 AM | 23
@18 b The key will be where the damage is: above the waterline, or below the waterline.

If Iran specifically targeted those two ships then we can rule out mines, unless it is limpet-mines attached while the ships were in harbour. But these ships were underway, which tends to make that unlikely, and were from different harbours, which makes it even more unlikely.

Torpedoes from a midget-submarine are still a possibility, but by definition the damage would be below the waterline. And the Iranian midget-subs have only two torpedoes, which means some mighty fine shootin'

Any indication of damage above the waterline would tend to rule out Iranian involvement. Certainly would rule out anti-ship missiles or shelling. And Iranian sabotage would mean they circumvented security in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which is doubly-difficult.

But a false-flag? That's another matter, as the UAE and the Saudis can both be in on it.

Damage below the waterline could be Iran, or a competent false-flag. Damage above the waterline suggests an incompetent false-flag.

ken , Jun 13, 2019 8:02:28 AM | 25
This is classic USA Gulf of Tonkin, Remember the Maine, WMD, Yellow Cake stuff....

If in fact Iran is the culprit then they have been forced into it and the blame again rests upon the USA.

Another war,,, just what we (USA) need. sigh.........

Harry Law , Jun 13, 2019 8:20:21 AM | 30
The US threat to bring Iranian oil sales to zero is a act of war, if they were successful, [unlikely] Iran's population would starve and die in their millions, just as in Yemen. In those circumstances Iran does have the right to say 'if we can't sell oil, our putative enemies Saudi Arabia, UAE et al will not be allowed to either. In those circumstances the Iranians should quietly arm any group wishing the Saudis harm, the Saudis are a bunch of US ass licking scumbags who deserve everything coming to them.
Ian Jonhson , Jun 13, 2019 8:27:21 AM | 33
I copied and pasted this very interesting comment below which was found on the Iranian News site 'Press TV'.

"The 'Rumours from the Dark Web team' (a Russian based group recently shut down on youtube and delisted on google) are reporting that prior to this incident they have heard chatter that there was more 'UUV activity in area than usual' (a UUV is an unmanned underwater vehicle / drone which can be used for exploration, spying, or for combat).

The team also mentioned that UUV's from various nations (including arms and drug smugglers) had been regularly entering and leaving the area under cover of hiding beneath tankers or sometimes actually attached to tankers.

Chatter suggests that a UUV or weaponised drone or smugglers drone of some description exploded or was taken out by another UUV or drone outside the Persian Gulf.

The team stressed that 'this incident occurred outside of the Persian Gulf for a specific reason' (not given).

The team also reminded people that several tankers had previously been armed with ATGM's of soviet era type for potential use in a planned false flag attack against a US warship, but they had already been taken out of service to prevent this (is this the previous tanker incident involving mines?).

The team suggested that it was possible that these tankers were again pre-emptively hit by a state actor to prevent another false flag involving them, or to simply destroy advanced Iranian or Saudi missiles and arms on route to Yemen or Syria.

The full report is not out yet but there is no mention on the Dark Web of Iran being responsible for this yet."

naiverealist , Jun 13, 2019 8:28:40 AM | 34
Don't rule out the MEK assistance in something like this. The MEK was formerly ruled a terrorist organization by the US. As soon as the US started using Jihadists (i. e. al-quada branches) to continue its battle against the government of Assad, the MEK were reclassified as a non-terrorist organization. I remember hearing reports about members of MEK trying to buy the sae fast boats used by the IRG.

This whole thing stinks.

Walter , Jun 13, 2019 8:39:30 AM | 36
"Naphtha" can be of various levels of volatility - from lighter fluid to more or less raw gasoline. Withal it is lighter than water, more or less. Methanol (CH3OH) is the simplest alcohol. It too is lighter than water.

It does not seem that tanker with either fluid can sink. They can burn quite well, however.

Insurance rates are going up...

Walter , Jun 13, 2019 9:02:36 AM | 38
Tankers are notoriously difficult to sink. Modern tankers are double bottom double hull, generally speaking. Yes indeed, a supertanker (these just now are small tankers not supertankers, but the facts are similar), can probably "take" three torpedoes and not sink, especially if loaded with fluid lighter than seawater.

The attacks seem to have been by flying objects, not torps.

The result is going to be something like escorts and vastly high insurance costs...jus'fer starters...

Walter , Jun 13, 2019 9:02:36 AM | 38 Walter , Jun 13, 2019 9:09:40 AM | 39
Assumption about plates bending in or out due to torps is not valid. Torps can detonate under ship, or inside it, or on contact. The under ship detonation breaks the ship in half. This was a big deal in 1940...

Again, flying object, not torp.

Circe , Jun 13, 2019 9:17:37 AM | 40
Thank-you for helping Trump with his dirty work! Honestly, do you think your article helps Iran in any way???

Do you have concrete proof? NO. Iran threatened many things in the past it never followed through on. Why don't you just apply for a job with Trump Ministry of Propaganda digging for dubious dirt Trump can tweet and act on?

Why didn't you just write that Iran has a right to defend itself? Why do you put statements in bold? How about putting up a billboard instead?

Speaking of billboard: The keyword here is "petrochemical". In quotes too!

Followed by your smoking torpedo:

Now we can apply the keyword Khamenei used today to these sentences:

What lying-ass Trump is doing is an ACT OF WAR. He is trying to destroy a sovereign nation!

U.S. President Trump tries to move Iran towards negotiations with him.

REALLY? You call an ACT OF WAR ne go tia tions ? Is cutting off a critical industry negotiation or mafia strongarm???

Then you follow up with: Even while Iran rejects negotiations with the U.S.

Good Trump wants to negotiate--baaad Iran doesn't.

Yeah-yeah you couched this hit-job in a couple of understated phrases like someone else might have initiated it and Iran has no interest in disturbing current diplomacy . But boy, you sure went out of your way to try to disprove it!

If Trump cut off Russia's oil industry, would you be so quick to provide him with unsubstantiated proof in bold of acts that could be JUSTIFIED even though TOTALLY UNPROVEN who committed them? Never mind, Russia wouldn't bother picking up the crew of whatever vessels it would blow sky high in retaliation AND NEITHER WOULD TRUMP, Commander-in-crime!

Yeah, you allude that it could be a false flag after you torpedo'd it in bold lettering!

Wow! Still carrying Emperor Trump's water here, I see. There is NOTHING redeeming in this tool expose, or the update that is merely a twist of the knife. Neocon Bolton is grinning all his yellow teeth under his bushy mustache: he couldn't have laid it out better himself! Hired!

So, what's next: yellow cake and aluminum tubes?

Such a gift at the service of Trump deception and destruction for total domination. I'm appalled. All this misguided effort to whitewash Trump that could be directed at Sanders who is trying to expose the Regime Change that Zionists had a hand in in Brazil.

Not a bad word about Trump in all this. Trump tries to negotiate...Is that what you call what he's doing? I call what he's doing casus belli, on second thought, this piece might be the casus belli Trump needs to carry out his plan for Iran in the next 4-year installment of high crimes. Ugh.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 13, 2019 9:21:53 AM | 41
This is my favourite part of the story...

"The Iranian Search and Rescue ship Naji picked up the 44 crews members of both ships and brought them to Bandar-E Jash."

Therefore, the potential witnesses are in Iranian custody, and can be interrogated at Iran's leisure. One wonders if Iran's accusers will tone down the rhetoric whilst the crew remain in Skripal-type custody, and whether Iran will delay their release until Iranian authorities and medical experts are confidant that their health is A-OK?

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 9:27:38 AM | 42
b: Iran might have this motive

b's argument for suspecting Iran involvement makes some sense because USA can just sit back and let sanctions take their toll, strangling Iran's economy and destabilizing the country.

Recall the oil sanctions against Japan in the 1040's. Ultimately, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

HOWEVER , USA+allies have a very real and pressing reason to ramp up tensions in the region: Idlib .

The war in Syria is NOT over. The Idlib occupation is strategic, not tactical (as are the other occupations in Syria). And a US response to the tanker attack might well be to show its strength elsewhere: Idlib.

If I'm right we will see some dramatic developments in Syria in the coming days.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 13, 2019 9:31:35 AM | 43
It's interesting that Iran was more concerned with the welfare of the crew of both ships than the perpetrators of the attacks...
Lysander , Jun 13, 2019 9:40:57 AM | 44
I'm not ready to say Iran did it, but will say that,

1) Iran has every right to hinder as much as possible the exports of KSA and UAE, since they are the second biggest instigators (after Israel) of hostility towards Iran.

2) If Abe is acting as Trump's pawn and not an honest mediator, then to hell with him. And it wouldn't be crazy for Iran to let him know they are completely unimpressed with his false mediation.

3) It would really be ironic if the world has suffered so much false flag fatigue that the very few times something isn't a false flag, the intended audience assumes that it is.

That said, I do not believe Iran did this. I do think it is a false flag and the authors of it are too tone deaf to realize people don't trust them anymore.

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 9:48:18 AM | 45
Circe

I agree that USA/Trump is not really interested in negotiation but only in the appearance of seeking peace.

b's belief that "... Trump tries to move Iran towards negotiations with him" doesn't adequately express the reality: USA/Trump offers to negotiate with 'no preconditions' after previously establishing the conditions required to force Iran's surrender (the oil embargo). Naturally, Iran's most important "pre-condition" for talks is for USA to release it's hostage (the Iranian economy).

Lysander , Jun 13, 2019 9:48:55 AM | 46
Forgot to add to my comment in 50, that it would be extremely easy for UAE and KSA to sabotage their own ships, since they would only have to pass through their own security, not penetrate someone else's. And they are exactly the types who would want to implicate Iran and also the ones to dumb to realize false flags aren't automatically believed anymore.
Michael Droy , Jun 13, 2019 9:58:12 AM | 47
Oil prices have barely moved - they have not even recovered yesterday's fall.Still well below levels of Mon/Tues
That is weird.
Don Wiscacho , Jun 13, 2019 10:00:05 AM | 48
Japan's PM is in Tehran for talks. This is by itself unusual. Then two tankers ultimately owned by Japan are attacked in the Gulf. Very unusual.
Bad timing wouldn't begin to describe this if Iran was to blame. They normally are quite cautious with international relations, especially with countries they are trying to woo away from ther US.
Just this would point to a false flag in my book.
But what else hit the news cycle in the last 24 hours? Britain relishes in its poodle status as it signs extradition order for Assange. Should be big news, but who cares about press freedom when we've got "a new Middle eastern war?"
What else? Turkish observation posts in Idlib come under attack and they reportedly call the coordinates in to the Russians to bomb them. Again, should be tectonic news, but "war war war!".
There is simply a snowball's chance in Trump's asscrack that Iran attacked those tankers.
somebody , Jun 13, 2019 10:02:56 AM | 49
It is the art of the deal :-))

Trump/Bolton/whatever_moron has now created a situation where US proxies (plus anybody depending on oil from the Strait of Hormuz) urgently need an agreement with Iran, whilst an isolationist US do not need this.

US proxies will now have to bribe Trump to have him step down from the brink or jump the fence.

In other news Houthis have taken positions in Saudi's Najran and bombed a Saudi airport.

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 10:36:34 AM | 53
I agree with those that have pointed out that attacking Japanese vessels while talking with the Japanese PM is nonsensical. Any country that does such a thing is acting against their own interest.

If Iran wants to "send a message", it's likely that they can do so without shooting themselves in the foot.

The attack pressures Iran, but IMO it ALSO offers an excuse for USA to stall/stop the SAA+Russia attack on Idlib by claiming to confront Iranian proxies.

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 10:41:34 AM | 54
CardD @52

Yeah. The first attacks seemed too minor to be a "message" but are a great backdrop (for propaganda purposes) to the attacks today which nonsensically occur while meeting with the Japanese PM.

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