Thursday 24th of October 2019

we could get nastier than that...

truporan

Many believe war with the Islamic Republic of Iran has been the dream of some hardcore neocons in Washington since at least 2001. Back in 2012 former employee of the IMF and current economist for the World Bank, Patrick Clawson, provided fuel for this belief when he was videoed obliquely advocating using covert violence so that the US president “can get to war with Iran.”

In a startlingly frank speech, Clawson makes it clear he believes (and apparently approves) that the US has a history of seeking war for profit, and of using provocations to goad its perceived enemies into starting such wars. Clawson highlights in particular the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in 1861, which, he says, was deliberately engineered by president Lincoln in pursuit of an excuse to launch a war on the Southern secessionist states. 

In light of the recent alleged attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, timed to coincide with the visit of the Japanese prime minister to Iran, and in light of Secretary of State Capone Pompeo’s precipitate and predictable claim the attacks were likely perpetrated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, this is an apposite time to recall this telling little incident.

Below see the transcript of Mr Clawson’s remarks 

Transcript

“I frankly think that crisis initiation is really tough and it’s very hard for me to see how the United States president can get us to war with Iran which leads me to conclude that if in fact compromise is not coming that the traditional way of America gets to war is what would be best for US interests 

Some people might think that mr. Roosevelt wanted to get us in to the World War two as David mentioned. You may recall we had to wait for Pearl Harbor. 

Some people might think mr. Wilson wanted to get us into World War One. You may recall he had to wait for the Lusitania episode 

Some people might think that mr. Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam. You may recall they had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode.

We didn’t go to war with Spain until the USS Maine exploded, and may I point out that mr. Lincoln did not feel he could call off the federal army until Fort Sumter was attacked which is why he ordered the commander at Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing which the South Carolinians had said would cause an attack.

So if in fact the Iranians aren’t going to compromise it would be best if somebody else started the war…

But I would just like to suggest that one can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. I mentioned that explosion on August 17th. We could step up the pressure. I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down – someday one of them might not come up.

Who would know why?

We can do a variety of things if we wish to increase the pressure. I’m not advocating that but I’m just suggesting that a it’s…this is not a either-or proposition of, you know, it’s just sanctions has to be has to succeed or other things.

We are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier than that”

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2019/06/14/watch-us-economist-urges-covert-viol...

 

 

 

 

no proof of bananas being affixed to the artichoke...

Earlier, US President Donald Trump accused Iran of attacking tankers sailing through the Gulf of Oman, claiming that a video released by the US military provides proof of it. Tehran has denied all the accusations and called on the US to stop carrying out false flag operations in the region.

Yutaka Katada, the president of the Japanese company operating the Kokuka Courageous tanker, which was hit by an explosion in the Gulf of Oman damaging its hull, has refuted the US version of events in comments to the Japanese media, saying that the ship's crew saw a flying object ahead of the blast.

"I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship. A mine doesn’t damage a ship above sea level. We aren’t sure exactly what hit, but it was something flying towards the ship", Katada said.

The testimonies of the Kokuka Courageous crew, cited by Katada, come as a blow to US claims that Iran was responsible for the incident - accusations allegedly supported by a video. The footage, released by CENTCOM, purportedly shows how an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps boat approached one of the ships and removed an unexploded mine from its hull.

Iran has denied involvement in the "attack" on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman, slamming the US and its allies for trying to shift the blame onto the Islamic Republic. What is more, Iranian vessels have evacuated 44 crew members from the ships and taken them to the port of Jask until the tankers are determined to be safe.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201906141075878300-Oil-Tanker-Operato...

 

Note: some of the personnel in the old toon at top have already been erased out of history or turned into a footnote or a pumpkin, but the spirit of the toon still holds...

trump reaches new heights...

flipped imageflipped image
Standing under an oversized sign for a village his temporary government has no authority to build, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu took his friendship with Donald Trump to a new level by inaugurating Trump Heights in the Golan.

“It is a historic day,” said Israel’s prime minister, standing next to US ambassador David Friedman.

“Many years have passed since a new settlement was established in the Golan Heights. Today it is happening: We are making an important step toward the rise of Trump Heights. It will proudly carry the name of a very great friend of the State of Israel, and I am also very proud to say a great friend of mine.”

Netanyahu spoke of the name as a symbol of gratitude for the White House decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Golan as a part of Israel, while Friedman spoke of the settlement as a “beautiful birthday present” to Trump, who turned 73 on Friday.

Trump later tweeted his gratitude.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/462020-trump-heights-golan-netanyahu/

 

Highway robbery is the name of conservatism/capitalism/underpantism/trupodemocracy....

 

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still looking at their navels... 

a cakewalk towards WW3...

President Donald Trump cannot want war with Iran.

Such a war, no matter how long, would be fought in and around the Persian Gulf, through which a third of the world’s seaborne oil travels. It could trigger a worldwide recession and imperil Trump’s reelection.

It would widen the “forever war,” which Trump said he would end, to a nation of 80 million people, three times as large as Iraq. It would become the defining issue of his presidency, as the Iraq war became the defining issue of George W. Bush’s presidency.

And if war comes now, it would forever be known as “Trump’s War.”

For it was Trump who pulled us out of the Iran nuclear deal, though, according to U.N. inspectors and the other signatories—Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China—Tehran was complying with its terms.

Trump’s repudiation of the treaty was followed by his reimposition of sanctions and a policy of maximum pressure. This was followed by the designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a “terrorist” organization.

Then came the threats of secondary sanctions on nations, some of them friends and allies, that continued to buy oil from Iran.

U.S. policy has been to squeeze Iran’s economy until the regime buckles to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12 demands, including an end to Tehran’s support of its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

Sunday, Pompeo said Iran was behind the attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman and that Tehran instigated an attack that injured four American soldiers in Kabul even though the Taliban claimed responsibility.

The war hawks are back.

“This unprovoked attack on commercial shipping warrants retaliatory military strikes,” said Senator Tom Cotton on Sunday.

But just as Trump does not want war with Iran, Iran does not want war with us. Tehran has denied any role in the tanker attacks, helped put out the fire on one tanker, and accused its enemies of a “false flag” to instigate a war.

If the Revolutionary Guard, which answers to the ayatollah, did attach explosives to the hulls of the tankers, it was most likely to send a direct message: if our exports are halted by U.S. sanctions, the oil exports of the Saudis and Gulf Arabs can be made to experience similar problems.

Yet if the president and the ayatollah do not want war, who does?

Not the Germans or Japanese, both of whom are asking for more proof that Iran instigated the tanker attacks. Japan’s prime minster was meeting with the ayatollah when the attacks occurred, and one of the tankers was a Japanese vessel.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal Monday were Ray Takeyh and Reuel Marc Gerecht. Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a neocon nest funded by Paul Singer and Sheldon Adelson.

In a piece titled “America Can Face Down a Fragile Iran,” the pair make the case that Trump should squeeze the Iranian regime relentlessly and not fear a military clash. A war with Iran would be a cakewalk, they say:

Iran is in no shape for a prolonged confrontation with the U.S. The regime is in a politically precarious position. The sullen Iranian middle class has given up on the possibility of reform or prosperity. The lower classes, once tethered to the regime by the expansive welfare state, have also grown disloyal. The intelligentsia no longer believes that faith and freedom can be harmonized. And the youth have become the regime’s most unrelenting critics.

Iran’s fragile theocracy can’t absorb a massive external shock. That’s why Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has, for the most part, adhered to the JCPOA (the nuclear pact) and why he is likely angling for negotiation over confrontation with the Great Satan.

This depiction of Iran’s political crisis and economic decline invites a question: if the Tehran regime is so fragile and the Iranian people are so alienated, why not avoid a war and wait for the regime’s collapse?

Trump seems to have a few options:

  • Negotiate with the Tehran regime for some tolerable detente.
  • Refuse to negotiate and await the regime’s collapse, in which case the president must be prepared for Iranian actions that raise the cost of choking that nation to death.
  • Strike militarily, as Cotton urges, and accept the war that follows, if Iran chooses to fight rather than be humiliated and capitulate to Pompeo’s demands.

One recalls: Saddam Hussein accepted war with the United States in 1991 rather than yield to Bush I’s demand that he get his army out of Kuwait.

Who wants a U.S. war with Iran?

Primarily the same people who goaded us into wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen, and who oppose every effort of Trump’s to extricate us from those wars.

Should they succeed in Iran, it is hard to see how we will ever be able to extricate our country from this blood-soaked region that holds no vital strategic interest save oil. And America, thanks to fracking, is no longer dependent on the Middle East even for that.

 


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/donald-trump-would-own-...

 

Though there is not much noise from the Iranians allies, would Iran have to fight a lonely war against the USA for far more dubious ridiculous motives than the "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction" mantra?

I guess not and suddenly, not only the Gulf — with Israeli, Saudi, US and possibly European aggression against Iran, Iran would not be left alone to fight back. Restraint might be the tone of the riposte but eventually, the planet would soon become inflamed with WW3. Does Trump want this on his watch or is he preparing the ground for the next president — including himself — for this crap? 

 

We have to give the US hawks a cold shower with a firehose...

getting dangerous...

Iran paralysed

by Thierry Meyssan

The rise of tension in the Gulf is a dangerous game which could turn bloody at any moment. The unclaimed sabotage of the tankers could have been perpetrated by almost any of the parties, including the United States, who are well-versed in the use of false-flag operations. However, rational analysis shows that Teheran today is not at all in this state of mind.

The United States and the United Kingdom accuse Iran of the sabotage of six petrol tankers in the Gulf, without presenting the slightest proof except an indecipherable US video. According to the accusers, the video shows a craft of the Guardians of the Revolution recuperating an unexploded limpet-mine from the hull of one of the tankers, although the sailors themselves assured that their ship had been hit by a drone or a missile.


The Irano-US duel has changed its nature since the arrival of Donald Trump at the White House, in January 2017, but the Iranian reaction can only be understood in the context of the previous episodes and their reversals.


President George Bush did everything in his power to launch a war against Iran following that against Iraq. He intended to continue the systematic destruction of the State structures in the « Greater Middle East », as planned by the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy. However, the Baker-Hamilton Commission (2006) prevented this first attempt. The US ruling class judged the return on its investments too slow for them to support an « Endless War ». A second attempt was foiled in 2007–2008 by the opposition of CentCom Commander, Admiral William Fallon, who had begun discussions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad concerning the stabilisation of Iraq. Finally,vice-President Dick Cheney gave instructions to Israël to rent Georgian airports so that they could bomb Iran directly without having to refuel their planes in the air. But it was Russia that grounded the Israëli bombers in the first hours of the war in South Ossetia (August 2008).


On his arrival at the White House, Barack Obama attempted to continue the same strategy, but in a less brutal manner. Like Bush and Cheney, he was persuaded that action had to be taken rapidly to get hold of Iranian oil, since the resource was soon to become scarce on the world economy (the « peak oil » theory). Rather than launching a new war which the US public would not support, he increased the number of demonstrations intended to overthrow his Iranian counter-part (2009). Noting the failure of this « colour revolution » faced with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he began discussions with Washington’s usual partners since the Khomeini Revolution, in other words the clan of Hachemi Rafsandjani (March 2013), and more particularly Cheikh Hassan Rohani, who had been the primary contact during the Iran-Contras affair. When Rohani was elected(2013), he immediately began State-to-State negotiations to share the Middle East between the Saudis and the Iranians, under cover of the struggle against nuclear proliferation. A treaty was negotiated in Switzerland in the presence of the great powers, but it was not signed until 2015. Iran regained the right to export its oil in order to kick-start its economy.


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The US video

Progressively, the relations between the two states normalised until Donald Trump became the US President (2017). His objective was completely different – the White House no longer believed that the US were about to run out of oil, but was persuaded, on the contrary, that there was too much of it on the market – the White House no longer pursued the imperial policy of its predecessors, but occupied itself solely with making money. Instead of organising US domination of the Middle East, it decided to limit its supply on the market in order to be able to maintain the price of crude oil at the level of US shale oil. The United States encouraged demonstrations against the politico-religious class (2017-18), then canceled the agreement on nuclear energy (2018).


Since that time, Iran seems paralysed. Unlike politicians, the religious leaders are rigid and are unable to question themselves. God, whom they represent on earth, can not contradict Himself. This is why, contrary to a widely-held idea, the Iranian theocracy is excellent at business, but weak at diplomacy.


Iran refuses all offers of negotiation with the United States, and is waiting desperately for the Democrats to regain power in Washington – a dangerous gamble insofar as Donald Trump may be re-elected for 4 more years, and the Iranian economy is currently on the brink of collapse.


This paralysis prevents Iran from planning the sort of provocation of which Washington and London are accusing it, particularly since attacks against Western interests would compromise their future relations with US Democrats.


Unexpectedly, the Trump method will not prevail in this case. Persian culture is one of miniatures. In particular, the Iranians are a people who are capable of enduring long periods of torment before they win.


Thierry Meyssan

Translation 

Pete Kimberley

 

Read more:

 

https://www.voltairenet.org/article206735.html

pompeo is a prick...

The United States continues to amass military forces in the vicinity of Iran, following tanker incidents near the Strait of Hormuz and the alleged threat that Iran poses to US forces operating in the Middle East.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, one of the architects of Washington’s hard-line policy on Iran, has relayed a message to Tehran that the death of a single US service member would trigger a military response, the Washington Post reports.

According to the broadsheet, one such message was sent during Pompeo’s emergency visit to Baghdad, after the White House picked up intelligence allegedly showing that Iran or its proxies were threatening US interests in the Middle East.

A person with knowledge of the situation was quoted as saying that Pentagon officials, including outgoing Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan, have been "the ones putting the brakes" on hawks at the State Department and the White House.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201906191075951655-mike-pompeo-milita...

 

 

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washington’s objective is mafia-like strategic...

“THE ART OF WAR”

Who are the arsonists of the petrol tankers in the Gulf?

by Manlio Dinucci

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 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/UE strategic cooperation in the energy field » agreement stipulated in July 2018, US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the UE 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)

 

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article206764.html

 

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