Friday 24th of January 2020

joining the US gangsters, bandits, criminals, crooks, hooligans, mobsters, thugs...


Here we go again – joining an American military adventure created by Donald Trump, an adventure that has no end in sight.

Nobody with a sense of history and Liberal Party politics can be surprised that Prime Minister Scott Morrison is donating Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force personnel and assets to a flashpoint created by President Trump and his cabal of warmongers.

Mr Morrison wants to focus on the broad principles of open trade routes and the importance of oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz.

He doesn’t want to discuss or think about what created the problem: The Trump regime’s unilateral abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal and imposition of severe sanctions on Iran.

With all the arrogance of American exceptionalism in general and Mr Trump in particular, the US is using its financial power to force other nations to abide by its sanctions policy.

The US wants to cut off Iran’s lifeblood – oil exports. Iran has retaliated by threatening the oil exports of America’s Arab allies.

Who is responsible for this crisis?

And now a febrile President, a bellicose Secretary of State and a fundamentalist vice-president have whistled, and the Australian lapdog has come dutifully running yet again.

The Liberal Party has learned nothing from Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Tearing up the Iran agreement, breaking America’s word, was against the advice and wishes of America’s European allies – allies that have shown much more sound judgment in the Middle East.

It undermined long years of international negotiations.

It told Iran there was no point trying to co-operate with a superpower that can’t be trusted, and whose Middle East policy is negotiated with Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The great misfortune for Iran and the rest of the world is that the agreement was finalised during the Obama administration.

A defining feature of the Trump presidency is the desire to undo anything done by President Obama – trade deals, health care, Iran, whatever.

America’s close ally, Saudi Arabia, a feudal time warp of an oppressive regime, is Iran’s implacable enemy with centuries of religious and racial divide – never mind regional competition.

While the rivals fight a proxy war in Yemen, Australia has made a political and industrial goal of increasing defence equipment sales to Saudi Arabia.

Now the Morrison government is committing Australian military to a developing crisis at only half-a-step removed from Saudi Arabia’s behest.

A feature of each of the American-led military blunders Australian governments have jumped at is the lack of any credible exit.

So poor is the Morrison government’s spin machine, is that a claim of this involvement being time-limited was immediately undermined.

“Our contribution will be limited in scope and it will be time-bound,” said Mr Morrison.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds reportedly said Australia’s presence would last six months, “but Mr Morrison stressed the time length could be revised”.

That didn’t last long, did it?


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the "national interest" of racketeers...

racket USA...


we are led by a cunning evangelical idiot...


Keeping a debate about a dozing economy — and what the Government should do about — tranquilised is not the same as actually confronting the very large policy issues that our economy now faces, with its mixture of low growth, low inflation, and over-reliance on monetary policy.

Eventually conceding this week that the tension between China and the United States kept him awake at night is different from finding a path for Australia through those tensions.

Mr Morrison was able to chuck a bone to the US this week — in an area that didn't offend China — ahead of the G7 meeting, by agreeing to join the multinational' force in the Gulf protecting oil shipments.

That would be a "multinational" force of the United States, Britain and … us (and Bahrain). We provide the fig leaf of respectability to suggest the whole operation isn't one aimed at Iran by the United States, with the hope the language far-flung Australia has used to justify its involvement ("our interest is in de-escalating tensions, not increasing them", "our national interest is in ensuring the continued flow of oil, etc etc") will encourage other countries to join too.


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Low growth is okay as long as everyone has a share in it... Scummo's evangelical idea about it is reflected in his Newstart (now Getfuctstart) position: no increase — and tax cuts for the rich... His viewpoint is akin to that of many distilled Pentecostal extremisms: "if you join the church, we'll make sure you make it rich as Jesus, through our cronyism, will help you. The rest gets crumbs."

The gutter is good enough for the poor and "useless" who will inherit what's left of the planet at the end of days...

payne is trying to unscramble the omelette...

Foreign Minister Marise Payne has denied Australia is being dragged into a broader conflict against Iran by Donald Trump, as it joins a United States-led mission to keep shipping lanes open in the Middle East.

Key points:
  • Foreign Minister Marise Payne says Australia is not being dragged into the US dispute with Iran 
  • Senator Payne maintains Canberra has a good relationship with Tehran
  • Iran and online extremism to be discussed at G7 summit in France


Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australia would commit a warship, a surveillance plane and defence planning personnel to the international efforts to keep ships travelling through the Strait of Hormuz.

Mr Morrison said a significant amount of Australia's crude and refined oil travelled through the region, and it was in the "national interest" to join the United States, the United Kingdom and Bahrain in policing the area.

Tension in the region increased when the UK seized an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar, prompting Iran to retaliate by seizing a British tanker in the Persian Gulf.

Critics of the plan to protect ships have suggested the mission is being used by the United States as a proxy for further pressure on Tehran, after Mr Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama last year.



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Good try but it does not wash.

controlling the situation from 600 miles away...

The United States sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East in May in a "clear message" to Iran that any attack on American interests or those of its allies would be met with "unrelenting force" in response to what Washington described as a "number of troubling and escalatory indications".

Since being deployed to the Middle East in May, the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier has steered clear of both the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway linking Mideast crude producers to key world markets, The New York Times reported.

The USS Abraham Lincoln remains in the North Arabian Sea - over 600 nautical miles from the Strait of Hormuz, and the supposed reason for this, per the NYT, is the concern that if it goes through the oil passageway, the already existing tensions with Iran could escalate further.

"We recognise that tensions are high, and we don't want to go to war. We don't want to escalate things with Iran", Capt. William Reed, a fighter pilot who commands the vessel's air wing, was cited as saying.

Navy officials, however, claimed that they could "reach Iran" as easily from where they were positioned as they could from the Persian Gulf, but the important thing is that, "they can reach us when we're there. When we're here, they can't".

"I wouldn't say we are sitting ducks, because we have offensive capability. But as you get further out into the North Arabian Sea, they just can't see us", Rear Adm. Michael E. Boyle, the commander of the strike group, said.

Boyle previously revealed to reporters that the aircraft carrier, which is stationed at a US naval base in Bahrain, had not passed through the Strait of Hormuz, and remained in the Arabian Gulf to "deter Iran".

US officers on board the vessel told Sky News earlier this month that while their mission is deterrence, they are ready to launch offensive strikes if required.

According to multiple media reports, aircraft on the carrier were scheduled to strike three Iranian targets in June when Tehran shot down a US spy drone, which it claimed had invaded its airspace and ignored numerous warnings to leave the area. The US Central Command has, however, insisted that the UAV was hit while operating over international waters in the Strait of Hormuz.

At the time, President Donald Trump ordered and subsequently called off the retaliatory strikes just 10 minutes before the launch, explaining that the death of about 150 Iranians would be disproportionate to the loss of an unmanned US drone.

In early May, White House National Security Advisor John Bolton announced that the US would deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force to the Middle East to send a "clear and unmistakable message" to Iran that any attack on Washington's interests or those of its allies would be met "with unrelenting force".


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The Yanks are dreaming...

meanwhile, zarif and macron want to solve the situation...


An Airbus 321 plane, Flight IRAN05, belonging to the government of Iran, has landed in Biarritz, France, where the G7 meeting is taking place, after departing from Tehran, the website Flight Radar 24 indicates. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman announced that the country’s top diplomat, Javad Zarif, had arrived on the plane.


Reuters reported, citing an anonymous source that the Iranian minister will hold talks with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.

"Zarif came to Paris on Friday with Iranian propositions which obviously must be refined. Yesterday there was a substantial discussion between G7 leaders and it is important to now update Zarif in order to keep closing the gap [...] on the conditions with which we could de-escalate the tensions and create breathing space for negotiations", the anonymous official told Reuters.

When asked about Zarif's arrival, US President Donald Trump declined to comment. The White House stated that the visit of the Iranian foreign minister came as a surprise to Trump, as he had not been notified about it in advance. At the same time, French President Emmanuel Macron's office claimed that all G7 partners had been informed about Zarif's upcoming visit to Biarritz "as soon as possible", but noted that it was organised at short notice.

Last month, Washington imposed sanctions against the Iranian Foreign Ministry, despite continued assurances of readiness for dialogue with the Islamic Republic regarding the worsening bilateral relations.

Earlier, French media reported that President Emmanuel Macron had been tasked by other G7 members to convey a joint message to Iran, but the head of state himself denied these reports.


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damaging australia's bottom...

Iran says Australia's standing in the Middle East has been damaged by the decision to join the United States in patrolling the Strait of Hormuz. 

Key points:
  • An Australian warship and a surveillance plane will be sent to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz
  • Iran has been blamed for attacks on six tankers in or near the strait, though it denies any role
  • Iran said Australia's military move is unnecessary


Kamal Dehghani Firouzabadi, the deputy chair of Iran's Foreign Relations Committee, said Australia was taking a big risk by moving military forces to the region

"I don't think there'll be material damage to Australia. The damage will be to the reputation and prestige of Australia," he said. 

"Those who take part in this coalition are responsible for the damage caused by this coalition."

Mr Dehghani spoke to the ABC inside the Iranian Parliament in Tehran and was responding to Prime Minister Scott Morrison's announcement that an Australian warship and surveillance plane would be sent to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.

"It was very surprising for me to hear that Australia joined the coalition, because the United States is making repeated mistakes, including pulling out of the nuclear agreement," he said.

"This was a multilateral agreement reached by the whole world."


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the daleks are coming...

The crisis escalated last month when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that Tehran would proceed with reducing its obligations under the nuclear deal, stating that European countries must protect the Islamic Republic from US sanctions.

According to Sky News, the United Kingdom is considering sending drones in order to help Royal Navy warships escort UK-flagged tankers through the Strait of Hormuz.

Commodore Dean Bassett also told the broadcaster that Iran poses a direct threat to British merchant vessels and noted he wouldn't rule out the use of military force if necessary.


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At this stage the biggest weapons that the Iranians have at hand is simple: an oil slick... Imagine. The US and UK weapons cannot attack an Iranian tanker without creating a massive catastrophe — or a tanker could be scuttled in a jiffy. 250,000 tonnes of crude oil would make the BP oil spil in the Gulf of Mexico look like a Sunday picnic...


Meanwhile the UK warships look like they're carrying Daleks...