Sunday 23rd of January 2022

manspreading in the 1960s...


In 2003, George W. Bush took us to war to liberate Iraq from the despotism of Saddam Hussein and convert that nation into a beacon of freedom and prosperity in the Middle East.

Tuesday, Mike Pompeo flew clandestinely into Baghdad, met with the prime minister, and flew out in four hours. The visit was kept secret, to prevent an attack on the Americans or the secretary of state.

Query: How successful was Operation Iraqi Freedom, which cost 4,500 U.S. lives, 40,000 wounded, and $1 trillion, if, 15 years after our victory, our secretary of state must, for his own security, sneak into the Iraqi capital?

The topic of discussion between Pompeo and the prime minister: in the event of a U.S. war with Iran, Iraqis would ensure the protection of the 5,000 U.S. troops in country, from the scores of thousands of Iranian-trained and Iranian-armed Shiite militias.

That prospect, of war between the U.S. and Iran, had been raised by Pompeo and John Bolton on Sunday, when the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier task force and a squadron of bombers were ordered into the Middle East after we received reports that Iran was about to attack American forces.

The attack did not happen. But on Thursday, Tehran gave 60 days’ notice that if it does not get relief from severe U.S. sanctions, it may walk out of the nuclear deal that it signed in 2015 and start enriching uranium again to a level closer to weapons grade.

The countdown to a June confrontation with Iran has thus begun.


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Picture at top from The New Yorker Circa 1960.


manspreading in 2019...

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has ordered the deployment of more MIM-104 Patriot missile defense systems to the Middle East due to increasing tensions between the US and Iran.

A Pentagon statement on Friday said Shanahan had send the USS Arlington, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, along with a battery of Patriot missiles and auxiliary equipment to US Central Command (CENTCOM), the command division covering US forces in southwest Asia and northeastern Africa. The Arlington is currently in Europe.

"The Department of Defense continues to closely monitor the activities of the Iranian regime, their military and proxies," a Pentagon statement said.

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trump is showing his dick and nuts to the world...

Rising Tensions

Trump's Iran Escalation Poses a Threat for Germany

 Trump's Iran Escalation Poses a Threat for GermanyPhotosabaca press/ ddp

The U.S. under Donald Trump is exacerbating tensions with Iran, leading many to fear war may be just around the corner. Any military conflict would have dire consequences for Europe, but the Americans remain undeterred. By DER SPIEGEL Staff more...

selling condos with a gun...

President Trump is reportedly waiting for the Iranians to get on the phone and start talking business to resolve the dangerous looming military crisis in the Persian Gulf.

Step One was for the US to pile on the threats of an “unrelenting” assault on the Islamic Republic. Step Two is for the US president to dangle an overture for dialogue with Tehran in order to avert war.

READ MORE: Senators Blast Trump for Leading US Along ‘Path to War' in the Mideast — Report

This week Donald Trump made a surprise announcement which appeared to knock back his hawkish White House team, declaring that he did not want the US to go to war with Iran. Instead, he said he hoped the Iranian leadership would engage in diplomatic talks.

That’s something of a turnaround, given that Trump has in the past heaped scorn on Iran as a “terrorist regime” and has pushed a policy of “maximum pressure” to throttle the country’s oil exports.

What we’re seeing here is not so much Trump exercising restraint on war hawks John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. It’s more a transparent case of the president using his dubious skills of property dealing to achieve policy objective. The former real estate mogul is the supposed co-author of a best-selling book, ‘The Art of the Deal’, in which he sets out his “genius” for commercial success.


There’s not much art to it really. Trump’s business success, which many people doubt as being real, seems to have revolved around buying low, selling high – and screw as many people as you can along the way.

This may be why he steadfastly refuses to provide his tax returns for public inspection.

Trump seems to be applying that business formula to his dealings with Iran. There’s also echoes of it with regard to North Korea.

In the case of Iran, the White House uses the sales pitch of dangling the terror of massive military destruction combined with strangling economic lifelines. Then, it is reckoned, a little bit of reprieve as in an elusive offer of “talks” will make the Iranian “customer” get on their knees pleading concessions.

In other words, the whole military specter that the US has imposed on Iran recently is a bluff.

READ MORE: Barr Reveals Mueller Probe Review Will Focus on Trump Dossier Briefing, Leaks

Trump has no intention of going to war with Iran and blowing his 2020 re-election chances. It’s only meant to be part of his “art of the deal” to coerce Tehran to the negotiating table. Trump has made no secret that he hates the 2015 international nuclear accord with Iran signed by the Obama administration. He unilaterally cancelled US participation and wants Iran to renegotiate it, presumably to yield bigger concessions on nuclear and ballistic missile restrictions.

The trouble is that flogging properties in New York is not the same as international relations. Trump may have gotten his way by browbeating and cheating in real estate business, but that don’t work in dealing with sovereign nations, especially one as strong and as proud as Iran.

Trump is out of his depth.

Wheeling and dealing does not appreciate history, international law and moral principle. How many times have we heard Trump bragging about “the deal of the century” with regard to solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, or the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula? Yet, Trump’s braggadocio always falls on its face. Because treating sensitive, complicated historical problems like selling condos doesn’t work.

So too with Iran. Trump seems to think that by threatening Iran, it will just roll over with a little inducement.

It’s not going to happen. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has adamantly said there will be no negotiations with the US over the nuclear accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It took several years of tortuous negotiations for that accord to be finalized in July 2015. It was signed off by the US, Iran, Russia, China and the European Union, and later ratified by the UN Security Council.

Iran made unprecedented concessions on its sovereign rights to nuclear power to enable the accord. It has also implemented its commitments flawlessly over the past four years, according to UN nuclear inspectors who are given unparalleled intrusive access to Iran’s defense facilities.


Trump’s accusations against Iran of not complying with the JCPOA and of misusing finances to sponsor terrorism are based on the paranoid, hypocritical fantasies of Israeli and Saudi enemies of Iran.

The way forward is for all signatories to the nuclear accord to abide by it, as Russia and China have both advocated.

That means the Europeans in particular putting their money where their mouths are to implement legitimate business with Iran while repudiating American intimidation with sanctions. It also means the US sometime in the future respecting an international treaty which it signed up to.

READ MORE: Trump Administration Announces 6-Month Delay on Auto Imports Tariffs

Trump seems to have a deluded sense of his own prowess. Some investigations have found that as a business magnate he actually lost more money (over $1 billion) than he ever supposedly made. Mr Trumpery President is not so much Artist of the Deal, as the Con-artist.

His over-rated business acumen is being exposed like never before with regard to Iran.

The abominable thing is, however, that the buffoonish and criminal tactics of using military aggression as a negotiating tool may end up razing swathes of the Middle East, killing countless innocents, and ultimately bringing the entire US house of cards crashing down. So much for Trump the “business genius”.

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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the so-call of duty fiction...

The latest installment of the Call of Duty franchise ‘Modern Warfare’ hopes to add newfound realism to the game, highlighting the “morally gray” side of modern proxy wars, but so far it seems to be more ‘oorah’ Western propaganda.

According to early media previews, the new first-person shooter will take place in the fictional Middle Eastern country Urzikstan and will be inspired by the Kurdish YPG’s fight against so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in the Syrian civil war. So far, so good? Not quite.

Having previously sided with terrorists to indiscriminately execute civilians in a false flag attack at Moscow airport earlier in the franchise players can now take up arms alongside Western-backed, alleged Al-Qaeda affiliates the White Helmets.

“There’s this whole other side of war today that is real, that’s happening, and to ignore it or not cover it felt like it would be a terrible, terrible omission,” game writer Taylor Kurosaki told the LA Times. “It wouldn’t be doing justice to the unintended victims in these wars and the unsung heroes of these wars.”

In this case unsung heroes are dodgy “aid workers” with a chequered past, shadowy backers and extremist friends.

The designers reportedly name-checked both the ‘Last Men in Aleppo’ and the Academy Award-winning ‘White Helmets’ documentaries at a preview of the game at Infinity Ward’s Los Angeles headquarters recently.

The White Helmets feature twice in the game’s trailer: firstly, when they come under attack from presumably Russian aircraft while they are among civilians in a town square and secondly, when they are helping an injured civilian on a stretcher.


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Why don't they use "yellow helmets" in this so-call of dirty game, we'll never know... but we really know... It's called propaganda...



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see who is manspreading at the summit...


Just over a decade later, long after the departures of George W Bush, Kevin Rudd and President Hu Jintao, only Germany's Angela Merkel and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan remain at the table of summiteers in 2019 who are grappling with forces inflicting a slow but insidious squeeze on their economies.

The US and China are at each other's throats over trade and so-called technology "theft" — and the consequences are slowly choking investment and economic growth around the world.

Meanwhile, the US and Iran daily find new ways to escalate the risk of armed conflict in the Middle East, using ever more inventive combinations of words, missiles and maritime explosives.

Around Mr Abe's G20 Summit room in Osaka on Friday and Saturday sit the only 20 people in the world with the ability to collectively demand calm, reason and resolution in all their interests.

There is every possibility they will not.

Competitive torches burn bright in Olympic host-nation 

It's never stated publicly at these things — it hardly needs to be — but every political leader who's made it to the top of one of the 20 richest nations on the planet understands something about the pursuit and application of power.

Right now, the G20's problem is there are so many pursuing power for their own purposes that the whole collective could be paralysed by it, regardless of the best intentions of honest brokers like Australia to pull them back from the brink.


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"honest brokers like Australia to pull them back from the brink."???? This reminds Gus of another times when:


between big boys...

see: Howard's International Significance


Nothing new... How time flies...