Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 01, 2018

Netanyahoo's "Iran Files" are Well Known, Old and Purloined from Vienna

The dog and pony show the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahoo provided yesterday (video, slideshow) was not based on material Israeli secret services acquired in Iran, but most likely from data Iran provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during the implementation period of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, pdf).

Ali Vaez, director of the Iran Project at the Crisis Group, was the first to propose this thesis:

Ali Vaez @AliVaez - 18:06 UTC - 30 Apr 2018
5/ It appears to me that what Israel has done is that it has probably hacked the @iaeaorg and gathered some new details from what Iran responded to the agency to close the outstanding issues in 2015: IAEA Board Adopts Landmark Resolution on Iran PMD Case

Several nuclear proliferation experts point out that there was nothing new in Netanyahoo's presentation:

Jeffrey Lewis @ArmsControlWonk - 00:14 UTC- 1 May 2018
Let's go through Netanyahu's dog-and-pony show. As you will see, everything he said was already known to the IAEA and published in IAEA GOV/2015/68 (2015). There is literally nothing new here and nothing that changes the wisdom of the JCPOA. 1/10

All the graphics, pictures and technical details Netanyahoo quoted were known to the IAEA and the negotiators of the agreement with Iran.

The tale the Israelis provide to explain  how they got access to the files does not fit to the content of the "highly theatrical" presentation:

The senior Israeli official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a secret mission, said that Israel’s Mossad intelligence service discovered the warehouse in February 2016, and had the building under surveillance since then.
Mossad operatives broke into the building one night last January, removed the original documents and smuggled them back to Israel the same night, the official said.

Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, a political scientist at Columbia University, points to this slide and satellite picture in Netanyahoo's presentation:


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The pictured slide claims that Iran moved files to that location in 2017. But the Israeli sources tell the NYT that the Mossad detected the warehouse in early 2016. Why, if no nuclear files were there at that time, did the Mossad put a random warehouse in Tehran under observation?

Most likely both claims are false.

The slide above shows a screenshot of a satellite picture of Shurabad, a warehousing district in south Tehran. The coordinates are 35.494257. N, 51.356535 E.

By comparing changes in the pictured buildings and a Google Earth historic timeline of satellite pictures Batmanghelidj finds that the picture Netanyahoo showed  in his slide must have been taken between September 2014 and November 2015.


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Other researchers confirm this analysis. Batmanghelidj notes that this time frame corresponds to the 'implementation period' of the JCPOA which began in January 2014 and ended in July 2015. During the period Iran provided, as agreed in the JCPOA, information about its nuclear research and gave IAEA inspectors access to all relevant locations and source material.

Israel claims it detected the archive site in early 2016. How does that fit with a satellite picture in the presentation that was then already replaced by newer ones and only available in a historic timeline view?

Presumably the satellite picture was part of the stash the Israelis acquired. But:

  • Iran had no reason to give the IAEA such a picture. It gave the IAEA inspectors physical access to its sites and did not hide anything.
  • The IAEA uses (pdf) Wikimapia, Google Earth and other open source tools to pursue and to document its work.
  • It is thus very likely that the IAEA made that screenshot of a satellite picture at the time it inspected the site during the 2014 and 2015 period to document its work.

There are more inconsistencies in Netanyahoo's stunt. One of his slides shows the potential position of a nuclear device in a missile as drawn in a well known 2003 sketch by Iranian scientists. He later claims that current Iranian missiles with a longer range could hold such a device.

That is wrong. The new Iranian missiles use a "baby bottle" nose cone that is too small to hold a device like the one researched by Iranian scientist 15 years ago. No current Iranian missile is capable of carrying such a nuclear device.


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Following Netanyahoo's scaremongering show the IAEA provided this statement:

In December 2015, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano presented the Final Assessment on past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme to the IAEA Board of Governors.
...
The Agency’s overall assessment was that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003. The Agency also assessed that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.
...
Based on the Director General’s report, the Board of Governors declared that its consideration of this issue was closed.

Iran did feasibility studies to assess what was needed to start a nuclear weapon development program. It never started such a program. The feasibility studies were related to a potential Iraqi nuclear weapon program which would have threatened Iran. When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 the potential danger of a hostile Iraq dissolved and Iran shut down its studies. The shutdown in 2003 was confirmed in a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate in 2007 and by the IAEA.

Netanyahoo presented old material of Iran's old feasibility studies. Everything he presented was already well known and the technical details had long been discussed at length.

The claims of how and when the Israelis intelligence acquired the files do not make sense. The Mossad fairytale is that its agents broke into a warehouse building in Tehran, opened two dozen combination lock safes (slide 8 in the show), hauled out half a ton of materials and put those onto a plane to Israel in the very same night. Even Hollywood would reject such an implausible script.

The folders Netanyahoo presented were all empty.


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The 2014/15 satellite picture used by Netanyahoo in his slides is a further indication that the material was not obtained in Iran but from a (digital) archive at the IAEA in Vienna. The "half a ton" material of "55,000 printed pages" and "183 CDs" that Netanyahoo implausibly claims was smuggled out of a "warehouse" in Tehran are most likely just a bunch of old data-files from the 2014/2015 IAEA investigation copied from a digital IAEA archive in Vienna. They likely fit on a SSD drive or a handful of USB sticks.

Netanyahoo presented nonsense and lied just as he always does.


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But the show was not in vain. As for its purpose we again refer to Ali Vaez:

Ali Vaez @AliVaez - 18:06 UTC - 30 Apr 2018
9/9 So all is all, this is a pretty clear attempt at recycling old info to create new hype and push @realDonaldTrump to pull the plug on the #IranDeal and push Iran and the US into a military conflict to weaken and contain Iran. Read more here: The Iran-U.S. Trigger List

The show was coordinated with the White House and unnecessary to convince Trump who has, by all accounts, already decided to blow up the JCPOA deal. It might help though to increase public support for that decision.

Posted by b on May 1, 2018 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

Comments
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thanks b... good pic at the bottom that sums it up well..

lets get on to the reality... israel has nuclear weapons and it is okay - in spite of the constant lying and control of usa congress, not to mention uk, france, canada and etc. etc.... iran is clean, but the fearmongers need to continue on with their lies and deception... the choice is obvious here... trump is indeed a bimbo on a string if he goes with the 24/7 liars and deceivers..

Posted by: james | May 1, 2018 1:06:37 PM | 1

Ah yes, Big Lie Nation and its Big Lie media are at it yet again. Since Nutty's lies and disinformation were so easy to expose, will we see any similar outing by any English language media--or German, French, Italian, Spanish--other than Sputnik, RT, Moon of Alabama and a few others? Or will Big Lie Media simply allow what remains of its credibility to sink further beneath the waves? Which one of them will be first to call out the leading Zionist for his serial prevarications and tag him for the deliberate slow motion massacre of Gaza Palestinians? Does it take courage to do that, or the exercising of proper journalism?

On the semi-related issue of Korea, IMO Moon and Kim together with China and Russia will move ahead with establishing peace in Korea and present Trump with a fait accompli regardless if he continues the longstanding tradition of the Outlaw US Empire in reneging on complying with treaties its signed. Unless it chooses war, there's no way the Empire will be able to continue to garrison Korea with its troops--they will be evicted as part of the penultimate peace treaty between South and North.

As I wrote yesterday, Nutty's clearly very desperate to expose himself as nakedly as he did. With luck, some good will come of it.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 1, 2018 1:09:07 PM | 2

It seems that Trump deliberately plays his naivetee as a strength, as a deliberate anti-politician ploy, with his base. The key difference at this time in dealings with North Korea and Iran appears to be Netanyahoo. If Netanyahoo were parading forth his tired-out old BS re Iran--but aiming it at North Korea--how would Trump respond? I suspect he would be as stubbornly bent on defeating the Korea deal versus "winning it."

I doubt the base distinguishes much between the two re "axis of evil."

Possibly Trump is more useful to Netanyahoo as a simpleton politically than a conventional politician would be. Thus he might favor "winning" in the Korean deal to keep Trump in office and avoid another Obama type and return to a JCPOA deal.

This, then, again related to upcoming midterms which the Dems seem bent on losing.

Posted by: Sid2 | May 1, 2018 1:11:43 PM | 3

If you're an Alexander Mercouris fan, the following nicely supplements b's postings these past two days:

http://theduran.com/netanyahu-smore-mirrors-iranian-nuclear-deal/

Posted by: Sid2 | May 1, 2018 1:14:47 PM | 4

The sad thing about all of this is we, the public cannot do jack shit about Israel: they can brazenly kill Palestinian demonstrators with impunity; the snipers regularly kill dozens of Palestinian demonstrators on a weekly basis in the ongoing 'Right of Return' march. What does Washington do? Pompeo says "Israel has a right to defend itself". Israel fires missiles into Syria killing loads of people. Not even makes the evening news. All we can do is read shitty, depressing articles like this one day after day, week after week, year after year–and not a fucking thing will change for the better. In fact, Iran is next to be wiped off the map just like Iraq. What are you doing to do about it? You can't do a fucking thing about it.

I get so fucking sick of it all. What is the use of reading the news when it is all so depressing and Washington and Israel just keep winning and winning and winning. They commit war crimes, kill millions, and nobody can do a fucking thing about it. Really fucking depressing :-((((((((((((((((

Posted by: deschutes | May 1, 2018 1:14:56 PM | 5

@6 relating to and feeling your anger--we can keep analyzing and informing, we can at the least spread an alternative view to Establishment Bullshit and Crime. Whatever Trump is, no matter how inadequate, his emergence signals a huge desire for CHANGE. It is happening.

Posted by: Sid2 | May 1, 2018 1:19:35 PM | 6

In the post-truth, post-reality world of the globalist ruling class, the content of one's statements is inconsequential. All that matters if the EFFECT of the statement.

Posted by: WorldBLee | May 1, 2018 2:02:47 PM | 7

From ZeroHedge:
Ominously, the officials said Israel appears to be preparing for open warfare with Iran and is seeking U.S. help and support. "On the list of the potentials for most likely live hostility around the world, the battle between Israel and Iran in Syria is at the top of the list right now," said one senior U.S. official.

Here's a scenario:
1. Israel gives Putin a Syrian victory in exchange for not interfering with Israel/US war with Iran.
2. Putin sees that US war with Iran will only harm US, and therefore helps Russia.
3. Putin tells Assad that Russian protection depends on Syrian non-intervention with US war on Iran.
4. Israel and Putin and Bolton/Trump all happy. Assad and Iran and Hezbollah not happy.
5. Putin weakens US by capitulating to their insanity, improves his and Russia's Western image, maintains his friendly ties re with Israel.

Iran and Hezbollah get sold out. Assad gets politically sold out, as his populace will demand response to Israel aggression. But the big player out of the loop here in China.

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 2:06:51 PM | 8

Time to bring out the yellowcake.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | May 1, 2018 2:08:27 PM | 9

Just finished reading the fascinating Michael Hudson interview I linked to on previous thread; but since we're discussing Jews and their religion in a tangential manner, I think it appropriate to post here since the history Hudson explains is 100% key to the ongoing pain us humans feel and inflict. My apologies in advance, but it will take this long excerpt to explain what I mean:

"Tribes: When does the concept of a general debt cancellation disappear historically?

"Michael: I guess in about the second or third century AD it was downplayed in the Bible. After Jesus died, you had, first of all, St Paul taking over, and basically Christianity was created by one of the most evil men in history, the anti-Semite Cyril of Alexandria. He gained power by murdering his rivals, the Nestorians, by convening a congress of bishops and killing his enemies. Cyril was really the Stalin figure of Christianity, killing everybody who was an enemy, organizing pogroms against the Jews in Alexandria where he ruled.

"It was Cyril that really introduced into Christianity the idea of the Trinity. That’s what the whole fight was about in the third and fourth centuries AD. Was Jesus a human, was he a god? And essentially you had the Isis-Osiris figure from Egypt, put into Christianity. The Christians were still trying to drive the Jews out of Christianity. And Cyril knew the one thing the Jewish population was not going to accept would be the Isis figure and the Mariolatry that the church became. And as soon as the Christian church became the establishment rulership church, the last thing it wanted in the West was debt cancellation.

"You had a continuation of the original Christianity in the Greek Orthodox Church, or the Orthodox Church, all the way through Byzantium. And in my book And Forgive Them Their Debts, the last two chapters are on the Byzantine echo of the original debt cancellations, where one ruler after another would cancel the debts. And they gave very explicit reason for it: if we don’t cancel the debts, we’re not going to be able to field an army, we’re not going to be able to collect taxes, because the oligarchy is going to take over. They were very explicit, with references to the Bible, references to the jubilee year. So you had Christianity survive in the Byzantine Empire. But in the West it ended in Margaret Thatcher. And Father Coughlin.

"Tribes: He was the ’30s figure here in the States.

"Michael: Yes: anti-Semite, right-wing, pro-war, anti-labor. So the irony is that you have the people who call themselves fundamentalist Christians being against everything that Jesus was fighting for, and everything that original Christianity was all about."

Hudson says debt forgiveness was one of the central tenets of Judaism: "... if you take the Bible literally, it’s the fight in almost all of the early books of the Old Testament, the Jewish Bible, all about the fight over indebtedness and debt cancellation."

Looks like I'll be purchasing Hudson's book as he's essentially unveiling a whole new, potentially revolutionary, historical interpretation.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 1, 2018 2:27:06 PM | 11

Iran dumped the petrodollar recently.
Iran is vital player in OBOR.
Iran is the most important square on the board for the Great Game.
Any war with Iran with bring in both Russia and China.
Iran has nukes bought on the black market during the collapse of the USSR,I've
seen the CIA reports.
Only a suicidal idiot would attack Iran.
Israel cannot steal the Litani Delta on which its survival depends while Iran
supplies Hezbollah.Israel must have that water now.Now.
This is now a bar fight and anything could and will happen.

Posted by: Winston | May 1, 2018 2:44:04 PM | 12

@ deschutes 6
Washington and Israel just keep winning and winning and winning.
I guess I missed it. Where are they winning?
--Iraq, nope.
--Syria, no, big loss.
--Lebanon, they lost there
--more losses for the US in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Libya, Somalia.....
So where?

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 2:44:06 PM | 13

Posted by: karlof1 | May 1, 2018 2:27:06 PM | 13

Cyril was really the Stalin figure of Christianity, killing everybody who was an enemy, organizing pogroms against the Jews in Alexandria where he ruled.

To me, it seems more like Hitler than Stalin.
But it is quite telling that he thinks Stalin first.

Posted by: hopehely | May 1, 2018 2:52:38 PM | 14

@15

So where?

In his heart and mind. :-D

Posted by: hopehely | May 1, 2018 2:55:32 PM | 15

@deschutes | May 1, 2018 1:14:56 PM | 6

and you know what? Americans love to kill and Israel love to kill too. If Israel starts the war with Iran, it must destroy and occupy Syria, Gaza, The West bank and Lebanon. Betcha Putin just watches so long no Russian citizen killed. Russia is a peace loving nation. Further World cup must go on and successful.

@Sid2 | May 1, 2018 1:19:35 PM | 7
Sorrie, no offend intended......bullshit.

Posted by: OJS | May 1, 2018 2:59:30 PM | 16

13 - Hudson has done a lot of research on debt cancellation and the Jubilee. It's scattered throughout the bible. Fascinating work on his part. Of course some Jews and Christians are prone to cherry-pick the "good book".

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 1, 2018 3:01:17 PM | 17

Israeli law relating to Israel going to war was changed on 30 April 2018. Instead of requiring approval of the Knesset, it now just requires Netanyahu and the Israeli Defense Minister (appointed by one B.N.) to agree. The Israelis have also stated that if the Iranian forces in Syria attack Israel, Israel will attack Iran. So all that needs happen for WWIII is for Israel's pet ISIS stooges to fire a few mortars into the occupied Golan (*), which Israel will deem to have been fired by Iranians in Syria, and boom! The rest of the world will then be left to sort out the mess (US troops are now stationed at key points in Israel, and thus likely to be hit in any Iranian response to Israel's attack).

* - in the past, these same terrorists have fired mortars into the Occupied Golan whenever the SAA has taken them on. This resulted in Israel deeming them to have been fired by the SAA, 'justifying' Israel's subsequent attacks on the SAA forces attacking ISIS.

Posted by: Yonatan | May 1, 2018 3:03:06 PM | 18

Sarah Sanders a few minutes ago: “The deal was made on a completely false pretense. Iran lied on the front end. They were dishonest actors.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 3:15:41 PM | 19

@Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 2:44:06 PM | 15

and Washington and Israel just keep winning and winning and winning. They commit war crimes, kill millions, and nobody can do a fucking thing about it. Really fucking depressing :-((((((((((((((((

Yes both Amerika and Israel just keep winning and commit war crimes, kill millions, millions and millions, no one gives a fucking shit. MoA seem to accept Putin give in to Amerika and especially Israel for so many wars’ crimes...

While I still supports Putin, it's about time Putin tell Donald Trump and Bibi go get fuck wanna war so be it!

as we talk here, bibi keeps on killing Palestinians in Gaza. We as anti war should ask Thrump just as the anti war protesters did during the Vietnam wars How many kids you killed today!!!!

finally must end with fuck the republicans and especially democrats.

Posted by: OJS | May 1, 2018 3:19:49 PM | 20

correction OJS 22

Refering posting @ deschutes 6 and replying to Don Bacon

Washington and Israel just keep winning and winning and winning.

I guess I missed it. Where are they winning?

yes Washington and Israel are winning especially humans' lives. Endless killing....

Posted by: OJS | May 1, 2018 3:26:03 PM | 21

A few too many seem to believe the Zionist state immune from massive retaliation if it were to attack Iran. IMO, Zion would suffer catastrophic losses to its most vital infrastructure thanks to Zionist and Outlaw US Empire targeting of same elsewhere thus rendering such targets fair game. Attacking Iran would be a colossal mistake, but Nutty seems to think it would be genius.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 1, 2018 3:26:13 PM | 22

Time to say goodbye to amereeka and izreel me thinks

Posted by: jazza | May 1, 2018 3:27:34 PM | 23

@ karlof1 with the Michale Hudson link....thanks!!

Here is the quote that I really like from that interview
"
Michael: No. You asked what is the fight about? The fight is whether the state will be taken over, essentially to be an extension of Wall Street if you do not have government planning. Every economy is planned. Ever since the Neolithic (era), you’ve had to have (a form of) planning. If you don’t have a public authority doing the planning, then the financial authority becomes the planners. So globalism is in the financial interest –Wall Street and the City of London, doing the planning, not governments. They will do the planning in their own interest. So neoliberalism is the fight of finance to subdue society at large,and to make the bankers and creditors today in the position that the landlords were under feudalism.
"

karlof1, please email me as I would like to read the book as well and maybe we can share a copy.

And yes, it is relevant to Netanyahoo and his ongoing passel of lies because humanity has been told and been living these lives for centuries...it is time to stop this shit and grow up/evolve

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 1, 2018 3:31:50 PM | 24

a novice asks: Do any of you know what this is about? DEBKAfile reports that since Monday midday, columns of IDF tank-hauling trucks were seen heading north along the national Highway 6.

Posted by: Mother of God! | May 1, 2018 3:32:18 PM | 25

Karlof1 @24,

It would be too, too, bad if Iran were to precipitously target Israeli civilians--or even worse, US troops in theater-- in such a heinous and spectacular way as to merit a decisive nuclear response from Israel, don't you think? The only way Israel wins a war with Iran is by a preemptive nuclear attack that decimates the country and kills millions. So either Israel doesn't really want a war with Iran, or it does. If it does, then it is looking for an excuse to nuke the country.

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 3:34:26 PM | 26

@Don Bacon

To be fair and honest, tell me how many millions of humans' lives lost since 1967 including Palestinians and all Arabs’ lives.

Posted by: OJS | May 1, 2018 3:35:15 PM | 27

I need hardly point out that the discovery of "proof" that Iran was developing its own nuclear weapon with intent to use against Israel would be cited earnestly by the Times, Guardian, and Post as somewhat excusing Israel's otherwise excessive obliteration of an entire people and civilization, which would doubtless be condemned in one or two editorials and then forgotten. Most Americans could be easily moved to support a decimating nuclear strike against Iran. What's anybody else gonna do about it?

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 3:39:28 PM | 28

As people become more disillusioned with Trump I think it’s worthwhile to spend a moment to take stock of what happened in th 2016 election.

1) The US President is the primary determinant of US foreign and military power. The President is much weaker when addressing domestic policy / internal affairs.

Any small, paranoid nation with ambitious plans in its neighborhood would want ensure that they have the President’s ear ( or his balls). Too much at stake to take chances.

And political influence is even easier when you’ve developed close relation with an oil-rich ally (Saudis) with deep pockets.

2) US democracy is money-driven and no real populist stands much of a chance.

3) Despite a groundswell of discontent on both the left and the right, here were only two populists that ran in the election (note: I’m not counting Rand Paul’s because he didn’t make an outright populist appeal - he merely spoke in a sensible way.

4) When Obama was President, he was kept in line by the “Birthers”. Trump is kept in line by the allegation of Russian interference.

5) “Never Trump-ers” were mainly Jewish (AFAIK) and almost certainly pro-Israel. The Never Trump campaign began in earnest with Kagan’s Op-Ed in February 2016 ( some might date it to Bloomberg’s public statement in January 2016 that neither Sanders or Trump could be allowed to win).

6) AFAIK Pro-Israel oligarchs (like Saban, Soros, Bloomberg) are big donors to Democratic Party. Hillarry and DNC are known to have colluded against ‘sheep-dog’ Sanders. Wouldn’t Hillary just as easily collide FOR Trump (the Cinton’s And Trump’s are known to have had close ties - and their daughters are still close).

I’m sure I’m missing some of the many “dots” but it logic suggests that both Obama and Trump are faux populists that - at least in foreign policy (where Presidential powers are greatest) - are greatly influenced by foreign(albeit “allied”) interests.

IMO Apologists for the faux populists also play an important part. They respond voraciously to the “crazy opposition” and thereby keep alive faith in the faux hero.

Faux populist leaders seem to be a natural fit for our inverted totalitarian form of government. Perhaps any Empire will naturally gravitate to such a compromised government? Funny thing is, most Americans would say that USA is NOT an Empire.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1, 2018 3:44:58 PM | 29

@20 yonatan.. good point which bears remembering..

@27 mother of g... debkafile... israel run disinfo site..

@31 jr.. it is not just what happened in the 2016.. it is what is ongoing and really nothing has much changed.. well, maybe it has changed slightly in that americans might just be coming to realize how it doesn't matter who is in power.. the same financial interests behind the scene are calling the shots - as you note..

Posted by: james | May 1, 2018 3:54:10 PM | 30

I should point out that “kept in line” (point #4) appears to be a convenience needed to excuse the faux populist’s betrayals.

Both Obama and Trump seem more than willing to do as they are told.

And don’t bother citing Obama’s Iran deal as “proof” that Obama was independent. IMO That deal was made simply to buy time because regime-change in Syria was taking longer than expected. It is foolish to think that Obama did everything the establishment wanted but refused IN THAT ONE MATTER.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1, 2018 3:58:01 PM | 31

@ OJS
Which do you believe, that claiming the US is "winning and winning and winning" encourages, or discourages, more war with more killing? ...especially when it's obvious that the US is not winning and winning and winning. Even the Pentagon generals don't claim that, quite the opposite.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 4:00:55 PM | 32

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 2:06:51 PM | 10
Consider what Russia has accomplished regarding its international standing by standing by its allies, keeping its word, honoring treaties, refusing to be baited into wars of words or actual wars.
There is no way Russia will allow its ME standing to be reduced in the world's eyes by standing by while the west attacks Iran. Afghanistan, Syria and Iran were the first countries Stalin signed treaties with after WW2, Putin will not let Iran go down.
I also think the reason Israel is trying to get a war going right now is because BiBi suspects Putin doesn't want the Soccer games to be sanctioned. But games or no, Russia will stand by Iran.

Posted by: frances | May 1, 2018 4:03:20 PM | 33

4) When Obama was President, he was kept in line by the “Birthers”.

His cabinet was handpicked by Citibank! He didn't need to be "kept in line" at all.

Sanders was arguably a moderate populist hoping to ameliorate the bad effects of capitalism by addressing its more obvious social consequences of its logic in a way that has already been done by every other developed nation. In all these nations he is a somewhat hawkish centrist. But he did raise a TON of money without needing to take donations from mega super PACs and oligarchs; hence his candidacy was a threat to the oligarchy's total ownership of US politics. This ownership is what enables the Israel lobby and others to take hold so easily in the first place, and so it was never going to end well for Sanders--even assuming he was not just a sheep dog.

I could live in a country where actual left leaning and right leaning people worked out their differences via the democratic process. I am left leaning--well, way left leaning--but I am perfectly willing to engage right leaning people in the procedures of political compromise. But there is no such compromise available because the US is not a democratic representative republic but an oligarchy, pure and simple.

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 4:04:06 PM | 34

I can't quite see that the situation has changed that much from all the previous attempts by Netanyahu to get the US to attack Iran. Israel needs the US to do the attack. They can't do it themselves. Now that b has shown that Netanyahu has nothing new, the only new elements are Jared having the ear of Trump (no doubt also warhawks in office), and Netanyahu's closeness to being prosecuted.

However, Trump's history as a war president is not good for what Netanyahu wants. Two big bangs with no consequences, and that attack in Yemen, are all that Trump and the military have been able to agree. It's difficult to know who played the largest roles in those decisions. Giving Trump a bang that would please him is obviously significant, but who held back from a deeper engagement? In the case of the 59 Tomahawks, it was said to be the military holding him back. I have to say that I suspect that it was also Trump himself. Big mouth, little action, as they say. Real war could seriously harm Trump's lifestyle. I can't see it. A bang is fine as long as there are no consequences

Posted by: Laguerre | May 1, 2018 4:05:03 PM | 35

Cyril of Alexandria was an ISIS-like top-class asshole and mass-murderer, but that's a bit sillyto showcase the Jews, when he persecuted and mass-murdered everyone who didn't align with his brand of Christianity, whether pagans, Jews or other Christians. Though he was total scum, he was far from the only one. His uncle and previous patriarch was the same kind of genocidal scum who mass-murdered pagans like there was no tomorrow. Heck, actually, a lot of Christians (at least in this area of Egypt) were ISIS-like scum who revelled in murdering everyone else, just because they could.


Meanwhile, 2 momentous but so far unconfirmed rumors/news:

- There's a deal for evacuation/reconciliation of the Homs/Hama rebel pocket (the Rastan one, last major pocket around), which would mean that once Yarmuk is cleansed from ISIS, the only real *pocket* left would be the ISIS one in the desert between Palmyra and Deir es-Zor. The SAA frontlines would be significantly shortened.

- Israeli jets are rumored to have wrongly identified themselves as coalition planes when hitting that Iranian/Syrian depot the other day, flying along the coalition corridor going through Jordan and W. Iraq. If true, that's an insane move, because then the Syrian and Russian air defenses would have reasons to suspect any coalition jet is actually an enemy plane that should be shot down - with the risk that Putin declares a no-fly zone over the whole country.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 1, 2018 4:18:55 PM | 36

frances @35,

If Israel and its basement gimp want a war with Iran, what is Putin supposed to do? He can't very well go to war with either without risking the annihilation of the planet and he knows this very well. And, being rational, he won't go to war with either. It is not his fault that Israel and its basement gimp gorge themselves unceasingly on destruction and carnage. He and Russia are not the hero of some Louis L'Amour pulp western for Chrissakes. One thing he might do is extend anti-ballistic protection to Iran, perhaps in partnership with China.

The only way that Israel and its basement gimp can be definitely turned from Iran is if it becomes clear that to go against Iran is to go against Russia and China. Israel would still in that case be willing to throw its basement gimp into the fight, but the US generals would in that scenario (I trust) simply refuse to engage.

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 4:22:28 PM | 37

Clueless Joe @38

"Israeli jets are rumored to have wrongly identified themselves as coalition planes when hitting that Iranian/Syrian depot the other day, flying along the coalition corridor going through Jordan and W. Iraq. If true, that's an insane move..."

Ha! Just wait until these "coalition" jets "accidentally" strike Russian interests. Who knows what opportunities could present themselves in the ensuing chaos?

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 4:26:15 PM | 38

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 1, 2018 4:18:55 PM | 38
re Israeli jets masking as coalition;
That was pretty sneaky, I wonder if they cleared that with the US or maybe Pompeo? I could not understand why Russia/Syria defenses didn't respond, thank you.

Posted by: frances | May 1, 2018 4:28:50 PM | 39

For all those here running their various scenarios, never forget that Russia is in the ME, not as visitor, but as the dominant SuperPower with roots deep in some of the region's nations (via USSR history). It is also the number one petroleum producer and number one natural gas pipeline country. It also is a major arms supplier in the region.

Israel cannot abide any of this.

So to think there is a "deal" between Russia/Putin and Israel/Bibi is ludicrous. They are mortal rivals for the turf of the ME and its markets and nexus for trade of major comodities.

Russia bought its place with blood and bone in Syria.

It has two bases in Syria and will be there for 50-1000 years.

Russia now has a Eastern Mediterranean fleet, not just some overflow of the Black Sea Fleet.

Russia is one of three Super Powers. Israel is a flea (even with 350 nukes) compared to Russia.

Unless Israel can convince the US to destroy Russia directly, it will lose the rivalry for hegemony over the ME.

The only Israeli game plan that makes sense is if Iran can be suckered into a war that costs it Hezbollah and most of the Syrian Army.

Then Syria will splinter, Lebanon will disintegrate and Russia will be in an untenable position to stay.

So, from Russian strategic position it now holds, no war on a large scale is allowable. Russia can manage Turkey and Kurds, Syria and US bases, Israel and Hezbollah, and all the leftover ISIS and AQ insurgencies.

Therefore, Russia/Putin will shape things to keep things as they are which will lead to political solutions that Russia can manage.

Russia will be the most benign hegemon, influential and accommodating. It has done remarkable things in 2.5 years of war.

We will see what the next round of Astana talks brings to Syria.

But,for certain, Russia is not going to give anything to Israel.

Russia needs Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah to deal with CENTCOM, the Arabs, Israel and NATO.

Now, think of some scenarios that make sense if you will.

Posted by: Red Ryder | May 1, 2018 4:29:03 PM | 40

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 4:22:28 PM | 39
Thank you; I understand your reasoning, but remember after Iran they will come for Russia and Russia knows it. Better to fight in someone else's yard than your own, always.

Plus I think Mad dog Mattis is not Bibi's pal nor is he or the Pentagon up for a war with Iran nor Russia.

Posted by: frances | May 1, 2018 4:34:43 PM | 41

@42 red ryder..lol.. good post.. hopefully others here will read it..

Posted by: james | May 1, 2018 4:50:38 PM | 42

“I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.
“You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.Reuters.
Israel cannot afford a war with Iran, the postage stamp size state of Israel has most of its population and vital infrastructure within the metropolitan area of Tel Aviv including its only International airport Ben Gurion. Theoretically Hezbollah alone could turn Tel Aviv into rubble with a thousand missiles per square mile. Then add missiles from Syria and Iran.As for Israels gas rigs and warships, Hezbollah have the Chinese C-802 sea skimming missiles. Israel could disappear if they are not careful. Better for them to say, why don't you [US] and him [Iran] fight and leave us out of it?

Posted by: Harry Law | May 1, 2018 4:52:14 PM | 43

@ 6: A lot of us out here feel your pain, but, just stay informed as best you can, share your information with whomever you can, and support like minded sites and individuals.

You might wanna' read post 38 on the previous thread by Kalen. Interesting post.


If Nikki Haley was supposedly voted most likable US politician hence I suggest, lock the US insane asylum and throw out the key, since now anything will be blabbermouthed and nothing of substance will really happen except some unwitting crisis actors will die, a fact of inhumane cruelty of imperial rulers.

Where are dire warnings from Russia about severe consequences if Syria attacked.
Russians lost credibility of their threats which is even worse if they have never made them.

I do not know what it would take for people to see what cruel charade all this is, what would it take for people to realize that it is all Roman type of theater of wilderness and pain and we are audience and targets of this propaganda of fear of global nuke war and destruction that they want us to believe is behind all this cruel soap opera.

There will be no global war since there are no fundamental conflicts within global elites despite what propaganda from all sides claims and that including b, trying to make sense of utter unadulterated nonsense of MSM, for those establishment people in west who are already in it are not idiots but rational people who do that immoral, opportunist job for money knowing what they lie about, knowing that there is no danger of global nuke catastrophe whatsoever, otherwise they would act more sober like it was during Cold War.

However, there is logic in this madness, namely to forcefully align nations with discredited ruling elites who attempt to take role of saviors, when no other method of control over population works any more and policies of deliberated destruction of welfare and civil society, openly provoked mass unrest or revolution and instigated natural growth of working class movements in self defense. Warmongering was classical ploy against discontented population used many times in history and nor mere speculation.

Spreading of fear of global anihilation among populations is the ultimate objective of this unheard of verbal and acting belligerence on world stage, which upon examination of basic socioeconomic facts especially soundness and calm of global financial system indicates mood of world peace and love among oligarchic elites who have a good thing going while sheeple are orderly dying of starvation and fear.

But I guess even on this quite brainy blog people are more interested in menacing tabloid surrealism than boring naked truth. Otherwise, b would not have much to write about in his devastating reports on masive MSM lying, with implicit hope that one day may be NYT writes some truth.

It ain's gonna happen b , their business is lies yours it seems is to skillfully debunk them, these are ironically two sides of the same coin of unsubstantiated hope of making any difference anymore.


Posted by: Kalen | Apr 30, 2018 3:16:34 PM | 38

Posted by: ben | May 1, 2018 4:54:29 PM | 44

@ 42
Russia's presence in the ME also riles the US because it flaunts the Carter Doctrine.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 4:59:59 PM | 45

Posted by: ben | May 1, 2018 4:54:29 PM | 46
I understand your reasoning, but I don't believe the global elites are in sync; I do believe that they are jockeying for position to try and eat each other's lunch.
Just because no blood is split at Davos or any other of their Kool Kids gatherings doesn't mean they are united in plan or policy. Absolutely, minions are not of any importance to them, but neither do they value each other. Think of the globalists worldview as you would that of a shark tank.

Posted by: frances | May 1, 2018 5:03:21 PM | 46

Red Ryder @42,

These are all very good points. However, what nags at my perhaps paranoid soul are the possibilities opened up by just two of them:

A. Unless Israel can convince the US to destroy Russia directly, it will lose the rivalry for hegemony over the ME.

B. The only Israeli game plan that makes sense is if Iran can be suckered into a war that costs it Hezbollah and most of the Syrian Army.

"A" gives Israel a very strong incentive to orchestrate some kind of direct engagement between Russia and the U.S. If Israel's hegemony over the ME really is at stake, then is the risk of WWIII a big enough *dis*incentive to prevent the orchestration of a hot conflict between US and Russia? I am not so sure.

"B" strikes me as true. But any war costing Iran Hezbollah and most of the Syrian army is going to be a war that pretty much destroys Israel as well. No? And yet Israel *does* seem to be suckering Iran into hot war, in the hopes that the U.S. will be forced to come to Israel's defense.

But in *this* scenario, you now have the U.S. running into war on behalf of Israel against Iran--and this is *precisely* the kind of large-scale war Russia does not want to "allow."

I certainly hope you are right and I just *am* being paranoid. But I worry sometimes that some of the more knowledgeable and experienced analysts and strategists on this site assume that something like a basic rationality of self-interest informs all of the relevant state actors in play here, as it (theoretically) should. But in the case of Israel and the U.S., I'm not sure this is a safe assumption to make. (Not saying it's your assumption; just trying to explain myself.)

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 5:03:29 PM | 47

Iran has just announced it will "surprise" Israel. My first thought was might Iran grant dual Iranian citizenship to all of the Palestinians in Gaza and demand Iran be able to negotiate on their behalf? Sigh, probably not.

Posted by: frances | May 1, 2018 5:11:12 PM | 48

That would be hilarious though.

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 5:19:24 PM | 49

Iran's FM Zarif gave an important talk at CFR recently, in which he promoted the importance of dialog. He also mentioned hegemony:

And something which is most important to realize: the era of hegemonic influence is long gone. I’m not talking about the United States. The United States did try, after the Cold War, all the way—I mean, first Iraq War, you remember, new world order, then new American century, all of that—didn’t work.
I’m talking about our region. Neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia can be the hegemons of the region. That’s a fact. We need to realize and appreciate this fact, however heartbreaking it may be. None of us can become this new hegemon. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 5:24:02 PM | 50

It might also be worthwhile to discuss again what Israel's objectives really are. obviously there's a degree where Netanyahu's obsession with Iran is irrational, and he's faced with prosecution. Though the prosecution problem could be solved by another attack on Gaza.

Evidently the original aim of an attack on Iran was to reduce it to confusion, in the Libyan style. And to cut Iranian support for Hizbullah. But, you know, Hizbullah now have a stack of missiles, enough to reduce Israel to a queue of people at Lod airport waiting for their flight out.

Invading Syria by land, as Mother of God suggests, is out, as although the initial invasion would succeed, Israel would be left in a worse situation than today, because they would have an open border, easily crossed by Jihadis.

The Israeli militaristic policy towards its neighbours started in 1948, according to Avi Shlaim's Iron Wall. Initially it was much disputed, and the first raids were unofficial. But militarism gained place in the government, and now rules everywhere. But it's reached its limit. There's nowhere to go.

What will an American attack on Iran, on behalf of Israel, achieve? The answer is nothing. Unless you believe the Iranian exiles in the States, who are feeding constantly the idea into Washington, that the Iranian regime is about to fall. That's wrong. The Iranian regime is actually popular. They're a populist regime. But the Iranian exiles still believe in their aristocratic divine right to rule.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 1, 2018 5:26:40 PM | 51

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 5:19:24 PM | 51
Thanks, I think it would be awesome, any chance Iranian leadership reads this blog:)

Posted by: frances | May 1, 2018 5:35:09 PM | 52

Bibi is playing the end game for Israel. He is grinding the last of the Palestinians out and will drive them to Lebanon and Syria. That is the 'something big going on' that many have mentioned.

This is the ashkenazi move to ethnically cleanse Israel - to finally expel Palestinians under the cover of some Syrian/Iran sideshow. Israel military will seize all essential environmental resources under hezbolah control and secure its agricultural needs in a greater Israel. And they will claim they have now created an enduring peace, that we can all stay asleep and all will be good forever after.

Always ask: what is the highest goal in Israel's self interest and purity of the Jewish state is likely up there alongside absolute dominance.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 1, 2018 5:45:13 PM | 53

The most successful US policy in recent years against its enemies has been sanctions, not military action. Because, of course, the US controls the financial networks, and a country excluded will suffer, which led to Obama's agreement with Iran.

Netanyahu wanting war with Iran is old-fashioned, and pointless.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 1, 2018 5:47:16 PM | 54


#42 red ryder has it essentially correct in assessing Russia's strategic and local mid-east views, interests and strategies.

"....So, from Russian strategic position it now holds, no war on a large scale is allowable. Russia can manage Turkey and Kurds, Syria and US bases, Israel and Hezbollah, and all the leftover ISIS and AQ insurgencies... But,for certain, Russia is not going to give anything to Israel. Russia needs Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah to deal with CENTCOM, the Arabs, Israel and NATO..."


Russia basically wants business with all these nations, including even Israel; it does not want to provoke wars but to settle things by negotiations and making deals, that's why Putin again and again has stressed international laws, agreements (like the nuclear deal with Iran) and respect for sovereignty, etc etc.....& also for example moving Turkey more into its orbit and farther out from Nato's influence using all the carrots (and sticks) of a very resource-rich economic super-power that also undoubtedly has some of the best defensive and offensive weapons in the world.

US policy in the long run is a loser, it has outsourced much of its manufacturing base, its middle class and lower classes are suffering, and worst of all for the world its foreign policy relies almost entirely on using the big stick method, everything from the 'soft power' of economic sanctions, currency manipulations, withdrawal of foreign aid, right up to internal subversion, regime change, armed attacks, invasion and occupation.


Posted by: michaelj72 | May 1, 2018 5:51:37 PM | 55

@52
FM Zarif also, at CFR, addressed the Iran economy and unemployment.

You see, our economic indicators are very good: 8 percent growth. Eight percent growth in today’s world is one of the best. Between 700(,000) and 900,000 new jobs every year—even here that would be a good figure.
From 45 percent inflation to single-digit inflation last year—these are good numbers, but every year 1.2 million people enter the job market in Iran. We can only produce 900 (sic) new jobs. Three hundred thousand people—
HADLEY: Nine hundred thousand.
ZARIF: Nine hundred thousand new jobs. Three hundred thousand people are added to the pool of unemployed every year. That creates discontent, disappointment. People expected—in spite of all these good numbers, people expected more, because—and here we get to the failure of the international community—people expected the international community to perform in the same manner we performed under the nuclear deal.
We had 11 reports of the IAEA saying that Iran performed. But since President Trump came to office, not a single license has been issued, not a single OFAC license, in 16 months. So the United States is already in violation. And people say, what happened? What happened to all the promises that engagement with the international community would produce economic dividends? And that leads to resentment.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 5:57:35 PM | 56

It seems like the latest twist in the IFUKUS zio-startegy will be to cut off Iran (by mainting a foothold East Syria & West Iraq) and using these areas to partition Syria and to continue attacking Iranin/Syrian assets in Syria (possibly in Iran proper if all else fails) provoking Iran and thereby dragging FUKUS into another conflict. All of this ongoing domestic sideshow (Trump war is Deep State) will be used to distract people in the US from these foreign provocations

The days of ISIS controlling territory and terrorizing the people of Syria are coming to an end,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday
...
This is intriguing, because the only remaining IS presence is near the Iraqi border, with a pocket south of Damascus currently being cleared out by Syrian government forces
...
Nauert also said the US will ensure there is a “strong and lasting footprint” in Syria so that IS cannot return and the liberated populations “are not exploited by the Assad regime or its Iranian supporters.”
...
US statements supporting the territorial integrity of Syria “are only words” that serve as cover for “plans to partition Syria,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday, after a meeting with Turkish and Iranian officials in Moscow. Lavrov had also warned earlier this year about Western plans to partition Syria.

The US and its allies intend to occupy the eastern part of Syria and partition the country, in order to “use the Sunnis in East Syria and West Iraq to form a barricade to stop any Iranian influence and cut off supplies to Hezbollah.”

Washington’s objectives are aligned with the axis between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Maloof added, with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hoping the US will fight Iran for Israel.

“They will go alone if they have to and drag the US into it,” Maloof told RT. “We’re getting sucked into another war.”
...
“ISIS is a sideshow. The real US targets are the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian backers,” Jatras said. “The stage is being set for a confrontation with Iran, in which Syria is simply one theater.”

“The reference to Christians is simply cynical. It is intended to make Americans think we give a damn about Syria’s Christians, despite seven years of arming and funding jihadists for whom Christians are prime targets for murder and enslavement,” Jatras explained.


https://www.rt.com/usa/425608-us-syria-isis-partition/

Posted by: jsb | May 1, 2018 5:58:35 PM | 57

Laguerre 53

Popularity of a government or leader or regime is not a guarantee that
a well led "color Revolution" will fail.

There have been instances of very popular government succumbing to
well orchestrated and funded "regime change " operations.

There are always, in any country people longing for power and riches
and impervious enough to the well being of their compatriots to
play into the hands of those that promise riches and POWER.

Look at Muammar Gaddafi's demise! what else could a Lybian want?
Cuddled from birth to death, financed all the way to riches, swiss style
local decisions..
And yet...

JC "Baby Doc" Duvalier was very popular at the time of his removal from
power. Probably the best Chief of State Haiti had in the past 70 years.
But the CIA and the State Dept. obtained his resignation in two years.

Dilma Youssef was certainly popular but through hook and crook she was
ousted from power. Making a travesty of justice is easy with cash loaded
suitcases. And killing any dissenting judge is as easy as sabotaging his
private plane.

There are many other examples of this.

Economic elites do not like social oriented governments that reduce their
profits. And will find a way to ditch all regimes that do not play victorian
capitalistic schemes of government.

Posted by: CarlD | May 1, 2018 5:59:36 PM | 58

@ 56 & 58
So by Laguerre's reasoning more suffering Iranians should lead to a new agreement.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 6:00:36 PM | 59

Agree with Laguerre @53--Review.

Outlaw US Empire Zionists did their utmost to make the Yinon Plan reality and failed. Next to that Empire and its twin UK the Zionist state is a global pariah far worse than South Africa. Its behavior is such that no amount of political cover by the Empire and its vassals can save it from its fate, which eventually will be similar to South Africa's. The only real remaining question: How many more will die to forestall the death of the artificial state of Israel and return of Palestine. I don't begrudge Hebrews a place within their natural surround; Zionists, however, don't belong anywhere; their thought--and those sharing it--must become extinct as there's no room on this planet for their kind.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 1, 2018 6:02:30 PM | 60

karlofi@13 & others
Michael Hudson has a website which contains his articles and interviews that you discussed, + more.
http://michael-hudson.com/category/interviews/
http://michael-hudson.com/category/articles/
http://michael-hudson.com/

Posted by: mauisurfer | May 1, 2018 6:05:02 PM | 61

Why does everyone assume that Israel or US would wage a traditional war against Iran?

Much more effective to attack Hez in Lebanon, isn’t it?

Instead of waiting for a barrage from Hez, strike them first under the catch-all excuse: “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

Taking southern Lebanon and continuing to destabilize Syria is a better strategy than attacking Iran directly I think.

Also, I think Bibi &crew have convinced themselves that Israel has to expand or have pliable neighbors as a strategic necessity.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1, 2018 6:10:08 PM | 62

Posted by: jsb | May 1, 2018 5:58:35 PM | 59

The US plan to partition Syria is dead. We're just waiting for the US to admit it. Trump was right in wanting to withdraw from Syria.

Even the Rojavan Kurds, under US constraint, are ready to make a deal with Asad.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 1, 2018 6:12:48 PM | 63

@Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 4:59:59 PM | 47
Indeed, everyone thinks Carter is the oh so cuddly Uncle Jimmy, but the Carter doctrine is what started the whole modern ME mess. The Neo-conservatives that followed after with their "New American Century" just wrote implementation plans for what Carter laid out.

Posted by: Bakerpete | May 1, 2018 6:16:20 PM | 64

Laguerre @65

But can you believe Trump.

After the latest missile attack ( or just before), b wrote a post that noted that Before the *first* missile attack one year ago, Trump was saying that he had no interest in Syria. It appeared (back then) that Trump was ready to leave Syria. Of course, that didn’t happen.
.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1, 2018 6:19:25 PM | 65

Carter signed what Zbig put in front of him.

Posted by: lysias | May 1, 2018 6:24:09 PM | 66

@Jackrabbit 64
Much more effective to attack Hez in Lebanon, isn’t it?
That didn't turn out so well the last time they tried it, 2006, and Hez is more dug in with more missiles now.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 6:27:31 PM | 67

Jackrabbit @64,

Can Iran afford simply not to respond at all to such a concerted attack upon Hezbollah in Lebanon and/or Syria?
I am doubtful that it can. The consequence would simply be Israel's gaining readier access to attack Iran directly. From the Israeli point of view, a non-destroyed Iran is simply an Iran that will patiently go about rebuilding and refunding Hezbollah in whatever area it has been forced to retreat to. Perhaps the cycle will just adjust and then repeat itself again. But I think Israel feels that it's time to act decisively to secure or forever lose its hold on the ME is fast narrowing.

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 6:29:54 PM | 68

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 6:00:36 PM | 61

So by Laguerre's reasoning more suffering Iranians should lead to a new agreement.
That might be possible. But that's not what Netanyahu wants. He wants war.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 1, 2018 6:33:44 PM | 69

@Laguerre 71
Netanyahu wants war.
I assume that there are more rational heads in Israel who would recognize the facts on the ground.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 6:38:58 PM | 70

The isolation of and threat of war against Iran could just be a way of trying to leverage Russia to compromise on Syria. It doesn't look like the US or Israel has any way of attacking Iranian interests on a large scale without risking serious casualities and lasting political repercussions at home or abroad.

Israel needs only to be sufficiently bitch-slapped during one of its constant incursions into Lebanese and Syrian airspace to stop its nonsensical escalation. The best hope for peace would undoubtedly be for Syria to down a few Israeli F-16s or F-35s.

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 6:42:04 PM | 71

@Laguerre 71 #2
Do you mean war on Iran in Syria?

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 6:43:50 PM | 72

Which is why I agree with those Russian generals rumored to disagree with Putin's apparent decision to continually dangle before his Western partners the *possibility* of the sale of the S-300 to Syria; he should just fucking sell it to them already according to his own (correct) premises that the US can't abide by any agreement it makes in any case.

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 6:46:49 PM | 73

from a Newsweel article quoting Michael Eisenstadt, director of military and security studies at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank with close ties to the Israeli military--

Eisenstadt, who has closely studied Soleimani’s tactics, says he expects the Iranian military leader will press ahead with his strategy to turn Syria into a missile platform against Israel. The role of the estimated 2,000 Iranian troops now in Syria, he adds, is to set up the military infrastructure for that endeavor, including factories to produce sophisticated GPS-guided missiles with increased accuracy to hit high-value military and economic targets in Israel. Once this has been accomplished, he said, Soleimani will turn these bases over to Hezbollah and allied Shiite militias. “The goal is to surround Israel on almost every side with proxies equipped with rockets to be able to bombard Israel,” Eisenstadt says. “He wants to do in Syria what he did for Hezbollah in Lebanon and, to a lesser extent, for Hamas in Gaza.” . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 6:49:50 PM | 74

Don Bacon @76,

Thank you for this. Note that the Iranian strategy of ballistic countermeasures against Israeli land targets is premised in part on the assumption of Israel's continued domination of the region's airspace. A robust Syrian air defense--which would have to include a full array of strategically located S-300s--would mitigate the need for Iran to target Israel ballistically from Syria.

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 6:54:53 PM | 75

Okay, on to geopolitics.

I suggest this new item by Alastair Crooke and then this article he links to get a handle on the nuances within Great Game III, which I've called the Hybrid Third World War between the Outlaw US Empire's seeking Full Spectrum Dominance and the rising Multinational Alliance's core members China, Russia and Iran. Within this Game, the Zionist state actually has next to no role to play--it's essentially inconsequential except for its exceptional genocidal racism. Within this new Great Game, which is the more important player--Saudi Arabia or the Zionist state? Saudi Arabia, of course, until it no longer has hydrocarbons to export; then, neither will matter much. And here I must allude to Hudson's essay I linked to as much of this Game is about the future form of finance and the role its allowed.

Admittedly, there's a lot to digest reading all these essays on top of continuing to be informed of the Now. IMO, as things now stand, the Outlaw US Empire will lose Great Game III unless it drastically changes its direction, which is currently unlikely until 2020, and is in no way a sure thing then. Hudson's adamant that the 2008 meltdown was never recovered from in the West and that its ripe for another episode. Perhaps knowing it's impotent is why promoting Chaos seems to be the #1 goal of Imperial policy as only it wins in the short run, although some understand its downside--losing in the long run.

Psychohistorian, check your yahoo email!

Posted by: karlof1 | May 1, 2018 6:59:49 PM | 76

re Don 74

Do you mean war on Iran in Syria?
No, what I mean is that war on Iran is out of date. It won't achieve what Netanyahu wants. It would only consolidate Islamo-nationalism in Iran.

From what I understand of Iranian opinion, it's quite complicated, but it's certain that a US attack on Iran would consolidate opinion behind the government, rather than weakening it.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 1, 2018 7:08:31 PM | 77

@WJ 77
It looks to me that the nature of land combat is changing because of the advances in missile propulsion and targeting technology. Notice the last offensive the US made was with missiles, aircraft not invited. Iran especially (and Hez) has few piloted air assets, and lots of missiles. So it's sort of a MAD situation. You send me some destruction and you'll get some in return.
This revolution is being fought by the big aircraft manufacturers, of course, the Boeings and Lockheeds, they're making a mint on F-35, but there's a shortage of pilots and who needs them anyhow when a less expensive missile can do the same job maybe better.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 7:10:06 PM | 78

Wars can't (usually) be won without boots on the ground. Troops in boots have to occupy the country and subdue the locals who don't want foreigners in their country. Just like we would feel. It took the mighty(?) US Army four years just to subdue Baghdad fifteen years ago.
Currently the US Army is having recruiting problems because 71% of youth 17-24 are ineligible, can't qualify. Too fat, mostly. They say they don't change the standards, which is correct, they just issue waivers. These guys are going to subdue Persians in their homeland, people who died by the tens of thousands resisting US-supported Iraq not so long ago, with Iraq using US- and German-supplied chemical weapons? . . . Fuggedaboutit! . . . And Israelis wouldn't fare any better, methinks.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 1, 2018 7:20:17 PM | 79

re Don 81

And Israelis wouldn't fare any better, methinks.
Young Israelis don't want to go to war any more. They've done their bit. New war, going back to the old, is not that interesting.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 1, 2018 7:32:06 PM | 80

- And here in the US the warmongering has gone into overdrive. Two videos from "Newshounds":

http://www.newshounds.us/warmongering_iran_fox_news_pushes_nobel_peace_prize_for_trump_maybe_two_050118

(Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize ?? OMG !! Obama didn't deserve the Peace Prize either)


http://www.newshounds.us/iraqi_yellowcake_again_fox_news_pushes_trump_withdraw_iranian_nuclear_deal_050118

- I like that new name for FOX News: "Trump TV".

Posted by: Willy2 | May 1, 2018 7:54:44 PM | 81

I really respect Michael Hudson, but he is wrong about Cyril "really introducing into Christianity the idea of the Trinity. The Nicene Creed actually spells it out, although christians would point to sources in the Gospels as well. The creed was adopted 50 years before Cyril was born.

Posted by: juliania | May 1, 2018 7:56:11 PM | 82

- Trump is being played like a fiddle.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 1, 2018 8:13:14 PM | 83

'Posted by: james | May 1, 2018 1:06:37 PM | 2';

pic at bottom is from a Sharmine Narwani tweet and used by Haaretz

Posted by: brian | May 1, 2018 8:16:45 PM | 84

Posted by: Willy2 | May 1, 2018 8:13:14 PM | 85

It was him who asked for Bolton and Pompeo?

Posted by: somebody | May 1, 2018 8:17:39 PM | 85

Juliana @84,

I too greatly admire the work of Hudson but he consistently errs and oversimplifies whenever discussing the beliefs of and the development of beliefs among preNicene followers of the way (as Acts puts is) or Christians (as they came to be known in Antioch within roughly eight or nine decades after Jesus' death.) Palestinian Judaism in the time of Jesus was much more variegated than scholars even twenty years ago had recognized. The gradual reception and interpretation of the Dead Sea Scrolls in tandem with renewed research into Phili of Alexandria, the Essenes, the so-called Sons of Zadok, contemporary Galilean zealot movements styles after the earlier Maccabean resistance, the apocalyptism of post exilic texts like Daniel and (presumably) parts of Enoch--all paint a picture of a highly diverse group of alternatives to the state-Church once known as Second Temple Judaism that has been mistaken as undisputed Jewish "orthodoxy" since the advent of historical criticism. The Gospel of John, for example, which dates from betweeen 80-120 and is the record of a much earlier oral tradition, is already explicitly binitarian, and possibly already trinitarian depending on how one understands the relationship between the Spirit or Advocate and the Son. (Most ante-Nicene Christians understood the Spirit to be *Christ's* own spirit in distributed form, and they did so by appeal to a well-developed but still largely under recognized strand in Jewish angelology.) The "theological" development of Christianity occurred much sooner that it has been thought because it emerged from an already highly theologized strand or strands of Jewish teaching that, like Christianity itself, privileged the Abrahamic covenant over the Mosaic Law, the testament of grace over that of works, and the universal scope of revelation and salvation as opposed to any political or ethnic reading of the "Kingdom." None of these groups were part of the ruling class of Judaean priests and levites and their hangers on the Pharisees. In John, for instance most of the references to what in English is translated as "the Jews" are in Greek clearly references to "the Judaeans"--and especially to the ruling elite among the southern tribe in bed with the Romans. So the anti-Judaism/Semiti of John's Gispel largely rests on a mistranslation. In any event, everything is much more complex than Hudson makes it out to be. Christian economic radicalism is alive and well in the thought of Gregory of Nysa and Basil the Great, who also happened to be Cappadocian fathers highly influential in the development of "orthodox" Trinitarianism in the fourth century. I still think that Hudson's big picture critique of the direction later Christianity took is helpful and necessary, but this doesn't change the fact that he simplifies the origins, development, and arguably devolution of this movement whenever he tries to get specific. It is a worthwhile danger given the quality of his work in historical economics, but still one to be aware of.

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 8:23:40 PM | 86

"... Mossad operatives broke into the [Tehran warehouse building] one night last January [2016], removed the original documents and smuggled them back to Israel the same night, the official [speaking on conditions of anonymity] said ..."

Did they remember to leave their passports (with the personal details stolen from other people's passports) behind?

If no fake passports were found, then that's one indication that Israel is lying as is also the anonymity of the senior Israeli official telling the story.

Posted by: Jen | May 1, 2018 8:24:59 PM | 87

WJ, Dr. Hudson is so strong in his condemnation of Cyril I we find his source but could not. Most certainly Alexandria was a hotbed of violence in his time, but the only reference to Hypatias horrible murder that implicated the bishop comes from Neoplatonist historian Damascius, and that account sounds like hearsay to me. Prof. Hudson appears confused a Cyril is an Orthodox saint.

Posted by: juliania | May 1, 2018 8:41:13 PM | 88

"...I WENT TO..."

Posted by: juliania | May 1, 2018 8:42:20 PM | 89

So now Bibi is playing Tweedledee to Trump's Tweedledum. Or vice versa. Either way, very sad.

Let's make one thing clear. Israel is NOT a Jewish state. The "State of Israel" has almost nothing to do with traditional Judaism. The "State of Israel" is a nation like all the other nations, which was - and remains - the Zionist goal. Do not be confused about this.

Posted by: Swamp Fox | May 1, 2018 8:48:14 PM | 90

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 6:46:49 PM | 75
re the much delayed s-300's
There is a very recent video interview of Assad in which he says the s-300s have arrived.
The Russians said they were considering selling the s-300s to Syria. Then I saw an article that said Russia was going to give them (for free) to Syria. If you think about it; if some s-300s are currently Russian and if they are being "given" to Syria, then both stories; that Russia is considering selling them and Russia gave them for free are true. Tricky rascals those Russians:)

Posted by: frances | May 1, 2018 9:07:40 PM | 91

Netanyahoo, can I borrow your powerpoint tech guy? That was a great powerpoint. I have a powerpoint presentation for a college class I have, and I didn't study or research so I need to bs my way to at least a B.

Posted by: Toxik | May 1, 2018 9:25:05 PM | 92

- One also has to keep in mind that Netanjahu (and his wife Sarah) is involved in a corruption lawsuit. No wonder, he wants to distract the people from his legal troubles.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 1, 2018 10:03:07 PM | 93

Take note the Mueller is about to make another move against Trump. The Deep State must be ready for their next attack in the ME--Iran, perhaps, this time. Where's that carrier group that left for those parts a couple of weeks ago?

Posted by: Paul | May 1, 2018 10:11:58 PM | 94

@13 / 78 karlof1... thanks very much for the links to michael hudson, alastair crooke and the bruno maraces articles...

they were all good for different reasons, but although hudson is being criticized for glossing over some of his talking points, i think the main thrust of his article is very worthwhile for others to read! the quote to end his article is quite good "The question is, who do you want to run the economy? The 1% and the financial sector, or the 99% through politics? The fight has to be in the political sphere, because there’s no other sphere that the financial interests cannot crush you on."

it seems to me that the usa has worked hard to bad mouth or get rid of government and the concept of government being involved in anything.. of course everything has to be run by a 'private corp' - ie corporations must run everything.. they call them oligarchs when talking about russia, lol - but they are corporations when they are in the usa.. slight rant..

another quote i especially liked from hudson.. "They call themselves free marketers, but they realize that you cannot have neoliberalism unless you’re willing to murder and assassinate everyone who promotes an alternative." that sounds about right...

@ 84 juliania.. aside from your comments on hudsons characterization of st paul "the anti-Semite Cyril of Alexandria" further down hudson basically does the same with father coughlin - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Coughlin.. he gets the anti-semite tag as well.. i don't know much about either characters, so it's mostly greek to me, but i do find some of hudsons views especially appealing - debt forgiveness being central to the whole article as i read it...

it is interesting my own view on how money is so central to the world and how often times i am incapable of avoiding the observation of the disproportionate number of jewish people in banking.. i guess that makes me anti-semite too, but i don't think of myself that way.. i think the obsession with money is killing the planet.. i don't care who is responsible for keeping it going, it is killing us...

Posted by: james | May 1, 2018 10:30:01 PM | 95

@86 brian.. thanks.. i was unaware of that..

Posted by: james | May 1, 2018 10:30:34 PM | 96

Willy2 @85: Trump is being played like a fiddle.

I disagree. I think the plubic is being played as described @31 and @33.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1, 2018 10:47:30 PM | 97

typo: public

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1, 2018 10:48:09 PM | 98

James @86,

Just so long as you remember that most of the strongest and most moving condemnations of greed and money in the ancient and (today) western world are also Jewish--i.e. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, the Gospels, Letter of James, etc.
The history of Jewish banking after the fall or Rome is inextricable from cultural anti-judaism of Christian west and east and de facto marginalization/ghettoization of Jews from most aspects of social life. The Jewish lending of money on interest to gentiles was both necessary for early mercantilist trade and yet usury was prohibited by the church. So Jewish money lenders were essential to and yet ostracized within European economies for centuries. Now Christianity has itself long given up on the tradition teaching against usury of course.

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 10:48:58 PM | 99

Frances,

I would need to see that confirmed. Do you have another source?

Posted by: WJ | May 1, 2018 10:50:42 PM | 100

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