Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 21, 2018

Trump's New Campaign Against Iran Will Not Achieve Its Aims

The Trump administration made it perfectly clear today that it wants regime change in Iran by whatever means it has.

In a well promoted speech at the Heritage Foundation Secretary of State Pompeo laid out twelve demands towards Iran. He threatened the "strongest sanctions in history" if those demands were not fulfilled.

But the demands do not make sense. They only demonstrate the incompetence of the Trump administration. The means the Trump administration laid out to achieve its aims are not realistic and, even if they were implementable, insufficient to achieve the desired results.

Iran is asked to stop all uranium enrichment. Stopping enrichment is a no-go for Iran. The program has wide support in Iranian politics as it is seen as an attribute its sovereignty.

Pompeo demands that Iran closes its heavy water reactor. Iran can not close its heavy water reactor. It does not have one. The one it was building in Arak was disabled under the nuclear agreement (JCPOA). Concrete was poured into its core under supervision of IAEA inspectors. How can the Secretary of State of the United States make such a fact-free demand in a prepared speech?

Another demand is that Iran ends its support for the Palestinian resistance. This is also a no-go for Iran as long as the Zionist occupation of Palestine continues. There is a demand that Iran does not develop "nuclear capable" missiles. Iran had already committed to that under the JCPOA Trump killed. Another demand is that Iran pulls back all troops from Syria,and ends all interference in Iraq, Yemen,  Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Together these demands ask for a wholesale change of Iran's national character and policies. It is apparently supposed to become Lichtenstein.

The Trump administration has no way to achieve that goal.

With painstaking work the Obama administration managed to get much of the world to agree to sanctions on Iran. It was possible because the other countries trusted Obama's assurances that he would keep his side of the deal and seriously negotiate. International unity and trust was necessary to achieve the nuclear agreement.

Now Trump wants much more but he has no united international front behind him. No one trusts his word. The Europeans are enraged that Trump s threatens them with secondary sanctions if they stick to the agreement they signed and continue to deal with Iran. While they may eventually fold and to some extend stop dealing with Iran, they will also try to circumvent those unilateral U.S. sanctions.

Neither China nor Russia nor India will stop doing business with Iran. For them the unilateral U.S. sanctions are opening new markets. The French oil company Total announced that it will stop the development of Iran's South Pars gas field to avoid secondary U.S. sanctions on its other interests. China said "thank you" and took over the work. Russia will likewise jump in where it can. Its agricultural industry will deliver whatever food stuff Iran wants and needs. It will continue to sell weapons to Iran. China, India and others will continue to buy Iranian oil.

The Trump administration will cause some economic pain. It will also make the U.S. and Europe weaker and Russia and China stronger. The threat of secondary sanctions will eventually lead to the creation of a sanction-secure parallel global economy. The SWIFT banking information exchange which routes international payments between banks can be replaced by country to country systems that do not depend an sanctionable institutions. The U.S. dollar as a universal exchange medium can be avoided by using other currencies or barter. The nonsensical use of economic and financial sanction will end up destroying the U.S. ability to use them as a tool of foreign policy.

The Pompeo speech will unite the people in Iran. The moderate neoliberals around the current president Rouhani will join the nationalist hardliners in their resistance. The demands go way beyond what any Iranian government could concede. An Iran in which the will of its people counts will never agree to them.

The only way the Trump administration could possibly reach its aims is by regime change. But regime change has already been tried in the current Iran and it failed. The "green revolution" was strongly supported by Obama. But it was easily derailed and failed. Various assassination campaigns within Iran did not change its policies. Iran's size and geography make a direct military campaign like in Libya impossible. Iran can retaliate against any strike by hitting U.S. interests in the Gulf.

The U.S. can and likely will continue to attack Iranian forces and interests in Syria and elsewhere. Its military will hassle Iran in the Gulf. The CIA will try to fuel internal Iranian unrest.  Mounting sanctions will damage the Iranian economy. But none of this can change Iran's national spirit as expressed in its foreign policy.

A year or two from now the Trump administration will find that its sanction campaign failed. There will be a push for a direct military attack on Iran. But plans for such an attack were also made under George W. Bush. Back then the Pentagon advised that such a war would cause it very serious losses and was still likely to fail. I therefore doubt that it will ever happen.

What else then is there that the Trump administration can do when its announced Plan A has failed?

 

Posted by b on May 21, 2018 at 02:21 PM | Permalink

Comments
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The US is running up against the limits of what being the World's bullt can achieve. It would find it much more productive to make friends and partners but that wouldn't suit one ally in particular who is an even bigger bully.

Posted by: JohninMK | May 21, 2018 2:42:01 PM | 1

Oppps, typo, "World's biggest bully"

Posted by: JohninMK | May 21, 2018 2:42:58 PM | 2

"Iran had already committed to that under the JCPOA Trump killed".

With respect, Mr Trump did not "kill" the JCPOA. He could not do that, as the USA was only one party to the agreement. What he has tried to do is to withdraw unilaterally, refusing to carry out the USA's obligations. That leaves Iran and the other parties to carry on as before.

All that has been accomplished is to demonstrate that the US government's word is worth nothing - if there was any single person in the world who had not already noticed that - and to raise the question: what on earth has Iran and its government to do with the USA?

Posted by: Tom Welsh | May 21, 2018 2:47:00 PM | 3

The odious Pompeo's ultimatum, or ukase, or bucket list for Iran is so irrational and unworkable on its face that either: 1) the stewards of the declining US/Western hegemon are consumed by delusional exceptionalist madness, or 2) this is another ploy, gimmick, "sales"/marketing tactic.

These options may not be mutually exclusive; this appallingly bumptious, imperious tone may be part of the well-known foreign-policy "Madman" strategy, in which heads of state and high-ranking government officials deliberately employ the rhetoric of reckless berserkers to intimidate and frighten both allies and enemies alike.

It resonates with the approach to Syria and Russia: keep "poking" target governments with vicious, insulting provocations in hopes of triggering an intemperate response.

Posted by: Ort | May 21, 2018 2:48:42 PM | 4

Pompeo should read what happened when Austria-Hungary tried to bully Serbia in mid-1914 with a similar ultimatum. Hint: Serbia refused and it didn't go well for either side. The US problem is that Iran is more powerful than Serbia was and is backed by a more powerful Russia than the 1914 one.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 21, 2018 3:08:47 PM | 5

I don't know the percentage of numbskulls, but it is a large one, that believes that Obama gave Iran $150 billion as a gift. Why wouldn't they believe that. It was all over the news and it is still on the internet tubes.

These numbskulls really enjoy the tough talking cowboy style. Gets them all excited and MAGA while their social security gets robbed.

Perhaps the most important thing to "appreciate" is that our "representatives" know with great certainty that they can tell lies that will be accepted as truth. And no one in the mainstream will dispute them.

Posted by: fastfreddy | May 21, 2018 3:27:57 PM | 6

Pompeo is now in competition with Nikki Haley for the best Trump and Israel's ass licker. Threats after threats...
Let's see what Nikki will add to the Pompeo's list. She must to keep up her position.
The USA is becoming a laughing stock for the world, and together with Netanyahu and Bolton its leaders are perceived as inept but dangerous clowns.
On wonders if they will survive more than a year in their job

Posted by: Virgile | May 21, 2018 3:32:27 PM | 7

The only thing the US has in its favor--at least in the short term, before unilateral sanctions push more countries to abandon the petro-dollar--is its ability to inflict massive harm on other countries and companies through sanctions. The US can't change Iran's behavior, but they can punish a lot of EU companies who do business in Iran in the meantime.

Posted by: worldblee | May 21, 2018 3:33:31 PM | 8

Perhaps most obviously hypocritical section of Pompeo's speech, per the RT report on the Heritage event:

Speaking directly to the Iranian people, Pompeo claimed that “President [Hassan] Rouhani and Foreign Minister [Javad] Zarif… are your elected leaders. Are they not the most responsible for your economic struggles?" He added: “The United States believes you deserve better.”

Pompeo wants to pretend as though the US cares about the Iranian people by telling them that they deserve better leaders...than those the *Iranian people themselves* have "elected"! Democracy is only valid when its results align with US interests, but any form of government is also valid when its leaders do the bidding of US interests. It's so patently stupid I can't believe the silly "address to the people" schtick was even included at all.

Posted by: WJ | May 21, 2018 3:42:48 PM | 9

Thank god these Netanyahu ass kissers only have two years left. I sincerely doubt that trump will be re-elected. Let’s hope trump drives Europe to a more independent foreign policy. I suspect Europe will resist for at least a short period.

Posted by: Alaric | May 21, 2018 3:43:16 PM | 10

Such a stance is doomed to failure from the outset. If Trump were an Iranian asset bent on isolating and sabotaging the US, he wouldn't conduct himself much differently. Maybe that's it, maybe the mullahs promised him a bag of gold and a temporary marriage.

Posted by: dervish | May 21, 2018 3:46:44 PM | 11

What do you make of Elijah's latest column?

Posted by: CuChulainn | May 21, 2018 3:47:43 PM | 12

Today's reportage on Pompeo's list of demands appears quite different than his earlier postures of being willing to negotiate a broadening out of JCPOA strictures. Also, it would appear that he is far more belligerent, following the Israeli, Saudi, Kushner/Adelsen script. Could this be attributable Rouhani's arrival in New York on UN business, alongside the arrival of the European delegation to discuss these issues with the current administration?

Apparently Pompeo and Mninuchin are unaware that both China and the USSR are building (if not already moving into place), alternatives to the SWIFT system, at which time US sanctions will be far less effective. The chronic bullying with sanctions (Syria, Yemen, Iran, USSR, Venezuela) is only accelerating movement to the petro-yuan. We are simply accelerating a process of Eurasian integration wherein the US is financially isolated, with country after country dumping our Treasuries after which time, the only route for the US is currency devaluation given past fiscal imprudence.

This is an administration which has written a play book for amplifying every weakness of the US while at the same time, antagonizing friends and enemies both. Trump focusses on Jerusalem while Washington burns with corruption, ill fated and destructive foreign and domestic policies.

Posted by: abierno | May 21, 2018 3:48:03 PM | 13

Dear Iranian People: The United States wants to help you. The same way it is helping Syria. It would really love to help you the same way it helped Iraq and Libya. That is the "deluxe help package".

Posted by: fastfreddy | May 21, 2018 3:53:04 PM | 14

Israeli appeasement and oil price correction.
Low prices were hurting the wrong players for too long and not achieving their aims.
Dusty and pathetic theater by has been hacks.
Next.

Posted by: Sean Hartnett | May 21, 2018 3:59:11 PM | 15

"A year or two from now the Trump administration will find that its sanction campaign failed. There will be a push for a direct military attack on Iran."
Do not forget Israel and Saudi Arabia. They will do whatever it takes to push the u.s. to war against Iran. And they will not wait for years, they will act as soon as possible.

Posted by: Pnyx | May 21, 2018 4:02:25 PM | 16

Bullying Iran should result in increased oil prices. The MAGA, poor working stiffs are invoking Trump to reduce gas prices.

About 2 weeks ago, Trump said gas prices were too high and they needed to come down.

So they went up. Probably be higher tomorrow.

Posted by: fastfreddy | May 21, 2018 4:05:31 PM | 17

It is absolutely essential to take the US down a peg or two militarily. It is the unfortunate truth. They will not go with negotiation nor with common sense. A good number of naval assets in the Persian Gulf region will be a start. Close the area to all large shipping.

Oh how I wish for the day not because I am muslim nor religious. It is simply a case of wanting to see a right(er) and fair(er) world and that will not exist with the corrupt USA pulling the strings.

Posted by: imoverit | May 21, 2018 4:16:31 PM | 18

"The SWIFT banking information exchange which routes international payments between banks can be replaced by country to country systems that do not depend an sanctionable institutions."

There will be no SWIFT sanctions as the EU does not agree with that. Thus for all the empty talk about the "strongest sanctions ever" these new sanctions are far weaker than the pre-2015 sanctions, where Iran was banned from SWIFT.

Time is on Iran's side. Even under sanctions, between 2000-2016 Iran registered higher economic growth than the US and the EU.

A world where Iran grows faster and where the US and EU grow slower is a world where Iran wins.

Posted by: T | May 21, 2018 4:26:06 PM | 19

@ abierno who wrote:
"
This is an administration which has written a play book for amplifying every weakness of the US while at the same time, antagonizing friends and enemies both. Trump focusses on Jerusalem while Washington burns with corruption, ill fated and destructive foreign and domestic policies.
"

When are folks going to understand that the play book you write about is the plan for the elite. America is going under the bus if you haven't noticed and some here would give Trump high marks for that effort.

At issue, which b touched on briefly, is the demise of the US dollar as the Reserve Currency and other private tools like SWIFT are being defanged as a tool of control for the larger countries...maybe more. The elite want to transfer their position in the world on the basis of what they own to the new order under China. What we are watching are the moves towards that end.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 21, 2018 4:57:27 PM | 20

As I said at the time on another forum about Ukraine,its just as much an
attack on Europe as Russia.Again this is just as much about Europe as it is Iran.
Iran is not Syria,its not an expendable square in the Great Game.
Russia and China will support them to whatever level is required ,something
all the thinktanks must know.Has been since before MacKinder.

Posted by: Winston | May 21, 2018 5:31:38 PM | 21

Iran can expect the us to attempt a major destabilisation project from within. We have seen how easy it is for the us to buy rebels, and arm them. It would not succeed. But maybe the u s main aim would be to weaken and distract Iran from helping Syria. If and when u s decides on a full blown attack against Syria.
Those yanks know the price of everything and the value of nothing !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | May 21, 2018 5:31:41 PM | 22

Besides State, the CIA will be doing its nefarious actions inside Iran, and the Pentagon won't be left out of a "whole of government solution" toward Iran's "destabilizing" influence in the Middle East. Which means the Pentagon is really, really upset that Iran has had a hand in handing the US a loss in Syria.

“We are going to take steps necessary to address Iran's malign influence in the region,” Defense Department spokesman Rob Manning told reporters at the Pentagon.
“They are a destabilizing force in the region ... and we’re going to do everything we can to avert that,” Manning added. “This is a whole of government solution that we’re working in order to change Iran’s influence in the region and we’re continuing to do that.”
Pompeo earlier on Monday vowed to impose an “unprecedented” level of economic sanctions as well as military pressure unless Tehran alters its behavior in the Middle East.
Manning would not say what the Pentagon will do to address Iran, but he said officials “are actively looking at their influence in the region” and assessing what actions will be taken.
“We’re assessing if we’re going to double down on current actions or implement new actions. It’s on the table, we’re not going to rule out anything necessary in order to address Iran,” Manning said.. .here

Wow, officials “are actively looking at their influence in the region” and assessing what actions will be taken. That's powerful stuff. (not)
Meanwhile, we can trust that Iran, Russia, China and the EU have some impending actions more constructive and meaningful.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21, 2018 6:20:08 PM | 23

thanks b... good overview.. you nail the central topic right here - "The U.S. dollar as a universal exchange medium can be avoided..."

what would israel want here? and why is the usa always subservient to israel?

@14 fastfreddy.. too bad you aren't a reporter for the msm, lol..

@16 pnyx... i still think we are about 2 years away from the full on war scenario - spring 2020..

@20 pscyhohistorian.. good post. thanks.

@22 mark2... good one liner at the end!

i think folks are correct that the usa is going to go into the regime change, or destabilization theme for iran.. it gets tiring thinking of how the usa, aside from being beholden to israel, is hell bent of going down the wrong road...that says something about the lack of actual leadership in the usa and how easily it can be bought off too..

Posted by: james | May 21, 2018 6:34:59 PM | 24

Oldest trick in the US regime-change manual (much dog-eared by now and needing its 200th reprint) is to issue a list of demands that the intended recipient nation can't possibly fulfill, much less hope to fulfill even if its entire citizenry had decided on collective suicide.

What kind of real-life reality-TV-show charade is Donald Trump running when all his "apprentices" are competing to be the most vampiric psychopath and the only sane person on his team is Defense Secretary Mad Dog James Mattis?

Posted by: Jen | May 21, 2018 6:46:52 PM | 25

'With painstaking work the Obama administration managed to get much of the world to agree to sanctions on Iran. It was possible because the other countries trusted Obama's assurances that he would keep his side of the deal and seriously negotiate. International unity and trust was necessary to achieve the nuclear agreement.'

but Obamas rule has come to an end and trump a zionist has decide to destroy Obams legacy...making his presidency one of destruction(libya syria etc) and not construction.

thats a problenm when you have term limits

Posted by: brian | May 21, 2018 6:59:15 PM | 26

Plan B will be the largest missile attack by US/NATO/Israel/Wahhabi Sponsors (vassal Sunni oil states).

They will attempt to destroy all missile launchers and sites in Iran.

What will trigger such a vicious attack?

Hegemonic rage. They don't even need cause. They make the globe's wars with false flags, lies and now, this one is because Iran exists.

I suspect that the US will fire 3000+ missiles, gain air superiority, and pulverize any installation that is "scientific" of "military".

Nothing Iran has now can stop this.

However, China and Russia are discussing the ramifications of a destroyed Iran.
Like North Korea, they will have to guarantee Iran's survival.

Or this Plan B will happen.

Posted by: Red Ryder | May 21, 2018 7:07:32 PM | 27

I tend to agree with Psychohistorian about Trump throwing the Outlaw US Empire's citizenry under the bus with his "Foreign Policy" as THE distracting Sideshow while GOP Congress guts oh so many domestic laws beneficial to citizens. As for Pompeo's demands, the Outlaw US Empire is actually powerless to enforce any of them--it's all Bully Bluster, and it's being done to Venezuela as well. Rouhani essentially told Pompeo to Shove It!: No longer will the Outlaw US Empire "decide for the world." Zarif added: "US diplomacy sham is merely a regression to old habits: imprisoned by delusions & failed policies—dictated by corrupt Special Interest—it repeats the same wrong choices and will thus reap the same ill rewards. Iran, meanwhile, is working with partners for post-US JCPOA solutions."

What better way for Trump and crew to display what they are: The National Socialist 1%. Another excellent display of schizophrenic policy is that toward Venezuela, in which the USA invokes the Venezuelan Constitution on one point, then casts it aside when the election results don't match what's desired--The Constituent Assembly's been termed unconstitutional since it was formed. The linked article provides several more linked examples of that behavior.

Combine the Keystone Kops, the Three Stooges, and the Marx Brothers, and you get Trump's administration and their foreign policy, which is not at all to be confused with its domestic policy emblematic of a voracious Ogre.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 21, 2018 7:17:18 PM | 28

Thankfully BLOCKCHAIN was created in time for nations to implement a reliable alternative to SWIFT. I am sure there will be accelerated focus on this much better alternative by eastern nations. Here is the USA at the behest of its middle east urgers and warmongers trying to implement BDS in reverse. I think that strategy is likely to fail in yankee hands.

I am not surprised at this yankee blather from their lead disabled establishment. This mindset in the permanent state has always been so belligerent and supremacist that I suspect lead in the water supply system is far more widespread than the thousand or so places identified.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21, 2018 7:18:02 PM | 29

This huge destabilizing threat to mankind from Iran didn't rate United Nations attention. Better that the leader of the free world handle it by crushing Iran with sanctions, in support of Iranians(?). Anyhow it brought Germany and Russia together, that's a good thing.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21, 2018 7:18:21 PM | 30

What Trump is demanding is in essence total surrender. It sounds more like a declaration of war than a negotiation tactic since this is obviously something Iran - under any regime except for a puppet regime - will ever agree too. It means that if Trump does succceed in nulling any economic benefit to Iran by adhering to the agreement, it would be irrational of them to stay in compliance and the logical, if not required path of action is to enrich uranium and obtain nuclear weapons to create deterrence against American aggression.

Posted by: Ron B | May 21, 2018 7:25:59 PM | 31

Well here we go again.
America was "going under the bus" under the Bush-Clinton-Obama establishment plan, almost with another Clinton which would have meant more Afghanistan, more in Syria, and war with Russia. America thankfully avoided that.
Okay, Trump got talked into more Afghanistan, but that's rapidly becoming obviously wrong, while Syria and Russia look good. Plus the war-maker (Afghan, Libya etc.) union of US/EU has been spit up, and the pivot to Asia-Pacific is history. Change in Korea and Palestine -- we'll see. At least it's changing the status quo which is a good thing.
The move to an amateurish administration which is less able to lead the world to new wars is actually pulling the citizenry out from under the bus, using that metaphor.
Let's look on the bright side.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21, 2018 7:31:04 PM | 32

In the short term the most likely outcome from all this trumpian pissfarting is most countries changing their foreign affairs and economic negotiation tactics by moving away from the 'compartmentalisation' system in use since the 1815 Congress of Vienna whereby issues are dealt with on a case by case basis, with each issue negotiated seperately from any other, and into a more dangerous though far more powerful technique of each nation chucking its entire pot on the table and where neccessary "going the guts" when they believe they hold a strong hand.

Compartmentalisation has been effective at preserving peace. In the main nations have dealt with issues one by one eschewing the sort of gunboat diplomacy which used to get France and England (say) shooting the shit out of each other everywhere merely because someone had screwed up drawing or reading a map in some, at that time, obscure corner of Asia or Africa.

Compartmentalisation can only work in an atmosphere of mutual trust but since the JCPOA chickenshit act & the moronic trumpian administration following that stupidity up with Pompeo's ultimatum, which was purely for a domestic audience, means amerika foolishly imagines it can take on the world with one hand tied behind its back.
They dream of shitting on a big mob of sovereign entities financially yet they can still depend on those nations to provide support for so called 'security'.
Even if europe chose to ignore the truth that it is amerikan hubris intertwined with idiocy and a weak arsed feeling of insecurity which wreaked the havoc that drove so many decent humans into fleeing to europe, the long list of amerikan administrations who have driven the globe to this state now means that disparate nations are united in their need to end the bullying.
Anyone who imagines this idiocy could end with a change of prez simply hasn't been paying attention.

trump was premature in his move yes, by pulling this stunt right before brexit which has been engineered by amerika eager to ensure the EU remains the runt, the trump mob have shit the bed bigtime, since even if the englanders wanted to side with amerika, they daren't piss off the major EU players lest they cop a really rough pineapple from europe during the most critical negotiations for england since the end of the 20th century euro war.
Up until now amerika would maneuver to take down recalcitrance one by one. A state would be isolated from everyone else by the usual carrot and stick method, then it would be forced to the floor. This was effective, however it relies on all other sovereign entities sitting on their hands refusing aid to the victim out of fear they may be selected next but it is likely that won't be possible with JCPOA meaning that when the amerikans attempt to punish one state, by doing something off the wall and likely outside the 'Iran compartment' the response will be unified and spread across the gamut of international issues with particular care taken to identify and move against amerika's chinks. Given Israel is the biggest chink in amerika's armour if the euros do go in hard on that which is less problematic for them (sweet fuck all Jews left in Western Europe)than it is for Russia, there will be much sport to be had observing the emasculation of two mush brained over-confident bullies.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 21, 2018 7:38:33 PM | 33

@karlof1 28
The next time someone says “The Constituent Assembly's been termed unconstitutional . . .”

show them this --

Article 347 of the Venezuelan constitution says:
“The original constituent power rests with the people of Venezuela. This power may be exercised by calling a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of transforming the State, creating a new juridical order and drawing up a new Constitution.”

Article 348 of the constitution spells out how a National Constituent Assembly is called:
“The initiative for calling a National Constituent Assembly may emanate from the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers; from the National Assembly by a two-thirds vote of its members; from the Municipal Councils in open session, by a two-thirds vote of their members; and from 15% of the voters registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry.”

Article 349 says:
“The President of the Republic shall not have the power to object to the new Constitution. The existing constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the Constituent Assembly in any way. For purposes of the promulgation of the new Constitution, the same shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Venezuela or in the Gazette of the Constituent Assembly.” 

Posted by: AntiSpin | May 21, 2018 7:40:23 PM | 34

In the short term the most likely outcome from all this trumpian pissfarting is most countries changing their foreign affairs and economic negotiation tactics by moving away from the 'compartmentalisation' system in use since the 1815 Congress of Vienna whereby issues are dealt with on a case by case basis, with each issue negotiated seperately from any other, and into a more dangerous though far more powerful technique of each nation chucking its entire pot on the table and where neccessary "going the guts" when they believe they hold a strong hand.

Compartmentalisation has been effective at preserving peace. In the main nations have dealt with issues one by one eschewing the sort of gunboat diplomacy which used to get France and England (say) shooting the shit out of each other everywhere merely because someone had screwed up drawing or reading a map in some, at that time, obscure corner of Asia or Africa.

Compartmentalisation can only work in an atmosphere of mutual trust but since the JCPOA chickenshit act & the moronic trumpian administration following that stupidity up with Pompeo's ultimatum, which was purely for a domestic audience, means amerika foolishly imagines it can take on the world with one hand tied behind its back.
They dream of shitting on a big mob of sovereign entities financially yet they can still depend on those nations to provide support for so called 'security'.
Even if europe chose to ignore the truth that it is amerikan hubris intertwined with idiocy and a weak arsed feeling of insecurity which wreaked the havoc that drove so many decent humans into fleeing to europe, the long list of amerikan administrations who have driven the globe to this state now means that disparate nations are united in their need to end the bullying.
Anyone who imagines this idiocy could end with a change of prez simply hasn't been paying attention.

trump was premature in his move yes, by pulling this stunt right before brexit which has been engineered by amerika eager to ensure the EU remains the runt, the trump mob have shit the bed bigtime, since even if the englanders wanted to side with amerika, they daren't piss off the major EU players lest they cop a really rough pineapple from europe during the most critical negotiations for england since the end of the 20th century euro war.
Up until now amerika would maneuver to take down recalcitrance one by one. A state would be isolated from everyone else by the usual carrot and stick method, then it would be forced to the floor. This was effective, however it relies on all other sovereign entities sitting on their hands refusing aid to the victim out of fear they may be selected next but it is likely that won't be possible with JCPOA meaning that when the amerikans attempt to punish one state, by doing something off the wall and likely outside the 'Iran compartment' the response will be unified and spread across the gamut of international issues with particular care taken to identify and move against amerika's chinks. Given Israel is the biggest chink in amerika's armour if the euros do go in hard on that which is less problematic for them (sweet fuck all Jews left in Western Europe)than it is for Russia, there will be much sport to be had observing the emasculation of two mush brained over-confident bullies.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 21, 2018 7:41:14 PM | 35

Photo of Merkel and Putin. Thank you, Donald.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21, 2018 7:44:09 PM | 36

b asked: " How can the Secretary of State of the United States make such a fact-free demand in a prepared speech?"

Easy, lying to the world, and the American sheeple, are the cornerstone's of this President's foreign and domestic policies.

" Elect a clown, expect a circus"..


Posted by: ben | May 21, 2018 7:47:17 PM | 37

The Iranian issue is divisive, given the fact that Obama made some sort of deal with Iran. The deal was not a treaty, because we have since learned that no papers were ever signed by either side. This gave Trump the perfect (legal) excuse to walk away from it.
https://hotair.com/archives/2015/11/25/oh-by-the-way-according-to-the-state-department-iran-didnt-sign-the-nuclear-deal-and-it-isnt-legally-binding/

Posted by: ConcernedCitizen | May 21, 2018 7:48:02 PM | 38

“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter.
Frifield wrote the letter in response to a letter Pompeo sent Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he observed that the deal the president had submitted to Congress was unsigned and wondered if the administration had given lawmakers the final agreement. Frifield’s response emphasizes that Congress did receive the final version of the deal. But by characterizing the JCPOA as a set of “political commitments” rather than a more formal agreement, it is sure to heighten congressional concerns that Iran might violate the deal’s terms.
“The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose — and ramp up — our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments,” Frifield wrote to Pompeo.

Posted by: CitizenConcerned | May 21, 2018 7:54:38 PM | 39

@ Don Bacon continuing my bus metaphor and @ ben with the comment ending " Elect a clown, expect a circus"..

We are all bozos on this bus but at least some of us think we know right from wrong.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 21, 2018 7:59:17 PM | 40

@ph 39
some of us think we know right from wrong
Thinking is short of knowing, which involves learning.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21, 2018 8:21:04 PM | 41

The demands are inconsequential:

Iran just needs to release American hostages

What hostages? There are some people who have disappeared in the ME and as always it's blamed on Iran.
end its ballistic missile program

I thought the Supreme Leader has said that the ballistic missile program had reached a conclusion because Iran had achieved a great enough range and good enough accuracy to meet their needs. Iran are now in the deployment stage so the "program" can be terminated
withdraw from Syria

Iran itself provided at most a few thousand troops while it funded Iraqi and Afghani militias in Syria that probably never amounted to more than about 10,000 fighters. With the war in Syria reaching the stage at which politics determines the future, is there any need for the Iranians and the Iranian-funded militias to stay in Syria?
end support for the Houthis in Yemen

Pompous believes his own propaganda. There is little or no evidence to support the claim that Iran supports the Houthis or even that the Houthis want Iranian support.
stop its support for Hezbollah and all other terrorist groups

From what I've read, Hezbollah is pretty much self-sustaining particularly now it can exert major control on the Lebanese government following March 14th's defeat in the recent election.
"threatening behavior" in the region

What "threatening behaviour"? Doesn't that fucking moron Pompeo know that it's the United States, France, United Kingdom, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE that have demonstrated "threatening behaviour" on steroids in the ME. With Hezbollah in the majority in Lebanon, and Syria and Iraq stabilized, Iran doesn't need to threaten anyone.

This is all much ado about nothing but with the benefit that Washington looks like an bunch of tossers and Tehran demonstrates it can do respectable/responsible diplomacy.

Meanwhile, elsewhere I was expecting Putin to give Erdogan a big nah, nah, ne, nah, nah now that he has delivered his revenge on Erdogan for having the temerity to ambush a Russian aircraft by utterly destroying Erdogan's wish to become the new Ottoman Emperor.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 21, 2018 8:24:43 PM | 42

@ ben 36
There you go, attacking Americans again with your "sheeple" smartass remark.
Well I'm an American, ben, and I resent your slam on me and 300 million people. It's stupid. No citizenry in any country deserves the crap you dish out, and that includes us. Stop it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21, 2018 8:25:45 PM | 43

So Iran may work out a deal with its EU supporters not to test new ballistic missiles, the existing designs will do for its defense. Crisis over.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21, 2018 8:28:29 PM | 44

b wrote:
"It will also make the U.S. and Europe weaker and Russia and China stronger."

Last week,James Corbett posted another chapter in his thesis that Trump is serving his role for the supra-national financial cabal by further destroying the US/Europe.

Posted by: Daniel | May 21, 2018 8:35:35 PM | 45

Iran is asked to stop all uranium enrichment.

The arrogance of the Yankees would be more clearly reflected if 'asked' was replaced by 'told'.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 21, 2018 8:47:17 PM | 46

Posted by: ben | May 21, 2018 7:47:17 PM | 36

" Elect a clown, expect a circus"..

Very appropriate and funny.

Stolen!

Thanks,

b4real

Posted by: b4real | May 21, 2018 9:04:59 PM | 47

I'm an American, and I think it's correct to call most of my compatriots sheeple. I am mystified by how few of them vote for third-party candidates. The last time I voted for a major-party candidate for president was 1988. Since then, I have only voted third-party. But most Americans seem to have a mental block against doing so.

Posted by: lysias | May 21, 2018 9:09:58 PM | 48

@ all with the Americans are sheeple characterization

It read like Don "knows" stuff but for the rest of us it is catch as catch can. We don't come with an operating manual nor are the Gawds of our myth and delusion much help.

But as a species we yearn for answers and are proffered lies and deceit by those we place our trust for social governance. Those that we place our trust in are tools of the elite that rule our world because, history.

The elite and their tools have developed ways to brainwash and manipulate people against their better interests. Does that make them sheeple? Only if you want to make yourself feel better by think others in your socio-economic class are inferior instead of manipulated....and work against our combined best interests of making the tools of finance a public utility.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 21, 2018 9:25:13 PM | 49

I highly expect the NATO countries lead by FUKUS to be happily bombing Iran within two years. That will be the price paid for daring to say no to the US while the EU has no bullets in it's gun. Support for Trump or the US may be running in the very low double digits among the voters in the EU but countries are run by companies not voters the world over.

The US has pulled back the curtain and revealed the EU member states as the toothless infective barking dogs they are. Expect the US to keep picking that scab over and over and over.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | May 21, 2018 9:33:14 PM | 50

- And now the US still thinks that Kim Jung Un still wants to meet Trump in june of this year in Singapore ? With this kind of threats against Iran ?

Posted by: Willy2 | May 21, 2018 9:39:42 PM | 51

I'm British and we are the worst ! I love my country, but my being big enough to know it's faults in the past and present just may help to improve it. If we all did that what a better world it would be! if we fail at least we'l be able to look in the mirror.
We all know there are hundreds of millions of good Americans, as there are good people in every country. The point is we're bombing those people! Nuth said.

Posted by: Mark2 | May 21, 2018 9:47:08 PM | 52

50

Good Point. Why every nation in the world other than the apartheid, welfare-state Israel,
will be lining up for meets and greets with the friendly super-power for a good dose of full spectrum bull in a china shop.

Posted by: fast freddy | May 21, 2018 9:56:21 PM | 53

As Pnyx commented, Israel & Saudi have their priorities and they are the ones we know influenced the election--consider ongoing role of Mr Dubowitz.

https://twitter.com/les_politiques/status/998712383949303808

Posted by: CuChulainn | May 21, 2018 10:00:30 PM | 54

"I highly expect the NATO countries lead by FUKUS to be happily bombing Iran within two years. That will be the price paid for daring to say no to the US while the EU has no bullets in it's gun.."
I doubt it.

Pompeo's ultimatum reads like the draft of a suicide note written by an exceedingly spoiled brat. And, in geopolitical terms, that is what it is: the Empire began when Europe fell upon the unprotected cornucopia of American wealth.

Since then that good fortune has been parlayed, most recently by the British and currently by their heirs, the United States, into domination of the world. In Pompeo we see a hegemon which has run out of ideas, and seeks solely to amuse itself. Shades of Nero and Caligula, here: Trump, Bolton, Pompeo and, for light relief, Mme Haspel.

Iran just needs to make sure it has plenty of popcorn.

Posted by: bevin | May 21, 2018 10:10:17 PM | 55

"The SWIFT banking information exchange which routes international payments between banks can be replaced by country to country systems that do not depend an sanctionable institutions." Sorry b, but SWIFT cannot be replaced by a country-to-country financial exchange system, it will be replaced eventually by a second SWIFT, which will be a merged Russo-Chinese system. Expecting the termination of their access SWIFT, the Russians have already prepared their own system, which they will offer to all countries not part of the US block. Yes, I believe that you are right: everything that US has been doing lately will lead to a second block to the "International Community" owned by US (this reads just like the "World Series" in US football where only US plays), from using the infiltrated and poisoned international bodies which they control (SWIFT, OPCW, WADA, IOC, FIFA, WTO, UN Security Council etc etc) against their competitors. The SCO will become this second block with its own international institutions, and the US dominated institutions will become like the US World Football Series (US and a few vassals are the "World").

The biggest irony is that the current US strategy implemented to maintain its world hegemony (on behalf of Israel, US and EU) has very little chance to work. It should have been applied some 20 years ago when US was the truly the dominant of the World. Now it is hurting countries such as Iran, Russia etc but it is also painting US into its own parochial corner. Most of all, US spreading its US dollar only on the economies of the declining part of the World will mean less and less money for the US military to enforce the US rule. Then, either the US military will stop losing a few trillions of dollars here and there or maybe they will start fighting each other for a few millions of dollars where they did complain about trillions before.

Posted by: Kiza | May 21, 2018 10:12:59 PM | 56

Pompeo: "The strongest bluster in history"

**

Sheeple: a term to denigrate the poor and further the schemes of the rich to keep the poor down and without hope.

**

War on Iran, aka Plan B: never happen. If it coulda, it woulda. It won't. It can't. The worst that can happen is an even greater shitstorm of bluster. The Mother of all Bluster. The Bunker-Bluster. Whatever it takes, scriptwriters are standing by.

**

Debs gets the truth-teller award for his summary of the world's current geopolitical situation: "the trump mob have shit the bed "

Posted by: Grieved | May 21, 2018 10:26:42 PM | 57

@b - "What else then is there that the Trump administration can do when its announced Plan A has failed?"

There is nothing to do. Fail is enough. The real question is how does the US comes to terms with this reality? See #56 re bluster.

~~

I have a serious question to ask you, b, because honestly I don't have words for this and maybe you do.

b, how is that you are purely reporting facts and yet it sounds like you're channeling a far-out vision of Taoist mechanics, wherein all actions fail and the cosmic law returns the exact opposite results from those intended?

Is this a hippie script? How is it that these people who have no beliefs whatsoever beyond material gain are acting so deliberately and yet unknowingly to bring about their own destruction? Russia spends all this time training in Systema, and its President is a black belt judoka - in order to let the opponent's force bring him down - and then does nothing, and the opponent fells himself?

How can this theory be so real?

I don't get it - truly, I don't. Four years ago we feared the collapse of the empire because of the damage it could do in its fall. Today we have trouble not laughing. How did this happen, if we are not to believe in the Good Fairy who sprinkled magic dust and all senses were lulled?

I believe in the intangible forces of the universe, but I never dreamed to see them at work on such hard heads as these.

I don't know, b, but maybe someone like you can put this Good Fairy syndrome into words so material people can understand it.

Posted by: Grieved | May 21, 2018 10:33:49 PM | 58

@ Grieved with his request for explanation of the Good Fairy syndrome and repeat of Debisdead "the trump mob have shit the bed "

Your levity is appreciated gentlemen. I haven't seen the white flags yet above the bastions of private finance but their hold on the world is becoming clear for all to see.

In the past the Western form of private finance control was linked with debt jubilees that maintained the social order. Because of the current insane debt balances globally, a jubilee would not be settling but provide further disturbance and questions about the social order. With that option neutered there is only the bluster, and hopefully not the reality) of nuclear tipped threats.

As long as cooler heads prevail the bluster and fury over the demise of the Western order (private finance, et al) because of issues around its own sustainability will pass. Will the alternative be perfect? Of course not because of its creation to bring down what we have, but over time I suspect society can evolve social controls that benefit the many instead of the few.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 21, 2018 10:56:27 PM | 59

Grieved 57

Enough precedents throughout history of a motivated, astute small force taking down a debauched empire. We just happen to be living in one of those interesting times when this is occurring.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 21, 2018 10:58:37 PM | 60

I think these rants and raves at NK, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Russia and China have a purpose and it has nothing to do with Foreign Affairs or even the US war machine.

I think it is a cloak to conceal other actions that are taking place domestically. For example, there appear to be an effort to sell off portions of the National Parks justifying it by racking up the fee to enter the parks to insane heights. There is a bill being worked on to allow Trump to declare war without Congress's approval. There is an effort to sharply curtail Medicare, they have ended a number of health care programs for children and they are working on a version of "Don't ask, don't tell" to be foisted on medical agencies preventing them from discussing abortion and I think some forms of birth control as well.

There is a new banking regulation being pushed that would strip away whatever small protections Dodd Frank brought in. They are very busy little bees and they are most certainly up to no good.

Last point re Pompeo's 12 point list, it almost reads as if it was taken whole cloth from the last time the US attacked Iran, there was a heavy water reactor then as well as hostages, could be wrong:)

Posted by: frances | May 21, 2018 11:04:13 PM | 61

Red Ryder 27
Plan b is plan A. Trump US is demanding of Iran conditions they know cannot be met. In demanding access to all Iranian military sites, US is demanding total surrender. Therefore plan b is plan A.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 21, 2018 11:17:41 PM | 62

fyi

these guys in the pentagon and the executive branch haven't learned much of anything in 30+ years ... Always doing the same thing and expecting different results, always putting their hands into a hornet's nest (where they are not wanted, nor needed) and expecting not to get stung.


http://thehill.com/policy/defense/388633-pentagon-hints-at-more-aggressive-posture-toward-iran
Pentagon hints at more aggressive posture toward Iran


AND some of Jason's remarks - I expect some phony Gulf of Tonkin incident sooner or later in the Persian Gulf which will then "call for" a US "response", meaning a military attack on much of the infrastructure of Iran

https://news.antiwar.com/2018/05/21/pentagon-threatens-more-aggressive-stance-toward-iran/

.....Beyond maritime (freedom of navigation ) incidents, the comments from the State Department suggest the general preference of the administration is to provoke something inside Syria. A substantial number of US troops are stationed in Syria, and while very few Iranians are there, the US and Israel have often spun every Shi’ite militia as effectively “under Iranian control.....”


Posted by: michaelj72 | May 22, 2018 12:39:09 AM | 63

DB @ 42: To each their own Don, if the shoe fits, wear it..

Posted by: ben | May 22, 2018 1:39:06 AM | 64

@ T 19
The other problem with replacing or operating alongside SWIFT is archaic bank IT needing new things coupled to it causes lots of trouble.

Posted by: Pespi | May 22, 2018 2:32:43 AM | 65

Plan A will not fail. The plan is to push Iran into some vague notion of non compliance or create an adequate enough incident that can be propagandized in to a war. The propaganda will create the usual Pavlovian response and America and its sycophants in Europe will send missiles and bombers and bombers and missiles and destroy Iran. That's the plan. Destroy Iran's infrastructure and kill a couple of million Iranians. Iran will cease to be an issue. And nobody will do anything about it least of all Americans. They will support their brave young men and women in uniform, etc. Sure Russia and China and maybe India will sell arms to the Iranians to help things along. Hell, there's money to be made in war. Should the Iranians actually put up a decent fight and cause some significant damage, well all the better. The Americans will nuke them. And nobody will say boo. The silence out of the United States will be deafening. My guess is that a few fly boys might make the "ultimate sacrifice", but they'll be canonized appropriately and Americans will put the whole unfortunate affair behind them and move on...to the next victim..er"villain". Americans will be happy because they don't have to be afraid of Iran any more and they can rest easy until their government finds another boogeyman the make them afraid again. I think Americans just like killing. They kill each other by the thousands with guns, cars and drugs every year. Maybe war balances the books, sort of sharing the fun. You watch. Americans will destroy Iran and Iran will cease to be a felt presence in the middle east. Americans will feel safe and come out from under their beds and all will be right with the world..until next time. Would you believe Russia.

Posted by: R Jones | May 22, 2018 2:42:34 AM | 66

@42

Ben might have a point, you know.

The US is the biggest terrorist organisation on the planet. Perhaps if the American people woke up to that fact, they might not be seen as 'sheeple' by other parts of the world. I can't see that happening soon, though.

Posted by: Bevin Kacon | May 22, 2018 2:47:39 AM | 67

Americans will destroy Iran and Iran will cease to be a felt presence in the middle east. Americans will feel safe and come out from under their beds and all will be right with the world..until next time.
Posted by: R Jones | May 22, 2018 2:42:34 AM | 65

... Lullabye baby, in the tree tops ...

Sleep well R Jones, have sweet dreams. In the morning you will have to get up and face the music though!

R Jones, R Jones, R Jones! WAKE UP! Wake up! You are late! The bus is just about to leave ...

Posted by: BM | May 22, 2018 3:42:21 AM | 68

There are a lot of problems with these threats. We now have three open threats of war and several in the wings. If things go as planned then the US will have to invade Venezuela (at enormous cost and impossible to win), invade or bomb DPNK, at a greater cost and cannot be won, and invade or bomb Iran at an even greater cost and also cannot be won. Any one of these three will cause economic chaos and be suicidal to the US in the long run. Add in that we have active wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and a proxy war in Ukraine and it all looks bad. If you add in the South China Sea islands, Taiwan, Armenia, Uzbekistan etc. and it is a vast morass of constant threats to the entire world. As was mentioned the US has never honored any treaties for long. Under this current administration their credibility is zero (adding to an already dismal record from the previous 5 Presidents) so no country should even consider anything the US says as valid.

The only good thing is that this is pushing everyone away from the dollar. Perhaps most readers fail to understand the chokehold the US has on all international money transfers which all go through the federal Reserve Bank of New York (with an added fee). This is because the SWIFT system was designed that way. Russia and China have created an alternative system which is partially up and running. The next big chokehold is the internet which is 100% controlled by the US. Alternate internet systems are being slowly implemented and eventually there will be a parallel internet to all countries that wish to get out from under the US stranglehold.

The last thing I want to mention is that the US military is already over-committed. It was never designed to fight more than 2 theaters and we are already way past that. The operational tempo is showing in re-enlistments are way down among both the officers and enlisted. The equipment is wearing out and the training of middle grade officers is dismal. The evidence is clear on this and shows with all the ship collisions due to very poor leadership. The pilots are all fleeing in droves and the US is already 2,500 pilots short of necessary. Last the officer promotion and selection system favors sycophants and officers who never make bold decisions thus keep under the radar. You also have a fairly large group at the top of perfumed princes who married their way up or worse. Petraeus is a good example of this. Add in systems designed to be expensive and require constant upgrades and repairs as that is far more profitable to the MIC. Whether they actually work or not is not important to the manufacturers or even the military. There is a revolving door for retired officers to work for contractors, think tanks, or lobbyists so no one should be surprised at the outcomes. The upshot is the military is hollow and cannot be expected to fight actual adversaries. We have 17 years of zero gains in Afghanistan as proof of this.

So, IMHO what we are seeing is the end of the American attempt to become an empire. Should Trump think it wise to act on any of the potential threats the rest of the world will actually be forced to band together and fight back. It may stay conventional but the nutcases in the US actually believe they can fight and win a nuclear war. I think all of this is just more over the top rhetoric and as happened with China they will back down.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | May 22, 2018 4:02:45 AM | 69

Well, stuff happens; people is moaning, growling, increasingly, here and there, every day more a bit a notch louder; and cracks are appearing here and there too from some time now; while empire seems only able to shot threatening words but little of substance, apart from sanctions, but even here, increasingly the world is growing wise…
watch the new coalition in Italy; in the admittedly unlikely chance it keeps even half of what its ‘contract for the government of change’ says (here, in Italian) – but the Five Stars Movement until now has always kept its honesty, faithful to its policies -, trouble is coming for the elites…

Posted by: rr | May 22, 2018 4:26:24 AM | 70

@fastfreddy Whats to say it was not Iranian sanctioned money that Barry Soetoro was returning to Iran. I know the US prints money much like a bacterial infection multiplies, but it seems to me this was just giving them their own money back. The corruption in all high office internationally is way out of control now. It was bad in the 80's, but wow they have accelerated to maximum lunacy now, with the MSM outlets shovelling nonsense to keep the masses distracted (not long for that to fail, hopefully).

Posted by: Horus | May 22, 2018 4:29:10 AM | 71

Keep watching Venezuela, there is a great report from 'Florida Maquis' https://youtu.be/Dzj88PMhHMQ well worth watching a few of his videos.

Posted by: Horus | May 22, 2018 4:33:17 AM | 72

Horus @72

Indeed. Voltaire.org recently published a write up on SouthCom's already written plan to take out Venezuela. Write up is here. Http://www.voltairenet.org/article201159.html

Actual Southcom doc is somewhere on the site.

Posted by: WJ | May 22, 2018 5:42:14 AM | 73

Old Microbiologist | May 22, 2018 4:02:45 AM | 69
Perhaps most readers fail to understand the chokehold the US has on all international money transfers which all go through the federal Reserve Bank of New York (with an added fee). This is because the SWIFT system was designed that way. Russia and China have created an alternative system which is partially up and running. The next big chokehold is the internet which is 100% controlled by the US. Alternate internet systems are being slowly implemented and eventually there will be a parallel internet to all countries that wish to get out from under the US stranglehold.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Spot on post; especially about the above quote.
The U.S. is past its due date and has an inkling, but very much in denial.
V

Posted by: V | May 22, 2018 5:43:01 AM | 74

Grieved says:

Sheeple: a term to denigrate the poor and further the schemes of the rich to keep the poor down and without hope

you'd be surprised, or maybe not, that most of the people i know and meet(speaking primarily about Americans), people who are not poor, not uneducated, people who have travelled, people who read the news, people who have a favorite political party, acquiesce to the lies told to them on a daily basis. and the fact that truthy sites like MOA are such a rare commodity is, i think, testament enough.

so it's clearly not a term to denigrate the poor. at least not exclusively. perhaps your definition/affirmation is just a contrivance on your part. like your pseudonym, for example.


p.s. and without intending any disrespect for the homeless and truly indigent, i really gotta wonder if you've ever seen real poverty? i've travelled all over the USA, and even lived in poor rural areas in West Virginia and New Mexico, and it seems to me that pretty much everyone has a roof over his head, some chicken and milk in the fridge, a car in the driveway, a tv, and in the last decade or two, even an internet connection to boot.

Posted by: john | May 22, 2018 6:38:52 AM | 75

It makes sense to me. The list is supposed to be unachievable. I-ran under sanctions forever! Not complicated at all. It think the extremity of the list serves a second purpose, to mark anyone making even the most vaguely reasonable (?) or pragmatic comments/plan about I-ran as the enemy/traitor/whatever which would then single them out for containment or just punishment measures.

Posted by: et Al | May 22, 2018 6:43:17 AM | 76

Why wouldnt Trump achive the goals? Naive to say atleast.
Do people here really believe EU will somehow go against US?!

EU, Russia, China might destroy the deal and start a new one that goes along with Trump/Israel...

.. These could include provisions to address US concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and Tehran’s support for armed groups in the Middle East, the source said.
https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1275216/conflicting-european-reports%C2%A0-new-deal-iran

Posted by: Zanon | May 22, 2018 6:56:40 AM | 77

Grieved | May 21, 2018 10:26:42 PM | 57
Sheeple: a term to denigrate the poor and further the schemes of the rich to keep the poor down and without hope.

Tacitly not true. While a sophomoric term, which I do not like, it's accurate for the majority, including middle class USians. They are ignorant and basically not educated especially when it comes to history.
I say this as a self exiled USian with few illusions remaining.
Grieved needs to buck up his information and self educate re: the USian proletariate...

Posted by: V | May 22, 2018 7:04:06 AM | 78

What I can't really fathom is the following - OK, the US will go to war with Iran. But what will 10 or 15 dollar gas at home do for the support of this war? The US produces 10-11 million bpd of oil but consumes twice as much. A closure of the Hormuz strait is inevitable in this case and for a looong time. This means the US economy grinding to a halt, people cannot go to work, shortages, rations etc. Who will approve of the war at home when the economy stops? We are not even talking about the reaction of the EU and America's allies who will be hurt in no lesser terms...


---

Posted by: BG | May 22, 2018 7:04:26 AM | 79

@ Zanon | 77

That was baseless(?) report from Reuters, EU officially denied it. Even if they didnt, NOTHING they do would change the US stance, and USrael specifically made the demands list which is impossible to fulfill, therefore Iran wont even bother to pursued US with any more concessions. USrael simply wants an escalation and to damage Iran while US still can, because its Worldwide influence is rapidly shrinking.

Posted by: Harry | May 22, 2018 7:08:54 AM | 80

Obama's flew pallets of money to Iran on a tarmac

This is a favorite meme from the likes of Sean Hannity, how Obama flew Billions of $ to Iran as a bribe in hard currency in the dead of night. Iran insisted on untraceable cash to fund terrorism.

Uh ... no. Since Iran had their money bottled up in U.S. banks for 40yrs, they wanted 'hard currency' to make sure that it wouldn't get frozen again. The Trump Administration is now trying to freeze them out of SWIFT, they won't even be able to trade with the EU electronically. Pallets of Euros and other currency are the only alternative. If I was Iran, I would have taken ball bearings instead of another bank account.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | May 22, 2018 7:48:33 AM | 81

Zanon @77
I have read the u s a demands and threats on Iran. What is America actually offering in return! Seems like a hell of a big stick with no carrot on it. Iran has a right to self determination free from outside interference. Or are these new rules now! Please let us know. I can think of a few county's in need of a regime change !
Could it be then that usa & co are applying the mistaken idear that 'might is right'.
If so they will need to be stopped.

Posted by: Mark2 | May 22, 2018 8:03:55 AM | 82

For county read country in my above comment please .

Posted by: Mark2 | May 22, 2018 8:09:57 AM | 83

"Sheeple". Hmmmm
Since the Carter Administration, when Alan Greenspan re-conceived anti-trust law to say that monopolies are OK as long as the make goods cheaper, deliberately obscuring the concentration of economic power and elimination of jobs and innovation this would cause, when Paul Volker was appointed to ratchet up interest rates and permanently sever rising labor productivity from rising wages, when Proposition 13 was passed in California, a model rolled out across the country since, to ensure the systematic underfunding of education, health, environmental protections, the courts, any constraint whatsoever on Private Power, the US population has been subject to a deliberate and relentless Class War.

The recent rise in US mortality and fall in US national fertility are the results of this successful war against the 90% of the US population you call "sheeple". These are peoples who's sense of any security, who's any hope for a brighter future, who's ability to rest at the end of a day have been under deliberate and systematic attack for two generations who have been systematically lied to and deliberately undereducated.

Be clear about who your enemies are lest you court evil in your own judgements.

Posted by: jsn | May 22, 2018 8:27:53 AM | 84

@82 Apparently, Pompeo is suggesting that what Iran gets in return is a “real” treaty with the USA, and not “merely” an Executive agreement.

Or, put another way, Pompeo actually has the chutzpah to attempt to make a virtue out of Trump’s vice w.r.t. the JCPOA: sure, sure, a US Presidential signature on a document is worthless, don’t act all surprised.

But a Presidential signature that is then ratified by the Senate?
Why, that’s Solid Gold, any country would jump at the chance to get one of THOSE.

Or at least that appears to be Pompeo’s “carrot”.
I can’t imagine why the Iranians haven’t jump at the offer already......

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 22, 2018 8:28:07 AM | 85

Harry

No, EU have not denied the reports (why do you even say that?), we will see EU go along with US with alot of the goals.

Posted by: Zanon | May 22, 2018 8:37:14 AM | 86

The Trump administration sure does not live up to the name Trump. Trump has just trumped himself in Iran. Diversifying the global payments system is long overdue, and gave the US an artery to squeeze every country in the world. Soon, that financial weapon will be lost - Trump, thank yourself.

OBTW, this will allow every world leader whom Trump has insulted (nearly all) to give him the finger. Global schadenfreude. Andrea, grab him by his dick - if you can find it.

Trump is not making American great, he is making it irrelevant. That just might be a good thing in the long run.

Posted by: Tomonthebeach | May 22, 2018 8:41:22 AM | 87

jsn says:

These are peoples who's sense of any security, who's any hope for a brighter future, who's ability to rest at the end of a day have been under deliberate and systematic attack for two generations who have been systematically lied to and deliberately undereducated


yes, very true. peoples who've lived in the wealthiest, most technologically advanced country on the planet. peoples who've never been threatened or attacked by outsiders, who've lived in peace with considerable freedom of speech and movement and a pretty reliable infrastructure. and cheap gas!

go figure!

Posted by: john | May 22, 2018 9:28:51 AM | 88

@Clueless Joe | May 21, 2018 3:08:47 PM | 5:

Some historians claim that the Austrian-Hungarian ultimatum from 1914 was only meant to create an excuse for going to war, by making demands they knew Serbia would not accept. I think that is at least plausible.

Today, the demands by the USA might have the same purpose. This new campaign looks a lot like the 1914 ultimatum, with the goal of creating a situation where the US government can claim that Iran is unreasonable, dangerous and needs to be stopped.

There is precedent:
The two Iraq wars the US started were justified wholly or at least in part with propaganda lies.

Posted by: Martin | May 22, 2018 9:36:27 AM | 89

@R Jones | May 22, 2018 2:42:34 AM | 66

Plan A will not fail. The plan is to push Iran into some vague notion of non compliance or create an adequate enough incident that can be propagandized in to a war.

There are problems with this. For one thing, the American people will be asking "Where are Saddam's nukes?" I doubt they are in the mood to be suckered again -- into an even bigger and deadlier conflict this time. No way.

U.S. military leadership may also balk at starting an unwinnable war, regardless of the propaganda.

Plan A will fail. If the Western media gets obnoxious, it will lose whatever tiny crumb of credibility that it has left.

Posted by: Cyril | May 22, 2018 9:40:15 AM | 90

jsn,

good comment. Sheeple is surely a derogatory term, but it is also fitting.

In order for an economy to function, there must be good-paying work for people who lack intelligence and cunning.

It was a trick played on them. To wit: convince such people, after having lost their good-paying jobs (outsourced labor), that they are smart enough and strong enough (resolute and exceptional!) to strike out on their own (ebay entrepreneurs). Everyone can be their own boss. Even flip real estate!

Of course, a big part of it, was that real estate ponzi scheme - pump and dump (largest single con game in history thus far) played upon them by their own government, banking institutions, credit rating services. That wound will never heal for many.

Plenty of time to sit home and watch tv. And soak in all that valuable and patriotic Iran/Syria/Iraq/Venezuela/Mexico/Korea-bashing, John Hagee Israel Love, and all manner of lies and bullshite.

Posted by: fastfreddy | May 22, 2018 9:44:06 AM | 91

Thanks to Grieved and the folk whose witty writings make this a special place, plus b for laying it all out so plainly it's a wonder the 'upper class sheeple' who are the minority in this country still believe what they see and read in the news. Much like those highrise financiers with their wine glasses toasting one another as they looked down on the youth of our country in Occupy days, then bulldozed them.

That term 'sheeple' does grate upon me as a callous and undeserved indictment, because in our corrupted system there is no way to tell what people are thinking or what they want. The electoral process is a sham, and can only be relied upon when an overwhelming push against the ptb produces the result we got. That, under the circumstances, was the only result possible - not Hillary! And for that I praise Trump voters. Better a clown than a maniac.

Blaming the victim for the horrors perpetrated by the powerful is a pretty caddish way to demoralize folk - and on this forum it will not work with the quality of the regular posters here, just inspires them to more potent and enjoyable reading.

For those who prefer the mainstream news - well, I come from the land of sheep, and it's a beautiful thing when they safely graze wisely led by noble princes - but that's not what we have, and if the rest of the world is wising up to that, you can bet most Americans are way ahead of them. I know. I live here.

Posted by: juliania | May 22, 2018 9:46:06 AM | 92

juliania,

That is very optimistic. In my line of work, most of the Americans I speak to are deeply inspired by Trump and Fox News as they have bought into the MAGA and all it entails (including war, if necessary). And they are bold in expressing the most asinine of their perspectives. Looks pretty hopeless from my view.

I find no way to make an inroad to penetrate into that mindset.

Yes they do believe what they see on tv.

Posted by: fastfreddy | May 22, 2018 10:01:15 AM | 93

@fastfreddy | May 22, 2018 10:01:15 AM | 93

That is very optimistic. In my line of work, most of the Americans I speak to are deeply inspired by Trump and Fox News as they have bought into the MAGA and all it entails (including war, if necessary). And they are bold in expressing the most asinine of their perspectives. Looks pretty hopeless from my view.

I find no way to make an inroad to penetrate into that mindset.

Yes they do believe what they see on tv.

Trump is President despite a loud, continuous media assault on him. So while some people are as easy to manipulate as you say, plenty more are sceptical of what they see and hear on the idiot box -- and they will be asking inconvenient questions, you can count on that.

Will the media be able to fool the U.S. into yet another war when at least half the people don't believe the trash on TV?

Posted by: Cyril | May 22, 2018 10:41:13 AM | 94

All the of the above comments, are really constructive ! No matter what side we take. I love you all.
As a moral booster -
We can't afford to weaken! Not an option.if it gets to much (as it does with me) take time out,come back stronger.
The tricks of man are all very clever with there money and weapons. But this much I know, all of that is as nothing,absolutely nothing compared to REALITY ! Trump & co should heed that advice!
You will loose.

Posted by: Mark2 | May 22, 2018 11:42:40 AM | 95

89 Martin,

Well, the ultimatum Madeline Albright delivered to Serbia's Milosevic was
as impossible to accept as Pompeo's ultimatum to Iran.

I remember telling myself, there is no way any country will accept the
conditions set forth by NATO! Therefore, war is inevitable. We all know how
it all ended. All in the name of MYNA (make yugoslavia nothing again.)

I wonder why the balkanization of Yugoslavia is not often referred to as one
of the countries destroyed by the proponents of the NWO. By creating all these
smaller countries it gave more stature and power to NATO.

Therefore if an ultimatum is made that cannot be complied with, there will be war.

There is no need for a false flag. Expect hostilities to start anytime with a naval incident
in the Persian Gulf.

It could also be a brush between an Israeli ship and an Iranian one in the Mediterranean.

But soon, sparks will fly. I hope for Iran's sake that the ayatollah's fingers are on the
missile launching button as soon as this happens because Iran cannot permit the US
to establish beachfronts anywhere close to its shores.

Posted by: CarlD | May 22, 2018 11:56:02 AM | 96


Martin #89, Clueless Joe and others:

Austria-Hungary's request to conduct an full investigation into the murders of Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, were neither demands nor an ultimatum, but were perfectly reasonable, they comprised: direct Austrian police involvement in the criminal investigations within Serbia and the immediate surrender of those complicit in the murder; an immediate end to anti-Austrian propaganda and anti-Austrian teaching in schools; public apologies for the assassination from King Peter and the Serbian government.

I suggest you start reading here:
https://firstworldwarhiddenhistory.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/lies-damned-lies-and-commemorations-2/

or to skip to the meat, start here:

https://firstworldwarhiddenhistory.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/assassination-of-franz-ferdinand-1-the-web-of-intrigue/

Posted by: Tony M | May 22, 2018 11:56:40 AM | 97

Sheeple. It's a blame-the-victim term. The fact is that no one knows yet if the US population deserves censure or praise, because as juliania points out @92, you can't tell what people think and feel. The system doesn't allow it. We haven't yet seen the US people come to a place where anyone could judge if they acted well or badly. All we've seen so far is electoral attempts at change. They keep failing, but where does the tipping point lie for the people? We don't know yet.

After some of the financial panics of the 19th century in the US, ordinary people began to realize they were being screwed by a system that they didn't understand, and they came together in what became called Populism, specifically to educate themselves, as they said, about the the method of the theft that was affecting them. I'm not a scholar or historian, so I can't cite much more than that general fact, but the point that arises here is that people get screwed in every age and every nation, at different times and to different degrees, and sometimes there is pushback.

There is a point reached where people begin to wake up to badness happening in the lives they inhabit, and find agreement with their neighbors that things are bad regardless of one's political or philosophical orientation, and it's time to start learning why, and what to do about it.

Dismissing any class of people in any nation as sheeple obscures the truly important fact underneath it, which is that people can be lied to and stolen from successfully. The other point of even greater interest is that they can be lied to only until they can't. I believe this happened in the USSR, for example.

I would prefer to see discussion on the ways in which propaganda is so successful, and the systems of organized plunder, and most particularly, the ways in which people reach their tipping point and start to re-educate themselves assertively, as an activist measure.

It's like all those good individuals who make you angry when they band together on the highway in all their individual cars and get in your way during rush hour - people are no damn good in groups, if the system that organizes the group is no damn good. It's not the people, it's the system.

As to who are the poor, I class all those who can be lied to and stolen from, without the means to procure true information and safety from plunder, as the poor. On top of all those supposedly different social classes, which for this discussion I group into one class - on top of this class stand the rich, whose interest is to keep the poor down and keep the plunder going. It's a class war, and always has been, and in this context, there are only the two classes.

In my view.

Posted by: Grieved | May 22, 2018 12:30:06 PM | 98

While Pompeo blustered, Pepe Escobar was inside Iran at the invitation of the Iranian government to attend several events. He has filed two items, here and here. As usual, Pepe provides us with info and outlooks seldom reported by the Propaganda System, and his two items are a delight to read just for those reasons. What's clear from his writings and others is Iran holds the high ground versus the Outlaw US Empire as the evil intent and deeds of the latter become ever clearer to the actual International Community. Key will be the EU's actions as to whether it and its key members will boldly part from US dictates and finally march to their own drummer. This Friday the key meeting between Iran and EU will occur, and it's outcome will determine the next moves.

All this is ultimately about commerce and enforcing economic dominance/subservience. The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum begins this Thursday with an expected "15,000 participants from more than 100 countries." There's lots of money to be made circumventing the Outlaw US Empire's edicts with the ultimate goal of rendering them null when uttered making them 100% useless. By changing its focus from supporting what was called Free Trade to what I'll call Sanctioned Trade, the Outlaw US Empire is destroying a very major asset that made it the world's largest creditor nation. Between its utter lack of credibility to its bullying and insanely bellicose rhetoric, the Empire is quickly burning bridges forged over many decades of building commercial ties--a vast mistake of huge proportions without any previous historic parallel.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 22, 2018 12:53:34 PM | 99

10;barring a indy candidate,do you mean dem?Both parties are kissing the butt of yahoo.

Posted by: dahoit | May 22, 2018 1:52:45 PM | 100

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