Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 04, 2018

Iran - Europe Rejects U.S. Drive To War

The reaction to the minor protests in Iran drive another wedge between the U.S. and Europe. It exposes the belligerence of the Zionist lobby and its influence in the U.S. media and politics. The issue shows the growing divergence between genuine U.S. interests and the interests of Israel.

Some anti-government demonstration and attacks on public institutions continue in Iran. But, as the graph shows, such protests and riots continue to decrease. Yesterday's events took place in only 15 places while, since December 28, a total of 75 towns and cities had seen some form of protest or incidents. Additional to these several pro-government marches took place yesterday each of which was by far bigger than the anti-government events.

by M. Ali Kadivar - bigger

The violence against public property by some young rioters has alienated the original legitimate protesters who have ample economic reasons to reject the neo-liberal policies of the current Iranian government. The instigating of violence from the outside of Iran, likely due to CIA machinations, has robbed them of their voice.

I had earlier asked:

Why is the U.S. doing this?

The plan may well be not to immediately overthrow the Iranian government, but to instigate a sharp reaction by the Iranian government against the militant operations in its country. ... That reaction can then be used to implement wider and stricter sanctions against Iran especially from Europe. These would be another building block of a larger plan to suffocate the country and as an additional step on a larger escalation ladder.


The administration just called for a UN emergency session about the situation. That is a laughable move ...

Laughable indeed. Other members of the Security Council and the UN Human Rights council have rejected the U.S. plans. It is not the UN's business to insert itself into internal affairs of any country. But even for those who believe that the UN has a right to intervene, the protests in Iran, estimated at no more than 15,000 people at any time and maybe 45,000 in cumulation, are way too insignificant to justify any UN reaction.

The European Union, main target of U.S. plans to again push for sanctions on Iran, has officially rejected any such attempts. The Swedish Foreign Minister said that these are "unacceptable" and that the situation does not qualify for any such move. The French President Macron warned (French) that breaking relations with Iran would lead to war. He was quite explicit (machine translation) about the actors behind such moves:

France has firm relations with the Iranian authorities but wants to keep this link "because what is being done otherwise is that it is surreptitiously rebuilding an 'axis of evil'," said the president.
"We can clearly see the official speech that is made by the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, which are our allies in many ways, it is almost speech that will lead us to the war in Iran." he added, pointing out without further details that it was a "deliberate strategy of some".

Russia's Foreign Minister warned the U.S. against any interference in Iran's internal affairs.

Meanwhile a Saudi flagship paper, Al Arabiya, is challenging The Onion as it asserts that Iran has called up Hizbullah, Iraqi units and Afghan mercenary to quell the protests.

In a Washington Post op-ed Vice President Pence rants about the Obama administration's alleged lack of reaction to protests in Iran, but announces no reaction by the Trump administration. The Washington Post editors add several op-eds by pro-Zionist lobbyists bashing Iran and blaming Europe for not following Trump's line.

The anti-Iranian Foundation for Defense of Democracies which is financed by an extreme Zionist speculator, is given plenty of space in U.S. papers:

Adam H. Johnson @adamjohnsonNYC - 4:04 AM - 3 Jan 2018
in past 72 hrs radical pro-regime change outfit FDD has had op-eds in NYTimes, Washington Post, NYPost, Politico and WSJ on Iran, repeating in each one the same tired, pro-intervention talking points.
Adam H. Johnson @adamjohnsonNYC - 6:14 PM - 3 Jan 2018
having used up their designated slots in respectable WSJ, WaPo, Politico, and NYTimes for this week, FDD slumming it in Washington Times today. Sad!

The supposedly "centrist" Lawfare blog published a call for handing improvised mines with "Explosive Formed Penetrators" to Iranian protesters. (During the U.S. invasion of Iraq the local resistance made and used such EFPs against the U.S. occupiers. The U.S. military falsely claimed that the EFPs were coming from Iran.) The editor of Lawfare, the notorious Benjamin Wittes, seems to agree with the piece. He, the editor, writes that he never edits anything that is published on his site. His only complain about the piece is that the call to arm rioters in Iran lacks a professed legal reasoning. (One wonders how the Lawfare writers will react when China delivers anti-tank weapons to the next Occupy Wall Street incarnation.)

It is a big campaign in the U.S. that is accompanying rather small events in Iran. The campaign is designed to create the atmosphere for a war on that country. The media give it ample room. But the U.S. is very lonely in these attempts. Saudi Arabia is a paper tiger that does not count and Israel can not move against Iran. The axis of resistance is ready for a great war, says Hizbullah leader Nasrallah. He explains that such a war would be waged deep within Israel.

Stephen Kinzer points out that U.S. animosity against Iran and its government lacks any strategic reasoning:

History decrees that any Iranian government must be strongly nationalist and a vigilant defender of Shiite Muslims everywhere, so the idea that “regime change” would produce a more pro-American Iran is a fantasy. The security of the United States will not be seriously affected by the course of Iran’s domestic politics.
In 1980 President Carter proclaimed that any challenge to American dominance of the Persian Gulf would be considered “an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America.” He was driven by the global imperatives of his era. Much of America’s oil came through the Persian Gulf, and the West could not risk losing it to Soviet power.

Today there is no Soviet Union, and we no longer rely on Middle East oil. Yet although the basis for our policy has evaporated, the policy itself remains unchanged, a relic from a bygone age.

Kinzer is right on the lack of a strategic argument. But he neglects the influence of the Zionist lobby and its interest to keep the U.S. involved in smashing any potential adversary to its colonial endeavor. Genuine interest of the people of the United States is not what drives U.S. policy and has not been for some time (if ever).


Posted by b on January 4, 2018 at 19:52 UTC | Permalink

next page »

It isn't just the Zionist lobby.
The billionaires who own 60% of the pistachio market share in the US - entirely as a result of the imposition of the original Iran sanctions in the 1970s, stands to lose tens of millions per year just from this one industry.
The Sinclairs also front Fiji water, Pom fruit juice and own the largest water bank in the entire US, if not the world in the California central valley.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 4 2018 20:07 utc | 1

...challenging the Onion... The Onion? Macron's nickname?

Posted by: Plod | Jan 4 2018 20:14 utc | 2

Thanks again b for telling this story.

A multipolar world is emerging, or at least trying very hard. What is multipolar going to mean? I hope it means that war will stop being the centerpiece of the world economies. That of course means that energy will be focused elsewhere and hopefully in a positive way.

I expect the the UK will be the last to stop, if they ever do, supporting the Western Way of the US/Israel

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 4 2018 20:20 utc | 3

Should things get out of hand with the "axis of evil" eight million Israelis don't have a chance in assymetric warfare.

But I guess the people constructing the "axis of evil" don't give a damn.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 4 2018 20:35 utc | 4


They also employ more illegal aliens then any other entity in US

Posted by: Kooshy | Jan 4 2018 20:36 utc | 5

thanks b... your ongoing coverage is appreciated.. i want to reitterate your last line as it is so true.."Genuine interest of the people of the United States is not what drives U.S. policy and has not been for some time (if ever)."

@1 c1ue.. thanks for that.. how very interesting.. another example of economics driving the actions of some to the point of complete moral depravity..

Posted by: james | Jan 4 2018 20:38 utc | 6

The US is an occupied country, and 9/11 was the solidifying event which put the Zionist menace firmly in control of the levers of power. Resistance to their rule has been purged, they created and dominate the Department of Homeland Security, and their consolidated control over media, finance, and industrial power is going to make them very hard to unseat.

But they will be unseated.

Posted by: SlapHappy | Jan 4 2018 20:51 utc | 7

Plod @ 2: "The Onion" is a satirical newspaper in the US.

Emmanuel Macron's nickname is Micron.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 4 2018 20:58 utc | 8

The US's highly skewed view on Iran is similar to their unrealistic view of Russia. "The Iranian government, which is entirely in line with the prevailing view in Iran, is an unlawful dictatorship!"

Similarly, they say, "Vladimir Putin, who has the support of 80% of the people and would be replaced by harder line nationalist should he ever lose an election, is a DICTATOR who doesn't represent the Russian people!"

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jan 4 2018 21:00 utc | 9

I like that one paragraph alludes to an "axis of evil", and another lists "USA, Israel and KSA". Is there some European biotech with a new spine regeneration product? Or those are reflexes analogous to phantom pain, feelings felt in lost parts of the body (before amputation, European countries actually had independent policies). Such feelings do not translate into action.

About the role of Zionist billionaires, this is the sad situation in the axis that grandiose ideas of billionaires and princes can run rampant under the umbrella of the only (momentarily) superpower.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 4 2018 21:07 utc | 10

This shows how lawless the U.S. has become. Why should these protests have any bearing on whether or not the U.S. honors its commitment for the JCPOA?

A. Because we perceive that sanctions would impact the internal affairs of another country. I'm a bit old fashioned but I thought that agreements should be based on mutual compliance.

Oh, and the very nature of these sanctions amount to a virtual blockade which is by nature an act of war. The U.S. does indeed have the right to engage in commerce with any country of its choosing but once we coerce other countries in how they conduct commerce, it crosses the line into a blockade.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 4 2018 21:20 utc | 11

>>>> Plod | Jan 4, 2018 3:14:53 PM | 2

As Jen ' 8 says The Onion is a satirical newspaper in the US but the stories are all made up and ridiculous but with a grain of truth to draw people in. so "challenging The Onion" means that the Saudi story is made up and ridiculous, There are other legitimate newspapers that make stories up but few involve such ridiculous claims.

Meanwhile, OT, The Washington Post seems to have had an unexpected outburst of honesty. Perhaps the owner was out of the country long enough over the holidays for some-one to sneak something into the paper.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 4 2018 21:22 utc | 12

Deebo @ 177 (previous MoA post): Yours was one of the better comments I read in the comments forum - thanks for the effort. So don't worry that you don't comment much.

I've just read Alex Mercouris' second article on the protests in Iran and what he says in some parts jibes with what you said about protesters in cities and towns around Iran: that most of the protesters now are less educated young men from poor backgrounds.

You mentioned that you've been to Iran. Did people there say anything about Afghan refugees living in Iran? I've heard there's a large Afghan refugee population in the country. From the very little I know - I don't personally know any Iranians and have never been to the country - the Afghans there experience a lot of prejudice and discrimination from Iranians and have problems in finding work. They may be an easy target for foreign intel to work on.

The best source of information on Afghan refugees in Iran I can find is at this link for anyone who's interested:

Posted by: Jen | Jan 4 2018 21:27 utc | 13

However b, there may be a reason for the deep state to be interested in stirring up trouble in Iran. That is that Tehran is a central node in the Chinese One Road (OBOR), both for rail and Road transport.
Adam Garrie has a very interesting map on his site - which I hope I have linked to correctly. It shows the correlation between protests and projected routes. China-Tehran, India-Tehran, Tehran-Vienna and Tehran-Moscow. (Apologies to the originator of the map without giving him/her credit - as I do not know in which alphabet his/her name is written.) You will probably need to scroll down to find the map/graphic - Jan 2.

The Chinese are about to roll out the petro-Yuan and have also forbidden comment in China about the troubles in Iran.
ZH link

Have the Europeans finally found out that they are the ones paying for US aggression? France in particular had multiple contacts and business contacts in Iran before sanctions were increased out of spite by the US/Israel and now Saudi Arabia (the three "we-evils").

Posted by: stonebird | Jan 4 2018 21:38 utc | 14

Almost all mainstream media owned or controlled by wealthy Zionist Jews or Zionist wannabees like Murdoch.. Jews hugely overrepresented among the billionaire class and their financial clout being hiked still further by stock market bubble.

Posted by: Ace Hanlon | Jan 4 2018 21:58 utc | 15

@10 piotr... love this quote from you! "Is there some European biotech with a new spine regeneration product?"

@13 jen.. thanks for pointing out deebos comments on the previous thread @177.. they are worth reading and i missed them...

Posted by: james | Jan 4 2018 22:04 utc | 16

Once the hijacked protests fizzle out completely, do you think Ninel will still be paid enough to cover the weekly rate of staying in the hotel above the bar?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 4 2018 22:05 utc | 17

@ NemesisCalling | Jan 4, 2018 5:05:37 PM | 17
Not very intelligent ad hominem remark. Please improve your performance here!

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 4 2018 22:13 utc | 18

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 4, 2018 4:07:56 PM | 10

Macron got caught up in French contradictory foreign and business policy. France was heavily invested in Obama's Muslim Brotherhood strategy in Syria, and more invested in Qatar than Saudi Arabia, basically keeping up French colonial contacts in Syria and Lebanon. French business has jumped at the opportunity after sanctions were lifted.

At the same time they host the leadership of MEK near Paris - maybe simply due to French liberal laws concerning political refugees, after all they hosted Khomeini.

Anyway, they have some explaining to do after this "Iranian revolution".

Basically he is is trying to get his foot into a closed door.

Macron said the international community should "not give ground to certain powers which think that just a few, recognising one part of the opposition from the outside, will be able to find a stable and lasting solution for the situation in Syria," he said.

"In this context, the United Nations, regional powers, Europe and the United States have a great responsibility, and I will fully commit... to succeeding in building the peace in Syria," he told the diplomatic corps in Paris.

Macron is due to meet Friday with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who backs the rebels fighting Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, while Moscow and Teheran have thrown their support behind Damascus.

The French leader also said that peace in Syria and neighbouring Iraq is urgently required in order to avoid any resurgence in jihadist attacks once the Islamic State was defeated "militarily".

France will focus its efforts on ensuring free and secure elections in Iraq this spring, and appeared to target Iran by calling for "vigilance" over "any destabilisation linked to foreign powers," said Macron.

This presumably means support for Kurdistan.

I don't think anyone in the Middle East takes him seriously. But yes, he is definitively not an ally of Donald Trump.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 4 2018 22:21 utc | 19

Regarding @14 about Adam Garrie, here is the picture that stonebird was talking about.   I believe the picture was created by a Russian called Парс Ка.

Posted by: Ian | Jan 4 2018 22:35 utc | 20

A view from Canada...

The Uprising in Iran: 'This is What Revolution Looks Like'

"I think you're beginning to see the initial kernel of a revolution forming right now. If this thing is sustained over a period of time and the government tries to clamp down, but the numbers of protesters grows, I think at that point you've got a revolution on your hands,' Kaveh Sharooz, a Toronto lawyer, human rights activist and former senior policy adviser to Global Affairs Canada, told me over the weekend..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jan 4 2018 23:08 utc | 21

It is where Iranians live. Not all of the country is populated.

But yes, Trump came out against Pakistan the same time he "supported Iranian protests". Of course this is against China.

There is not much reality behind it. Iran claims Saudi paid for all of it. China is Saudi's largest trading partner.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 4 2018 23:12 utc | 22

Geopolitical viewpoint on the AngloZionist attack on Iran covered by Global Warfare. Preparing for World War III, Targeting Iran
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Justin Raimondo reminds us that "economic uncertainty due to Trump’s threats to cancel the Iran deal. This, we are told, caused Iranian banks to refrain from investing in vast new projects, and so the standard of living hasn’t met rising expectations."

Jen@13 was kind enough to remind us of the Afghan refugee stress brought on by the Anglozionist+Saudi wars in Afghanistan. Added to this is the CIA brown sugar Heroin trade route from Afghanistan through Iran and Turkey to the US protectorate of Kosovo where it is refined for consumption in Western Europe. From what I have read Iran is fighting a major drug war with the smugglers losinf thousands of troops in the fight

Yes the death penalty for drug smuggling is harsh:
However, the Western troops are the ones allowing the drugs to be grown and transported into Iran

Posted by: Krollchem | Jan 4 2018 23:28 utc | 24

@17: LOL!

Posted by: ben | Jan 4 2018 23:36 utc | 25

@18 hausmeister

I suppose it wasn't in good taste. Hopefully, b can look past it. Stirring the pot, instead of smoking the bees, is just no good right now. In fact, it is very suspicious.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 4 2018 23:37 utc | 26

Must second the Mercouris article Jen linked at 13. He also has an OT item about the Manafort Lawsuit, that will hand the Deep State another defeat. Pepe Escobar also tells us "why there won't be a revolution in Iran."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 4 2018 23:44 utc | 27

once we demonize a country, it becomes more easier for the US to destroy that country.

Posted by: Toxik | Jan 4 2018 23:53 utc | 28

Yes but despite everything Daniel 8 will be choreographed and puppet walked to terminus. Every integer must be manifested. They plan megacide, because it is written.


Posted by: gut bugs galore | Jan 5 2018 0:31 utc | 29

Toxik @28:

Perhaps in the past, but no longer. People are slowly waking up to reality. Look at the latest failed attempt by the US to get the UNSC to meet on Iran.

Posted by: Ian | Jan 5 2018 0:33 utc | 30

The UN has historically sided with the USUKIS nexus. It hasn't met a regime change it didn't support (Afghanistan and Iraq). Venezuela, Honduras,Libya and Ukraine also. No? It came around against apartheid Africa very late and it ignores apartheid Israel. Like the pope, it makes a few noises but does nothing to stop the genocide in Yemen. It assisted in the Syria Regime Change. Did it not?

It seems to be at odds with Trump and he with it.

This is perhaps one of Trump's few redeeming qualities. And a reason perhaps for the incessant attacks against him by the globalists/NWO/media complex.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jan 5 2018 0:36 utc | 31

As in most occasions I agree, but in this case would have waited till tomorrow friday when everybody in Iran isn't busy to assess further developments.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jan 5 2018 1:04 utc | 32

Posted by: Ian | Jan 4, 2018 7:33:03 PM | 30

They are going to discuss on Friday, the 5th.

It is meaningless.

Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands began their stint at the Security Council on January 1.

The council is not expected to issue a statement on the unrest in Iran, which would have to be agreed by all 15 members, diplomats said.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2018 1:13 utc | 33

Posted by: fast freddy | Jan 4, 2018 7:36:53 PM | 31

In which alternative universe did Trump not attack Iran by tweet or immigration ban?

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2018 1:15 utc | 34

Ramin Mazaheri has another article at the Saker. Can't link to it from here, but it's called:
WSWS on Iran protests: Another missed chance to support a working socialist country

He's a great fan of the World Socialist Web Site, but takes it to task for its inherent Trotskyist nature and also for its untrue badmouthing of the conditions of workers in Iran.

His article is really trying to get the dedicated communists to climb down from their haughty goals of worker paradise and join in with the actual world that exists, but along the way he describes Iran from the inside, and in a few lines manages to explain the mixture of socialism and neo-liberalism in the country, in a perfectly comprehensible way. I've already said he has a way of connecting concepts to everyday experience, and this article is quite beautiful in this regard.

He describes Iran's position in the world and in current history as very much a nation feeling its way to the best for all. He illustrates in passing how much good Iran negotiated for itself in the nuclear deal - inbound technology transfer rather than simple resource selloff.

Oddly, in an article aimed largely at discussion between socialist points of view, he managed to explain more to me about Iran than I had been able to gather in the last week. Maybe others will enjoy it too - it's quite short.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 5 2018 1:28 utc | 35

Interesting report here from AMN.
....“An armed anti-revolutionary team which had recently penetrated Iran with the mission to conduct blasts and kill people in false flag operations to heighten anti-establishment sentiments for continued unrests was identified by the intelligence forces in Piranshahr ...

Piranshahr is here,45.1583242,12z

Retrained ISIS from al Hasakah, through Kurd Iraq, and across a somewhat porous border in the Kurdish area into Iran?
I think it was commenter somebody on the last thread said that Iran had tightened up it border security over the last few years. Seems like they cleaned up this lot no problems.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 5 2018 1:55 utc | 36

@ Grieved with the Saker article referral.....Thanks!

A nicely contextualized discussion of the protests in Iran.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2018 2:53 utc | 37

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 4, 2018 8:55:28 PM | 36

After reading the last thread and comments and other sites' speculations about the original instigation of the protests in Mashhad, it occurs to me this could have been an elaborate trap by the hard liners to both weaken Rouhani and roll up some Western intelligence assets.

It's clear the Telegram channels were set up well in advance, and quite likely that Iranian intelligence was aware of them. Thus, it was entirely predictable that any spark would activate the plan. I am guessing as well that the Western assets were infiltrated and the Iranians knew exactly who the traitors were. The protests were precipitated at precisely the moment Iranian intelligence was best prepared to deal with them, and they now have a quite legal basis for rounding these people up and sentencing any perpetrators or planners of violence to heavy prison terms or in some cases execution, without them being labeled "political prisoners" because of their actual involvement in criminality.

Rouhani will have to deal with legitimate economic grievances. He and other reformers have been shown that currying favor with the West through neo-liberal policies will only result in turmoil and their potential overthrow, and the public has been shown that the only current alternative to the overall system is criminal gangs. All shores up support for the system, while allowing the legitimate roll-up of an enemy 5th column.

The pleasant surprise the hard liners may not have expected is the European reaction to all this. Always present your enemy with an opportunity to make a mistake if he is prone to do so.

Posted by: William Rood | Jan 5 2018 3:38 utc | 38

William Rood 38
Thinking about your comment, with Russia and Iran working together in Syria there is a good chance that the combined intelligence forces of Iran, Russia and Syria have been at work on uncovering this latest US/Israeli scheme. These types of takedowns/traps are something the Russian leadership excels in.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 5 2018 4:27 utc | 39

Russia has put in a lot of study on the US colour revolutions. How to identify the provocateurs and the terrorists that are often shipped in for the hardcore violence, and take them out without alienating or attacking the genuine protesters.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 5 2018 4:34 utc | 40

"Kinzer is right on the lack of a strategic argument. But he neglects the influence of the Zionist lobby and its interest to keep the U.S. involved in smashing any potential adversary [...]"

... and the requirement of this monetary system to perpetually expand credit markets...

If credit market expansion stalls or, ye gods, reverses, many balance sheets of the great and the good would become as many albatrosses around their necks.

Credit markets must expand and nothing expands credit markets more than instability and crisis thus enabling ever greater transfers of wealth towards to sponsors of the monetary system

Posted by: guidoamm | Jan 5 2018 5:27 utc | 41

@38 William Rood

If it was an elaborate trap, the elaboration came largely from the enemy. Iran's Public Prosecutor, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, said that the plot was of 4 years duration:
Iran public prosecutor unveils plots behind street unrests

Iran knew the plot's name and even the names of the alternative models proposed, as well as the ("former") CIA and current Mossad officer, who together were the main plotters. They planned to bring re-purposed Daesh fighters into Iran as part of the plan. It's not clear to me how advanced this part was, but Montazeri says that they activated the plan ahead of schedule, dues to Iran's "special circumstances" - I don't know what that means.

I would really like to know what triggered the activation of this plan, and whether it pre-empted the full Daesh force's arrival in the country. The enemy planned, but did Iran pull the trigger?

Either way, when I read your scenario, the word "cauldron" came to mind. Perhaps it really is the case that Iran let these players walk into their cauldron and, as you suggest, scooped them up. Khamenei has said that he knows much more about this that he will share with the people later.


I would like to exculpate Rouhani somewhat from all this, however. To my very limited understanding, Rouhani chose a certain path in order to get the nuclear deal, and it involved a measure of neo-liberalization in return. Khamenei (hat tip to Lozion in the last thread for the link) said privately to Rouhani to "try his luck" with the west but never forget for one moment that they were always and unremittingly the enemy.

So Rouhani did try his luck, and it worked. And Ramin Mazaheri, in the article at the Saker that I cited at #35 here, describes what the Iranian negotiators actually achieved in that deal, and it was a large net benefit, a great achievement that Iran is justly proud of.

So, Rouhani is still caught in the bargain he made, but the economy is rising more than falling, and Rouhani knows neo-liberal policies don't work, as at least one other commenter in the previous thread illustrated. One can assume that Iran will amend this course as soon as the way is clear to do so. Perhaps these protests will even form the rationale for doing so, which would be wonderful.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 5 2018 5:49 utc | 42

Earlier today I read a headline saying that the UNSC was refusing to have a meeting on Iran - rightly. Now I read that they are going to have one after all. I don't know exactly how the UNSC works, but it sounds very much like the usual is happening, as in once again the Hegemon is to be appeased and some country that resists the Hegemon's will is to be brought to its knees.

It's pointless to ask why a meeting isn't called over Honduras then, to cite just one example that points to stunning US hypocrisy, also UNSC hypocrisy. No the Hegemon must be appeased by its vassals, Russia and China. Sure they'll often ay the right thing outside the UN, but when the US snaps its fingers, they snap to.

Posted by: paul | Jan 5 2018 5:55 utc | 43

@42 - hmm, that link to Lozion's comment didn't work. It was #166 in the last thread, but principally it was a link to Magnier's analysis, with the Khamenei quote at the end:
Who is behind the manifestations in Iran and who benefits?

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 5 2018 6:01 utc | 44

@42 Grieved

I would really like to know what triggered the activation of this plan, and whether it pre-empted the full Daesh force's arrival in the country. The enemy planned, but did Iran pull the trigger?

Here's a thought:

Iran's air defense system operational by March 2018

Posted by: arbetet | Jan 5 2018 6:23 utc | 45

Grieved 44/42
Magnier also has a string of interesting comments on the start of the genuine protest, its cause and so forth, from the last day or so at his twitter account. These would add to his article.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 5 2018 7:34 utc | 46

@43, I wouldn't worry to much about the unsc meeting. My guess it's a "give Nikki Haley enough rope" moment, courtesy of Russia and China. Let her make a fool of herself by droning nonstop about how she is very concerned about freedom in Iran (but oddly, only in Iran and nowhere else, except maybe Binomo) and then let them veto whatever bogus resolution she will try to pass. Assuming they even have to. It might actually be outvoted by majority.

Posted by: lysander | Jan 5 2018 8:17 utc | 47

Ok, perhaps not outvoted. It seems only Bolivia, Kazakhstan and Peru are the likely no votes. Most of the others will be a yes, but I suspect there can be a surprise where even a vassal state might abstain. We shall soon see, anyway.

Posted by: lysander | Jan 5 2018 8:23 utc | 48

An interesting article Grieved linked to @42.
If the plot has been four years in the making, then this goes back to the time, or just before, ISIS burst onto the big screen in a blaze of MSM publicity and promotion.

The plot put on ahead of schedule? The involvement of Russia destroyed ISIS in Syria to the point the US had to publicly take the remnants of ISIS under its wing to save them. US occupation in Syria is tenuous, if they hang around too long in Syria they will start shipping back US boots in body bags. Perhaps a reason for setting the plan off early?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 5 2018 8:27 utc | 49

With Obama admin's ambitions in Syria unachievable after Russia's entry, Trump with his hatred of Iran installed as CEO to cut the losses, gather the assets and turn the focus onto the last in Wesley Clark's list, Iran?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 5 2018 8:45 utc | 50

Another thought. Who wrote Clark's list? CIA or Pentagon? Trump backed by the military, so I am guessing pentagon wrote the list.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 5 2018 8:55 utc | 51

@Lysander 48
Kazakstan; The US will probably use financial pressure, as JP Morgan "froze" some 42% of their financial reserves to cover a small debt question (Belgian - Danish if my memeory serves me right) of about 800 million. ie. They froze about 23 billion of their sovereign wealth fund.
If Kazakstan does the "right thing" it might get some of that back. maybe.....

Posted by: stonebird | Jan 5 2018 9:11 utc | 52

I would resist the urge to read too much into it now since we're early in the development. Add it to MbS move to charge 'corruption' in KSA and it looks like a push to force Wahhabists out into the open.
This four year old article speaks to the separation of church and state:
Wahhabism to ISIS: how Saudi Arabia exported the main source of global terrorism

During the 18th century, revivalist movements sprang up in many parts of the Islamic world as the Muslim imperial powers began to lose control of peripheral territories. In the west at this time, we were beginning to separate church from state, but this secular ideal was a radical innovation: as revolutionary as the commercial economy that Europe was concurrently devising. No other culture regarded religion as a purely private activity, separate from such worldly pursuits as politics, so for Muslims the political fragmentation of their society was also a religious problem. Because the Quran had given them a sacred mission – to build a just economy in which everybody was treated with equity and respect – the political well-being of the umma (“community”) was always a matter of sacred import. If the poor were oppressed, the vulnerable exploited or state institutions corrupt, Muslims were obliged to make every effort to put society back on track.

Posted by: Stryker | Jan 5 2018 9:45 utc | 53

In 1980 President Carter proclaimed that any challenge to American dominance of the Persian Gulf would be considered “an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America.” He was driven by the global imperatives of his era. Much of America’s oil came through the Persian Gulf, and the West could not risk losing it to Soviet power.
Today there is no Soviet Union, and we no longer rely on Middle East oil. Yet although the basis for our policy has evaporated, the policy itself remains unchanged, a relic from a bygone age.

The Soviet Union may not exist anymore, but China does, and most of its oil still comes from the Persian Gulf (which still comes by sea, hence the Chinese necessity of the OBOR), whose route can still be easily blocked by the US Navy both in the Hormuz and the Malacca.

Besides, this shale oil bonanza may be ephemeral. See

Posted by: VK | Jan 5 2018 10:52 utc | 54

Posted by: William Rood | Jan 4, 2018 10:38:18 PM | 38

Trump is working for the hardliners, Europe prefers Rouhani.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2018 10:53 utc | 55

Posted by: VK | Jan 5, 2018 5:52:28 AM | 54

Economy is global. Blocking the Persian Gulf would make prices go up everywhere. If China is hit the US are hit.

U.S. goods and services trade with China totaled an estimated $648.2 billion in 2016. Exports were $169.3 billion; imports were $478.9 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China was $309.6 billion in 2016.

Nationalist policies are impossible in this context but people's brains are firmly tribally wired, so politicians try to score points playing to national sentiment ie. Trump.

Most of the military is useless as there are no enemies left just "competitors" according to the Trump doctrine - but these competitors are tied to each other closely.

But people have been indoctrinated to be good and fight "evil" for a long time and the military wants budget increases so enemies - ISIS, Muslims, Iran, whoever, are produced.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2018 11:23 utc | 56

Ian @20

The map reflects little more than geography. The south and east of Iran is sparesely populated desert, the west and north are not.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 5 2018 13:03 utc | 57

@ somebody 56
"Most of the military is useless as there are no enemies left just "competitors" according to the Trump doctrine - but these competitors are tied to each other closely."
The US problem with China goes beyond competition, as the US charges China with upsetting the global norms that have long been dictated by the US.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 5 2018 15:27 utc | 58

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 5, 2018 10:27:01 AM | 58

Which norms?

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2018 15:32 utc | 59

"It is not the UN's business to insert itself into internal affairs of any country."


Except North Korea of course. Starving 25 million persons doesn't seem to bother many in the enlightened assembly.

Posted by: ken | Jan 5 2018 15:36 utc | 60

Turkey seems to have joined the resistance axis for good.

For some reason they blame UAE not Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2018 15:52 utc | 61

SH @7

That about sums it up... succinct & to the point... thank you

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 5 2018 15:58 utc | 62

@somebody 58
"Which norms?"
The basic norms are that the US controls the world politically, economically and militarily, and those controls are being threatened. Iran won't do what we tell it to do, China has an unshakable economic advantage under state control and contests US rule of the seas, Russia is designing weapons far in advance of US ones, North Korea wants nukes for defense just like the big guys,...the list goes on.

from the National Security Strategy

China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity. They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence. At the same time, the dictatorships of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran are determined to destabilize regions, threaten Americans and our allies, and brutalize their own people... .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 5 2018 16:10 utc | 63

I would call this constructing enemies and threats. It is absurd when you consider the economic codependency of China and the US.

From Merriam Webster - definition of norms

1 : an authoritative standard : model
2 : a principle of right action binding upon the members of a group and serving to guide, control, or regulate proper and acceptable behavior

No society lacks norms governing conduct. —Robert K. Merton

I repeat - what norms?

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2018 16:57 utc | 64

Anonymous @57
However it does show up that Iran is a central node for the rail and road links to OBOR. Most maps place the lines of transit either north of the caspian or via sea links along the Persian gulf.
Admittedly, it can be argued that naturally protests happened only in the urban areas, and there are more of those in the North rather than the South. The map does not show the pipeline explosion in southern Baluchistan either.

One other thing it does not show is the Pakistan connections to OBOR. (Northwards) (ps. and Pakistan is in the "bad-books" of the US for not allowing unlimited drone killing in the tribal areas)
But I found it interesting none the less.

Posted by: stonebird | Jan 5 2018 17:16 utc | 65

64 Iran's geopolitical position is superb. What you see today is the shrunk mountainous part of the Persian empire that used to bridge Asia, Europe and Africa. The "Iranian aggression" the US hate so much is the cultural sphere left by history.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2018 17:28 utc | 66

"No the Hegemon must be appeased by its vassals, Russia and China. Sure they'll often say the right thing outside the UN, but when the US snaps its fingers, they snap to."

Things have changed in the past few years. And the change has been of tectonic plate significance. China and Russia are no longer afraid of US power, whether it be of the military, economic or cultural sort. US threats no longer impress those who have seen the idiocy at work in Iraq, Libya and Syria. The US petro dollar and SWIFT are being reduced, daily, in their abilities to do mischief.
And, perhaps most significant of all, US culture is now seen to be utterly corrupt, its news media-from the NY Times and Guardian downwards, prostituted and propagandistic; its legal system, exemplified by Guantanamo, an insult to kangaroos. Nobody believes either threats, promises or even passing observations datelined Washington, New York, Hollywood or London.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 5 2018 17:33 utc | 67

There will be no attack on Iran.

I’m parotting myself, apologies. — That judgment depends partly on how one reads the history of Iran. (E.g. Victory for islamist / muslim brothers / the like, in 1979, perhaps, *loved* or instrumentalised by the US.)

Israel and KSA might wish such. Neither will attempt anything alone nor together (together is risky for both of them) they merely prod the USA, they are used to influecing the hegemon they think hope pray so it be.

The US will not attack Iran, too risky, complex. The balance of power has shifted marginally but noticeably in favor of the opponents of the US, Iran in first place, after the defeat in Syria (partly because of US actions in the region, which perpetually end up re-inforcing Iran.. go figure, long story..) with a now resurgent Russia openly defending its interests to prevent more chaos (in their terms) and take-over while still very hesitant back-benchers.

The entire world hailed the Kerry-Obama initiative to lift sanctions > Iran for business, economic reasons (energy, big corps, varous infrastr., import export, profits, etc. etc. ) as well as more ‘personal’ ones, travel, small biz, family, ordinary contacts (which btw the US allowed in some measure as they knew it would be bad PR to forbid) such as chess championships, photo shoots for various contests like sports, mathematicians meets, thousands of ‘student exchanges,’ love marriages, and on and on.

As b points out, the EU is furious, why, after all this struggle, cannot we, trade normally with this country? Plus Trump as prez. is easily denigrated and opposed. Once more, it is blatant that the US cannot be trusted, ever, ever.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 5 2018 18:24 utc | 68

First I would like to first give "Three cheers for our queer old dean!" 
USA "Rah Rah Rah" is old and will not happen.
Iran is not going to be invaded, just as attack on N.Korea is not going to happen. All this is not going to happen.
It's done and over. USA is finished. It's a new year. Be happy.

Posted by: Rev. Spooner | Jan 5 2018 18:48 utc | 69

I see in a recent Reuters article US oil production has risen to just under ten thousand barrels a day, which is close to coving half of US demand. From what I have read, a lot of wells have been drilled then capped, waiting for prices to rise. Trump just opened up large areas of the US continental shelf for exploration and drilling.
The US is no longer reliant on oil imports from Saudi Arabia, and as Russia is now a rival to KSA in oil production and many other countries exporting oil, Saudi's selling oil in US dollars no longer guarantees that the world must use US dollars in trade.
A limited war with Iran, perhaps cutting supplies from the area would boost oil prices, kick start the US oil industry and hurt China.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 5 2018 18:59 utc | 70

About democracy or despotism in Iran: there are four to five nominally democratic governments in West Asia, in Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Iran, and all fit into rubric "imperfect democracies". It is a bit moot to ponder which one is less imperfect and which is "better" because you can always latch on characteristics that you view as "important".

All absolute monarchies are our friends, while the attitude to "imperfect democracies" is mixed, suggesting a preference for clear-cut despotism, and more reliably, very low actual interest in democracy.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 5 2018 19:30 utc | 71

@Stryker | Jan 5, 2018 4:45:21 AM | 53

Because the Quran had given them a sacred mission – to build a just economy in which everybody was treated with equity and respect – the political well-being of the umma (“community”) was always a matter of sacred import. If the poor were oppressed, the vulnerable exploited or state institutions corrupt, Muslims were obliged to make every effort to put society back on track.

And that, I fear, is the original and authentic definition of jihad, at least in Shia Islam, as I have understood in some books I was doned while visiting Nasarieh Madrassa in Isfahan, for to protect the poor and vulnerable from oppression and exploitation by corrupted states or institutions. It was precisely while doing that the so venerated by these muslims, Imam Ali (AS), was killed in martyrdom. Also he was recommending avoiding use of violence whenever was not necessary....

This is the man, the way I saw they represented him in Iran::

And these are some of his quotes ( sorry for the long links, but this can not be reduced to a few words...I hope this do not provoke any damage ), I post them here for you to know the kind of thinking of this wise man, which most probably will help you understanding Iran and Shia world....

The same way, you can conclude that what terrorists groups like IS, AL Nusra, Al Qaeda and so on....perform is anything except jihad, since working for the oppressors against the oppressed and moreover employing gratuitous violence in massive killings in the most macabre ways and destruction of basic infrastructures needed for preserving people´s way of life, cultural and historical heritage and the likes we are so accustomed today.
That is not jihad but common psychopathic thuggery teached by their psychopathic masters.

Finally, after reading and considering all this, in case you lost it, I will post here the speech of Mr.Rouhani at the last UNGA, for you to compare with that of his main opponents, and then you take your conclusions on who is demonized by whom and who is the real evil:

FULL: President Hassan Rouhani Speech at UN (9-20-17) | Sep 20, 2017

Posted by: elsi | Jan 5 2018 20:00 utc | 72

Peter AU 1 @ 51: Wesley Clark's hit list probably came from the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) think tank, several of whose authors were neocons with dual citizenship loyalties. (Robert Kagan aka Mr Victoria Nuland comes to mind.) Some signatories - Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz - wound up in George W Bush's administration. PNAC was mothballed in 2006 but its ideology and aims still survive in Washington DC.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 5 2018 20:04 utc | 73

@38 WH, et al... great analysis!

Always worth the price of admission here... next round on me
Danke b

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 5 2018 20:09 utc | 74

Posted by: elsi | Jan 5, 2018 3:00:52 PM | 72

I have not noticed that this quote about the camel and the eye of the needle did do anything for the Christian poor.

I would also suggest that a living income is a human right, not charity.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2018 20:24 utc | 75

PNAC never goes away. It just changes its name. It used to be called Manifest Destiny. The USA still demands Full Spectrum Dominance which requires acquiesence, subjugation and obedience from its "allies & partners" while it bombs the hell out of its perceived enemies (but only the defenseless ones).

There must be some benefit to the partners of a mad and paranoid dominator, but I can't see the attraction.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jan 5 2018 20:41 utc | 76

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 5, 2018 1:59:38 PM | 70

It would help Russia, would it not?

Apart from that, it would hit the consumer who in the end will have to pay the price of oil and - with bad luck - it will be the beginning of world wide recession - leading to lower oil price.

Some people would profit but these are the people who profit from anything, crises included.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2018 20:44 utc | 77

Don B @ 63 said:"The basic norms are that the US controls the world politically, economically and militarily, and those controls are being threatened. Iran won't do what we tell it to do, China has an unshakable economic advantage under state control and contests US rule of the seas, Russia is designing weapons far in advance of US ones, North Korea wants nukes for defense just like the big guys,...the list goes on."

IMO, as of now, correct, although slowly changing. Hurry up please, a multi-polar world. The health of the world depends on that happening...

Posted by: ben | Jan 5 2018 21:03 utc | 78

@somebody | Jan 5, 2018 3:24:09 PM | 75

Indeed, and I agree with you and those are some of the reasons, amongst many, why I left the Catholic church in which I was baptized and educated, although I never regreted my education at a Catholic school and the values transmitted at home, being my mother a very religious person in the past. Those two aspects you cite here are those most probably invented by religious ( in association with non religious ) hierarchies so that people resigns itself to its destiny determined by birth or fatality, for not to mention the ethernal Catholic church allignement with fascist dictators instead of with the oppressed....

But if you read, at least the quotes I have selected, they make a lot of sense, and they are like a guide or advice by a good and wise friend or protector, I can not find in Imam Ali´s quotes and sayings anything resembling surrender or avoiding fighting for a better destinty, a better world or a more dignified situation. Also you notice what he said about women....Then you have the misinterpretations by people in Islam with spurious interests according to their own personal background...

Anyway, what I was trying to do is trying to demosntrate what kind of influences could have Iranian people in their way of behavior and way of life, nothing to do with promoting Islam or Shia Islam in any way, although I must confess a bit keen on Imam Ali, although still I do not get to celebrate Ashura....But...who knows...

Iranians have also other influences, as well, and, as Rouhani pointed out in his speech, those influences came from so distant times as those of Zoroastro, whose religion´s main directives could be summarized in three main principles, say "To talk well, think well, behave well", passing through the times of their many tolerant and intelligent dirigents who always protected, liberated and even hosted oppressed minorities along history, not to mention their love and promotion of culture, sciences, technology and knowledge in general.
It has been through absorbing all this knowledge and influences what has come to conform what is today a very hospitable, educated, respectfull, and kindhearted society.

Posted by: elsi | Jan 5 2018 21:07 utc | 79

@Noirette 68
One large factor keeping the US from attacking Iran (and North Korea) is the US strategy of forward basing. The US has half a dozen installations and 40,000 troops, also civilians, on the western side of the Gulf within easy rocket & missile range from Iran. Korea is similar, with the US Osan Air Base and Camp Humphreys, including civilians and dependents, within range of DPRK rockets. Any planned attack would have to be preceded by an evacuation, which is impractical.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 5 2018 21:08 utc | 80

@somebody 64
. . . the economic codependency of China and the US.
from Bloomberg--

China’s Global Ambitions Could Split the World Economy
Globalization -- China wants to control it. Instead of integrating China into the existing world order, it is creating a separate economic bloc, with different dominant companies and technologies, and covered by rules, institutions, and trade patterns dictated by Beijing.. .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 5 2018 21:13 utc | 81

somebody 77
After posting my thoughts on the US forces in Syria pivot on Iran, I started thinking about Trump tweeting support for the protesters. A sure means of stopping any genuine domestic protest in Iran in its tracks. Why? Trump laid a trap for someone? Was the exercise to create tension and drive oil prices up? It could be just because Trump foolishly thought it would help the protesters, but I feel he may have had other reasons for doing so.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 5 2018 21:17 utc | 82

Seymour Hersh, 2012, wrote:

Five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated since 2007. M.E.K. spokesmen have denied any involvement in the killings, but early last month NBC News quoted two senior Obama Administration officials as confirming that the attacks were carried out by M.E.K. units that were financed and trained by Mossad, the Israeli secret service. NBC further quoted the Administration officials as denying any American involvement in the M.E.K. activities. The former senior intelligence official I spoke with seconded the NBC report that the Israelis were working with the M.E.K., adding that the operations benefitted from American intelligence. He said that the targets were not “Einsteins”; “The goal is to affect Iranian psychology and morale,” he said, and to “demoralize the whole system—nuclear delivery vehicles, nuclear enrichment facilities, power plants.” Attacks have also been carried out on pipelines. He added that the operations are “primarily being done by M.E.K. through liaison with the Israelis, but the United States is now providing the intelligence.” An adviser to the special-operations community told me that the links between the United States and M.E.K. activities inside Iran had been long-standing. “Everything being done inside Iran now is being done with surrogates,” he said.

The sources I spoke to were unable to say whether the people trained in Nevada were now involved in operations in Iran or elsewhere. But they pointed to the general benefit of American support. “The M.E.K. was a total joke,” the senior Pentagon consultant said, “and now it’s a real network inside Iran. How did the M.E.K. get so much more efficient?” he asked rhetorically. “Part of it is the training in Nevada. Part of it is logistical support in Kurdistan, and part of it is inside Iran. M.E.K. now has a capacity for efficient operations that it never had before.”

Posted by: mauisurfer | Jan 5 2018 21:21 utc | 83

The south and east of Iran is sparesely populated desert, the west and north are not.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 5, 2018 8:03:59 AM | 57

Not so, provinces like Isfahan or Kerman, located in the center or in the South are amongst the most populated and are also main industrial nods:

Population of Iran by Province

Posted by: elsi | Jan 5 2018 21:28 utc | 84

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 5, 2018 4:17:33 PM | 82

I think they tried to panic the Tehran "regime" to a clampdown and at the same time tried to ensure "protesters" inside Iran that they would get support from the US.

Trump and the Jerusalem Post (plus probably Al-Arabya) were the first to have heard of the protests. BBC Persian seems to have been involved in collecting the videos from the start.

I guess, when the money is paid for something like this everyone continues to work even though everyone knows it will be a failure.

Nikki Haley is just getting a severe beating by the countries on the UN security council. Lots of ambassadors bring up the unsolved two state solution in Palestine.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2018 21:31 utc | 85

Amongst the many still photos and videos of the numerous pro-government marches posted here, I see no placards written in English; all are in Farsi, which isn't the case with the previous small protests. If audible volume could express the differences, it would be deafening!

It seems the Big News of the day is the fallout between the Outlaw US Empire and its troublesome vassal Pakistan. Imran Khan was very outspoken in an interview with CNN that Pakistan could do very well without any further US "aid" and welcomed the cooling of relations: "Yet another attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty today! Donald Trump & his threat; how low can one stoop? Are we so greedy and in-need of US AID? We fought their war and lost our people. We fought their war and lost our integrity. We fought their war and lost our dignity!!!" He conducted a news conference today that can be viewed at Tehreek-e-Insaf"s Twitter site, unfortunately broken into small snippets and only in Urdu. Now, if India and Pakistan would end their many years of bombastic behavior toward each other that only serves the Outlaw US Empire's purposes, an opportunity for great progress exists that didn't just a few days ago.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 5 2018 22:18 utc | 86

Commenting via phone is painful. But the occasion warrants it.
Something large is looming over the West's destruction of
numerous Nations beginning in 2001. In all the reasoning about
the imperialistic stance of the West towards its global play
ground, one aspect is most often overlooked.
'Money'. While the notion stands "follow the money", it is
seldom elevated to its real importance. After all, politics
and especially global politics appear to remain within the
boundaries of Nationalism. The so called 'unipolar" world
is not different from a 'multipolar' world subdued to monetary
interests. Iran is not even a new target in this regard. The
immense amounts of money that are to be had via the control
of the Iranian territory are second to no other Middle Eastern
It is therefore that I like to point towards 'money' as being
the underlying motivation for the destruction of Middle Eastern
and North African Nations. This sentiment was enforced today
when I read the latest essay by Eric Zuesse about "Who will
pay for the reconstruction of Syria". Due to the problematic
of writing on a phone, I shall be forgiven the insertion of
this link without formatting it.
Please take the time and read it, since it opens up a box,
that makes Pandora's appear like a matchbox.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Jan 5 2018 22:44 utc | 87

Slowly but constantly the good old europeans are discovering they can stand against who fooled them so long
in the name of ''protection''. And how stupid they have behaved.
A second hint wishfully the street guys in europe find out that has been their own elites´game only...
We latin americans cannot understand such a yesmanship, such a long and deep hibernation from those white savvy post christian self sufficient europs.
Perhaps they are seeing light that comes from beijing.
better late than never.

Posted by: augusto | Jan 5 2018 22:59 utc | 88

Its plan foiled within Iran, the Outlaw US Empire sends its paid goons to throw stones at Iranian Embassies, the Netherlands's certainly, and total defeat and humiliation pilled-on at the UNSC. And an interesting thought item from Brasco_Aad's Twitter: Beste [sic] quote this week came from Henry Kissinger (what do you know, right?)

"There is a HUGE war going on within the White House between the Jews and the Non-Jews at the moment.

"Between the Jews and the Non-Jews.

"Let that sink in for a minute."

Meanwhile in Syria's Idlib, SAA Tiger Forces are rolling up village after village and captured the key transport node of Sinjar. It's also been announced that Iran will get a large proportion of the reconstruction contracts which will certainly help Iran's economic condition. I can't help feeling the Shock Doctrine's boomeranged on The Outlaw US Empire and its regime change partners.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 5 2018 23:09 utc | 89

Sputnik provides an excellent recap of today's UNSC proceedings.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 5 2018 23:31 utc | 90

Paris does not follow Washington tune, and, apparently, neither does Chicago. Nice quote: The double standard isn’t new. In 1981, Ronald Reagan’s defense secretary, Caspar Weinberger, vowed not to allow “a hopelessly repressive, medieval government, such as has taken over in Iran, to take over in Saudi Arabia” — somehow overlooking that the Saudis already had their own repressive, medieval government.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 5 2018 23:41 utc | 91

Meanwhile in Syria's Idlib, SAA Tiger Forces are rolling up village after village and captured the key transport node of Sinjar. It's also been announced that Iran will get a large proportion of the reconstruction contracts which will certainly help Iran's economic condition. I can't help feeling the Shock Doctrine's boomeranged on The Outlaw US Empire and its regime change partners.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 5, 2018 6:09:34 PM | 89

Not exactly, all current maps show the line of control 3 km (2 miles) south of Sinjar, and the latest advance of Tigers was expanding their salient to east and west, securing the flanks. In the meantime, multiple rebel brigades (rebel brigade is like a platoon in a regular army) reinforced the defense of Sinjar area. The trademark Tiger tactic is to abruptly change the direction of advance rather than trying to crush the most fortified positions. But they got to their targets on many occasions.

Perhaps the strategic goal is to punch through a new supply line to Aleppo that would be several times more economical than the current Khanasser route: the railroad from Hama to Aleppo. The economy of the Aleppo, the largest center of population and industry before the civil war, would get a huge boost, and "Idlibstan" would be reduced in size by one third once the isolated eastern part would be mopped out. We can see it before the Spring.

A big unnown is what Erdogan, ever mercurial, will be doing. Suddenly he have returned to his past slogan about Assad being the largest criminal etc., does it mean renewal of supplies of heavy weapons to idlib rebels? I guess it is already happening, but the situation is convoluted. Erdogan was making moves against Afrin Kurds, and probably he got Syrian/Russian red light, but if he will insist too much, Kurds will get Russian weapons from Syrians. But Erdogan's card are weapons for Idlib. Such escalation would bleed both Syrians and Turks, to nobody's advantage, except Erdogan's "almost Trumpian" thirst for importance.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 6 2018 0:21 utc | 92

ninel, I have more talking points for you ...

[Iran]The Norm Is NOT Democracy -- the Norm Is Extinction

"Before we wax too eloquent about the democratic aspirations of the great Iranian people, we should keep in the mind that the most probable scenario for Iran under any likely regime is a sickening spiral into poverty and depopulation. Iran has the fastest-aging population of any country in the world, indeed, the fast-aging population of any country in history. It has the highest rate of venereal disease infection and the highest rate of infertility of any country in the world. It has a youth unemployment rate of 35% (adjusted for warehousing young people in state-run diploma mills). And worst of all, it has run out of water."

1. Fastest aging population in the world in history.
2. Highest rate of infertility and VD in the world.
3. Diploma mills and NO WATER.
Ninel, if you are an Iranian why didn't you tell us about this hell hole but instead wax eloquent about the problem of 'child brides'? If PJ media is correct it looks like Iran needs more, not less child brides.

I believe David Goldman, he's published on the Internet, he would never lie or exaggerate about Iran, never.
I try to ignore these things but ... that does sound like a Yiddish name to me which is fine but if is okay to learn about Iran from Jews and Israelis to learn about Iran, should we go to Iran to learn about Israel or are both ideas pretty much insane?

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 6 2018 0:27 utc | 93

There are a lot of motives why the US wants to destroy the Iran. But this is a lot interesting:
New India-Russia/EU route offers Suez alternative'

Posted by: Nick | Jan 6 2018 0:37 utc | 94

Christian Chuba@93

Thanks for the fun "facts" by David Goldman. Interesting how much bullshit is being flinged about Iran. Sadly, ideological drones eat it up.

Here is the CIA source book for a reality check.

Posted by: Krollchem | Jan 6 2018 1:52 utc | 95

Eric Edelman, a fossil of the establishment, put it all into perspective in recent testimony to the US Senate Armed Services Committee recently: (extracts)

. .However tempting a strategy of disengagement might be, we should bear in mind that it would reverse a strong bipartisan consensus over the past 60 years that the maintenance of a stable regional balance and prevention of any external or regional power from dominating the Middle East is vital to the nation’s security.

Since 2009 the United States has pursued a policy of retrenchment and limited liability in the region that has raised questions about its role as the Middle East’s security guarantor. This was first made clear during the Obama Administration, which expressed through policy statements its desire to unburden America of the region altogether and “pivot” to East Asia. As a result, the United States withdrew from Iraq at the end of 2011, it failed to uphold its own redline against Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Syria in 2013, and President Obama expressed a desire for Saudi Arabia and Iran to “share the neighborhood and institute some sort of cold peace.”

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program removed some limits on Iran’s power projection capabilities by freeing up resources that Tehran subsequently redirected to its weapons programs and support for proxies. The agreement was seen by many Sunni Arab allies in the region as undermining U.S. pledges to constrain Tehran’s revisionist ambitions in the region.

President Trump’s policies in the region to this point, although couched in very different rhetoric, have broadly continued the policies of his predecessor, perhaps reflecting the views of the Middle East he put forth during the campaign. He called it “one big, fat quagmire” and welcomed Russian intervention in Syria. Whether or not he will put into place a different strategy remains an open

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 6 2018 3:07 utc | 96

@93 christian.. shhh... don't wake him up.. he's sleeping..

Posted by: james | Jan 6 2018 3:14 utc | 97

@90 karlof1

Thanks for the Sputnik report on the UNSC session. Now the US has been rebuffed at the UN twice in two weeks (with the Jerusalem vote being the first). Actions become habits, as we all know. Perhaps the world could get used to this groove of rebuffing the US.

Finally, the US is losing its global influence. This was all that was left to fear.


The UNSC has handed the US its hat, and rejected the US effort to examine the internal affairs of Iran, as exceeding its charter and wholly inappropriate. Both France and UK have spoken in full support of keeping the nuclear deal going - which makes 4 out of 5 of the veto-holding, permanent members of the Security Council, with the US being the odd one out.

We now enter a time of seeing exactly what economic power the US wields when the world doesn't agree with it. When the world does agree, no question but the US is to be feared in the realm of sanctions, contracts and money movements. But it appears that the fearsome power of sanctions is something that the US will have to act alone to levy against Iran.

And what is the power of sanctions when the world begins to re-route around them? Why stay in the US Dollar when the cost and effort involved outweighs the costs of alternatives?

I don't know what these relative answers are, only that we now get to watch them being weighed, over the next, perhaps 12-18 months.


We've seen that the US military cannot or will not fight. We've long suspected that its intelligence gathering is hugely defective. We've seen that its economic heft resides not so much in its own transactions as in its power to compel others to make or forego their own transactions in a prescribed way. And now we're seeing that its ability to forge agreement for its policies is slipping. As this consensus tears, the propaganda cannot hold. There's nothing left.

So let's hope the US continues to come out with these half-assed initiatives that both fail to succeed and fail to impress others.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 6 2018 3:58 utc | 98

Editor's Note
By Benjamin Wittes Wednesday, January 3, 2018, 6:52 PM

Earlier today, Lawfare published an article that was significantly beneath its editorial standards. I take full responsibility for this decision and, on behalf of myself and Lawfare’s board of directors, wish to explain the circumstances of the decision to publish it and the steps we are taking to ensure that such a lapse does not happen again.

This is indeed weird note. The plan of providing protesters with improvised explosive devices lacked legal analysis, so perhaps a more proper venue would be Unlawfare or Soldier of Misfortune, because try as I might, I do not see how such a plan could fit in any legal framework (or even a plan for a successful rebellion). But somehow good mister Wittes does not write it directly.

Indeed, it reminds me a discussion that requires a bit of cut and paste to refresh our memory:

[item] On January 2, 2016, armed militants seized the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon, United States and continued to occupy it until law enforcement made a final arrest on February 11, 2016. Their leader was Ammon Bundy, who participated in the 2014 Bundy standoff at his ...

[item] Ammon Bundy, 6 others acquitted in Oregon standoff trial - CNN
Oct 28, 2016 - Seven people who were among the armed occupiers of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon earlier this year were acquitted Thursday of charges related to the 41-day standoff.

The point we "debated" or joked about is how that failed protest would gain if moderate elements were supplied with more advanced weapons, anti-vehicle and anti-aircraft missiles, and perhaps those improvised land mines too? Apart from jokes, they would be annihilated using high altitude precision bombing, and few American would shed tears. Instead, they became cheap martyrs, acquitted by a sympathetic jury and without a doubt, we can expect to see them again at another fun-filled protest. In other words, their cause lives and they keep marching on.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 6 2018 4:11 utc | 99

If not conventional war then economic war is just around the corner.

Until and unless countries switch to alternative international currency exchange and transaction processing services that are not controlled by the private finance cabal, those countries will be susceptible to manipulated currency valuations and erratic or halted electronic transaction processing.....war by other means. A controlled crash of the US economy can cow the mightiest naysayers when they need more IMF/World Bank juice for their countries response to the coming economic pneumonia.

I expect that late term actions like this will be accompanied by more communication manipulation and control such as outages.....blamed on terrorists/Russia of course.

What is Hollywood going to do with the reality we see unfolding in front of us? Can they get out in front of the energy forming and turn it into a parade of their propaganda tunes? It is not looking like same old, same old this time....but I have been too optimistic before.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 6 2018 4:33 utc | 100

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