Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 12, 2018

Countdown To War On Iran

John Bolton is a ruthless man:

In early 2002, a year before the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration was putting intense pressure on [José] Bustani to quit as director-general of the [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons].
Bolton — then serving as under secretary of state for Arms Control and International Security Affairs — arrived in person at the OPCW headquarters in the Hague to issue a warning to the organization’s chief. And, according to Bustani, Bolton didn’t mince words. “Cheney wants you out,” Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. “We can’t accept your management style.”

Bolton continued, according to Bustani’s recollections: “You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you.”

There was a pause.

“We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”

José Bustani successfully negotiated to get OPCW inspectors back into Iraq. They would have found nothing. That would have contradicted the U.S. propaganda campaign to wage war on Iraq. When Bustani did not leave voluntarily, the U.S. threatened to cut the OPCW's budget and "convinced" other countries in the executive council to kick him out.

John Bolton was also behind a campaign against the IAEA and its chief Mohamed ElBaradei. ElBaradei's phone was tapped and rumors were launched against him to oust him from his office.


The U.S. administration, the neoconservatives and the media are running a remake (recommended) of the propaganda campaign they had launched to wage war on Iraq. This time the target is Iran:

As with Iraq, it’s easier for Bolton and Netanyahu to achieve that goal if they discredit the current system of international inspections. Bolton has called the inspection efforts established by the Iran nuclear deal “fatally inadequate” and declared that “the International Atomic Energy Agency” is “likely missing significant Iranian [nuclear] facilities.” In his 2015 speech to Congress attacking the Iran deal, Netanyahu insisted that “Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them.”

Anyone who counters their propaganda must go. Bolton, who demands to bomb Iran, is back in charge. One of his natural targets is the IAEA which certifies that Iran sticks to the nuclear deal. It seems that Bolton succeeds with his machinations:

The chief of inspections at the U.N. nuclear watchdog has resigned suddenly, the agency said on Friday without giving a reason.

The departure of Tero Varjoranta comes at a sensitive time, three days after the United States announced it was quitting world powers’ nuclear accord with Iran, raising questions as to whether Tehran will continue to comply with it.

Varjoranta, a Finn, had been a deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and head of its Department of Safeguards, which verifies countries’ compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, since October 2013.

Another casualty is the State Department bureaucrat who certified Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal:

One of the State Department’s top experts on nuclear proliferation resigned this week after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, in what officials and analysts say is part of a worrying brain drain from public service generally over the past 18 months.

Richard Johnson, a career civil servant who served as acting assistant coordinator in State’s Office of Iran Nuclear Implementation, had been involved in talks with countries that sought to salvage the deal in recent weeks, including Britain, France, and Germany — an effort that ultimately failed.
The office Johnson led has gone from seven full-time staffers to none since Trump’s inauguration.

The man who launched the war on Iraq now gets awards. Netanyahoo is agitating for war on Iran just like he agitated for war on Iraq.  Shady groups of nutty "experts" peddle policy papers for 'regime change'. U.S. "allies" are put under pressure. With their willingness to "compromise" they actually further the prospect of war. When they insist on sticking to international rules malign actors prepare measures to break their resistance. All that is still just a "shaping operation", a preparation of the battlefield of public opinion. This buildup towards the war will likely take a year or two.

What is still needed is an event that pushes the U.S. public into war fever. The U.S. typically uses false-flag incidents - the Tonkin incident, the sinking of the Maine, the Anthrax murders - to create a psychological pseudo-rationale for war. An Israel lobbyist begs for one to launch war on Iran.

One wonders when and how a new 9/11 like incident, or another Anthrax scare, will take place. It will be the surest sign that the countdown to war on Iran has started.

Posted by b on May 12, 2018 at 10:35 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Because of their large inertia, these things, when they get moving, cannot be stopped and proceed to the inevitable. The ziocons have pushed the boulder and it's starting to roll.

Posted by: kilo | May 12 2018 10:51 utc | 1

It is starting to be frightening now.
The United States is a terrorist state by any measure.
A terrorist state not even in the control of its own population
It is inflicting financial terrorism across the planet.
It is exerting extortion, greed and tribute on behalf of an occupying power in the western portion of Palestine.
Bombing and destroying any nation standing in the way of that terrorist nation's expansion and occupation.
When are the world's nations finally going to get together and refuse US imposed vassalege fronting for these occupiers.
And when will they start standing up for their own populations and people everywhere?
must be faced down and stopped or their is no free world and no future of one.

Posted by: Emily | May 12 2018 10:55 utc | 2

Careful what you wish for. The continued war making that the U.S. is engaged in today, just may include getting bit in that place where the sun don't shine. The country is overextended militarily, hasn't the ability to defend all theaters, and contrary to what some assume, the anti-war thinking is growing. Lessons learned from Viet-Nam, not what one may think.

Posted by: originalone | May 12 2018 10:56 utc | 3

There isn't the same unity throughout the powers that be, particularly in the mainstream media, that there was when Bush was President. Trump through the hatred he generates theoughout the 'upper crust', makes it hard for many deep staters to get on board a war drive he would lead.

And as you said, b, Trump needs a real or false flag, one with many casualties, and something that won't fall apart from lack of evidence and a few days of rational scrutiny. Sounds like a job for the Saudi mercenaries, Al Qaeda or ISIS.

Posted by: fairleft | May 12 2018 11:12 utc | 4

People in high places are leaving due to team Trump threats.
Receiving mail from team trump employed black cube is no small thing. Kudos to you b for sticking with it.
Two thoughts on US going to war with Iran. 10 It will destroy the US or certainly the US empire and hegemony. 2) Iran needs plenty of help and respect during and after as they will destroy the US. Not physically, but they will destroy US power.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 12 2018 11:14 utc | 5

What do those ziocons have in their hands that lets them get away with it over and over again?

Posted by: Gesine Hammerling | May 12 2018 12:04 utc | 6

The question we all want to know is, did Trump appoint lunatic Bolton entirely of his own volition, or was he forced to appoint this psychopath? The reach of the US deep state seems to be limitless. A curious thing happened the other day when someone in the US administration announced that America would no longer be funding the white helmets propaganda outfit. Over here in the UK parliament an opposition member of parliament was practically foaming at the mouth with rage and demanded of prime minister Mrs May that the UK would be continuing to fund the white helmets. When she assured him that the UK was fully behind the white helmets and that funding would remain in place, there was a cheer from around the house. I'm amazed that Bolton allowed the administration to cut off funding when even the UK idiots in parliament want to fund the propaganda arm of the head choppers.

Posted by: john wilson | May 12 2018 12:06 utc | 7

Iran is quite safe. Regime change is possible in the US.

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2018 12:16 utc | 8

I am just curious to know how much influence John Bolton can exercise as National Security Advisor: is his position part of the President's Executive Office and does he (Bolton, that is) have a department to answer to him and a budget? Is his position any more secure than, say, Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State?

Posted by: Jen | May 12 2018 12:24 utc | 9

Gesine Hammerling @6:

Mementos from Epstein Island.

Posted by: Ian | May 12 2018 12:44 utc | 10

The more that Trump is pushed into a corner by investigations of various scandals, the more he needs something to distract from them. A war in a far-off country would be the perfect thing to get people rallying around the President.

Posted by: ralphieboy | May 12 2018 12:52 utc | 11

Jen @9:
From what I understand, Pompeo is much higher on the food chain. The SoS is in the line of succession; advisors are not. I believe the position is just a single individual with closer access to the POTUS.

Posted by: Ian | May 12 2018 12:53 utc | 12

I said it many times before, and I can safely repeat it again, there wont be a hot war with Iran. Entire NATO couldnt defeat Iran, and US would go alone (maybe Israel would piggyback few shots). It would end as catastrophe for US and de-facto end as the main superpower. Pentagon (and even CIA) are many things, but suicidally stupid isnt one of them, neither is Trump, or even Nutjobyahoo.

What we will see is more sanctions (to try to create civil unrest) and another "color revolution" endeavor, and it will fail too.

Posted by: Harry | May 12 2018 12:59 utc | 13


Top 3 nato countries could take out Iran military within a day, but nato cannot invade, occupy it in my opinion.

Posted by: Anon | May 12 2018 13:05 utc | 14

Gesine Hammerling says:

What do those ziocons have in their hands that lets them get away with it over and over again

notwithstanding your ziocons, you got an hour and a half?

Jen says:

I am just curious to know how much influence John Bolton can exercise as National Security Advisor

maybe you should ask Condoleezza Rice?

Posted by: john | May 12 2018 13:11 utc | 15

14 "take out" ?

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2018 13:12 utc | 16

Trump coopted by the neo-cons? Exactly what lever would they have on Trumpty Dumbdy that isn't already public knowledge? Misogyny, Philandering?... already tried that pussy-grabbing Stormy front. Financial improprieties? That Trump Inc. was/is a serial bankrupt corporation, even screwing low-income students and any building contractor it could?... Old news. That Trumpty Dumbdy is too stupid to read the full documentation presented to him, that he can't write/deliver a coherent, logical line of thought?... obvious from well before the day he officially declared his candidacy.

Trump (and his real estate "empire") was and is a product of the Rothschild cabal, and he was deliberately foisted on the US electorate to be the only one in the country Killary could beat... OOPS!

So we are now seeing Plan-B, where Trumpty is manipulated and browbeaten to shed the few shreds of intelligence and decency he still possessed. All the Deep State/Rothschild-enablers have to do is appeal to Trumpty's fragile ego, or Melania's emotional jags, and they are in control.

But even Bolton's ilk must know Russia and China will not stand by while FUKUS/Nutty/MBS openly attack Iran. Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya show the likely course of events where the Zionists are allowed to carry on with the Yinon Plan. Syria is the line in the sand, despite Erdogan trying to play the US off Russia for historical gotcha gains. Don't forget, Erdogan owes his life to Putin, who ensured the US coup failed by targeting the rogue Turk jets tasked with shooting Erdogan's plane down... I'd bet the Turk pilots were told that if they even turned on their targeting systems, they would be shot down... self preservation is a strong deterrent.

Israel/Saudi on their own cannot withstand even Syria, Hizbolla and Iran directly, even if the russian military only backstopped the Syrian alliance. Ahe US public won't tolerate another Iraq debacle, as zero body bags landing at Edwards AFB is the limit. Let alone that Iran would be Iraq on steroids especially for the several 1,000 in the western Syria caldron. It's a big caldron right now, but with Russian-manned mobile S-400's/etc. protecting all Syrian, Iranian and possibly Iraqi airspace, those soldiers/mercenaries are sitting ducks after the first bomb lands in Iran.

Posted by: A P | May 12 2018 13:12 utc | 17

@ Anon, first look up what type of strategy Iran has against US invasion, its literally impossible to take it out in 10 years, let alone in one day :)

Posted by: Harry | May 12 2018 13:13 utc | 18

@14:"Top 3 nato countries could take out Iran military within a day"- highly doubt that.

Ian- agree but don't forget Kissinger and Nixon.

Posted by: morongobill | May 12 2018 13:15 utc | 19

Apologies if following musings are a bit disjointed.

American chronic hostility towards Iran, and long standing American economic and informational and low-level war gainst Iran, has an insane, out-of-touch with reality, ideological/mythological tinge/component to it. I won't try a broad psycho-analysis, or assemble many possible reasons why that might be.

But among those possible components there is a long standing implacable totalitarian bent to US power wielders, reflected in their ordained geo-political communications in the United States. The American economic sanctions and continuously variously hostile policy towards Cuba over more than half a century is an example. The former 'brothel dof the Caribbean' was apparently fine for the US, and the death squad ridden countries of Central America are quite acceptable, but Cuba out of the capitalist orbit? Cuba as attempting a different ideology, and approach: terrible recalcitrant. The very demon of the hemisphere.

In his revelatory book The Praetorian Guard, former CIA John Stockwell noted that as he was growing up, basically nobody questioned the prevailing American ideology and system. Real searching basic debate was absent. Within the context of a culture where freedom of speech is technically prioritized, lauded as an ideal, somehow self-censorship and discussion is limited to within-the-box of convention, thus discussion as scripted theatre, propaganda, dominated overwhelmingly.

No real debate, but what was repeated ad infinitum were messianic messages'we swear allegiance to the flag', we're number one, we're the free world, we're the good guys.

After the JFK coup d'etat, basically everything in American media became an exercise in controlling all political discourse and trying like crazy to make sure pretense prevailed. This was if anything accentuated after the 9/11 false flag treasonous mind-f**k.

There was also a deadly military doctrine adopted by the US after WW2, when segments of US power decided to go for global military domination, basically permanent war and war preparation. The cliche is that the first casualty of war is truth, but in the case of the United States, doubly so, as that train had already left the station.

The United States is a kind of astonishingly cautionary historical example of the deranged trajectory that dishonesty, pretense and censorship as normalized and dominant will ensure. So many natural advantages, but the external manifestation of the US became mass murder and subterfuge; internal problems of the US are festering, metastisizing, and tens of millions of Americans are deeply demoralized, anxiety ridden, emotion-related drug-medication-dependent.

Back to Iran. A few years ago while driving in the evening I turned on the car radio and the first words I heard from a (Jewish) talk show host on a Toronto station was the question: Do you think the Americans have the balls to nuke Iran? Really bizzarre sick question that apparently could be sent out glibly and sefely into the Canadian political discussion universe as an intellectual feat. And on numerous occasions for many years it has been commonplace in Canadian mass media to depict Iran in a hostile, negative light. And as German writer Udo Ulfkotte bravely told us before his untimely death, the CIA also influences and controls and thus contaminates much of European mass media communication.

So the American insanity and dishonesty and war mongering is playing itself out on a broad stage, (witness the truly crazy pathetic British government's behaviour of late) and crazy people do crazy things, so yah, Iran is still in the crosshairs. But there is a kind of desperate, fading, dated quality to the American obsession with 'evil Iran', and lies and make-believe and insanity cannot escape colliding with reality. The collision can make a helluva a mess, but at some point hopefully the pendulum swings towards a reassertion of sanity and decency and honesty.

How many times will Americans shoot themselves in the foot for Israel and fairy tales?

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | May 12 2018 13:18 utc | 20

11 Yep, Reagan and Thatcher were there before. Reagan "was strong" in Grenada and Thatcher in the Falklands.

At present Pompeo seems to try to snatch North Korea from Russia and China.

Bolton seems to plan for war there, too.

I guess the US will have to get clear about their priorities.

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2018 13:21 utc | 21

@ somebody.

"But even Bolton's ilk must know Russia and China will not stand by while FUKUS/Nutty/MBS openly attack Iran"

It appears Putin and Russia have decided to sit all this out. While Putin was enjoying the Victory Parade with Netanyahu,,, Netanyahu was bombing his ally Syria. Putin was all smiles and so far all we hear is crickets.

Putin will sell his S-400 systems to anyone that wants them EXCEPT Syria and all they want is the S-300.

I don't know what's going on but as far as Russia is concerned I wouldn't bank on their helping Iran.

China? China can be purchased like cloths on a rack.

No,,, I think it's pretty open right now for the US to attack Iran. Whether it can survive a war with Iran is doubtful,,, but that's never stopped them before.

Posted by: ken | May 12 2018 13:29 utc | 22



Yes "take out" as I defined not through occupation/invasion but fighter jet strikes and/or from sea. That wont take more than 1 day for 3 top Nato nations.

Posted by: Anon | May 12 2018 13:31 utc | 23

I wonder what is going through the minds of Kim and the South Korean leadership. It is obvious that the US is not agreement capable. What sort of guarantees can the US provide. Even if China and Russia provide guarantees it may not be enough. Kim sees that if a deal is made, then the crippling sanctions could be reimposed or remain. Kim and his sister are not stupid.

Posted by: Nev | May 12 2018 13:37 utc | 24

Neocons and Bolton are Trotskyites. Permanent Revolutionists

The ruling elite never really knew how dumb people were until the internet and social media. With the help of Trumps supporter and Facebook investor Thiel and his company Palintir and Facebook to help them figure out all the data they collected, they know they can make the cattle believe anything without making it believable to anyone with an IQ under 120

The few that figure it out without being members of the cult are isolated and inconsequential.

Plato told us what he hoped would happen. Leo Straus who is the godfather of the neocons emphasized Platos Noble Lie which is behind all of todays fake news/history . Plato was heavily influenced by Irans Zoroastrianism

I believe elements behind the reformation in the 16th century and Sabbateans from the 17th century, Frankists , Freemasons and Jesuits from the 18 th century and Zionists , and Martinists and Marxists from the 19th century joined forces to create a NWO that is a Luciferian cult of Global Synachrists

The neocons are the latest manifestation of the Synarchists, and unfortunately for the world this means global terror much like the Rothschild back Trotsky hoped to accomplish in
the 20th century before being thwarted by Stalin. It also means the end of Religion as Neocons corrupt Protestant Christianity, in US and Across the Atlantic while CIA controlled Jesuit Pope Francis destroys Catholicism. Zionism and the Holocaust wiped out Torah believers and the GWOT and neocons are proceeding to destroy Islam after corrupting it with Islamism with help from the Saudi Arabias corrupt Wahhabism which has spread Islamic extremism along with US and Israel

For those who believe the US can be destroyed, you are in denial. There is no stopping the US/Israel//British/EU alliance. The only hope is that once the perpetual revolution is over that the philosopher kings described by Plato will be merciful. Unfortunately, given many of them are neo-malthusians who think most of humanity are worthless consumers of Gaias precious resources, i am not optimistic

Posted by: Pft | May 12 2018 13:56 utc | 25

However you would define war US (Israel) and Iran is at war footing for decades, nothing new here, so I would not panic here that Bolton would do something.

It cannot be more clear that as much as Trump is a flaccid clown of ignorance and belligerence to cover up his tax evasion crimes from Muller, Bolton plays role of barking poodle that all, did not get anything done what global oligarchic interests tell him or he will be put down.

And Please do not compare Iran to Iraq especially after two Iraqi wars, Iran is in position to cause major damage to global oligarchic interests and hence there will be no escalation despite fire and fury rhetoric as it was in NK case, it is all about reintegration of Iranian oligarchy to global oligarchic country club and what we witness is negotiating of condition of selling out Iranians to neoliberal globalists and by that advance a step in isolating Russia to achieve the same purpose, surrender to globalism.

Also I do not see Netanyahu welcoming hundreds of Iranian missiles landing in Tel Aviv as Saddam only shot few Soviet museum item at Israel and back then all hit their however random targets. There would be no random targets this time so there would be death and vital damage, not to mention that Israel could loose Golan Height in the process. Also there is no way in hell for US to invade Iran, or gather 600k troops as it was in 1991 for one quarter Iran size Iraq.

I know that spreading fear brings clicks but here on this blog we know better than that.

Posted by: Kalen | May 12 2018 13:59 utc | 26

Don't underestimate Trump. He came to office on an audacious promise to drain The Swamp. It's a very specialised task. It was never going to be easy and I'm quite certain that he went in knowing that his first misjudgement would probably be his last. I don't know how to drain The Swamp but if Trump thinks he can then I do too. I've been pleasantly surprised at his ability to engage with senior officials on the World Stage and appear Presidential. Compared with bumbling fools like Ronny Raygun, Jimmy Carter and Dubya, Trump leaves them for dead in the "100% on the ball" stakes. Whilst I'm waiting, with fingers crossed, I console myself with the following thoughts:

1. Hillary would have been worse.
2. The non-people he wants to neutralise are the worst bunch of scum and arseholes on the planet.
3. Since he's the only person with a Swamp plan, we shouldn't be too picky about his timing and tactics.
4. Trump is an extremely clever individual.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 12 2018 13:59 utc | 27

thanks b... and thanks for the atlantic article from peter beinart... i thought it was a good article.. here's a quote from it "More than 60 percent of Republicans, according to a March Pew Research Poll, think the United States was right to invade Iraq. George W. Bush’s approval rating among Republicans, according to a January CNN poll, is 76 percent." and "It’s rare to see non-Americans on political talk shows. That matters because non-Americans overwhelmingly think pulling out of the Iran deal is nuts. And non-Americans are more likely to raise fundamental questions about American nuclear policy—like why America isn’t pushing for inspections of Israel’s nuclear program, and why America keeps demanding that other nations denuclearize while building ever more nuclear weapons of its own."

then you can read @20 Robert Snefjella post - thanks robert - and note the radio interview from toronto..

sorry to say, but this 'neo-con' term is a quick term to describe so much of what looks like the koolaid american citizens drink regularly.. and there is plenty of it to go around in canada too..

americans by and large look like a nation of idiots, spoon fed everything they know..

i tend to agree with harrys view @13... colour revolution will continue.. but unlike harry, i do believe the bombs will fall and we will enter some type of ww3 scenario.. the usa-israel are too much led by the neo con koolaid to step away from any of their ongoing insanity.. i just can't see the insanity stopping with rational, reasonable people having a say.. so, maybe i don't fully agree with harry other then in the short term..

Posted by: james | May 12 2018 14:04 utc | 28

@ Hoarsewhisperer #11

I agree with your assessment that Trump is a very clever individual - when it comes to manipulating the media and distracting from his words and actions, but I disagree with every other assertion you have made and find that he has filled his administration with grifters and con artists that rival the days of Grant or Harding.

And if you have grown up in America under DACA and are about to be deported or are losing your health insurance coverage because key provisions of ACA have been overturned, just try reciting "Hillary would have been worse!"

Posted by: ralphieboy | May 12 2018 14:16 utc | 29

Utter nonsense. The US and Israel are coward bullies. They will pounce when the odds are good, but they are quite rational about when they are not. There have been endless threats and sabre rattling by the US and Israel against Iran for decades, but they never followed through. They will most certainly not do so now, when the relative military position of Iran is better than ever. And this "crying wolf" article will join the the countless others written before on the junkpile of historical falsification...

Posted by: Menschmaschine | May 12 2018 14:17 utc | 30

There is a strong delusion that maintains its satanic grip on the "leadership" in DC.
The depiction of Mordor in Tolkien's "Fellowship of the Rings" series is very fitting in describing the present pure evil and absolute darkness of those who plan for war and destruction in the secret chambers in the upper echelons of our society.

What will stop the madness, death, and destruction that has rained down and continues to rain down on so many millions of hapless men, women, and children in the Middle East and abroad? Will it take a few US cities completely destroyed and hundreds of thousands of Americans vaporized before the insanity of US Empire is stopped?

I pray for peace for the sake of my children and grandchildren. I pray for a "great awakening" amongst the nations of the world to demand an end to the evil US/Zionist madness before it is too late.

Posted by: Eric | May 12 2018 14:28 utc | 31

Well, Bolton may be up to his usual tricks again.   U.N. nuclear watchdog's inspections chief quits suddenly

Posted by: Ian | May 12 2018 14:31 utc | 32

Any US attack on Iran will be by air, not ground. Though special ops will be inserted in the Afghan border provinces (where the last protests were the largest, fertile ground for insurgents).

Missiles of all kinds will fall on the regime, the military, the Quds, the militias.

And it will be huge, maybe the largest, heaviest attack ever. Once the air defenses are down, bombers will cover the major infrastructure sites with the heaviest bombing since Belgrade and Nam.

Only when the UNSC convenes, probably, no sooner than five or six days, will the attack slow or cease.

Iran will have been set back a few decades. That is the soft goal. The harder goal will be the insurgency and destabilization of the regime and final regime change.

It will take nothing special for this attack to happen. Trump has already made up his mind.

When it will happen is when the US and Israel feel they can suppress the Hezbollah missile threat. Until they have a workable plan for that, not much can happen on a large scale.

But it will come. Small or large, a missile attack will come to Iran. The regime is in the sights of the Hegemon.

Posted by: Red Ryder | May 12 2018 14:39 utc | 33

>>>> Anon | May 12, 2018 9:05:51 AM | 14

Top 3 nato countries could take out Iran military within a day, but nato cannot invade, occupy it in my opinion.


I assume you're referring to countries other than the United States. In which case, you do know that Germany has about half-a-dozen airworthy attack aircraft, the Royal Navy and France's aircraft carriers would require just about every ship in the other European navies to protect them and part of the reason the British and French begged the United States to intervene in Libya was because they'd run out of PGMs.

Give the European NATO countries a couple of years to build up their forces and force projection skills and European NATO might be in a position to bomb Iran, but as soon as they started building up their forces in the Gulf States, Iran could go to the UNSC to demand that this obvious aggression should be stopped and when FUKUS veto any resolution, Iran has carte blanche to launch preemptive strikes across the Persian Gulf. End of European NATO's war on Iran

And after the Iraq fiasco, I suspect the only country that would go to war without a UNSC resolution is the United States. Germany would almost certainly decide to sit it out, France most probably would and the UK would probably also sit it out.

Finally, even if the top 3 NATO countries did try to get away with a limited air attack, the best response for Iran would be to sink every ship in the Persian Gulf and go on doing so until the United States invades and becomes bogged down in a quagmire far worse than Iraq or Afghanistan.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 12 2018 14:44 utc | 34

I have to agree with those who say a direct attack on Iran is imminent. Sure, some would love this to happen whether Yahoo or Bolton but for now will be happy to apply the "squeeze" of sanctions, ostracism/propaganda. The goal seems to have been to destroy and if not that, then to set the countries back ... under the thumb as it were.

Yes, the US with some assistance could rip Iran's military apart but not take over the country. A majority are somewhat satisfied with the theocratic setup. They know the history with the US/West. And how would Iran react? Long range attacks on Israel or much closer-to-home attacks on the Gulf States and the Saudis as well as blocking at Hormuz? Saddam lobbed a few Scuds at Israel and Riyadh but didn't have much. Iran has more and better missile tech ... which TPTB are going after now ... while Yahoo still pushes "nuclear programs" since he knows (like Iraq) there are no real weapons there.

Posted by: Curtis | May 12 2018 14:47 utc | 35

The US will do everything possible to reimpose sanctions. Hence gaining control of the IAEA and inspection process. This is designed to offer the Europeans a face saving way to back down and submit to US will regarding sanctions. It will probably succeed. Europe, whether it likes it or not, is playing good cop in the game.

War, as in an actual US attack in Iran itself, is pretty much out if the question. A false flag designed to be blamed on Iran and big enough to warrant a war will be placed under enormous scrutiny. Not by the US MSM, of course, but by the rest of the world and the alternative media.

The fact is, before anyone can attack Iran, they have to win in Syria and it doesn't look like they are going to.

As far as sanctions, Iran's best bet may be to give the EU 3 weeks to prove its intent to confront the US (which is unlikely) Then Iran can resume its civilian nuclear development at the fastest possible pace, with the offer to discontinue once the US returns to the JCPOA.

Posted by: lysander | May 12 2018 14:54 utc | 36

Peter Beinart, the author of the "As with Iraq" piece above, gets all wound up in the details of nuclear inspections and forgets that in 2003 he supported the misbegotten Iraq invasion and war because a (supposed) peaceful aftermath would help the people of Iraq, and so the people who oppose the war were wrong.

The truth is that liberalism has to try to harness American military power for its purposes because American tanks and bombs are often the only things that bring evil to heel. Opposing this war might have helped liberals retain their purity, but it would have done nothing for the people suffering under Saddam. If liberals are betrayed a second time in the Gulf, hawkish liberalism may well go into temporary eclipse. But one day we, and they, will need it again. . .here

That's akin to the position that Trump has taken on Iran.
In this effort, we stand in total solidarity with the Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims: its own people. The citizens of Iran have paid a heavy price for the violence and extremism of their leaders. The Iranian people long to — and they just are longing, to reclaim their country’s proud history, its culture, its civilization, its cooperation with its neighbors. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2018 15:06 utc | 37

IMHO what we are seeing are the last ditch efforts of a failing nation. Russia isn't sitting it out but is taking a wait and see attitude. The same for China. All the bluster and twitter tweets in the world mean nothing until someone actually does something. Israel managed to shoot off a massive strike which at best was 50% effective. This was against "old" Pantsir S-1 systems which were quite effective. No one has seen the S-300 yet in action and Russia is holding it back keeping the ECM signature still secret until it is absolutely necessary. Russia cannot fight the US or Israel in Syria. They simply doesn't have the forces present. But, what they can do is push gently and make the FUKUS+I over-commit. Don't forget that the US is working at a current $22 Trillion of debt and these debacles are going to burn money faster than they can print. In the mean time Russia/China are creating an alternate economic system to bypass the petrodollar and especially the SWIFT banking. That is in place and perhaps we will see more countries deciding to bail on the dollar and join the growing crowd.

The US has demonstrated a complete lack of respect for sovereignty and has so far reneged on every treaty. This means that the US is at best an unreliable partner. The South Koreans have wised up seeing that the US is very willing to sacrifice the entire peninsula and every soul living there to kill off the DPNK. That should scare the bejeezus out of every nation friendly to the US anywhere in the world. They are losing friends so fast now it is scary. This only forces the inevitable and the US is going to have to bet the farm to try and keep the hegemony alive. It won't work and the US has the worst record of war fighting imaginable. They can't beat the goat-herders in Afghanistan for example over a span of now 17 years. Fighting a real military such as Iran would be impossible and especially if China throws in her weight. Iran is very important to China and to a lesser extent Russia as well. There is no danger of the US or NATO winning there. However, this could break the bank if it goes south. So, what we are seeing is an existential threat to the US in the form of rebellion against the dollar. Finally, we are seeing countries that have the weight of forces (nuclear) with serious resistance. It is for this reason we are not seeing a counter-attack against Israel. As Napoleon said "Never interfere with the enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself".

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | May 12 2018 15:12 utc | 38

@37 don.. peter beinart in the articles states he was wrong on iraq and this previous movement..

Posted by: james | May 12 2018 15:15 utc | 39

The two FUKUS mass missile attacks on Syria, as well as Israel's latest jab, were a test of the Russian systems and general Syrian ability to interdict said missiles. If the missiles can't get through even at such short range, it is obvious Israeli/FUKUS aircraft can't either. Attempting the same "air war" stunt in Iran will just give the US MIC a big boost replacing virtually every piece of hardware sent over Iran airspace.

Again, the US soldiers/mercenaries currently in eastern Syria are in a caldron-in-making. They can no longer count on escaping via land transport through Iraq or Turkey, and without any air support/transport, they are trapped. Does anyone think the US public will tolerate the Deep State sacrificing about 5,000 soldiers/mercenaries immediately after the bombing of Iran starts? The handful of body bags from other recent US misadventures were not well-received at home, so the potential for another Vietnam?

Iran will not be the turkey-shoot Iraq was, Saddam was still under the delusion Rumsfeld's handshake gave him immunity from Deep State/Zionist machinations. Iran's leadership is under no such delusion, remembering the admitted 1953 CIA overthrow of democratically elected Mossadegh and the installation of the Shah.

Putin and Assad know time is on their side, and the longer they can delay a major FUKUS/Israeli/Saudi offensive, the better prepared they are and the less effect Zionist propaganda has worldwide. The IDF murdering unarmed Palestinians using a Gandhiesque tactic of showing how venal Nuttyyahoo's regime is... like Britain in India... there is no way to make this slaughter seem justified, and attempting to keep it out of the public consciousness has not worked.

Posted by: A P | May 12 2018 15:18 utc | 40

"But it will come. Small or large, a missile attack will come to Iran. The regime is in the sights of the Hegemon."
That would be 'former Hegemon'.
The likelihood of war other than the predictable guerrilla campaigns launched from abroad, campaigns with which Iran has been successfully dealing for decades, seems to me to be low.
While everyone is watching Iran and Syria, the most important developments are those taking place in Korea, where some sort of peace agreement seems inevitable. And where anything short of war will mean an immense strengthening of the positions of Russia and China.Not least because Japan and Taiwan will be forced to adjust to the new reality.
In Korea... and in western Europe.
This is where the worst cracks in the US hegemonic facade are beginning to show: the logic of Eurasia and the illogic of Atlanticism are inescapable. The western european economies, including Germany's, France's and (the weakest link of all?) Italy's are dying for access to the eastern markets. Historically Germany has shared its technologies and culture with Russia, which has been the great source of its raw materials and food. The ending of the Iran deal seems to be the excuse needed to slip back into that relationship.
Those who rave against Putin's 'betrayal' understand nothing. It is necessary to lower the tension internationally in order for the tectonic movements, which are already well advanced, to settle.
Bolton and the warmongers depend on perpetuating war but all the momentum, internationally, is against war. The propaganda which has been their main weapon, is failing, their credibility is rapidly declining.
Outside Israel, the rump of the Saud family court which supports the Riyadh regime and the degenerated dregs of NATO trotskyism-inhabited by elderly, aethereal creatures who live in the Academy and know nothing of the world- the only people who want war are the speculators. And they are just as happy to have peace, anything that excites the market.
Those who claim that Iran could be defeated in a couple of days are, presumably, talking of nuclear weapons. Do they really believe that such an attack would not be deterred by Iran's allies?

Posted by: bevin | May 12 2018 15:20 utc | 41

Trump is "clever", not intelligent. He is the personification of "bullshit baffles brains" methodology. Indications are he is marginally literate, as all info briefs have to be a couple pages at most and point form. It is obvious he has no patience to work through the finer details of complex situations, simply taking the position of whatever of his advisers can spread the BS in the most eloquent or forceful way.

But mostly whatever panders to his ego. Make Trumpty think he is being "the decider" (like Gerge W. Stupid) or that he is being the "tough guy" and he'll sign or say anything.

Posted by: A P | May 12 2018 15:27 utc | 42

@ 33, It took NATO 73 days to bring Serbia down, and in the end it required trickery (promising Milosovich he can stay then color revolutionizing him out)

Serbia did not have the means to close the straights of Hormuz. Nor did it have a missile arsenal that could strike at several regional US bases. Nor could it destroy Saudi and Kuwaiti oil refineries. Nor did Serbia have several thousand US ground troops in easy reach.

Serbia also had the misfortune of being attacked during the weakest point in Russian history since the 1600s. Russia is quite certain to help Iran because it has a strong interest in Iran repelling a US attack. Even if you believe Russia is 100% cynical, they will have an enormously strong reason to see the US bogged down for a decade and bled white.

The Pentagon is aware of all of this and they aren't idiots. The fact is, the US was in a much better position to attack Iran in 2006 or 7, and they still didn't do it, because it was a terrible idea even back then. They will not do it now when it is a much worse idea.

Simply put, if attacking Iran were so easy, they would have done it a long, long time ago.

Now, attempts to destabilize and possibly preach rebellion to Iran's minorities, that they will do (without much success) But open war is a line they won't cross.

Posted by: lysander | May 12 2018 15:27 utc | 43

@38 -- "This was against "old" Pantsir S-1 systems which were quite effective. No one has seen the S-300 yet in action and Russia is holding it back keeping the ECM signature still secret until it is absolutely necessary."

My reading is the S-300 has a range that would cover commercial airports in Tel-Aviv and it is probably too much risk for Putin to deliver these to Damascus in case an 'event' occurs and a civilian jet goes down. In any case, some suggest there are more effective equipment solutions for Syrian defense/response. Of course, in the wryly Russian way, Israeli destruction of "old" Pantsir S-1 systems simply opens up the rational and legal opportunity to provide a whole lot of 'new' updated replacement Pantsir S-1 systems. Background:

Posted by: imo | May 12 2018 15:30 utc | 44

I think that the UN has always been mostly a circus court for empire....make it look like US is benevolent.

So now when the fig leaf comes off in public people are aghast. Empire only works like empire and when the wheels start to come off, the whole facade is exposed for the dog and pony show it has always been.

Will this be enough to change the world of global private finance? Iran, remember, refuses to become a member of the Western banking/elite cabal.

So just why might Trump be directed to attack Iran in his regular pompous manner. Is this a religious war we are fighting for Israel?

NO!!! It is all about the continuation of the Western form of social organization that has as its core religion the God of Mammon. Those at MoA who read me know that the God of Mammon that I write about have the tenets of private finance and property along with the rules of inheritance which has resulted in the elite of the past few centuries.

I continue to posit that all that is happening relates to that issue and the struggles around it not discussed in public for whatever reasons.

But carry on educating me and others about all the proxy shit going down and its relevance to how our society works....or doesn't........I want evolution and I want it this morning!!!!!!!

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 12 2018 15:30 utc | 45

The coming “war on Iran” will be an excuse for all kinds of mischief. Some possibilities:

>> seizing western Iraq
further isolate Syria by blocking Iran-Syria land route

>> attack and occupation of Lebanon
to clear Hezbollah and allow for Israeli land grab up to Litani river (a goal previously expressed)

>> new round of terror attacks (from new/re-branded groups) focused on Syria, Iranian, and Russian interests (with a few attacks on the West to muddy the waters)
The psychological part of a war of attrition

>> intensified Ukraine-Russian frictions
full court press

>> ISIS expansion into Central Asia
accelerate what has already begun

>> Shut down of North Stream and Turk Stream
expect the ‘cage match’ with “recividist nations” to get nasty

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 12 2018 15:44 utc | 46

Curious how things have calmed down on the Israel front. Things not gone quite as well as hoped? Or perhaps it is that they've figured out that there's nothing to do. SOHR, opposed to the Syrians, but with good telephone connections in Syria, has now come up with a list of a handful of Iranian dead. So I suppose a few Iranian camps were actually hit. But the only actual videoed strikes were against Syrians. It's what you'd call a nothing-burger, much like the 102 missile strike.

And this is the launch of a campaign against Iran?? Strange way of showing it. In my view, the US and Israel are so boxed in by their constraints, that it's very difficult to act decisively. No casualties, so no overflights of Syria, let alone Iran. No interruption of Gulf oil exports, as the Gulfies wouldn't like it. Gulf emirates not to be overturned. I'm sure I can think of some more....

Posted by: Laguerre | May 12 2018 15:45 utc | 47

@40 -- "The handful of body bags from other recent US misadventures were not well-received at home, so the potential for another Vietnam?"

More likely an unlearned repeat of 'rhyming' history with Trump playing Jimmy Carter and the "5,000 soldiers/mercenaries" playing the suckers (in summer heat). How's the Big 'D' going to negotiate that deal over the mid-terms?

But that was Democrat 'smart' -- perhaps this re-mix will be closer an up-scaled rerun of Reagan's Iran–Contra scandal? Who's playing Oliver North?

Posted by: imo | May 12 2018 15:49 utc | 48

Robert Snefjella | May 12, 2018 9:18:08 AM | 20

Another great post. Thank you. Implied I think in your musings is, 'What will people remember of the U.S.' in a hundred years? The 20th century popular music. Blues, Jazz, Rock 'n Roll, and Country & Western for starters.

Posted by: fairleft | May 12 2018 15:51 utc | 49

Ghost ship

Completely nonsense.

When have UNSC ever done to stop aggression by the same states that commit the aggression?
The topic wouldnt even raised in the UNSC.
Of course Iran wont start a "preemptive" war. Not atleast since that will be a suicide mission for themselves.

Posted by: Anon | May 12 2018 15:57 utc | 50


Russia wont do anything then (us attack on iran), just look how they treated previous US wars, everytime people have said the same that RUssia will help and repel an attack, it have never happend and will never happen.

Posted by: Anon | May 12 2018 16:00 utc | 51

At 51...uh, you do realize Russia has an expeditionary force that is actually fighting and keeping Syria alive as we post, right? Perhaps they are not fighting as much as you would like, but they are fighting and Syria continues to exist because of it. As regards Iran, if Iran falls the Syria falls and Russian bases will be gone. Fortunately for all, that won't happen.

Posted by: lysander | May 12 2018 16:03 utc | 52

It is difficult to say what kind of scope the false flag would need to be to rally public opinion at home for an Iranian incursion. In many ways, pre-9/11, the antiwar movement was much stronger as was shown by the rallies against leading up to the Iraqi invasion. And yet this couldn't forestall it.

OTOH, independent media has come a long way in its reach and so cries of "false flag" have already been sounded, and, by and large, I believe America is fatigued with the ME. It is doubly ironic that dems like Schumer have been crying foul against DJT for playing soft with NoKo. I know that the current dem/lib establishment has thrown its antiwar credentials out the window, in favor of color revolutions, freedom, and LGBTQUIOGDTFBJK rights to fornicate in public spaces, but, my god, I would never have imagined the globalists to be THAT stupid in their disregard for basic human needs the world over for soverignty and national pride.

People have touched on it before, but is this whole current theater just an old money vs. new money second showing? The return of the repressed, with the globalist/neolib model being rundowned and usurped by nationalist oligarchs? It would seem the DJT has chosen to err to the old money side to the betterment of the world. And I, for one, as an American would rather have my elites localized so we would actually have access to their asses when we decide to put a pitchfork up them. It is very difficult to get past TSA with weaponized peasant tools.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 12 2018 16:11 utc | 53

Israel doesn’t want war with Iran – it prefers crisis in Tehran. Anshel Pfeffer, Ha'aretz.

Israel's a bit late there then. The disturbances were at the beginning of the year. They're over now. The effect of the sanctions will be to swing people behind the regime, for the moment, at any rate.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 12 2018 16:13 utc | 54


No thats wrong too, Russia is not on a mission to save Syrians state, they are in Syria due takfiri threat. Nothing else, as we all see proof of past days...

As for your other statment, I am well sure that Syria have fallen long long before Iran (if they ever do that).

Posted by: Anon | May 12 2018 16:30 utc | 55

@52 Lysander. I agree (btw never mind anon's trolling attempts). Simply put, the road to Tehran goes through Damascus and last I checked the Jasmine City was doing fine ;) If US/KSA/IL attempts a hot war on Iran it will only precipitate its fall..

Posted by: Lozion | May 12 2018 16:44 utc | 56

Am reminded of the 3 Stooges, whenever I read about these warmongers, like “ Bombs Away” Bolton. Moe tells a group of people, “We will fight till the last drop of.....”, then points to Curly and finishes, “....your blood!” These bastards love war, but never are at the front line, fighting and dying along side our best. They sit at their plush offices and conference halls in the best hotels, sipping champagne and eating the best foods, making six or seven figure incomes. While our brothers, neighbors, fathers, sons, uncles die overseas, or come back a mental mess, and get crapped on by out government. What these no good for nothing rat bastards need is to experience the hell they unleash upon us and the rest of the world.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | May 12 2018 16:55 utc | 57

@32 thanks Ian for that link. good catch!

Posted by: les7 | May 12 2018 17:05 utc | 58

anon is clearly of the 'cakewalk', 'all be over by Christmas' school of strategic (lack of) intelligence. LOL!

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | May 12 2018 17:08 utc | 59

NemesisCalling says:

I believe America is fatigued with the ME

i read this line a lot, from all spheres, and it always perplexes me. to be fatigued you'd have to be overwhelmed, inundated, and i'd wager that the ME and what's going on there hardly crosses the vast majority of minds in more than a peripheral way, you know, like beyond certain key words they hear on tv.

one thing's for sure though, the ME is most definitely fatigued with America!

Posted by: john | May 12 2018 17:09 utc | 60

@59 rhisiart... a broken clock is right twice a day!!

many fine posts, excluding the anons of moa, lol.. thanks..

Posted by: james | May 12 2018 17:16 utc | 61

Looks like there might not be a Coalition Of The Willing in any anti-Iran military operation. Quite the opposite, it's a further lessening of US world hegemony.
. . .Cartoon of Trump giving the middle finger Goodbye, Europe! in Der Spiegel.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2018 17:20 utc | 62

@ Ian 32
U.N. nuclear watchdog's inspections chief quits suddenly
The IAEA is not a UN agency.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2018 17:23 utc | 63

Don Bacon

Dont bet on that,

May, Trump Agree to Counter Iran's 'Destabilising Activity' - Downing Street

Posted by: Anon | May 12 2018 17:30 utc | 64

Why are commentators assuming that, *if* the US does launch a war of aggression against Iran, it will do so in tandem with its NATO allies--and the UK, France, and Germany in particular? It is doubtful that these allies will even abide by the new US economic sanctions imposed upon Iran. Why think that they will be willing, or even politically able, to follow the US orders for war?

b is right that the neocons are setting up a replay of the 2001-2003 Iraq propaganda campaign. But the global and domestic conditions that enabled the success of that campaign no longer hold. The US is far weaker now than then; Iran is more powerful and unified than Iraq ever was; NATO countries have hundreds of billions of dollars of trade contracts in place or projected with Iran; Russia and China are far stronger. It just doesn't add up.

Posted by: WJ | May 12 2018 17:31 utc | 65

@60 john

I suppose what I was trying to say is that the narrative TPTB have spun over the last twenty years has gone beyond the realm of convoluted to the average American and now has completely unwound into chaos. It was only three years ago that we were being told about the surging threat of ISIS to Americans. Well...that didn't last long...and now they are back to Iran which the west knows very little about and really doesn't care to. Us Americans like the good guy/bad guy fight. But if you can't drum up a good enough backstory for the black hats, I'm afraid that the average American will simply change the channel.

That being said...a compelling backstory isn't really needed for pyschopaths to wage their war anyway.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 12 2018 17:31 utc | 66

Lorizon @56

I believe you are referring to Anon as troll.

“anon” (small ‘a’) makes valuable contributions.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 12 2018 17:33 utc | 67

Typo: Lozion

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 12 2018 17:34 utc | 68

Russia has probably delivered the S-300 to Syria but isn't saying.

Also, Putin and Lavrov always talk to other parties that they aren't getting along with, hence Netanyahu's invitation to the Victory Day parade.

Posted by: MIschi | May 12 2018 17:35 utc | 69

Several here ave wondered what kind of false flag could motivate the populace in NA and the EU to support an attack on Iran. May I propose one?

First stage - Israel (using the EW cover from AlTanf) bombs the Iranian nuclear plant. Radiation release threatens tens of thousands.

Second stage - Supposed 'Iranian' counter-attack sets oil tankers ablaze (For maximum PR effect do not sink them) in the Hormuz straights closing the gulf to shipments of Gulf sourced oil. Oil prices temporarily spike to over $200 a barrel,

Europe's supply of oil is cut drastically, industries world-wide are paralysed and the US (secure with its' supply sourced outside the gulf)is free to ride to the rescue - all while RUSSIA (and China) have NO LEGITIMATE REASON to oppose the aggression.

Posted by: les7 | May 12 2018 17:38 utc | 70

bevin 41
The likelihood of war other than the predictable guerrilla campaigns launched from abroad, campaigns with which Iran has been successfully dealing for decades, seems to me to be low.
Yes, the US Army is demonstrably weak especially for any foreign invasion.

Historically Germany has shared its technologies and culture with Russia, which has been the great source of its raw materials and food. The ending of the Iran deal seems to be the excuse needed to slip back into that relationship.
And also China's BRI -- coming up June 28-- -- The China Germany BRI Summit 2018

As the first and third largest exporters globally, China and Germany will prove crucial drivers of trade along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road. Together these form the Belt and Road Initiative, a landmark shift in the global economic order that will touch over 65 countries across four continents.
The China Germany BRI Summit 2018 will dispel myths on what the Belt and Road Initiative means for the world, tackle the challenges for global financial institutions and corporations looking to leverage the initiative, and identify the enormous opportunities in M&A, capital markets and trade finance. here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2018 17:39 utc | 71

Iran Breaks the Rules of Engagement: Israel Takes Its Revenge, and Syria and Iran Impose the Golan Equation, May 10 2018

Posted by: ninel | May 12 2018 17:42 utc | 72

@ Anon 64
Dont bet on that, May, Trump Agree to Counter Iran's 'Destabilising Activity' - Downing Street
OMG, not the powerful UK military!! (heh)
Besides, haven't you heard? The UK isn't in Europe any more, or soon won't be.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2018 17:45 utc | 73

Don Bacon @71,

The extremely complex entanglement of Germany with (roughly) the NATO/EU alliance on the one hand and Russia/China on the other is a prime reason why I do not believe that Germany (which is by far the biggest economy in the EU) will be able to be strong armed or enticed into signing up with another Zionist driven US war of aggression with a country as major as Iran.

Posted by: WJ | May 12 2018 17:46 utc | 74

Re the possibility of a "united front" of western powers confronting Iran, the truth is that no one knows for certain at this point how it this will play out.

We have to remember the deafening silence of the western media during the obvious Skripjal-Ghouta fakery, so there's a good chance the US/Israel axis will again have a relatively free hand to concoct any number of escalating false flags, not all of which will stick, but some probably will. So that is a cause for concern re any future "coalition".

As for enforcing the sanctions, I've seen people argue both ways - that this is a bridge too far for Europe, and accepting it will both do too much economic damage and make Europe appear too obviously as US toadies; and OTOH, Europe will be blackmailed into knuckling under when confronted with illegal US fines and secondary sanctions.

Posted by: xpat | May 12 2018 17:48 utc | 75

@59 Lysander

> Curious how things have calmed down on the Israel front. Things not gone quite as well as hoped?

This is all that needs to be noted about the absurdity of even the idea that the US regime is capable of attacking Iran.

This delusion appears to be the same type thinking as the "Generals Always Fight the Previous War" saying.

The days of the Israeli regime flying at will over countries bombing at will are over. And the days of the US regime parking an aircraft carrier off the coast of a country and leisurely taking out its air defense network are long gone.

Russian air defense and electronic warfare tech are now being shown to be significantly superior to US regime offensive capabilities in real world combat. So much so that the most common reaction has been to try to rationalize the fact with crazy conspiracy theories about behind the scenes wink and nod agreements between the US regime and Russia.

Trump foolishly trying to attack Iran to distract from his political problems would end up as the first modern US regime leader who lost an aircraft carrier and ten dollar gas prices.

Israeli's were cowering in their sewers while their junk air defense network repeatedly failed to defend against a minor Syrian retaliatory barrage while Syrians in Damascus were cheering on their rooftops as their Russian air defense network knocked Israeli missiles from the sky.

Syria smacking down the Israeli regime is going to have Trump's military advisors sitting him down and giving him a hard dose of reality about the Israeli/Saudi/Neocon delusions about attacking Iran.

Posted by: wenlich | May 12 2018 17:51 utc | 76

Old Microbiologist, @ #38, above has a good handle on the current situation in the region.

I agree with his views.

Posted by: FB Ali | May 12 2018 18:00 utc | 77

Don Bacon @63:

According to Reuters it is. :p

Posted by: Ian | May 12 2018 18:08 utc | 78

Pompeo(US) and Zarif(Iran) are currently making the diplomatic rounds, the former looking for a new & improved plan, and the latter emphasizing that the US never adhered to the old plan and united opposition to sanctions is in everyon'e best interest.
from the Iran statement:

Since taking office, Mr. Trump has not only made explicit and official statements against the agreement in violation of its provisions, but has in practice also failed to implement U.S. practical – and not merely formal commitments under the JCPOA. The Islamic Republic of Iran has recorded these violations in numerous letters to the Joint Commission convened under the JCPOA, outlining the current U.S. Administration’s bad faith and continuous violations of the accord. Thus Mr. Trump’s latest action is not a new development but simply means the end of the obstructionist presence of the United States as a participant in the JCPOA. . .here

The apparent US line now, as before, is to "change the regime's malign behavior" which is ridiculous and thus doomed.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2018 18:19 utc | 79

@ MISchi 69: There have been Russian-operated S-400's in Syria for years. Even the US propaganda rags admit it is significant in reducing FUKUS attacks.

So just because Russia isn't giving the SAA S-300's doesn't mean Syria has no protection. The fact the updated S-200s and Pantsirs are doing the job reasonably well will give FUKUS and Israeli/Saudi military planners pause. Note that the cowardly Israeli jets attack from Lebanese or Jordanian airspace.

And Nuttyyahoo merely crashed the Victory Day festivities, and Putin is too gracious a host to kick Nutty out. But the body language between them was obvious, Putin was not happy to see Nutty trying to capitalize on Putin's good manners.

Posted by: A P | May 12 2018 18:22 utc | 80

@ Ian 77
According to Reuters it is.
Reuters doesn't take comments so I'm telling you (and others), if you don't mind, because you are misleading people with something that isn't true.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2018 18:29 utc | 81

As much as Bolton and his ilk would love to attack Iran, I have to disagree that a full-fledged war is likely. USrael will ratchet up tensions all they can, hoping that Iran will take the bait and actually respond, but the only way an actual war MAY be fought is with a massive false flag attack. However, it took a massive false flag attack to allow the neocons to invade Iraq, so said black op would have to be on that magnitude. Here's the thing though, the neocons seem to be getting worse at false flags and more over the world ain't buying them like they used to.
Sure you can get your European lackeys to sign up to a few sanctions, but will anyone actually support the utter tanking of the world economy? Because that will be the end result of war with Iran and behind closed doors everyone knows this. Look up the Millennial War Games simulation that pitted the US against Iran. And how did that $200 million exercise turn out? The US had to "refloat" its fleet in order to win. Using older Chinese anti- ship missiles the Iranians decimated US naval assets. The US hasn't developed counter measures against these while the Iranians have undoubtedly improved on these missiles. No matter what happens to its ground forces and population centers, shipping in the Persian Gulf will be shut down. That one action will raise the price of oil to over $200 a barrel overnight, possibly much higher. And with that the global economy will be left in tatters. Too many of the world's leaders understand this completely and simply will not go along with the US and line up against Iran like they did with Iraq.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | May 12 2018 18:29 utc | 82

no, Netanyahu was invited. I read about it a week before the parade. Lavrov always says that you don't need to negotiate with your friends, but you do with your enemies. Hence the invite.

Like the Godfather said in the eponymous movie "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer."

Posted by: Mischi | May 12 2018 18:35 utc | 83

Don Bacon

UKs military is of course far stronger than Iran,
we will see renewed sanctions against Iran and EU will be onboard and have already mentioned they "need" to pressure Iran more.

Posted by: Anon | May 12 2018 18:38 utc | 84

The attacks on Iran will be only financial, not military, is my guess. The big news in the military sector is often on cyber attacks. Cyber will be a "new military front."

Financial is akin to cyber. No shooting. The military experts don't discuss financial, I guess because the U.S. is the only country capable of it, controlling world finance as it does. But a full-on sanctions regime on another small country like Iran could do a lot of damage and hurt a lot of people, as it did in Iraq previously. Sort of like what the U.S. did to Japan to precipitate the war in the Pacific, except Iran's reactions must be much more limited.

So the big question is Europe, and if it is able to legislate any significant counter-sanction laws that would encourage Iran-Europe business. France looks good on this, Germany is more significant.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2018 18:40 utc | 85

I do wish people would stop calling themselves Anon. It's very difficult to know which is which. It's easy enough to anonymise yourself with a distinctive handle. Maybe b should ban it as a handle.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 12 2018 18:41 utc | 86


Many years ago I got to hear Sir Edmond Hillary speak to the assembled students at my school, just a few years after his amazing climbing feat. No multimedia or lasers pointers or cheesy-brand tee-shirt cannons, ... just an electric performance by an incredible man that shaped my life, one foot at a time.

Several decades later, I watched SEH demonstrate Simple Green soap at REI. So incredibly sad. I'll never forget either presentation. The Man in the Moon had become another Soapy Salesman.

At the same time I first heard SEH speak, my father, an international businessman, brought home a Buddhist monk exchange student from Asia for the holiday. It was spellbinding to meet a bright and well-off monk, who knew all this amazing arcane reality, that we call the Wheel. It shaped my entire approach to the summit.

Several decades later, in fact, just recently, I watched a performance by a Tibetan monk troupe, after which they essentially begged for sponsors for the remaining exiled monks now starving in India by the 1000s. They are dying out, like the 1,000s, the 10,000s of aboriginal valley cultures that once walked the Earth.

Soapy Sales and Starving Monks, who only decades ago were both sitting on Top of the World. Kind of like everyone's experience, even John Bolton's, former UN ambassador, now a sleazy salesman-demonstrator for Death Inc, too proud to sell soap, or to busker for alms. He's pathetic.

So let me bring it on home.

A student of mine is a senior monk in Asia. His charge is to free the spirits of the just dead. Not the two monks chanting and incense and sprinkling with flower petal water in front of a cherished photo. No, he blesses the *dying*, the human roadkills from the reckless Chinese Escalades bombing through SEAsian commute traffic, the black and blue herion addicts with the needle still in their arm, bright red blood bubbling out of their noses, the raped, strangled, discarded and bloating young girls, dumped in the nearest rice paddy ditch.

He gets those calls. He never talks about his work, never shows the horror pictures or trashes the perps. He sends selfies, pics of meals, flowers and temples. So I asked him, doesn't this bother you at night, the carnal evil, the rape, the murder? Don't you wanna see justice done?

He said simply, we're all going to die, many of us soon, we have very little time away from the Wheel. We should spend every precious second of free time uplifting those who are below us, the poor, the infirm, the feeble, the indentured, the slave, ...because we're all gonna die as beggars some day. We should hold faith with the beggars.

Bolton is a sick fuck, in a pantheon of sick fucks. Why squander a nanosecond meditating on any of them? They are nothingness, the void. MoA seems to have a fascination with evil and death, and making Death's bit players into pop-idols. Selling a different brand of soap, I guess.

Posted by: Chipnik | May 12 2018 18:56 utc | 87

Israeli Air Force Strikes Gaza Strip, More Than 20 Missiles Fired

Israeli having free hands bombings not only Syria and in Gaza too. Syrians and Palestinians lives dun matter?

What if.... Regime changes in Syria and Iran will the killing stops?

Posted by: OJS | May 12 2018 19:04 utc | 88

@70, les7

Closing Hormuz would likely be the Iranian response to a sustained bombing campaign. A single strike on a nuclear facility could elicit a missile strike on the attacking party (US, Isreal or both.) Or it could involve multiple attacks on vulnerable US troops in Iraq and Syria. Iran has several rungs in its escalation ladder. It doesn't have to jump to the top one all at once.

Posted by: lysander | May 12 2018 19:06 utc | 89

re Don 84

Of course financial sanctions are the main, if not the only, US war-winning tactic available today. Mainly the control of the VISA and SWIFT exchange systems. But I'm not financially knowledgeable. It was one reason that Iran signed in 2015. I remember well, about 10 years ago, the husband of an Iranian student arriving with $20K (?) sewn into his overcoat, to pay for his wife's studies.

However, the US has used this tactic so often now, that people must be looking to ways of getting round the problem. I'm not quite sure how much success they may have had. People talk about Russia-China erecting a parallel to the SWIFT system. I hope this does happen, though it must be expensive. Non-US allies need it.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 12 2018 19:07 utc | 90

@lLaguerre: Russia already has set up its version of SWIFT. As has China, as well as both agreeing to transactions in rubles/yuan first for petroleum, then recently for all other trade, to bypass the US$ SWIFT system. The US gets a "cut", every time a corporation/country converts from local currency to US$, then again when that same US$ cash is converted to the currency of the second trading partner. To avoid this, non-US countries keep US$ reserves to trade between themselves. This scam was set up at Bretton Woods after WW2 when the US economy was the only economy/industrial-base left unscathed.

"In 2017, the head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin that Russia is ready for disconnection from SWIFT."

Posted by: A P | May 12 2018 19:36 utc | 91

Because of their large inertia, these things, when they get moving, cannot be stopped and proceed to the inevitable. The ziocons have pushed the boulder and it's starting to roll.

That is what a lot of panicky people said in 2013, that Obama's invasion of Syria was inevitable because Assad was gassing his people in Ghouta. It didn't happen. As it turned out, the "massive momemtum" was in the Zionist propangda, hoping to sucker the U.S. into the Middle East again.

Posted by: Cyril | May 12 2018 19:36 utc | 92

[Bolton:] “We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”

What an ass Bolton is. I hope Bustani replied with "We know where you live."

Posted by: Cyril | May 12 2018 19:40 utc | 93

@67/68 hence @85. Agreed, using anon as a handle only lowers the signal-to-noise ratio at MoA. This isnt Reddit nor should it become, IMO..

Posted by: Lozion | May 12 2018 19:47 utc | 94

i think swift and bis are linked in with imf.. unfortunately i don't know how it all works, but russias central bank is part of imf.. the way imf is set up favours the developed countries over the developing countries.. they have some other tricks to keep control over it too, but i do believe it is tricky navigating moving away from it all, which is why the financial system is the first line of action to put other countries deemed out of line - into line.. some have tried to get the imf to change without success which is why i believe brics was working towards an alternative.. of course the b in brics went thru a type of regime change under a different facade and i am not sure where they are at with that at this moment in time...

Posted by: james | May 12 2018 19:48 utc | 95

Julian Assange
There is something very odd about the Joseph Mifsud story and the role of the UK in the 2016 US presidential election:
5:07 PM · Mar 22, 2018

DEVELOPING: A major new front is opening in the political espionage scandal. In summer 2016, Brennan with his FBI liaison Strzok, along with help from Kerry @ State, were trying to set Russian espionage traps for minor players in the Trump campaign through cultivated intel assets

— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) May 11, 2018

Posted by: WJ | May 12 2018 19:50 utc | 96

@MISchi: Israel may have been "invited", but only as a standard diplomatic courtesy, not as a "guest of honour" as the MSM and Hasbara would have us beleive. The US was probably invited too... and didn't have the grace to show up? The US and EU were for sure in 2014, but "boycotted" it over the US coup in Ukraine. Nuttyyahoo was just looking for MSM cover for the illegal bombing he knew was going to happen, making it look like Putin was "in on it".

I'd guess Putin is simply giving Nutty all the rope Nutty needs to hang himself in the court of world public opinion. When I see an official statement from Putin (or any Russian senior official) saying Putin gave any approval of Israel's past and present illegal incursions in Syria, let alone the illegal occupation of the Golan, I'll believe Nutty being at the Victory Parade was some sort of endorsement by Putin of Nutty's insanity.

Posted by: A P | May 12 2018 19:51 utc | 97

I agree with Lysander's logic. Iran will not be attacked in the "normal" manner; it will be asymmetrical. The performance of not-so antiquated air defenses in Syria are the big game changer as Iran has those and its own S-300 version. Plus all those big stationary targets. Plus, I figure Bolton has a target on his back, as do other neocons--you don't murder over a million without creating some enemies. I see lots of bluster to foment as much chaos as possible to accentuate the asymmetrical impact. But as for an actual military assault, Bolton and company are a decade plus too late.

To negate the potential effect of another Operation Northwoods, I think it wise to pull up those old pdf docs and spread them around the world via social media--a move I'm frankly surprised has yet to be made--along with some additional contemporary context.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 12 2018 20:01 utc | 98

@james: The Russian central bank is a member of the IMF/World Bank/BIS/SWIFT system as are nearly every other central bank in the world. Not being "in" this club severely restricts the ability to do international trade. Russia and China are quietly spearheading the move to conduct international trade in local currencies, outside the US$-reserve-currency scam (sorry, system). Both Russia and China have set up alternative systems, which along with the SCO/AIIB offer participating countries a way to side-set US economic terrorism and sanctions. The Rothschilds may have managed to stall the BRICS for now, but that won't last long.

Posted by: A P | May 12 2018 20:03 utc | 99

sorry, should be "side-step".

Posted by: A P | May 12 2018 20:04 utc | 100

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