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 06:35 AM | Permalink

« previous page

May I reply to 11 and 21?

The thrust of these two comments is that Mrs Thatcher started a war against Argentina in order to bolster her standing at home.

The record shows clearly that the invasion of the Falklands was unexpected. Far from it being provoked or even welcomed, the record also shows that the British cabinet was inclined not to respond to the invasion. I'm not sure, but I believe Mrs Thatcher herself accepted that there could be no effective response. It was only when a plan was hastily cobbled together that Mrs Thatcher decided to respond. Far from the cabinet saying "It worked, now we can attack" it was taken aback and, as I say, almost decided not to retake the Falklands.

If you know how the Falklands was eventually retaken you'll know that it was a knife edge operation that had no guaranteed chance of success. Had it not been for the courage and daring of the men sent out it wouldn't have been successful. It is not possible to say that this was in any sense a pre-planned operation given its improvised and risky nature.

There were, I believe, diplomatic failures on our part before the Argentinian invasion. It's likely that there were also intelligence failures, I don't know - you'd have thought that someone could have noticed that the Argentinians were gearing up for war. But the record shows that no one did, or if they did it didn't get through to the cabinet.

It's true that the Falklands turned a not particularly popular Prime minister into, for some, almost an icon. But I have said before, it's ironic that the one campaign that really did bolster a politician's position is also the one campaign of which we can be sure past doubt that it was not provoked or pre-planned.

Posted by: English Outsider | May 12, 2018 4:04:49 PM | 101

Mass stabbing attack in central Paris...

It seems that the "rebel" EU will start regretting their stance in favor of the JCPOA....

Posted by: From the resistance | May 12, 2018 4:09:28 PM | 102

@ken | May 12, 2018 9:29:33 AM | 22

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

China is spending $trillions on OBOR, specifically to avoid being choked by the Anglo Zionist Empire. Anybody who tries to buy China off will have to top that -- in real wealth, not in printed funny-money dollars.

Posted by: Cyril | May 12, 2018 4:11:35 PM | 103

@96 wj... you might find this article on mifsud of interest.. there are some earlier ones on that site too worth a read.. the gist of the articles are essentially mifsud is a british or cia intel asset, as opposed to how he is portrayed in the west..

@99 / 100 a p.. thanks for your perspective and your many fine posts! i guess we can wait and see how it unfolds..

Posted by: james | May 12, 2018 4:18:00 PM | 104


if i think of simple green soap, i think of Aleppo soap, which my wife has been buying for many years, and which i suppose even Cleopatra used to clean and refresh her naked body. there was a brief period there in 2014 or 2015 when it wasn't available on the international market, but hey, life's rough, no?

Posted by: john | May 12, 2018 4:24:50 PM | 105

Anon is a common handle on the internet. What does it matter if you're talking to unique names or the nameless? The message is important. If people used the html coding correctly than replies could be actually discernable instead of @whoeverthehell - blah blah blah. As if you're conversing with non-shills instead of commenting directly upon a news article.

Posted by: Anon | May 12, 2018 4:29:36 PM | 106

re 102 Paris attack

It was a knife, not an AK47. Not a great event. AK47s can be had relatively easily in France. If he didn't have one, it means he was a nutter, outside the normal terrorist circuits. One dead.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 12, 2018 4:40:05 PM | 107


I wrote "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"

closing the straights would be the western response to the burning tankers... also part of the false flag. Iran would not have done that, but would be blamed. Who could prove otherwise in a rhetoric filled panic?

Posted by: les7 | May 12, 2018 4:46:46 PM | 108

That scenario was not a prediction... only a response to people who could not envision a possible scenario in which the western public could be influenced to support a war. It is one of many different scenarios... and I would not put it past Iran to close the straights of Hormuz IF there was a radiation release however it happens.

Posted by: les7 | May 12, 2018 4:51:10 PM | 109

What is up with this 'regime' buissnes? Its a democratically elected governent for pete's sake! Its like you're already buying into the regime change propaganda subconsciously. I think the least we can do for the only nation openly fighting the zio western hegemony is to use the right term which GOVERNMENT not REGIME

Posted by: Ikl | May 12, 2018 4:55:04 PM | 110

re 107

Someone new trying to confuse us by using a handle that may suggest it's someone else. A while ago, we had a troll who posted under regular poster's names, easy in MoA, including me, with sexual suggestions. He didn't last long, as this one won't.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 12, 2018 5:05:53 PM | 111


It would be informative to track the history of the published use of the word "regime" over the past few decades. I am betting that doing so would allow you to pinpoint with some degree of accuracy when they decided to make it the official word to describe any government we might in the near term future want to engineer the collapse of. Also interesting would be to track the instance of the comparative use of the words "regime" and "government" to describe Libya and Syria from 2000-2018.

Posted by: WJ | May 12, 2018 5:07:22 PM | 112

re ikl 111

I use regime for everybody. I don't go along with the MSM distinction that regimes are illegitimate, and governments are legit.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 12, 2018 5:11:14 PM | 113

Ian @ 11: Thanks for the info on John Bolton's position. Looks as if the position of National Security Advisor in itself is only as important as whoever occupies it makes of it. Bolton could theoretically be over-ruled by Pompeo or Mattis.

It seems that Trump is replaying "The Apprentice" with his Cabinet and advisors but the problem with that strategy is the "apprentices" are all coming from the same hermetically sealed-off world out of touch of reality that is Capitol Hill.

Posted by: Jen | May 12, 2018 5:13:13 PM | 114

@les7 | May 12, 2018 1:38:08 PM | 70

(False flag intended to sucker the U.S. into attacking Iran): 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,

That would be truly ruthless and depraved, and may actually work. However, there's a major risk: what if it became widely known that Israel was responsible for the false flag and the resulting permanent economic downturn caused by the counterattack by Iran? The backlash from the U.S. public will be immense, and could well be fatal for all Jewish influence in the U.S.

Posted by: Cyril | May 12, 2018 5:17:29 PM | 115

Cyril @116

I think the point of the official congressional investigation that would follow is to prevent that from happening. Lol

Posted by: WJ | May 12, 2018 5:20:54 PM | 116

English Outsider @ 101: The Thatcher govt could have foreseen that major cuts to the military budget would be interpreted by the Argentine military govt under General Galtieri as indifference to the fate of the Falklands in the event of an invasion. There must have been people in Thatcher's govt who could have second-guessed what Argentina was likely to do, given that that country's govt was unpopular with the Argentine public in its handling of Argentina's problems (most of them of its own making: disappearing and killing intellectuals, trade unionists and other political left-wing supporters was one part of its toxic legacy) and was looking for a distraction.

Posted by: Jen | May 12, 2018 5:27:07 PM | 117

@116 However, there's a major risk: ...

I didn't think it necessary to detail how an Israeli attack on the Iranian nuclear power facility could be made to look legitimate - especially as we are two or three steps into that process already. with the suspension of JCPOA and Israeli hyped 'nuclear files in a warehouse in Iran' it would not take much (defecting scientist) to finish pushing the meme that Israel must take out Iran's potential to build nuclear weapons - and would not Trump and the Washington choir sing AMEN?.

This would make his withdrawal from the JCPOA look prescient.

This would make Netanyahu a hero.

What more do those two want??

Posted by: les7 | May 12, 2018 5:32:46 PM | 118

Again, it is only one of many such scenarios... the point being that war is a lot closer than many sane people may imagine. And as the original comment(70) indicated, such scenarios eliminate the possibility of Russia or china intervening to defend Iran - an idea that is almost always assumed in conversations about future geo-political events.

The summary is this:. Many false flag scenarios exist that separate Russia and China from Iran and make a western attack on Iran likely. Rruthless, yes. Depraved, yes. Likely, yes.

Posted by: les7 | May 12, 2018 5:40:33 PM | 119

re 121. Nah, the situation has calmed since the failure of the Israeli attack on Syria, and the subsequent silence. They're rethinking, and the conclusion is likely to be: um, no. An attack upon Iran is not realistic.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 12, 2018 5:53:12 PM | 120

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. [..] Posted by: Don Wiscacho | May 12, 2018 2:29:47 PM | 82

Simulations show what the assumptions imply. However, the war of Israel with Hezbollah did not make much sense except as a simulation with actual weapons and actual troops. Several prepositions were tested:

1. Hezbollah (Iran) can retaliate using missiles. Note: the missiles used by Hezbollah were not particularly effective, but as the proof of concept they did a good job, Iran (and Hezbollah re-armed after that war) has better stuff.

2. Missiles can damage and perhaps destroy naval vessels. Hezbollah made a single shot at IDF warship, it had to be towed back to base.

3. But the capacity to launch the missiles can be destroyed from the air. Negative.

4. Barring that, we can send the Marines. Negative.

At the time, I assumed that Hezbollah got their military doctrine from Iran, so Iran presumably practices what it teaches. More recently, Iranian or Iranian trained troops did not perform as well as Hezbollah in Syria, but the latter were clearly not top-of-the-line, and there was not that many of the former. In any case, the capacity to stop traffic in Hormuz is the Iran's equivalent of nukes, MAED (mutually assured economic destruction). Actually, it is much better than nukes, if you demonstrate "good cause" you may get decent post-conflict settlement. Rather that inflicting mayhem -- counterproductive -- you close the straights, put forth righteous conditions to open them, and wait until the other sides regrets.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 12, 2018 5:54:39 PM | 121

@WJ | May 12, 2018 5:20:54 PM | 117

I think the point of the official congressional investigation that would follow is to prevent that from happening. Lol

Oh, if a revelation came out that Israel was responsible for a false flag that suckered the Americans into an Iranian quagmire, I have no doubt that the neocons will do everything they can think of to forestall or stop a heavy backlash from the U.S. public. I doubt those efforts will work, however.

For one thing, the truth can't be stopped. The Internet samizdat is very strong these days, which is why Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. are all on such a desperate censorship spree.

And secondly, because the economic downturn will be nearly permanent, everyone will be constantly reminded that they were suckered into it, and of whose fault all this was -- and the fury will be immense. I doubt the Jewish dominance in the U.S. would survive. As Israel is totally dependent on U.S. support, the Zionist state will also probably disappear. That is the risk of an Israeli false flag.

Posted by: Cyril | May 12, 2018 6:07:27 PM | 122

Perhaps Admiral "Fox" Fallon's memory will live on.
Ten years ago an Esquire interview of Fallon, the CENTCOM chief, was published -- (extract)

. . . And in spite of recent war spasms aimed at Iran from this sclerotic administration, Fallon is in no hurry to pick up any campaign medals for Iran. And therein lies the rub for the hard-liners led by Cheney. Army General David Petraeus, commanding America's forces in Iraq, may say, "You cannot win in Iraq solely in Iraq," but Fox Fallon is Petraeus's boss, and he is the commander of United States Central Command, and Fallon doesn't extend Petraeus's logic to mean war against Iran.
So while Admiral Fallon's boss, President George W. Bush, regularly trash-talks his way to World War III and his administration casually casts Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as this century's Hitler (a crown it has awarded once before, to deadly effect), it's left to Fallon–and apparently Fallon alone–to argue that, as he told Al Jazeera last fall: "This constant drumbeat of conflict . . . is not helpful and not useful. I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for. We ought to try to do our utmost to create different conditions." . .here

Then Fallon resigned.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12, 2018 6:36:16 PM | 123

@122 "They're rethinking, and the conclusion is likely to be: um, no. An attack upon Iran is not realistic."

'Nearly all Iranian targets destroyed. Only 4 missiles got through and they were shot down by Iron Dome'....thus spake Avigdor Lieberman. He laid it on much too thick. Not that the MSM didn't dutifully go along with it but the IDF knows better.

The US/Iran War definitely needs a rethink.

Posted by: dh | May 12, 2018 6:44:05 PM | 124

In Syria, US and Israel went up against Russian systems. The strength of the Russian systems is layered defence, networked units with target sharing and radar immune to current US jamming tech.
Does Iran have all of this? Their systems are home grown and Iran's scientists and engineers are good, they do not have the database background and experiance Russia inherited from the Soviet Union. I guess Trump's US and Israel will be keen to give it a test run.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 12, 2018 7:03:42 PM | 125

John Bolton's a man? Does a coward who instigated others to fight get to be called a man? Likewise Cheney Bush Clinton Obama Trump Bibi etc etc etc.
Easy to be ruthless when others take the risks and pay the costs.

Posted by: glitch | May 12, 2018 7:15:41 PM | 126

The principal advantage Iran has, is its targets for its mobile missile launchers of 40,000 US troops on half a dozen bases on the western Gulf shore fifty or less miles away. Plus ships at sea. Also ballistic missiles from underground missile bases. Can't miss.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12, 2018 7:16:53 PM | 127

It has always amazed me how from the start of all this Iranian nuke stuff, US officials have alleged that Iran has facilities the IAEA doesn't know about. If the US knows of such facilities, presumably they know where the facilities are and could inform the IAEA, which would demand inspections. If the US does not know where they are, it's impossible to take them out with airstrikes. The only way to eliminate them would be by invading and searching every square meter of Iran, but we say we don't want to put "boots on the ground." We only want to bomb. Totally illogical.

Posted by: anti_republocrat | May 12, 2018 7:51:38 PM | 128

Combat High
America’s addiction to war

By Andrew J. Bacevich, Buddhika Jayamaha, Danny Sjursen, Gregory Daddis, Jason Dempsey, Sarah Kreps

In March, Harper’s Magazine convened a panel of former soldiers at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. The participants, almost all of whom saw combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, were asked to reflect on the country’s involvement in the Middle East. This Forum is based on that panel, which was held before an audience of cadets and officers, and on a private discussion that followed.

Posted by: mauisurfer | May 12, 2018 8:04:08 PM | 129

This just in from Rachel Maddow:

"Confidential sources within the U.S. government have confirmed a report that Iran has viagra fueled rape camps populated by Kuwaiti incubator babies who are chained to test tubes where they make weapons of mass destruction (to Iraqi specifications) that will soon be shipped to the Gulf of Tonkin on a replica of the U.S.S. Liberty before being flown back to Syria on highjacked airliners by jihadi flight school dropouts so Assad can gas his own people while Putin watches."

"You won't get this story anywhere else" - said Rachel while twitching just a bit.

Meanwhile in an interview on CNN Madeline Albright lamented that her only career regret is that she "wasn't able to kill more Iraqi children" - explaining - "we think it would have been worth it."

Posted by: GW | May 12, 2018 8:06:45 PM | 130


That is a pretty good Maddow, I gotta say.

Incidentally, anybody know when the OCPW crew is going to get back to us about that "chemical attack" in East Ghouta? But I know the Empire's basically moved on from Syria, subcontracting its aerial pestering out to the Israelis, it looks like, in exchange for moving the sights of the big guns eastward toward Iran.

But I would still like to have confirmation of the righteousness of our last humanitarian action, just to build up some confidence before we drop phosphorescent goodness and liberty down on the long-suffering Persian people.

Posted by: WJ | May 12, 2018 8:55:20 PM | 131

One more thing, if b is right that the neocons are basically recycling the Iraq script in preparation for Iran, then within the next six months to a year we should expect to be suddenly introduced on CNN to an Iranian patriot living in exile from the "regime" who happens to have all sorts of juicy information on them he has dutifully shared with Western intelligence agencies. Or maybe we just let a coalition of MEK cultists and Muslim Brotherhood dudes run the country instead. BTW, do we even *have* any Shi'a-passing Muslim sources we could conveniently prostitute at this point? I have been under the distinct impression that we have been all Sunni all the time in that part of the world for awhile now. Or maybe we could give Iran to Bolton as his desmene.

Posted by: WJ | May 12, 2018 9:06:01 PM | 132

"Tero Varjoranta announced his resignation as chief inspector of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) effective May 11th but didn't provide explanation, only citing "confidential personal matters" according to the AP."

I Guess John Bolton threatened to murder his children?

Posted by: Sinbad | May 12, 2018 9:08:32 PM | 133

Don Bacon @81:

No, I don't mind. I'm sorry if you got the impression that I was deliberately misleading people, which I wasn't. Whenever I post a link, I always use the title that the author used, including mistakes.

In any case, expect more ruckus on the International front. Sudden removal of people that was an obstacle to war is unsettling.

Chipnik @87:

I agree that Bolton and his friends are psychopaths, but to not talk about their evils feels like consent.

Laguerre @90:

FYI, the Chinese alternative to SWIFT is called CIPS (Cross-Border Interbank Payment System).

james @95:

The way I see it, an increasing number of nations are going to circumvent US-led international institutions should US belligerence continues. IMO, IMF and WB influence will diminish as time goes on.

Cyril @103 & 116:

Many are frustrated with China's lack luster resistance. Most would rather see China on the podium, publicly flipping the bird to the Zios. So Ken's statement is understandable.

I'm sorry to say that there will be no public outcry of significance in the US. The unwashed masses are too busy trying to survive.

WJ @113:
I personally would like to see the word "regime" used on FUKUS.

Sinbad @139:
Highly likely given Bolton's past behavior.

Posted by: Ian | May 12, 2018 9:35:40 PM | 134

I'm rather curious as to why so many folks here seem to believe that Russia will step in against an Iran attack.

It seems to me that in such a scenario, the Russians will most likely be hi-5ing each other as they watch oil zoom past the $200 mark, and quite probably the $300 mark depending on the damage Iran can do to Saudi facilities.

That's not to say the Russians won't help the Iranians. They certainly will. The more damage Iran can do to Saudi facilities and US military assets, the better they will be. It's also likely the Chinese would, quietly, like to test some of their newer tech against a full spectrum western military attack.

It's also highly unlikely, IMO, that Negev/Dimona storage sites wouldn't attract so-called precision strikes from the "Iranians". The degree of success of these strikes would also have a significant impact on future ME dynamics.

The thing is, there seems to be a sort of "western-bias" assumption here that "creative destruction" is solely a western right or capability. I question that.

(Admittedly, it could be argued that the Iranians would be comitting "suicide" if they responded to that degree, but remembering Iranian defence methodologies during the Iraq-Iran war. . .)

In fact, it seems to me that the Russians stand to win whether or not FUKUS attacks Iran. In fact it could even be argued that such an attack would accelarate US and western dominance decline if the Iranians can do enough damage to the Saudis, Israelis and western military assets in the ME.

Posted by: kg_ia | May 12, 2018 9:42:23 PM | 135

reply to:
At present Pompeo seems to try to snatch North Korea from Russia and China.
Posted by: somebody | May 12, 2018 9:21:32 AM | 21

I do think that is the plan, however if you look at the faces of the NK attendees at the meeting with Pompeo in this DM story (see first photo), I think each one is visualizing him on a distant planet; maybe Mars. Could be wrong but NK will never, ever trust the US.

Posted by: frances | May 12, 2018 9:43:06 PM | 136

@142 At least they didn't send Bolton. Pompeo looks like a fat cuddly uncle who will make everybody rich.....after they disarm.

Posted by: dh | May 12, 2018 10:01:08 PM | 137

reply to:
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 10:31:16 AM | 32
Yes, I'd say he is and this fellow (his entire dept is now gone) just left at State:

Posted by: frances | May 12, 2018 10:06:11 PM | 138

reply to:
"Calmed down on Israeli front..."Posted by: Laguerre | May 12, 2018 11:45:50 AM | 47

Maybe not so much, I think that one of the goals of the attacks was to lay the groundwork to advance further into Syria, it didn't go as planned but I believe they are still inching along with that objective:

Posted by: frances | May 12, 2018 10:45:04 PM | 139

reply to:
False Flag plan
Posted by: les7 | May 12, 2018 1:38:08 PM | 70
That FF plan is a doozy! Now the downside, IMO the moment Israel attacked Iran's nuclear plant all the missiles of Iran, Syria, Hesbollah, Hamas and probably Russia's in Syria would wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Team Syria have had it up to their ears with Israel. Hard to enjoy your victory if you are dead..

Posted by: frances | May 12, 2018 11:05:49 PM | 140

Old Microbiologist @38--

Neocon hubris is the greatest danger to the Outlaw US Empire as is becoming rather apparent. Quite a lot of its domestic ferment's being swept under the rug by the Propaganda System, but the rug's proving to be too small. 6 months until midterms, and yes they are important! Several fuses are lit, but none are neocon controlled.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 12, 2018 11:14:06 PM | 141

Posted by: Chipnik | May 12, 2018 2:56:50 PM | 87
Thank you for your post, your stories especially about your monk friend, were thought provoking. I would just say in MoA defense, the focus is not on death nor on death's minions, it is on discerning the truth, on finding hope, trying to see light in dark places; for me anyway.
Thank you again.

Posted by: frances | May 12, 2018 11:30:43 PM | 142

Most of us if we live long enough end up making big mistakes that turn out to be blessings, or encounter formidable hurdles that help. Surprise.

There is a curious subnote to the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran, the arrangement that was never honoured by the US, that the US repeatedly broke. Europe and the US are further estranged, which in turn augments Trump's original tendency towards more isolationism, repudiation of multilateralism, and entanglements. Russia benefits. Europe benefits.

Trump barks threateningly at North Korea, scares the bejeeseth out of S Korea, and N and S Korea finally hug.

The rabid Democrats and FBI bark and claw at Trump, with the result that the Democrats and the FBI are hoisted on their own derangements, and Trump sails blithely away and grows stronger.

Trump growls at Iran, and what comes next. Not to imply science, here, but do we detect a bit of a pattern? The pattern would seem to be: both Iran and Trump now benefit.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | May 13, 2018 12:22:50 AM | 143

It is all about Iran and the Syrian 7 year war was supposed clearing the path to Iran or at least push back and give a chaotic buffer zone.
A war that the Hegemon and cronies has lost.
The JCPOA unilateral cancelation is a de facto accepation of this fact and a turn to Diplomacy on a Trumpian kind.
A lot of responsability has fallen on the European Union. I will not engage here and now on underlying the inhérent depressive mood EU leaders must be in: growing a pair going against all our LGBTQ catechism.

About Nato, I am suprised, or not, than our best trolls do not seem to know that Turkey is in fact (real facts) the number 2 military force. I hope everybody in MoA is well aware of Erdogan derviche positions. Last news was Pompeo did agree to deliver the F-35 and Russia will provide the S-400.

UK is a maritime power of the past, France has consequent military capacities but is already over-streched in its African 'pré-carré ' and really its failed participation the 13th of April was more of an April Fools day.
Germany has no army to speak of and will never joint in Iran's Nato adventures. But the tentation migth growes to look East.

There will be no full war on Iran.

And by the way Nukes is a good deterrence and only that.

China is taking notice, NK of course also, Russia

Posted by: Charles Michael | May 13, 2018 12:24:39 AM | 144

Kalen @ 26 said: ", 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."

This scenario makes scary sense IMO. Alignment between global oligarchs towards the enslavement of workers globally. $ talks.....

Posted by: ben | May 13, 2018 1:00:09 AM | 145

@121 les7,

I agree, false flags are always a serious concern when dealing with western powers. And I'm not sure what the correct counter to them is. On the one hand, the Skripal affair and the most recent 'chemical attack' in Syria seemed ludicrous. On the other, they seem to have accomplished their purpose. To me it was oukd seem completely implausible that Iran would fire missiles at shipping simply out of the blue for no reason. But if the MSM repeats it enough, then enough people will believe it.

That said, the problem with attacking Iran is not that a suitable excuse can't be found-they can contrive a bull@#$% excuse anytime. Its that Iran can hit back.

Posted by: lysander | May 13, 2018 1:45:25 AM | 146

wenlich #76 Concur. There was a humorous tweet from Nimr Tiger Souria4Syrians that describes it well.

- woke up like nothing happened
- back to work and school
- thinking how time flies & "wondering where the day went?.."

- toilets in shelters all clogged up
- half the workforce still missing
- already feels like the longest day in history"

Syria Iran Iraq citizens have been hardened by embargo, war, threats, sanctions and will prevail through hell to the other side. The soft west where instant gratification is a slow boat wont last a day of all out war.

Below a link to an article by Seyed Mohammad Marandi where he states Iran will win and the US will fail.

Posted by: Tom | May 13, 2018 2:13:04 AM | 147

paul @151:

Only clandestine support. Both China and Russia will not put their own boots on Iranian soil, especially China. Neither of them is obligated to give such support. If Iranians themselves cannot muster enough local support to defend their own country, then there's no reason for foreign nations to sacrifice their own blood and treasure. Syria is a good example of that.

Posted by: Ian | May 13, 2018 2:15:35 AM | 148

The latest from Chinanet about what Iran is doing about Trumps move
TEHRAN, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif left Tehran for Beijing early Sunday for talks on the 2015 nuclear deal following the recent U.S. exit from the agreement, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said.

Zarif is heading a high-ranking political-economic delegation during his visit to China.

Following his China visit, the Iranian foreign minister will tour Russia and some European countries, during which he will exchange views with relevant parties on the developments of the Iranian nuclear issue.

Iran seeks contracting parties' assurance for the survival of the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, after the U.S. departure.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and impose "the highest level" of economic sanctions on Tehran, triggering global outcry.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 13, 2018 3:09:16 AM | 149

@ Ian-155
Russia in Syria has put boots on the ground and did pay with blood (limied) and money (very wisely), by the way Russia did turn the Syrian war from defeat to victory.
With a population both educated, and united, of 80 Millions Iran does not need more boots and no invader will dare invasion.
China is the discret Elephant in the game, omnipresent in its support of the multipolar new world order, very less shy on the economic front.
The ball is in the EU court, I don't hold my breath on them standing tall against Trump, but I don't see either EU participating in the nonsense.

Posted by: Charles Michael | May 13, 2018 4:29:58 AM | 150

Laguerre, show us where golda is wrong.

Posted by: Karl | May 13, 2018 4:30:57 AM | 151

Some words for those who stil 'believe' in Trump.

I regularly write articles for a Dutch blog and when Trump comes along I have to know what is going to happen and to describe this in words that I don't have to regret later.

So I looked up who Trump is and what he stands for. I could ignore everything he says. More important are the people that have always surrounded them. They are all hardcore zionists. It is therefore impossible that Trump has a correct world view. This means that he can't do anything right.

His family is married to zionists. They have donated a lot of money to illegal zionist settlements on illegally conquered land. He is friends with every zionist mogul that lives. He has Jared Kushner.

Then he appointed Nikki Haley. She is a hardcore zionist. I was not surprised.

Then he appointed John bolton. He is a hardcore zionist. I was not surprised.

There are still people out there who believe that they put 'their guy' in office. They cannot be more wrong than that.

Trump was appointed by the Deep State for the one and only reason that Hillary is too powerfull to be controlled. She has to many friends at important positions. She has a sort of cult around her with people who would die for her. The Deep State can't use that.

And she gave them the ammunition that they needed. After lying about Benghazi (the video), after inventing new lies that failed to convince, after inventing even newer lies that also failed she threw her arms up in the sky and said: "Ät this point, what does it matter?" Well, say that to Americans. Four American soldiers have been killed of which one was an ambassador. Americans would never vote for her. And they already hated her so much.

I predicted that Trump was going to win, but in contrast to most of the readers I was not excited at all. The only positive thing about Trump and Netanyahoo is that they have destroyed the carefully crafted illusion of a moral highground they used to be standing upon. The world now sees them for what they really are.

Posted by: Antares | May 13, 2018 4:53:25 AM | 152

Afghanistan supply route through Russia closed down in 2015

Will Pakistan close down US supply routes - from January 2018

China negotiating US departure from Afghanistan

Russia asking questions about the true goals and timeframe of US troops in Afghanistan

Iran resolute to enhance all-out ties with neighbors: Rouhani

Iran Offers Turkmenistan New Gas-Swap Deal To Pakistan

From Pakistan - on what US sanctions will do

He said that the decision has already damaged Iranian currency and it is set to increase miseries of the people while reducing GDP of the neighbouring country to below 5%. Many European countries will face heavy losses as many companies have invested billions of dollars in Iran and these companies will be forced to sell their assets at throwaway prices to Chinese firms.

US - Pakistan diplomatic relations not running smoothly.

To think that an alliance of a few Israelis and some Saudis can stop the integration of the region is - ridiculous.

Posted by: somebody | May 13, 2018 5:08:47 AM | 153

Trump was appointed by the Deep State for the one and only reason that Hillary is too powerfull to be controlled. She has to many friends at important positions. She has a sort of cult around her with people who would die for her. The Deep State can't use that.
Posted by: Antares Betelgeuse | May 13, 2018 4:53:25 AM | 159

Don't you realise how nonsensical that assertion is?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 13, 2018 7:42:04 AM | 154

The only way to stop imperial aggression is to stop the hacking of the electoral apparatus. If votes are counted as cast, a Trump, not to mention a Bush, will not win. Following the hacking of the 2000 election, the mother of all false flags, 911, was required to mobilize the political will for war in the ME. This was in the interest of the survival of Israel, not the security of the US. One doesn't step in the same river twice, so another 911 is not likely. Without majority rule, however, there is no protection from human vermin like Trump or Bolton. Fix the election process!

Posted by: jadan | May 13, 2018 8:16:58 AM | 155

Well, let's look for a hint of a silver lining.

Here's one: Bolton very obviously thinks through his plans, and his thinking leads him to conclude that he can regime-change the Ayatollahs *out* and bring the MEK *in* i.e. he clearly intends to impose a government upon Iran that amounts to little more than a murderous bunch of cultist nutters, and he has been grooming them for that role from the very beginning.

He is a one-trick pony, and his trick is the MEK.

As plans go it is absolutely guaranteed to fail, because even if he does manage to engineer the downfall of the Ayatollahs there is no way - none whatsoever - that the Iranian people will accept the MEK as their new rulers.

Such an imposition would not last - think nooses and lampposts - and the end result will be an almighty mess that is entirely of Washington's making. A replay of 1979, only much, much worse.

Bolton is riding for a fall, precisely because his plans are totally and completely detached from reality.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 13, 2018 8:43:20 AM | 156

Posted by: jadan | May 13, 2018 8:16:58 AM | 166

A cui bono more than 15 years after the event would suggest that 9/11 was an Iranian plot :-))

No, I don't think that, I think that US and Israeli strategy depend on being able to reverse Iran to a "Western"-friendly Shah type regime. To split the Middle East between Israel and Iran as it used to be.

In order to achieve that they keep making things worse.

Posted by: somebody | May 13, 2018 8:56:47 AM | 157

Iran "regime change (tm)" attempts have been ongoing since the 1979 Revolution, and have not been even close to gaining significant support. The "anti-gov't demonstrations" the MSM was blasting on about last year were actually about the right-wing austerity being imposed due to Zionist-bankster-driven SANCTIONS. I guess the Zionist MSM thought no one would notice that Iranians were protesting the very policies they would face in spades under a Zionist-backed return of the Shah's "clown prince" brat and/or "elected" Zionist puppets.

Bolton is simply a stupid (the ignorant can learn, the stupid do not) psychopath. But it seems that's what it takes to gain/hold power in the reality version of International Game of Thrones.

Posted by: A P | May 13, 2018 8:59:40 AM | 158

German Chancellor Angela Merkel lamented Saturday that U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull his country out of the Iran nuclear accord was making the situation in the Middle East “even more difficult.” She said Germany was closely following the developments between Iran and Israel, saying that was “yet another reason for further effort to resolve the conflict.”
The US strategy of driving Russia and Germany apart may be fraying. Merkel plans to be in Sochi this Friday for a meeting with Putin.
Merkel was in Assisi, the Saint Francis's hometown, where Franciscan friars awarded her the St. Francis Lamp for peace for her actions welcoming Syrian refugees.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 13, 2018 9:09:10 AM | 159

@ somebody 170: The Zionist plan since at least WW1 was to divide the Middle East between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Sykes-Picot and the Balfour Declaration are elemental signposts showing how the US/European colonial powers intended to share the spoils of the fallen Ottoman Empire in particular. As a prime example, France is still clinging onto its colonialist past, which is why it has recently "decided" to directly engage in its former "protectorate", Syria.

Want to see how long the colonial powers will try to regain power? Haiti. France has never forgiven the Haitians for the Slave Revolts in the early 1800's. So TPTB keep one half of Hispaniola in perpetual chaos and ruin while the other half is permitted to do well...

Posted by: A P | May 13, 2018 9:16:42 AM | 160

"By the way, resolution 1680 allows us to invade Iran"
- Daniel Pipes, August 2006

There has been no sunset on UN Resolution 1680, a work of
trickery and treachery
foisted upon the planet by none other than John Bolton himself.

It ties the actions of Hezbollah to Iran. A few short weeks after
passage of 1680 Israel executed a stand down false-flag and the 2006 invasion of
Lebanon was on. The stand down produced the desired kidnapping from
Hezbollah and thanks to Resolution 1680 Iran shared the blame
and crosshairs.

The IDF imagined it could easily brush Hezbollah aside from the air
and then the effort, thanks to 1680, would be joined by the US (and toadies)
as it made a pivot into Syria and Iran.

Later, one Israeli general scornfully articulated, the IDF command
believed the war against Hezbollah would be a pinball game
played in the high tech instrumentation panels of IDF cockpits.

The pinball game failed and thus the IDF sent in ground troops, who it
turned out had become soft from their years of duty as harassers of Palestinian
women and children.

The 2006 IDF war effort failed and John Bolton, etal would have to
huddle up and wait for another day to invade Iran.

How do the John Boltons intend to trigger the next pretext for the
US to fight more war for Israel?

Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Remarks at a Security Council Stakeout
New York City
May 17, 2006

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: The United States is very pleased with the passage of Resolution 1680. It does a number of things for the first time. First, it explicitly refers to the role of not just Syria, but of Iran, in bringing stability to Lebanon by referring to the Secretary General's report. It makes clear that the burden is now on Syria to respond to Lebanon's request for border delineation and the full exchange of diplomatic relations. It clearly says to Syria that it needs to do more to stop the flow of weapons across the Syrian/Lebanese border. And it makes it clear that all the further disarming of all militias inside Lebanon is an important priority. So we are quite pleased with this vote, 13 to nothing. We, of course, wish it had been higher, but unanimity is desirable, but not a prerequisite for Council Action. We thought it was important in this case to respond with a resolution to the Secretary General's report not a presidential statement as some delegations wanted and that's what we've done. So we think this is another important step forward in the implementation of 1559, which we continue to follow closely as well, of course, as the implementation of 1595, the investigation into the Hariri assassination.

REPORTER: Mr. Ambassador, there is no mention of Iran in the resolution; and B, you have 2 abstentions, now is this not a lot less in it's (inaudible) than what you had expected?

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: Certainly not, let me just read the mellifluous words of the resolution in operative paragraph 3: reiterates also "it's call on all concerned states and parties as mentioned in the Secretary General's report." Now the two states that are mentioned are Iran and Syria, so there is no ambiguity in what that phrase means. It certainly could have named Iran in its full four letters, but that reference makes it unambiguously clear that Iran is referred to. And you know, you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.

Posted by: librul | May 13, 2018 9:25:06 AM | 161

john wilson @ 7.

Defunding the White Helmets is pure Trumpism. >> Get out of Syria and stop sloshing out foreign ‘aid.’

Once again, a symbolic move from DT (planned and / or allowed?)

(imho.) Bolton was forcibly proposed / supported and Trump agreed. Bolton is essentially a libertarian with a ‘revolutionay bent’ which is seen as positive by biz ppl like DT (for them it is not contradictory with protectionism.) Bolton being an Israel-firster of the highest degree was OK.

DT, the campaigner, had basically only one pure and narrow foreign policy plank : scotching the ‘Iran deal’, a disaster for the US and the work of the /unspeakable/ Obama. The second plank, against Islamist terrorism, was somewhat confused with domestic policy, immigration, thus also other, e.g. wall with Mexico, etc. and its foreign policy implications (e.g. pro-Putin/Russia, pro-fighting jihadis in Syria) were watered down bis, bis, and once in office, diluted or abandoned.

DT went on to condemn the Obama administration for “backing people who they don’t know who they are”, and to warn that rebels backed by the United States “could be Isis”

Guardian Oct. 2015

DT’s impulses against.. could only be exploited in one direction -> contra Iran. (therefore, Bolton.) After all, a US prez. lacking the mandatory fiery desire to bomb and mutilate children, peasants, fields, agriculture, towns, pretty girls getting married, trees, infrastructure, anything that moves, etc. use.

Imho, attack on Iran is for many reasons not on the cards. (See other above.)

Posted by: Noirette | May 13, 2018 9:46:12 AM | 162

175 Noirette

Imho, attack on Iran is for many reasons not on the cards.
Obviously you're right. What I find fascinating is to observe the process of the realisation slowly filtering into the skulls of hair-trigger warmongers like Bolton. Or indeed the Israeli nutter politicals, like Bennett or Netanyahu. They've spent years advocating war, Israel actually did its attack on "Iran in Syria", and now they're thinking "umm, this is not going to work". And the sudden switch to talking about regime change through subversion, as if the US hasn't already been working on that since 1980, with little visible success.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 13, 2018 10:19:50 AM | 163

Laguerre is onto something here. MoonofAlabama is not Reddit and shouldn't aspire to be. I've been reading this site and Billmon before it for a dozen years. The comment section has become a harder and harder read over the last couple of years as the disruptive posters (some are accidents of success, some seem deliberate saboteurs) proliferate. As a consequence, I often don't read the comments at all (which is the goal of disruption). It's a pity as the level of discourse here used to be and still is occasionally very high.

There is a persistent wave of attacks on this site. A direct attack won't work so the goal is to muddy the waters, make the discourse incoherent. An incoherent comment section with illiterate rants like "golda my ears" (who is back with a new handle after poisoning this place under different handles and probably getting banned each time) will drive away mainstream readers, cause them to dismiss MoonOfAlabama. That's all the establishment need - to keep the truthsayers or prophets on the margin. Discredit Cassandra. These are millenia old sociological problems, not just issues of the internet. If the establishment fails to discredit, the next step of course is to force Socrates to drink poison.

Names help as we don't have to use post numbers (which change when b deleted the obvious spam and provocations eventually). Names help as this is not an anonymous forum. MoonOfAlabama is like a bar. Like most neighbourhood bars, anyone is welcome to walk in the door but if any visitor who conducts himself in an obnoxious way, he or she will be asked to leave and not to come back.

These names or handles do not have to be tied to a real world identity (although many of us, including b, are fairly easily identified) but it's important they are consistent. Consistent identities helps with coherent conversation, developing relationships, context and of course with excluding deliberate disrupters and vandals.

In the past, I've suggested to b moving to WordPress as it's possible to run your own login system. I no longer recommend WordPress for low maintenance political or hobby sites due to the ongoing update and security issues. Keeping WordPress running smoothly is a part time job. Typepad kind of sucks (images are really badly managed for instance, running a true membership site is difficult) but does so very cheaply while other people look after security, hosting and performance issues for you. The technical requirements are very modest so Typepad does great for b and does so at about $15/month. Barely adequate WordPress hosting for would be three times that sum (on the low end) before you get started with maintenance, updates and security.

Fortunately b could insist on logged in users without moving to WordPress. Typepad does have its own ID system which can be used for comments. It's not more onerous than just signing up with an email address (i.e. it's free and there are no restrictions). I'd suggest b consider moving us all to login. An undesirable consequence of Typepad login for b might be his full name showing up next to his comments. An easy workaround for the publisher (in this case, b) would be to keep his moderation account separate from his commenting account (easy enough to run in two browsers.

For the rest of us if we have real Typepad accounts (I do for instance) we'd either have to anonymise our existing account or create a new one. Facebook login is possible via Typepad. Hopefully that could be turned off as there are literally tens of thousands of Facebook personas out there in the basements of DC, London and Tel Aviv (Moscow and St Petersburg have a few hundred too of course but nothing like the bot army of the first three).

On b's premium plan it is possible to customise the Typepad template CSS and HTML in such a way that any avatars or additional information won't show up in the comments. I'd be happy to help with the template customisation.

PS. If b doesn't want to use the Typepad login system, I'd also help with a migration to WordPress and MoonOfAlabama's own login system including a low maintenance template and plugin setup. Using Typepad login seems to be the shortest path to the goal of controlling trolls and maintaining a civil and coherent conversation.

Posted by: Uncoy | May 13, 2018 10:26:43 AM | 164

173 You need a source for this.

Iran recognized Israel in 1950, Saudi Arabia still has not done this.

Saudi Arabia and Israel are creations of the British empire carving up the Ottoman empire for imperialist purposes but Britain used to own Iran, too.

When the US could not win the war in Vietnam, trouble started with the Nixon doctrine, continued with the Carter doctrine and here we are.

Posted by: somebody | May 13, 2018 10:41:44 AM | 165

Interesting; we, the U.S., have been at war with Iran since November 4, 1979.
But then the case could be made; it's been since 1953.
So, what's changed?
Iran, the great Persian civilisation (they invented chess) has gotten stronger and flumexed us at every turn.
They will prevail; the U.S. will not...

Posted by: V | May 13, 2018 11:14:29 AM | 166


I just swept the comments here as I do every day.

A few remarks:

- Do not feed the trolls. You make it more difficult for me to delete any sign of them. If you feed them by replying or mentioning them you give them an incentive to come back!

- I will no longer allow one liners. Snarky sniping at something that is of no value to a discussion. Do not attack others, attack their arguments by using your own ones.

- @A P - I am sick of your Rothschild spleen. It is of no value for the discussion. Stop it or leave.

- @anon - change your handle to some reasonable name

- @from the resistance - change your handle to some reasonable name

- @ian (and someone else who I deleted) linked/quoted stuff in the comment that was linked/quoted IN MY POST. If you do not read what I write I will not bother to allow your comments.

Posted by: b | May 13, 2018 11:15:22 AM | 167

ZH posted a Tom Luongo article that shows the Team Trump obsession with regime change in Iran will lead to a global debt crisis. Although a debt crisis (particularly in the US) has been in the cards for a while, the sanctions moves and actions on Iran could push things closer to the edge. I agree with him when he writes "China, Russia and Iran’s best moves politically are to do nothing overt." In other words, be patient while the US pays a "yuge" economic price.

Posted by: Curtis | May 13, 2018 11:32:48 AM | 168

Listened to the podcast interview. A few issues. Interviewer defends the indefensible Hillary Clinton, giggling mass murderer, destroyer of Libya, Honduran Coup Plotter, and etc. as a hawk but a "better choice".

Now recall that Trump did not have the blood of thousands of peasants on his hands until he became president.

I don't know if Hillary is buds with Bolton or not. She certainly could be. We read that Joe Biden, in spite of his criticism of Bolton, helped promote Bolton just the same. (Bush admin).

Bustani, after the lives of his children are threatened by Bolton, warns them about it and decides to remain in his position which he loses anyway after a few weeks.

Now if I am a father, I would take that threat seriously. Bolton is nasty enough but Cheney is also implicated within the threat.

Now Bustani says he talked it over with his (adult) kids and they all decided that he should stand his ground. (Paraphrasing).

At this point, I ask, are you forking kidding me?

These sons o bitches are real killers. Not the wet work, but killers just the same.

Doesn't add up.

Posted by: fast freddy | May 13, 2018 11:37:40 AM | 169

When dominant mythologies and narratives, that formerly had some basis in, and attachment to, reality, become detached from reality, those mythologies and narratives can have a long historical trajectory as a kind of fond illusion, and can still influence behaviour. Think of the senior fondly daydreaming of and embellishing that first great but lost love, or those Norwegians still pining for their longboats and a proper sword-wielding death into Valhalla (okay – that's a stretch).

The Americans have got their space based weapons, and their nuclear ICBMs, and their submarines laden with nukes, and their thousand military bases, and a military budget that is what (?), if you add in the black budgets and adjuncts like the American Energy department military component, or NASA, or many University research programs as military oriented, then the American military budget is just about as large as everyone else put together. And then there's the CIA as a mercenary military force, and all their intelligence [sic] agencies, and so on and on, such a big effort, but now reality has intruded and in the end it's all sort of – declining, losing its punch, losing its status, looking far more vile and foolish than heroic and smart, self-destructive, hubris gone crazy. And militarily, lots of vulnerabilities.

But there is that inertia, that trajectory, of the mythology itself, that will continue to have influence, maybe for further great evil. There will be pretense, make believe. And a period of disorientation – even shock - that shock and awe aren't what they used to be, that they aren't the boss of everybody, that more and more millions of people despise them; don't admire them.

In parallel with the American military's disorienting collision with reality, there is the case of American football, America's more or less favorite sport, the great American spectacle, which is a kind of military exercise, two armies bashing heads, and it turns out that the warriors/gladiators on the football field are destroying their bodies and brains, and dying young, and many thousands have done great permanent damage to their brains. And again we have all that enthusiasm, and love for the sport, and all that history, and all that mythology, coming up against reality: Repeated and repeated concussions, as well as serious injurious body blows. It will take a while to sort that out, too.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | May 13, 2018 12:23:16 PM | 170


Good comment. I thought you might bring up the "taking the knee" in your football analogy.

That too, represents a giant fissure in the armor of that proud, patriotic, august gladiator sport and recruitment device for the US military.


Tried to read some of that. At the outset, so much thought and verbosity expressed within a contained, restricted militaristic mindset. Perhaps if I didn't find it so repulsive initially I could glean something useful from it. Will try again.

Posted by: fast freddy | May 13, 2018 12:55:21 PM | 171

@164 Uncoy. Thank you for taking the time to argument the importance of preserving the quality of exchanges of MoA's comments section. I had no time (nor inclination at stating the obvious) yesterday. Good suggestions were also mentionned about the maintenance of the site. Personnally, if need be I'm willing the pay a premium to help maintain high quality conversations. Though I've stopped drinking booze 8 months ago, MoA is still my favourite neighborhood bar..

Posted by: Lozion | May 13, 2018 1:06:48 PM | 172

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

This is not said by a merely "ruthless" man, but rather by a criminal thug.

Posted by: Kirk | May 13, 2018 2:27:14 PM | 173

OK b, it's your house, goodbye. Struggle on without telling the entire story. But don't expect any real change in international affairs until they are curbed. 200 years should be enough to see them for what they are, and a half century since they backed the Zionist terrorists that stole Palestine from the legal residents.

"None are so hopelessly enslaved than those who mistakenly think they are free." Goethe

Posted by: A P | May 13, 2018 4:21:12 PM | 174

This is a question towards chipnik's post specifically. When you tell one of your anecdotes, I think you are at your best! I love the wit of your other writings, as well. However,it bothers me when people use the word "evil." I believe some qualities like whether we are kings or peasants used to be considered "accidental," attributes. If any one of us had been born in the place of Bolton,accidentally, it is highly probable, I think,that we'd end up being just as he is. So, "evil" is a problem that goes much further than the individual currently known as Bolton.. It is probably his upbringing, and the limitations on his experience, and so on. I believe this explains the expression, "there but for the grace of god go I."

Speaking of which, the universe or the divinity, or whatt have you, appears to me to treat the worst miscreant and the holiest saint, with the same degree of patience and care, so it don't matter all that much that the most of us are peasants really, maybe even more fortunate.

Well, however, the finest diplomats and commentors are able to address any kind of inanity whether it's evil or not, with an imtation of that divine impartiality. In fact, I would offer that attempting to address the inanities of the "evil" people who walk the globe with us is like a moral kind of responsibiluty, which if you enjoy that kind f thing maybe you thrive here in the world!

Were it not true, this apocalyptic war might have happened some time ago already!

Posted by: Geoff | May 13, 2018 5:13:29 PM | 175

English Outsider @ 101: It was seriously negligent of the FO and Carrington was honourable enough to resign. I remember reading on the front page of the Guardian that a load of warships had sailed from Argentina and the FO response was that it was just Argie sabre rattling. All the bars in the FO were shut down afterwards too.

Posted by: Ray Visino | May 13, 2018 6:28:23 PM | 176


I agree that Hillary paragraph is nonsense, but you can't deny that Trump is Zionist installed. Trump ranks above Bush on the Zionist allegiance Richter scale: Trump, Bush, Truman, Johnson, Obama, Bill Clinton in that order. There is no shadow of a doubt that Trump is all in with Zionism and their plan to neutralize the Middle East.

Posted by: Circe | May 14, 2018 9:30:23 AM | 177

Bolthead Mushton seems to have written a three page paper on how-to regime change Iran. Nothing new in it other than saying that they would shit in the pants before rolling out the tanks.

So Europe is probably going to ditch the petro-dollar over US getting out the JCPOA. And KSA would do it after seeing one mush-paper after another and no possible way for them to actually deliver.

Posted by: meme | May 17, 2018 7:10:26 AM | 178

Israel Nudges Trump Towards War With Iran
Can a devastating conflict be avoided? The best hope may lie with—of all people—Vladimir Putin.

This is from the editor of the American Conservative. It's a long-ish article but worth it to see that some Americans see clearly what is happening and speak out.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 17, 2018 11:26:45 AM | 179

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