Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 21, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Trump administration has no way to achieve that goal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Posted by b on May 21, 2018 at 18:21 UTC | Permalink

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

Please do not even mention war criminal Milošević, stooge of London and Washington, in the same sentence with Iran.

Destruction of Yugoslavia which officially started in 1991, but actually had started in 1989 with one of the first color revolutions when Milošević ascended to the throne of Serbia, was not related to the ultimatum by Madeline Albright which was delivered to Greater Serbia's Milošević in 1999 regarding his brand new war, this time against Kosovo.

Don't you people understand that Milošević was useful idiot, in a same way like Husein of Iraq, whose role was to destroy strong and prosperous country which ex-Yugoslavia had been, and then be executed?!

Posted by: ex-SA | May 22 2018 17:57 utc | 101

I love those trumpian outbursts of threat of an apocalyptic tone.
One more administration of this kind in washington, supported by an inner circle of three lettered word sionist would-be-thugs and the empire is over. And done.
And thinking people around the world start to ask: How is it possible that such a powerful empire can survive as such when ruled by a bunch of looneys that compete w each other for who performs the maddest deed of all?

Posted by: augusto | May 22 2018 17:58 utc | 102


The dismemberment of Yugoslavia was started by creating a shooting war between
religions. Fire in a church followed by fire in a mosque by mortars in markets and snipers
left and right just like Maidan.

Milosevic may be anything you want but did not contribute to the dismemberment of

Nato was not reacting to but engineering/eliciting responses from the Yugoslavs in order
to divide and conquer.

Posted by: CarlD | May 22 2018 18:31 utc | 103

@98 Sheeple. It's a blame-the-victim term. The fact is that no one knows yet if the US population deserves censure or praise, because as juliania points out @92, you can't tell what people think and feel.

I certainly know what the incorrigible voters think and feel: Active support for ALL the crimes of the US corporate state, foreign and domestic.

So I don't call those manipulated sheeple, I actively condemn them as supporters of evil.

The thing I don't know is how many of the non-voters are truly "apathetic", as electoralist propaganda would have it, and how many like myself are active opponents of the entire system, including its kangaroo "elections".

Posted by: Russ | May 22 2018 18:34 utc | 104

ben, Don, Grieved, V and whoever else is concerned about “sheeple” and any relationship to class.

In my experience, low income/poor people (and especially with “minority” added in) are the most politically astute group of USAmericans. They’re the ones who are most likely to see that the duopoly doesn’t serve anyone except the 1%. They’re the ones who know we’re being lied to by TPTSB all the time. They’re the ones who pay most dearly for everything from economic policies to war, and so are most aware of them.

If I were to pick a socio-economic group most likely to be “sheeple,” it’d be the middle and upper middle classes. They are just tenuous enough to really WISH FOR the system to work as advertised, and they have the most to lose if/when the system crashes.

As someone reposted recently:
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
― Upton Sinclair

And they're the ones most dependent on their salaries, which frame their very self-identification.

Posted by: Daniel | May 22 2018 18:43 utc | 105


"Sheeple" is very apt. It is both an offensive term and a non-offensive one. Here's why that is so:

1) Many people have tuned out. Especially with respect to foreign affairs. The US military is now composed of volunteers so most people that are well-off do not have to worry about their son or daughter being drafted. To less fortunate people, the military looks like a good job compared to flipping burgers.

Daniel @104 is correct because many well-off believe that they are insulated from misfortune and have the luxury to tune-out and spend their time in selfish pursuits (simply "enjoying life", or engaged in making more money). Often the best way to 'reach' these people is to avoid anything that might resemble a 'conspiracy theory' and frame the matter as how their comfortable life might be threatened.

2) While it is true that there is much propaganda, there are many people that are aware of it. Yet they do not rebel against this because they believe that all 'smart' people can see the propanda for what it is and also believe in "the system": a collection of myths that is deep-seated and reinforced by more subtle propaganda. These myths stress rugged individualism and divine blessing.

When they vote, Americans believe that they are voting in a way that is practical and will further their own interests. Many get very emotional about their choice despite acknowledging that they are voting for the "lesser evil."

Once again, selfish and narrow. In the 60's they talked about 'raising consciousness'. That is what is needed once again. But the establishment learned from the 60's (while the public seems to have forgotten) and has put up barriers to collective action.

The propaganda that works most effectively is that which shapes our cultural values and personal outlook. It is not cluelessness but selfishness that breeds sheeple. And you can take THAT to the bank!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 22 2018 19:42 utc | 106

Once again, James Corbett has produced a concise and well-documented video. This time it’s:

NGOs Are The Deep State's Trojan Horses

Posted by: Daniel | May 22 2018 20:37 utc | 107

Boy, Kim must be really happy he's got the nukes, while he witnesses serious threats against Iran that is at the mercy of full Zionist U.S. tyranny. Kim must be thinking: Why should I trust that blowhard Trump when everyone is pushing for the destruction of Iran through economic tyranny and regime change after Iran already submitted to a deal? It's Zionist U.S. modus operandi to ultimately seek regime change. Trump already threatened Kim with Gaddafi's fate if he doesn't give up his nukes.

Laughably, Trump promises Kim will be very, very happy, and he'll give him a lot of security and hundreds of billions in economic investment.

Okay, Kim should reply, so if Russia promises Trump security and hundreds of billions of dollars to get rid of U.S. nukes; would Trump accept that deal?

The U.S. will never be an honest broker. An agreement with the U.S. is toilet paper. The U.S. has a track record of thumbing its nose at the rule of law, breaking agreements and meddling in the governments of numerous countries causing civil unrest and economic hardship, war and destruction. Trump thinks Kim was born yesterday.

As long as the U.S. is ruled by Zionists and Zionist/Trump collusion proves it is now and always Zionist territory, then the word and signed paper of any U.S. leader is never to be trusted even when other EU Zionist vassals sign on.

Posted by: Circe | May 22 2018 20:58 utc | 108

Jackrabbit @105--

Yep, it's those Don't Rock the Boat folks wanting the status quo to keep on going; they hold up the carpet for the Propaganda System to sweep the mud under. Unfortunately, for the majority of US citizens, a very major crisis akin to but much worse than 2008 must occur to get them to become politically engaged and enraged. IMO, enough has already transpired within the Trump Era to generate the requisite rage, and the mid-terms might actually surprise as a result. But, don't hold your breath.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 22 2018 21:03 utc | 109

John @ 88:
“Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017” (PDF) [Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System]. “This report describes the responses to the fifth annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED). The survey is designed to enhance our understanding of how adults in the United States are faring financially… Altogether, the survey findings provide a snapshot of people’s financial lives in late 2017. It is a story of overall improvement consistent with the national economic expansion. It is also a complex story of variation among different groups in the country and remaining areas of economic vulnerability…. Four in 10 adults, if faced with an unexpected expense of $400, would either not be able to cover it or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money. This is an improvement from half of adults in 2013 being ill-prepared for such an expense. Over one-fifth of adults are not able to pay all of their current month’s bills in full. Over one-fourth of adults skipped necessary medical care in 2017 due to being unable to afford the cost.” If this be “overall improvement,” gawd help us when we run into real problems.

Posted by: jsn | May 22 2018 21:13 utc | 110

A Dutch TV show made a parody of the Israeli singer's Eurovision-winning performance of "Toy." And boy oh boy, are the Zio-bots ever offended!

They're not offended by their country murdering some 120 unarmed protesters and medical staff, nor wounding thousands with gunfire and thousands more with poison gas.

They're not offended by 97% of Gaza freshwater being poisoned, or the Mediterranean shoreline being poisoned since their "most moral army in the world" committed the war crime of bombing water and waste management sites.

Nosiree! But boy oh boy are they ever offended that their singer was parodied.

Posted by: Daniel | May 22 2018 21:33 utc | 111

I want to feel sorry for the current Iranian leadership but I just can't. These westernized "moderate/reformist" fools essentially went into a gun fight with no gun but rather some wishful thinking that somehow logic will prevail and peace will be achieved. Fact is the US does not know the benefit of negotiations/treaties. They see such things as temporal inconvenience that has to be broken at the right time.

It's just pathetic watching the Iranian FM basically running around the world begging whoever he can find to stick to the deal. The Europeans will eventually fold under US pressure as their market in the US is too profitable. Russia and China will also fold when Trump shows them something juicy.

In the meantime Ruhani, in his infinte wisdom, has poured concrete into Arak reactor and prohibited the development of ballistic missiles. Iran hasn't tested much missiles since the "moderates" came to power - the guy's such a genius!!

Without nukes, any country on the US target list if f*cked!!!

Posted by: zico | May 22 2018 22:11 utc | 112

@ zico who wrote: "Without nukes, any country on the US target list if f*cked!!!"

I don't believe that anymore. In our new multi-polar world, China and Russia will tell the US to back off any nuke threats on least that is how it works in theory and with Trump's range of BS, lots of "theories" are being developed/put forward to counter the bullying.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 23 2018 0:13 utc | 113

WJ @73

Re the referenced planned assault on Venezuela; while I fully believe that the US is planning such actions as those that are listed in the linked article, either Admiral Tidd does not speak English, or the document being quoted is a fake.

Frequent mistakes in spelling and grammar, and the frequent uses of odd and unusual syntax, tell me that the document, while possibly based on actual knowledge of such plans, was not written by someone whose native language is English.

Posted by: AntiSpin | May 23 2018 0:58 utc | 114

Rewrite the demands, replace Iran with Israel, resubmit.

Posted by: StephenLaudig | May 23 2018 8:56 utc | 115


thanks for your comment.

the 40% of non-voters is most likely, more or less, the 40% who pay no federal income tax. which of course makes them the largest and most radical demographic force in the country, whether they realize it or not. the question regarding their 'apathy' is an interesting one, but i think ultimately moot, 'cause firstly it's the non-compliance that's important, that establishes the necessary precedent. i mean, just do the math...if another 40% 'dropped out' it'd be all over, precipitating something better, more equitable, i should hope.

Posted by: john | May 23 2018 9:59 utc | 116

Daniel | May 22, 2018 2:43:19 PM | 105

A very astute reply and very accurate to the reality on the ground in the U.S.

Posted by: V | May 23 2018 11:06 utc | 117

As the US continues to, methodically, to disassemble the post WWII world order, isolation is a given and maybe intentional. The US model served for the past century and can no longer sustain in constant debt growth based on cheap goods consumption, there is a need for reset and the money owners are aware of that for a long time, thus the current strategy. No doubt the US regime has some very odd criminals in top positions such as Nikki, Bolton, Gina and Pompeo, but I am convinced these are the facing to provoke, to attempt global unrest, to break laws, to kill partnership, to sink long standing relationship, so the main plan to isolate the US for a planned implosion can happen few years from now.
There is no other rational for the past 2 years decisions, "come & go" , broken promises, inverted messages, bullying, threats, counter threats, empty threats etc...
The US regime and the country is heading to a wall at 100 miles per hour, an it seems most of the populous are fine with it.
Regarding Iran, the US sanctions won;t work at all this time, they know that, everybody does, the EU companies dropping from deals in Iran are basically too exposed to the US and basically made a quick math and they would lose more in staying the course in Iran, nothing more than that, a simple business decision. A sincerely doubt any military attack in Iran, all scenario appoints to global chaos if that happens, while regime change is basically impossible after the Iranians are more united than ever, so the last option is a proxy war, either in Syria, Iraq or Iran itself (via Kurds), but then Iran has shown capable in dealing with it and crushing any attempt, they actually had 7 years to prepare for any proxy war, hundreds of thousands of militias were trained by Iran from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, this is a force to reckon with for any proxy war. As summary, we are seeing "flatus vocis" form the US regime, and maybe the clear kick off to downhill events that can culminate anytime between 2019-2020.

Posted by: Canthama | May 23 2018 12:42 utc | 118

Even if US decides to go ahead with a reckless attack on Iran, it would be a suicidal move. US could "win" a conventional war against Iran but occupying the country? Fuggedaboutit. I'm sure the Pentagon has all sorts of plans and scenarios lined up for this grand event. I cannot imagine that enough young Americans can be enticed to go fight and die on behalf of the Zionist entity, and they sure as hell won't do it for the Don. Do they expect Gulf Arabs or Israelis to provide able bodied men as cannon fodder? Or the Europeans? There won't even be an economic benefit to mobilizing for war since the USA never demobilized in the first place... Fighting and winning a war against Iran without massive casualties or economic damage to the West is a neocon pipe dream. The seven year plan to remake the middle east is already far behind schedule, bogged down and breaking against reality like every other ideological fantasy of being welcomed as heroes by the dusky natives. A majority of Iraqis miss Saddam, A majority of Americans want an end to the endless wars, and now world opinion has definitively shifted against the USA as a beacon of freedom and liberty. The Islamic Republic has many defects, but their repressions and brutalities are peccadillos compared to the globe-spanning crimes of empire. Iran wants prosperity, security, and economic integration with its neighbors. America wants to dominate the ME and control the oil supply, most people outside of the West (and a lot of people inside) see this dynamic clearly.

Posted by: Almand | May 23 2018 20:49 utc | 119

Posted by: CarlD | May 22, 2018 2:31:55 PM | 103

No. Similar to the Soviet Union it started with the Nomenclatura becoming neoliberal.

Same applies to Syria.

On the techniques used to frighten and divide people, you are correct.

Posted by: somebody | May 23 2018 21:22 utc | 120

TRUMP have attacked syrian forces again...

Posted by: robert | May 24 2018 4:49 utc | 121

The US will do everything to achieve its aims.

Remember those assassination accusations against Iran by Mike Pompeo? Nobody knew what he was talking about.

In december 2015, an Iranian man, living in Almere, the Netherlands, was assassinated. In the early '90s he got a residence permit in the Netherlands, living an unremarkable life as an electrician. His name? Ali Motamed.

Well it turns out that Ali was in fact Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi, the man sentenced to death in absentia in Iran for the Hafte Tir bombing, killing 73 prominent Iranians. Ali/Mohammad was a member of MEK, the terrorist organisation loved by the likes of Bolton and McCain for its assistance in regime change operations in Iran.

A couple of career criminals have been arrested for the death of Ali/Mohammad. One can see the contours of a Skripal-like case, this time involving Iran and the Netherlands.

The Skripal case will be used to justify sanctions against Russia to sink Nord Stream 2.

The Ali/Mohammad case will be used to sink EU-Iranian economic cooperation, after the US left the JCPOA.

Posted by: Siemen Danziger | May 27 2018 12:16 utc | 122

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