Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 08, 2019

Why Is Trump Designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps As Foreign Terrorist Organization?

After their failed coup plot in Venezuela, the Trump administration launched another crazy plan:

The United States is expected to designate Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps a foreign terrorist organisation, three U.S. officials told Reuters, marking the first time Washington has formally labelled another country’s military a terrorist group.

The White House just issued the designation (no link yet).

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is a part of the general Iranian military. It was founded after the 1979 revolution in Iran to protect the state from a coup by the regular Iranian army that served under the Shah.

With some 125,000 men during peacetime the IRGC is only about a third the size of Iran's regular military. It has a similar structure with a groundforce, a navy and an aerospace branch. The IRCG has two additional small branches that are of foreign policy interest. One is the missile force which controls Iran's medium range missiles. The other is the Quds Force, a brigade size unit with some 4,000 men trained for special operations abroad.

The IRGC size during wartime is about triple its peacetime size. Like Iran's regular army its personnal is made up of professionals, conscripts and reservists. Attached to the IRGC is the voluntary Basji force, local paramilitaries that can be called up for internal security issues. There are several endowments and charitable trusts (bonyads) with strong relations to the IRGC. They own commerical enterprises but their profits are distributed to IRGC veterans and to widows and orphans of deceased soldiers.

In 2007 the U.S. Treasury already designated the Quds Force for its "support of terrorism". It also sanctioned several enterprises that are connected to the IRGC. It is totally unclear what the designation of the IRCG as a whole is supposed to achieve. It could be a symbolic move or, as some assume, a step towards a war on Iran:

Former Under-Secretary of State and lead Iran negotiator, Wendy Sherman, said she worried about implications for U.S. forces.

“One might even suggest, since it’s hard to see why this is in our interest, if the president isn’t looking for a basis for a conflict,” said Sherman, who is director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. “The IRGC is already fully sanctioned and this escalation absolutely endangers our troops in the region.”

Mohammad al Shabani lists additional reasons:

Mohammad Ali Shabani @mashabani - 14:36 utc - 8 Apr 2019

THREAD. Usual suspects pushed Trump to designate #IRGC as FTO. Why?
- Constrain Trump’s deal-making instincts
- Box in next US president on Iran (Dems say will rejoin JCPOA)
- Force Lebanon/Iraq into picking between Iran/US
- Force Europe to further cut whatever meager outreach
- provoke Iran to scrap JCPOA
- and, ideally, initiate military confrontation

Colonel Pat Lang likewise presumes that the move is an attempt to provoke a war:

The AUMF on terrorism has been used far and wide as a hunting license to attack any armed group that could even distantly be thought a terrorist enemy. The anti-terrorism AUMF makes such attacks legal under US law.

The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) is a law passed after the 9/11 attack that allows the president:

to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups.

In an October 2017 speech President Trump accused Iran of having supported and harbored al-Qaeda:

Iranian proxies provided training to operatives who were later involved in al Qaeda’s bombing of the American embassies in Kenya, Tanzania, and two years later, killing 224 people, and wounding more than 4,000 others.

The regime harbored high-level terrorists in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, including Osama bin Laden’s son. In Iraq and Afghanistan, groups supported by Iran have killed hundreds of American military personnel.

Trump's accusations agaimst Iran are false. Iran had nothing to do with the bombing in Kenya. After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan some family members of al-Qaeda leaders fled to Iran. They were put under house arrests and were held as hostages to prevent al-Qaeda operations against Iran.

But the facts will not matter. The designation of the IRGC as "foreign terrorist" will likely make the AUMF relevant, at least under U.S. law.

Pat Lang continues:

The official designation as "terrorist" of the IRGC which is a 125000 man army with its own navy and air force makes it legal for the US Armed Forces to attack the IRGC and its people wherever they are found and under any circumstances that may occur. It is a declaration of war.

The neocon nitwits (Pompeo, Bolton, Hannah, etc.) may think that Iran's reaction to this declaration of war will be submission to their will but IMO that is very unlikely. IMO it is more likely that the IRGC will absorb the new reality and will prepare for war with the US.

Iran and its military have long prepared for war with the United States. There will be no change in anything that its military will do.

The first and probably only retaliatory step Iran will take is to designate the U.S. military as a terrorist entity:

"If the Revolutionary Guards are placed on America's list of terrorist groups, we will put that country's military on the terror blacklist next to Daesh (Islamic State)," Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, head of parliament's national security committee, said on Twitter.

Iran has so far shown restraint whenever the U.S. tried to goad it into a fight. It has left U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq untouched even while the U.S. and Israel attacked Iranian elements. It will not react militarily to Trump's latest provocation.

The designation of the IRGC and the counterdesignation of the U.S. military might have some tricky legal consequences. Will sailors of a U.S. Navy ship that unintentionally enters Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf and gets caught be held as terrorists? Will former conscripts of the IRGC who want to travel to the States receive a visa?

Should the U.S. attack IRGC forces abroad, Iran will likely respond by asking its foreign proxy forces, like the Hashd al-Shahbi militias in Iraq, to attack U.S. forces abroad.

Should the U.S. attack IRGC forces within Iran's borders then all bets are off. There are plenty of U.S. bases and installations in the Middle East that can be reached by Iranian missiles.

Posted by b on April 8, 2019 at 14:25 UTC | Permalink

next page »

"Why Is Trump Designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps As Foreign Terrorist Organization?"

Because Trump now lives in the Neocon cloudcuckooland.

Every week brings some new bizarre statement or threat against somebody somewhere.

I don't in all my life recall such a series of irresponsible and dangerous acts coming from Washington, although it never has been a nice place.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Apr 8 2019 14:40 utc | 1

@ b with neocon nitwits posting.....nice turn of phrase

Yep, that Trump fella sure is gunna drain the swamp

It is pathetic to watch empire jonesing for its next WAR fix

When Trump or his neocon nitwits start foaming at the mouth, what are Americans going to do?

Hopefully, death by the fetid fistula of Boeing will come quickly.....or the soap opera continues to wag the dog longer

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 8 2019 14:41 utc | 2

The US Military is the biggest terrorist organization on the planet!

Posted by: Susan Leslie | Apr 8 2019 14:52 utc | 3

Am I the only one in thinking Iran should be getting on with their nuke development, post haste?

Posted by: bjd | Apr 8 2019 15:02 utc | 4

Posted by: Jef | Apr 8 2019 15:06 utc | 5

Posted by: Jef | Apr 8 2019 15:08 utc | 6

A few things. 1. There are some interesting spelling errors in the article: Teror spelt with one r, Kenia spelt with an i ... It makes me think it was written by someone whose native language is NOT english, although, I always thought B was an American living in Germany! 2. This designation is clearly an attempt to justify some sort of military adventure. Iranians are too shrewd to take the bait, and will likely sit Trump out and it will be another U.S. failure on top of failure -- like Venezuela now, but Iraq, Afghanistan ... more idiotic failures. 3. In any event nothing can happen too soon. First Britain has to get out of Europe, second a formal or stronger informal alliance has to shape up between Britain, Russia and U.S. (against an impending China+Europe economic alliance) before they can collectively take on Iran (cut off China's links to Europe and at the same time splinter Iran and plunder its wealth). This is all in the works, but some years out. So the timing of this announcement is suspect. 4. So what precisely are they trying to accomplish now, except to buffer up Netenyahu through association with Trump for Israel's election. Because Trump basically is a liability at this point. Recognize Jerusalem, Recognize Golan, and talk tough of Iran and suddenly Trump isn't so radioactive... even if everyone agrees he is demented. What Israelis need to calculate is will Trump be around in 3 years? The answer is probably no, in which case then Netenyahu will be a liability - because US Democrats will go for his throat. And it won't be good for Israel. Trump is in fact radioactive. That makes Netenyahu radioactive. Nothing else can change the simple reality of the situation. So basically this announcement is bullshit.

Posted by: ayatoilet | Apr 8 2019 15:18 utc | 7

the whole facade of designating who or who isn't a ''terrorist'' since the advent of 9-11, is on fully display here... ''make war, not peace'' is the usa's mantra.. they're totally serving israels agenda... same deal with describing lebannon's hezbollah as a terrorist org... on and on, as the stomach turns... great usa - keep on serving israel and looking like a bigger and bigger idiot all the time..

Posted by: james | Apr 8 2019 15:29 utc | 8

@ayatoilet 7: Well, B is NOT a native English speaker. He is a German, living in Germany.. You confuse Bernhard with Billmoon.. So dont be a bitch about spelling please, we had that nitpicking here so many times over the years..

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Apr 8 2019 15:30 utc | 9

> that Trump fella sure is gunna drain the swamp

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 8

Maybe he will, y'know, with da big blast at the swampbed

Posted by: Arioch | Apr 8 2019 15:31 utc | 10

FAO Kim-Un Fatty the Second: as if you didn't known already, this is what happens when you give up nuclear arms development and sign treaties on USA rice paper. Recent improvements in the state(s) of Libya are also a great encouragement to those considering nuclear weapons diplomacy with USA.

Posted by: Lord Polonius | Apr 8 2019 15:34 utc | 11

I want to correct a post by Tex from the most recent week in review. He made a reference to a piece at UNZ -

The piece is a long interview with Michael Hudson, not Hedges, about his work on the history of debt. News to me was that his first book, and forgive them their debts..., which I am slowly working through, is to be the first in a trilogy. Next to come is The Death of Antiquity.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Apr 8 2019 15:40 utc | 12

Just means bigger sanctions - and one that the EU will not be able to evade.
It seems to me that most of World events now are getting the trade groups ready before all out trade war (perhaps worse) with China.
The message of sanctions is simple - be loyal trade partners of the US or suffer like Russia/Iran/Venezuela/Turkey. To scare everyone else on side.
That is why the message is more about how these countries will suffer than the actual sanctions.

Text"If the Revolutionary Guards are placed on America's list of terrorist groups, we will put that country's military on the terror blacklist next to Daesh (Islamic State)," Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, head of parliament's national security committee, said on Twitter.

makes a lot of sense

Posted by: Michael Droy | Apr 8 2019 15:42 utc | 13

I suppose that violent reactions to this:

Israel's Netanyahu says plans to annex settlements in West Bank if reelected
will be blamed on Iran/IRGC.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 8 2019 15:45 utc | 14

"Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to the designation Monday, recommending that President Hassan Rouhani and the Supreme National Security Council designate US Central Command (US CENTCOM), a US military theatre-level command whose area of responsibility includes the Middle East, on the list of organisations designated as terrorists by Iran."

Posted by: Fec | Apr 8 2019 15:48 utc | 15

I concur with those hoping Iran’s ready (soon ?) with nuclear deterrance. At this point, everyone knows it’s a foolish mistake to negotiate disarmament with the US.

Posted by: Featherless | Apr 8 2019 15:52 utc | 16

Trump has known since he sent #Tomahawks into #Syria that #Russia spoofs #GPS, presumably including #ICBMs.

Posted by: Fec | Apr 8 2019 15:57 utc | 17

The US will probably use the IRGC terrorist designation as a pretext for the continuation of it's military presence in Syria, etc. The GWOT, the gift that keeps on giving.

It can't be ruled out that an IRGC member is hiding in Venezuela!

Posted by: Symen Danziger | Apr 8 2019 16:13 utc | 18

What does the US gain from this designation? Precisely squat. Legal niceties only matter for law-abiding entities, I don't believe US foreign policy exactly fits that description. If Washington wants to attack the IRGC, they simply will do so, and justify it afterward.
Would the US actually attack Iran proper? Possible, sure, but I have my doubts. As the Millennium Challenge 2002 showed everyone, such an attack would inevitably lead to very bad consequences for the US. American forces and bases in the region would be decimated, and the Persian Gulf would be a graveyard for the Navy (as the multi-million dollar war games showed). Further, the flow of oil from Saudi Arabia would stop and prices would skyrocket to over $200 a barrel overnight. The global economy would grind to a halt. With all this on Uncle Sam, it would hardly be a "win" for Washington. Again, are they that crazy? Perhaps, but doubtful.
So if it's not for actual strategy, my bet is on posturing. Trump has been prostrating himself in every way conceivable to help Bibi win his upcoming election. It's the Israeli public that will lap up this designation the most irregardless of its hollowness. In Trump's mind he probably sees himself banking favors for 2020.
The Neocons may think this will give them leverage over Lebanon or Iraq to distance themselves from Iran. This, however, simply won't happen. Those beds have been made, and Beirut and Baghdad have chosen sides. Any links between the IRGC and those nations were already clandestine, and will get more opaque if necessary.
In the end, this move will only isolate the US even more from 'the global community'.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Apr 8 2019 16:14 utc | 19

NATO “partner“ Turkey won’t give a dann, I guess

Posted by: wj2 | Apr 8 2019 16:14 utc | 20

The questions asked by b is Why and Why Now? It's not so hard to figure out and answer those questions provided one has read a few of the numerous, insightful articles published recently by Strategic Culture. Prime example is today's item by Alastair Crooke and those essays he links within. He notes we are approaching what he calls an "inflection point," which I've refered to as Paradigm Change. What Trump's goal is and the answers to both Whys is to sow yet more chaos in a hybrid attempt to forestall the joint Chinese and Russian project of Eurasian Integration--and Beyond--as Iran and the Levant are key points within that project--and--to ward off the clear European proclivity to join the process. In other words, Iran isn't the actual target, although it's made out to look that way for the Domestic Outlaw US Empire audience.

Crooke refers to the EU's 60% and 40%, with the minority being the defenders of the current Neoliberal Order located in Brussels and the 60% allied with Brexiters, Yellow Vests, Italy's governmental direction, and other oppositional factions. Within that context, Crooke cites this very radical appearing observation of the situation:

"'We stand agog at the daily, in fact hourly, political machinations of the Prime Minister, Parliament and the establishment. We have witnessed the rewriting of constitutional precedent, a blatant disregard for manifesto commitments, the bending of rules and lies on an industrial scale.

"All this to keep the UK a prisoner of the EU system and a milch cow for Germany and Brussels bureaucracy. No heresy allowed in the new inquisition. What is astonishing is the apparent continued belief amongst our superior classes that 'ordinary people' aren’t watching and understanding what is afoot.'"

He then tells us that the words are those "the former Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, with 30 years’ experience of UK and EU government. Establishment personified. When the resistance start from within the élite, historically it suggests that we must expect a long conflict coming."

Crooke and Escobar talk and share their observations and interpretations of them. You can read the outcome in their writings and the fact that they link to each other, Escobar on China being the most recent. Both report on important doings and publications glossed over or omitted completely by BigLie Media, particularly within the Reality Starved Outlaw US Empire that's currently almost completely focused on important domestic issues, which at base are about longstanding American Immorality, including it being the Global Great Satan. I see Trump's/Neocon's designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps as being the last-gasp attempt to enjoin Bush the Lesser's Maxim of "You're With Us; or You're With the Terrorists" to rally NATO-round the Anti-Terrorism flag, which is really the last card it holds. Yes, a Loser's Desperation is quite prominent as despite outward appearances, the Outlaw US Empire is actually in retreat being torpedoed by Corruption from within and bombed by superior Statesmanship from without. The 19 months until the 2020 elections IMO promise to be harrowing as the Neocons hope to use external events to counter their immoral domestic behaviors and thus retain control.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 8 2019 16:20 utc | 21

syria was supposed to be the last step before iran and then on to the actual "east"...all roads lead to russia and eventually china. for these "people" the attack on syria was what passes for "subtle".

now that syria, russia and iran (with hezbollah) have shown the impotence and stupidity of western apparatchiks who have never won (or personally fought in) a war it's time to switch to a "knuckle-dragging ape" approach instead. just as lebanon is being economically strangled in the vain hope of purging hezbollah these sanctions will be used to decimate whatever small segments of iran's infrastructure have been left untouched by the ongoing starvation and siege tactics.

and of course there's the israel factor. right after "giving" golan to those pricks trump further endangers yank soldiers and civilians for the benefit of his handlers and their idiot agenda. china didn't hesitate to arrest a handful of randos when the huawei embarrassment went down and iran (along with its allies) will, as you mentioned, have zero issues going "tit for tat" after this stupidity is in full swing. as long as president adelson and his ilk remain untouched it will be a net "win" for the neocons and they'll move on to their next insane provocation.

Posted by: the pair | Apr 8 2019 16:25 utc | 22

Don Wiscacho @24:

What does the US gain from this designation? ... Legal niceties only matter for law-abiding entities...

Oft-repeated factoid: Everything Hitler did was legal. Or at least had some legal veneer.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 8 2019 16:43 utc | 23

the pair @27: syria was supposed to be the last step before iran ...

Yeah, didn't the 'Assad must go!' crowd often say that: "Damascus is on the Road to Tehran"?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 8 2019 16:46 utc | 24

Pompeo Magnus, John “Nuts and Bolton” , Vice President Dunce and his counterpart the Liberal New Yorker Donald Dump are at it again. The worst foreign policy actions in American history. Do they know what they are doing? I don’t know. Will they suffer from their actions? Not at all.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Apr 8 2019 16:52 utc | 25

karlof1 @26: No heresy allowed in the new inquisition.

No one expects the Deep State inquisition!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 8 2019 16:57 utc | 26

@ 30

I've found shaming and mockery to be quite effective.

Too bad for the IRGC that most of the war fighters at CENTCOM in Tampa have moved to SOUTHCOM outside Miami for the Venezuelan fiasco.

Posted by: Fec | Apr 8 2019 17:00 utc | 27

Why doesn't Bolton/Pompeo just get on with it and declare the entire world a terrorist organization?

Posted by: Enrico Malatesta | Apr 8 2019 17:07 utc | 28

Did Trump really say Iran did 9/11 and the embassy bombings in Africa? Lol what a moron

Posted by: Talos | Apr 8 2019 17:14 utc | 29

Q: "Why Is Trump Designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps As Foreign Terrorist Organization?"

A: Because if Trump wasn't sure how much of their own insane claptrap the neocons & "Israelis" believed before he "gave" them Jerusalem and Golan, they demonstrated that they believe all of it when they embraced his largess.
Now he's "giving" them Iran. And they're stupid enough to attack Iran directly, ASSUMING Trump will help them. And he'll tell Bibi or his replacement ratbag "You started it, you finish it."

And the World will rejoice...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 8 2019 17:18 utc | 30

Another, far deeper reaching and exciting reason for Trump's declaration on top of the reasoning I already provided may be related to the implementation of Basel III:

"The Basel III decision meant that gold as a reserve of the third category was earlier estimated at 50% of its value on the balance sheets of world banks. At the same time, all owners of world money traded in gold not physically, but on paper, without the movement of real metal, the volume of which in the world wasn’t enough for real transactions. This was done in order to push down the price of gold, to keep it as low as possible. First of all, for the benefit of the dollar. After all, the dollar is tied to oil, which had to cost no less than the price of one gram of gold per barrel.

"And now it was decided to place gold not in the third, but “just” in the first category. And it means that now it is possible to evaluate it not at 50, but at 100% of its value. This leads to the revaluation of the balance sheet total."

Further explanation follows past the citation, such as the following:

"Thus, it seems that it is possible to congratulate us – the dollar era lasting from 1944 to 2019 has ended. Now gold is restored in its rights and is not an exchange metal, but world money on an equal basis with the dollar, euro, and British pound. Now gold will start to rise in price, and its price will rise from $1200-1400 per troy ounce up to $1800-2000 by this autumn. Now it is clear why Russia and China during all these years so persistently decanted its export income into the growth of gold reserves. There is now such a situation where nobody in the world will sell gold."

The article's authors describe Basel III as "revolutionary," and finally tell the reader why that's so:

"However, why is the decision of Basel a revolution? Because from the autumn the financial flood in the world economy will begin. It will entail the acceleration of Russia and China’s isolation from the dollar system and the crash of the economies that completely depend on the dollar – the vassal countries of the US. It will be worst of all for them. And this means that the reasons for increased distancing between the EU and the US will increase in number manyfold. A redrawing of the map of global unions awaits the world."

Iran and Venezuela are very conspicuously independent of the dollar as is Russia and increasingly China. Such nations have been called treats to the Outlaw US Empire's national security but without any logical, verifiable, concrete reason provided. Why doesn't the Empire target the Swiss and label them Terrorists and sanction them as an "existential threat"? Why didn't Hitler attack the Swiss as the article askes in a seemingly unconnected manner? IMO, psychohistorian's thesis regarding private finance is vindicated with this development; it's only the How So? that needs to be teased out for others to understand. If the authors are correct about Basel III, then we should be able to see the impact by watching the commodity prices for oil and gold.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 8 2019 17:24 utc | 31

They are doing everything at hand to provoke the Iranians into a war.
Not satisfied with declaring the IRGC as terrorist organization, being the US Armed Forces which have a not despicable score to be awarded as so, this current US administration, in the heights of thuggery, has blocked the bank accounts of the ICRC to avoid them helping the victims of the recent floods in Iran.

It seems that once unmasked their true intentions in Venezuela and Rukban, they have decided to go out totally naked already ( if more was needed...) and forget about the "humanitarian" and "democracy" alibi....

What the ICRC is going to do about this? One wonders...This is changing the rules of not only peace times, but mainly of war times into the dirtiest and most savage we have witmess so far....

Well, this administration seems to follow the Israeli methods/script all the way, since there have been cases of denying pass of medical assistance in Gaza Strip controls, as that case of a full shipment of insulin which got wasted after hours under the sun...( known from direct personal testimony of the transporter...)

Posted by: Sasha | Apr 8 2019 17:42 utc | 32

@ Posted by: Bart Hansen | Apr 8, 2019 11:40:38 AM | 14

> The piece is a long interview with Michael Hudson, not Hedges, about his work on the history of debt. News to me was that his first book,
> and forgive them their debts..., which I am slowly working through, is to be the first in a trilogy. Next to come is The Death of Antiquity.

Hi Bart, '...And Forgive Them Their Debts' is far from his first book (hell, it's been like 50 years since he wrote 'Super-Imperialism'). I haven't gotten to it in the stack yet but among his recent works, 'Killing the Host' and 'J is for Junk Economics' are both recommended.

Posted by: Ash | Apr 8 2019 17:43 utc | 33

Regarding the Visa issue:
From personal experience, family members of US citizens, who happen to have the legal status equivalent of a permanent residency in E.U. & Canada, have not been receiving travelers visas to attend important family events for at least the past 2 years. The designation of IRGC as terrorist organization will not change anything regarding the visa issue, almost all Iranians (probably except people who directly or indirectly work for the US security services) are already not getting visas.

Posted by: Amir | Apr 8 2019 18:19 utc | 34

The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) is a law passed after the 9/11 attack that allows the president:

to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups.

Now can you see why AIPAC keeps such a tight control of the President!

Posted by: Ross | Apr 8 2019 18:31 utc | 35

My bad with extension of the Hedges/Hudson confusion...sorry

@ karlof1 with the Basel III link and excerpts...thanks I liked the last lines
The revolution that so many waited for, were afraid of, and spoke so much about has started. Buckle up and don’t smoke, the captain and crew wish you a pleasant flight.
To the posting subject I want to write that it is an example of where empire is attempting to exert this thing that is not international rule of law but more empire rules of control.....and it is going to fail and the US instantiation of empire is imploding but global private finance still rules the roost......until the debt bubble bursts....grin

It is all so very interesting to watch and I feel so bad for all affected by the crazy of it.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 8 2019 18:31 utc | 36

Iran put a plane in Venezuela.

It could be an excuse to bomb the Caracas airport and infrastructure.

Posted by: johnny law | Apr 8 2019 18:31 utc | 37

Sheldon Adelson and Bibi strike again. The actions of the zionist faithful will eventually cost the US enough fortune and blood that idiot Americans will take note and respond to their acts of treason.

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 8 2019 18:44 utc | 38

The Empire of Chaos is going down fighting, but no one gives a damn anymore, nothing will happen with this announcement, the US will once more be seen as the weaker regime as it has been seen since its pathetic rational to leave JCPOA, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the huge blow on Venezuela and the list goes on and on. It is the end folks, it looks pathetic indeed, it could have being a more dignified end but the it has been chosen to be pathetic.
The world goes on and the Donald Duck will grab some p***y somewhere.

Posted by: Canthama | Apr 8 2019 18:49 utc | 39

I've never been much of a fan of former military man now historian Andrew Bacevich, but time and unavoidable truths seem to be doing their work at radicalizing him. He has just penned something he wouldn't have been able to write while Obama reigned, "Can We Stop Pretending Now?
The Trump Era as an Occasion for Truth Telling"
. While his essay's tangential to the current topic, much of it points to the reasons for its implementation. IMO, it's probably too tame for the MoA crew but some will wring useful info from it as it's not so much about Trump as it's about decades of Outlaw US Empire policy, foreign and domestic.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 8 2019 18:59 utc | 40

Why Is Trump Designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps As Foreign Terrorist Organization?

So far as I'm concerned the explanation by Mr. Pat Lang is the best one available. The US is preparing the groundwork for a military attack on Iran. If I happened to hold any power in Iran, I'd be making very certain my country was as ready as it could possibly be. The resources available to the US are enormous, and an attack by two or three thousand 'cruise' missiles would not be out of the question. Once air defenses were destroyed continuing raids by manned aircraft would be a trivial matter. I'm obviously an ignoramus in military matters, but I'd be looking into all kinds of decoys hidden among the decentralized targets. Very well hidden (and scattered) retaliation forces would be another goal.

So long as the attack is being done by the US of A., the apartheid Jewish state is willing for it to use up unlimited US of A. resources.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 8 2019 19:08 utc | 41

Trump Gives Hard-liners Whatever They Want
By DANIEL LARISON - As expected, the Trump administration has designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization:

The Trump administration on Monday designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, escalating the U.S. pressure campaign against Tehran and marking the first time an element of a foreign state has been officially designated a terrorist entity.

Over the weekend, Iranian officials made it clear that they would respond in kind and apply a similar designation to U.S. forces. There is an obvious danger that this decision could lead to armed conflict between U.S. forces and Iranian-backed militias and proxies, but the designation could have other unexpected consequences that go beyond U.S.-Iranian relations. The precedent set by labeling part of another government’s military as terrorists not only makes it more likely that our military personnel will be subjected to similar treatment, but it also blurs the definition of what constitutes a terrorist organization. Labeling the entire IRGC as a terrorist organization is inaccurate and it continues a trend of using the label of terrorist to mean “something that we don’t like and want to punish.” The Iranian conscripts who are required to serve in the IRGC are obviously not terrorists according to any sane definition of the word, but this designation means that the U.S. will now treat them as if they are. The Trump administration keeps finding new and irresponsible ways to drive the regime and the people together and to make conflict between the U.S. and Iran more likely. U.S.-Iranian tensions are now set to increase with no clear path for de-escalation.

Richard Nephew comments on the decision:....

Posted by: Arosa2 | Apr 8 2019 19:26 utc | 42

A piece of the puzzle?
It appears that Trump and co are moving heaven and earth to keep Bibi in office for both actions benefit him. Are they also planning on attacking in the ME? Maybe but I think their hearts are (for the moment) set on Venezuela, then Nicaragua. They are already encircling Cuba. I think they are going for "empire" being a pan American world now that the entire world is sick of them.

Posted by: frances | Apr 8 2019 19:30 utc | 43

First of all, I wish I would get even minute credit for having written here yesterday that Trump is doing this in other words to CHANGE THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT for war with Iran. To designate the military of a sovereign nation a terrorist organization opens up a host of extra-judicial possibilities that under International law might be considered war crimes and crimes against the Geneva Convention treaty.

Yesterday, I posted a live feed of Trump speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition and was viciously attacked for doing so. Shortly thereafter it is reported that Trump will be designating the IRGC a terrorist organization and Netanyahoo boldly proclaims that in his next term he will be annexing the West Bank. No one gave me credit for the fact that I knew that speech had ushered in these disastrous proclamations.

Many of you have repeatedly undermined my my perception and intuition. I'm not here to brag; I'm here to get you to see what's happening before your eyes in plain sight and recognize Trump for the fraud that he is. Trump is without any doubt, the Zionist Manchurian candidate and he may as well green light the annexation of the entire U.S. to Zionist expansionism, because that too would be but a formality confirming reality on the ground.

You still run from the word Zionism like it's some kind of krypton but running won't make it weaker. On the contrary -- it's denial of the existential threat it has been morphing into especially in the last two decades gaining powerful momentum. Trump is here to accelerate Zionism's momentum and expansion like no other stooge preceding him.

I see with this latest news regarding Iran that Hoarsewhisperer is hobbling on his last Trump hope unable to recognize the end of the illusion but recognizing something wrong with the picture coming together before our eyes.

Trump is also setting the stage for the fascist overthrow of incipient socialism in America and will execute this endeavour simultaneous with the overthrow of Venezuela's government which he will paint corrupt and treacherous to its people and this deceptive image together with inflammatory anti-socialist rhetoric headlining Trump's campaign will shape the scare narrative to achieve an endorsement from the slim majority of the American public for his illegal actions making it possible for him to waltz Melania at the inaugural ball and back into the White House.

What is to come in Trump's second term will pale in comparison to what he's achieved in this one. Trump is paving the way for WAR without legal restrictions. Trump is wound up with power and he was already corrupt to begin with. Trump was Roy Cohn's protege. Trump was weaned on corruption. Roy Cohn was McCarthy's henchman and someone referred to him as Trump's Jewish Rasputin. Trump wants to crush socialism except for the rich.

Trump was and is the perfect corrupt vehicle for the powerful handlers to whom his speech yesterday and in Florida was intended. Trump was Chosen to deliver victory to Zionism, the most dangerous ideology since WWII. Yours and others' ongoing complacency in regards to condemning and underestimating its power, and even refusing to name it, is facilitating Zionism's momentum. The terrain is being set, all signs are pointing to war; a WAR initiated by a different set of rules that are being drawn up at this time with your subdued objection.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 8 2019 19:33 utc | 44

You all are making political hay out of a business decision.

But yes, I do understand how all the political monkey chatter can manipulate the financial markets. As always: Cui bono

There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels.

It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today!

Posted by: Just Me | Apr 8 2019 19:35 utc | 45

"The US is preparing the groundwork for a military attack on Iran.'
This move would certainly fit in with that plan. It could all be part of a propaganda blitz intended to create the impression that war with this country, (whose armed forces are designated terrorists (by us!!) and which was responsible for 9/11, the Embassy bombings and the deaths of thousands of GIs in Iraq),is long overdue.
On the other hand, and particularly if Iran is lodged under the Russian nuclear umbrella or a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, is an attack on Iran practicable? It could lead to defeat of the US and grave damage to its allies, particularly Saudi Arabia and Israel. Is the risk worth taking? It could be the end of Israel as a state.
So it is much more likely that this idiotic move could just be part of the Israeli election campaign.
If it is, it is overkill of the sort only to be expected when you have clowns such as Pompeo and Bolton, not to mention someone like Kushner who could probably write down everything he knows about the world on the back of a postage stamp, running foreign policy.
On the other hand the EU has today imposed a new raft of sanctions to remind everyone that the people who run it are nothing more than cyphers of Washington. And not particularly clever ones at that.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 8 2019 19:44 utc | 46

@ karlof1 #36

Why didn't Hitler attack the Swiss as the article askes in a seemingly unconnected manner?

The article had some lousy information regarding Switzerland, IMO. From that link:

"And, as is known, in Switzerland, besides Swiss rifleman, in reality there isn’t even an army. So who was the frenzied Fuhrer afraid of?"

Stupidity on the hoof! My sources say the Swiss Army in 1941 was comparable to the US Army in size. The defensive setting was superb. Of course had Hitler attacked the Swiss would have been overrun, but it would have been expensive, and in more ways than one. Like with Sweden, Switzerland was forced to cooperate with Germany, and Swiss factories produced munitions for the German war machine. Swiss Bankers cooperated with the Nazis in a big way, laundering the stolen gold and other materials looted from Jews and nations overrun by the Nazis. Later on when the Italians collapsed, destroying the tunnels under the Alps was another deterrent to invasion. It was a profitable stand-off for both sides.

Regarding gold, that's something I just don't understand. Believable internet accounts have the private stocks of gold in India equal to all the bank stocks of the US, Germany, Italy, China, Russia, etc. combined. Seems to me that at some price that gold would start leaving India, and the net effect would be a form of "gold inflation" previously seen when the Spanish treasure ships started arriving from Central and South America.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 8 2019 19:49 utc | 47

@ Circe #52

Trump is without any doubt, the Zionist Manchurian candidate and he may as well green light the annexation of the entire U.S. to Zionist expansionism, because that too would be but a formality confirming reality on the ground.

It's impossible to deny that is the present situation. Trump is ignorant, corrupt, and a self-centered fool. I disagree with some folks here as to whether he was the "preferred" candidate for the Zionist swine in 2016. IMO he wasn't, and Hillary was their ideal. That Trump has been converted into what amounts to a Male Hillary seems pretty darned obvious. He is their tool now, and Netanayhu's/Sheldon's hand is planted firmly in his tukus in the classic puppet tradition.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 8 2019 19:59 utc | 48

38 - Sorry Ash, I made a pig's breakfast out of my use of commas to make it sound like his latest was his first. It will be the first of three on debt throughout the ages. I have been reading Hudson for a couple of years now.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Apr 8 2019 20:03 utc | 49

Right on, just wanted to make sure you were aware of great books like J is for Junk Economics.

Posted by: Ash | Apr 8 2019 20:05 utc | 50

Food for thought. Terrible floods in Iran right now.

Posted by: TaylorK | Apr 8 2019 20:46 utc | 51

@59 TK

What's your point? An act of God? They deserve it or you feel bad for them? Maybe you're praying for a bigger disaster? Don't be a coward. Come on, come out with it.


What if trying to get North Korea to de-nuke is also part of the plan to attack Iran? North Korea is the only country from which Iran could get hold of nuclear deterrence. If the scenario gets really bad for Iran, and U.S. warships and troops are mobilized into the Persian Gulf, a nuclear threat could go a long way to deter an invasion.

So it makes sense that Trump would try to fool Kim into giving up his nukes just to ensure North Korea doesn't help Iran secure a nuke.

Although, before such a scenario, Trump will still find a way to provoke Iran to strike first, but now that he designated the IRGC a terror org. he created all kinds of extra-judicial options. He could just pull a false flag, blame it on the IRGC and strike their facilities in Iran.

Kim should take note of how vulnerable others are without nukes or as Gaddafi would say: U.S. death warrant diplomacy

Posted by: Circe | Apr 8 2019 20:57 utc | 52

Sorry I thought you fucks where Americans, guess I was wrong. Just a bunch of worthless assholes. MAGA even without you dick less bitches. Hahaha

Posted by: You suck | Apr 8 2019 21:04 utc | 53

@ Ash | Apr 8, 2019 4:05:54 PM | 58
Right on, just wanted to make sure you were aware of great books like J is for Junk Economics.

It is a great book – I had the honor of editing one of its chapters prior to publication, and I can tell you that just doing so made me furious! It is one hell of an eye-opener.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Apr 8 2019 21:04 utc | 54

Zach Smith @55--

Admittedly, I was befuddled by that reference in the article as I knew it wasn't correct in an overt fashion as you point-out. However, also as you point-out, the Swiss were very important Nazi accomplices as the real enemy was always the USSR, and the Swiss perform their duties much better when coerced and not invaded and occupied. Thus my question/observation as to why the Swiss aren't also designated "existential threats" as is the entire Arc of Resistance and beyond. As I recall, few were aware of Bretton Woods and its significance at the time and later. Indeed, few understand why Nixon went off gold and greatly modified Bretton Woods in 1971. That both are important is reflected by the very little study/importance given them in history texts, although my professor was very keen on both for which I'm quite grateful.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 8 2019 21:16 utc | 55

61 provides us with another installment in the art of projection. Wipe it and mine here, b!

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 8 2019 21:25 utc | 56

"Trump's accusations agaimst Iran are false."

Don't be silly. Trump's accusations against Iran are as true as Trump's protestations of innocence concerning election laws and obstruction of justice, and his accusations of "treasonous behavior" on the part of the Mueller team.

Posted by: Mooser | Apr 8 2019 21:30 utc | 57

On a practical note: does this designation mean that the US military will regard itself as free to ignore the articles of the Geneva Conventions in any military conflict with Iran?

I assume that there are already memos circulating within the Trump administration that argue that since the IRGC is a terrorist organization then its members can not be regarded as combatants, ergo, none of the Geneva Conventions apply to them.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 8 2019 22:13 utc | 58

When the US takes a real cult-like terrorist organisation called Mojaheddin e Khalq, whose leader Massoud Rajavi (disappeared in Iraq in 2003, now possibly deceased) sexually abused its female members with the help of his wife Maryam, off its list of designated of terrorist organisations, and then puts on that list a legitimate militia organisation connected to its country's armed forces, we know for sure that Life in the US is not as the rest of Planet Earth knows it, but is truly on another planet.

Perhaps the US has moved to make the IRGC a terrorist organisation as one way of supporting Binyamin Netanyahu in the upcoming Israeli general elections and ensuring he is re-elected, in part among other reasons to pressure the Israeli legal system to drop charges of fraud, bribery and corruption against him and his wife Sara.

Who's meddling in whose elections, did you say?

Posted by: Jen | Apr 8 2019 22:26 utc | 59

My inbox today contained a reminder of a publication ensconced upon one of my shelves. It's from the writer of The Leviathan, Sir Thomas Hobbes, from a 1651 essay entitled "Order of Mischief" who tells us amongst other crimes:

"Also in a man that hath such reputation for wisdom as that his counsels are followed or his actions imitated by many, his fact against the law is a greater crime than the same fact in another: for such men not only commit crime but teach it for law to all other men." [My Emphasis]

Isn't Hobbes describing how it becomes possible for the crimes of one sovereign (the term he employs) to then be utilized by his/her successor without fear of punishment, and so on? Is this not what we've witnessed since WW2's end--a constant escalation of crimes committed by the Outlaw US Empire's CIA and similar terrorist organizations culminating in today's 100% rejection of International Law?

Seems safe to say things don't differ much between 2019 and 1651--same crimes; same justifications; same escaping justice and retribution. Perhaps there's a market for Hobbes's opus translated into 21st Century English prose so students can more easily read and understand the many important points he makes that are still salient today.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 8 2019 22:30 utc | 60

Many at MoA look to Elijah Magnier for unbiased reporting from the Levant, but like all of us he occasionally errs. Regarding IRGC's new status he says:

"#Lebanon, #Syria, #Iraq, #Russia and #China have already decided to stay with #Iran regardless of the Trump administration’s designation of the #IRGC as a terrorist organisation.

"#Europe is dealing with the state, not with the IRGC. Therefore it is not concerned in this decision." [My Emphasis]

The mistake here is regarding the IRGC as unconnected to the Iranian state, which is patently false. Like all of Iran's various Revolutionary Organs, they are all interconnected in a political form of symbiosis. So, the EU does indeed have a very important decision to make regarding the upholding of International Law. Hopefully, Magnier will read this critique or someone will inform him of his grievous error, for it has immense importance to the solvency of NATO and the EU project as a whole.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 8 2019 22:44 utc | 61

to circe #52 - I read your post of yesterday and posted that I agreed with you that the aggressions of the Zionists produce results which will not be easily corrected. I was referring specifically to the announced 250,000 "settlers" planned for Golan Heights which is legally Syrian territory - but, as you know there are many other appalling examples.

I have observed that there are a handful of people who seem to delight in attacking you. I'm not sure why this happens but I would suggest to you that - it is their problem; their disequilibrium - not yours. Your points are passionately made - but not incorrect. Who can deny the horror of Izraeli troops shooting unarmed children? Shooting to main and laughing about it. I share your outrage but my blood pressure will not support your level of rage.

with respect from Miss Lacy

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 8 2019 22:57 utc | 63

We know as a scientific fact that earth will become uninhabitable in a couple of billion years, and likely much sooner.

This fact means that any religion or religious leader that claims that their God "gave" them some land on this planet is a fraud.

The land is not permanent. To say that a deity "gave" the land permanently to a certain group discredits that religion and it's deluded adherents.

Like virtually all cults, Zionism is a fraud.

Isn't it time that people in advanced countries demand regulation of religion? Just in recent decades we have experienced: Zionism-fueled wars; Pedophile priests, Jihadi proxy armies in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere; Scientology.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

"“How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”"

- John Kerry (1971)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 8 2019 23:11 utc | 64

usa state dept propaganda on this topic today...

thick and heavy, as always...

Posted by: james | Apr 8 2019 23:28 utc | 65

As the time goes by, the number of news items from the past increases. Usually. On Google News, the number of items on Venezuela went down. In particular, I could not find an item on a pronouncement of President (designated, nominated, temporary, eternal -- I got lost on that) Guaido that his counterpart Maduro will be removed from power on April 8. It is still not midnight yet, but the disappearance of the prophecy seems to indicate that I have fallen victim of false memory, Maduro will stay until Russia, China etc. will fall down, change the governments and beg Washington for forgiveness.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 8 2019 23:32 utc | 66

In regard to spelling errors, it's not nitpicking to desire a standard of quality on par with the excellence of the analysis; it serves the site's legitimacy far better if careful editing is evident. That's just a basic of journalism. At least b makes some obvious attempt to get it right, as opposed to say, Saker, who rambles like an adolescent and thinks himself above silly things like the laws of language.

In regard to the content, I don't see Iran taking the bait or concerning themselves further with these categorizations. They'll have no impact on conduct, and surely the writing is seen on the wall.

Posted by: dilijan | Apr 8 2019 23:50 utc | 67

The Iranians, Hezbollah, Russians, Syrian military and other allies protected ALL Syrians including Christians. The NeoCons have worked with Roth$$childs-Isrihell to commit genocide against Christians in the Middle East.

Posted by: Jerry | Apr 8 2019 23:58 utc | 68

IRGC Designation: More from the War-with-Iran Playbook

The intent of Pompeo and Bolton is clear: provoke Iran into bolting from the JCPOA, re-starting its nuclear program, and escalating its regional behavior, thereby providing the United States or its regional partners with a pretext to use military force against the regime. They understand that the clock on the Trump administration is ticking and that their chance of overthrowing the Iranian regime will slip away in 18 months if the president isn’t re-elected.

I hadn't thought of the time-limit angle. IMO there is no way under heaven Trump will be re-elected. I doubt he is even interested in 4 more years.

For the apartheid Zionist state the situation demands two things. First is to squeeze as much out of the Orange Oaf as possible, and they're doing well with that program. Second is to get a Democrat on the national ticket who will be a good friend for Holy Israel. At this time that person looks to be Mayor Pete Buttigieg. If he is either the prime Candidate or VP I expect I'll stay home. The Very Elderly Sanders might have something fatal happen to him, and the installation of a Friend of the Zionists would be a wonderful thing for the Rabid Settler Nation.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 9 2019 0:02 utc | 69

@ dilijan #77

In regard to spelling errors, it's not nitpicking to desire a standard of quality on par with the excellence of the analysis...

Years ago I was on a newspaper forum where one of the people had letter-perfect posts every single time. One day another person asked how he did it, and he admitted he composed those posts in a fancy word-processor program before cut/pasting them to the little comment boxes. It's a lot of extra trouble, but for a longer than usual post, probably worth the trouble.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 9 2019 0:08 utc | 70

That article about how neo-cons need a war now that Trump is in place is quite ludicrous. We would be in a similar situation, had Hillary Clinton been elected, and war with Iran would be a nearly sure thing before her 1st term is over. Why do people assume that another president would mean a return to negotiations and a step away from the war path?

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Apr 9 2019 0:32 utc | 71

Thank you for your input. Your viewpoint is noted. You do not represent me.
I am going back up onto the roof. The water is getting too deep.
I am against this war for all the reasons. War today is treason to world peace. Provoked not earned.

Posted by: UnionHorse | Apr 9 2019 0:36 utc | 72

Why Is Trump Designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps As Foreign Terrorist Organization?

I believe it's all about the benjamins. The IRCG has many business interests in addition to its primary military mission. The terrorist designation may be necessary to sanction people and organizations dealing with the IRCS financially. As b observed:

There are several endowments and charitable trusts (bonyads) with strong relations to the IRGC. They own commerical enterprises but their profits are distributed to IRGC veterans and to widows and orphans of deceased soldiers.

Didn't the UK in February designation Hezbollah a terrorist organization? Didn't the US recently financially sanction people and organizations in Lebanon that were dealing with Hezbollah?

I think it is just more of the same. It's about isolating Iran and their supporters financially.

Posted by: TheBAG | Apr 9 2019 0:41 utc | 73

and further to the point of it being about the money:

US hits Iranian bank

Posted by: TheBAG | Apr 9 2019 0:45 utc | 74

I can't see any Swamp draining myself but he has clarified the swamp water and we can identify many of the swamp critters. Trump has attracted many of the evil Swamp critters to his side too. Nothing Trump or the demomcrats do will ever drain the swamp. They like swamps. Now for fresh water we have Tulsi and maybe Bernie and some other brave fresh clear water critters. Power to their hands.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 9 2019 0:46 utc | 75

The USA is the biggest terrorist organization in the world along with UK , Israel and France .
They destroyed Iraq and Libya , the USA could not win the war in Afghanistan and they will never win a war with Iran , they may bomb the country but they have to have troop on the ground and if you think Iraq was though job , you have not seen anything like it if they attack Iran .
All of thes move by the US prove to the whole world how rough the state become , no respect for the international law and in the long run they will pay a heavy price long after the stupid Trump leaves.
The USA and the legislature became slave to the Zionist .

Posted by: Bobby | Apr 9 2019 0:51 utc | 76


I don't know if proper, careful editing would require a fancy word-processor program as a preface to posting, but surely MoA is popular enough now to have several skilled editors inside its community. I am one who would gladly offer my service, raised by a 'red pen', but as of now my time is short.

Proper language, attention to spelling, etc, go a long way toward credibility in general, inviting a broader audience as well as further, tangible utilizations of the content.

Posted by: dilijan | Apr 9 2019 0:57 utc | 77

TheBAG @ 83:

Ain't just all about the Benjamins although my comment @ 68 did make reference to the Israeli general elections this month.

As B said in his post, and Ramin Mazaheri has mentioned in his series of articles on Islamic socialism for The Saker blog, the IRGC is an example of an organisation that runs bonyads (state co-operative charities) and commercial enterprises whose income and profits benefit the families of fallen soldiers, help put young people through school and university, and provide jobs for them.

Mazaheri has also said that the IRGC controls major projects in telecommunications, energy and large scale developments (which most likely include essential infrastructure construction projects). These are developments that would benefit the Iranian people as a whole, not just a few individuals, families or companies, or people living in the major cities.

It's about attacking anything remotely resembling the threat of a good example of "socialism" wherever it pops up anywhere around the world.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 9 2019 0:57 utc | 78

This is all part of the End Timer fantasy of Trump's Christer base.

Posted by: Jay | Apr 9 2019 1:01 utc | 79


I agree with your conclusion that it's about attacking anything that appears to be socialism. I think this designation is specifically about attacking the financial side. We also have this from Mr. Magnier:

US to sanction Lebanon speaker?

Posted by: TheBAG | Apr 9 2019 1:04 utc | 80

'Why Is Trump Designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps As Foreign Terrorist Organization?'

told to by president Jared Kushner acting on orders from israel

Posted by: brian | Apr 9 2019 1:33 utc | 81

'“One might even suggest, since it’s hard to see why this is in our interest, if the president isn’t looking for a basis for a conflict,” said Sherman, who is director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. “The IRGC is already fully sanctioned and this escalation absolutely endangers our troops in the region.”'

all those useless american academics! and they cant presude the US president to change his tack

Posted by: brian | Apr 9 2019 1:35 utc | 82

Zachary and @81 Clueless Joe

So are you telling me that Hillary would have ruined Obama's legacy? I don't think so! She wouldn't dare touch the Iran deal. Obama was too popular with Dems. Trump was chose over Hillary precisely because he was ready to deliver this much for Zionists and the election was rigged.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 9 2019 1:38 utc | 83

I did not notice spelling mistakes in b's piece, even though I am very highly educated (First in Greats (Classics) at Oxford, Harvard Ph.D. in Classical Philology). When I read his pieces, I am far more interested in the content.

Posted by: lysias | Apr 9 2019 1:44 utc | 84

I have wondered what reason Israel/USA would have for attacking Lebanon. Then it occurred to me: the water. What if some terrorist bastards dumped large quantities of dioxin, or some similar chemical into the Jordan river? It would wipe out Israeli agriculture! The headwaters are in Syria and Lebanon.

Posted by: Mike of Pasadena | Apr 9 2019 1:51 utc | 85

More on Venezuela. This is a bit tangential, but some of you may remember that Spanish vice-royalty of Nueva Granada split in the aftermath of independence and was rather briefly re-united by Bolivar. Colombia is the other major part of Nueva Granada. Venezuela and Colombia share common history, a very long border, substantial population migrations in both directions etc. Currently the president of Colombia is a right winger who won narrowly, he promptly recognized "random boy" Guaido as legitimate but refused to provide any platform for creating a "liberation army". Bolivar operated from Haiti but as the things are, Colombia is the only possibility. What made Colombia so risk averse? To city Bloomberg News:

"Duque took office last August pledging only to modify the flawed agreement [with leftist guerilla], which many Colombians disliked, not scuttle it. But a sluggish economy worsened by a flood of Venezuelan refugees, spiking cocaine production and crime, and carping among legacy politicians took their toll. His bungled tax reform sparked revolt in the legislature, and displeased both taxpayers and creditors. By late last year the young technocrat and political novice saw his approval ratings plunge."

Almost amazingly, in rather short succession a slew of countries in South America flipped from left to right, no flip in Colombia, but one could see it in Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador, I would need to make checks about Peru and Chile. Yet most of the freedom loving right winger presidents seem to be in very similar trouble. The love of freedom, economic experts educated in Chicago etc. do not suffice to adequately fulfill the expectations.

BTW, Bloomberg's piece states that Duque experience a "brief surge of popularity" after he supported Guaido. In part, it reflects that before that his approval did not extend to the whole right wing base. In the meantime, the glorious return of freedom to long suffering people of Venezuela seems to go to back burner. The sanctions will become more savage, or not because they were turned to max. But there are signs that established media shifted all better journalists, those able to stay on message, avoid glaring mistakes etc. to other topics. Take some quotes of a very recent British article:

REVEALED: Moment that will make Venezuela’s military ABANDON support of President Maduro
PRESIDENT Maduro retains his grip on Venezuela despite mounting international pressure against him because of the military's support - but one expert says the military will eventually abandon Mr Maduro for one particular reason.
PUBLISHED: 07:24, Mon, Apr 8, 2019 | UPDATED: 12:15, Mon, Apr 8, 2019 (Express)

Opposition figurehead Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president in January, earlier encouraged his supporters to demonstrate against Mr Maduro’s government.

Mr Guaido, the head of the National Assembly party, is now recognised by more than 450 western nations as the country’s legitimate leader.


Mr. Figurehead is recognized by 450 western nations, wow! In the meantime, he got promoted to figureheadship and the National Assembly got downgraded to a party -- quite correctly if you ask me. Expect his support among western nations to grow further, to 4500 western nations, then 45,000 etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 9 2019 2:00 utc | 86

@ Circe 52

> I wish I would get even minute credit

I’ve long appreciated your posts and insights. In particular, you have been right about trump.

Posted by: oo goo gachoo | Apr 9 2019 2:12 utc | 87

Posted by: Kooshy | Apr 9 2019 2:25 utc | 88

Beto O'Rourke is sticking his neck out. He must think attacking Netanyahu is a vote getter.

'Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke lambasted Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, labeling the Israeli prime minister a “racist” who neither represents the “true will of the Israeli people” nor the “best interests” of the relationship between the United States and Israel.'

Posted by: dh | Apr 9 2019 2:28 utc | 89

@ assets #100

More on Pulaski:

Revolutionary War Hero's Skeleton Suggests He Was Intersex

Learn something every day!

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 9 2019 3:11 utc | 90

Circe @ 93; Trump won because he ran on a Sanders platform, plus, he's a better liar than HRC. In the end, the "election" ran true to form. The elites got who they most wanted.

Posted by: ben | Apr 9 2019 3:17 utc | 91

@ Circe #93

So are you telling me that Hillary would have ruined Obama's legacy? I don't think so! She wouldn't dare touch the Iran deal.

I'm working from memory now, but I recall Hillary never was very fond of the Nuclear Deal. And I never thought Hillary and BHO were the best of buddies, either. For the sake of discussion though, let's assume Hillary really was Miss Straight Arrow and would avoided following Zionist Instructions to whack Iran again. All "They" would need to do is to whip up a fake event. Think of the deadly Russian Nerve Gas attack on the Skripals - as phony as a three dollar bill, yet it brought on sanctions. Think of the White Helmets and their "gas attacks" in Syria. These caused the US to send in many dozens of cruise missiles. In the case of Libya, didn't NATO & Company just make things up? They got away with it, didn't they? I have great faith in the general sliminess of HRC.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 9 2019 3:29 utc | 92


Netanyahu Says Trump Named Iran Guards a Terror Group at His Request

Netanyahu’s emphasis that this is all his idea, and Trump is giving him everything he wants, is clearly being done with an eye toward Tuesday’s election, as he attempts to convince voters that he is able to get concessions out of Trump no one else could.

Yes, Trump is giving him everything he wants. The photographs of the Obese One with the goat must be mighty fine. An alternate explanation: the "deferred bribery" scheme they've worked out for Trump could be even more fantastic than those used for Clinton and Obama. Recall those involved giving many speeches for which they were paid tens of millions of dollars.

If I were guessing, I'd suppose Trump's hypothetical future payments would involve the Stock Market somehow.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 9 2019 4:33 utc | 93

Corr.@93 Trump was Chosen.

Jackrabbit, Zionism is not a religion. It's a supremacist ideology that is anti-democratic, fascist and expansionist using its network of lobbies, media propaganda, geopolitical machinations and influencing military interventionism and regime change to grow its power. Zionism is not just Israel. Israel is the excuse for its foreign control.

Thanks oo goo gachoo.
@94 impressive. What's the greatest of the greatest classics iyo?

Posted by: Circe | Apr 9 2019 4:46 utc | 94

@95 Mike "I have wondered what reason Israel/USA would have for attacking Lebanon."

I imagine it's all about those tens of thousands of Iranian-built missiles that are sprinkled around southern Lebanon.
The IDF wants the removal of those missiles because they pose a major, ahem, inconvenience to any plan to attack Iran.

"Then it occurred to me: the water.:"

Nah. It's all about those missiles. They are a real restriction on the IDF's freedom of action.

"What if some terrorist bastards dumped large quantities of dioxin, or some similar chemical into the Jordan river?"

How, exactly?

Hezbollah would never do it - they aren't terrorists, after all - and it is impossible to imagine some other bastards bringing in large quantities of "dioxin, or some similar chemical" without Hezbollah finding out about it and putting a stop to it.

"It would wipe out Israeli agriculture!"

I suppose it would, if they did.
But they can't, so it won't.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 9 2019 4:55 utc | 95

@75 James "usa state dept propaganda on this topic today"

I particularly liked this bit....
Pompous: "The blood of the 603 American soldiers the Iranian regime has found to have killed in Iraq is on his hands and on the hands of the IRGC more broadly."

Go figure. As far as Pompous is concerned the killing of soldiers is "terrorism" instead of, you know, soldiers-killing-soldiers.

Am I to assume that when the USA army invades Venezuela that taking a pot-shot at those invaders is likewise going to be "terrorism"?

But there's more...
Pompous: "Inexplicably the regime has faced no accountability from the international community for those deaths."

He might like to consider that this may be due to all those brave, brave GI's being "the invaders" and not "the invaded".....

You invade a country and then sit your Big Fat Arse on it.
People don't tend to like such displays of boorishness.

Can't imagine why.... they must "hate our freedom".....

Do dimwits like Pompeo actually believe their nonsense, or do they assume that their audience are idiots?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 9 2019 5:19 utc | 96

Piotr Berman @ 96:

The current President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, is mostly right-wing (for want of a better term) in his policies. He once praised an 11-year-old rape victim as "brave and mature" when she said during an interview that she would not terminate the pregnancy and that having the baby would be "like having a doll".

The current President of Peru is Martín Vizcarra who was sworn into office in March 2018 after the incumbent Kuczynski had to resign after evidence surfaced that he offered favours to politicians if they voted against his impeachment.

Both Chile and Peru recognise Juan Guaidó as acting President of Venezuela.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 9 2019 7:24 utc | 97

Circe 105:
Pretty much every Greek since 6th century BC and Roman since 2nd century BC would consider Homer as the ultimate classic; they usually knew whole parts of the epics by heart.
Now, "greatest" is a bit tricky and it's usually just as annoying as asking people what's their favorite movie. Still, apart from Homer, Greek tragedies - notably Sophocles' - are pretty powerful. On the other hand, I have a very fond spot for Sappho.
I'm quite curious about Lysias' take on it.

Now, as for HRC, it's been pretty obvious since years that she's a nasty warhawk that doesn't give a fuck about casualties, including US soldiers, dying for her pet projects. And she is just as Zionist-friendly as Trump is, though not on a silly gut-level due to personal relationships and more on a scheming / political influence / financial level. So, I have no doubt she would've caused a bigger military involvement in Syria and would end up going to war with Iran - unless, maybe, Russia clearly drew a red line triggering total war.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Apr 9 2019 8:24 utc | 98

If my Iranian cousins are terrorists, it is high time they started acing like it, before Freedom comes to visit...
Step 1 - false flag on an Iranian tanker
Step 2 - rain terror onto the Ras Tanura oilfields
Step 3 - ditto onto the Yenbo storage and refinery
Ah hell, let us just for suicidal devilment, go with
Step 4 - ya got the lat/long for Al-Udaid and Al-Dhafra, right?

BTW, sorry no Iranian nukes possible, the Ayatollah has declared them to be forbidden. Shia take that stuff seriously.

Major General Qasem Soleimani, whom I believe has been complimented, by "Foreign Policy" magazine, on his tactical skills, will have thought of this, long before I.

Posted by: necromancer | Apr 9 2019 11:24 utc | 99

Magnier now reporting unconfirmed leak that the US will sanction Nabih Berri, Lebanese Speaker, who has promised retaliation.

Posted by: necromancer | Apr 9 2019 11:46 utc | 100

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