Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 06, 2019

How The U.S. Is Pressing Iran To Breach The Nuclear Deal

363 days ago the U.S. left the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 'nuclear deal' with Iran, and reintroduced sanctions against trade with Iran.

When the U.S. reintroduced sanctions on Iran it provided sanction 'wavers' for some customers of Iranian oil. Two weeks ago the extremists in the Trump administration won out and the those waivers were eliminated. Some of Iran's customers, Iraq, Turkey and China, will continue to buy Iranian oil and will face U.S. sanctions.

The declared aim of the Trump administration's 'maximum pressure campaign' is to bring all trade with Iran to zero and the country to its knees.

On Wednesday May 8, one years after the U.S. breached the deal, it will announce additional sanctions against the country:

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that new sanctions would target petrochemical sales. I'm told the administration will likely impose those sanctions soon, but the new sanctions planned for this week will target a different sector of the Iranian economy.

The only European response to the new announcements was a lame statement. The EU should fight for the JCPOA deal as it is in its interest. But instead it is slow-walking its badly designed INSTEX mechanism that would allow for only very limited sanction free trade with Iran.

Iran will use the anniversary of the U.S. breach of the deal to announce that it will no longer stick to some of the restrictions of the JCPOA.

The U.S. is not only sanctioning Iranian trade that was promised to be opened under the JCPOA deal, it is also trying to eliminate all other beneficial elements of the deal.

The Trump administration wants to force Iran to come into breach of the deal to then use that as an excuse for further action against the country.

The U.S. provided waivers for several nuclear trades that were part of the JCPOA deal. Some of these were now eliminated, others were put under time restrictions.

Iran is allowed to enrich Uranium under the deal, but it is not allowed to hold large amounts of ready enriched Uranium. Enriched Uranium is valuable and Iran found a customer who bought it. Iran also produces heavy water, needed to cool some types of reactors, and exports it. These trades were previously provided with waivers. The Trump administration did not renew those wavers and the export of those products will end. Iran will have to either stop all enrichment and heavy water production or it will have to store what it produces and thereby come into breach of the JCPOA agreement.

Another nuclear trade was about the revamping of the Arak heavy water reactor. Running that reactor in its original form would have produced some plutonium as a byproduct. After the JCPOA agreement Iran contracted a Russian company to convert the Arak reactor into a type that could produce isotopes for medical purposes. The U.S. waiver for that deal has now been time restricted to 90 days. The Russian company is now under a 90 day threat of U.S. sanctions for a project that takes years of design and construction.

Iran is starting to counter the U.S. moves. On Wednesday the Iranian president Rouhani will announce that Iran will take measures based on paragraphs 26 and 37 of the nuclear deal (pdf). Paragraph 26 says that the the EU and the U.S. will lift all nuclear related sanctions and will refrain from re-introducing any. It continues:

Iran has stated that it will treat such a re-introduction or re-imposition of the sanctions specified in Annex II, or such an imposition of new nuclear-related sanctions, as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.

Paragraph 37 is part of the "Dispute Resolution Mechanism" which ends with an involvement of the UN Security Council where the U.S. can block the process. It therefore includes at its end:

Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.

Iran will use these clauses to 'breach' some of the provisions of the deal while keeping the deal intact. It will continue to allow the IAEA free access to all elements of its nuclear facilities. Iran will not cease enrichment. It will begin to store enriched uranium above the level that is above the one allowed under an intact JCPOA. The same will  apply to the heavy water Iran produces. It will probably also announce the construction of a new self developed reactor that is designed to produce radioactive isotopes for medical purposes.

The EU, Russia and China have been unofficially informed about the steps Iran is going to take. Tomorrow there will be expert level talks over JCPOA between Iran, Germany, UK, France, Russia and China in Brussels.

That Iran is forced to temporarily accumulate products above the level allowed in the deal is solely caused by the U.S. breach of that deal, i.e. its new sanctions. It is unlikely that the other JCPOA signers will regard Iran's as being in breach of the JCPOA. The U.S. will of course scream bloody murder and will continue to do what it would have done anyway - ratchet the tensions further up

Yesterday National Security Advisor John 'Stache' Bolton announced that an aircraft carrier and U.S. long range bombers would be send to Gulf to counter and imminent threat from Iran. That was empty bluster.

Micah Zenko @MicahZenko - 1:07 utc - 6 May 2019

Bolton framing a routine deployment of the Lincoln to CENTCOM AOR as an attempt to frighten Iran is an especially weak and hollow threat.

The carrier deployment to the Gulf is routine. It had been announced on April 8. The U.S. has bombers on rotation in the Middle East since 2001. Moreover - a carrier in the Persian Gulf is a sure sign that the U.S. will not attack Iran. Within the restricted waters of the Persian Gulf a carrier is a too easy target.

The idea though may be to provide for an 'accident' as Iran's Foreign Minister described it in a recent CBS interview:

FOREIGN MINISTER ZARIF: I don't think military confrontation will happen. I think people have more prudence than allowing a military confrontation to happen. But, I think the U.S. administration is putting things in place for accidents to happen. And there has to be extreme vigilance, so that people who are planning this type of accident would not have their way.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What do you mean? What kind of accident are you talking about?

FOREIGN MINISTER ZARIF: I'm talking about people who have- who are designing confrontation, whose interest--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Who's doing that?


MARGARET BRENNAN: What do you mean 'B' team?

FOREIGN MINISTER ZARIF: I call the group 'B' team who have always tried to create tension, whose continued existence depends on tension. Ambassador Bolton, one 'B,' Bibi Netanyahu, second 'B,' Bin Zayed, third 'B,' Bin Salman, fourth 'B.' And I'm not just making accusations. ...

The Trump administration is hoping that its new sanctions will not raise the oil price. That is unlikely to hold as the oil market is stretched:

Trying to take out Venezuela and Iran simultaneously tightens the oil market. Additional upsets in Libya or a less expected area such as Algeria or Nigeria could exceed available spare capacity. The US production will expand with higher prices but cannot switch on and off at command like a true strategic producer.

Its predominantly very light crude is not a good replacement for diesel-rich medium-heavy barrels, like those from these two countries. This issue may become more acute at the end of this year when as much as 1 million barrels of diesel may be required worldwide to meet new shipping fuel regulations.

The lighter U.S. and Arab variants of oil can not replace the heavy types. One can crack the long hydrocarbon chains of heavy oil into lighter types but one can not easily make long chains from short ones.

Rising oil prices may be the only factor that could press Trump to change his confrontational strategy towards Iran. But the big danger now is that the extremists in his administration will ratchet up the various conflicts in the Middle East until they explode and make it impossible to change course.

They are only waiting for the 'accidents' to happen.

Posted by b on May 6, 2019 at 19:16 UTC | Permalink

next page »

But wait, Trump has more up his sleeve with today's tweets highlighting trade tension with China that have (at least temporarily) driven oil down by $2 today. That may not stick, but the idiots on his team may think they can depress global trade enough to offset any increase in the price of oil. Of course, they may crash the global economy at the same time, but you don't get to run an empire without breaking a few eggs, right?

Posted by: worldblee | May 6 2019 19:44 utc | 1

I suspect Bolt's weirdly misshapen head was caused by a botched forceps delivery which resulted in the impairment of the frontal lobes of his cerebral cortex. Damage to these lobes, especially if it occurs perinatally, impairs critical thought processing and often causes the person affected to develop pathological egotism, vindictiveness and fanaticism. He possibly has other deformities hidden under the large moustache. There are other causes of perinatally induced conduct disorder such as the mother smoking/drinking/taking drugs or being physically abused. It's an interesting subject.

Posted by: Guy Thornton | May 6 2019 19:49 utc | 2

The price of gasoline in the S.F. bay area already is over $4.00 a gallon, so what, perhaps 1/2 to double that in the making, or more? How far are the idiots willing to go? Ah, maybe it's a plot of the democrats in collusion with the extreme conservatives to screw Trump out of being reelected in 2020. How the plot thickens, all the chickens return to the hen house, only to find the only exit is guarded by the hungry fox.

Posted by: Eugene | May 6 2019 20:07 utc | 3

The Outlaw US Empire illegally broke the JCPOA and all Iran's doing is reacting in the manner allowed by JCPOA and is therefore not "breaching" it; rather, Iran's doing what JCPOA allows. As the Crooke item I linked to in the previous thread shows, the Outlaw US Empire has numerous irons in the fire all of which at the moment have one positive outcome for it--chaos--but otherwise no other benefit accrues, excepting those profiting from the Trade War. However, there are negative outcomes being ignored; for example, most crucial points raised within the BRI Forum's Joint Communique are aimed at specific Outlaw US Empire behaviors like this one that deals with morals/ethics beyond International Law:

"We encourage more efforts in building a culture of integrity and combating corruption." [My Emphasis]

Clearly, its illegal withdrawal from JCPOA is reverse behavior from the above points, and they are just two of many. The MoUs initiated by the 131 nations to-date indicate agreement with BRI's aims and ideals, and a rejection of the Outlaw US Empire's behavior and its plans.

Aa I commented on the previous thread, it's very possible US actions aimed at Iran will cause Turkey to leave NATO. Austria and Italy are two EU/NATO members who've said they'll ignore the diktats, and many are on board with BRI. How much longer will they abide the current behavior of the Outlaw US Empire? I don't think it can go on much longer.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 6 2019 20:49 utc | 4

Perhaps the Trump administration's objective is to ensure oil prices go higher and remain there to reward their friends in the oil business.

I suggest that was a major objective of the Iraq war and the reason Cheney's secret talks (and probable agreements) with big oil needed to remain secret. The war wasn't to steal the oil as much as it was to control the price of oil.

Posted by: s4bj | May 6 2019 21:00 utc | 5

News article: “The Trump administration is deploying a carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East in response to troubling "indications and warnings" from Iran and to show the United States will retaliate with "unrelenting force" to any attack, national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.”

comment: We finally have a real tough guy president with the massive stones to do whatever Israel demands. Prepare the American golem; we need a lot more war for the chosen. I'm really worried that Iranians might try something against my dying country and its 51st zionist ethnostate, the same one that cynically uses the dumb gentiles to advance their own interests. We're gonna put a boot in your ass, Assad or Iran or whoever (((they))) tells us to hate, wee-haw.

News article: "With tensions already high between Washington and Tehran, a U.S. official said the deployment has been ordered "as a deterrence to what has been seen as potential preparations by Iranian forces and its proxies that may indicate possible attacks on U.S. forces in the region."

Comment: You might be wondering why in the blue hell we have "forces in a region" on the other side of the world while foreign invaders are currently flooding over a completely undefended southern border. It’s because our pathetic and slavish devotion to the global financiers might be endangered by a country your average shkotzim cannon fodder recruiting territory consumerist unit couldn't even find on a map.

News article: "Bolton - who has spearheaded an increasingly hawkish U.S. policy on Iran - said the decision, which could exacerbate problems between the two countries, was meant to send a "clear and unmistakable message" of U.S. resolve to Tehran."

Comment: An Iranian has never told me I have White privilege. It wasn't Achaemenids promoting sodomy, pornography, infanticide, feminism and other spiritual evils intended to destroy the family and prevent reproduction. The children of Cyrus aren't behind the push for the "multi-kulti" mode which is destroying our ancient homelands. Nevertheless, they are our blood enemies, an alien banker with a weird little cap said so and who are you to question that, goyim? We must send the message, in the form of dead and dismembered White soldiers and another unwinnable quagmire.

News article: Iran has recently warned it would block the Strait of Hormuz if it was barred from using the strategic waterway. About a fifth of the oil consumed globally passes through the strait.

Comment: Muh oil. That must be what's causing all this and not our blind and senile blowhard president being pulled forward by the Netanhayoo dog

news article: "The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or regular Iranian forces," Bolton said in a statement.

Comment: We'll be acting as a proxy for g*d's chosen people, of course.

News article: It marked the latest in a series of moves by President Donald Trump's administration aimed at ratcheting up pressure on Iran in recent months.

Comment: "War with Iran!" I screamed at the Trump rally while waving the Israeli flag. Nationalism is not a dirty word (not if you're Israeli). Globalist semitic interests first. MIGA (Make Israel Great Again!)

News article: "The United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force," Bolton said.

Comment: The carrier King Lincoln and the escort ships Harvey Milk and Rosa Luxemburg are on the way. Sure would be a shame if one of those got firebombed by "Iran." Sadly, the USS Liberty is unavailable for this important mission.

News article: “A U.S. Navy statement issued early last month said the aircraft carrier and its accompanying convoy of ships had steamed out of Norfolk, Virginia, on April 1 "for a regularly scheduled deployment", but it did not give any destination at the time.”

comment: Nothing to see here, shkotzim. You have all your great freedoms, like going into debt and getting sodomized.

News article: “A senior Trump administration official said at the time that any aggressive move by Iran in the strait would be unjustified and unacceptable.”

comment: If we find out you have chemical barrel bombs (like in Donkey Kong), weapons of mass destruction or are removing babies from incubators, it's on.

Full Story.


Posted by: MH | May 6 2019 21:07 utc | 6

thanks b. nothing like having the uk - toadie for usa-isreal - at the meeting tomorrow... the iranian dude is correct.. the b team are working over time to find a way for an accident to happen... i would like to think that americans are smarter then this, but maybe it is that they are very malevolent and happy to comply with the b team - cause of all the money they hope to accrue.. meanwhile another hypocritical travesty is committed on iran, thanks the west.. the usa-israel are incapable of making any deal at this point and are only good for wrecking things, including the planet...

Posted by: james | May 6 2019 21:13 utc | 7

Thanks b, you really connected a lot of dots there.

One quibble, though. I'm skeptical of your belief that:

It is unlikely that the other JCPOA signers will regard Iran's as being in breach of the JCPOA.

If Europe has been reluctant to fully support JCPOA (despite it being in their interest to do so), then shouldn't we have some concern that Europe bows to US pressure after the Iranian forced breach?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 6 2019 21:17 utc | 8

Note that historically, you'd actually expect to get more distillate from light crude than heavy -- what you say about lengthening vs. shortening is true, but diesel fuel isn't made of particularly long carbon chains (the bulk is between 9 and 16). More recently we've seen refineries that are not only more capable but specifically optimized for handling heavy oils, enabling them to produce a lot more distillate, but those that lack cokers and fancy extra distillation columns are not nearly as good at producing diesel.

Posted by: Ash | May 6 2019 21:18 utc | 9

... the extremists in the Trump administration ... making decisions on foreign policy ... for the worse.

It reminds me of HRC's statement to the CFR 7.15.09, "We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future."

Americans keep getting obvious signals that our foreign policy is decided by many players but not us. It would take millions of people phoning and emailing congress to get a change.

karlof1 #4
Chaos is what the US does best these days.

The MSM says Bolton/Trump is doing this to send a message to Iran. Really? Why not use mail, email, direct diplomatic contacts, etc? Zarif is smart to name the B team.

Posted by: Curtis | May 6 2019 21:36 utc | 10

Moreover - a carrier in the Persian Gulf is a sure sign that the U.S. will not attack Iran. Within the restricted waters of the Persian Gulf a carrier is a too easy target.

A search I made says the US had the USS Stennis inside the Persian Gulf back in December of last year, so it's not unthinkable they'd do it again. I really don't understand what's going in inside the heads of the Trumpies, but some kind of 'false flag' attack on a carrier inside the Gulf would be easy to arrange. Let's suppose a certain little pissant nation sends a few anti-ship missiles into Saudia Arabia where they get launched from the east coast. These can be programmed to maneuver in all kinds of loopy ways, so have them fly just above the waves almost to the Iranian coast, then turn and head for a carrier.

If Trump gets hot and bothered by pictures of dead ducks and sick kids, imagine how he'd react if shown a picture of one or more anti-ship missiles being shot down or barely missing a US ship. Heck, if I were in charge I'd program the missile warhead to self-destruct right after US defensive fire began. Heroic US sailors fight off dastardly Iranian attack! On the other hand, Pence, Pompeo, and Bolton might figure they needed body bags to get the reaction for the size of attack they'd want.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 6 2019 21:40 utc | 11

A little off-topic - Israel is sending troops to train Honduran military. Whatever happened to the Monroe Doctrine?

Posted by: guest | May 6 2019 21:50 utc | 12

Guest @ 12:

That news is very significant. Israeli paramilitary police already train US police forces and look at the result: US police now shoot first, then never ask questions later.

Of course, you did notice the link to another TeleSur news article on Honduran police attacking thousands of people protesting against the privatisation of healthcare and education by the Honduran Congress?

What is to stop the Honduras government from transferring some of its Israeli-trained "border police" away from intercepting illegal migrants and drug-running operations to "policing" its cities, towns and rural communities whenever Honduran citizens protest against the privatisation of their water or their community lands, or some other utility, resource or service they deem essential?

As for the Monroe Doctrine, it only comes out of cryogenic storage when Yosemite Sam Bolton wants it out. "Open up that door, varmints!"

Posted by: Jen | May 6 2019 22:28 utc | 13

and the religious war too?

Demetrios, representing Byzantium/Eastern/Orthodox Christianity - hardly the largest denomination in USA - reportedly in 2016 prayed with Republicans following Trump's election.

He was forced out by Istanbul wannabe-Pope "patriarch", the same that few months ago gave greenlight to religious war in Ukraine.

Posted by: Arioch | May 6 2019 22:31 utc | 14

I hear that Iran is planning to attack US forces. I wonder where ABC News got this idea from?

Aircraft carrier sent to Middle East after indications Iran planned attack on US forces

The United States deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in response to "clear indications" Iran and Iranian proxies were planning an attack on U.S. forces in the region, U.S. officials said.

U.S. officials told ABC News the deployments were in response to "clear indications" Iranian and Iranian proxy forces were preparing for a possible attack against U.S. forces on land, including in Iraq and Syria, and at sea. U.S. Central Command requested approval from acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to move additional assets into the region, which Shanahan approved on Sunday, one official said.

"The movement of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to the region was expedited and it was ordered there effective immediately," another official said.
Shanahan called the move, on Twitter, a "prudent repositioning of assets in response to indications of a credible threat by Iranian regime forces."

"We call on the Iranian regime to cease all provocation," he said. "We will hold the Iranian regime accountable for any attack on U.S. forces or our interests."

Speaking with reporters in Finland on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. has a responsibility to protect American diplomats around the world, but he specifically mentioned Erbil and Baghdad in Iraq and Amman in Jordan.

"And so any time we receive threat reporting, things that raise concerns, we do everything we can both to -- do all that we can to make sure that those planned or contemplated attacks don't take place and to make sure that we've got the right security posture," Pompeo said.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 6 2019 22:35 utc | 15

@Zachary Smith #11

> but some kind of 'false flag' attack on a carrier inside the Gulf would be easy to arrange

as in USS Liberty?

> Let's suppose a certain little pissant nation sends a few anti-ship missiles into Saudia Arabia

Booo! way too complex and dependant upon an unreliable and clumsy theird party.
They can just man their state-of-the-art F-35 and fly the sortie themselves.

Posted by: Arioch | May 6 2019 22:51 utc | 16

A little more off topic:

Although large numbers of planes had been lost, the evacuation at Dunkirk enabled most of the British pilots, who had been based in France, to escape and fight another day.

An RAF rule hardly anyone ever mentions was that if a British pilot lost his airplane when the Germans strafed the airfield, he had to grab a rifle and join the Infantry. This is why all the pilots were able to escape safely from Dunkirk on account of Hitler's screwup. There is a lot of other good history at that link. Readers learn that not only Hitler was Jewish, but so were Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin. Using the site's name in a search I found that former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was Jewish. And this:

WOW; Presidents Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump are Jews

Conclusion: If something is found on the internet, it must be true.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 6 2019 23:18 utc | 17

Always being nervous, I almost think the aircraft carrier is the false flag bait. If a carrier is sunk "by the Iranians," that's almost an excuse for the US to go nuclear.

Posted by: Lysander | May 6 2019 23:27 utc | 18

Nice reporting b. You continue to have your efforts finely focused on the spinning plates of the day/week/whatever....amazing!!!

While b was exact in describing the details of Iran's performance in relation to the nuclear deal, that rational part of me was screaming out, "Where are the like details of empire war crimes, just in this matter, that should be prosecuted?"

It is sad to see humanity on the defensive against such putrid examples of our species. That said, Trump has made the putrid mostly visible to many more and the elite have to know that there is no place safe for them on this planet if they go nuclear.....the world is watching; you are stupid to think you can control nuclear war to save a few and we know who the aggressors are.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 7 2019 0:04 utc | 19

I've finally found a new story about the latest Trumpie antics.

Carrier And Bombers Ordered To Middle East Without Any Details On Supposed Iranian Threat

Until reading that I hadn't been aware there is another "choke point" which could be put under great stress. The Mandeb Strait is on the west side of the Saudi Peninsula, and represents a potential double whammy for the neocons. It's also quite narrow, and also has one side controlled by allies of Iran. Some links within the story are also useful reading.

The bottom line here is that a war with Iran would make the invasion of Iraq look like a relatively tame, highly localized conflict and full-on regime change operation would likely be a generational project of incredible cost, both in terms of blood and treasure. John Bolton's particular brand of hawkish foreign policy was key in getting us into the Iraq War catastrophe and what came after and he seems to want something similar in Iran. The warning alarms have been ringing on this for some time now from a wide variety of sources. They should be heeded.

The Iranians have had years to prepare for whatever happens. In one of their war games a few years back they attacked a full scale mock-up of the USS Nimitz with several different weapons. But on the other hand, Pence, Pompeo, and Bolton don't care what their work for Holy Israel costs. There is no evidence that Trump has a clue about what's really happening.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 7 2019 0:26 utc | 20

When is the CSG due to arrive in the Persian Gulf?

Posted by: Lozion | May 7 2019 0:36 utc | 21

"PEPE ESCOBAR: The Eagle, the Bear and the Dragon" Pepe updates what he terms a fable that he told once before. The second version borrows heavily from the first, but both are worth reading to see the changes. Ultimately, Iran is central in the fable's last act:

"Then there’s Persia – those master chess players. The eagle has been gunning for the Persians ever since they got rid of the eagle’s proconsul, the Shah, in 1979 – and this after the eagle and perfidious Albion had already smashed democracy to place the Shah, who made Saddam look like Gandhi, in power in 1953.

"The eagle wants all that oil and natural gas back – not to mention a new Shah as the new gendarme of the Persian Gulf. The difference is now the bear and the dragon are saying No Way. What is the eagle to do? Set up the false flag to end all false flags?

"This is where we stand now."

And that's where V1.0 of the fable ended, too. The basic difference being the "Hollow Men" in charge of the eagle.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 7 2019 0:48 utc | 22

I am sure that the great intellectual and strategic giants in the Trump administration and at the Atlantic Council and Brookings institute etc, have all thought this all through very carefully, like they thought through their recent very brilliant and forward thinking coup d'etat in Venezuela...

i seem to recall years ago reading that in every single war game that Defense or any of the 'think tanks' like Rand ever did on a US war with Iran, the US and its local henchmen I mean dictators I mean allies would suffer near catastrophic losses and/or setbacks. There would be no win. But there would likely be a regional war and a great world economic depression when the Strait of Hormuz is closed, as is inevitable, and when many oil fields and facilities within range of Iranian missiles are attacked or destroyed

very brilliant and forward thinking on the part of the great minds like Pompeo and Bolton that now run US imperial foreign policy....

Posted by: michaelj72 | May 7 2019 0:59 utc | 23

CNO: USS Lincoln Persian Gulf Trip No Surprise — ‘Planned For Some Time’

WASHINGTON: The day after the White House released a stern statement announcing the immediate deployments of an aircraft carrier strike group and bomber wing to the Persian Gulf to deter an unnamed Iranian threat, Navy chief Adm. John Richardson was put in what has become a familiar position for the Pentagon brass: explaining a surprise White House statement on a controversial topic.

In response to National Security Advisor Advisor John Bolton’s Sunday evening statement that the forces were being dispatched to the Gulf in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” by Iran, Richardson said Monday that, essentially, the deployment was just business as usual.

“The Abraham Lincoln Strike Group was planned to deploy for some time now,” Richardson told the SeaAirSpace conference. He touted the Lincoln’s new route to the Gulf as an example of “dynamic force employment,” a new Navy tactic that is meant to surprise potential adversaries by having US ships show up off their coastlines without warning.

He didn’t explain how a White House press release is an example of tactical surprise.

Posted by: daffyDuct | May 7 2019 1:04 utc | 24

@22 Zachary Smith

Iran doesn't need to destroy an aircraft carrier. All they need to do is sink one oil tanker and the cost of oil quadruples instantly.


Posted by: b4real | May 7 2019 1:16 utc | 25


My understanding is those in charge of the Eagle deposed the Shah as he was getting harder to control. Khomeini was flown in from France after BBC broadcast all his speeches to garner popular support. The military was told to stand down to maintain continued support from the Eagle in terms of parts and weapons.

Keep in mind this was all taking place at the time of Bibi’s Jerusalem Conference on Terrorism and Zbig’s creating Al Qaeda in Afghanisan, and was the prelude to implementing the Yinon plan as we saw play out in Lebanon and the Iraq-Iran war where the Eagle funded/armed both sides

Now it may well be the Eagle prefers a change. Or it may simply be that its just another diversion, perhaps related to oil supplies/prices used as a weapon against other targets of the Eagle.

Posted by: Pft | May 7 2019 1:20 utc | 26

Interesting to me in these comments is that: every day misinformed, law-abused, ruled and governed Americans have not been presented with accurate or full disclosure facts about the situation nor have the Governed been consulted as to how the governed feel about allowing their rulers to put the governed at risk in a new war (both houses of Congress voted to order the president to stand down from the war in Yemen, yet el presidente responds with a veto, Yikes!).. ..conflict avoidance might be stronger at home than it first appears and bloody fisticuffs might produce a very negative, strong domestic reaction? Its going to be interesting.. Thanks B, for the well done summary..

Posted by: snake | May 7 2019 1:51 utc | 27

Baby Trump is a hapless hostage of the big bad Neocons. Mangod Trump can do no wrong because he plays footsie with Putin cause he wants Putin's oligarchy help to win in 2020.

So what did you get for the temporary pass on Russia? Tell me something; if Trump said suck this, first, would those of you still protecting him for Mother Russia go for that too? I have no respect for your transaction. The way I see it is, that many of you still living in denial about Trump are right there in the gutter with him. That's what Trump does; that's his expertise: he gets people to sell their soul to the devil OR there are stealth Zionists on this site carrying Trump's dirty water.

Trump is going to start war with Iran in his second term. I don't think Iranians will allow Trump to turn Iran into a 3rd-world country like the U.S. did to North Korea. So sooner or later Iran will try to defend itself. North Korea better restart it's program and Iran better get some of that deterrence before it goes bankrupt and can't pay for it 'cause Trump is one batshit mfkr on a mission, and the only language that'll speak to him is the threat of brute force, like you wanna mess with me, you pussy-grabbing megalomaniac; we'll turn your bases into a cesspool of red. How far do you think chickenshit Trump will go with that prospect looming??

Americans with that Zionist parasite infecting their brain got a Trump karma paid by big fat Zionist billionares and he ain't goin' nowhere cause the chosen billionaires are working on another plan to extend the Trump dictatorship in 2020. They paid for war and Trump the deliverer will deliver, except he'll rue the day he does.

Posted by: Circe | May 7 2019 4:28 utc | 28

Given that the Shah was strongly pro Israel, I find your idea that the US deliberately overthrew him rather implausible. Do you actually have any real proof for this?

Posted by: Glenn Brown | May 7 2019 4:31 utc | 29

My above post @31 was directed at @29 Pft.

Posted by: Glenn Brown | May 7 2019 4:34 utc | 30

I just can't see the world's oligarchs permitting a full on war anywhere. Things are looking too great for them globally.

Authoritarianism is on the rise, workers rights are failing, all good news for the malignant and avarice ridden elites who control the world's economy.

These people meet annually for a reason, and it's not just to trade recipes. Recipes for hegemony maybe?

Posted by: ben | May 7 2019 5:19 utc | 31

Off-topic a bit, but not too much.

The Atlantic pushes more bullshit about Venezuela

Posted by: KC | May 7 2019 5:34 utc | 32

To quote Putin, “America has become a godless country.”

Posted by: Jose Garcia | May 7 2019 6:08 utc | 33

@33 Domza

How about we start with yours? Maybe in Israel censorship is the only way you keep that illegal land theft business running and you wanna bully the rest of the world into accepting that shet you're all pulling there.

Posted by: Circe | May 7 2019 6:21 utc | 34

b4real @25

Iran doesn't need to sink an aircraft carrier, but Israel needs to rerun the USS Liberty incident to pin the blame on Iran and drag the US in to do the dirty work.

Posted by: EarWeGo | May 7 2019 10:25 utc | 35

Absolutely correct. The US is pushing Iran toward leaving JCPOA thus creating the pretext it needed for a twisted war or to bring the EU lapdogs to its side. Lets recall that the EU countries, though saying Iran didn't do anything wrong, left Iran alone in trading, they are not buying Iranian oil defying the US illegal sanctions, this is visible double play and the intent is one of the same, weaken Iran, slow BRI and satisfy Israel, kSA, UAE and Egypt.
This is a dangerous game, and very volatile, Iran will announce this week something related to JCPOA in the 1 yr of Trump's decision, Elijah Magnier is seeking out info on that.

Posted by: Canthama | May 7 2019 10:52 utc | 36

Second, please edit the comments. There are way too many of them. They contain good material but also a lot of nonsense. Please delete the nonsense. We don't have time for it.

Comments section are great source of information which you seams would like to eliminate. If you don't have time to read than just skip it.

Posted by: Haman | May 7 2019 11:00 utc | 37

With Russia buying gold at record levels, and China being a sovereign with huge unreported amounts in possession, I wish the two would go gold nuclear and back both currencies with the precious metal. We know Russia has for all intensive purposes dissolved their US treasury bond holdings, public knowledge. If China would do the same this would certainly hurt the USA. I wish to see this in my lifetime, and pray often for this type of demise of the fascist USA system. These two events would be nuclear in my estimation.

Posted by: Taffyboy | May 7 2019 11:57 utc | 38

Posted by: guest | May 6, 2019 5:50:12 PM | 12

Israel have been involved in arming successive military dictators in Central & L. America for decades! Israel was the go-between during the Iran-Contra, guns for drugs scandal and served as the delivery boy for weapons to Iran no less. It sent arms to dictators in Guatemala, Honduras and who knows where else.

Posted by: Barovsky | May 7 2019 12:12 utc | 39

What is going on?

US Diplomacy being conducted by sanctions and threats.

Overnight we learn Turkey is cued for US sanctions over their purchasing Russia's S400. Stolenberg is worried - how does one NATO member impose sanctions on a member ally? See Sputnik and

VP Pompous abruptly cancels his meeting with Merkel citing "international security concerns". Nordsream 2

IMF Lagarde and EC Juncker - Cautions. 'US and China trade tensions will affect global economy'

@Taffyboy 39

China has made her move, last December 2018; in place is the Petro-Yuan. oil exporters to China may exchange Yuan for gold in Shanghai /Hong Kong. No worries, China is a gold producer. Do not buy into the "China has only 1,600 tons of gold" meme. Just ask Mnuchin to give an inspection tour of the US' 8,333 tons of gold. Long gone courtesy of Rubin and Clinton.

Posted by: Likklemore | May 7 2019 12:36 utc | 40

@ Posted by: Taffyboy | May 7, 2019 7:57:23 AM | 39

The USA is still, by far, the largest owner of gold (more than 8,000 tons). Russia has a little bit more than 2,000 tons (if memory doesn't fail me, in fifth place). China is sixth.

Germany has 3.4 thousand tonnes, Italy has 2.4 thousand tonnes virtually tied with France.

Put it in other words, Russia + China are not even close of being capable of setting the global price of gold, let alone abandoning the dollar.

Posted by: vk | May 7 2019 12:37 utc | 41

The US deprived Japan of oil during WW2.

How will China satisfy its oil needs once the UK/US/EU/IS reduce just a few more oil-producting nations to rubble?

Posted by: oglalla | May 7 2019 12:59 utc | 42

Scoop: Israel passed White House intelligence on possible Iran plot

Israel passed information on an alleged Iranian plot to attack U.S. interests in the Gulf to the U.S. before national security adviser John Bolton threatened Iran with "unrelenting force" last night, senior Israeli officials told me...

"It is still unclear to us what the Iranians are trying to do and how they are planning to do it, but it is clear to us that the Iranian temperature is on the rise as a result of the growing U.S. pressure campaign against them, and they are considering retaliating against U.S. interests in the Gulf."

— Israeli official

So, it's unclear what the Iranians are trying to do and how they plan on doing whatever it is they are trying to do. Israel also supplied a lot of the Iraq WMD "intelligence", and we all know how that turned out.

Posted by: integer | May 7 2019 13:00 utc | 43

Hello VK

If you take at face value the reported holdings, yes, I agree.

.., but who has seen the gold, or has any one seen an audit of the USA holding? None that I have seen, nor anyone else.(Munchin and his wife holding one bar in the exterior vault) There maybe, or not any. A closely held secret with all sovereigns. From information out there from more educated people than me would also disagree withe the results in the link.

Like all else as reported here by B and in the comments, the USA is naked. Exposed to the world as barren, and flailing. And yes, the gold, if not taken by contract, will be taken first off in the next invasion by the barren one. The gold goes first!


Posted by: Taffyboy | May 7 2019 13:10 utc | 44

Hey Donna. Maybe you can stop victimizing us with your anti-comments comments. Thanks.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | May 7 2019 13:27 utc | 45

Haman @33 & Domza @43

You are effectively asking for censorship.

Posted by: ADKC | May 7 2019 13:49 utc | 46

ADKC @49

FYI Haman @38 is actually arguing against censorship.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 7 2019 14:12 utc | 47

integer @45: Israel also supplied a lot of the Iraq WMD "intelligence" ...

That's an important point. Thanks.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 7 2019 14:15 utc | 48

aspnaz @48: Every day the Americans become more like the Jews ...

Everyday Americans are subject to intense propaganda. Zionism and exceptionalism are the binary stars of the Empire.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 7 2019 14:19 utc | 49

Censorship, and especially proposed over-censorship, and ill have "chilling effect".

Many people would stop making comments, as they would see it a probable waste of time and effort.

Posted by: Arioch | May 7 2019 14:30 utc | 50


Now #Canada gain its "reward" for loyal support of #US imperial actions against #Venezuela #Russia #Iran #China and everywhere else ��‍♂️
peter pobjecky - #FreeAssange added,

Imbecile psycho Pompeo says Canadian claim to Northwest Passage is 'illegitimate'"

Posted by: arby | May 7 2019 14:37 utc | 51

Jen @13: Yosemite Sam

Great reference, consistent with a Looney Tunes foreign policy.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 7 2019 14:39 utc | 52

Federico Pieraccini offers us "Nuclear War vs. Belt and Road Initiative: Why China Will Prevail" by contrasting two recent events--the BRI Forum in Beijing versus "The future of US extended deterrence" held at the Brookings Institute stink tank. The aims of the two couldn't be more opposite:

"Beijing aims to create a sustainable system whereby dozens of countries cooperate with each other for the collective benefit of their people....

"The Chinese initiative aims to offer to all the countries involved equal opportunities for development based not on military and/or economic power but on a real capacity to improve the well-being of all parties involved."

Whereas at Brookings,

"On the other side, we see the US discussing the modernization of its nuclear triad, whose only contribution to humanity is its ability to wipe it out, only there to bully and intimidate those not prepared to kowtow to Washington’s diktats."

And such is undertaken for the sole purpose of padding the promoters:

"Anyone who has any experience with such conferences knows that it is often companies linked to the arms industry that fund such events."

One policy aimed at uplifting 3+ billion people versus a policy aimed at benefitting a small number of stockholders of companies that essentially produce nothing of value. The latter has resulted from decades of group-think that is incapable of looking at itself to see that it constitutes the actual existential threat to the Outlaw US Empire, not China, Russia, Iran, or any other nation.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 7 2019 14:45 utc | 53

Jackrabbit @52

In case you haven't already read it, here are a couple of relevant paragraphs from Mearsheimer and Walt's "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy":

Pressure from Israel and the lobby was not the only factor behind the U.S. decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was a critical element. Some Americans believe that this was a "war for oil," but there is hardly any direct evidence to support this claim. Instead, the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure. According to Philip Zelikow, a member of the president's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (2001- 03), executive director of the 9/11 Commission, and now counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the "real threat" from Iraq was not a threat to the United States. The "unstated threat" was the "threat against Israel," Zelikow told a University of Virginia audience in September 2002, noting further that "the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell."

On August 16, 2002, eleven days before Vice President Cheney kicked off the campaign for war with a hard-line speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Washington Post reported that "Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq's Saddam Hussein." By this point, according to Sharon, strategic coordination between Israel and the United States had reached "unprecedented dimensions," and Israeli intelligence officials had given Washington a variety of alarming reports about Iraq's WMD programs. As one retired Israeli general later put it,"Israeli intelligence was a full partner to the picture presented by American and British intelligence regarding Iraq's non-conventional capabilities."

Posted by: integer | May 7 2019 14:48 utc | 54

A lot of people suppose that US gold holdings are maybe not what they’re cracked up to be. I remember years ago Germany and several other countries asked to repatriate their gold holdings in US in what seemed like a bit of distrust that they were indeed still in the vault. How much gold was trucked away from WTC 6 on 9/11? Where did it end up? Was it removed from the total ledger?

Posted by: Jason | May 7 2019 14:58 utc | 55

Gold bars were stolen from Iraq and Libya, presumably by the USA. As the USA promotes unrestrained Capitalism along with balls-out privatization, it is possible that certain well-connected individuals possess tons of gold bars. Perhaps they are holding them for safe keeping.

The USA and its invasive Security Police State has been shaped and molded in the model of Israel. Take off your shoes, wait in line, get x rays, get patted down...Some of the equipment is made in Israel.

Government listens and stores all your phone calls, read and store all your texts and emails, make sure Israel gets copies (maybe gets them first).

These are our "houses, persons, papers and effects" as explained in the 4th amendment.

These are most assuredly NOT secure and not private.

No more habeas corpus, Instead Extraordinary Renditions...

They laugh at us. How easily manipulated.

Half of us really believe that they're well intended and keeping us safe.

Posted by: fastfreddy | May 7 2019 15:21 utc | 56

Yeah Freddy, the effects of the Hegelian dialectic are fuggin astounding. After the crime of the century a mojority of USAns bought into it hook-line and shrinker.
The terrist boogeyman, the need for a police state and the marginalization of those who stray for the established narrative. It doesn't even matter if you mention that the term 'conspiracy theorist' is in common use today due being used to marginalize people questioning the JFK story. At this point consent has been manufactured for just about anything. They only thing holding the parasites back are the destructive ripple effects that would engulf them and damage the host beyond repair.
I'll just chime in and add to the observations re: newbies playing the snowflake victim card in an attempt to get to censor veteran posters here. Y'all have the other 99% of the internet to keep suppressing so buzz off back there and earn your meager pay...?

Posted by: Chevrus | May 7 2019 15:44 utc | 57

@ fastfreddy | May 7, 2019 11:21:40 AM

Gold bars were stolen from Iraq and Libya, presumably by the USA....

Also from ISIS recently in Syria.

Posted by: ex-SA | May 7 2019 15:44 utc | 58

Domza is like Jane. It will continue to reappear as long as it gets attention.

Posted by: Grieved | May 7 2019 16:14 utc | 59

Haman & Jackrabbit

My apologies to Haman, who was clearly advocating against censorship.

Posted by: ADKC | May 7 2019 16:24 utc | 60

Domza @62: ... maybe I, too, don't have time to read the comments.

It's clear that you haven't been reading the comments because if you had been then you'd know that b deletes and bans trolls and makes the occasional comment to clarify/update or rebuke narratives.

He did so just the other day wrt "Jane" who was trying to spread FUD.

On the whole, readers can learn a lot from commenters that provide additional info and from the back and forth of knowledgeable people with differing points of view.

Furthermore, knowledgeable people participate because their POV gets a hearing. That provides a valuable 'reality check' and encourages greater engagement. You're advice to b is to set an arbitrary hurdle that discourages engagement and encourages charges of bias.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 7 2019 16:29 utc | 61

If this comment of mine is #70, and the noise started at #31, there are 16 comments, including this one, related to noise. This means the noise:signal ratio currently stands at 40% of the last 40 comments.

The only way to defeat flame-bait is with non-reaction to it.

Noise is only 23% of the entire thread so far. I don't know what percentage it takes to make the whole thread valueless, but I'm fascinated by our former discussions of gold, Israeli influence on western policy, and Iran ;)

Posted by: Grieved | May 7 2019 16:37 utc | 62

Zero Hedge has a piece up by Paul Craig Roberts mentioning Michael Hudson's research on debt cancellation.

Incidentally, the location of the Sumerian, etc., rulers who declared clean slates is today called Iraq.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 7 2019 17:00 utc | 63

@ Grieved with the request for more discussion about gold, etc

I have two things to add.

1. The world supply of gold continues to grow and has been used for centuries in relation to finance. How much there is held by whom and where it really resides is like my ongoing rhetorical question about why there is not a global reporting of the 500 largest Trust Funds like there are the supposed "richest people" of the world.

2. It is clear to me by the priority given to ownership of gold by China and Russia that they believe it will hold value into the future, either within their societies or also continue to have global value. I walk my talk by having most of what I have in "savings" in the ETN versions of gold because I think holding physical at times of peril has more downsides than up....I have skills and am currencies come and go but gold can carry value through unsettled periods in fiat/other types of, if we totally lose all semblance of rule-of-law, then well......I have numbers on paper that say I "own" something of purported value in "the market".

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 7 2019 17:05 utc | 64

@22 karlof1

Those two fables of the Bear and Dragon by Pepe Escobar were priceless, thank you. I followed your advice and read and enjoyed the earlier piece from 2011, and then his recent update.

One thing I don't recall is what Escobar describes as the US wanting its own Silk Road, under its control. Maybe that's poetic, or maybe there were concrete trading proposals in the pivot to Asia?

Here are some of the lines from Pepe's fable that were the most compelling to me:

A decade is the time it took for the eagle to realise that the political/economic center of a new multipolar world will be Asia.

...the dragon's irreversible ascent back to where it has been for 18 of the past 20 centuries; enthroned as the king of the jungle.

...the bear came to a startling conclusion: we don’t care anymore about what the eagle says – or does.

It hurts, so bad, [for the eagle] to admit that the political/economic center of a new multipolar world will be Asia – actually Eurasia.

Posted by: Grieved | May 7 2019 17:19 utc | 65

Grieved @70--

Agree about the need to reduce signal:noise. Regarding Iran, Khamenei's busy welcoming Ramadan while Zarif lampoons the B-Team and its propaganda enablers:

"The #B_Team is at it again: From announcements of naval movements (that actually occurred last month) to dire warnings about so-called 'Iranian threats'.
If US and clients don't feel safe, it's because they're despised by the people of the region— blaming Iran won’t reverse that."

Former ambassador M. K. Bhadrakumar notes:

"Iraq gets waiver from Trump for importing Iranian oil; Iraq about to award highly lucrative project to ExxonMobil. Baghdad disclaims any linkage! Iran thinks there is. What do you think?"

It's a no brainer! Of course there's a link and to more than the Exxon project. Further down his page, he offers this advice:

"We should emulate Russians and learn to take Bolton as a macabre joke, desperately tearing to insert himself into policies that are way beyond his competence. Bolton senses Russians think poorly of him. Failed coup attempt in Venezuela exposed him badly. Iran will be nemesis."

Shouldn't Pompeo be lumped in with Bolton?

"Russia-US relations must become prerequisite of world peace again--Nebenzya" While I agree with Russia's ambassador to UN, I don't think his memory is quite correct when he says:

"As we stood here listening to both anthems [Immortal Regiment Ceremony at battery Park], it occurred to me that our countries have never been at war with each other. We’ve always been allies."

An excellent anti-Russophobia point to be sure, but who other than the participants and readers of TASS will know what he said?

Meanwhile in the homeland of global chaos, a comedian's becoming one of the top journalists covering events BigLie Media wants to keep uncovered:

"GrayzoneProject journalist @AnyaParampil is inside the Venezuelan embassy in DC right now as violent bigoted right-wing opposition supporters try to take it over, with the help of the Trump administration.

Thanks to @Jimmy_Dore for covering this." [My Emphasis]

Dore has conducted numerous informative interviews that can be seen at his YouTube Channel. His one-man-show easily outperforms BigLie Media.

And I'l, close with this observation by chinahand:

"[T]his whole 'let's outsource censorship to the private sector' thing is apparently a clusterf*ck."

Particularly when the people being misled are those responsible for making policy. How'd that Upton Sinclair saying go again....

Posted by: karlof1 | May 7 2019 17:28 utc | 66

Posted by: karlof1 | May 6, 2019 8:48:26 PM | 22

You clearly have no integrity and have no love for truth. The "standing" committee here constantly rails against any dissenting voice as "trolls", but only a complete idiot (and that is not you) or a propaganda agent would copy and paste such absolute drivel:

"Then there’s Persia – those master chess players. The eagle has been gunning for the Persians ever since they got rid of the eagle’s proconsul, the Shah, in 1979 – and this after the eagle and perfidious Albion had already smashed democracy to place the Shah, who made Saddam look like Gandhi, in power in 1953."

The late Shah of Iran is a _SAINT_ compared to most of the rulers of 20th century.

"Proconsuls". Do the proconsuls of Empire go and buy strategic infrastructure from the Soviets? The Shah of Iran had no choice but to get the Soviets build Iran's Steele Industry.

"Proconsul" "Pro-Israel". There are videos on YouTube that creep Mike Walace pushed him on Israel getting "free oil" from Iran and he said "they can pay for it!".

Your people LOVE YOU ShahanShah Aryamehr. Forever. Rest in Peace Dear until we sweep these Masonic-cum-"Muslim" devils to hell. Where they belong.

@Pft: this simple device for the past 40 years has permitted funneling Iran's wealth to various City of London projects, including China, India and the "Shia Arc" which is basically the Masons controlling all Shia centers of learning and any REAL Ayatollah that objects is subject to sever punishment.

That is the game. Now back to your regularly scheduled rehash of the same lies.

Posted by: Realist | May 7 2019 17:51 utc | 67

Grieved @74--

There once was a time within the USA several decades after the Civil War where some visionaries proposed the same sort of developmental plan as BRI and modeled on the ancient Silk Road. One member of that group was William Gilpin who in 1890 published The Cosmopolitan Railway Compacting and Fusing Together All the World's Continents.

Strategic Culture recently published "How the ‘Real’ America Is in Harmony With the Belt and Road Initiative" whose author talks about Gilpin but muddles his essay such that it prompted me not to share it at MoA, which I still feel is unfortunate. The essay prompted me to follow its links and do additional fact checking. IMO, it would make an excellent discussion piece despite the inevitable attacks it would attract to itself, its author, and the organizations behind him. So, now I've shared it, and we'll see what occurs.

As for Gilpin's ideas, Roosevelt's theft of Panama to build the canal was perhaps inspired by his suggestions. And we shouldn't omit the German's wanting to build a railroad through Turkey down to Mesopotamia/Iran where the oil was then known to be located. Was it the British who injected the chaos to make the entire project impossible at the time as the author posits and the Outlaw US Empire is trying to do to BRI?

Posted by: karlof1 | May 7 2019 18:02 utc | 68

@ psychohistorian | May 7, 2019 1:05:08 PM

I walk my talk by having most of what I have in "savings" in the ETN versions of gold ...

You are holding paper gold?! I could not believe that somebody, as knowledgeable about fiat money and banking as you are, would hold his savings in worthless paper gold!!! You must be aware that those papers are mostly used to short gold, and lover its price, and that there is no chance that they would be worth anything if / when gold reaches its actual, non depressed price.

Posted by: ex-SA | May 7 2019 18:38 utc | 69

psychohistorian @ 73

A little unsolicited advice to use as you please. Please reconsider your use of a gold ETN which has massively more risk in times of turmoil than physical gold. The ETN you "own" likely possesses little or no physical gold backing and is simply a speculation instrument controlled by the cabal in the City of London. The main benefit of gold as an asset is its lack of counter-party risk. Owning an ETN version completely negates that benefit, and in fact, increases it substantially.

Posted by: sad canuck | May 7 2019 18:40 utc | 70

UN experts killers flee from prison

Posted by: Mina | May 7 2019 18:47 utc | 71

In the 1970s "The West" had 40% of global GDP. Now it's 20% and its prosperity depends on exploiting the rest of the world's resources and labour on favourable terms.

Most of the conflicts we see today can be understood as attempts to maintain its 1970s dominance.

Posted by: Keith McClary | May 7 2019 19:11 utc | 72
record breaking 10 year deal
very interesting reads.. oil mans wet dream.
seems the whole thing is staged for the readers and commentators of B's MOA

Posted by: snake | May 7 2019 19:19 utc | 73

@ ex-SA and sad canuck with the advice in ETN gold....thanks

I expected to spark discussion there. While it is not directly about the Iran/empire spinning plate, IMO, it is better discussion than some other commentary

I have researched my ETN options and believe they hold enough real gold to provide a certain level of wealth conservation though it gets dicey when the price goes up quickly.....I hope to get most out before rule-of-law breaks down to buy a house.

I believe that silver is a better metal to hold some physical of and potentially use for economic transactions when in deep shit...think about what you are going to want to buy....not big things and silver has history as money like gold with some intrinsic value

I sold my home in Portland last fall and am renting while I wait for the housing market to settle a bit before I purchase my last house fixer which is a better place for my accumulated wealth than paper anything and precious metals. But while I wait, I refuse to holds US dollars in any manner because it is not if, but when, in my mind that the US dollar bubble pops......YMMV

Let me add that getting my savings out of US Treasuries and into gold ETNs in September of 2008 made me enough money to improve my life significantly at the time and it is still way ahead of anything else I could have done reasonably at the time......everyone has a different story and the strategies that work for them....or failures of which i have had my share.

Skills and community will be more important than "fake money" in hard times, IMO because the former will get you through times without the latter when the latter will not always get you through times without the former.....grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 7 2019 19:22 utc | 74

Let me add that I am against private ownership of property like we have now but play the game because I know man is not an island and I don't want to live on one

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 7 2019 19:34 utc | 75

Pakistani child 'brides' sold to China illegal child market.
Mostly from Christian minorities.

China-Israel collusion?

Posted by: desert cube | May 7 2019 19:37 utc | 76

The French are making noises about pulling out of the nuke deal.
"A French presidential source said the European countries did not yet know precisely what steps Iran was now planning, but they could have to reimpose sanctions on Iran if those steps amount to reneging."
"A second French official later said that if Tehran failed to comply with the deal, the issue would be treated through a dispute mechanism under the accord itself, which could lead to the reimposition of U.N. Security Council sanctions."

From what I can make of resolution 2231, the UNSC must pass a resolution periodical to suspend early resolutions and the associated sanctions. US could veto this at any time. This would leave Russia and China in a tough spot.
"Resolution 2231 (2015) stipulates that the Security Council, within 30 days of receiving a notification by a JCPOA participant State of an issue that the JCPOA participant State believes constitutes significant non-performance of commitments under the JCPOA, shall vote on a draft resolution to continue in effect the terminations of the provisions of previous Security Council resolutions.
Resolution 2231 (2015) further stipulates that if the Security Council does not adopt a resolution to continue in effect the termination of previous resolutions, then effective midnight GMT after the thirtieth day after the notification to the Security Council, all of the provisions of resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), 1835 (2008), 1929 (2010) and 2224 (2015) shall apply in the same manner as they applied before the adoption of resolution 2231 (2015)."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 7 2019 19:40 utc | 77

karlof1 @58 pointed out "The Chinese initiative aims to offer to all the countries involved equal opportunities for development based not on military and/or economic power but on a real capacity to improve the well-being of all parties involved" as observed by Federico Pieraccini.

A true tragedy here is that most Americans cannot even imagine this happening in the real world. After many generations of being programmed to see the world as economic Darwinist dog-eat-dog zero-sum cutthroat competition in order to make them good little (lonely, isolated, alienated, paranoid, terrified) capitalists, the vast majority of the American population would shout "That's a lie! You're a naive sucker if you believe that China doesn't want to rule the world with an iron fist just like we do!"

This is in part why America keeps bloating its military beyond ludicrous levels even though there is nobody in the world threatening the US. Their simple-minded dualist view is be slave master or slave, subjugator or subjugated. There is no room in their worldview for the idea that they could choose to be neither.

Oh, and by the way, Domza is Jane. That is, the personas originated from the same State Department cubical warren.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 7 2019 20:06 utc | 78

@Domza #62

> Editing is editing, not censorship.

Some edit is not censorship, other edit is censorship.

You was calling for removing texts that you consider bad.
Removing bad texts is classic example of censorship and that is what you were calling for.

> But nobody has to tell me what material I publish on my blog

That is funny then how you try to tell B what should and should not be published in his blog in comments sections.

> The idea you have of a "right" that is violated if your material is not taken and published,

I did not say a thing about my "right" here yes, while this idea has some merits.
IOW you seem to be putting YOUR words into MY mouth.

> and which [[my supposed right discussed by Domza]] you then call "chilling" (ouch!)

No, i call it "chilling effect", a well-known term.
Now you cripple that term - to make it less recognizable?

Also i can not grasp how you may call my real or imaginary right - or any other human right - a "chilling effect".
That just makes no sense.

> It is actually an idea imposed by the monopolists .... (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp)

My alleged right to publish in B's blog (if i correctly understood that new concept you brought to discussion) - was "imposed by the monopolists" ? Really?
And your choice of them monopolists here is double funny. Never hadd an account in F and W, and my acc on T is years ago forgotten.

> I suspect that he does not have enough time to edit the comments, and that is understandable.


Now B should start thinking he has a problem that he can not handle himself, and then some tome later some Good Samaritan (with Facebook's payroll in his pocket" would offer B his free services to "edit not censor" comments in his blog.

Because, well, without a good advice from outside B would never be able on his own to detect this problem nor to find trusted proxies to cnesor his blog if he feels like it.

Just LOL

Posted by: Arioch | May 7 2019 20:37 utc | 79

> You're a naive sucker if you believe that China doesn't want to rule the world with an iron fist just like we do!

@William Gruff #87

Funny thing is, that China may be wanting it.
And if not today then some future China, corrupt by being post-USA hegemon, may well develop this desire.
Afterall USA of today and of 1919 were very different countries.

BUT - isn't capitalism about competition?
Wasn't it said, that when some powerful underdog challenges hegemon's positions - customers benefit?

So, USA is monopolist on "international iron fist" market.
China contests their monopoly and - maybe - wants to be next USA.

So what?

We should stimulate competition, and that means we should help underdogs vs monopolists and that means we should help China vs USA.
Even if China does want to become next USA *in future* we still should cheer for China *today* when it is not USA yet.
That is what capitalism is about afterall :-D

Posted by: Arioch | May 7 2019 20:50 utc | 80

Namecalling when you lies and "cunning" twisting of your opponents words were stopped in tracks?


Posted by: Arioch | May 7 2019 20:55 utc | 81

Regarding Realist @79

Realist is a bit insulting and some readers may have skipped over his post. However, the video link that he provides is a clip of an interview with the Shah of Iran from 1975 which is quite surprising. The Shah is clearly angry and belligerent towards the West - it really seems like the Shah is challenging, even threatening, the West and talks about being attacked by the West and how Iran would defend itself - it is worth watching.

What Realist appears to be referring too is a widely held belief that it was America or Britain that wanted the Shah out. What the Shah says in the interview clip provided by Realist would provided sufficient motive for the West. There is a wiki page on the British–Ruhollah Khomeini conspiracy theory.

Posted by: ADKC | May 7 2019 21:18 utc | 82

Yes, Bolton was planning a false flag
2:05 min
I got an email from my own source from Iran last night .......
2:40 min
Let me just read it to you. It says here:
"Hi Steven. I got info that some members of the Iranian opposition group who have been very close to John Bolton - Peoples Mojahedin of Iran - were arrested while trying to purchase speed boats similar to the ones the Iranian Revolutionary Guard uses in the Persian Gulf.
Apparently a false flag operation was underway but not by Americans but by these guys who tried to disturb shit and hope that it would hit the fan.
Apparently the co-ordinations between US and Iranian navies are still ongoing in the Gulf to avoid any mishaps.
The Iranian army is on the highest alert.
Nobody takes a day off for the time being.....

Posted by: anon | May 7 2019 22:04 utc | 83

@93 anon - were arrested while trying to purchase

Speaks rather highly of the intel of whomever was watching them execute this plan. So glad they were "close to Bolton". In this theater, we need all the incompetence we can get.

Posted by: Grieved | May 7 2019 22:40 utc | 84

@83 psychohistorian

Thanks for that explanation. I was bemused until you explained.

Needless to say, be careful with those instruments. I think the ratio of paper nominal to physical actual in gold weight is at least 100 to 1. Any shift even slightly towards mark-to-market could wipe them out, as others comment.

Was it J. Paul Getty who said: "By all means, keep all your eggs in one basket. But watch that basket!"

Posted by: Grieved | May 7 2019 22:46 utc | 85

@92 ADKC

Thanks for the recap. I did indeed skip over that comment - it always amazes me how people think they can engage discussion by insulting the discussants.

The matter of the Shah's leaving and of Khomeini's returning seems shrouded in covert veils. My take is that oil companies were strong forces in this play, and that the western agencies and forces all thought Khomeini would be amenable to their franchise when he took power. They seem to have understood the Shah was losing ground in the country. And Khomeini himself - I surmise - presented an amenable face to them.

But I don't think they understood that a real revolution was going to occur, and that socialism would rule the economy. I suppose they've hated Iran ever since for tricking them into believing this change of regime would be congenial, or at least harmless, to their business as usual.

As Pepe Escobar calls Iran in his fables (up-thread), "Persia the chess player".

Posted by: Grieved | May 7 2019 23:00 utc | 86

William Gruff @87--

As we both know, China has never wanted to rule the world; not 5,000 years ago, nor now. It has had more than enough challenges over millennia to control its own Celestial Empire. As we know, China absorbs then assimilates those who invade and wish to conquer it. China also understands what direction humanity is headed. Thus we find this within the BRI Forum Communique I linked above:

"Such cooperation will be open, green and clean. We embrace open economy and inclusive, non-discriminatory global market. All interested countries are welcome to join in such cooperation. We underline the importance of promoting green development and addressing the challenges of environmental protection and climate change including by enhancing our cooperation to implement the Paris Agreement." [My Emphasis]

The above is further expanded upon thusly:

"17. We will strive to build high-quality, reliable, resilient and sustainable infrastructure. We emphasize that high-quality infrastructure should be viable, affordable, accessible, inclusive and broadly beneficial over its entire life-cycle, contributing to sustainable development of participating countries and the industrialization of developing countries. We welcome developed countries and international investors to invest in connectivity projects in the developing countries. We emphasize the importance of economic, social, fiscal, financial and environmental sustainability of projects, while striking a good balance among economic growth, social progress and environmental protection.

"18. In the interest of sustainability, we support improving cooperation in project preparation and implementation, to promote projects that are investable, bankable, economically viable and environment-friendly. We call on all market players in the Belt and Road cooperation to fulfill their corporate social responsibility and follow the principles of UN Global Compact." [My Emphasis]

The idea is to press for development one time, not over and again as environmental restrictions will limit what can be done in future. What lies beyond BRI development is Steady-State since available resources will be consumed during development while climate change adds its constraints. This is shown thusly:

"23. Determined to protect the planet from degradation, we look forward to a climate resilient future and enhance our cooperation in areas such as environment protection, circular economy, clean energy and energy efficiency, sustainable and integrated water resources management including support to the countries adversely affected by climate change, in line with internationally agreed principles and obligations so as to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions - economic, social and environmental - in a balanced and integrated manner." [My Emphasis]

Indeed, the idea of sustainability is mentioned 20 times. When did the Outlaw US Empire publish anything similar to this communique? Zero-sum Neoliberal madness has no time for sustainability as such a philosophy is designed to consume itself, which is exactly what we're seeing in EU and within the Empire. And as Putin, Xi and their deputies keep hammering their Mantra, more nations will join their project and reject the Empire's.

The UN Charter envisions a peaceful planet populated by peers, a vision defecated upon by its initial founders, USA & UK. But Russia, China and a host of other nations haven't given up on that vision and have created a mechanism to make it reality provided it's not sullied by a couple of punks. With luck, by 2020 the punks will be ousted and their crack houses (swamp) in the process of being purged.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 7 2019 23:03 utc | 87

Jason, 60

For you, download while you can by Jeff Prager.


Posted by: Taffyboy | May 7 2019 23:06 utc | 88

Grieved @95:

"Behold, the fool saith, 'Put not all thine eggs in the one basket' - which is but a matter of saying, 'Scatter your money and your attention'; but the wise man saith, 'Pull all your eggs in the one basket and - WATCH THAT BASKET.' - Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"

― Mark Twain, _Pudd'nhead Wilson

Posted by: John Anthony La Pietra | May 7 2019 23:12 utc | 89

it is interesting how the conversation has morphed into china this and china that... some would like to imagine china and russia as some type of white knight in shining armor to the rescue of the damsel in distress.. personally i don't see it that way.. especially given the private finance set up we are living within, which as pyschohistorian notes, is probably the number one issue that needs to be addressed and which isn't... in the meantime, the place where i live is being bought out by the chinese.. hey, it is a free world apparently and slavery, although it was outlawed some years back, is alive and well thanks the great disparity between rich and poor.. i am not naive enough to think that we can continue with this system and that some are going to ultilize in only the most benevolent of ways..

and, this brings me to the topic at hand... financial sanctions are the first steps towards open war.. if they are unable to bring enough pressure to bear on the intended victim, they will find other ways that help to do so.. ordinarily people would see this as a type of bullying, but the west seems quite content to bully others financially... again - until we all find an alternative to private finance - these types of grave concerns we face will continue... the un charter can say a lot of things, but thinking we can live on a peaceful planet when a small % control most of the wealth is just not real as i see it..

Posted by: james | May 7 2019 23:13 utc | 90

Yesterday I made quite a few searches looking for information about prospects of the US trying something with Iran. I was frankly puzzled to see so little material in the MSM. Today it's the same. I checked the home pages of Reuters, the UK Independent, CNN, and Yahoo News and came up virtually empty again. Possibly there is nothing in the works, despite all the verbal diarrhea by Pompeo and Bolton. But it occurs to me the relative silence could be deliberate. With Iraq there was a very long drumbeat of WMDS/WMDS. With Syria there have been endless stories about Barrel Bombs and Killing His Own People. In the case of Syria there was a pushback where citizens got on their phones to their congresscritters and told them exactly what they thought about the situation.

What if the neocons are trying something different? With no buildup any news story would multiplied by a "blindside" effect. Like Pearl Harbor, for example. Not only would Congress be untroubled beforehand, but it could claim to be equally outraged afterwards.

Just a thought...

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 7 2019 23:23 utc | 91

@77 karlof1

Thanks for those links. I had skimmed that Matthew Ehret article but didn't go deep into it. Now I'll keep it to review at a quiet time. I like Ehret but he is a one-man band I think, and as with all such thinkers, we are dependent on how well he knows his material, and how well he draws his formulas. I have several of his more magisterial essays bookmarked for, perhaps one day.

@75 - yes, I have marveled over Jimmy Dore, as well as Lee Camp and some others. Maybe George Carlin actually set the stage for a world where only the court jesters could dare to tell the truth? They do a great job.

Your Twitter link is from Ben Norton - did you happen to catch him on Renegade Inc, a week or so back? I don't have time to watch much non-transcribed material, but some of these shows have been superb. The host, Ross Ashcroft, is a flawless interviewer. The interview with Norton held not one wasted word, and total clarity - very impressive: Russiagate: The collusion delusion

In the latest show this week, by the way, Ashcroft interviews Michael Hudson about his book.

Posted by: Grieved | May 7 2019 23:27 utc | 92

@99 John Anthony La Pietra

Thank you! A book I never read, and shall have to.

Posted by: Grieved | May 7 2019 23:33 utc | 93

james @100--

FYI, Iran is a major cog in the overall Eurasian project and subscribes to its ideals. Indeed, the best protection for Iran from the Outlaw US Empire is the further development of BRI which allows it to escape the Empire's illegal sanctions. As for private finance, that too will morph by 2100 if not before thanks to BRI.

Humanity's currently going through two different yet related transitional periods: The end of the Unipolar Outlaw US Empire and rise of the UN vision via BRI, and the end of Capitalism due to the environmental Overshoot it caused. With luck, humanity will emerge without having suffered another major--likely existential--war. I don't expect to be around for the transition to Steady-State, but I'm confidant it will occur as it's the only logical outcome if humanity's to survive its excesses.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 7 2019 23:35 utc | 94

Re: vk | May 7, 2019 8:37:44 AM | 42

Sorry, the "8000 tons of [US] gold" was rehypothecated (STOLEN) a long time ago.
We do have plenty of digital zeros we can add to central bank balance sheets, though, lol.

On another note, Paul Craig Roberts is also saying that there will likely be a false flag against Iran, probably with Israel executing the operation. After all, it's God's will, just ask Mike Pence.

Posted by: Perimetr | May 7 2019 23:37 utc | 95

@104 karlof1

I keep trying to leave this thread and get on with other things, but I have to agree with every word of your comment here. I like the finance morph, and agree. Humanity's social organization is indeed still evolving, and I don't think it takes a change in any of the ways of thinking we already possess, simply a sober assessment of what the old capitalism has done to the world.

All of the classical economists expected that growth would give way to eventual steady state economy. Only socialist economies seem to have the structure to call a halt, however. The neoliberal madness of the last 100 years has much to answer for, and much to pay for.

Posted by: Grieved | May 7 2019 23:58 utc | 96

@Taffyboy #98

Requires a "free trial" and credit card information, so effectively not a free download. I don't want my name associated with downloading books of that nature and it should be understandable as to why.

Posted by: KC | May 8 2019 0:08 utc | 97

Grieved 96

US pulled support for the Shah a week or two after the first barrel of oil came through the Trans-Alaska pipeline from Prudhoe Bay. With that, US was virtually self sufficient in oil. Check the charts for US oil consumption vs production at that time. Oil immediately went up in price and as Kissinger and Nixon had kicked off the petro dollar a few years before, everybody needed lots more US dollars.
I believe US also acted against the communists to ensure the clerics came to power. With that, oil prices skyrocketed and the US had a bottomless credit card.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 8 2019 0:11 utc | 98

Peter AU 1, Grieved

I think it was daniel that provided the info about Western support for a Muslim government in Iran to ensure that communists didn't take control of the country.

It sounds plausible but its difficult to know for sure.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 8 2019 0:24 utc | 99

Grieved also look at the charts for US debt. It starts a steep never ending climb from that point.

A US oil production chart here. US oil production had peaked in the early seventies and was on a rapid decline. Prudhoe Bay oil boosted production back up for the next decade or so. say the US was virtually self sufficient in oil in my was comment may have been overstating it a bit.
Oil production chart

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 8 2019 0:38 utc | 100

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