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?

FOREIGN MINISTER ZARIF: My 'B' team. I call--

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

Comments
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Jackrabbit

Kicking off the revolution, I suspect was as simple as the US pulling support for the Shah rather than colluding. As for the clerics gaining dominance over the communists I suspect it was more a matter of US ensuring the clerics received information that helped them rather than the clerics colluding with the US, but as you say, difficult to know for sure what happened.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 8 2019 0:46 utc | 101

karlof1 @97

Yes, we understand that China's motivations are fundamentally different from America's and the rest of the West's. Anyone who has spent significant time in China trying to touch the "heart" of Chinese culture, or carefully studied their history, can see that they are not driven by a pathological need to dominate like westerners are.

But then look at the reaction from james @100. This guy is clearly well above average intelligence. Still he cannot help but interpret China's actions through the lens of western capitalist imperatives. This dogma is ingrained in westerners right down to what we view as possible and impossible, as if it were as fundamental as the Laws of Thermodynamics or something like that.

Consciousness trails behind material conditions. Shifting one's consciousness ahead of changes in material conditions is very difficult and few people even realize that they can try. The consciousness of the Chinese people is years ahead of the West, perhaps even decades. It is hard to say when (or even if... there is always the chance of WWIII setting us back) we will catch up with the Chinese. I have become cynical in my old age and I rather doubt that most westerners can even remotely grasp what the Chinese are attempting to accomplish until after they have made it an established fact. Countries like Iran and Venezuela that are being sanctioned by the US are being driven towards this paradigm shift and if they can navigate the difficult economic times ahead they will end up ahead of the curve.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 8 2019 0:52 utc | 102

It's not about rooting for China or Russia or USA. This is not a game.After demise of Soviet Union, USA thought itself victorious, ruler of the world and filled the world with their bases and started toppling government after government. This obviously has sown chaos around the world. I think we are all rooting for this chaos to stop.

It will only stop with a multipolar world. Where there are a few major players that work together to make sure everyone abides by international laws and conventions and work to progress humankind. We all thought USA was going to be a sole power that does this but it obviously is not happening.

Sadly USA is like a big dowg with a bone who knows can't eat the bone by itself as there are other dogs around but is too stupid and stubborn to share the bone.

We still don't know if with a multipolar world things will be much better but the status quo of USA as king of the world is obviously not working.

Posted by: Comandante | May 8 2019 0:56 utc | 103

My takeaway from the argument about whether the US, or Germany, or any other country actually has gold, is that clearly having gold is not important. Gold is a metal, not needed for industrial societies in any large way. Therefore, the entire global economy carries on, no matter how much gold is stashed wherever it may be.
Oil, on the other hand, (black gold, as they used to call it) IS necessary for all industrial processes, as well as industrial agriculture, transport and war.
That would be why the petrodollar is so powerful, why the US kills to keep it and why any attempt to change the current monetary situation is so difficult.
It also explains almost every US coup, assassination, invasion and intimidation.
It also explains the current death rattles of our over-populated world. As oil becomes more and more scarce, the fight for the last bits will become ever more violent, and the 7 billion people the world has added since fossil fuels started being used to produce food are going to be caught in the crossfire.

Or just starve to death.

Posted by: wagelaborer | May 8 2019 1:15 utc | 104

As for the impassioned calls for censorship on this blog, it seems that the Atlantic Council and ProporNot have little influence on our host, much to their dismay.
How disconcerting for our ruling overlords!
They are reduced to shilling for censorship in the comment section, instead of hauling the proprietor in front of Congress and giving him a proper dressing down, complete with imperial threats if he does not comply.

Posted by: wagelaborer | May 8 2019 1:21 utc | 105

NYT:Pompeo Makes Unscheduled Trip to Iraq to Press U.S. Concerns About Iran

“First of all, we talked to them about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it’s able to adequately protect Americans in their country,” Mr. Pompeo told reporters traveling with him after they had departed Baghdad. The Iraqis had “provided assurances that they understood that was their responsibility,” he said.

Unreal...so now it's Iraq's responsibility to protect the foreigners who invaded their country? Pompeo should be wearing a clown costume as his official uniform.

Appears the US is laying the ground work for a false flag attack that can be blamed on Iran.

VOA:Pompeo Visits Iraq Amid Reports of Iranian Missile Threat

"U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made an unscheduled visit to Iraq, amid growing tensions with Iran after intelligence reports indicated that Iran moved short-range ballistic missiles by boat in waters off its shores."

Pompeo said, "We have continued to see activity that leads us to believe that there's escalation that may be taking place, and so we're taking all the appropriate actions, both from a security perspective as well as our ability to make sure the president has a wide range of options in the event that something should actually take place."

CNN:Pompeo makes unannounced trip to Iraq to discuss tensions with Iran

He (Pompeo) also said that the US "wanted to let them know about the increased threat stream that we had seen and give them a little bit more background on that so they could ensure that they were doing all they could to provide protection for our team."

Increased threat stream is reminiscent of the reported "increased chatter" prior to 9/11. Not good...

Posted by: Zack | May 8 2019 1:22 utc | 106

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 7, 2019 7:23:41 PM | 101
(Pearl Harbor for Iran)

I believe the Iranians when they say that Nuke weapons are against their religion. Assuming it's true then it follows that EVERY OTHER type of weapon is A-OK for Iran's self-defense arsenal.

Given that they seem to have copied and/or reverse-engineered all kinds of weird and wonderful things eg rocket-powered torpedoes (German origin iirc), a US drone they hijacked in Iranian airspace (see MoA article a few years ago), I wouldn't be surprised if they have 2 x wars worth of Stinger lookalikes and an abundance of pretty much everything one can imagine.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 8 2019 1:34 utc | 107

@ wagelaborer | May 7, 2019 9:15:41 PM | 114

That is not entirely true. Gold, after a decades-long hibernation, is back as Tier 1 asset. Check BIS.

Posted by: Hmpf | May 8 2019 1:42 utc | 108


@ wagelaborer #114

Gold is a metal, not needed for industrial societies in any large way. Therefore, the entire global economy carries on, no matter how much gold is stashed wherever it may be. Oil, on the other hand, (black gold, as they used to call it) IS necessary for all industrial processes, as well as industrial agriculture, transport and war.

Regarding gold we are in complete agreement. Change the word "Oil" in the second part to "Energy" and that'll be ok too. Oil is simply a liquid fossil fuel. The world got along just fine before it was first used. Not as wealthy a place, and far fewer people, but if oil had never been in the ground for use, the world would have just taken longer to get to the point where we are now. Today oil and coal and natural gas are killing us. We start wars and destroy nations for them, yet in turn they're destroying the world. That's got to stop, or the world dies.

Getting back to the gold for a moment: if the world does survive it'll be because we have a lot of renewable energy. The way things are going that energy will be inexpensive. The degree to which energy cost declines will definitely affect how much metallic gold becomes available.

$771 Trillion Worth Of Gold Lies Hidden In The Ocean: Good Luck Getting It

Twenty million tons of microscopic bits of gold in the oceans. Getting out even one percent would play hob with current economic systems. That and more will be possible if energy costs keep dropping. Which won't happen so long as the psychopaths keep fighting to maintain their Fossil Fuel monopolies and profits. If they are successful for very much longer, think of your young kids or grandkids and weep.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 8 2019 2:01 utc | 109

Grieved @103: You're welcome -- and thank you for the recommendation @102 of Renegade, Inc.

Posted by: John Anthony La Pietra | May 8 2019 2:14 utc | 110

Zack @11:

Appears the US is laying the ground work for a false flag attack that can be blamed on Iran.

IMO there's a strong possibility that any such ff will occur in Syria (instead of the Gulf, as everyone now expects). That would allow USA to make renewed threats designed to preserve Turkey's control of Idlib - because USA would claim that Assad is complicit for allowing Iranians to remain in the country.

Recall that USA+Israel demanded that Assad eject all Iranian forces in Syria several months ago. Assad refused.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 8 2019 2:24 utc | 111

@ Hoarsewhisperer #117

I believe the Iranians when they say that Nuke weapons are against their religion.

What about Pakistan? That is a 96% Muslim nation, and they have quite a few nuclear weapons. I don't doubt the sincerity of the people who solemnly state what you said, but I strongly suspect opinions about that in Iran aren't universal. Iran was clearly getting itself into position to be ready to make nukes on short notice. Because of the desire of the apartheid Jewish state to remain the only regional nuclear power (as well as its near-total control of the US), that effort was halted. You've got to have many kilograms of the right isotopes to make a nuke, and they don't have any easy way of creating those materials at the moment.

What they do have is endless patience along with the resources of an entire nation. Pakistan is surely a much poorer country than Iran, but they have a nuclear armory. Remember the words of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto:

“We will eat grass, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own (Atom bomb).... We have no other choice!

It's my guess Iran has (at most) only a few nuclear weapons. Two, three, half a dozen - these could have been scooped up when the USSR fell apart. Tens of thousands of nukes plus near total chaos meant lots of buying opportunities.

Today? Iran and North Korea are very tight. NK needs money, and if Iran needs a few more nukes they might get together. All very "iffy" of course, but I'd say if the pissant state ever attacks Iran they'd better not use nuclear weapons.

As for the other weapons, the Iranians have reverse-engineered the ones they believe will be useful. Built them, and in some cases improved on them. Their strategic planners (and bean counters) decided throwing money at a modern air force didn't compute, so they didn't. But their missiles are approaching world-class. If Pompeo and Pence and Bolton maneuver the clueless Trump into a military attack on Iran, it'll be like you and me taking a long pole and whacking away at a hornet nest. Neither is a good idea.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 8 2019 2:29 utc | 112

The world is going to tell the US: "You're Fired!"

So says Dmitry Orlov in his Tuesday, open-to-the-public, column: America, You Are Fired!

Getting to that wonderful punchline, we pass through several phases concerning the political and the economic, but also including gold and oil:

The purchasing power of gold will seem to increase, but that will also be an illusion: it will appear to rise against the backdrop of crashing markets, in real estate and physical plant especially. But overall the purchasing power of gold will drop too, because the future purchasing power of any financial asset is determined by just one thing: energy, fossil fuel energy in particular, and energy from crude oil above all. Without energy, nothing within an economy moves, unless it is an agrarian economy based on fodder and animal muscle power.

Orlov doesn't believe in magic, which is what makes the cold lucidity of his analysis so thrilling.

Personally, I do believe in magic, and I think it informs this situation, but I can't prove it, so although it would make a different story, it will have to remain, for now, another story. And, unless anyone knows better, we are left with Orlov's view.

Posted by: Grieved | May 8 2019 3:40 utc | 113

@ Grieved @ 123 about energy

get profit out of the equation and watch what happens

if we waste 35 % of the food we consume, how much energy (like natural gas ) do we waste.....because profit

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 8 2019 4:01 utc | 114

Twenty million tons of microscopic bits of gold in the oceans.

That brought back fond memories of my pre-teen childhood. An older kid who taught me boxing and 'nasty' ways to win a fight, had a collection of hundreds of comics which I was allowed to use as my personal exchange library.
One of them, Batman or similar ilk, was about an Evil Genius who had built a floating contraption to process sea water and extract the Gold.
The fun aspect was that Gold bricks were cascading onto the deck almost too quickly for the deck-hand to keep the outlet clear...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 8 2019 4:03 utc | 115

@124 psychohistorian

Exactly. Orlov is thinking zero sum, but reality is win-win, anytime anyone wants to harness it. This is the magic.

Thank you very much for reminding us of this. Cooperation beats competition a thousandfold.

Posted by: Grieved | May 8 2019 4:23 utc | 116

Regarding Orlov, I found this at the link site.

Leaving aside various fictional and notional schemes (nuclear fusion, space mirrors, etc.) and focusing just on the technologies that already exist, there is only one way to maintain industrial civilization, and that is nuclear, based on Uranium 235 (which is scarce) and Plutonium 239 produced from Uranium 238 (of which there is enough to last for thousands of years) using fast neutron reactors. If you don’t like this choice, then your other choice is to go completely agrarian, with significantly reduced population densities and no urban centers of any size.

There were other bothersome things in the article, but that was the last straw. If the gentleman was making a free lecture across the street, I doubt if I would bother walking over. He is highly opinionated, and some of those opinions are flat-out wrong

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 8 2019 4:54 utc | 117

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

Others repeated this wisdom and I appreciate all input. I have chosen "precious metals"as the basket and have admitted that gold is one of the eggs. I also have a palladium egg that I like long term because it is more precious and does not have the historical gold karma (that flows both ways....grin)

It is back to the Hopi precepts

Show up
Be Present
Tell the truth
Don't own the outcome

I want to have a discussion in an Open Thread about private property views/values/etc. and apologize to b for following/leading parts of this discussion

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 8 2019 4:59 utc | 118

@ Zachary Smith # 127 with the Orlov pean to nuclear energy.....yuck

It is like some commenters at the bar. You read some along for a while and then they write something that has you thinking, WTF?

I posit that we waste a big percentage and have read that alternatives are making a significant difference but think it is a pissing war at this point like talking about which monotheistic religion doesn't currently abuse "their children".

Since we are already way OT, let me go down that rabbit hole just a bit. I believe that there is safe nuclear production possible but when put in the context of the, as yet to be conceived of, waste management for hundreds of future human generations cost/benefit facts, it does not pencil out except to the profit/control folks that we are on the brink of seeing if they play that nuke card to try and maintain control or show their inhumanity.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 8 2019 5:16 utc | 119

@ all about nuclear, since in title of posting

Another historical concept I have about nuclear bombs is the comparison with gun powder

China knew about gun powder but did not have the culture to consider using it for blowing up things and people.

It is the same way with nuclear. It has been used by the purveyors of the God of Mammon global private finance religion to blow up things and people rather than be used conservatively within a more advanced/less competitive culture for reasons that penciled out for society rather than as a cover/normalization of nuclear use for other that blowing things up and killing people.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 8 2019 5:37 utc | 120

It's official now and it is pretty much what I predicted:

Iran gives JCPOA parties 60 days before reducing further commitments

According to the decision of the Supreme National Security Council, Iran will no longer commit to the restrictions put on storage of enriched uranium and heavy water under the agreement.

The remaining parties to the nuclear deal have been given 60 days to implement their commitments under the JCPOA, particularly those related to the banking and oil sectors. Failure to do so will prompt the Islamic Republic to stop complying with restrictions on the level of uranium enrichment and the modernization of Arak heavy water reactor, the statement says.

“At any given time that our demands are met, we will resume complying with the stopped commitments; otherwise, we will continue to stop implementing the other commitments step by step,” adds the statement by the Supreme National Security Council.

“Iran is ready to continue its consultations with the remaining parties to the JCPOA on all levels,” the statement notes. “However, Iran will respond decisively and immediately to any irresponsible act, such as referring the issue to the UN Security Council or the imposition of more sanctions.”

The statement further stresses that the failure of the JCPOA and any possible consequence will be fully upon the United States and the remaining parties to the nuclear deal.

Posted by: b | May 8 2019 6:05 utc | 121

The goal: A moderately prosperous nation capable of servicing its moderate prosperity over the continuum of time--multiplied by 191: the number of UN members, all to be considered peers. Consider Steady-State as a form of autarky except international commerce remains vibrant. Money is no longer national but an international public utility backed by the wealth of the planet--Bluebacks. Energy use is 100% sourced to the sun. Humanity's at peace with itself and concentrates on tending its home and gaining wisdom instead of wealth. Utopia? I think such a world's closer than many realize. There are only so many paths to try before all choices melt.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 8 2019 6:06 utc | 122

karlof @133: Exactly, we can start any time. Capitalism is founded on scarcity and waste to maintain that scarcity. There is no big money and status in a well-run not-for-private-profit economy-society. Capitalism exists to create the rich.

Re: Saker, Orlov, etc.: Well they are propagandists too, they are interesting not because they are righter than anybody else but because they are tromping of the propaganda taboos here, and thus are refreshing here. They actually show some of the same jingo/chauvinist tendencies we have here (obverse side) and few advanced cultures don't have some of that, and most of them are going to be "primitive".

All of the stuff now poisoning our environment and killing off species was formerly safely stored underground (mostly), and that is where we need to keep it. And of course we wasted boatloads of energy to make a lot of it from raw materials.

T

Posted by: Bemildred | May 8 2019 6:28 utc | 123

Four months until Trump has an operational capacity inventory of tactical nukes (end of september). Recent US utterings make it look as though a false flag event laying the blame on Iran will occur shortly....

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 8 2019 6:31 utc | 124

Regarding nuclear fuels, there is also Thorium. Russia has apparently build a hybrid plant that is using this, see here:

https://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsrussia-develops-a-fission-fusion-hybrid-reactor-6168535

“Russia develops a fission-fusion hybrid reactor

“A new fission-fusion hybrid reactor will be assembled at Russia’s Kurchatov Institute by the end of 2018, Peter Khvostenko, scientific adviser of the Kurchatov complex on thermonuclear energy and plasma technologies, announced on 14 May. The physical start-up of the facility is scheduled for 2020.

The hybrid reactor combines the principles of thermonuclear and nuclear power – essentially a tokamak fusion reactor and a molten salt fission reactor. Neutrons produced in a small tokamak will be used be captured in a molten salt blanket located around tokamak. The facility will use thorium as a fuel, which is cheaper and more abundant than uranium. Moreover, unlike a fusion reactor, a hybrid will not require super high temperatures to generate energy.

...”

All about Thorium here:
https://www-pub.iaea.org/iaeameetings/cn216pn/Thursday/Session10/164-Barthel.pdf

Posted by: Mercurious | May 8 2019 6:42 utc | 125

karlof1
I'm not sure about a utopia. A multi polar world will always have its ups and downs but I think much better than the current US centric world.

Also, keep up with your postings. Your reading covers a lot of ground that I don't always have the time or energy.

On the subject of what China or Russia would be like with the US or its power gone. Russia and China have gone through devastating times. Both lost over 20 million in what we call the second world war. Russia calls the Nazi invasion the great patriotic war, Im not sure what the Chinese call the Japanese invasion of there country.
Although they survived, for both it was devastating. Now in the nuclear age, any war between nuclear powers would be many times worse. MAD. I think both Russia and China realise this and the associated need to move to a more sustainable relationship between great powers. US has never been through this, has never suffered an invasion in its short history, same as the rest of five eyes. I don't recall when Britain was last invaded though I have read of it. Around the tenth century I think. Comes through in culture and thinking.
Anyway, I appreciate your postings on Russia China and elsewhere karlof.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 8 2019 6:49 utc | 126

James

Russia seems to have a depth of people in the Putin Lavrov class.
Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN at a press conference on Venezuela.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXDi3PNOVhY

I have thought about the way countries and their leadership can change over time and if Russia or China would become a problem when the US is taken down. As I said in my comment karlof, both I think realise war and warlike competition between great powers in the nuclear age only lead to mutually assured destruction.
Nazi germany considered itself the exceptional race, US the exceptional country and Israel believe their gods chosen people.
Im not sure that Russia and China considering themselves as exceptional with the right to rule over others is part of there culture.
The Hindutva's (descended from aryans or so they claim) of India believe they are destined to Rule the world. If india ever gets over its class system and becomes a world power, it could cause problems.

But on Russia and China that they may try and take over from the US - that's a possible, maybe, perhaps in the unforeseeable future and will have to be delt with if it arises.
At the moment, the US is the major problem the world world faces.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 8 2019 7:16 utc | 127


Some are discussing Russia and China versus USA, so hopefully this is not off topic. I found the following comment by MEFOBILLS, responding to a Mike Whitney article at Unz Review: “China and Russia: Whoopin' Uncle Sam at His Own Game”

Mike Whitney: “It is this vision of ‘revitalized capitalism’ that Washington sees as its mortal enemy.”

MEFOBILLS responds:

“The author is getting there, but hasn’t crossed the finish line.

Washington adopted FINANCE CAPITALISM after WW2. Or, many put it at 1913 with the election of Woodrow, and passage of progressive era acts, i.e. 16’th, 17’th amendments, Federal Reserve Act, and IRS.

INDUSTRIAL CAPITALISM, was also called the American System. It originated under Henry Carey, then later was taken up by Peshine Smith and Henry Clay. It always works.

Everything that China is doing is exactly the American system, including using state credit channeled into the commons, and build up rail and connectors to markets.

Since people don’t know the difference between types of capitalism we get these sort of incomplete analysis by pundits.

Finance capitalism is corporate banking, emitting private credit into markets. Markets are supposedly “free” and world government is a goal. Politicians come under control through bribes or compromat.

Industrial capitalism puts the state above corporations, and state credit is issued from state banks or the treasury. This new money CHANNELS into industry and the commons, thus making the economy more efficient. The new money also goes on to become savings, so citizens can pool their resources and start up their own companies, rather than going to a private bank for a loan.

Always ask yourself who is the “head” in any hierarchy. Industrial capitalism puts the state at the head, and the money power controlled by the state.

China has five state banks, and can issue as may Yuans as they want, they can tax Yuans out of the money supply, they can channel Yuans to get an effect, they can even erase Yuan debts, as said debt instruments are housed in public banks.

Game set match. The old American system of Henry Clay is winning in China, while the U.S. has adopted the British/Zionist finance capitalist system. Zion is not a good fit for a continental country like the U.S.

State sponsored usury of finance capitalism has fraud embedded as core attributes.

We American’s got punked in 1913. Woodrow Wilson’s girlfriend was the most expensive poon in the history of man.”

Posted by: Tiago | May 8 2019 9:06 utc | 128

@Realist [76]:

Who gives a flying fuck what the Shah was, he was installed without the consent of the people he was imposing his rule over. The reign of Shah was the most aggressive culture warfare ever waged against any country in the recent memory. It goes without saying that Iranians despised him and threw him out as it's their sovereign right to choose the government they like.

You arrogant, exceptional waste of the world shove your ideals whatever hole your hand reach first when it comes to the same rights for others as you demand for yourself. Or maybe this is exactly the ideals are where the understanding between the national and foreign should based on the master and slave ideology.

Your product is a failed one at best and self destructive at worst. It's been 500 years when the white west took over the world, the story has come full circle and now is the time for you to step down and allow others lead the charge. Pay close attention to the event unfolding as the relationship of master and slave might just have the roles inverted.

Good luck with sending us to hell, as if you have any clue what that is ? We are not losing any more battles to the Anglo-Zionists anymore. You can bank on this.

Posted by: Fantome | May 8 2019 9:15 utc | 129

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 8, 2019 3:16:05 AM | 138
(Israelis believe they're God's chosen people)

It's much worse than that.
I posted a link to Gilad Atzmon's Judea Declares War On Obama article in the Gaza thread. He explains it clearly and concisely.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 8 2019 9:34 utc | 130

Tiago @ 139 Good points

Another example would be social security vs taking out a loan.

The first puts a few thousand dollars in a persons checking account from the state. It is wealth and can be used productively to stimulate the economy.

The loan enriches the private bankers as it is payed back with interest.

Or take medicare for all. The state pays for medical care and takes the burden off of businesses who have to offer insurance and individuals who spend much on insurance and can still end up going bankrupt with medical bills.

Or the money can be spent on wars and corporate welfare funneling money to the top 1-10%. The state is involved one way or another.

Posted by: financial matters | May 8 2019 10:39 utc | 131

Zachary Smith says:

If the gentleman was making a free lecture across the street, I doubt if I would bother walking over. He is highly opinionated, and some of those opinions are flat-out wrong

and how so, dude? just because you say so? why not elaborate?

Posted by: john | May 8 2019 11:16 utc | 132

Zachary Smith #20

There is no evidence Trump knows what's going on

That is how he operates. Others do the dirty work and Trump never utters a word. Squeaky clean and guilty as hell. There is no way he does NOT know what is going on. He is the engineer of this shit and his Bolt-on staff do as he asks.

Trump and Kushner are joined at the hip to Bibi who admires Bolt-on and Pompous. THIS is as bad as it gets.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 8 2019 11:21 utc | 133

ADKC @ 92, Grieved @ 96:

Mohammed Reza Pahlavi became Shah in 1941 when his father was deposed by Britain and its allies for wanting to support Nazi Germany. He seems to have been a fairly moderate ruler for the next 10 years. In 1951, Mohammed Mossadegh became Prime Minister and started pushing more populist policies: among them, he nationalised the oil industry. This displeased the British (through the then Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later to become BP) and they egged on the US government and the CIA in particular to overthrow Mossadegh. This was done in 1953 with the use of paid stooges who created a riot that Mossadegh put down severely, discrediting him.

After Mossadegh's overthrow, the Shah began to rule in a more autocratic way. His reign from 1953 to early 1979 was an eccentric combination of forced Westernisation on a mostly rural and illiterate public, repression of dissent through his secret police (known as SAVAK) and a corrupt business culture in which every major business transaction involved giving him or a member of his family a kickback. By 1979, all levels of society including the business class (and a lot of foreigners and a few Western governments as well) were heartily sick of him and glad to see him go into exile.

The US government supported the Shah at least until 1977 when there was a change of government and Jimmy Carter became President. Relations between the US and Iran probably started cooling off then: Carter was keen on supporting human rights, at least publicly if not privately, and being pals with a dictator like the Shah (who probably blamed everyone else for problems that were at least partly his fault) was not good for his image. When the Shah was overthrown and he and his family fled to Egypt and then the US, the US government preferred to look the other way.

The Iranian Revolution took the US government and the CIA completely by surprise. The failure to foresee the Shah's downfall and the forces and groups working towards the demise of his reign, including Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who was despatching cassettes of his speeches to his followers in Iran from his home in Paris, is one of the CIA's biggest failures (the other being the failure to foresee the break-up of the Soviet Union). The CIA had even produced a report on Iran for the Carter government in 1978 in which it concluded that the Shah was secure enough in his position to rule for another decade and the only threat to his rule was the bourgeois Marxist Tudeh party.

Incidentally the US encouraged Iran to begin a nuclear power industry during the Shah's reign, which the current theocratic government under Supreme Leader Khomeini and later Ali Hossein Khamenei inherited.

There seems to be a trend among Western media to support a restoration of the Pahlavi monarchy (which perhaps indicates that the US govt is in favour as well) but whether the Iranian people themselves would support a return to monarchy is another thing. I have seen an online article (I forget the link) that referred to a survey done among Iranians living in the US: only 3% of those surveyed supported restoring the monarchy. One would think that Iranians living in the US would be more favourable to restoring the monarchy than their fellow Iranians back in the homeland. Another problem is that the crown can only be passed from father to son - daughters have never inherited the Peacock throne - and Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's only surviving son (in his late 50s) has only three daughters.

Posted by: Jen | May 8 2019 12:24 utc | 134

Really nice allies...
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48199885

Posted by: Mina | May 8 2019 12:28 utc | 135

Pat Lang reports that he has been told that the USA's "intel" that Iran is planning to attack US assets in the region is sourced entirely from the Israelis.

I read his post as suggesting that the USA has no independent confirmation of that intel i.e. that the Israelis say it is true is good enough for the Tashe and Pompous.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 8 2019 13:45 utc | 136

In a comment one Doumza asked me to edit the comments at this blog, and to delete "nonsense" comments.

The only ones I could find where comments that asked me to edit/delete comments.

I deleted those.

Posted by: b | May 8 2019 13:48 utc | 137

b @141

Let no one say you lack a well-developed sense of humor!!!

Posted by: J Swift | May 8 2019 13:52 utc | 138

@b

:)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 8 2019 14:11 utc | 139

The EU should fight for the JCPOA deal as it is in its interest. - b

There was some hope that Europe would recover a modicum of courage / balls / independence with Trump as Prez., as all the right - minded, leaders and thinkers inclu. EU top dogs, professed to loathe him.

US policies would be opposed! Righteous Resistance!

Faint hope, Realpolitik is what it is. The EU ‘leaders’ tried to up and exploit dislike / hate for Trump, with the most primitive ‘outsider’ lame accusations:

racist, mysogynist, liar, tax-cheat, idiot, rude ... ignorant, geriatric, even rapist, etc.

in their own favor as more *noble* figures, presumably and sometimes explicitly, resembling, or holding in worshipful esteem, the secular Saint Obama.

strategy was:

— rapidly contradicted to ensure their own servitude. Trump had dissed NATO as useless, so NATO became tops, an essential org. heh - the only one afaik who spoke -once- of EU defense against China and the *US* was Macron.

— misused by the Brits to their detriment. The totally ‘mental’ aka delusional British political class flayed the anti-Trump meme to death (see massive demos with blimps in Trump shape..) so when May + Trump discussed the upcoming switch of leaving the EU and GB re-joining the Anglo-World (as was the plan post WW2, now revived, etc.) she was swiftly, crudely rebuffed.

Trump and Melania did not bow or curtsy when they met the Queen.

Britain’s only use to the US was being part of the EU (that is not the only point but an important one.)

Posted by: Noirette | May 8 2019 14:22 utc | 140

Yes, I like b's sense of humor that doesn't come out to play much.

Maybe my Liberace grifter appellation even brought a smile to his face at first reading

I don't read Pat Lang because I don't agree with his view of history and the actors and it seems that is becoming clear to others.....he is a unipolar warmonger in a multipolar world that is deprecating that way of living

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 8 2019 14:30 utc | 141

After sleeping on all the increasingly shrill statements being issued by Bolton & friends designed to amp up pressure and generally beating the war drums against Iran, I woke up with a strange thought this morning. For some time there have been indications that Nuttyahoo is angling toward a summer attack on Lebanon/Hezbollah. The US has been seeing its own influence in Lebanon waning, and of course Bolton wants an excuse for a heavy but "limited" strike on Iran. I say "limited" because I'm sure the actual military planners have been pretty blunt about what an actual full blown war with Iran would look like, and it wouldn't be good. But just as with Venezuela, the neocons tend to believe their own propaganda, and believe that all of their enemies are at the tipping point because of all of their economic warfare, such that military strikes on critical civilian infrastructure is all it would take to induce the population to "throw off the yoke of oppression."

I understand the US already has a tripwire presence in Lebanon, and with all the odd, vague warnings about Iranian proxies and impending attacks, and rumblings of Israeli designs on Lebanon, and the "intel" being overtly Israeli supplied, what if it's all connected? What if the Israelis have convinced the US neocons that they are willing to "take out" Hezbollah, to secure themselves some of that peace and security, and all the US has to do is a lot of the dirty work (provide air support, etc.). Since Hezbollah is probably the most famous "Iranian proxy," the implied threat would be that if Hezbollah in any way tries to defend itself or especially strike back at Israel (which of course they will), Bolton will declare that Iran must be punished for its aggression against beloved Israel, and a massive air and missile strike will be unleashed on Iran, in hopes that it will then just roll over. If Iran tries to close the Straights, then Venezuela will be struck in like manner. Yes, I know it's all demented, but since that pretty much describes every US war plan for the last 20 years, it makes one wonder....

Posted by: J Swift | May 8 2019 14:31 utc | 142

J Swift,

That's a Suez Crisis scenario.

Posted by: lysias | May 8 2019 14:44 utc | 143

142 and 143
I believe that you are both correct.
On the other hand this puts Israel right into the middle of things: if anything should go wrong with the US strategy Israel could be finished. Over run very quickly.
And US strategy has this tendency to lead to results that its authors did not anticipate.
If any country other than the US were involved one would wonder why extraordinary efforts had been made to alienate Turkey and Russia, critical powers in the region.

Posted by: bevin | May 8 2019 15:07 utc | 144

Jen@134

“The Iranian Revolution took the US government and the CIA completely by surprise”

No I don’t think so....

See this https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/10/ayatollah-khomeini-jimmy-carter-administration-iran-revolution

and this https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979PARIS02604_e.html

Posted by: Headache | May 8 2019 15:15 utc | 145

Things are getting uncomfortable with Trump and the investigations of his finances and activities. He needs a war with Iran or Venezuela to boost his popularity.

Posted by: ralphieboy | May 8 2019 15:17 utc | 146

J Swift

Yeah, that makes sense. But I still think helping Turkey to retain Idlib is part of the plan (as per my comment @111). IMO the occupations of Idlib, Golan Heights, and NE Syria are no accident and non-negotiable. Each plays a part in the strategy of dismantling Syria and removing Assad (eventually).

The re-emergence of White Helmets (in Idlib) is also notable.

Removing Hezbollah from Lebanon is certainly another goal but preventing an attack on Idlib may be more pressing at this time.

Still, there are various scenarios where both Lebanon and Syria could be drawn in to the FUKUSI vs. Iran conflict. Examples:

- a terrorist attack on Turkish observation post that is blamed on Hezbollah - which Iran is also held responsible for;

- an attack in Syria that's blamed on Iranian forces followed by another ff attack in Lebanon that's blamed on Hezbollah forces (where the second attack is supposedly done as response to US-Iran tensions).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 8 2019 15:19 utc | 147

@94 karlof1... thanks for your comments and response to my post.. i realize iran is now in china-russia's orb and i do think that is a good thing.. however the usa will continue to act in bad faith as he is prone to do even more so now as we leave the unipolar world it seems imagines for itself.. meanwhile, the utopia that some think is going to replace capitalism - i am not seeing it with china and russia.. although i feel china and russia are moving in the right direction, i still question how capitalism is going to be replaced with something sustainable.. and i would like to echo @126 peter au's comments to you.. the usa has never gone thru what russia or china has.. while it would be nice to think the usa would step back from the brink, they show no signs of it..

@127 peter au.. thanks.. i agree with you.. i just can't see china/russia moving away from the capitalist system and i personally believe private finance- capitalism - is the problem.. first things first perhaps - usa needs to step down.. so far they aren't.. how will this change??

@128 tiago... last line - yes..

@136 yeah, right... the usa is incapable of moving without getting advice from israel it seems..pl is probably correct on that..nothing like having a country like israel to offer up ideas on your next foreign policy escapade... how fitting!

@137 b... lolol!

@142 j swift / 143 lysias / 144 bevin.. that all sounds about right and in keeping with usa foreign policy at this point.. i am reminded of that song the gambler by kenny rogers.. "He said, "If you're gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right
You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when… " - well, maybe the usa isn't that bright after all...

Posted by: james | May 8 2019 15:51 utc | 148

@ psychohistorian #120

According to the book "Gunpowder" by Jack Kelly the Chinese were well on the way to developing cannon. The Europeans learned about the invention when the 'learning' process was well along, but not quite finished. Thus the newcomers avoided the early stages by arriving late in the evolution of gunpowder.

https://preview.tinyurl.com/y3xdqatw

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 8 2019 15:52 utc | 149

Bolton and Pompeo are proof that the US deep state is real. The only explanation of how such corrupt, evil, power mad, opportunists could be in such positions of power over such an extended time period of US history. The truth about the US empire is that it has only one goal. Everything else is propaganda to achieving that goal. Full Spectrum Dominance. That is why Bolton and Pompeo are in power. Those are their marching orders. https://archive.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=45289

Posted by: goldhoarder | May 8 2019 16:01 utc | 150

Trump is indecent, immoral, and completely, totally DEPRAVED. Trump is squeezing the people of Venezuela, he is in the process of squeezing the Iranian people and completely crippling the economy of those hard-working people and he is fuelling funding and participating in the TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF YEMEN. TRUMP IS A ZIONIST BARBARIAN AND HE IS DOING ALL THIS FOR OIL GREED, LUST FOR POWER AND COMPLETE DOMINATION.

Now all you Trump whitewashers cleaning up his effusive global poop can kiss his ass too while you're at it!

Posted by: Circe | May 8 2019 16:04 utc | 151

@ john #132

What I objected to was this: "...there is only one way to maintain industrial civilization, and that is nuclear, based on Uranium 235 (which is scarce) and Plutonium 239..."

That just isn't true. I can't vouch for the numbers at the link but I'm sure they're in the "ballpark".

How much solar would it take to power the U.S.?

There is also wind power. I've seen the vast empty spaces in Wyoming and other northern states. Farmers in other areas would not be averse to putting in some large turbines to supplement their incomes. Renewables require storage, for the sun is gone at night and the wind doesn't always blow. Habits can be changed - my heavy electrical use can be rescheduled for daytime. All this is doable.

Nuclear power may be needed as a "bridge" to renewables, but its use ought to be minimal. It is the most expensive and by far the most dangerous of all energy sources. A successful attack on a nuclear facility will cause unimaginable damage. A similar attack on a wind turbine facility will leave piles of smoking rubble which can be easily removed and replacements installed.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 8 2019 16:10 utc | 152

@146 ralphieboy

You just don't get it do you? You just don't get that taking down Iran by any and all means was the goal from the start MUELLER OR NO MUELLR. Stop putting it on this that and the other! Trump had all the Zionist billionaires lined up behind him to take on this mission. He was Chosen PRECISELY for this mission! This has nothing to do with whatever is going on politically. Yes, it might accelerate the offensive against Iran to create a patriotic rally behind the Presidency but THIS ASSAULT ON IRAN WAS THE MANDATE THAT TRUMP WILLINGLY AND CORRUPTLY ASSUMED FROM THE START.

Trump is the biggest con on America EVER! He is a heavily indebted billionaire who now has every Zionist billionaire and oligarch on his team from Tel Aviv to Wall Street to Moscow routing for him and supporting him. He is the chosen messiah of the 1%!

Posted by: Circe | May 8 2019 16:20 utc | 153

@ Circe #153

You just don't get that taking down Iran by any and all means was the goal from the start MUELLER OR NO MUELLR.

Tell me, do you believe the Butcher of Libya wouldn't be at least as enthusiastic about "taking down Iran" as Bolton and Pompeo?

Would she have waited this long to start?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 8 2019 16:34 utc | 154

b @121--

Zarif issued a very short statement that lacks explanations and seems stated in a matter-of-fact manner:

"'Our friends, Russia and China, have been maintaining very good relations with us in the year since the US pulled out of the JCPOA, though perhaps the level of relations is not as high as we expected,' he said. 'Other JCPOA participants chose not to fulfill any of their obligations.'"

Short but extremely strong condemnation. In another item, Zarif elaborates somewhat:

"'Iran and Russia are two countries that are committed to the JCPOA and showed it in practice. The other countries only make statements without taking any practical measures to implement this deal,' he said. 'We will not implement some items of the agreement, but if the other participants to the deal guarantee us the protection of our interests in compliance with their obligations, we will continue to fulfil the JCPOA.'"

After Zarif's meeting with Lavrov, he tweeted:

"Substantive consultations in Russia. Convergence of views including:

"JCPOA is in critical condition bec of US - and Europe's failure to uphold its obligations. EU/E3 must step up for JCPOA to survive.

"Iran's choice is constructive engagement with credible *and* relevant actors."

So the ball's squarely in the UK, France and Germany's court. They must become "relevant." I only expect to see action from Germany as both May and Macron are basket cases.

Link to vid of Lavrov/Zarif presser

Text of Lavrov's opening remarks prior to meeting with Zarif.

A reminder that today is V-Day!!


Posted by: karlof1 | May 8 2019 16:50 utc | 155

Zachary Smith @152--

At my 122, I advocate "Energy use is 100% sourced to the sun." Wind is powered by the sun as are the physics responsible for climate and weather that provide the water for hydro. Tidal and wave power generation is a tandem affair between sun and moon. And ultimately fossil fuels are also products of the sun. Nuclear is unique in that it's powered by minerals. More than enough energy gets generated by sun to power all of humanity; it just needs to be properly harvested and distributed. The only real impediment is political as the engineering know-how exists, and great strides are being made in the critical area of storage. IMO, the problems associated with nuclear power generation outweigh the benefits except in very specific applications.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 8 2019 17:05 utc | 156

Zachary Smith @ 152

we're talking about modern industrial civilization within the framework of technologies that we know exist. in the ten or fifteen years that i've been reading Orlov's work i've found him to be highly credible. i've yet to see a serious debunking of his thesis.

regarding those renewables, well, it looks like the mainstream is finally getting the bad news.

Posted by: john | May 8 2019 17:21 utc | 157

karlof1 @ 156 says:

IMO, the problems associated with nuclear power generation outweigh the benefits except in very specific applications

in Orlov's latest post he says this in a following comment:

Disposing of nuclear waste safely is a thorny problem, and virtually impossible for post-industrial economies. The only idea that comes to mind is paying the Russians whatever it takes to just take care of it. High-level nuclear waste can be loaded into Russian BN-series reactors, where it can generate a bit of additional energy while decaying a whole lot faster than it otherwise would, becoming safe to bury in just 300 years instead of the usual thousands to millions of years. The holy grail is the closed nuclear cycle, where cheap and plentiful uranium 238 goes in and low-level radioactive waste comes out. The Russians aren't quite there yet, but they are getting close, and they are damned determined to get there

Posted by: john | May 8 2019 17:31 utc | 158

OT - energy

You don't need storage if the sun never sets where you place your solar energy collectors. Geosynchronous orbit comes to mind as an ideal piece of real estate to use for this purpose. Sure, that would cost a significant fraction of one of America's endless wars just to put the infrastructure in place to start building power plants there, but I get this feeling that there must be some country on this planet that isn't afraid of big infrastructure projects.

I know, I know, there are those who would argue "But that wouldn't be competitive with burning cow patties!", but such people are sadly stuck thinking in the capitalist box in which one's enterprise requires quarterly profits to be viable. In fact, though, after the infrastructure to produce power plants in orbit is in place it is very conceivable that per unit marginal costs of such power plants would be competitive with regular terrestrial dinosaur burning power plants and far cheaper than nuke plants.

I just wish I could think of who on Earth might be willing to invest hundreds of $billions on an infrastructure project that won't show returns for a decade...

Posted by: William Gruff | May 8 2019 17:35 utc | 159

William Gruff @159--

The Chinese are doing that very thing via BRI. The intent is to emplace the systems required for Steady-State now while there are still plenty of fossil fuel "slaves."

john @158--

Yes, I was thinking of the Russians and their advanced nuclear engineering, particularly their "portable" nuclear generating plants.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 8 2019 17:55 utc | 160

MH said:
"It wasn't Achaemenids promoting sodomy, pornography, infanticide, feminism and other spiritual evils intended to destroy the family and prevent reproduction."

I am puzzled by the inclusion of feminism as a spiritual evil. It makes me wonder what you (MH) think feminism is?

Posted by: Lorna MacKay | May 8 2019 17:57 utc | 161

@159 William Gruff - you don't need storage if...

Even storage is not the problem. Everyone assumes that electricity has to be stored as electricity. Electricity itself is tricky to store, but heat is relatively easy and cheap to store, and the two energies are quite simply interchangeable.

We already use indirect physical effects to make electricity - using nuclear energy to make steam being the most surreal example that comes to mind. There's a big mirror complex - maybe in Spain? - that heats up a tank filled with heavy oil, whose heat can be stored underground and released through the night to keep the turbines running, or whatever the system is. The point is that the engineering is fairly obvious once you have the political will to proceed.

I like your hints about China. Probably China will do all these things, and show the way to the world, and license the technology.

Posted by: Grieved | May 8 2019 20:44 utc | 162

Headache @ 145:

The information in the links you provided is not really in dispute with what I said @ 134. The CIA had fed the Carter govt information that turned out to be inaccurate. They did fail to foresee that the Shah's position was not secure.

Once they'd got over their surprise at what was actually happening, they realised there was no way to save the Shah and threw their support and weight behind whoever was going to be the next leader - that turned out to be Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. As the cable you linked to says, Khomeini assured the US that the new govt would be non-Communist and would be composed of members the US could trust. At least he kept a part of that promise if not all of it.

BTW one mistake I made @ 134: "Peacock Throne" should have been "Sun Throne". My apologies for the oversight.

Posted by: Jen | May 8 2019 22:57 utc | 163

William Gruff @ 159:

"... I just wish I could think of who on Earth might be willing to invest hundreds of $billions on an infrastructure project that won't show returns for a decade..."

I realise that was a rhetorical statement on your part but in case others didn't quite catch on, Karlof1 already supplied the answer @ 160 but not the infrastructure project.

Posted by: Jen | May 8 2019 23:03 utc | 164

@ Lozion | May 6, 2019 8:36:31 PM | 21 < CV72 in transit Suez now entering Arabian Sea

Posted by: Walter | May 9 2019 13:10 utc | 165

wagelaborer @ 104 wrote:

My takeaway from the argument about whether the US, or Germany, or any other country actually has gold, is that clearly having gold is not important. Gold is a metal, not needed for industrial societies in any large way. Therefore, the entire global economy carries on, no matter how much gold is stashed wherever it may be.

I agree with you, wage l. in many ways. Ex. I have on my hand right now a gold ring - practically the only thing left from a Gran I never met (WW2). I have it because she tried to sell it for food and failed - the Germans had already looted as much as possible and gold was worth nothing, as it was useless - only food, tools, nails, bikes, warm clothes, good shoes, even wood, etc. were worth something.

Yet, the world is strangely enough returning to a partial gold standard. Ex.

.. 2019 will be the first full calendar year that the Basel III rules will be enforced. Gold held in an institution’s vault(s), or held in trust (i.e., monetary gold) now qualifies as “a 0% risk weighting for risk-based capital purposes.” The Bank for International Settlements has posted these reforms on its website. … are now free to add monetary gold to their increased reserve positions, and to treat it in the same as they would cash or AAA-rated government bonds. On January 31 of this year, the World Gold Council revealed that global central banks, in response to the Basel III rule changes and growing political and market uncertainty, added 651 metric tonnes of gold to their reserves in 2018. This is a 50-year record ..

https://bmg-group.com/gold-zero-risk-monetary-asset/

I read another paper (was actually posted by someone on MoA no comments /attention followed) that stated that Nat. Banks can now claim 1/3 of their assets as resting on gold (if they hold it, etc.) an IMF / Intl. bank ruling. Failed to find it in a brief search.

The buying gold spree rests on a change in Int’l banking rules. One mystery from the past remains: Gordon Brown selling off UK gold.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48177767

I am not in finance and not a gold bug (psychohistorian, I couldn’t believe, like others, you hold paper gold) but all this news is extremely important and often left aside in favor of more spectacular ‘war like’ actions, threats by crazy ppl, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | May 9 2019 14:57 utc | 166

Getting nervous about another false-flag coming?

Headline:
Exclusive: U.S. commander says he could send carrier into Strait of Hormuz despite Iran tensions

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-military-exclusive/exclusive-u-s-commander-says-he-could-send-carrier-into-strait-of-hormuz-despite-iran-tensions-idUSKCN1SF2NK

Headline:
Bolton Held "Extremely Rare" Iran Meeting At CIA Headquarters

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-10/bolton-held-extremely-rare-iran-meeting-cia-headquarters

Israel would certainly oblige to put a torpedo or mine into another US ship.


Posted by: librul | May 10 2019 13:08 utc | 167

Still not nervous about the imminent danger of a false-flag?

Headline:
Iran Guards reject U.S. talks, cleric threatens carrier

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-guards/iran-guards-reject-u-s-talks-cleric-threatens-carrier-idUSKCN1SG0PX


DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Friday Tehran would not negotiate with the United States and a senior cleric warned that a U.S. navy fleet could be “destroyed with one missile”, as a U.S aircraft carrier headed toward the Gulf.
...
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday urged Iran’s leadership to sit down and talk with him about giving up their nuclear program and said he could not rule out a military confrontation given the heightened tensions.

Got that? "Iran won't negotiate, it is all their fault, Trump offered to have talkes. And Iran threatened to destroy our fleet".

The US propaganda machine is gassing the sheeple and with an agenda.

Posted by: librul | May 10 2019 16:02 utc | 168

@167 and @168 continued...

More gassing of the sheeple with US neocon propaganda to get them to swallow a false-flag.
Scary stuff, no?
Headline:
U.S. warns merchant ships of possible Iranian attacks in Middle East

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-shipping/u-s-warns-merchant-ships-of-possible-iranian-attacks-in-middle-east-idUSKCN1SG1MX


LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. commercial ships including oil tankers sailing through key Middle East waterways could be targeted by Iran in one of the threats to U.S. interests posed by Tehran, the U.S. Maritime Administration said in an advisory.

Posted by: librul | May 10 2019 16:23 utc | 169

Posted by: librul | May 10, 2019 12:23:38 PM | 169 (& prior)
(US propaganda machine is gassing the sheeple)

Dunno what everyone else thinks but, imo, that's a great meme! :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 10 2019 18:18 utc | 170

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