Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 27, 2019

New York Times Supports False Trump Claims About An "Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program" That Does Not Exist

During a press conference in Japan U.S. President Donald Trump today said (video):

And I’m not looking to hurt Iran at all. I’m looking to have Iran say, “No nuclear weapons.” We have enough problems in this world right now with nuclear weapons. No nuclear weapons for Iran.

And I think we’ll make a deal.

Iran said: "No nuclear weapons." It said that several times. It continues to say that.

Iran does not have the intent to make nuclear weapons. It has no nuclear weapons program.

But Trump may be confused because the U.S. 'paper of the record', the New York Times, recently again began to falsely assert that Iran has such a program.

A May 4 editorial in the Times claimed that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps was running such a nuclear weapons program. After a loud public outrage the Times corrected the editorial. Iran's UN office wrote a letter to the Times which was published on May 6:

In an early version of “Trump Dials Up the Pressure on Iran” (editorial,, May 4), now corrected, you referred to a nuclear weapons program in describing the reach of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The editorial is correct in criticizing the punishing aspects of the Trump administration policy toward Iran — one that has brought only suffering to the Iranian people and one that will not result in any change in Iran’s policies. But it was wrong to refer to a weapons program — a dangerous assertion that could lead to a great misunderstanding among the public.

Unfortunately that did not help. The NYT continues with the "dangerous assertion".

On May 13 the NYT reporters Eric Schmitt and Julian E. Barnes wrote in White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War:

At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said.

One can not accelerate one's car, if one does not have one. The phrase "accelerate work on nuclear weapons" implies that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. It may that the White House falsely claimed that but the authors use the phrase and never debunk it.

A May 14 NYT piece by Helene Cooper and Edward Wong repeats the false claim without pointing out that it is wrong:

The Trump administration is looking at plans to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, The New York Times reported.

Also on May 14 the NYT's editorial cartoon was published under the caption Will Iran Revive Its Nuclear Program? The caption of the orientalist cartoon falsely asserted that Iran had enriched Uranium to weapons grade. And no, Iran does not have a nuclear weapon or a nuclear weapons program in its freezer.


On May 16, after another public outcry, a correction was added to the cartoon:

An earlier version of a caption with this cartoon erroneously attributed a distinction to Iran's nuclear program. Iran has not produced highly enriched uranium.

After this onslaught of false New York Times claims about Iran NYT critic Belen Fernandez asked: Has the New York Times declared war on Iran? She lists other claims made by the Times about Iran that are far from the truth.

Three days later, on May 25, Palko Karasz reported in the New York Times on Iran's reaction to Trump's tiny troop buildup in the Persian Gulf region. Again the obviously false "accelerate" phrase was used:

Under White House plans revised after pressure from hard-liners led by John R. Bolton, the president’s national security adviser, if Iran were to accelerate work on nuclear weapons, defense officials envision sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East.

Iran does not have a nuclear program. It can not "accelerate" one. The U.S. claims that Iran once had such a program but also says that it was ended in 2003. The standard formulation that Reuters uses in its Iran reporting is thereby appropriate:

The United States and the U.N. nuclear watchdog believe Iran had a nuclear weapons program that it abandoned. Tehran denies ever having had one.

On July 1 1968 Iran signed and later ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear-weapon party. Article II of the treaty says:

Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transfer or whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

With that Iran said "No nuclear weapons". Iran also accepted the nuclear safeguards demand in Article III of the treaty in form of routine inspections by the treaty's nuclear watchdog organization IAEA.

Article IV of the NPT gives all non-nuclear-weapon state parties like Iran the "inalienable right" to "develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination." After signing the NPT Iran launched several civil nuclear projects. These started under the Shah in 1970s and continued after the 1979 revolution in Iran.


Ever since the Iranian revolution the U.S. expressed explicit hostility to the Islamic Republic of Iran. It instigated the President Saddam Hussein of Iraq to launch a war against the Islamic Republic and actively supported him throughout. It attempted and continues to attempt to hobble Iran's development, nuclear and non-nuclear, by all possible means.

Under U.S. President George W. Bush the U.S. government claimed that Iran had a nuclear weapons program. The Islamic Republic Iran rejected that claim and in 2004 signed the Additional Protocol to the NPT which allows the IAEA to do more rigorous, short-notice inspections at declared and undeclared nuclear facilities to look for secret nuclear activities.

With that the Islamic Republic of Iran said: "No nuclear weapons".

In a 2006 New York Times op-ed Javid Zarif, then the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, wrote:

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic, has issued a decree against the development, production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons.

With that Iran's highest political and religious leader said: "No nuclear weapons".

Not only did Iran sign the NPT and its Additional Protocol but its political leadership outright rejects the development and ownership of nuclear weapons.

Zarif also pointed out that the IAEA found that Iran had missed to declare some nuclear activities but also confirmed that it never had the nuclear weapons program the Bush administration claimed it had:

In November 2003, for example, the agency confirmed that "to date, there is no evidence that the previously undeclared nuclear material and activities were related to a nuclear weapons program."

During the "previously undeclared nuclear material and activities" which the IAEA investigated, some Iranian scientists worked on a 'plan for a plan' towards nuclear weapons. They seem to have discussed what steps Iran would have to take, what materials, and what kind of organization it would need to launch a nuclear weapons program. The work was not officially sanctioned and no actual nuclear weapons program was ever launched. It is believed that the Iranian scientists worked on a 'plan for a plan' because they were concerned that Iran's then arch enemy Saddam Hussein, who had bombarded Iranian cities with chemical weapons, was working towards nuclear weapons. In 2003, after the U.S. invaded Iraq, that concern proved to be unfounded and the 'plan for a plan' project was shut down.

In December 2007 all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed the shut down:

A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.
[T]he new [National Intelligence Estimate] declares with “high confidence” that a military-run Iranian program intended to transform that raw material into a nuclear weapon has been shut down since 2003, and also says with high confidence that the halt “was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure.”

The National Intelligence Estimate ended efforts by the Bush administration to threaten Iran with war. But the U.S. government, under Bush and then under President Obama, continued its effort to deny Iran its "inalienable right" to civil nuclear programs.

Obama waged a campaign of ever increasing sanctions on Iran. But the country did not give in. It countered by accelerating its civil nuclear programs. It enriched more Uranium to civil use levels and developed more efficiant enrichment centrifuges. It was the Obama administration that finally gave up on its escalatory course. It conceded that Iran has the "inalienable right" to run its civil nuclear programs including Uranium enrichment. It was this concession, not the sanctions, that brought Iran to the table for talks about its nuclear programs.

The result of those talks was the The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted on July 20, 2015.

The JCPOA gives the IAEA additional tools to inspect facilities in Iran. It restricts Iran's civil nuclear program to certain limits which will terminate in October 2025. The JCPOA also reaffirms that Iran has full rights under the NPT. The IAEA since regularly inspects facilities in Iran and consistently reaffirms in its reports that Iran has no nuclear weapons program.

The Trump administrations hostility to Iran has nothing to do with anything nuclear. The U.S. wants hegemony over the Persian Gulf region. Iran rejects such imperial desires. The U.S. wants to control the flow of hydrocarbon resources to its competitors, primarily China. Iran does not allow such controls over its exports. The U.S. wants that all hydrocarbon sales are made in U.S. dollars. Iran demands payments in other currencies. Israel, which has significant influence within the Trump administration, uses claims of a non existing Iranian nuclear weapons program to manipulate the U.S. public and to divert from its racist apartheid policies in Palestine.

Trump's talk - "I’m looking to have Iran say, “No nuclear weapons.”" - is simply bullshit. Iran said so several times and continues to say so. But Trump obviously believes that he can get away with making such idiotic claims.

The New York Times proves him right. It is again slipping into the role that it played during the propaganda run-up to the war on Iraq in 2002/2003. False claims made by members of the Bush administration about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were reported by the Times as true, even while diligent reporters at other outlets debunked those claims again and again. The Times later apologized and fired Judith Miller, one of its reporters who wrote several of the pieces that supported the false claims.

But it was never a problem of one reporter who channeled false claims by anonymous administration officials into her reports. It was the editorial decision by the Times, taken long before the war on Iraq began, to use its power to support such a war. That editorial decision made it possible that those false claims appeared in the paper.

This month alone one NYT editorial, one editorial cartoon and at least five reporters in three pieces published in the New York Times made false claims about an Iranian nuclear weapons program that, as all the relevant official institutions confirm, does not exist. This does not happen by chance.

It it is now obvious that the Times again decided to support false claims by an administration that is pushing the U.S. towards another war in the Middle East.

Posted by b on May 27, 2019 at 19:46 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Wake me if any of the 'progressive' Democrat candidates write to the NYT condeming its lies. I expect Tulsi Gabbard will speak about it but wont hold my breath waiting for the others to join up and write a condemnation.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 27 2019 20:08 utc | 1

There is not a doubt in my mind that if we (USA) do attack Iran, and they somehow sink one of our carriers, there would be a huge public outcry in USA to nuke Iran. Not for any tactical or strategic reason, but just to punish them for defending themselves in such a cheeky manner.

Posted by: Aging Boomer | May 27 2019 20:15 utc | 2

Of course Iran is being asked to prove a negative. The reality is that they can say they don't have any nuclear weapons ad infinitum but Israel will never believe them. Hence the emphasis on banning long range delivery missiles.

Posted by: dh | May 27 2019 20:21 utc | 3

NYT, a fake news organization reporting fake news about fake news. Problem being: The (educated) neoliberal idiots buy every word as it is good for their warmonger portfolio.

Posted by: ger | May 27 2019 20:23 utc | 4

Depends on how you define nuclear. There have been some recent advances in plasma physics which could be considered nuclear, and Iran is a leader in this area. However, it's application so far seems to be defensive. But what you want to remember is that a lot of people are saying Tesla caused the Tungusta explosion in Russia in 1908 when trying to signal Perry exploring the north pole. This Tesla stuff opens up a can of worms DARPA can't swallow.

Posted by: Jim G | May 27 2019 20:27 utc | 5

@1 uncle tungsten... Actually Bernie did pretty well here.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: "Recently I have been criticized a bit because of my opposition to war, and my belief that we have to do everything possible to solve international conflicts without going to war. So let me be very clear, I make no apologies to anybody.

When I was a young man, before I was elected to anything, I opposed the war in Vietnam. And I know what that war did to my generation. When I was a member of the House, I helped lead the effort against the war in Iraq, because I knew that Cheney and Bush and these other folks were lying about weapons of mass destruction...

And that war, that vote, was the worst foreign policy blunder in the modern history of the United States. And as a senator, I am proud that I helped for the first time in 45 years to utilize the War Powers Act to get the United States out of an unauthorized war in Yemen. Unfortunately, after passing in the House and the Senate, President Trump vetoed the legislation.

And I'll tell you something right now, I'm going to do everything that I can to prevent a war with Iran. Because if you think the war in Iraq was a disaster, my guess is that the war in Iran would be even worse. So let's work together to prevent that war and people want to criticize me for that? I don't apologize to anybody."

Posted by: goldhoarder | May 27 2019 20:27 utc | 6

@ Aging Boomer. If the U.S. does use any type of Nuclear weapons against Iran, Russia would consider this action an attack on itself and would retaliate with a response using all of it’s Nuclear capacity on the aggressor. This has been bluntly stated by President Putin on several occasions and was probably said to Secretary of State Pompeo on his recent visit to Russia. Since the new generation of delivery systems developed by Russia completely negate any defense system the U.S.A. has only someone of mind bending stupidity would even consider it.
There is also another aspect rarely mentioned. For any military action against Iran to have a remote chance of success, the U.S.A. would have to pull ships, aircraft and troops from many other places they are stationed around the world. Which would mean that China for instance, could walk into Taiwan and remove all traces of U.S. interference.
For all the huffing and puffing that the U.S. administration is making, that alone is too great a strategic loss against China to risk.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | May 27 2019 20:35 utc | 7 The TG solution. to Iran..
Human rights supersede states rights.. it seems humans every where are on the march toward that change.

Posted by: snake | May 27 2019 20:39 utc | 8

So how do you give a speeding ticket to the driver of an imaginary car? You construct the vehicle in the Bernaysian consent factory. No one will question the casus belli once the missiles start flying. It will become conveniently superseded by the onrush of more pressing events such as existential cessation. So we're debating a historical footnote 'in advance'.

Anyone who thought a 73-year-old developer was going to quash the MilIndustComplex (arguably the most sprawling and malignant organization ever devised by man) in a fortnight can slip into their TDS default pathology with guiltless pleasure.

I choose to remain a guarded optimist because what's the alternative? Trump is "vexing and exhausting" (a Crooke term I like) Bolton who has cooperated handsomely by making a complete farce of himself in Venezuela. If VZ was a beta test for Bolton's ultimate foray into Iran, then his abject failure is a matter of global record. The whole debacle has looked like the Mouse That Roared in reverse. This strengthens Trump's hand --and Trump's looking to have his hand strengthened.

There are 3 forecast models that have Trump winning in 2020 (courtesy of NYT, though I've run out of free peeks):

Ray Fair, a professor at Yale, "found that the growth rates of gross domestic product and inflation have been the two most important economic predictors — but he also found that incumbency was also an important determinant of presidential election outcomes."

"Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, has looked at 12 models, and Mr. Trump wins in all of them."

"Donald Luskin of Trend Macrolytics has reached the same conclusion in his examination of the Electoral College."

Trump is neither geo-politician nor militarist. He wants WW3 like he wants a hole in his head. We will learn soon the tensile strength of the Adelson leash or the existence of the compromising photos (Why didn't Mueller surface them?). The other danger is that an Iranian proxy (or even Israel) will sense the receding high-water mark for a substantial re-jiggering of the ME and 'fall forward' into a conflict that would deprive Trump of his role as initiator.

Rest assured, there are back-channel discussions between the US and Iran. Neither prime actor wants a war. But in this asynchronous world, opportunistic bit players sit at the table too. The effects of tier-2 players can be wildly incommensurate to their formal power. The next war will start with an orchestrated whimper and end with the biggest bang.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | May 27 2019 20:48 utc | 9

With all due respect, all this nonsense about nuclear weapons & ballistic missiles is nothing more than the pursuit of "Lebensraum" for a particular, illegal settler entity, and ultimately the continued subjugation of humanity... until Someone stronger puts a stop to it.

With that said, I have nothing but deep respect & admiration for this site, b's work & the regulars here.

And Circe, stay strong are on my heart & in my prayers

Posted by: xLemming | May 27 2019 20:49 utc | 10

@ Beibdnn #8

" If the U.S. does use any type of Nuclear weapons against Iran, Russia would consider this action an attack on itself and would retaliate with a response using all of it’s Nuclear capacity on the aggressor."

Cannot locate this,,, do you have a link?

Posted by: ken | May 27 2019 20:51 utc | 11

Your arguments are well reasoned, and I certainly hope that you are correct. However, the narrative from the news media, and worse, the response from people I meet to this mis-information, reminds me of what I have read about the run up to the Spanish American War.

Posted by: Aging Boomer | May 27 2019 20:58 utc | 12

ken @12: here you go:

Putin vows instant retaliation against any nuclear attack on Russia or its allies
-- March 12st, 2018


Posted by: Bemildred | May 27 2019 21:07 utc | 13

thanks b... the nyt and whole political establishment has been bought and paid for by israel and the military industrial complex...until that changes, nothing much is going to change.. lies, lies and more lies...

Posted by: james | May 27 2019 21:10 utc | 14

If Iran is NOT actively trying to acquire a nuclear deterrence, they are complete idiots, not worthy to govern over 80 million people, whose security it is their job to guarantee against the Zionist cuthroats to their East that do have them.

Posted by: bjd | May 27 2019 21:35 utc | 15

Make that WEST. Sorry for the stumbling.

Posted by: bjd | May 27 2019 21:42 utc | 16

@goldhoarder: Thanks, this gives me a little more hope on this issue. His stand on this issue will likely influence dozens of millions of young left leaning Americans. My fear was that if he act like on Syria, falling in line with the pro war narrative, this could totally earase the last relevant dissent to the war on Iran train and hype.
Though i still have to wrap my head around how the millenial generation here in Germany just brought the green party a suprise victory in the EU vote, with all their pro NATO, neoliberal and empty pseudo newspeak.
The new left.. Haha.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | May 27 2019 21:49 utc | 17

The BS on Iran has no limits. For years the USG and its MSM lackeys have repeated the claim that Iran is the world's prime sponsor of terrorism, with nothing to support the claim in any of the reports published by the USG itself.
>The 2018 Global Terrorism Index here mentions many countries, but there is not one mention of Iran.
>US National Counterterrorism Center's (NCTC) Counter Terrorism Guide here covers terrorism groups in many countries but there is no mention of Iran.
>The FBI most wanted terrorist list 2018 here includes 28 terrorists, and while there are several Americans on the list there are no Iranians.
>The 34-page National Strategy for Counterterrorism of the United States of America, October 2018, signed by President Trump, repeats the Iran BS with no terrorism particulars after pages of chronicling the misdeeds of ISIS and al-Qaeda, neither of which are supported by Iran.

Iran remains the most prominent state sponsor of terrorism, supporting militant and terrorist groups across the Middle East and cultivating a network of operatives that pose a threat in the United States and globally. . .Hizbollah . . .IRGC . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 27 2019 21:58 utc | 18

Such patent nonsense. Sanders is a warmonger who never met a Pentagon pork bill he didn't like. He is what Chris Hedges called a sheep-herder. He caucuses with the Dems and folds at the appropriate time. His job over the years has been to dissipate true reformist energies and help fold them into the 'move to the corporatist center'

This is such old ground:

Remember, Trump was REBUKED by the Senate (68-23) when he sought to test the (receded) parameters of his Madisonian prerogatives by ordering the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Syria. The vote would have been more lop-sided except the Quigley Uniparty did not require piling on from the Democratic Presidential contenders. Why stain them unnecessarily with hegemonic affinities when their votes weren't required?

Trump couldn't bring the troops home that Sanders (and Clinton, Biden, McConnell, et al) ordered there in the first place. Put that in your TDS pipe and smoke it.

So, we are left with the positive opportunity cost of a world war that FAILED to ignite over the last 30 months (hopefully you took advantage of the paucity of incoming missiles to spend quality time with your families). This feature of history should be balanced against the prospect of a Clinton victory where the Putin = Hitler equivalency was being systematically inculcated into the national consciousness as early as 2014. Sanders would have put up only marginally more resistance than Cankles. Of course rumors of wars have been off-the-scale. However rumors, no matter how rife, never blow anybody up. I can live with rumors 'cause rumors let me live.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | May 27 2019 22:16 utc | 19

More war news?

US aggression and extreme bullying of China has caused their government to release a statement in their main English-language paper. We should all read it and Americans should make it clear to their governments and their media that there are many who do not support war and confrontation with China. The article notes, accurately, that attempting to stop the development of China and the US in order to stoke hostility is an evil pollicy that violates political morality

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | May 27 2019 22:30 utc | 20

Interesting that all three articles use the same phrase: "to accelerate work on nuclear weapons"

Obviously an editorial directive from the NYT board, as it is beyond coincidence that all the writers would independently arrive at that turn of phrase.

The question then arises: who instructed the editorial board that This Is The Phrase To Be Used.

Did the board come up with this idea amongst itself?
Did the owners tell the board that this is the line?
Did the Trump Administration issue the instruction?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 27 2019 22:36 utc | 21

Bemildred #14

Yes I saw that, but I do not think Iran and Russia have a legally binding defense document . That said,,, Russia surely could if it wanted to.

Posted by: ken | May 27 2019 22:36 utc | 22

One thing Trump and NYTimes have in common......obedience to Israel.

Posted by: WJ | May 27 2019 22:40 utc | 23

Does anybody know whether or not The New York Propaganda Crimes newspaper is actually being run by algorithms and programs on ageing computers where the CTRL and V buttons have been jammed on permanent repeat?

If indeed the NYT has been condemned to repeat its lies over and over in that way, I'm glad I stopped reading The Sydney Morning Herald because its entire foreign news section is the NYT on repeat-rinse cycle.

Posted by: Jen | May 27 2019 22:42 utc | 24

b provides good info here but what will come of it?

The warmongers make the case for war in a very methodical way. Anti-war activists are not nearly as effective. Yes, the asshats have MSM, but anti-war activists need to up their game in terms of messaging.

To criticism NYTimes spin or a specific government action is not enough. The public is just too propagandized, too gullible, and too short-sighted.

IMO to break-thru the spin requires making it clear that the same bad actors are up their old tricks - tricks which have already cost us dearly and threaten us much more than any foreign adversary.

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

The narrative that it's all Trump's fault or worse: Trump's advisor's fault is particularly damaging to the anti-war effort. It subsumes the anti-war effort within the sphere of partisan politics AND allows the Deep State-neocon asshats to start fresh with every new President.

The fact is, Trump is merely a symptom. He's a willing member of the BI-PARTISAN team that is taking us toward war. Until we see that and effectively address it, the malign Deep State-neocon cancer will recur again and again.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 27 2019 23:02 utc | 25

@ # 10 > " The next war will start with an orchestrated whimper and end with the biggest bang."

Probably. One does assume that Trumpster and Co could be stampeded by a "Liberty" routine 2.0 - particularly if the "Iranians" used a nuclear explosive on a US ship...

I mean, that would "prove" they had a program, right? Well, to the kinna fella he is, uneducated, surrounded...yeah.

See> BBC Documentary on the USS Liberty:
"Dead in the Water" on youtube and whatreallyhappened...

Posted by: Walter | May 27 2019 23:19 utc | 26

Most of us know that when it comes to any issue related to the Outlaw US Empire's military and imperial policy that the NY Times is going to prevaricate and cannot be trusted to be truthful--ever. The righteous indignation b intones could be published and broadcast globally, but I doubt that would be enough to change the Times's behavior for it's the essential Bull Shit purveyor of what are supposedly intelligence services of the Outlaw US Empire. Sure, it's good to rant, as I'm doing, but that will change nothing, although it will tell Iran that it has people on its side within the Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2019 23:23 utc | 27

What a coincidence! Alastair Crooke's weekly article is on the topic b chose, "Bolton’s Trap: Iran Cast as a Nuclear Threat, Diverting us from his Occulted Project" which tells us where the NY Times continuous lies are ordered from--Pompeo & Bolton:

"John Bolton has activated his ‘trap’, which inevitably will lead to ratchetting tensions between Iran and the US: He has inverted the paradigm from that of the ‘Greater Israel’ (the Deal of the Century) project requiring the blunting of Iranian opposition, to that of the ‘threat’ of potential Iranian nuclear ‘break out capacity’ – as Iran is effectively forced to accumulate enriched uranium (even at 3.67%).

"Precisely by withdrawing US ‘waivers’ permitting Iran to stay within the JCPOA strict limits on Iran’s holding of uranium and heavy water (from Arak), by sanctioning the export of any Iranian surplus (a JCPOA obligation), Pompeo and Bolton made a default inevitable – and intentional. And with the prospect of Iranian default (and Iran’s response of threatening to go to higher levels of enrichment), Trump’s team have rewritten ‘the story’ as one of Iran grasping after nuclear weaponization." [My Emphasis]

And here's something I never heard of before that I'm sure is shared by most:

"Why does this serve Pompeo and Bolton’s aim to drive Iran into the corner? To understand this, we have to reach back to Rand Corporation’s Albert Wohlstetter’s seminal policy doctrine (in 1958) — that there is, and can be, no material difference between peaceful and weapons enrichment of uranium. Wohlstetter said that the processes for both were identical, and therefore to halt proliferation, (untrustworthy) states such as Iran must not be allowed any enrichment: i.e. no nuclear programme at all.

"This Wohlstetter ‘doctrine’ underlay all the heated arguments leading up to the JCPOA." [Emphasis Original]

It was a "bad deal" because enrichment was allowed--period. Given that's TrumpCo's bottom line, no deal will ever be reached with Iran. If the NY Times were an honest publication, it would write an article similar to Crooke's, detailing why TrumpCo are so avid about confronting Iran. There's much more to Crooke's article that everyone ought to read and share it for and wide for it tells why the NY Times lies about Iran.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2019 23:45 utc | 28

karlof1.. crooke --in a nutshell... this is what israel wants, and what israel wants, bolton/pomass and the rest of the lot of them are only too happy to comply with.. it is hard to imagine how they live with themselves, but i guess washing your hands on sunday is good enough for the lot of them, so they can get on with the dirty business of living the other 6.99 days of the week as always...

Posted by: james | May 27 2019 23:57 utc | 29

Personally, I would love it if Russia and China came riding to the rescue of Iran if the US was crazed enough to launch a full scale assault on Iran. However, I have strong doubts that either Russia or China would risk World War III with the US over Iran, especially since Iran on its own would probably be able to bleed the US empire into a full scale collapse (note that this would still result in millions of Iranian deaths). From watching the mass hysteria sweeping the US media and government, I'm beginning to believe that the big league crazies in the US government (Bolton, Pence, Pompeo among others) are recognizing that the US empire is winding down and that "now" might be their last, best chance to overthrow the Iranian government, impose a loyal US puppet government, re-establish US control over the Middle East and destroy one of the main transit routes for China's Belt and road initiative. If so, we can expect things to get more unstable from now till the 2022 mid-terms (unlike others I think if Trump wins reelection he may no longer feel the need to avoid breaking his "no new stupid wars pledge" and will sign off on the new war as a reward for his neo-con and pro-Israel supporters

Posted by: Kadath | May 27 2019 23:58 utc | 30

@ Walter | May 27, 2019 7:19:13 PM #27

See> BBC Documentary on the USS Liberty: "Dead in the Water" on youtube and whatreallyhappened...

People who watch this BBC show ought to have their BS detectors turned to the highest levels. IMO it contains some of the slickest propaganda for the apartheid Jewish state I've ever seen.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 28 2019 0:15 utc | 31

Kadath @31--

Please read the Crooke article I linked to and my additional comment on the latest open thread and perhaps you'll see reasons why the must come to Iran's aid to deter the project Crooke describes.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 28 2019 0:17 utc | 32

> Remember, Trump was REBUKED by the Senate (68-23)

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | May 27, 2019 6:16:52 PM | 20

What voting exactly u refer?
And why Commander In Chief can not just move military units at his whim, when there is no war that Senate declared at other nation?

> prospect of a Clinton victory where the Putin = Hitler equivalency

You may add that Killary overtly promised to start war with Russia as soon as she is elected.

She framed it as enforcing no fly zone in Syria, which means direct attack at Russian military jets in Syria.

Well, Georgia already tried to attack Russian military installation, which kickstarted the 08/08/08 war....

Posted by: Arioch | May 28 2019 0:18 utc | 33

Same old lies, different time, and probably no counter narrative anywhere on MSM, where the bulk of the people get their "news".

We'll see how "progressive" some of our new reps. really are.

Posted by: ben | May 28 2019 0:23 utc | 34

re.. Jack Rabbit @ 26

Posted by: snake | May 28 2019 0:29 utc | 35

@ karlof1 | May 27, 2019 7:45:43 PM #29

It was a "bad deal" because enrichment was allowed--period.

This is a good argument to use with the likes of Trump. His understanding of nuclear matters likely approaches that of a bright Eighth-grader, and an "All" or "Nothing" approach is something even Trump can understand.

If the NY Times were an honest publication...

That's mindful of some of the "redneck" sayings:

If brains were leather, he wouldn't have enough to saddle a mouse.

Any truthful articles from the NYT will probably include no coverage of either the Deep State or the apartheid Jewish state.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 28 2019 0:31 utc | 36

Somewhere in my hazy past I remember reading about the Iran-Iraq War. It was said that 1,000,000 Iranian civilians made THEIR OWN way to the front to defend Iran. I say Good Luck if you think you can conquer that.

Posted by: viking3 | May 28 2019 0:33 utc | 37

Not off-topic but a little on the fringe - one thing I don't fully understand about the scribblers in today's MSM is how they use the identical phrases for their talking points.

Even getting your talking points to include "accelerate nuclear program", why wouldn't any halfway decent hack writer change this to "speed up the program for nuclear" or "accelerate the timetable"...etc? It doesn't take much to recast a sentence. In fact, rewriting is not that hard, and plenty of commercial writers get paid modest amounts to do this all the time.

So why don't the MSM hacks change the language? Don't they know it's being identified as duplicative?

Is it because they are so sold out and under the thumb that they dare not allow any creative instincts to arise in their copy? Or have they tried that and been corrected, because, as with any marketing campaign, the tagline needs to be repeated exactly, over and again, in order to become ingrained as truth?

I suppose the latter, but either way, the degree of compromise and diminished ability in these writers is remarkable. One really does wonder what they think and how they justify this slavish word-smithing in their own minds.

The stunning fact is that someone has told them to use a certain literal phrase and they have followed this order, literally to the letter.


ps..I know this is all obvious and we know it already, but I wanted to review it as a writer myself, to see how these phrases come about. Tightly specific instruction is the only way it can happen.

Posted by: Grieved | May 28 2019 1:17 utc | 38

Chomsky would approve of your content analysis of The Times’ war propaganda.

Posted by: Ninel | May 28 2019 2:01 utc | 39

@39 grieved.. it's probably some marketing formula drawn up on madison ave, or wherever the in house cia marketing team is located..

Posted by: james | May 28 2019 2:09 utc | 40


As a Chinese, most of us used to believe that the PRC MSM is unreliable, until we saw for ourselves just how much the bullshit meter is off the scale on the Western side.

Posted by: JW | May 28 2019 2:14 utc | 41

Thanks for debunking the war narrative b

Yes, the NYT is and always has been one of the propaganda outlets of empire and my position on Grieved's question
Is it because they are so sold out and under the thumb that they dare not allow any creative instincts to arise in their copy? Or have they tried that and been corrected, because, as with any marketing campaign, the tagline needs to be repeated exactly, over and again, in order to become ingrained as truth?
is that it is the latter biggly. It is one of the maximums of Bernays's as I recall......over and over and over, the same message

The problem now is that the baseline public knowledge/understanding has and is changing because the monopoly on information is gone, because intertubes. I would even go as far as to say that the repeated bloviating by empire now is becoming obvious to more and more people as an inverted result of what Bernays thought would occur....he assumed ongoing monopoly control of media.

Thanks to b for MoA and others out there speaking truth to the power of the fire hose of propaganda

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 28 2019 2:24 utc | 42

The 2003-2008 time period marked the end of an era.

In 2003, the USA, under the leadership of one of its most aggressive POTUS ever, simply ignored the UN and invaded Iraq with American forces. Victory was swift, the newly appointed Iraqi president immediately auctioned the oil fields mainly to American companies and Bush's companions got rich. It was the highmark of American absolute power, the apex of the End of History.

In 2008, the international financial system went into full meltdown. Since the epicenter was in Wall Street itself, the by then already infamous IMF nothing could do. Bush, in an act that could only be described as "socialist" by his allies, blocked the bailout. It took an Obama victory, with all his optimism and Postmodern appeal, to pass that US$ 1.1 trn bailout "stimulus package" and save the system from immediate self-destruction. With that, one snap of a finger, the neoliberals -- who, for three consecutive decades, carried the torch of "common sense" -- were on their knees: it was their time to be "the ideologues". Nowadays, we have an even more degenerate, more vicious, form of economic doctrine, which is so twisted that it doesn't even have a formal name -- we only call it, informally, "austerity". Meanwhile, Russia (with a weak president at the time) crushed Georgia in South Ossetia in 2009, and, in 2012, Xi Jinping took power and elevated the game in China. Thus ended the End of History.

2001-2003 is also the moment free press died in the West. 9/11 marked the point the two main pillars of free speech -- the Washington Post and The New York Times -- degenerated to mere tabloids. The British big newspapers were next in line. In the Third World, this was already a reality from decades. Thus begun the process of imbecilization of the West, a process that the Roman Empire went through when Marcus Aurelius died, in 180, which culminated in the rise of Christianity.

All empires die -- but we often forget they get demented first.

Posted by: vk | May 28 2019 3:25 utc | 43

@44 vk

Brilliant timeline narrative.

Thank you.

ps..yes, and we are living in the dementia of the empire's end - not to be mistaken for real life.

Posted by: Grieved | May 28 2019 3:51 utc | 44

The drumbeat continues. We all know where this is going to end. Slowly the cauldron boils, slowly the message is framed. Piece by piece it comes together in the minds of the masses. We need another war and we need it now. Happily our missiles are launched. With great respect we see the destruction unfold. With anger we see our children captured and paraded in front of the camera.

Will we ever learn? Who was it that said the state is always right and must be served? The Capitalist? The Communist? The Socialist? The Fascist? The Hegelian? Maybe they spring from the same pond. In fact, they all do spring from the same fetid pool.

Posted by: dltravers | May 28 2019 3:58 utc | 45

One correction for Bernard:

..some Iranian scientists worked on a 'plan for a plan' towards nuclear weapons.
..In 2003, after the U.S. invaded Iraq, that concern proved to be unfounded and the 'plan for a plan' project was shut down.

That Iran had a nuclear weapons program pre-2003 or even 'plan for a plan' is a FAKE news planted by Israel, and I'm surprised Bernard still thinks that way. Its a famous forged "notebook" case, which was rejected by then chief IAEA director ElBaradei as just that - a forgery.

A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003

Its called a poison pill strategy. Everyone was so relieved when US intelligence agencies declared that Iran doesnt have an active nuclear weapons program anymore, that people swallowed the whole assessment without critical examination, even though it had a poison pill planted in it. I.e. that Iran HAD a nuclear program, and now every warmonger and zionist can point to that and say: see these evil Iranians were lying before, so they must be lying now too, or at the very least they can RESTART the nuke project at anytime. All of this is based on a false presumption Iranians ever had such a program.

Posted by: Harry | May 28 2019 4:23 utc | 46

Expose the liars, again and again. To make shame even more shameful, infamy always more visible. it's not just what journalism should be: it's the attitude one has to have in real life, relentlessly. thanks b. to remind us of this.

Posted by: alain | May 28 2019 5:05 utc | 47

Along with Iran nukes, MSM is pumping out Tiananmen square propaganda.
China, Israel, Iran and Venezuela. Destroying Iran and Venezuela removes several of Israels enemies, at the same time gaining control of oil gives the US a lot of control over China plus good part of the rest of the world.
Trump has spelled it out with the nuclear posture review and national security strategy plus his actions to date in targeting Venezuela, Iran and China.

The way the propaganda is rolling, it looks as though Trump may be willing to play Russian roulette with mutually assured destruction.

Re Cook's article - Pompeo and Bolton leading Trump to war. Trump appointed them to do what they are now doing. Trump's NPR and NSS were published before Pompeo was promoted and Bolton had climbed aboard

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 28 2019 5:07 utc | 48

If the IAEA wasn't just another Swamp-controlled Fake NGO like the so-called United Nations, Human Rights Watch, the ICC, OPCW, White Helmets etc etc etc etc it would publicly and LOUDLY denounce the mendacious articles published by the Jew York Times/ New Yinon Times.
But being fake, it doesn't of course.
And one doesn't need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out why it doesn't. Just compare the number of countries which permit the IAEA to conduct 'intrusive inspections' of their Nuclear Weapons Programs with the number of countries which DO NOT permit such inspections. That simple comparison makes it patently obvious that the IAEA is an irrelevant waste of money, space, and time.

Trump is aware of all this but because he's the only person in the Universe with a plan to Drain The Swamp, and get the "Israel" Lobby out of politics, he can do any thing that seems like a good idea so long as he doesn't start a new war.
That's a pretty low bar and considering the Satanic nature of the people in charge of The Swamp, one would be foolish to hope that things won't get a lot worse before they get better.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 28 2019 6:08 utc | 49

NYT -- Gerald Celente calls it the "toilet paper of record". Seems fitting.

Posted by: imo | May 28 2019 7:09 utc | 50

Well, what would you expect?

The New York Times is shameless in many of its activities.

It passes every story concerning Israel by the official Israeli Censor before publishing it. Everyone long suspected it, but it was confirmed some while back.

And, of course, The New York Times in general has been best described by a wag who called it the official house organ for the American establishment.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | May 28 2019 7:11 utc | 51


"Trump is aware of all this but because he's the only person in the Universe with a plan to Drain The Swamp, and get the "Israel" Lobby out of politics, he can do any thing that seems like a good idea so long as he doesn't start a new war."

You are kidding, aren't you?

He has literally become "the swamp," giving form and substance to what was only a slogan popular with his WalMart crowd.

And he is no more capable of having and carrying out an elaborate plan than John Cleese in Fawlty Towers.

You might like:

He's pathetic, and dangerous.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | May 28 2019 7:21 utc | 52

NYT -- Gerald Celente calls it the "toilet paper of record". Seems fitting.
Posted by: imo | May 28, 2019 3:09:11 AM | 51

"All The News That's Fit To Fake" has a nice ring to it, too.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 28 2019 8:04 utc | 53

Of course this is madman business but if you have jumped on shoes of madman then clearly only way U.S could rescue its falling Empire is big war, big scaremongering and crushing independent free thinking and talking. So if i was pro Empire i would certainly run for more wars and put other nations and folks outside that 0.01% elite pay the price. That's the logic. However even i would not have ever thought New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC etc having such strong alliance with Empire because after all my idea was they are nothing but money making machines. But i was wrong. Money is not their priority number one. Power is and with that power money (likely) will flow to them. After all most of people really trust on them. Independent thinkers are lonely birds in this planet.

Posted by: Matias | May 28 2019 9:38 utc | 54

@ Grieved 39

As already noted by James, it’s to create a marketing jingle.

On the fictional use of the ear worm, see the “Tenser said the Tenson” jingle in

In real life, much more effective I think.

Posted by: Cortes | May 28 2019 9:40 utc | 55

bjd@16 You are absolutely right.

Why should Iran not have nuclear weapons to defend themselves ? They would be foolish not to have them. My guess is that they have them for sometime. Israel has them . They can blow up the Middle East to Kingdom Come. After that will be peace.

It is really not about nuclear weapons , but control as Bernard pointed out. Pres . Trump is not going to win his game of poker. He has shitty cards and he knows it .

Posted by: Friar Ockham | May 28 2019 10:40 utc | 56

This is very dangerous. Iran must be accused of having nuclear bombs before Iran can be accused of nuclear terrorism.

Posted by: Robert Browning | May 28 2019 11:00 utc | 57

Lest anyone get the wrong idea from the post by vk @44, I would like to add that I am sure vk knows that the New York Langley Times has been a propaganda orifice since its inception. What has changed since 9/11 is that the writers and editors at the New York Langley Times have begun to believe their own propaganda.

In the olden days there remained media that targeted the strategists of Big Capital and strove to provide them with truly accurate information about what was really happening in the world. Capitalists need solid and reliable information to run an empire, after all. This role used to be served by things like the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and yes, even the New York Times, though capitalists would have to decode what they read there. That said, the capitalists have no difficulty decoding propaganda into actionable information because they know they are killing union organizers in Colombia or Greece or wherever.

Rather, I should say that the Captains of Capital have no difficulty decoding the propaganda, but only so long as that propaganda contains a kernel of truth to decode. When the authors of the propaganda know the truth and are deliberately manufacturing the propaganda, then their propaganda closely tracks real events and someone who knows better can easily adjust what they read to extract an accurate understanding of those events. If the authors of the propaganda themselves lose touch with reality, then the propaganda they manufacture becomes useless for informing the Captains of Industry.

This is the situation that the Empire currently finds itself in.

vk also said "All empires die -- but we often forget they get demented first."

The dementia comes from the leadership of empire (capitalists, in our case) relying upon analysis from analysts who have been believing their own propaganda for many years and have thus lost touch with reality.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 28 2019 11:20 utc | 58

Significantly, the 'disgraced' Judith Miller - judging by what is said about her in Wikipedia - has gone on to be very very amply rewarded for her efforts on behalf of war, etc.. She is even a member of the CFR (ppos, shut up you conspiracy theorist!!).

Posted by: paul | May 28 2019 11:29 utc | 59

Bush Reagan's anti-Fairness Doctrine, Bill Clinton's Media Consolidation (monopolies) facilitated the concentration of propaganda which Obama then legalized. MSM has been CIA controlled all along. Time Magazine was an early example. Operation Mockingbird was not a temporary program. They got caught and say,"Oops, my bad Sorry! We won't do that anymore". They continue, of course, and they've got the MSM under tight control now.

Posted by: fastfreddy | May 28 2019 13:52 utc | 60

> how they use the identical phrases
> Is it because they are so sold out

Posted by: Grieved | May 27, 2019 9:17:17 PM | 39

We can only guess. I can easily add two more options. But we would hardly be able to validate or even make an informed guess about them.

3. It may be passive sabotage. They "work by the book". They can not go as far as loosing the job, but they are not proud with it and thus they do as little as possible and as bad as possible.

4. They just do not care. They want to grab their money and they do not care about "net result" or "group interest" or "greater good", etc. So they go with minimal efforts required to get the payroll.

By "they" here go not only stringers, but also proofreaders, editors, etc.

Posted by: Arioch | May 28 2019 13:55 utc | 61

> As a Chinese, most of us used to believe that the PRC MSM is unreliable, until we saw for ourselves just how much the bullshit meter is off the scale on the Western side.

Posted by: JW | May 27, 2019 10:14:34 PM | 42

Oh, man!!! I just can't stop laughing and crying at the same time.

As a late-Soviet child I remember how unnatural and "properly made" were Soviet MSM, and yes, we so trusted in Western freedoms, and "free market competition" of Western media.

Until those Western MSM came after us, if I may borrow Martin Niemöller's words.

We now have a sad joke: "All that Soviet propaganda told about Soviet Union proved lie. All that Soviet propaganda told about West proved true."
....seems mainland Chinese can relate.

That is why sometimes I just hate West.
They created so beautiful a dream.
They made us so believe in it!
...and then they crushed it for a minor convenience.

Posted by: Arioch | May 28 2019 14:01 utc | 62

Three high-brow, new Mercedes, Lexus-driving, wealthy people I know - these are Democrats - a surgeon, a divorce atty, and a retired patent lawyer - perceive themselves to be quite liberal, of course...

...subscribe to the NYT. They like to talk about what they read in the NYT - holding themselves out as special and well-informed individuals.

There must be lots of people like that.

Posted by: fastfreddy | May 28 2019 14:10 utc | 63

The New York Times has been controlled by the Sulzberger family since 1896.

Posted by: SteveK9 | May 28 2019 14:16 utc | 64

According to Michael Parenti, when the West destroyed Yugoslavia, many Yugoslavians were lead to believe that they would receive BOTH the benefits of Capitalism while retaining the benefits of Socialism.

Now I met a Russian woman living in the US, who grew up in Kazakhstan. She told me that the people of Yugoslavia did not believe this.

But, she pointed out that the Yugoslavian people - everyone - lost all their savings and all their money. Because their money became worthless.

Posted by: fastfreddy | May 28 2019 14:27 utc | 65

Propagandizing for wars of aggression is a war crime:
The New York Times has been controlled by the Sulzberger family since 1896.
Since then the Times propagandized in favor of the following Wars of Aggression:

Germany 1914-1918
Dominican Republic-1916-1924
Dominican Republic-1961
Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia-1965-1973


Posted by: stevelaudig | May 28 2019 15:01 utc | 66

fastfreddy @66--

So did those living within former USSR as their pensions were destroyed by the Chicago School enforced Shock Therapy and millions died as the planned result. The austerity generated by Neoliberalism has always existed as it's part of the plan to rob people from other nations of their wealth so the Empire can do what it does. Now that Neoliberalism has operated for 40+ years, nations are wise to its lies and now favor Win-Win over Zero-sum which is the fundamental ideological divide between Russia/China and Outlaw US Empire. On a previous thread, I provided this excellent review of Superimperialism and this associated essay: "The 'Dollar Glut' is What Finances America’s Global Military Build-up," both of which were published ten years ago, while the intervening years have shown them to reveal the truth about the Outlaw US Empire's imperialist machinery.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 28 2019 15:21 utc | 67

Mossad sends its anti-Iran talking point to the Times, which its reporters dutifully regurgitate on command.

Posted by: Casey | May 28 2019 15:58 utc | 68

The acceleration if false claims is a sign that the neocons and Israel (Bolton, Pompeo etc..) are getting desperate in front of Trump's reluctance to start a war with Iran. Trump is mow using the neocons's anathema: Negotiations with Iran
They now hysterically start a flurry of fake news to provoke Iranian denials that would be immediately interpreted as lies to hide the truth. Their aim is escalation of the accusations so when a false flag is launched, they can say: We told you. The UN that is supervising the nuclear deal is not expressing its view to contradict the NY times. Are they accomplice?
In any case Iran will be very careful yet the neocons are now reaching such a desperation that anything is possible.
It is high time that Trump fires Bolton and Pompeo at the risk of losing his re-election without the support of pro-Israel medias and millionaires.
He has a dilemma: Will he get re-elected if he starts a war?

Posted by: Virgile | May 28 2019 16:14 utc | 69

The acceleration of false claims is a sign that the neocons and Israel . .

I note a continuing reference to "neocons and Israel" as being the drivers for the US Iran policy, a US policy which has existed consistently for seventy or more years, except for a few years after the US installed its puppet shah to run things and torture people. This policy has been promoted by everyone in the US government, of every political stripe, in good times and bad, when Israel was an Iran ally and when it wasn't, and so blaming certain parties is not justified by history.

More recently the increased fully-supported antipathy toward Iran has been caused by the US when its Operation Iraqi Freedom converted a newly-freed Iraq into an Iran ally, and when the US support of Syria regime change failed. Those problems were first addressed by the creation of Sunni ISIS against the "Shia crescent" and then by the current increased offensive against Iran, fully supported by everyone in Washington. It's not just "neocons and Israel."

So let's knock off the "neocons and Israel" excuse for a totally US-promoted longstanding strategy against poor Iran. The wrongful US Iran policy is totally and thoroughly American, wide and deep.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 28 2019 16:35 utc | 70

Dear Fast Freddy, #61
Your history of propaganda is spot on. Obama repealed the domestic propaganda ban.
It was called the Smith-Mundt Act, which made it illegal since the end of WW2 for our own government to propagandize its citizens. Obama legalized lying to Americans under the NDAA. Now the MSM literally spews Pentagon/NATO lies. The faked/staged Dhouma gas attack is an example of legalized propaganda for domestic consumption. This explains why the MSM is so incurious about the leaked OPCW memo.

Posted by: Willow | May 28 2019 16:38 utc | 71

I'm sure the Iranian mullahs want nothing other than peace, love, and harmony.
There now....let the hate flow through you.

Posted by: JoeG | May 28 2019 16:45 utc | 72

sorry don bacon... but i don't think it can be separated as easily as you suggest..

Posted by: james | May 28 2019 16:52 utc | 73

It is high time that Trump fires Bolton and Pompeo at the risk of losing his re-election without the support of pro-Israel medias and millionaires.
He has a dilemma: Will he get re-elected if he starts a war?
Posted by: Virgile | May 28, 2019 12:14:07 PM | 70

I've worked with people like Trump, smart, savvy and play everything "close to the chest". If he hasn't sacked them yet it's because he's got them figured out and hasn't finished using them. I can't predict what Trump will do next but i can make one prediction on the record.
When the stand-off comes, Trump will be the LAST to blink - no doubt whatsoever, imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 28 2019 17:20 utc | 74

@ Robert Browning | May 28, 2019 7:00:51 AM #58

Iran must be accused of having nuclear bombs before Iran can be accused of nuclear terrorism.

Not necessarily. Consider these headlines:

"Unnamed Revolutionary Guards officer says Israeli nuclear power plant will be targeted if Iran is attacked, no matter who the attacker is"

"Hezbollah chief threatens Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor"

The pissant apartheid state is developing a doctrine that no retaliation for its aggression will be allowed. These statements could easily be turned into "nuclear terrorism" by the Neocon York Times.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 28 2019 17:28 utc | 75

For some reason this Iran-war discussion reminded me of Susan Lindauer, who had plenty to say about the war on Iraq (2003 > .. ) and 9/11. (Was imprisoned, etc. Apparently she was subsequently free to speak..) Accusations of WMD-Iraq, or for Iran, enrichment, plus ca change…

So I type her moniker on youtubie, and there it is. Posted in 2011. (No comments on her take of 9/11 by me, that is other story) 1h. 30 mins. It takes some patience but is worth it imho.

Posted by: Noirette | May 28 2019 17:36 utc | 76

@75 good assessment of Trump, Hoarsewhisperer

These fresh 'outbreaks of mediation' point to the twilight of the Bolton agenda. As I mentioned here yesterday, negotiations are in the offing. Don't fold on Trump yet until you can see the whites of the mushroom clouds. In which case no need to fold. Just duck instead. Trump is all but assured for 2020 unless he should incautiously squeeze WW3 onto the calendar.

N.B.: While Debka is certainly tied to Israeli intelligence sources, excepting those occasions when the going gets tough and they start 'talking their book', for the most part they are a credible and clear-eyed source of information.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | May 28 2019 17:38 utc | 77

So let's knock off the "neocons and Israel" excuse for a totally US-promoted longstanding strategy against poor Iran. The wrongful US Iran policy is totally and thoroughly American, wide and deep.
Posted by: Don Bacon | May 28, 2019 12:35:39 PM | 71

That might have been believable before Bibi breezed into Washington, as if he owned the place, to address HIS Congress Critters without bothering to ask Obama to precede, welcome or introduce Him.
Or have you 'forgotten' the Umpty Seven standing ovations Bibi received after delivering X hours of insanity and drivel to HIS CCs?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 28 2019 17:39 utc | 78

Putin is intelligent. He will not enter into an all-out nuclear war regardless of what happens to Iran. He is not a madman who wishes to end all human life on the planet.

Posted by: Rob | May 28 2019 17:49 utc | 79

Full Spectrum Domino @78:

Debka is and always has been full of shit, even worse than Persian & Arab media, which also like to make stuff up and mix it in with real events. In fact they all do, esp. government and corporate media, little blogs like this one are the last honest places left, and not many of them either.

Rob @80:

Putin will nuke Washington & NYC within half-an-hour hour of us nuking ANYBODY, and then pause to see what we propose to do about it. That is rational behavior. Iran and its friends meanwhile will see how much damage they can do to Israel and Saudi Barbaria with all those missiles they have been saving up for just such an occasion.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 28 2019 18:06 utc | 80

Remember too, Trump is 73 and has all of 30 months sitting astride one of the most insidious constructs ever devised by Man i.e. the MilIdustSurveilComplex. Prior to that, his public sector experience = 0. Indeed it was his unvetted, exogenous, CFR-teleprompter-allergic and overall unbeholdenness that caused all the angst in the first place.

Has anyone else been noting the extraordinary lengths the transnational (Five Eyes + Italy) surveillance apparatus went to subverting his Presidency or can that be written off too as the most elaborate shadow-play ever undertaken in the history of geopolitical intrigue i.e. Trump was in on it?? Come on.

'But what about tomorrow?' the greedy Hillsters demand to know accusingly and somewhat hypocritically? I believe it was schmaltzy Tom Jones who piped up once: Tomorrow's promised to no one.

Two signature achievements?

1. Trump is still alive and 2. WW3 has failed to launch in earnest.

That should warrant at least a smattering of applause. Hillary would have us dead by now. Such damnably faint praise from ungrateful breathers I've never seen before.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | May 28 2019 18:08 utc | 81

Rob @80--

You present an interesting dilemma. Agreed "Putin is intelligent" Agreed "He is not a madman who wishes to end all human life on planet." However, I disagree with your second premise based on the precedent of the 1945 atomic bombings of Japan and the plethora of plans aimed at making Russia/USSR next in the bombsight. To further engage in discussing that point, it's vital we know what Putin said to Pompeo beyond the surmises and what Pompeo then said in his report to the Current Oligarchy and Trump--did he repeat Putin verbatim or did he spin? Perhaps a different hypothetical would be helpful.

What reaction would Russia have if NATO were to attack and destroy a significant portion of Nord Stream 2 upon its completion, an act I see as very possible. Sure, NATO would deny responsibility, but Russia would know, and it would know that the Outlaw US Empire is responsible for the deed. And such a deed would be an act of war. Perhaps Russia would take out the entire North Slope oil development region in Alaska and the Alaska Pipeline. Would Trump the Outlaw escalate knowing he will lose thanks to Russia's defenses and countermeasures?

Nuking Iran will surely inflict massive damage on that innocent nation. But the Outlaw US Empire has no defense for Russia's counterattack, and damage from an Empire counterattack will be limited by Russia's very advanced defenses. And none of that will do what's required to fulfill the biblical fantasy known as the Rapture.

Maybe long after the fall of the Outlaw US Empire those alive will learn what Putin said to Pompeo. I think he was told his Rapture will never happen as the conditions for it will never be fulfilled since Russia & China won't allow it to occur. And Putin would have said it in English.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 28 2019 18:55 utc | 82

The go-to source on the Iran situation is Nima Shirazi's page He writes erudite, pithy columns that are meticulously documented.

Lately he's switched to doing more podcasts, which I wish he'd provide transcripts to; but any of the right-side column Popular Posts (under Latest Posts / Recent Updates) are well worth reading.

See: Ignoring Decades of Iranian Statements on Nuclear Weapons for the Sake of Propaganda,
also Panic, Predictions and Propaganda: Endless Empty Estimates on Iran's Nuclear Program.

Posted by: Imagine | May 28 2019 18:58 utc | 83


You present an interesting dilemma. Agreed "Putin is intelligent" Agreed "He is not a madman who wishes to end all human life on planet."

At the same time, Putin is a Christian and hence unafraid to die. Intelligence does not abrogate faith.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | May 28 2019 19:12 utc | 84


Many people need superstitious beliefs to overcome the fear of death. I don't think Putin is one of these.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 28 2019 19:20 utc | 85

When Cheney was pushing for an attack on Iran, there was pushback. As you point out, the spy agencies issued a NIE saying that Iran had "stopped it's (non-existent) nuclear program". At the time, the Christian Science Monitor put out an article which was titled something like A Timeline of Warnings, which listed Official Warnings since 1979, after the coup, in which Iran was said to have been near (usually the time given was "five years", same as Cheney) having a nuclear weapon.
This article is now down the Memory Hole. If you try to google it you get a newer one in which the CSM breathlessly joins the crowd.
However, a blogger saved the bulk of it.
As you can see, they made it easy to ridicule the stories, which is probably why the CSM has removed it. By Cheney's calculations, Iran should have had a bomb or bombs by 2011, 8 years ago. And yet, the propaganda carries on without shame.
Still, as I recall, the NIE of 2007 slammed down Cheney and shut up the talk.
And yet, when Obama came in, he picked up the baton and carried on seamlessly. And the media and the intelligence agencies jumped aboard.
And we are all told that Obama was a Great President, because he got Iran to stop their (non-existent) nuclear program. (Just like we are told he was a Great President because he signed the (worthless) Paris Accords. We are supposed to forget that he flew in on the last day of the Copenhagen talks to personally destroy the agreement of 2009. But I digress).

Posted by: wagelaborer | May 28 2019 19:58 utc | 86

@ Hoarsewhisperer 79 & my 71
That might have been believable before Bibi breezed into Washington...
Seriously? Throw out seventy years of history because Netanyahu gave a speech? I note decades of consistent US anti-Iran policy including regime change involving many US factions and you come back that it can't be so, and offer as proof a recent speech from Netanyahu?
This is a serious blog, not the comedy hour.
Bad day at the track?

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 28 2019 22:05 utc | 87

@don bacon.. i didn't say that @74... hoarse and i agree in general, but we see it differently in regards what you are highlighting..

putting down others isn't a recipe for good conversation either fwiw...

Posted by: james | May 28 2019 23:09 utc | 88

The Zionists have had the United States by the short hairs since they usurped our ability to print our own currency, so 70 years is just a fraction of the time they've been running the show.

Posted by: SlapHappy | May 28 2019 23:23 utc | 89

Exo politics dictate that the US has been misled for quite a chunk of history and the Iranian country, allies, neighbors, in the region now display the end of US imperialism and corrects the wrong, ends the influence from a naughty sect

Posted by: NotJohnHelmer | May 29 2019 1:51 utc | 90

Same old same old. Trump works for the same group that controls the NYT , MSM, and both parties and most countries. Its all a fake wrestling psyop to keep the herd confused, distracted and fearful as they pursue their agenda of Total Dominance over the global population

Posted by: Pft | May 29 2019 3:05 utc | 91

Seriously? Throw out seventy years of history because Netanyahu gave a speech? I note decades of consistent US anti-Iran policy including regime change involving many US factions and you come back that it can't be so, and offer as proof a recent speech from Netanyahu?
This is a serious blog, not the comedy hour.
Bad day at the track?
Posted by: Don Bacon | May 28, 2019 6:05:17 PM | 87

Bibi 'gave' his speech to a roomful of bribed politicians shamelessly flaunting their cupidity and devotion to the pro-"Israel" gravy train. Hence the unprecedented boot-licking applau$e.

In the early 1990s PM Mahathir of Malaysia fell out with Oz PM Paul Keating & the Rest Of The West for pointing out that "Jews rule the world by proxy."

In Q & A on Monday evening, Oz's Labor Party Shadow Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus, blurted out an indignant "Israel is NOT an apartheid state!!" which made me wonder how much it costs the "Israel" Lobby to induce a politician to say something THAT myopic, stupid and dishonest?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 29 2019 8:04 utc | 92

From the Global Times editorial:

“China has no will to challenge the US strategically. ... Expanding cooperation is the only way for China to advance in the world. ... We want good China-US relations, and believe that kindness should be the priority of China's diplomacy... As China is fully defensive and has not launched radical countermeasures, the US is becoming increasingly tough and hostile.”

It seems as if the Chinese leadership, like the Iranian leadership, has been dealing with the U.S. in a very slavish manner. Just as the absence of domestic resistance has encouraged ever-more-brazen U.S. actions, the passivity of China and Iran his has only encouraged further aggression by the U.S. The problem is that Iran and China, like Russia, contain substantial comprador capitalists, dependent on foreign (Western) investment, who act against national interests. The problem has only grown to become an epidemic following the sell-out of the USSR and socialist bloc by domestic turncoats.

Posted by: Daniel | May 29 2019 12:45 utc | 93

Rob @ 80, Bemildred, karlof1, Full Spectrum

Quote: — “Certainly, it would be a global disaster for humanity; a disaster for the entire world,” Putin said, in an interview for a Russian documentary “The World Order 2018,” adding that “as a citizen of Russia and the head of the Russian state I must ask myself: Why would we want a world without Russia?”

Even though Putin admitted that any conflict involving the use of nuclear weapons would have dire consequences for humanity, he maintained that Russia would be forced to defend itself using all available means if its very existence is put at stake.

“A decision on the use of nuclear weapons may only be taken if our ballistic missile attack warning system not only detects a launch, but also predicts that the warheads would hit Russian territory. This is called a retaliation strike,” he said. — end quote.

Imho, karlof1, Putin would let an ‘attack’ on Nordstream 2 pass by with bluster and trade measures etc. Re. Iran one can’t know. Russia does not favor or have explicit ‘red line’ policies, all depends on context and circumstance, aims and sub-goals, alliances, shifting landscapes, etc. The red-line controlling threat gambit is from the primitive bully:

If you ever x, I will.. y, don’t ever doubt it..

In that speech Putin came close to, or did, express an existential ‘red line.’

Posted by: Noirette | May 29 2019 14:21 utc | 94

On a previous thread, I provided this excellent review of Superimperialism and this associated essay: "The 'Dollar Glut' is What Finances America’s Global Military Build-up,"
Posted by: karlof1 | May 28, 2019 11:21:22 AM | 68

The Dollar Glut is an interesting article, but I wonder whether the text has got mangled somewhere. The first half (which is mostly politics) is, let's say, very grammatically challenged, while the second half which is more pure economics as opposed to politics is much more linguisically coherent and easier to follow. It is almost as if he was panting with excitement while writing about politics, and then calmed down while writing about economics!

I had particular problems with this paragraph, which for several reasons I find rather difficult to reconcile with the rest of the text, in addition to being illogical (which the author helpfully suggests it to be in the subsequent paragraph!)

Choice #2 is not to recycle the dollar inflows. This would lead the renminbi to rise against the dollar, thereby eroding China’s export competitiveness in world markets. So China chose a third way, which brought U.S. protests. It turned the sale of its tangible company for merely “paper” U.S. dollars ­ which went with the “choice” to fund further U.S. military encirclement of the S.C.O.

On the subject of the Dollar Glut article and the restrictions he discusses, the following thought occurred to me: to what extent would it be possible for central banks - instead of investing Dollar Glut in US Treasuries and thereby funding the US military - to divert them somewhere else ...? And to what extent would it be possible for countries like China and Russia to engineer investment structures that create the opportunity for other countries to do just this? I am getting an inkling that this is exactly one aspect of what BRI and the AIIB are all about, though not being an economist am unclear about that. To what extent is that different from (eg) Germany investing US dollars in an infrastructure project in (eg) Indonesia? If the latter goes through the WB or the ADB, does that somehow preserve dollar recycling in a way that going through the AIIB does not (if so, then that would be determined by the financial structures of the WB and the ADB naturally, over which the US dominates - presumably the core US dollar bank accounts of the WB and ADB)? If the German state invests directly in Indonesia does that also preserve dollar recycling in the same way? If so, you would see why Europe would want to participate in AIIB and why the US would want to prevent it.

Posted by: BM | May 29 2019 15:09 utc | 95

Zachary Smith@32

For a better analysis see the two part video of the US liberty attack by Israel at Trunews. It features several interviews of USS liberty survivors. It is tough to watch how the US government treated these sailors.

Posted by: Krollchem | May 29 2019 17:38 utc | 96

BM @96--
Not quite sure what you are getting at but I do think the US does not like countries like China spending their dollars.
The original deal with the Saudis was to accept dollars for oil, buy treasuries with those dollars and the spend the interest in American companies for things like infrastructure.

I think that China has really slowed down its purchases of treasuries and is spending that money on the BRI. Russia has sold most of their treasuries and both Russia and China have bought gold for their reserves.

Posted by: arby | May 29 2019 18:08 utc | 97

@Krollchem(97): The USS Liberty story(and aftermath) is frightening. I read some tiny notes in the early 90th and don't belief it. It sounds like a conspiracy theory to me! I read some books about the NSA from James Bamfort years later and the story appears again. It's a shame for the US and for Israel too. IMHO it's ok for countries in state of war to blow up enemy spy ships out of the water also in international waters. But Israel was not at state of war with US at this time. Have a look to the political system of Israel it's penetrated by corruption, high level of fabrication, normal and war crimes and genocide starting from founding year. But they are perceived as good guys but in real they villains, ours!

IMHO, if US attack military Iran then Israel is in heavy danger too. If US or Israel suffers heavy casualties and a butthead in command decide to use nuclear weapons then global nuclear war is very close. There is no such thing like a limited nuclear war in this day and age!

Posted by: Wolle | May 30 2019 13:48 utc | 98

Not quite sure what you are getting at
Posted by: arby | May 29, 2019 2:08:53 PM | 98

My comment was specifically in relation to the Dollar Glut article linked by Karlof1, and would not be comprehensible without reading that article. Sorry - but reading that article is worthwhile! It relates to the catch-22 limitations on all non-US central banks on what to do with any US dollars they receive. Michael Hudson's writings on dollar recycling are important to understand.

Posted by: BM | May 30 2019 18:03 utc | 99

Posted by: Wolle@99

"There is no such thing like a limited nuclear war in this day and age!"

Yes! What scares me that the US thinks they can win a nuclear war with only a 100 million or so casualties. They think that radiation is the only longer term danger and forget global cooling from carbon soot, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide from vaporized gypsum panels, dust, carbon dioxide, etc...really

I previously posted a long nuclear winter analysis at MOA a few months ago so it would be unfair to repost it.

Posted by: Krollchem | May 31 2019 5:53 utc | 100

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