Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 14, 2019

U.S. Increases Risk Of War On Iran Without A Path To De-escalation

Is the U.S. military, which lost its powerful positions in the White House, trying to get National Security Advisor John 'Stache' Bolton fired? 

A 'leak' to the New York Times accuses Bolton of preparing for war on Iran:

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.

The revisions were ordered by hard-liners led by John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. It does not call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require vastly more troops, officials said.

The development reflects the influence of Mr. Bolton, one of the administration’s most virulent Iran hawks, whose push for confrontation with Tehran was ignored more than a decade ago by President George W. Bush.

If asked for 'options' the military typically lays out three scenarios. The first is very minor action unlikely to have any effect. The second is what the military sees as reasonable or wants. The third option is fantastically exaggerated. The 120,000 troop deployment is the third option. The number is too high for an attack by air and on sea and too low for an attack on land, i.e. an invasion of Iran. Releasing the third option number is likely designed to rally against such a move.

More than a half-dozen American national security officials who have been briefed on details of the updated plans agreed to discuss them with The New York Times on the condition of anonymity.
Among those attending Thursday’s meeting were Mr. Shanahan; Mr. Bolton; General Dunford; Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director; and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence.

In a possible quit pro quo the delivery of 'options' by the Defense Department happened on the same day that acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan was finally nominated for the permanent position. The previous Secretary of Defense James Mattis had ignored similar options requests from the White House. Trump fired Mattis at the end of last year.

An alternative view is that Bolton himself leaked the briefing to shore up the Trump administration's propagandistic threat against Iran.

Still, it is obvious that that some of those present at the meeting disagree with whatever Bolton's plans are.

In another sign of disagreement within the Trump administration the State Department just fired a Bolton ally:

A top U.S. arms control official and prominent Iran hawk has resigned from the State Department after serving just over a year in the position, said U.S. officials and congressional aides familiar with the decision.

The State Department on Monday did not offer a statement explaining the planned departure of Yleem Poblete, the assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance.
In April, Reuters reported that some U.S. officials were concerned that the compliance report politicized and slanted assessments about Iran, which the Trump administration has singled out as the country’s principal foe.
Poblete was a favorite among hard-line anti-Iran groups such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which hosted her for a speech in July 2018 in which Poblete praised the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran deal.

The news comes after mysterious reports of damage on allegedly four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers and a Norwegian vessel, anchored near the United Arab Emirates oil port Fujairah. The incident is said to have happened on Sunday morning but the official report came only some 36 hours later. Only one of the ships was pictured with damage that seems to have resulted from a collision and not from explosives:

The owner of the Norwegian vessel, Thome Ship Management, said the vessel was “struck by an unknown object”. Footage seen by Reuters showed a hole in the hull at the waterline with the metal torn open inwards.


Fujairah lies east of the Strait of Hormuz. The UAE built a pipeline from its oilfields on its west coast to Fujariah to avoid that its oil exports have to pass through the Strait which Iran can control. The attack near Fujairah will be interpreted as a warning from Iran that no oil export from the Gulf is safe unless Iran can export too.


But it is far from assured that Iran was involved in the incident:

It was a similar situation when a Japanese tanker, the M. Star, was damaged by a bomb in 2010 about 14 miles (22 kilometers) off the U.A.E. coast near Fujairah. The Brigades of Abdullah Azzam, a Sunni militant jihadist group, claimed responsibility.

The UAE is actively involved in a the war against the Houthi in Yemen and against Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda affiliates in Libya. It has hostile relations with Turkey and Qatar. There are many who would like to send it such a message.

That the damage appeared to have come from a collision points to another possible culprit. U.S. submarines are known to move submerged in and around the Strait of Hormuz . There are two known incidents, in 2007 and in 2009, in which submerged U.S. submarines collided with other ships in the area.

Curiously the news of the damaged ships came after false reports of fire in the UAE appeared in Iran friendly media:

Earlier, the UAE was the subject of false accounts of an attack after news outlets with links to the Kremlin, Hezbollah and Iran spread claims that a series of explosions had occurred on land at Fujairah’s port.

Reports that between seven and 10 oil tankers anchored at the port were in flames were shared widely on social media accounts on Sunday.

Some reports said that American and French warplanes had been flying over the port at the time of the incident.
The reports of fire and explosions that emerged on Sunday morning apparently originated in Al Mayadeen, a Lebanese broadcaster and news outlet regarded as pro-Hezbollah.

Burning ships near Fujairah would be widely seen from land, sea and air. No pictures of any such fire appeared on social media.

The Al Mayadeen report may have been part of a warning from Iran. Or it may have been a preemptive move to undermine a false flag incident that was to be blamed on Iran. Iran seemed to deny any involvement in the incident:

In a statement issued early Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Moussavi described the incident as "lamentable" and "worrying" and called for thorough investigations.

He also warned Persian Gulf neighbors to stay vigilant in the face of plots by "ill-wishers" to undermine maritime security.

On May 10 the U.S. warned that Iran might target commercial vessels. That, together with the lack of information and of visible damage on other ships, points to a false flag incident initiated to slander Iran. A U.S. official blamed Iran but provided no evidence:

A U.S. official in Washington, without offering any evidence, told The Associated Press that an American military team’s initial assessment indicated Iran or Iranian allies used explosives to blow holes in the ships ...

An attempt on Monday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to rally European countries against Iran failed:

While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may have been hoping that a hastily arranged stop in Brussels today would allow for photos and headlines showing American and European unity and joint resolve in the face of rising tensions with Iran, European allies did not seem interested in playing along.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini did little to hide her irritation that the Americans had abruptly decided to make a show of consulting the Europeans on rising Iran tensions.
“We were told during the night that [Pompeo] was planning to change his travel plans and to have a stopover here in Brussels,” Mogherini told journalists ahead of the EU foreign ministers meeting. “We will be here all day with a busy agenda so we will see during the day how and if we manage to arrange a meeting. He is always welcome, obviously, but there are no precise plans for the moment.”

“Any escalation should be avoided,” she said.

El Pais reports (Spanish) that Spain withdrew its frigate 'Méndez Núñez' from the US carrier strike group that is moving towards the Persian Gulf.

To counter the increased war talk emanating from the White House, Iran put some of its military on alert:

Iran has deployed its ballistic and cruise missiles, some in positions visible to US satellites and drones. They are ready for any confrontation with the US military apparatus, in case the US administration decides on war. Iran is responding to President Donald Trump’s belligerent declaration that he is gathering more naval forces in the Persian Gulf as a possible preparation for war. The Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for a full readiness of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the army for the worst-case scenario. According to Iranian officials, “Iran will consider itself at war with every country in the Middle East that allows the US to use it as a base for its military campaign against Iran, the day Trump decides to go to war”.

It is difficult to judge if the rhetoric and moves against Iran, amplified by gullible media, are just propaganda aimed at pushing Iran towards negotiations, or if they are a build up of a realistic military threat against that country. What is assured though is that the current situation increased the chance of an incident - caused willfully or by accident by Iran, the U.S., or interested third parties - that could lead up to a war or at least some intense military exchanges. The all-out economic war the U.S. wages against the people of Iran increases this instability. There are no communications between the U.S. and Iran and the Trump administration seems to have no de-escaltion strategy:

“This administration’s maximum pressure campaign, and Pompeo’s 12 demands from Tehran, leaves little room for Iran to conduct face-saving negotiations,” Geranmayeh said, echoing the concerns of many who fear that Washington has left no room for Iran to walk back its threats and come to the table.

Posted by b on May 14, 2019 at 8:39 UTC | Permalink

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reply to
US attack Lebanon for Israel
Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14, 2019 4:07:27 PM | 88

I believe that there an agreement between Iran, Lebanon/Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and probably Syria that an attack on Iran or Lebanon is an attack on all.

If Israel thinks a US invasion/ bombing of Lebanon allows them to rape Lebanon and keeps them out of harm's way, they may want to revisit that assumption.

Posted by: frances | May 14 2019 21:53 utc | 101

The US has been providing military aid to Lebanon, not on a grand scale but some.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2019 22:13 utc | 102

news report..
Trump: Report of US plans calling for up to 120,000 troops if conflict begins with Iran is 'fake news'
President Donald Trump dismissed a New York Times report that the Pentagon has drafted plans to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event Iran launches an attack on U.S. forces in the region or restarts its nuclear weapons program as “fake news,” but added, “Would I do that? Absolutely.” He insisted the White House has not signed off on a troop increase but if it does “we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2019 22:16 utc | 103

The Brits are not being helpful...
“No, there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika told reporters at the Pentagon in a video conference from coalition headquarters in Baghdad. “We’re aware of their presence, clearly, and we monitor them, along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in.” . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2019 22:24 utc | 104

Mike Pompeo and John Bolton can’t see reality, they believe their own propaganda. The no collateral damage oil tanker false flag may have been intended to raise insurance rates and oil prices. The American Mid-West flooding is preventing planting. China’s African Swine Fever outbreak is raising pork prices. The 25% tariff will increase in the price of Chinese goods. This will hit Americans hard. Rising prices, unaffordable housing, health care and education, plus gasoline lines are a sure way to overthrow an Empire.

The 120,000 man force would be hard pressed to defend UAE and Saudi Arabia. 500,000 men died in the Iraq Iran War. The unknowable is if the Russian built air defenses will deny American air superiority over Iran like it did to the Ukraine Air Force over the Donbass. For the current Vice President and Secretary of State, their Rapture and the end of civilization may well be the goal.

Posted by: VietnamVet | May 14 2019 22:24 utc | 105

On the topic of this story vs that story, good cop vs bad cop, and other associated veins, I happened to have this Ron Unz article ready and waiting in another window when I my ISP went down for @2 hrs, which gave me the opportunity to read "American Pravda: How Hitler Saved the Allies," published yesterday, the 13th. And it just so happened that his topic touches on what I describe in my opening sentence above, and is echoed throughout this and nearly every other thread at MoA. Most will already have scoffed and ceased reading; but for those still following, I suggest you plan on having 90 minutes of uninterrupted time to read what Unz writes. I'm not asking the reader to believe, but to very critically read and follow-up when time allows. Yes, I'm writing about Deep Historical Investigation, which doesn't happen quickly or easily. And yes, it certainly is relevant to the topic of this thread; indeed, it's all about it. It's as if Unz was channeling Eric Blair!

What's believable; who's believable; why so; why not? How do our own preconceptions and biases interact in trying to discern the former? What constitutes dissimulation and what is the truth of the matter? How much of what we think we know is wrong and what portion's correct? And once we think we've established what's true and what's not, how long do we continue to verify our conclusions?

Sure, all this might seem very esoteric; but, unfortunately it isn't as it resides at the core of our discourse. How accurate is the Allegory of the Cave? Which is shadow and which is real? Does Trump really have 120,000 soldiers or is it more--US Army says it has @475,000 soldiers, not counting Reserve and National Guard. D-Day's Normandy Invasion utilized @ 156,000 soldiers, not including naval and air force personnel. Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corp is said to have @ 125,000 deployed in various occupations. Clearly, the 120,000 figure isn't anywhere near sufficient a force to invade Iran, nor would they be able to be marshalled in the same manner as 6 June 1944. So, do we reject the NY Times piece as "Fake News" as does Trump, or do we deem it credible? And of course, that's just one very small aspect of everything that's currently ongoing everywhere.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 14 2019 22:25 utc | 106

Prior to the Fujairah incident, the Trump admin was pumping out war propaganda - US or Israeli intelligence that Iran likely to strike US or allies in the region ect.
When an incident occurs the usual culprits are suddenly speechless, with non prepared narrative, and now Trump is winding back the war propaganda.
Possibly Israel was behind the incident hoping to kick off a war between US and Iran, but I think Magniers take is still the most likely.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 14 2019 22:39 utc | 107

@ VietnamVet #107

One other effect of those floods may be a spike in beef prices.

Concerns of rising beef prices following historic flooding

American consumers may be coming up on a perfect storm. An article I found yesterday said the reason new car inventories are piling up is because "People can’t afford to buy them." People are skipping getting new eyeglasses, visits to the dentist and doctor. In the worst cases they don't fill their prescriptions - it's either them or eating.

I'm out of links, but here is a headline to consider:

Sticker shock: Novartis says its top drug prospect is worth $4M-$5M for a once-and-done use

If somebody tells me I've got to cough up $5 million dollars for a bottle of pills or die, I'll just have to start looking into the funeral arrangements. It all brings to mind the saying the US of A is a nation of sheep, ruled by wolves, and ravaged by pigs.

Somebody needs to tinker with that one a little bit to squeeze in the Pompeos, Pences, and Boltons and other religious/insane nuts.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 14 2019 23:04 utc | 108

@109 Peter. Agreed, the mighty Wurlitzer would be playing at volume 11 if this was a West sponsored FF. What is strange is the lack of evidence of sabotage. That pic/clip of the Andrea Victory is all that is shown. Could it be a banal collision, blown out of proportion by "attention whore" media? Puzzling..

Posted by: Lozion | May 14 2019 23:24 utc | 109

Amazing, I am watching Hardball (which I rarely do) and they are skewering the idea of war with Iran and any indication that Iran is allied with Al Qaeda. They had a quote from Tom Cotton that a war with Iran would be easy (he might have avoided the word "cakewalk") and asked "is he nuts." Of course Jean Sheehen (D) said we should get Iran "back to the table," but no one pointed out that we broker the JCPOA.

It's pathetic that I view even reporting this bad as a step in the right direction.

Posted by: Schmoe | May 14 2019 23:31 utc | 110

@ karlof1 with Ron Unz link....thanks

I read the pieces and am not surprised. I want to repeat something you wrote that needs to be repeated
What's believable; who's believable; why so; why not? How do our own preconceptions and biases interact in trying to discern the former? What constitutes dissimulation and what is the truth of the matter? How much of what we think we know is wrong and what portion's correct? And once we think we've established what's true and what's not, how long do we continue to verify our conclusions?

I was lucky enough to study the future with an anthropologist which helped me cut to the chase about how our world works.....follow the money

While I suggest reading the link to all, I want to repeat my contention that evolution of the West means making global finance public instead of private, NOT persecuting the Jews. We need a new social contract with public finance at the core and the results of that will bring justice and equity to our species.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 14 2019 23:34 utc | 111

Karlof1 @ 53 and elsewhere:

I was one of the first to see this post and can definitely tell you there were two trolling comments here early on, one of which was by someone calling himself/herself "karl". Note that the name is spelt entirely in lowercase letters. When I made my reply to TheBAG's comment, in which I opined that the Houthis were getting help and materiel from Saudi military defectors, it came in @ 13. It's now @ 11.

The comment by "karl" and the other comment from a different person ("moana"?) may have come from the same IP address and that could have been the reason why both comments were axed. Figuring that "karl" and you were not the same person was very easy: "karl" didn't use punctuation, every second or third word was misspelt, and the opinion expressed was what we've come to expect of other pro-Zionist trolls whose first language is not English and whose writing and punctuation skills are poor.

Posted by: Jen | May 14 2019 23:36 utc | 112

Peter AU 1 @109--

Yes, the complete oddness of the incident is part of what prompted me to write 108, but it was Unz's essay that provided the germ. Too often it seems MoA barflies lose sight of the Big Picture--we know the Outlaw US Empire is pursuing a policy to establish Full Spectrum Dominance, but Why? and where does Zionistan fit as the two are clearly operating in tandem? Who/What's responsible for the Megalomania, the penchant for controlling the world? Examine the related narratives. What caused the producers of the James Bond films to depart from their long established story lines when they made The World is Not Enough, which for the first time ever portrayed the USA as the evil force? How many moviegoers actually understood? How many really care about the All and Everything that's currently occurring? The hundreds of homeless I just saw on the streets in Portland surely have more important thoughts, desires and motivations.

Daily living is confusing and distracting, but what's happening geopolitically/geoeconomically affects it enormously in ways all too many can't fathom for numerous reasons mostly related to lack of education. Same goes for understanding which policy proposals are best for individuals, families, national polities, and humanity as a whole. The bottom line is until those residing within the Outlaw US Empire figure out that continuous war and the policy goal of Full Spectrum Domination is incredibly inimical to their wellbeing, it will continue. Yes, it's just that simple. The real question I want an answer to is: Why/how do people anywhere find such policies a proper, ethical, moral goal that will produce Good when all the evidence is to the contrary? Or is even writing and posing such worthy of the effort?

Posted by: karlof1 | May 14 2019 23:47 utc | 113

Jen @114--

Thanks for the additional info. Also note that my moniker is all lower case, too.

After reading again what I wrote @115, it seems I earlier answered my own next to last question: the populous is kept in a Prole-like state of ignorance through these top three: miseducation, narrative control, and the dimming of intellectual abilities through the wholesale chemical pollution of the environment.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 15 2019 0:04 utc | 114

Sabotage of at least three of the named ships seem genuine. There are two videos I have seen, one by UAE Sky News with the reporter speaking arabic and another where the reporter is speaking English, possibly UK accent. Both show the damage to the Norwegian ship and also a smaller blue ship listing slightly and I think slightly down at the stern. an oil boom around it and other vessels alongside. I thought this was a Saudi ship but it may be the UAE bunkering ship as it looks too small for a tanker.
Video of the third vessel, a large Saudi tanker, shows small boats off the stern that apparently have divers checking the damage.
Looks as though the prop rudder area has been targeted on all ships.
Some videos here. Could not find the sky news video I watched earlier but found that Ruptly RT has some video as well.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 15 2019 0:21 utc | 115

I am going to guess that the "third parties" are going slow roll these attacks ratcheting them up to the 2020 elections. It appears to me that it would take a 911 type event in the Gulf to turn the tide towards a full scale country decapitation of Iran.

A slow roll of "third party" attacks prepares the population's minds for war. These first attacks were not taken up fully by the mockingbird media but as things ratchet up the media will turn to a "weapons of mass destruction" type harping story line at some point going forward.

Provocation, staged event, propaganda, one sided discussion. Eventually the world will have had enough of this garbage. Not so much the US citizen as they are very pleased with their cell phones. Almost hypnotized I would say.

Posted by: dltravers | May 15 2019 0:42 utc | 116

karlof1 115 "The real question I want an answer to is: Why/how do people anywhere find such policies a proper, ethical, moral goal that will produce Good when all the evidence is to the contrary?"

I think for that, you have to look at human character and what it is. The operating system we are born with and determines our character. watching babies develop individual character as they grow. Watching animals, see what they do by instinct, separate from anything they are taught by humans or other animals. Perhaps the best example is birds building nests. How do they know what to do.
Humans are no different. Very difficult to change the character you are born with.
humans have a fairly strong social or heard instinct. It is what makes many want to fit in with the crowd.
The UNZ essay does not surprise me. Until I needed glasses I read every night. Mostly on war and the history of war. Anything and everything my wife happened to pick up at the library. I would never go to a library and choose books so it gave me quite a range of reading on the subject.
The history of war - sometimes tangled alliances and interests, as we see today in the middle east coupled oftentimes with madness or ignorance. Morality does not enter into it and there are no rules.
Amongst the populations societies, a general distrust of other cultures, different languages.
But are some peoples less warlike than others. The indigenous nations of Australia may have been very stable over a long period of time. A study of rock paintings in the Kimberly region show slow development of art by one very conservative society unbroken over a period of ten to eleven thousand years.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 15 2019 1:34 utc | 117

@ cantmossadtheassad who wrote the scenario
False flag leading to hezbollah firing missiles from lebanon leading to US and israeli invasion.

By jove I think you have something there. Dying empire needs to be seen as still controlling the narrative in the ME to support Israel and all other avenues seem to be blocked. And kicking off anything with a false flag is all they got.....maybe Iran is a misdirection.....initially, anyway.

Into the future!!!

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 15 2019 1:36 utc | 118

Iran has submarines and submersible equipment that could easily have done this damage. I tend to believe that Elijah's take is the correct one, that Iran and/or allies are now sending messages, two of them, to the Saudis and the UAE, and world shipping and oil interests, that there will indeed be dire consequences if Iran is truly attacked. it's all assymetrical which is what weaker nations and peoples have to do against the world bullies and its punk allies....

about the attack on the oil vessels the other day, Magnier writes:

"....It was a clean, low cost, quick and very efficient operation with an immense result: it put an end to the prospects not only of a war between the US and Iran this summer but also to those of a war between Hezbollah and Israel. The sabotage gave a taste of what could happen to the Middle Eastern countries’ economies and to world imports of oil in case Iran is cornered and attacked....."

As far as any real attack by the US, it could be something rather faked, like what Trump did twice in Syria (but then again a more mature Matthis was in charge at Defense then too, and Bolton was not around), or it could be something massive which would attack military sites and even civilian infrastructure. This is normal operating for the US against third world countries. We don't know. and I certainly hope it won't happen.

Not only would a lot of ships be sunk, but so would Trump's re-election hopes, as the price of oil would skyrocket and lots of american soldiers die

Posted by: michaelj72 | May 15 2019 1:36 utc | 119

I really need to share something and I hope you forgive me for doing it here. Before I wrote the sole comment earlier I hadn't visited this site in a while. That's because my beautiful, gentle, precious Mother passed away a few days before Mother's Day. I'm devastated and going through a really hard time. I thought commenting today might help, but it was only a momentary lapse from my pain. Please think good thoughts for me and if you believe in God, please pray for me. She was such a good, unique, compassionate being; I still can't believe she gave birth to a wild rebel like me. I don't know if I'll ever get over this overwhelming loss and deep sorrow. Mother's Day was pure agony, and I was up all night til daylight, slept 3 hours clutching her soft dressing gown and sobbed uncontrollably all day yesterday. My heart is broken forever.

Posted by: Circe | May 15 2019 3:22 utc | 120

Circe @ 125:

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss.

Just take as much time as you need to cry and grieve. If you feel like coming to MoA to comment or to vent, even if what you want to say has nothing to do with the post, just do so.

Important thing is to find someone you can share your grief with, who is not judgemental, and also to look after yourself and take things easy for a while. Keep well!

Posted by: Jen | May 15 2019 3:43 utc | 121

@125 Circe

I have never responded to you before. I happened to be here, with your comment. It's off topic, of course, but death will do that, every time.

Imagine, if you will, that your Mother had boarded a train that was departing the station, beginning a journey of adventure that separated her from you, and which also took her into a world that you yourself could not follow or accompany her to.

My own understanding of life and death, as learned from the teachings of the Buddha and other people of great understanding, is that this is how it is.

And so we must cheer them on their journey. I am taught that it does them no good for us to grieve, because it weighs them down in their journey of separation and new beginning. We must instead send great wishes of good occurrences to them, just as we would to any person traveling on a new adventure.

I have done this many times. And each time I have seen that my own grief was - to speak in all humility and candor - a form of selfishness, while the departed person needed only my good wishes, and my uplifted cheer for a good adventure.

I offer this experience in the hope that it may do some good. I don't know who you are or what your story is. But a good Mother transcends all doctrine. Salute.

Posted by: Grieved | May 15 2019 3:46 utc | 122

@ Circe #125

The death of a loved one is tough - no doubt about it. As John Donne said, the loss of one diminishes us all, and perhaps that's why so many here oppose casual violence against innocents. A development within myself is that I can no longer hunt, and this is something I've heard of others saying as well. Life is a precious thing on this fragile world. Be assured you have my most sincere sympathy.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 15 2019 3:56 utc | 123

circe - i am very sorry to hear of your loss and your suffering at this time.. i hope you can find some peace very soon..all the best to you..

Posted by: james | May 15 2019 3:58 utc | 124

@117 Peter. Txs for the added info and links. I'll look into it..

Posted by: Lozion | May 15 2019 4:12 utc | 125

@125 Circe

Circe, all of our hearts go out to you. Please take care. We'll look forward to your return.

Posted by: zakukommander | May 15 2019 4:31 utc | 126


My Condolences.

It seems that everyone with a passion for the truth is a 'black sheep' these days. I hope you find some comfort in knowing that your 'black sheep' buds at MoA look forward to your return - when you're ready.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 15 2019 4:39 utc | 127

@ cantmossadtheassad #120

For some reason I'm unable to make a long post, so I'll confine myself to saying Hezbollah ought to avoid an all-out attack until it is attacked. IMO Iran can handle routine stuff by itself. No reason to give anybody an excuse to carpet-bomb Lebanon.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 15 2019 4:53 utc | 128

Posted by: Circe | May 14, 2019 11:22:10 PM | 125

When my mother got old, her conception of time and space changed. Like I was convinced I could travel to Paris in a few hours, she was convinced she could pack up and travel to the places and people of her youth.
It was rather infectious, I had dreams of thousands of people overlapping in the places they had once been quite some time after her death.
So what do we know. In any case, your mother will continue to live in your mind (and the mind of all the people who knew her).

Posted by: somebody | May 15 2019 4:56 utc | 129


I'll offer a thought that's a wee bit different from some others. I really think it is a good thing that you grieve for your mother. Because even to those of us who have faith in God, death is not natural, not something to be taken in our stride. And the death of one's mother ought to be shocking, ought to be stunning, ought to be something for which the universe has no answer.

How fortunate you were to have such a beautiful mother and to share that experience with us through your grief over losing her! I felt a similar disconnect when my mother died - nothing before or since has been like that experience of loss. I miss her to this day.

Hang in there. It WILL get better. It will get better not because the pain will go away but because you knew her, you know her. You were, and are, her child. As long as you live that will not, cannot be taken from you. That's how I feel, anyway. I had a mother like yours, a grandmother also. We are both very fortunate.

Posted by: juliania | May 15 2019 4:56 utc | 130

karlof1 @ 115:

"...The bottom line is until those residing within the Outlaw US Empire figure out that continuous war and the policy goal of Full Spectrum Domination is incredibly inimical to their wellbeing, it will continue. Yes, it's just that simple. The real question I want an answer to is: Why/how do people anywhere find such policies a proper, ethical, moral goal that will produce Good when all the evidence is to the contrary? Or is even writing and posing such worthy of the effort?"

Oh, karlof, we are so very very weary of war! Nothing that we have said in this century which is approaching the quarter of it has made any difference to the wagers of these continuing wars! We, the American people, I mean. Do you remember how many marched against the invasion of Iraq? That was right after 9/11. And it made absolutely no difference; they ignored us. I wrote to Bush with a petition from my little town signed by my good neighbors, many of whom would have been of his party. It made no difference.

Two things: I just finished reading (for the first time) "Dune". My kids had been taken with it; I scoffed, having in college become enamored of The Lord of the Rings trilogy - it couldn't be better, I thought. And I was right, as fiction reading it now it isn't. I will hold off condemnation though - I haven't read the follow-up sequels. War, the drums of war - as it has become now our total focus - remember the song "War - what is it good for?" So, the minor themes of planetary recovery and mental prowess - yes, good. War? Horrible.

So, that's one. Then I saw a movie, one of Robin Williams last I guess, "Man of the Year" from 2006. Comedian becomes president. Hah! But oh, pain to remember in 2006 we said, HE said, exactly what we have been saying since 2000 - and from it we get


I'm not really answering you, I know. But yes, we have to keep making the effort. Thank you, and b, and Circe, and all the rest for all you do.

Somehow in 2006, Robin Williams got to make that silly movie, and he said things. Good for him.

It matters.

Posted by: juliania | May 15 2019 5:11 utc | 131

condolences to Circe at #125 - sorry to hear about your great loss

Posted by: michaelj72 | May 15 2019 5:31 utc | 132

Circe @ 125
I’m sorry to here that sad news, she must have been a wonderfull person and has blessed this world with you ! Truly a great legacy, keep up the good fight, she will always be with you and in what you do, so stay strong.
I always love your comments you know the truth, that is so precious, she must have been a great person and proud of you !
Did she ever read M O A ?

Posted by: Mark2 | May 15 2019 5:35 utc | 133

Circe, as Jackrabbit says, we are all rebels. Rebels against group think. We do not say or do as others do just to fit into the crowd.
You have lost a friend and mother. Raising children is not an obligation or duty or burden. For my wife and I, and I think many parents, it was our main goal in life. All else came second. By what you have said, I doubt your mother considered you a burden.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 15 2019 6:00 utc | 134

I'm sorry, Circe. My mother is ill and isn't doing well either; I'm terribly afraid I'll be joining you before long.

Posted by: Ash | May 15 2019 6:10 utc | 135

karlof1 115
Jackrabbit's comment 132 "It seems that everyone with a passion for the truth is a 'black sheep' these days."

Your post at 115 I think needs a lot of discussion and tossing things around. With my communication skills I cannot convey much of what I have thought about within a comment.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 15 2019 6:37 utc | 136

This is all a matter of the domestic threat to Trump's presidency: he believes a war can help his popularity ratings.

Remember all the people here carrying on about Hillary the Warmonger and how Trump wanted to keep the US out of foreign entanglements?

Posted by: ralphieboy | May 15 2019 9:18 utc | 137


I am so sorry for your loss, I've increasingly feared the day when I have to deal with the situation myself, I cant imagine the state you are in now.
Try to think of the good memories you had and try to go on with your life, do positive things - eat right, exercise and so on.

General tip,
Unfortunately when loved ones are gone, you really understand how much they meant to you.
Take the time to socialize with your friends, parents, next of kin, you never know when the time comes and they will be gone - just like that.

Posted by: Zanon | May 15 2019 10:05 utc | 138

Trumps paranoid psychosis is being fed by the people pulling his strings ! for there own benifit. Through the media the voting public are deliberately being infected by That psychosis.
The president of the most powerful country in the world is clinically insane !
Oh yes and he has his finger on the nuclear button.
Meanwhile the public are in a state of deep sidation via the mainstream media !
So what’s to be done ? Enyone ?

Posted by: Mark2 | May 15 2019 10:12 utc | 139

'The thing that concerns me most about this war rhetoric, is that un-elected men like Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams etc, seem to have complete freedom to ... start wars entirely on their own say so'

Why, this has been good imperial practice since un-elected men like Reginald Esher, the Committe on Imperial 'Defense', the general staffs of England, France, and Russia started WW I.

Also J.P.Morgan's decision to get the US into the war lived up to this standard.

The US is still the same old oligarchy as Profs. Giles, Page found out ('Testing Theories', Princeton, NWU, 2014).

Posted by: Christoph | May 15 2019 11:23 utc | 140

Peter 123

The books of Mary Renault, historical fiction based in ancient (Theseus books) and Classical Greece, are not only marvelous reading, but are all about the wars that were the background to the development of Greek culture. Tribal wars, wars of consolidation, wars between the "civilized" center (Athens) and the "barbarian" hinterlands (Macedon, Thrace, the Scythians), wars between empires (Persians' attempts to conquer Greece, Greece's attempt to conquer Persia and beyond, and consolidate the whole known world into a forward-looking empire (this being under Alexander). Renault's research was meticulous; scholars of the ancient world have called her books the "best introduction to Classical Greece."

Another interesting point about Renault is although born in Britain, she lived the greater part of her life in South Africa and witnessed the gradual turn to the right, the success of the Nationalist, and the expansion of their program of apartheid. Some of her books located in Ancient Greece were her attempt to write obliquely about the question you and karlofi1 raise: What is the good polity? This was Plato's preoccupation. He tried to advise the tyrant of Syracuse, and ended up being sold into slavery (someone bought his freedom). One of Renault's books, The Mask of Apollo, is about just this era.

I find Renault to be a terrific writer, a great read, and provoker of many thoughts on the question of: why war? Who can best rule? Oligarchs? A Senate? A chief who dukes it out with other chiefs? Has it ever brought good? certainly Alexander was a great warrior but one whose goal was to impose peace and prosperity on the smaller and larger political entities he subdued. Literally, to pacify warring tribes and provide, through law and trade, a better way to make a living than raiding other tribes, looting all that they had, raping the women, then selling all the captives into slavery, etc. Namely, respecting their cultures and their leaders, but imposing peace. It was all blown when he died at a young age while still on his Eastern campaign before he was able to get back to Macedon and solidify his plan with the creation of an administration to match his empire-building ambitions.

Renault's books are also an imagined but research-grounded recreation of the transition from "state" religions based in worship of all powerful female deities to that of male deities. This is the background to the two books about the Theseus tale, The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea. It forms a partial background to the story of Alexander. So, that is another axis of change in how human societies conduct themselves.

Posted by: Really? | May 15 2019 12:30 utc | 141

>>>>: Jay | May 14, 2019 7:38:04 AM | 7

"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."

This is such an egregious lie, that the rest of the "article" isn't credible.

Nah, it's not "an egregious lie", it's being "economical with the truth" as we Brits say. Shanahan is trying to suggest that Iran already has a nuclear weapons programme. If challenged on this, Shanahan could deny this is what he intended to suggest by pointing out that even a snail accelerates every time it starts moving. The NY Times should have made clear that Iran isn't known to have a nuclear weapons programme by the IAEA, but they didn't because that's the way they operate. As for the credibility of the NY Times on certain topics, that disappeared a long time ago, way back in the fifties I suspect. The only sections of the NY Times that have major credibility are the Science, Sports, Arts and Lifestyle ones, the rest are trash.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 15 2019 12:39 utc | 142

Circe 126

I am so very sorry to hear this.
It is so very hard to absorb the death of a parent.
That the person who gave birth to one is no longer there.
It takes a long time to get over it.
One never really does.
I think that one continues to think about one's parents for the rest of one's life.
My mother was a complicated woman who often made my life hard; nevertheless I cried nonstop for days when she died.
I still cry at times--say, on her birthday, or the anniversary of her death.
I hope your mother died peacefully and not in pain.

Posted by: Really? | May 15 2019 12:43 utc | 143

Netherlands, Spain, Germany have made some withdrawal:

US Puts Forces on 'HIGH ALERT'

Who is in charge? Bolton or Trump? Or is there no longer a difference?

Posted by: Zanon | May 15 2019 13:41 utc | 144

From what I can see from my family and many acquaintances--
They pay virtually no mind to the war machinations that are constantly going on.
I realize that they pick up who the bad guys are by osmosis but for the most part are not interested.
As long as the fighting,death,and suffering are a long way away from them they seem to easily push it out of their thoughts or at least relegate it to something to not think about.

The people that are always fomenting for war seem to rise to the positions of power where they can exercise their sickness.

Posted by: arby | May 15 2019 14:01 utc | 145

And you know, and it as gone unnoticed in our press, but absolutely no evidence has been provided of any actual tanker damage.

There's that one photo of a small bash at the rear bottom of one, something which easily might have been caused from colliding with a dock.

The business was investigated by a US military team, but that's like sending a fire investigator who starts fires rather than puts them out.

All extremely doubtful.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | May 15 2019 14:17 utc | 146

I'm pretty sure that those posts are meant to add a bit of humour to the board.

Posted by: arby | May 15 2019 14:19 utc | 147

Well, for certain someone or some group is going to have to say "enough!". Crying, it's illegal or against international law is getting pretty stale. The USA is a far worse belligerent than Germany under Hitler,,, all he wanted was to put Germany back together whereas the USA just wants domination for one nation.

All the crying, whining, pleading, hoping, praying will not help one iota in stopping the appropriated US government in its quest for the domination of all mankind. Nor will all the articles, claims, pictures, and other "proof" showing the USA for what it is deter its goals.

That's the red pill.....

Posted by: ken | May 15 2019 14:22 utc | 148

John Chuckman 146

I thihnk you are right. No damage.
I did a Google search for "UAE tanker damage" "images" and got a bunch of images but I couldn't perceive any actual damage, except for the small hole near the rudder of the Norwegian vessel; also saw the oil containment booms, but far away; where are the holes? where is the actual oil spill?:

Posted by: Really? | May 15 2019 14:24 utc | 149

at least half of these comments should be removed in line with new eu usa usa and semitism laws.
feel free too trash arab semite terror ist.
but gentlemens you are guest here do not diss the nonsemite real semite of khazaria and askanazim
alright already

Posted by: daniel fink | May 15 2019 14:30 utc | 150

The thing that concerns me most about this war rhetoric, is that un-elected men like Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams etc, seem to have complete freedom to ... start wars entirely on their own say so'
Posted by: Christoph | May 15, 2019 7:23:33 AM | 140 (& others)

That's simply not true.
POTUS is the Commander In Chief of the US Armed Forces. If he says No to a war, it won't happen. If the unelected sock puppets want a war, they have to persuade POTUS that it's the ONLY option. Trump knew before he became Prez that there's ALWAYS more than one option.
I still don't understand why anyone allowed themselves to imagine that Trump's drain the Swamp plan would unfold smoothly, predictably, or pleasantly.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 15 2019 14:31 utc | 151

To Jack R. I’d add that the MSM immediately pick up on and overblow anything that could be considered
war-like or leading up to it. This is particularly so in the case of Trump, who ran on an anti-war stance.
Everytime he does something ‘agressive’ the MSM suddenly find him to be awesomely presidential
and applaud his actions (instead of blithering on about obstruction, collusion, impeachment, blondines, etc.)

E.g. lobbying some missiles in Syria onto an empty air field is a fantastic act!

To add to @56, —comment on Iraq invasion failed— the USA did not take the oil.

The link is to the list of foreign cos. that operate in Iraq (May-June 2019) - the only US co. is
ExxonMobil, and their project is very minor, afaik. Note Occidental is crossed out (they left)
as is Premier Oil (GB) and Shell.

The operators are in the main Chinese, Russian, Japanese + other Asia and ME.
(Shell is still active in NatGas, afaik.)

Oil projects are v. complicated, and many collaborations occur and are needed,
so it is v. difficult to make a quick summary, this is just a pointer.

Posted by: Noirette | May 15 2019 14:37 utc | 152

How can Iraq be so sure things will simmer down? What could they have told the US? It may have been something on the order of "if you war against Iran, there will be no protection for your people in this country." Now if die has been cast, how would US respond? Perhaps begin pulling out some of its personnel? Ken may very well be right. Otherwise there may be no other way to stop this from happening.

Posted by: thecelticwithinme | May 15 2019 14:39 utc | 153

Pompeo-Lavrov Press Conf. posted by S @ 78.

(43 mins, maybe diff link)

Conf. was for the public, by the top Seconds.

Pompeo did speak with Putin, after the press conf. (afaik, no proof.)

No official reports of it, which is interesting.

Pompeo landing to meet with Lavrov and Putin 1 min or so - Spanish

Pompeo met with Putin (by credible analyst in Moscow) text and 5 min vid from RT - French

Remarks by Sec. Pompeo w. Russian FM Lavrov *before* their meeting -- is very cringe worthy and telling,
so worth a watch) 2 mins - Eng.

Imho, the US is trying to figure out exactly how far the Russians will go in this new multi-polar W O.

The US confusion is not one of understanding at first level, but of finding a path to ‘collaboration’
(whuut’s that? - too many different factions, profiteers, no! and some maybe yes or under some conditions
and so on and on - hysterical fights between Corps, paid up and corrupt Pol factions/ actors, Mafias and Outside control,
to mention only those ..) but adjustement and acceptance, which is proving murderously tortuous as no consensus
can be found. Suicidal and genocidal impulses bloom..

Posted by: Noirette | May 15 2019 14:46 utc | 154

Europeans/EU seems to have learnt nothing from US Iraqi WMD war of lies. EU could, put pressure on US not to start another war and/or not accepting the US military build up with various means. Instead they do nothing!
This is why EU is nothing to support (Brexit, EU elections), EU are and will be a puppet regime to the US.
Daily propganda about how great US are and how evil russians, arabs, iranians, venezuelans are have made this possible.

I cant even phantom the same anti war protests as in 2003 turning up again. Thats how lost europeans are today to this threat of america!

Posted by: Zanon | May 15 2019 14:55 utc | 155

Circe @ 125

My heartfelt condolences to you. You will be reunited with your Mother, in some new relationship in a future that may be
near or farther down in time.

Take your time to mourn your loss but be assured that you will be reunited with her in a later life or even in this one through
a new birth in the family.

Posted by: CarlD | May 15 2019 15:02 utc | 156

JOHN CHUCKMAN @146: ... absolutely no evidence has been provided of any actual tanker damage.

Zanon @144: US Puts Forces on 'HIGH ALERT'

All smoke and mirrors as made clear by Top British Commander In Rare Public Dispute With US Over Iran Intelligence, which quotes theGuardian:

The remarkable comments heightened concerns that fabricated or exaggerated intelligence may be being used by administration hawks led by the national security adviser, John Bolton, to further the case for war against Iran, in a manner reminiscent of the buildup to the Iraq invasion.

But war with Iran is foolish (for reason I've previously stated) so they are likely to be preparing the public for some other action. Probably in Lebanon or Syria. In particular, this 'preparation' serves as a warning to Russia and Syria not to mount a full-scale operation to retake Idlib.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 15 2019 15:15 utc | 157

@158 jr... your theory is pretty good... i haven't commented on it, but i think it has merit.. it is much as noirette suggests @155 - "Imho, the US is trying to figure out exactly how far the Russians will go in this new multi-polar W O."

Posted by: james | May 15 2019 15:38 utc | 158

with one caveat - the usa is one insane creature at this point.. they are probably wondering how far iran and venezuala will go too...

Posted by: james | May 15 2019 15:39 utc | 159

i saw an interesting albeit depressing take on the assange situation; that the u.s. actually wants him to go to sweden and be falsely convicted on the rape charges to smear him further, then comes the rendition to the u.s.

Posted by: pretzelattacks | May 15 2019 15:50 utc | 160

the comment i saw was on a relevant article just posted at naked capitalism.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 15 2019 15:52 utc | 161

Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic presidential candidate, said the U.S. should drop criminal charges against Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

Snowden apparently still living in Moscow.

Wikipedia does not portray Snowden as badly as it could or does with other persons of "bad character". He is rather treated like a celebrity

Photos are flattering.

Posted by: fastfreddy | May 15 2019 16:12 utc | 162


Although we're at logger-heads most times, I must express my empathy for your loss. I lost my mother a year ago after tending her through the many years of her Alzheimer's induced decline such that her passing generated both grief and relief. My solution is to celebrate memories of her and the many years we spent together, and to continue my work that she supported wholeheartedly. Revel in your memories of her and the time you shared; embrace and toast them; and be not ashamed to cry profusely that she's gone.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 15 2019 16:22 utc | 163

pretzelattack, pretzelattacks

... the u.s. actually wants him to go to sweden and be falsely convicted on the rape charges to smear him further, then comes the rendition to the u.s.

I wrote much the same thing here about a month ago.

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

The Assange extradition discussion is happening in the Open Thread. Let's continue there.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 15 2019 16:37 utc | 164

I've yet to sift through the official accounts of the Pompeo-Lavrov/Pompeo-Putin meets and their related pressers. What I have read is Pepe Escobar's review of what they "didn't talk about." One interesting tidbit Pepe chose to write about wasn't about the main topic at all:

"Diplomats later remarked: 'Pompeo looked solemn afterwards. Lavrov sounded very diplomatic and calm.' It’s no secret in Moscow’s top diplomatic circles that the Chinese Politburo overruled President Xi Jinping’s effort to find an accommodation to Trump’s tariff offensive. The tension was visible in Pompeo’s demeanor." [My Emphasis]

Negative press over Trump's Trade War with China is escalating and moving from the business section onto the front page as domestic casualties mount. No wonder Pompeo's tense; all actions taken by the Outlaw US Empire are boomeranging, which results in Pompeo not having a diplomatic pot to piss in. No, I don't feel sorry for him whatsoever; indeed, I'm laughing bigtime!

Now to see what b decides to publish.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 15 2019 16:39 utc | 165

ok. the nc article is good.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 15 2019 17:09 utc | 166

pretzelattack @167: the nc article is good.

No. It's terrible.

As I explained in the Open Thread.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 15 2019 18:57 utc | 167

War, really destructive large scale war, is characteristic of class society. It occurs when you have a ruling class which can marshal large armies and large propaganda, and organizational efforts to get ordinary people to go and get killed for a small and greedy group, and to support them while they do so.

The ordinary hunter-gatherer may have got into a fight or two, now and again, but the archaeological record shows burnt towns, villages and cities only after the development of class society. The Australians were hunter gatherers until the Europeans arrived.

Posted by: foolisholdman | May 15 2019 20:38 utc | 168

Comment 169 should have been labelled as a comment on Peter AU's post at 117.

Posted by: foolisholdman | May 15 2019 22:00 utc | 169

This is actually getting scary. The cringe-worthy video of pompous ass Pompeo that Noirette @155 posted in which the ass looks baffled and wheedling has me worried. Follow that up with the Pepe Escobar article that karlof1 @164 provided and I am chilled to the bone. When psychopath bullies start acting like cornered animals anything becomes possible. I get the impression that the US oligarchy is feeling desperate and thought they could recruit Russia to their side with some more empty bullshite, but just got turned down hard. The American empire obviously thought that everyone else in the world has done like Americans have and have pointedly forgotten all the evil America has done over the last few decades. To have everyone turning their backs on them must be confusing for the imperialists. As a consequence the evil empire might be starting to think they have no alternative for getting the rest of the world to obey them other than full kinetic war.

That is worrisome.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 15 2019 23:42 utc | 170

171 and Noirette video:

Looks like Pompeo is surrounded by stony faces.

Posted by: Really? | May 16 2019 3:20 utc | 171

Really @141--

Peter AU 1 directed me to your comment which I missed somehow, and I thank you for your contribution! I've never read Renault, but the style used is along the lines of Michener's that I've considered using. The points raised are critical! The USA's famous for its gangsters; so, it's natural we have a Gangster-led government.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 16 2019 5:31 utc | 172

A war against Iran of, by and for Zionists. Greater Israel at any cost. A bit like the US agreeing to fight for the Nazis.

Posted by: CD Waller | May 16 2019 9:26 utc | 173

Circe, all my condolences to you. I am so sorry. I am thinking of you.

Posted by: Noirette | May 16 2019 13:23 utc | 174

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