Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 08, 2019

Will the U.S. And Israel Wage A "Summer War"?

J. Swift comments at the end of the Iran JCPOA thread (emphasis added):

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

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

First: I am not aware of a U.S. "tripwire presence in Lebanon". There are, on and off, a few U.S. special forces training the Lebanese army but that is it.

There are indeed strong rumors of an attack on Lebanon during this summer. There have been discussions within Hizbullah about an expected summer war were leaked to Elijah Magnier and Abdel Bari Atwan. Hizbullah denied the reports but both are serious journalist with the necessary connections.

In his May 2 speech Hassan Nasrallah, the Hizbullah leader, talked about a threat of war against Lebanon. According to him the threat of war was not communicated from Israel, but by the Trump administration:

US Diplomats pressuring Lebanese state to give part of our territorial waters to Israel for it's possible oil and gas resources, but we will not even give them a cup of water.
US Diplomats threaten Lebanese government with war against Israel if they do not get rid of Hezbollah's ballistic [missiles] capabilities.
Israeli strategists warn of deadly weak points in IDF, despite affirming it's strong points, And I warn them of Lebanon's deadly strong points, despite it's seeming weak points.
The Axis of Resistance, in spite of sanctions, is stronger than ever.
Everyone in Israel agrees that any future war with Lebanon must be brief, decisive, and ending with a clear Israeli Victory; but who can do that now? These days are gone.
Israel that fears war with blockaded and surrounded Gaza can never hope to set foot in Lebanon.
We promise all Israeli units thinking of crossing Lebanon that they will be destroyed and humiliated on Live TV.

Current U.S. relations with the government of Lebanon are bad. The U.S. would certainly give Israel a green light should it want to wage a war. It may even entice it to attack Lebanon. The purported aim of such a war would be to destroy Hizbullah's long range missiles. Another aim would be to bring the Lebanese government under control of a USrael friendly leadership.

Both aims are delusional.

Much of Israel's vulnerable economic points would be hit before even a small share of Hizbullah's missiles would be found and eliminated. The recent short war with Gaza has again shown that Israel is not willing to sustain much damage in a fight and tried to stop it as soon as possible.

Lebanon has been through a long civil war and found a modus of understanding that underwrites the current government. That can only be changed through another civil war which no one in Lebanon is willing to fight.

Hoping that a war on Lebanon would solve any of Israel's problems is unrealistic and can only be believed in Washington DC. Israel's Bibi Netanyahoo knows of the danger and he is not a risk taker. Moreover Hizbullah's retaliation capability is only one of many reasons why a war seems unlikely.

Then again - the Islamic Jihad, a group that fights next to Hamas in the Gaza Strip but is financed by Iran, also speaks of a summer war.

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 5:05 utc - 8 May 2019

#Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary general Ziyad al-Nakhla to @AlMayadeenNews : "I expect a large war this summer with #Israel".

The partners of the 'Axis of Resistance', Hizbullah in Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Shia militia in Iraq, announced several times that they would support each other in a war against Israel. It is thus likely that any attack on Lebanon (or Syria, or Iran) would see a response from another country. Hassan Nasrallah, for example, is on the record that he would "do his duty" should Iran be attacked. Any war could thus escalate in unpredictable ways.

While some hawks in the U.S. would probably welcome such an escalation, neither Israel nor its silent allies in Saudi Arabia and UAE would escape from receiving significant damage. They know this and will act accordingly.

The most important reason why a summer war is unlikely is Donald Trump. He wants to win a reelection. A months long, unpredictable war that might cause serious damage to Israel and other U.S. allies in the region could be catastrophic for him.

Some of his advisors, most obviously John 'Stache' Bolton, but others too, may well try to instigate a war. But the ultimate 'decider' is Donald Trump and I, for now, see no reason for him to wage one.

Posted by b on May 8, 2019 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

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b

I tend to agree about the reluctance to take on Hezb in Lebanon. War in Lebanon seems less pressing than helping Turkey to retain Idlib. IMO the occupations of Idlib, Golan Heights, and NE Syria are no accident and non-negotiable. Each plays a part in the strategy of dismantling Syria and removing Assad (eventually).

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

Removing Hezbollah from Lebanon is certainly another goal but preventing an attack on Idlib may be more pressing at this time. However, if war is made on Lebanon, it seems likely that FUKUSI will try to gain the advantage of surprise (as difficult as that may be given Hezb preparations and readiness).

Still, FUKUSI likely believe that in any real war, the Hezb missiles will be used. So why not strike first? There are various scenarios where both Lebanon and Syria could be drawn in to the FUKUSI vs. Iran conflict. Examples:

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

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

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 8, 2019 1:13:23 PM | 1

Unless...

b4real

Posted by: b4real | May 8, 2019 1:19:05 PM | 2

Next summer, during the election, would be ideal. Israel will be "protected" by Trump and US "strength". Iran will be weaker and less money will have gone to Hezbollah. (Nasrallah has already stated that money will be hard to come by.) A fast, sharp assault could take down the Lebanese government (especially with Saudi assistance). And the question will be will Russia do anything, like turn on its S-400 system to limit US and Israeli air strikes.

A nice three-day (nighttime) pounding of specific command and control targets, some ammo caches blown up, and then a victorious statement from the WH that Trump saved the Jews again. Meanwhile, the Beirut government succumbs (taken down).

Perfect for fund-raising and votes.

Thus, it is more likely next year. Though, if Venezuela goes cold, who knows what the crazies in charge will provoke?

Posted by: Red Ryder | May 8, 2019 1:22:14 PM | 3

If Hezbullah gets attacked a few Hamas rockets will look like confetti.

Posted by: dh | May 8, 2019 1:33:23 PM | 4

There's one constituency within the Outlaw US Empire that would like to see Zionistan destroyed--Evangelical Christians--which have a high density within TrumpCo. There's been a plethora of essays about them over the past several months, with this article being representative by trying to both inform and warn:

"What does matter is the Evangelical belief that before the world can end, the Jews must gather in Israel and be converted to Christianity. This puts Evangelicals in the curious position of being pro-Israel but anti-Semitic. So far as I am aware, Jews have no enthusiasm for conversion. Those who believe this are called Christian Zionists, and their loyalty is to whatever they think God wants, not to peace, America, or reason. They are loyal to Israel because it is essential to the end of the world.

"This means that directing the foreign policy of the United States we have two fringe Christians, two Jews (Kushner and Ivanka) and an addled and easily led First Carrot. It means that Pompeo and Pence are driven not by practical consideration of the needs and wellbeing of the United States but by loyalty to curious theological ideas and to a foreign country. They will do what fits these ideas. And they are simply bad men."

And as pointed out by many, Evangelicals form the hard core of TrumpCo's base, and Bolsonaro's Brazil is also beholden to them. Brushing them off as a nonsensical cult like the Moonies might seem like the correct course except for their having their hands on weapons of all sorts.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 8, 2019 1:37:53 PM | 5

Israel and America will likely use their zombie proxies Isis to bleed out Lebanon with guerilla style attacks against police military installations. Once the foot soldiers are repelled they will gather information on where this heavy resistance is coming from be it via satellite, spies, iPhones snapping away while they appear civilian. Then that's when America and Israel will launch their attacks once they have wounded Lebanon. They go with the death via lack of blood eg thousand Lebanese dead morale down, calls for peace then it is fire the jets up and tanks and finish what is left. God bless the people who resist for they are honorable people.

Posted by: Moroccaneyes | May 8, 2019 1:40:04 PM | 6

Iran is a threat to Israel primarily because it supplies Hezbollah with arms. Lebanon is on Israel's hit list for lebensraum and offshore energy resources (install a pliant stooge who will give Lebanese resources to Israel for a few tens of million USD in a secret bank account). Hezbollah stands in the way of that. Israel knows it can't win against Hezbollah as long as Hezb receives replacement weapons. Hence the staged strategy of destabilising / destroying Iran to break the resupply route allowing Israel to wear down Hezbollah. This orighinally would have been achieved (to a large extent|) by destroying Syria but that is history now. So it is on to plan B.

A secondary reason Israel has for destroying Iran is to eliminate its supply of oil/gas to the market, raising the price Israel can get for its looted resources.

Posted by: Yonatan | May 8, 2019 1:49:57 PM | 7

Great story about the fraudulent "coup" in VZ from FAIR.org reprinted over at Salon today. Random Guaydo was claiming to be at the air base when...who knows where he really was, some 1%-er neighborhood? Here's an excerpt:

After days of breathless reporting in the U.S. media about public and military support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro collapsing, and about an April 30 coup by presidential poseur Juan Guaidó, we now know the truth: The whole thing was a fraud, staged at the instigation of Washington in hopes that the Venezuelan people andrank-and-file troops would fall for the trick and think an actual coup was underway.

We also know, from an excellent May 2 report by Michael Fox in the Nation, that the U.S. mainstream media and its reporters in country were promoting that dangerous fraud.

CNN ran Juan Guaido’s video, in which he falsely claimed to be “in the La Carlota air force base.”

Take CNN. In its reporting on the “uprising” announced by Guaidó on Tuesday, April 30, it ran a video from social media depicting Guaidó, accompanied by opposition leader Leopoldo López, along with some armed men in uniform, said to be military defectors, standing behind them. The video claimed they were on the La Carlota military airfield in eastern Caracas, which Guaidó said had been “liberated.” According to CNN, he was addressing “thousands of supporters” on the scene, urging the rest of the Venezuelan military to join the coup and oust the “usurper” Maduro.

But as Michael Fox and other observers noted, CNN didn’t show those “thousands” of supporters — because there were none. Nor did the cable network explain in its report that Guaidó and López were not actually at the airbase, but rather were standing on a highway overpass outside the base — which was, in fact, never in rebel hands at all.

I recommend checking it out there because most of the info above contains URLs in the original.

Posted by: KC | May 8, 2019 2:10:35 PM | 8

To the above story on VZ and the fraudulent "coup" - the real story, of course, is that US media including CNN and NYT, have not figured out that in this day and age they are easy to fact-check, so they need to get better at their fake news which has become their bread and butter.

But also, it illustrates just how blatantly that our corporate MSM (Fakes Snooze included) will lie to us in the service of empire. Apparently no lie is too big and who cares if they get found out? Well....I think the day is rapidly approaching where their shareholders are going to be the ones caring....why else do you think it is that every time you visit CNN, NYT, Fox News, AP, etc. they pressure you with popups that ask you to install their app? They want to be first in line to tell you the lies, sure. But they also realize that many people are just too busy or lazy to follow up and fact-check their fakery, so it's all part of the underlying mission to propagandize on behalf of Wall Street, Corporate America and the war machine (all of which can really be seen as the same damn thing)>

Posted by: KC | May 8, 2019 2:21:30 PM | 9

Israel seeks to have armies that could threaten it destroyed.

Saddam Hussein had a battle tested army. It was destroyed by the US.

Bashar Assad has a battle tested army. It's destruction was attempted by the US and its proxies. The attempt has so far failed but the game is not over as the US proxies control Syria's breadbasket and oil fields; consequently, Syria's ability to project power beyond its borders is weak.

Hassan Nasrallah has a battle-tested army. It must be destroyed. How can Israel turn this task over to the US?

The other adjacent countries to Israel have been neutered, i.e., bought-off by the US.

If all the countries in Western Asia can be either bought by the US or turned into weak states (by the US) ruled by competing warlords, then Israel can feel safer. (The Libyan model comes to mind...)

Chaos is the order of the day.

Posted by: TheBAG | May 8, 2019 2:25:00 PM | 10

I agree with b that Israel risks too much to want war with Hezbollah, particularly because, apart from its links with Iran, it is also tightly allied with Syria whose integrity is guaranteed by Russia.
Besides which the election in Israel is over, Netanyahu won and has little incentive to turn his attentions away from the pilfering which has become his main interest.
On the other hand Swift has a point: "the neocons tend to believe their own propaganda.." And they are much less realistic about the balance of power, seeing the Pentagon as all powerful and capable of achieving any objective. So there is always a chance that with Trump, Pompeo and Bolton-the axis of evil banality- running things a million people could get killed and piles of smoking, glowing ruins created. Again.

Posted by: bevin | May 8, 2019 2:33:29 PM | 11

The IDF are cowards who can only achieve success against unarmed civilians and medics, or --on a larger scale-- when others do the dying and they reap the profits.

Posted by: bjd | May 8, 2019 2:39:42 PM | 12

The 'Globalist's' (of which the Neo-Cons running Trump's foreign policy are a part) crusade for Global Governance is in a box.

Their gambits in Ukraine (for Crimea), Syria, Iran, N. Korea and Venezuela are at 'stalemate'. At the same time they are losing influence in places that they thought were securely under their control, such as Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi(?).

The war-mongering regarding Lebanon could be an effort to open up a new front in order to break out of the box that the 'Globalists' are in.

Posted by: dh-mtl | May 8, 2019 2:40:43 PM | 13

Something else planned for the summer is the Kuschner/Trump peace deal- From a new leak (but with some expected content anyway) is that Hamas would be totally disarmed. If one of the three signatories (Israel, Palestinians-Fatah and Hamas-Gaza) break the deal, then the "US will react". Since Hamas would be extremely unlikely to disarm without more than a vague promise from Israel - it's expected refusal should also be taken into account in a Herzbollah-Lebanon v Israel-US conflict scenario.

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201905081074821510-deal-of-century-details/

Posted by: stonebird | May 8, 2019 2:50:00 PM | 14

many of these scenarios depend on the what happens with the US and global economy. I have been amazed that the "Powers That Be" central banks have kept the economies muddling through for so long (as well as enriching the .1% even more). Any black swan event can turn into a bigger financial fiasco than 2008. They didn't fix anything. They just created 10's of trillions of dollars to keep everything from sinking into a Minsky moment and feedback decline. If this happens before the 2020 election and Trump wants to get re-elected then a war somewhere is his easy answer.

Posted by: gepay | May 8, 2019 2:59:23 PM | 15

i wouldn't put anything past the neocon warmongers guided by evangelical and israel ideology... fact is israel has a problem, but going for some quick short war doesn't make sense to me here either.. not saying it won't happen given the players, but it doesn't make a lot of sense.. my thinking is the big war is going to break out in syria, not lebannon or israel - if israel can help it.. syria will be the cheap excuse usa-israel will use for going after iran..

and i tend to agree with red ryder - next summer, not this one..

@b4real. i liked the top comment on the article.. i have mixed views on the middleeasteye as an unbiased news outlet..

@5 karlof1.. random guy is also an evangelical... not making it up!

Posted by: james | May 8, 2019 3:02:24 PM | 16

US dismisses Iran's threats to withdraw from nuclear deal, weighs new sanctions instead

"They've(Iran) made a number of statements about actions they threatened to do in order to get the world to jump. We'll see what they actually do. The United States will wait to observe that," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday in London.

Pompeo's face after googling "psychological projection" ---> :(

Iran is using 'nuclear blackmail' to negotiate new deal, says former CIA station chief

“Let’s all remember that Iran is the state sponsor of terrorism, that they’re the ones responsible for aggressive military action throughout the region, destabilizing neighbors in the Gulf and attacking U.S. persons and our installations throughout the regions,” Hoffman said. “We are sending a clear message to Iran. We are seeking to deter their further aggressive action. If we did nothing, then we would be subjected to attacks because Iran would take that as weakness."

US deploys CSG and nuclear capable bombers into the region, aka aggressive action, but only in order to deter further Iranian aggressive action?

Instead of doing nothing they decided to announce then deploy strategic assets into range of "reported" Iranian missiles and then wait for something to happen. Perfect. Not sure what could go wrong with this plan?

Posted by: Zack | May 8, 2019 3:06:03 PM | 17

Expanding on my comment @1

I think FUKUSI is generally happy with their war-of-attrition strategy that starves Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and Palestinians. So I'm not sure that FUKUSI is any rush to fight Hezb.

But the possibility of Russia and Syria attempting to reclaim Idlib is a real concern for them. Residents of Idlib and Afrin (plus refugees) can be propagandized to vote against Assad. Also, as hardships continue in Syria proper, some non-refugee Syrians might relocate to Idlib (a big propaganda win against Assad).

IMO Syria is still the priority. If Assad kicked Iran out of Syria, that would only buy a short reprieve. FUKUSI will continue the war against Syria until they control the country or suffer a sharp set-back (that would likely mean a wider war).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 8, 2019 3:06:35 PM | 18


What Will It Take to Crush Hezbollah?

https://www.ziadabdelnour.org/what-will-it-take-to-crush-hezbollah/

January 16, 2018

by Ziad Abdelnour

Ziad Abdelnour, a Christian, is an associate of Daniel Pipes and Elliott Abrams.

Elliott Abrams accompanied Condoleeza Rice to Lebanon as primary adviser when they
tried to "solve" the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

John Bolton, not incidentally, was US Ambassador to the UN in 2006, and laid the
groundwork for the scheme of pivoting from a successful invasion of Lebanon into Iran
and Syria. In May 2006, just weeks before Israel's false-flag at the
Israel/Lebanon border, Bolton championed UN resolution 1680 which made
Iran responsible for Hezbollah's actions.

https://2001-2009.state.gov/p/io/rls/rm/66417.htm

Thousands of words could be written about Resolution 1680 but Daniel Pipes
summed it up in August of 2006 when he posted: "Resolution 1680 gives
us the right to attack Iran, by the way".

In the article, "What Will It Take to Crush Hezbollah?", tuned in and
connected Ziad Abdelnour offers this:


Some experts say that for Israel to defeat Hezbollah, they must develop a strategy to eliminate Hezbollah’s rocket and missile capabilities. And the way to do this would be with unmanned systems that will give Israel the opportunity to conduct the necessary ground campaign to neutralize Hezbollah, responding to its rocket attacks swiftly enough to degrade its arsenal. Combine these efforts with US technological and most importantly, political support, and maybe Israel will finally have what it takes to direct an attack that will eliminate Hezbollah.

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.


Posted by: librul | May 8, 2019 3:09:52 PM | 19

"Removing Hezbollah from Lebanon is certainly another goal" That is plain crazy talk. The whole point of the formation of Hezbollah after Israel invaded that Shia community in Southern Lebanon in 1982 was to rise up and protect their homes and land. After the IDF kicked the PLO out (which the Shia community did not mind at the time since they were dirt poor and stealing from them) they started putting up road blocks, establishing curfews, and building military outposts. They Shia community saw the writing on the wall. They were to become the next generation of "Palestinians". They formed Hezbollah and became determined to fight with everything they had to maintain their lands and homes. They understand they are standing in the way of Greater Israel. They know Israel is not interested in peace. They know Israel wants their land. They don't have the luxury of the deluded thinkers in the West. They have proven they will fight to maintain their lands and homes. They will not be removed from their land and homes alive. The only thing Israel and the US can do to take that land over is to kill them all. That is their only option. They will not be removed.

Posted by: goldhoarder | May 8, 2019 3:13:00 PM | 20

Well if the leaked plan assuming it is true is THE plan for this summer it is a political non-starter and gives the US the "right" (decreed by the US of course) to attack Gaza/Hamas/Islamic J for Israel if I read it correctly.
So if the US attacks Gaza et al for Israel, we can expect Lebanon, Iran, Syria, possibly Turkey to jump in?
My guess is this leaked doc is part of the PR to scare Iran and make Bibi look like he has a plan. I doubt anything will come of Trump's (aka Jared's) splendid strategy, this year anyway.
But I do think that all the ranting and raving around and at Iran/Lebanon is to cower them while Israel destroys Gaza this summer, THAT is the real plan IMO.

Posted by: frances | May 8, 2019 3:29:27 PM | 21

did israel whip hezbollah's ass in 2006? to the contrary, they fled with their tail between their legs. why would it expect to be able to do it now - when hezbollah has 50,000+ more missiles. and more of those more are up-to-date and well guided - the damage in israel would be substantial as b and all other sane commentators have pointed out.

would israel drop the bomb to scare everyone out of their wits - I think that about as unlikely as it being able to successfully beat Hezbollah at this point. lebanon alas is a very small country and so susceptible to sanctions and blackmail and arm twisting, but they are still a proud people. They certainly don't want a war

what support will israel receive from the US this summer that it didn't receive from the Bush-cheney regime in 2006? saturation bombing? there is always a pretty high political cost for such desperate actions

bolton and pompeo et. al. are certainly extremists, I don't consider Trump to be such; so politically it would not be useful at all for a large war to break out in the middle east anytime between now and the 2020 election.

the neo-cons and the world bankers/Financial Elites will continue to use their tariffs, sanctions, attacks on currencies, and other instruments to weaken governments they don't like or that don't play The Game by their rules, but over the long run the nature of the game itself itself is changing; and not to the US's advantage

unfortunately for the human race very few of the leaders these days are rational actors, even less so their main advisors, so one can hardly be certain of anything, or that someone will make a mistake or over-reaction or strategic error or whatever and start a war, by accident or design. War makers and manufacturers love war that's their business and business is good in the world right now.

Posted by: michaelj72 | May 8, 2019 4:25:07 PM | 22

The Question of if there will be a US Israeli instigated war in the near future comes down to Trump's grip with reality when it involves israel.
Yemen -anti Israel - Trump vetoed a congress resolution to end US involvement in the war against Yemen. Venezuela - anti Israel - Trump is on the way to setting up a medieval siege, possibly military action. Iran - now under a medieval siege with US now sanctioning metal exports. Turkey - anti Israel - no major action there I guess its difficult to sanction a NATO member but Trump admin looking at designating MB a terror organisation.
Qatar - anti Israel - Trump fully backed Sadi MBS in his moves on Qatar - perhaps instigated by Trump US.
When it comes to Izrael and Zionism, how far detached from reality is Trump. My Guess is that he is nearly as far from realism as his appointees. Perhaps to the point Trump thinks the majority of US voters will back the 'good' war against Israels enemies.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 8, 2019 4:28:22 PM | 23

There's another player in the mix few ever mention--China. Few know the fact that Israel recognized the PRC in 1950, although full relations waited until 1992 to be established. Disengaging from conflict is in the best interests of Palestine/Zionistan and that presents an enormous dilemma for Nutty. The following few items touch on the relations between them:

"China and Israel in the Belt and Road Initiative."

"Unlikely partners? China and Israel deepening trade ties."

This discusses the complexity when Palestine is factored into the mix, "Will China abandon the Palestinians?"

And a book on the subject's been published, ISRAEL AND CHINA: From Silk Road to Innovation Highway

It would bet Putin brings up fundamental national interests whenever he talks with Nutty. There are several festering sores on the planet with Palestine/Zionistan long having top billing. For BRI to function properly, stability and peace are requisite requirements. For those to become reality in Southwest Asia, the entire question of Palestine/Zionistan must be solved in the most equitable manner possible--a manner currently not even being suggested by "The Dealer."

Posted by: karlof1 | May 8, 2019 4:32:36 PM | 24

Here's a pleasant surprise: "US support for Israel eroding, but not among Trump voters, poll finds". In the poll, "... just 37 percent of those surveyed are prepared to describe Israel as an 'ally' of the United States." That was 6 months ago and is possibly lower today because of Zionistan's ongoing atrocities and ties to terrorists.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 8, 2019 4:45:35 PM | 25

@16 James

re: " i have mixed views on the middleeasteye as an unbiased news outlet"

From the page:

"Middle East Eye could not independently verify the content of the leaked document, whose source was anonymous."

I could have linked to the israeli newspaper but it is in hebrew...

The 'unless' was not a response to the duplicate @1, it was directed at the last line of b's articl; to wit: " But the ultimate 'decider' is Donald Trump and I, for now, see no reason for him to wage one." 'Unless...'

I probably should'a cut n pasted that into my @2.


b4real

Posted by: b4real | May 8, 2019 4:47:07 PM | 26

Does anybody here know if Israel has low-yield nukes?

Posted by: bjd | May 8, 2019 4:49:36 PM | 27

Here is the problem for Israel...

Hezbollah can, it is estimated by some people, rain 6,500 missiles a day down on Israel should Israel attack them again. This estimate depends on who you believe about how large and accurate Hezbollah's missiles are. Some estimates are as high as 200,000, which I doubt, but who know? Even a few hundred accurate missiles a day would drive the Israeli population into bomb shelters 24x7, which would cause the economy to evaporate, and tick off the electorate who might vote out the ruling elites in the next election.

Clearly, Israel can't afford a war with Hezbollah - and therefore can't afford to start, or allow the US to start, a war with Iran if Hezbollah might enter that war on Iran's side.

However...

Colonel Pat Lang has noted that the US is the only power (allied with Israel, that is) with strategic bombers called B-52's that can literally "plow the earth" with massive bomb loads if they are used in a tactical manner - as they were during the Vietnam War. These bombers could be used to literally destroy southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley, Hezbollah's strongholds. These bombers could dig twenty-foot-deep craters all across these areas, severely restricting Hexbollah movements and possibly destroying Hezbollah's underground bunkers and missile caches. As an aside, of course, such an attack would slaughter tens of thousands of civilians in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley - something Lang doesn't mention since he's too enamored of US military power to consider that important.

So the question becomes this...Israel can not afford to attack Hezbollah themselves because they would suffer the same problems as if Hezbollah were to attack Israel in support of Iran in an Iran war. But if the US decided to directly support Israel in attempting to eliminate Hezbollah as a prelude to attacking Iran by using its strategic bombing assets in a tactical manner, this might - just might - enable Israel to achieve a sufficient degradation of Hezbollah's missile capability (and perhaps forcing Hezbollah further north to minimize its remaining missiles' ability to hit all of Israel) that Israel would be able to manage any further Hezbollah involvement in an Iran war.

And given that Trump seems determined to start a war with Iran - and we know that all of his advisers certainly intend that - and given the US escalation of sanctions and threats against Hezbollah, I think it's quite likely that the US either has secretly agreed to support Israel in an attack on Hezbollah or is likely to so agree in the near future.

There is also the possibility that the US and Israel intend such an attack on Hezbollah to be extended into Syria, to remove Syria's hypothetical ability to support Iran against Israel in an Iran war. The risk here is obvious: Russia would be forced to either intervene directly against either Israel or the US or both, or be forced to abandon Syria and watch everything they've achieved there be undone. Which would seriously escalate the risk of nuclear war.

I've said for many years that Israel and the US absolutely intend a war with Iran - if they can figure out how to protect Israel from the consequences, i.e., enable Israel to have a "cheap war". Israel can contend with some Iranian missiles, but can not contend with massive numbers of missiles from Hezbollah. If the decision has been made by the US to directly support Israel against Hezbollah - and I believe this is likely the case or soon will be - then all bets are off.

As a relevant aside, there has been an alleged leak of the Trump "peace plan" - and part of that is the threat that the US will assist Israel in attacking the Palestinians if Hamas or the PLO reject the peace plan and there is any further escalation by Hamas against Israel. In other words, the US will directly attack the Palestinians and attempt to exterminate Hamas if the peace plan is rejected (and the probability of that if the details of the plan are correct is extremely high.) If the US is prepared to bomb the Palestinians, I don't think it's a stretch that they are prepared to slaughter tens of thousand of Shiites in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. After all, Hezbollah is on a par with Hamas as being considered "terrorists" by the US (if not the EU), and the AUMF will likely be used to justify such an attack.

Against this, we have the notion that Trump can't afford a new war because it will threaten his re-election chances. Keep in mind that the only time he has had a bump in the polls is when he was bombing Syria. Bolton and Pompeo are telling him that Iran is threatening US troops in Iraq and elsewhere. Trump has decided to try to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero - which is both impossible and officially a "blockade" which is already an act of war - if carried out by the US Navy, which may well be why that strike group is being sent to the Persian Gulf. So Trump is already pushing the edge of what Iran is willing to accept without pushing back. Can we say for sure that he knows what the consequences of an attack on Hezbollah or Iran will be? That he will respond rationally if either Israel or the neocons engineer a false flag provocation by either Hezbollah or Iran? Did he respond rationally over the alleged Syrian gas attacks? Or will he listen to his son-in-law who has already convinced him to attack the Palestinians?

I'm not so sure a new Mid-East war is as unlikely as some people think. I think it is inevitable, if not this summer, or even during a Trump second term. But I don't see how he can be re-elected and get through another four years of pressuring Iran because of pressure on him by Israel without one. And if he loses the election, and Biden becomes President, I don't see Biden getting through four or eight years of the same.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 8, 2019 4:52:34 PM | 28

@Richard Steven Hack (28)

I was reading the WP-article on Operation Barbarossa (Unternehmung Barbarossa), to satisfy the Nazi's quest for Lebensraum, this morning.
There are some eerie similarities.

Posted by: bjd | May 8, 2019 5:00:00 PM | 29

I'm not buying that "New Palestine" plan one bit. No mentions of the right of return. Any plans that exclude the Palestinian diaspora wont fly..

Posted by: Lozion | May 8, 2019 5:05:35 PM | 30

@21 Frances

"But I do think that all the ranting and raving around and at Iran/Lebanon is to cower them while Israel destroys Gaza this summer, THAT is the real plan IMO."

This is a highly plausible scenario you have envisioned. The 'leaked plan' made me laugh, and in a sane world I doubt it would gain any traction. But...Trump.


b4real

Posted by: b4real | May 8, 2019 5:12:21 PM | 31

Trumps aims as US president as I see it. Destroy Israel's enemies. Gain energy dominance. Bring down China. The first two are tied in together. Qatar and Iran hold a large gas reserve. Iran and Venezuela hold large oil reserves. If the US can gain energy dominance, it can then bring down China by cutting its energy supplies.
Trumps low yeald nukes are scheduled to be ready to go (operating capacity) by end of September - end of northern hemisphere summer.
Crooke in a recent article gave his veiw on Trump's attitude to nuclear war and also quoted some of what Trump has said in the past when asked about the future.

A long copy and paste, but this is the section where Crooke gives his opinion on how Trump views nuclear war.
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/04/22/when-non-rational-trumps-rational-fuels-our-march-towards-war/
The major danger is that Trump is not fearful of nuclear war – at least not in the way earlier generations of US leaders were. For Trump has manifested (admittedly before assuming the Presidency) a strange and worrying fatalism about nuclear conflict. Will Bolton manoeuvre to exploit this quirk?

We know that Trump regards himself as ‘an expert’ on nuclear conflict: In a 1984 interview with the Washington Post, Trump said that he hoped one day to become the United States’ chief negotiator with the Soviet Union for nuclear weapons. Trump claimed that he could negotiate a great nuclear arms deal with Moscow. Comparing crafting an arms accord with cooking up a real estate deal, Trump insisted he had innate talent for this mission.

In a 1990 interview with Playboy, Trump said, “I think of the future, but I refuse to paint it. Anything can happen. But I often think of nuclear war.” He explained: “I’ve always thought about the issue of nuclear war; it’s a very important element in my thought process. It’s the ultimate, the ultimate catastrophe, the biggest problem this world has, and nobody’s focusing on the nuts and bolts of it.”

Five years on, Trump was asked where he would be in five years. “Who knows?” he replied. “Maybe the bombs drop from heaven, who knows? This is a sick world. We’re dealing here with lots of sickos. And you have the nuclear and you have the this, and you have the that.” Trump continued expressing the notion that nuclear annihilation could be on the horizon: “Oh absolutely. I mean, I think it’s sick human nature. If Hitler had the bomb, you don’t think he would have used it? He would have put it in the middle of Fifth Avenue. He would have used Trump Tower, 57th and Fifth … Boom”.

In another Playboy interview —this one in 2004—Trump once more conveyed his nuclear despondency. He was asked, “Do you think Trump Tower and your other buildings will bear your name a hundred years from now?” Trump responded, “I don’t think any building will be here—and unless we have some very smart people ruling it, the world will not be the same place in a hundred years. The weapons are too powerful, too strong.”

During the Presidential election debate, Candidate Trump said in December: “The biggest problem this world has today is not President Obama with global warming … The biggest problem we have is nuclear – nuclear proliferation – and having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon. That’s in my opinion, that is the single biggest problem that our country faces right now … I think – I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation, is very important to me.”

“So for decades, it seems” David Corn has written in Mother Jones, “Trump has been haunted by the feeling that nuclear war may be inescapable. Now he is in a position to do something about the matter”. And, as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper remarked, “[If] in a fit of pique he [Trump] decides to do something about Kim Jong Un, there’s actually very little to stop him”. “The whole [nuclear weapons] system is built to ensure rapid response if necessary. So there’s very little in the way of controls over exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary.”

In short, should a fatalistically inclined US President, order a nuclear tactical weapons strike (and America currently is taking delivery of tactical weapons, and exercising with allies, the air delivery of them) – possibly believing recourse to tactical nuclear weapons is somehow inevitable, and egged on by his messianic team – there is almost nothing to stop him.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 8, 2019 5:19:48 PM | 32

A Russian war correspondent conducted an interview with General Ahmed Al-Mismari, the official representative of the Libyan National Army.
Some of the main points of the interview:


QUESTION: What is the main reason for the LNA offensive on Tripoli?

ANSWER: Tripoli operation is part of a large-scale war against terrorists. The war against terror was declared by [us] on May 16, 2014. The battle [against the terrorists] began in Benghazi and today has reached Tripoli. The battle for Tripoli is one of the stages of the war [against terrorism]. After that, the LNA will proceed to clean up other hotbeds of terrorism, while Libya will not be completely liberated from terrorist groups.

QUESTION: We know that the government in Tripoli is supporting the radical groups that control the city of Misrata. What other countries support gangs in Misrata and other Libyan cities?

ANSWER: The role of Iran in Tripoli is manifested by the presence of missiles of the 302nd class, which were delivered to Misrata via Turkey. There is strong political support from the UK. We in Libya today confront a number of strong international and regional players.

QUESTION: About the Italian hospital in Misrata, about the Italian battalion, which is located there. How is it possible that the Italians work side by side with the radicals?

ANSWER: A group of [Italians] came to Libya under the pretext of organizing a field hospital and is now at the headquarters of a military air school. At the same time, we do not need this kind of humanitarian assistance from anyone. Militants and bandit commanders are treated in such hospitals. For Italian soldiers, military training is conducted there.

QUESTION: What weapons do the fighters of the Government of National Accord in Tripoli have?

ANSWER: We were surprised by the presence of 302-class "ground-to-ground" missiles with a working distance of up to 200 meters. Information came from Misrata that they had about 20,000 [such] missiles. There are also drones for intelligence. A large number of ammunition, air defense missiles. Every day we discover new weapons on the ground.

QUESTION: [LNA's] Air Defense Forces shot down the Mirage aircraft of the Air Forces of the Government of National Accord. The Libyan army captured the Portuguese pilot. What is his condition now and what does he expect in the future?

ANSWER: This is the second aircraft of the Mirage F1 class, which was shot down by [us]. The first pilot from Ecuador (he is Portuguese) was not found. We found only his chair and some personal items. The co-pilot was captured, his health is in excellent condition. This is a mercenary. He came to kill the Libyans and get paid for it from the city of Misrata. Misrata attracts mercenaries from a number of countries - Ecuador, Bulgaria, Ukraine etc. Now in Misrata they are repairing airplanes and [then] bombing [us] from the air.

QUESTION: What is the role of the Russian Federation in Libya, what can the Russian Federation do to help the people of Libya?

ANSWER: the role of the Russian Federation will be very effective, because The Russian Federation was not one of the parties that destroyed the country and killed the Libyans. The role of the Russian Federation will be welcomed in Libya. Russian help will bring victory over the gangs.

Posted by: alaff | May 8, 2019 5:27:09 PM | 33

Bibi needs his psychotic right wing partners to pass a bill saying he doesn't have to go to jail. The price for that is going to be enormous. Bolton on the other hand I believes things he can permanently wrap up the ME problem and move on the turning China into a US colony.

@28 Richard Steven Hack

The US has the fire power to destroy major parts of Lebanon (unless Russia sets up AD there). But they don't have the fire power to do the same to Syria and Iran at the same time. By the time they could get the job done all the missiles would have been fired and all Israelis would have fled back to the west. The US air inventory is vast but it is also falling apart. All American politicians are for buying shiny new things. But the not so sexy maintenance part doesn't get the same attention. If the US was to deplete their inventory of weapons and draw in all the kit the fight would require they would have problems in other parts of the world as every one that was waiting for an opportunity to do things would take advantage of the US attention being back in the ME. Every country gains it's independence while the colonial over lords are occupied else where.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/27047/the-navys-operational-f-35c-is-fully-mission-capable-less-than-five-percent-of-time

https://www.snafu-solomon.com/2019/05/depressing-news-v-22-fleet-wide.html

https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2018/09/11/watchdog-report-the-latest-to-sound-alarm-over-military-aviation-readiness/

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | May 8, 2019 6:00:10 PM | 34

@30 Lozion

The goal of the Deal of the Century (from the guy that lost a $1B over 4 years) has never been to set up a Palestinian state. It has been to set up the grounds for Israel to annex the West Bank and give the Americans another chance to kick the Palestinians in the face.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | May 8, 2019 6:03:51 PM | 35

@bjd #27
Israeli nuclear weapons, 2014

"Seymour Hersh’s 1991 best-seller, The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy, claimed that Israel had manufactured “hundreds” of low-yield neutron nuclear warheads and that at least three nuclear-capable artillery battalions were established after 1973 with self-propelled 175-mm cannons assigned more than 108 nuclear artillery shells. Additional nuclear artillery shells were supplied for Israel’s 203-mm cannons. Moreover, Hersh claimed, the warhead that was tested in Israel’s suspected nuclear test in 1979 “was a low-yield nuclear artillery shell that had been standardized for use by the Israeli Defense Force” The New York Times reported these claims but also mentioned that the “formal” United States intelligence estimate was “fewer than 100” warheads, quoted the Carnegie Endowment as saying that most outsiders estimated as many as 200 warheads, but ended on Hersh’s estimate of an Israeli stockpile of “300 or more” warheads

Posted by: Zack | May 8, 2019 6:07:48 PM | 36

B-52's, of any stripe, are human-made machines. Currently, there are quite a few instances of other human-made machines that will totally destroy these 4 on their landing strip in Qatar...

Posted by: kgw | May 8, 2019 6:14:13 PM | 37

The problem for Israel is that it always fights the last war. And the last war in 2006 was a dismal failure precisely because Olmert didn't send the ground troops in because he had been told the IDF could neuter Hezbollah's missiles from the air.

Didn't work out that way, and by the time he did send in the troops it was too late.

So this time around Israel will do the reverse i.e. it will rush its troops into southern Lebanon from the beginning in an attempt to overrun the missile sites before they could be used.

Bet on it.

Where things will go wrong will be in the Golan Heights, since that dash towards the Litani River will tempt Assad into launching his own forces against the remaining IDF presence in the Golan.

What does Netanyahu do then?

Heck, if the SAA takes the Golan then Bibi's position will be terrible: not just the risk that his army isn't up to the task of occupying southern Lebanon, he would run the risk of them being rolled up from their right flank.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 8, 2019 6:15:01 PM | 38

@ 28 quoted Pat Lang;"
"Colonel Pat Lang has noted that the US is the only power (allied with Israel, that is) with strategic bombers called B-52's that can literally "plow the earth" with massive bomb loads if they are used in a tactical manner - as they were during the Vietnam War."

Yes, that worked out well in Vietnam. Pat Lang is a moron.
I wholly agree with Lozion @ 30. The "New Palestine" plan is DOA. All Israel has to do is continue the genocide for a few more years, and the"final solution" to their Palestinian problem will bear fruit.

Posted by: ben | May 8, 2019 6:32:05 PM | 39

Pat Lang at his site came to the same conclusion as b. A war of choice against Iran would destroy Trump's re-election chance. I read a comment on that thread that in my opinion is the best.

Jack said... Sir

I concur with your analysis that a war of choice against Iran at the behest of Bibi will likely kill Trump's re-election which is his to lose right now. No doubt he'll be supported by Biden, Pelosi and the rest of the beltway crew. I can see Sean Hannity and Fareed Zakaria drooling "war president" and even Rachel Maddow conceding respect. AIPAC will ensure the pom poms and the yellow ribbons with Support the Troops decals.

My sense though is that Trump will bluster and build up the armada but not pull the trigger. Bibi & Bolton will have to pull off a gas attack or something similar to put the squeeze on him. Putin however will caution him and note the severe implications of how it could go awry.

Trump I don't believe is delusional. He knows he won by just 80,000 votes in the Rust Belt. There will be limited support there for another middle eastern quagmire with trillions of expenditure. He must know that while he could make Iran rubble he can't get them to bend their knee to Bibi. Even with all the hysteria ginned up by the ziocons there will be a sizeable minority who will oppose another war fought by the Deplorables to aid Bibi's maximalist dreams.

Posted by: ab initio | May 8, 2019 6:42:17 PM | 40

@35 Understood but annexing the West Bank outright also wont fly. Kushner is delusional, if that really is his plan that was leaked. In short, there cant be any legit "Deal of the Century" until a change of Government in Israel sees a new Rabin (we all know how that ended) which puts us back to ben's @39 comment, slow continued genocide or a regional war forces Israel to capitulate..

Posted by: Lozion | May 8, 2019 6:52:02 PM | 41

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-rouhani/u-s-targets-irans-metals-for-sanctions-tehran-relaxes-nuclear-deal-compliance-idUSKCN1SE0I5
WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday imposed new sanctions on Iran, targeting revenue from its exports of industrial metals, the latest salvo in tensions between Washington and Tehran over a 2015 international accord curbing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 8, 2019 6:54:10 PM | 42

We are not speaking of a "Summer War", rather the war is established and running for some time now, years; possibly historians will trace the present war as beginning with the "sui generis" criminal auto-demolitions at New York and DC in 2001 - the planted explosives at Pet-a-gone and the 3 sky-scrapers. The ringers (magic airplanes with magic pilots) were "empty ringers", and this was obvious. Any con-man will tell you that the ringer can't look empty...those did.

Withal,we are speaking of a glorious Summer Campaign that probably won't end as dreamt. That is the objective reality. But it is not the reality of the baldly delusional...

Perhaps we ought to examine what delusional means. I say that these men making war are hallucinating. They are not engaged with reality, and they cannot know this - they are really delusional. Psychotic.

What remains is not the question of war and a "splendid" Summer Campaign, but where and how rational agencies (Iran, Russia, China, many millions of reality-based persons), will respond.

No plan, particularly the plans of hallucinational and uneducated criminals, survives first contact with a rational and able "target". This is especially a valid dictum when they opposing agencies know you're coming.

I wonder if Pompeo thinks he'll beam up in the Rapture... and I wonder, who will get his boat when he leaves...

Overarchingly, we ought to consider the larger context...we witness the destruction of the icons and myths, histories and peoples of "the West" - and of course the rapid ruin of the global climate. Can y'all remember the ruination (ca 1177 BCE) of the Bronze age powers? How about the Roman epoch?

We're witnessing and some are drunk on, "The Last of the Wine" (that's a novel by Mary Renault)

Circumstance, not will, determines reality. Ideologies arise to provide the story...and hallucinating nitwits act as fools - it is Change that makes Revolution, men do not.

Think I'll go re-read MacBeth... Persia's been 'round lot longer than these freaks... George Carlin was right. ("https://www.youtube.com"/watch?v=6_04x67rGh8 ) Front row center at the Freak Show watching fat boys play with daddy's gun...

Posted by: Walter | May 8, 2019 7:05:48 PM | 43

Almost never mentioned in this kind of talk is the morale of the US armed forces - and their willingness or lack thereof to go into the next major conflict without a massive PR push and a false flag or two.

I mean, what IF American military members really are finally fed up with this nonsense and actually decide to disobey orders in the event of a large war? And I do believe that an attack on Hizbullah in Lebanon with the US using strategic bombers *would* (not wouldn't) necessarily result in a regional conflagration involving Iran, Saudi Arabia, possibly Turkey and Egypt and that in order to prosecute such a clusterfuck, the US would have to convince at least the UK and possibly France to join in, which would then mean World War III when Russia moves in to support its Syrian allies. All of this for friggin' Israeli right wing hardliners and their illegal settlements, apartheid state and outdoor concentration camps. Ridiculous, isn't it? But I think it's safe to say that Trump is under their control to an extent greater than any previous US President (or their cabinets) have been.

Posted by: KC | May 8, 2019 7:05:50 PM | 44

Walter @ #43 - Your Carlin link doesn't work.

Posted by: KC | May 8, 2019 7:08:19 PM | 45

Re: the interpretation of Trump's attitude towards nuclear war by Crooke, as relayed by Peter @32.

That is interesting. How do you take a man talking about the horrors of nuclear war and twist it into "he supports" it? This is the same thing the media did when Trump responded to a technical question about the "nuclear triad" during the debates in 2016, by talking about the horrors of what nuclear weapons could do to their victims, instead of the rhapsodizing about the glories of the power of the US nuclear weapon arsenal.

The media informed us that Trump's answer made him ineligible for the presidency. Hillary Clinton not only knew of the glories of US nuclear weapons, she was overtly eager to use them. Barack Obama kickstarted the trillion dollar nuclear weapons update.

But Trump has a fatalistic view of the ability of humans to escape the fate of nuclear war our ruling overlords have spent trillions preparing us for? And this is somehow unique to Trump? I think not.

The entire generation brought up after WW2, the ones who had to hide under their desks every week, because of the soon-to-be-incoming nuclear missiles, had the same fatalistic attitude. I can remember people taking up smoking, or drugs, or mountain climbing, or whatever, and explicitly saying "We're all going to die in a nuclear war, anyway."

How does Crooke interpret Trump repeating that common belief as "evidence" that he is likely to lead the US to nuclear war? I interpret it oppositely. Especially because I also heard Trump say that his uncle was a nuclear physicist, and scared the bejesus out of him as a child, telling him of the horrors of nuclear war.

This misinterpreting of Trump's words reminds me of the time that he bragged that he was so rich and powerful that some women were happy to let him grab them. How is this very clear claim of wealth and power twisted, to this very day? He wasn't bragging about how he was a pervert, he was bragging about being rich.

I no longer believe any "quote" of Trump relayed by the imperial media unless I read the entire thing myself.


Posted by: wagelaborer | May 8, 2019 7:11:07 PM | 46

Will there be a summer war?--or a war that is definitively the last one? I guess that's up to the mouth breathing demon who names his children August and September. Donald Trump will have to do more than cast jaundiced eye on those two fuckwits, Bolton and Pompeo, if he has any care worth mentioning for peace on this earth, or the preservation of humanity. I think his re-election is really a pedestrian concern, compared to the lunatic instinct of his cabinet men.

At some point it brings unbearable distress upon the world, to think that human beings do not recoil at the frontier of extortion and blackmail against nation states. The probability rises that those who are making miscalculation and mishap inevitable don't give a damn about peace.

Posted by: Copeland | May 8, 2019 7:14:34 PM | 47

#45, try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_04x67rGh8

Posted by: Walter | May 8, 2019 7:19:29 PM | 48

@ karlof1 #5

That link to the Fred Reed story was just excellent. While Trump is "officially" in control of the US Executive branch, for all practical purposes Reed is right when he wrote this:

We have Pompeo, a malignant manatee looking to start wars in which he will not risk his flabby amorphous ass also parading his Christianity. Bolton, a mean sonofabitch who belongs in a strait jacket, at least doesn’t pose as someone having a soul. And the Golden Tufted Cocatoo, too weak to control those around him, preening and tweeting. God save us.

(skip)

This means that directing the foreign policy of the United States we have two fringe Christians, two Jews (Kushner and Ivanka) and an addled and easily led First Carrot. It means that Pompeo and Pence are driven not by practical consideration of the needs and well being of the United States but by loyalty to curious theological ideas and to a foreign country. They will do what fits these ideas. And they are simply bad men.

Everybody that matters has Trump's measure by now. He was a failure as businessman, a failure as a human being, and is in the process of becoming a massive White House failure in everything except Presidential Puppetry. The neocons OWN Trump, and since that possession is going to be short-lived, they're going to use him. Us him up, if necessary.

I wasn't aware that Mr. Pat Lang was the one who suggested the possible use of B-52s in Lebanon, but that's a just a smaller version of what Omar Bradley did with Operation Cobra in the Normandy breakout. The IDF got a bloody nose the last time it tacked Hezbollah's fortifications in south Lebanon, so using the US to remove those obstacles makes sense - if you have a secure hold on the guy who fell off turnip truck. And it seems they do. Bombers would open up what would amount to cleared tank lanes for the spearheads to get past the many Hezbollah traps and emerge behind them. If the fortifications have depth, just repeat the bombing runs as needed. Would civilians get killed? Who knows, and for that matter, who cares? Everybody would deny it, and the Corporate/Zionist media would report what they're told to say.

The leaders of the apartheid Zionist state can be cold-blooded when it suits them, and I'm certain they'd trade a rocket barrage in exchange for most or all of Lebanon. Virtually every person in Congress would vote massive subsidies to rebuild everything which had gotten the slightest scratch.

I don't know what's going to happen - and obviously I'm just speculating. But I do know the Zionists totally own President Gullible. That's a temporary situation, and I can't see them passing up many chances or spiking many daydreams of Solomon's Empire Version 2.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 8, 2019 7:33:13 PM | 49

The Ultimatum for Lebanon to forfeit its territorial waters to Israel would probably be the last straw. If the US is the strong arm behind that aggression; then the future is much darker than we think.

Posted by: Copeland | May 8, 2019 7:43:19 PM | 50

was the last lebonan war the only one the new state ever lost>? I mean they want payback, so likely they have been planning any action for decades.

Posted by: steve | May 8, 2019 7:48:12 PM | 51

reply to
This is a highly plausible scenario you have envisioned. The 'leaked plan' made me laugh, and in a sane world I doubt it would gain any traction. But...Trump.
Posted by: b4real | May 8, 2019 5:12:21 PM | 31

Yes, and I think the recent shelling of Gaza was to test world opinion of yet another slaughter. They shelling received to no attention nor criticism.
Israel desperately needs Gaza's coastline and will happily kill every single resident to get it.
They need the world's attention focused elsewhere on other issues; the US looks like they will handle that end of the effort swimmingly given the ongoing idiocy in Venezuela, the China sea,Iran, Mexico.
I wonder if Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey? Iraq? will be willing to be Gaza's angel and prevent the slaughter, odds of any of them stepping up are low; only 20-30 percent IMO.

Posted by: frances | May 8, 2019 7:48:35 PM | 52

B4Real @ 2, 26, Lozion @ 30, 41:

Here is part of that agreement as translated by Google:

"1. Agreement
A tripartite agreement will be signed between Israel, a wizard and Hamas, and a Palestinian state will be established, which will be called "the new Palestine," which will be established on Judea, Samaria and Gaza, with the exception of the settlements.

2. Evacuation of land
The settlement blocs as they are today will remain in the hands of Israel and will be joined by the few settlements. The areas of the blocs will grow according to the area of ​​the isolated settlements that will be added to them.

3. Jerusalem
Will not be divided and shared by Israel and the new Palestine and will be the capital of Israel and the new Palestine, the Arab inhabitants will be the citizens of the new Palestine. The Jerusalem Municipality will be responsible for all areas of Jerusalem except the education that will be handled by the new Palestinian government and the new Palestinian Authority will pay the Jerusalem Municipality municipal taxes and water.
Jews will not be allowed to buy Arab homes, and Arabs will not be allowed to buy Jewish homes. No additional areas will be annexed to Jerusalem. The Holy Places will remain as they are today held.

4. Gaza

Egypt will lease new land to Palestine for the purpose of establishing an airport for the establishment of factories and commerce and for agriculture, other than housing. The size of the territories and the price will be determined between the parties through the mediation of the supporting countries (an explanation for the countries that support the continuation of the road).

5. The supporting countries

The countries that will financially support the implementation of this agreement are: the United States, the European Union and the oil-producing Gulf states ..."

Midde East Eye could not verify the document's content through other, independent sources and the original source of the document which Ariel Kahane reported on for Israel Hayom remains anonymous. Kahane's report notes at the end that a "senior US official" dismissed the document.

I believe it's not usual journalistic practice to rely on anonymous sources or sources which refuse to reveal their identities to journalists. It then becomes incumbent on journalists to protect their sources if the sources' lives might be in danger as a result of giving up information.

What we should be asking is what would motivate someone to create and circulate a hoax document that gets picked up by the Israeli press, and what would that person's agenda be?

Posted by: Jen | May 8, 2019 7:50:25 PM | 53

Any attack on Iran must be very fast and very thorough in order to hit all known and suspected missile sites as close to simultaneously as possible. Such a colossal attack on Iran is possible only with United States air power. I agree with those who posit that the major challenge is to carry it out and protect Israel from reprisal, a real conundrum, for Israel's anti-missile protection system is much overrated and cannot be counted on to stop all missiles. (But then, those who publicly swear by such protection tend to believe their own lies.)

Iran's unranium enrichment program has produced tons of waste (depleted uranium), which Iran has been fashioning into warheads of the sort that Israel dumped on southern Lebanon in 2006 (the United Nations Environment Program found low enriched uranium in the craters).

These warheads are what bunker busters are armed with. The uranium burns at up to 6000° C., and such a warhead can penetrate over thirty meters of superhardened concrete in less than a second. The typical one-ton warhead then becomes one ton of microscopic uranium powder, radioactive for up to 22 billion years (the half-life is 4.5 billion years). Such deposits of such dust would mean permanent contamination on Israeli territory.

Israel gave up the Sinai because it and the United States had been testing the uranium/depleted uranium (chemically, and in terms of penetrating and incendiary capacity, identical) anti-tank rounds that were used in Iraq in 1991 and probably the first bunker busters. The contaminated areas are permanently contaminated, including any ground water. The Jefferson Proving Ground in Indiana, where the testing was done in the United States, has been fenced off and declared a national sacrifice zone.

This is how Israel sees most of the Sinai, thus conciliating the pollution with its claim to the territory as part of Eretz Israel and its later retaking of the land, part of the "recovery of the lands of Jewish heritage". Vieques, a small island off the shore of Porto Rico was also a testing ground and has been permanently contaminated. Unlike what happened in Indiana, it was simply abandoned with the Pentagon denying that the Porto Ricans living there face any danger since depleted uranium is so much less radioactive than uranium. (General Shalikashvili told me that I could put it on ice cream and eat it...)

While the simultaneity of strikes on Iran still leaves the challenge of protecting Israel from Hesbollah missiles, these are unlikely to have uranium warheads, hence would be less of a concern than those coming from Iran.

Posted by: RJPJR | May 8, 2019 7:53:08 PM | 54

@ frances #52

For all practical purposes Iraq and Syria are helpless. Lebanon is small, weak, and quite distant from Gaza. Turkey - I can't imagine them having any motive to do so, and in any event the pissant state has both nuclear weapons and a fanatical leadership.

Gaza is SOL, and I'd rate the prospect of outside help for them at much less than 1%. I wouldn't mind being proven wrong on that, BTW, but I don't see any saviors on the horizon.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 8, 2019 7:56:09 PM | 55

@39

Pat Lang is just pointing out what military hardware is capable of, he rarely advocates for it. Secondly, referring to Col. Lang a moron doesn't exactly help one's credibility.

Posted by: DMentor | May 8, 2019 7:58:28 PM | 56

"Some of his advisors, most obviously John 'Stache' Bolton, but others too, may well try to instigate a war. But the ultimate 'decider' is Donald Trump and I, for now, see no reason for him to wage one."
Posted by b on May 8, 2019 at 12:59 PM

I agree with this conclusion.
I'm not convinced that the "Israelis" have, or can, solve the problem of Hezbollah's rocket arsenal. ABC.net.au 4Corners ran an episode near the end of the 2006 conflict. It included eye witness accounts of Oz citizens of Lebanese extraction who were visiting relatives when war broke out.
According to these witnesses the "Israelis" began their campaign by bombing observed and suspected Hezbollah rocket launch sites, for several days, with the obvious intention of neutralising them. It made no difference to the intensity of Hezbollah's rocket attacks. After 2 or 3 days of futile attacks, the "Israelis" decided to flatten South Lebanon out of shear frustration and angst. But in the end they had to retreat.

I can remember War Nerd's take on the debacle was that he couldn't believe how stupid, aimless and disorganised the Israeli attack was.

For the "Israelis" to try the same stunt again, for fake reasons, sounds like a death wish. i.e. an invitation for Hezbollah to keep blasting "Israel" until the "Israelis" surrender or "Israel" becomes virtually uninhabitable.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 8, 2019 8:02:32 PM | 57

Regarding protecting Israel from a Hezbollah attack while annihilating Iran, there is this article from Truthout, last 29 April:

https://truthout.org/articles/trump-doesnt-want-to-end-us-wars-he-wants-to-hide-them/

"... the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board points out the obvious — that “the impact of AI and machine learning (ML) will be felt in every corner of the Department’s operations.” Indeed, the military is already using artificial intelligence on the battlefield, most notoriously through “Project Maven”. Since early last year, Maven has already been deployed to a half-dozen locations in the Middle East and Africa. It employs artificial intelligence to comb through drone surveillance footage and select targets for future drone strikes in what is advertised as a faster, easier, more efficient manner.

"Maven quickly gained notoriety because the employees of Google, which the Department of Defense had partnered with to produce it, went public with a petition expressing their outrage over the company’s decision to be in the business of war. Many of its top AI researchers, in particular, are worried that the contract with the Pentagon would only prove to be a first step in the development and use of such nascent technologies in advanced weapons systems. That petition was signed by almost 4,000 Google employees and ultimately resulted in the company (mostly) not renewing the contract.

"That, however, hasn’t stopped other companies from competing for roles in Project Maven."

Every war ("engagement") is an opportunity to test new weapons. "Battle tested" is the ultimate selling point for any weapon system.

Posted by: RJPJR | May 8, 2019 8:07:33 PM | 58

I see the dying empire wanting to force their solution of the ME before China, et al blow up the lock on the financial world empire has and thus they would not be able to negotiate from the "strength"of their current position

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 8, 2019 8:08:41 PM | 59

@49 Zachary Smith
"The leaders of the apartheid Zionist state can be cold-blooded when it suits them, and I'm certain they'd trade a rocket barrage in exchange for most or all of Lebanon"
Isn't that what they did in 1982? That didn't go well in the long run, but this time I guess they could just kill everyone south of Beirut.

Posted by: Schmoe | May 8, 2019 8:27:52 PM | 60

Lookit, they're nuts and can't know they're nuts. This is not a product of will or politics, it is a product of Change and Geography, the ending of a roughly 500 year long run by the Anglosaxon thalassocratic diaspora.

Just to season the symposium, "Trump floats proposal to cancel 2020 elections" @ WSWS

"8 May 2019

On Sunday, Donald Trump re-tweeted a post by the arch-reactionary evangelical preacher and prominent Trump confidant Jerry Falwell, Jr. calling for the president to extend his term from the constitutionally mandated four years to six."

Of course it's written from a partisan and therefore also delusional perspective...but nevertheless...

Indeed, a "Splendid Little War", just the thing...and who recalls dear old Wesley Clark?

Who said:

“This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

Posted by: Walter | May 8, 2019 8:34:39 PM | 61

B52s weren't much use against the bunkers and tunnels of the Viet Cong and the NVA.

Posted by: lysias | May 8, 2019 8:35:34 PM | 62

IDF the greatest fighting force? The Wehrmacht, they ain't.

Posted by: lysias | May 8, 2019 8:39:08 PM | 63

Whether war comes in summer or fall or some other time, it seems highly likely that it would not be contained to a single country.

No doubt Iranian-allied forces will do everything possible to prevent the fall of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran itself. But how long can they carry on with out support from other countries that are willing to defy the Empire?

Right now FUKUSI+allies are waging economic warfare on Iran and Syria. Trump's "maximum pressure" seeks to turn that into a stranglehold.

Who will defy the Empire and trade with Iran, with Syria? Only China seems to be willing and able to do so and yet that is far from certain because China needs much much more oil than Iran can provide.

Defying the Empire would require a concerted effort by multiple countries. And even then it comes with much hardship. But there is no such united front at this time. Maybe that's why Erdogan is dragging his feet on Idlib? He is not convinced that Russia+China can prevent a collapse of the "Shia Crescent"?

Moreover, those who proclaimed that Trump was isolated when he withdrew from the JCPOA have been proven wrong. Europe would never go along with Trump's reckless action, the dreamer chorus sang but the European poodles did indeed roll over for their master after a few defiant barks.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 8, 2019 8:49:49 PM | 64

@53 Jen

Hi Jen,


"original source of the document which Ariel Kahane reported on for Israel Hayom remains anonymous. Kahane's report notes at the end that a "senior US official" dismissed the document."

I don't see how you make the jump from the 'source remains anonymous' to the conclusion the document is a hoax?

Are you accepting the 'anonymous' senior US offical dismissing the document but rejecting the claims of the anonymous source of the doc? I don't read where it says Kahane does not know who the source is...did I miss something?

You're still one of the best and most reliable posters here and appreciate the efforts you put in providing links to relevant information. Also glad you have been able to hold your own against those who are trying to change this place into an echo chamber.

b4real


Posted by: b4real | May 8, 2019 8:50:06 PM | 65

This headline on AP’ new Bolton commissioned article is funny,(thier purpose is to assure US readers that Iran is capitulating and our policy is working) one should ask AP can you show us when did Iran as for a “NEW NUKE DEAL” president Rohani again today emphasized there will be no negotiation on a new deal, revised deal or other issues until US gets back to JCPOA. AP id making fake news.

Iran threatens more uranium enrichment if no new nuke deal
By AMIR VAHDAT and JON GAMBRELL
https://apnews.com/50fee765f1a543ee88d9b9969ace0c44

Posted by: kooshy | May 8, 2019 8:53:04 PM | 66

A couple of points that it's hard to agree with in the MoA analysis, beginning with:

* Trump being the ultimate decider. (I wonder if that's so.)

* Netanyahu not being a risk taker. (Perhaps, though there's a prima facie case that he is always testing the limits of what he can get away with, though there may be a better counter argument...)'

Posted by: Paul Damascene | May 8, 2019 8:59:50 PM | 67

Paul Damascene @67

Yeah, it's surprising how many are willing to accept false narratives.

Now I see crap analysis on other sites/sources that proposes that Trump doesn't want war but his advisors are pushing in that direction.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 8, 2019 9:16:32 PM | 68

What if Russia and China decided that if the US/Israel start a war, they will invoke a massive retaliation in Ukraine's Donbass, the South China Sea and Taiwan, Iran, Iraq, Syria's Golan Heights and Idlib, Lebanon, Palestine, Venezuela and North Korea ? S-400s and MANPADS would appear in all those countries (with Russian "training teams"), changing the balance of all the David and Goliath battles. That would give the US 11 fronts to fight on simultaneously, a logistical nightmare, and leaving Trump/Bolton/Pompeo out on a very hawkish limb with obvious calls for the US to pull its superpower head in.

Posted by: Palloy | May 8, 2019 9:18:19 PM | 69

Paul Damascene @ 67:

The fact that Satanyahu was facing charges of bribery, fraud and corruption throughout the recent general election would suggest that he does take risks - calculated risks, that is - and moreover assumes that he can bluster his way out of trouble if he gets caught.

Indeed, now that he has won the general election, he's working to get those charges against him dropped.

Posted by: Jen | May 8, 2019 9:25:50 PM | 70

@26 b4real... thanks for clarifying all that!

@ 28 richard steven hack.. quote - "of course, such an attack would slaughter tens of thousands of civilians in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley - something Lang doesn't mention since he's too enamored of US military power to consider that important." that is what it looks like to me as well..

@32 peter au... caitin johnstone pointed out gabor mate's interview with his son aaron on greyzone and it discussed in part the psychology of trump... you and others might find it worth watching.. America in denial: Gabor Maté on the psychology of Russiagatefeature=youtu.be

@39 ben.. right on!

@46 wagelaborer... sure.. don't believe the media on trump, but i would question anyone who believes trump is a sane dude..he is a self serving delusional person who happens to be the leader of the usa.. the guy is capable of any sort of stupidity as he has no understanding of his own impotence and is too busy running away from it to see just petty and little he really is.. this is no different then having dr. strangelove at the controls and i am not trying to fearmonger here..

@58 dementor.. some of us view it diametrically opposite..

@ 62 walter quote "Lookit, they're nuts and can't know they're nuts." i agree.. think of all the brainwashing that has gone into telling everyone iran are the terrorists... anyone with 1/2 a brain will not believe any of this b.s. and yet it is on the lips of amerikkkan politicans 24/7... they really believe people around the globe are stupid, or - as you say - they're nuts and can't know they're nuts... bingo...


@56 dmentor.. some of us view it diametrically opposite..


Posted by: james | May 8, 2019 10:59:16 PM | 71

B52s are very old vulnerable bombers, to Iran’s multi layered AD systems. Any of US aircraft carriers in waters of Gulf of Oman or Persian Gulf are sitting ducks, Iran can sink them easily. Any Persian Gulf country close to Iran that allows US to use their air bases will lose its oil installations and water desalinations. US CENTCOM knows all this and has told Yosemite Sam aka John Bolton. None of these are new, US can start a war with Iran but it risks losing the rest of her client states in ME including Israel.
No one in ME streets likes US, they will not help US to achieve her aims, like Israel (Israel can't even control or have a good intelligence on a strip shorter than Las Vegas's meaning Gaza) US does not have any reliable ground intelligence asset in the region, Iran has many around US bases that counts more than any B52s or carrier US can send to the region.

Posted by: kooshy | May 8, 2019 11:15:41 PM | 72

@71 james

"don't believe the media on trump, but i would question anyone who believes trump is a sane dude..he is a self serving delusional person who happens to be the leader of the usa.. the guy is capable of any sort of stupidity as he has no understanding of his own impotence and is too busy running away from it to see just petty and little he really is.. this is no different then having dr. strangelove at the controls and i am not trying to fearmonger here.."

I think this is one of the most accurate and cogent things said about Trump yet. Nicely put.

~~

I continue to applaud the results of every action taken by this administration - and equally, all the US agencies and institutions. But this is not from seeing any worthwhile quality in any of them, so much as watching what I can only call the forces of history causing every one of their actions to fail outright, to fall short of their intended mark, or to create results that are exactly the opposite of those intended.

Trump is a one-man shit-show in his own right, but he operates at the speed of a loose cannon on deck, and this accelerates the self-destruction of the failing empire, exactly when history is ready to punish it severely for every mistaken move.

Posted by: Grieved | May 8, 2019 11:30:24 PM | 73

james thanks for the link. I like watching or reading any sane analysis of Trump, though that video was as much an analysis of the complete asylum as it was of alfa inmate Trump.
Trump bluffs and as Crooke says, U turns. But I suspect he is like a boxer that feints for a time until the opponent stops reacting then strikes. And I think that when he does strike, it will be unlike the wars we have become accustomed to.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 8, 2019 11:44:19 PM | 74

@73 grieved.. it would be nice if we could move forward gracefully, but that seems impossible.. trump is tangible proof of it..

@74 peter au.. i agree the results from trumps bluffing and b.s. are and will be different then what most everyone is accustomed to.. he is highly unpredictable, but he is predictable in this regard - all of his actions are for naught, like many others who have no self understanding.. no matter how one views the usa-trumps subservience to israel, none of it will bring the results.. it is like asking for bad fruit to taste good.. you can manage it all you want, it will still taste bad.. people will seek something better..

Posted by: james | May 9, 2019 12:57:48 AM | 75

indianpunchline - Iran circles wagons as Trump’s B Team beats war drum May 9, 2019 by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

Posted by: james | May 9, 2019 1:24:10 AM | 76

The influence of Christian fundamentalists on U.S. foreign policy has been mentioned. In this regard, it should be noted that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is himself a devout Christian dominionist who believes in end-times theology. He and the warmongering John Bolton make a lovely couple.

Posted by: Rob | May 9, 2019 1:34:39 AM | 77

I agree Trump does not come across as one looking for a prolonged conflict; that he doesn't want to risk blow-back on his election chances and that he enjoys the status of president more than the office itself, willing to defer a lot of his "duty" to underlings, with, of course, veto power (probably the reason Bolton hasn't been able to attempt to fulfill his promise to the MEK...yet).

However, Trump has in the past expressed the idea of war saving a presidency, namely Bush (in electoral terms). Whether this theory is true or not it does speak to his thinking. Could it be, if Trump senses a possible defeat, that he becomes willing to test this theory? Or at least becomes less averse to reaction if a well timed action provides itself to him (false flag potential)?

Posted by: t4bo | May 9, 2019 2:03:43 AM | 78

Re Grieved's comment on Trump and "I continue to applaud the results of every action taken by this administration"

My thought also. With H Clinton , the main danger was US instigating nuclear war against Russia. Trump on the other hand may instigate nuclear war against non nuclear countries.
Away from Israel, Trump is somewhat sane as in not wanting war with peers. Closer to israel, Trump has his place in Loony Tunes alongside Wile E Coyote. Beep Beep.
In this way he is the catalyst tto bring the US empire down hard and fast.
Trumps Zionism, I believe is tied in with his goal of energy dominance. China has been bleeding the US and building up strength while letting Russia take the hot seat.
With Trump US moves on energy dominance, if they are awake, China will have to react.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 9, 2019 2:07:57 AM | 79

I don't think Trump is the 'ultimate decider'. Far from it. I think the U.S. military apparatus decides on war, not clueless Trump. Trump is spoon fed information by his staff, by Pompeo, Bolton the total asshat, and pentagon generals–who are the adults in the room. Even if Trump, Bolton, Pompeo the ass clown all want war with Iran, the pentagon generals will have the final say.

Posted by: Deschutes | May 9, 2019 2:46:38 AM | 80

Macron received Sarraj in Paris yesterday and renewed his "support".
A new trend in supporting enemy parties.

Posted by: Mina | May 9, 2019 4:06:34 AM | 81

Some corrections:
Trump is spoon fed information by his staff, by Pompeo, Bolton the total asshat, and pentagon generals–who are the adults in the room. <-- Deschutes | May 9, 2019 2:46:38 AM
How can we fail to mention CIA here? "Apr 16, 2019 - CIA Director Gina Haspel persuaded the president by using new information and appealing to his emotions. ... The director of the CIA reportedly used photos of dead ducks to urge Donald Trump to take on a tougher stance with Russia"

That said, Trump trusts most his immediate circle, and since his in-laws are well connected to Netanyahu, the latter has some "information feeding" opportunities as well. So the question is: does Netanyahu want a war to "eliminate Hezbollah"?

1. Netanyahu belongs to the class off politicians that may be deranged, but are not stupid. To Israelis, he is an energetic and astute leader who cares about interests of fellow (Jewish) Israelis, of which the most important one is to keep Palestinians in their (ever diminishing) place. "Eliminating Hezbollah" is a secondary goal, "nice if possible".

2. When a nation feels threaten in its existence or close to it, there is readiness for sacrifices, but that does not apply to "nice if possible goals". That was very clear during the previous "war with Hezbollah", Israeli losses were relatively small but the rage was deep.

3. The way I see that previous war, American Administration egged Israel to conduct a real life experiment how a war with Iran would be like. And the same was true for Iran. Iran may strife Persian Gulf and the strait with missiles, and Hezbollah had a large arsenal of obsolete missiles. Question: can missile launching be stopped with air alone? I guess leaders of both sides were keen to know, and now we know too: not so much. Question: what if we send ground troops with proper air assistance (and on the other side: can we adequately fortify the areas with missile storing tunnels, using available rocket weapons etc.). Answer is yes. Question: can missiles available to Iran endanger the fleet? Hezbollah launched but one such missiles, apparently moved to the location with much effort, and it removed one Israeli naval vessel from action.

4. Prudent generals want to know if their plans have a chance. Such tests are of paramount importance. However, Israel does not cherish to be an experimental animal. From that point of view, it is important to make a test before going against Hezbollah -- recent crisis with Gaza, meticulously provoked. As a proof of concept it showed that Iron Dome is too leaky to attack Hezbollah with impunity, and unlike rather harmless Hamas missiles, Hezbollah can severely damaged essential facilities in Haifa region -- you cannot put ports, factories and municipal utilities in bunkers. That goes waaaay beyond sacrifices on "your own people" toward "nice if possible" goals.

My conclusion is that the generals know their stuff, and Netanyahu himself will be against a war with Israel on the receiving end, and this combo will decide. That does not stop posturing, Netanyahu being a master, Bolton etc. deserve points for effort but they look too much like comedic relief figures.

Finally, strategically American overlords want to stick to what they do best, economic sabotage, and the war talk is necessary for that: gullible (really?? topic for another time) leaders in Europe etc. go along with this sabotage on the principle that they are avoiding "war option". In turn, Israeli rulers also want to stick to what they do best, harassing villagers -- but this is so unglamorous that they need some grander talk.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 9, 2019 4:11:23 AM | 82

OT
Is there a way to get a list of Fisk's articles with just their titles and dates? Obviously The Independent is doing its best to bury his publication. An exemple of the results with "Fisk Independent" via Google (but unfortunatly I think maybe only via Google news I could get a list of his publications with a date??)
https://www.independent.co.uk/topic/robert-fisk
https://www.independent.co.uk/author/robert-fisk
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk
Only pig pictures and a presentation designed for tablets... A world of icons without any sense for historicity.

Posted by: Mina | May 9, 2019 4:29:07 AM | 83

ttps://theintercept.com/2019/05/08/josh-gottheimer-democrats-yemen/


TheBAG @ 10.. your situation assessment does not include the growing underground efforts by those who are governed in the information containers (nations states) you mentioned. Seems to me the governed, as opposed to those who lead, the governors, have all decided no more chaos, no more external forces killing internal civilians and destroying internal infra structures and regime changing the status quo... even if it means removing by rebellion and use of force, war and chaos tolerate leaders from power.. <-= After yelling charge many leaders may discover no one is following.
Growing are antiwar demands in the USA, France and the UK evidenced by the link above..
I see local domestic conflicts with regime changed governments as more determinative
than nation state led war machines. War machines are useless when the soldiers refuse to fight.

michaelj72 @22 The governors qualify as rational if their objectives turn out to
be "rape, oil, pillage, and establishment. (ROPE)".

Not one live soul of the Shia community will be allowed to escape goldhoarder @ 20
Economic Zionism takes no prisoners and tolerates no competition.

KC @ 44 Moral and vision. at home .in USA governed America .. sees warlord symptoms in every
nation state leader.
Warrior class leadership whereever it appears in the world has been discovered not to be
the solution to any need of the governed, but instead to be means by which those who
control the governors, use those governors to foster war for profit.

Most of us have discovered little is wrong with the different cultures, races, languages,
religions or societies, the fault lies in a set of interrelated systems of governance that
herd the masses into information isolated containers where information can be selected,
controlled and used to promote warrior persons into powerful enough positions that criminal
enterprises can use them to produce the chaos that keeps profits rolling in. Everyone has
discovered the current systems of governance no longer recognized human rights, and
no one is happy about that. Fyi I no longer believe Trump is in control of what he says.

Posted by: snake | May 9, 2019 5:37:55 AM | 84

@ Mina

https://muckrack.com/robert-fisk/articles

Try the link above.

Posted by: Hmpf | May 9, 2019 6:25:08 AM | 85

Thanks!
War-related, a French NGO tries to legally block a Saudi cargo to take a shipment of brand new French war weapons from Le Havre. The Defense French minister claims "they have no proof these weapons will be used for war in Yemen" !!
https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/05/09/guerre-au-yemen-une-ong-fait-un-recours-en-urgence-contre-le-depart-de-france-d-un-cargo-saoudien-charge-d-armes_5459971_3210.html

Bonus, 8 minutes of Ghosn's wife birthday at Versailles in 2014, paid for by the off-shore Renault-Nissan company structure in The Netherlands, RNBV. The kind of hubris that leads to revolutions. Officially it was a celebration of the Renault-Nissan alliance but only 13 of the 103 guests had anything to do with the consortium.
https://youtu.be/DYhWZ0IYFSg

Posted by: Mina | May 9, 2019 7:03:06 AM | 86

@79 Peter AU1
"Re Grieved's comment on Trump and "I continue to applaud the results of every action taken by this administration"

My thought also. With H Clinton , the main danger was US instigating nuclear war against Russia. Trump on the other hand may instigate nuclear war against non nuclear countries."

I assume that you are aware of the recent report estimating 40,000 deaths in Venezuela due to US actions, and that number will surely accelerate now. Also, Trump's veto that will allow the US's continued aiding and abetting of genocide in Yemen.

Pretty much everyone posting here agrees that the US is now acting like a rabid dog and that needs to stop, but I don't think anyone wants to channel Madeline Albright.

Posted by: Schmoe | May 9, 2019 7:29:44 AM | 87

The war begun in 2006.

Posted by: kushmer | May 9, 2019 8:36:22 AM | 88

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/09/pers-m09.html

citation from above More and more, world politics today resemble the conditions prevailing in the run-up to the first and second world wars, a period in which Leon Trotsky warned that history was “bringing humanity face to face with the volcanic eruption of American imperialism.”

very interesting humm, Imperialism protection transferred from Britain to protection by the USA in 1914, and the center of monetary activity in 1944 at Bretton Woods followed. The transform began the day after Lincoln was shot by an agent of the British Banking cartel and gained a substantial foothold in Wilson era.. with 1912 corporate and 1913 individual income tax; wherein the Supreme Court overruled itself(c/n find a citation?), the original ART. 1 SEC 9[4] prohibition=> No capitation, or other direct tax, unless in proportion to the census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.. and allowed what is called the 16th Amendment proposed on July 12, 1909 (Economic Zionism targeted Ottoman oil in Basel, Switzerland, 1896, but failed its initial attempt to remove the Ottomans and to take the oil from their lands (CUP, 1908-1913 ). Germany too was a problem for the EZ as Germany had its Baghdad to Berlin oil transporting railroad and good relations with the Ottomans ) and the amendment is said to have been ratified ? a month later, February 3, 1913.. "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Taxing Americans in this manner, was the bankers dream come true. It collateralised imperialistic financing and allowed bankers to direct the USA's governing control over make rules that would provide the manpower and to produce the equipment necessary to take economic control of the world. Private economic interest seek to hide their imperialisms in global nation state sovereign right to engage in and to conduct wars. Banking- energy imperialism used nation state authority as cover to legitimize private for profit interest to forcefully displace the Ottoman from his oil and his land.

It is clear now that the forces that produced WWI and WWII were centrally designed but global in scope.
Unless some means is found to tame those forces, we may be in for WWIII.

Posted by: snake | May 9, 2019 9:48:34 AM | 89

MoA should start discussing the degenaration of Europe, how and why Europe is empowering the US, and why Europe *wants* the transatlantic empire.

It is high time the issue of european degeneration is discussed.

The European Union says it rejects any ultimatums issued by Iran, saying in a statement that it won't bend to threats that Tehran will break from the nuclear deal and begin enriching uranium unless European signatories uphold their commitments within 60 days.

INSTEX, the alternative vehicle for trade with Iran is not yet operational.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-09/europe-rejects-iran-ultimatums-following-tehrans-60-day-notice-sanctions-relief

My take: EU elites are the same degenerates as US elites. The only difference is that Europe is more vulnerable due to its geopolitical position, which forces it to have less hawkish behavior. But if you put the EU in the place of the US in North America, it would be just as hostile as the US.

Posted by: Passer by | May 9, 2019 9:58:01 AM | 90

snake 91

I'd say it's most like the run-up to WWI in that nobody, neither leaders nor peoples, is against war. They may not all be rabidly for it the way the Zionists, neocons and US corporate media are, but no one's really against it.

Posted by: Russ | May 9, 2019 9:59:01 AM | 91

@ snake, Russ

The vacillation of the Turkish government is another similarity that echoes the history of WW I

Posted by: Copeland | May 9, 2019 10:10:58 AM | 92

I agree with the WWI, not WWII, analogy. Everybody knew what was going on with WWII, in WWI a bunch of clueless arrogant elites stumbled into a buzzsaw of their own making. And that is what this looks like now. WWI destroyed several empires. How soon we forget.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 9, 2019 10:19:46 AM | 93

92
Very true, EU elites are now holding their breaths til EU general election on 23-26 May. The Brits decided a couple of days ago that they'll have to organize an election, which probably means no Brexit coz TINA. War would be the perfect answer to the riots that will probably arise in the UK, and elsewhere because of the expected win of the extreme-right parties all over Europe. Listening to French media lately, it is clear that the US/Israel axis is given the moral high ground no matter what they do.

Posted by: Mina | May 9, 2019 10:40:53 AM | 94

0) Economic attrition takes time to work its magic. USA does not need to hurry into armed conflict.

1) We know that Bolton's statement was bogus. He can't order US military movements AND the military positioning had been ordered many weeks ago as a matter of routine.

Also, USA needed to pivot from the embarrassment in Venezuela.

2) Bolton's statement refers to attacks on US allies and interests.

3) The only attack on US allies or interests that is imminent is the attack on Turk-controlled Idlib.

4) USA has previously threatened to bomb Syria if Idlib is attacked. Each of Idlib, Golan Heights, and NE Syria are strategic occupations by 'Assad must go!' Coalition countries.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 9, 2019 10:56:56 AM | 95

I don't see it happening. Too many casualties on the Saudi side if it did. the US would either need to obliterate Iran or do nothing at all. Any attack on it will result in them bombing US bases in the Middle East and Saudi oil infrastructure inside Saudi Arabia. Iran may not attack Israel due to them probably understanding that Israel would nuke Tehran and not care one bit about international scorn over it. If Israel attacked Hezbollah again, the results would be worse for them. Hezbollah would bomb everything it could inside Tel Aviv. Its just not worth the cost even if they would win in the end

Posted by: DannyC | May 9, 2019 10:57:06 AM | 96

@92 passer by quote "MoA should start discussing the degenaration of Europe, how and why Europe is empowering the US, and why Europe *wants* the transatlantic empire." i think most everyone here at moa is in agreement with you on this reality of europe.. may as well throw canada, australia and a few others in the mix too.. no one wants to see change.. since the end of ww2 - bretton woods agreement and etc. etc. - this set up has been in place.. the new world order is getting old and stale.. europe is trying to hold on but having a harder time of it.. a special kind of insanity has been on display from the usa and in spite of this - europe still tries to hold on to usa leadership, lol..there is a leadership vacuum essentially... there is a circling of the wagons more then there is any true leadership at this point and this includes the usa too.. unfortunately as we've seen in all the fear mongering towards russia - the '''west''' still operate mostly from the same page.. no one really steps out of line - least of all the uk... europe is completely devoid of any real leadership...

Posted by: james | May 9, 2019 11:09:17 AM | 97

why doesn't israel give up its nuclear rights, or sign onto the npt?? answer - they are power hungry warmongers of the first order.. they think they are entitled to bully others and that others are not allowed to fight back... so who is the terrorist in this set up, really??

Posted by: james | May 9, 2019 11:36:43 AM | 98

James:
Agree about the lack of leadership in Europe. That's also one of the reasons why they're into full "muh Russia" mode - because Russia shows what real leadership looks like, and what Europe has lost in the last few decades. Of course, they're afraid, because everyone can compare leaders and see how they're just a bunch of spineless worms.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 9, 2019 11:55:31 AM | 99

"So our final annual tally for war, preparations for war, and the impact of war comes to more than $1.25 trillion, more than double the Pentagon’s base budget. "

defense costs

Posted by: arby | May 9, 2019 12:09:46 PM | 100

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