Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 19, 2019

How John Bolton Controls The Administration And Donald Trump

Jeff Bezos' blog, the Washington Post, has some bits on the discussion and infighting in the Trump administration about the march towards war on Iran. The piece opens with news of a new redline the Trump administration set out:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has privately delivered warnings intended for Iranian leaders that any attack by Tehran or its proxies resulting in the death of even one American service member will generate a military counterattack, U.S. officials said.
...
While such attacks were common during the Iraq War, Pompeo told Iraqi leaders in a message he knew would be relayed to Tehran that a single American fatality would prompt the United States to hit back.

That warning was sent in May when Pompeo visited Baghdad. The issue may soon become critical. Throughout the last days there were rocket attacks in Iraq against targets where U.S. personnel are present. The AFP correspondent in Baghdad lists six of them:

Maya Gebeily - @GebeilyM - 10:20 UTC - 19 Jun 2019

Timeline of attacks on US interests in #Iraq
Fri: Mortars hit Balad base, where US troops based
Sun: Projectiles hit #Baghdad mil airport
Mon: Rockets on Taji, where coalition forces based
Tues: Mortars on #Mosul ops HQ
Wed: Rockets on housing/ops center used by IOCs near #Basra

#IRAQ: @AFP learns there were at least *two* attacks near US oil interests in #Basra in last 24 hours - ExxonMobil + Baker Hughes, a GE Company Their senior staff are being evacuated.

At least some of these attacks came from areas where Islamic State underground groups are still active. The weapons used were improvised and imprecise.

That shows how stupid the red line is that Pompeo set out. He would attack Iran if an errant ISIS rocket by chance kills some U.S. soldier? That is nuts.

Back to the WaPo piece:

Speaking during a visit to U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa on Tuesday, Pompeo said Trump “does not want war” but stressed the United States would act if assaulted. “We are there to deter aggression,” he said.

The U.S. violated the nuclear agreement and is waging an economic war on Iran. That was the aggression that started the conflict. Anything that follows from that was caused by the Trump administration.

Colonel Pat Lang thinks that Pompeo was in Tampa to bring the military in line with his aggressive policies:

Ole First in his Class is down in Tampaland today jawboning the leaders of CENTCOM (Mideast), and SOCOM (badass commandos worldwide). Why is he there? The Secretary of State has no constitutional or legal role in dealing with the armed forces. That being the case one can only think that there is push-back from senior commanders over the prospect of war with Iran and that Trump has been persuaded to let him do this unprecedented visit to wheedle or threaten his way into their acquiescence.

WaPo again:

The sudden departure Tuesday of Patrick Shanahan, who has served as acting defense secretary since January, could further sideline the Pentagon, which has campaigned to reduce the potential for hostilities. Shanahan’s withdrawal followed revelations of a complicated domestic dispute.

The 'complicated domestic dispute' is not so complicated at all and the case is undisputed. In a several years long process Shanahan's ex-wife went crazy and physically attacked him and their kids. Finally one of the kids hit back at her with a baseball bat. In court Shanahan argued for a mild punishment for the kid. All the kids, mostly grown up now, are with him and do not want to see their mother. All that was documented by the police and by courts. Shanahan is not guilty of anything in that case. It was not a reason to resign.

Pat Lang believes that the real reason was Pompeo's trip to Tampa:

Shanahan withdrew his name from confirmation process today. IMO he did it because DJT let Pomp circumvent his authority.

The Pentagon was the last hold out against the aggressive anti-Iran policy says WaPo:

Concerns about an escalation are particularly pointed at the Pentagon, where the absence of a confirmed secretary has fueled worries that hawks in the White House and State Department could push the military beyond its specific mission of destroying the remnants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, raising the potential for conflict with Iran.

It has been reported several times and by different outlets that Trump is somewhat isolated from anti-war opinions in his administration. All he sees and hears is Fox News, Bibi Netanyahoo and John Bolton. The WaPo piece again confirms that:

Administration officials interviewed by The Washington Post said that national security adviser John Bolton has dominated Iran policy, keeping a tight rein on information that gets to the president and sharply reducing meetings in which top officials gather in the White House’s Situation Room to discuss the policy.
...
The intensification of [the "maximum pressure"] campaign has triggered internal debates over how best to execute the president’s orders. At the State Department this spring, an argument among officials over how hard to squeeze Iran with sanctions ended with those favoring the toughest possible approach prevailing. In particular, hard-liners at the White House squelched waivers that would have allowed Iran to keep selling oil after a May 1 deadline. White House aides also ended waivers that allowed Iran to swap its enriched uranium for natural uranium, an integral part of the nuclear deal.
...
While State Department officials sought to achieve a “sweet spot” that would weaken Iran through sanctions but not push so hard that Iran would withdraw from the nuclear deal, others have argued that Trump’s goal is to destroy the accord at any cost and pursue a more expansive policy that seeks to cripple Iran’s proxy forces throughout the region.

Pentagon and State Department officials have complained, however, about the difficulty of getting an adequate hearing for these debates under Bolton. As a result, arguments about policy frequently are not aired and do not reach the president. The process is “very exclusionary, and Bolton has very sharp elbows,” the senior administration official said.
...
At the Pentagon, officials have quietly voiced concerns for months that the current trajectory might make military conflict a self-fulfilling prophecy.
...
One person familiar with the recent discussions said that Pentagon officials, including Shanahan, have been “the ones putting the brakes” on the State Department and the White House. “DOD is not beating the drums of war,” the person said.

One can quibble with that. It is the regional military commander who always asks for more troops. More ships and more troops increase the chance for "accidents" and make a war more likely. That is why John Bolton uses each and every small incident to send more troops to the Middle East:

“Does the president want to send more troops? No. Will he be convinced to do it? Yes,” the senior administration official said.

Trump, in contrast to some of his advisers, has seemed to downplay the significance of Iran’s actions. In an interview published Tuesday by Time magazine, he said the recent oil tanker attacks were “very minor.”

Trump is the president. He hired those people and is responsible for what they do. But does he know what they do?

There are two possibilities.

Trump wants a war with Iran and what we see is a good cop, bad cop strategy in which Trump plays the good guy for his voters until some 'grave incident' happens that lets him says that he has no choice but to 'hit back' at Iran. The other scenario is that Trump is a fool and that the war hawks use him as their tool to implement their preferred policies.

Former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke says that the second scenario is the real one:

The consensus on ‘no conflict’ unfortunately, may turn out to have been overly sanguine. This is not because Trump consciously desires war, but because the hawks surrounding him, particularly Bolton, are painting him into a corner – from which he must either back down, or double down, if Iran does not first capitulate.

And here is the point: the main Trump misconception may be that he does believe that Iran wants, and ultimately, ‘will seek a deal’.

Crooke describes how Bolton, and Netanyahoo behind him, outmaneuver the U.S. intelligence services over Iran. They stovepipe "intelligence" to the president and the media just like the crew of then Vice President Dick Cheney did in the run up to the war on Iraq:

Bolton chairs at the NSC, the regular and frequent strategic dialogue meetings with Israel – intended to develop a joint action plan, versus Iran. What this means is that the Israeli intelligence assessments are being stovepiped directly to Bolton (and therefore to Trump), without passing by the US intelligence services for assessment or comment on the credibility of the intelligence presented (shades of Cheney confronting the analysts down at Langley). And Bolton too, will represent Trump at the ‘security summit’ to be held later this month in Jerusalem with Russia and Israel. Yes, Bolton truly has all the reins in his hands: He is ‘Mr Iran’.

'Mr Anti-Iran' is a more precise moniker. Or one may just call him President Bolton.

Posted by b on June 19, 2019 at 18:20 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Iran's speedboats. Sam as in the pentagon video.
http://parstoday.com/en/news/iran-i5290-iran%27s_speed_boats_delivered_to_irgc

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 20 2019 5:38 utc | 101

"That shows how stupid the red line is that Pompeo set out. He would attack Iran if an errant ISIS rocket by chance kills some U.S. soldier? That is nuts."

yeah, nah, its as good an excuse to start a war as any.

Posted by: Sabine | Jun 20 2019 5:40 utc | 102

Will someone create an accident for Mr. Bolton? It would be the patriotic thing to do at this point in time.

Posted by: Col Ripper | Jun 20 2019 5:43 utc | 103

@97 karlof1 Yeah, I've seen those photos before.

A couple of points immediately spring to mind.

1) The lime-green mine on the left is not the same as the black mine on the right.
2) The left-most mine has the words "LIMPET MINE" stencilled on it in English. W.F.T?
3) The mine on the left has no eyelet for attaching restraining bolts, the mine on the right has three. The marks on the hull indicate two restraining bolts were used. QED whatever was attached, it wasn't either of those mines.
4) There is no way that a single man in a swaying boat can reach over and pluck a 40kg+ magnetic mine off a hull and then bring it onto the boat without (a) rupturing himself and (b) dropping it into the water. QED whatever he was doing at the pointy-end of that boat wasn't being done with a 40kg+ magnetically-attached and bolted-on limpet mine.
5) W.R.T. (4) note that there are at least 10 men on that boat, yet not one of them is shown assisting that man in plucking a 40kg+ magnetically-attached mine off the hull and into the boat, even though 40kg+ is a f**king heavy weight to be holding in your arms.

All told there is no way - none at all - that either of those objects were the object of attention when that boat approached that section of the hull.

Plus a 30kg shaped charge would easily defeat the armour of a main battle tank.

If the mine that exploded in the rear of that tanker had a 30kg shaped charge then you'd be able to look clean through the hole to the scenery on the other side, because the resulting jet of super-heated molten metal would have punched a hole all the way through that ship and out the other side.

There is no way on earth those mines were used against that ship.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 20 2019 6:32 utc | 104

@97 karlof1 "I'll need to go back and watch the grainy video again to see if that attached item's visible."

There is no way you could see the magnet in that grainy video.

You also never see the approach of the boat as it heaves-to. If you did then the mine itself would be visible even with that terrible resolution.

Note also that the colour still is from a much higher resolution video what would surely allow us to see the mine (if it was there) or the magnet (if the mine wasn't there). Yet the one and only still they have released from that video doesn't allow us to see either.

How odd, heh?

I'm convinced that the reason why is because if they showed any more from either video then it would be obvious that the mine wasn't there when the Iranian boat approached that spot. All that was there was that magnet, and that's what the Iranians had come in to investigate.

"Of course, why would the Iranians leave the one item if it was merely an attached magnet?"

Because they were ordered to go out and have a look, perhaps?

Because one man standing on the bow of a boat can look at a magnet, but doesn't have anything capable of prying it away from the hull, maybe?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 20 2019 6:45 utc | 105

There's always a deck of cards to be played. The Iran card has been around for a long time. Question is: What is driving this play right now?

String-pullers feel the pressure of populism coming for them and their controlling elite (this is how DJT snuck in- whether he meant to be POTUS or not, whether he meant what he was saying or not, the POINT is that it was pure populism that got him there). Trump is a failure as far as populism is concerned, and it's increasingly more obvious with every passing day. It's getting harder to hide the "pain*" that the "commoners" are experiencing. The MSM-as-propaganda-undetected is failing. I believe that the String-pullers are really starting to lose their control. War, always attractive for its spoils, serves the main purpose of distraction from internal woes: and it also hides the crimes of the String-pullers, for a while.

* I use quotes because though there truly is pain, it's nowhere near what it is in much of the rest of the world (especially the parts that the US has been hammering on).

There's an added sense of urgency in that Trump's first term is winding down. The 2020 campaigning has started, and with it several entrants who speak opening about handcuffing the MIC (the String-pullers' army). As I have past stated here and elsewhere, the 2016 elections were meddled with the help of existing State intelligence actors: we know this to be true for Trump; we, just like the content of all the DNC-side emails, fail to look into the content of what was going on, we don't ask whether the intelligence agencies were involved in throwing the DNC selection process. 2016 was meant to be HRC vs Jeb Bush. People who would not vote for HRC saw Jeb for what he was and threw their weight behind Trump. On the Dem side HRC faced a far stronger challenger in Sanders. The String-pullers want nothing to do with Sanders. A fabricated story of Russians at the gate allowed the String-pullers to hide this crime AND to keep our attention away from them. Trump was an easy mark for blackmail [he was conveniently able to be placed into the Russians-at-the-gate narrative], and this is as plain as day as to what is happening: only, the blackmailing is from US/West String-pullers, not Russia. So, here we are facing yet another run by Sanders, but this time it's like with the 2016 GOP lineup- people are [still] in no mood for status-quo politicians, populism is still rising and Sanders has the torch. Unlike with Trump's ragtag supporters, Sanders has a much stronger base. It's this base that is scaring the crap out of the String-pullers, scaring them enough to go so far as to contemplate lighting off a HUGE war. Reality is, the US empire, the one based on perpetual exploitation of other peoples, is in decline and those who have been held aloft by it are going to kill to try and maintain their positions.

This is one HUGE Wag-The-Dog. Unlike in the past, this one will pull in very powerful adversaries (China and Russia): it's looking more and more like this one is going to go just as John Michael Greer wrote in his book [fiction] Twighlight's Last Gleaming.

Trump was right in that we've been had by Fake News [for a VERY long time] and that the Deep State has run amok [it's never really run straight, as it was always about, to paraphrase Pompeo: Lying cheating and stealing. It is, however, almost like he's taunting the commoner. And, well, I think that The People are being called to act. Just as Trump gave license to racism (and other ugly things), Sanders (or perhaps Gabbard, the only other runner who could command the wave of populism that Sanders has formed) could give rise to an attack on the MIC and the String-pullers: again, I'm not saying that Sanders has what it takes, only that his movement has much more ability to affect actual populist changes (Gabbard and others will most certainly be pulled into a Sanders administration; I will not hide my belief that Gabbard represents a grave threat to the MIC- her message is very powerful; and, unlike Trump, she doesn't have any substantial weak spot for blackmailing).

One last strategic projection, and that's that the US/West may be forced to backpedal: either external forces, Russia and China, or internal forces (Sanders and Gabbard calling upon their supporters to repel the barbarians inside the Gates). It will do so with Plan-B (which could, for all anyone knows, have always been Plan-A: it was meant to do Plan-B first [threat of war] only as a distraction from Plan-A), which would be to continue to work on cyber-warfare: aim of being able to attack any alternative trade system to SWIFT. No matter, the certainty that the US empire collapses is not in doubt, if one understands history (and simple math).

Posted by: Seer | Jun 20 2019 7:43 utc | 106

It would be interesting to see what would be the result if Assange were to replace John Bolton.. People make such a difference..

Yet government is suppose to be conducted for the interest of, and in the interest of. the masses of people contained within a environmentally designed, 24/7 monitored structure, which is behaviorally controlled to conform to rules made by those that govern (the governors). These nation states vary in size, shape, and design, but they all accomplish the same thing, concentrate control over force and resources in one or a few people. Yet, my experience in this bar, is that bar flies indulge each other with finger pointing, argumentative he done it speculation, infinitum. Collective wisdom at the bar, confirms the governed masses are not only not in control of those who govern but also the governed masses have no say in the appointment or election of governed. Nearly all agree, the governed are totally indifferent to it. It does not matter to the governed that a billion humans are wasted so an oil company can make a few bucks. $s are inversely proportional to morality?

Granting authority to permit the (appointed or elected) few to achieve goals by using the powers inherent in the nation state as weapons seems ridiculous, highly unreasonable and beneath the dignity of the people in this fine establishment. There are 8 billion people sorted into containers that divide the people of the world. The behaviors of the people in each such container is controlled by one or more of but 2 million governors. <=something seems wrong with this 2 million control 8 billion picture? Bar flies announce regularly how ignorant and unresponsive the average American is to allow those who govern to use the USA to achieve private, devious or unrelated goals, yet bar flies are reluctant to see themselves in the same mirror as those they so diligently put down as oblivious, ignorant and uncaring. Brilliant scholars who dine and wine here seem even more unresponsive and even more accepting of the outrages "out of control of the masses" nation state governance has produced than the "average American"? The bliss in ignorance warns the informed.

Those who are in control of the weapons of mass destruction (the nation states) are the one's responsible for the mayhem that denies humanity its estate in peace; yet no one has the desire or will to amend that?

Maybe instead of just reporting on the news, the news should be used to focus on the problem: "How can the govern human majority impose its will on those who are in a position to direct the awesome forces of the nation states against humanity. How can those who govern be denied indulging "out of school" influenced decisions wrte nation states, armies, or entities they control?

The following is an example of what I mean, protecting privately owned oil interest in Burjesia is of no value to the masses of the governed in America?
Burjesia, also houses the headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italy’s Eni SpA.Rocket lands at oil hub.. injures 3
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/06/19/598873/Iraq-Basra-rocket-attack-Exxon
----
what a question?
https://russia-insider.com/en/us-heading-toward-looming-maritime-showdown-not-iran/ri27068 “Will you give authority to the US military in the South China Sea to go to war with China without any form of democratic oversight?”

Posted by: snake | Jun 20 2019 7:44 utc | 107

B has done an outstanding job with this article.. the null hypothesis the Iranians did it, has not been disproved, what has been disproved is each and all assertion of evidence that might be used to show that it was the Iranians who did it, have to date been not just disputed, but discounted on grounds of impossibility. and shown not to be rational or useful toward proving the affirmative.. Hence the hypothesis stands, without one once of proof..

ASAE guilty persons are produced with creditable evidence to convict them satisfied, the hypothesis will fail.

Posted by: snake | Jun 20 2019 7:54 utc | 108

karlof1@18 "The Outlaw Us Empire has no cards to play other than bluff and bluster". EXACTLY.

There will be no war with Iran. It is all "smoke and mirrors". It is all about DEDOLARIZATION. The world wants GOLD in energy transactions , not dollars, which the US can print cheaply to no end.

Posted by: Friar Ockham | Jun 20 2019 8:02 utc | 109

@108 The US Navy could easily prove their assertion that the Iranian boat retrieved an unexploded limpet mine from the hull

Easy: just release an image of that boat as it approached that spot, with the limpet mine clearly visible. Then another image of that boat pulling away, with that limpet mine now gone.

Mind you, that still wouldn't "prove" that Iran put it there. It would simply prove that they now have it in their possession.

The one does not prove the other.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 20 2019 8:10 utc | 110

think of that poor drone. the pilot was so despondent over its that he committed suicide.

VENGEANCE!!!

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 20 2019 8:44 utc | 111

US Seeks To Stop Jeremy Corbyn Before He Is Elected: The audio includes Pompeo promising to do his “level best” to stop Corbyn from ever being elected as Prime Minister of the UK. Pompeo was responding to a question, “Would you be willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the UK?”...Pompeo responded:

“It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

The Secretary of State describing how the US would attempt to influence British elections comes despite all the claims of Russia allegedly influencing US elections. A Labour spokesman responded: “President Trump and his officials’ attempts to decide who will be Britain’s next prime minister are an entirely unacceptable interference in the UK’s democracy.”

US Coup in Venezuela not going well: In another US interference in democracy, Pompeo discussed the US coup in Venezuela. Pompeo described the opposition to Maduro as divided and acting in their own self-interest. He said: “Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult.” Pompeo said in the meeting, the image of unity was really only useful as a “public” facade.

Pompeo .. admitted ... working on the coup in Venezuela “since the day I became CIA director.” He explained creating unity among the opposition “was something that was at the center of what President Trump was trying to do.” Pompeo became CIA director on January 23, 2017.

Despite the US saying in public that Juan Guaido was president of Venezuela, he admitted in the audio tape that Maduro was still president and he could not predict the timing of when he would leave, but he assured the audience that the economic war and other actions against the government and against the Venezuelan population would result in his leaving. US Foreign Policy Exposed by Kevin B. Zeese and Margaret Flowers Posted on June 20, 2019 @ https://original.antiwar.com/kevin-b-zeese/2019/06/19/us-foreign-policy-exposed/ a worthy read

Posted by: snake | Jun 20 2019 8:48 utc | 112

I think Trump is using the war hawks the same way they are using him.
There is no politically sustainable way for the US to go to war. The administration - empty with lots of empty posts - is not prepared. And Trump can fire the war hawks any time he finds politically convenient, he is running on an isolationist platform.

Some people are making the Saudi crown prince unviable. I would guess these people are "allies".

And for some reason the UK attempts to return money to Iran.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 20 2019 10:06 utc | 113

Commercial marine magnets:

Note how these have built-in levers or screws to break them free of the ship's hull. You cannot simply pull them off by hand.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 20 2019 10:54 utc | 114

Absolutely amazing:

Without information; a torpedo (radio from rescue ship bridge); mine (GodKnowsWhere); limpet (conjecture born); flying things (actual witnesses).

Without photos; no known actual photos from reliable sources.

Without recorded testimony; no record from witnesses present, radio traffic, telephone traffic.

How many pixels have been generated: in conjecture, in supposition, in guessing, in gossip, in blather?

One would suppose an opening has happened for a Hollywood script writer for a new fictional production and these are tryouts for that position.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 20 2019 12:13 utc | 115

Formerly T-Bear @115:

Yep I was wondering when we might hear more from the crews of those vessels, along with the issues you point out. A curious lack of better information.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 20 2019 12:18 utc | 116

113 somebody

If Trump were running on an isolationist platform, he wouldn't hire war hawks like Bolton and Pompeo, tear up the Iran deal and impose severe sanctions amounting to an act of war, or mess with Venezuela with the goal of overt REGIME CHANGE. You call that i-so-la-tion-ist????

***********

Trump has no proof Iran did the tankers, he failed to convince anyone, and that's why now he pretends it's small potatoes when at first it was: Iran did it; oh me, oh my, the sky is falling, we're gonna retaliate!

Posted by: Circe | Jun 20 2019 13:10 utc | 117

@uncle tungsten (8)

What is happening that makes you hope for a reduction in GHG emissions?

Posted by: Col. B. Bunny | Jun 20 2019 13:15 utc | 118

@wagelaborer (15)

American troops are never recruited to fight for oil. Please.

Only sophisticated people like you understand what's really at stake.

Posted by: Col. B. Bunny | Jun 20 2019 13:27 utc | 119

There is no doubt in my mind the US is pushing Iran toward a military provocation, but what is happening so far is an incredible and well done action by The Resistance to humiliate and discredit the US regime....

1) Houthis are hitting KSA all over the South, power plant, desalinisation plant, airports and it will continue and grow in sites and extension, showing no US "under protection ally" is actually protected at all.
2) Hizballah is ready for the Apartheid regime.
3) US illegal occupiers and local allies are dying in eastern Syrian by IEDs, so far the media has blamed all to ISIS.
4) Mysterious attack in UAE's main oil port hits 4 vessels.
5) Mysterious attack hit 2 tankers in Oman.
6) A US drone is hit in the same day of the tankers attack.
7) A very expensive US spy drone is hit inside souther Iran.

All indications are leading me to believe Iran is so far winning the "war", discrediting the US against its GCC "pay for protection" allies (note Qatar has not being hit with anything....), the global community continues to think the US is fully accountable for what is happening since it left JCPOA and started an economic war and bullying against Iran, losing face to the global community...so the US is now humiliated, and rest assured it can not sustain for long this humiliation, it will have to strike of the face loss will take a HUGE toll, globally, against the US.

Posted by: Canthama | Jun 20 2019 15:02 utc | 120

One very important fact of which our Israeli puppet president seems to be completely unaware is that both Russia and China have established mutual defense agreements with Iran, and as everyone and their mother in the Middle East knows, if Iran is attacked by the U.S., it will be the zionist state of Israel that will be understood as the real perpetrator behind the scenes of the crime. At that point, the mutual defense contracts will take effect and Russia, China, Iran, and Hizb-allah in Lebanon will all simultaneously attack Israel from all sides and effectively send that little criminal country back to an age known in archaeology as the 'Pre-pottery Neolithic'. Just for the vicious bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, and especially for the 9-11-2001 attacks on our country by our false friends and treacherous "allies," the little stolen and illegitimate state of "Israel" is way, way overdue for complete and utter destruction. After 9-11, the U.S. should have wiped Tel Aviv and Haifa off the map, not Iraq or Afghanistan. Israel is the sworn enemy of every nation on Earth and needs to be dealt with this year! It is high time for Humanity to recognize its real war-mongering enemy. It is also high time to round up all the Jewish neocons of PNAC (Bolton, et al.) who helped plan the 9-11 attacks with the Israelis, and just hang them publicly in front of the White House with strong hemp rope. If there is no severe punishment dealt out to these vicious demonic "people," then their crimes will just continue at the ultimate expense of our entire planet. Go ahead Israel, have your U.S. proxy president and proxy army attack Iran, and we will watch you disappear in, oh, about 45

minutes!

Posted by: Bill Burroughs | Jun 20 2019 16:23 utc | 121

I'm guilty myself and I know it's tricky but could we please try to keep off topic stuff in the OT thread? In addition at least I will try to ignore people asking questions that are answered in the appropriate threads (often days ago).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 20 2019 16:30 utc | 122

Curious that nobody has pointed out that this is entire scenario maps rather well to how the USA goaded Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor. It started with escalating sanctions, a few island skirmishes in the S. Pacific, and then Japan said essentially; enough, let's go for broke and hope the European war will bring the US to withdraw. Had they caught our aircraft carriers in Pearl, that strategy might have actually succeeded.

This entire Iran fiasco begs the question of why. This is clearly a no-winner if US invades/attacks as oil flow will stop and prices in EU (our once allies) will skyrocket, crippling EU business and quickly forming an oil alliance with Russia (whoppie for Russia - will make American an international pariah).

Posted by: Tomonthebeach | Jun 20 2019 17:49 utc | 123

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 19, 2019 6:56:28 PM | 55

I don't disagree with any of that except perhaps your assertion that the distinction matters (and I think the question of whether there's any actual democracy has already been answered definitively). Whether Trump is in on the scam only makes a difference for those who fixate on personalities rather than examine systems -- the results are the same. His "administration" is running the Empire much like any other regardless of where his personal sympathies lie.

Posted by: Ash | Jun 20 2019 18:00 utc | 124

@ joetv | Jun 19, 2019 4:38:38 PM | 34

With you on your first para. Israel is beyond due not only a bloody nose but a hammer in the face. TA burning would warm the cockles of my cold heart.

Posted by: Bevin Kacon | Jun 21 2019 8:18 utc | 125

@Chris Chuba #50: that 20-year old has signed on with the Armies of Mordor to serve evil and be paid money. OK, we remember the stupid things we ourselves did when we were 20, and for many years thereafter. Say we cut him some slack. Still, this 20-year old supposedly has parents, who remember what the Armies of Mordor made the 20-year-olds of their generation do in Vietnam. So when their offspring comes home and says "Mom, Dad, I've got it all figured out now, I'm going to serve evil and be paid money" then they slap him good, and lock him up in the basement with an honest history book on that war, telling him he'll only get out after he's indicated through the door that he has understood its contents, right? Right?

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Jun 21 2019 19:43 utc | 126

I love mind readers and their crystal balls that allow them to tell us what goes on in the White House. Shame this ace skippy can't provide us with the winning lotto numbers.

This guy couldn't play piano in a whorehouse but he does have the ability to be a journalist, hell, even the guys who go to school in the little bus can be journalists.

Posted by: Fergus | Jun 22 2019 3:55 utc | 127

Pompeo said Trump “does not want war” In Joseph Schumpeter’s book, Imperialism and Social Classes, he described ancient Rome in a way that sounds eerily like the United States today,

“Here is the classic example of that kind of insincerity in both foreign and domestic affairs which permeates not only the avowed motives but also probably the conscious motives of the actors themselves – of that policy which pretends to aspire to peace but unerringly generates war, the policy of continual preparation for war, the policy of meddlesome interventionism.”

Posted by: Tim0 | Jun 23 2019 19:52 utc | 128

"Insincere meddlesome interventionism" fits well but applies to most (or all?) humans and not only the Roman and US governments :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 23 2019 20:20 utc | 129

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