Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 16, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-34

Sorry for posting only four pieces this week. There was family visiting here who deserved a bit of attention.

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Your host is quite proud about the above scoop on Iran's new strategy. I developed the idea that Iran runs a "strategy of tension" by putting myself into Iran's role. What were my options?

After I wrote that up in the update of the first post, I became convinced that it was the right idea. Iran had gained escalation dominance. I contacted Elijah Magnier on Twitter and asked what he thought about it. He rejected the idea. He thought, like I earlier did, that Friday's attack would hurt Iran.

A few hours later Elijah came along with my idea. He later contacted his sources in Tehran who confirmed that it is indeed Iran's current strategy. Each tanker incident in the Middle East will now become, as Bernd writes, another version of the "Murder on the Orient Express". Everyone will ask "Who's done it?" No one believes the U.S. when it points towards Iran. Such U.S. claims are only good for silly jokes:

    John Bolton: ‘An Attack On Two Saudi Oil Tankers Is An Attack On All Americans’ - The Onion
    Chief of Naval Operations lauds return to tradition of ‘false flag’ operations - Duffelblog

Even the otherwise docile Japan is mightily pissed that the attack on a Japanese tanker during Prime Minister Abe's visit in Tehran is blamed on Iran. Its government officially demands an explanation:

    Japan demands more proof from U.S. that Iran attacked tankers

Other issues


Enviados de Guaidó se apropian de fondos para ayuda humanitaria en Colombia - PANAM Post (Spanish)

Shocking expose of Juan Guaido's envoys in Colombia, who are accused of embezzling "humanitarian aid" funds, inflating figures, fraud & threats in order to surround themselves with luxury. There are even copies of receipts.


Associates of Venezuelan coup frontman Juan Guaidó embezzled funds raised in Cúcuta, Colombia for humanitarian aid and lavishly spent it on hotels, nightclubs and expensive clothes. This is a monumental scandal! - more

Guaido's people in Colombia collected aid and money for 1,400 soldiers they claimed had come to their side. There were in fact less than 700 most of whom were not even deserters. The Colombian government paid the hotel costs for most of them. They were soon evicted because Guaido's envoys just kept the money. They spend it on whores and bad drugs. One ended up dead, another ended up hospitalized. The government of Colombia is not amused about this. It is really no wonder that the coup attempt failed.


Remember how electricity in Venezuela failed during the U.S. coup attempt? The Maduro government claimed that U.S. cyberattack caused the damage. The U.S. blamed the "incompetence" of the Maduro government and said it would never do such a thing. Except when its does:

U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid - NYT

The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said.
[T]he American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow.

I do not have time to pick the piece apart, but I believe that it is mostly scaremongering and psychological warfare against Russia. Endangering the electrical network of a nuclear power is an immensely stupid idea. This piece from January 2018 explains why:

Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms - NYT

A newly drafted United States nuclear strategy that has been sent to President Trump for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure, including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.

Does anyone expect that Russia would react differently? President Putin offered several times to sign a binding agreement that would prohibit such cyberattacks. The U.S. under Bush and Obama rejected that. It will now have to live with the consequences.

How good are the cyberwar folks at targeting their weapons anyway?

Parts of Latin American hit by massive power outage

Buenos Aires (dpa) - Large parts of Latin America have been hit by a massive power outage, local media and an Argentinian energy company said. Argentinian energy company Edesur confirmed on Twitter that all of Argentina and Uruguay had been affected by the outage. Argentinian newspaper La Nacion reported that Brazil and Chile had also been affected, while the BBC flagged outages in Paraguay.

That also must have been caused by the "incompetence" of the Maduro government in Venezuela ...

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on June 16, 2019 at 16:56 UTC | Permalink

next page »

What is unusual about this list of “news” outlets?

1. The New York Times
2. The Wall Street Journal
3. The Washington Post
4. BBC
5. The Economist
6. The New Yorker
7. Wire Services: The Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg News
8. Foreign Affairs
9. The Atlantic
10. Politico

Runners Up:
- National Public Radio
- TIME magazine
-The Christian Science Monitor
- The Los Angeles Times (and many other regional, metropolitan daily newspapers)
- USA Today
- NBC News
CBS News
ABC News

Give up . . ?

It was published by, under this headline:

“10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts”

Really – no foolin'!

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 16 2019 16:59 utc | 1

thanks b... you are such a wealth of information and insight! i especially liked your post that you've now gotten recognition from magnier on.. it made a lot of sense and is counter intuitive as you say..

Posted by: james | Jun 16 2019 17:05 utc | 2

You imagine if it had happened in Iran, Syria or Russia

Posted by: Mina | Jun 16 2019 17:06 utc | 3

One of the steadfast allies of the United States:

General Mario Montoya, who former President Alvaro Uribe considers a national hero, is being exposed by his former subordinates as one of the cruelest and most bloodthirsty war criminals in Colombia’s history. Former military commanders who are testifying before the country’s war crimes tribunal have been painting a picture of a man who would murder pretty much anyone to advance his career.

...And in Brazil:

Protests have been held across Brazil as thousands of public workers take part in a general strike against a government proposal to reform pensions. The strike, the first since far-right President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January, has affected public transport, schools and banks. Police used stun grenades on protesters in Rio de Janeiro. In several cities, roads were blocked with burning tyres. Mr Bolsonaro says the controversial reform will restore public finances.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jun 16 2019 17:07 utc | 4

The one thing that makes me suspect that the US or their proxies were not behind the tanker attack is the way they blundered the communication. Speaking about limpet mines, when the ships were attacked with missiles or rockets. Now no one believes them.

Compare this to the crash of MH17. The West immediately "knew" it was "Putin's missile!"

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 16 2019 17:40 utc | 5

b you owe us nothing family is always first.....Dennis

Posted by: Dennis18 | Jun 16 2019 18:00 utc | 6

Just because the recent attacks benefit Iran doesn't mean that Iran was behind them. There is a simpler explanation that is supported by recent historical facts.

The western powers, mainly Washington, do some incredibly stupid things that end in victory for Iran and its allies. The West started wars in Iraq and Syria that were supposed to lead to the isolation of Iran in the region, but had the opposite effect.

Iran doesn't need to be cunning when it has such stupid enemies. It just needs to stand firm and, most of all, let Washington dig a huge hole for itself.

Posted by: Brendan | Jun 16 2019 18:19 utc | 7

Mention of the US preparations for the "cyberattacks" in Russia made me remember another story I read last week.

China's African swine fever epidemic

From my point of view the animal feed industry is an ugly one. Livestock are fed almost anything available. Contamination of ingredients can easily happen naturally, for it's all about the lowest price. But the fact remains that deliberate addition of "stuff" anywhere in the supply chain would be falling-down easy.

From what I've been reading, the Swine Flu epidemic is presently confined to North Korea and China. Coincidences happen in the Real World, but sometimes they have a "helping hand".

In the next several months we're likely to find out if the Chinese and North Koreans believe they're the victims of bad luck or something else, for the US is also wide open on a very large agricultural front.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 16 2019 18:23 utc | 8

Re: Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 16, 2019 12:59:58 PM | 1

Dear AntiSpin, you are ignorant of basic fact. "Real facts" (as opposed to basic facts) is a marketing phrase. When we talk about "brands" we talk about sales and sale tactics. To give you an example, I was (back in naive years) surprised when I ordered "Fresh food salad" in a restaurant and we get products clearly removed from cans. The waitress explained that this is simply a name on the menu. E.g. you would not expect "Tuscan salad" to actually come from Tuscany, or even closely resemble whatever they eat over there.

Nevertheless, marketing often requires something to allow customers to make a mental connection with the product. "Fresh fruit salad" would better have some fruits, while Tuscan salad should be more imaginative than boiled potatoes with mayo. Similarly, purveyors of "Real news" have some factual reports. The Guardian had a series on homicides by police in USA that apparently happen very regularly, ca. 1000 cases per year. NYT has well research stories on hair raising and wallet emptying behavior of American health care providers. Forbes provides interesting statistics about world's richest people.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 16 2019 18:26 utc | 9

"Fox News:

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a summit in Kyrgyzstan and reaffirmed Beijing’s willingness to develop ties with the country even as the U.S. placed the blame squarely on Tehran for the attack on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.

Xi met with Rouhani privately at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Reuters reported. The Chinese leader promised to develop the relationship no matter how the situation changes.

He recently told TASS news agency that Washington is putting “extreme pressure” on Iran and the “situation is worrying.”

Posted by: arby | Jun 16 2019 18:39 utc | 10

This is so cool! We have a false false flag. And now, Iran can conquer the world!

What happens to Pinky after victory is achieved?

Posted by: Just Me | Jun 16 2019 18:40 utc | 11

Just Me--

"And now, Iran can conquer the world!"

You mean the Iran that has not attacked another country in 300 years? That Iran?

And WTF is Pinky?

Posted by: arby | Jun 16 2019 18:44 utc | 12

Arby-- @12

Never mind. You had to be there.

Posted by: Just Me | Jun 16 2019 18:47 utc | 13

OK, I like the false false flag part though.

Posted by: arby | Jun 16 2019 18:52 utc | 14

Part of me says it's a bit counterproductive to point this out, but another part says what a brilliant advertisement for not only MoA, but the whole alternative mediasphere. Can you see John Bolton pointing to MoA as proof of Iranian malfeasance? Would that blow up the whole premise of the "Official Narrative," or what!

Posted by: John Merryman | Jun 16 2019 18:53 utc | 15

I am eagerly awaiting for results of damage examination on those two tankers to be published. Torpedoes and missiles, if used in this case, leave distinct marks.

IMO, US knows or can get pretty good idea who did this thanks to their superior intelligence and surveillance in area. If they had any real evidence (or possibility of fabricating one convincingly) that Iran did it MSM would be playing it round the clock. But they aren't, meaning there may be 3 possibilities for now:

- US or allies did it.
- Iran did it in most embarrassing or cunning way so publishing it would damage US image or expose weakness or classified information (diesel sub sneaking around where it shouldn't?).
- Iran did it, along with clear resolution to escalate it up to point everyone will lose too much so better to downplay whole mess. This one is long shot I admit.

Posted by: willy the welder | Jun 16 2019 18:58 utc | 16

Enviados de Guaidó se apropian de fondos para ayuda humanitaria en Colombia - PANAM Post (Spanish)

Shocking expose of Juan Guaido's envoys in Colombia, who are accused of embezzling "humanitarian aid" funds, inflating figures, fraud & threats in order to surround themselves with luxury. There are even copies of receipts.


Associates of Venezuelan coup frontman Juan Guaidó embezzled funds raised in Cúcuta, Colombia for humanitarian aid and lavishly spent it on hotels, nightclubs and expensive clothes. This is a monumental scandal! - more

Latin America finally has its own Chiang Kai-shek.

Posted by: vk | Jun 16 2019 19:10 utc | 17

Zach Basu
Verified account @zacharybasu
Adam Schiff: "There's no question that Iran's behind the attacks...The problem is we're struggling, even in the midst of this strong evidence, to persuade our allies to join us in any kind of response. It shows just how isolated the U.S. has become."
14 replies 171 retweets 773 likes"

Posted by: arby | Jun 16 2019 19:16 utc | 18

"NEW: @SenTomCotton says, “unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”"

Posted by: arby | Jun 16 2019 19:18 utc | 19

Not a big fan of the Intercept but this I like--

Posted by: arby | Jun 16 2019 19:20 utc | 20

@Zachary Smith, 8
It could be contaminated food. It could also be due to industrialised food production, see The following extract from that article was interesting

“In the 1950s, it got its way up into the Iberian Peninsula, in Portugal and Spain, where it circulated for about 30 years before it was quashed. It was in 2007, however, that the virus emerged in a way that exploded across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics. And then, by 2018, it popped over into China.”
The use of the verb “exploded” brought this article to mind
So it might also be due to weaponised viruses.

In addition to the African Swine Fever epidemic, China is also suffering from a plague of Fall Armyworm moths which attack corn and soybeans. This moth is a native of the United States which spread to South Africa in 2016. South Africa also hosts a Pentagon Bioweapons lab.

Posted by: cirsium | Jun 16 2019 19:22 utc | 21

More propaganda from The Guardian against Russia:

Kim Willsher reported on the world’s worst nuclear disaster from the Soviet Union. HBO’s TV version only scratches the surface, she says

In this article, reporter Kim Willsher tells us about a bunch of anecdotal evidence that the Chernobyl disaster was worse than the HBO series portraited. But her stories aren't anything we haven't heard yet: some people dying from cancer some years and decades later, glowing trees, deformed mice, quarantened hospitals, the initial lies by the government etc. etc. To put it simply, the woman tells us the stories everybody and their mothers already know and is pissed off the tv series wasn't more aggressive in its propaganda -- possibly because her photographer friend who also covered the event is going to die from lung cancer (this is revealed at the penultimate paragraph of the article).

But the most interesting part of the article is the last paragraph:

Today, 33 years on, Vladimir Putin has dismissed the TV miniseries as US misinformation and reportedly said Russia will make its own “version” blaming the CIA. Like radiation, Kremlin propaganda has a long half-life.

This paragraph contains a link with the alleged source. And the source is... another The Guardian's article! But, naive that I am, I thought I would find the genuine source in the quoted article.

But there's no quote of Putin saying that.

The only information that is is that:

Russian state TV is set to air its own drama about the deadly 1986 Chernobyl disaster – but unlike the HBO series, which has transfixed viewers around the world, this version will claim that a CIA spy was present for the worst nuclear accident in history.

So, because "Russian state TV" is going to air "its own" version then it must be because Putin told them to!

Posted by: vk | Jun 16 2019 19:34 utc | 22

Bernie Sanders
‏Verified account @SenSanders
Jun 12

Bernie Sanders Retweeted The Intercept

During his presidency, Lula da Silva oversaw huge reductions in poverty and remains Brazil’s most popular politician. I stand with political and social leaders across the globe who are calling on Brazil’s judiciary to release Lula and annul his conviction."

Posted by: arby | Jun 16 2019 19:36 utc | 23

Latin America finally has its own Chiang Kai-shek.

¡Ja,ja,ja!, so funny, esteemed vk. What is your take on Mexico's President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador? (AMLO)

From your particular vantage-point, Would you expatiate on the challenges this man faces? I be interested in whatever you say

Where I am in the South, he is quite popular with the few people I know socially, he has the common people believing that he would do something for them if he could. Everyone seems to tune into his daily public forum at 8 a.m. or so.

I hear 2nd-hand how he promised to nationalize the Internet, but i dont know what this would mean: instead of paying for air-time at OXXO, the people would pay at the Ayuntamiento?

Do you happen to know, or have you heard anything about the prospect of nationalizing social media in a southern country?

AMLO has not changed his political line in 30 years, he is an FDR-style economic statist all the way through; AMLO was the only one who fought the FOBAPROA bail-out, and he certainly deserves credit for having resisted this all on his lonesome.

That is about all I know. Honest.

One supposes that AMLO is not in position to do what he wants.

There were seven right-wing governments in a row before AMLO

The hole card of this country with more than its share of heroes - the Mexicans have shown that they can produce heroes
on ocassions when needed - IMO Mexico's saving grace would most likely be a great miracle wrought by the Virgen of Guadalupe.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jun 16 2019 19:40 utc | 24

I'll put this one into the "Stupidity on the Hoof" category.

Boeing seeking to reduce scope, duration of some physical tests for new aircraft

Isn't there anybody at Boeing bright enough to understand that NOW is about the worst possible time to be proposing shortcuts on airplane testing?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 16 2019 19:56 utc | 25

Those Hong Kong blowhards "released" their list of demands:

They chanted and carried signs listing their demands: the complete withdrawal of the bill, not just an indefinite suspension; an impartial investigation into the police use of force during Wednesday’s clashes with protesters; and rescinding the official description of that protest as an illegal riot, which could expose anyone arrested during the violent demonstration to long jail terms.

This is shy one compared to the absurd and blatantly capitalist demands from Tiananment Square. Now, they are just preparing to fall back.

Hong Kong's geography is very unfavorable to hybrid warfare: the city is relatively declining vis-a-vis the tier 1 cities of the Mainland (specially Shenzhen, which is acroos the channel and has its own stock exchange), it's growth now basically depends on finance and housing bubble, it's middle class is extremely reactionary and largely depends on Filipino and Indonesian slave labor to assert their distinction, and, most importantly, its geography makes a siege very easy to the Mainland, since its territory doesn't include the flatlands (the truly valuable part of the area).

Hong Kong's disfavorable geography is the reason Thatcher agreed to obey the 99-year lease in the 1980s and why Tony Blair indeed gave back the city in 1997: to consolidate it would require an amphibious invasion massive enough to consolidate the whole city plus the flatlands. It was pure military calculation, not honesty, that returned Hong Kong to China. And that was a time when China's navy wasn't yet as powerful as today.

The USA could manage a hot war with an amphibious invasion. The problem is: why do it in Hong Kong if they can do it in Taiwan, with a much more favorable geography? That was possibly the main reason Carrie Lam shelved the bill: she must've received news from Beijing that Taiwan separatists are cashing in politically with this episode, which could further erode the Kuomintang's electorally, and further embolden the USA, which can not only do a hot war through Taiwan in the name of its independence, but could also withdraw Hong Kong's special trading status and pluge the city further into chaos.

However, the situation is not that favorable to the Americans either: they already flinched when it was the time to invade Venezuela (which, if done, must be done by sea, as would be the case with China) and are now cowering from a hot war with Iran -- why would they invade through Taiwan, a much more difficult target?

A color revolution in Hong Kong would be useless: as I've already mentioned, geography is unfavorable to unconventional warfare (stage 2 of an hybrid war), and China has legitimacy to claim Hong Kong's territory (because it was literally sent back to them, voluntarily, after the 99-year lease -- not to say the large portion of the population who sincerely is pro-assimilation). Those Anglophone liberal freaks are also marching with a legalist cause -- to do a u-turn and adopt a regime change cause against a democratically elected official would result in internal problems for them.

Posted by: vk | Jun 16 2019 19:57 utc | 26

@ Posted by: Guerrero | Jun 16, 2019 3:40:31 PM | 24

I celebrated AMLO's victory. His resumee is beyond doubt: he's a true Latin American-style leftist (I risk to say he could be a true socialist if the objective material conditions in Mexico allowed). Just hope he doesn't turn out to be the Mexican Lenin Moreno (who in fact negotiated with the USA the betrayal of the Ecuadorian working class).

Posted by: vk | Jun 16 2019 20:07 utc | 27

I posted this link and quote on the end of the last open thread last night so want to repeat it here because of its importance

Xi urges joint efforts to open up new prospects for Asian security, development

The take away quote
We should ensure that diversified coexistence will replace civilization superiority, harmonious symbiosis will replace civilization clashes, exchanges and sharing will replace civilization estrangement, as well as joint prosperity and progress will replace civilization rigidity, said Xi.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 16 2019 20:10 utc | 28

I am inclined to see that as a real possibility (for as long as it lasts).
But then we need to explain how this photo by CENTCOM can show a mine that CENTCOM also claimed was removed by the Iranian gunboat.

Posted by: bjd | Jun 16 2019 20:13 utc | 29

@ 28: Sure hope Xi ACTS on his rhetoric. Sounds 100% better than ANYTHING coming from the U$A's latest regime...

Posted by: ben | Jun 16 2019 20:24 utc | 30

When Fox "news" is beginning to provide climate change stories, that's a sign of something or other.

Greenland lost 2 billion tons of ice this week, which is very unusual

It's seldom mentioned that Greenland could undergo a catastrophic collapse which would cause major sea level rises in a very brief time. IMO such an event is becoming a case of not "if", but "when".

Arctic permafrost now melting at levels not expected until 2090

Our already-dire situation is getting worse, and the process is accelerating. My first exposure to Global Warming came when I read Isaac Asimov's essay "No More Ice Ages?" in his collection titled "Asimov On Chemistry". Back in 1959 he was pretty laid back about the matter, suggesting that the process was going to take centuries. That estimate has turned out not to be the case.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 16 2019 20:26 utc | 31

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 16, 2019 2:26:56 PM | 9

That is what we need the EU for.

Quality schemes explained

Protected designation of origin (PDO)

Product names registered as PDO are those that have the strongest links to the place in which they are made.

Food, agricultural products and wines

Every part of the production, processing and preparation process must take place in the specific region.

For wines, this means that the grapes have to come exclusively from the geographical area where the wine is made.

Kalamata olive oil PDO is entirely produced in the region of Kalamata in Greece, using olive varieties from that area


Traditional speciality guaranteed

Traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG) highlights the traditional aspects such as the way the product is made or its composition, without being linked to a specific geographical area. The name of a product being registered as a TSG protects it against falsification and misuse.

Food and agricultural products

Gueuze TSG is a traditional beer obtained by spontaneous fermentation. It is generally produced in and around Brussels, Belgium. Nonetheless, being a TSG, its production method is protected but could be produced somewhere else.

Mandatory for all products

They haven't yet decided to regulate brands of journalism but they are working on it.

“the term "journalist" means any natural or legal person who is regularly or professionally engaged in the collection and dissemination of information to the public via any means of mass communication"

They also consider the definitions of different countries among them the Ukrainian one

"creative employee who gathers, receives, creates and prepares news on a professional basis for the media and who exercises professional functions in the media (as a regular employee or a freelance journalist), in accordance with the job titles corresponding to journalist appearing in the state list of professions"

which has a nice emphasis on "creative".

The word "facts" is mentioned only in this context

The Assembly is further concerned that journalists' working conditions continue to deteriorate: they are working longer hours; the demand for high output affects their ability to check information sources, investigate sensitive issues and analyse facts with a degree of detachment; many media companies do not allocate adequate resources to training; freelancers often lack preparation or insurance for working in areas where there are risks or conflicts

Posted by: somebody | Jun 16 2019 20:34 utc | 32


The discussion on "facts" or "alternative facts" (a euphemism for lie) does not get what media are about.

Media have target groups who consume the stuff they advertise (this model was not discontinued by the internet) and these target groups hate to hear "facts" that contradict their world view.

Respectable media concentrate on the "facts" their target group wants to know about, "yellow press" fakes, distorts and hypes.

But basically they reinforce what people want to hear anyway, with a small margin of flexibility.

Target groups change but this is not caused by the media.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 16 2019 20:49 utc | 33

Last Wednesday the US House took up the 2020 $733B Defense ReAuthorization Bill.

Last Wednesday, 'Iranians Attack Gulf Oil Tankers!'

Late Wednesday, the House voted to approve the 2020 $733B Defense ReAuthorization Bill.

The bill now moves to the Senate, as 'Russians Retaliate by Crashing the US Internet!'

The US Fed budget this year is $4,875B, up +22% from last year, because they are BROKE.

In other news, Sara Netanyahu pled guilty to criminal racketeering, as Israel moves in

to take over Golan Heights, evicting Syrians and starting Israeli settlement operations.

It's not rocket science. The Pope is dope, and aka HRH Bank of England runs the proxies.

Posted by: Toulouse235 | Jun 16 2019 20:53 utc | 34

I think it would be extremely shortsighted and foolish for Iran to play the false flag game. All it will take is solid proof on one incident and for the rest of the world to think Iran to be as duplicitous as the U.S. They will have achieved nothing.

That's not to say that doing it once and then never again couldn't be a viable tactic.

Posted by: JasonT | Jun 16 2019 20:59 utc | 35

Gwynne Dyer appears to agree with B's analysis.

I'm not so sure but one thing is certain: if this analysis is correct and Washington's bluff is being called, almost openly (by which I mean if b, Magnier and Dyer are in on the secret, it's no secret) then the tectonic plates have shifted considerably. The Empire is all over bar the funeral.

After all the US is, as George Kennan understood, only a small and marginalised part of the world with a population less than 6% of humanity. And one not particularly distinguished, historically, for its intellectual or technical achievements. Multi polarity is the natural state of international relations-US hegemonic ambitions an insane inspiration born of the peculiar conditions in 1945.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 16 2019 21:02 utc | 36

'Time is Running Out,' American Petroleum Institute Chief Said in 1965 Speech on Climate Change

The Oil Companies were the very first ones to appreciate the nature of the coming Climate Crisis, and their decision was to start a massive propaganda campaign to muddy the water. Just as the Cigarette Companies did before them. Professional Propaganda Whores are always available if the price is right, and in every case there will be the enthusiastic amateur fanatics who will also join up for the crusade.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 16 2019 21:16 utc | 37

@ Posted by: somebody | Jun 16, 2019 4:34:47 PM | 32

The problem with the EU is not the theory, but the practice: it simply isn't able to achieve what it promises and promised. The economies are diverging; Germany gets richer while the other members get poorer; its overall GDP is stagnant for a decade; it has a demographic time bomb ticking; it doesn't have an Armed Forces to back it up in wider geopolitical affairs (instead, they simply follow the will of the Americans through NATO).

A two-tier EU already is a reality.

Posted by: vk | Jun 16 2019 21:26 utc | 38

Just to comment about the last assertion,...
There is no electrical problem in Brasil and Paraguay.
Brazil has the biggest interconnect electric grid in this planet. Nothing happen unnoticed in this grid.
There is nothing to report by The Operator of the grid, ONS.

Posted by: Zico, The Musketeer | Jun 16 2019 21:38 utc | 39

Posted by: JasonT | Jun 16, 2019 4:59:10 PM | 35

It would have been almost certainly done by proxy.

If these positions of the tankers are correct Iran should have a good idea what happened.

It could have been Baloch separatists sponsored by Saudi Arabia taking revenge for Houthi attacks. If it was intended to put Iran on the back foot diplomatically it did not work. The Cui Bono is on the Iranian side as - not surprisingly - no on believes the US or Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 16 2019 21:45 utc | 40

Bevin 36 "The Empire is all over bar the funeral."

That occurred some weeks ago when China made the decision that what Trump had started would only increase - under Trump or whoever is in power in the future.
So in the last month or so, China has changed course and Iran has also made its decision re the nuke deal. Russia, China, Iran all with a common enemy and I believe all ready to be or perhaps decided to be proactive rather than defensive. No NATO style alliance but all united by a common enemy.
It will be interesting to watch.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 16 2019 21:55 utc | 41

Zachary Smith | Jun 16, 2019 2:23:42 PM | 8

Thanks Zachary Smith, add the Fall Army Worm to the African Sine Flu outbreak in China and you have a large arrow pointing at the USA. The fall army worm originates only from the USA and it devastates corn and sorghum. That outbreak is also rampaging in China. Neither outbreak looks like coincidence when considered alone but both simultaneously gives pause for thought.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 16 2019 21:58 utc | 42

“If b, Magnier and Dyer are on it, it isn’t secret anymore.” I agree. Propaganda works until it doesn’t. Iran sees this as a naval blockade no different than the one the Union threw up around the Confederate States. A war is underway but Iran is using the fact that the American establishment with no allies and with an “out of it” President don’t want to admit that a conflict has commenced that will inevitably close the Straits of Hormuz and trigger a global economic crash.

On purpose or not, the African swine fever contagion signals the end of globalization. The British Mad Cow outbreak in 1986 that was caused by contaminated feed was at the beginning of the Western Oligarch’s successful counter revolt to end taxes, screw workers, flush government down the drain, and create a corporate New World Order. The only way to prevent the spread of the disease to North America and devastating the American Pork Industry is to close the border and inspect and destroy all contaminated imports. That takes a functioning government, manpower and money. The USA is incapable of doing this anymore.

Both signal that the American Empire is dead. It is time for grieving, recriminations, relief and prayers for survival.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jun 16 2019 21:58 utc | 43

Global Research have published an article entitled 'Convenient “Tanker Attacks” as US Seeks War with Iran' which discusses "Which Path to Persia?", a 2009 Brookings Institution paper that outlines a strategy/plan for provoking a war with Iran. This paper appears to describe what is happening at present and presages worst to come. One crucial part of the plan appears tailor-made for the Trump persona:

"The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal."

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 16 2019 21:59 utc | 44

bs.. . no evidence..iran did it.. but here is some evidence.. take it to the bank.

Posted by: snake | Jun 16 2019 22:07 utc | 45

b., I would love to know your take on the situation in Brazil, where the entire legal case against Lula has been exposed as a politically motivated fraud. I think that we all suspected that to be the case, but now, thanks to "The Intercept," we have documentary proof. Where will this lead?

Posted by: Rob | Jun 16 2019 22:25 utc | 46

Precisely JasonT #35, Iran only has to do it once or twice for the method to be recognised by ISIS and other yankee funded nutters or any other lightly armed group. The message? that they can exact revenge or punishment or whatever on the USA or the entire B team by simply driving the price of oil through the roof.

Trump will be hard pressed to get reelected if the price of gasoline rises in the USA or if it appears that he is hostage to Iran as Carter was. How could he be seen to be hostage? by Iran simply not talking to him, not attending any meeting, doing absolutely nothing other than affirming their willingness to have every sanction lifted on their country without any precondition. And refusing any other conditional meeting.

Vale Trump 2020.

If this latest tanker attack was a B team false flag then it has backfired spectacularly. If it was Iran then it succeeded spectacularly. Next time it could be any disenchanted group with a drone and a phosphor bomb or some such. Who knows, but we are all aware of the rapid escalation of technology in the Syrian and the Yemen battlefield.

Either way the insurance for shipping volatile substances will rise fast. So will the price of the product.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 16 2019 22:33 utc | 47

Those thinking the US is innocent needs to explain that low resolution video allegedly showing Iran removing an unexploded mine. You do know the US military has much better video equipment. If you have evidence why hide it by downgrading resolution of your video which only serves to raise suspicion?

Iran would be nuts to fuel the fire with the US and alienate countries like China and Japan who have the most to lose over any conflict in the Gulf. One of the US motives smack of intentionally trying to discredit themselves yet again. The current administrations main goal is to discredit the current world order led by US (the global elites that have captured it) to create conditions for a NWO which will give the illusion of multipolarity (including China and Russia) but will be controlled by the same global elites that have captured the US and much of the West

As for events in Hong Kong. I lived in the region when the British sold out and saw the hysteria that followed as citizens looked for a way out, then the transition to the handover and acceptance coupled with denial ,and the honeymoon period that followed, and the end of the honeymoon

Today reality seems to have hit home with a new generation coming of age. The Chinese defacto invasion of Hong Kong , over 1 million of them (15%) , has made the natives 2nd class citizens (much like when the British ruled) . Housing prices are ridiculous making ownership out of reach without parents assistance and a heavy mortgage. A parking space recently sold for 600K USD. Government housing project developments ended when the British left. A huge loss. A number of workers are forced to live far from their workplace and sleep in 24 hr fast food stores near their offices to save on travel time. Quality of life, tough enough before the handover for the middle class , has plummeted , except for the elites which include many mainlanders. Western companies in Hong Kong increasingly favor hiring mainlanders in Hong Kong for their connections in the mainland

Chinas promises for Democracy, a condition for the agreement of the handover have been broken, and people see they were taken for a ride.

My theory is the British agreement to handover China had nothing to do with military concerns. That was merely an excuse. An agreement was reached that in return for Hong Kong the Chinese would open up their markets to Anglo-Americans and join the coming NWO. The US/UK would provide MFN status regardless of human rights violations and China would be allowed to continue its repressive authoritarian control and in return China would allow private ownership which would concentrate wealth in the hands of the party elite. They would then use Hong Kong to funnel some of that wealth into Western financial institutions hands. China also agreed to return excess USD from trade surpluses to finance US debt.

The Global Elite , founders and supporters of Communism, made China (following their failure in the Soviet Union) using it as an experimental model for developing a blue print for a future Global Authoritarian Government. The Communist model has given way to a more Fascist model (two ends of the same rope) but its all the same to the Global Elite

The time is coming for this New New World Order. Once America has finished destroying the image of Democracy and a US centric NWO in global public opinion, they will begin. Whether a war or some other crisis (financial, disease, etc) will be required before hand I cant say.

Posted by: Pft | Jun 16 2019 22:46 utc | 48

Just posted the following to the previous thread, FYI--

Peter AU 1 @71--

I've seen enough. What we're shown is the very last crewman being guided onto/into the Iranian boat. On the bow are two Iranian crew, one reaching the tanker crewman, the other steadying the reacher's legs against the sight motion of the ocean. Once the tanker crewman's in the cockpit, the sitting Iranian crewman gets into the cockpit while the standing man remains standing, probably since he's bilingual and capable of communicating instructions--a vital component even with easy rescues like this one. Everyone's milling about in the bow because they just got there and want to ensure the safety of their shipmates. The poor resolution video was chosen because it hides numerous details. Plenty of time was available for photoshopping the limpet mine addition, which helped fool those watching the video.

Those that leapt to the conclusion and swallowed the propaganda whole will now look like the fools they are, and Outlaw US Empire credibility will sink even lower, much to Iran's benefit.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 16 2019 22:52 utc | 49

Zachary Smith@8

Nice conspiracy theory. I was afraid you would blame global warming. I remember during SARs many in China felt it was started by the US given the affinity of the virus to strike Asians. Like many Africans suspect the US of being behind AIDS given its affecting Blacks and other non Caucasians disproportionately.

I don't rule out either theory although in both case I can see a contaminated vaccine as being behind the outbreaks (accidental or otherwise)

In Chinas Swine Flu case another theory might be gene editing. Pigs have recently been gene edited to protect them from Swine Flu. I assume this is patented. Perhaps a corporate conspiracy where swine flu is introduced into the pig population (perhaps by vaccine) to create a market for gene edited pigs?

Although unrelated I am reminded that China recently gene edited human fetuses to protect them from HIV. When the Doctor went public he got disappeared.

Posted by: Pft | Jun 16 2019 23:02 utc | 50

@ Piotr Berman | Jun 16, 2019 2:26:56 PM | 9

Not sure what one is supposed to take away from this mess of tangled verbiage, but it must be this; because you did not like the salad, then the Guardian is a jewel of journalistic integrity.

And I'm the one who's “ignorant of basic facts”?

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 16 2019 23:07 utc | 51

I don’t know if the Iranians did this, but if they did and if they think they can continue to get away with it then they are idiots. It’s bizarre that B thinks this is a brilliant strategy. It’s only brilliant if the Iranians want to be caught red handed and look like bigger liars than Trump.

Posted by: Donald | Jun 16 2019 23:12 utc | 52

Just Me | Jun 16, 2019 2:40:28 PM | 11:

Pinky will be told he's now a made man and there will be a 'celebration' with no one attending.

arby | Jun 16, 2019 2:44:05 PM | 12:

Pinky and the Brain. An American cartoon.

Posted by: Ian | Jun 16 2019 23:38 utc | 53

@8 zach

A great narrative film on the subject and mostly dealing with an international pandemic and the gov't response to it is Steven Soderberg's "Contagion." A visiting American business woman from the US visits China and enjoys some hospitality amd food. She is served pork where it becomes clear that the improper raising of this meat was subject to outside contamination, namely an infected bird with flu that drops into the enclosure and is promptly consumed by the pigs. And Wa-La! Mutation! She brings it home to the US and chaos ensues.

Years ago in the US, the improper raising of livestock too close to low imcome housing caused untold sickness and disease from the lack of sanitation and run-off. The advent of the combustion engine meant that meat raisers could move their operations outside the city and transport meat via trucks. This was able to eradicate these illnesses. China has a huge population that are becoming meat consumers at a frightening pace. Their industry safety practices have in many cases probably not caught up to its growth. Expect more and more of this.

It makes one thankful for trucking. But it seems you want meat operations not too far away from your consumers. No accountability and they become mega-industry leaders like Foster Farms with the same kind of accountability as bourgeoning China: very little.

This reminds me of all the hoopla around renewable energy. It seems you need to find the sweetspot where you are supplementing with it but not to the extant where you are endangering the affordability and reliability of traditional means. In other words, there needs a sweet spot.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 16 2019 23:41 utc | 54

Posted by: vk | Jun 16, 2019 5:26:05 PM | 38

EU is pretty good, the problem is the Euro. It does not fit different economies.

Germany is stubbornly refusing the role of EU hegemon (they would have to change their export model and seriously invest in other EU countries), and countries like Greece or Italy have found other sponsors.

The Eurasian Union is spreading into Eastern and Southern Europe and there are no competitors.

The EU will have to come to terms - find a link - with the Eurasian Union.

Russia has returned to the Council of Europe that is a first step.

The coup in Ukraine has slowed the process for a while. But German export oriented companies will want to get a share of the new market.

The US under Trump have de facto stopped being a reliable trade partner.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2019 0:08 utc | 55

The comments in the thread karlof1 refers to by him and Peter AU 1 are very interesting and everyone is recommended to read and digest them. I made a comment there but it seems it got stuck as I can't see it (maybe this one will too).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 17 2019 0:08 utc | 56

>>>> Pft | Jun 16, 2019 6:46:00 PM | 48

My theory is the British agreement to handover China had nothing to do with military concerns.

Quite agree, but the loss of the New Territories (because the 99 year lease the British had obtained on them from the Chinese back in 1898 was due to expire) made Hong Kong not viable as a colony.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 17 2019 0:10 utc | 57

I've been trying to learn a little about the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 and found this at the Smithsonian site.

Tulsa Eyewitness

Last night I happened to read a brief account by George Seldes about what Douglas MacArthur did to one of the US Basic Field Manuals when he became head of the Army. Finding the specific manual turned into a marathon effort, for apparently fans of the General have made the 1935 books very rare birds. By sheer luck I found it had been briefly reprinted in 1941. The book bears George Marshall's name, but apparently he had alterations made in the next edition.

Domestic Disturbances

The reason I mention both of these is on account of my assumption MacArthur was inspired by the slaughter of black citizens of Tulsa. He behaved with extreme thuggishness and total insubordination in crushing the Bonus Marchers in DC, and decided he was really on to something good. On page 19 are directives that Armor and Artillery be available, and Airplanes be used for machine-gunning, tear gas, and high explosive bombs. Page 20 says that arming some of the troops with shotguns is a good idea, and that "an adequate supply of hand grenades is essential". Infantry are not to have access to blank ammunition, and their fire must be aimed directly at the mob and never over their heads. Machine guns, mortars, and 37mm cannon will be held in reserve for use as needed.

Now then, isn't this about the time some of our more clever folks to divert attention from the topics of mass-murdering black US citizens and trashing a great American hero by saying something about global warming?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 17 2019 0:23 utc | 58

Zachary Smith@31

Because of the weight of Greenland’s ice sheet, it has forced the interior of the island to sink down a bit, making Greenland kind of like a bowl, lined with mountains. So it wont all slide into the sea. Eventually, as more and more ice builds up, some inevitably “spills” out over the edge of the bowl. Glaciers and ice shelves calve. Its a natural way to remove ice to prevent too much accumulation

Greenland on average loses around 500 Gt of ice each year from its 2.6 million Gt ice shelf from calving and submarine melt processes. Its actually gained ice the last 2 years. It takes it 362 Gt of melted ice to raise the oceans by 1 millimeter.

Stop worrying. Fox is on board as is Exxon and Big Oil because the Global Warming scam is a great way for the elite to take more of the bottom 99% wealth (whats left of it)

Posted by: Pft | Jun 17 2019 0:34 utc | 59

add to 55

Trade Zone & SCO Development Bank

Both China and Russia have proposed to establish a free trade area between members of the Chinese and Russian-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). ... The proposal therefore raises the potential of a Free Trade Zone with significant countries such as China, India, Iran, Pakistan and Russia, and possibly at a later stage, Turkey.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2019 0:36 utc | 60

@ NemesisCalling | Jun 16, 2019 7:41:07 PM #54

"sweet spot". This works for some things, but not all. A few come down to either/or.

In colonial days you'd hear of smallpox heading towards your town. You had the option of getting "variolated" or not. Totally a personal decision with no real effects to anybody other than yourself and your family.

You're in a big rowboat in the middle of a large river. Despite seeing mist and spray directly ahead and the growing roar from the same direction, a number of the "crew" use their bullhorns to deny the existence of "waterfalls" and urge everybody to keep rowing that direction. It would be so inconvenient to have to go to the shore and start an painful portage around an imaginary menace invented by the trickster AlGore.

"Sweet spot?" I don't see it.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 17 2019 0:39 utc | 61

@ Posted by: Pft | Jun 16, 2019 6:46:00 PM | 48

If your theory is correct (and there are a lot of documents to show if you're really willing to prove it), then the Western powers changed their minds quickly, because Hong Kong is being used for the second time as a color revolution stage (Umbrella, now this one).

It was very clear at the time one of the conditions for Hong Kong to return to China would be for it to keep its capitalist system: hence the policy "one country, two systems". Hong Kongers asked for capitalism: they got it.

Posted by: vk | Jun 17 2019 0:50 utc | 62

The Unquiet Ice

That was published in 2008. Eleven years later matters have most definitely not improved,

Abundant liquid water newly discovered underneath the world’s great ice sheets could intensify the destabilizing effects of global warming on the sheets. Then, even without melting, the sheets may slide into the sea and raise sea level catastrophically

If a person wants to get really "technical", I have to admit that it doesn't much matter whether it's "Greenland", "Antarctica", "permafrost", or something else which shatters the 'civilization' bubble we live in. It's a shame we're taking the rest of Creation with us on our suicide run.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 17 2019 0:55 utc | 63

Nobody reads old threads, so I'll reply here.

@c1ue | Jun 15, 2019 10:53:28 PM | 249

However, the one single scenario which would bring China to the US' side, or more likely a non-veto, in a UN vote for a "peacekeeping" campaign is the closing of the Persian Gulf.
China is the single most vulnerable nation to this - they likely are the #1 importer of oil today worldwide, and 45% to 55% of their oil comes from Persian Gulf nations.

China is not that vulnerable. The country doesn't lose anywhere near 55% of its oil if Iran should close the Strait of Hormuz.

(1) The Middle Kingdom uses 13 million barrels of oil per day.

(2) Roughly 9 million barrels/day, or 70%, is from abroad.

(3) If you crunch some of the numbers from another page, you can see that 42.9% of imports come from the Middle East.

(4) However, Oman (which supplies 7.2%) is past the Strait of Hormuz. And I doubt that Iran (6.3%) would interdict its tankers. Therefore, 29.4% of China's imports would be vulnerable to a shutdown of the strait.

If you combine (2) and (4), you can see that 2.6 million barrels/day would be at risk if the strait should be closed. That, per (1), is less than 21% of China's oil consumption.

China has alternatives for much of that 21% (high-speed trains, metro lines in most major cities), so while there would be some impact, it will not be so painful.

Posted by: Cyril | Jun 17 2019 1:04 utc | 64

@vk | Jun 16, 2019 3:57:51 PM | 26

Hong Kong's geography is very unfavorable to hybrid warfare ... and, most importantly, its geography makes a siege very easy to the Mainland, since its territory doesn't include the flatlands (the truly valuable part of the area).

Mainland China doesn't even have to use military force. It can simply shut off the fresh water supply.

Posted by: Cyril | Jun 17 2019 1:14 utc | 65

VK @ 61:

It's my understanding that Hong Kong is being used as a tax haven by wealthy billionaires, the majority of whom are Chinese, to park business and other profits.

The other day I was reading an online article about HK's youngest billionaire, a 24-year-old woman called Perenna Kei. I wonder if the accounts under her name in HK were opened to receive her father's billions to minimise his tax obligations in China. That might explain the, uh, secretiveness surrounding her.

I believe the proposed extradition bill that has been suspended was watered down after its first reading and debate (and after the business community complained) so that the amended bill which would have been presented for its second reading this month excludes tax cheats. But that's not the reason the extradition legislation was proposed in the first place.

The reason has to do with an unsolved murder in Taiwan committed last year on Valentine's Day by an HK national currently in jail on lesser charges. While holidaying in Taiwan the guy killed his girlfriend, also an HK national) after she admitted being pregnant with another man's child, then stuffed her body into a case and left it at a train station. The Taiwanese police can't do anything while there's no extradition agreement between HK and Taiwan (and every other state and territory which has no extradition agreement with HK - including China and Macau) which the proposed legislation was supposed to address.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 17 2019 1:21 utc | 66

@ Posted by: Cyril | Jun 16, 2019 9:14:44 PM | 64

Yes, cutting the water supply is one of the main siege techniques.

@ Posted by: somebody | Jun 16, 2019 8:08:23 PM | 55

But it is the very existence of the Euro that keeps Germany's export rates so absurd: they can export to a cative market at a strong currency, reaping the best of the two worlds (produce cheap, sell expensive). It is a de facto imperial preference system.

Yes, the Euro created a two-tier EU -- but it is the very existence of this two-tier system that keeps Germany afloat in the first place.

Now, how doesn't the system collapse so suddenly if Germany can produce (and therefore also buy) cheaply and sell expensively? Just three words are necessary: E.C.B. They lend the Euros those bankrupt members need to keep buying German expensive goods in the form of bonds (Euro Bonds) and everything goes to the country's debt account. The secret here is austerity: Germany wants to keep the Euro relatively strong, so the ECB can't print at the will of the debtor member; thenkfully, it controls the ECB, so it can put the weaker members to their knees while keeping money printing at a relative minimum -- this is what happened to the PIGS and will probably happen to Italy (a country that is already too big for Germany alone to rescue). But the disease is progressive, degenerative and is going up to the stronger member-States.

Posted by: vk | Jun 17 2019 1:30 utc | 67

@ Cyril | Jun 16, 2019 9:04:57 PM #63

A factor I didn't see mentioned is China's enormous strategic reserve of oil.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 17 2019 1:40 utc | 68

A Guaidó style coup attempt was made in Moldova recently:

The coup was stopped:

There are reports that the leaders of the corrupt Democratic Party of Moldova, including oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, have fled the country

Posted by: Krollchem | Jun 17 2019 2:00 utc | 69

It’s disappointing to see so many HK citizens protest against extradition. If Louisiana can’t extradite to Texas, that’s not much of a “union”.

The HK protesters obviously can’t see how they’re being used by the Anglo empire — that brought them a century of shame before and will gladly repeat if given the chance.

IMO, HK and Taiwanese leaders betray their own kind.

Posted by: oglalla | Jun 17 2019 2:21 utc | 70

Posted by: vk | Jun 16, 2019 9:30:47 PM | 66

You mix a few things. A strong currency means you can buy cheap but you produce expensive. A strong currency is preferable for imports but a problem for exports.
So Germany mainly exports high technology and industrial products where they can compete.
What Germany did to remain competitive in the world market (and what is an unfair advantage within EU) is not currency wise - Germans are stuck with the European Central Bank and zero interest rates, which goes against the saving mentality of the country, but is not enough for countries like Italy whose business has always relied on devaluing the currency and a "shadow economy".

Germany subsidizes low wages so people can afford to work for world market prizes.

The two-tier EU was not created by the Euro, it existed before. And the two-tier was not just the difference between strong and weak currencies, it was also between the social market economy of western states and the mad liberal market experiment of Eastern European states where people were left without any social security to starve.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2019 4:00 utc | 71

@ Piotr Berman | Jun 16, 2019 2:26:56 PM | 9

Not sure what one is supposed to take [,,,] because you did not like the salad, then the Guardian is a jewel of journalistic integrity.

And I'm the one who's “ignorant of basic facts”?

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 16, 2019 7:07:13 PM | 51

What I tried to explained in that for people working for Forbes, "real news" is a product category like "luxury apartments". "Luxury apartments" can be surprisingly small, and "real news" are like "fruit drink with at least 5% actually fruit-derived content". What is most important is "branding effort".

That is what we need the EU for.

Quality schemes explained

Protected designation of origin (PDO)

Posted by: somebody | Jun 16, 2019 4:34:47 PM | 32

The implied solution would be a promulgation enforced by the might of EU that only news produced in the territory of a mediaeval state of Realia (currently, parts in Austria, Slovenia and Italy) can be claimed to be Real News, additionally, they have to be made from local fruits rather than lightly reprocessed versions of news distributed by multinational corporations. News not produced in Realia from Realian fruits can be branded "Real-like" or "Realian method".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 17 2019 4:23 utc | 72

If Johnny Bat-boy Guano cannot control even two of his envoys with the result that one dies and the other ends up in hospital, that does not bode very well for a future Presidency.

A leader needs to be self-disciplined and to enforce some discipline among his troops. And what kind of troops are they if they spend any money given them on booze, drugs and cheap whores? What does it say about Guaido himself that he can only attract low-class crooks to his side?

Sooner rather than later the money will run out - Colombia and eventually even the low-IQ folks in Washington DC will realise Guaido is wasting their money - and what will Guaido do if his thugs start ragging him for more entertainment money? What if they find out there is no more money to be had? What will happen to him then?

Posted by: Jen | Jun 17 2019 4:26 utc | 73

Now that it is widely known that the United States uses law as an economic weapon of war, all other countries in the world should unite in order to counteract such U.S. unilateralism, .............

Otherwise, "yesterday Alstom, today Huawei, and tomorrow?"

Posted by: denk | Jun 17 2019 4:29 utc | 74

The quote below is from a BBC posting that I won't link to because a waste of effort for putrid content
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled a new settlement in the occupied Golan Heights, named after US President Donald Trump.

At a naming ceremony on Sunday, Mr Netanyahu said Trump Heights honoured Mr Trump for his decision to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the territory.

Building work has yet to begin but a sign bearing Mr Trump's name and US and Israeli flags was unveiled.

Critics called the move a publicity stunt with no legal authority.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 17 2019 4:47 utc | 75

@Cyril #63
"Only" 2.6 million barrels of oil a day would be lost if the Persia Gulf is interdicted. And you assume that anything past the Strait of Hormuz wouldn't be affected even though Iran extends well past the Strait into the Indian Ocean. Seems like a ridiculous statement particularly since the goal to interdict would be to affect SA as well as UAE and Oman supply - not just Iraq and Kuwait.

Japan bombed Pearl Harbor because it was getting embargoed over less than 180K barrels per day.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2019 5:53 utc | 76

Below is a quote from a Xinhuanet posting about Iran

Iran to release "important" details on suspension of nuke obligations

The take away quote
TEHRAN, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Iran will release "important" details about the measures it has taken after recent suspension of some of its commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal, Press TV reported on Sunday.

On Monday, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) would release "very important information" regarding the "limitless increase of Iran's enriched uranium stockpile" as well as measures it has taken to prepare for the second phase of the scaling back of its obligations, according to the report.

The briefing will be held at the Arak heavy water reactor facility in central Iran on Monday.

Also, Iran's latest measures to re-design the Arak reactor and to increase the production of heavy water at the facility would be detailed in the event.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 17 2019 6:09 utc | 77

Journalism as a fourth estate should distrust power It has that in common with the worst conspiracy theories. The distrust should also guide attention, it should tell you where to look. At this stage the distrust is fine and partisan distrust is acceptable. Where journalism can distinguish itself and become above average is in the capability to overcome partisan distrust in judging cases. MoonofA escaped from the partisan attitude that the tanker attacks were done by the bad guys. That in itself is a good thing , independent of whether the theory is right or not. I commented on this when Gareth Porter published a hypothesis that the UK did not arrange a false flag attack on the Skripals and might actually sincerely suspect the Russians. It is a hypothesis which belongs 'on the map' but which is unaccessible to people who think it a too partisan manner.
(I'm avoiding the language of 'neutral, objective, detached' because it's not worth much anyway)

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jun 17 2019 8:15 utc | 78

So Iran have decided to restart enriching uranium again !
Well why would’nt they ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 17 2019 9:37 utc | 79

Mark2 @78 sez "So Iran have decided to restart enriching uranium again !"

Iran has been enriching uranium and producing heavy water all along. US sanction make it impossible for them to sell their excess production now, so rather than shutting down their production they are stockpiling that excess and those stockpiles are now exceeding the limit specified in the agreement.

Iran isn't doing anything sinister here.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 17 2019 10:50 utc | 80

@Sunny Runny Burger

For some reason all of your comments currently land in the spam filter waiting fro me to release them. I have NOT blocked your IP-address or any part of your name so I have no idea why the automatic spam filter makes that happen.

Possible issues might be:
- A word in your commentator name is tickling the spam filter.
- The email address/domain you give is marked as a source of spam.
- The URL you give is somehow invalid or marked as "bad".

Please try changing those to find out.

Posted by: b | Jun 17 2019 10:56 utc | 81

Thank you William Gruff @ 80
The notable point - - -
This was on the main morning news, just thrown in, short and sweet no debate. No doubt to incorrectly vilify Iran still further in the eyes of the ill informed.
We have but to choices ! The rest of the sane world can stand up to the U S or roll over. Now is the moment to decide.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 17 2019 11:24 utc | 82

I love this thread on Marco Rubio’s twitter account ! it gives me hope that the public are waking up/ pushing back. Truth to power !! Just lovely !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 17 2019 11:38 utc | 83

@ Posted by: somebody | Jun 17, 2019 12:00:27 AM | 71

The important factor is not that the Euro is a strong currency, but that it is a strong currency which many countries are forced to use. There's a big difference.

Yes, Germany was the industrial power of Europe before the EU -- but the promise of the union was a convergent economy: poorer members would get richer faster than the richer members, to the point every member would become a social-democrat paradise, taste the First World wonders. This was somewhat true until the creation of the Euro (2000), albeit very slowly (it would take thousands of years for a full convergence to happen). But, after 2000, the EU economies begun to diverge, that is, the poorer members begun to get relatively poorer over time.

Germany was already richer than its counterparts before the Euro; the Euro made sure that will be the case for eternity.

Posted by: vk | Jun 17 2019 11:43 utc | 84

@ Piotr Berman | Jun 17, 2019 12:23:04 AM | 72

So the “basic facts” that we're all supposed to take away is that “news must be made from local fruit.”

Got it – and if it clears up cloudy, we're likely to have a warm frost in the morning . . .

Have you experienced a blow on the head recently?

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 17 2019 11:43 utc | 85

@ Piotr Berman | Jun 17, 2019 12:23:04 AM | 72

So the “basic facts” that we're all supposed to take away is that “news must be made from local fruit.”

Got it – and if it clears up cloudy, we're likely to have a warm frost in the morning . . .

Have you experienced a blow on the head recently?

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 17 2019 11:47 utc | 86

Pft @ 48

Interesting comment by you (as always). I disagree only at the margins of your emphasis on conspiracy but agree with you about the results.

Global capitalism itself is a conspiracy of wealth contained in its institutions. Iow, doesn't require a secretive cabal to call the shots. Even the most poisonous plants grow organically. The conspiracy is out in the wide open, with only the names on the offshore bank accounts hidden. Not only because they fear exposure "back home" but also to avoid taxes.

China's is flat out an imperialist/crapitalist/fascist regime trying mightily with flowery proclamations to convince the world of its lovely intents and moral righteousness, hiding behind
their "bologna sandwich with Chinese characteristics". Hong Kong is simply the mustard slathered between the slices of industrialised international white bread.

Hong Kong exists mainly for the hidden few of Chinese Party Aristocats much as offshore City of London exists for the hidden few of Europe, that other idealised, so-called great bastion of democratic socialism that actually isn't. These bastions need to be the focus of the world revolution first and foremost. Tear down the walls not just the walls of secrecy. Strip the wealth and pollute the oceans with it if there is indeed no way to make it right with the world's poor. Paraphrasing the Iranian dictum, if the 99.9% can't have wealth then no one can.

Chairman Xi's in-laws obscenely gathered wealth is a prime example of the so-called Buddha-faced President for Life being nothing more than a temperate-appearing, more inconspicuous member of the same Club as Trump and his in-laws.

Any commenter here who continues rambling on cartoonishly with repetitive allusions to Myhthological China offering some sort of better path for mankind (thankfully we see very few examples any longer of this nonsense being applied to Putin's Russian fascism--so there is hope for scales falling from eyes) simply can't be taken seriously. Worse, they become part of the problem as they unwittingly seek to sustain the imperial grandiosity which envelops the working class world, even as it is sustained with "Chinese charatceristics".

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 17 2019 12:01 utc | 87

...and this rant is not meant, as I'm sure my detractors will wish to emphasise, to let the fascist Amerikkkan wealth protectorate off the hook. It is directed at those who believe there is any degree of separation between the fascistic wealth protectorates of all nations.

The US has long since descended the stairwell to Hell and the demons guarding the gates also require a thorough thrashing.

IMO, we are but one more great recession away from a reckoning on our shores. And that recession is clearly on the horizon...

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 17 2019 12:16 utc | 88

vk 26 I hate to say it but I see how you do, maybe I like it too!

Posted by: col from OZ | Jun 17 2019 12:27 utc | 89

Piotr Berman @72

Some of us actually do understand and appreciate your humor and very much get the point you were making about infotainment news products. Sadly, there are others here who are clearly not up to speed. Don't take those ones too seriously.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 17 2019 12:30 utc | 90

Posted by: vk | Jun 17, 2019 7:43:28 AM | 84

Actually, the "rich" Germany is a myth.

Leaving out European tax evasion countries - that is another issue - GDP per capita is higher in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Austria with Belgium, the UK, and France not far behind. The true split is not North and South but Eastern and Western Europe as used to be divided by the iron curtain. This split is true even within Germany.

Another split in the EU is between countries that are net contributors to countries that get paid more by the EU than they have to pay to the EU. Leaving the EU - or the Euro - is a non issue in southern states - see Greece. It is a political issue in countries that are net contributors.

The Euro works for German exports and against Germans in the sense that Germans would like to raise the value of the currency (that would make imports cheaper - ie consumer goods - and exports more expensive - ie lower employment which is sky high at present.

The EU does work for its poorer members as the country with the lowest gdp per capita - which seems to be Bulgaria - has a higher income than anybody outside of EU. Quite a few EU members do not use the Euro - it is not mandatory. The Euro is very much a rich country club. And that causes the problems for the poorer members who would need more devaluation than the rich countries can justify to their populations. Devaluation means anybody who has saved money loses.

There is no way to get rich outside of EU and its open market. There may be a new road now with the Eurasian Economic Union - see Serbia - but the Eurasian Economic Union is essentially a EU clone and should Trump win another four years I don't see the transantlantic partnership surviving. But even if it survives there will be an integration between EU and Eurasian Economic Union.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2019 12:38 utc | 91

Thank you b! :)

I will be following your advice in stages to find out.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 17 2019 12:44 utc | 92

Please disregard this small test :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 17 2019 12:45 utc | 93

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17, 2019 8:38:22 AM | 91

"GDP per capita is higher in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Austria with Belgium, the UK, and France not far behind."

I would counter that by mentioning that the UK, France, Belgium and Austria have large public debt levels, while Germany is actively decreasing the levels of its public debts, recently they dropped to 60 % of gdp.

Germany is one of the very few western countries that are decreasing its public debt levels.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 17 2019 13:35 utc | 94

@ Zachary Smith | 8

African swine fever is also spreading in Europe and endemic on Sardinia, though indeed it has mostly hit Russia and then Eastern Europe.

Posted by: fx | Jun 17 2019 13:36 utc | 95

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17, 2019 8:38:22 AM | 91

"The EU does work for its poorer members as the country with the lowest gdp per capita - which seems to be Bulgaria - has a higher income than anybody outside of EU"

Not sure about that overall. Eastern Europe had stable demographics during communism and now their populations are leaving for Western Europe, causing a demographic crisis and massive brain drain in EE.

Western Europe is cannibalising eastern european populations to fix its own bad demographics.

Bulgarian population is in free fall after joining the West, it has worse demographic crisis than Japan, this country will not end well and will probably implode in the next 20 years.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 17 2019 13:50 utc | 96

@ Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 17, 2019 8:01:19 AM | 87

There are two objective problems with your narrative:

1) there's simply no empirical evidence at all that corroborate with it;

2) you moralize what are actually very objective, material geopolitical relations.

@ Posted by: somebody | Jun 17, 2019 8:38:22 AM | 91

When I refer to richer and poorer countries, I'm speaking about them as social capitals (total capital). Capitalism doesn't need to give the people a good life to prosper, e.g. we know the USA doesn't lead any social welfare indicators -- but no sane mind tells it isn't the most rich and most powerful nation.

Yes, Germany doesn't have the most prosper people, but it is, by far, the most prosper capital in the EU.

@ Posted by: Passer by | Jun 17, 2019 9:35:23 AM | 94

Well, with those fabulous (and guaranteed, thanks to the Euro Zone and the ECB) trade surpluses, even I can deliver falling financial debts (capital accounts).

Posted by: vk | Jun 17 2019 13:59 utc | 97

The fundamental problem with the EU is that it is anti-democratic.

Posted by: paulll | Jun 17 2019 14:37 utc | 98

@Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 17, 2019 8:44:15 AM | 92

It could be the word "burger", if I am honest, "Sunny Runny Burger" could well be a franchise of burgers...

Posted by: Sasha | Jun 17 2019 15:18 utc | 99

I am just testing to see If I can change the URL displaying in my MoA Profile.

Testing testing - to change it to:

Posted by: Guerrero | Jun 17 2019 15:37 utc | 100

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