Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 23, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-35

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

The week was monothematic with a drama in the White House over the threat of a shooting war with Iran playing out. According to the Wall Street Journal it was General Dunford who saved the day:

While many of Mr. Trump’s top advisers backed a more aggressive set of strike options, Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, struck a more wary note, which had an outsize influence on the president.

Some predicted that:

Kim Dotcom @KimDotcom - 5:35 utc - 21 Jun 2019

Trump: Attack Iran now! 🤬
General: Iran can sink our Carrier strike group in the region. 😬
Trump: What? 😳
General: If we strike Iran now they can retaliate against thousands of US sailors. 😔
Trump: WTF! 😐
General: This isn’t Syria Sir.
Trump: Call it off. 😠

Dunford somehow circumvented Bolton by presenting higher casualty figures he had filtered through a White House lawyer. Unfortunately Dunford's term ends in September. In the end Trump's fear of a larger war was the deciding factor. Tucker Carlson also played a role. His fierce stand against Bolton (vid) may eventually have some effect. But the three Zionist billionaires who are Trump's major campaign donors are all in Bolton's camp. The drama will thus continue.

“I think as far as I can see, it is America, which is making all the provocation,” Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Saturday.

A mystery in the drone shoot-down is the role of the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft that followed the drone. It usually has a crew of 9. But Iran said 35 people were on board and Trump even spoke of 38. What type of plane was this really and what was its task?


Other issues:

On May 25 we wrote about the Boeing 737 NG:

Boeing 737 MAX Crash Reveals Severe Problem With Older Boeing 737 NGs.

Last week the Wall Street Journal was the first mainstream outlet to notice the dangerous issue. It writes that Boeing fears that the public will become too informed about it:

Boeing’s Latest 737 MAX Concern: Pilots’ Physical Strength
Turning manual crank during emergency procedure may be too difficult for some people

There are no plans to restrict certain pilots from getting behind the controls of any 737 models based on their strength, according to people with knowledge of the deliberations. But both Boeing and Federal Aviation Administration leaders are concerned that if discussions of the matter become public they could be overblown or sensationalized, according to industry and government officials familiar with the process.

This weekend the Seattle Times published an excellent insider piece about the development, technical details, and silent changes of the failing MCAS system:

The inside story of MCAS: How Boeing’s 737 MAX system gained power and lost safeguards

While the changes were dramatic, Boeing did not submit documentation of the revised system safety assessment to the FAA.

An FAA spokesman said the safety agency did not require a new system safety analysis because it wasn’t deemed to be critical.
A variety of employees have described internal pressures to advance the MAX to completion, as Boeing hurried to catch up with the hot-selling A320 from rival Airbus.


The White House published its 'peace plan' (pdf) for a Greater Israel that Netanyahoo dictated to the not-so-smart Jared Kushner. The general idea is to bribe the Palestinians into silence. It's amateurish nonsense with zero chance of ever being implemented. Haaretz: Trump's Peace Plan: As Deep as a Beauty Pageant Speech and Twice as Vain.


China's President Xi was on a state visit in North Korea where he was welcomed with a gigantic show. Xi asked North Korea to resume its negotiations with the U.S. Not to be outdone by China, Trump wrote another letter to Kim Jong-Un who characterized it as "excellent".


In case you were concerned about those protrusions on your forehead:

Cell Phones Are Probably Not Making Us Grow Horns - Smithonian Magazine


Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on June 23, 2019 at 13:55 UTC | Permalink

next page »

With regard to the advice Trump was getting from Tucker Carlson, Joe Dunford, or whoever not to go ahead with the strike, it's an indicator that someone realized that escalating from drone shootdown to US strike that kills Iranians was playing into Iran's hands.

Iran really needs just that kind of scenario, which would them the opportunity to inflict real economic pain by further escalating to take measures that seriously disrupt tanker traffic AND that puts the US in the aggressor's position of having drawn the first blood. By avoiding a strike, Trump (or those who function as his brain) took the silver platter away from Iran at least for the moment.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 23 2019 14:05 utc | 1

This recent 19 May piece from Ha'aretz documents precisely the manipulation of American policy by Israeli charlatans and their agents of influence in the US. The title says it all just by itself: "Netanyahu's Iran Dilemma: Getting Trump to Act Without Putting Israel on the Front Line." It goes on to assess that:

"In this conflict, Israel is hoping to have its cake and eat it too. Ever since Trump was elected president two and a half years ago, Netanyahu has been urging him to take a more aggressive line toward Iran, in order to force it to make additional concessions on its nuclear program and disrupt its support for militant organizations.

"Trump acceded to this urging a year ago when he withdrew America from the nuclear agreement with Iran. That was followed by tighter sanctions on Iran, as well as publication of a plan by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo detailing 12 steps Tehran must take to satisfy Washington.

"But Israel isn’t interested in being part of the front. That is why Jerusalem has issued so few official statements on the Iranian issue, and why Netanyahu has urged ministers to be cautious in what they say."

I'd say that passage captures the situation perfectly, and it just goes to show that when you want to know about what chicanery Israel and its lobby are up to in the US, you have to go and look at what Israelis are saying when they aren't particularly careful about who's observing. That sort of truth is sanitized from any MSM accounts in the US.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 23 2019 14:13 utc | 2

General "Fightin' Joe" (not) Dunford has been a customarily weak officer who served heading-up the Afghanistan fiasco where his most frequent duty was apologizing for the US killing of civilians, including goat herders out minding their flock.

In 2015 Dunford again ingratiated himself to authority by affirming that the F-35 jet fighter, still deep in development (and still is), was combat capable. That important fake milestone achievement in service to the Lockheed Martin Corporation earned the faithful Dunford the top military job in the Pentagon, where he has held forth for four years going along with the stupid casualty-producing Afghan war and other military mistakes too numerous to list.

So I'm not overly impressed with the man, who now a couple months prior to his retirement reportedly tells the truth. He should have been doing it prior to this. Good riddance.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 14:28 utc | 3

@ OP 2
Israel is an important part of Middle East US policy decisions but not the only part, and not the most important one. Going back to the Carter Doctrine, and before, the US has intended to be the top dog in the Middle East but instead, through its mistakes, has become second fiddle to Iran. The US and its allies have tens of thousands of troops with tons of military gear in the area and are still losing influence, replaced by Iran and its Shia Crescent. That must be reversed!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 14:37 utc | 4

It's quite believable that a senior army guy like General Dunford and Kim Dotcom's semi-fictional General would be wary of confronting Iranian forces in their own territory. A US general would not want to fight a battle that he knows would cause serious damage to his own side.

But not surprisingly, some armchair generals see the situation as the very opposite of how it's seen by those in the know. That includes an NYT columnist who thinks that it's the USA that would be carrying out the sinking:

"The Pirates of Tehran

If Iran won’t change its behavior, we should sink its navy.
By Bret Stephens
Opinion Columnist
June 14, 2019

On April 14, 1988, the U.S.S. Samuel B. Roberts, a frigate, hit an Iranian naval mine while sailing in the Persian Gulf. The explosion injured 10 of her crew and nearly sank the ship. Four days later, the U.S. Navy destroyed half the Iranian fleet in a matter of hours. Iran did not molest the Navy or international shipping for many years thereafter.
The Trump administration ought to declare new rules of engagement to allow the Navy to engage and destroy Iranian ships or fast boats that harass or threaten any ship, military or commercial, operating in international waters. If Tehran fails to comply, the U.S. should threaten to sink any Iranian naval ship that leaves port.

If after that Iran still fails to comply, we would be right to sink its navy, in port or at sea.
We sank Iran’s navy before. Tehran should be put on notice that we are prepared and able to do it again.

Bret L. Stephens has been an Opinion columnist with The Times since April 2017. He won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary at The Wall Street Journal in 2013 and was previously editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post."

Posted by: Brendan | Jun 23 2019 14:39 utc | 5

@Don Bacon

What exactly must be reversed?

Posted by: ATH | Jun 23 2019 14:55 utc | 6

@ ATH 6
Sorry, on "reversed" I didn't make it clear that I was characterizing US policy and not stating an opinion.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 15:08 utc | 7

USN P-8A = 737NG. No MCAS, but you'll still need Popeye forearms to manually trim the smaller knee-knocker wheel. Clack, clack, clack...

Oh, and also about 7,000 ft. of altitude when you encounter unexpected stabilizer trim to respond properly with Boeing's brilliant RollerCoaster of Death® stabilizer recovery. The US Navy has prohibited P-8 pilots from having unexpected stabilizer trim below a hard floor of 7,000 ft. or they could face disciplinary action (if/when their remains are recovered).

And the use of manually jigged and hand-ground structural components on NGs instead of the precision CNC ones is... well, the lawyers are still destroying the whistleblowers on that one, so *legally* the problem does not exist on the P-8A. Pilots are, however, cautioned not to perform roller-coaster like maneuvers in the P8A or NGs, which may unduly stress the *legally* non-existant non-conforming structural spars and reinforcement and potentially result in rapid airframe disassembly while in flight.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 23 2019 15:09 utc | 8

@ Don Bacon

My question as well. What must be reversed?

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 23 2019 15:15 utc | 9

Trump strove for some foreign policy triumphs. The art of the deal!

He tried his hand with N. Korea. What happened? (Besides perhaps improved NK-SK relations…)


Syria .. (though there is still plenty going on there) what gave Trump / the USA some kind of ‘victory’? Zilch, disounting missile attacks on a runway in an airport and on an empty research and teaching facility.

Symbolic moves, as proposed to Iran (a deal, heh) to save face (see b’s posts.)

Next, ho ho, regime change in Venezuela, that might be great, get some extra voters in Florida. Result? The status quo ante, perhaps stronger than before, with the Dauphin, Random Guaido, shown up to be a cynical petty fraudster, and not even challenging enough to jail!

Iran? Note the pressure has been building up since last year when The Donald withdrew the US from the JCPOA.

Real men go to Teheran!

Except Trump and US forces aren’t going anywhere at all and most certainly not to Iran. A real war in that theatre cannot be fought and won by the US. Nor can it be instigated and subsequently ‘let drop’ or ‘become unimportant, trivial, with some claims of victory’…for ex. Afghanistan. (very costly btw)

Iran has made it clear that economic sanctions are part of hybrid war, rightly so (but not, as I still claim, by making some minor attacks on tankers round about, to provoke a reaction, NO) — at some point, one engages, if not: backing down is the only option.

Trump treats int’l matters like acrid biz negotiations (see art of the deal) - you pressure your carpet installer for your mega hotels with nasty e-mails, bellowing threats on the phone, rustling up the competition, getting a bunch of staff on your side to shore up da ego, etc. When the carpet-seller makes some bigly concessions on price (all understand the game that is played) you relent and make nicey, and the wives get together for tennis and a ruccola crab lunch and later some mega bash with smiling faces is pictured.

I think he got on super well with Kim (NK) who understood all this.

Leaves begging what-who-why is the projected aim, potential hoped result of the hybrid attack on Iran, and which parties (USA MIC, Fin. Trade Cos., Banking, FF industry, many other industries; Israel, KSA) support it (again, for what precise aim?) Or are against sanctions...

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 23 2019 15:16 utc | 10

In Danielle Ryan’s article in RT's Op-ed “US will not ‘stumble into’ war with Iran by mistake. If it happens, it will be by design” she notes the prevalence of “strange terminology” used by mainstream media to describe how the US gets into wars. I have added to her list and checked that all have been used in the current US-Iran scenario. The US is in danger of being: “dragged into, sucked into, sliding into, stumbling into, slouching towards, lured into, bumbling into, blundering into and sleepwalking into” war with Iran.

Who are they trying to kid when they have already declared economic war on Iran, asphyxiating the Iranian economy, knowing full well that Iran has to respond.

John Bolton “sleepwalking” into war with Iran? He’ll be wide awake and so excited he’ll probably have to relieve himself.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jun 23 2019 15:16 utc | 11

@ b

I stopped reading the wrap-up when you mentioned Tucker Carlson. He is the at the same time the most sensible and powerful man on TV, right now, full stop.

I have been saying this for a while now re: Trump phenomenon, but the language these figures are using and the terminology of nationalism is having an effect on the population and by extension, Trump, and has on him for over a decade now.

Regardless on if Trump is really setting the stage for a full neocon attack on the ME or not, the terminology of nationalism is paving the way for a full-on revolt and retaliation from the masses here in the states and hopefully abroad.

At the same time, we are still seeing a coordinated pushback from the neoliberal elite, funding sub-groups and other queer interests, appealing to morality and humanitarianism the world-over (i.e. bombing campaigns and global harmony, lol), and, in my state, the governor and the legislature is forcing climate legislation down our throats by their super-majority and I am forced to cheer on rogue Republican-legislators who are NOW IN HIDING to avoid being present for the formality of being trompled over in the rush to approve cap-and-trade elitist hoodwinks.

Interesting times.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 23 2019 15:23 utc | 12

@Don Bacon #4

"Israel is an important part of Middle East US policy decisions but not the only part, and not the most important one. Going back to the Carter Doctrine, and before, the US has intended to be the top dog in the Middle East but instead, through its mistakes, has become second fiddle to Iran. The US and its allies have tens of thousands of troops with tons of military gear in the area and are still losing influence, replaced by Iran and its Shia Crescent. That must be reversed!"

Have to disagree with a good deal of this.

Israel's strategic preferences have indeed become the most important single influence on US Middle East policy. Up to a certain point in the past, that was not true, but it is now. The Carter Doctrine has, in effect, been undermined by the distortions that the ever-growing power of pro-Israel political Jewry in the US in both its neoconservative and Likudnik expressions are able to impose on our policy.

Neither big oil, nor Saudi Arabia, nor anything that could objectively be called US strategic considerations wields anything like the heft of political Jewry. And even metastasizing Christian Zionism is only an ideological adjunct to Zionism proper, primarily a function of the cultural damage stemming from Jewry's march through the institutions since WW II.

That said, I must also disagree that Iran has become "the top dog" in the Middle East. They are nowhere close, though, with their cultural and technological attainments, backed by oil and gas deposits, their long-term strategic position has a lot of promise. A "top dog" would not be in Iran's current underdog position vis-a-vis Israel and its US golem and having to fight back with the stratagems we are currently seeing.

The Shia crescent is essentially a myth, and Iran's ability to exercise dominating influence on Shia Arabs is largely a function of the hostility of Sunni Arabs to the Shia Arab empowerment of recent years. Yes, the US is losing influence, but that is mostly a function of our own policy dysfunction induced by dual-loyalist political Jewry and the Israel-Über-Alles strategic preferences it imposes.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 23 2019 15:25 utc | 13

@Don Bacon
That clarifies.
I do agree that Israel is one of the 2 important factors in US calculation in south-west Asia, the other being strategic leverage over big-league competitors. And, it is true that US military presence in the Persian Gulf has been the Carter doctrine's making - although one might argue the doctrine itself was created to fill the vacuum created with the departure of the British and the subsequent independence given to the southern Sheikhdoms. The issue with the current US strategy in the region is that it defies the reality with such an obstinance that it completely undermines its own goals. The origin of this obstinance is well known to everyone.

Posted by: ATH | Jun 23 2019 15:34 utc | 14

According to Sharmine Narwani, Trump said during an NBC interview today: "John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him he'd take on the whole world at one time."

Could he be on his way out? One can hope..

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 23 2019 15:35 utc | 15

thanks for the week b and to the many fine commentators here at moa...

@2 op @8 paveway and @11 lochearn - thanks for the additional comments..

@12 nememsiscalling... sounds positive! i am not as confident as you here, but i hope you are correct!

Posted by: james | Jun 23 2019 15:41 utc | 16

Russia, Israel, US to talk about Iran in Jerusalem.

What the meeting is about is clear: punishing, and pushing Iran into the corner:

US military 'ready to go': Bolton warns Iran not to ‘mistake US prudence for weakness’

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 23 2019 15:42 utc | 17

I would like to offer a thought provoking discussion on some of the immediate issues and relevant ways to approach them. C A Fitts and Daniel Liszt in a three hour discussion that focuses on the Deep State.

Posted by: NJDuke | Jun 23 2019 15:45 utc | 18

Israel or no, failure is not an option for the US in the Middle East, especially Syria which was Hillary's Job-One during her SecState tenure.
AP, Dec 14, 2011--
US: Assad's Syria a 'dead man walking'

The State Department official, Frederic Hof, told Congress on Wednesday that Assad's repression may allow him to hang on to power but only for a short time. And, he urged the Syrian opposition to prepare for the day when it takes control of the state in order to prevent chaos and sectarian conflict.
"Our view is that this regime is the equivalent of dead man walking," said Hof, the State Department's pointman on Syria, which he said was turning into "Pyongyang in the Levant," a reference to the North Korean capital. He said it was difficult to determine how much time Assad has left in power but stressed "I do not see this regime surviving.". . .here

And Syria is only the most important US target country in the ME, the Iraq challenge still exists, Lebanon is important (receives some US military aid) and of course the old bugaboo Iran has become more vital than ever. Iran has a heavy political influence in Iraq and Syria, and that highway from Tehran to Beirut is a problem especially considering Iran ally (and "terrorist") Hezbollah. So. . .that's why 50,000+ US troops, an air force, and the Navy's Fifth fleet are there.

The main point is that the US world hegemon has to be strong everywhere, especially in Asia, and if it's forced out of anywhere it would set a bad example, going back to 'losing China.'

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 15:52 utc | 19

@ATH #14

"The issue with the current US strategy in the region is that it defies the reality with such an obstinance that it completely undermines its own goals. The origin of this obstinance is well known to everyone."

Yes, I think that's the issue exactly, and Israel is at the heart of it all. We are undermining our own goals (and scoring own goals.) Your point here captures the current bottom line of US "strategy" in the region.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 23 2019 15:55 utc | 20

"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses." . ."I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.". . .General Smedley Butler, USMC, two Congressional Medals of Honor, veteran of wars in Central America, Europe and China

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 16:01 utc | 21

@ OP 20
Israel is at the heart of it all.
It is not, as I have explained.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 16:03 utc | 22

@Don Bacon #22

"[Israel] is not [at the heart of US strategic problems in the Middle East,] as I have explained."

Well, it doesn't seem to me that you did explain it. From where I stand, you merely asserted it.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 23 2019 16:12 utc | 23

The way the Malaysian guy talked? We need to hear more of that from Russia.

Posted by: paullll | Jun 23 2019 16:16 utc | 24

Is Israel responsible for the US enmity toward North Korea? the bombing of Libya and Somalia? Eighteen years in Afghanistan?
No. In the US, to quote Randolph Bourne (1918), war is the health of the state.

. . .With the shock of war, however, the State comes into its own again. The Government, with no mandate from the people, without consultation of the people, conducts all the negotiations, the backing and filling, the menaces and explanations, which slowly bring it into collision with some other Government, and gently and irresistibly slides the country into war. For the benefit of proud and haughty citizens, it is fortified with a list of the intolerable insults which have been hurled toward us by the other nations; for the benefit of the liberal and beneficent, it has a convincing set of moral purposes which our going to war will achieve; for the ambitious and aggressive classes, it can gently whisper of a bigger role in the destiny of the world. The result is that, even in those countries where the business of declaring war is theoretically in the hands of representatives of the people, no legislature has ever been known to decline the request of an Executive, which has conducted all foreign affairs in utter privacy and irresponsibility, that it order the nation into battle. Good democrats are wont to feel the crucial difference between a State in which the popular Parliament or Congress declares war, and the State in which an absolute monarch or ruling class declares war. But, put to the stern pragmatic test, the difference is not striking. In the freest of republics as well as in the most tyrannical of empires, all foreign policy, the diplomatic negotiations which produce or forestall war, are equally the private property of the Executive part of the Government, and are equally exposed to no check whatever from popular bodies, or the people voting as a mass themselves.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 16:19 utc | 25

Oscar Peterson

Even when US, Russia meet in Jerusalem to talk about Iran, some people doesnt understand that this escalation we see now wouldnt happen if it wasnt for the pro israel policies US have had for decades:

Even Israel themselves do not deny it:
"PM: Israel-Russia-U.S. meeting in Jerusalem crucial for regional security "

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 23 2019 16:19 utc | 26

Consider that Israel and the USA are one entity.

After all, this is what our elected, alleged representatives posit when they state collectively, in unison, loudly, repeatedly, on their knees, that "the USA maintains an irrevocable bond with Israel".

That statement should bring the condescension and the wrath of the USA public.

For what reason would the USA maintain an "irrevocable bond" with ANY other nation?

Regardless of the fact that ISrael is an apartheid state by its own definition as "The Jewish State of ISrael".

Posted by: Kristan hinton | Jun 23 2019 16:32 utc | 27

Does Iran blame Israel?...No.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that most of the problems the world is facing today are rooted in U.S. unilateralism and violation of international law by Washington.
Rouhani: Most intl. problems rooted in U.S. unilateralism

“Most of the regional and international problems have been caused by dictatorship and bullying of certain countries especially the United States whose roots are in violating international law and moving on the path of unilateralism,” Rouhani said during a meeting with President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Gabriela Cuevas Barron. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 16:35 utc | 28

@Don Bacon #22

"[Israel] is not [at the heart of US strategic problems in the Middle East,] as I have explained."
Well, it doesn't seem to me that you did explain it. From where I stand, you merely asserted it.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 23, 2019 12:12:08 PM | 23

You been "Baconsplained" to. You need to halt any further commentary right now. Mr Bacon is this sites foremost Baconsplainer and crystal-ball gazer.

A veritable genius, no less!!

Never wrong on nuthin, no siree.

Posted by: FFP | Jun 23 2019 16:36 utc | 29

And I'll have you know that there is ZERO truth to the scurrilous rumour that anyone one here ever coined the phrase "Bet the opposite of whatever Bacon claims or 'predicts'! "

Posted by: FFP | Jun 23 2019 16:38 utc | 30

Deal of the Century -- Dead on Arrival?

I have to admit I was surprised to see the lackey-in-chief Kushner's "peace plan" unveiled yesterday. The timing seems very odd. Anyone who isn't a rabid Zionist could tell by the leaked details that it was doomed for failure. Utter capitulation from the Palestinian's, live in bantustans, no East Jerusalem, no contiguous state, no Jordan Valley, no return of refugees, all for a measly $50 billion, to be paid by the Gulfies? What a joke.
I had figured it would be announced on a Sunday blitz to the talking head "news" shows, as to not give any time for reactions, i.e. laughter, to trickle in from around the world. Now mini-Bibi will have to respond to the derision to the deal while trotting ot out.
Even curiouser is choosing this week, with the news cycle still chock full of the Iran bluster. I can see Trump wanting to capitalize on "saving us" from another war of our own creation. But if he had waited say another week, the focus could be almost exclusively on the "deal". Studios don't release two blockbusters on the same weekend, Trump should know that.
As any idiot could tell, this "deal" had no chance at success and was all about posturing. "Look, the Palestinians don't want peace, not even the Deal-of-the-Century!" Then rob more land, kill more civilians, etc. So why announce it Saturday in a full news cycle? What am I missing?

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jun 23 2019 16:39 utc | 31

Kim Iversen:
Lindsey Graham Says Israel Will Attack Iran, And The U.S. Will Follow

Posted by: Stever | Jun 23 2019 16:42 utc | 32

re: Xi encouraged Kim Jong Un to resume talks with U.S., report says
The problem here is very similar to the one with Iran, and that is that the US can't accept that other countries are as sovereign as the US and so they will not negotiate under pressure, especially sanctions.
Specifically the Panmunjon Agreement requires a normalization of relations before denuclearization. IOW North Korea can't be expected to disarm under threats and pressure.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 16:46 utc | 33

Working paper suggests "Late Capitalism" (i.e. neoliberalism + austerity + outsourcing essential public services) is less efficient than the Soviet centralized system:

Why public sector outsourcing is less efficient than Soviet central planning

There's a link to the working paper at the end of the article.


Inequality in the USA continues to rise:

'Eye-Popping': Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion

Posted by: vk | Jun 23 2019 16:50 utc | 34

re: whoever the fuck, FFP is...

Don Bacon has it right... so,

Call me a baconite, then...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 23 2019 16:54 utc | 35

@Don Bacon #25

"Is Israel responsible for the US enmity toward North Korea? the bombing of Libya and Somalia? Eighteen years in Afghanistan?"

First, I did not claim that every move the US makes is Israel-induced. I said that Israel is at the heart of our overall strategic dysfunction in the Middle East. Libya and Somalia are peripheral, and Afghanistan is not truly in the region at all.

But let's be clear that the rise of both al Quaeda and, as a follow-on, the Islamic State have been greatly facilitated by the resentment generated by the imposition of Jewish state on the region at the expense of the local Arabs. Both bin Laden and Zawahiri have mentioned the Zionist conquest and its wars as formative experiences.

And the rise of IS was a direct result of the US invasion of Iraq, itself induced by the overlapping strains of Jewish neoconservatism and Likudnik hyper-Zionism. The overthrow of Saddam created the political and strategic space for IS to emerge and thrive, and the concerted attempt to overthrow Assad--another Israeli strategic preference--weakened the Syrian state so much that it permitted the establishment of a "caliphate" which then invaded Iraq. This expanding dynamic played a role in Libya as well.

With regard to Saudi Arabia, we have to ask why the US put its weight behind the replacement of Muhammed bin Naif (MbN) with Muhammed bin Salman (MbS) when almost all the USG wanted to tell Salman that we preferred staying with the known and trusted MbN. Almost certainly, Trump's ignorant support of MbS originated with the pro-Israel Jews who dominate his thinking. MbS has been a bonanza for Israel but a disaster for us (and the region.)

And with regard to Afghanistan, the denuding of that theater to resource the Iraq-Iran-Syria invasion/regime change scheme demanded by Israel and its operatives in the US had a definitively negative outcome on US policy in Afghanistan from which, it is now clear, it will never recover.

In East Asia, the negative impact of US Israel-centric Middle East policy can be seen as well. The neocon/Likudnik-induced morass of Iraq into which we marched distracted us from the Asia-Pacific and particularly China's move into the South China Sea, which might have been deterred, if we weren't expending the overwhelming majority of our energy, attention and resources in the Middle East.

And since you bring up North Korea, the Israeli influence on US policy there is certainly secondary but definitely not zero. Israel and its lobby seek an ultra-hard line on any US negotiations with North Korea because they see it as an extension of Iran policy, so in their view, any concession to North Korea is a bad example for Iran. This contributes to impeding any possible negotiated solution to the complex of issues on the Korean Peninsula.

It is truly amazing how far the insidious reach of Israel, its nefarious lobby and the "Is-it-good-for-the-Jews?" obsessions of political Jewry extends into US foreign policy. Our current strategy is, as ATH noted, self-undermining. There really is no historical precedent for it.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 23 2019 16:54 utc | 36

China's President Xi was on a state visit in North Korea where he was welcomed with a gigantic show. Xi asked North Korea to resume its negotiations with the U.S. Not to be outdone by China, Trump wrote another letter to Kim Jong-Un who characterized it as "excellent".

It seems the New York Times is also jealous.

Other think tanks are also apparently confused by the situation, which doesn't conform to their conspiracy theories and parodial views of NK. This results in nonsense such as this:

North Korea: The Pot Still Boiling

Posted by: vk | Jun 23 2019 16:57 utc | 37

On Palestine, former Senator Mike Gravel says:
The two-state solution is dead. Let us take the obvious and humane path forward

One of the most obvious absurdities in the world of foreign policy is seeing what is considered serious. The people who want to continue funding massacres, genocides, and authoritarian regimes abroad frame their ideas in the sober language of realism, and earn plaudits from pundits and think tanks; those who propose the moral and obviously necessary alternatives are dismissed as unserious, among the cruelest insults in the world of foreign policy. Thus I do not expect the policy I will propose for Israel and Palestine to be taken seriously by the foreign policy establishment, which is too busy honoring Henry Kissinger to care much. But I will be frank with what I view as true seriousness on this important issue. . .here

That should be obvious when looking at a map which includes all those tiny walled enclaves for Palestinians in Palestine, but as Gravel says a lot of people are denying the obvious.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 17:00 utc | 38

Sorry, the link for 38 is here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 17:01 utc | 39

@Don Bacon #28

"Does Iran blame Israel?...No.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that most of the problems the world is facing today are rooted in U.S. unilateralism and violation of international law by Washington."

Whom Rouhani does or doesn't blame--even if you take his public statements at face value--has zero relation to the sources of US policy and strategy dysfunction in the Middle East.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 23 2019 17:07 utc | 40

@ OP 36
I don't deny that Israel is an important factor in US ME policy, I'm just suggesting that US policy would be exactly the same w/o Israel, just one more stupid US war with fabricated evidence.
IOW many say that we're only doing Israel's bidding, implying that the US wouldn't be there otherwise, and that's simply not true. . . .as you said . .
the manipulation of American policy by Israeli charlatans and their agents of influence in the US

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 17:10 utc | 41

@ OP 40
Whom Rouhani does or doesn't blame--even if you take his public statements at face value--has zero relation to the sources of US policy and strategy dysfunction in the Middle East.
Cheez, stupid President Rouhani just doesn't get it, and/or may not have been truthful.
Actually he put the blame squarley where it belongs, on wrongful US bullying policy which has been going on since the French and Indian War. Israel's just a johnny-come-lately to the overall US warmaking policy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 17:17 utc | 42

The ongoing portrayal of trump as daft puppet of shrewd veterans is tiresome - even he can understand that he is causing hardship and risk of war where it is not needed to serve us interests.

If he is tasked with making us nostalgic for return of Hillary not going to happen.

Appears we may barely make it to 2020.

Posted by: jared | Jun 23 2019 17:22 utc | 43

Sen. Bernie Sanders on "Face the Nation"

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about Iran. Was President Trump's decision this week to call off that strike the right one?

SEN. SANDERS: See, it's like somebody setting a fire to a basket full of paper and then putting it out. He helped create the crisis and then he stopped the attacks. The idea that we're looking at the president of the United States who number one, thinks that a war., with Iran is something that might be good for this country.

MARGARET BRENNAN: He was just doing a limited strike of just a limited strike.

SEN. SANDERS: Oh, just a limited strike- well, I'm sorry. I just didn't know that it's okay to simply attack another country with bombs just a limited strike- that's an act of warfare. So two points. That will set off a conflagration all over the Middle East. If you think the war is either- the war in Iraq, Margaret was a disaster I believe from the bottom of my heart that the war- a war with Iran would be even worse, more loss of life never ending war in that region, massive instability. We're talking about, we have been in Afghanistan now for eighteen years. This thing will never end. So I will do everything I can number one to stop a war with Iran. And number two here's an important point. Let's remember what we learned in civics when we were kids. It is the United States Congress, under our Constitution, that has warmaking authority not the president of the United States. If he attacks Iran in my view that would be unconstitutional.

Posted by: Stever | Jun 23 2019 17:24 utc | 44

Regarding blatant/outsized influence of israel. Appears they are being treated as 51st state.

Posted by: jared | Jun 23 2019 17:24 utc | 45

@ Don Bacon #41

"I don't deny that Israel is an important factor in US ME policy, I'm just suggesting that US policy would be exactly the same w/o Israel,..."

To be honest, that seems contradictory. How can Israel be an important factor in US ME policy, if, as you suggest, US policy would be essentially unchanged whether Israel existed or not?

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 23 2019 17:27 utc | 46

Somebody trying to promote a narrative has pointed out that China imports "...1 million barrels per day from Iran..." while simultaneously arguing that "...China is either [un]willing or [un]able to risk very serious economic damage from a Persian Gulf closing, or even slowdown...".

This individual also happens to be trying to sell the narrative that China is knuckling under to America's demands that they not buy their million barrels per day from Iran. This implies that other sources must have stepped in and increased their production a total of 1 million bbl/day, or that 1 million bbl/day is being diverted from other buyers.

1 million bbl/day happens to be quite a bit, and such a diversion or consumption surge from other producers would all on its own drive up oil prices worldwide. I don't follow crude oil spot prices, so maybe someone with more knowledge of that industry could clarify if we've seen a price spike that would come from such a change? Is there evidence that OPEC has upped their production caps that Russia negotiated? As far as I can see no such change has been advertised.

Short version: If China isn't still buying from Iran, then who are they getting that million bbl/day from now?

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 23 2019 17:36 utc | 47

@Don Bacon #42

"Cheez, stupid President Rouhani just doesn't get it, and/or may not have been truthful."

Sure, Iran's immediate problem is the US-imposed sanctions and the threat of possible military force, but the topic we have been discussing in this string is what exactly is leading the US to take these steps and other dysfunctional policy actions and the extent to which Israel is the primary impetus for them. Again, what Rouhani says in a public statement, even if it is true as far as it goes, does not get at the question at hand.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 23 2019 17:36 utc | 48

I just watched a segment of Fareed Zakaria on Iran. Was curious to see CFR’s take on all of this. And who did he go to as his expert for comments? Ilan Goldenberg. This guy didn’t look more than 15 and is giving expert opinion on this thing will pan out.

On the next segment he has a panel discussion. The two guests: Peter Beinart ( moderate Zionist) and Marc Gerecht (former director of PNAC). This is pure trash.

What an utterly sad and dark country we have become that every policy and commentary has to be filtered through a Zionist. That every president has to have a Zionist handler, otherwise he won’t reach the office.

How can a president make an informed decision when his “information’’ is given to him by these traitors with no regard for citizenship or no allegiance to the constitution?

I never thought I could be held hostage in my own country. I feel helpless. Our Republic is in grave danger and only a purge will cure it of this disease.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 23 2019 17:42 utc | 49

Tulsi Gabbard Receives Amazing Welcome and Cheers from South Carolina Democratic Convention

Looks like Tulsi’s message of investing our trillions spent on regime change wars towards the people is resonating. Very inspiring video.

Posted by: Stever | Jun 23 2019 17:43 utc | 50

Don Bacon @41
Oscar Peterson @46

You both have valid points, but I've always believed it's the dog that wags its tail. Sure, if it was simply Palestine, one could expect different nuances of US policy. But any qualitative difference? I don't see it.
The US would still back undemocractic strong men who would treat American interests as paramount in return for US backing of their regime and turning a blind eye to their enrichment at the expense of the general population. The US would be hellbent against any pan-Arab nationalism or anything resembling socialism or sovereignty.
The proof? Well take a look at how the US treats the rest of the world.
The US and Israel have overlapping interests as it relates to the Middle East with the added accelerator of the many dual nationals in seats of power.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jun 23 2019 17:44 utc | 51

and Trump is adding more killing sanctions, so he hasn't learned a thing about what really needs to be done to resolve this issue, to 'de-escalate', as they say and end this show - all of it, all, the result of his administration's stupidity in cancelling the Iran nuclear deal.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jun 23 2019 18:01 utc | 52

Regarding the JIT indictments, the JIT has dropped all pretense of
objectivity, which isn't surprising since it was a criminal co-conspiracy
from its inception. They have now revealed themselves as nothing but
a hit squad and lynch mob for the real perpetrators. Russia should
be building a case for a criminal referral of the JIT to the ICC.
It has a pretty solid case since the JIT investigation has devolved into
an obscene travesty involving reams of incriminating actions by the JIT,
which has willfully smothered all the hard, factual, scientific evidence
and fraudulently promoted all the fake, phony fabrications of the high perps.
Charging the JIT with collusion in mass murder may be a reach, but the indictments
of Strelkov et alia is so off the wall and batshit insane there surely must be
grounds for prosecutorial misconduct.

Posted by: evilempire | Jun 23 2019 18:09 utc | 53

Oscar Peterson @ 36 and 46.. and Uncle $cam Baconism for me..
there is no contradiction (both rule limited behavior enforced containers) USA and Israel, find their top managements locally integrated with and externally directed by those from the same places. The destruction of Germany, the over throw of the British Queens Czar in Christian Russia, the emergence of Israel in the middle East, the USA knuckle breaking fire power are coordinated projects of Global Zionism.

Federal reserve act, US income tax (16th amendment), the Balfour Agreement, and October 1919 Bolshevik revolution, British control over Palestine. French control over Syria, and the declaration of the armed fort in Palestine as a nation state Israel, are victories of global Zionism.

Posted by: snake | Jun 23 2019 18:17 utc | 54

Jimmy Dore: CBS News "War Expert" Is Being Paid By Raytheon

Via ZeroHedge:

“CBS News Analyst And Iran "War Mongering Maniac" Also Raytheon Board Member: Dore”

“How do you know the MSM is nothing more than the media wing of the military-industrial-complex? A Raytheon board member masquerading as an objective analyst is a good start.”

“On Friday, CBS News analyst and retired Navy Admiral James Winnefeld Jr. slammed President Trump for calling off retaliatory strikes on Iran over a downed US drone, while insisting we must strike Iran or else the United States will "lose a lot of credibility.”

Posted by: Stever | Jun 23 2019 18:19 utc | 55

@Don Wiscacho #51

"The US would still back undemocratic strong men who would treat American interests as paramount in return for US backing of their regime and turning a blind eye to their enrichment at the expense of the general population."

Yes, that's true, but not all strong men are beneficial to the US. See my point above in #36 about Trump's aggressive support for the replacement of MbN with MbS in the face of USG opposition. Why did he do that? How was that really good for immediate or long-term strategic position of the US? You know that the half-witted real estate guy from NYC didn't just say, "I've just got to have MbS in power." Powerful players operating behind the scenes obviously put that notion in his mind. No points for guessing who they were.

And if we're talking about strong men, how about the strong men we have worked to get rid of rather than put in place? How does Assad in Syria represent any threat to us? If we had wanted to, we could easily have co-opted him c. 2000 when he came to power after his father's death and gradually weaned him away from Iran (not that I find the Iran-Syria tie threatening to the US per se.) But even after he offered max cooperation post 9/11, we stayed intensely hostile to him and then actively tried to overthrow him as a much higher priority than dealing with the Islamic State. Now, that has led to the Russians getting back into the Middle East. By far the most significant force driving our dysfunctional Syria policy for the last two decades is Israel and its lobby.

"The US and Israel have overlapping interests as it relates to the Middle East..."

Well, objectively, looking over the longer historical term, how does imposing a Jewish state on an unwilling local population further our goals? The British found that out in the late 1930s when the Arabs began to riot as more Jews flooded into Palestine and as the threat of war in Europe was rising. So the Brits reversed policy and cut Jewish immigration which led, as soon as the war was over, to a Jewish terror campaign against the British Army and others. Yeah, there might have been some temporary and narrow benefits for the US because of Israeli military dominance, but the long-term, post-Cold-War trend is purely negative, from my perspective.

The US has a natural advantage in the Middle East in that Russia is a traditional enemy of both Turkey and Iran and Europe, Russia, China, and India all have problems with their own Muslim populations. So what has led us to surrender much of this advantage by becoming the principal backer of an alien, Judeosupremacist state? The answer, of course, is the power that political Jewry wields in the US itself. Sorry but that is just plain dysfunctional, and the more capable our "peer competitors" become, the more manifest a strategic disaster it will be. Anticipating this, we are doubling down to crush all resistance to Israeli hegemony and killing--directly or indirectly--hundreds of thousands, if not more, of Arabs and others to do it.

That's not my idea of good policy!

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 23 2019 18:20 utc | 56

If Israel were the 51st state, it would have to practise separation of church and state and equal protection of Palestinians.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 23 2019 18:21 utc | 57

"Israel's strategic preferences have indeed become the most important single influence on US Middle East policy. Up to a certain point in the past, that was not true, but it is now. The Carter Doctrine has, in effect, been undermined by the distortions that the ever-growing power of pro-Israel political Jewry in the US in both its neoconservative and Likudnik expressions are able to impose on our policy."

Oscar Peterson is correct not because Israel's interests are of such importance-they really are not- but because US Foreign policy has become totally incoherent.
This is because it is entirely aimed at fund raisers and influencers of the electorate. It is founded on the theory that the United States can do whatever it pleases, and need never care about consolidating its power or defending its positions because it is far more powerful than all its potential rivals added together. This being the case its Foreign Policy becomes a saleable commodity, just as its armed forces-which can never be defeated- are at the disposal of the highest bidders.
Note to Psychohistorian: the open democracy website has an article on Costa Rica's public banking today.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 23 2019 18:22 utc | 58

with regard to iran, the usa is tied at the hip to israel.. that is a fact... now, maybe it can change, but i think phil at mondoweiss lays it out pretty clearly for anyone interested..

Trump’s climbdown on Iran is a defeat to the Israel lobby

as i see it, this is just temporary... israel is gunning hard for war on iran.. anyone who can't see that is in fact very blind..

meanwhile - Trump: “I have some hawks. John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him he'd take on the whole world at one time.“

bolton is in this position due the fact trump owed sheldon adelson one... at least trump can see it, but i don't know that he can avoid where this is going... that would be putting too much faith in a con artist - grifter..

Posted by: james | Jun 23 2019 18:23 utc | 59

I agree the JIT has become a fraudulent enterprise. To publicly announce indictments while simultaneously pleading for witnesses to step forward to help confirm the theory on which the indictments are based - that is not a judicial procedure as commonly understood. The JIT has taken like OPCW - a public relations arm of NATO concerned solely with filtering biased information to western publics.

Posted by: jayc | Jun 23 2019 18:26 utc | 60

Re the Boeing and the drone. With both planes apparently close together for the flight, they were not there for maritime surveillance. Iranians most likely only picked up floating debris initially and electronic hardware may be rovered later, but there is a possibility the drone was stripped of hardware for its job as decoy. 35 to 38 people on the Boeing are too many for a simple photoshoot.

The decoy entering Iranian airspace the beginnings of a US strike... it draws fire from multiple SAM sites, the Boeing P-8 videoing the shootdown to justify the strike while locating launch positions and directing immediate strikes onto these positions. Comes unstuck when Iran launches a single missile. Trump cancels the strike.
Re the Boeing - if the strike was planned in advance, as the pentagon does with its contingency plans the aircraft would have been equipped for detecting SAM sites.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 23 2019 18:32 utc | 61

I found this story at a neocon mil-blog:

US Army retrofits Stinger missiles with proximity fuses for drones

Stinger missiles are small (six feet long, 35 pounds) and at $38,000 relatively inexpensive. Even a modern proximity fuse will need to be small, lightweight, and likely without whistles and bells. This is old technology dating back nearly 80 years, so it'll work against amateurs.

What worries me is that most US enemies are professionals, and US soldiers armed with Stingers will have a false sense of security. Even from the beginning proximity fuses were subject to jamming, and that's the main reason they were allowed only in the Pacific theater until very late in the European war. Once an enemy 1) knew they existed and 2) how they worked, constructing a jammer was a job of half a day or so for their technicians. Significantly, "jamming" wasn't mentioned in either the first link or the fuse wiki.

Proximity Fuze Jamming

So I see this as a band-aid approach to defending against drones, and the Army ought to be working on other techniques. Ditch the Not Invented Here attitude and get with the Allies, especially those in Europe.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 23 2019 18:33 utc | 62

Make that length 5 feet. Turning 60 inches into 6 feet wasn't the smartest thing I've done today.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 23 2019 18:35 utc | 63

bevin @ 58

Excellent comment.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 23 2019 18:37 utc | 64

Zachary Smith 62
Russia military has put out a video or two on their electronics detonating missiles with proximity fuses while in flight.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 23 2019 18:45 utc | 65

Lochearn @ 11

John Bolton “sleepwalking” into war with Iran? He’ll be wide awake and so excited he’ll probably have to relieve himself.

The world was one step away from a long desired war with Iran when Trump decided to strike Iran. Bolton was so exited he peed his pants and had to leave the room. With him out of the room Trump backed down.

The only thing standing between war with Iran is a set of depends. He will be wearing them next time.

Seriously, Trump is now saying this has nothing to do with the Straight of Hormuz, it is all about keeping the Persians from getting nuclear weapons. Another charade within a charade.

It is interesting how one wing of the ruling elite made a nuclear agreement with Iran and the other wing of the ruling elite wants to take away nuclear potential from Iran. One wonders whom is playing whose fiddle

Posted by: dltravers | Jun 23 2019 18:45 utc | 66

Bevin @58: Well said. Our government is "the market" now.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 23 2019 18:46 utc | 67

What's up with the alleged cyber attacks against Iran's missile command? Seems like defensive face saving bluster - see, we did retaliate for the drone hit. If they actually had this capability they wouldn't advertise it, but use it during an actual attack seems to me.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jun 23 2019 18:58 utc | 68

Stever @44--

Sanders is wrong, Trump has already attacked Iran--the sanctions are illegal as was his violation of JCPOA. Unfortunately, those facts are difficult to explain to a nation--particularly BigLie Media mavens--who've allowed the Outlaw US Empire's illegal unilateralism to go unchallenged since 1945. That the USA continuously breaks the law has never surfaced as a--MAINSTREAM-- political issue, although historians like the late William Blum, myself, Chomsky, Zinn, and a host of others do and have quite often.

IMO, the #1 problem with every POTUS wannabe is their inability to attack and call-out that longstanding historic fact, although Gabbard's come close--I wrote her team and explained the entire historical background to the current state-of-affairs.

Sanders speaks of what the Constitution says. But he ignores or is illiterate regarding the Supremacy Clause and how it alters/adds to/amends what it says--in this case, what the UN Charter did to legally/constitutionally curtail traditional US behavior of Unilateralism--it cannot be done any longer: PERIOD! Rouhani was 1000000000% absolutely correct in pinning the tail on the US Donkey, just as I've done continuously since I figured it out in the 1980s while I was still in the US Army Reserves and trying to determine what constituted an illegal order.

My argument's not with you, Stever; it's with Sanders and the entire Federal Government. But at least Sanders is articulating a small part of the overall argument, which has waited too long to be done.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 23 2019 19:01 utc | 69

A great article and an ominous one.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 23 2019 19:09 utc | 70

Behind the curtain:

"Trump is in danger of being crushed between a Fed that sees the US dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency collapse, and the need for the Fed to blame someone not linked to the real causes of the collapse, that is to say, the monetary policies adopted through QE to prolong the post-crisis economic agony of 2008....

"As foolish as it may seem, a war on Iran could be the perfect option that satisfies all power groups in the United States. The hawks would finally have their war against Tehran, the world economy would sink, and the blame would fall entirely on Trump. The Donald, as a result, would lose any chance of being re-elected so it makes sense for him to call off possible strikes as he did after the US drone was shot out of the sky."

The author echoes my words from yesterday:

"I wonder if Europeans will understand all this before the impending disaster. I doubt it."

Regarding what I wrote about Sanders in my reply to Stever, here we have the Chancellery of the People’s Republic of China spokesman, Hua Chun Ying:

"The American leaders say that ‘the era of the commercial surrender of their country has come to an end’, but what is over is their economic intimidation of the world and their hegemony.

"The United States must again respect international law, not arrogate to itself extraterritorial rights and mandates, must learn to respect its peers in safeguarding transparent and non-discriminatory diplomatic and commercial relations. China and the United States have negotiated other disputes in the past with good results and the doors of dialogue are open as long as they are based on mutual respect and benefits."

No, I didn't cite everything in the article. There's much more of importance there to read!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 23 2019 19:28 utc | 71


This is disinfo and psychological warfare. We don't know if they did, it makes a headline, unlikely to give away capability outside of need, may affect enemy moral that there was or wasn't effect, etc.

What does stand out though is that to affect cyber disruption on another country is considered an act of war ( and I don't know the international definition or statute on that but I do remember the US raised the question re. Russia and deemed it cause for physical retaliation). So to have overtly declared active disruption of Iranian assets is feasibly an open declaration of war.

So maybe we missed something here, if only the unproven assertion of Iran culpability being displayed, and not contested by anyone due to it being a wind-down, but settling as being now assumed by society as factual all the same for lack of contest.

Anyone is free to correct or dispute anything in the above, goes without saying but just to say...

Posted by: Anon | Jun 23 2019 19:28 utc | 72

If it is not for Israeli Zionists than why is the US threatening and sanctioning Iran?

Posted by: arby | Jun 23 2019 19:29 utc | 73

jerad@45 "Regarding blatant/outsized influence of israel. Appears they are being treated as 51st state".
Sorry jerad Israel does not want to be treated as the 51st State, then they would only have two Senators whereas now they have all 100.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 23 2019 19:31 utc | 74

Apart from the efforts to hurt the one belt one road initiative that I suppose is some icing for the cake.

Posted by: arby | Jun 23 2019 19:32 utc | 75

@61 OK but why use such an expensive drone for a decoy? Seems to me that it was either sent into Iranian airspace to pick up some data and most likely controlled from the Boeing P-8 or it was a deliberate act of provocation by someone. The question is did Trump agree to it?

Posted by: dh | Jun 23 2019 19:35 utc | 76

@12 So you are cheering on racist, psychopathic legislators who have literally threatened to murder people for attempting to get them to report to their job as a public servant? Really? Every rural district in Oregon is populated by uneducated, racist psychopaths. Yeah sorry the sensible people in Portland want to reduce CO2 emissions. Having lived for nearly half a decade in rural Oregon I can state that the way people deal with problems there is always first and foremost threatening gun violence. Every time I had a conflict with a neighbor there, usually over some trivial "my property rights" nonsense, I was threatened with being shot. Every little town in Oregon is filled with confederate flags (as if they had any dog in that fight, it's utter cultural nonsense), white supremacists, gun maniacs, and other assorted lunatics. They're all MAGAtards who are still on the public dole, and have excessively high rates of opioid and methamphetamine addiction. These are the people, when they can be bothered to vote, who voted in the lunatic Republican legislators in hiding with white supremacists in Idaho. One can only hope that they do, in fact, attempt to use violence, all get executed by police (as is the American way), and then climate legislation gets passed, and Portland lives happily ever after.

I mean do you seriously not see that this is the same behavior that the US resorts to in international relations which is criticized daily here? No, we're not going to talk about things. It's either our way or violence! If you don't like the legislation then discuss it like civilized people do. It isn't a difficult concept. But any adult cheering the children who are throwing tantrums and threatening to murder people should really seek some mental health counseling.

Posted by: Mataman | Jun 23 2019 19:36 utc | 77

the pessimist @68

Iran purged Microsoft Windows OS from military uses years ago, so Stuxnet style attacks are no longer possible. Stuxnet itself was only possible because the manufacturer provided the CIA with a backdoor to the operating system. Prior to 2010 Iran was in the top 10 countries from which patches to the Linux kernel came from, but that has dropped to 0% since then. Though I do not know this for a fact, this suggests that Iran forked Linux in 2010 and has been encouraging domestic development of that operating system.

What does this have to do with claims that the US launched a cyber attack on Iran? It means that any American cyber attack on Iran almost certainly failed 100%.

America's misnamed "intelligence" agencies are spoiled by having easy access to targets' communications through built-in back doors and vulnerabilities that American industry build into their products. Despite appearances, US "intelligence" agencies are not very good at real hacking. In fact, they suck badly at it. If Microsoft, Cisco, Google or Apple don't provide them access to the products that they sell, then the CIA is sh!t out of luck (which is why they hate Huawei, by the way). Since Iran no longer uses Microsoft Windows in any critical functions, and instead uses a version of Linux that has diverged from the ones that the West uses for almost a decade, the chances that the CIA or Pentagram's Visual Basic script kiddies could hack them effectively drops to 0%.


Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 23 2019 19:41 utc | 78

Yes, Uncle Jon, "Ominous."

Meanwhile, Zarif reveals more B-Team attempted provocations. The Outlaw US Empire had already been put on notice with its previous violation that went unchallenged.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 23 2019 19:46 utc | 79

dh 76

US have set in cheaper drone, but they have not been downed. Apparently a warning shot was fired at one on the day of the tanker attacks.
The downed drone was a prototype that with production now underway was no longer required. A big part of the value would be the electronic hardware. What is the value of the bare airframe compared to its value if fully equipped for surveillance.
Other than using the drone as a decoy (stripped of hardware), why would it be shadowed by the Boeing with 35 - 38 people on board. It is the presence of the Boeing that reduces the options as to the purpose of the drone.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 23 2019 19:49 utc | 80

Wonder what the resident nationalist nostalgics and state owned investment

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 23 2019 19:52 utc | 81

HREF="">quantum processing

Posted by: the pessimist | Jun 23 2019 19:53 utc | 82

Yes, there's other news. Pilots sue Boeing, but not for nearly enough, IMO. I expect this lawsuit to serve as point for many more to follow as creditors realize they need to file if they expect to get any of their monies back when Boeing goes Kaput.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 23 2019 19:53 utc | 83

To add to my post @80, the US captured the missile strike on video. One of the pics put out by the Pentagon was of the drone exploding. This means they were videoing the drone at the moment the missile struck. The only reason for having a video camera filming the drone that I can see, is that the US expected it to be hit.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 23 2019 19:54 utc | 84

...investment banking obsessives make of the move by Facebook into cryptocurrency?

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 23 2019 19:54 utc | 85

'Flesh-eating' bacterial infections on the rise as oceans warm, study says

I've been urging relatives visiting ocean beaches to think long and hard about going out into the increasingly filthy water there. So far I've been thoroughly ignored.

The case study series, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine today, examined five separate cases of V. vulnificus necrotizing fasciitis that presented at a hospital in New Jersey during the summers of 2017 and 2018.

In the prior eight years, the hospital had only seen one case, senior author Dr. Katherine Doktor, told Medscape Medical News.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 23 2019 20:00 utc | 86

US President Donald Trump has rejected a United Nations (UN) request for the FBI to investigate the brutal murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, expressing concern that the move would affect America's trade with the kingdom.

very interesting development.

Posted by: snake | Jun 23 2019 20:02 utc | 87

Peter AU 1 @80

Why have 35 (or, according to Trump 38) people on a spy plane that is normally crewed by 9?

Because you need double-digit numbers of American casualties to get Americans' attention.

As PavewayIV pointed out in a previous thread, the P-8 spy plane was to the east of the drone. That means it was between the missile launcher and the drone. The P-8 has a hundred times or more the radar cross section of the drone, despite them both being about the same size, so electronic countermeasures or not it stands out like a sore thumb relative to the drone to Iran's radar. It is impossible that these issues were overlooked by the people who put this mission together.

The Navy has a bunch of P-8s. They only had one RQ-4.

The conclusion is obvious:

The drone was there to collect evidence of the destruction of the P-8.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 23 2019 20:04 utc | 88

@ karlof1 69 -

All points well taken - thanks for feedback

Posted by: Stever | Jun 23 2019 20:04 utc | 89

@84 So you're saying the drone was bait. Still like to know who authorized the flight.

Posted by: dh | Jun 23 2019 20:08 utc | 90

I am also a Baconite. The scapegoating and projection exhibited by Americans is breathtakingly pathetic. Shortly after the people living in the 13 colonies on the East Coast of North America in the 18th century got rid of the king, who was insisting that they obey the treaties he made with the natives, and forbidding their spread over the Appalachians, the newly minted "Americans" started in on their murderous march to world domination.
Within 100 years they had spread all the way across the continent, taking half of Mexico, and trying for Canada, while they were at it.
By 1900, there were only 200,000 natives left, most living on small arid patches of unwanted land (until oil or uranium was discovered later). Now, THAT is how you do a genocide!
The US also helped England attack China and sent Perry to threaten Japan, before the 19th century was over, but it wasn't until 1898 that they really started spreading the empire around the world.
The US was in the Middle East long before there was an Israel. Oil was recognized as the primo prize since before WW1. But now, as the US threatens Russia, China, South America,Africa and the Middle East, simultaneously, the cry goes up among Innocent Americans "the joos make us do it".
I do disagree that Dunford never pointed out the downside of escalation before, though.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jun 23 2019 20:08 utc | 91

re: precondtions:
I've got my big mitts around your throat squeezing the life out of you, but let's talk and until then I don't require that you say anything.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 20:09 utc | 92

bottom line: Blaming Israel for what the criminals in Washington do, is a cop-out.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2019 20:11 utc | 93

I've replied to numerous people lacking knowledge that they must listen to Nasrallah when it comes to what will occur if the Outlaw US Empire or any other entity attacks Iran. This short clip is one of several I'm referring to. I'd say it's very likely Trump needs to be included on the list of those needing to hear Nasrallah.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 23 2019 20:11 utc | 94

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 23, 2019 3:54:26 PM | 85
(Faceborg cryptocurrency)

Read the financial pages in your favorite newspaper. In Oz, banker opinion is that Faceborg's institutional processes are too opaque to trust it with creating a secure banking system. However, they concede that Faceborg & Friends (Google, Amazon) have access to a captive market of not inconsiderable growth potential.

The $$ pundits didn't say this but, imo, Faceborg is trying to Uber its way into banking. But Bankers are infinitely more powerful than taxi ownwer-drivers so the bankers will move Heaven & Earth (and heavily bribed politicians) to impose an encyclopedia's worth of Regulations on 'wildcat' entrants to the Banking Industry.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 23 2019 20:19 utc | 95

William Gruff 88

I had noticed the directions in the in the video pics but had forgotten about that.
Makes it more complex as the crewed aircraft was to the east of the drone (closest to Iran), yet videoing the drone expecting it to be hit...
The video also had coordinates of the aircraft taking the video and the target aircraft (in this case the drone) I have not cross checked this with the Iranian coordinates and bringing them up on google maps did not show the positions in relation to Iranian airspace. That the US includes the coordinates in the pics makes me wonder if the information in the video shots has been changed - possibly by resetting the video recorder prior to the op.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 23 2019 20:19 utc | 96

Peter AU @65 "Russia military has put out a video or two on their electronics detonating missiles with proximity fuses while in flight".

A proximity fuse was fitted on the Ruhrstahl X4 a German wire guided missile in the 1940’s which proves there is nothing new under the sun.
The acoustical system tuned to the 200 Hz sound of the B-17's engines in cruise, activated by the Doppler shift as the missile approached its target.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 23 2019 20:21 utc | 97

Concerning the post by wagelaborer @91, on the tall side the estimates for the population of North America prior to 1492 are well over 110 million. It might have been less than that, but certainly not below half that figure.

So, conservatively 55 million --> 200,000.

Americans have been psycho killers since day one.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 23 2019 20:22 utc | 98

peter au - dh and william gruff.. thanks for the comments on this topic... it looks to me that the usa was very intent on getting some action from iran on this... that iran didn't take the bait exactly as planned is fortunate, but as dh mentions - who authorized this? sounds like a cia plan... one would have hoped the cia would keep it's sorry ass as far away from iran as possible, but i realize that is impossible..

bevin - thanks for your post...

don bacon - no one is excusing the criminals in washington.. but grifters and cons are the primary base of the usa political system and indeed they can be bought by israel-zionist interests as we see regularly..

Posted by: james | Jun 23 2019 20:23 utc | 99

On the lighter side...

When David Brooks Runs Out of Things to Write About...

The driftglass blogger quotes a memorable line from the Brooks scribblings:

In a world of radical pluralism, we are all Jews.

Hell's Bells! Tomorrow I've got to call my two Republican Senators and tell them I've changed my mind about BDS - It Must Be Banned. Now that I've learned I'm a Jew, I sure don't want to be a Self Hating Jew. Screw them thar subhuman Palestinians.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 23 2019 20:23 utc | 100

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