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

« previous page

Re: P8,35,38,3 to 5, etc... I note the following bec there has not been 1 mention of mistranslation; a common problem. Were the Iranian statements in Farsi? Verbal or written? [e.g. "I loathe you" becomes "I love you"] Was the originator speaking or was it a spokesman for the originator? Who or what translated to English? What were their quals? Did the originator simply mis-speak or fail to review before hitting "post"? etc.

Just a reminder of the near impossibility of 100% accurate translations.

I once had to produce an English to Mandarin Chinese translation for a 1.5 page, business proposal. Had the original, written E translated to MC by a very bright E-as-2nd-Language person, fully literate in both, who I knew always consulted dictionaries, etc when in doubt. The MC version then was given to a 3rd party, who was also bi-literate, to read it back in E. Remarkably, it came out maybe 50% word-for-word the original E and the E meanings were so close in intent that we were all amazed.![I got the idea from Edgar Snow's method of translating Mao's autobio , wherein Snow had his E translation read back to Mao in Chinese
for Mao's verification.] As for jokes, puns, tones, facial expressions, sarcasm, exaggeration etc...foggeddaboudit!

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 24 2019 6:02 utc | 201

The Fact That Americans Need To Be Deceived Into War Proves Their Underlying Goodness -- Caitlin Johnstone


Carlson’s first guest, The American Conservative‘s Robert Merry, plainly stated the likely reason for Bolton’s deceitful manipulations, saying that Americans are typically reluctant to go to war and citing a few of the historical instances in which they were tricked into consenting to it by those who desire mass military violence.

“So, you’re saying that there is a long, almost unbroken history of lying our way into war?” Carlson asked his guest rhetorically.

“Lying sometimes, not always lying, sometimes it’s manipulations, but yeah,” Merry replied. “America’s warmaking history indicates that there’s been significant instances of that kind of maneuvering, manipulations, and in some instances lying–Vietnam is a great example–to get us into wars that the American people weren’t clamoring for.”

Both men are correct. The US empire does indeed have an extensive and well-documented history of using lies, manipulations and distortions to manufacture consent for war from a populace that would otherwise choose peace, and a Reuters poll released last month found that only 12 percent of Americans favor attacking Iranian military interests without having been attacked first.


What we are watching with Iran is a war propaganda narrative failing to get airborne. It was all set up and ready to go, they had the whole marketing team working on it, and then it faceplanted right on the linoleum. This is what a failed narrative management campaign looks like. It is possible for us to see this more and more.

Today I have a lot more hope. It’s becoming clear that the manipulations of the US war machine are becoming more and more obvious to more and more people and that everyday, regular Americans are reacting with a healthy amount of horror and revulsion. There was always the risk that the US population would already be sufficiently paced ahead of these revelations and there would be little to no reaction, but that didn’t happen. Americans are seeing what they’re doing, and they don’t like it, and they don’t want it.

And that makes me so happy. Come on Captain America. Save the day. The world is counting on you.

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 24 2019 6:33 utc | 202

Pompeo: 'I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole'

Mike Pompeo reveals true motto of CIA: 'We lied, we cheated, we stole'


Secretary Pompeo Participates in Q&A Discussion at Texas A&M University

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 24 2019 6:40 utc | 203

June 17 "Pompeo is heading to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters Monday. "There, he will meet with Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of Central Command, and Gen. Richard Clarke, commander of Special Operations Command, to discuss regional security concerns and ongoing operations," she said.

McKenzie is the Marine Corps general responsible for U.S. military operations in the Middle East, and Clarke is the Army general in charge of U.S. special forces"

June 19 "UN sources reveal that the United States is planning to carry out a “tactical assault” on an Iranian nuclear facility in response to recent attacks on two tankers in the Sea of Oman, which Washington and some of its allies blamed on Tehran without providing any credible evidence.

Diplomatic sources at the United Nations headquarters in New York told the Hebrew-language Israeli newspaper Maariv that they are weighing the United States’ plans to conduct the assault.

According to the officials, the White House has been holding incessant discussions involving senior military commanders, Pentagon representatives and advisers to US President Donald Trump since Friday, the Jerusalem Post reported.’_on_iran_nuclear_site_to_reciprocate_'tanker_attack'_report

June 20 "Iran’s IRGC force shoots down intruding US spy drone"’s_irgc_force_shoots_down_intruding_us_spy_drone

June 21 "A senior Iranian military commander says Iran has refrained from shooting down a US plane with 35 people on board that was accompanying an American spy drone which was shot down in the Persian Gulf after intruding into the Iranian airspace.

"Along with the US drone, there was also an American P-8 plane with 35 people on board," Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Aerospace Division of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), told reporters on Friday."

June 20 - Trump says the shoot down was likely caused by a rogue general. Although he said Iranian, perhaps he has in mind his own general in charge of Centcom.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 24 2019 7:13 utc | 204

psychohistorian @189--Read your link and congratulations on the awesome work with talk and thought and electronic phenomena identified with live, physical entities. That you have actual experience demonstrating predictable [beneficial] results is pioneering at its best. And it is surely expands the meaning and magic of communication. Thanks for sharing your continuing success.

Mankind needs better communication with a lighter touch to resolve its problems.

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 24 2019 7:14 utc | 205

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 24, 2019 1:41:49 AM | 194

Thanks for the frank and not at all cynical answer.

Every single slaver is dead. Every single slave is dead.

Right. But the descendants of these slaves remained, as well as the state - the heir of these slave owners. Germany is already in what generation it still pays reparations to Israel, and no one can name either the exact amount of compensation already paid, or the date of the end of such payments.

And the only problem is that neither black African-Americans nor red-skinned Native Americans have their own lobby like the Jewish, as well as the fact that they do not know such a thing as "chutzpah".

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 24 2019 7:49 utc | 206

Feeling The Heat Of A Civilization On The Downside


The political, financial, economic, and social foundations that have been in place over the last 75 years – and perhaps, over the last 220 years – are breaking down. And no policy directive, no interest rate adjustment, no trade tariff, no five year plan, no extraordinary measures, no green new deal, and no technocratic prevarication is going to stop it. Big Government doesn’t stand a chance.

The entire apparatus, from social welfare programs to a ridiculously complex capital structure, is based on perpetual growth. But growth, as we are all presently discovering, is ephemeral. The rapid creation of fake money by central planners may be able to forestall the downside that follows a mega-growth cycle. But it cannot avert it.


Remember, it takes prudence, wisdom, and industry to acquire and build wealth. The fact that central planners are attempting to circumvent these steps by issuing gobs of fake money is confirmation of a degraded human mind.

At this point, you can practically count the days until we suffer the ruin of their folly.

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 24 2019 8:04 utc | 207

Bolton Argues War With Iran Only Way To Avenge Americans Killed In Upcoming War With Iran -- The Onion

Addressing the future casualties in a somber and often-emotional press conference, John Bolton told reporters Thursday that a war with Iran was the only way to avenge Americans killed in an upcoming war with Iran. “Sadly, I believe direct military conflict with Iran is the only suitable response for the heartbreaking deaths of our troops in that upcoming military conflict,” said the national security advisor, noting that only by launching a ground invasion of the Islamic Republic could he ensure the thousands of U.S. troops who will perish in that ground invasion will not perish in vain. “It would be a dishonor to everything our brave men and women will sacrifice if we fail to send them into battle to retaliate for their eventual deaths. Then, and only then, can we truly close the book on this impending tragedy.” Bolton also announced plans to issue 15 preemptive Medals of Honor to military spouses who will be widowed after losing their husbands in the 2021 Battle of Tehran.

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 24 2019 8:10 utc | 208

Some interesting bits and pieces from the wikipedia page on the P-8.
"It is designed to operate in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle."

"During the P-8A Increment 2 upgrade in 2016, the APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS) will be replaced by the Advanced Airborne Sensor radar.[56]"

Advanced airborne sensor radar.
"The Advanced Airborne Sensor (AAS) is a multifunction radar installed on the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The radar is built by Raytheon as a follow-on to their AN/APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS).

The AAS has its roots in the highly classified AN/APS-149 LSRS, which was designed to provide multi-function moving target detection and tracking and high resolution ground mapping at standoff ranges covering land, littoral, and water areas. The radar was deployed on a small number of P-3C Orions, with "game changing" results. Containing a double-sided AESA radar with near 360-degree coverage, it could scan, map, track, and classify targets, and do all of these tasks near simultaneously; it was reportedly sensitive enough to pick up a formation of people moving over open terrain.[1]

Building upon the LSRS, the AAS also has a double-sided AESA radar, which contains a moving target indicator (MTI) that can detect, classify, and track targets on land and at sea at the same time, with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) for picture-like radar imagery of both inland and ocean areas at the same time; these can profile vessels from a long distance and generate fine resolution without relying on optical sensors, especially in day or night and in adverse weather conditions. Once it detects and classifies a hostile vessel, the P-8 can send targeting information to another armed platform and guide a networked weapon (e.g. Tomahawk cruise missiles, SLAM-ER, JASSM, LRASM, SDB II) to it through a data link. The AAS is in ways superior to the AN/APY-7 used on the U.S. Air Force's E-8 Joint STARS, looking both port and starboard rather than just being side-looking. Other potential missions could include detecting and tracking low flying and stealthy cruise missiles, communications relaying, and electronic warfare as a standoff platform to penetrate contested airspace, since AESA radars are capable of radar jamming, producing fake targets, frying electronic components, and even cyberwarfare.[1][2]"

The advanced airborne sensor helps throw some light on why the aircraft was there and videoing the drone shootdown.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 24 2019 8:23 utc | 209

@ karlof1 #164

"Either the United State of America is an Outlaw Nation or it is not"

The certainly fall under the definition of "Pirates", as defined by UNCLOS.

Posted by: OhOh | Jun 24 2019 8:36 utc | 210

reference in #208, should be #136

Posted by: OhOh | Jun 24 2019 8:38 utc | 211

How could Iran know how many people were on board the plane that was flying near the drone?

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Jun 24 2019 8:42 utc | 212

A Florida city agreed to pay $600,000 in ransom to hackers who took over its computer system, the latest in thousands of attacks worldwide aimed at extorting money from governments and businesses.

The Riviera Beach City Council voted unanimously this week to pay the hackers’ demands, believing the Palm Beach suburb had no choice if it wanted to retrieve its records, which the hackers encrypted. The council already voted to spend almost $1 million on new computers and hardware after hackers captured the city’s system three weeks ago.


Posted by: John Smith | Jun 24 2019 8:58 utc | 213

P-8 variants - From my previous wikipedia link...
P-8A Poseidon – Production variant developed for the U.S. Navy.
P-8I Neptune – Export variant for the Indian Navy.[170]
Poseidon MRA1 – Royal Air Force designation for the P-8A.[138]
P-8 AGS – An Airborne Ground Surveillance variant proposed to the United States Air Force in 2010 as an alternative to upgrades to the Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint STARS fleet.[38] Its design adds a pod-mounted, active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar on the bottom of the fuselage.[39]

The P-8 AGS is a different animal to the P-8 Poseidon. As far as I am aware, Iran has only stated a P-8 aircraft, without naming a version, was with the drone.

So back to my original thought that the drone was a decoy to light up SAM sites - the P-8 directing strikes on them with possibly more strikes further inland when coastal air defenses were taken out. The best laid plans coming unstuck when only one SAM site fired just the one missile.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 24 2019 9:01 utc | 214

Posted by: Rubberneck | Jun 23, 2019 8:46:33 PM | 155

What about Lula De Silva in Brazil?

Leaked Messages Confirm: Imprisonment of Brazil’s Lula da Silva was Politically Motivated

This week Glenn Greenwald and colleagues published in The Intercept articles based on initial analysis of a massive trove of internal communications between prosecutors and judges involved in Brazil’s corruption cases. An anonymous source had provided the material. To no one’s great surprise, these documents revealed that former president Lula da Silva’s prosecution and conviction were politically motivated (part one; part two; part three, with more to follow).

Political and social leaders, including Bernie Sanders, have called for Lula to be released and his conviction annulled (see this Common Dreams account, Bernie Sanders Says Former Brazilian President Lula Should Be Freed After Leaked Documents Expose ‘Politicized Prosecution’)

In this Real News Network interview, Mike Fox discusses the ramifications of these explosive revelations.

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 24 2019 9:22 utc | 215

@ Johny | 210

How could Iran know how many people were on board the plane that was flying near the drone?

1. They have spies in US bases across the Gulf.
2. They have state-of-the-art thermal imaging equipment.
3. PavewayIV version: there was no P-8, the subtle message was rather hinting at F-35, shadowing the drone. "We see your 'invisible plane' but choose not to destroy it to avoid the war, rather send the message by destroying the drone." Message delivered, US was saved from even bigger embarrassment, war was averted (for now).

Posted by: Harry | Jun 24 2019 9:36 utc | 216

A little more on the P-8 AGS.

"AN/APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS) is the first model in the radar family that adopts active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, and it is developed for littoral and overland surveillance radar. The wide-aperture radar is mounted in a ventral pod attached to the belly of the host aircraft by at least three attachment points. It can simultaneously track 1,600 targets at more than 500 km (304 miles)

In missions from peacekeeping operations to major theater war, the P-8 AGS can provide targeting data and intelligence for attack aviation, naval surface fire, field artillery and friendly maneuver forces. The information helps air and land commanders to control the battlespace.

The P-8 AGS' ground-moving radar can tell exact number of vehicles, location, speed, and direction of travel. It can identify exactly what type of vehicle a target is, tell what equipment it has, or discern whether it is friendly, hostile, or a bystander, a major improvement on the E-8. It is a jam-resistant system capable of operating while experiencing heavy electronic countermeasures."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 24 2019 9:48 utc | 218

If we're headed for regime change in Iran, get ready for a military draft. We'll need one. -- USA Today

Our leaders seem interested in toppling Iran's theocracy. But do they want a new U.S. military draft? Because make no mistake, that's what it will take.


Any serious effort to end the Iranian theocracy will not only require American troops, but will also almost certainly break our vaunted All-Volunteer Force If you like the idea of regime change in Iran, you had better love the idea of a new American draft.

We have seen for decades that American air power alone is insufficient to topple a government, [...]. Our Sunni Arab allies are stalemated in Yemen and distinctly averse to sending troops to Syria. The idea that they would invade or occupy Iran is risible. The Washington regime change crowd’s preferred Iranian proxy is a hated cult called Mujahideen-e Khalq.

But if the mullahs are to be overthrown, it will be by American soldiers and Marines. Even if the Islamic Republic were to somehow collapse on its own, concerns about radiological material, the security of the Strait of Hormuz or another massive wave of refugees would probably drive the intervene with ground troops.

U.S. politicians and generals sometimes like to point out that the volunteer military has successfully endured a decade and a half of sustained combat and a ceaseless cycle of deployments. This is not the whole story.

Despite the enormous amount of money expended there, Iraq was by historical measures a low-intensity war. Total combat deaths for American forces over eight years were about the size of a brigade, and losses in Afghanistan roughly half that. Yet a modest increase in force structure required the military to greatly lower its standards, doubling felony waivers for Army recruits from 2003 to 2006, for instance.

A massive increase in the use of civilian contractors (more than 50 times the ratio in Vietnam) also hid the volunteer system's cracks. The All-Volunteer Force was barely able to sustain two large, but low-casualty, campaigns — neither of which has resulted in anything resembling a U.S. strategic victory.

Occupying Iran would be a challenge of an entirely different magnitude than Iraq or Afghanistan.


The force with which we would occupy Iran is also not as resilient as most Americans probably think. Even now, in a time when most troops are not seeing direct combat, the the volunteer force is struggling just to maintain numbers and standards. The Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy are each short of a full quarter of their required fighter pilots. The Army recently announced that it is already 12,000 recruits behind on its recruiting goal for 2018 and will not make mission.

The Pentagon stated last year that 71% of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are ineligible to serve in the U.S. military, most for reasons of health, physical fitness, education, or criminality. The propensity of this age group to serve is even lower. The likely demands and casualties of a war in Iran would spell the end of the All-Volunteer Force, requiring the conscription of Americans for the first time since 1973.

There is ample evidence that American foreign policy elites haven’t learned much from Iraq or Afghanistan; one need only look at the latest headlines from Libya or Syria. But perhaps even our modern Bourbons in Washington can grasp one simple lesson from the post-9/11 campaigns: Wars have an uncanny tendency to take on a life of their own.

Regime change in Iran would bring a host of consequences, many of them unknowable, but almost all of them negative for America and the region. There is one outcome we can be sure of, however: Occupying Iran would be the death of America’s all-volunteer military and necessitate a return to a draft.

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 24 2019 10:04 utc | 219

notwithstanding the thousands of speculative words regarding whatever's going on way up in the sky over the Gulf of Oman, i just wanted to reiterate NJDuke @ 18...3 hours.

Mark Skidmore's missing 21 trillion has been superseded by FASAB 56, which essentially renders any federal financial statement meaningless.

so, if you have even a modicum of concern for the rule-of-law, or perhaps you're expecting to receive a pension some day, i'd highly recommend you give it a listen. yes, it's 3 hours, but she touches on just about everything.

Americans in particular might be interested to learn just how sovereign they aren't.

Posted by: john | Jun 24 2019 10:07 utc | 220

Isn't that amazing, that I've not seen a single photo with Trump (or Tulsi Gabbard for that matter, and a fewothers ) showing publicly signs of "devils horns" or "Eye of the Horus" as almost all other celebrities, politicians, "billionaires", rulers (Bill Gates, Branson, Obamas, Clintons, Bushes, Rockefellers, Rothschildes, Beyonce, ) of the West have over the years?

It's pretty clear to benevolent, astute geopolitical observers that Trump's threats, sword rattling, pompuos statements are just smoke and mirrors to confuse the enemy - "Third Force", global Borg, NWO, international conglomerate of "Deep states", military-industrial-financial complex - and to stir up things so that the scum would rise to the top where the public eye can clearly see it and learn about it mischievous operations. In reality no real harm has been done by President Trump to Venezuelan, Syrian, Iraqui, Iranian, or Korean societies - all sanctions have been succesfully cirumvented by the Sino-Russian alliance, disantling in the process the global FED/City slavery system.

Only paid trolls by the global bankster cabal rooted in secret societies and cults or useful idiots can still incessantly bash Trump as an idiot, an evil doer, or an imperial shill. Whereas almost nobody in history has done so much for the global "Exposure" - the revealing of the evil operating until now behind the curtains.

This is what arch-globalist Zbigniew Brzeziński was scared of - over a couple of years before his death he was warning that never in history so many people were "awake and aware" of the real mechanism of the world affairs, "it's now easier to kill a million people than control them".

When soon that global awareness reaches some critical mass will learn who really was behind assassinating JFK, RFK, JFK Jr, attempts on Reagan's and John Paul II's lifes, WTC bombings, 9/11, "mass shootings", vanishing MH370 and many more...

Recent whole "Iranian" debacle just shows that everything's been according to the plan.

I highly recommend listening to Dave from the X22 Report and Sir Patrick Mack from the IPOT.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Jun 24 2019 10:25 utc | 221

Ottawa promised to bring 10 members of Syria’s White Helmets to Canada. One year later, they languish in a Jordanian camp

Last summer, Canada helped members of the famed rescue group escape from Syria and was supposed to welcome them to this country last fall. So why are they still in the Middle East and kept in near isolation?

This shit is necessary for their Western masters only to do their dirty work in Syria and a beautiful staging picture for the media.

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 24 2019 10:29 utc | 222

From John Smith's quote from USA Today:

The Pentagon stated last year that 71% of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are ineligible to serve in the U.S. military, most for reasons of health, physical fitness, education, or criminality.

I want to underline how conscription won't change those numbers in any way (although they are sure to be changed in order to pretend otherwise as needed).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 24 2019 11:17 utc | 223

The end of the European Dream:

Eurozone is likely going through period of 'Japanification,' ING Group says

Posted by: vk | Jun 24 2019 11:39 utc | 224

@vk - #222

The ECB-CSPP description
and here is the CSV-File with the Companies under CSPP to download

Enjoy it.

Posted by: Bob | Jun 24 2019 12:02 utc | 225


Not to be drawn into any argument, as it is pointless without full information, meaning I respect the B-team view, though I intuit b's view, and this is how it should be, with various observers tracking their own perception and then discussing and debating and comparing their opinion...

“If the Islamic Republic of Iran were determined to prevent export of oil from the Persian Gulf, that determination would be realized in full and announced in public, in view of the power of the country and its Armed Forces.”

Can be read as meaning that if they choose to get serious, you would know about it and no attempt at deniability would be made. In other words it does not preclude that the current events are warnings by Iran , affected from within a deniability that allows both sides to avoid committing to open hostility.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 24 2019 12:33 utc | 226

For those interested in the Big Picture behind events leading up to the Hong Kong extradition law impasse, the essay below by longtime Hong Kong columnist Nuri Vittachy gives a detailed sequence.
Nury has posted his article on his FaceBook, and those who have such an account may also read it there.
Suffice to say, there is always plenty of Western mainstream disinformation and provocateurs in the mix.

China leader Xi Jinping was not behind the attempt to introduce an extradition law in Hong Kong, well-placed sources say. Nor did it originate with Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
The real story is quite different. And although I am sorry I cannot name the sources for the report below, this account rings true to me. For a start, it indicates that a lot of what journalists like me have been saying was not correct. Read it if you wish, and make up your own mind.
In 1994, an extraordinary meeting was held between police detectives from British Hong Kong, Portuguese Macau, and communist Guangzhou. They talked about the possibilities of working jointly on cross-border crime. It seemed a tall order: the future was full of political uncertainties.
A quarter of a century later, in 2019, Hong Kong had blossomed into a genuine oddity: a city in China with a world-class, independent legal system.
Civil servants were proud that the city was repeatedly rated number one for judicial independence in Asia by the Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum.
In the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, Hong Kong was ranked 16th for its rule of lawigher than many Western countries. In the World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators project, Hong Kong scored an impressive 93 for rule of law.
But there was a little problem.
The communitylawyers knew Hong Kong was weak on international co-operation against crime, having few extradition treaties.
This was awkward as the Chinese coastal city had signed a United Nations pledge to significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows [and] strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets.
And then Hong Kong was criticized by the G7 Financial Action Task Force, which said it had a significant deficit in this area and was undermining international collaboration.
Critics of Hong Kong weakness pointed to the UN Model Treaty on Extradition which made it clear that in the name of justice, states had an obligation to extend extradition treaties.
In the entire 22-year history of Hong Kong, China, only 100 people had been extradited, mostly fugitives put on planes to the United States.
This needed fixing. Hong Kong civil servants reviewed the literature.
Jurisdictions which claim to uphold the rule of law need extradition treaties as a social justice issue, said the writers of an influential 2011 UK report on extradition.
Extradition must NOT be limited to places with similar legal systems. States have increasingly recognized that effective extradition should operate on the basis of mutual trust and confidence (not suspicion and disrespect)." Extradition treaties forced other places to follow rule-of-law procedures in handling fugitives.
Extradition treaties and were particularly necessary for places which shared borders, such as neighbouring states, it said.
Britain signed extradition treaties with numerous countries with abysmal human rights records, such as Iraq and Zimbabwe. America signed deals with the Congo, Myanmar and El Salvador.
In Hong Kong, Department of Justice staff prepared to follow the leads of Western countries in this area. Simple, right?
Under the surface in China , the internal enemies of Premier Xi Jinping were slamming him hard on two fronts, Beijing sources say.
One was the China-US trade war, which was now causing easily detectable damage to their country’s economic indicators. And the other was the rise in illegal capital outflows, often through underground banks to Hong Kong, where it distorted the property markets.
At some stage, it became clear that Xi’s people (but likely not Xi himself) would have been told about routine legal developments in Hong Kong, as a part of periodic briefings.
Some people say that China’s illegal cash outflow problem to Hong Kong would have been mentioned at this time, but that remains speculation.
In Hong Kong, the civil servants proposal for the lengthening of the extradition countries list was filed in February. At this point, the job was under the remits of Justice secretary Teresa Cheng and Security secretary John Lee.
Then, in March, there was a moment of high drama. A man in Hong Kong confessed to murder overseas but could not be arrested for it. The incident wasn’t just dangerous, worrying, and embarrassing but it made real the glaring hole in Hong Kong ability to manage international crime.
But as the expansion of extradition treaties was discussed, activists noticed that China was NOT excluded in the proposals and saw red.
Just two years earlier, a decision to allow co-operation between Chinese and Hong Kong immigration channels at a railway station in Kowloon had caused dire predictions of doom.
In the face of criticism from activists, Chief Executive Carrie Lam encouraged security minister Lee to explain the amendment better.
Hong Kong extradition law, based on the UN model used in the west, was simple at heart, he said. It targeted fugitives suspected of one or more of a limited list of serious crimes, including murder and rape. The caseload was expected to be very small.
Offenders accused of crimes related to politics and religion would automatically be untouchable. Tax-related matters were added to the exemptions list. ALL decisions would be made by Hong Kong legal community.
Reviewing the proposal, some lawyers felt the built-in safeguards (such as right of appeal) were strong, while others felt they were not. Some lawyers at the Bar Association pointed to weaknesses in the wording which needed to be changed. This was not unusual for new laws or amendments. Lawyers with an anti-government stance made dire predictions which were not necessarily impossible but were highly unlikely.
A number of activists interpreted this discussion as proof that the legal community agreed that the amendment was a ploy by a CCP puppet government who wanted to silence them. The media, hungry for drama, overwhelmingly featured the angriest, most negative interpretations.
On May 1, China critic Gordon C. Chang (known for his 2002 book The Coming Collapse of China) wrote a widely circulated essay claiming that Beijing was behind the amendment.
Beijing, with methodical ruthlessness, is trying to bring Hong Kong to heel,, he wrote. Many believe new rules facilitating the sending of suspects to China would effectively allow Beijing to grab people at will and thereby completely control the city.
Grab people at will? Frustrated pro-extradition lawyers said: If this was true, tourists could not visit UK without being in danger of being snatched by Zimbabwe and tourists visiting the United States could be snatched by the Congolese government But who ould believe that?
The fears fanned by Chang and others spread fast. Soon, the main narrative for much of the Western media was that a corrupt Hong Kong civil service was following Beijing secret orders to destroy the city rule of law, with brave youths nobly resisting.
Typical was Vox headline: The Fight to Save Hong Kong..Time magazine had: Hong Kong's Extradition Law Would be a Victory for Authoritarianism Everywhere. Quartz had Hong Kong is in the fight of its life.
Perhaps the root of the misunderstanding was the problem of scale. Hong Kong existing extradition arrangements only handled four or five cases a year. Even if the amendment caused the number to double or triple, it would still be a tiny number.
Yet activists gave the impression that tens of thousands of people were in imminent danger of being dragged over the border to mainland jails: a genuinely terrifying prospect.
Hong Kong end game: why the extradition bill is an infinity stone that could decimate half of society, said a headline in the Hong Kong Free Press over a melodramatic call to action by lawyer-activist Jason Ng.
The number of complaints, from sensible suggestions to fantastical allegations, were so large they could not be ignored.
Carrie Lam took the ball from Lee’s court and headed north. (Mrs Lam periodically reports to Zhongnanhai in Beijing in the same way that Hong Kong’s British leaders periodically reported to Whitehall in London.)
In May, she reported to Central People government representatives that Hong Kong people had significant anxieties about the extradition amendment her people were trying to introduce.
But she said that she felt it was worth continuing. A significant portion of society was in in favor of the amendment, although their positive declarations went largely unreported.
Her complaint was fair. News articles blithely implied that businesses, diplomats and lawyers were all united against the law, but this was not the case.
All five of Hong Kong biggest business organizations (The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, The Chinese Manufacturers Association of Hong Kong, The Federation of Hong Kong Industries, and The Hong Kong Chinese Importers and Exporters Association) were in favor of the legislation, and most urged the government to pass it as soon as possible.
Hong Kong consular officials, after a detailed briefing on the amendment, came on side, recognizing the positive intentions and close similarity to their own extradition laws.
Many senior lawyers were in favor, too although the mainstream media and social media preferred to give airtime only to the others.
Dramatic interpretations of what some people believed the amendment really meant, ie, the total loss of all freedom in Hong Kong, proliferated through social media. This led, on June 9, to a peaceful protest march of hundreds of thousands of people (but probably not a million: no self-respecting journalist takes the organizer estimate as hard fact).
Afterwards, many journalists (including the present writer) confidently speculated that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam would have spent the evening in deep consultation with her ultimate boss, Xi Jinping, over what to do next.
In fact, we appear to have been wrong again. Xi Jinping was never involved, and there was no consultation that day between Mrs. Lam and Beijing. She told reporters she and her team spent the day monitoring events in Hong Kong and had no contact with the north.
The media portrayed the story as the Hong Kong government made this amendment [as a result of the] instruction of the Beijing government, said Chinese official Liu Xiaoming on June 12. As a matter of fact, Beijing central government gave no instruction, no order about making amendment. This amendment was initiated by the Hong Kong government.
On Saturday, 15 June, Mrs. Lam put the amendment plan on hold. She and her team remain undecided on next steps.
The real story of this amendment begins as a mundane tale of civil servants trying to fix a shortcoming they spotted in a rather technical ordinance. But perhaps the heart of the story is something else: evidence of a deep well of mistrust of China.
Recently in Guangzhou, the top CID officers of Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong met for their 25th anniversary annual confab, celebrating a long and impressive record of successful joint crime-busting operations.
But that meeting didn’t fit the present media narrative, so went unreported by the mainstream media.
And that is why wise people read widely, talk to many people, and make up their own minds about what is going on and then, hopefully, realize that a positive future is possible. But it requires collaboration. The message of 1994 is clear--what is needed is co-operative hands reaching over walls.

Posted by: LittleWhiteCabbage | Jun 24 2019 13:32 utc | 227

@ Johny | 210
How could Iran know how many people were on board the plane that was flying near the drone?

USNI published info that a drone was flown from the US to Qatar on June 15. Qatar is an Iran ally. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24 2019 13:46 utc | 228

@ Anon 226
Can be read as meaning that if they [Iranians] choose to get serious, you would know about it
Probably it would be mining the Strait waters, which would necessarily include a warning.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24 2019 13:53 utc | 229

Globalism will not be defeated by "neo-nationalism". Historically, nationalism is the cause of trade war, cold war, hot war, racism, fascism.

Strange to have to so baldly explain these facts to a supposedly leftist website. Or even one that fancies itself post-ideological.

Or wtf. Nationalism is not a leftist construct in any way shape or form.

No, this time will not be different. The EU, NATO, the Soviet Bloc all were created postwar precisely to counter the epically historic catastrophe of European nationalism.

That Europe has known relative peace and prosperity since the end of WWII is not an accident of history. The Iraq War, the internet, the Obama Administration's foreign policy naivete and global warming all contributed to the instability which shattered the postwar Middle East political equilibrium. In turn, this fed millions of refugees into the unforgiving arms of a Europe which wants to remain closed in on itself and its decrepit caucasian ethos.

Globalism will not be defeated by China, Russia and Iran working in concert. First, because each of these nations are globalist in economic outlook. Second, they are not working in concert to defeat globalisation any more than Russia, Israel, Saudi or the US are working in concert to defeat globalisation.

Constantly predicting this phony alliance won't ever make it so.

China and the US will end their trade war eventually because it is in the best interest of the multinational corporations of both countries to do so.

There will be no war with Iran because it is not in the best interest of the multinational corporations controlling US politics to do so.

Trump is not a perfect tool of nationalism, he is a defective tool of globalism. He represents the slide to an international fascism bound at the top of fake nationalist authoritarians who fancy the .01% worldwide above the needs of their own subjects. Government by the multinational corporations for the multinational corporate shareholders.

Trump's only hope to remain in power is to create a constant wartime crisis atmosphere without leading to war (so he can take credit)....or else to suspend the Constitution because of a "crisis".

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 24 2019 13:55 utc | 230

@ donkeytale 230
The EU, NATO, the Soviet Bloc all were created postwar precisely to counter the epically historic catastrophe of European nationalism.
Yes, good, plus NATO came with a built-in Supreme Allied Commander from the US to maintain control of those rowdy Europeans, keep them weak, promote US policy and encourage them to buy US military gear.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24 2019 14:11 utc | 231


Globalism will not be defeated by China, Russia and Iran working in concert.

I don't think they're trying to defeat "Globalism", I think they're trying to defeat fascism on a global scale.

Zionist supremacist ideology + globalism = global fascism.

The economic benefits of "Globalism" have gone most to a neoliberal oligarch interests that are in cahoots with Western governments. And, as a block, they support MIC, dollar hegemony, etc. so as to secure and extend their gains.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 24 2019 14:27 utc | 232

229 Mr. Bacon

So you are saying that if vessels get mined and Iran has not declared that it has mined then it is the work of the B-team ?

Mining could err into the realm of plausible denial, or be declared. I think what he is saying is that if the straights were closed fully you would know about it, and that would be overt attacks on shipping, probably including missile...but only after declaration.

Many years ago I visited a small harbour on the tip of ras al khaimah, it probably no longer exists after all the recent construction. I don't even know what trade relations were at the time, so hard to put a proper perspective (early '90s), but there was a fleet of small power boats that traded between UAE and Iran there, they would take electronics and bring back Iranian goods. The skipper of one told me the Iranian patrols would open fire on them with machine guns, without hesitation, that it was always a dash, sometimes as a group. Just an anecdote.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 24 2019 14:43 utc | 233

John Smith @219

I think there will be no draft. When the Roman Republic turned into the Roman Empire, the Roman army became increasingly dependent on fierce "barbarians" to fill its ranks. Eventually these barbarians became the Roman army. The US certainly uses an extensive force of "proxies" around the world. I expect that foreign fighters will be recruited into the US armed forces with the promise of money and citizenship. Then you will know that the Republic is well and truly dead.

Posted by: TheBAG | Jun 24 2019 14:53 utc | 234

@ TheBAG 234
... with the promise of money and citizenship.
The Army has missed recruiting goals, so they've bee recruiting foreigners with promises of citizenship. And then. . ."Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned." . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24 2019 15:02 utc | 235

I would like to offer another reason why the US is determined to effect regime change in Iran. Iran is on the forefront of the war on drugs. According to this article from FARS, US Undermining Iran's Role

"Iran accounts for 80% of the opium being seized in the world, Zarif said, putting the amount of opium seized by the Iranian forces 800 tons last year."

"The Iranian police officials maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has undergone a 40-fold increase since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001."

Remember the Opium Wars in China from 1839-1860?

Posted by: TheBAG | Jun 24 2019 15:06 utc | 236

I've had a planned post sitting idle in the back of my mind for the last ten days or so due to travelling, the flu, etc, and just haven't managed to find the time to get it out, so here belatedly is a quickie version of it (actually only one aspect of several), because It's important!:

Concerning the tanker attacks, B's postulations of Iran's strategy, and Magnier's response citing Iranian sources - I don't buy it, and never did, for many reasons, many of which have already been discussed. I think there is a very important twist that has been left out.

The tanker attacks were not done by Iran. The US has the smoking gun, but that was planted in their hands by Israel, who were the most probable culprits behind the attacks. Netanyahoo is waiting for new elections, with criminal indictments hot on his tail. His only motivation for the tanker attacks is ultimately to save his skin from the criminal pursuit.

Now comes the sting: Iran has top class humint on Israel, and would have known about their plans for the tanker attacks in advance, probably in detail. Being 10 steps ahead of everybody else, the Iranians decided to use the tanker attacks to their own advantage - which is exactly what we are seeing now (although I think we see only the smallest tip of the iceberg).

I think the Iranians were by the time of the tanker attacks already ready to carry out covert attacks, of which some of the proxy attacks such as Houthi attacks on pipelines and airports etc might have been examples. The tanker attacks themselves are not Iran's style, and this type of attacks are not in Iran's interest (at least under the conditions prevailing so far, though as we get closer and closer to open warfare that changes) - but encouraging ambiguity about whether Iran was responsible, and even actively encouraging attributions was very much in Iran's interests. Why? Because Iran had prior intelligence, and was actively out to record everything as it happened and get incriminating evidence against the US and Israel. Their desire was to encourage the US to publish as much fake evidence as possible, and when the time is ripe Iran will come out with the real evidence blowing the US position wide open.

Iran's emphasis on going it alone rather than their ever closer partnership with Russia and China was just part of the deception - probably Russia and China are briefed on the Iranian strategy in detail - that partnership is as solid as the strongest rock. Frankly, I think some of the things Khamenei said were wildly implausible and rather stupid to fully believe (like the implied fragility of the Iran-Russia-China relationships!!!) - but even that was an intrinsic part of their game, because the deception is aimed at stupid people blinded by hubris, and once the targets have fallen into the trap they will be seen to be even more stupid for having fallen for it.

Unlike the US, the Iranians are sensitive to what can be justified under international law and what cannot. Where an action is clearly against international law, they would obviously have to have good grounds to believe that they could get away with it, even if things went wrong, and benefits would have to outweigh risks.

That is really just a taster, there are lots of other aspects that tie in with it - appologies for not presenting this theory more clearly and pulling all the threads together, but I'm afraid my flu-befuddled mind is not up to that at this moment! Anyone interested can no doubt explore it further for themselves as an exercise for the reader!

Posted by: BM | Jun 24 2019 15:11 utc | 237

jackrabbit...thanks.. that still doesn't rule out stealth attacks as i see it... i just can't rule that out, but as i said a few threads ago - i give it 10% or less odds..

psychohistorian... good luck in all of that... thanks for the update..

peter au.. thanks for the posts and your ruminations on all of it..

@236 the bag... that is an interesting and ongoing topic.. thanks for sharing farsnews and iranian take on that..

Posted by: james | Jun 24 2019 15:16 utc | 238

@237 bm... thanks bm.. makes sense and can't be ruled out.. i give it higher odds too.

Posted by: james | Jun 24 2019 15:18 utc | 239

mk @199--

Thanks for that. But I'm trying to find the earliest mention, not one made many hours afterward. IOW, I want another source besides Magnier as he's not infallible having produced misinformation before.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 24 2019 15:19 utc | 240

JR and Don Baconite

Don's point is, of course, true (also fits in with the point I'm making, as the nations of Western, Central and Eastern Europe were all de-nationalised militarily for their own good postwar) as are JR's except the following is imho slightly off base:

I don't think [Russia, China, Iran are] trying to defeat "Globalism", I think they're trying to defeat fascism on a global scale.

Russia is increasingly allied with Israel...and Saudi Arabia too for that matter...and also seeks accommodation with the US. Putin is a fascist. He wants to get out from under the yoke of Amerikkkan sanctions and in the long game try to defeat the US, but he's not trying to defeat fascism by any stretch. He would welcome a fascist US ally with open arms. Trump wants that too, imho, but his "deep state" and corporate pay masters remain too skeptical, along with at least half of US public opinion.

China is defending itself against Trump's trade war. Otherwise, China and the US form what is the largest two-nation trading bloc in the history of the world. There will be tensions for sure no matter who is in charge but "trying to defeat fascism on a global scale?" China operates a fascistic regime. Its international focus is purely on growing its corporate strength in corners of the world that have been traditionally badly served by US/Euro corporate imperialism.

Whether they are doing "better" for these African, Asian and Latin countries still remains to be seen and also beside the point I'm making.

For Chinese/US relations, no Trump = no trade war. And the rumours of linkage between China and Russia are overblown. There is in fact very little Russia can do for China other than provide oil and very little China is willing to for Russia other than provide some diplomatic cover, which it doesn't actually do very often, at least overtly.

The history (and the likely future) of China/Russian relations is frosty and rivalrous.

As for Iran, once again, no Trump, no cold nor hot war with Iran. The Iranians are no more allied with China and Russia than China and Russia are allied with the EU/US or each other. These multipolar relationships are not set in concrete but are reactive as a result of events, many of them created by Trump though his sheer forced drive to create nationalist wedges inside the globalist econonmy. That is what China and Russia object too. So do in fact most Amerikkkans.

JR, I'm not trying to get into a pissing contest with you here and I take it you don't want one either. I will say I agree with many of your comments related to the current "crisis" between Iran and Trump that you have made the last week or so...and also not looking to further pollute the thread with a contentious back and forth.

I'm fairly content with the veracity of the world view I put forth in the above comment. It is historically sound and class-based. I'm open to being criticised and changing my mind based on evidence so thanks for the comments.

My sense of China is that as a developing capitalist economy they have made extraordinary gains during the prior decades however, as they ascend to the highest stage of capitalism ("imperialism") they will not be immune from the same lifecycle issues that befall all empires.

Imho, if you believe otherwise you are ignoring history and practicing religion.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 24 2019 15:35 utc | 241

And I add, I don't necessarily mean "you" Jackrabbit or Don Bacon are practicing religion but referring to the many who automatically believe China's is "The Way" leading to mankind's salvation...

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 24 2019 16:11 utc | 242

donkeytale: I'm not trying to get into a pissing contest

I don't want a pissing contest either so I'll refrain from commenting further but I think others will challenge you on some parts of what you've written.

You already know that IMO the reality of global inter-connectedness and the truism that oligarchs collude against the people fails to account for the simmering conflicts that we see between USA+allies and countries such as Russia, China, and Iran.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 24 2019 16:12 utc | 243

Tehran’s overall approach is based on the “war on oil” doctrine adopted in the Summer of 2005. Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, then the Expediency Council Chairman and Iran’s most influential strategist, articulated the importance of a national oil war strategy. He called for a comprehensive war plan — a “Big Bang” strategy — which would drastically alter the strategic posture in the Middle East and the global confrontation with the US-led West, by depriving the West of stable oil supplies. The “war on oil” was adopted as the national strategy by then Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad.

The strategy was based on a three tier/ring approach.

The first Tier/Ring — The Core — aims to attack and disrupt the production and transporting of oil and gas in the areas immediately surrounding Iran. Tehran planned on implementing its contingency plans through various forces, from overt and covert acts of war by Iranian forces to a myriad of terrorist strikes and covert operations by a web of both Shi’ite and Sunni Islamist-jihadist groups. The main missions of the Iranian forces and their proxies included blocking the Strait of Hormuz and destroying oil installations in the Persian Gulf, sinking tankers in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, shelling oil installations in the eastern parts of the Arabian Peninsula (should terrorism fail), and covertly assisting Iraqi forces in destroying Iraq’s energy infrastructure.The special training programs which were established in Winter 2005-06 to facilitate implementation of the “war on oil” have vastly expanded since then.


Posted by: anthony | Jun 24 2019 16:14 utc | 244


You already know that IMO the reality of global inter-connectedness and the truism that oligarchs collude against the people fails to account for the simmering conflicts that we see between USA+allies and countries such as Russia, China, and Iran.

Yes, I do understand well our differences of opinion....however, as you know, I say simply remove Trump (and/or nationalism) from the equation and these "simmering conflicts" quickly reduce the boil all the way down to lowlevel, mundane globalist trade frictions that were and will continue to be highly manageable---by the elites to the benefit of the elites, of course---.

Trump's nationalist tendencies are the fly in all the ointments and therefore how can anyone seeing this then not believe nationalism is the cause of conflict?

And yes, I do welcome challenges to my thoughts from anybody and everybody....thanks.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 24 2019 16:27 utc | 245

BM @ 237
That theory has the ring of truth about it. It seems to tick all the box’s ! Yes !
It reminds me exactly of what U.K. did two or three years ago with the two London Bridge attacks and Manchester bomb ! Plus the skripal false flag poisoning ! The prior knowledge giving advantage !
I’m told Iranians are extremely good at playing chess ! if I were a gambler I’d put my money on Iran for that reason, US Israel did it. Iran managed it, a perfect gambit !!

Regarding Flu ! Slice some onions and put them in your socks ! Best remedy going ! (From Somerset UK)

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 24 2019 16:35 utc | 246

"France, Britain and Germany have sent an official diplomatic warning to Iran about the serious consequences Tehran faces if it scales back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, two European diplomats said." Aljazeera

This sort of approach from Europe (US does not keep commitment but Iran expected to) is going to mess Iran around. US pres. says not US job to secure shipping, sort of overlooks that shipping is threatened due to US motion on Iran.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 24 2019 16:43 utc | 247

Peter AU 1 @218--

Thanks for all your writing about Outlaw US Empire radar capabilities! Here's a brief look at Iran's long wave stealth detecting radars. IMO, when it comes to expertise in any scientific field, Nature doesn't play favorites so any nation can discover what any other nation has, although the path from discovery to workable technology will vary based on a variety of variables. For any nation emphasizing defense, it makes perfect sense to develop your eyes as best you can so you can see what confronts you long before it arrives. Such is the working rationale I've employed in evaluating Iran's Air Defense capabilities. All those capabilities you described the Empire having Iran could also already have. The hubristic notion that the Outlaw US Empire is second to none when it comes to advanced technology has already proven to be a weakness since it automatically underestimates the opposing force's ability. I can't prove it, but based on reactions I'll wager an intruding aircraft will only get verbal warnings to leave Iran's airspace, and when the intruder refuses it gets summarily shot down with no further warnings at all as I wrote previously--no radar lock alarm, just boom and done.

The Empire's inaction we see is actually in reaction to the above revelation--instead of stealth airplanes suddenly you're confronted with a stealth air defense. And that's the reason why Iran doesn't need the S-400, which much is written about. And unlike Klingons and Romulans, the system doesn't decloak when it needs to open fire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 24 2019 17:01 utc | 248

I agree with Don Bacon's points about the role of Israel.

Kristan hinton 27 posted: Consider that Israel and the USA are one entity.

Ok! The 51st State. One with special privileges, as it is far off, and takes on a particular role.

Just like other US States, it is called on to support US policy, what the US is striving for, wants, etc. It thereby is completely dependent on the Hegemon US, as an umbrella - for massive direct funding, indefatigable support on the intl stage (e.g. at UN, relations with Arab countries, etc.), lucrative business and banking ties, military matériel and defense/offense capacities, etc.

Is. is the little yappy dog that plays victim till the sun stops setting, forcing everyone to award it special privileges (Germany, EU, the W public, etc., while it is a dictatorial, immensely corrupt, apartheid territory) as this suits the US and the US can - for now - enforce that.

Is. thus has to maintain ‘antagonism / hate’ towards ‘Ayrabs’ and be hyperactive on that front, endlessly oppressing and killing off the local Palestinians and be in hysterical fear of others like Iran, who in a different world might be natural allies (Persians not Arabs, quite tolerant…)… adopting US objectives as their own.

‘Peace’ in Isr. will never be allowed by the US. Is. knows this. The rich, the oligarchs, those in control, just keep all this chugging along. For profit, for the mansions, the yachts, the bling, the killing domination thrill, etc.

Isr. is an ally of KSA + their satellites .. Islamophobia and muslim terrorists etc. etc. are fake constructs. The alliances have nothing to do with religion, ethnicity, world-views, local disputes, types of Gvmt, social issues, etc. but merely reflect power relationships.

Both Is. and KSA are locked into a symbiotic dependency ties with the US. They survive because they - OBEY.

(> also bevin at 58.)

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 24 2019 17:03 utc | 249

as israel elections approach in september i sense a potential conflict of interest between trump and netanyahu. it's in netanyahu's political interest for trump to attack iran as kind of an election gift to netanyahu, the way he paved the way for the golan as a gift for the last election. but attacking iran will have the opposite effect for trump in US elections.

lindsey graham said last weekend israel would attack iran and US would 'come to israel's aid'. this was the scenario jeffrey goldberg wrote about in 2010, as i recall there was some question as to whether they could count on obama to back up israel if they attacked first and that guarantee was not forthcoming. since graham is a reliable mouth piece for the lobby floating this scenario again at this time gives it more weight. if netanyahu were to make the opening salvo that launched off US attacking iran this would be the greatest gift for netanyahu's reelection.

the pressure will increase on trump to attack iran. if he doesn't would israel attack first to thrust US into war with iran? only if they got a guarantee from team trump first. a real nightmare scenario as i wouldn't put it past bolton to imply that guarantee to israel. just a thought with the 2 upcoming elections. what else does trump have to offer netanyahu? the ok for annexation before the election? i don't see that happening in a pre election cycle.

Posted by: annie | Jun 24 2019 17:26 utc | 250

Just read Magnier's account of the drone shootdown and found it to be contradictory in several places and of little use. I doubt we'll ever know the truth of the matter. But in such cases, the first information provided often proves to be the best. Given that premise, modifying PavewayIV's scenario seems appropriate in order to account for the initial anomalies. In the sky trespassing into Iranian airspace was the drone, the P-8, and an F-35, all of which are designed to work together as a team. The drone was chosen as the target because it's unmanned. If a cyberattack was actually launched, it likely failed because Iran's air defense system's computer net is closed, insulated, which doesn't allow the opportunity for anything to penetrate.

What the Outlaw US Empire has encountered in Iran has caused it to pause and reevaluate a great number of issues, and not just with Iran, but with Russia and China, too. And the politics at home aren't working out as planned. The resistance is very vocal and given voice by MSM thus short-circuiting the Narrative. And confusion reigns within the Current Oligarchy. Dusk is falling over the Persian Gulf; what will rise on the morrow?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 24 2019 18:13 utc | 251

@Noirette #248

I must admit, I really don't understand where you are going with that post, Noirette.

Why are the US and Israel any more "one entity" than the US and the UK which has a much longer and closer cultural history than Israel?

Why is Israel "the 51st state" rather than Ireland or Germany?

Does Hawaii get "special privileges because it is far off?"

Israel, in point of fact, is by no means inclined to obey on any issue important to it. It largely does what it wants and uses its lobby to impose its will. It has flouted US attempts to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons and to impose limitations on its "settlements" in the West Bank. It killed a US national on the Mavi Marmara in 2009, and the US didn't say a thing. It refused to extradite the fraudster who sent threatening and extortionate messages to Jewish Community Centers in the US in 2017 (an action which itself led to an absurd media panic-fest), and the US didn't say a thing. It's operative Adelson publicly chastised Trump for not acting fast enough to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Trump normally doesn't take at all well to public criticism, but in that case he said nothing and quickly executed the move.

As I showed with the Ha'aretz article in post #2 at the beginning of this string, Bibi is able to push Trump towards conflict with Iran while keeping Israel aloof from the whole thing. What US state can do that?

And no, it's not a "yappy little dog." Yappy little dogs don't work to destroy politically those who oppose its goals, as its operatives in the United States have consistently managed to do.

Yes, the US-Saudi relationship could be said to be symbiotic. The US gets a dominant role in oil markets and great advantage in related financial issues, and Saudi is fully protected. But how is the US-Israel relationship symbiotic rather than merely parasitical? Symbiosis is how its Israel's partisans would like to frame the relationship, but I don't see how anyone could find that to be objectively true.

There are certainly other dysfunctions in US foreign policy, and any one issue CAN be overemphasized, but Israel and its impact on our Middle East policy is the only policy problem that consistently causes people to deny the actual essence of what's going on. For that reason alone, it deserves special attention.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 24 2019 18:39 utc | 252

@ karlof1 | Jun 23, 2019 8:19:37 PM | 156 ; @ Harry Law 129, 133

The New Yorker (of yore) once reported the legal goings on not reported elsewhere. Their following of Watergate is contemporary go to material, particularly their reporting of Nixon's 'Saturday Night Massacre' and the legal perfidy of Bork, all dated throughout the Nixon regime. Once Republicans regained the administration in Reagan's regime , further damage was visited the workings of DOJ, reported by Lincoln Caplan in the August 10,1987 and August 17, 1987 The New Yorker. I don't know if copies are still available in any form but these should be perused without doubt as these mark the high tide of U.S. Jurisprudence and the beginning of the long slippery slope witnessed since. Regret I haven't a link to current files, I'll leave that to you younger sparks.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 24 2019 18:52 utc | 253

Dan Cohen
‏Verified account @dancohen3000

259 million reasons to bomb: Trump’s biggest financiers are Israel-first billionaires who have poured huge sums into the drive to war with Iran.

Posted by: arby | Jun 24 2019 18:55 utc | 254

Formerly T-Bear @253--

Thanks for the tip! Didn't read The New Yorker much during those years as I was focused on other things. It does have an archive, but doesn't go back to 1987, nor does Caplan's own website. Looks like university library archives, although it's worth an email to see if I can get a copy. Thanks Again!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 24 2019 19:24 utc | 255

Oscar Peterson @252,

Consider the strong similarity between the two countries' founding and history as antinomian settler-colonial states.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jun 24 2019 19:32 utc | 256

I was also thinking perhaps the number 35 was a third plane.
In one of my links to the Iranian news site Parstoday, Iran said it had downed the drone using its heat trace, no targeting radars needed to be switched on.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 24 2019 20:04 utc | 257

Zachary Smith @107

Re your remarks about global warming and Himalayan glacier melt. I happen to be in Kashmir at the moment. This evening I put on a room heater cause it was unseasonally chilly. That's just anecdotal. For many decades now no one on the subcontinent has seen a blue sky. No matter where you go, even Ladakh, the blue has a silvery tinge. When you're in a plane you see the problem closer to hand. It's a thick layer of soot that is everywhere, up to 35,000 feet. It's called the South Asian Brown Cloud and it covers the Arabian Sea to the Tibetan Plateau. About half the sunlight that used to reach the ground reaches now. Forget Al Gore for a moment. Greenland ice has been expanding. There might be another cause for the Himalayan melt. Try 'Himalayan glacier melt soot' at duckduckgo.

Posted by: sarz | Jun 24 2019 20:20 utc | 258

@ karlof1 | Jun 24, 2019 3:24:46 PM | 255

From about two and half years spent in Germany I learned from the locals much about the 'limitations of 'government news'' when it is the only source available. I saw the same things happening with 'Law and Order' of the Nixon regime and again with 'Moral Majority' of the Reagan regime. I turned then from national news sources to information from broader range which then included 'The Economist' and 'The New Yorker' magazines for international and economic reporting. Neither have maintained the standards they had at the time. No like sources are now available and I distrust the electronic media to preserve anything accurately, but time will tell. This forum conducted as it is by 'b' is the nearest thing to the qualities I experienced in my German sojourn and deserves as much support one can render the operation. I do recall the New Yorker issuing a collection of CDs with all their past issues if you can find one; hope that helps.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 24 2019 20:22 utc | 259

Zachary Smith @ 107

I meant to add that the problem of Himalayan glacier melt is indeed pollution, but not the carbon dioxide scam of the carbon credit banksters. It's the soot in tbe air that's poisoning all city dwellers in the subcontinent.

Posted by: sarz | Jun 24 2019 20:26 utc | 260

Only paid trolls by the global bankster cabal rooted in secret societies and cults or useful idiots can still incessantly bash Trump as an idiot, an evil doer, or an imperial shill. Whereas almost nobody in history has done so much for the global "Exposure" - the revealing of the evil operating until now behind the curtains.
Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Jun 24, 2019 6:25:13 AM | 221

He's certainly encouraged and emboldened the psychopaths and chicken-hawks to openly brag about all the ridiculous non-sequiturs they believe. It's becoming impossible not to notice how many of them go to "Israel" for Chutzpah lessons.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 24 2019 22:12 utc | 261

A "coalition of the witless" is a much more likely assemblage than any - "coalition of the willing" - all things considered. Though with Merkel, Macron and the Brits doing their best impression of absolute lapdogs in order to synchronize with criminal U.S. war-mongering, pretty much anything seems possible in this current "theatre of this absurd" production by the Western criminal syndicate of - "The End of Empire."

Posted by: Gary Weglarz | Jun 24 2019 23:42 utc | 262

@261 Hoarsewhisperer

Sean Hannity knows Trump better than you two!

Trump said he may have to obliterate Iran

Sean Hannity one of the witless, imperial shills you two are referring to is Zionist Trump's BESTIE! BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER!

Will you not give your bullshet Trump is thinking in 4-D, and is a Neocon hostage, a rest already??? Trump IS the fOcking, depraved psycho EVILDOER fercrisesakes and he kisses Netanyahoo's and Adelson's ring every chance he gets!

Posted by: Circe | Jun 25 2019 0:36 utc | 263

"...the U.S. has entered what is best described as its desperation phase. Having no need of imaginative thinking or policy innovation for more than seven decades, Washington finds itself incapable of either."

Patrick Lawrence sums up the current situation very well

Posted by: bevin | Jun 25 2019 0:57 utc | 264

Peter AU 1 @257--

Ah yes, that thermal imaging radar ability Iranians were supposed to lack. IMO, enough Persian cats were let out of the bag that have confounded the Outlaw US Empire asymmetrically, thus the idiocy of today's sanctions with Trump climbing higher into the tree he's stuck in. The imagery of the Orange-haired Pole Cat treed by a gaggle of Persian Cats is mentally rather pleasing. Hopefully some artist will read my comment and render it into living color.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2019 1:05 utc | 265

@ karlof1 with the Pole Cat in tree imagery.

Sorry but I applied my spinning plate imagery and see the Pole Cat on top of the Iran spinning plate and the Persian Cats have taken over the spinning and wobble......grin

Control of the global narrative is changing, one Persian Cat messing with the spinning plates of empire, all at the same time, by challenging one plate's narrative.

As I type this my mind has expanded the imagery to the Pole Cat shown hopping from one spinning empire plate to another but away from the ones for which it no longer controls the narrative, like Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Russia, China. What spinning plates under empire control are left for the Pole Cat to jump to?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 25 2019 1:20 utc | 266

psychohistorian @266--

Melding my 265 with my Chess metaphor on current thread, the Pole Cat is dancing round with a cup in its paw begging for handouts while the Current Oligarchy cranks the hand organ and plays the tune. Damn, I wish I could draw!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2019 1:59 utc | 267

As much as Malaysia paints itself as a vocal critic of American policy, their actions speak otherwise: North Korean staying in Malaysia for over 10 years slapped with money laundering charges in the US

Posted by: Tongkat Ali | Jun 25 2019 2:26 utc | 268

Do I believe Trump sexually assaulted, as in the R-word, a woman as is being reported? No, I'll believe it when it's finally revealed he sexually assaulted more than one!

This is the level of depravity to which America has sunk. All that's left is for Trump to really shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, still remain Presdent and show the world America's true colors...I mean, true values. There are men on a sexual offenders' list who did timw for the same sort of crime. This detritus gets to be President.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 25 2019 4:01 utc | 269

Trump IS the fOcking, depraved psycho EVILDOER fercrisesakes and he kisses Netanyahoo's and Adelson's ring every chance he gets!
Posted by: Circe | Jun 24, 2019 8:36:09 PM | 263

You're still an incurable romantic aren't you, Circe?
How sweet, loverly and nice did you expect Draining The Swamp to be?
How would Circe Drain the Swamp?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 25 2019 17:31 utc | 270
I think the allegations made in this link to the millennium report should be evaluated..
it is a serious charge, one that needs to be evaluated by a lot of different and knowledgeable people, it explains a hell of a lot if it is true..

Posted by: snake | Jun 25 2019 17:45 utc | 271

A majority of propaganda, under educated, ill informed US citizens. About that survey; sample size and demographics?

Posted by: CDWaller | Jun 25 2019 21:07 utc | 272

fyi Ukraine's new president, V Zelensky will visit Ottawa next week. The powerful ultranationalist lobby is well prepared. As is Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. Here are a couple of pieces which may be of interest in that regard:

Ukrainian World Congress President Paul Grod on What Diaspora Expects From Zelenskiy

Freeland To Meet Zelensky in Toronto Next Week

"Chrystia Freeland, Canada's FM, will have meeting of minds with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Toronto on July 2 for what Freeland calls 'work toward strengthening the rules-based international order. READ..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jun 28 2019 5:15 utc | 273

RT have suddenly been infected with blunt speaking.

"Osaka in Japan has the dubious honour of hosting this year’s G20, that time of the year when in a rare show of solidarity, the world’s top global leaders gather to achieve absolutely nothing together.
The G20 used to be just for bankers and finance ministers, but after they contrived to collapse the global economy in 2008, national leaders started to show up as well, in order to reclaim their monopoly on creating global catastrophe.

And as always, keep an eye outside the meeting for the rampaging anarchists and environmentalists who add a splash of colour to the occasion."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 28 2019 8:37 utc | 274

In a world where anyone dressed up in black becomes an anarchist, anyone holding the right politically correct sign becomes an environmentalist, and anyone who claims so can pretend to be anything at all it does become old very quickly. And despite the increasing levels of derision from those above the median so many still purportedly (according to their own claims and behavior) just can't see through any of it and will defend their ignorance as if their lives depended upon it.

Quite the comedy, the Greeks would approve :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 28 2019 11:12 utc | 275

Nixon went to China, now Trump went to North Korea, a good thing is a good thing, congratulations all!

It may be a small "nothing" and symbolic but it's still a lot better than it not happening.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 30 2019 8:22 utc | 276

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