Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 24, 2019

Trump Seeks 'Coalition Of The Willing' Against Iran

After a somewhat quiet weekend the Trump administration today engaged in another push against Iran.

Today the Treasury Department sanctioned the leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It also sanctioned Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and his office! There will be no more Disney Land visits for them.

There is more to come:

Josh Rogin - @joshrogin - 16:18 utc - 24 Jun 2019

Mnuchin: "The president has instructed me that we will be designating [Iran's foreign minister Javad] Zarif later this week." cc: @JZarif

The Treasury Secretary will designate Javad Zarif as what? A terrorist? Zarif is quite effective in communicating the Iranian standpoint on Twitter and other social media. Those accounts will now be shut down.

The Trump administration's special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, said today that Iran should respond to U.S. diplomacy with diplomacy. Sanctioning Iran's chief diplomat is probably not the way to get there.

All those who get sanctioned by the U.S. will gain in popularity in Iran. These U.S. measures will only unite the people of Iran and strengthen their resolve.

Iran will respond to this new onslaught by asymmetric means of which it has plenty.

On Saturday Trump said that all he wants is that Iran never gets nuclear weapons. But the State Department wants much more. Hook today said that the U.S. would only lift sanctions if a comprehensive deal is made that includes ballistic missile and human rights issues. Iran can not agree to that. But this is not the first time that Pompeo demanded more than Trump himself. Is it Pompeo, not Trump, who is pressing this expanded version to make any deal impossible?

Brian Hook is by the way a loon who does not even understand the meaning of what he himself says:

laurence norman @laurnorman - 10:53 utc - 24 Jun 2019

US Hook says Iran knew what getting into when struck deal with president who had 1 1/2 yr left in office. "They knew what they were getting into...They knew that there was a great possibility that the next president could come in & leave the deal." Note: US elections 17 months away

Those are two good arguments for Iran to never again agree to any deal with the 'non-agreement-capable' United States.

It seems obvious from the above that the Trump administration has no real interest in reasonable negotiations with Iran:

“The administration is not really interested in negotiations now,” said Robert Einhorn, a former senior State Department official who was involved in negotiations with Iranian officials during the Obama administration. “It wants to give sanctions more time to make the Iranians truly desperate, at which point it hopes the negotiations will be about the terms of surrender.”

That is part of the strategy. But the real issue is deeper:

Max Abrahms @MaxAbrahms - 16:41 utc - 24 Jun 2019

Pro tip: Sanctions against #Iran aren’t to retaliate for the downed drone or to punish tanker attacks or to improve the nuclear deal or to help the Iranian people but to foment revolution against the regime. The strategy is regime change with velvet gloves.

The U.S. now tries to build an international coalition against Iran. Trump invited China and Japan to protect their tankers in the Middle East:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 0:08 utc - 24 Jun 2019

China gets 91% of its Oil from the Straight, Japan 62%, & many other countries likewise. So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation. All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been....
....a dangerous journey. We don’t even need to be there in that the U.S. has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world! The U.S. request for Iran is very simple - No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!

One wonders what the U.S. Central Command and the U.S. Navy will say when that Chinese carrier group arrives in the Gulf region.

Who else will join this?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he wants to build a global coalition against Iran during urgent consultations in the Middle East, following a week of crisis that saw the United States pull back from the brink of a military strike on Iran.

Pompeo spoke as he left Washington for Saudi Arabia, followed by the United Arab Emirates, ..
"We’ll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned, and how we can build out a global coalition, a coalition not only throughout the Gulf states, but in Asia and in Europe, that understands this challenge as it is prepared to push back against the world’s largest state sponsor of terror,” Pompeo said about Iran.

Pompeo was hastily sent to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Brian Hook is now in Oman and Bolton is in Israel. The U.S. will also pressure Europe and NATO to join a new 'coalition of the willing'. The UK will likely follow any U.S. call as it needs a trade deal to survive after Brexit.

Other countries are best advised to stay out.

Posted by b on June 24, 2019 at 18:05 UTC | Permalink

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I guess that this is a golden opportunity for someone to galvanize a coalition of the willing to flood the Persian Gulf with warships.
You know, so there isn't enough room left over for the US 5th Fleet to operate effectively.

After all, the US Navy is red-hot on this idea of "freedom of navigation", so all the other navies of the world should just take them at their word and start sailing their warships up'n'down that waterway.

Sure, the USA has more warships that all the rest put together but there is only so many square kms of waterway in that Gulf, so once it is saturated with warships then it is saturated with warships and it does make any difference how many more warships the US Navy has waiting outside for their turn at showing the flag.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 25 2019 0:16 utc | 101

@28 John Doe - The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

I would love to engage with this topic but we would be very much off topic, and it's a large theme that I suspect many people here could offer thoughts on.

Could I ask you to re-introduce this topic in the next open thread, please? You could simply copy and paste your entire comment and that would work.

I have the idea that the concept conveyed here is one of those unspoken things that no one especially wants to be the first to voice out loud, from either side of the equation.

I look forward to being able to discuss this at length.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 25 2019 0:19 utc | 102

@ 48 Oscar Peterson

" that everyone is starting to accept the theory that Iran has had to change its strategy and begin to pursue gradual escalation..

Speak for youself, I don't buy a whiff.

Whenever b wants to set up a big fat lie he does some exceptional 'journalism,' whatever that means, then throws his readership a bone no logical person can swallow without evidence.

Iran can pursue the strategy of Russia, patience and double dealing, indefinitely or till the cows come home.

If the best choice we have is Rothchild BRICS globo fascism -- versus Addelson Trump globo fascism, then I'm not getting pushed into supporting either fake side of this fake dialectic, no matter how many times Gov't or deep state pripagandist trolls insist it's the only choice I can make.

Posted by: C I eh? | Jun 25 2019 0:22 utc | 103

Grieved @ 98 your post fits my thinking to a Tee.. Intent to Corrupt is the only explanation that justifies infringing, threatening, sanctioning, invading and destroying Iran, Syria, Yemen.. .. and others.. . Humanity needs to wake up and take back from the criminal or greedy few, before it is no longer possible.
The nation state system has divided the 8 billion people in the world, into 200 or so people containers. This division of the masses was done to reduce their power to nil, in order that a corrupt few can arrange to manage the behaviors and to rape the resources of people and space within each of those people containers.

But government should satisfy the humans it governs, not its governors or their benefactors. Governments should satisfy the humanity it governs, without infringing on the rights and possessions of others. Governors who use, allow or direct governments for any other purpose are corrupt abusers of human rights.

Posted by: snake | Jun 25 2019 0:35 utc | 104

Slightly askance the target here, but wondering whether it strikes anyone else as odd that Trump suggests that he had no conception that people might be killed in the planned American attack in which many cruise missiles were to be launched at several targets, and only grasped the idea when told by a general. I mean, did he think it was movie night for the Iranian military, and everyone was watching John Wick 3 off post? Might it be plausible that prior to the planned American attack the cyber attack to take down Iranian air defenses was launched, failed, and THAT was why the attack was called off? Just wondering.

Posted by: Zakukommander | Jun 25 2019 0:43 utc | 105

@ Realist 99

“I am very forward looking. Because, as you note, I am Iranian and nourished by the wisdom of Iranians from prior generations, stretching back thousands of years. You literally have no idea ............”

Although I appreciate your passion, I caution you not to underestimate the posters here. The fact that you are an Iranian does not make you an expert in Iranian affairs, politics or history. You would be surprised to find many well informed posters here with vast knowledge and education. Plus, generally, nobody here is looking to insult or be “in your face”, sort of speak. It is not that kind of forum.

We are looking to have a civilized debate and learn more. Please have patience and respect the opinions. You come across as angry and not allowing any room other than your opinion stated as fact, just because you are from Iran.

I share your views of the mullahs but they are a fact on the ground. And I will not accept another coup in the Middle East by the outlaw US Empire just to satisfy your wishes or those of the MEK ( I am not putting you in the same group). Iran right now is in the midst of a political vacuum. If the mullahs left tomorrow the country will be in chaos. There are no viable alternatives. Reformist are more of the same. And I hope you haven’t placed your hopes on the late Shah’s son. He is just another tool.

Iran has to change from within, without the help of any foreign colonial power. This time the revolution, if any, has to be owned by the people with a secular government at the helm with deep respect for its rich history. What happens to Iran and the manner in which it happens, will have ramifications in the ME for generations to come and the world over.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 25 2019 0:44 utc | 106

Uncle Jon @101

You are leaving out the brutal SAVAK secret police and their torture program under the Shah.

Posted by: Stever | Jun 25 2019 0:45 utc | 107

@ C I eh? who wrote
Iran can pursue the strategy of Russia, patience and double dealing, indefinitely or till the cows come home.
Totally agree.

In the case of bullies the best offense is a good defense and Iran showed it has good defense to shoot down the spy plane and not the one with cannon fodder nearby

How many more bully nations other than Israel and the US are currently "active"?


This is why the G20 will be interesting to see how much the global finance power struggle shows itself.....the cows are coming home perhaps....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 25 2019 0:47 utc | 108

@Stever 109

SAVAK was no more brutal than the CIA, MI6 or the Mossad. In fact, they are the ones who devised SAVAK. To bring that up without context and comparison, as it has been by the propaganda machine in the west, is an outright hypocrisy. Not making excuses for SAVAK, but they were a reality of the time as are the organizations I mentioned above.

CIA’s revelations in torture and death since the Vietnam era makes any other secret service pale in comparison. Mossad is a whole other story.

I think it will be naive to think that no country has had or have a secret service with a humanitarian record.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 25 2019 1:04 utc | 109

@ Stever

Make that...............naive to think that any country has had or..........

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 25 2019 1:10 utc | 110

From Haaretz in the trilateral meeting happening now in Israel:

“This has reduced the Israeli leader to hosting “a Russian victory lap” in Jerusalem while the “emasculated” Bolton looks on, the liberal daily Haaretz noted on Monday. Describing Russia as the rising power in the Middle East due to Washington’s reluctance to launch wars against Syria and Iran, Haaretz argued that Israel and the US have “little choice but to do business” with Moscow.

Bolton is Trump’s “third national security adviser in two and a half years, and could well be out of a job very soon,” the paper noted.”

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 25 2019 1:19 utc | 111

@ 48 stated;"The US decided not to put itself in the role of drawing first blood"

Unless you count the "sanctions", that are NOT innocuous, they kill many non-combatants, and are really an act of war..

@ 62; thanks for the T. Gabbard links.

Posted by: ben | Jun 25 2019 1:24 utc | 112

Oscar Peterson@48 - "...Targeting Saudi or UAE oil infrastructure is possible, but that will be hard (and risky) if deniability is a goal..."

The second Iran is forced to resort to hitting Saudi or UAE oil infrastructure, we'll see the Pepe Escobar-described $1.2 quadrillion global financial Ponzi of fake money (derivatives) implode and financial markets everywhere will be locked shut. In a matter of hours, not days.

Now the Swiss banker's claim may be off by a few hundred trillion either way, but it really doesn't matter. That's way too much money for some kind of secretive global financial bailout - in fact, there isn't that much REAL money available in the whole world. The guy that bought oil futures for pennies at $1000/bbl will now be a trillionaire. Except there won't be anyone that can or will pay him. "But it's a futures contract - someone has to buy his $1000/bbl oil. That's the rulez!" Yeah, he may as well have bought a stack of Zimbabwe $10 trillion dollar notes instead and been a hundred trillionaire, for what that's worth.

Pepe uses extremes to make his point, but oil doesn't really need to go to $1000/bbl. or even $500/bbl. - $200/bbl oil will lock the oil derivative markets. Which will keep all linked financial derivative markets (virtually all of them) locked or wiped out. The big banks will be herding cats at that point and imploding themselves, and nobody will care about fighting anyone in the Persian Gulf. Besides, all CENTCOM and USSOCOM personnel will be needed back here in the United States to protect the government from the people.

Iran won't be affected much because the U.S. and Israel made sure they were never allowed in the global financial sandbox. Poor countries with massive IMF loans? Yeah, they won't care - the little people never saw a dime of that, anyway. Russia is as prepared as possible and will do fine. China? Sorry. They're going down with everyone else. I'll let everyone know how the food riots in the U.S. turn out. That's if I survive until 2025 when the internet comes back up and if the planet isn't ruled by talking apes. Wait... that last part already happened. Forget it.

I guess I'll just head north to steal a few barrels of tar sands from Canada. James: how do I get there from Minnesota on foot? I won't have Google Maps. Nobody will. Do you have any spare barrels?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 25 2019 1:32 utc | 113

As alluded to by several and directly pointed to by me, Iran's defensive capabilities have placed the Outlaw US Empire's King in check and have forced it to move into hiding on the board behind what amounts to nothing of substance. I think it an amazing admission that the self-proclaimed most powerful military EVER on Earth must ask for assistance to overthrow what is a popular Iranian government--a government and people in a strategic location within Eurasia on the cusp of initiating an geoeconomic/geopolitical system capable of upending the Empire's #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance. What nation other than the usual co-outlaws will join in an action that is totally against its interests--what nation wants, desires, to be dominated by another?

As I see it, the next move on the global chess board will occur at the G-20, and the King will be placed in check again. However, the move required to get away from the check situation won't be as simple as was just done today. It will require complex finesse of a sort TrumpCo has yet to exhibit. It seems likely Trump will try to redirect attention away from his Iranian failure, but that won't alter the fact that he must move his King.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2019 1:33 utc | 114

There has been much recent speculation about the restoration of monarchy in Iran in Western news media which would suggest this is something currently occupying the minds of the, uh, "best" and "brightest" brains over at Langley, Foggy Bottom and the bizarre ziggurat building at Vauxhall Cross in London.

One little problem that our Western news media and their feeders may have overlooked is that traditionally only men inherit the throne in Iran.

The current Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi has only three daughters. His younger brother Ali Reza (committed suicide in January 2011) left behind one daughter.

There are two male survivors of the previous Qajar dynasty.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 25 2019 1:39 utc | 115

Jen @117--

The Sauds will be replaced well before Iran becomes a Kingdom again.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2019 2:02 utc | 116

@Jen 117

Ambassador Zahedi, the late Shah’s longtime and the last envoy to Washington, and his confidant, has pretty much debunked the Crown Prince as a stooge of Israel and US and I tend to believe him.

Reza is knowledgeable and never at a loss for words, but I am afraid not much of a following in Iran. Iranian people don't want another second-coming and want a leader of their own choosing. Certainly, not the one chosen for them by the Empire. They are much smarter than that.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 25 2019 2:02 utc | 117

Poor Iranians! They are victims of both internal and external repression.

Posted by: Ninel | Jun 25 2019 2:21 utc | 118


I am not sure it reduces to that dialectic. Even CNN had a headline at one point that it suited Iran fine to be blamed, the between the line reading of that being that if a US false flag and given Iranian capability, it was an own goal. However as a means of raising attention without going into conflict, maybe not...yet.

However you look at it someone is lying, so I don't know how anyone reaches any conclusion without knowing who for sure, therefore blaming b falls a bit short. On the other hand maybe no one is lying :

Iran didn't do this, but "Iran" did this via Yemeni proxy, with Russian and Chinese silent consent, to replicate the first attacks which were Israeli by US consent. Or vice versa. However the Iranian motive was one of asserting its independent ability in the face of the various globalist pressures.

I could tailor in any other theme if needed, or "have fun" doing so yourself. The point is though that until proven these acts will remain enough of an unknown around which unfinished narratives will turn, and at the least they remind people that the current circumstance is not a game, there are people willing and able to act, taking it to the next level. They are demonstrating who wants that, as well as allowing time for consideration, for understanding to be reached.

The idea that Iran can sit this out till whenever is not exactly true - though resilient the country is not overly rich, and stagnation imposed by "world accord" without reply looks bad. Not only that, but there is no clear resolution still with regards other countries Iran is involved with, be it Syria, Iraq, Yemen or Palestine. That is to say that these conflicts, although quieter, are at best in suspense. Iran might have enough motive to spoil the face of those that are now getting in its face.

Equally it is all B-team , Iran doesn't like that so takes out a drone.

Who knows.

The threat of war is very real though, neither of these countries wait around, they are both well armed and are already long engaged in conflict, if only indirectly with each other so far. It just bothers me when that point seems to get sidelined, which is why I write this.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 25 2019 2:26 utc | 119

@Ninel 120

Unlike us in the west who are only the victims of internal repression. You are right, I do feel bad for them.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 25 2019 2:28 utc | 120

@ Grieved | 98

Great post, its unfortunately very common (especially among Westerners) to look at different cultures and ethnicities with condescending attitude, "these mullahs", "gooks", "red/brown/black/yellow skins", "Negroes", etc.

The irony is, in reality most of these cultures/ethnicities are actually more advanced as civilized Human beings and have deeper roots than most of the "Westerners." Like Persians or Chinese have thousands of years of culture and science behind them, what do US have? Brand new nation with few hundreds of years of history of genocide and pillaging, and they are trying to convert the rest of the World in their own image.

Posted by: Harry | Jun 25 2019 2:34 utc | 121

Iran strikes me very much as being like Cuba, in that its good works that yield no profit are greater than any that come from the western nations. Ir almost seems that only a socialist, revolutionary nation has freed itself from the shackles of greed enough to pursue actions purely from moral concern.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 24, 2019 7:59:24 PM | 98

How does Iran strike you in this way? You have traveled in Iran? You have lived in Iran?

Do actually you give a fuck about Iran and Iranians? (Be honest. I mean care they way you care about your FAMILY.)

Iran has been kept artificaly retarded and its development plans halted. A million Iranians perished in a needless war. Iranians are forced to accept outrageous intrusions on Iran's sovereignty. Our best minds continue to leave. And now we're being threatened with nuclear bombardment.


Why don't you wish that on your own people. Hah?

One imagines it must have been very alarming to the Global Mafia when the Shah of Iran announced the plans for the Port of Chabahar. Can you imagine a developed Iran, in good international standing, with a thriving modern port right on the Ohormozd [Hormoz] Strait? Do recent events jingle a bell somewhere there, Grieved?


A welfare state is not the same thing as a "socialist" system.

IRI runs a welfare state to keep the lower classes on their side. They are hugely corrupted, even Ahmadinejad was screaming about it. It is not even remotely a secret.

The greed of the Mullahs is legendary. You clearly have never dealt with a member of that species. I suggest you acquaint yourself with Iranian's assessment of our clerical snakes.

[Obviously mature readers recognize that in any gross characterization we omit stating the obvious fact that "in most every grouping of people there are exceptional and principled members." We state this here for those who are not.]

Posted by: Realist | Jun 25 2019 2:45 utc | 122

karlof1 @ 116

I wouldn't call it finesse but rather forced but Trump has already dangled the idea 'why do we need to be in the Persian Gulf anyway'

At this point I would say our military power there is an illusion anyway.

We need to get to work on the green new deal.

Posted by: financial matters | Jun 25 2019 2:55 utc | 123

re: 89 Laguerre

I highly doubt that Khamenei has even $0.01 worth of assets in the US, however the real purpose of sanctioning Khamenei and other Iranian government officials (supposedly including the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif) is not to seize their assets but to make international diplomacy more difficult. For example, if Khamenei were to travel to Iraq to face to face discussions with the Iraqi Prime Minister the US would now have the legal framework to sanction any company involved in the travel arrangements, accommodations, insurance, etc... Sanctioning Javad Zarif is an especially dick move as he is one of the leading Iranian moderates and was in favor of the original JCPOA agreement. I suspect that when Javad Zarif tries to attend the next UN summit in New York the US will attempt to sabotage his travel based on these sanctions.

This is also more proof that the US wants a war with Iran as they are trying to crush the moderates within Iran in the hopes that 1) the hardliners will become ascendant within Iran and that they will pursue policies that will make it easier for the US to justify their eventual attack on Iran and 2) making it more difficult for senior government officials to travel aboard will make Iran's international diplomacy less effective in developing a international coalition in opposition to the war. China and Russia acting as proxies and advocates for Iran will be vital for future discussions

Posted by: Kadath | Jun 25 2019 3:03 utc | 124


(1) "Iran has been kept artifically retarded and its development plans halted. A million Iranians perished in a needless war."
Do you realize that Iran was attacked by Saddam who was supported by the US and that the US provided Saddam with vast quantities of chemical and biological weapons?

(2) "One imagines it must have been very alarming to the Global Mafia when the Shah of Iran announced the plans for the Port of Chabahar."

Did you know that the Shah was installed on 19 August 1953 following the overthrow of democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in Operation Ajax by the US and the United Kingdom?

(3) "IRI runs a welfare state to keep the lower classes on their side."

Sounds like the US system where the two wings of the bird of prey are the Democrats and the Republicans (Upton Sinclair, 1904). Please read up on US Neofeudal Oligarchy before throwing stones at regimes that do not meet your ideological viewpoint.

Yes I understand why the US would want to rape Iran and Venezuela for their energy resources. Without these pools of liquid energy the US Empire will collapse on itself. I suggest you read 1Pathfinding Our Destiny for a reality check on the US system.

I suggest that you worry about the US Zionist "christian" endtimers seeking the rapture than the Iranian Mullahs.

Posted by: Krollchem | Jun 25 2019 3:16 utc | 125

124 Realist

Do you think the nuclear threat might place enough motive on Iranians to revolt, or do you think that instead it will strengthen their resolve ?

I ask the question in sincerity, and I imagine that the answer will be that it will divide society along existing lines and therefore work towards formenting civil strife ( and whether that is good or bad in the larger picture I am no judge).

Posted by: Anon | Jun 25 2019 3:18 utc | 126

A quick question: if there really were 35/38 American servicemen jammed into a P-8 and dangled before the Iranians like a juicy bait on a hook then how, exactly, are they going to view that display of casual recklessness w.r.t. their lives?

Wouldn't they be more than a little pissed off with the revelation that the Iranian military cared more about their mortal souls than did their own superiors in the US chain of command?

I would, if I were in their shoes.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 25 2019 3:22 utc | 127

Realist, what are you asking for? Are you wishing for Ukraine's fate? Or Brazil's? Or El Salvador's? The political situation in Iran should be, by rights, an Iranian issue. I live in a country that spends trillions making life miserable for others, killing and maiming them but cannot afford to look after it's own people. This is by rights my problem, and I and my fellow citizens should be working to correct this imbalance. What advice do you have? What advice should I give you? We are caught in a terrible, foolish dance but have not the power, as individuals, to escape. This is life. Enjoy some tahdig. Railing against people here is not particularly enlightning for anyone.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jun 25 2019 3:39 utc | 128

IRI runs a welfare state to keep the lower classes on their side. They are hugely corrupted, even Ahmadinejad was screaming about it. It is not even remotely a secret.

The greed of the Mullahs is legendary. You clearly have never dealt with a member of that species. I suggest you acquaint yourself with Iranian's assessment of our clerical snakes.

I have had quite a few Iranians describe that situation to me. It is amazing how the Christian religious leadership gets bashed, mostly rightly so, and the Mullahs get a pass. I am sure they do get the job done shaking down the flock. Probably not as mullaevangelists on TV but there are other ways. I bet one could amass quite a flock of daughters to your harem.

A quick question: if there really were 35/38 American servicemen jammed into a P-8 and dangled before the Iranians like a juicy bait on a hook then how, exactly, are they going to view that display of casual recklessness w.r.t. their lives?

Wouldn't they be more than a little pissed off with the revelation that the Iranian military cared more about their mortal souls than did their own superiors in the US chain of command?

I was listening to a recent interview of Liberty survivors. One survivor just joined the group after retiring from the intelligence establishment. He was on the fantail after the ship got hit and described the whole thing including the Israeli torpedo boats flying their flags firing at the Liberty. Later at port he had to retrieve the dead. He was threatened by the naval brass to be silent and went on to work for them for the rest of his life.

DC is full of these guys "afraid for their careers and pension". Do not expect to much out of them.

Posted by: dltravers | Jun 25 2019 3:41 utc | 129

I agree with you summation of the Governance of Iran. The supreme Leader has a fatwa on the creating/ion of Nuclear weapons which he says is immoral. Well their you have it, a gaggle of US presidents who only live to breathe the threaten use of nuclear weapons upon 'their enemies', against a leader who wishers not the power of such a immoral weapon..

Posted by: col from OZ | Jun 25 2019 4:08 utc | 130

Anon @121:

Even CNN had a headline at one point that it suited Iran fine to be blamed ...

"Even CNN ..." LMFAO

b will no doubt be pleased./sarc

... until proven these acts will remain enough of an unknown around which unfinished narratives will turn ...

Knowledgeable people have more reason to suspect an CIA-Mossad false flag than Iranian stealth attacks because:

>> it's US+Israel+Saudi that are the protagonists that are driving toward a result AND;

>> it makes no sense for Iran to play into the hands of their enemies by foolishly thinking that they can conducts attacks that will not be attributed to them. Those Iran-attributed attacks can be conveniently used as:

1) an excuse for a military build-up and;

2) justification for the undertaking of provocative actions (like sending more drones into Iranian airspace).

Utimately, it's a prelude to a war that USA-Israel-Saudis want.

Furthermore, the reason so many Westerners are so willing to accept the unfounded notion that Iran is conducting a campaign of stealth attacks because Western propaganda has relentlessly called Iran a terrorist nation.

Given the above, it's not surprising that Iranian military leadership has essentially denounced the notion of "stealth attacks" as I noted in this comment on the earlier thread.

The idea that Iran can sit this out till whenever is not exactly true ...

They are not "sitting it out." You slyly present a false dichotomy, implicitly proposing that they must become the terrorists that the West claim they are or sit on their hands and accept their fate.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2019 4:26 utc | 131

Let's talk human rights.

news report
Bloomberg, Jun 24, 2019
Pompeo is starting a commission on human rights to rethink what they are and how they should fit into U.S. foreign policy. . .here

Office of the high Commissioner
United Nations Human Rights
May 6, 2019
US sanctions violate human rights and international code of conduct, UN expert says

. . .On 17 April the United States banned the Central Bank of Venezuela from conducting transactions in US dollars after 17 May, and will cut off access to US personal remittances and credit cards by March 2020.
“It is hard to figure out how measures which have the effect of destroying Venezuela’s economy, and preventing Venezuelans from sending home money, can be aimed at ‘helping the Venezuelan people’, as claimed by the US Treasury,” the expert said.
His statements follow claims in a recent report published by the Washington-based Centre for Economic and Policy Research that 40,000 people may have died in Venezuela since 2017 because of US sanctions.
Jazairy also said he was concerned the US would not renew waivers for international buyers of Iranian oil, despite protests from NATO ally Turkey, among others. Washington has demanded that all remaining States which benefited from waivers stop purchases on May 1, or face sanctions.
“The extraterritorial application of unilateral sanctions is clearly contrary to international law,” the expert said. “I am deeply concerned that one State can use its dominant position in international finance to harm not only the Iranian people, who have followed their obligations under the UN-approved nuclear deal to this day, but also everyone in the world who trades with them.
“The international community must come together to challenge what amounts to blockades ignoring a country’s sovereignty, the human rights of its people, and the rights of third countries trading with sanctioned States, all while constituting a threat to world peace and security.
“I call on the international community to engage in constructive dialogue with Venezuela, Cuba, Iran and the United States to find a peaceful resolution in compliance with the spirit and letter of the Charter of the United Nations before the arbitrary use of economic starvation becomes the new ‘normal’.” . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2019 4:26 utc | 132

I guess I should also remind everyone that when Iran shot down the drone they immediately took credit for doing so. There was no "stealth" involved.

In contrast to this forthrightness, stands the grainy US navy video purporting to show Iran removing a limpet mine from one of the tankers that were attacked. We've determined that this video is nothing but a propaganda ploy.

The facts should've put an end to the theory of a "campaign of stealth attacks".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2019 4:36 utc | 133

Tehran Times, June 25
Iran to take second step in limiting nuclear commitments ‘more strongly’

Iran has insisted that it cannot remain unilaterally committed to the deal.
“We will continue reducing our commitments as long as no practical step is taken to meet Iran’s legal demands within the framework of the JCPOA. If they do not take any action in a few days, we will take second step more strongly,” Mousavi told a regular news briefing.
Mousavi said that survival of the JCPOA depends on the remaining signatories’ commitments to their obligations.
The remaining parties to the JCPOA are the European Union, E3 – Germany, France and Britain – Russia and China.
Iran threatened to step up uranium enrichment if an agreement is not made within 60 days to protect it from the sanctions’ effects. The deadline ends on July 7. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2019 4:54 utc | 134

@75 yonatan... good pictures.. thanks..

@77 peter au... i think you are exactly right on that.. the usa is ultimately going after china here..

antispin - good one! bolton has just named guiado as new president of iran!

@129 yeah, right.. if the story is close to accurate, i agree with you..

@135 don bacon.. serious question.. do you think a country that persecutes whistle-blowers 24-7 has any integrity when it comes to human rights issues or making like they give a rats ass about human rights?? sometimes folks just do not think things out fully... the usa is so full of shite, it defies logic...

Posted by: james | Jun 25 2019 5:01 utc | 135

The headline says it all:

Iran Says New U.S. Sanctions Mean Diplomatic Path Closed ‘Forever’

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said financial restrictions would be imposed on Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif later this week. ............... Zarif, viewed as Iran’s most skilled diplomat, was lead negotiator in the multi-party nuclear accord reached in 2015 under the Obama administration that Trump has since rejected.

If this was about a real estate deal in New York, Trump's bully-boy tactics might seem reasonable. Deliberately pissing off the real leader of Iran, and sanctioning their head diplomat means he doesn't want "negotiations". Only total surrender is permissible in light of his foolishness.

I've got a bad feeling about all of this. Time is running out for the apartheid Jewish state, and they're going to be mighty tempted to arrange for a bunch of US military men or women to be brought home in body bags. That's because they can't be absolutely positive one of the neocon Democrats will be in the White House soon.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 25 2019 5:39 utc | 136

@ Anon #121

b has made a strong assertion for which he has no direct evidence, he says so quite plainly claiming he essetially visualized the scenario, regarding Iranian responsibility for an apparently highly provocative act in the Gulf, which is either irressponsible on his part (unusual given how he picks apart msm for how it reaches it's own conclusions), or else is a deliberate act of seeding the propaganda narrative. Since b is not irresponsible and alt media vs mainstream is the foundational dialectic of this blog, I can only conclude I am being led in a direction based on nothing but b's hard won cred. He has quite a lot -- of credibility earned in this battlespace, don't ge me wrong, and I can even conceive of his having good reasons for pushing this narrative enhancing fib but in this instance he's putting it on the line for what, exactly?

I could tailor in any other theme if needed, or "have fun" doing so yourself. The point is though that until proven these acts will remain enough of an unknown around which unfinished narratives will turn, and at the least they remind people that the current circumstance is not a game...


The threat of war is indeed real but not in the way we are commonly told. War is and will always be all of them against all of us and that is the point I, myself, want not to see lost. Gangster-globalists do not care whether you live or die. Elites will always have more in common with each other than they ever will with me or you, and so they have every reason to participate in falsified narratives though the war on all people is as real as can be.

By the way do you not believe that we are already at war?

Regarding Iran sitting it out, no they cannot sit it out entirely, nor is Russia sitting it out etirely. Nor can any of us sit it out cowering under pixelelated flickering unreality. My contention is when confronted by a giant orange paper tiger, from whence it comes every single one of us should already know, sometimes it's better to stop sucking and maybe just blow.

Posted by: C I eh? | Jun 25 2019 5:43 utc | 137

@ PavewayIV | Jun 24, 2019 9:32:48 PM | 115

"Which will keep all linked financial derivative markets (virtually all of them) locked or wiped out. The big banks will be herding cats at that point and imploding themselves, and nobody will care about fighting anyone in the Persian Gulf."

You need to take a course in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), old timer. Absolutely anything is possible in a world of 'post facts' for the 1%.
The 'System' (their system) is too big to fail!

Posted by: imo | Jun 25 2019 6:03 utc | 138

The first thing to understand about the polity of the Islamic Republic is that it is covenantal or is based on a dispensation arising out of a covenant (between the believers and God), whereas post-Westphalian polities are conventional. Those interested in how the difference between these two basic categories plays out in terms of the role of the *demos* can read up on it in an article of mine written about two years ago and published on the Saker's site: (Part 2 can safely be ignored as it is topical and unimportant).

The following is recommended for anyone interested in doing further reading on the subject:


You don't have to buy them. Just drop me a line at and I will send you the PDF (s).

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Jun 25 2019 6:06 utc | 139

Here's the opening paragraph of the essay:

When people with Western sensibilities talk about the system of governance in Iran, two closely-related category errors are invariably present in the discourse. The first is that they fail to distinguish between Covenantal or Dispensational polities and Conventional ones; and this is because, secondly, they fail to distinguish between communities and societies, or, more specifically, between sacred communities and civil societies. Covenantal or Dispensational polities yield sacred communities, whereas Conventional polities yield civil societies; or, to put it slightly differently: sacred communities are the product of a communal consensus on a given Covenant (and on the Dispensation which ensues from that Covenant), whereas civil societies are the product of a Conventional communal consensus.

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Jun 25 2019 6:10 utc | 140

from the link at 139
“The futile sanctions against the Iranian leader and the country’s chief diplomat mean the permanent closure of the diplomatic path with the government of the United States,” foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying by semi-official Iranian Students News Agency. “The Trump government is in the process of destroying all the established international mechanisms for the maintaining global peace and security.”

Now that's really hearsay, but it may be authenticated soon, and if so say goodby to any negotiations, and a settlement must be by other means. . .A war often decides things one way or the other. Diplomacy by other means.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2019 6:28 utc | 141

imo@141 - "...You need to take a course in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), old timer." Oh, I agree. But I don't have enough money to go to such fancy-smancy courses. If I could only print my own money...

Seriously though, MMT explains why the U.S. can keep paying out on it's debt, pay federal public servants and retirees, etc. Even explains how the U.S. can possibly do something as riduculous as bail out banks. What the U.S. cannot do (or will not do) by printing its own currency is cover all the busted derivatives issued by so many bank and non-bank issuers. Even if the U.S. possibly could for all U.S.-issued derivatives (and do that fast enough to matter), there's still plenty of non-US derivatives that are going to blow up because those non-US nations will not or can not do what the U.S. financial mafia can.

I don't know - educate me. Wasn't last Friday a quad witching day? Let's say that Israel's machinations to get the U.s. to kill Iranians was successful a week before that and oil went to $300/bbl by the middle of Friday. A good chunk of that $1.3 quadrillion needs to be rolled before the market closes, but everything is locked up. I get the money printing part. What I don't get is the time machine part.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 25 2019 6:42 utc | 142

Team Trump are somewhat pissed off by their failed plot the other day. In attacking Iran, they are looking very much out of their depth. Rather than Iran reacting in knee jerk fashion to team Trump's moves, it is team Trump that is using knee jerk reactions to Iran's counter moves.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 25 2019 7:15 utc | 143

@KC 43. Our ( U.S. ) language? Nope the modern English language was evolved in England in the 15th century...

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jun 25 2019 7:41 utc | 144

@144 "A war often decides things one way or the other."

But does the US leadership ever consider any other result than of things going "their way"?

As in: do they even consider the possibility that they might pick a fight with Iran and... end up losing?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 25 2019 7:50 utc | 145

Posted by: dltravers | Jun 24, 2019 8:15:13 PM | 102

1. Ensure ME allies and US donors that there will be no agreement with Iran - like sanctioning Khamenei - he is a religious figure, it is the ultimate insult they could design

2. Provoke Iran to do something stupid - see Khamenei - at present US are diplomatically isolated not Iran

3. It is not in US interest to go to war with Iran but to keep up the tension - see weapons sales

4. And- lets face it - US are an oil and gas producer now. Raise the price to make expensive own production viable.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 25 2019 9:34 utc | 146

Don Bacon 144
More than hearsay. It was tweeted by Iran's spokesman for the foreign ministry.
Most of his tweets are in English, but this one is not.

This is how the tweet reads after running it through google translate...

"Impossible boycotting of Iran's leadership as well as the country's # top diplomat, the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy with the desperate US government. # Trump government is destroying all the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security.
# Team"

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 25 2019 9:42 utc | 147

Exactly karlof1 #116
It seems likely Trump will try to redirect attention away from his Iranian failure, but that won't alter the fact that he must move his King.

Trump can of course protect his king by moving his rook (Bibi) into the line of attack. That would alter the trajectory in Israel but not necessarily the outcome. But it would be a nice touch and could buy Trump 24 months.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 25 2019 9:51 utc | 148

I am a little puzzled that there is not more discussion about the plane that was flying close to the recently shot down drone in Iran. To me there is no doubt that the plane was a the real target that the US and it's owner Israel wanted to be shot down. I am completely sure of it.
All of the hocus pocus and bullshit statements about Iran being a nice guy for not shooting it down instead of the drone are just part of the coverup but this baffon Trump and company. I am sure that they were completely expecting that the sophistication of the Iranian missles would not be able to distinguish which object to target and therefore go for the larger object. I am sure that this was the game ....and it failed! There is no question that the Iranians are aware of it and will be even more careful in the future.
Imagine the supposed 130 people on board the P8 or whatever it is called .....they were Guinea Pigs and sacrificial offerings to Empire in order to start a real war with Iran .....for me no question about this.
Surprised that more able people than myself are not picking up on it ......

Posted by: Joe | Jun 25 2019 9:51 utc | 149

There seems to be a common theme in many articles that ‘shock and awe’ military strikes will force Iran’s leaders into unconditional surrender. While the US has the capability to do this on its own, for political reasons the US is actively seeking coalition partners. The reality is it doesn’t matter how many partners the US can convince to attack Iran. No matter how sophisticated Iran’s cyber, missile or air defenses are, based on simple logistics Iran will eventually lose a shooting war against the US and any coalition partners. Iran knows this.

The real question when the bombing starts, is not the number of casualties that Iran can inflict on her enemies but how long before Iran realizes it will lose and calls on all of its asymmetric regional forces to attack in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, UAE, Saudi Arabia and the Straits of Hormuz.

Iran doesn’t have to win a shooting war, it only has to buy enough time that its forces can disrupt oil shipments to China, India, Japan, South Korean and Europe to break the supply chains to the US. Currently the US imports/exports over 5T dollars per year, even impacting this by only 20% should cause the trillions in derivatives to crush the world economy. Given that war should always be the option of last resort is there still the possibility for negotiations?

Iran has too many examples of the promises of US and West not matching our actions. The current sanctions are crippling the economy and backing Iran into a corner. No matter what Iran does what guarantees can be provided that sanctions won’t be reapplied. Absolutely none. The criteria constantly change. There is an old saying in martial arts, in a fight an opponent with no way out is far more formable than an opponent who can walk away.

Even a wide scale nuclear attack that wipes out a third of Iran’s citizens in the ten major cities and a majority of the armed forces probably won’t succeed. Once nuclear weapons are used, Iran’s leaders are no longer constrained to any regional targets. If Russia and China jump in to the fray then it could get real, as in WWIII awfully quickly. Even without Russia and China getting involved, Iran’s leaders just might consider 30M or more deaths acceptable if her enemies are crushed. There is precedent for this. Estimates put Russia’s losses due to all causes in WWII at 25-30M people, and Russia called it a win.

So all the babble that Iran will fold in the face of ‘shock and awe’ is naïve. Iran can’t win a shooting war but if can lose with style. To think that Iran can be defeated like Iraq is folly. Iran is not Iraq. Iraq is a local power, Iran is a regional one. Iran is too large to be attacked by ground forces. That leaves airpower. Once the bombs start to drop, all Iranian combat units have a minimum of 72 hours of war supplies. If the US and the coalition partners don’t achieve, ‘unconditional surrender’ in the initial strikes then all bets are off for keeping the conflict local.

Many articles claim the tanker and pipeline attacks of the past two weeks are ‘false flags’. Hopefully they were, because if they were not, then Iran has just proven it’s ready and has the capability to strike anywhere in the region. Iran is quickly running out of options and has no choice but to continue escalating regional tensions until something gives. We are indeed living in interesting times.

Posted by: KA Hopkins | Jun 25 2019 10:03 utc | 150

Thank you Don Bacon #146 referencing the Iranian foreign minister recent remarks, You say:
and if so say goodby to any negotiations, and a settlement must be by other means. . .A war often decides things one way or the other. Diplomacy by other means.

Declining negotiations is not negating negotiations, it can also be a bid for negotiations when the other side starts talking into where you are listening. The Iranians may begin to decipher the language from the USA when all the sanctions are reversed, the JCPOA is back in place, the aggressive language is silenced. The USA dog is rabid and it hangs out with rabid company. But within rabies there are times of quietude and the observer is wise to wait for those moments prior to acting.

In the current circumstance the thumbscrews tighten every time Trump or his B team blurt nonsense or aggressive drivel. This can continue for some time as Trump is under more pressure at home than abroad and home is where it hurts.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 25 2019 10:06 utc | 151

#154 Hopkins …"how long before Iran realizes it will lose and calls on all of its asymmetric regional forces to attack in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, UAE, Saudi Arabia and the Straits of Hormuz"

Oh, about 12 hours, there or thereabouts.

That is Iran's "Trump card".

If the reports are true then Trump made an offer to the Iranians: let me bomb a few token sites - heck, I'll even let you nominate them - and then I'll declare victory and we can sit down and talk.

Nope, said the Iranians. If you launch even a token attack then we will reply with everything we have got, and so will Hezbollah and so will Syria. Your call, Donald.

That's the reality, apparently. One spark from Trump and the entire region goes up in flames.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 25 2019 10:17 utc | 152

# 154

In case of imposed War against Iran, Iran will leave NPT and no nuclear Fatwa will be suspended.

Posted by: Kasra Niawaran | Jun 25 2019 10:33 utc | 153

Iranian TV just announced that Russia has stated that the drone was in Iranian airspace according to its own intelligence. Not that that will make any difference to the madmen telling the Donald the Chump what to do...

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Jun 25 2019 10:45 utc | 154

Posted by: Realist | Jun 24, 2019 10:45:32 PM | 124

What sort of "Iranian" accuses Mullahs of behaving like Rabbis?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 25 2019 11:09 utc | 155

"This is about China"....not quite. It's about OBOR and Heartland, and the survival of a corrupt and diseased Empire, or not...

What's missing here, and generally, is any attention to why. Why Iran, why now? What is grand strategy? Is this vital or optional? Basic questions.

Of course the clowns are ignorant and stupid, how are they related to the grand strategy?

I propose that the Logic of Empire demands that the OBOR be interdicted and become subject to Imperial control...Iran's in the geography...and of course the oil and gas in simply part of the control over Heartland that Empire needs.

Needs, because it's in very unstable financial condition. Essentially ketosis is underway, and Empire is in the condition of devouring its own power.

The Strategy has zero to do with atomics, except to use them on Iran.

Summary> Iran must submit or be smashed and then submit. It does not matter who's in charge nominally of Imperial Forces...Failing this, Empire dies.

And yet, Trumpie the clown can't spell "strait"...failed English 101?

Posted by: Walter | Jun 25 2019 11:19 utc | 156

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 25, 2019 3:50:42 AM | 149

US have "lost" all wars after WW2 and then they were allied with Russia.

The US don't do old school colonialism (they destroyed the British and French empires) and local independence goes to the highest bidder. So they have no way to ensure they will profit after destroying everything (which they are very capable of doing).

Lets look where the US are now after WW2

Latin America: Used to be Cuba only completely outside of US sphere, now is also Venezuela.
Asia: The US lost the Vietnam war. Vietnam now is very open to Western trade. The US could have had that right from the start, as Ho Chi Minh started to fight for independence as "their" guy. China has become the most powerful US competitor spending a fraction of the US on military.
Europe: Will be Russian/Chinese sphere of influence (Gas, huge market) in the very end - at least continental Europe. Britain tears itself apart not knowing which way to go.
Middle East: The US lost Turkey for good. Greece has become Chinese/Russian sphere of influence. Neither Saudi nor Israel make it on any scale of "Western values" or ability to fight proxy wars. The US may as well join OPEC as an energy producer - real interest in these countries is marginal at best. Saudi will go the way of their Asian clients. The US will have to pay dearly to get their troops out of Afghanistan

Of course there may be WW3, the next US president may reverse some counterproductive US strategies, and a huge crisis may wipe off world markets.

But there is no way to "win" for one party at the cost of other parties. We are in this together.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 25 2019 11:25 utc | 157

The worlds absolute largest state sponsor and financier and trainer of Terrorists is the United States and Israel.. The British usually just helped their enemies enemies but the US trains anyone who will work for buck..

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Jun 25 2019 11:50 utc | 158

@Joe 153

For me the P-8 is the most intriguing puzzle of the affair. Your suggestion is reasonable, but I need more proof to take it as a given. The fact that Trump - as the only American - sided with the Iranians (if it was only for the existence of the plane and the crew size) is amazing. I guess the hours before and especially after the shoot down have been far more dramatic, for both sides, than what has emerged so far.

karlof1 thinks, if I get him right, that the US underestimated the defensive radar capabilities of Iran, and that they got aware of their lack of knowledge right through the incidence. Which might have had a big impact on them, especially Trump.

Posted by: mk | Jun 25 2019 11:55 utc | 159

135 JR

Well I'm glad you caught the lighter side re CNN :), that view of theirs extrapolates to reducing credibility that Iran is serious, able or willing to conflict (somewhere) maybe.

The case for reasoning the US is behind these acts, 100%. Unfortunately there is no proof so we are at square one again. This is actually why I personally think Iran was (possibly indirectly) behind these, or the later at least, attacks. Ithink the mine removal was real, I think Iran would have denied if it were not own vessel doing retrieval. I don't think they would have touched the ordinance if it were not a design they were familiar with.

We will just have to hold opposing views on this.

The current scenario is new, it is now a direct and open threat by the US to the future of Iran, so I will say there is no way to gauge how it will act. So to me this is not a false dichotomy slyly presented, this is a country reacting to an obvious existential threat, something it will take very seriously and use all and any means to counter.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 25 2019 11:56 utc | 160

We have a Realist with blinders on here.. Just like we had many before the Iraqi invasion.. Rather than working for change inside they want others to change things for them.. And as Iraqi's found out after 15% of them were killed off.. The change was just the beginning.. If not for Iran, those Iraq's would now be living under some real change.. Just the fool Iranians now instead of making Iran better, wants amerika the satan to give them paradise and amerika is sure to provide paradise to a great many of them.

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Jun 25 2019 11:57 utc | 161

The sanctions on political personalities in Iran are 'idiotic'.
The White house suffers of "mental retardation" say Iranian officials
It seems that the Iranians who have been quiet are now starting a new way of defense by ridiculing the White House's decision making. These words are widely reported by the MSM.
It seems that Trump enjoys giving and receiving insults before starting to bow to negotiations. We saw such an example with North Korea.
aybe this war of words will be more fruitful than these supposedly "effective" sanctions. Effective for who? making the average Iranian to suffer? Is that the point? It is resulting in making the democratically elected Iranian leaders and the population more defiant than ever.
Iranians will suffer but will not bow to any foreign power. They never did. That is something the White House and Israel have yet to realize but their "mental retardation" in preventing them for doing so.

Posted by: virgile | Jun 25 2019 11:57 utc | 162

An alternative anal-isis for US.
As soon as Sadat befriended Israël, the top posh hotels in y it be that al-Qahirah ("Cairo") started serving bland Israëli Kibbuz-produces pork. One had to go to smaller joints to get the succulent pig's meat produced by Christian Coptic peasants in the Dalta and in el-Qayûm. Also, communion wine got harder to buy and 96% pure alcohol started tasting like detergents. The Fatah Centre's parties had to swith to bourbon whiskey, truly starting that fine group's rot from within.
May it be that the Zionist entity's wrath with Iran is due to they not being able to eat pork produced at Haifa or in the Gallilee whilst going there? And being indignant 'cause only the goy Christian Armenians can be in the pork and wine (and brandy) trade in Tehran and Shiraz?
After all, we're all told politics is mostly trading in pork barrelships.

Posted by: Ts'yew Taw-Loh | Jun 25 2019 12:21 utc | 163

C I eh? @ 107
I had exactly the same reaction "speak for yourself". It was only a week or so ago that we were talking about Iran the innocent, basically the victim in all this. How has that changed? My guess is an overdose of the BBC. Thanks for the post.

Posted by: aspnaz | Jun 25 2019 12:24 utc | 164

To aspinaz @ 168
BBC= (pork)BarBeQue?

Posted by: Ts'yew Taw-Loh | Jun 25 2019 12:32 utc | 165

karlof1 @ 118
"I think it an amazing admission that the self-proclaimed most powerful military EVER on Earth must ask for assistance to overthrow what is a popular Iranian government"
Not at all, I was working in Stuttgart during the Iraq conflict and the pilots at the nearby US base were bombing Iraq during the day then coming down the pub in the evening. The Americans needs supply and can pay for it, but they need allies to take their money.

Posted by: aspnaz | Jun 25 2019 12:33 utc | 166

142 C I eh?

Yes, I believe we (better said "we") are already at war. The history of the region has been reminded in several posts. People in the region do not forget this history, it is not as presented to us in the west, with borders and dates and results, it is a long tedious struggle of survival that is timeless and where the past realities are not forgotten, but instead are deeply ingrained in the consciousness of local people. The people of the region in general are very hospitable and also self disciplined towards anyone, by nature as well as culture, no matter where the other is from, but mention the US or Israel anywhere, well.

So though you are looking at the globalist presence (and believe me I know the globalist presence very well), there is another deeper side to what guides the actions of locals. They are on own territory, they follow the tit for tat down to a fine detail. In the west we think "big". Nice country or rubble, our force or yours. This is not how the locals view it, it is burlesque and coarse, but they do note the credible intent or capability.

So with the tankers, this is the kind of scenario that does come to mind for me :

The first attacks were false flags by US. Iran sees where the US is going with this, and arranges false false flags (i.e. that look like obvious false flags) to both catch the US off guard, discredit original false flag, and to make clear that it is willing and able to act.

We can go on speculating, but it is not worth arguing. The globalist forces at play in the region, they are our own, and frankly they are beyond our control. Iran and locals knows this, even though they are also caught up in globalist enterprise in various ways at the same time . :(

Posted by: Anon | Jun 25 2019 12:37 utc | 167

mk 163

The Iranians stated a P-8 was also present which most took to be the Poseidon version.
I did a little research on the versions and posted some info on the open thread.
The P-8 Poseidon is a dedicated maritime surveillance aircraft, whereas a P-8 AGS would be the best the US has for the likes of tracking shoot and scoot SAM systems.
in the open thread, Paveway put up the thought that the number 35 could refer to an F-35 - that rather than a P-8 the other aircraft was an F-35. karlof1 speculated the 35 was a third plane. That would make it - drone as decoy, P-8 AGS to track SAM launchers and targeting radar when they launched at the decoy, and the F-35, as well as its own surveillance capabilities could also attack the SAM systems. An F-35 is pure speculation at the moment, but the incident does seem to involve the US creating an incident using the drone to give the excuse and information for fast strikes at least on some coastal SAM systems. Perhaps coming unstuck when the Iranians fired only one missile and did not use targeting radar.
Approved by Trump - or a plan hatched by his dogs of war - is anybodies guess.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 25 2019 12:40 utc | 168

Let's call on the classics:

from Charlie Chaplin's The Dictator, 1940:
"Greed has poisoned men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge as made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all."

from the Network, 1976:
“I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2019 13:01 utc | 169

C I eh?

Well stated. Wake the fock up everbuddy.

If the best choice we have is Rothchild BRICS globo fascism -- versus Addelson Trump globo fascism, then I'm not getting pushed into supporting either fake side of this fake dialectic, no matter how many times Gov't or deep state pripagandist trolls insist it's the only choice I can make.

The threat of war is indeed real but not in the way we are commonly told. War is and will always be all of them against all of us and that is the point I, myself, want not to see lost. Gangster-globalists do not care whether you live or die. Elites will always have more in common with each other than they ever will with me or you, and so they have every reason to participate in falsified narratives though the war on all people is as real as can be.

By the way do you not believe that we are already at war?

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 25 2019 13:05 utc | 170

@161 You are defining "losing" as "not achieving the USA's objectives".

Which is reasonable, but because the USA never pays any real cost for "not achieving the USA's objectives" then the hurt is pretty much confined to a dent in prestige. There is shame in that, but the US public's "exceptionalism" makes them pretty much shameless.

I'm talking about something much more a-punch-to-the-guts than that.

I'm talking launching wave after wave of FA-18s and they get shot down in a turkey-shoot.
I'm talking launching an amphibious campaign to take out Iranian missile sites only to find the landing ships are sunk by anti-ship missiles leaving the marines to be routed.

I'm talking US plans to fight an air-sea campaign, only to find that the Iranians don't agree e.g. Iran responds by launching an invasion of Afghanistan and forcing the surrender of all US troops stationed there.

I'm talking an unambiguous military defeat so complete that the US forces that are committed to it are forced to sue for terms of surrender.

You know, that sort of "lose".

And that isn't beyond the grounds of possibility: the USA simply assumes that the Iranian leadership will be content to fight an air-sea campaign. But what if they aren't so willing to play by the USA's assumptions?

What if the Iranians are numerate enough to know that they have a half-million-man army in the region and the USA.... doesn't.

So they start by attacking the isolated US forces in Afghanistan, and they end by seizing US Navy 5th Fleet bases in the Gulf before the USA has the wits to mobilize enough troops to stop them. And all under a anti-air missile shield that proves to be better than the USA's overrated F-35s and F-22s.

What would the odds be then?

Something like 500,000 to... not enough. Not nearly enough.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 25 2019 13:06 utc | 171

In the calculus of power and Iran an interesting unintended feedback may occur with the cost of transport fuel, diesel, doubling about the end of this year, as the new IMO regulations prohibit high sulfur fuel in ships.

This is expected to create a shortage of diesel - which is also the fuel for trucks and locomotives, and many of Trump supporter too.

This shortage is expected to double the price of diesel.

Reuters has an article on this> "Storm approaching: firms fear for..."

This may interrelate with the Imperial Ambitions to dominate Heartland, or maybe not.

It may also make Trumpie act even funnier, and/or ruin him...

Then there's the necessity to get >70$/b for prevent a futures collapse...

Posted by: Walter | Jun 25 2019 13:22 utc | 172

Iran forces will attack the US in peripheral areas including especially Iraq. reports...

U.S. officials are concerned that Iran has given the green light to Iranian-backed militias in Iraq to attack the more than 5,200 U.S. forces helping Iraqi Security Forces. And reflecting the unique situation in Iraq, some of those security forces are Iranian-backed militias that fall under the control of the Iraqi government.

For three days in a row this week, rockets have been fired at areas where U.S. forces or U.S. interests are located in Iraq. On Monday, rockets targeted Camp Taji, where the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS is training Iraqi security forces. On Tuesday, more rockets were fired at a compound in Mosul where U.S. troops are based. Then, another attack on Wednesday struck an oil facility near where ExxonMobil has employees.

Rocket attacks Wednesday on American and Turkish oil facilities in southern Iraq, which may have been carried out by Iranian-backed militias, are the latest example of how Iraq finds itself squarely in the middle of increasing tensions between its two closest partners, the United States and Iran.

Security measures were increased at one of Iraq’s largest air bases that houses American trainers following an attack last week, a top Iraqi air force commander said Saturday. The U.S. military said operations at the base were going on as usual and there were currently no plans to evacuate personnel. The stepped-up Iraqi security measures at Balad air base, just north of the capital, Baghdad.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2019 13:23 utc | 173

@ Yeah, Right 175
Yes, correct, the US is over-extended, over-confident, and out-matched -- a bad mix.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2019 13:27 utc | 174

In Iran's immediate vicinity the US Navy is especially vulnerable. Iran has thousands of rockets and missiles, and knows how to use them, plus 34 submarines wirh 533mm torpedoes. There's the potential of over sixty torpedoes in the water in one salvo.

from USNI

On Sunday, the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group with embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, joining the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group already on station in 5th Fleet.
As a result, the Navy now has 28,000 personnel deployed to the region. In comparison, the Navy currently has 24,000 personnel deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, according to Navy data reviewed by USNI News.
“All of our training and our transit to 5th Fleet have made us prepared to respond to any crises across the range of military operations,” Capt. Brad Arthur, commander of Amphibious Squadron 5 and the Boxer ARG/11th MEU team, said in a statement. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2019 13:35 utc | 175

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 25, 2019 9:06:21 AM | 175

What usually stops the US are elections.

The Vietnam War deeply threatened the US establishment and they "think" they learnt the lessons.

- no conscripts
- as few dead soldiers as possibele - see Iraq or Afghanistan never mind the death of foreign civilians

So either others have to do the fighting (Syria) or the US bomb the country extensively to make it safe for their soldiers. They miscalculated on this in Iraq.

This here is John Helmer's take - who I assume, gets his information from the Russian military

The range of the new surveillance extends well beyond the S-300 strike distance of 200 kilometres, and covers US drone and aircraft bases on the Arabian peninsula, as well as US warships in (and under) the Persian Gulf and off the Gulf of Oman. Early warning of US air and naval-launched attacks has now been cut below the old 4 to 6-minute Iranian threshold. Counter-firing by the Iranian armed forces has been automated from attack warning and target location.

This means that if the US is detected launching a swarm of missiles aimed at Iran’s air-defence sites, uranium mines, reactors, and military operations bunkers, Iran will launch its own swarm of missiles at the US firing platforms, as well as at Saudi and other oil production sites, refineries, and pipelines, as well tankers in ports and under way in the Gulf.

“The armed forces of Iran,” said a Russian military source requesting anonymity, “have air defence systems capable of hitting air targets at those heights at which drones of the Global Hawk series can fly; this is about 19,000 to 20,000 metres. Iran’s means of air defence are both foreign-purchased systems and systems of Iran’s own design; among them, in particular, the old Soviet system S-75 and the new Russian S-300. Recently, Iran transported some S-300’s to the south, but that happened after the drone was shot down [June 20]. Russian specialists are working at Bushehr now and this means that the S-300’s are also for protection of Bushehr.”


The Russian military source says there is now active coordination between Russian and Iranian military staffs. “About coordination, of course there is participation of Russia in intelligence-sharing because of Bushehr and ISIS. We have a long and successful partnership with Iran, especially in terms of fighting against international terrorism.” Two days after the drone incident, Russian specialist media published Iranian video footage of the movement of S-300’s on trailer trucks. This report claims that although the S-300’s are wheeled and motorized for rapid position changes, the use of highway transporters was intended to minimize road fatigue on the weapons.

Iranian military sources have told western reporters they have established “a joint operations room to inform all its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan of every step it is adopting in confronting the US in case of all-out war in the Middle East.”


In briefings for sympathetic western reporters, Iranian commanders are emphasizing the Armageddon option; that is, however weak or strong their defences may prove to be under prolonged US attack, the Iranian strategy is not to wait. Their plan, they say, is to counter-attack against Arab as well as American targets as soon as a US missile attack commences; that’s to say, at launch, not inflight nor at impact.

The US cannot sustain any prolonged war with Iran (see elections, dead soldiers), nor can they risk an escalation of small attacks.

Nor can they isolate Iran diplomatically.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 25 2019 13:39 utc | 176

@ 180
The Russian military source says there is now active coordination between Russian and Iranian military staffs.
from Mehr News today

Heading a high delegation of Iran’s Defense Ministry and the Army, Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Ghasem Taghizadeh traveled to Moscow at the invitation of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu on Tuesday morning.
He will hold talks with Russian Defense Minister and officials, as well as visit International Military-Technical Forum (ARMY-2019). . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2019 13:47 utc | 177

BBC=BarBeCu(-ed pork)?

Posted by: Ts'yew Taw-Loh | Jun 25 2019 14:08 utc | 178

imo@142 - Your remark about MMT and my reply have magically gelled (in my simian brain) for a grand unified conspiracy theory that explains a lot of oddities everyone has pointed out previously.

The plan for last Thurs/Fri:

The incident happened Thursday before U.S. markets opened. There was the usual confusion about exactly what happened most of the day and we had that odd statement by Trump just before Thursday market close to the effect that maybe a rouge Iranian general made a mistake in shooting down the (in this case: manned P-8A) in 'international waters'. Worry, but not panic in the markets on Friday. Oil prices would still have jumped, but derivatives don't implode. War doesn't seem imminent. The public would have been admonished by Trump and the MSM to 'wait for the facts' before rushing to judgement (also calming the markets). Iran would have said nothing on Friday fearing the worse. It really couldn't have been planned better - plenty of time to start the buzz before the weekend but avert derivative Armageddon on Quad witching day.

Saturday is hate Iran a lot day:

The U.S. would hold off on any kind of confirmation until the weekend. CNN would immediately roll out videos of weeping children and widows of 'our brave heros' and document the impromptu memorials: pictures of the sailors, flowers, Teddy bears in camo, candles. Outraged politicians would call for Iranian blood. And, of course, oil prices would have skyrocketed.

The U.S. either conduct an attack on Iran this week or announce an impending one after sufficient grief was milked from the 38 deaths. Trump would be shown solemly saluting the flag-draped coffins in the C-5s arriving at Dover. If it *had* occurred in 'international waters', the U.S. Nave would have recovered everything and kept the Iran Navy away from the area. Casus belli - only a monster or traitor would dare question 'the facts'. Bibi would be shrieking nonstop about how he told us so and encourage us to hurry up and destroy Iran for them.

No sailors would have been hurt in this ruse:

I'm not making light of the thought of 38 dead U.S. sailors - none would have really died in this scenario. The P-8A would certianly have been stripped of it's radars and advanced electronics 'just in case'. Now there's plenty of extra room for those 38 frozen corpses dressed in the appropriate Navy flight uniforms. Load 'em up! A USN P-8A pilot somewhere safely ashore would be flying it via satellite just like regular drone pilots. Thanks, secret Honeywell mystery box in the electronics bay!

Iran would have been screwed:

Video of USN ships recovering those broken (and now unthawed) bodies from the Straits would have been required for the propaganda value. What could Iran say then? "We were targeting the drone in our airspace, not the P-8. Honest!" Too late of course. WAR:ON. Nobody would believe evil Iran.

Why even use a drone?

The drone would have to have been used for bait because Iran wouldn't intentionally shoot at a P-8A (stuffed with frozen bodies or not) flying the same non-threating routes in the middle of the Strait that they usually fly. The drone would also have been stripped but all it's remaining cameras to capture the horrible, intentinal massacre by Iran. The plan would have put that in Iranian airspace without explaining anything to Iran. It was suppose to draw SAM fire.

What could have gone wrong?

The U.S. must have had enough EW on both aircraft to ensure the MQ-4A became invisible to an approaching missile, which would eventually only seen the P-8A on it's terminal guidance radar, not the drone. Except the Iraqis fired a SAM that used IR for terminal guidance, not radar, ignoring whatever trick the U.S. used. The Iranian SAM may have also used a proximity fuse, detonating it near the drone anyway. "Damn you, sneaky Iranians and your primative IR-seeking SAMs with secret proximity fuses! Do you realize how much time and effort we put in with our F-35s to figuring out the required radar tricks for this elaborate scheme?"

Opening salvo:

This could also explain the bizzare 150 dead Iranian people figure Trump claimed. There would have been a pre-planned retalitory strike on the Iranian SAM sites, but only after market closed on Friday or on Saturday. An opening salvo only - total war would surely follow. The U.S. would offer some fake deal. Iran would be spared destruction if they got on their knees to their U.S. and Israeli masters. That just wouldn't ever happen, so WAR:ON. If the U.S. went ahead with the retaliory strike based only on the drone alone, then we would have looked like the bad guys.

How much might Iran have known?

Odd that the P-8A track wasn't also published by Iran. I wonder how they knew about the 35 frozen bodies or if they really thought there were 35 live crew? Guess we'll never know, and nobody would believe such a nutty claim by Iran now. Frozen bodies? Remote controlled P-8As? 'Bait drone'? Hah - sounds like somethig that crackhead Paveway would dream up! Things may have been differnt than this, but I think most people (here, anyway) were surprised by the initial bewilderment of the Trump administration and DoD.

"What? They actually shot the drone down, not the P-8? *%^&! Why did they do that? Get rid of the plane and dump those damn frozen bodies somewhere really deep. If you suspect anybody on our team might be the whistleblowoing type, report them our CIA cleaner pals to be disappeared. Hell, what do I care? My broker just called. I'm rich! F*ck the navy - I'm retireing. See ya!"

And where the hell do you get frozen bodies today that can pass for U.S. military? Does the Pentagon have a freezer of them somewhere for emergency use?

Some folks probably made some money [sigh...]

All I can say now is glad nothing happened as planned. I would give anything to know how many commanding elite in the U.S. military and in-the-know congress things were buying oil call options through proxies last week. Netanyahu and MbS were sure to have loaded up - they LOVE money.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 25 2019 14:09 utc | 179

This is the appropriate moment to post this valuable document here:

ON PROTRACTED WAR - by Mao Zedong, May 1938.

In this document, Mao states the nature of a protracted war and calls the result of the Sino-Japanese War before it ended, correctly.

Now, his theory will be tested again, 81 years later.

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2019 14:14 utc | 180

@183 pw4

Many thanks Paveway! Haven't seen you around these parts much lately...
And as usual, you rarely (if ever) disappoint

Interesting & highly plausible theory... we are, after all, dealing with people who are anything but human...

"By deception, thou shalt make war" applies to both terror States...

Posted by: xLemming | Jun 25 2019 14:21 utc | 181

PavewayIV @183 asked: "And where the hell do you get frozen bodies today that can pass for U.S. military?"

Perhaps it is better to ask "What do you do with the bodies of CIA covert operatives and Special Forces killed in places like Donbass and Idlib when they are not supposed to have even been there in the first place?

Usually they are disposed of in aircraft "accidents" near Hawaii or Florida, but I suppose a supply is kept on ice somewhere.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 25 2019 14:29 utc | 182

PavewayIV @183

Your scenario is consistent with the fakery and propaganda bullshit we have seen previously.

Trump's 150 dead estimate is actually a major strike. 150 dead would mean hundreds injured also. It seems likely that such a strike was pre-planned as response to something other than the downing of an unmanned drone.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2019 14:29 utc | 183

In the current situation playing out, one thing stands out for me like a sore thumb.

Throughout my life the single most important cultural export from both the US and Israel is that it's all about the dollar! (the core of neoliberalism) Other cultures tend to concentrate on things like art, architecture or music.

Given the above I believe the real situation was penned by Paveway in suggesting the eradicated drone was being shadowed by an F35 the pride of the US mic. The surprise for the US was the iranians signalling they could see the aircraft but instead of taking it out went for the lesser said drone. That is the significance of the alleged 'other craft" with 35 personnel on board when it is well known the P8 crew is no more than a dozen or thereabouts.

One can imagine the conversation:

"Bad news Mr President, those pesky Iranians have just shot down a $150 mill surveillance drone!

"Whaaaaat! I want an immediate counterstrike to teach those motherf....s a lesson not to mess with us - full stealth with our new birds!

" That might be a problem Mr President we had one shadowing the drone and they indicated to us they could see it and had it targetted also"

"ARGHHHHH! Does this mean I eat shit at the G20?"

The Iranians showing up the F35 for the piece of shit it is would resonate in the cultural minds of the current administration and elites I think.

It's only brinkmanship after all!

Posted by: m | Jun 25 2019 14:30 utc | 184

Is there consensus now that we are in WWIII?

Thanks to somebody above with the Russia is behind Iran facts that show that attacks on Iran are not possible but for show.

Thanks to PavewayIV with the curious scenario and confirmation that for some it is all about MONEY

I think the EU leaders are a bit conflicted in anticipation of the G20, eh? Are they going to join the Coalition of he Willing like their money boys tell them or do something else?

What a way to fight a war.......lets hope the fighting does not go stupider.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 25 2019 14:35 utc | 185

It was my intent coming here to strongly support Grieved's post at 99 for injecting into the discussion the term "moral strength" with respect to the government of Iran's attitude towards provocations clearly underway by the declining former superpower in which I live. Grieved's post did receive some approval, as well as a personal attack that was not deserved.

It is very clear that the general conclusions presented in the post were being given as an outsider observing from a distance, as would be my own and that of many others posting here. And I will say that for me, that national projection so described is extremely important in the world at large, and it is a crying shame that the US governments of the past several administrations have wantonly destroyed the very same perception of "moral strength" that has allowed this country to be forgiven a great many sins in the conduct of its world affairs.

Moral strength, or the perception thereof, used to be this country's armor in world affairs. No longer. That perception has been wantonly shredded increasingly as this century has progressed. So, whilst from inside Iran many intramural problems are no doubt evident, to those of us wanting with all our hearts to see peaceful attitudes between countries - which would happen in a wink of an eye were the US to change its ways - all others who like Iran evidence outward moral strength are to be highly praised.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 25 2019 14:42 utc | 186

@Kelli 17

Since the American people refuse to overthrow their Zionist occupied gov, maybe Iran will bravely do what we cannot.

Are you saying that if AIPAC and the other Zionist lobbies decided overnight to stop lobbying and influencing the American government, American imperial aggression would also cease and the United States would be a peaceful country and only deploy its military in genuine self-defense? Were the Zionists behind the atomic bomb drops on Japan, the Korean War, the war on Vietnam, the expansion of NATO, antagonizing Russia and every other case of US imperial aggression? By all means, present your evidence.

It seems to me the only people who would believe this are a) extremely naive and gullible fools, perhaps duped by far-right propaganda, b) Americans who want to evade responsibility for their country’s ongoing imperial legacy, c) a combination of a & b, and d) someone who has an unhealthy obsession with Zionists and/or Jews.

Israeli and Zionist propaganda has long played up the supposed threat of global antisemitism to justify their colonial state’s existence and savage repression of the Palestinians. People like you who see “Zionists” in every shadow help their cause by playing into their propaganda.

If you’re looking for a culprit to pin the empire’s imperialist tendencies on, try global capitalism. (Or maybe you think that’s controlled by “Zionists”, too?)

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 25 2019 15:03 utc | 187

@Realist 100

Are you Reza, one of the house sycophants on Louis Proyect’s blog? You sound like him.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 25 2019 15:09 utc | 188

Bellow is the last in a recent series of tweets by Liberace grifter Trump that show the wheels are falling off empire, or at least the face of empire

....Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!

Truer words of a bully were never spoken. But we all here know that Russia stands behind Iran and China stands behind Russia so the bully BS is for public consumption as the beast of empire rails against its assured future of decline.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 25 2019 15:11 utc | 189

Yeah Right @175:

That's something like what I expect to happen if things go hot, although though 1.) I'm sure the Iranians have a much better grasp of the possibilities than I do, and 2.) They will make damn sure everybody sees we are attacking them first.

I think they will try to provoke us into it now.

The advanced bases we have all around them sure look like great targets. It's some of the most stupid stuff I've ever seen militarily, because their purposes are colonial, not what you would do in hot conventional war. They don't expect to be seriously attacked by modern combined arms. We are way overmatched, it will be nukes or surrender. Dien Bien Phu 2.0.

In other news Russia says, after the tri-partite meeting, that Israel's strikes in Syria are unhelpful, and Iran is helping stabilize Syria.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 25 2019 15:13 utc | 190


I have not been able to find any report of Iran giving a version of the P-8. Sputnik quoting Tasnim called it a P-8 Poseidon, but on looking up the Tasnim article, the quoted officer only states P-8.

The relevant piece .. "An American military plane called P8 was flying close to the downed US drone, Brigadier General Hajizadeh told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to display the wreckage of the US stealth drone on Friday."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 25 2019 15:21 utc | 191

@ 117 paveway... just follow the suns path and head north as much as possible! should be a good walk! thanks for your other posts too!

@ 161 somebody... good overview to which i agree with..

@175 yeah, right... clearly the usa has to be careful as db notes - they are overextended..

Posted by: james | Jun 25 2019 15:21 utc | 192

"Une violation iranienne de l'accord sur le nucléaire de 2015 serait "une grave erreur" et "une mauvaise réponse à la pression exercée par les Etats-Unis" contre Téhéran, a averti mardi le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

"La diplomatie française, allemande et britannique sont entièrement mobilisées pour faire comprendre à l'Iran que ce ne serait pas son intérêt", a-t-il souligné à l'Assemblée nationale, en appelant à "agir ensemble pour éviter l'escalade"." lci

Saying UK France and Germany warning Iran that to breach JCPOA would be a grave error. In between the lines I suppose this means they cannot then defend Iran properly for the lack of compliance, which adds up to them bowing out and leaving the US and Iran face to face. It's well done, someone cynical would say.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 25 2019 15:40 utc | 193

The US seems intent on doubling down on all fronts, possibly sanctioning Chinese banks for violating sanctions on NK, threating Russia over supposed INF treaty violations, stirring trouble in Georgia and Kosovo, Trump teeating again about 'obliteration' and moving additional assets to ME theater. Much more could be added to this list. Desperation?

Posted by: the pessimist | Jun 25 2019 15:56 utc | 194

@Peter AU 21

>>...Brigadier General Hajizadeh told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to display the wreckage of the US stealth drone on Friday<<

So this is the origin of the P8 and 35 crew information, right? General Hajizadeh telling this in a loose, inofficial conversation to some journalists. Why not in the official program, with the other infos? It's like presenting a prizewinning rabbit at an auction and afterwards telling the audience "but I have even a better one at home".

Was it to avoid to force their adversaries commenting on the P8? Kind of wink? Well, the adversaries didn't comment, with one remarkable exception though...

Posted by: mk | Jun 25 2019 15:59 utc | 195

25 and 26 June Manama conference on Palestine.

27 June Iran set to exceed JCPOA limit.

(Someone asked previously in another thread why Iran had upped production, the above is a good answer maybe)

Posted by: Anon | Jun 25 2019 16:06 utc | 196

@PavewayIV #146
I would take the oil derivatives numbers with a huge grain of salt.
Derivative total value is utterly meaningless - what really matters is net long or net short as well as the actual levels of net derivative position.
There is actually some data here: the CFTC tracks large fund activity.
At least as of June 24, 2019 - the net between speculators and hedgers was all of 418 contracts (363,087 contracts by specs, -362,669 contracts by hedgers).

Each contract is 1000 barrels. 418000 barrels net is hardly game changing.

The same goes for all the other types of derivatives. I'm not saying they aren't dangerous - but the dangers lie in the net spec or hedge (not in the absolute number) as well as the counterparty risk (i.e. maybe the net spec of hedge is low, but one or more entities on either side is over exposed and can't honor its side of the contract).

And as you may have seen, the Fed printed literally trillions in 2008 to save the banks. The ECB did the same for European banks.
Really hard for me to see why they couldn't do it again.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 25 2019 16:13 utc | 197

It looks that Zarif ridiculing the white house has hit Trump's nerve.
I think Iran will continue to mock the US threats. The repeated and insistant calls for negotiations from the USA show clearly that iran's pressure on the USA is working.
The usa is threatening with military intervention, Iran laughs at the white house's stupidity.
Let us see if Trump will fall into the trap set by the neocons, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Iran is actually pushing Trump in making a choice that may influence his election .

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 25 2019 16:28 utc | 198

@somebody #180
Helmer's article also includes reinforcement for what Magnier and b noted regarding Iran's strategy. An Iranian general says that if their oil can't get shipped, neither will anyone else's.
What Helmer notes is consistent with game theory: Russia benefits from Iran facing off against the US, and would not want Iran to go down easily, if at all.
However, the China question still remains: Could/Would China tolerate any significant interruption in oil supplies from the Persian Gulf?
Could/Would China tolerate significantly higher oil prices, even without an interruption?
Wiki reports China's Strategic Oil Reserve to be about 400-500 million barrels. That's all of 21-25.5 days supply for all of China's needs and 39-58 days if only the Persian Gulf supply is replaced - of course, I really doubt China would want to drain its entire strategic oil reserve.
This shows that any real oil interruption is neither hedgeable or tolerable by China.
To look at whether China's growth is affected by high oil prices (as opposed to oil unavailability), I looked at oil prices vs. China GDP growth from 2004-2016:
Year Avg Oil GDP YoY change
2016 $43.58 74,358.50 7.91%
2015 $48.72 68,905.21 7.00%
2014 $93.17 64,397.40 8.19%
2013 $97.98 59,524.44 10.16%
2012 $94.05 54,036.74 10.44%
2011 $94.88 48,930.06 18.47%
2010 $79.48 41,303.03 18.32%
2009 $61.95 34,908.14 9.25%
2008 $99.67 31,951.55 18.24%
2007 $72.34 27,023.23 23.15%
2006 $66.05 21,943.85 17.15%
2005 $56.64 18,731.89 15.74%
2004 $41.51 16,184.02 17.77%
This is extremely simplistic, but it doesn't look like oil price has a huge impact in and of itself. There is likely some impact, but most likely due to demand effects in its customer base - i.e. oil price affects China's ability to export but China's primary value add is not affected.

Here's the 64 dollar question: If China can tolerate high oil prices but cannot tolerate an actual oil interruption - who actually has the top hand in the Persian Gulf standoff?
Note that the US actually benefits from higher oil prices as does Russia. Iran has nothing to lose, either way.
I reiterate that China is the variable here.
Iran wants China to break with US sanctions, the US wants China not to.
Iran is willing to close the Persian Gulf; the US would have to pacify Iran to stop that (as well as prevent undue damage to oil production, processing and transport facilities in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the UAE).

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 25 2019 16:33 utc | 199

Fascinating read - What Iran Is Really Up To by Michael Doran

"Khamenei intends to leverage the fears that haunt these Europeans by raising the specter of war and simultaneously offering a cooperative, multilateral way to exorcise it, namely, by returning America to the JCPOA. His goal is to place Trump’s renunciation of the Iran nuclear deal on the unofficial agenda of the summit, in the hope that it will win a place on the short list of Trump’s major sins against “a rules-based international order,” right up there with the American president’s economic protectionism and his disavowal of the Paris climate accord."

"Khamenei’s strategy is as every bit as clever as Xi’s presentation of himself, of all autocrats, as a defender of high internationalism. If it succeeds, it has a good chance of accelerating Iran’s relentless push to obtain nuclear weapons."

Looks like the Supreme Leaders strategy is working beautifully. Job well done, sir.

The article goes onto state "“This strategic patience indicates the Iranian nation’s power and greatness,” Rouhani said, but even great nations have their limits. European efforts to blunt Trump’s campaign had largely failed, leaving Iran no choice but to chart a new course. Strategic patience would now give way to strategic pressure. Henceforth, Rohani dramatically announced, Iran would cease to observe the restrictions that the nuclear deal placed on its stockpiles of heavy water and enriched uranium."


"Iran’s policy of strategic pressure, then, is made up of three separate but interlocking lines of effort: a struggle to gain relief from the oil and banking sanctions; a campaign to tarnish Trump as an agent of chaos; and an initiative aimed at keeping its nuclear waivers in place. Among these, the third is by far the most urgent. To understand why, we need to examine the function of the waivers and why they are exceptionally valuable to Ali Khamenei."

And there is much more that may be of interest in this article including the "When Trump renounced the nuclear deal, it was widely assumed that the United States had withdrawn from it entirely. In fact, the administration kept one foot in the deal..."

Seems to me Khomenei's game plan to influence the G20 is working beautifully even his propaganda...

Posted by: h | Jun 25 2019 16:42 utc | 200

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