Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 26, 2019

Western News Agencies Mistranslate Iran's President Speech - It Is Not The First Time Such 'Error' Happens

Yesterday the news agencies Associated Press and Reuters mistranslated a speech by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. They made it sound as if Rouhani insulted U.S. President Donald Trump as 'mentally retarded'. Rouhani never said that.

The agencies previously made a similar 'mistake'.

A 2005 speech by then President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was famously misquoted. Israel should be wiped off map, says Iran's president headlined the Guardian at that time. Others used similar headlines. The New York Times wrote:

Iran's conservative new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Wednesday that Israel must be "wiped off the map" and that attacks by Palestinians would destroy it, the ISNA press agency reported.
Referring to comments by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, Ahmadinejad said, "As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."

The statement was used by the G.W. Bush administration and others to whip up hostility against Iran:

Ever since he spoke at an anti-Zionism conference in Tehran last October, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has been known for one statement above all. As translated by news agencies at the time, it was that Israel "should be wiped off the map." Iran's nuclear program and sponsorship of militant Muslim groups are rarely mentioned without reference to the infamous map remark.

Here, for example, is R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, recently: "Given the radical nature of Iran under Ahmadinejad and its stated wish to wipe Israel off the map of the world, it is entirely unconvincing that we could or should live with a nuclear Iran."

However Ahmedinejad never used those words:

"Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to wipe Israel off the map because no such idiom exists in Persian," remarked Juan Cole, a Middle East specialist at the University of Michigan and critic of American policy who has argued that the Iranian president was misquoted. "He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse." Since Iran has not "attacked another country aggressively for over a century," he said in an e-mail exchange, "I smell the whiff of war propaganda."

Jonathan Steele, a columnist for the left-leaning Guardian newspaper in London, recently laid out the case this way: "The Iranian president was quoting an ancient statement by Iran's first Islamist leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, that 'this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time,' just as the Shah's regime in Iran had vanished. He was not making a military threat. He was calling for an end to the occupation of Jerusalem at some point in the future. The 'page of time' phrase suggests he did not expect it to happen soon."

Despite the above and other explanations the false "wipe Israel off the map" translation never died. Years later it still reappeared in Guardian pieces which required it to issue multiple corrections and clarifications.

Now, as the Trump administration is pushing for war on Iran, a similar mistranslation miraculously happened. It were again 'western' news agencies who lightened the fire:

The Associated Press @AP - 7:52 utc - 25 Jun 2019

BREAKING: Iran's President Rouhani mocks President Trump, says the White House is "afflicted by mental retardation."

Farsi speakers pointed out that the Rouhani never used the Farsi word for "retarded":

Sina Toossi @SinaToossi - 13:49 utc - 25 Jun 2019

A lot of Western media is reporting that Iranian President Rouhani called Trump "mentally retarded." This is inaccurate.
Regarding Trump, he just said "no wise person would take such an action [the new sanctions imposed]."

Reza H. Akbari @rezahakbari - 15:58 utc - 25 Jun 2019

Absolutely incorrect. There is a word for "retarded" in Persian & Rouhani didn't use it. Prior to him saying "mental disability" he even prefaced his comment by saying "mental weakness." Those who speak Persian can listen & judge for themselves. Here is a video clip of Rouhani's comment: link

But the damage was already done:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 14:42 utc - 25 Jun 2019

Iran leadership doesn’t understand the words “nice” or “compassion,” they never have. Sadly, the thing they do understand is Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world, with 1.5 Trillion Dollars invested over the last two years alone..

....The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else. The U.S. has not forgotten Iran’s use of IED’s & EFP’s (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more...

....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!

Reuters, which also peddled the mistranslation, gleefully connected the dots:

WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to obliterate parts of Iran if it attacked “anything American,” in a new war of words with Iran which condemned fresh U.S. sanctions on Tehran as “mentally retarded.”

Today BBC Monitoring put out a Linguistic advisory to set the record straight:

Iran's president did not call Trump 'retarded'

In a televised speech on 25 June, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke of "mental incapability" and "mental disability"  in the White House.

Reuters and many other Western media outlets inaccurately rendered the terms Rouhani used in English as the highly offensive "mentally retarded".

A word-for-word translation of Rouhani's remark would be: "They have become stricken with mental incapability [Persian: natavani-ye zehni]. The White House has become stricken with mental disability [Persian: ma'luliyat-e zehni]. They don't know what to do."

The most precise Persian equivalent for "retarded" would probably be 'aqab mande', which captures the same notion of being slowed or delayed in development or progress.

However, the damage is done.

Even as Rouhani never called Trump or the White House 'mentally retarded', the claim that he did will live on for ages. It will be used to condemn him and Iran.

Thirty hours after it appeared, the 'Breaking' AP tweet quoted above is still up. It was retweeted more than 25,000 times. The Reuters report is still on its website. Hundreds of media outlets reproduced the false claim these agencies distribute.

It is hard to believe that such significant mistranslations of official 'enemies', left without a timely correction, happen accidentally.

Posted by b on June 26, 2019 at 16:53 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Kinda makes one wonder if Kim Jong-Un was also deliberately mistranslated to make it seem like he called Trump an insulting word.

Posted by: Jonathan Gillispie | Jun 26 2019 17:02 utc | 1

The ensnarement of language. How the Tower of Babel works against us even today. Since the vagaries of language are never far from the tongue, I find the English up here quite fine, not to mention miles better than my German if that is indeed the host's native tongue.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | Jun 26 2019 17:07 utc | 2

A very valid point, b. However being accused of calling Trump retarded, even if Rouhani never actually did, is not likely cause him or Iran much trouble. For many, it will be more a case of, "if the shoe fits, wear it." Trump's base might be angry about it, but the rest of the world, and probably most of the USA, won't care and would probably agree.

Posted by: Lysander | Jun 26 2019 17:08 utc | 3

Trump was right more than he realizes that the press is the enemy of the people. They goad nations into unnecessary and bloody war.

Posted by: Jonathan Gillispie | Jun 26 2019 17:11 utc | 4

I thinks this happened with translation of Japanese statements leading up to Pearl Harbor. Some idiom meaning "ignore" was rendered in English as "treat with silent contempt". I think, but not 100% sure.

Posted by: adrian pols | Jun 26 2019 17:13 utc | 5

WSJ:Trump Bucked National-Security Aides on Proposed Iran Attack

“These people want to push us into a war, and it’s so disgusting,” Mr. Trump told one confidant about his own inner circle of advisers. “We don’t need any more wars.”

Then fire them or let the country know that you can't because of past bad decisions you made or were forced into. Even if you are in on the current plan, throw them under the bus. They will not be on the winning side. The information you are receiving is inaccurate and/or deliberately misleading.

You will be forgiven for whatever you admit too. Ask the people for help and you will have millions of able bodies at your disposal to aid in removing these warmongers from our government. This option won't be available to you much longer.

Posted by: Zack | Jun 26 2019 17:15 utc | 6

IMO watching the US gunboat diplomacy world wide,,, retarded fits....

Posted by: ken | Jun 26 2019 17:17 utc | 7

@ Posted by: Jonathan Gillispie | Jun 26, 2019 1:02:43 PM | 1

"Dotard" you mean? I kinda hope not, it's a good one.

Posted by: Ash | Jun 26 2019 17:18 utc | 8

"Jonathan Steele, a columnist for the left-leaning Guardian newspaper in Londo..."

It might once have been left liberal and it used to employ some very good journalists telling the truth about latin america, for example and Palestine, but it is now the premier outlet for Military Intelligence propaganda in the UK.
It has taken the lead not only in promoting Russophobia but also in smearing Julian Assange. It is the most dishonest newspaper in the UK and that is saying something.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 26 2019 17:20 utc | 9

Jonathan Gillispie @1

As in “mentally deranged U.S. dotard”?

Those are all the DPRK’s own words, and well done too. It’s nice that somewhere in the world there are still people with a feel for the English language.

Posted by: David G | Jun 26 2019 17:21 utc | 10

The mockingbirds are singing especially loud these days. Such a shrill cry.

Posted by: roza shanina | Jun 26 2019 17:23 utc | 11

thanks b... i share @3 lysanders view on this...

the western msm mis-translates and slants news regularly.. this isn't news.. it is more like a regular feature...

Posted by: james | Jun 26 2019 17:26 utc | 12

This follows in the footsteps of a rich history of mistranslating and obfuscating which is rarely, if ever, corrected by our Guardians of Truth. I will not hold my breath for AP to pull its tweet out issue any sort of correction. The war machine is revving up, truth be damned.

To add a few obfuscations to the list of mistranslations: the Palestinian intifada. Sounds scary, no? Violence against the benevolent Israelis. Because what does intifada actually mean? Uprising, which by its nature suggests oppression, something which just 'can't' be happening in Palestine, hence the need for intifada.
Or take jihad, 'a pillor' of Islam. Again, very scary, as jihad 'means' suicide bombs and killing infidels. What the Guardians of Truth never mention is that jihad in Islam is a very, very broad term that includes such things as helping the poor or less fortunate, educating oneself, quiet reflection, and prayer. Jihad as meaning 'holy war' was a sense meaning derived much later than the founding of the religion, as a reaction to very real threats to believers of the time, the Crusades and Mongol invasions. That this specific sense meaning was essentially confined to history afterward, only to be revived by Wahhabists and takfiris, and one not believed in by the vast majority of Muslims, is never explained. 'Cause all them crazy Muslims believe in jihad!

In all cases where the boogeyman of the day needs concocting, rest assured the 'mainstream' press, with AP in the lead, will be there to build a gleaming edifice mistruths, omissions, and lies.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jun 26 2019 17:32 utc | 13

Ahmadinejad’s true and correct translation reads: “Zionism should be wiped from the pages of history.”

Now who can argue with that.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 26 2019 17:36 utc | 14

Speaking about the mental capabilities of those involved -- in this episode of The Duran, Alexander Mercouris quotes Semour Hersch quoting a high level source told Hersch that the thing to understand about Trump is "that he is both intelligent, and kind".
The latter is indeed something --without irony-- to ponder over, and Alexander Mercouris goes into that to some length.

Posted by: bjd | Jun 26 2019 17:36 utc | 15

Lest we forget:

"Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?” - the President of the United States

Yes, you look exactly like a guy who pays for sex and you're also a dotard.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jun 26 2019 17:38 utc | 16

In approximately 17 months, the american public can make strides to fix this mess.
I guess that is a long time for the iranians, but still maybe best option.

Posted by: jared | Jun 26 2019 17:43 utc | 17

Just in case there is any doubt in American minds here is the Israeli Ambassador to the UN. He thinks the sanctions are working well. Iran is panicking.

Good job guys. Keep squeezing.

Posted by: dh | Jun 26 2019 17:51 utc | 18

This dude (Trump) has spent more than two years, and a ton of money, trying to pull the undercurrent of dissent in the American population into his camp and under his wing. In all of his 'fighting with the establishment' he has managed to change exactly nothing and bring exactly nobody to justice. He has gathered the entirety of the Bush/Rumsfeld faction directly into his tent, while miraculously failing to so much as arrest a single member of the Clinton faction. And to top it off he just ordered an armed attack on an independent nation (which failed in spectacular fashion as thr first targeting drone was vaporized while he was watching the livestream). Come on dude.

Posted by: Josh | Jun 26 2019 17:54 utc | 19

Is it not possible to take legal action against these "news agencies" for slander?

Posted by: Blue | Jun 26 2019 17:54 utc | 20

@19 blue... sounds like a made in america concept... sue someone..

Posted by: james | Jun 26 2019 17:58 utc | 21

Reminds me of the monk all those centuries ago who said "celebrate" and some fool wrote it down as "celibate."

Anyhow, it's better that politicians (at any level) hurl schoolyard names at each other rather than bombs. In this case it was probably purposely fabricated, as suggested. Fake news is prolific now, and real news is sparse. It's meant as entertainment, with no market for dull facts. The government is good at propaganda, called "public diplomacy." It's a career track at the State Department, "Public Diplomacy Officers."

What are you, nuts? Are you crazy? It's a guy thing, rather harmless. I've been called much worse on blogs by crazy guys. Of course I'm not a president, but men are just boys sometimes. Most women have more sense, I believe.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2019 18:10 utc | 22

Excellent summary of how malevolence works in many subtle ways.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Jun 26 2019 18:10 utc | 23


Mercouris makes little sense in his argument that Trump is kind because Seymour Hersch heard it from someone in the admin. There simply aren't any actions which indicate kindness on any level. And Mercouris provides no examples other than the Haskel Duck Story and the 150 Iranians.

There are many, thousands in Iran who are hurt by economic sanctions.

Economic Sanctions are used by the USA / NATO as a precursor to war.

Is it kind to cheat the brick layer or carpet guy? Is he kind to his wife and young son? Trump can't even fake kindness.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jun 26 2019 18:15 utc | 24

Language isn't a problem as Pepe Escobar reports on The Big Picture on the cusp of the G-20, which revolves round what appears to be the sold front posed by RIC--Russia, India, China. A tidbit:

"What matters is that the Xi-Modi bilateral at the SCO was so auspicious that Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale was led to describe it as “the beginning of a process, after the formation of government in India, to now deal with India-China relations from both sides in a larger context of the 21st century and of our role in the Asia-Pacific region.” There will be an informal Xi-Modi summit in India in October. And they meet again at the BRICS summit in Brazil in November."

Clearly when the Big Picture's considered--as it ought to always--Iran's seen as the weak-link in BRI/Eurasian integration by Outlaw US Empire planners, which is the actual target beyond Iran. Given the number of nations climbing onboard the BRI Train, Trump won't get many nations aboard his coalition. Aside from Saudi, UAE, Occupied Palestine, and UK, how many nations have swallowed TrumpCo's lie that Iran's responsible for the current crisis? Canada, Ukraine, Poland, Albania, Brazil, Netherlands, The Baltic States?

To bad there's no C-SPAN at the G-20.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 26 2019 18:18 utc | 25

Blue @19,

I'm pretty sure, given our Founding Gentry, that freedom of the press (for those who could afford one) was exactly what they contemplated when they wrote the 1A, with any challenges to their Order to be deemed public incitement.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jun 26 2019 18:21 utc | 26

wait, there was a time when the guardian issued multiple revisions and corrections?? they've moved on from that way of doing journalism, apparently. now they just leave the propaganda as is and say they support it while carefully keeping control of the comments.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 26 2019 18:24 utc | 27

For the translators to miss translate in this way, is very offensive to enyone who has a mental handicap, It is also offensive to Iran’s leader !
Trump as a psychopath technically has a - - -
‘Personality disorder’
Wasn’t his farther a kkk grandmaster ? That would explain a lot !!!
Yet another symptom (about 10 main ones) Psycopaths have either no sense of humour or a very warped violent sense of humour ! I looked and I found it with Trump !
We need to be worried very very worried. Remember the nuclear button !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 26 2019 18:27 utc | 28

@karlof1 23

The article also sites the explicit protection that RC are rendering to Iran. I wonder whether Trump received a phone call from Putin/Xi 10 minutes before the American response to downing the RQ-4.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 26 2019 18:34 utc | 30

They mistranslate Trump all the time, or they spin what he says. It is amazing to watch.
For instance, at the Helsinki meeting, where he met with Putin and they discussed multiple topics, but the press ignored any topic but demanding that Trump denounce Putin and "admit" that Putin helped him steal the election, and that he was therefore not the legitimate president.
Obviously, Trump was not going to say that, so he said that he was the legitimate president, and the mockingbird media spun that into "the president is a traitor to America because he said that 17 national intelligence agencies are lying".

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jun 26 2019 18:43 utc | 31

Full Spectrum Domino mistakes "the ensnarements of language' as the problem. His misuse of "vagaries" in the next sentence meanwhile demonstrating his own shortcomings, not certainly with the actual problem, propaganda, but in even a native speaker's language mistakes.

Posted by: Lawrence Magnuson | Jun 26 2019 18:44 utc | 32

Who else can we sanction? We've got to stop the Eurasian Belt and Road Project. We cannot abide harmonious relationships and trade btw the reds and "Old Europe".

“Well, is there any way we can screw him? That’s what I mean. There must be ways.” - President Nixon, regarding Dick Cavett and his alleged anti-war pov.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jun 26 2019 18:53 utc | 33

@b, @Uncle John (13)

Here's a question during a lecture by Noam Chomsky at Brown University, where he agrees to that statement: Noam Chomsky - US Israeli Crimes Against Palestine.

Posted by: bjd | Jun 26 2019 18:59 utc | 34

Blue @19,

I'm pretty sure, given our Founding Gentry, that freedom of the press (for those who could afford one) was exactly what they contemplated when they wrote the 1A, with any challenges to their Order to be deemed public incitement.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jun 26, 2019 2:21:43 PM | 24

The founding gentry did not put the first 10 amendments in the constitution, until they were unable to get it ratified, that is why there are amendments.. not part of the basic constitution..
the constitution separated the people from their government.. still does. 3 votes is it.. no more
2 for senator 1 for house of representation.. the Article II people are elected by the electoral college not popular vote even though big deal about it it is nothing but divide and conquer.. not about electing anyone.. .

Posted by: snake | Jun 26 2019 19:17 utc | 35

Within the last decade or so, it was noted that the English Language had picked up its millionth word; most are purloined from their native sources. On the plus side, the enormous vocabulary enables nuance galore but contains the seeds making meaning fungible. Having never encountered the word "chuffed", a quick linguistic analysis provided: a past tense of chaffed; Not So. The dialect gives 'pleased', 'happy', it chuffs me to report. Given the trajectory education everywhere has taken, it is not surprising the rise in fungibility that a word's meaning has taken, almost to the level of the 'Mad Hatter's Tea Party' or wherever the Red Queen had her order of justice declaimed. At the end of the day when bottom lines are drawn, this phenomenon has the quality of dissolving the lingual glues that hold people together, to isolate the individual keeping effective social control minimised, to dilute memories and enforce control over each by marketeers, propagandists and their power centred overlords. Your milage probably differs.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 26 2019 19:23 utc | 36

@12 Don Wiscacho. In my understanding,the idea of Jihad came from early Christianity. The theology, very basically is that one goes to spiritual war within yourself to expunge the temptations which lead to sin. Sin in this context isn’t the actual doing of evil bit the fact that you are straying from the narrow path that leads to salvation.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jun 26 2019 19:33 utc | 37

I'm going to go against the grain of the belt and road initiative theory above, and I admit the US is often hostile to Chinese relations with Europe, especially infrastructure. That might be so because the US hopes to compete in that market, just as to control eurasian access would give it a hegemonic position in new trade through the region. So I think that it is not aimed at stopping that initiative, it is about finding ways to control it.

This rubs off on Syria, which is the Mediterranean access point. To control Syria gives control of that access point, it would remove direct Russian Mediterranean access also, as well as buffer Israel. I think EU is more interested in securing the Mediterranean than any new Eurasian trade route, except for similar reasons to US in terms of control and profit. As stands I don't see EU achieving any great new trade by that route. So that ties Europe more closely with US in my opinion. If you look at relations towards Russia, say Cyprus or Ukraine or sanctions, they do not demonstrate a great friendship or trust, just a balance of power and certain understandings.

I think that the amplification of differences between Iran and US is an antagonism not viewable by the US public as other than part of either longstanding differences or due to US policy error, but I think that it should be considered that this confrontation is actually being framed up to place the US frontline, something the US itself maybe unwittingly invites by its own rhetoric and posturing of dominance.

If the above is the true scenario, then I see little room for de-escalation left. To cede at this point by US would be tantamount to giving Russia, China and Iran hegemony of the region, and I just don't think that is on the books, I don't think China or Russia will be able to provide the reassurance western or US allied nations or states would accept. For the US the main state it would not abandon would be Israel, but I don't think the US would just give up the hegemony that it still has in the region just like that either.

Posted by: gzon | Jun 26 2019 19:38 utc | 38

How FB helps erasing history (and provides money to terrorists in Syria)

Posted by: Mina | Jun 26 2019 19:51 utc | 39

.....The ministers lie, the professors lie, the television lies,
the priests lie… .
These lies mean that the country wants to die.
Lie after lie starts out into the prairie grass,
like enormous caravans of Conestoga wagons… .

And a long desire for death flows out, guiding the
enormous caravans from beneath,
stringing together the vague and foolish words.
It is a desire to eat death,
to gobble it down,
to rush on it like a cobra with mouth open
It’s a desire to take death inside,
to feel it burning inside, pushing out velvety hairs,
like a clothes brush in the intestines—
This is the thrill that leads the President on to lie....

Robert Bly, The Teeth Mother Naked at Last, originally published by City Lights books 1970

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jun 26 2019 20:02 utc | 40

There was no planned attack.
No declaration of an Air Exclusion zone, and just a weak FAA civil aviation warning issued midday Friday.
Its all bullshit,sad to see so many supposedly bright people buying the con, but con it was to
make Trump look like a statesman.Isn't enough lipstick in the world to dress up that pork.

Posted by: Winston2 | Jun 26 2019 20:16 utc | 41

Goon. It's not up to the U.S. to confer hegemony. It's up to the nation's involved to decide how they want to live and who they cooperate with.
The Great Game isn't making America great. It's making it a despised debtor nation vs. allowing everyone to enjoy a better, safer world.
As Carl Sagan pointed out, solving the problems and challenges humanity faces today requires the participation and of many nations. Global warming and the exploration of space to name a few.

Posted by: CDWaller | Jun 26 2019 20:22 utc | 42

snake @32 regarding the voting process in the constitution as ratified:The voter cast one vote for Federal office- his "Representative" in congress. The Senate was selected by the state legislators of the respective states. In this construction they functioned as Ambassadors/Envoys representing the interests of the individual states and their governments.
It was only with the passage of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution that they were "popularly" elected.
Interestingly, this had the effect of functionally repealing the intent, if not the actual wording, of the 10th Amendment. Which, with the passage of the 16th, 18th and 19th amendments, fundamentally altered the landscape of the American Republic into something more amenable to mass control and manipulation. We already were on a track toward Empire, but in hindsight it feels like the American version of "Crossing the Rubicon"
Mister Wilson was a busy fellow. The League of Nations didn't work out so well, but who knows what it was intended to accomplish anyway.

Posted by: juandonjuan | Jun 26 2019 20:36 utc | 43

No 'boots on the ground' in Iran dispute, Trump says; cites 'unlimited time' for new deal

WASHINGTON/GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he was “not talking boots on the ground” should he take military action against Iran and that he had “unlimited time” to try to forge an agreement with Tehran.


Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 26 2019 20:45 utc | 44

George Galloway came under fire for calling someone a ‘window-licker’ on twitter. ‘A mentally handicapped person’ a perfect description of Trump. Kim Jong- un called Bolton ‘human scum’ and recently ‘a defective human’ I think even Trump would agree with Kim.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 26 2019 20:47 utc | 45

gzon @35--

"... [F]inding ways to control it" differs little from "stopping that initiative," particularly within the context of the stated #1 policy goal of the Outlaw US Empire--Full Spectrum Domination. (Oh, and welcome to the forum.)

Pardon me for asking a few questions. First, have you read the White Paper(doc format) issued by China's Politburo explaining to the Outlaw US Empire why it ceased trade negotiations and set forth its conditions for their resumption? Second, Have you read Michael Hudson's short appraisal of that paper as it integrates with his analysis of the overall Outlaw US Empire project?

Lastly, please elaborate on what you mean here: "... I don't think China or Russia will be able to provide the reassurance western or US allied nations or states would accept." I look forward to your reply.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 26 2019 20:53 utc | 46

Mental retarded is one form of mental disability. This isn't quite the whopper as “wiping Israel off the map “ was

I do expect to see limited strikes against Iran within the next week. Predictions are usually wrong though as events are increasingly unpredictable. I sometimes think that the simple act of predicting something which is actually planned can cause the plan to change. Kind of like Quantum physics where observation of a quantum wave can change its quantum state. Observation alters reality.

Anyways, assuming the strikes happen what happens afterward should be interesting. As Trump said this wont include boots on the ground so it will be an air show. There is the law of unintended consequences that applies, so who can say for sure.

But Trump needs Aldersons continued financial support to get reelected, and he wants a ROI, so I think something happens. Big or small? I expect a limited strike, at least I hope so. Something Iran can ignore at least cause only a token retaliation to save face and not cause escalation.

Posted by: Pft | Jun 26 2019 21:01 utc | 47

Maybe the translation is inacurate but the message had the expected reaction from Trump: Tweet furor.
It is good that Trump realizes that he does not have the monopole of insulting leaders.
The USA is a country that since WWII has never won any war. How could it give a lesson to Iran who won a 8 years war against Iraq despite the support that the USA, the Gulf countries and Western countries gave to Iraq.
Loud noise and indecisive actions: The disaster of the USA foreign policy

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 26 2019 21:10 utc | 48

I remember watching CNN translate Khamenei's "Nuclear Power" to "Nuclear Weapons" right on live TV in 2013. This is not new.

Posted by: Abx | Jun 26 2019 21:20 utc | 49

Virgile "The USA is a country that since WWII has never won any war". The US won a war against Grenada [population 95,000] I would go so far as to say they whupped ass. True there were only 64 Cuban soldiers there [security guards] All members of the US armed forces were involved and 5,000 medals were given out. Ra Ra USA.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 26 2019 21:29 utc | 50

Pft #44,

Clearly you are having a problem with the language the Iranians are using.

They have said, repeatedly now, that the red line is their border, and that anything that crosses it launched by the enemy will trigger their full response.

For the Septics that means they have no "limited" options, it is either go hard, or go home.

(Rhyming slang, septic tank.....Yank)

Posted by: eagle eye | Jun 26 2019 21:30 utc | 51

Re: 14, 22

Describing Trump as "kind" is laughable, but the recent (non-) incident where he countermanded an attack in reply to Iran downing the drone does shed light on a surprisingly positive aspect of his character. I think he recoiled at the thought of being directly responsible for killing people, and I'm really glad of it.

Most politicians who claw their way to the Presidency find a way to reconcile themselves to such murderous choices (it's a necessary part of the job). Trump has never wasted much time on philosophy; deep pondering of moral dilemmas is not his style. Trump's history of bankruptcies, unpaid bills, lawsuits, pornstars, etc, proves that he has no compunctions against screwing people. But - born rich - he's always been playing Mafia, not really living it; I don't think he's ever ordered a hit on anybody. And now, when the time came to give the order, some speck of moral awareness shone through all that muck, and prevented him from ordering the attack.

I consider Trump to be the worst US President ever, and a grotesque human being, but this time, I'm glad that he wasn't prepared to "do the job".

Re: original post - thanks again, b, for pointing out how MSM twists the frame, smoothing the way for popular acceptance of US military action.

Posted by: elkern | Jun 26 2019 21:42 utc | 52

I am a Persian speaker and is true that president Rouhani never said Trump is retarded, we now have way passed the point that insults can matte. Nevertheless it was better if President Rouhani would have called Trump and the rest of the ruling US regime like what the whole world has now come to understand, a true and unique collection of retards on a shining hill.

Posted by: Kooshy | Jun 26 2019 21:45 utc | 53

michaelj72 #37
I'm the Slime - Frank Zappa

I am gross and perverted
I'm obsessed 'n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little has changed
I'm the tool of the Government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you

I may be vile and pernicious
But you can't look away
I make you think I'm delicious
With the stuff that I say
I'm the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I'm the slime oozin' out
From your TV set

You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don't need you
Don't go for help . . . no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 26 2019 22:12 utc | 54

Both India and China will have the same problem if Trump shuts down oil supplies from the Persian Gulf in his attacks on Iran. US brought Russia and China together, and will truly be the exceptional nation if it can bring India and China together which it appears to be doing.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 26 2019 22:13 utc | 55

He's even bringing India and Pakistan together over the issue.

Posted by: Winston2 | Jun 26 2019 22:21 utc | 56

Reminds me of when Nikita Khruschev attempted to explain in 1956 his view that that capitalism would destroy itself from within by quoting Marx: "What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers." This was notoriously mistranslated into English as "We will bury you", as if the Soviets were out to kill all westerners themselves. Of course this mistranslated was quoted time and time again in western media, fueling Cold War paranoia for years to come.

Posted by: 0use4msm | Jun 26 2019 22:24 utc | 57

As this is the thread for insults or not...
"The Iranian Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei has reminded Iranian officials of what Imam Khomeini said during the US-Iran crisis in the 80s. He said: “The behaviour of the US can be compared to the story of a lion in Persian stories. Carter most probably didn’t know about this story. Although it pains me to compare Carter to a lion, the story fits him perfectly. When a Lion faces his enemy, it roars and breaks wind to scare his enemy. The lion ends by shaking his tail, hoping for a mediator. Today the US is mimicking the lion’s behaviour: the shouting and the threats (roaring) don’t scare us, and the US’s continual announcement of new sanctions is to us just like the lion breaking wind”."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 26 2019 22:29 utc | 58

blue @ 19 The news media are wedded to the state which is wedded to the banking system which are all subsidiaries of global capitalism. They don't need to correct themselves. They may have the occasional family feud, but they're all on the same team. They will admit to "mistakes" being made, but only long after it makes no difference.
We have a FREE PRESS in America-Pravda on the Potomac, Izvestia on the Hudson.
Have a look sometime at the Venn Diagrams that portray the overlapping/interlocking memberships of the regulatory/financial/corporate leadership class.
But more than that, whatever the idea of a free press once meant, with the rise of digital corporate networking "platforms", not subject to any accountability, the barriers to entry of any competing narratives to the mainstream discourse are nearly insurmountable. Except maybe through subversion?
What is missing is a true public 'Marketplace of Ideas'

Posted by: juandonjuan | Jun 26 2019 22:31 utc | 59

The sweet tongue of the Iranians. There was a time when Iranians were known for their zeal in respect for the truth. Never too late to pick up old habits again, and let go of acquired bad habits of neighboring tribes. Iran is the land of "The Noble People", so let's stick to the program, shall we, Kooshy?

From the link you provided, dear 'b':

(Dear reader, you can read ala sing along matching the video to verify. always verify. and be grateful I elected not to write in Khateh Mikhee ;)

do-cha-reh na-ta-va-nyeh zeh-ni sho-dan ee-naa
kaa-kheh se-feed do-cha-reh ma'a-lu-liat-eh zeh-ni sho-deh
yeh adam in-ghadr agh-le-shoh az dast bedeh
va be-yaad yek ka-reh va-gheeh va ah-ma-gha-neh an-jam be-deh
keh chee?

You wanna take a crack at it Kooshy Jaan or shall I go ahead and translate that?

Posted by: Realist | Jun 26 2019 22:32 utc | 60

except carter nixed the strident conservative demands for a full attack on iran. indeed, with the constant drumbeat from the post and the nyt, probably cost him the election

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 26 2019 22:33 utc | 61

@karlof1 | Jun 26, 2019 2:18:59 PM | 23

Pepe Escobar reports on The Big Picture on the cusp of the G-20

From Pepe's article, "There will be a perfunctory BRICS meeting right before the start of the G20 on Friday, but the real deal is RIC".

If Europe joins the RIC, will the expanded organization be called RICE?

Posted by: Cyril | Jun 26 2019 22:44 utc | 62

The deliberate mis-translations of non-english speaking "adversaries" of the US is common in the msm. Putin is frequently and deliberately mis-translated to make him appear dictatorial and aggressive.

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 26 2019 23:00 utc | 63

I just dug this comment on Iran SAM capability out of a Pakistan Mil-Blog:

I did a calculation which basically showed that for the Najm-802B and Najm-804 of the 15th Khordad to reach the same performance as the twice larger Najm-802A its elements must have 8-9 times larger power output.
Najm-802A first appeared 2012 (prototype) and Najm-802B 2016 (prototype).

The mobility of the half sized Najm-802B and -804 is of course at shoot and scoot level compared to the Najm-802A.

Furthermore at its anti-stealth engagement range of 45km the radar performance will be sufficient to detect -45dB stealth performance aircraft. -45dB is a U.S. MIC-PR-machine textbook minimal RCS for things like F-22/-35 that translates to 0,00003m²... Which means: At the stated 45km, the 15th Khordad and its IRGC pendant will be able to kill "any" known stealth asset. . .here

"sufficient to detect -45dB stealth performance aircraft" . . ."the 15th Khordad [which was used recently] and its IRGC pendant will be able to kill "any" known stealth asset"
It's (mostly) all Greek to me but perhaps somebody that actually knows something can affirm it, or deny it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2019 23:02 utc | 64

I listened to Rohani's speech. He said that if JCPOA is bad, it is bad for all parties; and if it is good, it is good for all parties. They cannot expect for JCPOA to be bad for them and good for us. They withdrew from the JCPOA and expect us to stay with the agreement. This is what he meant when he said: White house has been affected by mental inability and mental disability.

Posted by: pj | Jun 26 2019 23:11 utc | 65

Either way b, Chump IS retarded. The man can barely read, his command of english is at best 6th grade level. People who worked with him (youtube video link) and for him are unequivocal with regard to stable genius intellect or lack thereof. He's a great conman, expert at bullying, reneging on contractual obligations, defrauding suppliers and customers alike since Atlantic city fiasco, bending the law with an army of lawyers, etc. Trump's a classic New-york arrivist hustler born on third base and swearing he hit a triple. 90% of non-white males in the United States don't get four kicks at the can, after multiple bankruptcies and criminal dealings with the mafia. Neo-confederates and deplorables will defend their great white hope as the next best thing since sliced bread, but no matter how much lipstick one puts on a pig, it's still a filthy pig. Idiocracy - #winning...

Posted by: Sol Invictus | Jun 26 2019 23:12 utc | 66

India is an aspect to the US attacks on Iran that has not been discussed much, perhaps no reason to do so as India has been straddling the fence, using the US as a hedge against China. That seems to have changed as US moves against Iran are threatening Indian interests. The port of Chabahar and India's oil imports being two of those interests.

Also on the subject of the recent drone shootdown, one aspect I had not looked at before was the US Cyber attack on Iran. Magniers piece say it occurred on the thursday got me thinking about it. apparently it was designed simply to disable weapons systems.

From BBC...
"The attack had been planned for several weeks, the sources told US media outlets, and was suggested as a way of responding to the mine attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

It was aimed at weapons systems used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which shot down the US drone last Thursday and which the US says also attacked the tankers.

Both the Washington Post and AP news agency said the cyber-attack had disabled the systems. The New York Times said it was intended to take the systems offline for a period of time."

If the US had a tool to do this, it would be used at the start of a US attack, not simply as retribution and the resulting incapacity not be taken advantage of.

This cyber attack most likely occurred prior to the drone incursion, US thinking it had disabled Iranian systems then moves it's two million dollar drone in for a closer look at Iran, perhaps with strikes planned to go in closely behind the drone.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 26 2019 23:13 utc | 67

Now I am become daft, the destroyer of words.
Apologies to Oppenheimer.

Posted by: Caught_Fish | Jun 26 2019 23:14 utc | 68

There are some signs that Saudi forces are beginning to collapse in the War in Yemen. If so, the collapse of the whole of Saudi Arabia may follow.

I always thought that the unattributable claims of Iranian responsibility was just FUD, but is it all misdirection. Is Iran really striking back via the Yemen conflict? And the real target is Saudi Arabia? I am not suggesting actual Iranian involvement, just effective support, advice and logistics.

All of a sudden the war appears to be going very badly for Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 26 2019 23:14 utc | 69

Verbal electronic arrows have increased the amount of overall use of bandwidth but Trump's King's still I check and must be protected, his "no boots on ground" is woefully insufficient. As was discussed toward the end of the "Seeking Coalition" thread, how will Iran respond to what now seems likely as a limited strike? Will it lash out at Trump's King and take hostages beforehand either in Iraq, Kuwait or Afghanistan? Will Trump refrain from acting until or during the G-20. Will Iran wait until the targets cross into its airspace? As you can see the possibilities and their variables are as Pft @44 alludes to--almost infinite.

What was the substance of Bolton's report to Trump from Jerusalem and was it truthful? Does Trump understand what it means for Iran to be considered under the aegis of Russia and China, or does it matter since they remain the ultimate targets?

Sigh...… Too many questions and not enough information to even provide an educated WAG. For those that missed it, here's the statement issued yesterday by Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the Jerusalem talks with Patrushev ended. It concludes:

"Russia stands in full solidarity with the friendly people of Iran and its government. The US government should consider where such a reckless course of action might lead. Not only could it destabilise the Middle East, it threatens to undermine the entire system of international security."

I note Patrushev's absence from the meeting earlier today of Russia's Security Council. Surely his report from Jerusalem was the primary topic.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 26 2019 23:16 utc | 70

(((News Agencies)))

Posted by: Anon | Jun 26 2019 23:17 utc | 71

Iran is at war. US and gang are trying to destroy Iran as a nation. The biggest asset in times of war is deception. Used by both the attacker and the attacked.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 26 2019 23:26 utc | 72

Kooshy is acting like an American. Come on, Kooshy, give us the evidence already. (He's probably Iranian-American, lol)

Alright, so first my interpretation of the Rohani:

We, the miseducated, misinformed, lied to, manipulated, fleeced, and sacrificed humans who are not "card carrying" members of the Global Mafia, are afflicted with mental confusion. We are afflicted with mental confusion.

We listen to men such as this, exchanging pleasantries on tweeter and youtube and the pages of their propaganda organs, or their incorporated platforms, widely impressing us stupid ones as "leaders of men".

And we actually believe that these midgets are worthy of making decisions that affect each and every one of us.

Ok. (So I am not saying we are stupid and mentally confused. All I am saying is we are afflicted with mental confusion and stupidity. Is that a code word for Swamp Creatures? Who knows.)

Now, on to the translation:

do-cha-reh na-ta-va-nyeh zeh-ni sho-dan ee-naa
afflicted-with incapacity mental have-bcome they
They have become afflicted with mental incapacity.

kaa-kheh se-feed do-cha-reh ma'a-lu-liat-eh zeh-ni sho-deh
House White afflicted-with confusion mental has-become
The White House has become afflicted with mental confusion.

yeh adam in-ghadr agh-le-shoh az dast bedeh
one person in-such-a-measure his-mind at hand gives-away
A person to have lost his mind to such a degree

va be-yaad yek ka-reh va-gheeh va ah-ma-gha-neh an-jam be-deh
and then-comes one action disrespectfully-insulting and stupid perform do
and then does a disrespectful and stupid act

ke chee?
So what?

Posted by: Realist | Jun 26 2019 23:28 utc | 73

@70 realist... you are a real buffoon.. kooshy is indeed as he says he is... sorry to burst your bubble..

@ peter au / adkc... yes - india and yemen.. 2 places that do matter and factor into the equation heavily here.. thanks for your comments and kooshy - for yours too..

Posted by: james | Jun 26 2019 23:38 utc | 74

Khamenei has Tweeted a series of tweets, and his scribe has posted what he tweeted along with other words at his website in English so there's no mistranslation. Here's one of the series of 6:

"The graceful Iranian nation has been accused & insulted by world’s most vicious regime, the U.S., which is a source of wars, conflicts & plunder. Iranian nation won’t give up over such insults. Iranians have been wronged by oppressive sanctions but not weakened & remain powerful."

They were made 14+ hours ago, yet I'm the first to post notice of them here?!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 26 2019 23:39 utc | 75

Coincidence? Not likely. More likely another coded message from Iran.

Posted by: etornedo | Jun 26 2019 23:45 utc | 76

ADKC @ 66:

From the little I know about Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen, Yemen is still subject to a land / sea / air blockade. Saudi warships are patrolling Yemeni maritime territory. So that would probably nix any possibility of Iran sending any kind of support, humanitarian as well as military.

The war has lasted over four years and the blockade has lasted almost as long. The Saudis are relying on mercenaries from as far away as South America, Nepal and parts of Africa. Yet not only are the Houthis still holding out but as you say, there are signs of Saudi collapse in Yemen.

My hunch is that huge numbers of soldiers are defecting from the Saudi forces and bringing with them equipment, vehicles, ammunition, advice and logistics support to the Houthis. Among other things, this would account for large losses of Saudi military equipment and the enormous wastage. Perhaps some mercenaries have also switched sides. But as I have said here in past MoA comments forums, I can't prove that defections are occurring. Maybe I'm not using the "right" keywords on Google Chrome, DuckDuckGo or other search engines to find the information, or perhaps this particular narrative is a no-go zone.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 27 2019 0:03 utc | 77

Don Bacon @61--

Thanks very much for that link's info! RCS--Radar Cross Section, the size of the object as seen by conventional radar thus conferring its degree of stealth: 45dB "translates to 0,00003m², all of which relates to the unit's radar performance at 45km, according to the author. The earlier part is saying the overall size of the missile is much smaller but with much greater performance than the initial prototype, according to the author.

If the author's correct, the missile's performance is very bad news for Outlaw US Empire military planners--they have zero stealth capabilities as I've already prognosticated. IMO, the range at which the object attempting stealth can be seen is likely much farther than what the author states, the upshot being there's no hiding/no stealth/no sneaky B-2s or anything else. And as also speculated, no radar-lock warning whatsoever except for impact, meaning somehow onboard radars are being masked electronically and stealthily!

Peter AU 1 @64--

I agree. As presumed earlier, the Cyber Attack had no effect because the Iranian system isn't open to outside penetration--It's closed, sealed.

Cyril @59--

"RICE" brought a wry smile although wheat was the mainstay for most or Eurasia, rice being primarily South and Southeast Asian. If I recall correctly, even Vedic South Asia were wheat producers.

All that remains is for the Exceptional Outlaw US Empire to push Japan into the RIC fold. And I think such an occurrence is much closer than many might think!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 27 2019 0:09 utc | 78

You Americans are for the most part cluelss.

Very few Americans have any realisation at all (certainly non that I have spoken to below the rank of Army Colonel or Navy Captain anyway) that a war with Iran will leave 100s of thousands if not millions of Americans dead, many capital ships at the bottom of the Gulf and the Med (think hard about how that will happen in the Med), and the US a broken 3rd world nation, if the states even stay together to maintain a 'US'.

You need to realise that the middle east (to include Cyprus and Turkey) will be cut off to you. No resupply, no support, no evac. There will be no troops left in the middle east to bring home after a few days of fighting exhaust all ammp and supplies and all positions are then overun or destroyed.

Evey last troop in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan will be wiped out, and there will be no way at all of deploying any more troops (think why).

The shock to the weak American Psyche will be amplified by assymetrical spec ops / gorrilla warefare in every US city.

To begin with there will be gas station fires and power line cuts in every US town and city, followed by bridge collpases, interstate highway failures, railroad failures and then destruction, food and medical warehouse fires, forest fires, container port sabotage, cell phone and radio tower destruction, water mains destruction, sewage mains destruction, and of course contamination of water reservoirs - all of which are very simple and easy assymetrical attacks that can be rolled out nationwide by only by a few hundred well trained individuals (already well embedded).

Add these simple WW2 partisan style acts to other acts of sabotage against fire, ambulance, and police infrastruture (again, all very simple and easy assymetrical attacks) and the worst elements of your own society will continue and further amplify the conflageration.

The cities will implode and feed upon themselves, and when the carnage reaches a platau, or simply a stage that invites escalation, then the next phase begins - think MANPADS at every airport to bring down all relief flights and national guard units, ATGMs and HMG against military and police units, snipers against any opertunistic target - anywhere at any time.

There are further steps which I wont describe lest it give certain people ideas, but in the space of just 2 weeks the entire US could brought to its knees and made to realise that every nation on the earth, except the us, hates war and tries to avoid it.

If the US people think they can nuke Iran, kill millions more muslims, and then go back to watching the ball game they should think again.

The Iranians (and Russians and Chinese too) have been planning for a war with the US for decades.

The Iranians know full well that their cities will be nuked, but the Iranians believe the US is the embodyment of Satan (and they have lots of evidence to suggest this is indeed true) so they will fight without regard to life, to pain and to massive losses.

They, and there allies will utterly wipe out ever last US military unit in the middle east and bring the Continental US to its knees in ways few can yet imagine.

Yes, Iran will be glass, but the US will be ashes, or at least no longer a us - as much a victim of its own complexity and ignorance as any missiles or explosives used by Iranian spec ops.

A war with Iran will be the last war the US ever fights. It may 'win' but at what cost.

Posted by: Capt. Abdul Hassan | Jun 27 2019 0:10 utc | 79

The USA government excels at propaganda. It always has. Doesn't matter if it babies and incubators, mistranslated leaders of targeted countries, or supposed mass graves. BTW... what ever happened to all those mass graves in Iraq? HRW was going to dig them all up and document them. Hundreds of thousands. Most Americans I talk to still believe in this. Was it true? Saddam himself had claimed it wasn't true. That it was Kurdish propaganda to gain sympathy. He claimed the Anfal campaign was only to push the Kurds off the border so he could control arms smuggling and that casualties were minimal. Looking into the search. They are graves with a few hundred here and there but where are the rest of the bodies? If you google Iraq mass graves there are more articles about ISIS mass graves than the Anfal campaign. There were people killed in the South during the Shia uprising after the first gulf war than there was for the Anfal campaign. Was that a lie too? Nearly every American believes it still.

PM admits graves claim 'untrue'
Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor

Sat 17 Jul 2004 19.35 EDT First published on Sat 17 Jul 2004 19.35 EDT

Downing Street has admitted to The Observer that repeated claims by Tony Blair that '400,000 bodies had been found in Iraqi mass graves' is untrue, and only about 5,000 corpses have so far been uncovered.
The claims by Blair in November and December of last year, were given widespread credence, quoted by MPs and widely published, including in the introduction to a US government pamphlet on Iraq's mass graves.

In that publication - Iraq's Legacy of Terror: Mass Graves produced by USAID, the US government aid distribution agency, Blair is quoted from 20 November last year: 'We've already discovered, just so far, the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves.'

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jun 27 2019 0:39 utc | 80

Aside from Saudi, UAE, Occupied Palestine, and UK, how many nations have swallowed TrumpCo's lie that Iran's responsible for the current crisis? Canada, Ukraine, Poland, Albania, Brazil, Netherlands, The Baltic States?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 26, 2019 2:18:59 PM

Actually, Saudi, Israel and UK are in, but it is hard to find anyone else. Even UAE is cautious -- actually, UAE could suffer first and perhaps most. The rest of the karlof1's list is compiled as "usual suspects", but that assumes that this is just one of crazy American policies. But it is not. One could say that "Trump is kind" only if we remove something from "Trump is one of a kind". The combination of breaking the treaty AND super-energetic enforcement of this breaking garnered a lot of states that supinely follow, but no public commitments of support. One one hand, this is an enormous success of American policy -- a magnificent proof how much they can shove down the throat on an impressive slew of countries. On the other, this is precisely how you can create a fleeting success or a Pyrrhic victory.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 27 2019 0:50 utc | 81

President Trump and the State Dept have been yapping about "Iran took US sailors hostage. . " in 2016.
What really happened?
Obviously it was the sailors' fault, right?
Glad you asked--

Just before sunset on Jan. 12, 2016, 10 American sailors strayed into Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, a navigation error with potentially grave consequences. On their way to a spying mission, the Americans had set sail from Kuwait to Bahrain. It was a long-distance trek that some senior commanders in the Navy’s 5th Fleet had warned they were neither equipped nor trained to execute.

Surrounded by four boats operated by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the U.S. sailors, in two small gunboats, surrendered rather than opening fire. The officer in charge of the mission later said he understood that had a firefight erupted, it could well have provoked a wider conflict and scuttled the controversial nuclear deal the two countries were poised to implement in mere days.

The Navy dialed up an elaborate rescue mission to free the sailors from tiny Farsi Island involving fighter jets and a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group. But the return of the sailors was ultimately secured peacefully. The nuclear deal went forward with the U.S. providing sanctions relief and unfreezing billions in Iranian assets in exchange for Tehran’s promise to curb its nuclear ambitions.

President Donald Trump explicitly invoked the 2016 incident last week as he weighed actions against Iran amid rising tensions. Trump told Time magazine that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had mishandled the high-stakes confrontation, a mistake he would not make. “The only reason the sailors were let go is that we started making massive payments to them the following day,” Trump said. “Otherwise the sailors would still be there.”

...Prior to the mission, the sailors had received little training on their weapons, and the crew of one boat forgot to load the limited number of guns at their disposal during the transit. One sailor prepared to record the potentially hostile encounter with the helmet camera she’d been issued but couldn’t get it to work. So she filmed it on her personal iPhone 4. And when they were captured, a rescue seemed unlikely given that no one back at shore had yet realized they were off course. . . .

..... They concluded that the riverine unit had not been properly manned or trained before being dispatched to the Persian Gulf. Riverine sailors had had to train themselves. The sailors had done most of their exercises on smaller patrol boats instead of the RCBs used in the Gulf. They had received a minimum amount of training on the latest navigation system. They had never conducted a lengthy training voyage in the open sea, something they would be asked to do routinely in the Gulf.

... It is my hope that the current investigation and the team’s findings are used not to punish 10 sailors, but educate and refocus a critical, if neglected force, if not our Navy as a total warfighting organization.”

The Navy ignored the sailor’s request. In internal Navy memos, commanders criticized parts of the investigation for being “deficient,” “incomplete” and “unsubstantiated” amid disputes over how much training has actually taken place. To address the differing views, the Navy ordered a second investigation and embraced its findings that pre-deployment training and manning for the RCB unit, in fact, had been adequate.

“Pre-deployment training and manning were not contributing factors to this incident,” the second investigation, which was released to the public, concluded. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 0:57 utc | 82

@ karlof1 75
Thanks for that. I have devoted many man-hours to anti-F35 blogging, and hang out at some Mil-Blogs and now I can state with some confidence that the F-35 "stealth" isn't real, assuming that those calculations are correct.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 1:08 utc | 83

Capt. Abdul Hassan @76--

Although likely a drive-by commentator, I invite you to peruse the rather long thread about Trump's seeking a coalition and when finished post your commentary related to it. And as you ought to know, the owner of this blog is German, and the reference to Alabama is from another German, Bertolt Brecht. Aren't you taught to do recon first before exposing yourself?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 27 2019 1:12 utc | 84

@ Jen 74
Thanks for your concern for Yemen, and reports from the area.
Please be aware that the outcome of military conflicts are more dependant upon the people affected than anything. It took the US three years to "pacify" Baghdad, because Iraqis didn't want Americans there, and they still don't as a matter of fact.
Yemenis don't want Saudi control of their land and that has more meaning than the Saudi mercenaries can bring to the conflict.
In the US Army, the infantry is "the Queen of battle." That's a fancy way of saying that the men engaged in the endeavor, on the ground, are the most important variable. That's why the Houthis in their flip-flops can destroy so many Saudi units. They care. The human element.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 1:25 utc | 85

@ Capt. Abdul Hassan 76
Thank you for that, very insighful, perhaps a little over the top, but right on.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 1:34 utc | 86

Karlof 43 Thanks for the welcome, it is appreciated (and don't worry that I say I have an elitist background, that is the environment I grew up in, no more no less. I am more traditionalist, order of nations, keeping governance close or local, accountability , etc.... but am mostly apolitical in practice )

The difference between full spectrum and local control is admittedly mute, however full spectrum includes destroying what does not adapt to it, local control implies simply aiming to be in a position to profit, it does not imply destroying the foreign initiative if that is not achieved. So I think the actual destruction would be to preserve existing initiatives that appear threatened by the new foreign initiative.

Thanks for those links, I understand the Chinese position on trade as that. The problem for US (and others) is that they have backed themselves into a trade deficit trap that only is upheld by financial and monetary deviance. China has played along with this, this is the agreement between the two, where Chinese surplus is recycled into US treasury debt and investment. It helped cause gfc because of the resulting unproductive asset bubbles. Trump policy is "supposed to" redress the mismatch, but yes, further liberalisation of China is a goal, possibly even to turn over the country by economic means (e.g. oil or disrupting trade). The US has been very involved in China's evolution for many decades, so I do not put outside the realm of reason that there is a form of complicity in the divergence.

The reassurance mentioned would be among these:

Recognition of Israeli territorial integrity (hence Israel) by Iran (in all cases here including aligned states)
Non retaliation by Iran for acts committed against Iranian aligned states or people.
Guarantees that with a strengthened Iran local populations would not be emboldened against existing leaderships.
That populations and regions in Iraq more loyal to Saudi will not eventually be persecuted.

I am sure there are many others, but I think this demonstrates the idea. The hard part is that these are guarantees that no-one can provide (except committed allies maybe), and even if they were stated, the level of distrust is so high that they would not be believed. So I just don't see how western allied states are going to accept such a large powershift without a major international convention. We won't forget that all attempts at forging a lasting peace inevitably get bogged down in the same sets of arguments, to end up nowhere in particular.

I don't say it is not possible, I just don't see this kind of arrangement as at all likely, or if achieved then only temporarily.

Posted by: gzon | Jun 27 2019 1:34 utc | 87

Piotr Berman @78--

I'd say the attendance and willingness expressed to join at the 2nd annual BRI Forum held in Beijing earlier this year shows just how many nations and international businesses are steadfastly against Trump's policy. And prior to that was the Eastern European confab on the same topic of joining BRI which saw numerous EU nations sign-on. Yes, the latter I added as usual suspects, but even the Baltic States have signed on to BRI. Trump will hopefully be judged as the last in a long line of the US Bullies. But above Trump is the ultra hubristic Current Oligarchy, which is the entity that must taste defeat more than any other.

Don Bacon @80--

My pleasure. The realities generated by what we call physics can be altered to a degree but so far cannot be completely cloaked, nor do I think they ever will over the long term. As I wrote earlier, Nature takes no sides and can be equally understood and used by all. The Persians and their descendants have few peers when it comes to researching Nature--6,000+ years--and all the tradition that goes with such a long, esteemed endeavor. The technological advantage Western nations had at the onset of the Age of Discovery is all rolled-up and is now being surpassed much to their chagrin. Those gaining the new advantage don't wish to emulate what the West did with its advantage. Rather, they seek to do something completely different from the past course of human history, but it seems some portions of the West will need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new paradigm that's dawning.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 27 2019 1:36 utc | 88

@84 gzon.. welcome to moa as well... can you tell me what this means? -Recognition of Israeli territorial integrity- i gather you are not joking, so i am curious how this works.. and your other comment baffles me too - "Non retaliation by Iran for acts committed against Iranian aligned states or people." is this to suggest israel can keep on lobbing bombs into syria, but that no one can retaliate? i think i need you to tell me how this particular view would work in reality.. also, it is good to see you are pitching for israel so strongly, like a good american politician would.. please inform.. this is the first post i actually read of yours..

Posted by: james | Jun 27 2019 1:54 utc | 89

Understanding the US Senate

" After a week of rain it was impossible to move. We laid over in a tourist camp, waiting for the weather to clear.

There we made a fascinating friend, a hard-boiled, well-to-do man who seemed to know everything and believe nothing. He was especially well informed about revolutionary theories and movements, Marxist and other. For all of them he had nothing but contempt. For orthodox politics and politicians, his scorn was far beneath contempt. His knowledge of Montana life, politics, and society was intimate, bawdy, and exhaustive. I found it impossible even to guess what he did for a living, although I suspected he might be a lawyer. He was full of good advice and sound opinions, and the three of us sat up in the camp cookhouse around the fire every night till after midnight.

One night I said to him, “Don’t you believe in the integrity of any politician whatsoever? Don’t you believe that a few rare people are motivated by a disinterested desire to serve society?” He didn’t. “How about La Follette and Burton Wheeler?” I said. “You know everybody in Montana. I don’t agree with them, but you certainly must admit that they are honest men and really believe what they say.” “Did you ever go to a baseball game?” he said. “Of course,” I said. “Uh hunh,” he said. “What’s behind the catcher?” “Why, there’s nothing behind the catcher, except the umpire.” “Oh yes there is,” he said. “Think.” “I can’t think of anything. There’s just the boxes in the grandstand.” “What’s between the box seats and the catcher?” “Nothing.” “Oh yes there is; there’s a wire net called the backstop. It catches the balls the catcher misses, and all the fouls that go off in that direction, so that nobody in the box seats gets hurt. That’s the function of guys like La Follette and Wheeler, and believe me, they know it if you don’t.”

From Kenneth Rexroth's Autobiographical novel[he called it that to t lawsuits]:

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 27 2019 2:03 utc | 90

Senate, continued

The next day the roads had dried off enough so that we started out in a caravan of about fifty cars, everybody equipped with shovels and chains and ropes and planks, digging each other out of the mud for five days between Billings and Great Falls. The first day out we were leading the caravan, riding in the car of our new friend. We bogged down, and it was impossible to dig our way out. We got a farmer and a team of mules that were plowing in the nearby field to give us a pull. The farmer seemed thoroughly intimidated. After freeing us from the mud he refused a ten-dollar tip. “No, thank you, Senator,” he said. “It’s been an honor I’ll always remember.” Our friend was Burton K. Wheeler. I guess this is what they mean by the school of hard knocks. Certainly a week with him was more illuminating than all the economics and political-science courses in all the universities in the country. [...]

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 27 2019 2:07 utc | 91

James 86.

Thanks, and you replied to one previously, so I take it you read it (other name probably... I mentioned the change ;) )

If you followed what I am saying it is to explain why there is not likely to be acceptance by US allied states of US withdrawal, deescalation or so forth. I'm not rooting for that to be the case, I'm just explaining also why a peaceful shift towards alignment with Iran by say EU is not very likely - these states still exert a lot of influence on the US and vice versa. Added to that is that I question the sincerity of EU/european states.

Posted by: gzon | Jun 27 2019 2:07 utc | 92

Will they never stop? getting tiresome ...

Posted by: Maximus | Jun 27 2019 2:17 utc | 93

So disappointed with Tulsi Gabbard at Democratic Debate. First of all, she should be more forceful and assertive and jump into the discussion, but she just stands there and let's others take the lead.

Then when she was asked about the JCPOA she said she would restore it but that it is an imperfect deal and she would try to get a better deal on the issue of ballistic missiles. WTF...she sunk like a lead balloon for me.

Oh and she said her red line would be if Iran attacked American soldiers. She's too MIC

Posted by: Circe | Jun 27 2019 2:29 utc | 94

@89 gzon... i have not replied to you on this thread.. and as memory serves - not on any other thread either... i use only one name here.. thanks for your response here, but you haven't answered my question..

Posted by: james | Jun 27 2019 2:36 utc | 95

Circe 91:

Thanks for the update, especially about Tulsi (I don't watch these circuses and catch up only later). My best bet so far has been Tulsi - I like most of the things she has been saying. BUT until she takes on MIC and Israel unequivocally, I'll continue to consider her (and all other candidates from both parties) to be running for the viceroy position of the north American province of Israel.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Jun 27 2019 2:38 utc | 96

other then my post @86 here..

Posted by: james | Jun 27 2019 2:39 utc | 97

Anyone who can undestand Farsi ( Persian language) can litsen Rouhani's speech. He did not name "Trump", he said " White House".
I have been watching CNN news channel who said that Rouhani made a personal attack on Trump! That was not true.

There was no personal attack on Rouhani's speech.
Importantly, the context of the speech and conclusion is diffent from western media reports and western translations.

I would like give few links of some Iranian news agencies, reporting Rouhani's speech for International use, as reference here:

1) FrasNews Agency

Rouhani said:

"These days, we see the White House in confusion and we are witnessing undue and ridiculous words and adoption of a scandalous policy,"

..."The US sanctions are crime against humanity. The US recent measures indicate their ultimate failure. The new US measures are the result of their frustration and confusion over Iran. The White House has mental disability,"

2) ISNA English

“They are having mental problems and today, the White House has become mentally paralysed and don’t know what to do”.

ISAN French

Le président iranien, affirmant que les États-Unis, malgré de nombreuses tentatives de pression exercées par divers leviers sur l'Iran, ont échoué dans leurs objectifs, a poursuivi : «Une étrange frustration et une grande confusion règnent au sein du Corps dirigeant de la Maison Blanche. Ils se sentent déçus car ils n’ont obtenu aucun résultat, ils s’attendaient à voir l’Iran brisé dans l’espace de quelques mois, mais ils ont fini par constater que les Iraniens agissent de plus en plus fermement, de manière plus créative que jamais ».éricaines-sont-inhumaines-Rohani

3) TasnimNews

The president also decried the new US sanctions against Iran, saying the White House has been thrown into confusion as its officials are making “inappropriate and ridiculous” comments and adopting the policy of disgrace.

Posted by: Arata | Jun 27 2019 2:40 utc | 98

Give the MSM some break. They have translate it to Hebrew, and from Hebrew to English. Mistakes could happen.

Posted by: Choderlos de Laclos | Jun 27 2019 2:55 utc | 99

james 92

Before I place a name I use Anon, for anonymous, which is to say no name, not another. You still replied to me though, on another thread.

There is no secret that Iran does not recognise the existence of Israel as a state. For Russia or China to reassure Israel (or "Israel") to the degree that it accepts de-escalation, and so indirectly the US also, Israel would demand that Iran recognise it, and to recognise it would mean recognising the integrity of its territory (whatever that was to be delimited at), and so be obliged to refrain from attacking it (or returning it to Palestinian hands).

This guarantee, needed to gain Israeli acceptance of deescalation by the US, is not likely to be produced by Russia or China, or be believed by Israel.

Ditto as far as other US aligned countries are concerned, Saudi does not want to find an Iran controlled Iraq on its border telling it to withdraw from Yemen.


That is why a deal that removes US hegemony, empowers Iran, will likely not find ground for wider acceptance in the region, and that being so, nor by the US. In other words the circumstance seems trapped into a direction of open conflict.

4am here so I must sleep, so excuse that I leave it there, maybe tomorrow.

Posted by: gzon | Jun 27 2019 3:07 utc | 100

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