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

« previous page

0use4msm @54

Wow that's amazing! Probably the best known Khrushchev 'quote', presented as evidence of his boorish nature, is an intentional mistranslation. And the Marx quote is not exactly obscure, it's from Chapter 1 of the Communist Manifesto for eff sake! At least it makes a change from the 'lets just make things up' cottage industry of Lenin & Stalin 'quotes'.

Posted by: Paora | Jun 27 2019 3:18 utc | 101

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”
Mark Twain (or some other student of wisdom)
Apr 26, 2017 - Mark Twain is one of many who gets credit for famous quotations he never wrote or said. ... credited with saying “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes” ... Proverbial wisdom, in which a quotation is elevated to the status of a proverb because its source is unknown;.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 27 2019 3:23 utc | 102

TEHRAN – The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that U.S. officials’ claims seeking negotiations with Tehran is an act of “deception,” saying such an offer is merely aimed at disarming the Iranian nation of its “elements of power.”
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei made the remarks in response to numerous offers of negotiations recently put forward by U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo amid a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Tehran.
“Having failed to achieve its goal through pressure, the enemy is coming forward with an offer of talks, while assuming the Iranian nation is simple-minded,” the Leader said, according to a Press TV report of his statements.
“The Iranian nation will definitely make progress, but without you and on the condition that you don’t approach it,” he said to U.S. officials.. .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 3:30 utc | 103

This A* Hole is so disappointed and insulted by Iran shooting down his most sophisticated and expensive drone that he dont know what to do what to say and how to behave. So far without a single foreign policy achievement in his term this guy is really going mad. Look at his NK policy, his Venezuela policy, his Russian policy, his China trade policy, even his policy toward his european subordinates has not achieved much. With this much FP failure no wonder he is going mad and he thinks is all Iran's fault. If one pays attention, on none of his other hostile FP failures mentioned above, he had a material loss or an onslaught on "anything American" including american "power image" except on his hostility toward Iran. This is why he is going crazy on Iran with twits, threats and usual American power BS. Bring it on Mofos.

Posted by: kooshy Afshar | Jun 27 2019 4:00 utc | 104

@79 Don Bacon

Thanks for posting that link to the ProPublica investigation of the 2016 incident when Iran captured the US sailors in its waters. The whole story is quite large and I haven't finished it yet, but already it paints a very disturbing picture of the US Navy.

The dysfunctions and failures in the hierarchies read more like an old and rigid institution than like anything one thinks of as military characteristics. I guess, then, the truth is that the US Navy is such an institution - antiquated, privileged, and beyond accountability.

I am not a fan of the US military but it still feels strangely sad to read of such decay. One hates to see degradation in anything. It explains why warships run into things as if blind, and why sailors seem impossibly incompetent. I have no doubt that the generals and admirals of the world make their appraisals of US incompetence accordingly, and probably, as professionals themselves, equally sadly.

It's off-topic but a very important article that I hope we see more discussion of in an open thread or one relating to US military. That link again, this one to the source:

Trump Keeps Talking About the Last Military Standoff With Iran — Here’s What Really Happened

In 2016, 10 sailors were captured by Iran. Trump is making it a political issue. Our investigation shows that it was a Navy failure, and the problems run deep.

by Megan Rose, Robert Faturechi, and T. Christian Miller June 24, 2:15 p.m. EDT

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 27 2019 4:15 utc | 105

The Dem debaters want the failed JCPOA back, except one wants a more punitive one. So it's Obama/Trump redux with all of them, worthless people. We're less safe with Iranians . . .under the bed!


Klobuchar said that Trump’s strategy on Iran had “made us less safe,” after debate moderators took note of increased military tensions in the Strait of Hormuz last week. Washington has accused Iran of targeting shipping vessels, and Tehran acknowledged it shot down an unmanned U.S. drone on Thursday, nearly prompting Trump to order a retaliatory military strike. The 2015 nuclear deal “was imperfect, but it was a good deal for that moment,” Klobuchar stated, characterizing the agreement’s “sunset periods” – caps on Iran’s enrichment and stockpiling of fissile material set to expire five to 10 years from the next inauguration– as a potential point of renegotiation.

The Democratic field has roundly criticized Trump for his approach to Iran. Many of the leading candidates said last week’s military confrontation spawned from a crisis of the president’s own making, precipitated by his withdrawal from that landmark accord.

But up until now, the Democratic candidates have not specified how they would salvage a deal that continues to fray – and that may collapse completely under the weight of steadily broadening U.S. sanctions by the time a new president could be sworn in.

Few Democrats had thus far hedged over adopting the agreement entirely should they win the presidency even if the deal survives that long. Leading candidates have characterized the nuclear agreement as “imperfect” and in need of “strengthening,” suggesting subtle distinctions within the field over the potential conditions of U.S. re-entry into a pact. . .here

I've got a deal for them to salvage, get off your GD pedestals and say hello to the real world! . . .There, I feel better now.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 4:15 utc | 106

It's not generally understood that a significant proportion of the most influential "News" Media in the West is controlled by Jews, and has been since before the Nakba (the violent expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and traditional land by Jews).
This control allowed Jewish interests to suppress potentially sensational News stories about the Palestinian Holocaust, and to substitute even more sensational stories about Jewish Suffering in the European Holocaust which occurred as a result of the American Jewish Declaration of a boycott on Germany on March 24, 1933 - without bothering to warn Germany's Jews beforehand.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 27 2019 4:16 utc | 107

@97 gzon / anon... okay.. thanks.. yes, i did reply to anon, so i now understand what you are saying..

it seems to me that iran is not the one invading others countries, bombing others, trying to disenfranchise certain people, and on and on it goes.. so from my vantage point the weight of responsibility for being an honest broker on the world stage primarily falls on israel and usa's doorstep at this point.. iran is in a much more honourable place as i see it.. i doubt that any of this is going to change anything though.. as i see it, those countries most keen for war, are the countries least honourable, responsible or dignified.. in fact - they lack integrity.. i speak of the usa-israel-ksa-uae in particular.. i suspect they will continue to do what they do and bring the planet close to the brink of oblivion.. playing a game of risk insanity seems to be in their dna.. i don't feel this way about the ordinary people in these countries, but i do feel this way about the leadership..

and as @99 hoarsewhisper notes - you won't be reading or hearing about this in the western msm, as it is not going to happen..

thanks for your response! i doubt the eu has the balls to stand up to the usa-israel-ksa at this point.. they are too heavily invested in their politically correct bs to see beyond that, or how disconnected they are from reality as i see it.. sleep well!

Posted by: james | Jun 27 2019 4:26 utc | 108

@ Grieved 102
I am not a fan of the US military but it still feels strangely sad to read of such decay.
The Navy doesn't hit moving ships any longer, they've shifted to stationary ones -- alliding.

Jun 25, 2019
US warship allides with moored bulker in Montreal

A US Navy Freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS) struck a moored commercial vessel in Montreal as it was about to sail out for its new homeport of Mayport, Florida, on Friday, June 21.
Eyewitnesses reportedly saw USS Billings, which is scheduled to be commissioned in August, allide with the moored bulk carrier Rosaire A. Desgagnes as the former departed the wharf at Montreal with an escort of tugs.
The warship was said to have lost control and ended up hitting the bulk carrier after its mooring lines were let go. . .Billings' starboard side bridge wing suffered visible minor damage. .here

Save you the trouble, allide: To impact a stationary object.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 4:26 utc | 109

actually it was @104 hoarsewhisperers comment that i meant to highlight, although @99 is good too!

Posted by: james | Jun 27 2019 4:27 utc | 110

Thank you Don Bacon #79 I have noticed that it is almost always the Navy that f#ucks up or hoists the false flag, Gulf of Tonkin, USS Vincennes, playing chicken with enormous container carriers in the sea of Japan, perhaps even the Japanese oil tanker in early June. The list is much longer than this small excerpt.

Only last week another of USA great new destroyers clips a moored container vessel in Canada. They are a maritime menace.

Is it a psychosis or a deliberate mission by narcissistic ships commanders? Something is seriously out of control in the US Navy.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 27 2019 4:32 utc | 111

@Posted by: Realist | Jun 26, 2019 6:32:16 PM | 57

Thanks for posting the video, to me the funniest part of what president Rouhani says is this, directed at US’ double standard JCPOA policy,
“ If JCPOA is good then why you left? And if it’s bad why you get angry when we distance from it.”
Her he means, the zero-sum game US and her European lapdogs are playing, which Iran on his time is painfully and incrementally counter pressuring them, has made them mad, crazy they don’t know what step to take and what to do next to be sanctioned are the Poets Hafez and Rumi and Sadie and whoever is reading them.

Posted by: Kooshy | Jun 27 2019 5:04 utc | 112

Glenn Greenwald: People Who Feel Inadequate In Life Get Purpose And Strength By Calling For War

Glenn Greenwald called out journalists and columnists pushing for a war with Iran and lamented that people who have been continually wrong are often hailed as the voice of authority and reason in an interview with FNC's Tucker Carlson on Friday. Greenwald specifically took aim at Jeffrey Goldberg of 'The Atlantic' who he said got a promotion for being wrong about the war in Iraq.


Posted by: John Smith | Jun 27 2019 5:05 utc | 113

@ ut 108
The US Navy is unfit for combat.

Navy Times, Jan 13
Worse than you thought: inside the secret Fitzgerald probe the Navy doesn’t want you to read

A scathing internal Navy probe into the 2017 collision that drowned seven sailors on the guided-missile destroyer Fitzgerald details a far longer list of problems plaguing the vessel, its crew and superior commands than the service has publicly admitted.
Obtained by Navy Times, the “dual-purpose investigation” was overseen by Rear Adm. Brian Fort and submitted 41 days after the June 17, 2017, tragedy.
. . .Their report documents the routine, almost casual, violations of standing orders on a Fitz bridge that often lacked skippers and executive officers, even during potentially dangerous voyages at night through busy waterways.
When Fort walked into the trash-strewn CIC in the wake of the disaster, he was hit with the acrid smell of urine. He saw kettlebells on the deck and bottles filled with pee. Some radar controls didn’t work and he soon discovered crew members who didn’t know how to use them anyway.
Fort found a Voyage Management System that generated more “trouble calls” than any other key piece of electronic navigational equipment. Designed to help watchstanders navigate without paper charts, the VMS station in the skipper’s quarters was broken so sailors cannibalized it for parts to help keep the rickety system working.. .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 5:10 utc | 114

@ 112
re: Jeffrey Goldberg of 'The Atlantic'
I have been banned from commenting on The Atlantic blog because I always disagreed with Goldberg and pointed out his counter-factual postings regarding Iran on that website. Jeffrey Goldberg's acceptance is a great example of everything that's wrong with the MSM.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 5:16 utc | 115


I don't see the anglosphere - five eyes accepting a power shift. Unless US collapses it will most likely end up five eyes vs the rest. At some point, Europe will move to the Russia China orbit as that will end up consisting of the vast majority of the worlds population.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 27 2019 6:25 utc | 116

when you read "gorrilla warefare" you know it's not a hoax...

Posted by: Mina | Jun 27 2019 7:34 utc | 117


Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 27 2019 7:39 utc | 118

Since I haven't seen it posted yet.

Briefing Notes 3 from the Syrian Propaganda working group on the OPCW.

How the OPCW’s investigation of the Douma incident was nobbled:

Posted by: S.O. | Jun 27 2019 10:01 utc | 119

The US attempt to destroy the Iranian economy by bringing its oil exports to zero, thereby causing untold suffering and death, is an act of war, and should be treated as such, think sanctions on Iraq causing the deaths of 500,000 children. It is impossible to expect any self respecting nation to even engage in a conversation when the US holds a gun to Iran's head. So much for the hubris of the US hegemon that they feel insulted whenever a weaker country says no, that they feel their credibility is at stake, then they double down on the threats.The US only wants vassals, such an attitude can only result in war.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 27 2019 10:37 utc | 120

WSJ has an article on Europe putting some money into INSTEX to get it kicked off. most of the article is behind a paywall but Tasim also has an article on it.
"BRUSSELS—European governments will double down this week on their efforts to keep alive economic ties with Iran, officials said, providing a credit line to help a special mechanism establish a route for trade between Iran and the West."

Perhaps Iranian pressure on the Eurotwits is working.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 27 2019 11:07 utc | 121

Posted by: juandonjuan @40 Wilson accommodated, without objection, American's entry into read the congressional reports and you see an abrupt change in attitude in his activities as he prepared the propaganda to bring America over to the idea that they had to fight the war planned by the Bankers to use Hertzl's Zionism as a carrier so to speak, to defeat Germany, and to take the Oil Rich Ottoman land from the Ottomans. The Treaty of Versailles and several other side agreements produced British Palestine and French Syria and broke the economic back of the German Empire. The secret agreement France and England negotiated with the USA happened the same year as the first Zionist Congress 1897.. a year earlier was the one between France and Russia these two treaties were both secret and designed to contain Germany as much as possible (much like Iran is being contained today) before these powers would try to take down Germany.. See Professor Usher's book Pan-German 1913.. and Memoirs of Ex Kaiser Wilhem, by the ex-Kaiser himself. 1932.. where Wilhelm explained how Germany was contained by the Western powers and the Kaiser's admission that had he known about those two agreements/treaties he would have not have been so misled by persons in England he trusted. WWI was a banker, and monopoly powered oil and gas company war for oil.. It took the world western world to defeat Germany.

thanks for your comment.. Interesting the parallel of Germany to Iran today.. the same players different time and place.

Posted by: snake | Jun 27 2019 11:27 utc | 122

"mentally retarded" is a synonym of "mentally incapable".

What the translation did was using the most politically incorrect word.

The translation of Ahmadinejad - well let's agree that he did not envision a future for Israel.

Which is what Middle East conflict has been about for the last 70 years - secure a politically, economically and militarily viable space for Israel.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 27 2019 11:57 utc | 123

snake @122 Wilson also engaged in a political version of Rope a Dope. Campaigning in 1916 on the slogan "He kept us out of war", while his minister of propaganda, Edward Bernays, was busily preparing the narrative of 'reluctant intervention'. The false flag/sacrifice of the Lusitania was all that was needed to provide the pretext of 'making the world safe for Democracy' Self righteous outrage- always a good start!
Interestingly, Wilson brought Bernays to the Versailles Treaty negotiations. As you note, the seeds of the next war are planted in the freshly turned soil of the last.
I think one must also consider, the (incestuous) interrelations of the old 'Houses' of Europe no doubt reinforced that complacency on the Kaisers part
Thanks for the references

Posted by: juandonjuan | Jun 27 2019 12:22 utc | 124

@115 Don Bacon

So if you were commenting on The Atlantic, you must be Zionist lite which I've noticed for some time now, while Goldberg is a rabid Zionist. However, from reading your comments here, to me you're just plain ol Zionist, cause Zionist lites still enable an ideology that should be outlawed. Zionism is the root of all wars, including proxy and civil wars in the Middle East, global regime change efforts and responsible for massive Arab migration and refugees for the past 60 years, not to mention war crimes and crimes against humanity along the way.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 27 2019 12:27 utc | 125

is the current game about trying not to achieve the dreaded Pyrrhic Victory?
"one more victory such as this, and we are undone"

Posted by: juandonjuan | Jun 27 2019 12:31 utc | 126

The Gospel according to St. Ahmedinejad

You can argue that idioms in one language need to be translated differently but who cares, this was only said by bizzaro, former, one term President Ahmedinejad and U.S. warmongers have turned it into an article of faith. They claim, 'he would never say this if it was not sanctioned by the Ayatollah'. Okay but then why do they ignore the dozens of statements made by the current Foreign Minister, President, multiple officers in the IRGC, and the Ayatollah himself when they say ...
1. 'Iran will never be the first to start a war on another country'
2. 'Iran will never use ballistic missiles against another country unless we are attacked'.
They will trot out the Taqiya card, one of the many things they don't understand.

Speaking of idioms, how does 'obliterate' translate into Farsi?

You see this is okay, it is fine for us to threaten Iran with total destruction and laugh about it because we are God's righteous sword on earth. I just can't stand these evil warmongers.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 27 2019 12:46 utc | 127

@125 Circe
Thanks somber to read, I agree. Peace

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jun 27 2019 13:04 utc | 128

There has been some discussion about the fitness of the US Navy on this thread. Very interesting and worst then I thought, but what does it mean?

One obvious conclusion is that the US Military Command was unaware of these issues and will now address these problems, get the US Navy fit for purpose, before engaging in any risky activities. But the facts don't bear that out.

After the end of the WWII, the US planned to drastically reduce it's Navy - the reason being that it was redundant and ineffective because of the "Bomb" - the new doctrine for defence/attack was to be "strategic nuclear bombing". The reason for this new strategy was the need to drastically reduce military spending.

This resulted in a US Navy political campaign known as the "Revolt of the Admirals" which the Navy won. The outcome was a huge increase in spending on the Navy (5 carriers and the Navy would carry a proportion of nuclear weapons). This outcome was far more expensive and less effective than the alternative (preferred) strategies.

The conclusion I would draw is that the current strategy is back to a reliance on the "Bomb" and the Navy is neglected (and under-resourced) because it is no longer important.

Everything I have read indicates that in any engagement with Russia and China the carriers would be easily destroyed - it seems that Iran would have a bit more difficulty but they could also achieve the same outcome. In any real war, the US Navy would be next to useless.

The Navy and its carriers purpose is now just to sail around and be attacked (both sacrificial lamb and casus belli) and the US will respond with the "Bomb". The reason why this "strategy" isn't in the public domain is to avoid another political campaign by the Navy (which they could well win by securing even more funding for even more and bigger [and useless] carriers).

The only downside is that the under-funding of the US Navy has also affected the US submarine fleet - but they are only really useful the "day after".

So the conclusion I would draw is that the US is more prepared (not less) for war because they have stopped resourcing white elephants and increased resourcing of nuclear weapons. And that is how the US plans to engage in wars in the future.

It would, therefore, be very foolish for Iran to attack a US Navy Ship, or otherwise, directly engage with US forces. Other commentators have asked what then should Iran do? IMO Iran should maintain a non-war, ambiguous war state and should increase support to the Houthis (and allies) such that the Yemen War turns around onto Saudi Arabia - there are some signs that this is what is actually happening. Iran should do the same in other places e.g Iraq (but this would just be FUD); Yemen [i.e. the vulnerability of Saudi Arabia] is the key to ending - or winning - this conflict; in reality, it will force a political solution on everyone).

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 27 2019 13:11 utc | 129

What the US should understand is that any nuclear first strike by the US, even "tactical nuke", on any country that is even loosely aligned or friendly to China and Russia would be immediately met with a global nuclear strike. There is simply no way they would allow such a precedent to be established, where the US can nuke at will without facing retaliation - meanwhile, they would still be sticking to the decades-long rule that no nuclear power should ever do a first strike and should reserve its nukes as a reply to a first strike.
So, any discussion about US first strike on Iranian nuclear sites, or tactical nukes either to ensure the safety of US carriers or to avenge them if they're at the bottom of the sea are foolish, because if the US does this, then half the country will be a nuclear wasteland before the day is over. Not that the neocons, Israeli-firsters and MSM have fully realized this, mind you - which is what should have people worried right now.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jun 27 2019 13:30 utc | 130

Regarding the recent Duran piece in which both Alexes determined that Trump was "kind," this demonstrates to me the difficulties of adequately comprehending the workings of any culture other than one's own entirely sufficiently. Unless one experiences a society or culture intimately, by struggling, living, or working in it, ior aging within it, t might take a determined scholarly effort over many years to do so.

I lived in NYC through much time in the age of Trump. I recollect being very upset at the time by the attitudes and ideas and destructive force expressed through his endeavors. Now that I am gone from the city, the Trump then seems infinetessimally small and without purpose. So I think of him still during his presidential moment.

So it is with many infuenctial politicians and spokesmen who once strutted the stage during my time on the planet so far in the USA, after their exit, they rarely pass through my thoughts but as a footnote for a concept, or of mendacity, it all seems like a puff of smoke, disembodied voices bereft of any and all evil or power and meaning. The anxiety and fear is gone. And new actors fill the void.

But I do not recall thinking Trump was either kind, or admirable, or any kind of person I would have anything to do with or respect his ideas or the "progress" he imposed, his buildings, even remotely. I wonder how the Duran could conclude otherwise?

Posted by: Geoff | Jun 27 2019 13:44 utc | 131

Juandonjuan wrote:

"one more victory such as this, and we are undone"

It is more like "one more century of warfare like the 20th, and we're all gone".

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 27 2019 14:00 utc | 132


Just more nonsense. Propaganda to feed their audience.

Trump does not have the ability to even fake kindness.

Furthermore, his life's work thus far, is indicative of an unkind and uncaring predatory capitalist (and a sexual predator). Surely there are many victims who have been skinned and their stories will never be heard except by those who know these victims personally.

While there exists a lot of negative press about Trump, there could be much more vis a vis personal anecdotes of ruinous financial dealings. There could be a new anecdote on tv every night. The material would last for years.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jun 27 2019 14:16 utc | 133

There is no need for a first strike by the US on Iran, they are setting it up to be a counter-attack, responding to a "provocation" that would be on the order of the drone downing, but more important, hopefully (to them) involving a US military casualty. With tens of thousands of US military in the Middle East, in harm's way, it shouldn't be difficult to arrange in some fashion. There are many enemies about. The labeling of the Iran military and militias as terrorists and sanctioning the Iran leaders are helpers in that regard.
The current attention in Washington, before they break for summer recess and campaigning, is the Udall Amendment which Trump says he would disregard anyhow if he wants to get a war on (that's on odd-numbered days).

news report

The amendment ― co-sponsored by Democratic Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Tim Kaine of Virginia and backed by Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah ― would require the approval of Congress for the use of military force against Iran. The president would be allowed to use force without Congress’s express approval in the event of an attack on the U.S., its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 14:17 utc | 134

@99 Hoarsewhisperer

Whether or not Mark Twain authored it is irrelevant to the fact that Trump milked it bone dry all his life and especially now to try and fool most of the people most of the time and prove that he is a master of deception, but when it comes to karma, he didn't invent the wheel...and that's what I'm counting on to take him down in the most spectacular way possible. He'll get his in spades.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 27 2019 14:19 utc | 135

Mistranslations are a classical cheap n easy way to sway opinion.

Interesting that the examples b quotes, and most of those promoted currently by the US-uk-eu, afaik, understand, are intended to project into the voice of Iranians, Russians, Syrians, utterances, declarations, to be labelled insults, slander, threats, impropriety, even rage, coming from these parties, as …

… there is nothing much else to display!

(Spanish is too comprehensible > does not apply to Mexico, Cuba, S. America.)

Often cultural matters play a role, but are ignored. Ahmadinejad was endlessly vilified and mocked by the W-MSM for saying what was translated as there are no homosexuals in Iran (no idea what the original formulation was) - which ‘obviously’ can’t be ‘true.’

Besides homosexuality being unacceptable in conservative rule-books, Iran is, or was (to 2010) above (or with) Thailand the no. 1. practitioner / destination for sex change operations. Iran had super educated docs, great hospitals, etc.

Ahmadinejad was relying on a kind of fundamentalist principle where the ‘soul’ or the ‘essential quality’ of a person is what is tantamount, what counts above all. The physical manifestation, here the human body, can be transformed to be in harmony with the deep-felt or ‘innately’ ascribed orientation or ‘spirit.’ So, no homosexuals in Iran, or only a few who are in ‘transition.’ (Not denying real suffering of gays in Iran, other story.)

The W, in first place the US, is doing precisely the same with its ‘gender change’ promotion, as applied to children and young teens. Here too, ‘feelings’ and ‘identity’ override ‘nature’ : the physical can be overturned, overcome, fixed.

Such cultural issues play a role in mis-translations, deliberate or not. It may appear that I wandered far off topic, I just picked a topical comprehensible ex. Sharia law is more complex..

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 27 2019 14:50 utc | 136

Fun opinion piece, re. situation in with Iran:

But as fun as it is to deride Trump and his clownish attempts at diplomacy -
- He plays a clown, but I find it hard to believe he is such a clown.
- He has thrown all our international agreements into disarray and
made it clear there is no point in pursuing agreement with the U.S. at this time.
Some of this is for the better - TPP and Climate Protocol thing.
Too bad he did not proceed with dismantling of NATO, but he's working on it.
- He still has Iran by the throat, kind of like having a badger by the throat - a bit frightening.
- Why did he tear-up the JCPOA, it is not as simple as "because of Obomber".
Someone convinced him that it was fundamentally flawed - who would do such a thing?

Posted by: jared | Jun 27 2019 14:55 utc | 137

Don Bacon I think you're right and in addition the amendment won't matter because the exceptions are so encompassing nearly anything goes.

I'm going to crosspost the scenario (all I posted was the scenario, not the stuff afterwards):

1. US false flags in Iranian vicinity.
2. US military deaths due to provoked Iranian action.
3. US limited strikes.
4. US false flag Iranian dirty bomb in US city using surplus enriched material bought from Iran.
5. US submits evidence of Iranian nuclear attack in UNSC.
6. US attacks Iran using nuclear weapons.

A few (?) didn't buy 1 but the US got stuck on 2 so far and might get stuck on 3 as well.

How can one make 4 fail except to talk about it so people have a chance to think of it as a possibility when it happens?

5 is for "perception" and narrative, it doesn't matter if the UNSC doesn't agree with what the US says or the entire world ridicules the US or if the entire world starts marching like they "magically" and "spontaneously" did before the Iraq war (what was that about? Controlled opposition galore?).

Russia and China are repeatedly telling the US (and everybody else) what 6 will mean.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 27 2019 14:59 utc | 138

What is the US policy for first use of nuclear weapons? It can be summarised as:

The US explicitly rejects a “no first use policy,” as “such a policy is not justified today.”

The US rejects a “sole purpose” policy, whereby nuclear weapons would be used to deter only nuclear attacks.

The US maintains “some ambiguity regarding the precise circumstances that might lead to a U.S. nuclear response”.

The US could employ nuclear weapons in response to “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks” including but not limited to “attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner civilian population or infrastructure.”

The US could employ nuclear weapons in circumstances that include “attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities.”

The US would consider deploying nuclear weapons only “in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies and partners".

Commentators should bear in mind that "no nuclear first strike" is not the same as a "no nuclear first use"; the former implies that a nuclear strike can be launched in response to any attack, the latter means only in response to a nuclear attack.

I could find no provision relating to "warn first"; a requirement that the US would issue a warning before first use of nuclear weapons.

This policy must be fine for American's otherwise they would protest? No?

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 27 2019 15:22 utc | 139

james 108

I agree that Iran has the more honourable position, and also that western involvement in the middle-east has not left much room for any kind of trust.

It is unfortunate that UAE involved itself in Yemen, bringing it more into US alignment, and so more in conflict with Iran. It had previously been more neutral.

The circumstance of Qatar is unusual, and I don't have a proper explanation as to why it still hosts a US base.

Oman has stayed neutral with regards to Iran.

Kuwait feels pressured by Iran, as well as being fully reliant on US defence, basically it ended up on the wrong side of both its neighbours.

Saudi is on a short leash now I think, new pressures on it are hinted at in various ways. Iraq, Syria and Yemen are not playing out as expected, Saudi ability and commitment are therefore raised as questionable.

Jordan is not in an easy position either, it is pressured by conflicting interests it hosts. Same goes for Lebanon. Egypt and Turkey are what they are, and Syria is as known.

That is just the briefest run through, because then we get to Iran itself and Israel, which is the true point of conflict, at least as far as US policy projected onto the western public is concerned. The same was the case for Iraq and its wmd, and Syria and its wmd , the tacit connection with Israel always being present.

We are obviously aware of how wmd relates to Israel in the west, in terms of historical account ( don't test me on the conspiracy side to it, I don't have a position to take - I am only working with what is, as in what existing sentiments are at work) , and this is I think what catches western public concern, or at the least is portrayed to do so.

This is where it gets very complicated to understand. How Israel was formed, and has acted, and is acting, is one thing. The position Iran takes with regard to that, its reason for doing so, is another. How the west relates to Israel, its reasons for doing so, are another.

There are a hundred ways to read all that is related to that, from material interests, historical, cultural, religious, political ideology and so forth. In fact the most obvious facet that is common to both sides is that to take everything back to square one is a possible, or possibly accepted, or maybe destined, outcome.... eventually.

I would like to think that is some kind of archaic memory of catastrophe permanantly etched on people's minds that has found no better expression than a form of fatalism. If so, then certainly it is being exploited to a maximum by those who know how to manage people's fears. After all, the cathartic promise of a similar reality for the dismissal of concern due to the the eventual revelation of the meaning of the previous loss by own experience , now resides in prophecy that is overseen by a select few.

Even here, we are playing our part in it, they would have you know. The only question for non believers is how far believers would go to prove themselves right, those who believe don't have that problem. So we are faced with that the infidels and goy are truly fearful and weak, and due to that will likely be the cause of it all.

So you see how that plays, and to top it, maybe they would be right after all. It might not much matter by then though.

(This is written just to demonstrate how trying to resolve some of the arguments that exist in the region, in logical terms, is very difficult. Outright confrontation almost makes globalists look quaint by comparison.)

Posted by: gzon | Jun 27 2019 15:31 utc | 140

@ Don Wiscacho | Jun 26, 2019 1:32:54 PM | 13

Where did you come up with those definitions?

They sound to me like taqiyah, Islamic deception.

The Islamic texts are filled with exhortations to fight and kill the unbelievers, in fact to fight and kill them until there are none left – until everyone who is left alive is a Muslim. There is more of that than of all other topics combined.


With regard to the topic of this thread, I think “retarded” is an apt descriptive. Hundreds of psychologists and psychiatrists – those who have been willing to make a public statement on the subject – have described him as having the mentality and the psychology of a ten-year-old.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 27 2019 16:14 utc | 141

@ John Smith | Jun 27, 2019 1:05:43 AM #113

I've long considered The Atlantic to be a neocon magazine, and that was before Goldberg took over. These days I'd pass up a stack of Atlantic magazines at the "free" table in the Library or roadside garage sale.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 27 2019 16:31 utc | 142

@ uncle tungsten | Jun 27, 2019 12:32:05 AM #111

I saw the headline about the newest destroyer hitting a stationary ship. A search turned up a story of another one of that class somehow banging into the wall of a lock in the Panama Canal. That same story had a picture of the USS Iowa being pulled through the Canal Lock with only inches to spare on each side, and with no report of any collision. In every case the aluminum hull of the destroyers is reported to have shattered like glass. Something - or several somethings - appears to be seriously wrong with those destroyers.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 27 2019 16:39 utc | 143

@ Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 27, 2019 12:14:01 PM | 142

> Hundreds of psychologists and psychiatrists – those who have been willing to make a public statement on the subject – have described him as
> having the mentality and the psychology of a ten-year-old.

I'm no fan of Trump, but I wonder how many of those so-called professionals would be willing to publicly "analyze" a patient they've never met if they didn't hate him so much. Surely that must violate accepted practices even in a squishy field like theirs...

Posted by: Ash | Jun 27 2019 16:45 utc | 144

We are inundated with claims, rumors, leaks to the effect that Trump's bias is against war.
He's said so.
Yet I see no solid evidence of it, just the opposite.
Reminds me of the remark made of others: They will cry-out in pain as they strike you.
Just sayin', when there is so evidence and yet the perception is pervasive it's a good bet there are forces at work.
Try starting with the assumption that Trump is a bright but developmentally retarded psychopath and is serving an agenda that is not made public and see how that works.

Posted by: jared | Jun 27 2019 17:00 utc | 145

AntiSpin @142, taqiyah

The Islamic community is very diverse even among the devout.

'Jihad' personal introspection / good works or the physical subjugation of other? - to the Sunni Takfiri, physical conquest, to Iran, nothing. I read Fars and on occasion a speech from Khamenei and I have never even heard any of him use the term. If someone manages to dig up a reference fine, just saying that it's not important enough for them to mention enough even for the FOX news crowd to splash it on headlines.

taqiya, it originated with the Shia who were given permission to obscure their sect so that they could avoid execution by the Sunni Takfiri. I'd call that a very limited application, to others it might be a general license to lie to Infidels. Iran certainly doesn't lie more than we do, I'd say less.

Iran is different from the Saudis, can't paint with that broad a brush.
Sci-fi parable
Been tempted to write a Christian scifi short for my brothers who keep predicting that Iran (and Russia) will lead a coalition to attack Israel in the End Times. The punch line: it won't be THIS Iran, it will be the Iran WE create after we destroy THIS Iran.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 27 2019 17:06 utc | 146

@ Zachary Smith 144
In every case the aluminum hull of the destroyers is reported to have shattered like glass. Something - or several somethings - appears to be seriously wrong with those destroyers.
These are not destroyers, they are a new class: Littoral Combat Ships. "LCS is designed to satisfy the urgent requirement for shallow draft vessels to operate in the littoral (coastal waters) to counter growing potential ‘asymmetric’ threats of coastal mines, quiet diesel submarines and the potential to carry explosives and terrorists on small, fast, armed boats."
There are two designs being produced, the USS Freedom (LCS 1,3,5 etc) of the Lockheed Martin Freedom Class, a semi-planing monohull design, and USS Independence (LCS 2,4,6 etc) of the General Dynamics Independence Class with trimaran hull. The lightweight aluminum construction of the Independence-class ships makes them more vulnerable to damage than the Freedom-class ships.
The LCS can't really fight in the littorals, they each have only one 57mm gun mounted forward. The intent is for each LCS to carry a module for: ASW (anti-submarine warfare), mine-sweeping or Surface-to-Surface Missile Module, but none of them are ready yet, partly due to lack of money which is going to produce 35 of these worthless ships. It's primarily a jobs program.
The LCS is designed to be manned with only a skeletal crew, with each crew-member required to wear different colored clothing depending on his/her assignment at the moment. Real damage control doesn't exist, if the LCS, built to commercial not military standards, is seriously attacked the standard procedure is to abandon ship.
So the LCS (also known as the Little Crappy Ship) has not been deployed this year.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 17:40 utc | 147

gzon @141--

Thanks for your reply and further commentary. I agree with Iran's assessment of Occupied Palestine (OP) as a European colonial project done with the purpose to destabilize the region for the benefit of the Imperialist Powers that cannot be allowed to continue and must suffer the same fate as the Colonial states erected in Africa for similar reasons, the best examples being South Africa and Rhodesia. Global Times has published the CCP's views on the matter and views OP as a natural component of its BRI plan while favoring the One-State Solution, which effectively ends the colonial project. A search using china in israel provides a wealth of information detailing the depth of China's involvement there to the Outlaw US Empire's consternation.

Again, much of how the Big Picture evolves will depend on what choices the Current Oligarchy makes, and they can be boiled down to two so that differing scenarios can be formed: Will they continue to fight for their Zero-sum Full Spectrum Dominance policy goal, or will they decide they'll be better served in the long run by taking a piece of the action and adopt Win-Win? I see no other pathway options. The general outline of the outcomes generated by the choices made is quite clear, IMO: War for Zero-sum path or Peace for Win-Win path. Currently, it appears that 3/4s of humanity prefer Win-Win and have no desire to sit at the Monopoly Board anymore with the Current Oligarchy. IOW, they are in permanent revolt and will refuse to submit again to being colonized.

As I wrote above and often elsewhere at MoA, The Iran Gambit currently unfolding represents the last possible play for the Outlaw US Empire to attain its Master's #1 policy goal. Iran raises, the Empire matches; Iran raises, the Empire matches; and so forth. But at some point the cards must be played--unless the Empire folds.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 27 2019 17:59 utc | 148

Don Bacon @148--

"It's primarily a jobs program."

That's primarily what the entire USN's been reduced to. When the bill passed allocating the monies for the new carrier construction, it was admitted that it was primarily to supply jobs for the shipyards. There's a long history of that and not just confined to the USN. Truman's 1948 War Scare was done for two reasons--to get him renominated and re-elected and to save the fledgling US Airplane industry which needed military plane orders to survive. And you can see how the Bomb Strategy grew out of that.

From what I could discern about the collision in Canada, after the tugs released the ship, the crew failed to account for the crosswind which pushed it into the moored freighter--a total failure of basic seamanship. It recalled the qualities of my daughter's ex who was an electronic tech on one of the carriers stationed at Norfolk--how the hell did he ever get into the Navy is what I remarked to myself upon meeting him for the first time. Across the services, readiness is crap, equipment maintenance is crap, most personnel is crap; but worst of all, the chain of command is crap.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 27 2019 18:15 utc | 149

Zachary Smith @144 sez: "Something - or several somethings - appears to be seriously wrong with those destroyers."

Well, fortunately those things only cost twice as much as that drone the Iranians shot down last week. Lots of people saying that shooting down that drone was no big deal for America so wrecking one of these new ships is only no-big-deal X 2.

These new ships suffer cataclysmic damage when they bump into things? That suggests poor workmanship (incompetence) at some part of the process of making them, whether it is the design, the materials, or the manufacture. My guess is all three.

The "...very disturbing picture of the US Navy." that Grieved @105 and other discussed above also suggests generalized incompetence afflicting the entire organization.

And then Trump knocks NBC, MSNBC on debate glitch: 'Truly unprofessional'. As galling as it may be for some, Trump is absolutely correct: NBC has institutionalized incompetence.

Boeing, once the undisputed master of all things flight-related, now designs planes to auto-crash against their pilots' wills. They didn't intend for that to happen, they have just become incompetent.

Incompetent cops kill harmless citizens they are supposed to be protecting and incompetent citizens antagonize steroid-enraged cops until those cops do what American cops do and blaze away until they are out of ammo.

F-35s suffocate their pilots, and priceless F-22s are left out in the rain... oops, I mean left out in the hurricanes. Incompetence?

Journalists mis-translate and mass produce fake news. Was that what they dreamed of doing when they chose that career path? No, they are just incompetent.

Back in the early years of the Baby Boomer generation competence was still respected and admired in America. Now competence is seen as some sort of "privilege" that the competent have to "check" to avoid giving the incompetent cause to question their self-worth. Incompetence shaming is as politically incorrect and verboten as fat shaming in America. Where "identity politics" has brought us is ludicrous already, but the logical conclusion is far worse.

This problem is culture-wide, and it is intimately intertwined with the degeneration of empire. At this late stage the empire is irrecoverable. So long as the empire can be prevented from atomically lashing out in a desperately violent spasm to hold onto its former power then all the rest of the world has to do is wait. The empire is destroying itself with its self-crashing planes and fragile warships and population that becomes more incompetent, delusional and detached from reality with each succeeding generation.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 27 2019 18:20 utc | 150

I am late on this discussion. I have been trying to locate the famous linguistic misunderstanding between the British and the French (I think from after the First War). The French chief said “nous demandons”. The British chief, not waiting for the translation, understood “We demand” and took offence.

Easy to happen, especially when journalists and others are deliberately trying to stir the pot.

Posted by: Montreal | Jun 27 2019 18:35 utc | 151

karlof1 @149:

There is a third option, which I think is the way to bet, Fortress America, a new Iron curtain, nobody gets in, nobody gets out. It's what I expect our self-appointed elites to want, but I have doubts that it's still feasible.

William Gruff @151:

I would not be at all surprised if they no longer have the expertise handy to reprogram the MCAS, nobody keeps people around just to do maintenance programming.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 27 2019 19:21 utc | 152

@141 gzon and @149 karlof1... thanks for articulating all of that gzon and for karlof1 following up with what i think is a similar outlook shared by all of us... in fact karlof1's scenario at the end of his post really sums up where i too think we are at.. i just can't this working out favourably.. something is going to give and break.. it might not be right away or in the next few years, but i think that something is the usa unipolar reality... i could be wrong, but it is only a matter of time before this changes into something else.. thank you both for the ongoing comments..

Posted by: james | Jun 27 2019 20:42 utc | 153

Re the enriched uranium cap Iran is reaching.
Russia was taking all Iran's excess enriched uranium and exchanging it for raw uranium.
That Russia is not now not doing this points towards a Russia Iran plan to put pressure Europe and perhaps US, though I think it is more aimed at Europe (Russia would not have stopped taking the enriched uranium because of US sanctions). According to the pieces I linked earlier, the EU are now trying to get Instex up and running, recently injecting capital to give the program a kick start.
Will be interesting to see if this Russia Iran plan can create some daylight between US and EU.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 27 2019 20:55 utc | 154

Zarif's Tweet answering Trump's Tweet:

"Misconceptions endanger peace @realDonaldTrump:

- Sanctions aren't alternative to war; they ARE war

- "Obliteration"=genocide=war crime

- "Short war" with Iran is an illusion

- Whoever begins war will not be the one ending it

- Negotiations and threats are mutually exclusive"

Again, Iran raises the pot; Trump must call or fold.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 27 2019 21:08 utc | 155

I am really concerned that Iran is set up for an extremely dangerous false flag. Bolton's favorite headchoppers (and truly terrorist group), the MEK, now have carte blanche to kill some American service people (I believe that the MEK were the ones attacking shipping is the Gulf of Oman). The war hawks will immediately claim that Iran is responsible, and the bunker busters (nuke?) will fall on Iran's legal nuclear sites, killing and poisoning many.
All I can say is tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, and tell your representatives and senators to block this war (as if they would or that it would make any difference, anyway).

Posted by: naiverealist | Jun 27 2019 21:16 utc | 156

Bemildred @153--

And how would "Fortress America" be accomplished since the Current Oligarchy can't do autarky as they'd loss their fortunes.

james @154--

First we need Trump to climb down from the tree he's stuck in.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 27 2019 21:17 utc | 157

@ Peter AU 1 155
the EU are now trying to get Instex up and running, recently injecting capital to give the program a kick start.
It might be a little nudge, but I don't see the possibility of a kick.
Hook is there in Europe today, according to WSJ, probably telling Brussels: "no way, José -- go ahead and sell a few medicinal supplies but there's no way that TOTAL and Citroen-Peugeot are going back into Iran. We'll sanction the whole lot of you if think you'll defy USA."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 21:32 utc | 158

@ naiverealist 157
I am really concerned that Iran is set up for an extremely dangerous false flag.
Yes, and the proposed NDAA amendment to some might be an advert for a hit.

news report
The amendment from Kaine and Udall to be voted upon tomorrow would prevent Trump from using funding to take military action against Iran without congressional approval. Supporters of the amendment argue Trump could still use action without approval if American troops are attacked.

This is basically a feel-good attempt to restrain the president from makng war BUT it goes back to the War Powers Act which had the same goal but was never useful (obviously, given the number of wars).

3(a) IN GENERAL.—No funds may be used to conduct hostilities against the Government of Iran, against the Armed Forces of Iran, or in the territory of Iran, except pursuant to an Act or a joint resolution of Congress specifically authorizing such hostilities that is enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(b) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.— Nothing in this section may be construed to limit, modify, or relieve the executive branch of any restriction, duty, or requirement regarding the use of force or reporting requirements set forth in the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.). . .here

50 U.S. Code § 1541
War Powers Act
(a) Congressional declaration
It is the purpose of this chapter to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations.
(b) Congressional legislative power under necessary and proper clause
Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution, it is specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
(c) Presidential executive power as Commander-in-Chief; limitation
The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3)a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2019 21:59 utc | 159

I wonder what the reaction was aboard the P-whatever sigint collection plane when the drone
got whacked? Then again, just business per usual. Collect data and 2 hail Mary's...

Posted by: Mishko | Jun 27 2019 22:42 utc | 160

karlof1 @158:

Well as I said I have doubts that it's feasible at this point, for the reason you state, we are now very dependent on outside inputs, long brittle supply chains; but when did that ever stop them from trying? They have been persisting at unfeasible stupid things all of my life. "We make our own reality", or at least they do try, and they give ground grudgingly, the "owners". I've toyed with the idea that that is what Trump wants to bring about, but he's just a wrecking ball, no plan, just thrashing around.

Further, what he is trying to do now is just as unfeasible. He'd have better luck trying to return to isolationism than subdue Russia or China or Iran for that matter at this point.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 27 2019 22:55 utc | 161

Bemildred @162--

Isolationism has always been US Empire lingo for unilateral action, whereas Internationalism means acting multilaterally. The Current Oligarchy's wealth is International although they want to act in an Isolationist manner. They are trying to have their cake and eat it too. For the reasons stated by Kennan in 1947, they still can't see their US Empire just being a peer nation--a normal nation known as the USA. IMO, it is that outlook that must change; and to force that change, a different set of politicos with a different vision and actual--genuine--moral vision need to be put into power by the people, which is sort of what the discussion's about on the Gabbard thread.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 28 2019 5:57 utc | 162

karlof1 @162: agreed. I think we have a six blind guys and an elephant problem here.

I first became aware of our "owners" in the 70s, via Ferd Lundberg and Gore Vidal, but there's lots more. Never read Gatsby until I was in my 60s.

They seem unable to adapt, our owners, from class bigotry, and too dumb to just rule decently. They could stay up there forever and nobody much would give a shit if they would just try to rule decently, rule well.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 28 2019 13:03 utc | 163

The never-ending war against various anti-government indigenous forces in the world is aided by these forces claiming that they are affiliated with established al-Qaeda and ISIS forces, and then the US can use the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) to drop bombs on countries like Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan. They also support US military occupation in counties like Iraq and Syria. It's never-ending war authorization that should have had a sunset clause but didn't, so it can continue to be used liberally forever. The Taliban was "associated" with al-Qaeda, for example. . . .The AUMF is NOT being used to authorize anything in Iran.
The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Pub. L. 107-40, codified at 115 Stat. 224 and passed as S.J.Res. 23 by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001, authorizes the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001 and any "associated forces."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 28 2019 13:47 utc | 164

The damage is *always* already done - because it was intended in the first place. These things are not "mistakes" - the only mistake is in thinking they are. This is how propaganda works.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 28 2019 20:47 utc | 165

re: 109 above
Here's a photo of the Navy ship against the freighter in Montreal. The LCS captain has been relieved, more here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2019 15:25 utc | 166

It's funny to see the anti-Putin comments from the usual suspects.

They fear what Putin says because he is doing something that has been virtually forbidden in the West: breaking down the artificial left-right barrier that allows the 'radical center' to rule without question.

Western politics DOES NOT ALLOW for the left-right divide to be closed. It DOES NOT ALLOW people to come together, in any effective way, to counter the tenets of establishment rule. Those tenets include militarism and zionism. You can not vote against these. There are no mainstream candidates that oppose these.

Third parties do not get funding so they don't get media attention. They don't get media attention, so they don't get funding. It's a vicious cycle that revolves around money politics. Those with money control our politics and the messaging.

Putin is cutting through the establishment's Gordian Knot. Is that to his benefit? Sure. But it benefits ALL OF US to avoid WWIII.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 29 2019 16:07 utc | 167

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