Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 21, 2019

White House Pushes 'Trump Pulled Back' Story - He Likely Never Approved To Strike Iran

Last night U.S President Trump allegedly pulled back from a military strike against Iran after it had already been ordered.

That is the official story but there are doubts that it is true. The Iranian campaign of "maximum pressure" against Trump's sanctions is still on. But there are first signs that it is successful.

The New York Times headlines: Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back

WASHINGTON — President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.

As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.

The NYT story blames the hawks in the Trump administration, Bolton, Pompeo and CIA torture queen Gina Haspel, for arguing for a strike. The Pentagon and some congressional leaders are said to have been against it. The NYT report includes this curious paragraph:

Asked about the plans for a strike and the decision to hold back, the White House declined to comment, as did Pentagon officials. No government officials asked The New York Times to withhold the article.

The Associated Press has a similar story: US prepped for strikes on Iran before approval was withdrawn. The Washington Post and ABCNews also report along the same line. The White House is clearly pushing this version of the story.

But not everyone is buying the claim of a planned attack that was called back. Jeffrey Lewis, a scholar on international conflicts, remarks:

Jeffrey Lewis @ArmsControlWonk - 3:43 UTC - 21 Jun 2019

I don’t buy this. Trump’s team is trying to have it both ways — acting restrained but talking tough. This is pretty much what Nixon did in 1969, too. Why not just admit that sometimes restraint is smart?

The @nytimes ran the same story Nixon in 1969. 🤷‍♂️ Nixon was not going to retaliate but he wanted people to think he almost did — and the Gray Lady obliged. ---> Aides Say Nixon Weighed Swift Korea Reprisal

Elijah Magnier, a journalist with excellent sources in Tehran, also rejects the NYT claim. Pointing to the NYT story he remarks:

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 4:02 UTC - 21 Jun 2019

This is highly inaccurate and Iran "knew" about it yesterday: the US administration whispered this info for Trump to save his face.

I hinted to this info yesterday before it was released this morning by the US media. Iran - sources - rejected the "war-theatre scenario". More details this evening.

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 19:41 UTC - 20 Jun 2019

I have very valuable information on US intel sending a message to the Iranians to agree on a certain scenario to happen.
This and much more information will force me to write an article tomorrow (hopefully) on #Iran and #US crisis.

After the drone shoot down the price of oil jumped 10%. Trump will have noticed that. He was also already warned by Iran that there is no room for talks and that any strike against it would have deadly consequences:

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian officials told Reuters on Friday that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump through Oman overnight warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent.
The second official said: “We made it clear that the leader is against any talks, but the message will be conveyed to him to make a decision ... However, we told the Omani official that any attack against Iran will have regional and international consequences.”

The whole storyline of "a strike was ordered but Trump held back and saved the day" might well be fake.

When Trump spoke to the press yesterday afternoon he was already playing down the Iranian downing of a U.S. Global Hawk drone. As we wrote in the update to yesterday's drone story:

Trump just held a press conference in the Oval Office. He seemed to play down (vid) the event. He empathized that the drone was unmanned. He said he had "a big, big feeling" that "someone made a mistake", that "some Iranian general probably made a mistake". That means that he does not accuse the government of Iran of the shoot down, but some lowly grunt who "might have made a mistake."

That statement gives him room to avoid a large retaliation.

A strike in retaliation for the downed drone may have never been on the table. An alternative interpretation is that the U.S. sought agreement for a symbolic 'strike' from Iran. It would hit some empty desert place to allow Trump to save face. Iran would have disagreed with that plan.

But there are also signs that some strike was really in preparation:

𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙄𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙡 𝘾𝙧𝙖𝙗 @IntelCrab - 3:26 UTC - 21 Jun 2019

Not sure I have an opinion yet on this NYT piece, but I will say one thing...the HF traffic we've seen today is consistent with the assertion that at least SOME sort of strike package was authorized.

Unusual High Frequency radio traffic pointed to strike preparation, says the open source analyst IntelCrab.

There is also a different plausible explanation why an imminent strike might have been called back. From the Wall Street Journal:

Saudi Plant Struck by Missile, Apparently From Yemen
Senior U.S. officials called back to White House after desalination facility in kingdom hit

Senior officials from a range of U.S. government agencies were called back to the White House to meet Wednesday evening, the official said.

“The President has been briefed on the reports of a missile strike in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday. “We are closely monitoring the situation and continuing to consult with our partners and allies.”

The Houthi, aka Ansar Allah, yesterday hit the Saudi desalination and electricity plant at Al-Shuqaiq near the southern Saudi city Jizan. The Saudis confirmed the strike:

Colonel Turki al-Maliki, the spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition fighting Ansar Allah, confirmed the attack, saying a hostile projectile that had yet to be identified landed near the Al-Shuqaiq water desalination plant, but caused no casualties or damage. He added that it was another example of the rebels deliberately attacking civilian targets.

This must have come as a shock for the Saudis. Some 75% of the water the Saudis use comes from desalination plants. Their people will die of thirst when those get destroyed. Did the Saudi King call the White House and urge it to call off the strike against Iran because he feared for his water resources? Was this the real reason why the White House called back its advisors and canceled the strike?

The Houthi also launched an large attack on Jizan airport:

Brasco_Aad @Brasco_Aad - 18:17 UTC - 20 Jun 2019

Mass Houthi drone attack on Jizan airport tonight.
Saudi witnesses are reporting significant damage in and around the airport.

Flights to Jizan were delayed after the reported strike.

The recent Houthi hits on Saudi Arabia are notable escalations in their quality and extent. The Houthi have obviously received new weapons. Their actions are part of the Iranian campaign to put "maximum pressure" on Trump. As Abdel Bari Atwan writes:

The US’ Israeli and Gulf allies have been exploiting Trump’s stupidity to try to drag him into a war against Iran on their behalf. The Iranians are trying to impress on him that any such war would incur an exorbitant cost on the US, and also on those allies – Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has warned that any war would not be confined to Iran but set the entire region ablaze.

Even if there is no direct US attack, the Iranians will not simply sit back and wait to be starved into submission by Trump’s embargo and halting of their oil exports. That is another thing the US president does not understand. And he may never understand it until he sees the extent of their retaliation against his country’s forces, warships and bases, and his allies’ cities, airports, and power and desalination plants.

Trump wages an economic war on Iran through sanctions on everything Iran exports or imports. Iran is doing its best to to push back against this by creating incidents that are plausibly deniable but put Trump under maximum pressure. But there are now signs that Trump is finally getting that.

Yesterday evening Tucker Carlson, a FOX News host with a direct line to the White House, had two strong anti-war segments on his show (vid). In the second segment Carlson talks with retired army Colonel Douglas McGregor. Both argue for pulling back on sanctions. This was likely a preplanned exchange (at 9:56 min) designed to give Trump cover for his decision:

Carlson: Is there some good reason to maintain this level of sanctions against Iran? Are we getting something out of that?

McGregor: Well, I think the idea was to destroy the Iranian economy to bring the nation to its knees. That is really not what we should be trying to do at this point. I think the president senses that there is now an opportunity for diplomacy, for a new approach to Iran that could deescalate this set of conditions and produce a positive outcome.

Look, this will ruin our economy if we engage Iran in a war. Iran will have instantly have support from around the world. They will be the victim of this "limited strike" that is being discussed. The limited strike idea is sheer insanity. It will provoke a war. Everyone, China, Russia, India, many European states will come to the aid of Iran. We will end up with a larger coalition of the willing against us, than we have seen in decades.

I think the president has figured this out. He's got good instincts. But he needs to get rid of the warmongers. He needs to throw these geniuses and their limited strikes out of the Oval Office. The last thing the America First agenda needs is a stupid pointless unnecessary war with Iran and he knows that and he needs to act.

[Tucker Carlson agrees]

Trump may well want some diplomatic exchange with Iran. But Iran will not talk to him as long as the sanctions against it are kept in place. It will continue its maximum pressure campaign by creating new incidents that will again increase the price of oil. The easiest way out for Trump is to abolish sanctions against Iran. He at least should issue waivers for China and others to allow them to again buy Iranian oil.

Unless he does so Iran will hit again and again against those who press for war against it. Yesterday it was a U.S. drone and a Saudi desalination plant that were the targets. The next incident could be in some oil facility in the United Arab Emirates or a symbolic strike against Israel.

The ball is still in Trump's court. He has to act further to avoid a larger war.

Posted by b on June 21, 2019 at 9:06 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

@ HL 198
US defense contractor personnel at the Balad Air Base in Iraq are preparing to evacuate over "potential security threats,"
Even Balad. At the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom, as I recall, there was reportedly more air traffic at Balad than at Heathrow. There were a number of planes in the air 24/7. All that to help provide freedom to Iraq.
There have been reports that the US embassy in Baghdad has been involved in a lot of mysterious foreign air shipments, so that would be affected by an evacuation at Balad.

Regarding al Udeid Air Base in Qatar there are reportedly 11,000 US servicemen stationed there. Qatar is an ally of Iran so the base is pretty safe from attack, probably.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 21 2019 23:41 utc | 201

@ JS 201
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "I don't know how imminent the strike was. You hear different things. But a strike of that amount of collateral damage will be very provocative and I'm glad the president did not take that.
See, they still don't get it, even with the drone downing, that some US planes would be shot out of the air. Iran is not Afghanistan!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 21 2019 23:45 utc | 202

Bemildred @204--

Thanks very much for that link! It provided this academic paper containing the overall debate, "Unblocking the UN Security Council: The Uniting for Peace Resolution." After its Abstract, the following citation's provided:

"The aggressor who breaks [the UN Charter] will stand naked in infamy before the embattled conscience of an outraged world.

        —Senator Arthur Vandenberg, June 1945"

Vandenberg was the leading Republican Senator at the time and was instrumental in getting the Senate to ratify the UN Charter in August 1945. That his nation would be the #1--and Serial--violator of the UN Charter I don't think ever entered his mind. I've often wondered how our previous Statesmen would react if they saw the behavior of their nation today. I think many would thank god that they're dead.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 21 2019 23:48 utc | 203

@ JS 2016
don’t buy it; you can’t trust your leaders when war fever sets in and war prospects are on the rise
A good source of information and ideas is Randolph Bourne's "War is the Health of the State," 1918 . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 21 2019 23:50 utc | 204

I'm going to use the Occam's Razor theory in this instance. Most likely common sense prevailed here. The USA doesn't have the force buildup in the Gulf to take care of any retaliation that a strike by US missiles would provoke from Iran. The question now is will the US send a force array to deal with Iran once and for all, risking Russian involvement, which would likely take weeks to deploy, or will the US, as it looks currently, seek a non-military way out of this? The US doesn't have the appetite for war, especially a prolonged conflict. Trump knows this. A conflict of some sort seems certain though, at some point in the not-too-distant future. It is best to gather a coalition and stage an overwhelming force presence before shooting off any missiles. Between now and then leave the door open for Iran to come back to the negotiating table.

Posted by: Possum Gator | Jun 21 2019 23:52 utc | 205

@ Possum Gator 210
The question now is will the US send a force array to deal with Iran once and for all
That's out of the question. The US had a devil of a time next door in Iraq, and it took three years just to pacify Baghdad. Iran is much, much stronger and has been through a war which caused many casualties. The basis of the force array would have to be the US Army, which isn't really too capable to deal with a country that is four times the size of Iraq with double the population. The Navy and Air Force have problems too. Also compare to US failures in Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 0:04 utc | 206

Possum Gator.."Between now and then leave the door open for Iran to come back to the negotiating table". You do mean for the US to take its foot off Iran's throat and end its murdering sanctions and then for the US to return to the JCPOA, only then can negotiations begin

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 22 2019 0:04 utc | 207

An important point I haven't seen mentioned in any of the 200+ comments so far is the importance of Tucker Calson's FOX News anti-war guests and commentary, which pretty much stands alone amongst all BigLie Media reporting, which for many will be counterintuitive. But Carlson's been a voice for reason all through Russiagate, the Douma false flag, has interviewed Tulsi Gabbard, and has used her as an expert source on numerous broadcasts. Yet Carlson remains employed by Fox, and his newscast last night injected voices of sanity amidst otherwise lockstep braying for war. Thankfully, he has a large audience. Maybe enough to make a difference.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 22 2019 0:11 utc | 208

karlof1 @209:

My pleasure. Having been born about then, I remember some of that, and I can tell you that I don't like to think much about what has been done to, or done with, this country these last 40 years or so. Greed and hubris run amok.

Possum Gator: 210:

That is all correct but the problem is that Iran will not sit there while we build up our forces, unlike Iraq the last two times, they have the means and motivation to start right in - in fact they already have - once we start to accumulate assets, and in the meantime the IRGC will be raising hell in the bushes too. To even begin to think about it we would have to move a lot of our assets to safer ground, which would be pretty far away, and they will be watching to see what we are trying to do, there won't be any shock and awe that goes in only one direction. Unless we are ready to get right into WWIII (and we are not ready) there is no way to do it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 22 2019 0:11 utc | 209

Probably the JCPOA is a dead issue for both the US and Iran, for reasons I stated in 205.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 0:13 utc | 210

@ 211

That's why I say they are gearing up to use some new toys. Backing down now when they have almost achieved their dream is unthinkable to the Zionists.

Posted by: Sorghum | Jun 22 2019 0:14 utc | 211

Possum Gator @210--

If "common sense" were to prevail with Iran, then the Outlaw US Empire would cease its violation of the JCPOA, remove all its illegal sanctions, and get on with obeying the UNSC Resolution as it's supposed to. Such would not only be common sense, it would be the lawful, moral, right and proper things to do. Too many people are unaware that it is the USA that's completely in the WRONG in this situation! And that needs to stop!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 22 2019 0:22 utc | 212

Regarding the 12 mile territorial limit on coastlines, UNCLOS says:
Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention.

Neither Iran nor the US has ratified UNCLOS, which implies national territory ends where they say it does. US senators didn't like the idea of the UN telling them what to do, because they're, you know, special.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 0:38 utc | 213

Master of distraction. Of course its all fake. Pretty much everything is now. I am convinced the reason there are no good movies snd shows anymore (or very few) is all the Hollywood writers are on the CIA payroll writing the fake reality script that actors like Trump follow.

Posted by: Pft | Jun 22 2019 0:46 utc | 214

Karlof1 and Jackrabbit

The decision rests with the international non deep state global oligarchy.

Wake up boys. I love u both but you are being strangled by a fake narrative.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 22 2019 0:47 utc | 215

@ JS 220
Can America literally take on the world
No, but the senators have got their calls from Israel and America has to take on Iran.
USAToday: 'This was a direct attack on U.S. assets': Trump's aborted Iran strike draws criticism from Republicans

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 0:54 utc | 216

Tucker Carlson Trashes John Bolton: ‘Blunders Into Obvious Catastrophes’ and Never Admits Blame

He called Bolton a “bureaucratic tapeworm” who never suffers despite the pain and suffering he’s inflicted on others.

“His life really is Washington in a nutshell. Blunder into obvious catastrophes again and again, refuse to admit blame, and then demand more of the same. That’s the John Bolton life cycle,” Carlson added.


Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 22 2019 0:57 utc | 217

Wonder what the point of discussion will be at the G20 next week (chaired by Shinzō Abe...).

Posted by: bjd | Jun 22 2019 1:01 utc | 218

John Smith @220--

If Trump had renounced the UN Charter, avowed to go 100% unilateral in his actions so as to technically be legal and constitutional (although it could be argued that renouncing the uN Charter would itself be an unconstitutional act), then his actions might be seen to be in the service of some wild definition of US Interests. So, yes, I'm disagreeing with the author of the item you wrote except for his "hell no."

I must confess to being very pleased for a mostly uneventful day. Hopefully, the pause has allowed for some reflective thinking. I'll leave with this citation from the review of the Ufa Security Conference I linked to earlier today and do again for those who missed it:

"A war against Iran is a red line for virtually all forum participants. The fact that the US is represented at the forum at a time of elevated tensions with Iran, especially after having not attended for the previous four years, is a good signal from the Trump administration that it is willing to open dialogue with Iran despite the risk of continued provocations or intentional accidents between the two countries.

"The explicit and direct words used by the Russian, Chinese and Iranian representatives suggest a complete coordination on essential issues like terrorism, especially when it is used by the US as a tool against geopolitical opponents around the world, whether it be on Russia’s southern border, in Syria, or in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. Terrorism used as tool of imperialism is something that Ufa places at the center of current global problems, trying to limit its impact and effectiveness."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 22 2019 1:03 utc | 219

video with Trump responding to what will happen with Iran: "You'll find out."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 1:07 utc | 220

fars news with pics of parts of the downed drone..

Posted by: james | Jun 22 2019 1:10 utc | 221

@124 That is a really important point.

If there was a plane tailing that drone then it would come as no surprise to the USA that Iran spotted it.

If that plane had 35 people on board then that is unusual, to say the least.

The kicker is this: that Iran knew there were 35 people on it would come as a profound shock, because that implies that US operational security is totally compromised.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 22 2019 1:11 utc | 222

. . .snark caution
The UN Security Council Secretary-General is on top of the situation--
21 June 2019
Secretary-General Calls for Peaceful, Credible Presidential Election in Mauritania
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres: . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 1:17 utc | 223

Total crew and ASW operators in a P-8A is maybe 20. Not sure you could even fit 35 people on board. It's a 737-800, but it's jam packed with equipment. It was built and primarily used for anti-submarine warfare, but - due to the inconvenient lack of hostile Soviet and Chicom subs to track - is used more and more for martime intelligence and surveilance and the search part of search and rescue. They really don't use this $250M aircraft for locating anti-aircraft batteries or radar. For that matter, they're not going to use a $200M martime surveilance-rigged Triton drone (striped or not) for that, either. There's far cheaper and more efficient methods for that (courtesy USAF drones).

There is absolutely nothing stealthy about a Triton. It was never designed to sneak in to contested airspace - it's easily observable by radar and probably easy to shoot down. The P8-A would probably be more difficult to hit with all its counter-measures. 'More difficult' being relative - it's still a 737.

*IF* the P-8A was shadowing the drone, then they both would have been far, far lower than 65,000 ft. ceiling everyone is repeating. DoD released one of their less-than-credible, de-res'd clip of an IR video monitor of the shootdown (how convenient) that shows an altitude of around 22,000 ft with the observing P-8A/drone/UFO being above and a few nautical miles away. That would have been a reasonable altitude for martime and coastal ISR by both aircraft. Or for baiting the Iranians by taunting them with an airspace incursion.

The Iranians would have known exactly what they were shooting at because there were probably several dozens of Iranian radars watching both aircraft since their wheels left the ground. This wasn't some liutenant crewing an isolated Iranian TEL somewhere in the mountains taking a shot. All the modern Iranian missiles have command self-destruct, too - just like the Patriots and S-300/400s. The Iranians are not going to accidentally shoot down, say, a passenger airliner because they were confused about the target or the missile went off course.

I still say it was bait an was intended to be shot down, and the Iranians were perfectly well aware of that. They probably also don't give a damn if the U.S. can locate all its anti-air sites. The only thing the U.S. can do with air dominance is destroy Iranian infrastructure. What the U.S. can't *ever* do is protect Saudi Arabian (and assorted evil GCC crony's) infrastructure from the thousands of Iranian tactical ballistic missiles squirreled away in every last mountain in Iran. Nor can any U.S./U.K. financial shenanigans possibly protect the precarious Saudi/GCC financial empire from collapsing in a few weeks without their cash cow oil business. The Saudis/GCC owe EVERYBODY money - they're not even paying their Sudanese headchopper mercs in Yemen anymore, and neither is the UAE.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 22 2019 1:19 utc | 224

@229 yeah, right... thanks for following up on that and @231 paveway too... thanks for the comments and to everyone else as well..

Posted by: james | Jun 22 2019 1:41 utc | 225

@uncle tungsten #197
Given that the drone was both experimental and a prototype built upon a 5 year old previous generation drone, your assertion that said drone was a latest generation stealth is highly speculative.
The high altitude wing configuration also makes the stealth possibility problematic.
The U2 had a wing area of 1000 Square feet. The drone in question has an even larger one, but without all of the many radar baffling features which the B2 has.
Of course, maybe the drone was built from wood and plastic - which would work. But that conflicts with the drones design goal of mass surveillance, electronic and well as visual.
So yet again, while the drone might well be stealth, I would like to see something more definitive than unsupported statements from anonymous posters.

Posted by: C1ue | Jun 22 2019 1:50 utc | 226

Seems to be mostly honeycomb/plastic in the drone wreak images.

Posted by: coxcreek | Jun 22 2019 1:55 utc | 227

Eisenhower warned us about the MIC, but little did he realize the corruption would eventually undermine the US military from within so thoroughly to the point even a medium-rate adversary like Iran is able to compete with their best at single digit percent of the US war budget.

Even before the drone incident, the US was already skittish about Turkey and India buying S-400s or facing Russia head-on. Now that the paper tiger has truly reared it's head at Iran, resistance against the US is only going to increase.

Posted by: JW | Jun 22 2019 1:56 utc | 228

Apologies: wreck

Posted by: coxcreek | Jun 22 2019 1:57 utc | 229

If the P8 was intended to be shot down, then its crew and the crews of similar planes should be made aware of what the U.S. government thinks of them.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 22 2019 2:02 utc | 230

@ JW 235
little did he realize the corruption would eventually undermine the US military from within
You got that right!! The new systems development are mostly crap but the Pentagon buys them anyhow because the corporations say 'do it.'

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 2:04 utc | 231

The Road To Teheran, author Foster Rhea Dulles, publ. 1945.

I read this abt 35 years ago. A most interesting read by s/o with keen knowledge of events. I only knew that the author was some distant relative of the John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles. It might be helpful re: background data.
Apparently copies are still circulating.

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 22 2019 2:06 utc | 232

I also recall drafts of a report positing Britain's desperate thirst for resources that began with the Hakluyt team abt 1598 [!] which began global surveys of all minerals/materials and maritime navigation matters. Abt 150 yrs later, patents were marked as vital resources. Then another 100 years yrs later, crude oil became probably #1 in importance [arguably, still is].
Essentially, no resources = no Britain [not to mention Empire] was clearly recognized.

Note that modern day use of the Hakluyt name is a throw [misdirection]from its founding team [Richard Hakluyt and his nephew of same name]. Their first survey results were published between 1599 and 1602.
An early draft report mentioning the Hakluyts was in the comments on [defunct] The Oil Drum website. I saw other, different drafts.

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 22 2019 2:38 utc | 233

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

Posted by: Stever | Jun 22 2019 2:46 utc | 234

@ 241
Lindsey Graham Says Israel Will Attack Iran, And The U.S. Will Follow
Lindsey Graham, lawyer -- what can we expect from a lawyer, respect for the law? . .hah
Oh well, say goodbye Israel, nice knowin' ya.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 2:53 utc | 235

@ chu teh | Jun 21, 2019 10:06:29 PM #239

The book you mentioned is available at the Internet Archive.


Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 22 2019 3:10 utc | 236

Attacking Iran, US will open the gates of hell – George Galloway

Posted by: Stever | Jun 22 2019 3:27 utc | 237

Yeah, Right @19

Not only is it odd, but for the "paper of record," ungrammatical. I find it weird that what should have read "no government official" instead reads "no government officials." It's not a "mistake" they would normally have made, I wouldn't think.

My guess is they shopped it around to a FEW government officials, and none asked them to withhold. The more telling thing is that, by saying this, they admit they MIGHT have, if they'd been asked.

It also seems, IMHO, to be indicative of a current war INSIDE the Deep State. The NYT doesn't trust its official leakers, and has to check them with others.

Posted by: therobin | Jun 22 2019 3:31 utc | 238

I note that the Iranians are the only actors who have been able to recover pieces of that downed drone, which I take as very strong evidence that the wreckage came down in Iranian waters.

And if it came down in Iranian waters then it must have started its death-spiral in Iranian airspace...

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 22 2019 4:08 utc | 239

Chu teh

UK resource pursuit is undeniable, you will also find many other countries have similar sides to their history. The Spanish simply claimed the world's ocean theirs at one point for example. Interesting also was the Locke philosophy that working land made it one's own, part of the line of thought justifying colonisation of the US. Going back, even UK ancestral claim is corrupted, the Saxon kings viewed the locals as their subjects, from there anyone born in Britain was british, with no ancestral claim - this made the conquerers as natural british as previous inhabitants. Only succession was ancestral and that presented problems where foreign born claimants were concerned. Though this was eventually relaxed to include descent as national, they have messed around with the terms in a way that clearly demonstrates oligarchal thinking, merged with liberal policy. It's a mess actually, Hong Kong was a later example, as are rules of double descent. This is managing own population as resource basically. US has some of this, particularly taxation re. renunciation of nationality, or conscription. The French technically cannot renounce nationality after 19yrs of age, and only between 17 and 19 if they already have another nationality - an old law that was designed to stop people renouncing nationality when called to war - you can hand in your passport etc. but you are still considered french, there are Algerians in court about this for example. Hence the phrase "once a frenchman always a frenchman". Though these systems are less obvious now, they are still the basis of how our societies were created, they are still the levers of power and control, if only because the mentalities are so deeply ingrained. Food for thought, it's a big topic at world level - 'who owns who' and how and why.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 22 2019 4:50 utc | 240

@Bemildred 224

Tucker Carlson’s video is very powerful. What gives it more importance is that it is coming out of Fox News. Their viewers are not used to an alternative narrative and/or opinion. Hopefully they are listening carefully.

The John Bolton segment was the best and most amusing. Watching him squirm and answer with his clownish smile as to whether he regrets all the wars he has caused, was a highlight.

This “tapeworm” needs to be flushed out and then burned. I wish I could believe all the niceties about Trump. But I can’t and I won’t.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 22 2019 4:52 utc | 241

The whole story makes sense. Trump get pushed into an attack and when the players pushing for war leave the room he changes his mind. You know we are in big trouble when he looks like the sensible guy in the building. The trading sand dunes to blow up deal is believable, he did that in Syria. A totally feckless crass political calculation so typical of the US.

Iran has Trump (the US) cornered? The Persians are a tough and steady foe and they know the US is not yet in position for an all out two way missile exchange in the region so the Persians can sit back and push US buttons goading them into doing something.

The US will not make a big move until they have all the assets they feel they need in position. That is a rotating force of naval vessels ready to fire full complements of missiles into Iran steadily, a massive air force that can protect the region, a complete iron dome style ring around their Gulf allies excluding Iraq for the most part, and a force ready to protect their Sunni allies excluding Iraq as oil is way to cheap right now; we need to take some off the market for a while. An invasion will not happen.

The Persians are ready, they live there. The US has to move itself in position and the Pentagon likes to have everything they need in place before they start a big campaign. The Persians can smash up the region a bit but the US can really demolish that country if they really wanted to and the lobby would like to see that happen.

If the pressure was really on then our forces would be pouring into the region. This is a slow burn conflict and it is in an early stage.

Posted by: dltravers | Jun 22 2019 5:35 utc | 242

Pft @221

I am convinced the reason there are no good movies snd shows anymore (or very few) is all the Hollywood writers are on the CIA payroll writing the fake reality script that actors like Trump follow.

From that logic you would think the CIA scripts would be "good" or at least somewhat credible, but those writers seem to belong to the Plan 9 from outer space school of storytelling.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jun 22 2019 6:12 utc | 243

karlof1 @105

The Russian IL-20 that went down in Syria had 15 people. The P-8 is at least twice as big, so 35 people would not be too big a number.

If it was just a passive collection of data fewer people would be needed. I imagine they were doing real time analysis so more people would be needed to filter and analyse the data.

Posted by: jiri | Jun 22 2019 6:26 utc | 244

And now Trump says he's ready for a meeting with the Iranians.
Interesting times, uh?

Posted by: Mina | Jun 22 2019 6:35 utc | 245

Russiagate "Cyberexperts" now warn of ‘Iranian hackers’

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 22 2019 7:11 utc | 246

After watching the Lindsey Graham interview and listening to Trumps circle of advisors Bolton,Pompeo and Pence, I am sure General Tommy Franks might revise his opinion on Douglas Feith, Frank's was complaining about his job one day, and said: “I have to deal with the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth almost every day.” He was talking about noted neoconservative Douglas Feith, who was then the Pentagon’s undersecretary for policy.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 22 2019 9:16 utc | 247

Harry Law @254: Yeah, Franks wasn't all that sharp himself, which was part of the point in that story. But yeah, all of these guys, Feith, Dolton, Pompeous, Jeffery are ideologues, political hacks, they are not paid to be smart, they are paid to be obedient, they are not thinking at all except about how to pursue their dumb-to-begin-with-but-well-paid political agendas. Lindsey definitely is in that category too, a self-serving grifter who (like Bolton) mainly knows the swamp.

Uncle Jon @248: I don't watch video much, it rots your brain, but what is happening with Tucker is indeed interesting, and I assume it is happening because it gets a lot of clicks and views, as with Trump. At this point I kind of wonder if Tucker has political ambitions himself ... Gabbard/Carlson 2020 would be a nice plot change.

Some interesting bits of news:

US to Launch Syria-Linked Diplomatic, Security Campaign Next Week


West Advises Lebanon to Distance Hezbollah from Regional Tension

Same site ...

Lebanese authorities have been advised through European diplomatic channels to steer Lebanon clear of any possible military confrontation in the Gulf region over rising tension between the United States and Iran, Lebanese cabinet ministers said.

The ministers, who refused to be identified, confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the European and non-European advice to Lebanon stressed the need to respect the country’s dissociation policy and stop any party from intervening in a regional confrontation.

The sources said European diplomats have called for self-restraint and for avoiding any pretext that can be used later by Israel or other parties to threaten Lebanon’s stability.

So if I read that right the idea is to keep Hezbollah (and presumably Israel) out of it if things get seriously "kinetic" with Iran, which you will note IS a stupid idea, Iran does not need Hezbollah to damage Israel, Hezbollah just makes it rapidly existential for both sides, and Hezbollah has no incentive at all to let that happen, to stay out of it, or to let Israel stay out of it. Even Saddam shot off a few SCUDs.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 22 2019 10:39 utc | 248

This is interesting, due to the EU’s failure to ease sales of Iranian oil through the instex system Russia on Friday announced it was ready to help Iran export its crude and ease restrictions on its banking system if Europe fails to launch its dollar-evading SPV, Instex (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) with Tehran. Because oil is fungible it should be possible for Russia/China to buy up any amount of Iranian oil at a big discount and sell on for big profit, F--k the EU vassals.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 22 2019 10:43 utc | 249

It appears our rulers are promoting Pelosi and Biden as front runners to replace Trump.

Guardian, US propaganda version:

Trying to give Pelosi anti-war cred.
These are the people who helped to get us to where we are. Unfortunately, the experience with Trump will make people nostalgic for the good old days which werent so good.

Country needs new direction not return to old.

Posted by: jared | Jun 22 2019 11:11 utc | 250

Somebody put a new chip in Tucker Carlson.

Bow tie bot served up Republican boilerplate his whole life- warmongering, trickledown economics, xenophobia, foe example.

This is a total 180 for Tucker.

One wonders how much control these droids have over their material.

I would think the answer is not much.

Tucker's schtick is an interesting experiment by the Fox News network controllers.

Posted by: Fastfreddy | Jun 22 2019 11:56 utc | 251

What if the P8 was the bait intended to be shot down in a similar way to the Russian IL-20? Would explain the back tracking and confused statements..

See here:

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 22 2019 12:02 utc | 252

Hahaha did you notice how msm journalists and other pundits are now ANGRY with Trump because stopped the attacks? You cannot make this up, these people are sick!

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 22 2019 12:14 utc | 253

Isn't it wonderful to live in a country where important decisions are made democratically, and our government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the earth. In some countries these decisions are made by dictators without any concern for people, can you believe that?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 12:35 utc | 254

@ Lozion #260

That is what I was thinking too and the drone was there to film it all happen.

Posted by: Zack | Jun 22 2019 12:40 utc | 255

This war has been thouroughly [sic] planned for some years now.
This is true, but U.S. military capabilities have steadily gone downhill since the war game Millinium Challenge 2002. The Army and Marine Corp are below strength, the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps are 25% below their required strength in fighter pilots, the F-35 is junk and its stealth capabilities give no advantage in this kind of war, the F-22 works but it can only fly about two days a week because it needs so much maintenance. The Navy basically has no role, because the Iranian "navy" is a few submarines which will probably stay in the Persian Gulf, and that is an area the Navy needs to stay out of because Iranian missiles. The Wild Weasel teams are extremely good, but they've never had to face competent and motivated anti-air defenses before. The mountainous terrain is unsuitable for armored warfare but very well suited to guerrilla hit and run warfare. The senior officers have all had experience in real battle against Iraq. While our officers at all levels have had experience in combat against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan they have not experienced success, which the Iranians have, and they have not been fighting against well trained regular troops. Logistics will be a nightmare trying to move supplies through a hostile population. In Iraq that problem really did not arise because the civilian population did not actively obstruct the "rear areas." The war that has been planned for the last 20 years has been steadily scaled down to recognize American shortcomings. Also, the American plan did not, as far as I know, take into account the damage and casualties in Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Israel. It just ignores it.

Posted by: Procopius | Jun 22 2019 12:47 utc | 256

More bad news:
US and Russia goes to Israel for meeting on Syria, Iran,

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 22 2019 12:50 utc | 257

@ karlof1 | Jun 21, 2019 6:34:03 PM | 189

"Now, the attack on Huawei: where does it come from and what is its objective? The objective is to hold back the development of China, the country that has become a global rival of another power, the United States. The same is happening with Russia, and will continue to happen, so if we want to occupy a worthy place under the sun, we must become stronger, including, and above all, in the economy."

As usual, Putin’s right on it. Absent sustained, home-grown demand a nation holds itself back. Long term, sanctions create the arduous path necessary to pose credible threats to prevailing power structures.

There’s no natural law that the usurping, ascendant power should be assisted in its usurpation by the de facto power. Nonetheless, the US’ current sanctioning/tariffing rage is an oblique (and wholly inadvertent) assist to the ‘ascendees’ by the vested power. I believe in the long-term the planet will benefit from the current supply-chain, trade flow reformulations.

Navarro, Lighthizer et al have laid down the gauntlet to be sure. Navarro puts it bluntly: Possessing a viable steel and aluminum productive capacity in-country is inseparable from national security. At some point, I think he says “if you don’t make steel, you don’t have a country.” Pretty blunt. But new for America (first).

The Huawei episode is an expression of this ‘twisted-pair’ mentality. Or is it a trifecta? Trade, national security and power-retention?
Trump is a businessman and deal-maker. He doesn’t have a geopolitical or militarist bon in his body. Or, he instinctively takes an economic determinist view to geopolitics. His personal druthers, I suspect, would jettison power in exchange for mutually beneficial trade opportunities. He is kept from his own natural inclinations however by a weaponized public sector grouping known as the Military Industrial Surveillance Complex.

The MIC is not a profit center. It’s a resource sink. So it has the luxury of fixating on power altogether. Therein may be the essence of its corruption: It doesn’t have to make its honest way in the world.

Detractors say Trump has ‘weaponized’ the demand market he sits on top of. A less bellicose interpretation might be that he’s revalued its criticality to the export economies of the world and leveraged it accordingly.

And that’s another problem. The war rhetoric is feeding the reality. A tariff is not an incendiary device. It’s a method of demand revaluation. In a world beleaguered by industrial overcapacity, demand acquires a relative scarcity value. Factories are a dime a dozen.
The CCP (as a function of its own power retention interests; let’s not pretend power is one-sided aspiration) elected not to foster in-country prosperity as consumer demand invariably brings with it civic DEMAND for plurality (‘market choice’). This was a calculated political decision.

After visiting Japan in 1978, Deng opted to replicate the export model. This was tantamount to the 500-pound canary attempting to mimic the darting qualities of the humming bird. A global deflationary wave was unleashed that eviscerated what? Global demand. Since laid-off Western factory workers make terrible consumers.

If you want to set up a kiosk at the Natl Association of Broadcasters (NAB) annual confab which puts you up against 100,000 concentrated industry buyers, well, there’s a kiosk fee. If you don’t want to pay it, we don’t need to shoot one another over it. I hear Eurasia has one coming up in August. The Xi-Trump confrontation arrived ‘too early’ for the Eurasian Century to displace the now-estranging (US) demand. Trump caused its early arrival. Really Trump caused its arrival at all.

Now we’re seeing the early canaries taking flight. Capital flight. The extradition bill is causing Hong Kong billionaires to redeploy their money. Capital is notoriously claustrophobic. It feel the walls moving in while the walls are only thinking about moving. This becomes a self-fulfilling dynamic not unlike a bank run.

Apple’s moving 15-30% of its manufacturing out of China. This decision was not taken lightly. The downstream impact to intermediate vendors will be huge. Plus Apple courts the wrath of the CCP and access to the Chinese demand market. Wow. Apple’s conceding Trump’s no aberration. Kerry Logistics Network is moving back to Malaysia. Foxconn, etc.

This week the Mexican Senate passed USMCA with a near-unanimous vote, a $16/hour wage floor and 75% North American parts origination. The NAFTA loophole is vanishing. The North American trading bloc is becoming a beast with teeth. Biggest beneficiary? Mexico. Biggest losers? Asian manufacturers. If you must have supply chains –and you must—why not bring the links in-house? Mexican prosperity solves the border issue as a bonus.

Those nations that successfully navigate the middle-income trap –and it’s a small fraternity—provide high-end demand that services the vast bulk of the world that hasn’t yet broken through to this heightened plateau. That Putin’s “worthy place” that must be worked towards. Demand doesn’t grow on trees. Nor can the middle income trap be escaped from before political plurality is achieved.
In the interest of length, I’ll avoid a treatise on the exploitative mercantilist policies that allowed the First World to ‘get there first’. Of course that’s rife with inequality and dark chapters. Also, the Triffin Paradox that obliged the US to send its production overseas due to the perversity of a national currency being called into reserve currency status.
Apologies for length.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | Jun 22 2019 12:57 utc | 258

@246 therobin I am inclined to regard it as code e.g. the powers-that-be have no objection to us running with thus utter nonsense, because it is nothing like the truth. Which we know but aren’t allowed to print. We have to print this tripe instead.

Something like that, or something very similar.

So you point out, the wording is so clumsy that it is all but jumping up and down and shouting “Look at me! Look at me!”

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 22 2019 13:02 utc | 259

Does no one remember the result of sanctions on Japan in the early 1940s?

Posted by: Bugs Bunny | Jun 22 2019 13:06 utc | 260

@265 Zanon Why is it bad news? The Russians are very polite, and are always ready to talk to anyone.

I know it’s a shocking idea for some, but diplomacy is always to be welcomed.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 22 2019 13:07 utc | 261

Carlson cannot handle criticism.
Here is an exchange with historian Rutger Bergman over the rich paying taxes.
Bergman.. You might not like it but you are a millionaire funded by billionaires and that is the reason that you are not talking about these issues.
Carlson.. But I am talking about these issues.
Bergman.. Yeah, only now you jumped the bandwagon, you're all like, oh, I'm against the globalist elite, blah blah blah its not very convincing to be honest
Carlson.. I wanna say to you, why don't you go fuck yourself, you tiny brained guy and I hope this gets picked up because you're a moron, I tried to give you a hearing but you were too fucking annoying.
Bergman.. You can't handle the criticism can you?

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 22 2019 13:16 utc | 262

According to Michael Klare over at Tom Dispatch, the Pentagon brass do not want a war with Iran. They want out of the Middle East altogether because, apparently, they are tired of fighting “ragtag insurgents and guerillas.” Their new hobby, according to Klare, is preparing to fight against more equally matched “great power” opponents: i.e. China and, to a lesser extent, Russia.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 22 2019 13:21 utc | 263

@ Procopius 264

I agree with your overall assessment about poor US military capabilities, and I would add poor minesweeping capability, also many vulnerable targets. But let's look at this. . .
The Navy basically has no role, because the Iranian "navy" is a few submarines which will probably stay in the Persian Gulf, and that is an area the Navy needs to stay out of because Iranian missiles.

>Iran has six small frigates, plus one new Sahand-class frigate which features the latest Iranian “Qader” anti-ship missiles, SM-1 surface-to-air missiles, and a relatively modernized onboard electronics suite.
>Iran's 88 patrol vessels are highly maneuverable small boats. The vessels can rapidly deploy Iran’s estimated 2,000 anti-ship mines which includes an array of mines such as cheap, conventional ones and more advanced "smart mines" which may be able to track multiple targets, discern different types of ships, and avoid detection by lurking on or nrear the seafloor.
>These high-speed vessels can also mass in groups to strike large warships from multiple sides at once, like a cloud of wasps attacking much larger prey. The recent "Iran tensions" reported by the obedient western press have revolved around the arming of these high-speed boats with anti-ship missiles, probably not a new idea.
>The vast majority of Iran's 34 submarines are midget-class--or “littoral”--diesel-electric vessels, with roughly two dozen from Iran’s homemade Ghadir class and several more from the North Korean Yugo class. Ghadir vessels boast the same 533 mm torpedo tubes as the three Russian-built Kilo vessels, only fewer at two versus six. So there's the potential of over sixty torpedoes in the water in one salvo.
>The new Fateh class submarine comes in between the Ghadir and Kilo classes at a displacement of 600 tons. In addition to the 533 mm torpedo tubes that are standard across Iran’s submarine force, Iranian state media reports that the two Fateh vessels can fire anti-ship cruise missiles from a submerged position.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 13:22 utc | 264


I still say it was bait an was intended to be shot down, and the Iranians were perfectly well aware of that.

That is interesting, that could be why Trump pretty much said, "no one died so a response would not be appropriate." Why would they even need to shadow the drone? I thought they were controlled by satellite.

That could have been the inflection point for a big Anglo European military buildup in the region. I do believe that will come at some point. It is their only option left to deal with the Persians.

Posted by: dltravers | Jun 22 2019 13:29 utc | 265

Being where we are at, this is what occurs to me this morning.

In Syria there were moments of tension as Russia became involved, questions over how Syria differences would resolve between the big players. That has gone (almost surprisingly) smoothly, with a more or less coordinated devolution to the original government. I also know this is not a status quo that Israel and allies would accept, not nescessarily because of fear of direct attack (due to the fact that Israel has and will maintain military superiority over the country), but because with Iranian support Syria becomes a threat multiplied. The balance of power is so, that it is known Damascus or Tehran will face nuclear destruction if similar methods are used on Israel, or if the equivalent in conventional warfare were to be attempted (basically the destruction of the state of Israel by missile or large invasion). This is the balance of power, where with Israel it is low scale live fire not just tankers and drones.

The moment Iran becomes a nuclear power the equation changes, its coalition is able to face down Israel eye for eye. That is to say that the moment Israel threatens or meets a large Iranian backed force with nuclear response it will face the same. In this circumstance Israel will cease to exist, one way or another. So this is why Israel will not allow a nuclear Iran.

The necessity felt by Iran to obtain nuclear weapons is by example of the repeated western invasions of countries in the region. I think this is obvious enough.

Therefore this leaves us in the present circumstance, it seems choreographed between the major powers in fact, distension in Syria and the shifting of onus onto Iran itself. However Iran is an independent actor in this, scenario, it will be coordinating with Russia and China to a degree, but the stance it takes will be its own. Economic sanctions and pushing Iran into the fold of Russia, or the influence of Europe, does not answer the main question, and that is its understanding that it independently needs nuclear weapons as a means of defence or possibly as defence during own aggression towards Israel. No other country will reassure it otherwise, they either have not the credibility or will be understood to possibly use the hegemonic position for own profit. This is the scenario that the US is now applying economic sanctions to the country over.

I don't see an acceptable way out of this dilemna, I expect Iran will become a nuclear power. The means of resolution would be concessions, including territorial, by Israel, a regional peace initiative (a proper one), nuclear disarmament of Israel. Etc. This is not going to happen I think . This is why I am very negative on this circumstance, I don't see any country being able to offer Iran the guarantees that will satisfy it into conceding full open compliance to abandoning its nuclear project. Iran will not offer recognition to Israel either.

Maybe someone has a better idea or solution (apart from trying to invade Iran) ?

(note b., I am just using MoA to note down my perceptions and air concern . I don't mean to aggravate anyone, and likely I won't be very participative outside that. I think that is ok here. I hope it comes across neutral as that is how it is meant. Thanks.)

Posted by: Anon | Jun 22 2019 13:29 utc | 266

@259 Fast Freddy

FOX News was the first cable channel to shift its “news” delivery model to full business mode (all of them now do this) and create an echo chamber by telling its viewers what they want to hear. They know that a good portion of Trump’s fabled base is not keen on war or globalization, so they have Carlson cover that angle for them. It is, as the mafia says, “just business.”

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 22 2019 13:31 utc | 267

@ Anon 274
The necessity felt by Iran to obtain nuclear weapons is by example of the repeated western invasions of countries in the region. I think this is obvious enough.
It's not obvious to me. Iran has done quite well expanding its influence in the Middle East by conventional means, while deflecting attempts by the US and Israel to reverse its gains while building a formidable defense based on the limited assets available to Iran and building an international consensus.
It's apparently not obvious to Iran either, as it has not pursued nuclear weapons.
So there's no dilemma. Iran holds the winning cards, and if the US/Israel attacks Iran they will pay a very heavy price, while Iran will live on.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 13:53 utc | 268

Harry Law @270

Carlson is interesting in the same way that Bernie is interesting. Each nominally has an anti-establishment message but they each pull punches enough so that the status quo is not upset.

In this way, dissent is managed - like weeds in a garden - while the establishment can say that all views are given consideration via our "free press".

Example: Carlson gave a pro-Venezuelan government activist a few minutes of time on his show. He promptly memory-holed what she said and failed to connect dots for his audience.

Everything is fine in the world of MSM as long as you put Big Brother the President (now Trump) at the center or your reporting. It is the end all and be all of establishment-approved political conversation. You can agree or disagree with the President for any number of reasons but bowing to the pseudo-democratic process that legitimizes establishment control is an absolute necessity.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Wake me when Carlson interviews Assange.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 22 2019 13:54 utc | 269

Zanon @265: US and Russia goes to Israel for meeting on Syria, Iran

For levity, they should drink every time they hear the words "legitimate security concerns".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 22 2019 13:58 utc | 270

Here's a video on Iran's unconventional small-boat navy arm.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 14:00 utc | 271

Daniel @271: .. the Pentagon brass do not want a war with Iran.

Well, we are also told that Trump doesn't want war with Iran.

Those who WANT WAR are unlikely to admit it.

Pentagon brass will follow orders... and be used as scapegoats for failed policy whenever it is convenient.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 22 2019 14:01 utc | 272

jared @258

They will contort themselves like circus freaks to maintain the illusion of democracy.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 22 2019 14:05 utc | 273

Looks like the US will not be evacuating Balad Air Base soon.

BAGHDAD — Security measures were increased at one of Iraq's largest air bases that houses American trainers following an attack last week, a top Iraqi air force commander said Saturday. The U.S. military said operations at the base were going on as usual and there were currently no plans to evacuate personnel.

The stepped-up Iraqi security measures at Balad air base, just north of the capital, Baghdad, come amid sharply rising tensions in the Middle East between the United States and Iran.. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 14:07 utc | 274

Lozion @260 - I don't share this twitter handlers 'false flag' set up. I am of the opinion it was a covert operation and Iran exposed it.

Maximum pressure campaigns go both ways - Iran shot down a U.S. drone and told the world there was a second plane with 35 warm bodies on board.

Trump's immediate response was that drone had no warm bodies on board b/c if it did have a body on board we'd be having an entirely different conversation.

Someone, somewhere on this thread mentioned Iran's thermal imaging capabilities. Well, like Yeah Right said above @230 "The kicker is this: that Iran knew there were 35 people on it would come as a profound shock, because that implies that US operational security is totally compromised."

This observation, IMHO, gets to the heart of the incident.

Iran is engaged in a maximum pressure campaign just as the U.S. is engaged in a maximum pressure campaign. And in this incident Iran sent the U.S. a very powerful message - "Stay out of our air space, water and land b/c we are deadly serious about protecting it at all costs. We are not interested in a hot war b/c if we were we would have shot down both the drone AND the P8 carrying 35 warm bodies on board."

The U.S. response was to put Iran on high alert b/c there were, allegedly, three Iranian targets the U.S. military was considering to hit overnight. Trump scrapped that plan and in his statement he made it clear to Iran that he is not interested in starting a hot war anymore than Iran is b/c those military targets, if hit, would have included killing 110 Iranians.

Iran showed the U.S. their thermal imaging capabilities - U.S. showed Iran their thermal imaging capabilities.

35 bodies on a plane vs 110 civilians going to bed for the night.

Both nations are sending each other signals and their capabilities.

Are both nations close to making all of this go hot? Hell yeah. That's the very definition of a maximum pressure campaign.

Is it going to go hot, no, at least not in these early stages of the dance. Khamenei doesn't want war anymore than Trump wants war. Both have said so in word and deed. Their advisors are always going to be the wild card b/c as someone said above, at least on the U.S. side, they are a bunch of appointed political hacks aka Bolton and Pompeo, but don't kid yourself, Zarif is as much if not more so, a political pit bull for Iran.

Thankfully, both General Dunford and General Soleimani are career military. They've spent their lifetimes studying each other, their capabilities, their actions, their leadership and everything else in between.

Khamenei and Trump have both sent/responded the signal that they do not want war. The General's will carry out their orders as expected. And the political hacks in between will just make a lot of noise that will pluck everybody's last nerve.

Just my opinion...

Posted by: h | Jun 22 2019 14:19 utc | 275

Harry Law @257:

Russia on Friday announced it was ready to help Iran export its crude and ease restrictions on its banking system if Europe fails to launch its dollar-evading SPV, Instex ... Because oil is fungible it should be possible for Russia/China to buy up any amount of Iranian oil at a big discount and sell on for big profit, F--k the EU vassals.

This development is all the more interesting because it directly refutes a key part of the theory that Iran engaged in a campaign of stealth attacks: Iran's desire for self-sufficiency. In fact, I argued that Russia could help Iran in this way only days ago:

b's proposed Iranian "go it alone" strategy seems like foolish stubbornness by Iran and meekness by it's SCO "allies". Doesn't it makes a lot of sense for Iran to trade with Russia and China and any others that are also at odds with Washington? Why couldn't Iran hook up with the Russian pipeline system? What does Russia have to lose under such an arrangement?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 22 2019 14:22 utc | 276

Yeah Right

This is not "diplomacy", this is furthering the plans and wishes for Israel regarding Iran, Syria.
Russia do it once again.
It shows how close not only US but also Russia are to Israel which is definately not a good thing.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 22 2019 14:23 utc | 277

dltravers @250: The whole story makes sense.

Only to Trump apologists.

That Trump only asked how many would die AFTER he gave the order is laughable nonsense. Trump stopped the attack because the Iranians threatened a massive response.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 22 2019 14:31 utc | 278

@ h 283
Thankfully, both General Dunford and General Soleimani are career military.
That's the only thing they have in common. Soleimani is very smart, judging from his accomplishments.
Anyhow Dunford is retiring in a couple months. No loss.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 14:32 utc | 279

It has become increasingly clear that, as the empire loses its confidence and comes to recognise that its dreams of global hegemony are anachronistic follies, its insistence on absolute obedience from its 'allies' or puppets becomes stronger.
In recent years we have seen the crudeness of Washington's attempts to bring Latin America back into its fold- the recent leaks in The Intercept of the campaign against Lula are only examples of similar campaigns throughout the southern continent- now we are witnessing its unvarnished tyranny in Europe and the anglosphere.
Nothing is more pathetic than the way in which British and Canadian politicians run eagerly to do what Uncle Sam desires.
This article in today's NEO puts the argument well:

Posted by: bevin | Jun 22 2019 14:36 utc | 280

Iran's president Rouhani has made it crystal clear the if the export of Iran’s oil is prevented, as it has been, then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf. Iran cannot accept the status quo as its economy is strangled. So the current discussion in Tehran must be how to do this, covertly or overtly.
>covertly: Would include more direct attacks on tankers. A solution might be to conduct convoys, but that's difficult and costly for shippers.
>overtly: In the past, thirty years ago, Iran used mines to block the Strait of Hormuz. The US Navy (again) is very weak on mine clearance.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 14:43 utc | 281

Jackrabbit@284 makes a very important point.
Short of nuclear war-in which all bets are off- there is really nothing that the US can do which will not be ruinous to its cause. Its aggressions-born of the crude neo-con gangster theories made famous under Bush and Cheney- have cemented a Eurasian bloc out of China, Russia and Iran, three very different states with disparate systems. All they have in common is the recognition that if they don't hang together the US will attempt to finish them off one at a time. The Belt and Road initiatives are being forced on Eurasia, not by China but by the US-what alternatives are left if the US is going to assert its right to police the sealanes to enforce its sanctions?
The next step is for the Europeans to wake up and realise that they have no alternatives between choosing to be Puerto Rico style protectorates or seeking allies in the east as they attempt to re-establish their sovereignties.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 22 2019 14:47 utc | 282

Don Bacon

They cannot stop it, if Iran, "mine "close" or "attack tankers", US and alot of other nations will respond in kind.
Beyond that, Iran will be under a blockade so its a non issue to begin with.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 22 2019 14:54 utc | 283

So the US military is staying at Balad Air Base, and has a significant presence at some other Iraqi bases, supporting the US forces in NE Syria, for one thing.
Trump has said that one of their missions is to 'keep an eye on' Iran, but that works two ways. There have been many rocket attacks on US-occupied bases in Iraq, but apparently no casualties. (The Pentagon uses the word casualties instead of deaths. Getting a leg blown off doesn't count.)
All that is required to change that is more accurate targeting for the mortars and rockets employed by any of the Iran-linked militias. They may have been cautioned to keep their shots a little short or wide in the past, and that might change.
Then what would be a US response? Any attack on Iran itself would require a response (think 9/11).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 14:57 utc | 284

ditto @250 dltravers comment - "This is a slow burn conflict and it is in an early stage."

everyone knows the intent of the sanctions on iran... nothing's going to change here.. and all this is to protect israel? at what point does the usa, or europe or any country figure out a way to call a stop to this?? i can't see it.. all i see is subservient politicians running these countries..

Posted by: james | Jun 22 2019 15:09 utc | 285

Zanon @ 265 & 285
I know your always quite negative about Russia and you may be right ! Is this general speculation on your part ?
It strikes me that the exact opposite could equally be true ! Pure speculation on my part but - - - what if this meeting is the high power ‘back channel’ between US and Russia this brinkmanship over Iran was similar to the Cuban crises.
If we could be a fly on the wall of that meeting !
Iran conflict beyound doubt would be about ‘proportionality’ Putin has earned the right to be listened to !
He will be laying a line in the sand, ‘’ no nukes’’ ‘’ don’t mess with our oil’’ ect ect
And suddenly we see Trump pull back from the brink !!
Makes sense to me ! Still waters run deep.
Thank you mr Putin.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 22 2019 15:19 utc | 286

Trump: Iran 'very wise' not to shoot down manned plane

“There was a plane with 38 people yesterday, did you see that? I think that's a big story. They had it in their sights and they didn't shoot it down. I think they were very wise not to do that. And we appreciate that they didn't do that. I think that was a very wise decision,” Trump told reporters Saturday.


“Anything is a lot when they shoot down an unmanned” vehicle, Trump told reporters Saturday about the possible casualties from the aborted strike.

The Hill

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 22 2019 15:48 utc | 287

Another ‘back channel’ would be the US allies!
The U.K. on the surface we stand with America! Underneath, forget it your on your own mate ! In the U.K. the lights are on but no ones home ! The police were called last night, to the home of our next PM after a women was heared shouting ‘’get off me get off me’’
Europe has no appetite for a fight with Iran for a lot of reasons!
Canada & Australia are no fools ! They will make the right noises in front of trump, but when it comes to a full blown conflict, America’s greed would not be a motive.
So a bully standing alone is a cowerd.
Israel who is behind this whole show from start to finish would lose all with out the nukes option.
That’s how it all stands! Trump now knows it ! And should shut up and sit down !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 22 2019 15:59 utc | 288

Did any of the 38 people in the plane have a comment about being used as
possible target practice for the Iran military? US military personnel ok with this? If it was you what would you do to Bolton and his accomplices the next time you shook hands?

Posted by: so | Jun 22 2019 16:13 utc | 289

Full Spectrum Domino @266--

Length is required sometimes as roots are usually complex and require parsing while explaining. You help explain the Big Picture, which is something few people have a grasp upon, certainly not Trump, Pompeo, Bolton, or anyone else on the US side.

h @283--

Yes, Iran has Thermal Imaging Radar, which was a distinct surprise. I speculated on the overall air defense environment discovered being one of Total Saturation, which is the theoretical ideal for such a system as no individual emitter can be seen and targeted. That destroys the usual protocol for attacking an air defense network, which is to say that US planners have no idea how to proceed to deal with the Iranian adversary. These are technical realities that BigLie Media has a hard time dealing with as its swallowed its own "invincible" propaganda. Same goes for politicos with single digit IQs--which are the majority.

As I wrote yesterday, Iran has the better hand and knows it. The genuine interests for the USA and its people are to avoid conflict with Iran and cease being an Outlaw Nation across the board. But the Current Oligarchy must become convinced as it wants to continue its unilateral behavior.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 22 2019 16:39 utc | 290

so@295 John Bolton's opinions on the fate of the 38 people on the US plane are probably the same as his reasons for avoiding service in Vietnam.....
"John Bolton said “I confess I had no desire to die in a southeast paddy” “I considered the war in Vietnam already lost”, what he probably omitted to say was I am at ease with others going to die in Vietnam, just so long as it is not me". Kim Jong-un had these observations about Bolton several years ago he said Bolton was 'Human scum' and more recently that Bolton was a 'defective human' both views are too mild.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 22 2019 17:02 utc | 291

Re: Tucker Carlson

He is simply taking a niche position distinct from the absolute 24/7 neocon warmongering on MSNBC and CNN.

Posted by: Schmoe | Jun 22 2019 17:05 utc | 292

While this is ramped up now, Kushner will be in Manama in a few days to further present the US economic peace plan for Palestine or what you want to call it (see Haaretz frontpage ). Here is J. Cook with the cynicism towards the plan

Posted by: Anon | Jun 22 2019 17:14 utc | 293

Maybe the US will retaliate by "accidentally" shooting down an Iranian airliner.

Posted by: evilempire | Jun 22 2019 17:18 utc | 294

There is no such thing as thermal imaging radar.
The 35 crew number was either a guess or the Iranians have observors close enough to count crew embarking on US aircraft.

Posted by: David Goodrich | Jun 22 2019 17:26 utc | 295

@205 Don Bacon

First of all, sanctions are not tough love as you stated. Sanctions affect people and governments but hurt mostly people. Sanctions are tantamount to collective punisment!

Second quit using that phoney-baloney excuse for why the JCPOA won't be restored. It will take a miracle to restore, but the Iranians want it restored--period.

Your precious baby Trump Neocon hostage blew it up with his gigantic ego! His mommy never taught the spoiled child the wisdom in be careful what you wish for!. He wanted it gone now, and got his wish. When you say good riddance, you are parroting Trump.

Yes, it is an imposition of one country exercising superiority over another, and I hate that too and it stinks! But for now this is the real world and an option Iran was willing to live with! So quit validating Trump's stupidity in this!

And if the JCPOA is not restored it'll be either because Trump triggers war either in his second term or at the end of this one and dumps the uglier part of it on his Dem successor OR pulls something else to ensure Dems can't restore the deal. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! Trump will do everything he can to give his Zio-masters everything they desire.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 22 2019 17:30 utc | 296


USS Vincennes did this in 1988.

Posted by: spudski | Jun 22 2019 17:31 utc | 297

dltravers@273 -

"That is interesting, that could be why Trump pretty much said, "no one died so a response would not be appropriate.""

Isn't that a rather odd thing for him to say? Unless he or his merry band of tard herders were expecting someone to die and already had the Operation Dead American Sailors counterattack on deck ready to go.

"Why would they even need to shadow the drone? I thought they were controlled by satellite."

Which brings up all kinds of interesting possibilities, including Lozion@260 and others suggesting the P-8A was the intended 'victim' and the drone was there to video Iran's culpability for the massacre. But you need a lot of tinfoil because we'll never know the truth.

First of all, I have only the smallest belief that it was one of our shiny new P-8As. I was wrong about a crew of 20 - three minutes of internet searching shows an 8- or 9-person crew. There are no passenger seats, just a couple of reclining seats at the back of the flight deck for the pilots to snooze. Iran knows this - no idea why they would publish a statement about 35 on board if they knew it was a P-8A. They know perfectly well how many people are (or should) be on one. Even the old P-3 couldn't carry 35 people. There's simply no room.

The P-8A is just a 737-800ERxx - *They* can also be controlled by satellite, but you're not suppose to know that. GCC airlines are gong broke. How hard would it be to slap some navy flat grey paint and some fake antennas on a 737? There may not have been anyone on board that (or whatever was offered up). Removes all that moral ambiguity from Trump about killing U.S. military for the greater good of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Falls in Iranian waters. The B-52s would all ready be over Tehran to retaliate for the 'dead sailors' before Iran could recover enough wreckage to raise any suspicions.

The US DoD's supposed drone-watching P-8A IR surveilance video (at least yesterday) showed the target's (the Triton's) bearing of 277° if I'm reading the display right. Which is probably fake - who knows. But that bearing would have put the P-8A further EAST of the drone and even further into Iranian airspace, looking WEST (at 270°). I'm not sure why the DoD would even release that. Sloppy? I don't know.

I'm already suspicious of the Navy's involvement. If this was a botched baiting/false flag, then Israel would want the treasonous top Navy commanders/CIA spooks handling it - they know how to keep secrets and silence whistleblowers. That's no slam on the U.S. Navy in general. No line officers or sailors would have any idea what's going on. This would be Pentagon/Fifth Fleet chair polishers and their cronies.

The message is clear at this point: Israel and the GCC need dead U.S. military to get their war started. CENTCOM blew it (or the Iranians figured it out). Both Israel and the Saudis remained silent for a day or so, then started beating the war drums again. There will be aluminum coffins coming back to the states to start the war with Iran, and cowardly US military commanders will let it happen.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jun 22 2019 17:51 utc | 298

karlof1 | Jun 22, 2019 12:39:31 PM | 296

'But the Current Oligarchy must become convinced as it wants to continue its unilateral behavior.'

The 'Current Oligarchy' has no choice. They have bankrupted the countries that they control, i.e. the U.S., U.K., E.U. Their future lies in extending their rule over the rest of the world, i.e. they must submit Russia and China to the control of their 'Global Institutions'. And the road to Moscow and Beijing runs through Tehran.

Failure to subdue China and Russia, and take control of their resources and industrial capacity, will lead to the continued decline of the 'Western World' that they control, and inevitably, their personal decline.

The 'Current Oligarchy' seems to be stymied, having failed in Iraq, Syria, Venezuela and now appearing to be impotent in the face of Iran. However giving up is not an option. A potentially suicidal attack on Iran, for the 'Current Oligarchy', may not appear to be a worse option than their certain decline if they don't manage to subdue Russia and China.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jun 22 2019 18:07 utc | 299

All politics are local (at least for the US).

I don't know if any of you have actually been to America, but the Trumpkins (previously the Tea-partiers, previously W fans) are mean-spiritied drones (pun intended) who will fall into line in order to do nothing but punish their perceived internal enemies. And, they will go along with any faction that will allow them to punish the college lesbians who scare them more than economic, social or military collapse (heck, they perceive collapse as fun because they would get to treat cities as shooting galleries). There will be a war with Iran no matter what, if you look at it with these constraints. It was funny being in an office during the run up to the Iraq war. Screaming matches were common. It got the wingers lathered up in a flag-waving WMD ecstasy. And then they clammed up when it became obvious that the whole thing was just a freaking mess based on a lie. The Trumpkins will be lead by the nose into anything, so international audiences take note.

The key here is to how the propaganda (some call them events) is being be used to get the Trumpkins in the US lathered up into a frenzy. Pay attention to the immigration events, which is a key part of this Iran issue, as it is a way of getting the wingers lathered up into a brutal "law and order" frenzy to go out and punish the college lesbians.

All of this is just the lead up and the positioning before something happens. Trump trying to deal with these aspects, pulled from other commenters:

-- Using military as prop in re-election scheme. #33
-- Try and sell that excuse to the USA motorists. #25
-- It should be noted that a somewhat higher oil price is no longer a clear negative for the US economy and may, in fact, by positive. #69
-- His problem is: it only works in TV Reality Show land -- and only for a limited time between business-as-usual advertising. #49
-- resulting in the military (industrial-congressional) complex needing to fill that social niche. #52

Elephants remember.

Posted by: borderdenizen | Jun 22 2019 18:12 utc | 300

« previous page | next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.