Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 17, 2019

A US Led Naval Coalition In The Persian Gulf Will Raise The Threat Of War

by Seyed Mohammad Marandi

While Bolton and Pompeo push the region towards maximum tension and Trump makes despicable threats to obliterate Iran, the US military has announced its intention to create and lead an anti-Iranian naval coalition in the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile, by Trump's own admission, the United States is engaged in economic war against Iranians, as its armed forces have aggressively violated Iranian airspace and territorial waters, resulting in the humiliating downing of its most sophisticated drone by an Iranian surface to air missile.

A few naval ships from far off nations will not change the balance of power, but they will increase confusion and the chances for major regional conflict. Iranians will also view such an entity as an extension of a belligerent American naval presence.

Since the illegal and tragic US occupation of Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been constructing a vast network of underground missile defense facilities alongside the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman in anticipation of possible US attacks. Iran and its powerful allies have also developed formidable asymmetrical capabilities across the region. It has both the will and means to decisively engage with a belligerent power.

In order to prevent any appetite for all-out war, Iran will respond to a limited military strike with a massive and disproportionate counterstrike targeting both the aggressor and its enablers. Regional regimes such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia that facilitate aggression in any way or form should expect the swift destruction of their oil assets and critical infrastructure. On the other hand, all-out war would mean the obliteration of all oil and gas installations as well as ships on both sides of the Strait of Hormuz. Under such circumstances, the closure of the Strait would be the least of Bolton's problems.

The Emirati and Saudi regimes would most probably swiftly collapse. Millions of indentured servants would overrun Abu Dhabi and Dubai while Yemeni forces and their regional allies would overwhelm Saudi Arabia as western occupation forces would be expelled from the region. Millions of people would stream towards Europe, even as the EU and the rest of the world would be facing an economic catastrophe.

Iran does not welcome confrontation nor does it desire war and its massive and extensive military deterrence is designed to prevent such circumstances. Instead of pushing the world closer to tragedy, potential US partners should push the US back to the nuclear deal and the negotiating table.

Seyed Mohammad Marandi is professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran.

Posted by b on July 17, 2019 at 9:49 UTC | Permalink

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I think UAE agrees with the above analysis. They are 'making peace' (sort of) with Iran and getting out of Yemen (but keeping Aden, which was the only thing of interest to them).

Posted by: Jeff | Jul 17 2019 10:04 utc | 1

History may not sing the same verse but the refrain remains the same. Does have the sense of the summer the Archduke and wife were assassinated, suspect the refrain will soon follow.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 17 2019 10:07 utc | 2

Would add to #2:

The future employment prospects for skilled flint chippers is looking quite bright.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 17 2019 10:24 utc | 3

Not only would the UAE and Saudi Arabia collapse but I daresay Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar would just as quickly follow those two entities into the dustbin of history.

The scenario might well be that the rulers of Bahrain and Kuwait at least flee to Riyadh for refuge while the Bahrainis declare independence or seek to unite with Shi'ites along the southern part of the Persian Gulf in the old KSA and the newly liberated Kuwait rejoins Iraq.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 17 2019 11:04 utc | 4

What happens to Israel in this scenario?

Posted by: Really? | Jul 17 2019 11:09 utc | 5

Ready @5

The Zionist will order their American Lackeys to elevate to nuclear ......

Posted by: ger | Jul 17 2019 11:17 utc | 6

Iran will respond to a limited military strike with a massive and disproportionate counterstrike targeting both the aggressor and its enablers.

Which will be the green light for an even more violent & disproportionate counterstrike on Iran. Make no mistake - there are plenty of gung-ho Washington & Tel Aviv power brokers who want to trash Iran. And they will do it, given the chance. The above scenario is precisely what the war gods are hoping for.

Posted by: tam | Jul 17 2019 11:40 utc | 7

Brevity. Don't you just love it.

What happens to Israel? Hopefully it gets in hours what it has dealt to the Palestinians over the entire period of it's existence.

Posted by: eagle eye | Jul 17 2019 11:44 utc | 8

Fortunately Mirandi is not in charge of Iran's military/political strategy, which seems more like the Russian style of careful and proportional restraint in responding to provocations from the Empire.

Posted by: mike k | Jul 17 2019 11:50 utc | 9

Iranian Professor: UAE will 'CEASE TO EXIST IN A FEW DAYS' if US-Iran War Breaks Out!

Posted by: curious man | Jul 17 2019 11:58 utc | 10

"For well over a year, Iran demonstrated strategic patience despite a consistent escalation in the US economic war on Iranian women and children"

Seyed Mohammad Marandi: Iran faces US aggression and European hypocrisy, but this time it's ready

Posted by: curious man | Jul 17 2019 12:00 utc | 11

A US-led Christian Colonial Coalition attack on Iran will mark a significant departure from the West's mendacity-based safety-first cowardice. AmeriKKKa's fake wars are tr-r-aditionally launched against feeble and/or pre-disarmed targets which, not coincidentally, are also a safe distance from the US Homeland. On the other hand, the Homeland is NOT a safe distance from Iran's allies, Russia and China.

Iran has had 40 years to prepare for this latest AmeriKKKan assault on its independence and sovereignty. It's impossible to believe, or even imagine, that Iran wasted those years sitting on its hands, feeling helpless. Let's hope that AmeriKKKa comes to its senses and doesn't decide to find out, the hard way, why Iran doesn't, and never did, need Nukes...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 17 2019 12:10 utc | 12

I think this list of corporate names .. oil companies should explain a lot.. suggestion..
move the world off oil to renewable energy and leave the oil faggots to their fodder..

where is the list of oil companies operating in the Arab countries.. ? today?

Posted by: snake | Jul 17 2019 12:16 utc | 13

The Emirati and Saudi regimes would most probably swiftly collapse. Millions of indentured servants would overrun Abu Dhabi and Dubai while Yemeni forces and their regional allies would overwhelm Saudi Arabia as western occupation forces would be expelled from the region. Millions of people would stream towards Europe, even as the EU and the rest of the world would be facing an economic catastrophe.

I don't know.

Energy and food independent North America would likely be ok, perhaps after a manageable crisis is used to achieve long stated goals of the Globo elite.

Energy rich Russia would likely benefit most of all, quickly moving to fill the gap in Europe and that would likely be unstoppable, even for NATO which would fold like a tent.

China would be the biggest loser, shorter term, but the political elite would likely also benefit since the US would be held 100% responsible. Deadwood would be chopped from their own economy, production could be quickly reoriented towards ocal demand and they do seem otherwise relatively well prepared from a security perspective. China will manage just fine I think and after just a few years BRI will be that much more necessary and fully back on track.

A steady stream of the wealthiest Middle Easterners would likely pour into Europe but I doubt the poorest people would make it very far if they tried to make the same trip. When all is said and done the entire ME region would look a lot like Yemen. In fact I'm beginning to think Yemen is a Globalist test bed for how far people must be pushed before they will die. I have yet to see a single Yemeni make it to Canada asrefugee, for example, and the Turks could block Anatolia to protect themselves I am certain. 3 million Syrian refugees is already more than enough for Erdogan and their mountainous geography has long been a barrier between Occident and Orient.

All in all it looks like the Psychopathic Elite are just waiting to pull the trigger. Also, total enslavement of so-called First World populations would become much easier under such conditions. A thousand solutions presently difficult to enact are just waiting to be introduced. And who will refuse the extreme demands of our governments under such circumstances? We are already too pacified and frightened to stop the train barreling down upon us.

They keep promising this will be the year. Perhaps this is it.

Posted by: C I eh? | Jul 17 2019 12:28 utc | 14

Thanks Professor...I always like to hear what you have to say...

Just because a thing is horrible does not have anything to do with whether or not that thing is going to happen. All empires are fundamentally economic concerns (as Orwell said). Consider that Empire A (Anglosaxon) is structurally unable sustain itself, even as Heartland Empires S(Slav) and C (Asian) rise in an economically integrated Earth...

Extortion may, for a time, keep the Imperial fake accounts going, but then... So all the horrible stuff "... Millions of people would stream towards Europe, even as the EU and the rest of the world would be facing an economic catastrophe...." probably will happen...

My criticism, if any, of the Professor's views, lies in that he seems to misunderstand how explosively dangerous a war with Iran is with respect to the economic status of the multitude of Americans...who would also be displaced...and represent a dire civil condition favoring general violence and disease. Some might speak of "revolution"... (they do)

It does have grave similarities to 1914...

This time it really will be over by Christmas...

see YT and "Das Boot The Tipperary Song"

Goodbye, Piccadilly,
Farewell, Leicester Square!
It's a long long way to Tipperary,

Posted by: Walter | Jul 17 2019 12:53 utc | 15

A US Led Naval Coalition... is all US mouth and trousers.

Britannia waives the rules: oil tanker theatre for preserving ongoing effort to restrict Iranian infrastructure

Posted by: FiWade | Jul 17 2019 13:03 utc | 16

Desperate fantasies about air power being able to destroy whole countries, about how pushing the button on a missile means it will hit what it's aimed at and destroy it without fail, about how command and control of these astounding asymmetric powers will serenely continue in the face of massive indiscriminate attacks are a prescription for failure. Even the less insane aspects, like thinking oppressed Shia will overthrow Saudi, at least in the northeast, are guaranteed to fail. Those governments will attack the people first, also with asymmetric power. And much worse, no revolution is going to occur on Iranian schedules. And the foreign workers will want to go home, not sacrifice to free someone else's country. If the professor is a mouthpiece warning of a real policy, Iran is in trouble, and China, and Russia.

In WWI, the bulk of casualties on the western front were soldiers and civilians dead of disease and hunger from blockade. In WWII the armies aimed at civilians first, mainly by bombing and again, blockade. WWIII I suspect will see genocide will be a common policy, the weapon that will see the extermination of whole peoples as the decisive weapon to remake the world.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 17 2019 13:06 utc | 17

The Professor has a unique and perhaps somewhat biased perspective having been a victim of chemical warfare attacks.

Posted by: wakada | Jul 17 2019 13:11 utc | 18

2020 G20 is set to be in Saudi Arabia.

An auspicious choice one might imagine.

Given this Saudi Arabia will be chairing various G20 committees during the year.

What will Saudi be pushing for at these meetings of the global great and good?

Well, we can certainly speculate but I won't here.

As for Iran - it needs to make an effort to wean Europe off the American teat.

How does it go about doing that? I'm not altogether sure, but somewhere to start might be by overlooking the EU failures Juncker & Tusk and looking to the new generation - which is obviously led by Von der Leyen.

I concede - I don't know much about her but that she was German Defence Minister, a protege of Angela Merkel and seems wholly committed to the advancement of Women - as well she should.

So Iran should reach out to her - now - and present the stark choice of choosing the side of Iran or Saudi Arabia.

Who will she choose?

Does she really look forward to attending her first G20 meeting as the Head of the EU as a Champion of Women in - of all places - Saudi Arabia?!?

Well - does she?

And being a protege of Merkel - is she really such a huge fan of Trump and his acolytes?!? Really?!? And their putative Iran policy?

Posted by: Julian | Jul 17 2019 13:25 utc | 19

Clearly the intent is to provoke Iran into "starting" a war.
But there intent is usually that it would be an incremental advance to war so there is no defined starting point and is the fault of the entity that we wish to attack because they are a danger to our peace and prosperity and to democracy in general and to world order.

Posted by: jared | Jul 17 2019 13:35 utc | 20

Beyond the whole zionist thing and war to end all wars type stuff,
I think the MIC would be pleased to see the entire world engaged in warfare and turmoil.

Posted by: jared | Jul 17 2019 13:39 utc | 21

@7 "Which will be the green light for an even more violent & disproportionate counterstrike on Iran"

Escalatory dominance lies with Iran, for the simple reason that it has a half-million-strong army and CENTCOM can muster - on a good day, and by scraping the bottom of the barrel - perhaps 30,000 ground troops. Throughout the entire Middle East.

So the sequence will probably go like this:
a) Trump orders a "limited" strike on Iran
b) Iran responds with a disproportionate (in the Israeli-sense of the word) way-over-the-top response.
c) An outraged Trump-Bolton-Pompeo triumvirate responds with "even more violent & disproportionate counterstrike on Iran"
d) Iran mobilizes 500,000 soldiers and sends them marching through Kuwait and into Saudi Arabia
e) Trump/Bolton/Pompeo suddenly realise they have way less than 30,000 GI's in the region, and promptly piss their pants.

Because that's the thing that everyone keeps forgetting: Iran has an army - a big army - that it can throw into the fray, and CENTCOM..... doesn't.

CENTCOM has nothing even remotely like the number of men that Norman Schwarzkopf or Tommy Franks had under their command, and no way of building up those numbers in anything live the speed they would need to have any hope of standing against 500,000 soldiers all baying for blood.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 17 2019 13:42 utc | 22

I wonder if folks here understand that the global supply chain is very tightly integrated - and extremely brittle. With the move to "Just Ran Out" inventory systems (better known as "just-in-time"), there is very little slack anywhere in the supply chain. Nobody wants to pay the costs of keeping inventory, with the result that stockrooms have effectively been replaced by shipping containers and highway trucks.

Equipment and spare parts now come from anywhere in the world. When I worked for a large farm equipment dealer in the 1990s, I was shocked to see how much equipment was imported, and how little was actually made in the US. Today the "world's #1 selling farm tractor" is not John Deere, it is Mahindra, an Indian company. And India is also a target for Trump's trade wars.

Yes, Uncle Sam has lots of oil in the ground and productive agricultural land, which would all quickly become useless without spare parts to keep stuff working. A $300,000 tractor looks impressive in the dooryard, but with a plugged fuel filter, it won't plant much corn.

Perhaps Dear Leaders in China, Russia, and elsewhere think about such things and understand the potential consequences of World War III. In brain-dead Uncle Sam Land, not so much. If the shit hits the fan, Uncle Sam's peons will hardly be better off than peons elsewhere.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jul 17 2019 13:46 utc | 23

@Julian (19)

There is no point in spending a single thought or putting the slightest hope on Ursula von der Leyen. She is a proven transatlantic servant, she's Bilderberger-certified, unconditional supporter of NATO and its eastward expansion, represents the American line towards Russia and has excellent contacts to European big capital. As a matter of fact, she is since her birth member of the 0,1%.

And concerning her potential reluctance towards Saudi Arabia being a woman: Well, being German Defence Minister she had no problems negotiating excellent weapon deals with the butcher, isn't it? (German, but the image is telling enough)

Posted by: Cemi | Jul 17 2019 13:54 utc | 24

Clearly a transparent attempt to form an 'international coalition'. It's hard to see any of the Gulf states falling for it until the Europeans do. Which means France and the UK of course. Could Jeremy or Boris be that stupid? Wish I knew.

Posted by: dh | Jul 17 2019 14:32 utc | 25

Trailer Trash @23

Postcards from Uncle Sam Land show the peons inside our privileged borders are either a) applauding Trump's every twitch because Republican!, b) drumming up hope about "winning" the next election because Not Republican!, or c) not paying any attention to what this Exceptional United States is doing in or to other nations.

The USA deserves, nay, NEEDS to have life made less easy. Then, when hunger sets in, the A/C or heat fails, and we can no longer hide behind instant gratification, US citizenry will be forced from our apathetic fat-n-salt-coated existence and may just rebel enough to return the attention of our so-called leadership from invading foreign soil to controlling a domestic crisis. We NEED this. Other nations NEED this.

If world leaders view the US as actually trembling on the knife-edge of an escalation, is not the pertinent action to disrupt our oblivious way of life. Technology exists which could disrupt without the loss of life our sanctions, our conflicts or another global war could demand. I've never seen a bully stop, but I've seen bullies stopped. We the People obviously are not reining in our bully leadership ourselves. We need to BE stopped.

I know this, and I live in Uncle Sam Land...

Posted by: Summer Diaz | Jul 17 2019 14:43 utc | 26

in a region of chaos it is in the interests of pretty much everyone to get teh arious groups together on at least the one thing they can agree on. The destruction of Israel.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jul 17 2019 14:48 utc | 27

Re: Posted by: Cemi | Jul 17 2019 13:54 utc | 24

Well - if as you say, and I take your word for it, this Von der Leyen is no good and more of the same (as, frankly, I would expect), then even more reason to reach out to her asap.

If the case is that she is no good, get on the front foot and expose that fact to a wider audience. Don't give her a chance to build any sort of reputation. Pigeon-hole her as just another NWO lackey and expose her hypocrisy UP FRONT.

Even more reason.

Given she is an unknown quantity to most - get on the front foot with the likes of Russia, and help craft the narrative about her - just another Juncker/Merkel/Macron/Tusk!!

Plus ca change right?

Posted by: Julian | Jul 17 2019 15:05 utc | 28

And get those happy smily photos with MBS out and about - paint her as MBS' lady in Brussels!

Even better really!

Posted by: Julian | Jul 17 2019 15:07 utc | 29

mike k @ 9 is right. On the other hand, if Iran feels that a serious attack by the west is imminent, then it might pre-empt, and some in the west will purposefully provide it with reasons to do so, the small but obvious escalations here and there are always testing that line. In theory escalation to full scale war is not worthwhile for either side, the US would level Iran in reply, or worse, the US and Russia would also level each other. So though the comment by C I eh above is maybe accurate for the middle east, with Iranian ground forces showing dominance, I don't think the west can guarantee its own future either, and even were Russia or China not to react, as I think the more dictatorial western authorities over estimate their own homeland capability or support - those that know they can impose order do not know how to manage the running of that order in day to day terms, they just imagine they do. So much of even existing structure is based on accepting illusion of perception.

With Iran I am aware that there is a subculture or poise that has Israel as target, this is hardly a secret, nor the reasons why (past and continuing Israeli aggression, as well as its use by US as policy tool). The attempt to remove Iran from Syria, and Russia is (or has been) party (see efforts at constitutional change for example), threatens (or deescalates) that position, and the survival of resistance/defence against Israel. That adds up to Iran now being at maximum preparation for conflict with Israel and partners, a position that is trying to be erroded (by sanctions, by interfering with Iran presence in Syria). In theory this is an attempt at "reasonable readjustment of power" , in practice Iran might well understand this as to start its regional decline (if not an attempt at overthrow) , and may decide to act accordingly by escalation.

So the policy error, where it is not purposeful by pro conflict groups, is to fail to address the problem Israel poses for regional peace. That is something the west will not do seriously, which is why the only policy response it can think of is to neutralise Iran, one way or another. I don't think in the west we are aware how much the US and Israel are despised in the middle east because of this circumstance. The British and other European nations less so .

I don't see a practical way out of this. An oversimplistic way of viewing this, in terms of economy and territory, is the west looking to control the levant seaboard, from Turkey to Israel. The Arab nation stretches from Saudi through central Iraq and joins with Turkey, and has claims on the levant seaboard. Iran and Russia stretch through Iraq east to west, including Syria, with Iran acting to defend against Israel, including in Israel/Palestine. These are deep and complex age old arguments antagonised by modern oportunistic attitudes and dismissive ignorance, and are only becoming more complex as illusory formats of reconstruction are presented to be fought over. Israel (and so its main backer/s) will remain the greatest obstacle to peace in the region. It cannot survive as a state demographically without apartheid, further colonisation and oppression, and the arab people will never forget what has been done to them. The west is also busy destroying what good was left of its reputation in the region by one means or another. For western countries to think they can establish their own claim via Israel is completely deluded, a dog is only master while left to guard a territory.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 17 2019 15:18 utc | 30

Trailer Trash is exactly right about brittle supply chains. To "maximize Shareholder value" (the Prime Directive from Wall Street), corporations are maximizing (not optimizing) efficiency, at the expense of long-term priorities.

Summer Diaz is sorta right about what I might describe as US cultural/political obesity, but I don't look forward to living here after the shit hits the fan. There are lotsa crazy bastards with guns. We'll see real race war, starvation, all 4 Horsemen.

Re questions about Israel's fate in Marandi's scenario: I think it's smart that he/they don't talk about retaliation against Israel. Everybody knows that Iran has the ability to really hurt Israel (sans Nukes, they probably can't obliterate it); but this threat is much better left unsaid, just hanging in the air. Threatening Israel would be bad PR, decreasing chances that EU, Russia, & China can talk the US back from the brink of WWIII. And making sure Israel knows they're in danger - without bragging about it - gets (non-crazy) Zionists in USA to help prevent all-out war!

It's OK for Iran to talk about the threat to KSA, UAE, etc, because everybody hates them anyway, and cutting off the world's energy supply is their Doomsday Bomb. They need to remind the world that if the US attacks Iran, everybody loses.

Posted by: elkern | Jul 17 2019 16:08 utc | 31

Three main antagonists have aimed at post-revolution Iran: The Outlaw US Empire, Occupied Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, the latter being the most recent and vulnerable, while the first two have already waged varying degrees of war with the Empire's Economic War having existed for 40+ years. The Levant's former Colonial powers--Turkey, France, UK--are feeble, and in Turkey's case is allied with Iran while being spurned by NATO and EU. Lurking in the background are Russia and China's designs for Eurasian Integration which only the Outlaw US Empire seeks to prevent as such integration benefits Saudi Arabia, Occupied Palestine, France and UK. Thus the only entity that might benefit from non-hybrid war with Iran is the Outlaw US Empire--Occupied Palestine's interests actually lie with becoming part of an Integrated Eurasia not in trying to impede it. And the same goes for the other nations occupying the Arabian Peninsula--but they all need to come to their senses by deeply examining their actual long term interests as Qatar seems to have done in its rapprochement with Iran.

But, just how would a non-hybrid conflict with Iran benefit the Outlaw US Empire if it consumes its regional allies? Would it bring more riches or create greater debt atop the human cost? Most analysts have pointed to the Empire's vulnerability upon the trashing of the current global economic structure. Indeed, the only visible benefit might accrue from slowing Eurasian Integration. Then there's the highly negative result to the Empire's global credibility which is already scrapping rock bottom and the likely end of Dollar Hegemony and the Free Lunch it's lived on for the past 70+ years. But what about the fulfillment of the Christian Rapture Myth? Sorry, but there should be no need to answer that fantastical, magical, thinking. Not a very good balance sheet is it as liabilities seem to vastly outweigh assets. Unfortunately, such logic is ignored by ideologues drunk on magical thinking. And these results don't take into consideration an escalation into global nuclear conflict that's in nobody's interest.

But as noted, Trump's up a tree and keeps climbing higher onto ever thinner, more precarious branches. Iran offered him a chance to climb down if he removes illegal sanctions and returns to JCPOA, which Pompeo promptly replied to with a lie that Iran would negotiate on its ballistic missiles, thus giving the overall goal away.

So, Trump can't/won't climb down and non-hybrid conflict would do great damage to Outlaw US Empire interests, which is where we were at July's beginning.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 17 2019 16:23 utc | 32

Iran will respond to a limited military strike with a massive and disproportionate counterstrike targeting both the aggressor and its enablers.
Which will be the green light for an even more violent & disproportionate counterstrike on Iran. Make no mistake - there are plenty of gung-ho Washington & Tel Aviv power brokers who want to trash Iran. And they will do it, given the chance. The above scenario is precisely what the war gods are hoping for.

I don't know about that. The US and Israel would really be opening up a can of worms. Any over reaction by the USA and Israel gives Russia, India, and China a precedent to follow. China might it easy to settle their difficulties with Taiwan. Kiev might go up in a mushroom cloud. The USA isn't the only country in the world with problems. If they don't play by the rules it just leads to more rule breakers.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jul 17 2019 16:41 utc | 33

An Alternate Scenario
There is a saying in Persian language called “Namad Maali” translates as “feltman massag”, it means slow killing.
This proverb is very often used in contemporary Persian language but most of the people do not know the actual origin of the proverb.
There is an interesting legend behind it. Holagu Khan, a Mongol ruler, the grandson of Chengiz Khan conquered Baghdad on year 1258, and captured the Caliph Al-Mo’tasam, the last Caliph of Abbasid dynasty. Holagu decided to execute the Caliph and finish the 500 years Muslim caliphate.
Many statesmen begged him to hold on. They told him that the caliph is legitimate successor of prophet Mohammad. Caliphate is the pillar of the world, if you remove this pillar there will be sun eclipse, thunder storm and total darkness. Holagu, with his shamanistic believes fearing sky revenge was yielding, but he consulted his prime minister a Persian mullah, Nasir al-Din Tusi. Nasir told him do not worry, these are total nonsense, all of our great Shai twelve imams were direct descendants of prophet Mohammad, they were inherently innocent, while Abbasid are not direct descendants of prophet. See that our imams, eleven out of twelve, were martyred, there was no sun eclipse, no thunder storm, no darkness of the world.
Holagu was bold enough to carry out the execution. Other statesmen brought forward a group of astrologists who searched through their horoscopes and studied signs of stars and concluded that all the signs are catastrophic, if a drop of caliph’s blood drops on earth, there will be a devastating thunder storm, rain of bloods pours down from sky and end of world ...
Holagu consulted Nasi again. Nasir being a great humorist, told him not worry, we can devise a pretty easy solution for your peace of mind, send the caliph to hot bath of feltman workshop, order to be wrapped in felt, they will give him a hot water bath with soap, they will roll him slowly over and over, as they are crafting a felt, his life will be ended peacefully in massage, without a drop of blood, meanwhile I will assign one of my intelligent apprentice who is familiar with sky ways ( Nasir was a great mathematician and Astronomer, he founded a famous observatory, he was inventor of trigonometry), to sit on the roof top of the feltman workshop, he will monitor any changes on sky if there is a minor change, he will signal to the feltman to release the caliph.
President Vladimir Khan has been giving warnings to Ayatollah do not burn JCPOA, do not close Strait of Hurmoz. Ayatollah is telling him do not worry we are giving a feltman massage. Just tell Xi khan do not lean his back against the wall street pillar, clean up your hands from future fund casino, the pillars are collapsing slowly.

Posted by: arata | Jul 17 2019 16:47 utc | 34

the US and its allies are bluffing. don't get caught up in wars and rumors of it. the only way it was going to happen was if syria and iraq fell and both of them didn't.

when it didn't. they resort back to the usual MO, look busy.

Posted by: jason | Jul 17 2019 17:13 utc | 35

A reminder from Iran that they can hit back.

Hopefully folks who can influence power have been reading the Guns of August.

Possible miscalculations are everywhere and the parties are no strangers to false flags and proxy actors.

So I'm crossing my fingers for strong back channel communications.

I'm not expecting outright major war. Perhaps a skirmish or two, but a negotiated deal is still the most likely outcome.

Posted by: OutOfThinAir | Jul 17 2019 17:31 utc | 36

@C I eh? #14
I don't see China as the same situation as Russia.
The Russians who have largely supported Putin despite economic ill-effects from sanctions are, at best, 1 generation removed from 1991-1996 post-Soviet collapse privation. They remember the bad times and how to get through them.
The mainland Chinese today are 2 generation removed from the famines in the 50s and 60s, and furthermore there is a largely generational break due to the Cultural Revolution.
I don't see China collapsing, but I also don't see the mainstream population taking a oil-starvation induced economic collapse well at all, because the deal is social repression if the economy and standards of living continue to improve.
The difference is French cheese and EU fruits and vegetables - luxury goods vs. oil = energy = everything.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 17 2019 17:56 utc | 37

There seems to be misconception about Kuwait, in particular.

Kuwaitis are fed up with the Saudis and are more Iranophile than anything. They see who is a true regional power.

Recently, I happen to be invited to a diplomatic function, welcoming a new Kuwaiti ambassador (Not in US). There were several businessmen associates of the new ambassador at that function. In an impromptu conversation, they professed their love for anything Iranian or Persian, from culture and history to food and the people, and their disdain for the Saudis and their ruling family.

In fact, one of them, much to my shock, uttered the circulating rumor that the ruling family in SA are actually Jews. He said everyone in the region knows about this open secret but afraid to talk about. That was a revelation for me coming from a Kuwaiti since I never did pay attention to those rumors.

I think in the event of a regional conflict, Kuwait will be spared by Iran. What would happen to the ruling family will be another story.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 17 2019 17:57 utc | 38

thanks Seyed Mohammad Marandi.. i agree with your headline...

the usa is not agreement friendly.. everything is on their terms only... they rip up contracts when a new president doesn't like it, and make endless demands of others under threat, just like bullies do. they sanction countries and don't mind killing, starving and subjecting people in faraway lands to their ongoing and desperate means of domination.. nothing about the usa is friendly... they spend all their money on the military not just because it works so well for wall st and the corporations but because they think they can continue to bully everyone and anyone indefinitely.. they get support from the obvious suspects and all the other colonies of the usa - europe, canada and etc - turn a type of blind eye to it all, fearful they might be next if they step out of line.. thus, all these chattel countries fail in line with the usa regime sanctions...

basically, the prognosis isn't good.. none of the colonies are capable of speaking up to the usa regime, largely because they lack strong leadership and independence of thought in all this... we continue to slip towards ww3 and at present all the observing countries sit on their hands waiting for the next shoe to drop.. that is where we are at present with regard the ramp up to war on iran...

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2019 18:04 utc | 39

@goldhoarder 33

“..........If they don't play by the rules it just leads to more rule breakers.”

How do you appeal to a nation who think of themselves as “rule makers” to play by the rules? A futile exercise at best.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 17 2019 18:14 utc | 40

James @39

I agree that the U.S. government does those things you state. On the other hand, I would assert that many of my fellow citizens DO mind killing, starving & subjecting people in faraway lands to ongoing and desperate means of domination. At the same time I understand that those on the receiving end of my country's domination (and terror) probably don't give a fig that there are many of us who object. In their position, neither would I.

Posted by: Evelyn | Jul 17 2019 18:21 utc | 41

@ 31 elkhern

There may be short term calamity from a collapse but I remain ever hopeful for an end to this crushing multicultural internationalism which has gutted the insides of the U.S.'s better angels.

Like an addict coming down, cold turkey will be a bitch, but it must come if multipolarity and balance is to ascend.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Jul 17 2019 18:23 utc | 42

Summer Diaz,
We the People will not reign in Our Dear Leaders. A decade ago the financial system was at the edge of collapse. Congress voted to save the banks and screw everybody else. MILLIONS lost their homes, simply by "following the rules". Surely that should be enough to stir up anger and resentment? But not a single torch was lit. No pitchforks were seen anywhere. Even today the number of people living under bridges is staggering, and no one seems to notice very much.

Uncle Sam's peons have been completely pacified, mostly by the exhausting effort it takes to make it through the day. It is like we are all "battered wives", unable to even imagine there could be a better way to live.

I disagree that peons have it too easy. Consider that half the population can not scrape up $400 without selling or borrowing. That doesn't sound like "conspicuous consumption" to me. That sounds more like people are barely able to get access to the necessities of life.

I remember how shocking it was to watch the 2005 destruction of New Orleans on live TV. I especially remember how Dear Leaders reacted to the misery and desperation of those trapped in the city. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco bragged about sending in troops who had recently returned from Iraq, that they would be equipped with assault rifles, and that "they knew how to use them". Imagine how Dear Leaders will react if there is ever a serious challenge to their monopoly on violence, or even a localized general strike. Body baggers would be very busy indeed.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jul 17 2019 18:33 utc | 43

@41 evelyn... thanks.. i agree with you too.. the leadership and the people are 2 different beasts.. sometimes they are way out of sync.. however, the usa has a long history in all of this and for some reason, it is like an addict - to use nemesiscallings word - where although they profess to have good intent every 4 year election cycle, they continue on in the same vein... nothing really changes and i believe many americans are completely oblivious to the suffering their country inflicts on others... i hope it comes to an end, but i don't think it is going to happen any time soon... either the addict dies, or falls away... this is how i view the usa today...

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2019 18:38 utc | 44

I really hope the alternative scenario posited by arata @ 34 is what happens! Enshalla

Posted by: roza shanina | Jul 17 2019 18:42 utc | 45

I disagree that peons have it too easy. Consider that half the population can not scrape up $400 without selling or borrowing. That doesn't sound like "conspicuous consumption" to me. That sounds more like people are barely able to get access to the necessities of life.

Trump fans. He and the Republicans are going to further cut their SS, Healthcare, Food Stamps and other benefits as they cheer them on!

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 17 2019 18:48 utc | 46

@ james 39
basically, the prognosis isn't good.. none of the colonies are capable of speaking up to the usa regime, largely because they lack strong leadership and independence of thought in all this...

I agree with Summer Diaz at 26 and would say the folks most at fault here are the american sheeple. The boomers, their parents and grandparents are at fault for allowing the american dream to evaporate. We watched it occur before our very eyes, but were too self indulged to care. We have only ourselves to blame, nobody else.

I recently stumbled upon Charles Lindbergh Sr's articles of impeachment against the officers of the federal reserve and the federal reserve act itself. What amazes me whilst reading it is how much life then, mimics life today. Because of this circumstance our lives have been stifled, even with all this wondrous technology around us.

Imho, most of our problems today emulate from both the formation of that despicable act and the failure to impeach and dispose of it four years later. Had it been we likely wouldn't be having this discussion on Iran, today.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 17 2019 18:49 utc | 47

It’s a 1.4 quadrillion derivatives exposure that gives the Anglozionists pause.

Posted by: Anunnaki | Jul 17 2019 18:58 utc | 48

Breaking: Rand Paul to be appointed as Iran envoy. A potential game changer. Politico:

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 17 2019 19:00 utc | 49

You would think the prospect of 20k American sailors sent to Davey Jones’ locker on the first day of hostilities would give Trump’s Neocons pause.

Posted by: Anunnaki | Jul 17 2019 19:07 utc | 50

@37, c1ue,

Chinese reacted to Japanese arrogance en masse over the last few years, creating a freeze on tourism, boycott of all Japanese products and a massive problem for Abe to bow and apologize for.

They are reacting already against American branded products as reaction to Trade War, Tariffs and Containment, as well as stirring trouble in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and calumnies about Xinjiang.

They may be a tiny bit softer than their parents, but the generation of 2000s will unite as one massive resistance to any challenge to their nation.

If anything, they are just as sensitive to humiliation as their grandparents and great grandparents.

Study the detente with the Russian Federation, and the resolution of the border war freeze that occurred five decades ago with the Soviet Union. They stood their ground for half a century, and Putin finally smoothed it over. Now the two nations are like a Double Helix (as Larchmonter445 described). Chinese are patient and can take pain.

Chinese are quite capable of suffering privation if it means the Motherland is united.

Though their military hasn't been truly tested since 1979 (Vietnam), the mentality of the troops is self-sacrifice. This can be seen in the heroics domestically when the troops go into immediate reaction to Earthquakes and other natural and accidental catastrophes.
Self-sacrifice is a national characteristic. The unit of society in China is family, not individuals. Everyone is connected to others.

Though their image is not at all like the Russians who back down to no one and come to fight with a code of winning or dying but never surrendering. The Chinese understand that the intention of the West is stop the rise of China and permanently lock it in a secondary role among the global leadership of the United States Empire.

They refuse to accept that outcome as a nation, not just as a government or political leadership.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jul 17 2019 19:36 utc | 51

@tam (7). Thank you for pointing out the undeniable truth that amidst the chaos of the proposed scenario, Iran itself is likely to suffer untold death and destruction, possibly exceeding that of all its enemies combined. There will be no winners, only losers. I am surprised and saddened that some of the commenters seem to be excited by the prospect of such a cataclysm.

Posted by: Rob | Jul 17 2019 19:59 utc | 52

CI eh/ @ 14
"Energy and food independent North America would likely be ok...."

Half a dozen high tension power lines coming down will cripple the US.

Do you honestly think that Iran will let you American clowns get away with this?
Do you not think that there are dozens of fanatical Iranians in the US sitting & waiting to destroy you?

You have managed to cause untold death & misery all over the world with zero consequences.

You Americans never like to talk about how weak & vulnerable you really are.

Posted by: ted01 | Jul 17 2019 20:02 utc | 53

@ Lozion #49

Thank you for the link. This news offers the only scintilla of hope I see on the horizon. In the event that Paul is appointed and Iran agrees to see him, one can but hope that (domestically speaking) Paul's life insurance is paid up.

Posted by: Evelyn | Jul 17 2019 20:03 utc | 54

Too many people in the West project their own faults onto the Chinese, comforting themselves with that false equivalency, but there are real and distinct differences between Chinese and western cultures. Red Ryder @51 is not making that stuff up.

I am not saying the Chinese are perfect, and the Chinese themselves would be the last to make that claim. That, though, in and of itself should impress upon the reader how very different the Chinese are from Americans or the British. China has no equivalent to America's "exceptionalism" or Britain's "white man's burden". They are not cultural evangelicals trying to remake the world in their own image.

That said, the Chinese are acutely aware of the horrors inflicted upon them in the not-so-distant past by imperialism, and their determination to never let that happen again is intense. Do not underestimate them. The Chinese also see far more clearly what the western imperialists are up to than do the populations in the West themselves. The typical man-in-the-street in China is more determined to stand up to American bullying than are China's leaders themselves, so if you see a backlash against China's leadership it will NOT be in the form of demands that they cave in to America's dictates, but just the opposite.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 17 2019 20:18 utc | 55

@51 rr

I like the ballsey, monolithic descriptors that you use for the Chinese. In a prior post, I tried to lay out what can and does separate the common easterner from a westerner.

There is no harm in it, contrary to what internationalists and their lackeys tell us.

But your insistence that the Chinese are family oriented begs the question as to what descriptors we can ascribe to us here in the west. I would argue that we are far less tolerant of dictators, however benevolent they may in fact be, and from this you could surmise that the Iranian cultural revolution is for the best, both the world and themselves in that it is more natural to their history and the history of the east.

But back to the west. It is true that we are less friendly to dictators, but we are far too trusting of our media. It is hilarious in my opinion that easterners probably aren't as much of a sucker for their state-run media as we are for are alleged free press.

Indeed, putin is a great example of this. Even though there is great support for Putin in Russia I would guess, his approval rate belies a fatalistic acceptance in their culture of rulers. The joke I have heard is that, "did you hear Putin won again? Yeah, this time, however, he only got 130% of the vote."

In a nutshell, westerners are not on guard like they should be with their press. Too self-satisfied of our enlightened liberal culture. To an easterner, at least the laughter is on their side for not being so dang gullible.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Jul 17 2019 20:27 utc | 56

@ Nemesiscalling who wrote
I would argue that we are far less tolerant of dictators, however benevolent they may in fact be, and from this you could surmise that the Iranian cultural revolution is for the best, both the world and themselves in that it is more natural to their history and the history of the east.

Truly written by someone blind to the dictatorship of the god of Mammon they were born into. And blind to the values of those that oppose that dictatorship.

In response to those that don't think the US will suffer.....I don't have a link but have read and believe that the power system in the US is quite fragile with all our transformers at risk and not made in the US anymore with many month lead time to produce.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 17 2019 20:37 utc | 57

Nemesiscalling @56

Every supervisor is a dictator in the West, and the only places I don't see so much grovelling to those petite dictators is in union shops.

You obviously think China's President Xi is a "dictator", but how do you square that with his trade agreement with Trump being thrown out several weeks back by the 100 million members of China's Communist Party? Some "dictator"!

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 17 2019 20:41 utc | 58

@47 aye, myself & me.. the federal reserve works for the bank cabal, but not for ordinary people.. how to get rid of it and replace it with something else is the ongoing question... i too agree with summer diaz, trailer trash and a few others with regard to what has to can't happen soon enough...

@56 nemesiscalling.. for someone who describes westerners as accepting of th msm narratives, you appear to have swallowed a lot of the bs they regularly pedal..

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2019 20:58 utc | 59

The Gulf states know they would be in the front lines in any conflict, Saudi and UAE infrastructure destruction would mean Kings, Princes and Emir's scurrying from their destroyed countries because of their inability to sell oil and feed their people, as one Iranian General said.. the US bases in the region are not threats, "they are targets". Its true Iran has an army of 500,000, they also have millions of military aged men who would form militias and have the reputation of taking their shrouds with them into battle.
I think a major miscalculation by Trump, initiating this kind of scenario is unlikely, those other whack jobs Pence, Pompeo and Bolton are a cause for concern, just hear this nutcase Lindsey Graham threatening the Europeans....
"The United States should sanction “to the ground” European countries that continue to trade with Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal and refuse to join America's pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic, says top Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
"I will tell the Europeans, 'If you want to side with the Iranians, be my guest, but you won't use an American bank or do business with the American economy,'" Graham said".

Posted by: Harry Law | Jul 17 2019 21:24 utc | 60

Punitive sanctions against nations with a powerful military establishment have an incredibly poor track record. Germany after WWI. Japan prior to Pearl Harbor. And one might add Russia today. The more "effective" the sanctions, the closer to war.

But, of course, military planners in the U.S. and Israel have already picked out the targets for nuclear strikes during the very first wave of attacks on Iran. It will be nuclear first, ask questions later. Heil Trump has already said he will use nuclear weapons: "obliterate". But will even that work? I doubt it. Iran must expect nuclear attacks in the first wave. Yes, their urban populations will be destroyed, but their military? I doubt it.

Posted by: William Herschel | Jul 17 2019 21:39 utc | 61

@ Harry Law | Jul 17 2019 21:24 utc | 60

The folks who now are called Iranian once fought the most militaristic society ever - the Spartans. There is likely a memory of that conflict still, and the lessons learned. They face a military that no longer remembers Vietnam or its lessons. Sanctions are an act of war, not military war but war against another who have been made into enemies nonetheless. Be mightily careful who you make your enemy, one sage reminds that you become like them. Look at those the U.S. has made enemy: Hitler and National Socialism; Mussolini and Fascism; Stalin and State Authoritarianism; Franco and Military Repression; and the list continues substantially, and then look at the U.S. in a distortion free mirror and what does one see?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 17 2019 21:54 utc | 62

Taking into consideration the novel Rand Paul intervention, the likely way forward is this, and I'm sure it is what Putin (the master negotiator) has in mind: Trump blundered badly by throwing out the JCPOA, but he needs a way out that allows him to save face and even turn it into a partial "win". On the world stage (ie. for the public) it needs to look like Trump accedes to reinstate the JCPOA IN EXCHANGE for Iran withdrawing from Syria! This will not only save the nuclear deal, thereby reducing tensions, but it will force Israel to back down and shut up. Israel can't complain and Trump can sell it as an achievement of his, "without having to go to war". The US, of course will have to give Iran, Syria and Russia something in exchange: Iran and Russia ultimately bolstered their forces in Syria in order to save Assad. All things considered, Assad has won the war, so the reason for the bolstered Iranian and Russian presence no longer applies. What the US must agree to is to suspend its efforts to overthrow Assad (which Trump has been trying to do via the withdrawal of US troops in northern Syria), thereby returning the country to the status quo ante. The wild card in all of this, however, is Turkey's presence in Syria. Perhaps China can lend a helping hand on that issue?

Posted by: Maracatu | Jul 17 2019 22:00 utc | 63

@35 "when it didn't. they resort back to the usual MO, look busy."

I agree with that comment, though I will add that for this Administration "looking busy" has a Keystone Cops look about it.

I mean, let's be real here: Norman Schwarzkopf did not make a single move against Iraq until he had well over 500,000 GI's at his command, and Tommy Franks was not willing to restart the Crash Boom Bang until he had built up his army to just shy of 500,000 soldiers.

And Iraq then was nowhere near as formidable as Iran is now.

Where are the troop buildups? Where is the CENTCOM army?
Nowhere. And no sign of it happening.

There is a real possibility that Bolton might get his way and start his dinky little war, only to find that the USA loses a great big war before he even manages to get out of bed.

CENTCOM is not ready for war, nowhere close to it, and for that reason alone Iran is correct to tell the USA that if Trump launches a "limited strike" then their response will be "it's on, baby".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 17 2019 22:14 utc | 64

@63 That's a nice tidy solution but it won't work exactly like that. Iran will not give up it's business interests in Syria and Israel will find lots of evidence showing continued military interests as well.

But perhaps Paul does have something in mind that will get Trump off the hook.

Posted by: dh | Jul 17 2019 22:18 utc | 65

Uncle Jon @ 38:

Would you happen to be familiar with a report that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein commissioned from the Iraqi intelligence agency on the story he must have heard flying about back in the early 2000's on the origins of Wahhabism in the Arabian Peninsula, the genealogy of its founder Mohammed ibn Wahhab (1703 - 1792) and his supposed ancestral link to a messianic cult in 17th-century Ottoman Turkey whose members converted to Islam?

During his life Mohammed ibn Wahhab was persecuted for his preaching and he found shelter in an oasis area governed by the Saud family. The report also states that the Saud family itself is descended from a Jewish merchant.

Wahhabism became a large enough movement in the southeastern parts of the Ottoman empire during the late 1700s / early 1800s that Ottoman authorities in Istanbul became alarmed. Due to their own internal issues, they had to rely on Muhammad Ali Pasha in Egypt to supply the troops to crush Wahhabism in the second decade of the 19th century. From this point on, Egypt more or less became an independent state under Muhammad Ali Pasha's rule to the late 1840s.

The Iraqi report also makes much of a collaboration between the Wahhabi movement, the Saud family and a British spy.

The document (which you can take or leave) later came into the possession of the US military and was translated into English.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 17 2019 22:31 utc | 66

@ Trailer Trash 23

Dmitry Orlov offers a highly-pertinent review of a current report to the US Congress about the severe degradation of the US's capacity to produce ANY heavy industrial goods - including advanced weapons such as replacement aircraft carriers, cruisers, tanks and all the rest - within its own borders, independent of (exceedingly vulnerable) global supply networks:

Also, the US only has 'plenty' of fossil-hydrocarbon fuel on cloud-cuckoo-land paper. In reality, it has quite a lot of such stuff which it will never access, and will never be able to access, because of the non-negotiable, iron logic of EROEI and EROCI (the second acronym relating to energy returned on financial capital invested; currently a long way red-ink negative across the whole US fracking ponzi). EROEI refers to the even more intractable, terminally-insoluble problem of energy returned on ENERGY invested. When this gets down to around 4 to 1 or thereabouts, it's game over for actually being able to maintain an industrial hitech society that can hope - credibly - to do fossil-hydrocarbon mining in any seriously challenging conditions - which most of the world's remaining pools of such fuels now exhibit.

These predicaments are qualitatively different from problems; problems, by definition, can hope to be solved; predicaments, inherently, can't be, and can only be endured. The world is now close to the edge of a decisive non-availability of sufficient fossil-hydrocarbon fuels to keep even a skeleton semblance of modern hitech industrial society operating - at all. That's the predicament that is already staring us in the face, and that will soon be trampling us into the ground. Doesn't mean that hopeless political inadequates such as PompousHippo and The Insane Geriatric Walrus won't attempt to trigger such insanity as an aggression against Iran, though, they being too stupid, too delusional, and too morally-degenarate, to know any better.

This is the overall situation which insists that the US has literally zero chance of attacking Iran, and actually getting anything remotely resembling a 'win' out of it. Read Dmitry's piece to get a more detailed outline of why this is so.

PS: The above considerations apply just as decisively to the US's nuclear weapon capacity as they do to all the other hitech industrial toys which USAmerica is now barely able to produce on its own - at all.

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Jul 17 2019 22:35 utc | 67

@ William Herschel 61. If the U.S. or anyone else uses any type of Nuclear weapons against Iran, a declared ally of Russia, it will result in an immediate and full scale Nuclear retaliation. This is a recent statement made by Vladimir Putin. Pompeo, Bolton et all are well aware of this. The U.S. might talk of using tactical nukes but despite their Hubris, even the most pro war in the Pentagon know what the results of that type of planned anihilation will have on the U.S. mainland. People like Lindsey Graham are merely empty vessels making a lot of noise.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jul 17 2019 22:51 utc | 68

@59 james

Describing cultures and POV is something that the msm does not do, and I fail to see how assigning qualities to a culture somehow equates to condemning them.

We've talked about Jordan Peterson before. One of the misunderstandings surrounding him seems to come from his willingness to talk plainly about the difference, physiologically, of the sexes. Apparently, one can not explain, if there ever were a wage gap btw the sexes, why this might be logically without first loudly condemning it in a politically charged diatribe.

Once again, my comment was not to denigrate the Chinese or Russians but set limits of understanding. If you think you can crawl into the mind of an easterner and understand the contradictions, you are a damn fool. Better to fly in tow with your own species of bird and let bygones be bygones.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 17 2019 23:11 utc | 69

Why would Iran allow any Western nation to save face through negotiations or otherwise? Khamenei yesterday tweeted several statements that were later posted to his website:

"At this meeting, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran stressed that Western governments’ arrogant behavior is the main obstacle in establishing ties and maintained: Western governments’ major vice is their arrogance. If they face a weak government, their arrogance will be effective. But if that country knows the truth about them and resists, the Western governments will be defeated.

"Referring to problems rising between Iran and the European partners of the JCPOA, Ayatollah Khamenei said: Now, in the matters between us and the Europeans, the problems persist, because of their arrogance.

"The Leader of the Islamic Revolution highlighted Iran’s commitment to the JCPOA—also known as the Iran Deal—and criticized European dignitaries of the deal for breaching it, saying: As stated by our Foreign Minister, who works hard, Europe has had eleven commitments, none of which it has met. The Foreign Minister, despite his diplomatic considerations, is clearly stating that. But what did we do? We acted based on our commitments, and even beyond that.

"Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that Iran continued to stay within the JCPOA despite the fact that the EU partners of the JCPOA as well as the British government violated the international plan of action and yet demanded Iran to stay with its promises: Now that we have started to reduce our commitments, they step forward. They are very insolent, and they have not abided by their eleven commitments. We have just started to reduce some of our commitments, and this process will surely continue."

The hypothetical suggestion Zarif made in his interview with NBC News was just that--hypothetical--as it had to spell out again for the apparently illiterate, deaf or both SoS Pompeo and BigLie Media presstitutes.

In his arrogance, Trump climbed up the tree he's now stuck within; and as I've pointed out again and again, Iran isn't going to help him in his climb down--they'll be no face saving for the arrogant Western nations. I mean, how clear can the Iranians make that?! They quite well understand the very real interests at stake I put forth in my comment @32. And the Turks on their own have upped the stakes with Erdogan assuring:

"that his country is prepared to leave NATO during a meeting with Russian Deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

"'I met twice with Turkish President Recep Erdogan and he told me personally that Turkey was willing to withdraw from NATO,' Zhirinovsky wrote."

Trump seems desperate for a way to climb down from his tree. Controversial Kentucky Senator Rand Paul apparently volunteered his services as an emissary to Iran, which Trump okayed but Paul's office is being mum about. As noted, Iran isn't going to talk unless tangible, visible concessions are made prior to any talks occurring--concessions Zarif and Rouhani have already stated as the minimum required: Ending all illegal sanctions and return to JCPOA.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 17 2019 23:14 utc | 70

@ Jen 65

Thanks Jen. I am familiar with the study. That was one of the studies I came across when researching after my encounter with the Kuwaitis.

Here is another super interesting recent article in UNZ. In depth and long, but worth the read:

Given the timing of the recent events, it is starting to make sense. What’s more cynical is the insidious manner in which the whole thing has taken shape in the last 60 years.

Black is white, and white is black.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 17 2019 23:23 utc | 71

The United States should sanction “to the ground” European countries that continue to trade with Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal and refuse to join America's pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic, says top Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

Could be a top, but a betting man would say bottom.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jul 17 2019 23:30 utc | 72

@karlof1 69

Iran just announced that they would be open to talk about ballistic missiles when US stops selling arms in the Middle East.

You have to hand it to the Iranians. In the one-up-manship game, they are a formidable opponent. Obviously, there is less than zero chance that would ever happen, but they are super smart in driving the message of US arrogance home. I am happy to see they don't take any shit from the Empire.

Master negotiators at work.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 17 2019 23:38 utc | 73

@ karlof1 with the Politico link about Rand Paul

I laughed at the statement that thinks this all is just going to be Obama 2.0 when settled.

Uncle Jon just above shows that any Obama 2.0 is someones bad shit pipe dream to Iran

Just how is empire going to respond to the Iran demand to stop selling weapons of war in the ME or anywhere?

Outside of financialization of everything that is all that is left of America

The fall can't come soon enough.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 17 2019 23:47 utc | 74

@ 47 re Chas Lindbergh, Sr.
Yes, indeed!

Again I mention President Wilson only became Pres after a grand election rigging when Former Pres Theodore Roosevelt suddenly announced a 3rd party that split the Repub ticket between him and incumbent[!] Pres Taft, enabling Dem candidate Wilson to get a majority.

Congressman C A Lindbergh, Sr. warned over and over against passage of Fed Reserve Act, which finally passed Congress during Christmas holidays in 1913 and was immediately signed b Pres Wilson.

He wrote an amazingly clear booklet forecasting the harm that would happen if the Fed was established. And the harm happened.

I recommend any interested reader to read Lindbergh's 1913 "Banking. Currency and the Money Trust". It's freely available on the internet.

After Congress passed and Woodrow Wilson signed the Fed Res Act, Lindbergh, Sr. tried in 1916, without success, to impeach Fed Res director Paul Warburg, et al.

[His son CAS,Jr did the NY-to-Paris solo flight in 1927.

Posted by: chu teh | Jul 17 2019 23:50 utc | 75

IMO, barflies will find this Russian-Turkish relations article of interest, particularly of Russia's state-owned industry's level of Turkish investment and their impact on strategic relations.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 17 2019 23:55 utc | 76

@Red Ryder #51
Japan exports to China are similarly luxury based.
A total cutoff of Japanese products would hurt the electronics industry a bit, but nothing else.
Thus it is difficult for me to see how real sacrifice by anyone in the Chinese economic ecosystem would be. The Chinese government is this blessed with a nice historical enemy to point fingers at.
I'm not saying the present generation cannot sacrifice, but it is very much an unknown how they would react in a situation of real suffering.
Anyone who days otherwise is projecting.
The "reaction" against Western meddling - equally unclear just how widespread it is. The illusion of cheap consumer goods and mainstream propaganda is very strong - again unclear just how much the present generation sees through this.
Russia has a very significant Atlanticist strain in its middle classes for much the same reason - and they ate visible enough to have CB heads and Medvedev as representatives (among others).

Posted by: C1ue | Jul 18 2019 0:06 utc | 77

@68 nemesis calling... thanks.. i think i took exception to the idea that the usa has a problem with dictators with the suggestion that other countries don't.. and of course i liked william gruffs comment to you before mine which i mostly shared.. i agree with you there are cultural differences and that it is difficult to impossible to understand them clearly from our own ethnocentric position.. but i am okay with making generalizations too, so maybe i shouldn't have bothered to say anything..

but, i think it is the idea that all of these wars in faraway countries that the usa makes on the world, are supposed to get rid of evil dictators.. that is what really gets me, as it has been the usa more often then not that has installed these same dictators, or been quite happy to work with them, so long as they worked on the usa's terms... so ultimately what country has a track record of supporting dictators? it is the same country that is told how you have to get rid of them too... in this regard americans appear to be easily manipulated and know very little about history outside the usa.. and in fact, i would argue that this is exactly how the leaders of the usa would like to keep it... sort of like barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, in that the ordinary american seems clueless on how pivotal that have been in keeping dictators in power!!!! i can't underline this enough... @evelyn up above was saying how not all americans are happy with the state of affairs inside the usa.. i am quite sure this is true.. and for the record - us canucks are not far behind americans in being fairly naive and ignorant when it comes to al this too.. thanks for your comments..

@75 karlof1... i read the john helmer article yesterday.. i thought it was pretty good too.. here it is direct from his website...

Posted by: james | Jul 18 2019 0:12 utc | 78

@chu teh 74

Add to that amazing Lindbergh essay, the definitive work on the subject by E. G. Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island. Between the two, you will find out how the US of A was sold wholesale by a bunch of unscrupulous scoundrels and started a perpetual cycle of debt slavery.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 18 2019 0:17 utc | 79

@58 gruff

A show of force to support the communist party only cements my point, actaully. It means they are perfectly happy with technocratic dictatorship, tyvm! Lol!

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 18 2019 0:27 utc | 80

Uncle Jon @72--

Zarif and then his spokesperson said and then reiterated that the suggestion was "hypothetical", meaning extremely unlikely given the Outlaw US Empire's political-economy which will never cease selling--or giving away--weapons within the region. That's the same as saying when the earth, moon, sun, planets, and stars properly align there will be negotiations. IMO, that was Zarif's attempt to get the Americans to see the idiocy and unlikeliness of their proposals for negotiations.

psychohistorian @73--

Yeah, I saw the ultimate irony as it was earlier put forth that it was Trump's hatred/jealousy of Obama that led him to tear up the treaty in the first place. "Obama 2.0" was a severe dig at Trump within a highly pessimistic article.

Ron Paul reminds us that at Russiagate's inception in 2017:

"Congress passed a bill forcing sanctions on any entity doing business with Russia's military sector. Turkey just purchased Russian S-400 missile defense system. Trump is bound [by the law] to apply sanctions."

Sanctions that are likely beyond the removal of Turkey from parts production for the F-35 lemon. The leaking of Erdogan's threat by Zhirinovsky liked above is part of the jousting.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 18 2019 0:27 utc | 81

@71 fastfreddy


Ultimately, I don't see how these sanctions do anything but help the rest of the world decouple their economies from the dollar.

Posted by: Hassaan | Jul 18 2019 0:32 utc | 82

James @ 39

none of the colonies are capable of speaking up to the usa regime, largely because they lack strong leadership and independence of thought in all this... we continue to slip towards ww3 and at present all the observing countries sit on their hands waiting for the next shoe to drop.

I disagree. I think the elite of those "colonies" is mostly in agreement with the US and any protestations to the contrary by those elites is mostly for domestic PR consumption in their home countries.

Posted by: sleepy | Jul 18 2019 0:39 utc | 83

@77 james

Americans are indeed exceedingly trusting of our leaders' FP, I agree. That is why America needs to revert back to isolationism. It is frankly because we are a bunch of dullards when it comes to internationalism. It doesn't suit us like the Europeans.

Let's put it this way, anytime we have been convinced to come out of our shell and fight, it has been at the behest of those who have said that we are going after evil. We are too goody-goody for our good. Too trusting of the media, like I said.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 18 2019 0:40 utc | 84

james @77--

Russia-Insider was reluctant to say who the author was of the item I linked; it's clearly Helmer. Why would they not disclose that unless they pirated the article? Well, that's likely why I dropped that site from my Favs and only got that from Canthama's Twitter.

The alleged murder by a Barzani in Erbil will shake up things, although this is the only media report linking a Barzani to the killings.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 18 2019 0:47 utc | 85

@82 sleepy.. okay, i see what you are saying.. to me that constitutes bad or non existent leadership canada and most of the european countries are essentially colonies of the usa foreign policy as i see it..until these countries, my own included find a voice to challenge this b.s., we are all f#k'd.. obviously it's a way to impose control over others with finance central to it all.. i think it is going to end and it can't happen soon enough.. maybe i am overly idealistic..

@83 nemesis calling... i am cool with the isolationist approach as well.. in fact, i think we would all be better trading directly with one another and skipping the currencies... doing this locally as much as possible is one way to short circuit the reliance of oil too as you remove the long distance transportation which is key to this 'globalization agenda.. ironically, all the interconnectedness relies heavily on oil and burning this stuff is part of the reason we are dealing with climate change as i understand it.. isolationism, if it means working with others in our local community - i am all for that.. i agree with your last few lines too..

@84 karlof1... i noticed how they didn't mention john helmers name in the article.. i will send john a note and ask him about it.. i am guessing he got paid for it, but one never knows... interesting development via the twitter comment you have shared too.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jul 18 2019 1:07 utc | 86

@ karlof1 with the info about Turkey

I continue to ask in comments here about the status of NATO nukes on Turkish soil and how is that part of the relationship going to be resolved? I would think that is a more important issue that Yes/No on the F35

I think it is laughable that "Anne Rand" Paul would have some special ability to negotiate with Iran.

The fall of empire passed the tipping point with Syria and what we are watching is the receding lines in the sand that empire can no longer cover like invading Venezuela or happens slowly then all at once and I think we are approaching the steeper portion of the slide.

The pressure is building on empire to get its war on because internally things are locking up and crashing and they need a scapegoat.

When I ask myself what comes next, the machinations of Israel come to mind.....time to lose another F35 to attempts to bomb Syria/Gaza/? I am sure something could happen in the gulf of Hormuz with all the floating coffins milling about but speculation there is beyond me.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 18 2019 1:17 utc | 87

1/The notion that the Sauds are of Jewish origin is of interest primarily because it reflects european anti-semitism. Within the major strands of Islam there is no tradition of anti-semitism, indeed the forebears of the muslims in Arabia appear to have included Jews. Someone who knows about these matters could provide a useful comment on the subject.

2/ Regarding Lindbergh and the federal reserve he appears to have been in the great tradition of American distrust of financiers, part of which had to do with the immense power in the USA of British finance and the City of London. If you go back through the Bryan campaign of 1896 (Silver at 16:1) to the Greenback movement to the Jacksonians to the great John Taylor of Caroline county it is clear that there was nothing new about the struggle over the federal reserve. It goes back to the C17th and the critics of William III's 'Dutch system of finance'.Pope and Swift had much to say about the banking practices that gave rise to the South Sea Bubble, the ever inflating National Debt (in the UK) and the corruption and imperialist war that came with it.
The great well spring of the critique of Finance is William Cobbett's 'Paper against Gold', though Cobbett himself credits Tom Paine "The Decline and Fall of the English system of Finance" for putting him on the right track.
Both works are easily available on the internet and are worth reading as literature, given that their authors are amongst the two greatest masters of the language.

3/ It is always worth bearing in mind, when we talk of finance, that Islamic scholars have been foremost in their analysis of the dangers of usury. And that almost all Christian teachings until comparatively recently-including both Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox schools- warned of the dangers of allowing money to be lent at interest. Again someone knowledgeable in the history of theology could assist us in this matter.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 18 2019 1:22 utc | 88

Bevin @87--

Thanks for those excellent suggestions! Hudson's investigation into the history of debt forgiveness as policy and the basis for an historical Jesus's radicalism ought to be considered. IMO, Christianity wasn't adopted by Constantine just to help win his wars but also to legitimize the Roman oligarchy and its enslavement of the plebs via debt. Look into Church land ownership and its exception from being taxed and state enforcement of its tithe--how else do you think the Vatican gained its immense wealth? It's been a racket from its inception, as illuminated in The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold; see here for an excellent synopsis. And yes, I've read it and many of her other supporting essays. It's too bad she passed before the revelations provided by Hudson and his Peabody Museum team became available for her to integrate. In Conspiracy, she shows how the Catholic Church's own history condemns it by using what I consider outstanding scholarship and reasoning.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 18 2019 2:00 utc | 89

I Wonder how likely Turkey really is to “secede” from NATO, and I wonder how that might change their behaviour, for example in Syria. Turkey is a known snake in the grass, but I wonder, how much of that is cause they’ve been on team NATO ? I’m reminded of how “leopards don’t change their spots”. Anyone have an inkling ?

Posted by: Featherless | Jul 18 2019 2:23 utc | 90

Zarif interview

Posted by: Ninel | Jul 18 2019 2:32 utc | 91

Maracatu | Jul 17 2019 22:00 utc | 63

Basically you are right: it is all about Syria.

Trading the Iran presence in Syria could only be done against the departure of US troops (UK and french Special forces included).

- This would induce the Syrian Kurds to return in Bachar fold but quiet down also Erdogan.
- Idlib has to be liberated of all djihadists associetd there and helped by Turkey and the usual interventionist.
note that Afin will be hard to release from Erdogan's grip.

Now any substantive progress depends on Netanyaou with his election calendar (and managing to form a government).

conclusion consider at least 6 months of continued stand-off in the Gulf ...without major incident.

(I made it short)

Posted by: Charles Michael | Jul 18 2019 2:52 utc | 92

@bevin 87

I agree with karlof1 the catholic church has been dirty since it's deceptive inception. And it's never cleaned itself up, even a wee bit. Another, look at usury, within the catholic church during the fourteenth century can be read in Barbara Tuchman's work, The Distant Mirror.

Thanks tho for the referrals on Cobbett and Paine, i'll have to look into their works of literature.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jul 18 2019 3:01 utc | 93

Maracatu @ 63:

"... The wild card in all of this, however, is Turkey's presence in Syria. Perhaps China can lend a helping hand on that issue?"

China would like all those thousands and thousands of Uyghurs stuck in Idlib province to come home for a start.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 18 2019 3:12 utc | 94

i haven't watched the philip giraldi interview but there are some good comments in the comment section that relate to what @91 charles michael and @ 63 maracatu discuss...

specific comment by rob naardin..

"It is this intransigent stance that lay behind the failure of the tri-partite meeting of national security advisers of US Israel and Russia in late June. Netanyahu earlier had proposed to Putin that he (i.e Israel) represented the ‘gateway’ to opening doors in DC; that with Israeli endorsement, Netanyahu could bring the ending to US sanctions on Russia, but only were Mr Putin to agree to end Russia’s ties with Iran, and to isolate Tehran.

President Putin had countered with the offer that – were the US to lift sanctions on Iran, and withdraw its forces from Syria – then Russia would use its best endeavours to have Iran exit Syria. American and Israeli interests additionally, then would be ‘accommodated in a Syrian political settlement.

The Jerusalem trilateral, in short, was expected by Netanyahu to lay the ground work for a clear commitment by Russia to sever relations with Iran – and that this would be unveiled as the ‘grand outcome’ for Trump at the Osaka G20, following his one-on-one with Putin. It didn’t happen."

Posted by: james | Jul 18 2019 3:15 utc | 95

@89 Featherless

IMO, Turkey  remains as a wedge into NATO.

Russia is hammering the wedge to split NATO.

That  leopard becomes a dead wedge.

Posted by: arata | Jul 18 2019 3:34 utc | 96

@ arata who wrote
That leopard becomes a dead wedge.
If the Russia/China axis can keep Iran/Syria/Venezuela nations alive then maybe a leopard will change its spots to stay alive under the non-West axis since it already saved its ass from an earlier attempt to kill the wedge.

Too soon to tell..........

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 18 2019 4:08 utc | 97

Many excellent insights, few paid trolls, but many deluded individuals.

I have to admit to a perverse desire for US vs. Iran war, because this would certainly put a stop on USrael ruling the World. It is common for the thuggish, selfish, killer bullies to keep increasing their target until they bite something they cannot chew any more. The same applies to their MIC, it is one thing to milk the sheeple/cattle for wars against feeble opponents, totally different to lose control in a war against a medium power enemy possibly supported by the bigger powers.

The desire for US-Iran war is obviously totally perverse, because many, many Iranians would die in a nuclear holocaust (the real one) and everybody on the planet would be seriously impacted, even if the whole show does not get wiped out.

The correct way to consider US is a moron with nuclear weapons (some used a photo of a monkey with a grenade, but this is a clear insult to monkeys), ridden & controlled by the self-obsessed, full of chutzpah Jewish Zionists who could not manage a village fair without setting the tent on fire, but want to rule the World. It should never be forgotten that all this fuss about Iran is only about the Israel's God-given right to take other people's lives & property whenever they feel like it.

Posted by: Kiza | Jul 18 2019 4:13 utc | 98

My gut feeling is that Erdogan is floating the idea of leaving NATO to entice both Russia and the US into “giving him gifts” (or concessions) but has no intention of actually following through with it, at least not in the short to medium term. Putin no doubt suspects this, but will humour Erdogan, as the idea of Turkey leaving NATO puts pressure on the US by threatening its unity.

Posted by: Featherless | Jul 18 2019 4:15 utc | 99

Conventional mutual assured destruction. An interesting concept but I don't buy it. The US is in no position to challenge Iran and has always challenged an enemy with overwhelming force placed into a region. Without that force in place things will be on a slow burn. MAD is a nuclear policy. It is not a conventional policy and I think that is what is going on here. They have nukes but they will not admit it openly.

If the US and Britain had the forces in place they could easily demolish Iran. It would come at some cost to all. The consensus is not there militarily or economically for such a huge deployment. The economic cost would be very high to the whole world. The NEOCONS are crazy enough to do it anyway.

Iran is far superior, far more committed, and clearly more capable militarily than any in the region. It is clear the region is propped up by the West militarily. No amount of money placed into weapons by the Saudis and the regions' partners will help them as they are not warriors. Only the West can get it done.

There will be no more coalition of the willing like before. Iran could create one by doing something really stupid. The West is being rolled up by decades of foolishness that has caught up to them. Everyone can see their moral and monetary bankruptcy. Time and patience is of the essence.

Its a slow burn, a war of words and small maneuvers. The statement is just one to counter what the crazed NEOCONs hope to accomplish.

To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran

Posted by: dltravers | Jul 18 2019 4:47 utc | 100

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