Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 04, 2019

Open Thread 2019-37

News & views ...

Posted by b on July 4, 2019 at 15:41 UTC | Permalink

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@93 I think we have to wait and see what Britain decides to do with the tanker. It will be interesting to see where the money goes if they sell it. In the old days privateers would divided up the prize money so perhaps the Royal Marines will get a bonus and the rest will go into the Tory Party Pension Fund.

Posted by: dh | Jul 5 2019 1:18 utc | 101

Posted by: paul | Jul 4 2019 23:02 utc | 78

It's not Putin's call.
All of this hope and bluster that Putin will come out and declare war on the US and it's minions for Iran, is shallow thinking based on watching too many Hollywood movies.
You're right in one regard, he won't come out and say that. He has a country to protect and advance. He will do that as well as support Iran and Syria the best way that he can.
But, if you think he'll declare war and attack Western ships or forces you're a lightweight.
This is not a footy match or a Western Movie where the good guy always gets the girl and rides off into the sunset. This is Geopolitics that could lead to the end of mankind and the planet.

Posted by: Pestercorn | Jul 5 2019 1:18 utc | 102

Breaking news: USA yield curve has just inverted:

The latest US recession indicator - the inverted yield curve.

Posted by: vk | Jul 5 2019 1:20 utc | 103

"All of this hope and bluster that Putin will come out and declare war on the US and it's minions for Iran, is shallow thinking based on watching too many Hollywood movies.
"Posted by: Pestercorn | Jul 5 2019 1:18 utc | 102

Trump,Netanyahu and Putin are owned by the same international criminal cabal.

Posted by: O | Jul 5 2019 1:31 utc | 104

Bemildred @84

Hard to be wiser for Spain in following such advice.

I think Iran can stand firm for while longer. Either way US and its immediate vassal reveal impotence, and the remaining european vessels of the Imperia are instantiated for what they are, meaning upper hand for Iran in case a more serious compromise lands the table.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Jul 5 2019 1:34 utc | 105

On the British piracy vs Iran in Gibraltar, I found commentary noting that the EU sanctions under which seizure was justified (despite recognizing US role) don't actually seem to impose sanctions siege on Syrian oil IMPORTS, only EXPORTS to EU. Spanish FM may seem to be rolling over despite UK excursion into own claimed waters, but entire premise of relevance of EU sanctions seems to be bullshit.

Posted by: ok | Jul 5 2019 1:39 utc | 106

Marine ID tracking (map video) showing course of tanker:, British position that they only boarded it after it inexplicably veered north into "Gibraltar waters" (disputed by Spain, according to position they only ceded port, not 'sovereign territory' or something).

Airspace ID tracking (map video) showing British helicopter intercepting tanker at that location:, but this doesn't actually speak to what happened to tanker before that, IMHO highly likely that British boarded it via boats, taking it over to direct it into "Gibraltar waters". The tracking evidence seems designed to be "just enough" to evade opposition, but of course ignores what could possibly explain abruptly northward course except British boarding and takeover.

Posted by: ok | Jul 5 2019 1:56 utc | 107

@ ok 106

“Freezing of economic resources” means preventing their use to obtain funds, goods or services in any way, including, but not limited to, by selling, hiring or mortgaging them (Article 1(h) of the Regulation)

EU restrictive measures apply in situations where links exist with the European Union (“EU”). The application of the Regulation is defined in Article 35 of the Regulation. It applies:

(a) within the territory of the Union, including its airspace;
(b) on board any aircraft or any vessel under the jurisdiction of a Member State;
(c) to any person inside or outside the territory of the Union who is a national of a Member State;
(d) to any legal person, entity or body which is incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State;
(e) to any legal person, entity or body in respect of any business done in whole or in part within the Union.–-faqs_en

So there are ways the law can be interpreted if it is understood a ship was trading with a sanctioned entity, and transited EU memberstate waters.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 5 2019 1:57 utc | 108

@107 ok - both your links - Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!

Posted by: james | Jul 5 2019 1:58 utc | 109

Spanish FM may seem to be rolling over despite UK excursion into own claimed waters, but entire premise of relevance of EU sanctions seems to be bullshit.
Posted by: ok | Jul 5 2019 1:39 utc | 106

This is the ultimate mind fuck where the entire press the world over is talking about "sanctions" as if one sovereign nation has the right over another sovereign nation and dictate on who they do business with. It is a complete and utter crock that people even play along with this giant lie. Even more so they play along when these Anglo-Zionist gangsters when they just slap "sanctions" on any nation that does not play their game. It is the epitome of propaganda spin. These gangster Anglo-Zionist dropped nuclear bomb on civilian populations and now is the one telling everyone else who should and shouldn't have those very same bombs.

All this legalize talk is just nonsense playing into their game of bs justification or not for even playing along with this obvious gangsterism.

Posted by: O | Jul 5 2019 1:59 utc | 110

Only amoral assholes need reems and reams of legalize to tell them what is right and what is wrong. And it is these very same amoral a-holes who ignore those very same laws.

Posted by: O | Jul 5 2019 2:08 utc | 111

@109 So now it's a period at the end of the URL causing the problem. You really should know this stuff by now james.

Posted by: dh | Jul 5 2019 2:13 utc | 112

O @ 100, 104 and pestercorn 102

Quite correct although to be fair Trump, Netanyahoo and Putin are all solidly part of the ownership class rather than owned.

VK @ 103

The actual news is the yield curve has now been inverted for 3 months.

A quarter of inverted bond yields has occurred prior to every US recession since at least the 1950s.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 5 2019 2:18 utc | 113

Quite correct although to be fair Trump, Netanyahoo and Putin are all solidly part of the ownership class rather than owned.
Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 5 2019 2:18 utc | 113

Oh please they owe not only their political lives to the cabal but their actual lives. That is how gangsters roll.

Posted by: O | Jul 5 2019 2:20 utc | 114

Lol. Right.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 5 2019 2:22 utc | 115

@gzon 108 re: "freezing of economic resources" I understand there is little prospect of subtle distinctions of law holding sway over interests of US, but to be specific these are not Syria's economic resources being pirated, but the seller (Iran or intermediary entity) which is obviously not the target of EU sanctiosn vs Syria. If such bizarre intepretation was valid, why would EU sanctions separately "prevent" EU oil imports from Syria I.E. Syrian oil exports which patently are Syrian resources? In fact they only impede them specifically at point they would be imported to EU i.e. purchased by EU entity, and passage thru straits of Gibraltar is internationally guaranteed law superceding claims of territorial waters. Thus the claim of EU sanctions vs Syria is illegitimate distraction from real motive vs Iran.

But i think what actually happened to cause tanker to sharply turn to the north is the crux of act of piracy here.

Posted by: ok | Jul 5 2019 2:32 utc | 116

@james 109: as somebody else less than politely noted, the only problem with the URLs is a comma (",") which isn't part of actual URL (i just included it as part of my own post's grammatic structure, but unfortunately the forum here included it with the URL), so just delete that and reload it and the source remains fully accessible.

Posted by: ok | Jul 5 2019 2:38 utc | 117

@ ok telling other MoA barflies to compensate for their lack of respect to the web site owner and to the rest of us barflies by not forming their links as requested

Makes you not worth my time to read because of your disrespectful actions towards others.

If you hang around long enough you will find others feel the respect us and we will respect you....otherwise you are a child or a disrespectful troll

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 5 2019 2:49 utc | 118

Lysias @ 94, Passer By @ 96:

The issue is how to move the oil from the Caspian Sea into the Black Sea. Constructing a pipeline across Russian territory would be easier than dredging a shallow body of water close to hostile Ukrainian territory and then widening the Kerch strait so that oil tankers can move up the Volga River, cross into the Don River via canal and go down towards and into the Sea of Azov and then into the Black Sea with no trouble.

But then why not send the oil by pipeline all the way from Iran through the Caspian Sea, Russia, the Black Sea, Turkey and the Mediterranean Sea? At some point during transit, the oil can change ownership from Iranian to Russian and Iran gets whatever imports it needs.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 5 2019 2:52 utc | 119

O @ 100:

How is it self-evident from the Southfront article that Russia is trying to force Iran to leave Syria when the authors of that article seem to be speculating on the nature of Russian and Iranian involvement in assisting Syria and where that involvement starts and finishes? Russia has only a limited role in assisting Syria and most of the dog work is being done by the Syrian Arab Army. If the authors do not know what Iran's role in the war is, and how many Iranian fighters and advisors there are, how can they confidently conclude that Russia is trying to push them out? They do not say where they get their information from about Russia and Iran being at loggerheads. (One suspects that such information is coming from Israeli sources because it is in Israel's interest to exaggerate any frictions between Russia, Iran and Syria.)

One of the commenters on that article (S Melanson) does better work than the three Southfront writers in actually referring to an interview given by the Russian ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin to a Lebanese newspaper regarding Russian and Iranian interests in the Middle East and Syria.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 5 2019 3:10 utc | 120

@117 So it was a comma and not a period. Time for new glasses. I hope james isn't too upset by my brutal impoliteness.

Posted by: dh | Jul 5 2019 3:11 utc | 121

What is puzzling is the fact that Sisi, who professed to support Syria once Russia got involved is effectively barring transit via the Suez Canal to Iranian oil towards Syria. The good old US to Egyptian military aid package (read blackmail cash) must be the reason. Sad..

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 5 2019 3:13 utc | 122

@ok 116

You are confusing it, and I only write this in case others have been by what you wrote.

Companies can be targeted, countries/governments can be targeted, individuals can be targeted. Here the reason for detaining the ship was that it was thought trading with a sanctioned Syrian company.

It "just happened" to be carrying Iranian oil ALSO, which is not directly under EU sanctions afaik, and was not the reason given for detaining it.

People say hijacked, meaning hijacked, "hijacked" or ""hijacked"". When you say hijacked you mean taken outside of all legal norms as well. No one else has assumed this and yet you are stating that this has occurred, you are going to have to find proof first that the ship was forced illegally into Gibraltar waters. That will keep you busy, indefinitely probably. For the rest people are talking "hijacking" meaning within an at least quasi-legal framework.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 5 2019 3:24 utc | 123

Here we go again ...

We've seen many variations of the "Putin is a Zionist" propaganda narrative.

I agree with Jen. Putin has acted consistently in Russia's interest: strengthening Russia's military; blocking US-Israel-Turkey-Saudi takeover of Syria; allying with China; etc.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 5 2019 3:25 utc | 124

@121 dh - LOLOL! thanks, and thanks @ok for trying too... as psychohistorian mentioned @ok - it is helpful if you learn how to use the html tags.. that is the info to the right side of where you put your name and e mail address..

Posted by: james | Jul 5 2019 3:49 utc | 125

@122 lozion.. i think that is it.. the gift that keeps on giving..

Posted by: james | Jul 5 2019 3:50 utc | 126

How is it self-evident from the Southfront article that Russia is trying to force Iran to leave Syria when the authors of that article...
Posted by: Jen | Jul 5 2019 3:10 utc | 120

Oh I don't know perhaps that the Russians are playing footsies with Iran's biggest enemies in the region Saudi Arabia and Israel. Perhaps that those s-300's haven't done jackshit to stop israeli incursions or even when the Israelis use a Russian plane for cover that got Russian servicemen killed, Putin walked it back. Did you even watch the video?
Putin and the Saudi's acting like they run OPEC would seem like a major problem for the Iranians.

Did you even look at the other headlines I posted?
Here is another one for you.

Jun 10, 2019 - Russia, Iran in tug of war over Syria military reform ... of Bashar al-Assad's government in exchange for Iranian military forces leaving Syria.Putin and the Saudi's acting like they run OPEC would seem like a major problem for the Iranians.

Again this all before the Israeli/US/Russia security summit that occurred a few days before Israel killed some more Syrian civilians on July 1st. That the "great" Russian ally has yet to remark on.

Posted by: O | Jul 5 2019 3:53 utc | 127

What is puzzling is the fact that Sisi, who professed to support Syria once Russia got involved is effectively barring transit via the Suez Canal to Iranian oil towards Syria. The good old US to Egyptian military aid package (read blackmail cash) must be the reason. Sad..
Posted by: Lozion | Jul 5 2019 3:13 utc | 122

Sisi went to the School of the Americas he is CIA trained.

Posted by: O | Jul 5 2019 3:58 utc | 128

We've seen many variations of the "Putin is a Zionist" propaganda narrative.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 5 2019 3:25 utc | 124

Go educate yourself about Chabad

Posted by: O | Jul 5 2019 4:05 utc | 129

When Iran ships oil through Russia to Syria it doesn't actually send the oil through. Russia would buy the oil in a Caspian port and then ship the same amoportof Russian oil from the closest port in the black sea. When you send money to a relative via money transfer the bank doesn't mail your cash to the recipient...

Posted by: Peter Fenton | Jul 5 2019 4:29 utc | 130

Vasco de Gama: 105: Thank you. It would be very British to include annoying/entangling Spain and Sanchez, to get them to share the blame for this piracy. Plus they keep the seized assets, as in Venezuela recently. Here in the USA, domestically it's called "civil asset forfeiture" and it is very, very popular with our cops. Part of the war on cash.

Yes, they expose themselves more than they know. Attempts at intimidation down work when done in a cowardly way.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 5 2019 5:01 utc | 131

Interesting how media can bother to describe tanker journey around tip of South Africa yet ignores what happened less than an hour before "arrest" when tanker abruptly shifted course to the north. Which was obviously critical to it's arrival in "Gibraltan waters" and any shallow justifications built upon that. I'm not even sure if UK/Gibraltans even directly claimed the helicopter boarding offshore Gibraltar was the first "boarding" of vessel, that merely being implied from it being first interaction they specifically mentioned or publicized.

The Picardo youtube video also mentions strange details, like that Gibraltar issued new regulation just the previous day to establish it's own basis for seizing tanker. Of course the whole thing smells of US extraterritorial logic, and Picardo sleazily informs EU of seizure only after fact of seizure done in name of EU sanctions.

That the Spanish FM Borrell overtly emphasized US role in directing the operation clearly shows distance of Spanish policy, going well beyond narrow issue of disputed "Gibraltan waters". Of course, UK via IntegInit meddling prevented original Spanish government candidate for FM, Pedro Baños. UK press also seems to be smearing Borrell as "problematically" too friendly to Iran re: his recent nomination as EU Foreign Minister.

Posted by: spacey | Jul 5 2019 5:51 utc | 132

Apparently the party divided, 425 member House of Representations has lost one binary controlled member to independence on July 4. Objecting to the two party binary (either for Trump policy or Against Democrap" <=choose only one). The Reputatard reported departure makes Amash a 39 yr old Independent, a powerful, real choice, as a 2020 white house contender. Caveat: <= the vote outcome of the electoral college, not the vote outcome of the popular vote of the governed American people, determines the Article II elected, salaried positions of el Presidente and side kick .. . Disagreement with the party over Trumpy's need to play the game of impeachment was the straw that broke the link between Amash and the Reputatards.

Trump called Amash’s departure from the GOP Great news for the Republican Party.. and personally attacked Amash "as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress" on Twitter, I am told. I might agree with Trump for the first time in two years, Reputatards need to maintain the purity of their corruptions.

Don't forget 5g is proving to be as dangerous as the science shows it to be. A potentially very dangerous technology being installed by the private sector with FCC and Trump support. Its object to control your behavior from birth to death. Never before has Economic Zionism had such an opportunity. Tens of thousands of health threatening phased array antennas negotiating on battle field interrogation 868 Mhz @60 Ghz, its high frequency, pulsed microwave communications signal designed to invade your home, to support the multi zillion $market known as the IoT, likely at the expense of the health of you and your kids, your loss of freedom via environmental regulation of you access to information and your time to live life.

Posted by: snake | Jul 5 2019 6:10 utc | 133

Sudan and Yemen

EU hands full of blood

US blocked a resolution to condemn the strike!
(oddly unbiased for a Gulf website)

Posted by: Mina | Jul 5 2019 7:17 utc | 134

Jen #119

The easiest way to get oil from Russia to Iran and visa versa would be to route it through the substantial oil & gas infrastructure surrounding Baku

Posted by: m | Jul 5 2019 7:42 utc | 135

US and UK will do everything, try every trick in the book, to prevent Borrell's appointment as EU Foreign Minister. He deviates from their playbook because he doesn't regard Iran and Palestine as no better than dirt.

Posted by: Quentin | Jul 5 2019 7:44 utc | 136

Posted by: bevin | Jul 4 2019 16:26 utc | 2

How much lower can the UK go?

There are many options and everything is possible.

The Guardian:

Three in four MPs ‘probably have poor mental health’

Party whips add to MPs’ mental health problems, study shows

Posted by: curious man | Jul 5 2019 7:44 utc | 137

Posted by: Jen | Jul 4 2019 22:55 utc | 77

Building a pipeline from the Persian Gulf through Iraq would cost less and avoid unnecessary encounters with hostile EU nations and their neo-Nazi crazy ally.

In this regard, now is the time to recall the still unrealizable project:

Iran's 'Suez Canal': Tehran Could Connect Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf

Iran Will Need Russia's Help to Build Its Caspian Sea-Persian Gulf Canal

Iran's $10Bln Mega Canal Could be Game Changer in Global Trade Routes

Posted by: curious man | Jul 5 2019 8:49 utc | 138

>>>>: Jen | Jul 4 2019 22:55 utc | 77

Your idea has probably been mooted in the past but there are various considerable physical and geopolitical obstacles in the way.

Nah, not really

Oil and gas would need to be piped from the Persian Gulf over the Zagros Mountain range in southwest Iran and other very hilly country in western Iran.

There is already a crude oil pipeline from the Persian Gulf to Neka on the Caspian Sea via Tehran.

Tankers could take the oil through the Caspian Sea to Astrakhan and then up the Volga River to Volgograd, go through a canal and then down the Don River into the Sea of Azov.

The Sea of Azov is very shallow and would have to be dredged to accommodate large oil tankers. The tankers also have to go through the Kerch Strait which is narrow (it's 15 km at its widest point) and not deep (deepest point is 18 metres) so that would also have to be dredged.

Any tanker which could pass through the Volga-Don Canal (maximum draft 3.8m) would have no problem with the Sea of Azov or the Kerch Strait. Crossing the Black Sea in a storm might not be safe but the smaller tankers (5,000 tons) could transfer their loads at sea to a larger tanker outside the Kerch Strait.

Plus the Russians have just built a new bridge there and dredging could weaken its supports. There have been enough problems recently with Ukraine attempting to provoke Russia by sending ships into the Sea of Azov without requesting proper authorization, without adding more to them.

I don't really see how this is relevant since the Russian government is capable of multi-tasking effectively.

Suppose oil tankers carrying Iranian oil did manage to enter the Black Sea, they now have to go through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles and travel through the Aegean Sea towards Syria. At any point during this part of the trip, they can be seized by EU forces if the ships have to travel through Romanian, Bulgarian and Greek maritime territory.

The captain would have to be drunk or corrupt if he decided to sail through Roumanian or Bulgarian territorial waters when going from Russia to the Bosporus, and Greece is not so much Washington's poodle as the United Kingdom is. Don't forget that the Russians sail ships loaded with military equipment through the Bosporus and Aegean Sea to Syria without any NATO intervention all the time. This just demonstrates what a fucking stupid idea it was for the UK to intercept that tanker even with crude oil allegedly destined for Syria, but it just confirms that the Conservatives, including Johnson are a bunch of morons.

The logistics involved in creating a route are considerable but I think investors would quail more at the potential for conflict.

Nah, the infrastructure is already there, it just requires a bit of effort, not much, to put all the pieces in place. As for commercial involvement, that is a very stupid American idea - if a government really wants something done, it best it does it itself, at least at the higher levels.

Building a pipeline from the Persian Gulf through Iraq would cost less and avoid unnecessary encounters with hostile EU nations and their neo-Nazi crazy ally.

It'd take too long and pipelines are difficult to defend against determined terrorists and Syria currently has quite a lot of those lying around the country, particularly the ISIS stay-behinds near As-Suknah and the US/ISIS wannabes at Al-Tanf.

There was a pipeline from Kirkuk to Baniyas but the Americans damaged it in 2003 and it has been out of service ever since. Perhaps somebody in Washington was forward planning for regime change in Syria back in 2003. There have been plans to reconstruct/rebuild that pipeline ever since but nothing has happened.

If the Iranians really wanted to deliver crude oil to Syria without NATO/EU/US/UK intervention at the moment, they'd arrange a swap with Iraq for crude oil to be delivered to a coastal tanker (50,000 tons) in Ceyhan port. That tanker could then sail down to Baniyas in Turkish and Syrian territorial waters beyond the reach of the Royal Navy.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jul 5 2019 9:26 utc | 139

>>>>: paul | Jul 4 2019 23:02 utc | 78

This is a global turning point.

Nah, not really. it's just some halfwits in London fucking up again. Once sane people work out the implications of this idiocy, the tanker will most likely be released and allowed to go on its way.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jul 5 2019 9:31 utc | 140

BBC's Persian service has an interesting article online now regarding the supertankers seizure,
According to the article the tanker decided to take the longer route due to it being to large for the Suez canal, Im not familiar with naval jargon but basically the tanker's lowest point from sea level is 22 metres and the Suez's maximum limit is 18 metres, it also says that there has been 8 smaller Iranian tankers delivering oil to syria's Banyias in the past few months so it can not be that the tanker took the longer route because Sisi would not allow it true the Suez.
Also the article mentions that the tanker is in fact too large for the facilities at Banyias and that was almost certainly not its destination, it then goes on to speculate that the actual customer should have been a European country and tanker was headed to somewhere in eastern Mediterranean in order to transfer the oil to the customer country's tanker on the high seas as Iranian Tanker have been known to do in recent months. My hunch for the customer country is either Italy or Greece, specially Italy as Eni has very friendly relations with NIOC and it even bought oil from Iran during the blockade of 1952.

Posted by: ArioBarzanes | Jul 5 2019 9:41 utc | 141

>>>>: Harry Law | Jul 5 2019 0:58 utc | 93

This is a deliberate provocation by the UK government at the behest of the US, previous provocations having failed.

I'm not so sure, it may be an Iranian black op.

For instance, a few weeks from now if the tanker is still under arrest, a speedboat leaves one of the many marinas on the Spanish coast, sails up to the tanker and fires a couple of TOW missiles that had been sold to the Saudis at it. Enough to damage it but not enough to sink it. Who is to say who did it, but someone demonstrates their ability to project asymmetric force. And if it does sink the British government could owe the owners of the ship and cargo a lot of money - one way of getting round the sanctions.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jul 5 2019 9:44 utc | 142

UK FM Jeremy Cunt,
'China should honor HK's freedom,
We cant just gulp and move on,
All options, including sanctions, are on the table'

The fukus evil twin, all run by the same
insufferable psychopaths, such


Posted by: denk | Jul 5 2019 10:15 utc | 143

• Moshen Rezaee, a top Iranian politician and commander in the Revolutionary Guards, says Iran has a 'duty' to seize a British oil tanker
• He tweeted that Iran 'must respond to bullies' after UK seized one of its vessels
• Supertanker Grace 1 was detained off coast of Gibraltar by marines on Thursday
It’s hard to disagree with Rezaee, the Iranians and Russians must now know the US/UK will never cease their provocations. The same thing happened with the Skripal case, before any investigation had taken place the UK expelled many Russian Diplomats and were not even allowed to contact their own citizen Yulia Skripal in flagrant breach of International law. Maybe Russia/Iran are playing diplomatic chess at the highest level, but there must come a time when the only thing the US/UK understand is a good kick in the balls.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jul 5 2019 10:32 utc | 144

Posted by: Jen | Jul 5 2019 2:52 utc | 119

There is pipeline Volgograd - Novorossiysk already, Azov Sea is not part of the calculations. Why would Russia try to export via Azov anyway? They obviously know what they are doing, and made Novorossiysk their biggest oil export terminal on the Black Sea, with various pipelines leading to that city.

Additionally, exporting Russian oil to Syria does not seem to be a problem unless the obstacles are political, within Russia, since as mentioned above Russia exports oil to India from Black Sea ports.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 5 2019 10:48 utc | 145

for me, this Article was a truly revealing read.. Zakat = charity Khums = 20% oe business profit that business must give to charity and Bonyads are non profit cooperatives which create low cost goods and jobs.. unlike the Zakat and Khums, the bonyads are not prescribed in the Qur'an.. Bonyads employ millions who produce lower cost goods similar to collectives (chavismo's) in Venezuela and like are found in Cuba and China..
According to the article, Bonyads are under religious oversight and management today as a result of a hotly debated process in Iran which ended in a democratic solution.

Posted by: snake | Jul 5 2019 10:52 utc | 146

M @ 135, Curious Man @ 138, Ghost Ship @ 139, Passer By @ 145:

Thanks for the ideas and suggestions - all very worthwhile!

Posted by: Jen | Jul 5 2019 11:52 utc | 147

Snake @ 146 and anyone else who is interested:

One of the major bonyads in Iran is the IRGC Cooperative Foundation. You can read about its functions, organisational structure and the businesses it invests in and supports at this IranWire link. The IRGC Cooperative Foundation may not necessarily be a typical bonyad but the article at the link gives a good overview of its activities and reach.

Another significant IRGC-connected institution is the Khatam-al-Anbiya General Headquarters which employs about 170,000 people and contracts work out to 1 million contractors in construction and engineering projects.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 5 2019 12:09 utc | 149

Btw, what the ... is the UK doing on Spanish mainland soil in any case?
Surely the power of "little Britain" to dictate to Spain/EU on Gibraltar passed several decades ago? I'm not sure what "Pack up and piss off!" is in Spanish, but it must be tempting to add it to the Brexit conditions etc?

Posted by: imo | Jul 5 2019 12:10 utc | 150

There's this thing called Wikipedia where one can read reasonable answers to such things instead of asking here.

Here's the page on Gibraltar.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 5 2019 13:11 utc | 151

A huge Nimitz class aircraft carrier is about 100,000 tons, Grace 1 is 300,000.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 13:21 utc | 152

Iran’s Expediency Council secretary calls for seizing British tanker in retaliation . . .here
“The Islamic Revolution has never been an initiator of tension during its 40-year-old history, however, it has not hesitated to respond to bullies and thugs,” Mohsen Rezaee tweeted on Friday.
The former IRGC chief added, “If Britain doesn’t return the Iranian tanker, the duty of responsible [Iranian] bodies is to seize a British oil tanker in a retaliatory measure.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 13:25 utc | 153

A sad end for Eurocommunism:

Resurgent centre-right party poised for victory in Greek election

Let's remember Syriza was already trounced in the European elections of May, 2019, by the same "center-right" party. Well, when you govern like a right-wing government, the people may begin to realize they should put the original thing instead of the fake version.

Posted by: vk | Jul 5 2019 13:37 utc | 154

psychohistorian | Jul 5 2019 2:49 utc | 118
@ ok telling other MoA barflies to compensate for their lack of respect to the web site owner and to the rest of us barflies by not forming their links as requested

Makes you not worth my time to read because of your disrespectful actions towards others.

If you hang around long enough you will find others feel the respect us and we will respect you....otherwise you are a child or a disrespectful troll

This is a seriously aggressive ott and petulant outburst towards "ok", from someone proclaiming the rules of good behaviour here. Fine if that's the way you choose to conduct yourself towards others, but, for the record, you don't speak for me. For me, something like showing a little understanding and latitude towards another (perhaps a relative newcomer (?) who maybe didn't choose the most sensitive, with a more modulated nudge, would be my way of doing thing, so I object to being lumped into the aggressively protective clique, thank you. I do understand that sometimes people get out of bed on the wrong wide, but that can apply just as much to "ok" as to you or me.

Posted by: Petra | Jul 5 2019 13:38 utc | 155

O @85 said: "Personally I have come to believe that the field of "economics" is a religion and a pseudoscience at best."

Wise observation. When the other sciences were "hardening up" in the 1800s and becoming rigorous and rational, for some reason the social sciences (which includes economics) were left behind, mired in religious-like superstition or the supposition du jour. While the other sciences developed objective fundamental units of measure, like Avogadro's number or the charge on an electron or the speed of light, the social sciences (economics in particular) remained based upon subjective and thus ultimately meaningless measures like "prices" and units of currency, or worse, answers to opinion surveys.

It is not as if there was no opportunity for the social sciences to harden up in the 1800s. There were brilliant individuals providing the foundations there just as Darwin was in the field of biology or Gauss and Maxwell were in physics. What happened to the work of those pioneering social scientists?

In the same way that Darwin's model for the diversity of life, evolution, was a threat to fading and then secondary power establishments of religion, sociology as a hard science was a threat to the ascendant power establishment of capitalism. Unfortunately, scientific inquiry relies upon backing of the power establishment to see progress. Scientific inquiry is work, like digging coal or manufacturing widgets, and as such it must be paid for. More importantly, with opposition from the power establishment, and/or with the power establishment deliberately promoting competing pseudo-scientific paradigms, legitimate science can be displaces or even purged from the centers of inquiry (universities). This is indeed what happened and pseudo-science versions of the fields of sociology (including economics) were promoted that were ideologically useful to capitalism while real science in those fields was purged. As a consequence the social sciences remain stunted and roughly comparable in predictive and explicatory power to what they were in the 17th and 18th centuries.

You can feel the effects of this generations-long effort to promote capitalism-friendly pseudo-science sociology today by observing how lines of inquiry that cast capitalism in a bad light are aggressively pruned from the tree of knowledge like suggestions of heliocentrism were in centuries past. Long-dead champions of hard science versions of socio-economics are libeled and smeared to this very day in an effort to guide inquiry in other, pseudo-scientific directions.

In short, yes, today's idea of economics is very much a religion in the West, with the god being mammon.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 5 2019 13:43 utc | 156

Petra @ 155

Thank you from a member of the neo-MoA Barfly Clique ("neo" meaning "not", h/t Bemildred) yet who very much enjoys reading and commenting at MoA all the same.

This sort of petty/childish/bullying behaviour should be moderated, IMHO, for this blog to continue to expand and thrive intellectually. At best it reflects a bad look on the proprietor and the rest of us, as you suggested.

Yesterday I commented about this weird "entitled insider" tendency in the "Do People Comment too Much?" thread:

As for trolls, I am with the commenter who stated somewhere (maybe not even this thread) that labelling someone a troll simply because they may present an idea that is considered antithetical to the "prevailing MoA zeitgeist" (which of course is itself a fallacy) is indeed one of the very, very few issues I have with this site's commenters, especially among those who consider themselves "long time regular users" or some such nonsense, as if that status somehow confers upon them special privilege to be a dick whenever someone disagrees with them.

However, to be fair to Psycho he has divulged that he suffers from a brain injury, which I realise can cause the injured person from time to time to display impetuous, rude and perseverating behaviour.

This is not exculpatory but should be taken into consideration. At the very least an apology to ok would suffice. We all carry our own baggage and burdens and these are only (very infotaining at times) words on a computer screen when all is said and done.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 5 2019 14:29 utc | 157

For Jackrabbit, with his oft-regurgitated So now Putin is a zionist? misdirection schtick:

Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar secretly visited Iran almost six months ago as part of a diplomatic trip organized by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli media reported over the weekend.

The Islamic Republic opposed the rabbi's arrival, but Putin himself insisted on Lazar's participation in the diplomatic mission, the website Ynetnews reported. The trip was reportedly headed by the chairman of Russia's State Duma and included talks in the Iranian parliament.

Lazar, who heads the Chabad movement in Russia, is considered close to Putin and is often accused of supporting the president unconditionally in exchange for his regime’s seal of approval for Chabad.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 5 2019 14:42 utc | 158

How to identify a troll: They present and defend the standard narratives being promoted at the moment by the corporate elites via their mass media.

If someone promotes a narrative that could be found on the current day's pages of the New York Langley Times or the Washington Bezos Post or on a CNN or BBC broadcast, then they are a troll wasting everyone's time, whether the troll him/herself is aware of it or not.

After all, why would anyone come to a forum like the MoA comments section if it was Bezos' or Murdoch's opinions they wanted to hear? Clearly anyone disseminating those opinions here is thus trying to make certain that the establishment narratives get reinforced even in non-establishment fora like this. Thus they are trolling for the establishment.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 5 2019 14:46 utc | 159

Regarding labeling, I've been called lots of names on blogs and it's sticks-and-stones, so what. We have to remember that most readers are not commenters, and that doesn't make them stupid. They are the judge-and-jury, discerning right from wrong.
What pushes me over the edge is not labeling me but labeling the American people as stupid and responsible for US mistakes, which is why I quit this barroom for a while.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 14:48 utc | 160

@151 ... yeh, ok, great idea, ... I'll run right on over now and look up "rhetorical question"... (sigh)

Posted by: imo | Jul 5 2019 14:59 utc | 161

Gruff- Nonsense. You nor any other commenter here is the keeper of the mythical "Blog Zeitgeist" flame.

Also, please remember that simply describing something doesn't automatically mean the presenter is in agreement with what he describes. To always assume so is to have a closed, sealed-off mind.

Closed, sealed-off minds are a much bigger problem then "trolls" IMHO. Thanks for proving yours, although no further proof was necessary.

Besides, b has already defined what consitutes trolling and it doesn't match your definition by a long shot.

For your comment to make any sense at all you must first show that everything printed all the time in the MSM is always a lie and everything printed all the time in your favoured handful of alt media "fora" is always the truth.

Otherwise by your definition you've just relegated MoA to a pure propaganda site.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 5 2019 15:03 utc | 162

Sadly, dodging personal responsibility has long been fashionable in America and is at the core of "Identity Politics". The behavior of the nation, like the behavior of the individual, is always the fault of others. The nation, like the individual, is just a victim of circumstances beyond its control.

Funny how a denial of this is presented on the day after America's supposed birthday in which (what else!) war is celebrated.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 5 2019 15:09 utc | 163

@ WG
Sadly, dodging personal responsibility has long been fashionable in America
I didn't know that.
What's your evidence?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 15:30 utc | 164

"...please remember that simply describing something doesn't automatically mean the presenter is in agreement with what he describes."

Very true, and you will note that I was not among those attacking aspnaz in his discussion of America's current attitude towards using nuclear weapons earlier this week... just as an example.

" must first show that everything printed all the time in the MSM is always a lie."

Not so, and that's not what I asserted, and such misrepresentation is expected from a troll. I clearly stated that promoting "...narrative[s] that could be found..." in current corporate mass media is what identifies one as a troll, not referencing particular facts that are revealed in the imperialists' publications. A corporate mass media article can be chock full of valid facts while spinning a completely false narrative. Indeed, on issues of geopolitics the empire's propaganda machinery always does just that.

As for my mind being "sealed-off", it is true that corporate mass media's imperialist narratives have little chance of finding purchase in my head. I am quite well inoculated against those narratives. Since you promote those narratives this may seem to you that my mind is closed to all ideas, which isn't necessarily so. It is just your WaPo-vetted narratives that I am closed to.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 5 2019 15:40 utc | 165

Venezuelan Independence Day!:

"Venezuela is celebrating their national day on 208th anniversary of the declaration of independence (July 5, 1811). The road to independence would have twists and turns aplenty and take years, until the Bolivar-led forces had their decisive victories against the Spanish empire."

Now the struggle is to fortify its independence from the Outlaw US Empire and its sadists.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 5 2019 15:46 utc | 166

Don Bacon @164 askes: "What's your evidence?"

I've lived there, but I've also lived other places that didn't have this illness so I can compare.

Had you not noticed how difficult it was to find anyone who voted for Nixon back in the mid-to-late 1970s? How about how easy it is to find people who now claim to have opposed America's attack on Iraq back in the early 2000s? These people may have edited their memories (it is an established fact that people unconsciously do this) to cast themselves as heroes in earlier times, but people in the US who really did attend anti-war protests in America back in 2002 and 2003 know that those protests were tiny and the numbers calling for war were huge. How could that have changed? Only by most of those who today claim to have opposed the war lying about their opposition. They actually backed war, and were thus evil, but want to cast themselves as the good guys today.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 5 2019 15:52 utc | 167

Why read the NYT? If you object to the current system, why read the NYT? The excuse that you "know that they lie so I am ok, I can compensate", is bullshit. As the product, even loading the NYT into your browser is supporting the oligarchy. Interesting that most on this site are willing to discuss the output of the NYT: FYI: The NYT is owned by the people who hate you and will never tell you the truth: partial truth is alluring, but it is designed for the thick!

Posted by: aspnaz | Jul 5 2019 15:53 utc | 168

@ Don Bacon 164

You might not get an answer, because when people theorise about a collective, they nescessarily generalise about the individual. The irony in that is that it offers exactly the sort of blanket of ambivalence that discourages personal responsibility.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 5 2019 15:56 utc | 169

Aaron Mate's dissection of Mueller's Report was published today. The following is his Tweeted introduction:

"The claim that Russia waged a sweeping interference campaign has been widely accepted. But far from proving it, I think Mueller's report actually raises new doubts. His language is qualified, his evidence is shaky, & his investigation had gaping holes."

It should be clear why Mueller's report continues to require debunking of the D-Party's central claim which continues to underpin the cover-up of its illegalities during the 2016 election and the very serious crimes committed by Hillary Clinton. One very glaring impeachable charge that ought to be made against Trump is his Obstruction of Justice into those two separate yet related crimes. Furthermore, the entire debacle of Russiagate and Mueller's "investigation" ought to become an election issue as the entire cover-up and obstruction have become bipartisan.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 5 2019 16:03 utc | 170

Peter Ford comments on UK seizure of oil tanker bound for Syria

For five years until now since Banyas was sanctioned tankers have been making their way past Gibraltar heading for Banyas and the UK has not seen fit to intervene. Why now?

This is obviously Hunt trying to look macho; the UK currying favour with Trump to get a better trade deal.

Patreon/Vanessa Beeley

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 5 2019 16:05 utc | 171

Oooops, Facebook/Vanessa Beeley, my mistake.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 5 2019 16:09 utc | 172

FYI--Iraq War Protests:

I attended the massive protests in San Francisco, but they ought to have been 10x larger, and I was incensed at other family members who said they opposed BushCo but found ways to weasel out of attending--a glaring lack of moral courage that still irks today.

I never voted for or against Nixon; I was too young. It's sorta like the millions who never attended Woodstock but now say they were there. The soft life and pursuit of things as opposed to ideals neutered the post-WW2 body politic, helped along by the contrived Culture Wars, all of which make it easy to slip into cynical mode.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 5 2019 16:20 utc | 173

Greg Palast, salesman:

"T by @WinstonSmithArt. Want one? Message me at & we’ll send you info."

Photo at link. Definitely not your usual Punk Rock & Paintbrushes!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 5 2019 16:30 utc | 174

Donkeytale @ 33

IMO, apropos "...comic horrors described still remain unfinished...", just now 1/3 through Mark Twain's "The American Claimant". Nore awesome Twain.

Posted by: chu teh | Jul 5 2019 16:38 utc | 175

lysias@95 Ian Williams agrees with you about court action...
Ian Williams, a senior analyst at Foreign Policy in Focus from New York, told Press TV in an interview on Friday that the Strait of Gibraltar was an international waterway and vessels from all countries had a right of passage to go through it.
Right of passage in international law gives the country's right for its ships to pass through the territorial seas of foreign states and straits used for international navigation.
“There is no international law forbidding ships to travel to Syria,” Williams pointed out.
“In addition to that, the ship is flying the flag of Panama, and both Panama and Britain are signatories to the international convention of the law of the sea which has very definite procedures,” he said.
Williams said that Panama was legally responsible for the ship.
“Panama should go straight to the international tribunal of the sea to seek interim measures,” he said, adding that the Latin American country should take the issue of the tanker to the international tribunal on the law of the sea and complain this ship has been detained illegally.
Williams said Panama should ask the tribunal to order the UK to release it immediately.
“I suspect the British will be ordered to release the tanker,” Williams said.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jul 5 2019 16:40 utc | 176

@ WG 167
Thanks for answering my request for evidence that Americans dodge personal responsibility.

Let American readers decide on their responsibility-dodging in the world scene, given that they (we) are never offered the opportunity for any input to important matters, international especially. In fact it is an often-presented proposition in the US press that the president (the "commander-in-chief") is solely responsible for international affairs, and the Congress often goes along with it, as recently on war powers.
It ain't our fault, and we have no way to change it. Marching in the street? Been there, done that. No impact.

One final thought, with my opinion: Your supposition that Americans are sick responsibility-dodgers, compared with foreigners, is pure baloney. I've lived in many countries too, probably more than you, and this has nothing to do with that, it's only a tactic to posit yourself as a learned international expert. (I will say that the press is somewhat freer in some countries than in the US, so people in those countries are more likely to get different opinions, and some truth, than in our propagandized country.)

Hogwash is what your position is. Americans employing personal responsibility have accomplished a lot in this world, starting with activists in our communities where they see opportunity to do good and do it. Especially them, from the mother raising a family to school volunteers to environmental activists and so on. You are not better than they are (and neither am I).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 16:42 utc | 177

The problem with the right-to-passage argument is that the Grace 1 was reportedly not passing, it was moored or anchored near shore taking on foodstuffs (which may have been a ruse?).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 16:45 utc | 178

Gruff @ 167 I attended Washington, DC anti-war protests in 2003 and in 2005, and they were actually huge. Ironically, the media that you so rightly dismiss as biased and unreliable reported them as small, but they were lying.
For instance, in the 2005 one, people from New York told me that some trains had been suddenly shut down, making it difficult for people to get from New York to Wash.
The media did not report about the demonstration, except for the Wath Po, which put it in the "local" section, and "reported" that there were a couple of thousand people there.
In another article, they reported on the amount of people who had come to Washington the day before (without mentioning the demo), and they reported that there were 200,000 people who had traveled from NY to Wash.
I don't think they were all coming to Laura Bush's book festival.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jul 5 2019 16:52 utc | 179

" PANAMA CITY, July 4 (Reuters) - Panama’s Maritime Authority said on Thursday that Grace 1, a giant Iranian oil tanker seized by British Royal Marines in Gibraltar, was no longer listed in Panama’s international boat registry as of May 29.

The Panamanian authority added that Grace 1 had been de-listed after receiving an alert indicating that the ship had participated in or was linked to terrorism financing. Although the tanker flies a Panama flag, Iran claimed ownership and objected to the seizure of its ship. "

Posted by: gzon | Jul 5 2019 16:58 utc | 180

Don Bacon @178, et al--

Whattabout Iran using the tanker as bait to further drawout the 100% untrustworthiness of the EU-3 as 7 July looms? Yet another tick to add to the contemptible list of reasons the Tories need relocation to an asylum replaced by a reasonable, law-abiding Corbyn government that will do the right proper things at home and abroad.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 5 2019 16:58 utc | 181

Next thing you know we'll see Russian flagged tankers with a military escort.

Posted by: Woogs | Jul 5 2019 17:20 utc | 182

Trump is finished with the Afghan war


Indian Punchline

So the Trumpoids have figured out that all those "advanced bases" are really exposed and poorly defended assets that Iran can take when it chooses.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 5 2019 17:22 utc | 183

@176 harry law... is panama a usa puppet? last i recall noriega and the usa invasion taking their ''cia man gone wrong'' out...

Posted by: james | Jul 5 2019 17:22 utc | 184

Don Bacon @ ...
I posted this the other day but it seems to be so apt as an answer for you. Hey were all on the same side ! Right ?

Karlofi great minds think a like I was going to post this then noticed your comments. ps the gig looks good.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 5 2019 17:26 utc | 185

@ Don Bacon 177

they (we) are never offered the opportunity for any input to important matters, international especially.

No, you have been: Ralph Nader, Mike Gravel, Jill Stein… Yes, they would be assassinated, but it's not the point. American people (not all of them) are responsible just like any other people anywhere else.

Posted by: Acar Burak | Jul 5 2019 17:28 utc | 186

@ karlof1 181
Whattabout Iran using the tanker as bait
I have a great deal of respect, based on years of blogging on Iran matters, for Persian thinking. One thinks better when that's all that one has available at the time. FM Zarif recently bragged about having a PhD in sanctions, and we know that Iran has to offer something spectacular to sustain the narrative, with Iran in charge. (in fact a series of somethings)

I lost track of it, but I did read that someone high up on The Rock is a former Royal Marine commander, and he was responsible for getting the Royal Marines to rope-drop from a helo to the tanker.

So yes, I can see the distinct possibility of Iran involvement, to include:
> the stopover for "foodstuffs" near Gibraltar, contested territory (UK vs. Spain)
> a leak to London that the ship was bound for that refinery in Syria, against an EU sanction (otherwise who knew)
> the leak included news of the stopover at Gibraltar (The Rock)
> a double agent working the military angle to encourage the Gibraltar jarhead to contact his old buddies -- US Marines are publicity hounds, probably Royal Marines too
> the spectacular UK Royal Marine takeover (now a piracy to be compensated for)

Thanks for asking!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 17:29 utc | 187

There is another reason why the tanker may have been hijacked, which is not much mentioned. All during the war until recently the Syrian army, and the Syrian people, rolled on oil from the Khabur oil-fields. Even after the fields were taken by the jihadists, and then Da'ish, oil continued to be sold to Syria - it was the main source. All this stuff about Da'ish selling oil to Turkey was probably less important than the oil being sold to Syria, though no figures are available. When the Kurds took the Khabur oil-fields under US direction - outside their territory, so not a reconquest - the sales stopped. A Syrian from Deir az-Zor confirmed it to me last week. No doubt under US orders. The Kurds don't mind making a deal with Asad, so it must be US pressure. So now oil has to be imported by sea. Earlier this year, ordinary Syrians were suffering from a shortage of cooking gas, though I don't know what's happening now.

If the oil comes by sea, then it can be hijacked. It's possible that the tanker was taken to prevent a Syrian offensive against Idlib, or similar objective. As many have said, there are solutions, with Russian help.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 5 2019 17:47 utc | 188

Don Bacon @186--

Thanks for your reply! So, when Iran detains a UK-bound tanker a precedent of sorts will be set for any future detentions of Iranian tankers or tankers transporting Iranian crude. So, a different twist to Tanker Wars--detention instead of sinking--how civilized! I can see a toll gate of sorts being erected in Hormuz somewhat like customs: Oil or products bound for any Outlaw US Empire vassal nation and the Empire itself will not be allowed to proceed. And Iran would merely be fulfilling its pledge--if our exports can't transit freely, then nobody's can.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 5 2019 17:52 utc | 189

@ AB 185
Re: Ralph Nader.

I'm familiar with Nader, I contributed to his campaign and worked for him. The problem is that the whole system was working against his candidacy in 2000, especially at the state level where the elections are controlled. The Dems challenged Nader's ballot appearance in every state, I received a plea from Nader's committee to advise on a possible pro-bono lawyer in my state to defend Nader's right to be on the ballot.

It's all spelled out in Nader's book: Crashing the Party.
Some of the chapter headings:
Business as usual: The best conventions money can buy
Friends, funds and formidable hurdles
We, the people
The Media - an ngoing non-debate
The Commission on presidential debates
[Nader wasn't even allowed into the room]

So the system was stacked against Nader, because the two-party system (unusual in the "free" world") must endure for those in control.
So the poeple never had a fair opportunity to vote Nader into office, which would have benifitted us all.

"Ralph Nader is the most important private american of the twentieth century." -- Phil Donahue*

*A couple of years later Donahue's popular TV program was cancelled. Soon after the show's cancellation, an internal MSNBC memo was leaked to the press stating that Donahue should be fired because he opposed the imminent U.S. invasion of Iraq and that he would be a "difficult public face for NBC in a time of war."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 17:53 utc | 190

@ Don Bacon 189

I know all of that if not the details, yet none of that changes the fact, does it? I wish there were many more like you in US –and elsewhere.

Posted by: Acar Burak | Jul 5 2019 18:00 utc | 191

Sorry to have to board you and hold you up like this, but gotta check your papers. We got a tip that you were (pick a reason).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 18:02 utc | 192

@ AB 190
Every local meeting in our town, or most every one, starts off with the Pledge of Allegiance to that striped cloth. Actually for most it started in elementary school.

Regarding foreign policy, how many people in the world consider it important, worth thinking about. Mostly people are rightly concerned with their family first, also their occupation and their community. But in the US because the government is a world hegemon the citizens are supposed to be concerned with events in. . .Afghanistan? No, they're not, and I don't blame them. We shouldn't HAVE to be concerned with a poor tribal mountainous country on the other side of the planet. That's BS.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 18:12 utc | 193

Don Bacon @191--

In his newest, Magnier insists using bold lettering that Iran has numerous ways to complicate things for Europeans:

"Iran has cards to play against Europe. As Iran said in private messages to European leaders, the “Islamic Republic” can unleash Afghan drug smugglers and lessen security measures to prevent them from exporting to Europe; Iran can cease its cooperation in terrorism matters and terminate its punitive and very costly measures to stop illegal immigration to Europe." {Emphasis Original]

USN would then attempt to escort tankers through the toll booth. Magnier asserts that unlike 2012, "the UN, Russia and China are on its [Iran's] side." But will the UN recognize Iran's the law abiding nation with the USA is wa y out of line?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 5 2019 18:24 utc | 194

It gets more complicated if you count Russian refuelling at Ceuta, and the view of Spain's approach to this.

That Spain criticizes Gib. for NATO presence while hosting Rota and Moron.

EU interest in Syria.

Etc. It gets very hard to figure what exactly is going on.

Hope it isn't to bring Hormuz to EU, if that sinks there like a Trojan then we are back at false flags and false false flags all over again. :(

Posted by: gzon | Jul 5 2019 18:26 utc | 195

Gruff - your wapo vetted narratives

Here's the problem with your becomes whatever you want it to mean.

Orwellian. You could say the same about anyone's Pepe Escobar-vetted narrative or Donald Trump vetted-narrative (picking at random) and you get the same result.

So, unless you are willing to pick apart my "wapo vetted narrative" specifically on what I actually present and in turn argue your "alt media vetted narrative" in your own word you offer nothing meaningful to anyone, especially yourself.

And if you were willing to engage then we would be back to where the comment thread should be....we would be debating our competing narratives.

And neither of us would be considered a troll by b's definition (which is the only one that matters).

But of course you dismiss out of hand my "wapo vetted narrative" (which is your right and I'm 100% fine with that) so we will never do anything like debate each others comments/competing narratives straight up... ergo, as I stated, you have a closed, sealed-off mind...self enforced IMHO.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 5 2019 18:31 utc | 196

Sometimes comments here amaze me for all the wrong reasons, so here's a quick level up:

- Gibraltar has huge strategic significance and the location is only part of it, likely a much lesser part. The rock (the mountain) is an enormous "bunker-fortress" in active use designed to withstand at least one direct hit with a nuclear weapon and survive fully functional, likely more than one. Defeating Gibraltar could require removing half the mountain or all of it and maybe not even then. That kind of place is not unique but it doesn't come cheap and is not in any way any kind of "survivalist hideout" idiotic fantasy.

- There is a civic society attracted by and built around this base under British rule since 1713 (older than the US) and naturally they have their own unique identity and it's not Spanish. Gibraltar has been British for longer in an uninterrupted amount of time than it was Spanish.

- The civic society in Gibraltar has zero say in military or UK Foreign Office matters.

- Spain has essentially zero chance of getting Gibraltar. Spain is more likely to be defeated in war by the UK than to get Gibraltar and that ought to tell anyone how ludicrously implausible the idea is and how foolish the Spanish governments and foreign services make themselves look in this case. It seems to be nothing more than Spain emptily placating some Franco-supporters (I'm not even convinced Franco was serious about Gibraltar or if it was just to throw a bone) but one might as well talk about Gibraltar becoming Moroccan.

There is no way Iran doesn't know all of this.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 5 2019 18:35 utc | 197

Oh, so you're not one of the good guys, despite supporting Nader.

But in the US because the government is a world hegemon the citizens are supposed to be concerned with events in. . .Afghanistan? No, they're not, and I don't blame them. We shouldn't HAVE to be concerned with a poor tribal mountainous country on the other side of the planet. That's BS.

In honest language, you mean, the citizens aren't responsible for their chosen government's atrocities all over the world.

Posted by: Acar Burak | Jul 5 2019 18:38 utc | 198

@ karlof1 193
Iran has numerous ways to complicate things
Yes, and as I indicated (or implied) earlier I don't consider myself ever able to predict what Iran might do, I just marvel at what they do. In fifty years from constant US attacks they have just gotten stronger, an inspiration to other countries not on the US ally list.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 18:39 utc | 199

Spain said on Friday it planned to lodge a formal complaint about the action, because it considers the sea around Gibraltar to be part of its international waters, while the British regard it as theirs. “We are studying the circumstances and looking at how this affects our sovereignty,” Josep Borell, Spain’s acting foreign minister, said.

Spanish Foreign Minister 72-year-old Josep Borrell Fontelles has been nominated by the European Council for the EU's top foreign policy post: the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 5 2019 18:44 utc | 200

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