Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 06, 2019

State Department 'Swagger' Means Offering Bribes

U.S. Secretary of State "we lie, we cheat, we steal" Mike Pompeo said that U.S. diplomats must have "swagger". This is what he meant:

Four days before the US imposed sanctions on an Iranian tanker suspected of shipping oil to Syria, the vessel’s Indian captain received an unusual email from the top Iran official at the Department of State.

This is Brian Hook . . . I work for secretary of state Mike Pompeo and serve as the US Representative for Iran,” Mr Hook wrote to Akhilesh Kumar on August 26, according to several emails seen by the Financial Times. “I am writing with good news.”

The “good news” was that the Trump administration was offering Mr Kumar several million dollars to pilot the ship — until recently known as the Grace 1 — to a country that would impound the vessel on behalf of the US. To make sure Mr Kumar did not mistake the email for a scam, it included an official state department phone number.


bigger

As the captain did not agree to be bribed the U.S. sanctioned him. The ship now sits off the Syrian coast and is unloading its 2 million barrels of oil. That will be enough for three month of Syria's consumption.

Farsnews notes that this was not the first time the U.S. tried to bribe and pressure tanker captains:

Hook, who heads the state department’s Iran Action Group, has emailed or texted roughly a dozen captains in recent months in an effort to scare mariners into understanding that helping Iran evade sanctions comes at a heavy price.

No one fell for it. The Iranian ship captains are obviously patriots who do not take bribes from the enemies of their country.

Brian Hook has a really lousy job and zero success in it.

Posted by b on September 6, 2019 at 18:25 UTC | Permalink

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There's serious brain drain in the US government and it's alphabet agency if they think this is good enough of an effort for subversion.

Posted by: HW | Sep 6 2019 18:39 utc | 1


"Brian Hook has a really lousy job and zero success in it."

:-D

Priceless!
Thanks b. Where else do I get such succinct captions with a good laugh at the end?

Brave captain! God bless you.

Posted by: Cemi | Sep 6 2019 18:42 utc | 2

"The Iranian ship captains are obviously patriots..."

I'm sure they are, but this guy is Indian. So, perhaps the main reason is professional integrity. Or something.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Sep 6 2019 18:46 utc | 3

Brian Hook = Captain hook..Pirate

Posted by: brian | Sep 6 2019 18:46 utc | 4

That sounds like a really lazy phising email. Maybe the state department should consider hiring some members of the Nigerian nobility to write the emails.

Posted by: rundown | Sep 6 2019 18:47 utc | 5

Yes the captain is Indian and this has nothing to do with patriotism. I'm sure most captains are loyal professionals and would fear never getting another job if they take the bribe. Not to mention a captain himself cannot singlehandedly pilot a ship to a totally different destination. This is just another sign of the crumbling empire, they can't even figure out that a ship requires dozens of crew to take it anywhere and most captains live their jobs. What a sad state the US is. It's getting embarrasing

Posted by: Comandante | Sep 6 2019 18:50 utc | 6

Brian Hook sounds like a graduate of Trump University, specializing in Iranian studies, that used the McCain madrassas fundamentals of “bomb, bomb Iran”. If the situation were reversed and Iran had bribed an US ship to go to Iran of course the US would consider that an act of war and the media would not stop in their condemnation of such a backward society to do such a thing.

Posted by: Stever | Sep 6 2019 18:54 utc | 7

On unrelated-but-related news:

It seems my theory that the 1C2S is indeed taken seriously by Beijing and that Carrie Lam is a representant of the Hongkonger capitalist elite, and not simply a "puppet of Bejing" was proven true.

Fitch has just downgraded HK's rate. It published a press release explaining its decision:

The downgrade of Hong Kong's IDRs and the Negative Outlooks reflect the following key rating drivers:

Months of persistent conflict and violence are testing the perimeters and pliability of the "one country, two systems" framework that governs Hong Kong's relationship with the mainland, underscored by mainland officials taking a more public stance on Hong Kong affairs than at any time since the 1997 handover. Fitch expects the "one country, two systems" framework to remain intact, but the gradual rise in Hong Kong's economic, financial, and socio-political linkages with the mainland implies its continued integration into China's national governance system, which will present greater institutional and regulatory challenges over time. In Fitch's view, these developments are consistent with a narrowing of the sovereign rating differential between Hong Kong and mainland China (A+/Stable).

Ongoing events have also inflicted long-lasting damage to international perceptions of the quality and effectiveness of Hong Kong's governance system and rule of law, and have called into question the stability and dynamism of its business environment. These features are integral to Fitch's assessment of the territory's creditworthiness, and while still strong in a global context, are at risk of being further eroded as a result of enduring social strife.

Right after its publication, Carrie Lam publicly disagreed with Fitch's decision; some hours later, the HK police begun to use rubber bullets against protesters in Mong Kok. The Western MSM -- which, until yesterday, was reporting every tear gas can used by the HK police in their home pages -- is now mute on today's confrontations.

There's another factor explaining the West's sudden sobriety on HK. Today, a group of protesters published online a new list of demands to be asked in a manifestation to be held in front of the American Consulate General in Hong Kong.

They plan to "hold US national flags, English banners and photos of prominent Congress members, and sing the US anthem". But their reivindications are bizarre:

They said the US should cancel its special status for Hong Kong and freeze the US assets of Hong Kong and Chinese officials and politicians who threaten the city’s autonomy and human rights. Netizens also urged the US to ask Beijing to allow Hong Kong to have genuine democratic rights.

No wonder the Western MSM no longer supports the protesters in HK. Even those idiots from the SCMP are now, all of a sudden, protectors of order and progress.

Posted by: vk | Sep 6 2019 19:03 utc | 8

Uncle Bob knew how to tell these bastards where to stick it. RIP Uncle Bob

Posted by: Maximus | Sep 6 2019 19:06 utc | 9

Once again the USA has distinguished itself from the Americans it governs. Most Americans would not think of bribing.. anyone... The American soul and its understanding of basic democracy and freedom has always been about integrity, honesty, helping each other and full disclosure

Posted by: snake | Sep 6 2019 19:14 utc | 10

If I wasn't aware of B.'s dislike for snappy one-liners, I would snark that Brian Hook's surname was almost certainly shortened from "Hookworm".

Posted by: Ort | Sep 6 2019 19:26 utc | 11

LOL

Trump couldn't buy Greenland either. Or pay Maduro to leave.

#winning

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 6 2019 19:34 utc | 12

Sounds like a new version of the Nigerian "Prince" 409 scam.
Brian Hook would then request the ship's captain to send bank details for the transfer.

I think the Captain's motivation would be either or both:
1) to give a FU to the ZIO-USA
2) they want to captain another ship, besides a toxic waste/refugee ship.

Posted by: eyegore | Sep 6 2019 19:37 utc | 13

Those Mafia methods are a pattern.
Poor captains, between stuck between a rock and a hard place. I would not want to switch places with them. Both sides have much at stake, and Iran too would likely not look too kindly on them if they sell out to the US threats.
Some may be patriots, but AFAIK this captain was Indian nationality. Plus the few days where the tanker seemed to move inconclusive may have been days where the capatin actually was thinking which side could fuck him more.
He chose Iran, and rightly so. Iran had much more to loose then the US, for which this is a game with 1000 options.
I dont follow the US judgement of the IRGC as terrorist, but they aint the people you wanna fuck with. They would be forced to "act", and make an exempel out of every captain that betrays them. One way or another.
Which the US sure knows, and still has no qualms to put them into that position, and even speak of "good news".
Geopolitics have no empathy. They never had, but it still seems to get to a whole new level.
Now that Syria has got its oil, we will see what the next days and weeks bring for the other Iranian tankers.

PS: Again, when i pointed out that the oil may indeed have been for Syria, i was attacked as a NATO shill. That turned out well.. ;)
PPS: Good Syria finally got a much needed oil shipment. This crisis has been going on for so damn long, and only Iran truly helped, while Putin seemed to use the crisis to pressure Assad. So salute again to Iran for their support in this fucked up times for the Syrian state. It will make Assad only more loyal and integral for iran, even though every other player wants them out of Syria.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Sep 6 2019 19:39 utc | 14

"The ship now sits off the Syrian coast and unloads its 2 million barrels of oil. That will be enough for three month of Syria's consumption."

bravo!

congratulations to the Iranian republic for its friendship with its arab-moslem neighbors, its steadfastness and cleverness in getting that tanker of oil to Syria, and its overall strategic vision - a true ally. Well done, Iran.


Posted by: michaelj72 | Sep 6 2019 19:43 utc | 15

More confirmation of the criminal nature of the US government.
As is this article from-of all places!-The Guardian which was once a newspaper.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/06/from-mind-control-to-murder-how-a-deadly-fall-revealed-the-cias-darkest-secrets

Posted by: bevin | Sep 6 2019 19:48 utc | 16

When you are a zero, no room left to fall lower. Another government parasite sucking on the host.

..." They are hopeful that the State Department will get its swagger back, that we will be out doing the things that they came onboard at the State Department to do: to be professional, to deliver diplomacy, American diplomacy around the world."...

From the fat zero himself Pompeo. LOL.

https://66.media.tumblr.com/67f5b3d569b2c4bdfab1837db3cd0008/tumblr_o1hb0vTwqp1tmr305o1_500.gif

Posted by: Taffyboy | Sep 6 2019 19:57 utc | 17

One of the consequences of the Outlaw US Empire's gross illegalities is the erosion of Contract Law, which underpins the article vk supplied and has everything to do with the "loyalty" of ship's captains. As some may know, Contract Law arose 5-6,000 years ago as Hudson points out in his histories of debt and nascent political-economies, and a system slowly evolved into what is known as The Rule of Law, which also forms the basis for International Law. As most barflies are aware, since the fall of the USSR, the Outlaw US Empire embarked on a Crusade to replace the Rule of Law with what's called a "rules based system" subject to change upon the whim of its sole interpreter, judge and jury: the Outlaw US Empire--Justice Red Queen-style as many writers on the topic note. Thus evidence-free assertions are used as justifications for the implementation of unilateral--and illegal under the Rule of Law--sanctions against individuals, companies, and nations. To the world's great misfortune, very few nations have stood up and objected to this usurpation of a painstakingly compiled, long enduring, and agreed upon system of jurisprudence--in particular the EU collective of nations where the Rule of Law was mostly compiled. As I've previously written, the Outlaw US Empire embarked on its Crusade to ensure it could continue to act unilaterally in violation of its own and international law, the unstated goal being to undermine the UNSC and UN Charter without going through the process of withdrawing from its own creations.

Clearly, the Outlaw US Empire ought to be hit with UNSC sanctions that include the potential for Article 7 action. Unfortunately, we see the reason why it won't withdraw from that institution as it can be used as a tool to protect itself via its veto power--and the ultimate irony of an Outlaw nation using the Rule of Law to protect itself. That reality thus poses the following question to all the world's nations: How to discipline the Outlaw US Empire and get it to change its unlawful behavior? Several frontline nations have shown one way--ignore the illegal sanctions and continually confront/call out its illegal behavior. However, although they constitute a significant proportion of humanity, the combined weight of those nations hasn't been enough; so, clearly it's become incumbent upon the rest of the world's nations to join in and collectively sanction the Outlaw US Empire as that's the only language it seems capable of understanding.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 19:57 utc | 18

In any other line of work this would be called a bribe and its designation would be a criminal offense. Imagine such behavior in political life? The USA has a mindset based on money. The Almighty Dollar is the be all and end all of its Neo-liberal capitalist hegemony on the world stage. Its military engages in it all the time as it expands its footprint across the globe. Energy primarily oil has been hijacked by empire through which it controls other economies and other populations using criminal illegal methods across the board. It's an Empire that cannot win as more and more multi-cultural countries are showing determined and concentrated resistance to becoming subject States under the sole super power and its servile vassal States. It's a big world and honor and principles are at stake.

The Capitalist crime bosses are going to have to face reality and that they too are regarded as terrorists for promoting and sponsoring covert operatives and mercenary armies to create murder and mayhem among foreign populations. Those under the hammer are well aware that the battle lines are drawn and that they are fighting for their lives and those of their families and neighbors. A rage is building up in various regions as a result of illegality and hypocrisy that will rebound on the oppressors in unimaginable ways. Human beings realize that their fight for freedom from bullying oppression, austerity and imposed structural poverty is reaching maturity in this globalized world.

Let nobody underestimate the potential for violence to spiral out of all control. The sheer and utter madness of sociopath elites in the western world has been manufacturing a momentum that is approaching an insanely blind establishment bent on global war. And war is the worst outcome for all living things everywhere! Have we reached the criminal tipping point of no return?

Posted by: Lbanu | Sep 6 2019 20:05 utc | 19

Taffyboy
Don't you believe it, Uncle Scam has a history of starting at the bottom and working down.

Posted by: winston2 | Sep 6 2019 20:38 utc | 20

I just went to the Syrian Perspective site and got a page that said that the site's domain had expired as of August 28, and that it was awaiting either renewal or cancellation.

I know that Ziad had peen posting relatively rarely of late, but I hope he hasn't thrown in the towel and quit. I know Canthema who contributed top-quality stuff to the site drops by here on occasion; does he or anyone else know what is going on? I hope the site isn't gone for good as it was the go-to place to keep current on Syria.

Thanx, Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Sep 6 2019 20:43 utc | 21

Thank you b for exposing the abysmal ignorance and criminality of Admiral Pompeo and Captain Hook. No doubt they will find refuge in the Caribean when time comes.

The USA continuous assault on the rule of law has been progressing well for the past few centuries and still has a few friends left to back it up.

Thanks to vk for thr OT update on that island in China.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 6 2019 20:45 utc | 22

This has Trump's hallmark on it. This is exactly what he did with his filandering adventures with pornstars. Since he, and nearly everyone in DC, is for sale they think everyone in the world is the same.
The writing style is just sad! It's no wonder why it's a weekly sanction/tarriff/threat of war because the US diplomats clearly have no persuasive writing skills.

Posted by: Sorghum | Sep 6 2019 20:55 utc | 23

B omitted to say that the US bribe came 11 days after the Grace 1 / Adrian Darya tanker was allowed to continue its journey by a Gibraltar court. Perhaps by this time, the ship was well on its way through the Mediterranean. So the question arises, where the ship was expected to sail to, to be impounded if the captain had accepted the bribe. I am guessing that country would be Cyprus where there is a British military base and which would have rewuired no major change in the ship's route until the last leg of the journey. The captain could dock the tanker at the base, disembark and go AWOL with the crew not suspecting a thing.

For all the CIA's much vaunted sophistication in conducting mind control and manipulation experiments in order to come up with devious methods of torture and managing crowds in regime-change operations,it seems the agency doesn't share its knowledge with other US government agencies like Foggy Bottom (US State Dept) which resorts to crude old-fashioned bribery and blackmail in a series of emails that even phishing hackers would consider unbecoming. Can't say that I would reproach the CIA or any other of the 17 spook agencies for not sharing info with a dept helmed by such repugnant reptiles as Pompeo and predecessors like Kerry and Nuland.

Foggy Bottom, well named (the area where the dept HQ is located was originally a swamp)
.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 6 2019 21:05 utc | 24

Doesn’t this come on the heels of Hook and the State Department offering $15 million to anyone who helps disrupt the finances of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Quds force?
https://mobile.twitter.com/ml_maria_/status/1169510231455543296

The arrogant US rulers believe they can throw money at anyone or anything and someone will answer. It’s as if they are trying to prove the thesis of Terry Southern’s classic satire “The Magic Christian” (later made into a movie with Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr).

Everyone has their price, if you live in a world where integrity has no meaning and everything is for sale.

Posted by: Valtin | Sep 6 2019 21:12 utc | 25

Ship enters port and begins offloading cargo.
Captain checks email.
Doh

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Sep 6 2019 21:21 utc | 26

Maybe Israel or Saudi-Arabia will offer pilots money to fly into buildings in the US to blame it on Iran.

Maybe the Democrats will offer money to domestic terrorists to blame it on Trump, Russia, China, North-Korea, Iran, Hezbollah or Venezuela.

Maybe the Republicans will offer money to Monica Lewinsky to testify that she met Bill Clinton on the Lolita Express with Epstein while she was only fourteen.

Maybe the rest of the world could unite for a change and arm the "moderate opposition" in the US to Make America Mind It's Own Business Again.

Posted by: Symen Danziger | Sep 6 2019 21:21 utc | 27

Does anyone have credible verification of the story that Iran and China have agreed to terms on a long term agreement for oil exports and development? Zerohedge had the article but I had never heard of the publication or website they were quoting from. It makes sense, but given China won't break US sanctions on Venezeuala, I am pretty skeptical.

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 6 2019 21:48 utc | 28

@karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 19:57 utc | 18

You write "rules based system", but the phrase that these crooks actually use is: "rules based order".

There is no system, just orders. Or if there is a system to it it would be something akin to "we just make up the rules as we go in order to get away with this".

Posted by: Lurk | Sep 6 2019 21:49 utc | 29

@Jen | Sep 6 2019 21:05 utc | 24

(About State Department officials supposedly not getting their fair share of CIA sophistication and manipulation)

Nota bene that Mike Pompeo was head of the CIA before being made head of the State Department.

What conclusions to infer from that factual tidbit in light of your considerations.. I dunno. Is it puzzling or is it baffling?

It must be quite a cringeworthy job to work for these people. If Dante were to be alive and writing today, he'd have a special ring of hell dedicated to it.

Posted by: Lurk | Sep 6 2019 21:57 utc | 30

Symen Danziger @27--

Lovely wit! Unfortunately, America has never minded its own business.

In his trilogy USA, John Dos Passos put forth the idea that everyone in the USA was on the make, an assertion that made me stop reading to ponder awhile since I'd recently watched the movie The Sting, wherein a mass brethren of con artists work a scam on a fellow criminal that was released while the Watergate Hearings were high drama forcing Nixon to declare he wasn't a crook; and had just finished reading All the President's Men less than a year after finishing high school. It seemed that instead of being on the make, those in or aspiring to power were on the take. 45 years later the situation has worsened to the point where the criminals are in change of the asylum while the would-be cops cower in the shadows. In the past the answer citizens deployed was vigilantism. Today, that needs to be done on a global scale if peace, security and the Rule of Law is going to prevail.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 22:03 utc | 32

Lurk @29--

Thanks very much for your corrective reply! I knew the phrasing wasn't correct, tried to recall it, couldn't, but continued writing to fill out the narrative. The difference shouldn't alter the main points, however.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 22:10 utc | 33

Hook is a political appointee, not a career Foreign Service Officer.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Sep 6 2019 22:11 utc | 34

What would maritime laws, international law, law of the sea, etc. say about something like this? Not regarding the State Department's actions, since they don't care. But regarding the actions of a captain who accepted said offer. Would doing so make him her guilty of some serious crime such as hijacking or piracy on the high seas or something? Does the state department offer include US entry Visa, being placed in a witness (or in this case criminal) protection plane?

Perhaps the offer should be revised to include such things. For the captain, crew and their families. Which could get pretty expensive.

Posted by: Lysander | Sep 6 2019 22:21 utc | 35

While I regularly read these posts as part of my weekly news trawl—because they are very well researched—I have refrained for years from commenting. But I do have one small issue and it may be pedantic, but can you edit your text before posting it? The power of a point or argument is, for me at least, made less potent when you write 'caption' for 'captain' or "three month consumption" instead of "three months' consumption". And I don't mind the odd slip, but there are grammatical or editorial glitches in every post. Though it may seem insignificant to some, as an academic who spends quite some time editing written work I can say that it can make all the difference to an audience. The fact that I don't click away is proof that the posts are excellent; a little proof-reading would seal the deal.

Posted by: Patroklos | Sep 6 2019 22:22 utc | 36

Schmoe 28

karlof1 posted link to a piece in Petroleum Economist a few days ago. May be something in it.
https://www.petroleum-economist.com/articles/politics-economics/middle-east/2019/china-and-iran-flesh-out-strategic-partnership

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 22:25 utc | 37

Taffyboy @17--

There's a series of items with the title Less Than Zero. They begin with a song title from Elvis Costello's 1977 debut album in an attempt to condemn British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley. That's followed by the novel title of author Bret Easton Ellis's first published work in 1985, which was then followed in 1987 by a film upon which it was based. The point being there are instances where one can descend to a point beyond zero to a nadir few would ever desire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 22:26 utc | 38

it appears that there's another Iranian oil tanker in that area, the Savior.

what first struck me about this was that the reported port of that tanker Savior was to be Egypt - but it's Egypt, like a good US lackey, that prevented the Grace I from going through the Suez Canal... I asked myself, why would Iran trade with Egypt under those conditions?

so perhaps that tanker as well is headed to unload in Syrian waters

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/iranian-tanker-previously-detained-in-gibraltar-allegedly-offloads-oil-in-syria/


"....Another Iranian ship named the SAVIOR was also tracked off the coast of Syria before it turned off its GPS. The vessel’s destination was supposed to be Port Said in Egypt."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Sep 6 2019 22:47 utc | 39

Peter AU1, Barbara Ann

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 6 2019 22:54 utc | 40

Peter AU 1, Barbara Ann

Thanks. I did see the Petroleum Economist as the source, but does anyone know their credibility? A story of this magnitude should generate threats of fire and brimstone from Bolton. So far, crickets.

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 6 2019 22:57 utc | 41

The ship captain wasn’t Iranian. Kumar is not an Iranian surname. Ship captain and staff of oil tankers are not always the same ethnicity of the country from which the oil originated from.

Posted by: Ninel | Sep 6 2019 23:01 utc | 42

Does the publishing of the bribe offer by the Financial Times mark the beginning of the world finally laughing at the emperor's lack of clothing? I saw Putin's trolling was picked up and published widely thanks to Reuters, including my local newspaper! Bolton's sidelining is openly reported. Zarif gets more press since his sanctioning. Macron tries to do an overt deal with Iran and gets nixed by Trump despite its being in line with France's obligations. The Houthis suddenly have a vast inventory of drones and missiles followed by Saudi accusations of UAE allowing Iran to deliver them. Do these and many other assorted hints mark a shift, that the adults have finally awakened to the meaning of the boy's observation? It's now Happy Hour on Friday where I'm at, so I'll by the bar a virtual round! Cheers!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 23:02 utc | 43

Schmoe @41--

If you'd gone to the publication's main page, scrolled down to page bottom where most informational links are placed nowadays and clicked on About Us, you would have discovered the publication is very well known, has existed since 1934 and is owned by an even bigger organization.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 23:10 utc | 44

>>>>> michaelj72 | Sep 6 2019 22:47 utc | 39

....but it's Egypt, like a good US lackey, that prevented the Grace I from going through the Suez Canal...

According to this report it's either the Saudis who stopped it going through the canal or the Iranian themselves because they sent fuel oil rather than crude oil.

So, why did Grace 1 take the long route to reach Syria?

Usually, supertankers do pass through the Suez but they are never more than 20 meters submerged. If a tanker is heavier, it can offload some of its cargo before entering the canal, which is then pumped to the other side of the canal. However, Saudi Arabia is part owner of that pipeline and would not allow Iranian oil going to Syria to benefit from the facility.

According to TankerTrackers, Grace 1 was submerged more than 20 meters in water due to its heavy load. The capacity of the tanker is 2 million barrels of crude oil, which is lighter than fuel oil. Apparently, the additional weight, which submerged the vessel beyond 20 meters, was due to its cargo of fuel oil.

The other possibility, besides Saudi objections, is that the Egyptian pipeline bypassing Suez is not used for heavy fuel. It can carry light or semi-light crude.

The heavier fuel possibly carried by Grace 1 is used for ships or electricity power stations.

BTW, I thought the Iranians had assured the court in Gibraltar that the oil wasn't destined for Syria in order to get the ship released. As there have been no complaints from Whitehall, one must assume that the British Government has stopped caring.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Sep 6 2019 23:35 utc | 45

Schmoe
Best thing is to check through other articles at the site. I have found that in general these sites try to report what is happening in the oil industry rather than print propaganda or fiction.

The other thing that makes me thinkit likely is that oil and gas is China's achilles heel. Virtually all its oil and gas is imported and much can be cut off at source by the US. Too many sources for China to try and defend. Iran is a hard nut for the US to crack, and with a little assistance and tech from Russia and China would be impregnable to US attack.
I believe Trump had some think bigly - Kissinger type visions of controlling Persian Gulf oil, which would then give the US control of Asia and Europe, but Trump, Pomp and Bolton are not the people to pull it off.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 6 2019 23:39 utc | 46

@ Patrouklos 36


Before you mouth off, let your fingers and eyes do some walking. b's first language is what?
Is Moon of Alabama Americain (fr)?

I have read medical texts - published research - in medical journals with typos. Oh, and not insignificant.

Should we create an Editor's Chair at the bar?

A helpful suggestion:

"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook" - William James

Posted by: Likklemore | Sep 6 2019 23:43 utc | 47

@ karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 19:57 utc | 18

Brilliant – and succinct!

I have friends who won't read anything longer than the ingredient list on a can of coffee, but this at least they should be able to get through and grasp all the essentials – and they certainly are essential!

Posted by: AntiSpin | Sep 7 2019 0:04 utc | 48

All, thanks for the responses re: Iran/China article and I feel better but am still perplexed by the lack of response from Bolton & Co.. Given how much China spends on oil I have been pretty surprised that they are not importing more Iranian oil in an effort to drive the price down, especially since they are allegedly running low on dollars and Iran would take any currency.
Here is an interesting article on the difficulties in sanctioning Iran's petroleum product exports into oblivion Iran Oil Product Exports Booming

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 7 2019 0:13 utc | 49

I believe I have read that the rail line associated with the Belt and Road Initiative has been extended to Tehran. Can sufficient quantities of Iranian oil be transported to China by rail?

Posted by: lysias | Sep 7 2019 0:16 utc | 50

Bribe is a legitimate war tactic. Many sieges in Antiquity were decided by bribes (get an informant to broker the transaction with a guard to open the gates from within at night). In the wider context, alliances were made and wars were won before they begun thanks to bribing. This was specially truth in Antiquity, were the concepts of patriotism or race (ethnicity) didn't exist, so loyalty essentially depended on immediate material rewarding.

In Latin America -- where a sense of patriotism doesn't exist because they were essentially colonies that became countries --, the comprador elite essentially survives through bribing from the Americans (with a guarantee of comfortable retirement in Miami).

Posted by: vk | Sep 7 2019 0:21 utc | 51

Might have worked if they offered the bribe to the crew..

Posted by: John R | Sep 7 2019 0:48 utc | 52

HW @1:

IMHO, that's a good thing.

Posted by: Ian | Sep 7 2019 1:28 utc | 53

the warmonger nation doing warmonger acts 24/7... dumbocracy sure has slid a long ways down into the gutter with bribes being the new go to approach... the usa is an embarrassment to the world at this point... pompass can go suck on some pampas grass.. he isn't much good for anything else..

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2019 1:36 utc | 54

Hey captain Kumar,
I am an Nigerian price who because of some unfortunate circumstances cannot travel outside my country. I have been falsely accused of bribery, extortion, and a little bit of high sea piracy.
Someone recommended you as a truly nice guy who would always help people in need.
I managed to smuggle out two million dollars to Gibraltar, and need someone to pick it up or they will be sent back to Nigeria. I know it's a short notice, but if you sail with your tanker full speed, you gonna make it.
Thank you from my heart!

Posted by: Choderlos de Laclos | Sep 7 2019 1:46 utc | 55

This admin is really one for the history books. They seem desperate for a win. It is a bit worrying when a nation with so much abilty to do harm is so desperate. Almost seems a need for attention.

However I give Trump some credit for trying some methods other than bombing. Might try diplomacy.

Posted by: jared | Sep 7 2019 1:47 utc | 56

AntiSpin @48--

Thanks for your positive critique! IMO, there's a raft of Foreign and Prime Ministers who need to read it besides your coffee drinking friends!

Schmoe @49--

Bolton's been muzzled of late for unknown reasons. Pompeo has also limited his lying of late. Realistically there's zero they can do to alter the situation. Collectively, TrumpCo remains in check and has yet to move its King.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 7 2019 1:58 utc | 57

@45 Ghost Ship

thanks for that clarifcation. Appears I was wrong, though I do recall reading somewhere that it was the Egyptians and/or Saudis who put the nix on that tanker passing the Suez

I was under somewhat the same impression that the Iranians gave some sort of assurances to Gibraltar about the destination of the Grace I

CNN in mid aug reported, "Gibraltar said it had received assurances from Iran and the owners of the oil that, were the tanker to be released, its cargo would not be taken to Syria, which would be in breach of European Union sanctions."

I haven't the faintest idea how any EU nation (except the slavish UK obviously) could imagine that their internal EU sanctions apply to a nation which is not a member of the Union. only the US in this world right now seems to reserve the 'right' to extra-territorial piracy, punishment and sanctions (all done outside the UN security council, of course)


Posted by: michaelj72 | Sep 7 2019 2:04 utc | 58

From the farsnews article on this: "After Kumar failed to respond, Hook emailed him to say that the US Treasury had imposed sanctions on him."

Such US Treasury sanctions would have to be published, would they not?

It would be interesting to read such a publication to see what reason the US Treasury gives for imposing such sanctions. I would assume the listed reason would not be: "for refusing to accept our bribes".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 7 2019 2:58 utc | 59

> The Iranian ship captains are obviously patriots who do not take bribes

Well, taking bribes is dangerous business, and Americans have a proverb: "After a service is delivered it no more has any price worth".

The reliability of USA promises was many times demonstrated - in Syria and Iran too.

So, would i wear the captain's hat, i would ask myself, how can i arrange getting the promised bribe:
1) before the ship changes course, actually before i started doing anything
2) in a way that can not be retroactively undone by USA after they get what they want (for example bank transfers or PayPal accounts do not fit)
3) in a way that my personal safety would not be endangered

And frankly i do not see how USA could do it.

And acting on POTUS promises?..
Once upon a time another official promised about NATO "not an inch to the east".
Another time three EU Foreign Ministers promised Ukrainians, that "protests" would cease the same day as police abandons the capital city.

Frankly, how many of barflies think that the captain would really receive the promised bribe and would live to enjoy it, would he somehow move the ship into US hands?
Personally i believe the chance would be somewhere below 2%

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 7 2019 3:24 utc | 60

@60 yeah, right.. it is all so very fickle, in keeping with usa foreign policy.. the world is dealing with a 2 year old essentially..

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2019 3:35 utc | 61

Here is another example of Hook's diplomacy bullying South Korea into sending naval assets to the Straits of Hormuz. This deployment threatens to harm the significant commercial relationship between Iran and South Korea.

https://journal-neo.org/2019/09/06/what-the-aggravation-of-the-us-iranian-relations-means-for-south-korea/

Posted by: brian_k | Sep 7 2019 4:10 utc | 62

The American mentality is revealing. The man who would offer a bribe will take one. The honest man does not offer a bribe. Can we "thank" Trump for one thing? He has assembled the most disgusting gang of scoundrels that ever infested a Western government. Perhaps this will be his legacy. I pity his family.

Posted by: Jack Garbo | Sep 7 2019 4:25 utc | 63

Here is the bio of mr. Hook from the State Dept. website.

https://www.state.gov/biographies/brian-h-hook/

I would say his actions are consistent with his work history.

Posted by: jiri | Sep 7 2019 5:17 utc | 64

There's serious brain drain in the US government and it's alphabet agency if they think this is good enough of an effort for subversion.

Posted by: HW | Sep 6 2019 18:39 utc | 1

According to new studies, thoughts can sink in think tanks and brains can be irreversibly damaged during brain storming. In this case, a subversion technique was invented after many sessions of brainstorming with very few neurons surviving in parts of the brain responsible for higher cognitive functions.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 7 2019 5:31 utc | 65

I would be surprised if this type of move wasn't expected by Iran....and that in the intervening weeks since the Gibraltar seizure and release...Iran hasn't slipped on board a couple of operatives whose remit is to see that the ship's master keeps to his remit.

Posted by: Guy THORNTON | Sep 7 2019 5:37 utc | 66

Russian Media finally frame the issue properly:

"Iran Says It's Taking Third Step to Reduce Nuclear Commitments in Retaliation for US Breach of JCPOA" [My Emphasis]

The bolded text is what is finally correct! I must have left several dozen comments on articles on this issue telling Sputnik they have the issue framed incorrectly. Finally, one of their editors changed the tune being sung and about time!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 7 2019 6:05 utc | 67

By no means astonishing that the Kings of the World should suborn, blackmail, extort, bribe etc, etc. But truly surprising that the Financial Times, the FT for goodness sake, should write about it!

That really is baffling.

Posted by: Montreal | Sep 7 2019 8:58 utc | 68

Re the US Idlib strike on Aug 31:

Russian comment regarding US air strike in the Idlib de-escalation zone

According to reports, at 15.00 on August 31, two USAF aircraft carried out a raid on the command centre of the Hurras al-Deen armed group located 7 km northeast of the city of Idlib. US Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. Earl Brown said the operation targeted “al-Qaeda leaders responsible for attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians.” He added that “the removal of this facility will further degrade their ability to conduct future attacks and destabilise the region.” Lieutenant Colonel Brown further said that the United States and its “allies and partners will continue to target violent extremists” because “northwest Syria remains a safe haven” for terrorists.

At the same time, the Russian Defence Ministry’s Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria said in a statement that the US air strike was carried out in violation of the Idlib de-escalation agreements and that Russia and Turkey, which have military experts in the region, had not been notified of the planned attack. Besides destruction, witnesses report numerous casualties, among them children, in Maarat Misrin and Kafer Haya following the US-led air strike.

/../

The US’s inconsistent and contradictory actions in Idlib are puzzling and alarming. On the one hand, US representatives are using all the available venues, including the UN, to demand an end to the escalation of tensions and the suffering of civilians in Idlib, disregarding the unprecedented concentration of terrorists from the UN Security Council’s list of terrorist organisations there. On the other hand, the United States has conducted an air strike that has caused numerous casualties and major destruction. Are US bombs “better” than Russian ones?

- https://www.voltairenet.org/article207561.html

Posted by: Barovsky | Sep 7 2019 9:02 utc | 69

What would maritime laws, international law, law of the sea, etc. say about something like this? Would doing so make him her guilty of some serious crime such as hijacking or piracy on the high seas or something?
Posted by: Lysander | Sep 6 2019 22:21 utc | 35

I'd say the legal situation under maritime law must be crystal clear and very simple - if the captain accepted the offer, he would be guilty of piracy on the high seas. The standard punishment for piracy was always death. These days many countries in the west have abolished the death penalty, in which case the most obvious alternative would be life imprisonment. Many countries, including Iran, Syria and (I think) India still have the death penalty, and potentially could extradite him to Iran to face the death penalty. Even EU countries could potentialy extradite him to Iran, provided they receive an assurance that he will not face the death penalty (so, life imprisonment instead).

Any accomplices would also automatically face the death penalty, so if there are say, 10 crew members on board, then all 10 are guilty of piracy and face the death penalty. If the captain wants to accept the deal but one or two crew members refuse, then he will have to either lock them up or kill them.

Likewise any party inducing them to commit piracy is also guilty of piracy. Here there is one difference - Brian Hook in making the offer has already committed the crime, irrespective of whether the offer gets accepted or not, so he is unlikely to ever visit Iran without being forced to leave in a coffin.

Ironically, the US does still have the death penalty, so potentially if the captain and crew accept the bribe and take residence in the US, if one day the US and Iran settle their differences (eg truce settlement after failed invasion) they could potentially one day be extradited to Iran to face the death penalty for piracy.

All that for a few paltry millions? (After division amongst the crew a few paltry hundred thousands). Hardly worth considering.

Piracy on the high seas is a very serious crime, and one for which they would be universally despised. Being the captain of a supertanker is a highly professional job, and a very high status. It will certainly be very highly paid. Why throw all that away for nothing? Therefore making such an offer in the first place is an idiotic move that has zero chance of success.

Posted by: BM | Sep 7 2019 9:16 utc | 70

/add to the above with important context

Of course, the US and the UK governments bribe people in every country in the world every day of the year to commit criminal offences of every description - it is their standard mode of operation.

Ever since the end of WW2 the course of global political and economic history has probably been determined more by US bribes of key people than by any other single factor. Every election around the world (with the exception of a very few the US cannot get access to) is moved by US bribes. Alliances of the breakup of alliances are moved by US bribes. Trade is moved by US bribes. Changes in the law are moved by US bribes. In every vote on the floor of the UN GA the US bribes hundreds or near hundreds of delegates. Decisions of corporations is moved by US bribes. Financial investments are moved by US bribes. Governmental decisions of all kinds are moved by US bribes. There is not one single pot in the world that the US does not have it's grubby fingers in. And to every mention of bribes in this paragraph you could equally also add blackmail.

That is all meant as reality context for my previous post - but does not alter that fact of the crime of piracy.

(Also WRT that post - I am not a lawyer, that is just my opinion! Corrections from lawyers accepted. No doubt Craig Murray will write on this shortly.)

Posted by: BM | Sep 7 2019 9:36 utc | 71

The symptoms are unmistakable, decadence, decline, corruption, absolute lack of morals. The empire is done for, Nero and Caligula look really good compared to the current crop of degenerates.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 7 2019 9:37 utc | 72

I am guessing that country would be Cyprus where there is a British military base and which would have rewuired no major change in the ship's route until the last leg of the journey. The captain could dock the tanker at the base, disembark and go AWOL with the crew not suspecting a thing.
Posted by: Jen | Sep 6 2019 21:05 utc | 24

WOW! I never imagined you had such vivid fantasies, Jen! You should write fiction for small children.

But if you would open your eyes just a tiny tiny crack you will see that the very act of entering Cyprus territorial waters would make the captain on reasonable assumptions guilty of intent to piracy, given the circumstances. (And the funny lady even suggests he dock at a BBritish naval base and nonchalently disembark, and the crew suspect nothing!!)

Not to mention the small problem that supertankers are, erm, quite large, and can't just stop by wherever they like for a coffee. I have no idea whether the said naval base has facilities for aircraft carriers, though - it might.

Posted by: BM | Sep 7 2019 9:55 utc | 73

BM @74: Correct, the Captain would have to be dumber than Hook to take the "deal". He would immediately become a criminal, unemployable, and acquire a whole bunch of implacable enemies bent on retribution. You'd have to offer protection too, permanent protection, and even then the question of the competence of your "protectors" is going to come up. The offer is a con, and Hook knows it, he thinks he is smarter than the Captain, which is very unlikely in truth.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 7 2019 10:22 utc | 74

I'm assuming also that Sarah Abed's article on US 'bribery' on InfoRos formed the basis of b's article?

http://inforos.ru/en/?module=news&action=view&id=97821

Over the past few months, US Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook the head of the Iran Action Group, has been personally writing emails and texts to over a dozen ship captains around the world, to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Posted by: Barovsky | Sep 7 2019 10:24 utc | 75

Posted by: BM | Sep 7 2019 9:36 utc | 75

Of course, the US and the UK governments bribe people in every country in the world every day of the year to commit criminal offences of every description - it is their standard mode of operation.

Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi...

The United States has long understood that the best weapon - a bribe - is US dollar bills.

https://cdn.trinixy.ru/pics3/20081030/podb/5/origami_03.jpg

Posted by: pc user | Sep 7 2019 10:25 utc | 76

What is a bribe? I would contend that a bribe is just the civilised formality which disguises fear e.g. the fear of getting caught against the fear of refusing.

It seems to me that the briber itself (the US) is not aware of this; there needs to be fear first, then the bribe.

So I don't think the lack of success with regards to bribes really reflects the patriotism of the Captains; rather it reflects the weakness of the US and the lack of fear (compared to the past) of the US. Perhaps it could be described as the Captains having a lack of fear in remaining loyal/patriotic, but it amounts to the same thing; the US is beginning not to matter.

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 7 2019 10:51 utc | 77

Bolton comes to life again, a snap from a news feed today:

In the last hour
Bolton Accuses Tehran of 'Lying' as He Posts Alleged Satellite Image of Iranian Tanker Off Syrian Coast Sputnik11:15
Iranian tanker spotted off Syrian port despite assurances from Tehran The Independent10:58
Russia Registers 27 Ceasefire Violations in Syria Over Past 24 Hours - Russian Military Sputnik10:54
Iranian tanker at centre of dispute photographed off Syrian port Middle East Eye10:54
In the last 2 hours
Pentagon Chief Urges UK to Take Back Its Daesh Fighters Sputnik10:04
US welcomes Denmark's military assistance in Syria Hurriyet Daily News10:00
Iranian militia sends reinforcement to Azaz, Aleppo Qasioun News Agency09:58
Satellite images show 'wanted Iranian oil tanker near Syria' Sky News09:54
In the last 4 hours
Iranian militia send reinforcement to Azaz, Aleppo Qasioun News Agency09:48
Media keep silent about serious clash in East Idlib OpEdNews.com09:46
Iran fires up centrifuges to increase uranium enrichment – Gulf tensions TRT World09:29
Afrin: exploding a landmine near 135th opposition brigade Qasioun News Agency09:27
Turkey-US patrols for Syria safe zone to begin Sunday: Defense minister Hurriyet Daily News09:06
Syrian regime attacks catastrophic for civilians: VP Oktay Hurriyet Daily News08:56
Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Planning to Restore Security to Aleppo City as Terrorists Continue … Fars News Agency08:34
Denmark to deploy troops to Northern Syria Ahval08:24
Iran oil tanker sought by US seen off Syrian coast Deutsche Welle08:21
Iranian Tanker Pursued by U.S. Appears Near Syrian Port, AP Says BNN Bloomberg08:04
Iranian tanker seized by Gibraltar 'photographed off Syria' The Guardian08:03
Pentagon welcomes Denmark's deployment to Syria Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)07:57

As one can see, the Mighty Wurlitzer has sprung into action to spread the word.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 7 2019 10:58 utc | 78

It is a bad sign for an empire when they are no longer demanding tribute from their conquered realm--the mighty empire seems to be doing nothing but paying tribute to everyone these days, just so the empire can continue to call itself or think of itself as an empire. If it wasn't for the privilege of controlling the printing of the world reserve currency, it would have sputtered to an end long ago, but even now more and more are realizing they are being bribed with monopoly money...and like any mirage, once recognized the allure fades quickly.

Posted by: J Swift | Sep 7 2019 11:36 utc | 79

To Antoinetta 111, SYRIANPERSPECTIVE:
Syper definately had a lot of info, I hope it comes back as well, but in the meantime go to Al Masdar news, good second choice or SouthFront.

Posted by: durlin | Sep 7 2019 12:40 utc | 80

Mr.Karlof1 @38.

Thank you for some more zero information (pardon the pun). But, I guess if this zero we are talking about reproduces more zeros, then I guess we have descended lower. Two zeros producing more zeros! Well back to the Canadian Club (100%).

Posted by: Taffyboy | Sep 7 2019 12:52 utc | 81

Time out for a mental vacation.

Take a vacation and watch a movie.

Relax, take it all in

Never mind that it is produced by Amazon (Jeff Bezos - think ally of the CIA), don't you need a vacation from all the outrage?

Posted by: librul | Sep 7 2019 13:48 utc | 82

The bribes to oil tanker captains follows the pattern of promises and bribes offers to the Venezuela military during the April 2019 Guaido coup. Pompeo/Bolton publicly announced they had amnesty/money deals with the top officers and were shocked,shocked when they were played false. At the exact same time the US had Spain arrest Hugo Carvajal Venezuela's x-intel chief who had a US traitor 'deal'. Anyone in the game knows the US lies in all treaties contracts promises and will turn on the fellow 'deal maker' like a rabid dog.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/12/world/americas/hugo-carvajal-arrested-spain.html

Posted by: Joe11Pack | Sep 7 2019 14:04 utc | 83

The likely real reason why the bribe attempt went nowhere is the captain, whatever his nationality, knew full well that the U.S. offer of millions was just Lucy holding the football. The payment never would have happened. or if it appeared to, in a puff of electronic smoke, it would be gone. These people know how "money" can be made to vanish by means of our control of "money".

Posted by: adrian pols | Sep 7 2019 14:06 utc | 84

If the ship's captain has been sanctioned by the US Treasury department, he's probably unemployable now. Who knows, maybe his bank accounts have already been garnished.

Posted by: morongobill | Sep 7 2019 14:20 utc | 85

About the "imbecilization" of the West:

Cheating, Inc.: How Writing Papers for American College Students Has Become a Lucrative Profession Overseas

Posted by: vk | Sep 7 2019 15:09 utc | 87

I have no idea whether the said naval base has facilities for aircraft carriers, though - it might.

Posted by: BM | Sep 7 2019 9:55 utc

Largest aircraft carriers roughly fit in New Panamax standard, while "super tankers" are several times larger. Quote from Wikipedia "tanker" page: Each of the sister ships has a capacity of over 441,500 DWT, a length overall of 380.0 metres (1,246.7 ft) and a cargo capacity of 3,166,353 barrels (503,409,900 l).

Given reports of 2 M bbl on the Iranian ship, it displaces ca. 300,00 DWT, triple of the largest aircraft carriers.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 7 2019 16:09 utc | 88

They had to have off loaded some of their cargo someplace else. When they went through the straits, the ship's draft was too deep for the harbor at Syria. The US's mantra... if you can't win fair and square, cheat.

Posted by: Jeff | Sep 7 2019 16:39 utc | 89

Making America great again.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Sep 7 2019 16:40 utc | 90

A bribe is often a set-up to compromise the taker. Get a mark, any mark, to take a bribe, and the taker now operates under threat of prison-time or much worse form of legal intimidation by the State. I.e., we own you; you do anything we tell you to do, or else you go straight to prison [for your taking the illegal bribe which has been fully documented].

Boom! The taker can even hear the door slam shut. Forever.

When the State decides to set-up/document a mark to commit a crime, any crime, the mark is forever under total control, whenever the State decides to '"employ" said mark. It is "the State with all its resources" vs. the helpless mark. How many lawyers and assets do you have to fight back?

Posted by: chu teh | Sep 7 2019 17:03 utc | 91

I want to add a perspective about the bribe that folks born after 1971 probably don't consider.

Since 1971, when the US went off the "gold standard", money as we know it no longer has any intrinsic value. Fiat money today represents only debt and is used as a form of exchange as long as "the music keeps playing". If/when the music stops, all that money becomes worthless paper or numbers in a machine. Until then it can be exchanged for things of value like property, precious metals, food (until it perishes), etc.

Money use to be one step above barter which is exchanging things of value for something else of current value.....hence the gold standard of recent past.

So if I am a boat captain and get offered a bribe of fiat currency that is essentially worthless, what should/would be my response?

We are in WWIII that is all about stopping the music of fiat money and going back to something closer to outright barter.....and maybe even controlled by sovereign nation or civilization states instead of the current cult of global private finance behind the current fiat money system.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 7 2019 17:26 utc | 92

@ jiri | Sep 7 2019 5:17 utc | 64

I would say his actions are consistent with his work history.
______________________________________________

True, and I would also say that in his case, "by Hook or by crook" is a distinction without a difference.

Posted by: Ort | Sep 7 2019 17:56 utc | 93

The scenario is unfortunately common: A woman goes to a bar and chooses to have several drinks. Later that night, she becomes a victim of sexual assault.

In New York, Manhattan's top prosecutor says, the assaulter can not be charged with a sex crime because of a legal loophole stipulating that someone who becomes voluntarily intoxicated is not considered "mentally incapacitated" for purposes of giving consent.

Posted by: #MeToo | Sep 7 2019 19:56 utc | 94

@ Likklemore 47

I thought I was being quite respectful by merely suggesting further proofing while otherwise praising b for his insights. I certainly wasn't 'mouthing off'. If I write for a foreign language journal I don't excuse poor writing by making that argument, rather I have it proofed by a native speaker. All I meant to say was that poor expression of good arguments diminishes their impact, a rather uncontroversial point. And it's Patroklos not Patrouklos, a Homeric reference (speaking of overlooking things...)

Posted by: Patroklos | Sep 7 2019 21:08 utc | 95

@Comandante | Sep 6 2019 18:50 utc | 6

Yes the captain is Indian and this has nothing to do with patriotism. I'm sure most captains are loyal professionals and would fear never getting another job if they take the bribe.

Another possibility is that the captain cannot trust the U.S. to keep its promise and pay up. Why trust a country that has already broken so many contracts and treaties? Who is eager to rely on promises from people that are proud of lying, cheating, stealing?

Posted by: Cyril | Sep 7 2019 22:52 utc | 96

@95 patroklos.. maybe you want to offer your services for free as a part of reading all of b's posts for free?

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2019 23:06 utc | 97

BM @ 73:

Outing yourself as a member of the target audience for my fiction perhaps was not a wise idea. Thanks for the career advice anyway.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 8 2019 1:06 utc | 98

@97 James

If b wanted a quick proof ahead of a post, I would gladly do it. His posts deserve any and all support.

Posted by: Patroklos | Sep 8 2019 1:14 utc | 99

Offering a future reward to someone for breaching a legal obligation isn't bribery. It's trickery. Bribes are customarily paid in cash as an inducement to do the bidding of the briber.

In Oz our politicians ALWAYS make sure they've got the 'donation' before they breach their obligations to the people who voted for them. John W Howard excused himself for his own breaches of trust by re-defining broken promises as "non-core" promises.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 8 2019 3:03 utc | 100

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