Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 19, 2019

There Are Riots In Iran And The Usual Suspects Are On It

There are a few riots in Iran and Amnesty International is on it:

Amnesty International @amnesty - 15:50 UTC · Nov 19, 2019

At least 106 protesters in 21 cities have been killed in #Iran, according to reports we have received. Verified video footage, eyewitness testimony & information gathered from activists outside Iran reveal a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings by Iranian security forces.

".. eyewitness testimony .. gathered from activists outside Iran ..."


The Iranian government decided to increase Iran's super low gasoline prices. The new price will only apply to the amount of gas that exceeds a subsidized 60 liter per family per month. The additionally money will be distributed to the poor.

The move makes economic sense. It had previously been recommended by the IMF.

The usual suspects have used the announcement to launch protests and riots in several Iranian cities. Some banks were set on fire and security personal were attacked. The CIA and the MEK cult are certainly trying to push for additional disturbances. The Iranian government cut internet access to prevent that.

As long as I can remember such protests and riots have happened in Iran every other year or so. They usually die down within a week. I am confident that the same will happen this time.

But that of course does not stop the "regime changers" and their claquers from raising the usual nonsense. So we get "eyewitness testimony" from "activists" who are not in Iran on events that allegedly happen within Iran.

It is interesting that they don't even try anymore to make sense.

Posted by b on November 19, 2019 at 18:09 UTC | Permalink

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Amnesty International is a Desk at that famous Company, in Langley, Virginia.

Posted by: opereta | Nov 19 2019 18:28 utc | 1


Posted by: Symen Danziger | Nov 19 2019 18:28 utc | 2

Activists outside Iran - is that Mossad, MI6 and CIA? I am sure they provided a lot of "information".

In all fairness, if you read the claim properly, the "outside activists" gathered alleged eyewitness testimony and gave it to AI. I think that's called hearsay on hearsay. Not admissible in court, but the press, and esp. AI, have a different standard: does the claim follow my desired narrative? If yes - PRINT; if no - IGNORE.

Posted by: CalDre | Nov 19 2019 18:31 utc | 3

The ampersand (&) in the Amnesty text means "and". I read the text to say "eyewitness testimony and information gathered from activists outside Iran...". So 2 sources: (1) eyewitness testimony, and (2) information gathered from activists outside Iran. It truly is incredible to read the text as saying eyewitnesses were outside Iran at the time they witnessed what they testified about.

Posted by: Brian | Nov 19 2019 18:36 utc | 4

That article by Borzou Daraghi is a classic Iranian exile journalist's piece. It's another aspect of the question. Iranian exile journalists always talk up protests in Iran, hoping against hope for regime change.

"unwilling to lower expenditures by taking on the powerful religious foundations and Revolutionary Guard-linked businesses that suck up resources and pay no taxes,"

Sounds very much like the elite surrounding the Shah, before the revolution. Indeed, the accusation may be referring to that time, rather than being a present-day problem. In those days, because it was the Shah and his people, the problem was never mentioned. Today though it’s pulled out of a dusty drawer, and used against the present regime. I’m not saying it’s not true today, though it needs more evidence, but it certainly was of the Shah’s regime. It was the central aspect of Iran's historical problems - the elites didn't pay taxes. It's natural for Daraghi to accuse the Islamic regime of doing the same as his own people were doing forty years ago.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 19 2019 18:40 utc | 5

@2 Good One!

Posted by: par4 | Nov 19 2019 18:41 utc | 6

@ b

As long as I can remember such protests and riots have happened in Iran every other year or so. They usually die down within a week. I am confident that the same will happen this time.

Agree. The USisraeli gang keeps pushing on a hair.

How ungrateful the Khazarians. During the oil embargo (1973 Yom Kippur war) it was Iran that kept the lights on in Tel Aviv. North American synagogues (shules) echoed praises for Iran. Yes, I do recall the president of my synagogue appealing for donations "to pay the great Iran government for the oil." Fast forward; envy took hold.

U .S. Color revolutions and sanctions demanded by Tel Aviv will be extended to the aliens on Mars.

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 19 2019 18:47 utc | 7

Could an "eyewitness outside the country" be viewing in real time from a drone or satellite?

Posted by: Petro-G | Nov 19 2019 18:48 utc | 8

As far as I got the point, the price of fuel has been risen for both the limited cheaper amount (60 liters for private persons) from around 0,07 EUR to 0,11 EUR per liter and twice the price for the fuel not subject to a quota.
Iranian media and people report that something happened, at least one bank was burned. Locals report that everything is calm and normal - yesterday and today. But a lot of people came out and flooded Iran related groups in social media (e.g. on travelling in Iran) without any relation to the topic, putting a lot of shit on Iran. One Iranian put it like this "Thats interesting, people who live in Iran say that everything is normal and people who don't live there say the country is burning!"

Posted by: BG | Nov 19 2019 18:51 utc | 9

And as if in anticipation of BigLie Media's onslaught, we have Zarif going off in a speech given yesterday in Astana, as reported here. Essentially anything uttered by "official" Western sources about Iran is a lie or something quite similar and ought to be ignored. Although she can't be expected to write about all the BigLies being unleashed upon humanity, Calitlin Johnstone at least attempts to debunk several every week. I'm sure I'm not alone in wondering why every human isn't a complete skeptic when it comes to whatever BigLie Media produces given the thousands of lies it tells yearly. And Twitter's now censoring Sharmine Narwani, one of the best Middle East journalists. Surely, the West as a concept must now be deemed to be The Walking Dead populated by its Zombie adherents.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 19 2019 18:56 utc | 10

I read at The Register about the shutting down of the internet in Iran and read the wails and lamenting about freedumb and democracy by the usual suspects there.

I hope at some point the countries that have these riots foisted on them by the agents of empire can and will expose the perps and prosecute them.

Most of us in the West sit in our easy chairs and don't suffer under the sanctions of empire though and I expect it gets a bit tiresome to many under that suppression who can't see the bigger picture and want it to stop.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 19 2019 19:45 utc | 11

The move makes economic sense. It had previously been recommended by the IMF.

If the IMF recommended it, it means it doesn't make economic sense.

Posted by: vk | Nov 19 2019 19:47 utc | 12

Amnesty International Corporation, or AIC.

Hmm... AIC <--> CIA ?

No, that can't be!

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 19 2019 19:48 utc | 13

as Brian correctly said in comment #4, the text says 'eyewitnesses' and 'activists outside Iran'. Two different sources, not the same.

It would be good if b would keep the high journalistic standard he usually holds, and not fall victim of the temptation of distorting and intentionally misinterpreting a text.

Posted by: Phil | Nov 19 2019 20:01 utc | 14

Thanks for posting this brief. Got into a real funk several days ago and the one thing that I suspect triggered it was the "news" about Iranian riots. The thought that another "rebellion" in search of a coup was in the making and to get that most cherished prize that has so far eluded our bloodthirsty exceptionalists. But Bolivia has succeeded (so far) because their military was in the US' pocket. That will probably never again be the case in Iran, not after nearly 40yrs of vilification, threats, sanctions, and sabotage.

It was after the revolution in '79 that Iranian clerics began referring to the US as "the great Satan" and Israel as "the little Satan." This no doubt was the result of the Israeli's role in creating and supporting SAVAK, that object lesson in the benevolence of US-led western prosperity and freedom.

If aliens are on Mars why the hell aren't we on our way there to deport them back to Guatemala? It's ours you know, and the whole damned solar system, hell- the whole galaxy. God Wills It!

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 19 2019 20:05 utc | 15

- Gasoline prices throughout the Middle East are WAY too low. Gasoline is often sold below the price of production.
- In 2015 Saudi Arabia raised the price of gasoline by a MASSIVE 50% !!!!! Outrageous !!!!! Now the price of gasoline is no longer 14 cents a liter but has risen to the outrageous level of 21 cents !!!

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 19 2019 20:20 utc | 16

Below is a recent short posting from Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - Recent protests kicked off by a rise in fuel prices last week have been a security matter and not carried out by the people, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday in remarks published by his official website.

“Friends and enemies should know we have pushed the enemy back in the military, political and security war arena,” he said. “This work of these days has been security work, not from the people.”

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 19 2019 20:21 utc | 17

'Amnesty International'...haw fucking haw...

Zero credibility since time immemorial...along with HRW [Soros Front] the collective corporate western media...stink tanks...NGOs like USAID [CIA lite]...NED etc...

I wonder how many billions a year it takes to keep this huge global propaganda and agitation octopus going...?

BTW...I love that 'verified' part...

'Verified' by whom and what...the CIA's magic eight ball...?

Also the 'unlawful' killings by the Iranian security officers...

So the 1,000 civilians killed by cops in the USA EVERY never 'unlawful'...but when rioters and most likely paid agents of a hostile foreign power get shot for setting banks on fire, then it's 'unlawful'...

Talk about Orwellian...but nothing surprises anymore...

The same thing about HK...I happened to pick up an MSM rag lying about in a coffee shop this morning and decided to read the 'report' out of HK...

What a fucking joke...the police are now 'besieging' the campus of those scumbag criminals...the whole narrative is so ridiculously tilted that one has to wonder if these media dirtbags working these foreign bureaus are on some serious psychotropic drugs...

You would have to be in order to invent such a fake reality, when your own eyes are telling you otherwise...

Oh...and the main talking point is how 'the people' of Hong Kong are against the Chinese 'takeover' of the cherished 'independence' of this rotten place...

Thanks to Bernhard for continuing to hammer on this stuff...this is why the comments section here is targeted nonstop by the agit-prop global octopus I mentioned earlier...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 19 2019 20:24 utc | 18

"Quadrupling the price of fuel in this environment, with similar operations ongoing in Lebanon and Iraq, demonstrates cynicism (not ignorance) of the highest degree and could only have happened if Iranian leadership is in on the plan to remake the middle east."

Or maybe these moves are forced on the government by external forces determined to exert "maximum pressure" in order to wreck the economy and reduce the people to starvation.
The latter, which is what the US openly boasts that it and its ally/puppets are trying to do seems more likely to me.

As to the idiocy that Iran is conspiring with the US and everyone else to "remake the middle east" presumably in a pattern agreed upon by all the participants, this is proof, if any were needed that there really is no end to the "its all a spectacle" "Its only kabuki" 'They are all in it together" excuses for doing nothing and eating popcorn while the world burns.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 19 2019 20:29 utc | 19

Could an "eyewitness outside the country" be viewing in real time from a drone or satellite?

Do you know how satellites actually work...?

They fly AROUND the earth at about 18,000 how could they possibly hover in one place and take snapshots...?...real life isn't a Tome Cruise movie...

Do you know how air defense works...?

Any hostile flying object [even as small as a pigeon] trying to enter sovereign airspace will be picked up by air defense radar and immediately shot down...

I guess you never heard the news about Iran shooting down that MQ4 Triton UAV...a $200 million dollar UAV that flies at 65,000 ft...

Killed before it could even enter Iranian air how is a drone going to be hovering over Tehran...?

Any other preschool questions...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 19 2019 20:31 utc | 20

Bevin...thanks for calling out the utter stupidity of that comment you responded to...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 19 2019 20:32 utc | 21

This is effectively a carbon tax (or at least a reduction in fossil fuel subsidy).

Posted by: Keith McClary | Nov 19 2019 20:49 utc | 22

@ Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 19 2019 20:31 utc | 21

> Do you know how satellites actually work...?
> They fly AROUND the earth at about 18,000
> how could they possibly hover in one place and take
> snapshots...?...

Posted by: AshenLight | Nov 19 2019 20:51 utc | 23

OT: A document that could do with more publicity.

A couple of Russians have been to Syria to interview 'volunteers' who joined the White Helmets, along with eyewitnesses. The common thread: the takfiris took control of food supplies so the 'volunteers' were given the choice of fighting against the Syrian government, joining the White Helmets or death. The 'volunteers' were not paid a salary, but they did receive an 'appreciation' of about $150-200 a month. The report includes summaries of interviews with the volunteers along with details of WH members who also fought on the front lines.

The White Helmets: Fact-checking by eyewitnesses and former volunteers by M. Grigoriev and S. Maizel

An English translation (PDF format) is available for download from:

Posted by: Yonatan | Nov 19 2019 21:01 utc | 24

AshenLight @24, do you know how far up geosynchronous orbit is? Even optics the size of the Hubble Space Telescope would have very limited resolution from that far away. You're not going to be seeing much of the riots from GEO!

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 19 2019 21:03 utc | 25

Activists outside Iran such as Ninel? ;)

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 19 2019 21:03 utc | 26

It would be good if b would keep the high journalistic standard he usually holds, and not fall victim of the temptation of distorting and intentionally misinterpreting a text.


What kind of 'journalistic standards' would you like to see here...?

Something along the lines of the compulsive liars at Amnesty and the corporate media, no doubt...?

Let's examine your parsing of the words here [which has got your knickers bunched up in a ball]...

The AI text specifically cites ACTIVISTS OUTSIDE IRAN

Can this be any more clear...?

Did Amnesty actually go into Iran and talk to those 'eye witnesses'...?

Obviously what the fuck is the problem...?

Clearly you are upset about something...why not lie back on the couch and tell us what is bothering you SPECIFICALLY...

Because it can't be the fact that the Amnesty crap is obviously fake as a Chines Gucci have no problem with that...

The problem then is that you see the Amnesty garbage as credible...and B's poking holes in it as somehow suspect...

Got it...thanks for clearing up where your shekels are coming from...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 19 2019 21:05 utc | 27

thanks b...

i have been following this via far news and tehran times - 2 links that offer an alternative to the msm. it is typically educational..

Zarif calls U.S. claim of support for Iranians ‘shameful lie’

Thugs Paid $60 for Each Arson Attack

@13 vk... i agree with you.. anything the imf says - you want to go in the exact opposite direction of the imf! in fact, the imf is a tool of the same empire that seeks to control everything thru their friends and cohorts on wall st.. go do a search on iran and the imf and you can quickly see what i mean...

Posted by: james | Nov 19 2019 21:09 utc | 28

@27 lozion... that's funny!!

Posted by: james | Nov 19 2019 21:09 utc | 29

in this post on foreign meddling is as good a thread as any to highlight a demotion: Chrystia Freeland, Canada's cheerleader and meddler in chief in Global Affairs, is being moved to a domestic portfolio - climate change.

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 19 2019 21:49 utc | 30

"The move makes economic sense. It had previously been recommended by the IMF." b- maybe you were momentarily befuddled. This is contradictory, that is making economic sense and being approved by the IMF simply can't happen.

Remember that is the same IMF which just loaned Argentina (after 9 defaults)57 billion dollars - the biggest IMF loan ever.

The whole deal was a money laundering operation with money going to AR which of course had to prop up the peso which was just a mechanism for transferring the 50 billion to the intended accounts. Now the Argentine people are on the hook for it.

I know or at least I understand that Iran is a neoliberal country just not a US neoliberal country - neoliberalism is really nothing but feudal/fascism in a fancy dress. The ayatollah capitalists apparently are as greedy as the Christian capitalists.

Religions are tools, essential tools of power over vast numbers of people - they have nothing what-so-ever with god or good will of any kind.

There are no gods there is lust for power.

I'm sure you didn't mean to assign any credibility to the IMF.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Nov 19 2019 21:49 utc | 31

The report I heard said that the welfare program that gives the poorest people in the country was simultaneously increased to cover the increased cost of fuel for the poorest, placing the majority of the pressure of the increase on the wealthy. Somehow this doesn't sound like regime change. There has been plenty of that for decades, engineered by the CIA.

Posted by: Vonu | Nov 19 2019 21:55 utc | 32

Laguerre @ 5:

Borzou Daraghi is surely referring to the charitable organisations known as bonyads which are owned and run by institutions like the IRGC, and which don't pay taxes on their incomes (being non-profit organisations) but instead distribute that money (that would be taxed if they were for-profit) to their mother organisations' members and their families, most of whom are poor or are the families of men who died for Iran during the Gulf War (1980 - 1988) and which would be destitute otherwise.

Frederic Wehrey, Jerrold D. Green, Brian Nichiporuk, Alireza Nader, Lydia Hansell, Rasool Nafisi, S. R. Bohandy, "The Rise of the Pasdaran: Assessing the Domestic Roles of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps" (published by the RAND Corporation)

Western media portray the bonyads as inefficient, bloated and corrupt but the nature of these organisations and their aims ipso facto require that they be judged by other standards and not by the standards of for-profit organisations whose loyalties and obligations are to their shareholders and creditors.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 19 2019 21:56 utc | 33

Minor point: "The move makes economic sense. It had previously been recommended by the IMF."

Perhaps at times the IMF will actually recommend something that makes sense - the same way that a broken analog clock tells the right time twice a day - but saying that something has been recommended by the IMF, is not much of a positive. 'Had been vigorously opposed by the IMF'? Now THAT might suggest there was something to it...

And I lose track of the number of times that the rich have levied a regressive tax on the working class, and promised to distribute the money 'to the poor' - HAHAHAHA fell for it again didn't you?

Posted by: TG | Nov 19 2019 22:05 utc | 34

@31 Likklemore - OT

that is f###ing awesome! now what retard gets to take over her role... it would be hard to find a replacement as bad as her..

Posted by: james | Nov 19 2019 22:08 utc | 35

A Rocket Scientist here on the board suggested this...

Let us look into Rocket Scientist's helpful pointer...

A geostationary orbit, also referred to as a geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO), is a circular geosynchronous orbit 35,786 kilometres (22,236 miles) above Earth's equator...

Like William pointed out already...GEO sats ARE NOT USED FOR EARTH IMAGING...

For the simple reason that the optics required would be FAR in excess of the Hubble telescope... seems you presume to have more technical knowledge of aerospace physics than I do, which is why you have chosen to dispute my point...

Of course you could have looked up Earth Observation Satellite BEFORE proceeding to demonstrate your lack of a preschool diploma...

Most Earth observation satellites carry instruments that should be operated at a relatively low altitude...Earth observation satellites are all operated at altitudes of about 800 km.

Do you need me to explain the physics behind why a sat flying at 800 km altitude needs to go 18,000 mph...?

It's not actually hard to understand...ever seen the 'hammer throw' event in the olympics...where the athlete spins a heavy metal ball on the end of a cable around and around before releasing it...?

Before he releases it, the spinning ball is obviously exerting a very large CENTRIFUGAL FORCE...the cable is keeping it from flying off, by exerting the exact same force in the opposite direction [centripetal]...therefore the two forces are in equilibrium, as per Newton's Third Law of Motion, which tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction...

It is the same with a order to stay aloft and keep spinning around the earth, its centrifugal force must exactly equal the pull of earth's gravity...

Since centrifugal force is a factor of the object's rotational speed, a spacecraft flying in low earth orbit must have a speed of about 8 km/s [about 18,000 mph] in order to develop the CENTRIFUGAL FORCE THAT WILL EXACTLY BALANCE THE PULL OF EARTH'S GRAVITY...

That way, the two forces are in EXACT EQUILIBRIUM...just like that spinning ball in the hammer throw...

Do you have any other insights about orbital mechanics that you would like to educate me on...?

Now let's get back to the earth imaging order to cover the entire earth surface, they are placed in a Polar Orbit...

That way the sat is moving around the earth in the vertical plane, while the earth spins below it in the horizontal plane...

That means that a sat will be only momentarily above any particular point on the globe...since the earth is spinning under it, and the sat itself is flying very fast in a perpendicular plane of rotation...

In practical terms, it means that any given spot on earth will only pass under the sat maybe once in a few days...

Now let's get back to your Einstein-level contribution of suggesting a geostationary orbit nearly 40,000 km from the earth as a means to take pictures of the earth below...[SMFH]

Here we refer to what's called the Dawes Limit...which is...

a formula to express the maximum resolving power of a microscope or telescope.

This resolving power is measured in angular resolution

The formula is given as...theta = lambda / diameter

Where theta is the angular resolution in radians, lambda is the wavelength of light, and diameter is the size of the optical lens or mirror...

The wavelength of light in the visible spectrum is about 5 x 10^-7 meters...which is about 5 ten-millionths of a meter...

The Hubble telescope has a mirror of 2.4 m, so the angular resolution would be 0.000,000,5 divided by 2.4 = ~0.000,000,2 radians...which, in degrees, equals 0.000,01 degrees...

Now to find the resolution at a particular distance...for example of a GEO satellite which is 35,786 km [~36 million meters]...

To get the linear resolution we multiply the distance times the angular resolution in radians and get...a linear resolution of about 7.5 meters...

Compare that to sat imagery which is now well under 1 meter resolution...for instance 41 cm [0.41 m] for the IKONOS sat...

That is nearly 20 times greater resolution than the Hubble would give from a geostationary orbit...

Would you like to teach us anything else today...or will that be it for now...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 19 2019 22:18 utc | 36

'Chrystia Freeland, Canada's cheerleader and meddler in chief in Global Affairs, is being moved to a domestic portfolio - climate change.'

Blow the bugles, bang the drums...allelujah.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 19 2019 22:27 utc | 37

Bevin @ 39, James @ 36

Bevin, add bang the pots and pans.

Media Reports that Freeland will be replaced by François-Philippe Champagne, an international lawyer who has been the infrastructure minister.

On the CV requirement and previous job experience, I'll leave it there. It's politics.

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 19 2019 22:43 utc | 38

As a popcorn mushroom eater I take it as my responsibility to highlight the reality and Truth of any situation, blah blah blah...

Fixed it for ya...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 19 2019 22:46 utc | 39

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 19 2019 21:03 utc | 26

Apparently I should have been more specific; I was merely pointing out that it's perfectly possible to have a satellite sit in one place, not commenting on optics or resolution. But yeah.

Posted by: AshenLight | Nov 19 2019 22:52 utc | 40

@flankerbandit, you were the one that said this:

Do you know how satellites actually work...?

They fly AROUND the earth at about 18,000 how could they possibly hover in one place and take snapshots...?

Someone points about geostationary and you go all bonkers? Come on now, you can't expect to be taken seriously with such blatant contradiction.

~an old time lurker

Posted by: anon | Nov 19 2019 22:58 utc | 41

Back when I was young and naive I used to believe such organizations wanted to do good in the world. I even talked to several people who worked for HRW. Once the Bush 2 regime finished off Saddam I was in contact with them. There are two Americans I know of who were in correspondence with HRW about documenting Saddam's genocide of the Kurds. I was one and the other was the late Jude Wanniski, somebody I admired and who I also had correspondence with. This might have been our initial correspondence. He was the only other American I know of who was skeptical that Saddam had committed genocide against the Kurds. We both just looked at it as war propaganda. HRW had released a study after the George Bush 1 regime war in 1993. They sent reporters into Kurdish territory who took detailed accounts of their stories. HRW made huge claims as the US took control of Iraq. They were going to dig up and record all of Saddam's past evils that had been told to them in the 1993 paper. Most Americans didn't really care. They just assumed it all must be true. They dug up and documented around 2000 bodies of the Shia rebellion after the Bush 1 regime's war. They dug up a couple hundred bodies from Saddam's prison grave yards. They dug up a couple hundred bodies in a couple different areas that the Kurds brought them to. Claiming this was during the Anfal campaign. Saddam had always claimed that the Anfal campaign wasn't a genocide. He just wanted to push the Kurds off the borders so he could control weapons and arms flow and keep the Kurds docile. That is what he stated the Anfal campaign was about but the US gladly accepted the Kurdish propaganda (to obtain independence from the Iraq government) that it was a genocide. The US used it to stir up war fever. Tony Blair's 400,000 body count claim from the Anfal campaign may just have been inflated by nearly 400,000. Saddam may very well have been telling the truth. At first HRW returned our correspondence. They told us to be patient. They couldn't get to many areas because of security concerns. During the interval David Petraeus was paying the Sunnis for peace things weren't that bad. After assuring us they were working on it HRW went silent to our emails and letters. We quit getting correspondence and couldn't get anybody to talk to us on the phone about it. This is when I decided most "respected" international human rights organizations may not be what they are cracked up to be. I would take anything Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch has to say with a grain of salt. On the CIA's Wikipedia web page pay close attention to the details. There is the famous Halabja attack the US initially blamed on Iran since it was on Saddam's side at the time. In any case the target was the Iranian military as that was the front line during the war. It also is most likely that the US gave Saddam those chemical weapons to use against Iran. There were a reported 5000 deaths from that incident. On the Wikipedia page the overall claim is 50,000 to 100,000. which is a far cry from the hundreds of thousands already. The most notable thing about this entry. The only evidence cited for the 50,000 to 100,000 is the 1993 study. If you follow the link to the report you can read their methodology. Their methodology boils down to... the Kurds told us.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Nov 19 2019 23:01 utc | 42

Someone points about geostationary and you go all bonkers?

Does going bonkers mean explaining how orbital mechanics actually works...?

I guess when I was learning these things, my physics prof would have been Professor Fucking Bonkers...?

Or perhaps you are angry that you learned something today...?

We wouldn't want to learn anything about the physical world, now would we...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 19 2019 23:22 utc | 43

william gruff @26
"AshenLight @24, do you know how far up geosynchronous orbit is?"

That is why it makes more sense to have large numbers of low-orbit spy satellites, so that a given area of interest can be under continuous surveillance by different satellites at different times.

Besides, the geniuses don't need satellites. They make it all up anyway.

Posted by: Nu | Nov 19 2019 23:29 utc | 44

=> AshenLight | Nov 19 2019 20:51 utc | 24

As a land and space telecommunications specialist, who spent 1/3rd of 30 years messing with geosynchronous (geostationary orbit) sat comm, this suggestion is unforgivable. The only way transponder satellites can remain 'geostationary' above a particular spot above the earth is to climb to an altitude of 22,236 miles above the equator. How much optical resolution can you get with any telescope, even the biggest available, at that distance? Maybe you could just about resolve Australia. If one was even available (an absurdity), how could it be boosted so high without shattering?

Stop trying to feed us crap, please.

Posted by: blues | Nov 19 2019 23:34 utc | 45

I was merely pointing out that it's perfectly possible to have a satellite sit in one place...

Actually...a GEO sat DOES NOT 'sit in one place' is moving at about 3 km/s [~6,700 mph]... even get to GEO orbit requires a MUCH HIGHER rocket velocity than to get to LEO...about 10 km/s [over 22,000 mph]...

That is why the same rocket can only deliver a fraction of the payload to GTO [geosynchronous transfer orbit] than it can to LEO...typically about a quarter...]

...not commenting on optics or resolution.

Then what was the point of the comment, since the issue of observation and recording images was what the original discussion was about...?'re welcome for the science lesson...

As they say, you can never have enough learning...[unless you happen to be 'anon' and an 'old time lurker'...LOL]

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 19 2019 23:43 utc | 46

So, what's it really all about? We know it's not about nukes, and only a tiny bit about developing nuclear generated electricity. Nor is it really about Iran's defensive capabilities as it's made clear to the region and world that it desires peace with its neighbors and wants to build a collective security mechanism with them. Well, turns out that Iran's being targeted for the same reasons China and Russia are--collectively they threaten the Evil Outlaw US Empire's grip on Geoeconomics and thus Geopolitics, positions which the Empire's declared it must have absolute superiority--the Full Spectrum--over all others. That's the real reason why the Evil Outlaw US Empire is engaged in various stages of hybrid--ILLEGAL--warfare with numerous nations, most deeply against Iran. So, whenever the opportunity arises, it tasks its BigLie Media machine to attack Iran with as many falsehoods as possible. Do those attacks have any effect? Zarif answered more eloquently than the no I'll use in the overall scheme of things.

As all the references I listed on the open thread @225 report, the Evil Outlaw US Empire can no longer gain its #1 policy goal that causes it to attempt to strangle Iran and other nations as those it attacks in league with others are coalescing into a bloc aimed at containing and then ensuring the Empire can exert no further harm. The usual problem is rapidity for those nations under attack.

With what seemed to be the victory of Neoliberalism and declaration of the End of History, I was reminded today of what was seen as Neoliberalism's next phase as intoned in the title of this essay, "Why Fascism is the Wave of the Future." Such a title surely meshed with the policy goals of the Evil Outlaw US Empire that were being worked up when that essay was published in 1994, and IMO we can now see what the tandem of China and Russia and their allies were able to prevent, Iran of course being one of those friends. Today, we gaze around our small planet and observe the level of hate and desperation unleashed by a deranged group of fascist psychopaths as they show their true colors also in their capital city. We recently watched one of the all-time Science Fiction film classics, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and remarked on the propaganda and Cold War hysteria it depicted so well. I'd like to think the rest of the world's improved since it seems the Evil Outlaw US Empire's caught in a time warp wherein only a great collapse will end a very long nightmare.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 19 2019 23:51 utc | 47

That is why it makes more sense to have large numbers of low-orbit spy satellites, so that a given area of interest can be under continuous surveillance by different satellites at different times.

Sorry...but again this is not feasible...although perhaps technically possible, given unlimited resources...

Also the issue of resolution comes into play here...even with state of the art resolution of say 0.3 meters [about one foot]...that means that a square foot equals one pixel on your screen...

Considering your HD screen is 1920 x 1080, which is about TWO MILLION pixels...that means your screen contains two million square feet...that's about 50 acres [20 hectares] that you are looking at on your screen...

That's not going to be useful to actually capture moving images of objects on the scale of humans...which is what this discussion is about... I said the technical and monetary requirements for putting up a constellation of spy sats that can monitor a given place on earth would require literally hundreds of's totally beyond the realm of the possible...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 20 2019 0:00 utc | 48

" I said the technical and monetary requirements for putting up a constellation of spy sats that can monitor a given place on earth would require literally hundreds of's totally beyond the realm of the possible..."
Which is why SpaceX is doing it right now, Amazon and others planning to follow suit.
Them working not only on bringing internet to the world but also spying for the US not having been much discussed so far.

But then, the insane consequences of putting ten (or even fifty) thousand satellites in low orbit has barely been discussed either, and people let these fools do what they want with what they don't even own to begin with...

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Nov 20 2019 1:09 utc | 49

Brian @ 4

Verified video footage, eyewitness testimony & information gathered from activists outside Iran

If there was a comma after "testimony" I would agree with you but since there isn't then "gathered from activists outside Iran" applies to "eyewitness testimony" as well as "information". The activists outside Iran are collecting eyewitness testimony from people supposedly in Iran and forwarding it. Just like all the shit on Syria that came out of Gaziantep.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Nov 20 2019 1:09 utc | 50

Hmm.. In all the years MoA has been open, n The Whiskey Bar before that, one thing has stuck out like dogs' balls, that is these loudmouthed types who respond to any post which isn't suitably ingratiating, and acknowleding of the loudmouth's innate superiority inevitably show their true colours as cowardly agents of empire at those times when a bit of unity through solidarity is most required.
See amerikan invasion of Iraq in '03 or those who gave a weak-arsed response to dem spruikers for oblamblam in the 2008 prez beauty contest. More recently questioning Yemeni citizen's attack on Saudi. At such times one of these creeps always imagines they have sufficient 'following' to blow the bleeding obvious outta the water in the hope that others won't see thru their weak-arsed attempt to spread lies. Mostly they have the basic sense to recognise they have just screwed their credibility, unfortunately not always.
This current one is unlikely to last that long as he/she already seems on the verge of a cerebral hemorrhage just a few weeks into his empire funded sojourn.

Posted by: A User | Nov 20 2019 1:27 utc | 51

Which is why SpaceX is doing it right now, Amazon and others planning to follow suit.

Excuse me sir...

Internet sats are now the same thing as reconnaissance sats...?

Please excuse me while I go and dial a call on my shoe phone...and order lunch at the laundromat...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 20 2019 1:40 utc | 52

One article I read said that this is to reduce domestic gasoline consumption and allow greater gas exports. Gasoline sales are very hard to target with sanctions because gas can be used by almost any purchaser, versus crude since there are relatively few refineries and any refinery is an easy target for sanctions given the petrodollar.

Posted by: Schmoe | Nov 20 2019 1:43 utc | 53

@67 So the Minister for Galicia is moving on. That's the good news. The bad news is she may be deputy Prime Minister.

(I know this thread is supposed to be about Iran but I got lost in Hubble telescopes)

Posted by: dh | Nov 20 2019 2:09 utc | 54

Copeland @ 69; Yep,it happens...

Posted by: ben | Nov 20 2019 2:43 utc | 55

Pepe on Iran "...Zarif inevitably had to evoke Mike Pompeo: “Today the Secretary of State of the United States says publicly: ‘If Iran wants to eat, it has to obey the United States.’ This is a war crime. Starvation is a crime against humanity. It’s a newspeak headline. If Iran wants its people to eat, it has to follow what he said. He says, ‘Death to the entire Iranian people.’”

It ought to be obvious that any discussion of disorder in Iran which is not situated in the context of a long economic war, of almost unprecedented severity, against Iran is nonsensical.
The United States as Pompeo makes clear wants to see Iranians starving and dying for want of proper medicines- that it then actually encourages fascist agitators to protest against the Iranian government's failure to neutralise US aggression is of little more than passing interest- it is the sort of disgraceful thing that the US does, just as scorpions sting and skunks spray foulness around them.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 20 2019 2:59 utc | 56

as Brian correctly said in comment #4, the text says 'eyewitnesses' and 'activists outside Iran'. Two different sources, not the same.
It would be good if b would keep the high journalistic standard he usually holds, and not fall victim of the temptation of distorting and intentionally misinterpreting a text.
Posted by: Phil | Nov 19 2019 20:01 utc | 15

I beg to differ. You and Brian have goofed.
Since Amnesty International has stated that it's relying on bullshit from 'eyewitnesses and activists outside Iran' one may safely assume that all of its sources are outside Iran.

There was nothing preventing Amnesty Mendacity International from tweeting "Verified video footage, eyewitness testimony & information gathered from activists inside and outside Iran."
But they apparently decided not to stretch the truth THAT far...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 20 2019 3:02 utc | 57

Lozion @ 67:

I saw what you did there when you mentioned "a certain enchantress"!

Posted by: Jen | Nov 20 2019 3:08 utc | 58


flankerbandit's commentary is aligned with what most of us are thinking. See his initial comment @19. AFAICT, he's not a troll.

flanker's got an attitude when he feels sure that he's right. So on issues that involve aerospace, for example, he ridicules those that disagree with him. fb clearly has expertise in aerospace (as he's proven in comments to several prior posts).

Oh and he doesn't suffer fools gladly. But he also ferrets out agendas like he did at @58 where he reveals Zedd's agenda.

Overall, I think flanker makes a positive contribution. Please consider engaging with fb constructively instead of attacking him as though he were a troll.

@flanker: you don't have to crush everyone that disagrees or shows their ignorance. You actually look foolish doing so sometimes as when Yeah, Right noted that not all UNSC resolutions must be obeyed (only 'Decisions' by UNSC must be obeyed).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 20 2019 3:26 utc | 59

@74 Jen. Hehe, yeah I thought the word witch was a bit harsh so..

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 20 2019 3:42 utc | 60

@JR regarding UN Security Council...

Here's the thing in broad strokes...the Outlaw Empire that wants to achieve geopolitical outcomes by means of force [or by sabotage and blatant interference in foreign countries] is actively spreading false propaganda about the UN, especially the UN Security Council's authority...

The goal is to make it seem to US, the domestic sheeple that no real supranational authority exists...

That is not the case...and is why I bothered to crush that silliness from an obvious shill here, who tried to serve this exact propaganda agenda...

Look...everyone remembers the runup to the Iraq invasion in 2003...I know I do...the US first tried to get the Security Council on side [like they did with Desert Storm in '91 when Iraq did unlawfully invade Kuwait]...

But it was not only Russia and China in 2003, but also France that put up the biggest Non!

Remember Dominique de Villepin, the French Foreign minister at the time...I do very well...very articulate man with that great mane of hair...he cut an imposing figure...

Villepin's most famous assignment as Chirac's foreign minister was opposing the U.S. plan to invade Iraq, giving France a leading role in the grouping of countries such as Germany, Belgium, Russia and China that opposed the invasion.

The speech he gave to the UN to block a second resolution allowing the use of force against Saddam Hussein's regime received loud applause.

Why would the US go to the UNSC asking for permission if we are to believe the current propaganda [as repeated here by a particular shill] that the UNSC is not the 'final authority' on issues of international peace and security, as set out in the treaty signed by the major powers in the forming of the UN...?

Now let's recall that I said here in the context of the OPCW discussion that Resolutions of the UNSC are legally binding on all UN member states...

The shill you referenced bluntly challenged that fact with these words...

That is demonstrably false...

No it is not...he has apparently succeded in muddying the waters and apparently convinced some, like yourself, that his song and dance about wording specifically with regards to 'decision' has some veracity... does not...

Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali related that during a press conference his remarks about a "non-binding" resolution started a dispute.

His assistant released a hasty clarification, which only made the situation worse. It said that the Secretary had only meant to say that Chapter VI contains no means of ensuring compliance and that resolutions adopted under its terms are not enforceable.

When the Secretary finally submitted the question to the UN Legal Advisor, the response was a long memo the bottom line of which read, in capital letters:


The Secretary said, "I got the message."

--Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter

I'm going to leave it there, although there is more regarding that nonsense about the wording 'decision' is bullshit...

I see that this shill that you reference is basically are those other shills who are trying to muddy waters here and often strike a discordant tone with what Bernhard writes...that is a dead giveaway...

Now this is not my website and I want to respect the author here and the way he runs his show...

But at the same time I see that the rats start squeaking only when you put the blocks to ' we say down on the prairie...I think our temptress would know about that concept... ;-)

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 20 2019 4:42 utc | 61

Mr ObamBa called it ISIL. (Islamic State in Iraq & Levant)
Was also referred to as the (Shia Crescent) and (Axis of evil) and so on.
It was Iraq-Iran war followed by Operation Desert Shield also followed by Persian Gulf War-Desert storm. Followed by WMD Concoction-Persian Gulf War II. Followed with 2006 Israel-Hizbollah 33 day war Followed by ISIS-ISIL war in Syria. Add to it the Saudi war on the Hoothis.
It is a World War on the ideology of Shia and there believe in Twelver.
From wikipedia.
The term Twelver refers to its adherents' belief in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as the Twelve Imams, and their belief that the last Imam, Imam al-Mahdi, lives in occultation and will reappear as the promised Mahdi. According to Shia tradition, the Mahdi's tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus, who is to assist the Mahdi against the Dajjal.
So the stage and preparations must set be for the Mahdi's return. The US, Israel and their subjects and trying to derail such preparedness.
These wars will continue under many different names and color revolutions until the real showdown.

Posted by: LinR | Nov 20 2019 4:54 utc | 62

And you forgot to mention that in between twitter rants against impeachment enquiry witnesses, Trump is at his desk busily plotting how to exploit minor riots in Iran.

real donald

Just a reminder to all knuckleheads still supporting the asshat responsible for hard times in Iran.

Oh, and did I mention he pardoned 3 war criminals on the weekend and yesterday had Pimpeo declare the illegal Russian squatter settlements LEGAL.

How does it feel to be on the dark side wrapped up in so much hypocrisy?

Posted by: Circe | Nov 20 2019 5:09 utc | 63

how much the US and the CIA are behind these protests is beyond me, but given the current suffering of the masses of the Iranian people due to the barbaric US and western sanctions, it makes sense to me that people might riot or be very unhappy with this rise in prices.

Once again a foreign set of actors taking advantage of local discontent to drive their color revolution (Ukraine), mass protests, rioting (Hong Kong), military take over (Bolivia), etc etc etc

As is the usual US thing, first apply the sanctions screws to a nation; then sit back for awhile while all the misery trickles down to the lower and middle classes, and discontent builds up; and then when the current government of said nation has to do some rather distasteful thing/s like raise the gas (or food) prices to support other social programs/or whatever, and the people resist or protest the changes.......Well the US is comfortably sitting in a pretty position where it can lecture the so called bad guy government for things which are largely beyond the control of any national elites

What nations do we take as examples of this type of nefarious, extremely wicked and divisive US activity? .....Venezuela? Cuba? Iran? Iraq? Lebanon? Haiti? the list is large, and if you extend the time frame to, say, since World War II, you have an amazingly long list of US attempts through economic or financial tools to mould the entire world to US whims - and if those those work, the bludgeon and military action do.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Nov 20 2019 5:26 utc | 64

a nice reminder from south front, which is often on top of things in the middle east

"...The Islamic Republic’s clerics and political leaders will now no doubt paint the crowds in the streets as being the servants of US and Israeli imperial aggression and interference. But then again, considering that the Trump administration established a special CIA unit reportedly named the ‘Iran Mission Center’ — with an express purpose to facilitate US-driven political change in the country — the mullahs might not be too far off the mark in their paranoia and suspicions at any “spontaneous” uprising...."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Nov 20 2019 5:29 utc | 65

I see your boy Trump didn't waste any time getting Pimpeo to meddle in the riot situation in Iran.

Iran riots Pompeo inflammatory comments

Forget it, most of you Trump bootlickers lost the moral high ground to discuss this development in Iran, HONESTLY.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 20 2019 5:37 utc | 66

i agree with @60 grieved..

flankerbandit makes some great posts... he makes some really hostile unfriendly posts too attacking posters referring to them as shills and worse... it has to stop.. say something positive and constructive and skip with the personal attacks.. they're unnecessary and really counter productive to the space..

Posted by: james | Nov 20 2019 5:57 utc | 67


Please remember that the Democratic and Republican parties are just two competing mafia gangs. Upton Sinclair in 1904 was perhaps more polite when he called them "two wings of the same bird of prey". As others at MoA have pointed out, they are all part of the shadow government or controlled by it.

When you call out Trump for his crimes against everything you should remember that almost all Democratic gang members support his actions. Case in point, can you name a dozen Democratic party "leaders" who are actively opposing Trump's coup in Bolivia?

Unless you are willing to dish it out to both criminal parties you come out as a Democratic party apologist. so sad...

Posted by: krollchem | Nov 20 2019 6:04 utc | 68

Hoarsewhisperer @ 73

Just an extra comma would have made it clear.

Verified video footage, eyewitness testimony, & information gathered from activists outside Iran...

So clear

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Nov 20 2019 6:28 utc | 69

re: krollchem | Nov 20 2019 6:04 utc | 84

On the other hand Kroll, Circe has been around for awhile & yes her posts tend to be dem-misguided and can really p1ss me off when she aims at one side of the amerikan empire party while leaving the other half alone, so I skip 'em when I'm not in the mood as I'm sure many others do. Even so such an easy target for bloke bullying should not be accepted by the rest of us as such a recipe method to get 'the boys' onside by any poster feeling at a loss because he has somehow slammed his boot in his mouth and is looking for something to wipe the mud off his nose with. And that is what the sly n backhanded criticism of her in this thread seems most like.
IMO, Since Circe has quit her over-posting, she is the least offensive of all the dem shills who have cluttered this site. It's just a shame that others are taking so long to learn less is better.

Posted by: A User | Nov 20 2019 7:02 utc | 70

"Aww...what's wrong there little feller...?

Didn't have your nappy time today...?

Maybe mommy can fix you a happy meal and then the world will look a whole lot brighter...hmm...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 20 2019 0:24 utc | 55"


I think, by now, it's obvious, to most people here, which commenter missed out on "nappy time".

Posted by: Realist | Nov 20 2019 7:09 utc | 71

Aaaah, that is right - the reason for coming in here tonite (currently 20.10 Wednesday local time) is that despite Jonathon Freedland and the rest of the graun zionists' claims to the contrary, there is no doubt Mr Corbyn won the ITV leaders debate hands down. ITV's own polling puts the result at 78% Mr Corbyn 22% Boris 'the fibber' Johnson.

Normally I couldn't give a flying f+ck about such a result since I have long considered the opinion of the average indoctrinated englander, as something to be held in even less regard than the average indoctrinated amerikan.
But Jezza is something different, an actual unashamed socialist who does not regard his beliefs as something that should have been set in stone in 1929 or thereabouts, but who sees that making socialism work in 2019 requires alterations that keep the notion that every human on this planet can & should make an important contribution to our continued survival for which he/she deserves a decent return, with the belief that the way this contribution be measured, then celebrated must change as the way we all behave does.

No more over-centralised top-down strictures from the 'central committee' or whatever, and a helluva a lot more bottom-up calls to suit local needs' innovation.

If Mr Corbyn does suceed, and I rate the odds of that a lot lower than ITV does, the most immediate result in many other alleged democracies will be that all the faux-left, neolib careerists won't en masse head for the hills, they will try to do their trite "pretend not to be a neolib" act while desperately trying to pretend, actually no-compromise socialism has always been what "they are about".

Many will get found out before the penny drops, but no matter, in their own typically slimy manner, these creeps will have re-legitimized socialism for bourgeois stick-in-the-muds all over this old rock.

Yeah, yeah, I agree, not in amerika, no one could achieve that right now, but a successful term in govt will demonstrate to amerikans that a society which espouses socialism is capable of achieving improvements in the lives of most citizens without doing any of the nasty sh1t that a century of dem & rethug shills have promised is an inevitable byproduct of a socialist government..
And no, Jezza is not as socialist as I would prefer, but he is a damn sight better than anything else on offer anywhere else.

Mr Corbyn will also be pushing for more engagement and less confrontation with Iran. The BBC will no longer be chief technical resource for the "bring back pahlavi" loons.

Posted by: A User | Nov 20 2019 8:08 utc | 72

flankerbandit @77

Yeah, Right is not a shill. You discredit yourself when you make such a claim. Yeah, Right has proven himself via insightful commentary over a long period of time.

And you haven't countered his point (that the UN Charter makes only decisions of UNSC binding). You've only given another inconclusive example of why you think you're right.

FYI 'Enforceability' is not the same as 'binding'. A UNSC resolution might be binding but not enforced for practical reasons.

In terms of the larger issue, you're correct that USA wants it both ways. It uses UN when it is convenient to do so but will bypass UN when it deems necessary. Case in point was when Obama sought to bomb Syria 2013. USA sought approval from UK Parliament (and failed to get it) instead of UNSC.

USA now talks about "rules based order" because they know that Russia and China will no longer allow the UNSC to be used like it was with the Balkans and Libya.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 20 2019 8:26 utc | 73

Keep in mind that the Iranian gov't has a continuing problem with smuggling of the cheap gas to outside parties for profit. A problem that Venezuela also has.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 20 2019 9:40 utc | 74

Since Amnesty International promoted the incubator lie it has to always be considered just another propaganda tool of US imperialism.

Posted by: D. | Nov 20 2019 10:06 utc | 75

@King Lear #89: Putin is not an all-powerful entity that can stop all evils in the world simultaneously and perfectly. "combined with the fact that Russia will probably not deploy any of its Military forces in Iran" Last time Russia attempted to use Iranian airfields as a temporary base for its planes on the way to Syria, it caused such an outcry among ordinary Iranians that the whole arrangement had to be officially scrapped (it may still continue in secret). Many Iranians, especially in the south, have an intense dislike of Russia. The attitudes have somewhat improved in recent years and will continue to improve, especially with the Iran–EAEU preferential trade agreement coming into force last month, but it will take decades⁠—if ever—for ordinary Iranians to start seeing Russia as such a close ally that they would accept the idea of it deploying forces in Iran.

Posted by: S | Nov 20 2019 10:10 utc | 76

Ghostship #62

Nice english lesson there for the stateside boys lol

Posted by: m | Nov 20 2019 12:22 utc | 77


Chill out - you are not the policeman of the blog.

Hang on, isn't someone else trying to be global policeman :)

Posted by: m | Nov 20 2019 12:25 utc | 78


Posted by: Circe | Nov 20 2019 13:06 utc | 79

@84 krollchem

Were you on an expensive trip around the moon when the Iranians signed the JCPOA???

And did you also miss the part where Trump upon coming into power garburated the Iran deal?

Trump has done more to further the Zionist agenda than all previous Presidents combined!!! How exactly does that not register with you as worse??? I live in the reality that Trump's making disastrous irreversible changes that any future administration will have to live with! Any rail he can be run out of town on tomorrow is good enough for me but what he deserves is an orange jump suit for the con job he's pulling and the suffering he's inflicting.

Trump is PRESIDENT, the only damn President TODAY. He's responsible for all the shet he's fastracking for Zionists!

Quit dodging and spinning by throwing an eqivalency test at me! No one is more purity demanding around here than me! I, unlike some of you here fawning everday for Zionist TrumpCon EXERCISE a little thing called INTEGRITY that your Trumppunch drunken stupor apparently evaporates.

@ 87 A User

If you believe Sanders, AOC, Tlaib, Omar are imperialists then you can label me one too! But don't write about me in that patronizing, condescending manner. I didn't grow a brain yesterday and my words irritate you because I'm not the fckening hype-O-crite in the monotone echo chamber!

The Iranians would be back on the JCPOA in a New York minute if given the chance! So maybe Kroll and you should put your damn Trump = Dems test to the Iranians suffering Trump's tyranny instead and then put that equivalency deflection where the sun don't shine! You obviously don't live in their Trump reality!

Posted by: Circe | Nov 20 2019 13:07 utc | 80

@all - I removed a bunch of insults from the comments above and banned a few who were way out of bounce.

Please stick to the issues and do not let troll comments divert from the thread.

Posted by: b | Nov 20 2019 13:40 utc | 81

”Do you know how air defense works? Any hostile flying object [even as small as a pigeon] trying to enter sovereign airspace will be picked up by air defense radar and immediately shot down...”

Tell that to the Saudis. Raytheon must charge extra for those features.

Posted by: OHH | Nov 20 2019 13:46 utc | 82

Many reports and even reliable sources from within Iran point out that internet access had been limited. AFAIK this could be done from within the country but as well from the US of A as most major knots are situated there. Just very recent the Russians got a "Russian internet law" to be independent and have their own knots where all the local traffic is reliable going through. As MSM titled "Russia disconnects its internet from the global ...". Has anybody infos on that matter?

Recently, an eagle entered the Iranian airspace with a transmitter - a bit larger than a pigeon - and he wasn't shot down :D

Posted by: BG13 | Nov 20 2019 14:09 utc | 83

A good sign that something is propaganda is that it gives some weirdly specific number that no one has a reliable way of knowing (i.e. "106 people killed" instead of just "many people killed"). Why is this? My guess is that it subliminally instills a sense of authority in the person making the (bogus) claim.

Posted by: Timothy Hagios | Nov 20 2019 14:21 utc | 84

Posted by: Timothy Hagios | Nov 20 2019 14:21 utc | 85

That is one of the signs, "How do they know that?" is always a good question.

But I think they do it to suggest that they are not just guessing, fake precision, not fake authority. Could be both, sure.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 20 2019 14:47 utc | 85

The MEK "cult" was always a favorite of the CIA, John Bolton and John McCain and their people, although they don't share MEK's political views beyond resistance to the Iranian government. The only good thing is that the people of Iran are very suspicious of MEK or hate them.

Posted by: michael | Nov 20 2019 15:18 utc | 86

There are those who are trying to defend Amnesty International by arguing that their word choice and sentence structure was just awkward and clumsy. We are supposed to believe that they really meant something else but just had a hard time expressing themselves clearly.

This argument is absolute nonsense and it insults the reader's intelligence, so it is not surprising that it seriously offended some posters.

The post by Amnesty International is on their official account. Unlike some personal Twitter account on which common twits will happily tweet utter gibberish without a second thought, posts by organizations represent the organization as a whole, and as such they are typically reviewed before being dumped in front of the public. That means that the awkward and clumsy sentence structure is not an accident resulting from some individual's carelessness. On the contrary, the tweet posted by Amnesty International was deliberately and carefully structured to suggest a particular narrative while remaining ambiguous enough to avoid being called out as an outright lie.

This, by the way, is a very common tactic among pro-empire organizations attempting to mislead the public. Reading the official tweets from these organizations one can get the impression that they, for example the US State Department or the New York Langley Times, have nobody on staff who can write a simple sentence clearly. Many people will overlook the tortured grammar in these official tweets (and in the process be brainwashed with a false narrative) because that is the convention among individuals communicating on the Internet. Who needs grammar Nazis, right? But it is a grave mistake to give these large organizations the same pass as you would the random individual Twitter user. They deliberately mangle their sentences so that the unwary reader will draw a conclusion that is not actually stated in the message.

Lesson: Never EVER give big organizations a pass for writing weird sentences, and this is doubly true for the mass media. When anything produced by such an organization that has professional writers on staff sounds stilted it is a good indication that they are attempting to deceive without outright lying. Washington Bezos Post has been doing this to comical extremes lately.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 20 2019 15:48 utc | 87

For the next minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade, century (if we humans have one) it will remain true: for as long as a fraction few humans are allowed overpayoverpower, their ability to conceal their true identities and deeds will always exceed your ability to detect and expose same.

We lead ourselves into hope fatigue with incessant regurgitation of opinions about the everyday actions of wealthpower giants who have no scruples.

Look around at what we chimpy humans have made with our reptile-remnant brains in a nuclear situation: starvation for 50 million per anum while less than half of 1 percent possess trillions - for no REASON. Wars, corruption of governments, spooks and spies and weapons peddlers running empires, declining health for humans and planet, crises, robbery, scams, fraud, decaying infrastructure, decline of meaningful education, glorification of the psychopathy that is militarism, a leisure class amidst overwork and underpay for billions, privatization of profits and spread the costs to the working families, violence instigated by those who now have so much money they can and do make human history be what they say it will be; everescalating madness everywhere you look. Every second the overpaidoverpowered commit heinous crimes right round the globe and yet we search in vain for comment from our greatest thinkers on the root cause of our nightmare.

Bears of very little brain, indeed. Technical giants, ethical nonstarters. How obvious is it that nothing can be expected to work when extreme robbery is chosen as the organization model for trying to run societies? The sum total of human intelligence is within cooee of proving itself to be as useful to us as stupidity would be in its place.

No one wants to dance with the wallflower called payjustice, even though she waits in the corner to give us a golden age of peace, safety, happiness, sustainability. Human maturity is stuck at a level that prefers a tiny fraction be supergigarich at the expense of everyone's everything. Hopeless.

A just cap on fortunes fixes all our ginormous globalocal problems.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Nov 20 2019 15:52 utc | 88

@ karlof1 | Nov 19 2019 23:51 utc | 47 Man, you know what it's about. Destroying the Iranian State, then the Russian State, then the Chinese State. It's a public secret. Policy predates March of '44 if we accept G. Alperovitz's quote from General Groves. The Bomb was/is for Russia, not for Japan. Those two were tests. Later they changed the numeration and and terms.

But oh how my heart does burn in sympathy for those demonstrators who are so ardent...but help for them is on the way!

Yeah. USN to the rescue, anchors away boys!

USNI News> Carrier Lincoln Enters Persian Gulf After 6 Months Nearby; Truman Back At Sea Ahead of Relieving Lincoln

Right on schedule. John Wayne would play the Skipper. Film at 11

(they remember, maybe, how Ripper sank the fleet in 10 minutes)

wiki> "Van Riper gained notoriety after the Millennium Challenge 2002 wargame. He played the Red Team opposing force commander, and easily sank a whole carrier battle group in the simulation with an inferior Middle-Eastern "red" team in the first two days. "

What would Trumpie be obliged to do after say, 7,000 sailors died in one afternoon. Yeah. Right.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 20 2019 17:11 utc | 89

Wrapping up: the USA is supporting the protesters in Iran because they are fighting against the gasoline tax hike/creation... which was an IMF recommendation!

Since we already know the IMF is essentially a US Treasury front organization, that means the USA is directly blaming itself for the Iranians' ongoing protests. Yes people, we've reached madness levels of propaganda warfare that were unthinkable a few years ago.

But what impresses me most in this episode is how the Iranian government fell for it. They are the most anti-American country in the world right now, and even then they obeyed the USA to the precipice when it came to economic policies.

Sincerely, I don't think the level of soft power the USA has reached will ever be reached again by any other future superpower. It's jaw-dropping to witness the level of legitimacy the Americans enjoy -- even after decades of blatant lies, death, destruction and hypocrisy.

This recent Iranian capitulation on the ideological front (because they bowed down to neoliberalism on this one, again) shows the USA still has that Merovingian hair.

Posted by: vk | Nov 20 2019 18:24 utc | 90

Khamenei addresses issues in this brief notice at his website and reveals what Iran's strategy must become:

"This is not effective for us to hope in an end to the sanctions for the resolution of the economic problems in our country, or hope for the time when the current American president leaves office. Some are able to circumvent the sanctions, which is good. But, the principle task is to immunize the country against sanctions. Circumventing sanctions is a tactic; whereas, immunizing the country is a strategy. We should achieve a situation where sanctions can't hurt us, which is not the case now."

He also talks a bit about the geoeconomic and geopolitc dimensions of the current global conflict, global being his term which I'm in agreement.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 20 2019 19:11 utc | 91

A User @ 73

Setting aside UK domestic politics the question is to what extent Corbyn, if elected, could shift UK foreign policy to non-interventionism.

The labour supporters I speak to - they follow Westminster politics more closely than can I - reckon that a Corbyn Government wouldn't be able to move the needle much on that one.

Apparently Corbyn is going hell for leather replacing the Blairites in his party. There also doesn't seem to be much doubt that Corbyn himself is non-interventionist by conviction. That, incidentally, is why he might get my vote even though I think Corbyn's approach to reducing the income gap is mostly pretend politics. Nevertheless, in spite of his personal convictions, if Corbyn were to form a government he would still be reliant on MP's who don't share those convictions. He might also be reliant on other parties that are not as non-interventionist as him.

I also ask my labour friends why Corbyn doesn't speak up more on the issue of UK interventionist policy. They say 1) there are no votes in it and 2) if he did speak up he'd get crucified in the media.

I then ask why Farage can get away with pushing non-interventionism when Corbyn can't. When they pick themselves up from the floor (for some reason my labour friends don't seem to take to Farage) they answer that no one is going to paint Farage as being a communist sympathiser whereas if Corbyn speaks up it'll be just another nail in the coffin of "Corbyn the Red Peril" - you will understand that this relatively inoffensive Islington prog is castigated in all right thinking circles here as being a threat to our way of life more potent than Beria and Trotsky combined. Odd, but that's how it is.

I don't buy those excuses entirely but I do reckon that if Corbyn were to find himself in power he'd end up in a similar position to Trump's - wanting to get us out of these appalling foreign interventions but near powerless to do so in the face of the neocon establishment.

Here's Farage, from five years back, getting roughed up by the neocon establishment in the person of the then LibDem deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. Bearing in mind that that neocon establishment has the support of almost all the UK political parties that amount to anything, plus the vehement support of almost all continental European governments, I suspect that it'll take more than an inoffensive Islington Prog to shift UK foreign policy in a non-interventionist direction.

Posted by: English Outsider | Nov 20 2019 19:15 utc | 92

The big lie is more easily believed. 99% of people are just incapable of imagining that ‘authorities’ lie. Partly cognitive dissonance, partly stupidity, but mostly just lazy pigs at a trough.

Posted by: Rae | Nov 20 2019 20:02 utc | 93

comment #57

I beg to differ. You and Brian have goofed.
Since Amnesty International has stated that it's relying on bullshit from 'eyewitnesses and activists outside Iran' one may safely assume that all of its sources are outside Iran.

There was nothing preventing Amnesty Mendacity International from tweeting "Verified video footage, eyewitness testimony & information gathered from activists inside and outside Iran."
But they apparently decided not to stretch the truth THAT far...

it was a tweet ... not a WaPo or NYT article. In chatroom and internet language it is common to use abbreviations. In my opinion, this sentence does not need a ',' to distinguish between the sources.

However, I share your view on Amnesty International, which is instrumentalised or weaponised and abused as a tool. I should have pointed that out since I don't write much in the comment section here, and most people don't know my position and views.

What Brian and I are trying to point out is the fact that we as commentators and b as journalist and writer should not commit the same mistake like the Western media. It diminishes our credibility. Let's remember how brilliantly MoA is positioned in the Media Navigator.
We should at least try to keep it that way, shall we?

Posted by: Phil | Nov 20 2019 20:04 utc | 94

"In chatroom and internet language it is common to use abbreviations. In my opinion, this sentence does not need a ',' to distinguish between the sources."

Except it isn't a chatroom or informal Internet discussion. It is an official statement from Amnesty International. People trying to see these deliberate misdirections as both an offhand comment and a statement with the authority of a large organization behind it are how they get deceived. Suggesting that the committee that assembled the tweet at Amnesty International just "forgot" the comma that establishes the sentence's meaning is worse than foolhardy, it is willful participation on one's own brainwashing.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 20 2019 20:18 utc | 95

@ bevin 19 (at least until the deck gets shuffled again)

I went looking for the comment you referred to @Zedd 11, because I just thought it dumbfounding when I read it yesterday. Apparently b has expunged it, so thanks for quoting it and refuting it so well. No, it doesn't square with anything, does it? And if it were true that Rouhani was an Israeli mole, why would Israel be the first to try to exploit that fact? Too clever by half?

I often read (but don't participate in) the forums on Truthdig. The Israeli messengers are all over editorials there about this, reinforcing the accusations that Iran and it's leaders are the foulest demons from the very depths of hell, unequaled in their malevolence in all of history. They continue to do it I suppose because there are still so many that continue to bite, chew, and swallow it. Some poster there (TD) feigning obsequiousness helpfulness said, to the effect - "please, Iran, don't you think it's time to sit down and talk with the US?" And do what - get handed the terms of their surrender, their enslavement?

I have a plea myself: Hey Europe! - feel around in there and see if you can locate a backbone! Same goes for you China. I know it's risky and you are risk averse, but your time has come. I don't think it is a stretch to point out the symbiotic economic dependence of US/China: If one goes down, both go down, and that reality should work as well as any nuclear restraint treaty.

But, I'm ranting. I've tried mightily in these last several decades to learn and understand as much as I could about Iran, the ME in general, of Islam and the tribal diversity of that region. I'm no expert, but better informed than many who don't have the time or inclination to pursue that information. And I'm still in the lagging pack of "also rans" on a site such as this. However, let me posit this: The Islamic Republic of Iran learned, rather harshly, the contours of world power during the Iran/Iraq War, and little has changed since then. Few friends would come to their aid, as today. They are understandably suspicious and cautious. Overtures from China or any other competent power, for them, are fraught with both existential and pragmatic dangers. Persia/Iran has a very long history with Russia/USSR/Russia (Glazunov's tone poem, Stenka Rozin memorializes some of that (better known for the Song of the Volga Boatmen, what the Wicked Witch of the West's castle guard were chanting.))

OK, because you didn't ask: It is an obscure piece, seldom performed, and the story goes like this, as best I remember from the liner notes of the piece of vinyl I have. A beautiful Persian Princess was aboard a royal barge on a journey up the Volga River to be a gift and a bride for a Russian Czar. The Volga Boatmen, river pirates led by Stenka Rozin, intercepted and overpowered the Persian entourage, and Stenka Rozin began to woo the beautiful princess. The Czar learned of this treachery and sent his forces to rescue the princess. A large battle between the Czar's forces and the Volga Boatmen ensued and both Stenka Rozin and the princess were killed - drowned in the Volga River. Like much Russian musical composition it evokes tragedy, and is laced with historical implications. That one was simple; try following Pushkin's Russlan and Ludmilla and Mikkel Glinka's balletic adaptation of same.

So, sue me. Just trying to be the guy in the bar when a fight is about to break out that says "Hey, have you heard the one about the leprechaun and the elf..."

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 20 2019 21:55 utc | 96

"If you believe Sanders, AOC, Tlaib, Omar are imperialists then you can label me one too!" Circe @Circe | Nov 20 2019 13:07 utc | 81
Well you said it Circe, if you support any pol in either side of the amerikan empire party, you're an imperialist.

We already know from what has happened to the likes of Sanders in the past that these candidates you espouse won't have a hope in hell of gaining real power in the corporate controlled dem party.

Some may be naive altho I'm doubtful about that eg the cynical way Gabbard threw her support behind that war-mongering monster Nancy Pelosi enabling Pelosi to bully her way into the speaker job. Sanders did even more for the butcher of Libya, Hillary Clinton, after he was blocked from the '16 nomination by Clinton!

That stuff cannot be dismissed as just politics because when these opportunists give support to corrupt power while claiming outta the other side of their mouths that they would do it another way, the net effect of their actions is to advance the murder, rape and theft that they claim to be opposing.

As has been pointed out before the dem party heroes which you claim are worthy, only ever succeed in convincing the unwary to support a party which will never stop wanting more war, all those types ever do is provide cover and diversion for butchery, while employing the worst sort of hypocrisy.

The moment Oblamblam made his parting gift to the dems the installation of Tom Perez as chair, any hope of the party becoming something other than a whore for billionaires to hire and indulge their greed, ended.

The Iranians might want the JCPOA back but they know it will never happen, no dem party hack capable of getting the nomination would dream of instituting that agreement because the zionist wing would absolutely sh1t on him/her. Obama tried to pull it off and failed because the zionists in congress opposed him.

If there were to be a next time the Iranians would insist it be properly ratified this time, otherwise the same thing will happen again ie amerika will, after pressure from wealthy zionists, refuse to lift sanctions, leaving the Iranian leader who signed up in an invidious, hopeless position with his electorate.

Posted by: A User | Nov 20 2019 22:14 utc | 97

The Iranian regime has survived forty years. They may be in trouble, but I doubt it. Too much desire from those who want to believe it.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 20 2019 22:15 utc | 98

@ Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 19 2019 23:43 utc | 46

Do I really need to specify that I meant sitting in one place relative to the earth considering that is both the original context and the entire point of a geosynchronous orbit? Of course nothing in orbit is completely stationary -- nobody thought it was. Thanks for another condescending "lesson" though. My original comment was merely to clarify for anyone who read that quoted bit as saying that it wasn't possible to put a satellite in a constant orbit over one location, which was how I read it when I first skimmed it. Obviously you understand that that's not the case but other readers may not have; I was simply pointing out that such orbits are in wide use. I didn't mean to imply that such orbits would be useful for surveillance, though in retrospect I do see why it was interpreted that way. In fact I have no particular knowledge of cutting edge satellite tech but do know plenty about telescopes, and indeed it would be totally unworkable.

And no, I'm not "anon" or anyone else, as b can easily verify. I'm perfectly capable of speaking for myself. We're done here though.

Posted by: AshenLight | Nov 20 2019 23:20 utc | 99

@ Ghost Ship | Nov 20 2019 6:28 utc | 69

OK, let's settle this once and for all. The rules of English grammar and punctuation call for replacing the comma after the last element in a series with the word "and."

The Associated Press Stylebook, which was my usage bible during my years as a newspaper reporter and editor, says this:
"Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series: The flag is red, white and blue. He would nominate Tom, Dick or Harry.

The sentence as b wrote it is therefor correct, and the elements "eyewitness testimony" and "information gathered from activists outside Iran" stand alone and are intended to refer to separate sources.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Nov 21 2019 2:13 utc | 100

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